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Home accessories predicted to be collectible

By Liz Arnold, RealSimple.com
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • These simple, modern designs have the potential to become coveted collectibles
  • The Garland Shade Light by Tord Boontje features a doilylike shade in brass or silver
  • The Tight Back Sofa by Baker has a maple hardwood frame, making it timeless and durable
RELATED TOPICS
  • Design
  • Philippe Starck

(RealSimple.com) -- Invest in these designs now, and the pros say they'll be coveted collectibles one day.

1. Louis Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck

Great indoors or outdoors, this chair is a refreshing twist on the 250-year-old Louis XVI version, a court of Versailles staple that had a huge impact on furniture design.

To buy: $400, exitartcatalog.stores.yahoo.net.

The backstory: French designer Starck, the man behind boutique hotels like the Delano, in Miami Beach, joined forces with Italian furniture manufacturer Kartell in 2002 to create this beauty, which is made by injecting molten plastic into a mold (so it has no seams). It resides in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's permanent collection.

What design pros say: "Starck's a design genius," says Jeffrey Beers, founder and CEO of Jeffrey Beers International, and architecture and design firm in New York City. "This chair will certainly appreciate tenfold in 25 to 30 years."

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2. Garland Shade Light by Tord Boontje

This shimmery fixture features a doilylike shade in brass or silver, which clips to the base of a bulb. You can combine shades to create larger designs.

To buy: $95, momastore.org.

The backstory: In 2001 botany met bare bulbs when Dutch designer Boontje devised a pattern of leaves and flowers on a sheet of metal that could be cut with a laser. His light has been exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City.

What design pros say: "I can see why I'd still be excited about this piece in 30 years," says Anthony Di Bitonto, director of industrial design at Smart Design in New York City. "Some things are too heavily styled, and they can look dated. But this is pure and simple."

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3. Balcons du Guadalquivir China by Hermès

Strikingly chic -- but also dishwasher- and microwave-safe -- this set features a red pigment meticulously applied by hand in several layers to achieve dimension.

To buy: $357 for a five-piece place setting, parkavegifts.com.

The backstory: Known for its leather goods, the French luxury purveyor Hermès branched into tableware in 1984 and in 2005 introduced Balcons du Guadalquivir, named for the iron balconies overlooking the Guadalquivir River, in the Andalusia region of Spain.

What design pros say: "Everything Hermès stands for is about quality and timelessness," says Ralph Pucci, owner of Pucci International showrooms.

4. Tight Back Sofa by Baker

With a sturdy maple hardwood frame, this sofa will last for generations. Reminiscent of midcentury modern Danish and Scandinavian designs, it mixes a traditional camelback style with contemporary, clean lines to create a timeless look.

To buy: $5,516, Sofa No. 6386-80, bakerfurniture.com for stores.

The backstory: Baker has been turning out classic furnishings since the company was founded, in 1890. This sofa, introduced in 1995, hails from the debut collection of San Francisco designer Michael Vanderbyl for Baker.

What design pros say: "Baker furniture holds value in the same way antiques do -- and antiques never go out of style," says Jennifer Litwin, a home-furnishings expert in Chicago.

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5. Rug by Madeline Weinrib

This handwoven cotton rug is reversible and features an interpretation of an endless knot, a Buddhist symbol that represents unity or eternity. In textiles, the motif is typically seen as part of a larger pattern, but this version celebrates it on its own.

To buy: $1,050 (8 by 10 feet), madelineweinrib.com for locations.

The backstory: Designer Weinrib, whose great-grandfather founded ABC Carpet & Home, created the Megan rug in 2005. She also designs home accessories.

What design pros say: "It's the perfect blend of minimalist design and maximal color," says Celerie Kemble, an interior designer in New York City. "When that's done right, it can become iconic."

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6. Throw Pillows by Jonathan Adler

Bursting with texture and graphic oomph, these handmade Bargello pillows from designer Adler get their name from a type of needlework that produces a zigzagging pattern of long stitches.

To buy: $110 (Diamonds) to $145 (Flame), jonathanadler.com.

The backstory: Although needlework had a resurgence in the 1970s, and then again around 2000, Adler modernized the medium in 2005 by infusing his throw pillows with what he calls "Palm Beach style": punchy colors and geometric designs.

What design pros say: "Adler is so well-known that having one of his pillows has its own cachet," says Lisa S. Roberts, an antiques connoisseur in Philadelphia. "In 25 years, they'll be collectible, because they're from his original line."

7. Silver-Coated Seashells by Ruzzetti & Gow

These seashells are gathered in the Philippines and sent to Rome, where Ruzzetti artisans coat them -- wholly or partially -- with sterling silver.

To buy: $40 to $2,500 each (most are in the $200 range), ruzzettiandgow.com for stores.

The backstory: Designer Christopher Gow first saw these shells in 1993 -- they were being produced in the Italian silver factory of his friend Giampiero Ruzzetti. "I would bring them back to the United States as wedding gifts," says Gow, "and people went crazy for them." The duo began exporting them in 1996.

What design pros say: "Who knows what silver is going to be worth in 50 years?" says Chip Cordelli, a furniture dealer and prop and interior stylist in Brooklyn. "I think it will be something really special."

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8. T-table by Patricia Urquiola

Made of shatterproof injection-molded plastic, this table features a 20-inch-diameter top with a delicate cutout design. It's available in three heights.

To buy: $263, unicahome.com.

The backstory: Spanish designer Urquiola had a hit with this table at the 2005 Milan International Furniture Fair, and in 2006 it went into mass production.

What design pros say: "In 30 years, the table will look just as fresh," says Di Bitonto. "It's simple and modern."

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