Friday, October 29, 2010

Contemporary Designer Profile: Tucker and Marks!

We always wonder if any one type of interior design style is more difficult to design than the others. I mean, there are so many different factors that go into designing a room for a client that it's impossible to answer that question, but looking through interior designers Suzanne Tucker and Timothy Marks' portfolio-who make up the firm Tucker & Marks-look to design rooms that seem like a lot of skill was needed to pull them together. This makes them very impressive!
Taking even the quickest peek of the Tucker and Marks' online portfolio-full of years' worth of amazing interiors-and you can see what we mean by our opening paragraph. Rooms are filled to the brim with design details, sophisticated elements, rich textures and architectural wonder. We can't vouch on their speed with working on projects, but all these spaces look like they could have taken years to perfect they're so pristine and spot on.

Certainly of the more traditional and classic style than modern or contemporary, these rooms aren't stuffy. There's definitely youth and vibrancy among the walls of these rooms. But there's also a very distinguished air to every space. These are grown-up rooms, for clients who have important jobs and entertain lots of fun guests.

This is not to say that you couldn't have fun in these spaces. On the contrary, we see lots of fun elements like bold pops of color and quirky accents. This design duo clearly gets to the bottom of every client to find out their precise personalities so they can craft spaces that really speak to those living within. As well as impress those who just come to visit!

Formed since 1987 and stationed in San Francisco, Tucker & Marks is now one of the largest design firms on the West Coast. They specialize in luxurious, sophisticated, graceful and formal interiors that are very comfortable. They design homes all over the US, so don't worry if you love them but don't live in California! Though their look is a bit pricey, we really love them and find lots of inspiration from them!

Swank Lighting is an amazing resource not just for the best vintage Murano glass lamps on the market today, but also a wonderful resource for interior design inspiration and a great place to get an education about past and present designers. Keep up-to-date with everything we do on our Facebook page and our twitter.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Contemporary Designer Profile: Steven Volpe

Our last few Contemporary Designer Profiles have been a bit on the traditional and classic side, so let's switch to something entirely different, shall we? If you don't find Steven Volpe's designs as out-of-this-world as we do, you might not be looking at the right website! All jokes aside, Steven's work is amazing, and we are finding all sorts of modern inspiration from his interior design.


Right off the bat, the colors of some of the spaces immediately let you know you are in for a super modern time. Cool, steely grays, metallic purples, electric blues and more introduce you to Steven's signature modern style. That's not to say that every room looks like a space ship; we saw plenty of natural and warm colors, too.


Furniture is unique and outstanding. Not everything is sharp lines like you might expect in a strictly modern portfolio, but the curves that are there are surprising, with interesting proportions or angles of the curve. Furniture is definitely comfortable looking, and sleek case goods really support the overall designs of each space.


Although most spaces feature futuristic and Mid-Century Modern details, Steven really shows off his designing mettle by attacking more traditional projects, like the Napa Winery project in the portfolio. Looking more like a high-end hunting lodge than a space ship, he still knocks this home out of the park. We bet anyone-even someone with modern tastes-would love living there.


If Steven Volpe's designs seem otherworldly, it could be due in large part to the time he spent in his 20's in Paris. European influences mingle strongly with earthy San Francisco (where he's from and where his firm is located) details and ideas. Quite distinguished, he also owns an art gallery, which explains all the fabulous art located within his rooms.


Swank Lighting is an amazing resource not just for the best vintage Murano glass lamps on the market today, but also a wonderful resource for interior design inspiration and a great place to get an education about past and present designers. Keep up-to-date with everything we do on our Facebook page and our twitter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This Week's Top 5 Favorite 1stdibs Items: Mirrors and More from Swank!

You know how in almost every scary movie there's that scene where the main character is staring into their medicine cabinet mirror, opens it to grab something, and then when they close it comes face to face with the reflection of some horrible evil creature staring back at them?!? Yeah, well, none of these mirrors today from 1stdibs' newest listings open on a hinge, so there won't be any chance of being surprised by the bogeyman. But consider this list a subtle homage to that oh-so-famous scene that still scares us every time we wash our faces at night.

1) 1930 French Mirror with Mosaic Detail
Round, bronze-colored, simple yet complex, this mirror is a great addition to either a traditional or a modern home.
Price: $3,800
Dealer: Cache


 2) 1920 Tortoise Shell Mirror
We just love the especially unique shape to this mirror. The outline that the frame produces against a wall of contrasting color would be rather spooky and startling, in our opinion.
Price: $2,500
Dealer: Mary Ann Jones

3) Mid-century modern starburst mirror
Ahh an iconic Mid-Century Modern design that would look great in a home similarly decked out. Though we love this design, we should give caution: should there be a bogeyman in the room, he might attempt to use the mirrors sharp starbursts on you, so get to it and him first.
Price: $2,884
Dealer: Carl Moore Antiques

4) Laurel Wreath Convex Mirror
What a lovely, detailed mirror. Delicate, intricate, beautiful. Who would want to get you while you're standing looking in this mirror? No one, that's who. Glance at your reflection with confidence in this one.
Price: contact dealer
Dealer: Florian Papp


5) A French Late Neoclassical Carved Giltwood Mirror
Simple, austere and elegant, this mirror with its neoclassical carved giltwood and gesso mirror is beautiful and unique, and would be just the thing to look at yourself in morning, noon or night.
Price: $2,750
Dealer: Robuck Company Antiques limited


Swank Lighting's new listings on 1stdibs
A Pair of Tufted Side Chairs from 1955
Extra comfy side chairs that are totally redone. They are a whisper soft Lavender color with button tufting and matching piping. They are extremely comfortable.
Price
$1,400

 Two Edward Wormley for Dunbar Side Chairs
Here's a great opportunity to personalize these two side chairs by Dunbar. Solid frames but, as you can see, the upholstery is in sad shape. Each chair is marked with the gold Dunbar badge, as shown.
Price
$500

 Hollywood Regency Side Table by Dorothy Draper
This is a hybrid, of sorts.
This has been totally refinished in black lacquer with hand painted gold detail.
Price
$400

 Classic Edwin Cole for Stiffel Wood and Brass Table Lamps
The black Mahogany cubes are sandwiched between brass wafers and topped with a large brass smokestack. The brass is beautifully patinated adding a wonderful contrasting element to the dark wood.
Price
$4,000

Teal Blue Vintage Murano Table Lamps
These inverted teardrop lamps feature a broad shouldered silhouette in eye catching Teal Blue. The glass has subtle facets, as can be seen in the lead photo.
Price
$3,750

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 items! Also: please visit our revamped Facebook page for more information about us and follow us on twitter (@swanklighting) to always be up-to-date on Swank Lighting happenings.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Perfect Pair: Tommi Parzinger and Swank Lighting!

We really admired the world of eclectic modern designer Tommi Parzinger, even though he dabbled and mixed all sorts of different elements for his pieces. Loving his casegoods like cabinets, credenzas and bookcases the most, we stopped when we came across this modern cabinet. We think you'll love what Swank Lighting lamp we chose to place on top it.
 


As we mentioned, Tommi's overarching common element in his design work was that there wasn't an overarching design element. He mixed and matched a variety of styles to create his own unique aesthetic. This Tommi Parzinger Modern cabinet is a great example. Sleek lines and a simple shape introduce you to its modernity, but then a gorgeous green leather covers the front. Brass pulls give such an air of sophistication. And surprise! The inside is painted a shocking coral lacquer. From 1955. 
 

 

These types of Swank Lighting lamps are such a rare favorite of ours, like Swank Lighting's Table Coral Lamp on Lucite. From Egypt from the 1970s. We are always so amazed by how beautiful and delicate coral specimens look; it's like having a piece of a science museum in your home. And it brings such an amazing texture to whatever room you bring it in. This one, placed on a thick Lucite base, really has a great modern look to it.


I think based on our combination photo you can see why we placed this Tommi Parzinger cabinet with this Swank Lighting Coral Lamp; they just add such sophistication and beauty to one another. The intricate details of the cabinet correspond with the delicate textures of the coral, and frankly, they are both so interesting that together they are absolutely fascinating.

Swank Lighting is an amazing resource not just for the best vintage Murano glass lamps on the market today, but also a wonderful resource for interior design inspiration and a great place to get an education about past and present designers. Keep up-to-date with everything we do on our Facebook page and our twitter.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Varied and Eclectic Designs of Tommi Parzinger!

Another great designer has evaded our knowledge for years since we've been in this field, but we're happy to say that we are now well-versed in all things Tommy Parzinger-and you should be, too. This famous interior, textile and furniture designer didn't quite follow the trends of the time, but his pieces are unique and stylish.

The one connecting factor to all of Tommi's work is that there is no connecting factor. Looking at a page full of his furniture designs is like looking at a page of a ton of different furniture designer's pages; every piece of his looked very different, and he designed a ton! And in all sorts of shapes and sizes!

 
We're partial to his case goods the most. We really like his bookcases, shelves, credenzas and even side and coffee tables a lot. His credenzas and cabinets usually had simple shapes, but oftentimes were heavily embellished with designs, lacquers, hardware and more. Sometimes his pieces had marquetry and others had crazy textures. His bookshelves sometimes came in unusual shapes that helped set them apart.

 
The son of a sculptor, Tommi had a lot of artistry in his blood, and ended up studying at the Munich School of Arts and Crafts in mediums like ceramic, metal, wood and even glass. He was also a graphic designer early on, even winning competitions. Eventually finding his way to the United States, he started off small, designing small objects and accessories, but eventually working his way up to furniture. He had his own company by 1939. He would go on to design a ton of great pieces under the style "eclectic modernism." Not loved by everyone (especially modern purists), he still had plenty of fans, and his work is still admired today.



Swank Lighting is an amazing resource not just for the best vintage Murano glass lamps on the market today, but also a wonderful resource for interior design inspiration and a great place to get an education about past and present designers. Keep up-to-date with everything we do on our Facebook page and our twitter.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Contemporary Designer Profile: Gary Spain!

From the very first moment you set your digital foot onto the online portfolio of Gary Spain, you know you’re in for an interior design experience like no other. The first image alone knocked us so far off our feet it took us a minute or two to recover. Thankfully, that first image isn’t the best—delving in we were delighted and think you’ll want to read on to discover the levels of inspiration like we did.


So what’s so special about that first picture? Well, being huge and boldly colored doesn’t hurt, but there’s so much we love. That geometric wallpaper that is both modern and classic and sets the perfect tone for the space’s color palette. That big oversized yellow chair. The classical looking bust. The oversized plants. The fact that this is the first thing you see when you walk into this home (man we wish we had an entryway as bold as that!)

Digging deeper into the online portfolio of interiors, we see that those same elements that piqued our curiosity in the first place continue on through all of his projects. His rooms really have a coveted casual feel to them—they’re put together, but in that sort of way that makes it look like it just took a day or two and hardly any trouble at all. All his rooms make the homeowners look effortlessly stylish and hip.

We see bold colors all over, but not in a dominating way. Modern and contemporary furniture pieces mix with carefully curated classic and traditional pieces to create a look that doesn’t conform to any one style, but rather, them all.

So why do Gary’s rooms seem so cool? It could have to do with his varied and full background of other jobs he does in this field. Like lending his design eye to magazine editorial shoots, set design and even prop design. He’s got those portfolios up on his website, too, and they make for great spots for inspiration as well.


Without a bio on his website, we don’t know much about the rest of his background or his schooling, but any Google search shows us his rooms have been in lots of the top shelter magazines, and that he’s adored by folks in the industry and out of it! Definitely check out his website for inspiration.



Swank Lighting is an amazing resource not just for the best vintage Murano glass lamps on the market today, but also a wonderful resource for interior design inspiration and a great place to get an education about past and present designers. Keep up-to-date with everything we do on our Facebook page and our twitter page.