Modern Furniture, Lighting, and Home Accessories

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  • Happy 100th Birthday to Florence Knoll

    Last week marked the 100th birthday of Florence Knoll whose signature style and pioneering spirit are at the core of everything Knoll. Her influence on the "total design" sensibility of Knoll cannot be overstated. Florence broadened the company’s existing array of furniture offerings, developed the Knoll Planning Unit, an interior design division of the company that set the standard for the mid-century modern interior, and in 1947 she launched a textile program to fill another gap she perceived in the market for furniture upholstery. This would later become KnollTextiles.

     

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    Florence Knoll's early life was marred by tragedy when she was orphaned at age 12. After boarding school Florence enrolled at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where she met Harry Bertoia, who would also collaborate with Knoll on modern furniture designs. During her formative years studying architecture in Chicago, Florence met many of the leading architects of the time, including Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe.

    In 1941 she met Hans Knoll who was the third generation of a Stuttgart-based furniture manufacturing family, who sought to bring European Modernism to a new audience in the United States. They married in 1946 and renamed the company Knoll Associates.

    With a spare, geometric profile—an expression of the rational design approach Florence Knoll learned from her mentor, Mies van der Rohe—the Relaxed Lounge Sofa is utterly modern and totally timeless. Compared to the standard Florence Knoll Lounge Collection, the Relaxed Edition offers a softer version, with deeper proportions for a more relaxed sit. With a spare, geometric profile—an expression of the rational design approach Florence Knoll learned from her mentor, Mies van der Rohe—the Relaxed Lounge Sofa is utterly modern and totally timeless. Compared to the standard Florence Knoll Lounge Collection, the Relaxed Edition offers a softer version, with deeper proportions for a more relaxed sit.

     

    In 1945 Florence Knoll started The Planning Unit, an interior design division of the furniture company that set the standard for the mid-century modern interior. Florence Knoll’s meticulous methods of assessing a client’s needs were clear in her sketches, annotations, and especially the "paste-up" cardboard models she used to demonstrate envisioned spaces.

    Finding the marketing lacking, Florence Knoll also designed individual pieces of furniture. "I needed a piece of furniture, it was not there, so I designed it." - Florence Knoll.

    The Florence Knoll Executive Desk exudes executive quality and epitomizes Mies van der Rohe’s impact on Florence’s approach to design. Each detail was endlessly refined to achieve simple, seemingly effortless beauty. Available in six table top finishes. The Florence Knoll Executive Desk exudes executive quality and epitomizes Mies van der Rohe’s impact on Florence’s approach to design. Each detail was endlessly refined to achieve simple, seemingly effortless beauty. Available in six table top finishes.

    Florence Knoll's Credenza Collection is perfectly proportioned and immaculately detailed. The iconic Florence Knoll Credenza works as well in the dining room as it does in the office. Florence Knoll's Credenza Collection is perfectly proportioned and immaculately detailed. The iconic Florence Knoll Credenza works as well in the dining room as it does in the office.

     

    In 1947, Florence Knoll  launched a textile program to fill another gap she perceived in the market for furniture upholstery. This would later become KnollTextiles. "It became apparent to me that suitable textiles were not available for our furniture and interiors," she wrote.

    Florence's use of small fabric swatches—the simple but effective practice of stapling fabric samples to pieces of cardboard—in client presentations led her to develop a tagged sample and display system that eventually became an industry standard. Florence's use of small fabric swatches—the simple but effective practice of stapling fabric samples to pieces of cardboard—in client presentations led her to develop a tagged sample and display system that eventually became an industry standard.

     

    In the early 1950s, under Florence Knoll's stewardship, the company developed a distinctive graphic identity, collaborating with Swiss photographer and graphic designer Herbert Matter to design everything from advertisements and stationery to the company’s distinctive logo.

    But in 1955, her life was struck by a second tragedy when Hans Knoll was killed in an automobile accident and she suddenly found herself as Knoll’s sole owner. In 1957 she married again and continued in her capacity as Knoll's president and later as its director of design, but eventually sold the company to Art Metal Construction Company in 1959. Even after her departure from Knoll, the company continued to be inspired by her synthetic view of design and rigorous standards.

    To celebrate a century of Florence Knoll and her inspired brand of modernism, Knoll expanded the Florence Knoll Collection with the addition of new and archival products.

    Revived from the Knoll product archive 70 years after its initial introduction, Florence Knoll’s Model 75 Stool is now available as the Knoll Hairpin Stacking Table. The early design was based on her wire studies done while a student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, which were eventually translated into the immensely popular design for Knoll. Revived from the Knoll product archive 70 years after its initial introduction, Florence Knoll’s Model 75 Stool is now available as the Knoll Hairpin Stacking Table. The early design was based on her wire studies done while a student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, which were eventually translated into the immensely popular design for Knoll.

     

    In 2002, Florence Knoll Bassett was awarded the National Medal of the Arts, the highest honor for achievement in the field presented annually by the President of the United States. In 2002, Florence Knoll Bassett was awarded the National Medal of the Arts, the highest honor for achievement in the field presented annually by the President of the United States.

     

    In the lasting acclaim for the planning projects she spearheaded and the pieces of furniture she quietly designed, Florence Knoll has continually proven her own mantra—that "good design is good business."

    Support creativity and help protect the history of design and the future of innovation - always buy original and authentic designs.

    For Canadian customers interested in modern furniture, lighting and accessories, please go to our Canadian site, GRShop.com

  • Introducing the Knoll Pilot Lounge Chair

    It is always exciting when a new chair debuts and the Knoll Pilot Lounge Chair designed by the British team of Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby is very exciting. Marrying visual and material lightness with exceptional comfort, the Pilot Chair is an innovative swivel lounge chair with a striking, slim profile, equally suited for the home or office.

    Available in both high and low back versions as well as a range of leather and fabric upholstery options, the Pilot Chair is a versatile lounge chair that can be adapted to match the aesthetics of any setting. It is available armless, or with upholstered, or steel loop arm options and painted grey or polished aluminum base finishes. Pilot is an endlessly customizable chair. Available in both high and low back versions as well as a range of leather and fabric upholstery options, the Pilot Chair is a versatile lounge chair that can be adapted to match the aesthetics of any setting. It is available armless, or with upholstered, or steel loop arm options and painted grey or polished aluminum base finishes. Pilot is an endlessly customizable chair.

    The designers of the Pilot Lounge Chair, Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, are well-versed in the delicate art of balancing tradition with innovation. "When designing for a company like Knoll, one continuously wonders how to place new ideas into such an iconic collection," they commented. "Our new Pilot Chair not only responds to today’s needs, but also offers an elegant, innovative design for a different culture." The designers of the Pilot Lounge Chair, Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, are well-versed in the delicate art of balancing tradition with innovation. "When designing for a company like Knoll, one continuously wonders how to place new ideas into such an iconic collection," they commented. "Our new Pilot Chair not only responds to today’s needs, but also offers an elegant, innovative design for a different culture."

     

    The Knoll Pilot Lounge Chair offers a choice of a high or low back seat which features a unique upholstery substructure for greater flexibility, appears to float in the air, giving the chair a refined silhouette and an essential, timeless appeal.

    Here is the high back Pilot Chair, with upholstered arms, shown with the Knoll Piton Side Table, also designed by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby. Here is the high back Pilot Chair, with upholstered arms, shown with the Knoll Piton Side Table, also designed by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby.

    The low back Knoll Pilot Chair is very styling in one of the many leather upholstery options. The low back Knoll Pilot Chair is very styling in one of the many leather upholstery options.

    Embodying refinement, comfort, and craftsmanship, the Pilot Chair is unmistakably contemporary but modern in sensibility. It features a cast-aluminum structure that links the crane-neck, 360-degree swivel base to the assembly of the seat and back, creating the impression that the cantilevered seat is almost floating. Embodying refinement, comfort, and craftsmanship, the Pilot Chair is unmistakably contemporary but modern in sensibility. It features a cast-aluminum structure that links the crane-neck, 360-degree swivel base to the assembly of the seat and back, creating the impression that the cantilevered seat is almost floating.

     

    Also designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby and taking cues from the aesthetic principles of modernism and pragmatic considerations of the height-adjustable stools manufactured for sewing professionals in the mid-century era, the Knoll Piton Stool and Side Table are equally well suited for industrial tasks and domestic settings.

    The Piton Stool is available in a fixed or height adjustable stool or a side table. It is available in many top and base finishes. They also have an outdoor option. The Piton Stool is available in a fixed or height adjustable stool or a side table. It is available in many top and base finishes. They also have an outdoor option.

    The Piton Stool is a perfect pull-up option or full-time dining chair. The swiveling seat sits atop a cast-aluminum, powder coated base which is a unique reinterpretation of the familiar tripod structure. The Piton Stool is a perfect pull-up option or full-time dining chair. The swiveling seat sits atop a cast-aluminum, powder coated base which is a unique reinterpretation of the familiar tripod structure.

     

    “The pencil is the ultimate tool for the transfer of ideas from mind to paper,” says Edward Barber. In 2011 Barber and Osgerby were appointed to design the London 2012 Olympic Torch. Their research-led practice has developed collections for Knoll, Vitra, B&B Italia, Venini, Cappellini, Magis, Swarovski, Flos and Established & Sons, while also producing special edition furniture and one-off works for both private and public commissions. They are based in London.

    Support creativity and help protect the history of design and the future of innovation - always buy original and authentic designs.

    For Canadian customers interested in modern furniture, lighting and accessories, please go to our Canadian site, GRShop.com

  • Mater, Danish ethical design and expert craftmanship

    Creating classic, timeless and ethical designs is at the heart of the Danish design company Mater. They take pride in a long-standing dedication to high quality materials, simple style and a color scheme of calm, organic muted tones. Mater is 20% off until March 21st.

    The Mater Bowl Table reconciles Indian craftsmanship with the simplicity of Scandinavian design. The Bowl Table's top is made from the wood of the mango fruit tree, harvested once the productive life of the tree is over. The wood top is turned manually on the lathe, showcasing the skill of the “kharaadi”, the local Indian wood turning community. The finishing is done with lead free water-based PU lacquers, thereby respecting the local environment. The Mater Bowl Table reconciles Indian craftsmanship with the simplicity of Scandinavian design. The Bowl Table's top is made from the wood of the mango fruit tree, harvested once the productive life of the tree is over. The wood top is turned manually on the lathe, showcasing the skill of the “kharaadi”, the local Indian wood turning community. The finishing is done with lead free water-based PU lacquers, thereby respecting the local environment.

     

    Mater means "mother" in Latin. It is Mater's daily reminder of their contribution to help with the challenges mother earth faces. Design influences how we as humans live our lives; it shapes values, culture and society. Unfortunately, the choices made during the design process often have environmental consequences. However, as a manufacturer, Mater has the opportunity to rethink dubious practices and create ethical and sustainable design that minimizes adverse social and environmental impacts.

    The Mater Shell Collection of lounge, dining and bar stools have leather stitched seats, inspired by traditional craft practices in North India, particularly saddle making. The swivel seat makes the Mater Bar Stool suitable for various spaces in both residential and commercial settings. The Mater Shell Collection of lounge, dining and bar stools have leather stitched seats, inspired by traditional craft practices in North India, particularly saddle making. The swivel seat makes the Mater Bar Stool suitable for various spaces in both residential and commercial settings.

    The Mater Shell Lounge Chair has a contemporary and elegant silhouette defined by the sculptural wooden frame and a “floating seat” that creates an interaction of stability and dynamism. It has three wood frame options and a highly curated fabric and leather upholstery selection. The Mater Shell Lounge Chair has a contemporary and elegant silhouette defined by the sculptural wooden frame and a “floating seat” that creates an interaction of stability and dynamism. It has three wood frame options and a highly curated fabric and leather upholstery selection.

     

    Ethics plays a large part in the Mater company ethos. They care about using resources responsibly in their designs and they try hard to implement and motivate sustainable business principles within the production chain. They are aware of the associated environmental, ethical and social consequences of production of design objects. They want to inspire consumer behavior and engage people in sustainable thinking, helping making design matter and reducing their overall footprint.

     

    The Mater J80 Chair was designed by Jørgen Bækmark in the 1950s. The combination of the wooden frame and the woven paper cord seat provides a unique seat that molds to your body. The Mater J80 Chair was designed by Jørgen Bækmark in the 1950s. The combination of the wooden frame and the woven paper cord seat provides a unique seat that molds to your body.

    The Mater J80 Chair is available in a great collection of frame and seat options. Combine them to create a fun but classic look that will age with grace. The Mater J80 Chair is available in a great collection of frame and seat options. Combine them to create a fun but classic look that will age with grace.

    In Finnish Terho means acorn and the name refer to the natural and sympathetic shapes of acorns found in nature. The special color of alder wood and the opal made of white mouth blown glass is a unique combination of glass and wood only seen in lamps designs on rare occasions. The Terho lamps can be used individually or as a combination of different sizes in a small group. In Finnish Terho means acorn and the name refer to the natural and sympathetic shapes of acorns found in nature. The Mater Terho Pendant Lamp is made of alder wood combined with white blown glass. The wood is sourced from responsible European forestry (FSC), treated with natural wax, and the glass is mouth-blown in the Czech Republic. The Terho lamps can be used individually or as a combination of different sizes in a small group.

    The Mater Liuku Collection of pendant lamps is a contemporary pendant lamp designed by Finnish designer Maija Puoskari. Liuku is consisting of a coloured mouth-blown glass shade nestling over an FSC-certified alder wood base in two different shapes, with long-life LED built in. Liuku’s shade is available with clear glass or in two beautiful tones of smoke or gradient violet. Additionally, the wooden base can be used on it’s own as a single pendant, or to create a rows and clusters for both residential. The Mater Liuku Collection of pendant lamps, designed by Finnish designer Maija Puoskari, consist of a colored mouth-blown glass shade nestling over an FSC-certified alder wood base in two different shapes. Liuku’s shade is available with clear glass or in two beautiful tones of smoke or gradient violet.

    The Mater Trumpet Coat Stand, designed by the Danish architect duo Space Copenhagen, has nine discs in three different sizes that are positioned at angles suitable for hanging hats, scarves and umbrellas. Available in black or aluminum finish, made of recycled aluminum. The Mater Trumpet Coat Stand, designed by the Danish architect duo Space Copenhagen, has nine discs in three different sizes that are positioned at angles suitable for hanging hats, scarves and umbrellas. Available in black or aluminum finish, made of recycled aluminum.

     

    The Mater Collection is an ongoing interplay of exquisite design talent, shared wisdom from craftsmen and master artisans, sustainable techniques, premium materials and reflective insights.

    Support creativity and help protect the history of design and the future of innovation - always buy original and authentic designs.

    For Canadian customers interested in modern furniture, lighting and accessories, please go to our Canadian site, GRShop.com

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