The world of furniture is a bit like Lady Gaga - it never stops surprising people. You can see classicism rubbing shoulders with modernity, grunge flirting with elegance.
An example of that wow factor is furniture from French design furnishing company Moustache Paris, which is stocked exclusively in China at Aluminium in Hong Kong. From the bold chair from French design trio Big-Game to the Vapeur table lamp, courtesy of French designer Inga Sempe, Moustache Paris is there to boggle the mind.
'The main reason for the existence of the style is to create the wow factor, which is widely used in hip hotels,' says Aluminium founder David Chiu.
Chiu also thinks designers are mining the past for inspiration. 'The '40s and '50s style is back in business. It's an elegant and stylish era that inspires designers,' he says.
He believes surrealism, which was widely used in the 20th century, is also back, citing Salvador Dali's Mae West Lips Sofa as an example. 'These days, designers are still playing with this style with animal themes or blow-up sized objects,' he says.
Chiu says furniture's primary role in the house is to be functional and to be able to serve a person's individual lifestyle.
'You should ask yourself what motivates you, what inspires you. For people who have a very peaceful approach to life, they will probably like the Zen-like style of bamboo and natural wood furniture, whereas a party girl may like glamorous furniture,' says Chiu, who thinks furniture's secondary role is to beautify the home because form follows function. Oliver Holy, CEO of German furniture company ClassiCon, thinks that the role furniture plays is to make you feel at home and comfortable. 'Furniture should fulfil its purpose and also look good,' he says, adding that it is important that furniture is original and of high quality.
Holy, who was a guest speaker at Business of Design Week 2011, says the popularity of classic furniture design isn't waning in the 21st century because every generation produces designers who can design timeless pieces.
'In the '50s there was Charles and Ray Eames, in the '70s there was Achille Castiglioni, in the '90s there was Maarten van Severen.
And now there is Konstantin Grcic,' he says. 'Some shapes are just timeless. Once you know they are successful, why not interpret them?'