Iconic furniture from Films & TV - From Friends' couch to Kaun Banega Crorepati's chair
Nine times out of ten, a single piece of furniture in a TV show or movie is just that - an innocent, unsuspecting aspect of set design that most of our eyes scan right over. But every once in a while, rare moments in television and cinematic history elevate a seemingly insignificant couch or table to iconic status.
Here are a few pieces of furniture that break through the clutter, intentionally or otherwise, and are just as recognisable as the characters they serve, if not more.
Captain Kirk's Command Chair - Star Trek: The Original Series
James T. Kirk sits in his commanding chair aboard the USS 'Starship' Enterprise, all set 'to boldly go where no man has gone before' for the very first time. The Command Chair, post-modern in design and central in location, is more than just a chair. It is an extension of the captain who occupies it, and continues to be so via its many future adaptations. The precursor, however, is still the most beloved of them all and rightfully so.
Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Central Perk Couch - Friends
The brownish-orange centerpiece is a highly-recognisable, oversized and consequently snug piece of television history that may as well have been the seventh 'friend' in this staple 90s sitcom. And as for how it would fare if it were made to 'Pivot' through a narrow stairwell, luckily for fans everywhere, we never had to find out
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
War Table - Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Apart from boasting stellar performances, a biting script and visionary direction, Stanley Kubrick's 'Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb' featured the magnificent 'War Table' that not only stood out in its own time, but the test of time itself. One of the most prominent non-human characters of the film, it saw most of the war room drama take place around it, lending it an impressive screen-time for an inanimate object
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Iron Throne - Game of Thrones
There's not much left to say about this pop culture behemoth. Rulers, usurpers, and heirs have come and gone but the Iron Throne remains a permanent fixture, central plot-point and final conquest in this almost decade-long running fantasy drama. And while the show might be ending soon, with its series finale set to premiere this April, the legacy of the Iron Throne won't.
Wardrobe - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
A magical realm and infinite time lies beyond the wooden doors of a single, towering piece of furniture in the 2005 fantasy-fiction, 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,' adapted from C.S. Lewis' novel. The sheer grandeur, intricate carvings, and overall mystical aura makes the Narnia wardrobe the perfect entryway into an equally majestic world.
Bathtub Sofa - Breakfast at Tiffany's
Audrey Hepburn's delightful portrayal of Holly Golightly in this romantic comedy classic would be lacking without her charming Manhattan apartment and its star presence - the bathtub sofa. The striking velvet cushioning and pink throw pillows are practically unmissable in an otherwise whitewashed home and to this day, inspires many decor enthusiasts to recreate the sofa set.
Egg Chair - Men in Black
No amount of neuralyzer clicks can make us forget the iconic Egg Chairs - a visual treat, equal parts comical and serious, much like the scenes they steal. The pod-like egg chair is not just notable for its role in the sci-fi comedy but also for its sleek anatomy - the seasoned work of Henrik Thor-Larsen who may have designed the masterpiece in the 1960s but envisioned it to belong in the distant future.
Courtesy Prime Video
Bed - 2001: A Space Odyssey
While the entire bedroom is a testament to remarkable, neoclassical set design, the bed in Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi epic is of particular importance. Being the resting place of the film's protagonist, David Bowman, as he lives out his entire existence in the room, the bed serves as the most striking visual element, eclipsing its neighbouring furniture counterparts.
Hicks' Hexagon Carpet - The Shining
Although not technically 'furniture', Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' deserves a special mention as it features probably the most famous carpet design in cinema. Titled 'Hicks' Hexagon' after its creator, legendary interior designer David Hicks, the patterned carpet takes over every scene that it is in, including the eerie, wonderfully shot tricycle sequence (considered a technical marvel).
PS: As you can see, we couldn't help but have three examples in this list from Stanley Kubrick's films who has worked with various phenomenal designers of that time. It's hardly a surprise that Design Museum in London is hosting an entire exhibition devoted to Kubrick from April to September, 2019 that promises to offer "a unique insight into the director's vast archive through original props and costumes, set models and rare photographs, while tracing the design story behind Kubrick's body of work".
Chairs - Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC)
A worthy addition from the Indian subcontinent, KBC chairs have been gracing television screens of most Indian households since the turn of the century. Fast forward to almost twenty years, the chairs continue to do what they do best - give its host and contestants the literal and metaphorical support they need to navigate a multitude of emotions, ranging from light-hearted to tense for hours at length.