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Furniture Complements Architecture Completeness

There are two worlds of interior design: architecture and furniture. To an outsider, architecture is the more prominent world of the two. Furniture is often overlooked but is extremely important. 

The celebrated leaders of architecture and interior design were able to seamlessly combine furnishings and architecture. When considering furniture to develop the interior, becoming a student of the surrounding architecture and formulating a response to the building’s atmosphere makes a successful project. Examples of spaces that take furnishings into great consideration are the Platforms at the Bavinger House, Dining Table at the Frederick C. Robie House, and the Barcelona Chair at the Barcelona Pavilion.  These include furniture items that should only be used in the original space.

Platforms at the Bavinger House, OK by Bruce Goff

Bruce Goff’s Bavinger House in Oklahoma resembles a splayed fan that surrounds an old recycled oil field drill stem.  Uniquely, the ground floor is covered in man-made water features and gardens.  The interior has no walls separating areas of the house. Instead, the rooms in the house are defined by the furniture, suspended furnishings that don’t have any legs.  To find the furniture, one ascends up a spiral staircase to the center of the house towards the hanging furniture platforms. These platforms are large “flying saucers” hanging from the roof that provide areas for sleeping, relaxing, and kitchen activities.  The house’s unique platforms function as furniture, and the strategic placement of the furniture naturally separates the large space into individual rooms.

Dining Table at the Frederick C. Robie House, IL by Frank Lloyd Wright

One of Wright’s best-known homes is the Robie house. Located inconspicuously in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, it is built in the Prairie School style, the first uniquely American architectural style. The linear design of the home welcomes the ample natural light. The main floor is six feet higher than the street level which allows for privacy from people on the sidewalk. Varying ceiling heights within the home help define spaces in the open plan, higher ceilings for the living areas and lower ceilings for circulation. The dining room has one of the most spacious feelings in the house, and the dining table is exceptionally designed to create a room within the room.  The table is integrated with lights at all four corners and includes high back chairs that blend with the windows to enclose the seating area. This piece of furniture is one of the few furniture items that remain in the house and has become an iconic piece of craftsman furniture.  It is a very distinctive piece and is a great example of furniture that really works well only in this space as it meshes with the architecture of this house. 

Barcelona Chair at the Barcelona Pavilion by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The Barcelona Pavilion in the Catalonia region of Spain was built as a bare structure intended to be an exhibit space. It contains a minimal amount of furnishings and a solitary sculpture of a woman. On display are two chairs paired with ottomans designed by Mies. These chairs are inspired by Greek, Roman, and Egyptian influences with a scissor shape design.  Known as the Barcelona chair, these two iterations were originally made for display only in the Barcelona Pavilion. Through their incorporation, “Mies sought a formal solution to accompany the free-standing walls and planes of the Barcelona Pavilion.”  One looks at the spaces inside the pavilion and recognizes the natural appearance the chairs within the design of the building. Of note, the Barcelona chair was later reproduced by Knoll and has since been a top-selling item, and quite common in modern interiors.

Furniture and architecture should not be viewed as separate aspects of a design.  Frank Lloyd Wright once wrote: “It’s quite impossible to consider the building one thing and its furnishings another… They are all mere structural details of its character and completeness.”


“Design Deconstructed: Barcelona Chair.” Knoll, deconstructed-Barcelona-chair.

“Furniture and Decorative Arts | Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.” Frank Lloyd Wright Trust,

SAYER, JASON. Bruce Goff’s Spiralling Bavinger House in Oklahoma Demolished. The Architects Newspaper, 12 May 2016,


Taylor Lesmeister


As a designer, Taylor's approach to design is based on unity.  A common thread throughout all of Taylor's designs is the attention to detail and purposeful use for each item and material.  Taylor believes that design can only be successful when purpose and thought have been put into every element.