Furniture Design: Definitive Top 10 Books

Furniture Design

Dive into the World of Furniture Design

by Alex Greenwood

If you’re passionate about furniture design and want to deepen your understanding or find inspiration for your next project, you’re in the right place. From iconic mid-century modern pieces to practical guides on woodworking, our top 10 books on furniture design offer a wealth of knowledge and creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned designer or a curious enthusiast, these books are essential reads that will transform your perspective on furniture and design. Let’s explore these must-have books that will not only educate but also inspire you to create beautiful, functional spaces.

10. Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details by Bradley Quinn

Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details by Bradley Quinn

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Bradley Quinn’s “Mid-Century Modern” is a visually stunning exploration of one of the most influential design movements. With detailed photography and insightful commentary, this book is perfect for anyone looking to understand the principles and aesthetics of mid-century modern design.

9. 1000 Chairs by Charlotte Fiell

1000 Chairs by Charlotte Fiell

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Charlotte Fiell’s “1000 Chairs” is an exhaustive catalog of chair designs from the 19th century to the present day. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the evolution of furniture design, providing a comprehensive overview of iconic and innovative chair designs.

8. Great Book of Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture by Robert W. Lang

Great Book of Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture by Robert W. Lang

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Robert W. Lang’s book is an invaluable resource for woodworkers. It includes detailed plans and perspectives for creating authentic Craftsman furniture. Ideal for both beginners and experienced woodworkers, this book ensures precision and craftsmanship in your projects.

7. How to Make Outdoor & Garden Furniture by Randy Johnson

How to Make Outdoor & Garden Furniture by Randy Johnson

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Randy Johnson’s guide offers step-by-step instructions for creating beautiful outdoor furniture. With 22 decorative projects, this book combines practicality with creativity, making it a great addition for anyone looking to enhance their garden space.

6. Design of the 20th Century by Charlotte Fiell

Design of the 20th Century by Charlotte Fiell

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Charlotte Fiell’s “Design of the 20th Century” covers the most significant developments in design throughout the last century. This book is essential for understanding the context and evolution of modern design, featuring influential designers and their groundbreaking works.

5. The Soul of a Tree: A Master Woodworker’s Reflections by George Nakashima

The Soul of a Tree: A Master Woodworker's Reflections by George Nakashima

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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George Nakashima’s memoir is both a philosophical reflection and a practical guide. It delves into his relationship with wood and his process of creating furniture. This book is a treasure for those who appreciate the artistry and spirituality of woodworking.

4. Modernist Icons: Midcentury Houses and Interiors by gestalten

Modernist Icons: Midcentury Houses and Interiors by gestalten

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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“Modernist Icons” by gestalten showcases stunning mid-century modern homes and interiors. With its rich visuals and engaging narratives, this book is perfect for anyone looking to draw inspiration from mid-century modern design in their own spaces.

3. The deVOL Kitchen: Designing and Styling the Most Important Room in Your Home by Paul O’Leary

The deVOL Kitchen: Designing and Styling the Most Important Room in Your Home by Paul O'Leary

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Paul O’Leary’s “The deVOL Kitchen” focuses on creating beautiful, functional kitchens. This book offers insights into the design process, materials, and styling tips, making it a valuable resource for both designers and homeowners.

2. The Furniture Handbook: A Guide to Choosing, Arranging, and Caring for the Objects in Your Home by Frida Ramstedt

The Furniture Handbook: A Guide to Choosing, Arranging, and Caring for the Objects in Your Home by Frida Ramstedt

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Frida Ramstedt’s handbook is an essential guide for anyone looking to enhance their home with thoughtful furniture choices. It covers everything from selection and arrangement to care, providing practical advice for creating harmonious living spaces.

1. Eames: Beautiful Details by Eames Demetrios

Eames: Beautiful Details by Eames Demetrios

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Eames Demetrios’ “Eames: Beautiful Details” is a celebration of the iconic Eames designs. This book offers an intimate look at the Eames’ creative process and their timeless contributions to modern design. A must-read for any design enthusiast.

Elevate Your Design Knowledge

Investing in these top 10 furniture design books will not only enrich your understanding of design principles but also inspire you to create and appreciate beautifully crafted furniture. Each book offers unique insights and practical knowledge, making them essential additions to your library. Happy reading and designing!

If interested in Furniture Design, you must watch this

The video presented by Tom Skeen focuses on the furniture design process, particularly how manufacturing influences the creation and development of products. Using the Nave Armchair as a case study—a piece launched in Milan that evolved into a full collection for the Australian brand Stylecraft—Skeen details the challenging process of designing the seat cushion, experimenting with upholstery patterns, and closely collaborating with local manufacturers. The video illustrates how manufacturing constraints and opportunities can guide and transform the design process, resulting in innovative and practical furniture solutions.

What is the primary focus of Tom Skeen’s discussion on furniture design?

Tom Skeen primarily focuses on the design process and how manufacturing significantly influences the design and development of furniture products. By examining the manufacturing constraints and opportunities, designers can create products that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical and feasible to produce.

Which piece of furniture is used as a case study in the discussion?

The Nave Armchair serves as the central case study in the discussion. This armchair, initially launched in Milan, evolved into a full product collection for the Australian brand Stylecraft. The journey of this armchair from concept to a collection illustrates the intricate relationship between design innovation and manufacturing processes.

How did the design process of the Nave Armchair start?

The design process of the Nave Armchair began with a focus on upholstery, specifically the creation of a soft, organic seat cushion. This initial challenge of designing a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing cushion set the tone for the entire collection, influencing other design elements and ensuring a cohesive narrative throughout the product range.

What unique design technique was used for the upholstery of the Nave Armchair?

A unique design technique used for the upholstery involved deconstructing a baseball to develop a figure-eight pattern. This approach allowed the fabric to fit seamlessly around complex curves and corners, creating a smooth, continuous surface on the seat cushion. This innovative method exemplifies how unconventional inspirations can lead to practical design solutions in furniture making.

How did manufacturing constraints influence the final design of the Nave Armchair’s frame?

Manufacturing constraints significantly influenced the final design of the Nave Armchair’s frame. Inspired by the construction methods of boat hulls, the design utilized tube steel for its efficiency and structural integrity. This choice not only provided durability but also allowed for powder coating, making it suitable for commercial applications. The visible structural elements became a defining feature of the chair, showcasing a blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal.

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