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BEFORE + AFTER – DANISH MODERN CHARTREUSE SOFA

Posted by on May 19, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

Here’s a recent restoration we’re pretty proud of!  This beautiful chartreuse colored sofa hails from Denmark and dates to about the late 1950s.  When we picked this piece up overseas, the fabric was well kept, but the original foam underneath had seriously disintegrated.  We decided to restore it to its original glory as much as possible, and were amazed to find that Kvadrat still produces an almost identical match to the original chartreuse color (Tonica collection, colorway 411)!  Unfortunately, the cushion fabric was unsalvageable, so it was replaced to match the rest of the sofa.  After a lot of new foam, 12 yards of fresh wool, and some new strapping, this gorgeous sofa is given new life, while still retaining its original look!

Before and after photos are below.  Here’s a link to the listing itself.

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FOR THE GOOD OF WOOD

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

Wood can say a lot about a mid century furniture piece.  You can tell where it was manufactured, when it was produced, and how it’s been taken care of over the decades.  Teak, rosewood, mahogany, and walnut were all major materials used during the 50s and 60s, and America, Britain, and Denmark each had their wood of preference.  We’ve put together a little guide to help you not only recognize what your mid century piece is crafted in but to give you a context for its construction.  

TEAK

Old Growth Teak

Old Growth Teak

Young Teak

Young Teak

Teak is the most popular and common wood used in mid century Danish design.  Imported primarily from India and Southeast Asia, teak is a hard wood with a smooth grain texture.  The tone of teak varies greatly due to the age of the tree and the time of harvest.  Old growth teak (top) is much darker with deep red tones throughout.  Because many of the teak forests were over-harvested by the mid 1960s, later generations were planted and harvested without time for maturing.  For this reason, the tone of the wood can often be used to date the piece.  Young teak (bottom) is characterized by warm yellow tones.  Many English pieces use young teak since they began to produce “modern” pieces about a decade after the craze began in Denmark.  Over time, teak darkens with sun exposer.

 

ROSEWOOD 

Brazilian Rosewood

Brazilian Rosewood

Lighter Rosewood

Lighter Rosewood

Rosewood, named after the rose- like aroma of these old-growth trees, is another hard wood with a dense, tense grain pattern.  Rosewood varies from country to country but most Danish designs were crafted from Brazilian (top) and Honduran Rosewood.  The deep red tones are contrasted by dark “spider-webbing” patterns.  Rosewood is an endangered species as a result of over- harvesting and is no longer used to craft furniture or goods of any kind.  The wood’s rarity makes pieces more desirable and thus more expensive.  Rosewood lightens with sun exposure (bottom).

 

MAHOGANY

Light Mahogany

Light Mahogany

Dark Mahogany

Dark Mahogany

Mahogany has been a popular wood in English design since the 1700s. When cabinet makers began manufacturing modern furniture, the wood was still in high demand.  Not as popular in Denmark, only a fraction of their furniture was crafted in this wood.  Mahogany is characterized by it’s striped or ribbon pattern and comes in a variety of tones ranging from light, yellow tones (top) to deep purple (bottom).

 

WALNUT

Brown Walnut

Brown Walnut

 

Lighter Walnut

Lighter Walnut

Most American mid century pieces are crafted in Black Walnut grown on the East Coast much of which is harvested in Virginia.  In fact, many of the popular manufacturers from the era including Lane, American of Martinsville, and Bassett were based in Virginia.  Walnut comes in a variety of tones ranging from dark brown tones (top) to a brilliant red (bottom).  This hard wood usually has a softer grain appearance with straight and burled patterns.

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FREE! FREE! FREE!

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

Want this chair? The first person to pick it up this weekend (04/12) gets to take it home for FREE!!! We open Saturday at 10am.  1220 Shotwell Street, San Francisco.  See you then!

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PRESIDENTIAL SCREENING

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

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1958: First Lady Mamie Eisenhower with her grandchildren in the White House Movie Theatre

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THE ULTIMATE

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

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The Spartan 3- way “Imperial” TV with AM radio, Hi-Fi stereo, and automatic record changer.

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PILLOWS PILLOWS PILLOWS

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

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MID CENTURY FLAT SCREEN TELEVISION FROM 1961

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

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Innovations from 1961

This 4″ wide color television also had a device which recorded programming in the viewers absence.  Displayed at the Home Furnishings Market in Chicago, Illinois, on June 21, 1961.

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DIMINUTIVELY DANISH

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

Hans Wegner

Hans Wegner in his studio

 

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DESIGN FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

 

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A small selection from Ben Perry’s collection of propaganda, art posters, and advertising from Russia’s mid- century modernist period.

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SPRING BREAK STATE OF MIND

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments

 

Sun Dancer Hotel Phoenix, AZ

Sun Dancer Hotel Phoenix, AZ

 

El Rancho Motel Burbank, CA

El Rancho Motel Burbank, CA

 

Sands Motel Ottawa, Canada

Sands Motel Ottawa, Canada

 

Lazy A Motel Phoenix, AZ

Lazy A Motel Phoenix, AZ

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