• FURNITURE

    Introducing the furniture edit for our 2020 Gift Guide. What you'll find inside is an editorially curated mix of the furnishings, light fixtures, and other objects of desire that caught our eye this year, from nea studio’s sleek vanity that resembles ice stalactites to a Frank Lloyd Wright–inspired children's chair and table set for the pint-sized design enthusiast in your life. For the sustainable-minded, we recommend Supernovas' Afterlife Crate, a stackable statement piece made entirely of post-consumer plastic waste that resembles confetti. Any home office will benefit from Cosm, Herman Miller's latest innovative task chair that uses passive ergonomic technology to naturally adjust to the sitter's body. If you're in need of a hug, meanwhile, indulge in Hem's Puffy Lounge Chair by Faye Toogood, whose quilt-like upholstery offers a warm, duvet-like embrace. You've been staying home now more than ever—it's time to treat yourself (and your living room).

    Surface's gift guides are editorially curated. Purchases through our links may earn us an affiliate commission.
  • Photos courtesy of Skram
    Skram Furniture
    Isto Leather Basket
    $471 for medium; $490 for large
    North Carolina–based Skram’s utilitarian yet refined leather basket is one of the more versatile accessories we’ve seen in a while. Crafted from a single piece of folded, vegetable-tanned leather, the object is a product of the studio’s ongoing exploration of heavyweight saddle leather—which appears in everything from drawers to seating to diptychs. In the basket, they’ve managed to create something both gritty enough to hold a stack of firewood and swish enough to display in your bedroom.
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  • Photos courtesy of nea studio
    nea studio
    Vanity Table
    $4,870
    Feast your eyes on what might be the only furnishing manufactured by a dental surgeon, who used his expertise in double geometry to create this vanity table’s distinct shape. Inspired by nea studio founder Nina Edwards Anker’s travels through the icy snowscapes of Norway, this statement piece features a gently curving white surface that evokes melting snow and, on the other side, a sleek single leg that emulates the balance of stalactites. To achieve the effect, Anker selected materials like soft maple wood and stainless steel, using 3D software and machinery to meld the two into a jointless object. The result, which feels petite but potent, incorporates a bowl for holding cosmetics, making it an ideal addition to cozy city apartments. For the cosmetically disinclined, use it as an eye-catching entry table with built-in vide poche.

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  • Photos courtesy of Akron Street
    akron street
    Small Tenon Table
    $395
    Brooklyn–based Akron Street has mastered the art of simplicity. The studio’s work is defined by functionalism, quality materials, and some of the finest craftsmanship around. The Tenon Table is indicative of their approach to woodworking: the featured component is the wedged mortise and tenon, a cornerstone of furniture making for thousands of years. The white oak comes in two sophisticated finishes, natural or smoked. Practicality often gets a bad rap in a world of pedantic flourishes and one-upmanship, but you know what never goes out of style? Timelessness.
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  • Photos courtesy of Herman Miller
    Herman miller
    Cosm Chair
    Starting at $895
    Cosm is Herman Miller’s most significant furniture release since Aeron, the so-called Ferrari of task chairs that debuted in 1994. Designed in collaboration with German design practice Studio 7.5, Cosm might be Aeron’s ideological opposite. It adjusts the sitter automatically with passive ergonomic technology, featuring an exoskeletal frame that follows the natural motion and pivot points of the sitter’s body, as opposed to forcing the body to follow the motion of the mechanism. That might be why it took a decade to design!
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  • Photos courtesy of departo
    departo
    Folding Chair
    $295
    Whether at the beach or in an apartment living room, the ash-wood Folding Chair’s clean-lined Scandinavian build and Japanese materiality put it in a different class than the brightly colored, webbed-seat lawn chairs of yore—it’s a swish piece of furniture imbued with the same adaptability and portable nature of its peripatetic creators George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg.

    Use code DESIGNDOSE for a 10% discount.
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  • Photos courtesy of Dims.
    DIMS.
    Cleo Chair
    $350
    Stine Aas vividly remembers the fjords and mountains she grew up surrounded by in rural Norway. The industrial designer’s bucolic upbringing instilled a reverence for natural materials she now channels into her studio’s award-winning products, which often appear deceptively simple yet are rich in character. In particular, she enjoys working with wood. For the Cleo Chair, an intricate yet pared-down piece, she experimented with crafting its body from a single piece of bent laminated plywood, making it both sculptural and stackable. Now available in Wimbledon green, tobiko red, fjord blue, and other colors, the chair also serves up a dose of architectural flair. When the semicircular backs of multiple Cleos stand side by side, they form a pattern reminiscent of archways and decorative motifs in classical architecture.
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  • Photos courtesy of Tom Dixon
    tom dixon
    Globe Pendant Lamp
    $1,070
    Task lamps these are not. Tom Dixon’s new Globe Pendants cast luminous, reflective light onto their surroundings with more energy than a disco ball. The spherical orbs, which rely on a light source invisible to the naked eye, can easily transform a room more than a new coat of paint, whether in the daylight or after dark. “We wanted something that’s transparent enough to see through it, yet still reflective,” says Dixon. For the new series of round pendants, he fit hollowed spheres of colored glass and an LED bulb, that, when switched on, reveals a series of infinite internal reflections (à la infinity mirrors). By day, it emits the perfect optical quality derived from the metallization inside the lamp rather than on the outer surface. With these shadow dancers, reflection is playful—magical, even—and intentionally emphasized. “I don’t know why you would avoid reflections!” he quips.
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  • Photos courtesy of Ky Polanco
    piaule
    The Flat Pack Table
    $1,575 for coffee table; $1,375 for side table
    Simple geometry and honest materials lead to stress-free construction. Case in point is Piaule’s Flat Pack Table, which features slabs of locally sourced marble paired with a sheet of tinted glass. The Brooklyn studio’s latest innovation comprises separate pieces that are easy to construct—it’s so quick and satisfying that it doesn’t even require instructions or tools.
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  • Photos courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
    Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
    Frank Lloyd Wright Playhouse Usonian Play Table & Chairs Set
    $495
    This chair and table set emulates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian furniture series, but in the perfect scale for the pint-sized design enthusiast in your life. Kiersten Hathcock, the founder of Mod Mom Furniture, designed the set as a tribute to the famed American architect by adorning the tabletop with his signature illustrations. Made in Denver from birchwood, the playset is available with five different Wright illustrations etched with safe water-based paints.

    *Each purchase supports the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the preservation of Taliesin and Taliesin West, the architect’s home, studio, school located on the 800-acre estate in Iowa County, WI, and his winter home and school in Scottsdale, AZ. 

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  • Photos courtesy of Supernovas
    Supernovas
    Afterlife Crate by Odd Matter
    €400
    The plastic waste crisis remains an urgent threat to our collective wellbeing, but fortunately, designers are dreaming up whip-smart solutions to repurpose detritus into statement furniture. That’s exactly the case for Afterlife, a fun-filled series of easy-to-assemble crates and benches by Dutch design studio Odd Matters and the circular lifestyle brand Supernovas. Made entirely of post-consumer and post-industrial plastic waste streams, the stackable crate gives items such as bottles, packaging, and toys a sustainable afterlife and stylish new confetti look. The entirely recycled piece is also suited for both indoor and outdoor use, making it an ideal vase for plants, cubby for vinyls or magazines, or icebox for beers during summer.
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  • Photos courtesy of Bower Studios
    Bower Studios c/o The Future Perfect
    Melt Stool
    $1,850
    If you’re anything like us, the past few months have you feeling slumpy. Bower can attest—the buzzy Brooklyn studio’s latest collection is slouching into what we all hope will be a more prosperous new year. The creamy upholstered seat cushions of the Melt Stool, our favorite piece from the new collection, droops over a rigid wood frame as if experiencing a force of nature, oppressive heat, or sudden laziness. It’s easy on the eyes and easier on the tush!
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  • Photos courtesy of l'aviva home
    l'aviva home
    Talabartero Leather Pouf
    Starting at $1,525
    l’aviva home’s richly detailed Talabartero collection fuses the time-honored craft of Colombian saddle-making with artist Fernando Botero’s bold use of color, thanks to master leather artisan Edgar Beltran Jaramillo who fashioned the pieces with meticulous details—from the cast-iron buckles on the poufs to the intricate embroidery of the bolsters.
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  • Photos courtesy of Hem
    hem
    Puffy Lounge Chair by Faye Toogood
    $1,899
    Faye Toogood’s latest feat is a remarkable study in contrasts—and a comforting one at that. Its detachable upholstery is cushy and plump, spilling freely over the sides of a hard-lined tubular steel frame that draws inspiration from the rational structures of classic Modernist design. Toogood selected extravagant quilt-like upholstery that warmly embraces and, when paired with the sturdy frame, achieves a “dependable durability coupled with all the enveloping warmth of a familiar duvet.” And who couldn’t use a hug right now?
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  • Photos courtesy of Eny Lee Parker
    eny lee parker
    Upholstered Stitch Stool
    $2,600
    In Eny Lee Parker's hands, clay has unlimited potential. Possessing the neotenic qualities of objects from adolescence, the ceramic designer’s whimsical pieces take on the amorphous forms of cinematic creatures and cutesy marshmallows that induce the same childlike joy of youthful memories. Case in point: the Upholstered Stitch Stool, a four-pronged statement piece coated in hand-stitched bouclé wool that shares the characteristics of a loveable stuffed animal.
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  • Photo courtesy of VOLK
    volk
    St. Charles Double Bolster Daybed
    Starting at $8,200
    VOLK Furniture’s latest lineup defies the fast-consumption mentality. Rather than cycle dozens of brand-new pieces out every season, owner Brian Volk-Zimmerman riffs on his existing oeuvre to build out the collection slowly with intention. The St. Charles daybed, which Volk admits is his favorite new piece, is an inviting double-bolster lounger beckoning for weekend reading or catnaps.
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  • Photos courtesy of DWR
    Design within reach
    Panton Junior
    $260
    You can physically pick up this scaled-down version of Verner Panton’s famous chair, which he first introduced 1967. Captivated by the potential of plastic (a new material at the time), Panton began working on the piece in 1963 with Vitra, aiming to create a comfortable, sturdy chair made from just a single piece of polypropylene. One of the earliest models can be found in the Museum of Modern Art, and now, in your child’s playroom.
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  • Photos courtesy of TRNK
    trnk
    Angle II Armless Dining Chair
    Now $1,695.75 (normally $1,995)
    Tariq Dixon, the co-founder of New York City furniture brand TRNK, is wrapping up a busy year. Despite pivoting his business to digital and mounting two crucial exhibitions that bring to light issues of identity, race, and representation, he still found the time to design one of this year’s standout furniture collections. Our favorite from TRNK’s new offerings is the Angle II Armless Dining Chair, which takes classic silhouettes and updates them with cutouts for negative visual space. Featuring high-density foam seat cushions, a rock-solid CAD-engineered plywood frame, and a perfectly pitched and padded tight back, the chair is striking, sculptural, and small-space friendly.
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  • Photos courtesy of HAY
    hay
    Copenhague 90 Desk
    $716
    Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec bring nostalgia into today with this minimal yet elegant table, whose modern lines achieve an old-world feel. (It’s actually part of a space-saving furniture series made for the University of Copenhagen.) Outfitted with a tabletop made of a new nanotech linoleum and finished with a soft-touch ultra-matte coating, it’s easy-to-clean and resistant to fingerprints. Given that the Bouroullecs custom tailored the table for students in Denmark, it’s a no-brainer addition to your home office.
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