Arne Jacobsen – Chair – Danish Furniture Designer

Posted on 28th July 2011 in Danish Furniture, Danish Furniture Designers

danishfurniture.blogspot.comFamous for his broad range of chair designs, Arne Jacobsen considered himself an architect first despite his successes in modern furniture. Jacobsen became very popular and well known for his various designs of modern chairs. Born in 1902, and growing up during the great boom in the design work, this Danish architect helped develop a modern furniture style called Danish Modern which is still a top design choice in the modern world. Arne Jacobsen was focused on functionality in his designs, but was able to bring an edge of comfort to his chairs and sofas.

Initially, Jasobsen wanted to go into painting but was encouraged to move forward with a career in architecture by his dad. Jacobsen spent time studying at the Architecture School at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. As a student, Jacobsen began competing in design fairs around the world. It is said that when he went to the Paris Art Deco Fair, he saw the grand designer Le Corbusier and fell in love with his work and the aesthetics of his designs. He was also influenced by design greats Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius.

Known as an ultra-modern architect, Jacobsen spent several years creating out-of-the-box designs before fleeing his home during World War II. After restarting his career, he designed the SAS Hotel from the ground up – the contemporary furniture, rooms, everything.

These days, Jacobsen is most recognizable by his chair and contemporary furniture designs. One of his first chairs was the Ant Chair.

The Ant Chair is an elegant, yet simple stackable chair created in 1952 for the lounge area the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. Shaped similar to an “ant,” the chair had three legs and was very popular in modern design.

Another chair Jacobsen was famous for is the Model 3107 chair, which is noted as one of the most popular in Danish history with its use of techniques of bent plywood that were innovative when created in 1955. The chair, along with the ant chair, was inspired by a modern design by Charles and Ray Eames who also made a plastic armchair and chaise still popular today. The 3107 chair had multiple styles, as an office chair, had the ability to attach a writing desk and other materials. It is these features that make the piece timeless as it surely influenced other designs worldwide from New York to Italy.

Jacobsen was not done though. One of his next pieces was the Egg chair for a Radisson SAS hotel in Copenhagen. While other creations include the Cigar, the Grand Prix chair, the Pot and others, the Egg wasn’t your typical chair as it had a matching couch that was later discontinued. Jacobsen also made the Swan chair for the Radisson, and this design is still popular in contemporary furniture today with plenty of living rooms and home offices using a Swan chair.

In addition to architecture and furniture, Jaocbsen also made a stainless steel cocktail kit as well as faucets and accessories for your bathroom. Arne Jacobsen died in 1971 with plenty of new projectin the works, including major buildings in England such as the Danish National Bank and the Royal Danish Embassy.

Arne Jacobsen may be gone, but his modern furniture line is still a mainstay in interior designs.

 

 

 

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Modern Furniture and Feng Shui

Posted on 15th July 2011 in Furniture design styles

Modern living room Los Angeles

Modern furniture fits right into the Feng Shui

Space by its very nature can be complex incorporating solids and voids, light and shadow, color, dimension, warm or cold, embracing or enlightening. When design elements pertaining to furniture and accessories begins to be included into the modern design space, it involves another set of complex relationships between materials, finishes, textures, styles such as Baroque, Scandinavian, French, Italian or Danish to mention a few.

The Zen style of modern furniture looks to find harmony with all of these standard elements within a naturalist interior design setting. Modern furniture and Feng Shui look to do much of the same by using these natural influences to create a modern interior design.

Feng which means wind and Shui which means water are symbols for good health. The way that design elements are arranged along with the colors and materials used, create a balance of energies within a space. In keeping with a sense of clarity to create calm, look to declutter your home.

Modern furniture fits right into the Feng Shui tenets that look for streamline furniture that embraces minimalist lines. A well proportioned modern sofa that can provide adequate seating should be selected over a bunch of smaller chairs which adds to both physical and visual clutter.

A few accessories such as a modern mirror or groupings of gathered dried materials add harmony and nature. Also part of Feng Shui is to have good air quality and plenty of natural light. Mirrors can help bring in reflected light creating good Feng Shui energy called Chi. Be sure when using mirrors which represent water that they are not used in the southeast area of the home as this represents fire and the mirror’s energy would put it out. It is also important to position mirrors to keep the energy reflecting into the space. Modern wood furniture works well with mirrors as they are complimenting elements and don’t negate each other or force negative energy into a space. Look carefully in your home to make sure the natural elements you bring in don’t compete with each other.

When looking to add or rearrange furniture, you will need to define the Ba-Gua which is the Feng Shui energy map of your home. Ba-Gua is the placement of specific elements across your home. Once the bagua has been determined, look to incorporate the five elements of Feng Shui into each space creating an internal compass in your home that guides your inner spirit.

Knowing the compass direction of your home allows you to apply what each part of the compass represents to the room. Color as well plays a role in creating good energy within the home. As each direction represents an element that element also represents a color so it would make sense that the southeast which represents fire would be the color red. Placing a modern bed in a southeast all red bedroom with no mirror either behind or in front of the bed might be just the Feng Shui you have been looking for!

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20th Century brings Danish furniture designers into the limelight

Posted on 15th June 2011 in Danish Furniture, Danish Furniture Designers

It was in the 20th Century when Danish furniture designers finally came of their own with a series of major furniture designs that have become what is considered a “modern classic” furniture style that bespeaks of the Danish motto of “form follows function.”

Early on, the design industry was heavily influenced by the great Bauhaus School of Design in Germany. Regardless of whether it was products such as furniture, kitchen goods, hardware and more, the improvements in product design made for quick advances with the changes in technology leading the way. Interior design and the outlying industries were no different. How one fashioned a home, from living room to patio was transformed by technology and the industrial age.

Denmark was no different, and in the early to mid 1900s brought many changes in how design was portrayed and viewed. Aesthetics were important, but aesthetics were drawn from the form of the shape required for furniture design, for example.  A chair was designed more how a human body functioned and flowed, with elongated chaises and deep egg like chairs.

These Danish furniture designs by greats such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner and Poul Henningsen.

Arne Jacobsen is one of the more popular modern Danish furniture designers. He was passionate about good design and it didn’t matter what type of furniture it was – chair, desk, bed or table – Jacobsen had a grand passion for creating it. Jacobsen was known for his interior design as well as his architectural design.  Key icons of his furniture design include the comfortable egg chair and the elegant swan chair, both of which represent the motto of form follows function and are neat, simple in design while being extremely functional.

Hans J. Wegner is known for an extensive design portfolio.  It is said that Wegner has over 500 different modern chair designs and his passion for beauty, form AND function led him to be a prolific, in-demand furniture designer. Wegner worked with Jacobsen before opening his own agency in the 1940s.

Wegner was prolific in his modern chair designs and indeed, many of his designs have become staples in the modern furniture industry today. Browse through any modern furniture store today, whether it’s Los Angeles, New York or Miami, and you will see designs based on both Jacobsen and Wegner. Both of these Danish furniture designers were cutting-edge, bold and emulated the modern form follows function mentality.

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Baroque furniture design influenced by the Roman Church

Baroque designBaroque design was an offshoot of the Roman Catholic influence in Italy in the 18th Century. Over the previous 200 years, more and more new churches began to be built across Italy, with over 300 in Rome by the mid 1700s. It was through the use of modern design and furniture accents, from gilded statues to ornately carved tables that the Roman church gained influence.

The larger a church building was, the more likely it was to have extensive carvings and rich gilded walls with lush fabrics adorning the pews. Paintings were large with ostentatious frames surrounding them. The more ornately designed a church was, the more popular it became.

This led to a trend of luxurious furnishings taking over the homes of the elite. Families who were connected to the church were the leaders of a trend that brought in a rich, Baroque setting for the home. Chairs were lined with rich, custom carvings, ebony, stone, jewels and more for additional flair. Homes became in competition with each other to see who could create a more elaborate home.

Early on, Pietro da Cortona was a student in what was known as High Baroque. Cortona, also known as Pietro Berrettini, was born in Cortona and quickly came to the attention of the papacy in Italy where he began working on major commissions of paintings inside the churches. He was only one of many early painters, sculpturers and designers who influenced the way Baroque designs influenced the rich and poor alike.

And it was the art that influenced the design of Baroque furniture in the 17th century. Cabinets, cupboards, bed posts and other wood furniture has large bulky twisted columns and rich carvings and mouldings in the interior design.  Baroque was an offshoot of a large Asian influence on design and the Oriental influence led to the deep ornamentation and design of modern Italian furniture.

These large, grand and overly ornate designs were popular for the nobles, and were influenced by the Renaissance Age and various intricate etchings and design techniques embellished furniture. Tables with gilded carved bases became popular. Even tables with slim lined legs had rich carvings or etchings shaping the way the furniture reflected its Baroque influence. Under Louis XIV, Baroque became extremely popular and was later phased out under Louis XVI when a less ornate style came into play as the peasants and the lower class became wearier of the ornate and rich influences in modern design. Functionality came back in the late 1800s as the Industrial Revolution began and design began to change again.

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Modern Furniture: History of the Bauhaus School of Design

In Berlin is a museum that memorializes the great design school Bauhaus. Bauhaus, which existed from 1919-1933, was an intellectual school of architecture, design and art that has had a profound impact on modern design and furniture since its inception. Many of its students went on to become some of the greatest modern furniture designers in the world, especially during the advent of early technology and manufacturing taking place during the early to mid part of the 20th Century. Whether a furniture designer or artist was in France or Italy, or working in the U.S. in New York, a revolution in design was happening. And Bauhaus was at the center of it.

Founded by Walter Gropius who also designed the building the museum is housed in, Bauhaus started in 1919 in Weimar by Gropius, one of the world’s most influential modern furniture designers. It was later overseen by Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe under whose leadership the school closed due to World War II.

The school was founded on modernism which is defined as a cultural movement that simply meant function and style could meet up with modern manufacturing techniques and not be sacrificing style or comfort in your bedroom or living room furniture.

Influencing the Bauhaus and its innovations and focus on functionality was the government-run Werkbund which wanted to compete on an international playing field with other modern countries. At the time the Bauhaus school was coming of age, so to speak, the desire for the romantic heirs of Baroque influenced 16th, 17th and 18th century furniture designs which were heavily influenced by the church and also by the royalty who led a trend for marquetry. Ornamented design was popular for decades until the 19th century made furniture more slim-lined and modern, almost space age looking as it got close to mid-century modern designs, still influenced by the Bauhaus greats who spread around the world teaching design.

Gropius joined fellow Marcel Breuer, another great modern designer at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Breuer is the designer of two highly popular pieces of modern furniture – the Cantilever chair and the Wassily chair.

Gropius is known as one of the great pioneers of modern design, joining other modern furniture designers such as Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

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Tuscan style furniture makes for a comfortable home

Posted on 18th April 2011 in Tuscan furniture

Decorating can be fun or frustrating depending on your approach. Sometimes too many decisions are involved, what style, what color, that can lead us to hesitating about making design choices. When in doubt think first about how you live your life and what catches your eye. If you love entertaining for large groups in more formal settings than your color choices and furniture should carry this throughout your space. Perhaps Italian style has particularly caught your eye. If this is the case, then you might want to explore further incorporating traditional classic Italian furniture. Adding a few pieces of antique Italian furniture might be just the right touch to add a bit of elegant refinement to your space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match.

If you enjoy being more casual and formality is not so much a part of your life, perhaps you should consider modern or Tuscan style.

Tuscan style is a naturally warm and rustic style that invites family and guests alike to come in sit and enjoy a lively conversation.

The furniture is comfortable and easy to care for leather, wood and metals. Known for the classic iron forged metal scrolling on table legs, accent pieces and around mirrors it lends itself to mix well with other style pieces working with a rich array of colors.

For the dining room the classic farmhouse table is usually solid wood and recalls country living at its  most relaxed. Able to provide ample seating it is a wonderful addition as well as chairs that encourage people to socialize enjoying wine and great food.

The Tuscan bedroom will become a peaceful retreat with a four poster bed or for a bit of contrast add a sleek headboard with clean smooth modern lines. Placing night tables on either side with wrought iron scrolls for a base will showcase both styles. Adding a solid wood dresser provides the storage you need as well. Be sure to include some marble candlesticks that accents this style so well. A lacy light over head or an antique glass chandelier adds a little romance into the space.

You will probably find you are drawn to rustic oranges and afternoon saturated yellows. Add some complementary colors of dark indigo blue and rosy reds to bring out their beauty in your space.

Whatever style you choose classic, traditional, modern, antique or ever so comfortable Tuscan style Italian furniture, look for pieces that work within your lifestyle.

 

 

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Choosing stylish Scandinavian bedroom furniture

Posted on 12th April 2011 in Furniture design styles, Scandinavian Furniture

With a tight economy and even tighter budgets, looking for styles that can enhance our living space while going easy on the decorating cost is something worth taking a second look at.

Scandinavian style furniture is one you might want to consider. Known for their uncluttered contemporary lines, this lends itself to furniture pieces that are easier to live with and not requiring a lot of maintenance or fussy details to worry about. They are also usually made simply so using them on a daily basis is a pleasure.

While looking in furniture stores for your next bedroom set, notice that bed styles vary. There are some that have the leg posts allowing for easy cleaning underneath the bed as well as allowing for extra storage. It can also add a lighter feeling to a room.

Another choice is a platform bed. This can also be an excellent choice as it sits solidly on the ground not requiring any cleaning under the bed at all. Selecting one that incorporates drawers built into the base is worth adding as it can provide invaluable storage space.

Because it is a base on the floor, one solid mattress is all that is required for a good night’s rest. Because there is no requirement for a box spring, it should to be a lower cost investment providing a substantial furniture piece in your bedroom. Some are built with a bookshelf headboard which can be great when you want to read in bed. Since night tables aren’t as important it allows for all-in-one furniture arrangement. Want the best of both worlds? There are beds that are made having the four post legs and storage drawers as well.

Dressers should be functional and catered to how you use your bedroom space. They can be high and slender or low and wide. If you have the space, one of each can be great as it can you a place to put jewelry boxes and accessories within easy reaching while still maximizing tighter spaces with a taller dresser.

Usually the wood in Scandinavian furniture is light-colored, which works well with today’s color palette. Whether you prefer light colored walls or a darker hue, it adds a relaxing feeling that is perfect for the bedroom. This is the place we come to after a hard day’s work to ease some of our stress and change into our comfy clothes. Well-made Scandinavian bedroom furniture can provide for a solid investment with budgets in mind, easy maintenance and a lightness in everyday living.

 

 

 

 

 

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