Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Perfect Pair: Zanuso and Swank

Yesterday's designer influence was the very inspiring Marco Zanuso, an Italian architect and furniture designer whose work made a big impact on the Italian modern design movement, and in turn, a big hit on the modern design movement everywhere. We chose a very textured, patterned pair of chairs to go with a very textured pair of Swank Lighting lamps.

This Pair of 1950s Italian Armchairs are a perfect example of the kind of style Zanuso produced in the furniture design arena. This pair of chairs have a fabulous, thickly textured tweed-like upholstery (new) and the whole body of the chair is placed on dainty black lacquered legs with brass casters. Now, we should say that these chairs aren't actual Marco Zanuso chairs, just made in the style, but we think you can agree they perfectly embody his design philosophy.

We have been in such the mood for pure white lamps, and this Swank Lighting pair of Vintage Murano Pulegoso Lamps by Galliano Ferro in White Ice, from Italy from the 1950s are a great specimen. Of course, as lovely as the milky, creamy white glass of these lamps is, the netted pattern of the glass is also quite the star. According to Swank, The Pulegoso process traps tiny air bubbles within the glass, giving these lamps a frosty look. 


We love that both the chairs and the lamps both have a lot of going on for them. They both have arresting colors-one a multi-colored red with lots of specks of all kinds of colors, and the other a deep, stunning white. They also both feature fabulous textures and patterns that give the surface of each one of them a punch of interest. Together they are fabulous!

Love what you see in this post but want more? Like fun perfect pairs, designer influence profiles and profiles of contemporary designers? Thank goodness for you we've got a Facebook page and tweet a lot; you can keep up with everything Swank Lighting does.

Swank is in Atlanta Magazine's Best Of Issue!

Whoa! Big news today! Swank Lighting was chosen for the "Best Of" issue of Atlanta Magazine this month! You can find us on Page 94. We are also on the FRONT COVER, smack dab in the center of the page. Thank You Atlanta Magazine!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Modern and Italian Designs of Marco Zanuso!

What is it about Italian designers that just seem to understand curves better than designers from other countries? Is it the inherent sensuality that their culture breeds? Is it that they have a different definition of modernism than the rest of us? We're not sure, but we know we love the curves found in the furniture work of Italian architect and designer Marco Zanuso. Read on to find out just what else we love about his work.

Zanuso is definitely another one of those designers whom we had never heard of before, but now that we have, we never want to forget. His designs are larger-than-life, comfy-looking and colorful. Soft and pliable, don't misconstrue our message; there are still plenty of sleek lines that help distinguish Zanuzo's work as Mid-Century Modern style.

He seems to really have a thing for arm rests. His arm rests are large proportionally, and really frame each of his pieces well. He also seems to love chairs. Big, fluffy side chairs that are made for lounging. Being that he's so good at chairs, you can imagine that his sofas are equally awesome, though we did see some great couches without arms that were still as fabulous.

Though he was definitely a master at soft goods like chairs and sofas, he carried his signature style of curves and soft edges to other types of furniture, like side tables, coffee tables, dining tables, and we also spot a pretty cute table lamp and table accessory that match his style precisely.

Born in Milan in 1916, Marco Zanuso worked with other important Italian designers to really shape good Italian design. He went to school for architecture at the Politecnico di Milano university and eventually opened his own design firm in 1945. He was a huge influence in Italy for many decades, and we're happy to say he's influenced Americans, too.

Love what you see in this post but want more? Like fun perfect pairs, designer influence profiles and profiles of contemporary designers? Thank goodness for you we've got a Facebook page and tweet a lot; you can keep up with everything Swank Lighting does.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Contemporary Designer Profile: Doug Stiles!

It's not easy mixing modern, contemporary interiors with phrases like "that's so comfy!" and "I want to live there!" Unfortunately, many super modern homes end up feeling too much like a magazine shoot or just too cold and stark to be enjoyed by everyone. We're sure being delighted by the work of interior designer Doug Stiles, who seems to be proving our opening sentence wrong with every project he takes on.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly why Doug's spaces are somehow simultaneously modern and really warm and comforting. You see a lot of natural materials in his spaces for sure: exotic woods, finishless woods, and rough-cut stone. These materials, though matched with other more industrial materials like metal, somehow take the "edge" off the hard modernism.

You also see a lot of curves given attention in these spaces. The curve of a coffee table, or of a couch arm, or seen in accessories and art. You see curves in circular tables instead of square or rectangular ones, and even in things like the graceful metal curve of a modern bathroom sink faucet.

You can also see in Doug's spaces a subtle mix of old and new. Rooms and furnishings are modern, yes, but you might also see some molding at the top of a room. Or you might spot an older antique piece of furniture combined with a more new piece. You could spot a classical bust taking up residence on a wooden credenza with clean lines and no ornamentation.

Founded in 2001, Doug Stiles Interior Design (DS-id), focuses on creating fabulous interiors for a number of residential and commercial spaces. Reducing clutter and visual distraction while thinking outside of the box (literally) are very important to Doug Stiles and his crew-and we think they are succeeding wildly at it!

Love what you see in this post but want more? Like fun perfect pairs, designer influence profiles and profiles of contemporary designers? Thank goodness for you we've got a Facebook page and tweet a lot; you can keep up with everything Swank Lighting does.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This Week's Top 5 Favorite 1stdibs Items: Thankful for Great Design!

Being that Thanksgiving tomorrow, we'd thought we'd share some of the things that we're thankful for----in the design world, of course! Fortunately, this week's newest listings from 1stdibs gave us plenty of items to choose from.
1) Antique Ikat Panel
We're thankful for...gorgeous, antique, colorful, global patterns like ikat.
Price: $6,950
Dealer: Double Knot

2) Rare Arflex sofa design by Marco Zanuso
We're thankful for...electric colors and modern, sleek lines.
Price: $10,960
Dealer: Francesca Martire

3) Wall-mounted shelf by Joaquim Tenreiro
We're thankful for...sleek Mid-Century Modern furniture pieces made of natural materials by brilliant Brazilian designers.
Price: contact dealer
Dealer: R Gallery

4) A Rare Wedgwood Encaustic Decorated Basalt Vase
We're thankful for...cool antique items that tie us to our past.
Price: contact dealer
Dealer: Leo Kaplan, LTD.

5) Charles And Ray Eames Lounge Chair And Ottoman
We're thankful for...Eames, of course.
Price: $6,500
Dealer: No Brown Furniture

Swank Lighting's new listings on 1stdibs:

Vintage Murano Lamps by Galliano Ferro
Beautiful pair of vintage Murano lamps in netted pattern and Pulegoso glass. Blown by Galliano Ferro in the 1950's.
Price: $4,200

Vintage Murano Lamps of Green Pulegoso Wings by Seguso
Beautiful matched pair of Coke Bottle Green Murano lamps by Seguso, imported in the 1950s. The fins of clear glass in each lamp are perfectly matched - it's hard to believe these were blown individually. Thousands of trapped air bubbles give the lamps depth and texture, creating a frosty look.
Price: $5,250

Vintage Swedish Blown Glass Lamp by Marbro
During their heyday, The Marbro Lamp Company imported their glass from Italy and Sweden, primarily. Their Swedish glass has a more moody, less translucent look than their Italian glass. This lamp is Swedish Glass and is marked as a Marbro product with their label.
Price: $3,500

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.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The French and Modern Designs of Andre Arbus!

We have a wonderful French designer influence for you today, that of Andre Arbus. Arbus was a work horse, creating a huge portfolio of beautiful pieces in a variety of shapes and types. Because he was so prolific and because his work was so unique, we've chosen to highlight him for your hopeful inspiration!

We see TONS of different types of furniture pieces that Arbus designed while looking through all of his work. Credenzas, dining tables, side tables, coffee tables, chairs, sofas, lamps and even artwork. It does seem like he excelled at two type of pieces of furniture in particular, though, and that is the dining table chair and wooden case goods.

What we love about his style is how he was able to marry the look of old-fashioned, traditional, antique French looks with a more Turn-of-the-Century, modern, contemporary look. In fact, if you just glance at all of his work, you might think to yourself that it all looks wildly different. But that's not necessarily the case. Not to imply that he was formulaic in his approach, but you can see that many of his pieces have very modern and contemporary lines, but still have those ornamental details that you would never see on truly modern pieces.

You can see a variety of materials used, from metal to glass, to wood and more and you also see a number of finishes. Some pieces are lacquered, others painted glossy, even more just left in their natural state. The thing about Andre Arbus' work is there's bound to be something for anyone's tastes.

From Toulouse, France and born into a family of cabinet-makers, he spent many years studying art and craft in top billed schools in Paris and around France. Though he definitely worked with furniture that bucked traditional norms, there's no denying that the heritage of the furniture of his home country's history had a huge effect on his work.

Love what you see in this post but want more? Like fun perfect pairs, designer influence profiles and profiles of contemporary designers? Thank goodness for you we've got a Facebook page and tweet a lot; you can keep up with everything Swank Lighting does.