Modernism Notes Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Modern Classic

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!

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!

Arne Jacobsen’s Wickedly Modern Egg Chair

Aegean Blue Jacobsen-Style Egg Chair

Aegean Blue Jacobsen-Style Egg Chair

Created in 1958 for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair fits the form and function ideal of his predecessors along with his innovative design that creates an option for privacy. Its commanding presence and ability to hide away with a slight swivel on the rotating base has made this a popular chair among many filmmakers’ villains since the 1960s.

Although I rarely do much evil-plotting anymore, I do enjoy the comfort of our Jacobsen-Style Egg Chair as it contours to the natural curves of the body, just as Arne Jacobsen originally designed it to do.  Available in a a wide variety colors of our exclusive boucle textured fabrics and a cushion that we’ve added a little extra foam, this chair is cozy enough to turn any villain into a good-natured hero.

Come have a seat and a swivel in our Jacobsen- Style Egg Chair in either our Bellingham,  Dallas  or Chicago showrooms!

Modern Classics

Bench Form and Function in Any Room

One of my favorite ways to freshen up any room at home in need of an update (well, one that does not involve any hammering, sawing or drilling new holes in my walls) is incorporating a space for a bench to bring style and functionality into a room.  I’ve always been a fan of tufting and our Exhibition Bench, like our Exhibition 2-Seat Bench pictured here, seems to translate beautifully into every setting.  We have worked hard to master this level of tufting on our Exhibition Bench and are proud of our finished product.  More tufting is universally considered to be the most premium look and is one of many key features to set our Exhibition Bench apart from all the others.  Here are just a few ideas of spots to use benches in your home:

Exhibition 2-Seat Bench

Exhibition 2-Seat Bench in Cream White Leather

Entryway:

Create a landing zone in your entryway or front hallway.  This can be where you drop your belongings as soon as you walk in the door.  Even better, you will have everything you need in one place the next time you are on your way out the door and will never waste a single second searching endlessly for lost keys

In the Bedroom:

At the foot of the bed is an elegant detail for any bedroom and can even function as extra storage, a step stool, extra seating or in place of a footboard

In the Dining Room:

A dining bench can be used in combination with dining chairs or instead of dining chairs around your dining table.  Since it takes up no vertical space and can be tucked under the table when not in use, its a perfect alternative to dining chairs, especially in small spaces.

Use as a Coffee Table:

It is an unexpected and stylish alternative to a coffee table, offering all the same functionality and can even be an acceptable spot to put your feet up (most of the time).

Pictured here is our Exhibition 2-Seat Bench in our Cream White Leather, serving as a landing sone to use immediately upon walking in the door.  You can see this bench and all our other modern benches at any one of our factory showrooms located in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!

The Humble Florence Knoll

Florence Knoll Style Lounge Chair

Florence Knoll Style Lounge Chair

During the 20th century, interior design was taking a new direction and breaking free of the previously stagnant norms.  Furniture innovations especially were emerging and flourishing.  It was an exciting time for everyone who was ready to welcome this fresh change brought on by the iconic designers of the time like Eero Saarinen and Harry Bertoia and Florence Knoll.

Always one to maintain a level-head though, Florence Knoll took a step back to view the bigger picture.  She could see there would be a need for furniture specifically designed to offset her colleagues’ organically-shaped and curved furniture designs.  She took it upon herself to design what she would later describe as the “the fill-in piece no one else wants to do.”  Perhaps she might have given herself more credit if Knoll knew her designs would become ageless modern classics.

Our Florence Knoll Lounge Chair Reproduction honors the same dimensions as the original model.  We have improved upon it by using a higher quality of materials that have become available in the years since the original design.  You can read all about these improvements in our Comparison Guide.

Come visit us in our BellinghamChicago or Dallas showrooms where you can see everything we have to offer!

Modern Classics

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!

 

Transition A New House Into Your New Home

Autumn Tan Leather Executive Armchairs and Modern Vignette For Your New Home

Autumn Tan Leather Executive Armchairs and Modern Vignette For Your New Home

Transitioning into a new space is an exciting process, albeit settling in can at time feel a bit… unsettling.  Once the boxes are delivered and the movers leave, the process of transforming this new and unfamiliar atmosphere into your very own new home can begin.  In the years I have lived in Chicago, I have had five apartments and a list of my go-to methods I consider part of the standard moving procedure so I can immediately settle in and feel at home:

Modern Vignette:  If useful and beautiful are the criteria, consider a vignette to be a bit of both. Looking to an empty side table, mantel or empty shelf, a well-balanced modern vignette has a stronger transformative power on the entire room than you might realize.  There are no hard rules when it comes to creating a modern vignette, though I find sticking to three or five items and thinking symmetrically looks best, lest it turn into a knick-knack nightmare.  Exactly which items to use?  Consider it a chance to have fun with functional items as decor: clocks, lighting, plants, its up to you!  If it brings you joy when you see it, even just a little bit,  then you did it right.

Lighting– If mind-numbingly harsh LED overhead lighting is not your thing (what I call the alien mothership lights), look to the infinite other lighting options.  Whether its the ostentatious chandelier or a $5 table lamp, accent lighting instantly changes an atmosphere from a one-size-fits-all to your personal sanctuary.

Signature scent– We all know smell is the strongest sense linked to memory and moving into your new home means memories are in the making. Diffuse your signature scent (anything lavender or sage are my favorites), throughout your new home early on and soon it will become the first thing you, and everyone else, will notice upon walking in the door.  Years from now, this scent it will trigger all the memories of this settling in phase in your new home.

Furniture– Form follows function, in other words, step 1, make it useful then step 2, make it beautiful (not the other way around).  Comfort is a key ingredient in settling in, so if you are using the floor in your home office to sit, those Executive Armchairs  you’ve been considering are going to serve a critical purpose and address your immediate need which is to stop using the floor as a chair (and they happen to be beautiful too, two birds one stone).  After this, you can go crazy with your modern decor ideas you have been pinning.

Entertaining– There is a reason its not called a housecooling party, but even after you throw your housewarming party,  filling a new apartment  with friends and loved ones is always means good memories in a new home.

If you are looking for a bit of modern inspiration to bring into your new home, visit any of our three factory showroom locations in BellinghamChicago or Dallas!