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History Humpday!

The Eames Lounge Chair

The chair and Ottoman are designed by Charles and Ray Eames. They were released by the Herman Miller Furniture company in 1956. The lounge is constructed from moulded plywood and leather.

The original chair is made of 3 plywood shells. These shells were originally constructed from 5 layers of Brazilian Rosewood veneer.  In today’s construction however, the shells are made form 7 thin layers of wood veneer, bonded and then shaped by heat and pressure.  Ray had thought that the chair was “comfortable and un-designy” but Charles had envisioned it as “the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt”.

Whatever it was that Charles and Ray Eames intended, this chair and Ottoman have been tagged as one of the great iconic chairs of its time and can be found in a permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.


Mad Men

I have been ever so slightly obsessed with this show. I’ve now watched all 4 seasons on Netflix and can’t wait for more! The show is set in the early 1960’s. It focuses on a group of advertisers on Madison Ave, New York that gained the nickname “Mad Men”. The story reveals the characters’ struggles in both their professional and personal lives. Too much drinking, smoking and adultery is what really adds the juice to the plot line. I like how they also included real historical events within the plot including the death of Marilyn Monroe and the shooting of Kennedy. They got it so right; the characters, the fashion and of course the set design.
The Set Design was by Bob Shaw, Amy Wells and Christopher Brown. Apparently a lot of the items are actual vintage pieces from the time, some are replicas and some pieces are products still in production today.
Here are some photos of the design and fashion from the set...

Draper Kitchen (even the food on the shelves is period appropriate)

Draper House

Draper Kitchen

Draper Living Room

Don Draper's Desk

Set designers carefuly picking out details

Don Draper

Betty Draper's Fashion

Joan Harris


Seattle Architecture...

What a pretty City. I just spend 3 days there and had a chance to take in some of the architecture and design.
The Experience Music Project Building designed by Frank Gehry is always a standout. The very visible “deconstruction” style building opened in year 2000. It manages to look different every time I see it depending on how the light is being reflected off its many surfaces. It’s a stunner and very progressive design for a West Coast, North American city like Seattle.

We stayed across from the Seattle Central Library. This building was designed by Architects Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA/LMN. It was opened in 2004. The new library was built on the same site as the historic library, The Carnegie Library.

 This building was designed 1st by function, form simply followed to create the unique structure. The building was voted number 108 by the American Institute of Architects’ list of Americans Favorite Structures in the US but was later critiqued by Lawrence Cheek of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as being “confusing, impersonal, uncomfortable [and] oppressive”.

I think the uncomfortable angles and impossible cantilevers create a daunting attraction that can’t be ignored. This is a standout piece in the middle of a relatively conservative city; I like the controversy.
What are your Thoughts?


History Humpday...

The Coconut Chair!

The coconut Chair was Designed by American Architect and Designer, George Nelson. It was put into production By Herman Miller in 1955. This is another Iconic Chair of the 20th Century.

The shape represents a chunk of a broken coconut cut into 8 sections.  The chair is designed with minimal materials. The entire upholstered section is constructed from one single piece of leather. The outer shell is made from fibreglass-reinforced plastic, and then mounted on thin chromed legs

George Nelson designed the chair to me sat in many different positions. You can comfortably sit upright or lounged back. The splayed design allows you to pull your legs up into the chair or slip your legs to one side. Function was a large driving force to the end result of the coconut chair design.


Office Space

If I’m going to spend a lot of time here I’d better make it pretty! Now the idea of working is to make money so I didn’t go out and blow a tone of cash on my office but a few little accents and a wash of paint can make a space inspiring, organized and a pleasure to spend long nights working in.
A nice place to sit down with clients

The future location of a soon to be refurbished side board.

How I got here...
IKEA is my friend when it comes to an organized office. The Expedit shelf is marvellous to organize design magazines, samples and resource books. I decided to go with the white finish. I used an IKEA Table top with feminine metal legs, between the bookshelf and the desk I suspended another table top. I now have room to work on my computer, space to lay out samples and even more room to do sketches and renderings. I used a $30 Rug from IKEA (amazing price) to keep the space feeling cozy.

Tons of storage and large work surfaces

A bright space for working

A place for all the magazines

Keeping supplies organized and on-hand

Personal touches of things that inspire me

Mix pretty with practical

Painting the walls a warm gold color (Benjamin Moore Stuart Gold HC-10) added warmth and a contrast with all of the existing black trim and floor. I pulled this color from two flower prints I already had.  I used these two prints to ground a small meeting or reading area. The chairs here were found at a thrift shop and then reupholstered in dark grey wool.  The existing light in this room are old recessed fluorescents. I opted to keep those lights off and instead use multiple lamps placed throughout the office where needed. Plants were the final touch here. I little bit of nature can go a long way!
Pulling the paint color from a piece of art will make it pop!

Shiny objects add a little glamour

Reef, the Office Dog, putting in some long hours


Reno Magnificent

I met up with a potential client yesterday and I can’t help but get ahead of myself! He bought a run-down post and beam house with the most spectacular view I have ever seen. It is situated on a steep and very private piece of property and the potential is huuuge. I have an image in my head of how spectacular this place will look when it is all done. I’m inspired by Dwell Magazine.... Masculine, modern, West Coast and a little bit quirky.
The existing posts limit what we can do to the exterior walls but allow endless configuration of walls within the house. I was thinking we could integrate an exterior glass wall to optimize the view by keeping the posts where they are and create a glass wall beyond the posts, much like a curtain wall construction! The entrance needs to be spectacular. I can see a large set of stairs cut right from center of the ground level opening up to the second level creating an open, lofted, integrated house. As you ascend the stairs your eye is drawn through to the back of the house where there is a garden with a pond beyond the glass doors. A sleek, modern kitchen at ground level allows you to cook as you watch the city lights. Entertain in the adjacent dining room complete with an intimate fireplace.  Upstairs, the living and master suite capture equally impressive views; with large sliding walls these spaces visually flow with the rest of the house or can easily be closed off for privacy. A master suite that dreams are made of; full walls of glass, built-in millwork and an open flow to the master suite behind the partial wall/closet system.
Cool Railing Idea
Backyard Pond
Open Loft Feeling Stairwell
I am really loving Living Walls
The home will be flooded with light and outstanding views. Personal touches of the creative client will add the character required for this extravagant project.
Wish me luck!

-Photos from Dwell Magazine


Iconic Swan Chair

Here we go, first mini history lesson, hope you enjoy...

The Gorgeous Swan Chair...

An Iconic, ergonomic chair designed by Danish Architect and Designer, Arne Jacobsen in 1958. It was originally designed for the Raddisson SASA Royal Hotel in Copenhagen but is now regarded a classic, still in production today. The chair along with a sister sofa are still being made today by the original Republic of Fritz Hansen Manufacturers in Denmark.

Arne Jacobsen

Swan Sofa

The Swan Chair is one Jacobsen’s most well known pieces of furniture.  Its organic shape features all curves and no straight lines mimicking the swan's graceful shape. This was a very cutting edge design for the time and required thoughtful production techniques.

The original designs from the 50’s could be found in black and white leather. Currently you can pick up one of these chairs in a vast variety of different fabrics and colors. I even came across one upholstered in shearling for the limited 50th anniversary addition!

50th Anniversary Addition. Cozy!