Minimalism Archives - Modern Classic

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!

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!

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!

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!

Our Saarinen-Style M70 Womb Chair 2.0

Charteuse Green Saarinen-Style M70 Womb Chair

Charteuse Green Saarinen-Style M70 Womb Chair

The 1948 unveiling of Eero Saarinen’s iconic Womb Chair was a sign of changing times when ‘lounging’ was becoming socially acceptable, unlike in the decades prior. Saarinen’s organically curved Womb Chair was designed at the request of his dear friend, Florence Knoll, who asked for a chair designed to feel like a basket full of pillows and “something I can really curl up in.”  Saarinen achieved exactly this and more with a chair designed to create comfort, not solely by use of cushioning, but by the use of contours that create incredible comfort in any position.

Our Saarinen-Style M70 Womb Chair and Ottoman closely matches Saarinen’s original design but with upgraded materials available today that were not available in 1948.  We recently made some improvements to this chair, including adjusting the slope of the back to a more upright sitting position and with arms parallel to the floor, making it even more comfortable for both sitting and lounging.  Our wide variety of boucle fabric colors gives it a vibrancy that is matched by a level of durability to ensure years of  stylish comfort in any setting.  You can read all this and more in our Womb Chair Comparison Guide.

If you would like to see this chair in person, come visit us at any of our factory showrooms in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!

Modern Home: Quick Cleaning In Minutes Before Guests Arrive

Exhibition Chair and Footstool

Our Exhibition Chair and Footstool in Black Leather

When life gets busy and your keeping your modern home tidy falls to the bottom of the list of priorities, there’s no better reminder its time to clean up than those 10 minutes before guests are due to arrive.  Considering it is going to take more time to get your modern home back to it’s usual pristine condition, focus on tackling certain areas for now and you can have your modern home look put together enough just as your doorbell rings:

Clear Surfaces: Its easy to let clutter build up on any available surface without paying much attention to it, but by clearing the dishes you may have on your kitchen counter and hanging up the jacket you mindlessly tossed on your Exhibition Chair (and all other surfaces in between) your modern home will already appear vastly tidier than it was before.

Bathroom: This is an area all guests will see at some point, and where you need to focus on straightening up and wiping down all surfaces, even if there’s not enough time to do a thorough deep cleaning until later.  It is the one spot in your home where being anything less than clean is hard for guests to ignore.

Sitting Area: Since this is the other area your guests will all see, take a few minutes to wipe down and vacuum the overall area.  It will create a fresh and welcoming area for everyone.

Love Is In The Details: But this is not the time to devote to arbitrary details as if you have all the time in the world.  Still, it takes mere seconds to light your new soy wax candle or to set out those fresh flowers, thus transforming your modern home into a comfortable environment for you and your guests.

Sparkling Clean Dishes and Glassware: Is there anything as cringeworthy as noticing foreign food particles on your wine glass just as you are going in for a sip?  Be sure not to put your guests in this awkward position and have everything cleaned and inspected before they arrive.

These are just a few of my tried and true methods, what are some your favorites?  Share below or in person by visiting us at any of our three factory showroom locations in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!

 

Maintenance Methods For Your Modern Furniture

Our Exhibition Chair and Ottoman Ready for Cleaning

Our Exhibition Chair and Ottoman Ready for Cleaning

No matter how careful we are, the law of entropy states at some point we will spill, bump into, stain, scratch or knock over items at home.  Since I have always been a bit accident-prone (my friends consider it an endearing quality…. sort of), I know all too well the best methods for modern furniture maintenance and how to reverse these everyday mishaps.

Since its a new year, its as good a time as any to spend some time on your modern furniture maintenance and get it back to looking brand new!

Leather:

It is a good habit to clean your leather furniture a few times a year or as needed.  I only use Lexol leather products, but whichever brand you use you will need to test it on a small area before proceeding to clean the rest of your leather furniture:

-Apply cleaning formula to a wet cloth and rub vigorously enough to work up a lather.  Wipe away foam with new clean and damp cloth.

-Apply conditioner to a new damp cloth and massage into the leather in a circular motion.  Wipe away the excess and allow leather to dry.

Helpful Tips:

Don’t be a rebel here and apply the cleaner or conditioner directly to the leather.  By applying it to the wet cloth first, you maintain control and will not waste any cleaning formula dripping everywhere.

For tough stains (for example, spilled makeup on white leather), I have always had luck with dabbing olive oil or coconut oil on the stain and letting it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away.

For really tough stains or deep visible scratches, find a leather care specialist.  They have the tools to fix it and make it look like new.

Wood

No matter how careful you, wood scratches are going to happen at some point.  Luckily, there are a few easy ways to fix them:

-Rubbing half a walnut or almond over a small scratch can sometimes make it less visible.  I’ve never been satisfied with the results of this method, but in a pinch it will do the trick well enough.

-Wood Scratch Repair Kits are found at any hardware store.  The tools and materials they provide are perfect for taking care of those minor but visible bumps and scratches.  I pretty much always keep one within arm’s reach.

-For larger scrapes, seek out a professional who can match the wood finish to the rest of the chair.  Though it may set you back between $100-200 depending on the damage, in the long run its worth every penny.

Stainless Steel

Aside from shining away the occasional finger prints, stainless steel’s impressive durability means low maintenance and therefore perfect for high traffic areas of your home.

What are your best furniture maintenance methods?  Share below or visit us at any of our three showroom locations in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!

 

3 Secrets For A Clutter-Free Minimalist Home

Nelson Bench Replica in a Clutter-Free Home

Nelson Bench Replica in a Clutter-Free Home

After years of renting, you take the momentous leap into adulthood and are now a first-time homebuyer and settling in to your clutter-free modern home with modern furnishings to replace your old bean bag chairs and college futon (seriously, get rid of them, donations are usually tax-deductible).  Do not undo all your hard work by throwing your dirty clothes over your brand new Nelson Bench Reproduction.  You are a grown-up now, remember?!  This means from now on you are neat and tidy!  If only it were that easy to break your slobbish habits you developed in college, when you first escaped your parents nagging and saying “the floor is not not a hamper.” It can be and here are three simple habits to adopt to keep your new modern home clean and tidy in a way that says a grown-up lives here!

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 where it belongs, 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 (lids for the pots and pans, perhaps?) if not put to use, its only more clutter.  Oh, the irony.  Be mindful of this and avoid it before it starts by only buying organizers you need and most importantly:  Keep it simple!  This is supposed to make your life easier, so overcomplicating it will only deter you from using it to maintain the clutter.

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 one drawer in your console table 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 once its gone.

Abide by these three methods and you will notice everything falling into place, seemingly on its own, but its all you and your mature 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!