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When I was fretting over a favorite lamp that got damaged in our last move, it got me thinking about some of the great furniture designers of the 20th century. Sure, I get excited when I stumble upon some-
thing from an obscure designer or a piece that I cannot attribute to anyone, as long as it’s beautiful, functional and well-constructed. But there are chairs, tables, and lights that have become design classics: the Eames DCW chair, Arne Jacobsen’s Swan Chair, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Table, Verner Panton’s Capiz Shell Chandelier and my own damaged Noguchi Bamboo Floor Lamp to name but a few. Although these classics can often seem overused, especially the more they are knocked off, I am still in awe of their originality. Certainly their copies and reproductions are a testament to their timeless appeal and offer affordable options to a great many people. I still adore my Noguchi lamp and hope to some day replace it. In the meantime, I sometimes can’t resist a classic piece mixed in here or there and I opt for the original, when I can.

Recognizing an Original: A genuine Akari model will have a stamped red sun and half moon with Japan written under the symbol on the shade. Next to the symbol will be the signature I. Noguchi.

Angie Hranowsky is a Charleston-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Metropolitan Home, Domino, Charleston Home, Home, and House Beautiful. In the summer of 2004, she studied at Parsons School of Design in New York, before that earning a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Cincinnati. She is also a graduate of the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, specializing in graphic design.

Thumbnail image by Julia Lynn. The Noguchi Bamboo Floor Lamp Model BB3/55DD available at