Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Swan Chair: It's What's on the Inside That Counts

One of the most important elements of a durable piece of furniture is one you are not able to see:  the internal shell.  The visible aesthetics are obviously a critical factor too, though the strength of the shell is what can make or break the longevity of a chair.

For instance, when Jacobsen had originally created this iconic accent chair, the best option available was Styropor.  He used this material to achieve the continuous shapes and curves of his Swan Chair in 1958.

Styropor has rarely been used in the decades since 1958 and most furniture makers tend to use the standard HDPE thin plastic shell that cannot provide the same strength as our furniture.  Our Swan Chair Reproduction is crafted with a fiber-reinforced polymer internal shell that offers greater strength and is one of many reasons we guarantee our five year warranty.

Come see what makes our Swan Chair Reproduction beautiful on the inside and out at any one of our showroom locations near you!

Painting: "Learning to Bloom" by Sharon Kingston

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Eero Saarinen and His Famous Curves

Have you ever created a work of genius only to have the credit given to someone else?  

Eero Saarinen certainly did when his father, Eliel Saarinen, was mistakenly sent the prize money for his winning design of the Saint Louis Gateway Arch—oops!

If this error hurt Saarinen’s pride, I’m guessing he would have bounced back quickly considering his many other masterpiece designs with his signature curves that have become icons of the Mid Century Modern era.   A few of these pieces include his Tulip Chairs, his Model 70 series of chairs and, the most comfortable of all, his Womb Chair he created at the request of his dear friend Florence Knoll who wanted “a chair that is like a basket full of pillows.”

Our Saarinen Womb Chair Reproduction closely matches the dimensions of the original design and honors his intention of making a chair with comfort that came from the shape of the shell, not from the amount of cushioning.  With 19 color options of our exclusive boucle textured fabrics to choose, this iconic chair can become a favorite lounging spot in any home.

Come check it out at any of our showroom locations and feel what it is like to curl up in “a chair that is like a basket full of pillows!”

Painting: "The Future Enters Us" by Sharon Kingston

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Platner's Spot in 1960s Modernism

Having worked for Eero Saarinen early in his career, it is clear Warren Platner drew influence from him by the soft curves of his furniture designs.  Still able to make a name for himself,  Platner created a revolutionary method of welding dozens of steel rods onto a circular frame, giving his collection of furniture a strong and beautiful structure and icon of 1960s modernism.

Our reproduction of Platner’s Round Dining Table closely matches the dimensions of his original design.   Though Platner created the base from nickel-plated steel rods, today we have the option to use the more resilient and durable option of stainless steel for our base.  With a 5/8” inch tempered glass top, our Platner Round Dining Table Reproduction is the perfect focal point for any dining room!

Come check out this icon of 1960s Modernism in either our Bellingham or Chicago Showrooms!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Here's To You, Florence Knoll

While studying art history in college, my favorite artists were the ones who took a geometric approach to their work with minimal ornamentation to allow the perfection of their geometric creations to shine.  These favorite artists include Filippo Brunelleschi, father of linear perspective, Piet Mondrian, Dutch painter and a founder of the De Stijl, and lastly, Florence Knoll, modern architect and self-proclaimed 'meat and potatoes' designer who never gave herself enough credit for her geometric and iconic designs, all perfect in their simplicity.

In an era when furniture designs with organic shapes, soft curves  and bright colors were emerging, Knoll stuck to the geometric basics in her 'meat and potato' furniture designs, intending to offset the these avant-garde designs of her close friends and colleagues.  All the same, her Lounge Collection designs still became furniture icons we use today.

One particularly comfortable reminder of her geometric genius is our Knoll Lounge Chair Reproduction, inspired by her Lounge Collection.  Our version honors the same dimensions she had designed for this chair and is available in a wide variety of color choices of our top-grain leathers and our exclusive boucle textured fabrics.  We have the luxury to use improved materials that were only invented after her time by way of new technology, making this chair even more durable and comfortable than was ever thought possible.

Come check our Knoll Lounge Chair Reproduction at one of our showroom locations near you!

Painting:  The Intimacy of the Natural World by
Sharon Kingston
Modern Classics