The Perfectly Planned PK25 Chair

Kjaerholm Style: PK25 Lounge Chair
Kjaerholm Style: PK25 Lounge Chair

It is not very often a school project becomes an icon of modern design, but that is exactly what happened when Paul Kjaerholm turned in his final graduation project in 1951: the PK25 Lounge Chair.  Beginner’s luck you might be thinking?  Maybe a little, but as his prolific career designing modern furniture proved many times over, we was truly a genius craftsman with a penchant for innovation.

His original PK25 Lounge Chair was made using a single sheet of steel and a metal saw to carve the chair’s pattern then bending it into shape.  This was a new technique at the time, but with vast technological advances since then, we are able to use modern laser cutting equipment on our Kjaerholm-Style PK25 Lounge Chair.  After carving the pattern, we use hydraulic brakes to bend it into shape.  Overall, our method is a much more efficient (and much safer) method than Kjaerholm’s, although considering he did not have the options we have today, I admire how he well he made use of the limited resources in 1951.

You can check it out, along with everything else we have to offer, by visiting any of our three showroom locations in ChicagoBellingham or Dallas!

Modern Home with Furry Friends

Our Exhibition Bench and Wegner-Style Ox Chair and a Sleepy Artemis

Our Exhibition Bench and Wegner-Style Ox Chair and a Sleepy Artemis

One major allure of living in a modern home is the calming appeal drawn from the clean lines and simple perfection in the absence of ornamentation…. but when that new puppy starts doing a number on the living room furniture, it might seem like either the hopes of a modern home will have to go or the puppy will (and neither of these are acceptable options).

Now there is no need to have to decide between these two loves.  Thanks to new technology made available in the decades since the creation of the iconic signature furniture designs, there are substantially more durable and resilient options and we make full use of those materials here at Modern Classics Furniture:

Stainless Steel: 

During the age of modernism, furniture designers relied on using mild steel with chrome-plating.  Although it was the best option at the time, it could not offer adequate durability needed in high traffic areas of every day use.

This is why we use #304 stainless steel on all our furniture.  It offers an unprecedented level of durability without sacrificing style.  If in 20 years it needs a bit of refreshing, stainless steel can be sandblasted to restore the original sparkle.

Leather: 

Whether its cats or dogs at home, their adorable little paws are bound to leave claw marks on any leather that is susceptible to marks and scratches.

Our top-grain, aniline-dyed leather we import from Italy is equipped to withstand the elements of day-to-day life thanks to a protective coating we use to protect against scratches or stains, so your pets can easily nap on the furniture without a problem.

Boucle Fabric:

If you are the proud owner of a a furry friend who leaves “presents” around the house and digs their sharp baby claws into the furniture once they know they are in trouble, welcome to the club.  While most puppy mischief is eventually forgiven, stains and snags on upholstered furniture is a tough one to get past when there’s a daily reminder on your favorite sofa…except if that fabric is stain-resistant and claw-resistant, like our exclusive collection of Modern Boucle Fabrics.  Claw mark snags are a thing of the past and, for little puddles, clean up is a cinch (so puppy playtime can resume after the obligatory time-out).  We use an eco-friendly stain guard finish so spilled liquids bead up and are easily wiped away without permeating the surface of the fabric (its also UV resistant so colors will not fade if kept by a window…. I know this doesn’t apply so much to pets but, hey,  pretty cool).  

Come see all we have to offer in any of one our three showrooms in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!

Useful Guide for Knowing Quality Leathers

Wegner-Inspired: JH Lounge Chair

Wegner-Inspired: JH Lounge Chair

When it comes to furnishing your home with leather furniture, knowing what to look for to ensure you are getting the best quality of leather is key. Simply put, not all leather is created the same.  Here is a quick guide about what constitutes quality leather and what cheap alternatives to avoid:

Top Grain Leather:  Also known as ‘full grain,’ think of this as the prime rib of all the leathers.  This is the top part of the hide, the best part, and is the only leather we use since it is and is best suited for furniture upholstery due to its pliability and unmatched strength and durability.

Split Leather: This is the bottom layer of leather that is left after the top-grain leather layer has been removed (or split, hence the name).  It is typically sprayed and embossed to look more like top-grain, but it is not nearly as durable and will show scratches and signs of wear after only a few years.

Bonded Leather: Think of this as the hot dog of leathers.  This is the leftover leather that is ground up with glue and recycled (we do not use bonded leather).

Pure Aniline-Dyed: Our premium leathers are all 100% aniline dyed which means the color you see is achieved by soaking the leather in a large drum of non-toxic dye to penetrate the leather’s grain all the way through and still visually maintain the integrity of the leather’s natural surface. Between our premium leather and standard leather options, the premium leather is the softer.

Semi-Aniline-Dyed: With the same durability as our premium leathers, our standard leathers are semi-aniline dyed. This is the same process as mentioned above, though a small amount of pigment has been added to achieve the desired color and imperfections are corrected on the leather where necessary.

You can come see, smell, feel and sit in our wide variety of leathers at any of our showroom locations in BellinghamChicago or Dallas. If you are not able to visit we can always mail you any swatches of our leathers by filling out our  Material Sample Request Form.

Minimal Effort Methods for A Sustainable Green Home

Our Eileen Gray-Inspired Bibendum Chair and Finn Juhl-Inspired Chair 45 Pulled Up to Our Kjaerholm-Inspired PK61 Coffee Table

Our Eileen Gray-Inspired Bibendum Chair and Finn Juhl-Inspired Chair 45 Pulled Up to Our Kjaerholm-Inspired PK61 Coffee Table

When it comes to living in a sustainable home, certain measures can be taken to have a bigger impact on preserving the environment than you may realize and, once set in place, require even less effort than walking all the way over to the recycling bin to throw away your water bottle.

Lightbulbs:  Replacing your five most used lights in your house with energy efficient lightbulbs, such as LED or CFL, in a year will save you enough for a mini-shopping spree (around $75-100).  What is most manageable and reduces waste is replacing any traditional incandescents with energy efficient bulbs one-by-one as they burn out.  This way you can gradually transition to an entirely sustainably lit home without wasting any incandescent bulbs already in place

Furniture:  Do you know where your furniture was made and where those materials were sourced and how their manufacturing practices might impact the environment?  Its a surprising number of well-known furniture manufacturers who do not have these answers.  By manufacturing all our furniture in our factory, we have full control over the entire production process, and a big part of it is ensuring the most sustainable methods are properly being practiced to minimize any impact on the Earth’s limited natural resources. Our sustainable practices value human safety and the environment, and our customers can feel good about having our furniture in their homes.

Non-Disposable Containers:  A few months ago, I bought a dozen glass water bottles and made a commitment to stop buying plastic water bottles.  This small change has saved so much money and trips to the recycling bin, not to mention is more stylish than a carrying a crinkled plastic water bottle.  This same practice can be applied to every type of container in the house and only requires a few adjustments how you buy the products going in each container (for example, buying in bulk or making your own cleaning formulas)

Making Your Own Cleaning Formulas:  Not only can these easy-to-make formulas decimate germs and bacteria just as well as anything store bought, but harmful chemicals are kept out of your home, thus protecting your health and the environment.

You can learn more and visit us at any of our three factory showroom locations in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!

Hans Wegner’s Solution for Proper Posture

Our Wegner-Style Wing Back Chair and Ottoman

Our Wegner-Style Wing Back Chair and Ottoman

Proper posture seems to be easier said than done and anyone who has experienced a sore back after sitting at a desk or in front of a computer all day, you’re not alone.  I am constantly reminding myself to sit up straight, only to find myself slouching again within a few minutes.  Not only does it look sloppy but it is detrimental to spinal alignment, to the digestive system and can lead to poor circulation.  Hans Wegner recognized the importance of proper posture, and designed his iconic Wing Back Lounge Chair in a way to comfortably support the human spine in a way that makes proper posture the natural sitting position.

Our Wegner-Style Wing Back Lounge Chair follows the same specifications of Wegner’s original design, making proper posture come naturally so there’s no more accidental slouching.  With two stainless steel back legs being slightly lower than the two front legs, the seat has a backward slant that supports the upper back and neck while also supporting the natural curve of the lower back.

Come check it out along with everything else we have to offer at our BellinghamChicago or Dallas showrooms!

Modern Classics

Finn Juhl and His Signature “Carrying Element”

Finn Juhl-Inspired: Chair 45

Finn Juhl-Inspired: Chair 45

When thinking of all the main designers who played a key roles in bringing Danish Modern Design to the United States, Finn Juhl will always be at the top of this list.  Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1912, he pursued his degree in Architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, though his passion for woodworking and furniture design were always hobbies he practiced on his own time, even after graduating.  By continuing to practice his woodworking techniques, he organically created several unprecedented elements in his furniture designs that his peers applauded for the innovation and beauty and are still celebrated today.  These elements are distinguishing features one can observe in his furniture designs, most notably are the uniquely curved forms he successfully contoured using teak wood and also his “Carrying Element.”

In 1945, Finn Juhl created his signature method called the “Carrying Element” which involved freeing the seat and back from the chair’s frame.  After much experimenting, Juhl successfully created his unique ‘carrying element’ for seating and also his widely-acclaimed Chair 45.

Our Finn Juhl-Inspired Chair 45 honors the original design Finn Juhl created in 1945 and is handcrafted with solid hardwood.  With a memory foam cushion and many color options in either fabric or leather to choose, this chair is the perfect addition to any room!

Come check it out in any one of our showrooms in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!

Danish Modern Designer Borge Mogensen’s Legacy

Mogensen-Style Model 2334 Chair

Borge Mogensen-Style: Model 2334 Chair

Borge Mogensen’s iconic Danish Modern furniture designs have become staples in homes and offices around the world thanks to their remarkable comfort and subtly striking Scandinavian beauty.  Applying his knowledge gained while studying at the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen and apprenticing for world-renowned Danish Architect, Kaare Klint, Mogensen began designing his prized 23 Collection, intended to serve as practical family seating for everyday use.  His passion for furniture design was one that he passed down to his son, Peter, who carried on his father’s legacy of Danish Modern design.  Equipped with the skills inherited from his father, Peter Mogensen took it upon himself in 1971 to finish the Model 2334 Chair design that Borge started in 1962, and went on to win This unique father and son collaboration has withstood the test of time and helped lay the groundwork for Danish Modern design as we know it today.

Our Mogensen-Style Model 2334 Chair was inspired by Borge Mogensen’s original design, as well as our loveseat and sofa version of this chair.  Our version uses seat and back cushions filled with foam and Dacron that sit over our heavy-duty wood frame construction, thus ensuring durability for years to come.  With 4 different wood finishes on the legs and a wide array of leather color choices, this chair can be customized to perfectly fit in any room of the house.

Come check out our Mogensen-Style Model 2334 Chair and everything else we have to offer in our BellinghamChicago or Dallas Showrooms!

Modern Classics

Organize Your Home To Spark Joy For You Everyday

Kjaerholm-Style PK31 Lounge Chair

Kjaerholm-Style PK31 Lounge Chair

It seems like most people I know are making their New Year’s Resolution to organize and declutter items no longer serving a purpose or sparking joy.  This is great and all, but I’ve always found it is important to be practical about how everyday activities mean daily upkeep for a tidy home, its not just about spending a weekend to take on the large and daunting task of purging unnecessary items and finding a place for everything.  While that is a great starting point, here a few habits to adopt to maintain order and subsequently make your home one to spark joy for you everyday:

Always Leave A Room With Two Things To Put Away:  If you have children, or a significant other who just acts like a child, maybe make it three things, but you will find after doing this for a week or so (and encouraging everyone else to get into the habit as well), you’ll be pleasantly surprised how this small gesture maintains order and prevents feeling overwhelmed at the sight of total disorder if left unattended for days.

One-Touch Rule:  Adopt this mindset and you will never spend another second of your life searching for your other shoe (or keys, or wallet).  If put in its designated place from the start, an item is only touched once until you next time you need it.  Think about the dirty dish you are about to put in the sink when it belongs in the dishwasher (touch #1).  Here is what happens next: other dishes pile on top of it until its overflowing, so you move everything onto the counter (touch #2) and begin loading everything into the dishwasher (touch #3).  It takes as much effort to put that same dirty dish in the dishwasher which is literally right next to the sink.  Have you ever woken up to a perfectly clean kitchen?  Trust me, you will love it.

Avoid the ‘Clutter to Maintain Clutter’ Complex:  While there is tremendous value in finding an organizing unit solution for a chaotic spot you are constantly trying to keep in order, if you’re not properly putting it to use, its only more clutter.  Oh, the irony.  If you find yourself shopping for a catch-all to hold all your other catch-alls that hold all the random stuff you don’t know what else to with, you’re not organizing, you’re just finding new ways to store clutter.  Know specifically what needs a storage solution BEFORE shopping for organizing accoutrement (spice rack perhaps?)

Got a minute? De-Stress and Create Order:  When you find yourself with a minute to spare, take the opportunity to get a small area in order, like that utility drawer or the kitchen cabinet with the baking sheet avalanche every time you open it.  You will be amazed how satisfying this practice becomes and how eliminating the clutter also eliminates stress you only recognize was causing stress once its gone.

Abide by these four methods and you will notice everything falling into place, seemingly on its own, but its all you and your new year’s resolution habits replacing the old bad habits.  You can find inspiration and check out all we have to offer by visiting any of our three factory showrooms in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!

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.