Charles & Ray Eames: Power Couple

eames houseCharles and Ray Eames House

Charles & Ray Eames are two names that are synonymous with Modernist architectural and interior design. During an era when form often trumped function, the Eameses were always cognizant to focus their efforts on creating designs of enduring quality that were as comfortable to interact with as they were easy on the eyes. An excellent example of this fact is in the world-famous Eames House, an avant-garde Modernist housing design that Charles and Ray Eames built in 1949. While most Modernist houses of this era are famously barren and inhospitable, the Eames house is equally renowned for its homey, lived-in feel. As a matter of fact, both Charles and Ray lived and worked in the Eames House from its construction until their deaths, in 1978 and 1988, respectively.

Perhaps there is no better example of their commitment to comfortable, human-centered design than their enduring classic, the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman. Though it has since become an icon of modern design, it is worth noting that, at the time of its introduction, it was somewhat out of keeping with Modernist aesthetic sensibilities. Ray Eames once remarked to Charles that it looked “comfortable and un-designy.” Charles himself envisioned a chair with “the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt.” These were remarkable sentiments in an era remembered for its cold, hard geometries of bare steel and concrete.

In retrospect, it is easy to see that the Eameses’ seemingly-unconventional approach to design has served their legacy well. The Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman have been in continuous production for over half a century, with vintage originals fetching high prices at auction, and gracing the halls of such respected institutions as the New York Museum of Modern Art.

You can purchase our stunning and faithful reproduction of the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman by visiting Manhattan Home Design.com, or even come in and relax in one yourself in our Manhattan showroom:

325 West 38th St. Suite 404
Manhattan, NY 10018

We hope to see you there!

Le Corbusier At Home

le corbusier lc5 sofa

Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier, was an extremely influential architect, urban planner and interior designer. His body of work spans five decades and three continents, and he continues to be viewed as one of the pioneers of Modernist architecture. He is most famous for his grand and sweeping works, such as his so-called City of Tomorrow, an ambitious and even whimsical city design that saw the city’s central district organized into identical cross-shaped skyscrapers divided by vast, meandering gardens. In Le Corbusier’s vision, the entire city would be connected by an underground network of roads and trains, and the large, broad tops of the skyscrapers would allow for aircraft to take off and land between them.

However, amid the lasting impressions left by such grand visions, it is often all but forgotten that Le Corbusier was also an extremely accomplished designer of modern furniture. He believed that architecture was the art and science of creating livable environments, from the largest cities to the smallest end-tables. He also felt strongly that all objects within a home were first and foremost to be practical, and that beauty would proceed naturally from functionality. He divided furniture into three classes: type-needs, type-functions and human-limb objects, the last of which he described as follows:

The human-limb object is a docile servant. A good servant is discreet and self-effacing in order to leave his master free. Certainly, works of art are tools, beautiful tools. And long live the good taste manifested by choice, subtlety, proportion, and harmony.

These beliefs led him to create the strikingly geometrical and elegantly understated furniture that have become icons of modern interior design.

You can purchase a stunning replica of Le Corbusiers LC5 sofa online at Manhattan Home Design, or come in and see one for yourself at our Manhattan showroom:

325 West 38th St. Suite 404
Manhattan, NY 10018

We hope to see you there!

The Brilliance of Isamu Noguchi

noguchi table

Isamu Noguchi was a Japanese American artist, landscape architect and interior designer whose works remain among the most striking, iconic and influential examples of Mid-Century Modern interior design. Born in 1904, Noguchi began his career in the 1920′s, and worked steadily until his death in 1988… a period of over 60 years.

Noguchi’s background in sculpture and landscape architecture imbued his interior design work with strong elements of the natural world. He was an influential figure in an emerging artistic and architectural movement of the 1930′s known as Biomorphism, which finds inspiration for artistic and functional objects in naturally occurring patterns and the morphology of living organisms. At a time when much of modern architecture and interior design featured mostly hard angles and tight geometries, Isamu Noguchi’s sculptures and furniture more often employed soft edges, delicate curves and gently sloping forms.

This revolutionary design ethos is perhaps best exemplified in his iconic Noguchi Table, which features a round-edged triangular glass top perched upon two identical interlocking curved forms that serve as a base. Originally designed for Herman Miller in 1947, the Noguchi Table has been such a wild success that original 1947 tables in Cherry are rare and highly-prized among collectors, and sell for tens of thousands at high-end auctions. Luckily, the popularity of the design is such that countless reproductions are still being manufactured today, and are affordable for virtually any household.

Manhattan Home Design’s top-quality Noguchi Table reproduction is true to the original design specifications in every aspect. They are available for purchase online through www.ManhattanHomeDesign.com, or you can come inspect one in person, in our Manhattan showroom:

325 West 38th St. Suite 404
Manhattan, NY 10018

We hope to see you there soon!

What Is Aniline Leather?

eames lounge chair

Many consumers have likely been given the option of upgrading from standard leather to Aniline leather, but they may not know the difference. Simply put, Aniline leather is leather that has been treated with only transparent dyes and polishes, allowing the natural grain of the animal hide to show through. This may not sound impressive, but let’s consider the alternative. Non-Aniline leather is usually treated with opaque paints and insoluble pigments, sometimes resulting in a thick, plastic-y coating and embossed with an artificial grain pattern. Often, the difference between Aniline leather and non-Aniline leather represents the difference between using high-quality Top-Grain leather and durable but less luxurious Split-Grain leather. Top-Grain leather is made from the top layer of animal hide, while Split-Grain is made from the thicker under-layers. While high-quality products can be made with Split-Grain leather, they usually lack the sumptuousness of the prime cut.

The next time you’re shopping for high-quality leather products, keep this important difference in mind.

Come check out some of our beautiful Full Aniline Grade products at Manhattan Home Design, like our beautiful Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman. Or, come see the difference in quality for yourself, at our Manhattan showroom:

325 West 38th St. Suite 404
Manhattan, New York 10018

We hope to see you there!

Castiglioni’s Arco Lamp

Arco lamp

The Arco lamp was designed for Flos by Achille Castiglioni in Italy in 1962. A modern day wonder of design and engineering, this arc-shaped floor lamp stunned the world when it was first introduced. In Milan, passers by would stop and stare in amazement through the shop windows of La Rinascente at the Arco in all its brilliance. The groundbreaking design of the Flos Arco Lamp was unlike any other of its time. It’s no surprise that it quickly became an icon of timeless modern interior design.

The Arco lamp seamlessly blends function and elegance, and is a testament to Castiglioni’s brilliant sense of form. With a base hewn from Italian Carrara marble (a town in the Italian Alps, the same used by the great Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo) and a long, elegantly curving steel neck, the Arco Lamp is as much a work of art as it is an interior fixture.

The Arco lamp uses the principle of a heavy base to support its long, thin neck, which allows a light to be cast 2 meters from the base–allowing a chair or table to fit effortlessly under its warm glow. Castiglioni said that the design was inspired the Italian streetlamps of the 1960′s. The arm of the lamp is even adjustable, with three length settings that put the control of the light it casts in your hands. It requires a ceiling height of at least 2.5 meters, or a little over eight feet. You can purchase your own fabulous replica of the Arco at Manhattan Home Design, or witness its majesty for yourself in our Manhattan showroom:

325 West 38th St., 4th Floor, Suite 404
Manhattan, NY 10018

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Eero Saarinen

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Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect and interior designer. He emigrated to the United States at the age of thirteen, when his father got a job teaching at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. At Cranbrook, where Saarinen took sculpture and furniture design classes. There he met Charles and Ray Eames and Florence Knoll. Saarinen also studied in Paris and at the Yale School of Architecture. In 1940 he and Charles Eames entered an “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” and won first prize for the chair they submitted. Saarinen worked on furniture design, creating several important pieces for the Knoll company, including the Grashopper, Womb and Tulip (or Pedestal) chairs. Of his furniture, Saarinen is perhaps best-known for the Tulip series of chairs, dining and side tables, which are still in production today. In 1948, Saarinen won first prize in another design competition, this time for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. His winning design is now St. Louis’s most iconic landmark, the Gateway Arch or Gateway to the West.

In 1950, Saarinen founded his own architecture firm, Eero Saarinen and Associates. He started out working in Meisian in style, but later he started incorporating catenary curves in concrete. The Dulles International Airport main terminal and the Kresge Auditorium at MIT are two notable examples of his work in this style.

Eero could be considered a futurist, with many Saarinen interiors done in a 1960s space-age style. For example, the interior of the Noyes House dormitory he designed at Vassar College is affectionately called the “Jetsons lounge” by students and alumni.

He died at the age of 51 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Saarinens stunning designs are available online at www.manhattanhomedesign.com, and can be seen in our Manhattan showroom:

325 West 38th St., 4th Floor, Suite 404
Manhattan, NY 10018

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The womb chair is considered among the ten best mid-century modern furniture designs. Chairs from this era were known for their form, function and flamboyance. Being a great deal more comfortable than their Bauhaus modern predecessors, as they were essentially created for “lounging” — a new activity for the 1950′s. This chair became so popular, it was featured in a Norman Rockwell painting in 1959 and featured on the Saturday Evening Post called Sunday Morning.

While working for Knoll & Associates, Eero Saarinen was asked by Florence Knoll to design a chair she could curl up in, and in 1946 the Womb Chair was born. It is created from a single-piece form that mimics a relaxed sitting position. It is the most comfortable chair I have sat in, and it looks amazing in every interior. It anchors a room in any color, and looks just as modern today as it did in 1946. The Womb Chair continues to be one of the most iconic and recognized examples of mid-century design. While some chairs may be available on Craigslist as “vintage” peices, our reproduction is true to the original in every way and is an exact replica of Saarinen’s design.

Eero-Aarnio-inspired-Ball-Chair

Aarnio is famous for his innovative style, especially his plastic and fiberglass chairs. His furniture was often seen in sets for science-fiction films since they broke away from the current furniture design traditions. Aarnio studied at the Institute of Industrial Arts in Helsinki until his graduation in 1957. He worked a while for Tapiovaara followed by the Asko Company before he opened his own office in 1962. The popular period for plastics in Finnish furniture design lasted from mid 1960s and about a decade more. Plastic was one of Aarnio’s favorite materials and he was at the forefront of Finnish Design. He got his big breakthrough with the launch of the Ball Chair at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne 1966.

His most famous design is undoubtely the Ball Chair which was introduced in 1966. The ball chair is a hollow sphere above a stand with an entrace to allow a person to sit inside. The space is similar to a coocoon, allowing a private sphere in the room for the person in the chair. The pedestal base turns around its own axis so that the level of privacy can be chosen easily. Aarnio designed it as a “room within a room” and the Ball Chair is also known sometimes as the “globe chair” because of its shape.

Aarnio had a very distinct style to his furniture design. He believed in designers using as modern technology as possible in their work and he aimed to create ergonomic design that was modern and could be mass-produced to a low cost. Aarnio had several professions and acted as a “one-man design workshop” where he took the roll of interior designer, industrial designer, graphic artist as well as photographer. Whilst echoing pop culture and the spirit of his time, with his plastic designs, he also incorporated a communicative aspect on his work imposing a psychological effect on users and viewers of the furniture. His work is often described as playful, challenging the stiffness and evoking the imagination.

Aside from sound ergonomic design Eero Aarnio always has a focus on proper ergonomic design but apart from this he follows very few rules in his furniture creation

“A chair must be comfortable for sitting and after that everything is free.”

The Birth of a Following

The Eames Lounge Chair has become a chair of such status that it is arguably one of the most recognizable mid-century pieces still available today.  Eames lounge chair

Ahead of its time, Charles and Ray Eames slaved away in 1956 to create a lounge chair that has achieved Iconic status for over 50 years. By integrating industrially-made materials like molded plywood and solid steel and pairing them with traditional leather panels, the Eames lounge chair achieves a balance of tradition and mid-century modernity. Although Ray regarded the chair as “un-designy”, Charles noted his vision for “a chair with the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt”, which is exemplified in this timeless classic. This chair was well received at the time of its release and continues to be a staple of the modern home.

 

 

 

Chairs for Dads

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What used to be a holiday of simple DIY projects, has become like many other American holidays, a day to buy the best of the best for the man who raised you. On your father’s special day you want to be original and show him you put a lot of thought and effort into his gift. What is more original than a brand new modern chair from www.manhattanhomedesign.com.  To make it easier, we classified our chairs by the different types of dad according to AskMen.com

Classic Dad

Part of being a good father is making the right decisions and sticking with them. Your dad developed his tastes well before you were born and is still sticking with them today. He doesn’t waver with changing styles or times and remains loyal to what’s served him well for decades. He’s a classic dad, and once you know what he likes, he’s pretty easy to shop for.

A good chair for this type of dad:

http://manhattanhomedesign.com/eames-lounge-chair-and-ottoman.html#.Ubn7lZzczcs

The Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman originally designed by Charles Eames in 1956 is a timeless classic. An iconic piece widely considered as one of the most significant designs of the 20th century. Our reproduction of the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman style is constructed to last lifetimes just like the original. It represents the epitome of armchair comfort with its precise lines of the plywood shell. The softness from its Aniline Leather also forms a restful seat that reclines. This high quality reproduction of the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman, made from the highest quality material, features an Improved 5 Star Base Design that supports your back with comfort, Premium Aniline Leather, and Bent Plywood Base & Stainless Steel Frame.

Dapper Dad

Is your dad the first guy you ask when you’re trying to figure out what to wear for a formal occasion? Do you notice your dad’s colleagues nervously adjusting their ties and hand-brushing the wrinkles out of their suits after eyeing your dad walk in the room? Your dad is a dapper dad; a man that always looks the part, from hairline to wingtips, no matter what the scenario. Don’t insult him with an ugly tie he’ll never wear; get him something that’s as fashionable as he is.

A good chair for this type of dad:

http://manhattanhomedesign.com/blexlesichre.html#.Ubn8Spzczcs

Show off your sense of style with this elegantly designed side or reception chair. The contemporary styling of the chair provides a dramatic statement to your space. The inset stitching and high wood legs will appeal to everyone in every setting.

The Handy Dad

Your dad is a DIYer from an era when men prided themselves on being the ultimate engineers of their homes. He’s never met a problem he hasn’t been willing to take on himself, and he’s a tireless tinkerer, builds beautiful things from raw wood, effortlessly connects wires to modernize the home, and will travel far and wide to get just the right tool or part. He has no use for a tie or cufflinks, so get him something that he’ll use regularly while wandering the backyard, garage or house looking for that next great project.

A good chair for this type of dad:

http://manhattanhomedesign.com/plywood-chair.html#.Ubn9uJzczcs

The aesthetic integrity, enduring charm, and comfort of these plywood “potato chip” chairs earned recognition from Time magazine as The Best Design of the 20th Century. Time called the design “something elegant, light and comfortable. Much copied but never bettered.” Molding thin sheets of lightweight veneer into gently curved shapes gives the durable material a soft, inviting appearance. The chairs work just about anywhere—from homes and offices to schools and public areas.

Sophisticated Dad

Like a sort of domesticated James Bond, your dad has impeccable taste that cannot be confined to any single genre. He looks good, drives a perfectly washed-and-buffed luxury car, enjoys only the choicest single malts or cigars and always seems to have just the right gadget to make life easier. Because of all that, it’s extremely difficult to shop for the sophisticated dad. Complement his impressive stockpile of material goods with something equally impressive.

A good chair for this type of dad:

http://manhattanhomedesign.com/bubble-chair.html#.Ubn_YZzczcs

The Bubble chair is suspended from the ceiling, this chair is simply out of sight, thanks in large part to its transparent acrylic sphere that gives it its name. After the designed created the ball chair he wanted to have light inside it and so he had the idea of a transparent ball where light comes from all directions. The only suitable material is acrylic which is heated and blown into shape like a soap bubble.

Tech Dad

A tech dad is easy to spot. He texts and browses with the latest smartphone, keeps his computer running smoothly with all the latest software updates and won’t be caught dead watching Game of Thrones on anything less than the best-reviewed HDTV and programming device. It can be difficult to buy gifts for a tech dad, as he often buys tech gadgets before tech journalists even know they’re out there. Choose wisely and get him a gift that feeds his tech addiction.

A good chair for this type of dad:

http://manhattanhomedesign.com/erlodalawo.html#.Ubn-Ppzczct

From LIVE/WORK/PLAY, and exclusively at Manhattan Home Design the new Ergo-Lounge laptop workstation. Designed by Manuel Saez & Partners for Live Work & Play brand The Ergo-Lounge is a modern lounge chair and ottoman with an ergonomically designed laptop computer support, featuring the new generation of comfort and practical features for people that work at home.