Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Florence Knoll's Niche in Mid-Century Modern Design

If clarity is the counterbalance of profound thoughts then Florence Knoll must be exactly that among the furniture designers of the Mid-Century Modern era.  Her structural pieces in a room combined with other Mid-Century Modern sculptural and organic designs of the time bring back a sense of geometric order to any setting.

Our reproduction of Knoll's Lounge Chair, created in 1954 as a part of her Lounge Collection, matches the dimensions of her original design including minute details such as the thickness of the arms and the height of the back.  It sits upon a square stainless steel tubing frame that has been welded so all joints are seamless, unlike the signature model’s frame that uses mild steel with flash chrome plating.  We also offer a variety of colors, materials and detailing options so you can make this iconic chair all your own.

Come visit us and experience it firsthand at either our Chicago or Bellingham Showroom!

Painting: "The Future Enters Us"by Sharon Kingston

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Le Corbusier: Modern Architecture Pioneer... With Attitude

One of the best parts of learning about history through the art of any given period is that it becomes a story with personalities and relationships and new perspectives.

For instance, did you know that Le Corbusier, the revered Swiss architect who has been credited with pioneering modernism in architecture was detested by many of his contemporaries for his odd personality?  In 1938, while overstaying his welcome with Eileen Gray, his coeval and well-known rival, and her partner Jean Badovici in their home in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, an argument between Gray and Le Corbusier resulted in him defacing her plain white walls with his colorful murals.  As a testament to his undeniable talent, these murals have been preserved and even admired by many in the years since. 

His undeniable talent is also evident in his iconic furniture that remains a staple in homes and offices worldwide.  The Modern Classics LC2 Petite Lounge Chair Reproduction matches the dimensions he had originally designed, with a #304 stainless steel frame and 17 aniline-dyed color choices of Italian top grain leather from Grade A hides.

Come have a seat and check it out in either our Chicago or Bellingham Showrooms!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Saarinen's Model 70 Series: Contour, Cushion and Comfort

Comfort depends just as much on the contouring of the shell and shape of the chair as it does on the cushioning, as Eero Saarinen pointed out after the success of his iconic Womb Chair.  Using his combination of proper contours and cushions, Saarinen added his Model 71 Armchair and Model 72 Side Chair to this now iconic Model 70 Series.

The Modern Classics reproductions of the Model 71 Armchair and Model 72 Side Chair use the same contouring and dimensions that Saarinen created decades ago.  Our shell is crafted from molded polymer for maximum strength and flexibility, whereas the signature version still uses HPPE plastic.  With options of 17 leather colors, 40 options of fabric colors and 3 different options for the base, there are countless ways to make these Model 70 Series Chairs all your own!

Come check these out, along with the artwork seen below here by Sharon Kingston, at either our Chicago or Seattle Showroom!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The BRNO Chair: No More, No Less

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing not when there is nothing more to add but when there is nothing more to remove.”

These famous words, spoken by Antoine de Saint Exupery, could very well have been referring specifically to any of Mies van der Rohe’s creations.  Let's look at Mies van der Rohe’s Brno Chair created in 1930 for the Tugenhadt House in Brno, Czechoslovakia.  This chair perfectly represents the kind of ageless perfection that can only be obvious in the absence of ornamentation.

Our Brno Chair Reproduction is crafted on a polished stainless steel flat bar frame, making it even more resilient than the chrome-plated signature model that can easily chip or bubble.  Our dimensions match that of the original and we have perfected the radius of the front curve to provide ultimate stability when leaning forward, unlike any other Brno Chair reproduction on the market.

Come have a seat in either our Chicago or Seattle Showroom and observe the meticulous attention to detail we have put in to our Brno Chair Reproduction to maintain its intended simple elegance. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Modern Color Palette: Black and Blush

Black is a very popular and authentic color for a lot of midcentury modern furnishings.  Black leather and dark charcoal as neutrals can act as a very sophisticated palette when paired with blush tones, white and grey.

I scoured Pinterest to find some excellent current examples of this color combination.  Not all furniture pieces shown here are midcentury modern or reproductions offered at modernclassics.com, but the images offer a great place to start when considering adding signature classics into your interior and how to pair them with blush and softer shades of rose.

An industrial modern approach to mixing blush and black with graphic pillows, some fantastic windows and a repurposed wooden spool coffee table.

Using blush as an accent color in a chair immediately softens this space.  Again, the mixture of black, grey, blush and graphic patterns.

Sometimes the pink need only enter the space through the art to offer a big impact of color and cool to this otherwise neutral black and white environment.  Shop our Noguchi Style table here.

 I love how this single blush statement chair makes the room!  Shop modernclassics.com for a swan chair reproduction here.

 Textiles and flowers are a great way to bring in this color without a big commitment.

Here again, throws, pillows and poofs add the rose element that unifies and softens the color palette of this room.

Original artwork is an excellent way to define the color palette of the room.  Let it lead the way as this piece so successfully does.

Sprinkles of black and blush throughout the interior link this otherwise white space together.  I can imagine a black Eames Lounger in the corner.  Shop here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Saarinen's Help in The Transition to Modernism in America

The iconic Womb Chair also was a key ingredient for the cultural transition in America in the 1950s toward modernism and away from traditional family structure.  By way of print advertising, well-known artists and brands, most notably was Norman Rockwell, would feature the Womb Chair in their campaigns.  Rockwell would use Saarinen’s creations by portraying his traditional settings, just as he had always done, and using the Womb Chair as the perfect touch of modernism to accommodate the changing times.

We have come a long way since this transition and the Womb Chair has retained icon status every step of the way.  The Womb Chair Reproduction we make honors many features of Saarinen’s design and also embraces new technology since the 1950s.  For example, we use stainless steel legs whereas the signature model uses mild steel and chrome plating.  Also, the best option Saarinen had in the late 1940s, and what is still used in the signature model, is the standard HDPE thin plastic internal shell, though we use a fiber-reinforced polymer internal shell for maximum strength.

Come have a seat (I won’t blame you if it turns in to a nap) in this comfy piece of history in either our Chicago or Seattle Showroom!