Modern Furniture, Lighting, and Home Accessories

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People & Bios

  • 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

  • New: Verner Panton's designs now available at Modern Planet

    In close collaboration with the Panton estate, especially his widow Marianne Panton, Verpan has acquired the production and sales rights to a significant number of Verner Panton’s designs. In 2003 the production of lighting was initiated and in 2010 a furniture range was added. Picking and choosing products from the vast treasure chest of Panton's work will bring many more items to life again, including his System 1-2-3 Chair and his Mirror Wall Sculptures.

     

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    “He (Verner Panton) is like a glimpse of sun in the humdrum of everyday life” - Hans J. Wegner “He (Verner Panton) is like a glimpse of sun in the humdrum of everyday life” - Hans J. Wegner

     

    All of the Verpan products stand out as some of the most elegant and memorable of Verner Panton’s designs. Products that create life, movement, color and light - design that brings value into the visual world around us.

     

    The Verpan Fun Lighting Collection includes pendants, table lamps, wall lamps and the amazing hanging lights which are large and visually stunning chandeliers. The finishes on the disks are either Mother of Pearl or metal. The Verpan Fun Lighting Collection includes pendants, table lamps, wall lamps and the amazing hanging lights which are large and visually stunning chandeliers. The finishes on the disks are either Mother of Pearl or metal.

     

    The Moon Pendant Light is one of Verner Panton's earliest lamps, 1964. It consists of ten ring-shaped blades positioned in such a way that they can move. Here it is shown with Verner Panton's Cloverleaf Sofa. The Moon Pendant Light is one of Verner Panton's earliest lamps, 1964. It consists of ten ring-shaped blades positioned in such a way that they can move. Here it is shown with Verner Panton's Cloverleaf Sofa.

     

    The Verner Panton Panto Light was designed in 1977. It is a transparent light globe, available in two sizes. The Verner Panton Panto Light was designed in 1977. It is a transparent light globe, available in two sizes.

     

    It certainly looks like Verner Panton had a lot of fun in his lifetime, 1926-1998. He was an inspirational and colorful personality. A unique person with a special sense of color, shape, and light. Born in Denmark and trained as an architect, Panton worked at Arne Jacobsen’s architectural practice, setting up his own design studio in 1955. Verner Panton started by designing lamps for Louis Poulsen. The first lamp to be put into production was the Topan lamp in 1959, followed by the Moon Lamp. Verner Panton went on to design colorful seating systems, tables, rugs, and wall sculptures.

     

    Designed in 1969, the Welle Lounge Seating System creates its own landscape. Available in a colorful range of fabrics. Designed in 1969, the Welle Lounge Seating System creates its own landscape. Available in a colorful range of fabrics.

     

    "An important thing to remember is that his work was also loved by children." - Tom Dixon

     

    The Panton Pop Lounge Chair is available in red or white. The Panton Pop Lounge Chair is available in red or white.

     

    The 1-2-3 Rack makes an excellent storage solution for modern spaces. It is often paired with the 1-2-3 Mirror, a free standing mirror that fits any contemporary space. The 1-2-3 Rack makes an excellent storage solution for modern spaces. It is often paired with the 1-2-3 Mirror, a free standing mirror that fits any contemporary space.

     

    Several of Verner Panton's designs are available through Vitra.

     

    Together with Vitra, Panton came up with the first prototypes for this molded one-piece chair in the 1960s and the Panton Chair went into series production as of 1967. Unlike the cheaper Panton Chair Standard in solid plastic, Panton Chair Classic is made of rigid expanded plastic and has a lacquered surface. Together with Vitra, Panton came up with the first prototypes for this molded one-piece chair in the 1960s and the Panton Chair went into series production as of 1967. Unlike the cheaper Panton Chair Standard in solid plastic, Panton Chair Classic is made of rigid expanded plastic and has a lacquered surface.

     

    The Vitra Verner Panton Heart Cone Chair is a variant on the Cone Chair, designed in 1958. The Vitra Verner Panton Heart Cone Chair is a variant on the Cone Chair, designed in 1958.

    Originally designed for a Danish restaurant, the Cone Chair takes its shape from the classic geometric figure for which it is named. The cone-shaped seat is mounted at its point on a stainless steel swivel base. Originally designed for a Danish restaurant, the Cone Chair takes its shape from the classic geometric figure for which it is named. The cone-shaped seat is mounted at its point on a stainless steel swivel base.

     

    The original and radical spirit of the 1960s continued to shape Panton's work to the end of his life. Encouraged by the revival of the '60s in the 1990s, Panton believed that imagination would once again enter the furniture design world. It seems imagination and fantasy is in full flower these days, unfortunately Panton is no longer here to witness this current period of design experimentation.

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

  • Finn Juhl – a Danish icon is re-launched by Onecollection

    When you look at the graceful shapes and sensual curves of Finn Juhl's work, you may be shocked to realize that he designed these pieces 60 to 70 years ago. When you look at the graceful shapes and sensual curves of Finn Juhl's work, you may be shocked to realize that he designed these pieces 60 to 70 years ago.

     

    In 2000 Onecollection acquired the exclusive rights to produce Finn Juhl’s iconic furniture from the 1940s and 50s. Since then the company has re-launched a comprehensive range of Juhl’s designs.

    Finn Juhl, born in Denmark in 1912, was a pioneering force in his own country. Finn Juhl is credited along with fellow Danes Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, and Poul Kjaerholm for introducing Danish modern design to mid-century America.

    Finn Juhl (1912-1989) was born in Denmark, and considered himself an architect of the interior as well as the exterior. Finn Juhl, (1912-1989), considered himself an architect of the interior as well as the exterior.

     

    He began designing furniture like the Poet Sofa, 1941, for use in his own home, north of Copenhagen. Juhl felt that furniture, handicraft and art should create a completeness of the house, which in his case was decorated with works of the Danish painters of the time.

     

    The Finn Juhl Poet Sofa, seen here with the Pelican Coffee Table, designed in 1940, was inspired by ”free art”. Today this sofa represents a part of Danish cultural history. The Poet Sofa is made to the finest manufacturing standards with hand-sewn upholstery and its legs come in several different wood finishes.  The Finn Juhl Poet Sofa, seen here with the Pelican Coffee Table, designed in 1940, was inspired by ”free art”. Today this sofa represents a part of Danish cultural history. The Poet Sofa is made to the finest manufacturing standards with hand-sewn upholstery and its legs come in several different wood finishes.

     

    In 1937, Juhl began collaborating with master cabinetmaker Niels Vodder, and the pair were the buzz of the 1945 Cabinetmakers' Guild exhibition with their expressive, sculptural pieces.

     

    The Model 45 Armchair, broke from tradition by freeing the upholstered areas from the wood frame. The result was an easy, elegant and tantalizing expression that came to characterize Finn Juhl and make him a world famous designer. The Model 45 Armchair, broke from tradition by freeing the upholstered areas from the wood frame. The result was an easy, elegant and tantalizing expression that came to characterize Finn Juhl and make him a world famous designer.

     

    Finn Juhl was preoccupied with shapes and colors during his life because of his great interest in cubist and surrealistic art. The Finn Juhl Sideboard with colored sliding doors and trays was designed in 1955. It is part of a series of cubist wood cabinets that float on delicate steel frames with wood “feet”. Finn Juhl was preoccupied with shapes and colors during his life because of his great interest in cubist and surrealistic art. The Finn Juhl Sideboard with colored sliding doors and trays was designed in 1955. It is part of a series of cubist wood cabinets that float on delicate steel frames with wood “feet”.

     

    Juhl made his American debut in 1951, at the "Good Design" exhibit in Chicago and at MoMA in New York, and he represented Denmark in creating the interior of a meeting hall at the United Nations Headquarters. In 2013, Onecollection manufactured all new furniture for the Finn Juhl Chamber at the UN Headquarters in New York.

     

    In 1963, Finn Juhl designed a series of lamps that were only in production for seven years and are nowadays both rare and coveted as collectibles. They are now back in production at Onecollection, in the original combination of two shades of gray. Available as a wall lamp, a table light and a pendant light. In 1963, Finn Juhl designed a series of lamps that were only in production for seven years and are nowadays both rare and coveted as collectibles. They are now back in production at Onecollection, in the original combination of two shades of gray. Available as a wall lamp, a table light and a pendant light.

     

    Finn Juhl is still winning awards decades after his death in 1989. The 2010 Wallpaper Design Award was awarded to the 1951 Baker Sofa in the category of Best Reissue. Finn Juhl is still winning awards decades after his death in 1989. The 2010 Wallpaper Design Award was awarded to the 1951 Baker Sofa in the category of Best Reissue.

     

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

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