Picture this: you’re shopping around for some new furniture. You wander into a high-end designer showroom “just to look” and immediately fall in love with a set of minimalist, white and blonde-wood, kitchen chairs. They would look amazing in your apartment. You check the price tag: $4,000 each. YIKES. That’s not even close to your budget.
We have great news for you: those $4,000 chairs likely have a lower-priced exact replica somewhere out there. What’s a replica? Replica furniture refers to furniture that imitates either a high-end designer piece or a one-of-a-kind item that you might find in an art gallery or Architectural Digest’s Instagram page.
Replica furniture is all the rage right now. You may not even realize that some of the most common pieces – like the Tolix chairs – are actually replicas of an original design. The next time you’re in the market for new furniture, consider these popular replicas before draining your bank account. When you can find a piece that’s nearly identical to its higher priced cousin, why wouldn’t you go get it? Read on for the details of our top ten favorite replicas!
1.- The Barcelona Chair
The original Barcelona chair was designed by famous artist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929, and has quickly become a hot commodity. The leather weave and silver chrome make this a timeless piece, though the UK has banned replicas of the chair until 2039.
The authentic version is sold by British furniture company Knoll for £5,232, but its design is still so popular nowadays that even the replicas still come at a considerable high price – talk about supply and demand!
2.- The Tolix Chair
A favorite in hipster bars and coffee shops, the original Tolix chair was designed by a Frenchman named Xavier Pauchard in 1927. Because of the abundance of metal in his design, this chair was often used on ships, and in factories and offices.
You could find the Tolix anywhere where durable furniture was needed. Now, versions of this chair sell for anywhere between $50 and $100 per chair.
3.- The Egg Chair
The Egg Chair was created in 1958 in Copenhagen, and became famous by virtue of its appearance on Big Brother. The original chair was made by Arne Jacobsen, an architect and designer passionate about combining functionalism and simplicity – not to mention comfort!
An original Egg Chair would cost around $5,000, but you can find a nice reproduction for much less, probably around $700.
4.- The Noguchi Table
Japanese-American Isamu Noguchi, the famous designer behind the iconic table carrying his name, was inspired by “biomorphism”.
The idea behind biomorphism is to model design elements on naturally occurring patterns and shapes. This creates a natural effect, and makes the piece feel alive. The result? The Noguchi table balances hardwood with clear glass for a versatile, modern style reflecting the ingenuity of its creator.
The authentic table goes for around $1,750, while a great replica can be found for just under $350.
5.- The Bertoia Diamond Chair
The original diamond chair was crafted by architect and designer Harry Bertoia in 1952 and has become shorthand for Mid-Century Modern design. Made of steel with rods dipped in polished, or satin chrome, this chair is durable and comfortable.
It makes a great addition to outdoor dining sets, especially if you can find replicas for less than the standard price of $770 per chair!
6.- The Hollywood Studio Inspired Tripod Floor Lamp
The three-legged floor lamp was made popular back in the 1950’s. Inspired by movie Hollywood studio show lamps, this floor lamp was considered a big innovation and it marked one of the early moments in history were an industry, or office environment, would influence design into the home. The lamp’s modular form allowed designers to combine various colored lamp shades with different wood finishes.
Retailers, like Restoration Hardware, sell reproduction versions of the lamp for $1,895, but you can find similar designs for less than $200. This style pairs with many different tastes: minimalism, Scandinavian design, classic, and contemporary. It’s also a great, versatile staple for any apartment.
7.- The Shell Chair
The Shell Chair was originally crafted by Danish designer Hans J. Wegner in 1963. Wegner had a similar aesthetic to the designer of the Egg Chair, Arne Jacobsen. Both men worked in a style described as “organic functionality,” modernist with an emphasis on function. This uniquely Scandinavian approach led to pieces like the Shell Chair, which features a wing-like seat and three tapered legs.
The authentic Shell Chair is now sold by Carl Hansen & Søn for between $2,750 and $5,000, but replicas can be found for right under $1,000.
8.- The Eames Lounge Chair
This famous piece, designed in 1956, is now featured in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art. The husband and wife duo spent years perfecting their design for this chair. It’s one of the few pieces they created that couldn’t be mass produced due to it’s ingenious structural form.
Inspired by the traditional English Club Chair, this piece is “priced upon inquiry.” However, you can get a replica version for around $700. Needless to say, this is one of the most comfortable chairs we’ve ever sat on.
9.- The Prouve Chair
Jean Prouve was a French metal worker and self-taught architect and designer and one of the forefathers of the development of the idea of “nomadic architecture.” Prouve’s minimalist approach was inspired by portability, making his designs extremely versatile and perfect for a modern living space.
His namesake chair is constructed with just steel and wood – a utilitarian approach to modern furniture. Its design may look like uncomfortable and intense to the body, but the shaped wood seat is designed to conform to one’s body.
The original Prouve chair retails for $995, but you can find a reproductions for around $100.
10.- The Acapulco Chair
Unlike the other pieces in this list, the Acapulco Chair is a relatively new addition to the replica scene. It was created by design firm Innit and has quickly spread in popularity. The Acapulco chair a favorite in high-end homes from Beverly Hills to Miami.
The original chair has a metal frame with springly, woven vinyl cords, and is priced at $430. But with some digging, you can find a similar chair for less than $100.
Creating a captivating living space no longer demands spending huge amounts of money. All you need is some inspiration from your favorite designer and high-quality pieces to decorate your home. Just make sure to turn to a trusted community, like AptDeco, and you’ll be able to glam up your space with replica furniture that will make your home Pinterest worthy.