Scandinavian Modern Archives - Modern Classic

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

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

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!

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!