Color Blocking By Design: Easy As 1, 2, 3

Our Saarinen-Inspired Womb Chair and Ottoman in Our Exclusive Chartreuse Green Boucle

Our Saarinen-Inspired Womb Chair and Ottoman in Our Exclusive Chartreuse Green Boucle

Color blocking is one element found in modern design that has always been my favorite part of the design process, especially  when it is one single color over a neutral palette, thus making it ‘pop.’ This is where you have the liberty to set the tone of the room however you wish based on your color choice. It can be introduced with a Cerulean duvet for a calming bedroom setting, or spry Living Coral throw pillows in the living room for a fun spot to entertain guests.

One of the easiest ways to maintain the modern and minimalist influence throughout your home is using the color blocking method; the hardest part is to not overthink it. Best of all, if you find yourself needing to redecorate (for instance, if you suddenly need to make a room into a nursery in 9 months or less), with your neutral color palette already in place, changing your space is as simple as removing the main color for softer blues or pinks.

Whether you are searching for your modern classic furniture in a neutral shade or in a vibrant pop of color, you are certain to find it among our wide variety of exclusive boucle fabric colors. Our boucle fabrics are stain resistant and UV resistant to ensure many years of stylish living.

Come visit our BellinghamChicago or Dallas showrooms and check out everything we have offer!

Blush and Bashful: 2019 Interior Design Trends

Our Saarinen-Inspired Womb Chair in Cayenne Red

Our Saarinen-Inspired Womb Chair in Cayenne Red

2019 interior design trend forecasts seem to be all over theplace this year.  While some design professionals declare one trend as being all-the-rage, another will say its best to leave it in 2018 (yea, I’m talking about you, rose gold).  After spending a considerable amount researching 2019 interior design trends, here are my top picks I am excited to see in the upcoming months:

Blush: The New Neutral

Tell grays and beiges to take a hike, there’s a new neutral in town.  Using varying shades of blush is a pleasantly unexpected twist on the key design principle to set a neutral palette of a room.  Navy Blues, Sage Green or gold accents are a few of my favorite colors that really pop when paired with a blush neutral palette.

Natural Stone and Mixed Metals

Every year its a trend to bring in an element of nature but for the past several years this has been in reference to raw edge accents and exposed hardwood construction and joinery techniques.  Its quite a welcome change then to see elements of nature expand beyond woodworking with natural stone, think marble or quartz, in combination with mixed metals like steel and copper.

Bold Geometric Graphic Prints

Handmade one-of-a-kind pieces are going to replace the mass-produced and, as with anything handmade, the imperfections are part of the aesthetic especially when it comes to textiles and wall prints.  Perfect repeat patterns will be used less or replaced by visual-stimulating bold geometrics and graphics.

Art Deco

I mean, Art Deco has always been my favorite classic style, so its a stretch to say it will be a ‘trend’ but there will certainly more of it, especially when it comes to furniture.  Noticeably, softly contoured and organically curved furniture silhouettes, like our Saarinen-Inspired Womb Chair, will be showing up more than ever.

 

Modern Holiday Preparation (Minus The Meltdown)

Exhibition Chair in our Premium Navy Blue Leather with Holiday Accent Pillow

Exhibition Chair in our Premium Navy Blue Leather with Holiday Accent Pillow

The holidays are meant to be a joyous time celebrated with friends and family, though in the weeks leading up to Santa’s arrival, there’s no denying we all feel the pressure to get everything holiday-ready in time.  I’ll admit, I’ve had my fair share of annual holiday meltdowns, but now that I am so much more mature this year (relatively speaking, I guess), here are a few tips I’ve adopted to make sure I’m holiday-ready by Christmas:

Indoor Holiday Decor:

Think big items: throw pillows, wreaths, large holiday lighting accents and candles to name a few.  These are the items you can store away if you plan to use them next year and can be unpacked with relative ease.  When it comes to strands of Christmas lights or holiday garlands, it seems like no matter how meticulously I put those away every year, when it comes to bring those items out of storage they are a tangled mess.  Certain items are inexpensive and plentiful that its much easier to just buy new each year, because spending an hour untangling $10 Christmas lights is enough to make anyone say bah-humbug.

Gift Giving:

Try and think back to last year what you received as gifts.  Chances are you might remember a couple, but otherwise we mostly just remember who gave us a gift, not exactly what that gift was and that is what matters.  Holiday shopping does not need to break the bank since the kindness of giving is what stays in our memory.  Make a list of people you plan to give gifts to this year, set a budget you’ll stick to and get started sooner rather than later so everyone’s gifts arrive in time.  Can’t decide what to get the people on your list who seem to have everything?  Think of the items everyone enjoys receiving and could always use: marble key trays, modern picture frames, luxury candles and the list goes on.  If you want to step it up a notch still, items with the first initial of the gift recipient are always appreciated (think jewelry, cufflinks, hand towels, etc).

Gift Wrapping:

“Just give it to me, I’ll do it.”  If I had a nickel for every time I’ve said this to my friends who despise this part of the holiday preparation process, I’d have a lot of nickels.  Gift-wrapping is my time to shine.  Deciding how I’ll be wrapping my gifts each year, from the gift boxes, wrapping paper, tissue paper and ribbon, is like shopping for the perfect outfit, well, gift wrapping outfit.  If you are indecisive on a gift-wrap outfit color scheme, what could be more sophisticated than making all the elements one color (matte black ribbon, paper, boxes and tissues paper perhaps?).  You’d be amazed how enjoyable gift-wrapping becomes when you have all the parts laid out in front of you and one by one, beautiful packages start piling up under the tree (glass of wine and Bing Crosby tunes are optional though highly recommended while spending a cozy evening wrapping everyone’s gifts).

Most of all, remember this is supposed to be a celebrated time of the year, so make it a priority to enjoy the time you spend with loved ones.  If you are looking for some modern home holiday inspiration, be sure to stop by any of our factory showrooms in BellinghamChicago or Dallas and let the holiday cheer begin!

Hygge Habitat: Make Your Own This Winter

Our Wegner-Style Wing Back Chair and Ottoman

Our Wegner-Style Wing Back Chair and Ottoman

When the weather outside is frightful, there is a specific type of coziness I find while watching it from the delightful indoors and it turns out there is a Danish word for it, hygge (pronounced hoo-ga).  There are many elements in creating a cozy little nook, or a hyggekrog, for the winter months and these are just a few of my favorites:

Small Light Sources:

Although overhead lighting is necessary, turning it off and using other light sources to create an illuminated bubble of coziness is totally hygge.  In fact, did you know Denmark uses more candles per capita than any other country in the world?  Aside from burning candles, table lamps, lights on a Christmas tree and crackling fireplaces (if you are lucky enough to have one) are just a few other ways you can use light to make a space feel as hygge as a warm hug.

Do I Smell Something Cooking?:

Whether its a simmering beef stew or simply pre-made cookie dough baking in the oven, walking into a room and being met with delicious wafts from the kitchen is, in my opinion, a universally effective way to create an atmosphere everyone will agree is definitely hygge.  Of course, there are other ways make a lovely smelling home, but there is no substitute for the smell of cooking, especially when a delicious culinary delight is in the immediate future.

Exhibition Chair and Ottoman

Exhibition Chair and Ottoman

Comfortable Furniture Made to Last:

Since your living room is where you will spend a significant amount of time during the winter months (and year-round), comfortable furniture built to last for years is a fundamental ingredient in any hyggekrog.  Paying close attention to the durability of materials used in making any piece of furniture you are considering will pay off in many years of comfy lounging.

Bring Nature Inside:

Perhaps its in our DNA still from the hunter/gatherer days centuries ago, that science has shown a direct correlation between nature and a feeling of well-being.  This means any space calls for live green plants before it can be truly hygge.  For those of us who are ‘botanically-challenged’ and born without a green thumb, there’s still many types of indoor plants that are hard to kill, even with minimal care.  I love Echeverias and my Fiddle Leaf Fig tree, not just because they look good in any month, but they last for years (even though I often forget to water it, I’ve had my same Fiddle Leaf for almost 4 years now!).

Find a Mindless Hobby:

I’ve been knitting for years and I love when I get so into the flow of stitching away, I completely lose track of time.  Knitting is what works for me, but any hobby where you can find flow in creating something one-of-a-kind is perfect for those long winter months (ahem, not to mention Christmas gifts). Even if learning how requires more patience expected, having a creative outlet you can lose yourself in doing makes all worth it.

Form and Function and Floor Planning

Knoll-Style Lounge Chair in Charcoal Gray

Knoll-Style Lounge Chair in Charcoal Gray

Arranging furniture in any room is equally exciting as it is daunting.  While there are infinite possibilities when an empty room is your blank canvas, lack of planning can lead to endless furniture shuffling and that lingering question if there is a better way to have it arranged.

Although there is no magic formula or standard way to arrange your living room furniture, there are a few guidelines to consider:

Pick a focal point for the room

This will serve as a reference point and everything will be arranged relative to the placement of the focal point you choose.  This can be anything with a significant presence in the room from a window to a sofa or even a piece of art.  It should be the obvious place the eye is immediately drawn to upon entering the room.

Create a floor plan

You can either map out your floor plan on a blank sheet of paper though there are several apps that have been created for this very task as well as templates you can find online for furniture arrangement planning.  This will cut your time spent moving furniture down significantly.

-Form and Function

Using functional furniture enhances the potential for using a space in different ways.  This is especially important for smaller spaces where there is not room for much ornamentation.  Keep in mind that you should never have to sacrifice style for functional furniture… just look here for a few ideas where form and function work in harmony.

Flow of Traffic

Just as important as where the furniture is placed is where the furniture is not placed to create a path that is easy navigate.  Direct traffic around the furniture, not through the middle of it and allow 36-48 inches for the obvious paths and about 24 inches for the smaller ones.

Let us know if you have any personal tips when it comes to arranging your home!  Either post it below or stop by one of our showrooms in SeattleChicago or Dallas and also get a chance to see and experience all the pieces we have to offer!

Modern Classics Furniture

Nelson-Inspired Slat Bench: Versatility and Modern Elegance

Nelson-Style Slat Bench

Nelson-Style Slat Bench

Since it’s introduction in 1946, George Nelson’s Slat Bench has remained a classic item in homes and offices around the world.  It has a subtle elegance that is unimposing enough to fit with any style of room.  With the versatility of being used as a bench or table, this has become the obvious choice for settings in need of both.

Our George Nelson-Inspired Slat Bench matches the dimensions of Nelson’s original design.  Our version is constructed from premium grade Oak, in your choice of natural oak or ebonized black finish, giving it the strength and versatility that has made it a classic in the decades since its creation.

You can see our Nelson-Inspired Slat Bench and the different wood finish options at any of our three factory showrooms in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!

Modern Classics

Furniture Features and Fine Details to Consider

Kjaerholm-Style PK31 Lounge Chair

Kjaerholm-Style PK31 Lounge Chair

To the untrained eye, many signature designs can look so similar to other versions of the same furniture design when placed side by side when the right measures are taken to adhere to the original specifications.  On various pieces there are distinguishing features in the original models that can be the tell tale sign of which is an acceptable similar and inspired version of the original design and which is a cheap knock off:

Down Feather Filled Cushions:

The down feather filling is the only way to achieve this relaxed aesthetic in the cushions that is especially popular on furniture from the modern periods.  The PK31 Chair is a perfect example of this and, unlike our Kjaerholm-Style PK31 Lounge Chair which uses the down feather filling, you will see many other manufacturers overlook this key detail and end up with an obvious knockoff

Welting:

Also known as piping, this is one of those details that may not be immediately obvious to some.  When something seems to be not quite right with a cheap knockoff but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, it is usually the welting.  Unlike other furniture manufacturers, we hand roll the welting on all of our pieces.

Dimensions of the Furniture:

It is amazing how some furniture versions tend to deviate too far from the original dimensions and visually become a totally different piece of furniture.  We have made slight adjustments for comfort in a few of our pieces though always taking into account the original design.

These are just a few features to take into consideration, and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have.  You can always stop in to our Bellingham, Chicago or Dallas showrooms to see firsthand how our inspired furniture designs adhere closely to the original designs and fine details!

Scandinavian-Modern Design in The 20th Century

Wegner-Style Wish Bone Chair with Black Leather Seat

Wegner-Style Wish Bone Chair with Black Leather Seat

During the 20th century, the Scandinavian countries, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, were inarguably all recognized as furniture design hot spots, with some of the most iconic designers who created some of our favorite Scandinavian-Modern furniture.

Scandinavian-Modern designers were unique in the way they upheld the fundamental ideals of modernism and combined it with their traditional skills acquired in woodworking and cabinetmaking.  This meant incorporating their knowledge of hardwood joinery and framework techniques to create some of the most iconic furniture designs of the 20th century.  These furniture designs that are still highly regarded today came from famous designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, Paul Volther, Finn Juhl, Borge Mogensen, Poul Kjaerholm and Eero Saarinen.

Our Scandinavian-Modern Furniture Collections honor the original and intended iconic furniture designs created during the Modern age.  With the minor adjustments we added for optimum comfort along with the use of top quality materials these designers did not have during their times but that we do have thanks to technological advances in the decades since, these iconic Scandinavian furniture designs can be enjoyed for years longer than ever thought possible.

You can come see and have a seat in any of our Scandinavian-Modern furniture in any of our factory showroom locations in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!

Modern Classics

Platner’s Spot in 1960s Modernism

Platner Style Round Dining Table

Platner Style Round Dining Table

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, the American designer 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 an icon of 1960s modernism.

Our Platner-Style Round Dining Table closely matches the dimensions of his original design.   Though he originally 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 version of this iconic table is the perfect focal point for any dining room!

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

Modern Classics

William Morris’ Useful and Beautiful Advice to Future Designers

Kjaerholm-Style PK22 Lounge Chair

Kjaerholm-Style PK22 Lounge Chair in Black Leather

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  William Morris

I have always considered these words to be the boiled down essence of interior design, rather than just another famous quote on a needlepoint pillow (although I do have it on a needlepoint pillow but I also think its hip to square).  Abiding by these two qualifying factors, useful and beautiful, William Morris’ words serve as a simple guide to eliminate unnecessary clutter and ornamentation from a space.  I can only assume Poul Kjaerholm, 20th century iconic and minimalist designer, was also a fan of William Morris.  Kjaerholm’s minimalist furniture designs bring an unexpected serenity to a room with their perfect balance of form and function, nothing more, nothing less.

Our Kjaerholm Style PK22 Lounge Chair honors the original design Kjaerholm created and that launched him to fame in the modern design world.  With the low seat height and minimal design, it brings an astonishing impact of sophistication to any room of the house.  It possesses an ageless beauty and level of comfort that will forever remain a classic.
Come check it out in our BellinghamChicago or Dallas showrooms along with everything else we have to offer!