An interview by GQ with set decorator Claudette Didul on “Don Draper’s swanky new pad”

GQ: And you designed the new Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce office that was unveiled last season.
Didul: Yes, [production designer] Dan Bishop and I did, with Matt’s input. It was a matter of going and looking at research pictures of offices; Knoll ads, Steelcase ads. There were some awesome books on architecture that show commercial buildings, insurance companies, things like that—and they all have Eames furniture in them. Everyone’s like, “Oh, they wouldn’t have been able to afford Herman Miller furniture.” But in some little insurance office in Ohio, or at a GM plant or something—it’s just weird. Ten years ago I went to the University of South Carolina furniture auction, and I bought a Noguchi table for $10. So it was that kind of thing, where this furniture was everywhere, and there’s still kind of an abundance of it around.

GQ: The big set reveal this season is Don’s apartment. I was struck by how contemporary it looks; is that just because that era is popular in decorating right now, or was that a deliberate choice to make it seem timeless?
Didul: No. We did a lot of research, we looked a lot of books. There’s some great books from the late ’50s, early ’60s: one by Betty Pepis, a book called Decoration U.S.A. by Jose Wilson and Arthur Leaman, a New York Times decorating book from 1965, and lots of House Beautiful and House and Gardenmagazines. The show is in the middle of 1966 right now, but you look through these magazines and you think you’re in a house today. And everyone’s like, “Oh, but it just looks so contemporary for today’s world!” But you would be amazed. Looking at what Florence Knoll did for the CBS Building back in 1964—it’s incredible. It looks like an office from today.

GQ: But Don’s apartment is 100% vintage.
Didul: All of it is definitely from the ’60s. The fridge that we brought in was from the 1964 World’s Fair. We looked through Sears catalogs to make sure certain blenders existed. Ellen, our property manager, had to make sure that the electric fryer looked correct when Don was making the bacon. People entertained a lot back then; I know my parents did. You had lots of electric plug-in hot plates, lots of trays and bowls and decorative glassware. Plus people would always bring some sort of gift; another cheese board or something. Gifts were always so big—my mom had a little closet of hostess gifts! But with Don’s apartment, a lot of it came out of a book from 1960. The cabinets, the built-in sofas, the sunken living room, by ‘63 or ‘64, they were everywhere. And the art definitely was around. There were lots of galleries around Madison Avenue and down in the Village. I do think Megan Draper had some help decorating, because it would be a little daunting to try and figure out the apartment on her own.

GQ: Since you’ve seen all this vintage stuff up close—are there things that are not quite as practical as they seem, something that we should be grateful isn’t trendy anymore even though it looks really cool?
Didul: Ooh, that’s a good question. The sofas back then were really thin and stiff. We built Don’s sofa, the sectional with the tufted buttons, based on a Betty Pepis book, and even though it looks really cool, it’s not the cushy shabby-chic feel that we’ve gotten used to today. I myself have a small collection of Eames chairs because I think they’re really neat-looking; my desk chair is a vinyl scoop chair, kind of like what the secretaries have. And they’re not very comfortable. You can’t sit in it for hours, because you find yourself slouching down and almost slipping out of your seat. But on The Today Show in 1956, they introduced the Eames lounge chair that everyone still has today, with the ottoman. And that actually is a super-comfortable chair.

GQ: Do you have a pet peeve about period that you see them getting wrong a lot in film or TV?
Didul: No, because I think sometimes, much like our show, we have budget concerns. You try your best. And I think people love to find the wrong. There was some girl’s blog I was reading yesterday, and she was saying how she felt that Don’s apartment felt late-sixties. And I was like, Oh my God, don’t you people look at books or magazines? You’re just like, “I think it looks like late sixties,” as opposed to “In the research that I found…” Roger Sterling’s office, the Florence Knoll furniture from his office, is from 1955, but people go, “Oh, it looks so ’70s!” So I don’t have a pet peeve because I understand what you’re up against; you don’t have a lot of time, you do the best you can. I worked on the film Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and we had six decades to do! That gets pretty tough, where one day you’re in the 1940s, and the next day you’re in 1980. But you still try to make it look like the ’80s. Everyone thinks like, “oh, that’s so yesterday,” but it’s really not—it’s 30 years ago. Even the ’90s; that’s 20 years ago.

Read More http://www.gq.com/entertainment/tv/blogs/the-stream/2012/04/the-mad-men-qa-set-decorator-claudette-didul-on-don-drapers-swanky-new-pad.html#ixzz2W0tW1AUD

The Man Chair

A great father’s day gift idea from scribbler. Customizing your dad’s chair so it fits his needs, right within remote control reach. However, we think the man chair can take one further step in starting with an Eames chair replica for the classy, more affordable, touch. http://manhattanhomedesign.com/eames-lounge-chair-and-ottoman.html

This Father’s Day, make your dad’s dreams come true with the Man Chair. It’s his sanctuary; a child-free, woman-free, moral-free zone, complete with everythi…
“Buying a Father’s Day gift is a challenge at the best of times, and it becomes harder with every year that passes. Novelty beer selection – done, a book he’ll never read – waste of time, something he’ll actually use – probably too expensive.

So this Father’s Day, how about giving your dad something he really wants: somewhere comfortable he can sit, all day, uninterrupted, with all of his favourite things just a small arm extension away.

For one day and one day only, make his dreams come true…

Build him a Man Chair.

The Man Chair is man’s escape from the real world, a homemade slice of paradise, right there in his living room, study or garden shed. He and he alone is allowed to sit in his man chair. It’s his sanctuary; a child-free, woman-free, moral-free zone, complete with everything he could ever need or want.

Meat? Check.

Beer? Check.

Framed photo of his favourite female television personality mounted in front of some mighty antlers? Check.

With the Man Chair, there are no limits, although moving the fridge into the lounge could prove tricky.

So without further ado, allow us to present to you, the Scribbler Man Chair.”

article quoted from http://www.scribbler.com/blog/2013/06/04/introducing-the-man-chair/

Architecture and Furniture: How is your chair relevant to your office?

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What exactly is the correlation between architecture and furniture? Most people see architecture as tall buildings and furniture as sofas and tables. As a former architecture student, my eyes have become adjusted to see more than just a tall building; the way the ceiling meets the ground, the height of a window according to its occupants, the space behind open doors, all aspects that other people commonly do not see, nor particularly care for. Furniture on the other hand is more of a tangible object that can be held or moved. Then what is it about architecture and furniture that makes them so related and interchanged that so many architects become furniture designers or end up making at least one table in their lifetime?

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Designing a chair requires a lot more work than it may seem. You have to take in account for the height of the legs, width of the seat, angle of the back, whether there will be armrests or not, let alone make it comfortable, stylish, and affordable. These considerations are exactly what architects have to consider when making a building. But aside from the technical details, architecture and furniture are what help us designate spaces for where to go, live, sleep, dine, put a book, and place a pencil. They help us navigate through the day, define our spaces, help create routines: ultimately outlining our lives.

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 Imagine living in a world without architecture and furniture. Can you? What would we do? How would we live without designating something as our “house” or “closet”?

Isamu Noguchi coffee table

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Furniture is an amalgamation of form and function: architecture at a smaller scale. When you first lay eyes upon the Isamu Noguchi coffee table, you see a simple glass top resting upon two boomerang-like masses of wood. But as you keep looking, you notice more than that. The two interlocking wood pieces gently rest atop another at a point; a point much too small for the amount of weight the thick glass top carries itself.  You then notice that the wooden pieces are quite thin; too thin to be able to stand straight up by itself,  like trying to get your iphone to stand on its side. You take another look and notice this time that the sun is shining through the window, casting a shadow of the table onto the ground, creating an illusion of two tables. The point at which the two wooden pieces meet creates an illusion of half the table as an individual table, flipped around and upside down.  A minimal design featuring much more than meets the eye, Noguchi’s use of illusion, balance, and craft truly creates a coffee table in perfect harmony.

ps: Did you notice the use of 3′s? A triangular glass top, triangular leg stands, 3 points of intersection, and also 3 total pieces of assembly. Neat huh.

It’s perfectly okay to be picky

 

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MHD is taking the guessing game out of online shopping experience. How you may ask?..sample swatches. In a matter of minutes you can log on to www.manhattanhomedesign.com and pick out up to 3 different furniture sample swatches to be delivered to your home.

The advantages :

- You make sure you’re seeing what you’re going to get before confirming an order

- You get to feel the material and make sure that its texture suits you

- Sample swatches get delivered in 2-6 days depending on your location

- Ordering the sample swatches first helps you pick out material that matches the rest of your furniture, paint, and decor

- You can visually share the furniture decision making with the rest of the family with something tangible

- Also, if you have any questions or concerns you may call our directory at 1-800-917-0297

Not only is ordering the sample swatches convenient and full of advantages, the colors you choose for your furniture may say a lot about you and your home. Continue reading

White leather Eames Lounge Chair

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With summer at our doorstep, the warm weather is finally here to stay for the next three months. It is time to open our windows and bring in fresh air, as well as bright beginnings. Of course this can all begin with a white leather chair and two savvy architects named Charles and Ray Eames. Although normally seen in black leather, the Eames Lounge Chair is also available in white leather, a color suitable for the summer days to come. The color white symbolizes ‘wiping the slate’ and ‘a blank canvas waiting to be written upon’. As we let the negative energy from the cold rainy days leave our door, light up the room with a brighter color palette allowing order, openness, and creativity to fill up the room. A white leather Eames lounge chair will complement any space with modern and trendy. Just make sure you don’t spill your coffee on it.

Artichoke Lamp 19 Inches

If your design style is inspired by nature, then you will certainly be inspired by our Artichoke Lamp.(http://manhattanhomedesign.com/artichoke-lamp-19.html)  This stunning fixture features graceful wings of metal staggered in a downward pattern for the most interesting display of light.  While assuming a natural look; the lamp is equally striking for either a formal or modern setting.  Offered in four scrumptious colors; red, white, silver, and copper, one of these selections is sure to please.