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Set pieces: a look at famous furniture in film

Now that the 2015 Oscar nominations have been revealed, awards season is well and truly underway. It’s a time of year when stars of the silver screen are recognised and celebrated for their most captivating performances.

However, while the actors take centre stage, there is one supporting cast member that often gets overlooked: the furniture. As part of a set design, furniture plays a massive role in creating the mood and atmosphere of a scene, and can even give us a subliminal insight into the film’s characters.

Sometimes a piece of furniture can become just as famous as the film’s leading stars. Who could forget the iconic Ovalia Egg Chairs from Men in Black, or the colossal War Room Table from Dr. Strangelove?

Here we take a look at some more famous film furniture that may have caught your eye over the years.

Knoll Barcelona Chair (Casino Royale)

KNOLL Barcelona Chair source: www.knoll.com

Designed in 1929 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the German Pavilion at the Exposicion Internacional de Barcelona, the Knoll Barcelona Chair was actually used as a throne for King Alfonso XIII at the exhibition’s opening Ceremony.

In Casino Royale (2006) it’s not a king sitting on the Barcelona Chair, but members of Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In one scene, M comes home to discover James Bond perched on the edge of one of her chairs, which form part of her stylish London apartment.

Knoll Barcelona Day Bed (Twilight)

The Barcelona Day Bed is also part of the Knoll Barcelona family, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929.

If you’re a fan of the Twilight Saga you may have spotted the iconic day bed among the dirty laundry, books and vintage vinyls in Edward Cullen’s bedroom. Being a vampire who never sleeps, Edward doesn’t need a proper bed and opted for this stylish number instead.

Knoll Womb Chair (Down with Love)

The Knoll Womb Chair plays a colourful and stylish role in the film Down with Love (2003). Renée Zellweger's character, feminist Barbara Novak, has two pale pink Knoll Womb Chairs in her fabulous ‘60s bachelorette pad.

The chairs were originally designed by Eero Saarinen in 1946 at the request of Florence Knoll, who wanted a chair that was “like a basket full of cushions to curl up and read a book in”. Although we’re pretty sure she didn’t ask for a pink one.

Vitra Eames Lounge Chair (Closer)

Husband and wife design team Charles and Ray Eames were no strangers to the film industry. So it’s not surprising that their most iconic design, the Vitra Eames Lounge Chair, should make an appearance on the big screen.

In Closer (2004), a gritty romantic drama that explores modern relationships, Julia Robert’s character, Anna, can be seen sitting on the classic chair whilst nervously waiting to confront her husband.

Vitra Aluminium Group Chair -EA177 (The Holiday)

The Holiday (2006) is a romantic comedy about two women who swap homes for the holiday season. One home is a quaint English cottage, while the other is a luxury LA villa filled with iconic furniture.

In one scene, Cameron Diaz’s character, Amanda, can be seen sitting on The Eames Aluminium Group Chair from Vitra, one of the greatest furniture designs of the 20th century.

Do you have any favourite pieces of film furniture? We’d love to hear what they are.

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