Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This Week's Top 5 Favorite 1stdibs Items: Animal Spirit Accessories

Animals are an important part of many folks' lives. They take the form of loved ones in the pets we keep around the house who care for us, make us laugh and make us smile. They are also important for those who love communing with nature and enjoying all the living creatures that share the planet with us. In honor of those folks who love animals a lot (namely this blog writer and especially the owners of Swank) we present to you five lovely animal accessories that you can bring into your home to evoke the joy and elegance of creatures. All from this week's 1stdibs' newest listings.



1) A Thai Carved and Painted Wood Sculpture of a Stag
This piece is so regal and lovely. We love the wooden material, the soft lines and the subtle details.
Price: contact dealer
Dealer: Glen Dooley Antiques


2) A Rare Folk Art Articulated Cat Box
This cat isn't just cute; it's functional! We just love this wooden cat's abstracted shape, and love that it's actually a box---not just a sculpture. What an adorable and useful accessory to have in the home.
Price: $15,000
Dealer: Vandekar



3) Ethan Allen Running Horse Weathervane
This weather vane comes in the shape of a horse, but not just any horse. This beautiful sculptural item is kinetic-looking; it's got such a great energy and movement to the sculpture.
Price: $8,950
Dealer: Kocian DePasqua



4) Life Size Anatomical Model of Pig
Another useful animal-shaped accessory, this one might be considered more educational than useful. Of course, this might not be the greatest gift for an animal lover, considering this promotes eating said pigs.
Price: $3,800
Dealer: radio-guy



5) Crab Wall Light
Crabs don't get a lot of respect, but they're sturdy, hardy, lovely things, and always mean the beach is nearby, so they can't be all this bad. This one is functional, too; it's a light!
Price: $1,150
Dealer: Christophe Edwards

 
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, December 21, 2010

A Perfect Pair: Figurine Lamps and Hoffmann!

Yesterday's designer influence post centered around a designer who was one of a larger group of unsung heroes of our design history past. A group of folks whose work contributes mightily to the world, but who isn't well known. Will we go with a similarly categorizable Swank Lighting lamp pair in today's perfect pair? You'll have to read to find out! 



Though we loved a lot about Josef Hoffmann's work, which could be described as sensual, curvy and with hints of Art Nouveau, we really enjoyed his upholstered pieces that featured contrasting welts that made each piece appear to have slick vertical pinstripes. This particular Pair of High Back Armchairs by Josef Hoffmann is from Italy from 1911, and we really love the colors used, and how the curves are really highlighted by the stripes.



 Vintage Murano Figurine lamps aren't exactly the most popular form of vintage Murano lamps to have survived into today's trends, but you have to admit they have a certain charm to them. This pair of Vintage Murano Figurine Lamps by Barovier & Toso from Italy in the 1950s especially. Made in a rich, burnt umber color, they have a lot of personality, great shapes and would look superb in a lot of different home styles.

 

So why did we choose to mix a pair of Josef Hoffmann's High Back Armchairs with a pair of Vintage Murano Figurine Lamps by Barovier & Toso? Lots of reasons. We think the rich, burnt umber color of the figurines goes great with the accent stripes of the armchairs. But mostly, we just like the idea of pairing figurines with these chairs. Art Nouveau was all about celebrating curves and the female form, so figurines are a perfect complement. And, we just like how all the curves of the chair go well with the curves of the lamps. A perfect pair, we say!

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.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Josef Hoffmann's Art Nouveau Style!

While writing a post for another website, we heard someone refer to a designer as an "unsung hero" of the design world and design history. We really liked that idea. It's because though there are tons and tons of designers who made an impact and are way well-known. But there are plenty of designers whose work had plenty of influence in the rest of the world but don't enjoy the same level of posthumous popularity, and we'd like to sing one of their praises today! Josef Hoffmann, this post is for you!



Hoffmann worked a bit earlier than that most influential of time periods, the Mid-Century. He worked more around the Turn of the Century and the 1920s and 1930s and you can certainly tell with his style.



There are definite Art Nouveau influences swirling around many of Hoffmann's pieces. We see how the line-especially a sensual, curving one, plays a big part in creating outlines and structure in his pieces, like a series of lounge chairs and sofas that have dark-colored upholstery and light-colored, almost pinstripe-like stripes on them.



Hoffmann furniture pieces made out of wood are a complicated, formal bunch. Cabinets are heavy and masculine. It looks like he favored one type of furniture piece a lot, the round or square side and occasional table. Usually made of dark wood species and stains, they are formal, with ornamentation, but definitely hint at the modernism coming our way soon.



From a place called Moravia (now known as Czech Republic) in 1870, but it didn't take him long to get to Vienna, where he spent his life and work career. Along with being an Austrian architect and furniture designer, he also created a lot of home design products and taught many young, impressionable designers as a design professor for many years.




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.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Contemporary Designer Profile: Danielle Fox

A beautifully designed interior goes beyond just delighting the eyes that see it; a beautifully designed interior touches and comforts the soul and brings joy into the heart. It makes one feel that most important of human emotions: feeling at home. Today's featured Contemporary Designer does more than just understand this fact about good interior design; she completely embodies it.



The opening line on Danielle Fox's website perfectly sums up what she's trying to do with her interior design practice: "Creating environments that embody beauty, creativity, order and self-expression-calming the mind and delighting the senses." These aren't just perfectly put together spaces where people can keep their stuff in; these are places where birthday parties happen, where intimate family dinners occur, where frenzied Christmas mornings take place. Taking one glance at her online portfolio and you see exactly what it is we're talking about.



Rooms are subtle, but full of life. They are simple, but not sparse by any means. Soft wall colors mingle with brightly colored accessories, and bold walls converse with neutral furnishings. Balance between the senses is key in her spaces. There's a definite "zen" feeling to her rooms, but you don't feel bored or tired in them, rather invigorated.



She definitely has a good handle on mixing and matching different styles to create authentic spaces. We wouldn't necessarily call them "eclectic" spaces; for some reason, that description makes us think of more busy or visually louder spaces. Her rooms just seem to "go" together well, without really trying that hard.



Danielle has a varied creative background: a PhD in Art History, a stint as a college-level art teacher, antique expert in London and even studied Business Management. All this experience has come in handy in this career change to interior design. In her own words:




"I am a serial renovator and obsessive organizer, so when I decided it was time for a career change, this seemed like a natural point of departure. This brings my multitude of passions under one roof, allowing me to combine my interest in creating beautiful environments with my management, communication and service skills."

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, December 15, 2010

This Week's Top 5 Favorite 1stdibs Items: Blue Christmas

Elvis sure had it right when he sang about a blue Christmas. Though red and green certainly signify the season, a deep, cobalt blue can be just as stunning to ring in the holidays. We picked through 1stdibs newest listings to find some blue for your Christmas (or any holiday you celebrate).
1) PMR Chaise-Longue by Paulo Mendes da Rocha
This sleek modern lounger, or chaise longue, if you're fancy, comes in a nice blue color, perfect for Santa to take a break in after he's laid out all your presents.
Price: contact dealer
Dealer: Espasso


2) A Pair Of Romeo Rega Lamps
You know we love lamps here at Swank Lighting, and we just had to choose these lamps from the 1970s that have a gorgeous and rich blue hue to them.
Price: $28,050
Dealer: Mallett


3) Two 1950s Hanging Cabinets by Willy Van Der Meeren
We love these Mondrian-esque cabinets with stark, primary colors painted on the doors. One has a great, bold blue on it, and another a red (if you absolutely must have red for your holidays!)
Price: $7,176
Dealer: 1stdibs Paris


4) Val St Lambert Glass 'vase Turenne'
Another great glass piece, this time a vase. This piece comes with a great, translucent blue and a fun, playful checkerboard pattern.
Price: contact dealer
Dealer: James Robinson

5) Nadine Prado Silkscreen
We just love the creamy blue featured in this silkscreen art piece for the wall by Nadine Prado---and like that it has a rusty, earthy red to go along with it!
Price: $1,800
Dealer: IrwinFeldDesign


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, December 14, 2010

A Perfect Pair: Swank and Tiffany & Co!


You know what makes a great complement to Tiffany & Co.'s amazing products and gorgeous retails stores? Why-Swank Lighting lamps will be gracing the tables of retail stores around the country.


The pictures in this post are of our lamps at their new Jacksonville Florida location. We shipped another one to Beverly Hills, California and we will publish photos of it in a week or so. Isn't this so exciting!


And we couldn't help but notice that there are a few more Swank Lamps we could see in a Tiffany & Co. retail store-so if you want to incorporate their great blue, here are some for you to look at:




Acidato Stacked Ball Murano Lamps on Lucite Platter $3,500
This beautiful pair of sculptured ball Murano lamps is in mint condition. The labels identify them as 'Acqua Marina Ghiacci Satinate' - iced blue-green etched satin glass. The balls, with a semi rough texture to the outside, are joined together by satin nickel wafers. The lamps have been recently rebuilt using solid brass parts that have been finished in satin nickel.


Baby Blue Vintage Murano Table Lamps in a Pulegoso Net Pattern $4,000
Beautiful pulegoso Murano lamps blown with a quilted net pattern by Galliano Ferro in the 1950's. Loaded with tiny air bubbles that give the lamp that icy look. Great texture and imposing size - these are quite the chunky pair! Made In Italy paperstamp.


Barbini Icy Blue Opaline Murano Lamps on Double Lucite $3,300
These icy blue opaline Murano lamps were hand blown by Barbini in the 1950s. The color is that wonderfully soft and intense blue that really glows when the sun hits the glass. These lamps have been completely rebuilt using new solid brass hardware with a polished nickel finish. The original importer's label is still attached to one of the lamps.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Modern and Traditional Designs of Fritz Henningsen!

From one Henningsen to the next! As you may remember, we posted about Poul Henningsen, a great figure in the world of Danish and modern design, who wowed design lovers everywhere with his gorgeous light fixtures that looked like nothing that had come before them. Today's Henningsen-Fritz, to be exact-is a bit more of a mystery than last post's more flamboyant one, but is no less influential.
 



Unlike Poul, Fritz was not a lighting designer; rather he created gorgeous furniture pieces that carried the hallmarks of Danish design perfectly. Also unlike other designers, Fritz didn't experiment with a ton of different styles or designs; he found some elements that he felt worked, and ran with those, creating a body of work that is instantly recognizable and much-loved.



First up are his distinct couch and chair designs. Sleek seat lines mingle with sharply angled-yet still curved-back, arm and wing shapes, creating furniture pieces that are both modern and traditional. Many of his couch and chairs seem to favor leather as a material, and this helps warm up any modern coldness of the shape. And those curves tended to play an important part in balancing out many of his seat shapes; we do spot a number of couches and chairs that do feature nothing but straight lines.



While his seating designs are exquisite, he did make more than just chairs. We think his wood case goods tended to favor a more traditional route than modern. His tables, credenzas and small storage pieces had mostly straight lines, but just have that "traditional" appearance, though he did eschew ornamentation mostly. Overall his pieces just had a great transitional feel to them, able to bridge the gap between ultra modern Danish design and more traditional furniture design.



Born just at the turn of the century, Fritz had a reputation for being a great cabinetmaker and furniture maker, and his work was hailed as being some of the highest in terms of craftsmanship. He was known for his use of exotic woods and every piece that carries his name was absolutely made by hand, usually by methods he carried with him from past years' traditional methods.



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.