June 14, 2024

Architectural Design Kingdom

Home is where the heart is

GQ Home Awards 2024: Best Furniture, Tech, and Decor

6 min read

It’s an exciting time to be outfitting your home, thanks to a wave of new DTC brands democratizing the art of good design, and a glut of smaller makers that are injecting fun and play into traditional types of furniture and décor: some invisible wheels here, some mismatched woods there, and a whole bunch of curvy, colorful silhouettes to loosen up the contours of your design scheme. For this year’s GQ Home Awards, we surveilled the landscape of newish furniture, accessories, and gadgets and drew up a short list of covetables to add to your mental registry of stuff you might not need but absolutely want—from whimsical dinnerware sets to sculptural paper lamps, MoMA-worthy plant accessories, and a wild, speaker-equipped bidet that not even the Bladerunner guys could have foreseen.

As always, we sought to sit on, sip from, and test out as many things in person as we possibly could. We nerded out over folding cookware, thumbed over artful towels, and plopped ourselves on couches, then filled in the gaps with new and notables that are fine-tuning our sound systems, making showerheads actually kind of cool, and turning our home offices into futuristic spaceships. Let this be your spiritual guide on how to freak your interiors (and for more where this came from, peep our expansive Sleep Awards that drills down into all sorts of REM-enhancing tech and bedding).


The GQ Home Awards Table of Contents

In case you’re looking for something specific:

  1. The Living Room
  2. The Dining Room
  3. The Kitchen
  4. The Bathroom
  5. The Bedroom
  6. The Backyard
  7. The Smart Home Essentials
  8. The Home Theater
  9. The Home Office
  10. The Closet

Photo of  a blue and white rug a blue and brown rug a blue swivel chair a white chair with yellow trim and a brown...

The Living Room

The Best Sofas: Lulu & Georgia Shaw Sofa and West Elm Osborn Sofa

Sometime a few years back, softer shapes and curvier, chubbier silhouettes took over the mass-market seating category. Two new entrants, one from Lulu & Georgia, an LA-based retailer, and another from West Elm, make a strong case for that aesthetic to stick around. The Shaw, with its vintage-leaning upholstery, is a bit retro French, and comes in a variety of colors. The Osborn is a vision in velvet, linen, or chenille with puffy, marshmallow-like curves that draw you into their fold.

The Best Sectional Sofa: Soho Home Truro Sectional Sofa

Soho Home

Textured Sectional

Like a plain white tee, a neutral-hued sofa is harder to clean but always easier to coordinate with everything else in the room, regardless of style. This textured sectional by Soho Home—an offshoot furniture line that helps you emulate the interiors of Soho House’s exclusive outposts— comes with two-, three- or four-seat options. It’s also exceptionally cozy, with a low-to-the-ground profile and an oak base that gives it a refined, quiet edge.

The Best Sleeper Sofa: The OMHU Teddy Sofa

If you dream of conversation pit hangouts that happened long before you were around, look alive. This sofa bed from Copenhagen-based studio OMHU imports lots of nostalgia (dorm room vibes and a touch of ‘60s living room sprawl) in a futon-like design that folds down so your guests can sprawl out with abandon. The corduroy texture makes this sofa bed truly befitting of its cuddly name, and the firm-leaning foam ensures that your guests don’t wake up with an awful backache come sunrise.

The Best Armchair: NaughtOne Percy Lounge Chair

A new lounge design from NaughtOne, a modern British purveyor, plays on a couple of ‘70s themes. The tubular metal arms and puffy shapes recall the decade’s highlight-reel plastic fun items from Knoll or Kartell. A suite of colors—six in total—allows for excess or subtlety. The wildest version is all pink; if that feels too daring, dial it back with a muted brown and black or a subtle white and electric yellow.

The Best Coffee Table: Lichen Kave Table

There aren’t many makers producing the kinds of quietly elegant, affordable-ish designs that New York’s Lichen—originally a used furniture store and coffee shop—has been steadily releasing since its founding in 2017. Its tables are deceptively simple and exceptionally well-made, including the pared-down Kave, a new entry that’s ideal for anyone with low ceilings or wabi-sabi tastes. It’s wildly practical—easy to assemble, take apart, and pack up—and the visible leg tops are a cool modernist touch that set it apart from its mass-produced peers.

The Best Side Table: &Tradition Rotate Side Table

&Tradition

Rotate Side Table

A side table doesn’t need to do all that much except look pretty and bear a light load (a stack of paperbacks or a drinking glass, perhaps), but &Tradition’s rotating model ups the ante on what a humble sidekick can do. It features cutouts for stealthy storage, plus a low-lying, basically invisible quartet of wheels that turns this side table into its own moving trolley. Roll it to the bathroom to store your finest paper, use it in the bedroom as a bedside assistant, or stage it in the dining room as a compact bar cart, and the Rotate will capably rise to the occasion.

The Best Shelving System: Thuma Credenza

The makings of a good shelf are headache-free assembly that doesn’t require calling in a Taskrabbit and functionality above all. The Thuma credenza, made of upcycled rubberwood, more than delivers on those fronts, drawing on the brand’s signature Japanese joinery techniques. It doesn’t require any tools to screw together and comes in multiple handsome configurations—just don’t be surprised when the shelf sitting beneath your fancy new flatscreen is the piece that steals the show.

The Best Mirror: Ready to Hang Zip Mirror

It was only a matter of time until mirrors were officially elevated into a status piece. But Ready to Hang isn’t just a grid-friendly home goods purveyor; it’s also a good design. It sells the kinds of gleaming mirrors that play off Space Age plastic silhouettes, mimic the gentle squeeze of a tube, and subtly nod to zippers like this cranberries and cream number. Who’s the fairest of them all? In this case, it’s not the viewer but the looking glass itself.

The Best Lamps: Mattina Moderna La Petite Boîte Table Lamp and Ferm Living Dae Floor Lamp

Ferm Living

Dae Floor Lamp

Mattina Moderna

La Petite Boîte Table Lamp

In a year when Ingo Maurer’s Lampape reigned supreme and basket lamps were all over Instagram, it feels perfectly timely to lean into fabrics and textures with your lighting. Mattina Moderna’s limited edition “La Petite Boîte” series, which translates to “little box,” feels like a point of emphasis (!) anywhere you place it. Its handsome stripes sourced from deadstock fabric are a winning combination for any menswearhead. Meanwhile, Ferm Living’s new Dae floor lamp is a fresh take on your typical rice paper shades and Noguchi lanterns, with a wavy, sculptural silhouette that makes the gentle wabi-sabi aesthetic feel just a tad freakier.

The Best Statement Rug: Beni Rugs Rothko Rug

A statement area rug can feel like a big swing, but if you find the right one to punctuate a space, you can make it the main character of your living room while you phone it in with the rest of your furnishings. Beni’s newest shade of its Rothko rug, inspired by the modern artist’s abstractions, plays up his work with a soothing blue theme. How many decent rugs are there in that shade? Very few. It’s a decision that’s more than a tribute to Rothko but a play on the form.

The Best Workhorse Rug: Revival Twist Washable Rug

Revival

Twist Washable Rug

We also need humble rugs to toss on the ground, stamp over, and live on without worrying too much about where the drops land. Revival—a utilitarian, accessible outfitter with Turkish roots—has that covered. Its Twist rug is washable, made from recycled materials, and can take a fair amount of abuse while it serves up a geometric pattern that’s good for the soul.

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