Closer Looks Archives - Modern Classic

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!

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!

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

Finn Juhl’s Classic Baker Sofa

Finn Juhl-Style Baker Sofa

Finn Juhl-Style Baker Sofa

Among his many accolades, Finn Juhl is largely recognized for introducing Danish design to the United States with his iconic designs like his Baker Sofa.  Unveiled in 1951, this famous sofa shows Juhl’s signature ‘Carrying Element’ he used on many of his pieces.  This method involves freeing the seat and back from the frame thus creating a visual lightness about the sofa and surroundings.

Our Finn Juhl-Inspired Baker Sofa honors the same dimensions of Juhl’s original design.  We can make our version all in the same color or two colors like the one pictured here.  With a traditional hardwood internal frame and high resilient multi-density foam, you will not find another version of this iconic sofa that can offer the style and durability at our price.

Come check out all we have to offer in person by visiting any of our three showroom locations 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

Closer Look: Kjaerholm PK25 Element Chair

Kjaerholm Style PK25 Element Chair

Today, I wanted to introduce a very cool chair designed by Poul Kjaerholm in 1951. Besides it’s surprising comfort, the construction of this chair is truly unique and is worth a closer look. But first, a little background:

In 1948 Poul Kjaerholm (pronounced cure-holm), completed his training as cabinetmaker and moved to Copenhagen. There, he enrolled in the furniture department of the School of Arts and Craft to prepare for a career as an industrial designer. Coincidentally, his principal instructor at the school was Hans Wegner. After three years of classes, as a graduation project, students were required to design and construct an original piece of furniture. So in 1951, Kjaerholm presented his first piece as a furniture designer as part of this graduation project. He called it the Elementstol or ìElementî chair, as a way to describe a simple object that could be used in a variety of settings. For the Element Chair, he used a bent steel frame wrapped in a halyard line, the braided cord used on sailboats.

The really unique part of the Element Chair design was that he started with a single piece of half-inch steel plate, cut out the chair pattern with a metal saw, and then bent into the chair into shape. His intention was to create a chair with a continuous frame that did not require joints or fasteners for connections. He also drew inspiration Wegnerís Flag Halyard chair of 1950 which used panels of halyard line over a welded frame.

For our reproduction of this chair, we were able to duplicate the exact same pattern on stainless steel, cut it with modern laser cutting equipment and bend it using hydraulic brakes. Take a look at this close-up of our reproduction of this chair frame and you can really see how this all comes together. As a metalworker myself for the past 15 years, I have never seen anything like this and think it is absolutely amazing that such a thick piece of steel can be formed in such a way to make legs and a back, without a single weld!

You can have a seat  and also check out everything else we have by visiting any of our three showroom locations 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

Corona Chair by Paul Volther: A Closer Look

Volther Chair Replica in Beige White

Volther Chair Replica in Beige White

Do you remember seeing this chair on Mad Men a few years back?  Ever wonder who designed it and where you can get an excellent version of this Corona Chair Replica, an iconic classic?  Read on…

It is hard to believe Poul Volther’s famous Corona Chair, launched in 1961 in Denmark, was met with a disappointingly weak response by the Danish market. The persistent designer decided to take a chance on the US market and thank goodness he did because it became a smashing success and has maintained its iconic status as a 20th century modern furniture design ever since.

Our Corona Chair Replica honor the same dimensions as Volther’s signature model, although our version makes use of higher quality materials Volther did not have available during his time. Thanks to advances in technology since 1961, we are able to make use of these superior materials and an unparalleled comfort and durability. This includes the stainless steel swivel base, high resilient multi-density foam and molded fiber-reinforced polymer internal shell.

You can see seat and swivel in our version and also check out everything else we have by visiting any of our three showroom locations in Bellingham, Chicago or Dallas!