We launched our Pop of Color Collection back in January with pottery, pillows, and upholstered furniture. One of our favorite pops (of course, they’re all our favorites!) is the Chesterfield Bench. It’s so sophisticated with the pintucked top and turned-wood legs. Plus, you could use it in so many ways. The look we’re really into is nesting it at the foot of the bed with a matching headboard. Someone in our Merchandising department is even turning hers into a coffee table! How would you use yours?
It’s that time of year again as summer winds down, there’s a chill in the air and the days get shorter. To help brighten your home we are introducing a new line of lamps. They are handmade and crafted using wood, rustic metals, and painted finishes. Some of them are sitting atop a glass base for that special touch. Add these to a traditional inspired scheme as the finishing touch.
Everyone needs a good sofa. Why? Because it’s the centerpiece of your living room. It’s the gathering place for guests. And it’s your official napping spot. So, don’t skimp on this special piece. A lot of thought should go into choosing your sofa. That’s exactly why we suggest choosing one that a lot of thought has gone into creating it. All of our sofas are handmade, many of them are made with recycled and environmentally-friendly materials, and some of them are even made in the United States!
We’ve caught Olympic fever! In honor of this international event, we’re featuring our Union Jack Wingback Chair. It’s got a handsome look that is bold and brazen. But hurry, there are only a few left!
What’s got you pumped this Olympics season?
Logo courtesy of: http://www.bbc.co.uk
The term “etiquette” wasn’t established until the reign of Louis XIV, when invitations to formal gatherings were printed on tickets with a code of conduct on the back of them (by the way, the word etiquette means ticket in French). The formal set of manners now practiced stem mostly from customs started during the Middle Ages, when offering a woman your seat was a part of the Chivalric Code. It could be that the development of the Farthingale Chair was an evolutionary mark to this tradition. It was the first chair that allowed comfort, equipped with padding and upholstery on the seat and back, as well as an open, armless frame that accommodated the large skirts women wore during the 17th and 18th centuries. In fact, the term farthingale refers to the wide hoops that formed the structure of the skirts.
The chair’s design was first crafted before the dawn of the 17th century. It maintained an austere form with straight legs and back, while the upholstery made it inclusive to a room’s design. The embroidery was so important to the chair’s form in fact, that it was originally called an Imbrauderer’s Chair (earlier term for Embroiderer).
Below are some further examples of antique Farthingale chairs. Note that several have knobbed and wood-turned legs, a common feature for this piece.
King Gustav of Sweden rose to the throne in 1771, bringing with him design influences from his time in the French Courts at Versailles. The style became known as Gustavian, a forward progression from French Rococo and neo-classical. Through the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the style became more and more austere, blending elegance and simplicity seamlessly. The innovation of the Gustavian style put Sweden in the top ranks in culture and it quickly became known throughout Europe as the “Paris of the North.” Though the beginnings of Gustavian style are a subdued version of the Louis XV and Louis XVI styles, excavations from Pompeii and Herculaneum began circulating in Sweden, shifting Gustavian’s influence toward a more classical Roman look.
Gustavian style is characterized by austere design in a soft, neutral palette without a lot of ornament and embellishment. Some common patterns found in the upholsteries are stripes and checkered prints.
Nothing says rustic quite like hide and leather. Past the bucking broncos, dustbowls, and ranchers in Wranglers, it’s a design aesthetic we have fallen quite fond of. Above is a sampling of what we mean, our Cowhide Wingback Chair. It’s decked out in tawny and white hide on solid oak legs.
Betcha didn’t know our friend Boozehound had a green thumb! In fact, in the above shot he’s proudly sitting next to his prized swiss chard plant. He also has a very nice vineyard ’round back.
On the left, a Coptic cross in the Temple of Isis, Philae, Egypt, and on the right, our Ethiopian Cross Necklace.
Photographing a beautiful little crescent moon finial atop a tiny mosque, I heard shouts and running footsteps approaching from the other side of the tall, chain-link fence. My Egyptian friend told me it was time to clear out, so we ran to a nearby road and hitched a ride back to our boat waiting on the Nile.
I learned a lot about the importance of symbols on that trip to Egypt years ago. Walking around Alexandria, another friend pointed out the cross identifying one of the Coptic Christian churches we saw there and in Cairo. More symmetrical than the familiar Christian cross, it’s a hybrid of the Egyptian ankh, an ancient hieroglyphic character meaning eternal life (and something I wore around my neck back when I was a hippy!).
This mixing up of emblems from two disparate philosophies might seem an irreverent compromise by modern Western standards, but it was once common. More than two millennia ago in his campaign to push the Persians out of Egypt, Alexander the Great employed such Shuffle Diplomacy as a way of winning over the locals. In Luxor I saw that cultural exchange documented in stone: his name spelled out in hieroglyphs and, nearby, Greek propaganda carved into the lintel of an ancient temple.
Modernism in interior design was ushered in as a response to previous décor. The movement called attention to form and utility, focusing more in reductionist style than to ornate aesthetics. Mass-production and innovations in material use allowed designers to see design in a whole new way. One such innovation was the discovery of bent plywood. After bonding thin strips of wood together, steam can be applied to allow the material to become more malleable, eliminating the need for multiple joints. From this came the cantilevered chair, as seen below.
Our French Modernist Armchair, as seen below, applies the bentwood technique and cantilever form. It is designed from the Vibo chair, originally created by Adrien Audoux and Frida Minet in the 1940s. The duo was noted for creating pieces from native leaves and wood. Our version is woven with durable abaca rope on mahogany slats.