Why were the 70s and 80s so purple

80s furniture - what characterizes the furnishing style of this time?

Furniture and accessories that shape this time

One of THE pieces of furniture from the 80s is the black leather sofa, which you can buy from Rolf Benz, for example. The cult model was minimalist in its shape, but expansive in its size and thus a statement piece. On the one hand it corresponded to the anti-style and its striving for a clean look and on the other hand the desire for more size.

The anti-design of the 80s furniture was shown in perfection in the well-known "Bad Tempered Chair" by Ron Arad. The unusually shaped armchair is made of shiny steel and rivets. The “Proust” armchair by Alessandro Mendini is just as unusual, but has a completely different look. It is reminiscent of a piece of seating furniture from the Baroque period, which, however, is brightly painted and creates a flowing transition between the upholstery and the legs and backrests.

The lemon squeezer, which Philippe Starck designed in 1987 and which design lovers still appreciate today, has not been forgotten to this day. It consists of four long legs and has neither a collecting vessel nor a sieve. It is therefore not functional at all, but its unusual design inspires.





Introducing some of the great designers of this decade

Ettore Sottsass

The Italian founded the Memphis Group in 1981, which brought the expression and aesthetics of the product to the fore. His most famous works of this decade are:

  • "Tahiti" table lamp
  • "Murmanks" fruit bowl
  • "Callimaco" floor lamp
  • "Pausania" table lamp
  • "Park Lane" dining table
  • "Nuovo Milano" cutlery


Some of them were ironic and groundbreaking for the design language of postmodernism and freed them from the design approach of functionalism. Thus it was irrelevant whether the designs could be used. The design was the focus of the design.


Ron Arad

The son of a painter and a photographer was born with a soft spot for the visual. His success as a furniture designer began in 1981 with the Rover Chair. He initially created his unusual designs with a welding torch. Bent sheet steel, rough seams and rivets were typical of his work. And even today, Arad's furniture and accessories are not at right angles.


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The special feature of his 80s furniture was the big ears. His "wink" sofa had comic ears reminiscent of Mickey Mouse's. These were actually fold-out headrests and gave the sofa an unmistakable look. Its colorful design was considered an ironic quote from Pop Art.

If you attach great importance to extravagant design, choose one of the 80s furniture from the important designers. Use these as unique pieces to set up a statement in your home. Some of the design greats are still active today, creating contemporary designs for well-known manufacturers such as Kartell, Cappellini, Artemide, Moroso and Oluce. You can find many of them in our online shop.