Earlier this week Regina showed us the classic Brno chair in various contemporary interiors. One of the most famous pieces attributed to Mies van der Rohe, the Brno chair was actually probably designed by Lilly Reich, and was heavily inspired by yet another designer. Check out the story of the Brno chair and the house it was designed for.
Tatami mats on the floor of the Old Okada House, built in 1674
Tatami mats are a kind of rush flooring used in traditional Japanese homes. Made of woven rush grass around a rice straw core, they are gentle but firm underfoot, and also give off a lovely (I think) scent, especially on rainy or humid days. Increasingly rare in modern Japanese interiors, tatami deserves to be considered as a potential material in all homes. Let's take a look at its rich history.
Edison bulbs, aka filament bulbs, are those antique-looking light bulbs that you can look at directly without hurting your eyes. They are therefore often used bare, and they typically add a rustic or vintage accent to a room. Let's find out how they are different from regular, modern incandescent bulbs, and see if we find any surprising facts about the Wizard of Menlo Park himself, Thomas Edison, and his role in the invention of electric light bulbs. (Spoiler alert: we find something, and it's kind of surprising)!
There are so many different kinds of task lamps on the market, it's hard to believe that two of the most popular ones are design classics that have been around for decades! Both were instrumental in popularizing an industrial look for domestic spaces. But they were designed about 20 years apart. If you were to guess which came first, which would you choose, the Jieldé or the Anglepoise?
Lucite is a material often associated with either Hollywood Regency glamor or Disco-era, stripper-shoe 'glam,' but 80 years after it was first created, it is still a versatile and beloved material in interiors. Let's take a look at the history behind this material, and some of the iconic furniture designs that have taken advantage of its properties.
The Parsons table is one where the square legs have the same width as the tabletop, regardless of its other dimensions. Its history is characterized by contradiction: created to be a simple canvas for exceptional materials, its design is simultaneously credited to the famous designer Jean-Michel Frank and to anonymous design students. But is the real story even more muddled?
You've seen the shapely, classic Cherner chairs, but do you know the designer behind them? Norman Cherner is an unsung hero of mid-century design, an innovator in plywood and in affordable design. And the story of his most famous design is a dramatic tale of innovation, betrayal and, ultimately, of justice.
When we think of Wedgwood china, we think of tradition, conservative design and white gloves. But the origins of the company are a lot more interesting than your typical luncheon. Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) developed the company from a family business to a global brand, and along the way developed innovative methods of producing and selling goods that we take for granted today. He was also a prominent abolitionist, and Charles Darwin's grandfather. Let's take a look at Wedgwood, one of the founding fathers of post-industrial capitalism.
Antique Chinese chairs are surprisingly at home in the contemporary Western interior. With a slender silhouette and graceful proportions, yoke-back chairs from the Ming and Qing dynasties offer particularly elegant and practical ways to bring a piece of history into the home.