Archives for the month of: January, 2012

I’m not one to post about self improvement but these 5 “rules” make alot of sense.

Putting them up here so I don’t forget!

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About a year ago I wandered into one of my favorite Boston mid century shops, Reside, and saw a Milo Baughman (for Thayer Coggin) recliner that I liked. Not loved. But liked. I ended up buying it because I thought I’d use it somewhere…in a client project or maybe even at home. And at that time I had it in my head it would definitely need to be reupholstered. The burnt orange, original, fabric would have to go.

I put the chair in storage and kinda forgot about it….until a few days ago.

We were thinking we needed something tall, kinda leggy, not very bulky, and comfortable for a corner of our upstairs living room. And then I remembered that old chair I’d put away.

Off we went to fetch the chair and bring it home. And I gotta tell you, I’m really happy. Here’s the chair at home.

It’s become my new favorite chair.

I remember my father had a recliner that was his CHAIR. I think this baby is my new CHAIR. It is so darn comfortable as well. It reclines out to this.

The ash frame is beautiful and elegant. The arms are crafted perfectly, your elbows literaly sink into the curved wood. And I am in love with the original fabric and color. No reupholstery needed thank you very much,

I’m seeing all kinds of uses for this chair—naps, reading, blogging, and just stairing out into the harbor.

It’s January 21st and we’re getting our first real snowfall of the year!

It’s a beautiful day and everyone in our house seems to be napping, including our surly dachshund, Winnie. That’s her up on the pillow.

I think we’ll just stay inside most of the day and be cozy.

Happy Saturday.

On Jury Duty the next few days. Back soon.

Lempi is a new “universal drinking glass”, designed by the Swedish designer Matti Klenell for the Fiskars Group iitalia brand.

Matti Klenell

Meaning ‘favorite’ in Finnish, Lempi has been created for any occasion, informal or formal. Inspired by life in a typical Stockholm city apartment, the stackable stemware offers generous servings without taking up too much space.

The Lempi glass is strong enough to be used every day and elegant enough to be considered for that special occasion.

It comes in 4 soft colors which I think would look beautiful on any table, in any style of home.

I’ve been a fan of Modernica, a small modern furniture company based out of Los Angeles, for a while now.

A couple years ago we purchased 4 Modernica fiberglass shell chairs for our dining table as seen below.

Chris + Vince's shell chairs

After a little while I felt like the shell chairs matched with our Saarinen tulip table was a bit much…so we’ve since switched to a set of 6 Swedish vintage teak chairs by the designer Yngve Ekstrom. They warm up the room a good deal more. But…you can be sure I’ll use the shell chairs someplace else in our house.

In general, I think the shell chair works best when juxtaposed with something from another genre or period. For example, crisp white shell chairs around an old wooden farm table look amazing.

Modernica’s shell chair manufacturing was down for some time while the company built a new manufacturing facility. Modernica is the only manufacturer currently that has the ability to produce the case study fiberglass shell chair with the production process that was intended with Charles and Ray Eames original design. You can see a video of the first chair to be made on Modernica’s “new” press here.

What’s super cool is that Modernica is using the original presses and the original preform machine that were used by Zenith Plastics for Charles Eames production of Herman Miller chairs. The preform machine is the only such machine in existence; it was designed by Sol Fingerhut in 1960. Both the presses and the preform machine are the very same pieces of equipment used to create thousands and thousands of chairs since their very first run in 1950 and now sixty years later, this equipment is located at Modernica’s new Los Angeles’s factory.

What I also love about this chair is the color options:

Shell chair color options

While Provincetown is a treasure trove of quintissential new england style homes, it is also home to a modernist gem called “the Murchison house”.

The glass-walled house designed by Walter Gropius’s firm, The Architects Collaborative (TAC), sits high on a hill overlooking Ptown’s breakwater, dunes, and the sea beyond. According to a Boston Globe press account of the listing of this house back in 2007, the extent of Gropius’s involvement in this house’s planning is unclear. A TAC book said Robert McMillan was partner-in-charge of the Murchison project. “I wouldn’t call it a Gropius house,” said former TAC partner John Harkness. But Gropius – who designed his own house in Lincoln – rarely drew plans on paper, said Jill Pearlman, author of Investing American Modernism: Joseph Hudnut, Walter Gropius, and the Bauhaus Legacy at Harvard. “He was a great man but less so for his architecture than his philosophical impact,” she said.

“The Murchison house is a mint-condition artifact of 1950s Modernism. The entrance, made of teak, was designed to evoke a Japanese temple. Walls of 8-foot windows flood the interior with natural light and provide 270-degree water views. Interior furnishings that were specially made include a Calder-like fixture with six dangling globe lights. A tube television is hidden, like a prop from an early James Bond movie, behind a door built into the living room’s black-walnut paneled cabinetry. The large outdoor pool, with a view of Provincetown Harbor, was once the scene of large, swinging parties. Guests included pioneering abstract painter Hans Hoffman, and among the Murchisons’ papers is a photograph of Frank Sinatra dancing pool-side at one party. The cypress-paneled cabana has two bathhouses.”

The extravagant Murchison home contrasts with early-modern houses built on Cape Cod during the late 1940s and early 1950s many of which can be documented through the Cape Cod Modern House Trust. These were spare edifices, often tucked in the woods or along the seashore, by leftist intellectuals and artists who either had little money or subscribed to a utopian modernism centered on egalitarianism. The Murchisons shelled out $300,000 to build their house, an enormous sum in the late 1950s.

The house sold a couple years ago for several million dollars and has been undergoing a thorough restoration ever since. It’s impossible to get too close to the house because of it being situated behind gates and surrounded by a thicket of vegetation. But I took a few photos while we were out on a walk today enjoying this unseasonably warm and sunny winter day.

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