Pietro Belluschi designed elegant modern residential (and commercial) architecture in the International Style. His materials used for residential designs were especially suited for the Pacific Northwest climate. Portland has a large concentration of Belluschi residences. They are functional, design-driven, and to this day contemporary in their timelessness.
While it is already hard to work when summer is here, it's even harder to work in an uninspiring space. Currently, I am beginning to spruce-up, reorganize and revitalize my studio. Three necessary components for me are: a fantastic chair (maybe even two), a desk with ample room, and storage. The A-Frame table from Duffy London is a creative space-saving piece of furniture. Its adjustable legs makes it work as a dinning, desk, or coffee table. For storage that is actually aesthetically pleasing - Ferm Living is the place. I am currently obsessed with their wire baskets, boxes, and brass trays. And for a little lounging while in your work space - the Lounge Chair by Hans J. Wegner is just what you need. However, most important for me is to fill the space with inspiring art (not just my own), books, magazines, flowers, and whatever else one needs to keep the creativity flowing. Enjoy!
Not only masters of celebrating food and wine, Italians are forerunners in the world of design. I will be jetting off to Italy in the coming week, and I thought it would be fitting to have a Modern Monday that focuses on Italian furniture design. Clearly, I am a sucker for chairs, and this post features an adorable RIMA burnt coral armchair with an all metal frame. Perfect as a dinning chair with the Mario Bellini for Cassina table. I enjoy the monumental stature of the table mixed with the curvy lines of the RIMA armchair. Always on the hunt for lighting, the vintage Murano Chandelier by Cenedese is an elegant tubular delight. Prefer more whimsy in your home? Brass scones, “Il Diavolo” by Gio Ponti are essential. And, a space can never go wrong with modern brass and glass accessories. Finally, a vintage metal desk (but could be used as a side table) adds a bit of masculine mid-mod pop. The dark wood and metal legs are timeless in their modernity. Ciao a tutti!
Making food, drinking bubbles, sharing stories, and laughing until it hurts - memories are created at gatherings around the dining table. While eating and drinking with family and friends is one of my most cherished things to do, dining tables are a great facilitator to enjoying said gatherings. The Surf-Ace table is a current furniture obsession. Meant to mimic the material and construction of surfboards, this wood table is sweet on the eyes with its seamless edges and beautiful curves. If traditional or retro with a flare of contemporary is your style preference, the Adara or Brownstone Madison are beautiful rectangular topped table choices. The Mango Wood Bowl table is a multifunctional option with removable legs, converting the table into a lacquered tray or bowl. Rounding out this collection of dinning tables is KST. Its traditional round marble top juxtaposed by modern geometric legs adds a pop of color and fun to any space.
Like in design, I am a lover of bold geometric art. I especially enjoy artists from the mid-century modern era, for what they were creating then is still contemporary today. Whether arranged as an hypnotizing geometric abstraction, op art, or thru mixed-medium hue matching and text, these artists works celebrate the power of color. Enjoy!
Clean lines and a mix of woods, powder-coated metal, and colorful textiles- it is time to get outdoors and lounge about. Thankfully, spring has sprung and rainy weeks are giving way to sunshine filled days. However, for those still too-chilly spring evenings (or last summer days) the heated outdoor furniture by Galanter Jones is a must. I love the simple curvy shape and stone material. To add color punch to your outdoors, the Acapulco multi lounge chair from cb2 and Fauteuil Caracas by Colonel are a must. Playful shapes, durable materials, and just the right shades of aqua, yellows, and pinks. For long hours of lounging, the Huron Large Lounge Chair & Ottoman from west elm is what you need (and I want). Its all weather cord is perfect for sudden downpours, and its simplicity brings elegance to any outdoor space. I couldn't resist the Cobbler Stool in teak by Skagerak, its perfect for extra seating indoors or out. The same can be said for the PS Sandskar table from ikea. In doors or out, this table does double duty when the table top unscrews to become a serving tray. And, how could I not include an outdoor textile: Summer Triangles by her art. Its bold, colorful, geometric, and perfect for outdoor naps.
Often overlooked, but not forgotten, is the German-born designer and close collaborator to Mies van der Rohe, Lilly Reich. She began her career by designing furniture and clothing, along with shop window display designs. In 1912, Lilly joined the Deutscher Werkbund, and in 1920 she became the organizations first female director. Through their shared involvement with the Deutscher Werkbund, Mies and Lilly became close design collaborators for several Deutscher Werkbund exhibitions. Throughout the 1920s & 1930s they collaborated on several projects, including furniture pieces often solely attributed to Mies.
Decorating with transparent surfaces brings an unexpected element of surprise and illusion into a space. Tokujin Toshioka designs the most stunning furniture pieces that appear to float or magically disappear into their surroundings. The armchair from his Invisibles Light Collection is a covet-worthy piece. Along those lines is the Louis Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell. Whether crystal clear, or opaque black, these chairs are a contemporary take on a classic silhouette. From the functional to whimsical, transparent surfaces also offer space saving solutions (illusions!) for small spaces. CB2 has a variety of acrylic furniture pieces that are simple, sleek, and multifunctional. Lastly, I couldn’t resist the playful nature of John Brauer’s Illusion Table. The acrylic is genius and bold in mimicking an actual table cloth. A transparent trompe l'oeil.
Ezra Stoller is by far one of the most prolific photographers of mid-century modern architecture. His images capture the sheer magnitude of Modernism, while also celebrating the industry behind this influential era of our architectural legacy. These intoxicating black and white photographs have helped define the culture behind (or cultural memory) of such iconic structures as the Seagram Building, Marin County Civic Center, and the Salk Institute. The photos included for this Modern Monday post are some of my personal favorite Stoller photographs.
Pattern is one of my favorite ways to incorporate color into a space. It can be done subtly with neutrals and pale tones, or the complete opposite spectrum. Whichever your preference, pattern is a perfect accent to creating a space that is fresh, inspiring, and classic with pops of whimsy. My automatic response to adding pattern is textiles. I love a pillow or three, and throw blankets. Cb2 has some eclectic pillow options, and Leif Shop always nails it with their pillows. A consistent favorite for patterned (colorful or monochromatic) throws is Caroline Z Hurley. Her throws are perfect for adding springtime color to your space. Another way to add pattern is hand-painting your walls or using wallpaper.The modern-romantic wallpaper featured in an entry way is inviting, and its color palate of blues & greens complements the pinks, reds, and yellows of the textiles within the space. Love color & pattern!