20 Awesome Icons Of Modern Design 'As Seen On TV'

You won't find them on late-night TV infomercials; you may never see them advertised on TV at all! But they are seen on TV... on the production sets of your favorite TV shows... and these stunning furnishings are from the world's most renowned interior designers. Like the Akari floor lamps by Isamu Noguchi, as seen on House, or the George Nelson wall clock, as seen on The Apprentice, or what about that comfy black leather Eames® chair and ottoman, as seen on Frasier and Dr. House and Lost and Queer Eye For The Straight Guy?

If you just must have what you see on TV, you may just find it at the As Seen On TV department at Unica Home, one of the poshest interior design stores online.

Here are 20 of my favorite as seen on TV designs!


1. Bubble Club Chair as seen on Boston Legal

The pink Bubble Club Chairs closed every episode of Boston Legal for five years, with Alan and Denny sipping scotch and puffing cigars and philosophising on the irony of absolutely everything. Bubble Club, by the prolific Philippe Starck, is 100 percent polyethylene, which is exactly what it looks like. Indoor, outdoor, industrial or residential settings, the chairs and matching couches sure look like fun!



2. The fl/y Hanging Lamp as seen on House

Ferruccio Laviani designed the fl/y hanging lamp for Kartell. I's made of lightweight methacrylate and it's available in all these pretty colors and clear. fl/y here!



3. Orgio Dinnerware as seen on Will & Grace and Absolutely Fabulous


This colorful dinnerware is "absolutely fabulous!" Designed by Alfredo Haberli for Iittala, the Origo collection is not only eye-catching fine quality porcelain, but it's practical. Every piece in the set fits together with the other pieces, so that transport is easy. Amazon carries a variety of dominant color choices and even has matching paper napkins!





4. Zettle'z by Ingo Maurer, as seen on The Real World

Okay, so I'm sentimental, but the Blushing Zettle'z chandelier is the cleverest array of planned disarray I've seen, so perfect for those in love. Created by artist and light designer, Ingo Maurer, this stainless steel, heat resistant glass, and artistic print chandelier is available in two sizes. Plus, you can order blank Japanese paper to add your own love letters to the design.




5. Lounge Seating and Tables as seen on The Apprentice

Sculpted steel rods make the bases of these chairs and tables so lightweight and casually elegant. Designed by Warren Platner in the 1960's, these designs still look ultra modern and very comfortable. These designs are manufactured by Knoll and are available here.






6. The Menagerie Collection as seen on The Apprentice

Jonathon Adler designed this wonderful Managerie in white ceramics to keep your shelves company. And these critters are cute! Larger than you may think, as well, some up to 17" tall. From the owl to the elephant, I love them all. Great collector pieces. (Unica Home has more, shown at link.)



7. Prince Aha Stools as seen on The Apprentice and Las Vegas

Designed by Philippe Starck for Kartell, these polypropylene stools can function as tables or seats. And they're so colorful! Read more at Unica Home.




8. Classic Modern Wall Clock as seen on The Apprentice

These George Nelson wall clocks from the 50's and 60's will no doubt become an icon of the early period of modern design. So if you want to have something that's part of history, snap up these limited edition truly classic George Nelson clocks, recently revived by the Vitra Design Museum. Several designs are available at Amazon.





9. Kong Chair as seen on The Apprentice

Another piece destined to be a period classic, only this time from the 21st century, the Kong Chair is a Philippe Starck design produced by Emeco. The Versailles influence is modernized in brushed aluminum and modern chair architecture: if you know anyone who weighs 1,700 pounds, the Kong Chair can handle it. The Kong has many varieties, including the armchair, barstool, and counter stool and can be padded for extra comfort.




10. The Louis Ghost Chair as seen on Sex And The City

This version of the Kong chair was designed in 2002 for Kartell, and it's made from clear polycarbonate, (thus the "ghost") so look carefully before you sit down on it. Called the Louis Ghost Chair, after Louis XIV, this was seen on Sex And The City, as well as several other shows.




11. The Componibili Storage System as seen on Big Brother

Though they look like total storage units, the Componibili system is set up with modular units, so you can stack and arrange them any way you like.... and use them for whatever you like. I love the silver or white pieces to hold clean towels in a bathroom. The system, designed by Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell, is available in different sizes.




12. The Eames® Lounge Chair And Ottoman as seen on House

... and Frasier and Lost and Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, and.... Well, you get the idea. The Eames Lounge Chair is already an icon of early modern furniture. Designed by Charles and Ray Eames and made by another great chair designer, Herman Miller®, the leather upholstery and seven-tier wood shell are supported by a swivelling stainless steel base... Like the design, the chair is built to last!




13. Akari Floor Lamps as seen on House

Japanese-American architect, sculpturist, and interior designer Isami Noguchi was well-known for interpreting his ancestral culture in a modern and western way, and these lovely Akari paper floor lamps are examples of just that perspective. Noguchi will be known, no doubt, as one of the 20th Centuries most philosophical designers.




14. Dr. No Armchairs and Table as seen on Las Vegas

Another classic Philippe Stark, the Dr. No armchair is polypropylene on stainless steel. You can order these in one of seven colors and get the steel legs brushed in the same color! Chairs are stackable. Aren't they to live for?




15. Crystal Decanters as seen on Lost

Oh, how ever lovely are these crystal decanters from Italian glass blower, Ichendorf. Made using a very old tradition of glass making, the Ichendorf decanters are wide-bottomed for the fullest aeration and easy to pour.



16. Crystal Glassware as seen on Lost

While you're visiting the crystal decanters, stop by and see these wonderful Arles wine glasses, also by Ichendorf.




17. Mag Table as seen on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy

Eric Pfeiffer designed this very accommodating magazine rack for Offi. The Mag Table is not just for magazines but can offer you a seat or a table for your coffee. And Unica Home says you can use it as a computer table if you stand the Mag Table on its side! Available in several finishes. Classic, no?




18. The Ball Chair as seen on The Osbornes

So classic 70's, the Bubble Chair by Eero Aarnia is a reduction of the Ball Chair, which Aarnia also designed, this chair has spawned many knockoffs. The clear bubble lets in all available light for reading.




19. Pastil Chair as seen on The Osbornes

Another design by Eero Aarnio, the award-winning Pastil Chair is made entirely from fiberglass. Apparently the Pastil Chair is equally at home indoors and out, can slide down a snowy hill with the best snow board, and float in water better than an inner tube!




20. Apollo Chiar as seen on VH1 Divas

Designed by Patrich Norquet for Artifor, the Apollo Chair is crazy artsy and ergonomic. This one swivels, but the chair also comes in a four-legged version. The Apollo Chair is available in all kinds of fabrics and several different colors of brushed steel on the base.



Whether their exposure on TV has contributed to making these works "icons" of modern art, I can't say; but they are icons, and that means that if you want pieces from this very rich design period, maybe you should think about purchasing now, in case they go out of production. Unica Home has quite a collection of designs as seen on TV, but every time I visit the site, something I wanted to cover in this column has sold out.

Have a wonderful year!


Jan 2, 2009
by Anonymous

about these icons...

Icons my ass...most of them are crap