Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Saarinen's Designs of the Future

It is always entertaining to go back to any decade and explore how people envisioned the future.  If we were on track with the Mid Century era’s fantasies of the future, we might all be in flying cars, have robot maids to clean up and be living on a different planet.  Eero Saarinen’s distinct style of smooth arches and fluid-like curves in his designs seems to be the foundation of this commonly illustrated ‘space age’ aesthetic of the 1960s.

For example, the Star Trek crew aboard the USS Enterprise always looked comfortable sitting in Saarinen’s iconic tulip chair, as you may recall.  Does this chair bring any other childhood favorite television shows to mind?

Our Tulip Armchair Reproduction is set upon a cast aluminum swivel base with a molded fiber-reinforced polymer white shell.  We use high-resilient multi-density foam for the seat cushion that comes in a vast array of fabric or leather options.

Come check out this chair of the future in any of our showroom locations that may be in your area!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The New Modern Mix: an Inspiration Board

Some people refer to this look as "bohemian modern", we like to call it modern mix.  It is achieved by using elements such as great art, a mixture of modern furniture designs and colorful rugs for a comfortable space that is personal and easy to live in.

Using this wonderful photo from Nynne Rosenvinge’s Copenhagen apartment via femina as our inspiration, we've gathered together products from modernclassics.com to help you achieve the look of a colorful modern mix living area.

1.  Art
original oil painting
by Sharon Kingston

the future enters us
36 x 36 inches
oil on canvas
framed in floater frame
$1750  Shop modernclassics.com for this painting

2. Leather sofa in warm, camel color
PK31 Loveseat

Hardwood seat frame
Choice of brushed-satin or polished stainless steel base
Down feather filled cushions
Choice of Scandinavian Leather Colors
$3800  Shop modernclassics.com for this or similar sofas

3.  Statement Chair
Wegner: Shell Chair

8-ply molded plywood shell available in two wood finishes
Choice of leather colors
$920 as shown  Shop modernclassics.com for this chair

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Florence Knoll's 'Meat and Potatoes' Bench

During and age and industry of ostentation, Florence Knoll’s humility is unexpected and noteworthy.  Describing her pieces as ‘meat and potatoes’ and ‘the fill-in pieces that no one else wants to do,’ her aim was to complement the trending organic and curved shapes with her geometric furniture designs. 

Perhaps she would have given herself more credit if she knew the ageless and adaptable appeal of her furniture designs.  Perfect in their simplicity, her designs are elegantly unimposing making them useful in any setting from corporate lobbies to cozy living rooms. 

Our Knoll Bench Reproduction comes in a wide variety of our ‘boucle’ textured fabric or top-grain leather colors that are specifically suited for furniture of the midcentury era.  Our frame is crafted from 1 inch square stainless steel tubing, a more resilient material than her chrome plated mild steel that Florence had to use at the time, welded and polished to seamless perfection.

Come check out this new addition to our Chicago or Bellingham Showroom!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let's Define What Is 'Art Deco'

Certain words and terms have been used incorrectly for so long it seems we have lost track of what they actually mean.  Words like ‘literally,’ unless something is being told factually or ‘awesome,’ which must describe something that is awe-inspiring and does not apply to whatever you had for lunch.  ‘Art Deco’ seems to be one I hear frequently, as if it can apply to all types of art and design, when in fact it is much more specific.

In the context of furniture, Art Deco is a style that took its name in 1925 during the Paris Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts and flourished well in to the 1940s.  A few obvious design elements to look for when correctly speaking of this style are rounded corners, a set of three in the design, geometric forms and use of stainless steel.

When seeing our Art Deco Chair, one can be certain they are using this term correctly.  The stainless steel square tube frame curves around the back and supports the seat and back cushions made from high resilient multi-density foam and upholstered in our Italian top-grain, Grade A, aniline-dyed leather. 

Come have a seat in our Chicago or Bellingham Showroom and learn why this style has always remained in fashion!

Painting: "Learning to Bloom" by Sharon Kingston

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Poul Kjaerholm's Perfect Harmony of Tension

In studying the principles for building a cantilevered chair that were created by his predecessors of the Bauhaus movement, Poul Kjaerholm decided to create a lounge chair that took this method a step further... actually, three steps further.

Basic rules of physics state the perfect balance of tension and compression in the curved structure of the cantilever chair allows for immense strength.  Kjaerholm decided to optimize this strength by using the cantilever method in all elements of the chair, beyond just the legs.  The curved legs are connected to the curved side frames and attached to the transverse (and, you guessed it, curved) crossbar across the bottom of the seat.  These three cantilevers working in perfect harmony creates a permanent tension in the whole seat and back of this chair, and immense strength.

Our PK20 Lounger Reproduction accurately follows his original design, employing the rules of physics and graceful beauty Kjaerholm intended. Our Scandinavian Leather is sewn into tubes that are connected and give a ribbed diaphragm and contributes to the strength of the chair. 

Come check out this newest addition to our Chicago or Bellingham Showroom!

Painting: "The Future Enters Us" by Sharon Kingston

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wegner's Ox Chair and Picasso On My Mind

This past week, with the arrival of our Ox Chair Reproduction to the Chicago Showroom, I found myself passively thinking about Picasso’s Guernica the same way I’ll get a song stuck in my head.  It all made perfect sense upon realizing Wegner’s inspiration for this chair came from Picasso’s surrealism paintings in the 1930s.

Wegner does not specify which painting directly influenced his iconic Ox Chair and its safe to say he could have been influenced by any of Picasso’s surrealism paintings.  Does this chair bring any to mind for you?

Our Ox Chair Reproduction is crafted to the same dimensions as Wegner originally designed and comes in several color choices of our high quality fully aniline dyed Italian leather.  We use a high-density foam cushion over a molded fiber-reinforced polymer internal shell and stainless steel legs to ensure ultimate comfort for the many years you'll have this chair.

Come check out our Ox Chair Reproduction in either our Chicago or Bellingham Showroom!