“The greatest mistake a designer can make, is to create something with the intention of making an icon,” says Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of Danish furniture brand Carl Hansen & Son. The man knows a thing or two about the matter, as he happens to be the third-generation owner of a company renowned for producing iconic furniture from mid-century legends, such as Hans Wegner, Kaare Klint and Arne Jacobsen, among others.

Much like the oft-heard saying in the movie industry, it seems iconic designs in the furniture business seem to possess that unique X-factor, the ‘je ne sais quois’ which helps them stand out from others. Yet, ask any veteran designer and he will tell you there is no set strategy involved in turning a piece of furniture into something truly unforgettable. Furthermore, what is the definition of an iconic design? Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, practical and purposeful, iconic designs also buck trends and exude such a unique factor that a legacy can be built around them.

(Related: Object of Desire: Vitra x Virgil Abloh Furniture Collection)

For the most part, icons stand the test of time and appreciate like fine wine. With our arrival into the 21st century, it’s time to look beyond old staples to the present for the new generation of icons that will go down in the design annals of tomorrow. Here are five home icons worth investing in and deserving of prime real estate on your living room floor.

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