Thursday, December 31, 2009

Flickr Features: Nostalgic Interiors!

Yesterday we brought you some fun furniture from the "future" out of 1stdibs' newest weekly listings, and today, on the last day of 2009, we'd like to go back through history and share a neat Flickr stream we found full of fun interiors of the past. After all, how can we move forward with the future of design without studying where we came from? Check out more of these great photos from the book "Good Decorating and Home Improvement" posted by Flickr user army.arch.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This Week's Top 5 Favorite 1stdibs Items: Welcome to the Future!

With the New Year right around the corner, we can't help but meditate on the fact that it will be the year 2010. Just saying "2010" sounds so futuristic! Though we know this isn't the first time we've covered futuristic decor (once we did a 1stdibs' round-up after the new Star Trek movie and once we did a Flickr Features of some neat futuristic interiors), we just can't help gathering some more future-leaning furniture pieces from 1stdibs' newest listings this week. Pair them with more down-to-earth furnishings or fill a whole room with them, either way you'll have one far-out interior space!
1) Greg Lynn "Ravioli Chair," for Vitra
Lounge chair or giant egg crate, you tell us! This Ravioli Chair, designed by Greg Lynn in 2005 for Vitra, is a great example of the future of furnishings being a little scary. We're not even sure how you sit in this thing! But we can tell you that having a piece like this in a room would be a definite sign you're serious about futuristic decor.
Price: $2,945
Modern Artifacts

2) Graceful Carved Walnut Fish Sculpture
If you weren't sure quite what you were looking at with this piece at first, don't worry---it took us a minute, too! This sculpture by Emilan is so futuristic, it takes a minute to make our that it's a fish. But featuring smooth lines and a walnut material, this would look great in a futuristic room.
Price: $1,800

3) Pair of Large Gabriella Crespi Modernist Vases
Is it just us or do these modernist vases look like abstract rocket ships? Okay, maybe we're trying a little too hard, but no one can deny the importance of rocket ships in our future! Why not have a few in your futuristic design?
Price: $4,800

4) Lucite and Polished Aluminum French Desk
In the future, you'll most likely work from home and telecommute, so you'll need a sleek, attractive and efficient desk to work from. Whether this is comfortable we can't say, but we do know it sure looks cool.
Price: contact dealer
Todd Merrill

5) "Giunone" Floor Light by Vico Magistretti
We'll always need good task lighting, even in the future, so arm yourself and your eyes with this good-looking floor lamp. Though it's from the 1960s, there's no doubting that they had the future in mind when designing these sleek curves.
Price: contact dealer

Don't forget to check out the rest of this week's listings from 1stdibs, where you can find more fabulous, one-of-a-kind show-stopping pieces, as well as a number of other great pieces!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Perfect Pair: Jean Royère Chairs and Rock Candy Lamps!

Jean Royère was the subject of yesterday’s designer influence, and with good reason. Royère, though not terribly well-known in America, was one of France’s most important interior and furniture designers, and his designs have withstood the test of time. For today’s Perfect Pair we combine some of his chairs with some good-looking Swank Lamps!

These two Red Metal Armchairs by Jean Royère are from the 1950s, and feature a great shape along with a strong, bold color. They are also made in a material that Royère created with often, metal, in this case red perforated metal. We love the great curved back and arms of the chairs, which were also tell-tell signs of Royère’s work. Though they might not be the most comfortable chairs in the world, they’d make a great addition to a space and bring in a lot of fun color and interest.

This isn’t the first time we’ve paired a gorgeous set of Mid-Century chairs with Swank Lighting Rock Candy lamps. We love these gorgeous glass cluster lamps made of tumbled recycled glass. They're mounted on acrylic bases and built with solid brass hardware with a polished nickel finish and they just have a lot of personality. They bring a great texture to any piece of furniture they rest on. These lamps are in a snow frost color with a few colored spots due to the nature of the material.

We love the combination of these Rock Candy Swank Lamps and Royère’s red metal armchairs. Both the lamps and the chairs have a very industrial-feel: the lamps have lots of rough edges and the chairs have a great perforated pattern. We think the colors are great for each other: red and white, like black and white, is a stark combination and will immediately grab the attention in a space, creating a dynamic grouping. We even enjoy that both the material of the lamps and the chairs have a quasi-glossy look to them---ensuring that even though they’re rough around the edges they also have a bit of glamour to them.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Delicate and Intricate Designs of Jean Royère!

Today’s design influence is an influential designer hailing from France. While not as well-known to Americans as other European designers, he still has quite the fan base in the States. Not just famous in his native country, Royère’s career reached internationally popular levels, and his distinct designs are still inspiring and relevant for today.

The first thing you might notice about Royère’s furniture pieces is they are so—French-looking. Cliché to say perhaps, but his chairs, sofas, tables and more often feature surprising curved elements and a feeling that just makes them seem so recognizable as French design. Combining sturdy pieces like a heavy tabletop or substantial chair seat, he’ll mix with curving metal scroll work in delicate details. It’s this combination of delicate and substantial that makes his furniture so interesting. Experimenting with a number of materials, you’ll see his work come in a variety of wood types, metal, glass, upholstery and more. An important proponent of the Avant-garde style of the 1950s, his style combined organic shapes, bright colors and delicate materials.

Royère came to the interior design and furniture business a bit late in the game, not until the age of 29. He began work in the import-export trade and had been quite comfortable and wealthy, but decided to follow a passion and set up shop as an interior designer. He also at the time gained skills and experience in woodworking and cabinet making in workshops of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine in Paris. In the year 1934, everything changed for Royère. He designed the new layout of the Carlton Bar on the Champs Elysées in Paris and became instantly famous. This led to a wildly successful career that eventually went on to be international, even opening up offices in the Middle East and Latin America and serving clients like King Forouk, King Houssein of Jordan and the Shah of Iran.

Along with amazing work with lamps and furniture designs, Royère was also a pioneer in textiles and patterns, the designs of which are still used by lovers of design and French style today. An example of some of his famous patterns would be like the “Tour de Eiffel” which featured a neutral background with lines crossing each other to create a diamond pattern with small dots at the intersections. Again, though not as well known as other international designers, Royère’s influence and reach were strong, far-flung and long-lasting.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Flickr Features: THE Color of 2010: Turquoise!

One of our favorite things about this time of the year is all the interesting and exciting trend predictions for the new year. While there's nothing that is set in stone, we just love seeing all the creative ideas that experts think will be "hot" in the new year. For example, the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring 2010 has set out that a great color for next year will be a beautiful turquoise. Since we love this color, we went straight to the Coco+Kelley Flickr stream to find good-looking rooms that feature this inspiring color. Get ready for next year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This Week's Top 5 Favorite 1stdibs Items: Calming and Neutral Grays!

With the holidays officially in full swing (and very nearly over), you and your eyes might be needing a break from all the hustle and bustle of holiday decor. From bright reds and greens to shiny golds and silvers to busy patterns and textures, this season is all about delighting and assaulting the senses. Rather than bombard you with more of those bright colors and patterns, we thought we'd share a great group of soft, calming, neutral grays. You could pair these with this season's hottest holiday colors, or with your existing decor!

1) Magnificent Curved Sofa by Ico Parisi
This Italian couch from the 1950's is not only a gorgeous gray color (upholstered in Rose Cumming silk velvet with grey silk piping) but it's also a wonderful shape with a gently curved high back and flared arms. The color would calm but the shape would grab its own attention!Price: contact dealer
Todd Merrill Antiques

2) Eero Saarinen For Knoll Womb Chair And Ottoman
This is the iconic Womb Chair created by Eero Saarinen for Knoll that is upholstered in its original silver-gray Knoll velvet with chrome finished steel bases. We love how classic and recognizable this chair and ottoman is, and love the light silver/gray color!
Price: $4500
Metro Retro Furniture

3) Botanical Photograph Print
This gorgeous photograph print is in black and white, and subsequently, a beautiful array of grays. We love the soothing neutral colors but also the natural, interesting subject matter.
Price: $3,600

4) Elda Chair by Joe Colombo for Comfort
We're in love with this chair for its interesting space-age shape but also for its creamy, good-looking gray color. Though this chair might not fit in every space, we think it's hip and would love to see it as the focal point in a room!
Price: $7,800

5) Colonial Ebony Mirror
Though this mirror is technically an ebony black color, we can't help but feel it's just a really dark gray color in disguise. Add to the rich color this mirror's gorgeous colonial details, and you have one stunning place to check your appearance!
Price: $17,600
Guinevere Antiques

Don't forget to check out the rest of this week's listings from 1stdibs, where you can find more fabulous, one-of-a-kind show-stopping pieces, as well as a number of other great pieces!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Perfect Pair: A Paul Evans Credenza and Figurine Lamps!

Yesterday we shared a new favorite designer that we discovered our love for, and that’s Paul Evans. Though his designs might not immediately work with your tastes or style, we really think there are some jewels in his large career of furniture design. One such jewel we’ve paired with a seemingly unlikely choice: a pair of Swank Lighting’s Figurine lamps! We’ve been looking for the perfect piece to go with these adorable lamps from Swank, and we think we’ve finally found it!

This Paul Evan’s Faceted Credenza from 1970 for the Directional Furniture Company features maple burl wood. Though he is often known for working with metal, Evans did do a lot of work with the wonderfully patterned burl wood, and this piece is a great example. Combined with enamel fiberglass, the front of the piece is geometric, sculptural and just about jumps out at you. Two bi-fold doors hide two generous storage compartments with an adjustable shelf. Overall, a piece like this stands out from the crowd!

These Vintage Murano Figurine Lamps in Light Blue are a fun addition to any space. Imported by the famed Balboa Company in the 1950’s, they feature a man and woman figurine dressed in old-fashioned clothing. We just love the levity they bring to décor; they have a ton of personality and detail, and would bring a lot of interest to a space, as well as be a great conversation starter. Let’s not forget about luxury: these gorgeous lamps include beautiful detailing with 24k gold inclusion---meaning anything they sit on will be instantly transformed with glamour!

While it might seem odd at first to combine a faceted wood and fiberglass credenza and a pair of vintage Murano glass figurine lamps, we think these pieces actually make a perfect pair. Though the figurine lamps are striking and need to be placed on a simple piece so as not to overwhelm the eyes, they also can’t be placed on anything too simple lest they overwhelm the composition. They need a piece that has soft, neutral colors and materials, but enough interest to hold its own. Evans’ credenza is just that! Together they make an interesting statement---but a good-looking one!