Conrad Moulton Archives - Modern Classic

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.

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

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!

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

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

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!