December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from Classic Design!

We have so much to be thankful for as this year concludes - we thank our customers & clients, we thank our vendors & most importantly, we thank the artisans that work with us everyday for helping us create beautiful furniture that is enjoyed worldwide. And, we thank you for following along with us on this epic journey!

Be well, be safe, be healthy & happy!

December 22, 2015

Cowhide Ottoman on Chrome Base

We've been working to finish up some projects before the end of the year, and this Cowhide Ottoman is one of them. This amazing piece features a rustic hair on hide upholstered cushion, coupled with a modern high polished chrome base.

Using hair on hide leather is such a unique application; it has a soft, luxurious hand, and each piece has characteristics particular to the hide. 

 Depending on the piece we are fabricating, the spine is usually centered and is a focal point. Many leather hides have defects that we usually work around, but on a piece like this, it's harder, and oftentimes the defects are worked into the design and used as a detail.

The chrome base is high polished and is gorgeous against the blond hide. We're sure this will be a focal piece in our clients' living room!

December 10, 2015

Architectural Tour: Schindler House Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to a great concentration of cultural & architectural icons, but sometimes we don't realize what we have sitting under our own nose. Design junkies that we are, it's such a treat to stumble upon one of those special places when we least expect it.

During a recent walk down Melrose Avenue, in the heart of West Hollywood, I ventured down Kings Road, which is one of the most beautiful streets in that neighborhood. It's tree-lined, mostly residential, and the quaintness is out of sync with the traffic & bustle nearby. It was on this detour that I noticed a small sign for Schindler House. I was not hugely familiar with R. M Schindler, but I did know the name as a pioneer in the modernism era, so I had to investigate further.

What strikes you first is that you would never know a historic home is located on this quiet and serene street, never mind in the middle of the city. It's set back from the street, behind a fully mature bamboo hedge, with just the small sign proclaiming its' existence. 

Schindler House Los Angeles, or the Kings Road House, as it is commonly known, was built in 1922 and was actually considered to be one of Schindler's most important works. It is considered by many to be the first house built in the modern style, and was experimentally built for communal living, housing another couple besides the Schindlers. 

The lot was divided into seven sections; four of them were assigned to each of the four inhabitants of the home, to express their own individuality and there was a shared kitchen and outdoor sleeping areas (on a rooftop deck). The structure draws upon European modern architecture (Schindler was Austrian) and, like many European buildings of that time, incorporated concrete, glass and wood in the construction of the home. This had become a popular trend in Europe thanks to Mies van der Rohe's work in experimental concrete buildings in the 1920's. 

The residence was used for political, social and cultural events during the time they lived there, and it was also used as housing for visiting artists, architects and writers (Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, Lloyd Wright, were frequent visitors). I can only imagine how astounding the guest list must have been during those days. The Schindlers eventually divorced, but the house continued to be a meeting place for left-wing political radicals in Los Angeles. 

Today, the house is maintained and funded by the MAK Center for Art and Architecture Los Angeles at Schindler House. There are year-round events and exhibitions and programs geared toward the creative arts. When we were there, we were lucky to be treated to a small Eames exhibit.

Schindler House is located at 835 North Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069. It is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am - 6 pm, and admission is $7.00.

It is well worth the visit.

Images: Top photo via MAK Center for Art & Architecture Los Angeles. All other photos my own.

December 08, 2015

Restored & Reupholstered Saarinen Executive Armchairs

The Executive Armchair by Eero Saarinen is such a classic chair. And while it tends toward the industrial and utilitarian, it is just as lovely in a private residential setting as it is in the office.

This set had certainly seen better days; you can click on the photos to see them larger, but the fabric was very faded and very worn, even torn in some areas. We stripped all the chairs down to their fiberglass shell, and started all over.

The photo above is actually a great look at the 'bones' of the chair! And, if you look carefully (feel free to click on the image to enlarge it!) you can even see the date stamp of 11-12-62!

We completely restored & reupholstered each of the chairs. The photo below shows one of our upholstery professionals, Francisco, closing the chair by hand, as we always do for these classic pieces.

The new fabric, as you can see, is a gorgeous, deep blue. With the polished metal bases, they are standout, focal pieces.

We have more restored & reupholstered Saarinen Executive Chairs here and here - take a look!

December 06, 2015

Scenes from the Workroom

Just a little of what has been going on in the workshop lately! It's been a busy year - we can't believe it's December already! We've gone from large project to large project - and we are as grateful to our clients, old and new, as we are to our team! They are true artisans!

December 03, 2015

Large 4-Piece Ultrasuede Sectional

We've mentioned before that one of the beautiful aspects of custom furniture is the ability to choose the dimensions and scale of the piece you are having made. This custom sectional is a prime example of such a decision. 

Our client had a large space that they wanted to place this sectional in. However, access into the residence was difficult (access is something you always have to account for when designing, or purchasing, furniture).

We took those logistics into account when we were planning the fabrication & construction of this sofa, and decided to make it in four pieces. The client wasn't thrilled about seeing section breaks along the bottom frame, so we came up with a solution: we hid the breaks!

What do you think? Can you tell where the sections are? Neither can we.

December 01, 2015

Dark Oak Leather Ottoman

In going through the archives recently, when we featured another similar ottoman, we realized this was another piece we had not shared here! This is the same ottoman we showed you here, except it's a bit longer, and was fabricated with dark leather and a dark oak finish. It's great to be able to see pieces in different combinations of fabric/leather and wood, so we wanted to share this.

November 29, 2015

Classic CK Sofa

When we featured the CK Armchair last week, we realized we had never uploaded photos of the CK Sofa. This is a beautiful, classic sofa, with a recessed base, single seat & double back cushions. 

This sofa was custom made for a client in Paris, and as mentioned, was featured in a layout in Architectural Digest Italia - it looks gorgeous in its' home setting!

November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Classic Design!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours! As we all give thanks today, we are grateful to our entire team of artisans for the beautiful work, and dedication they show through their craftsmanship. Above is just a small sampling of what has been going on lately in our workshop.

In light of all that is happening in the world today, we are also so thankful for our armed forces, and the people who serve, for keeping us safe and free.

Enjoy your holiday and time with your family, friends and loved ones.

November 24, 2015

Modern Daybed

This daybed was fabricated in beautiful ivory linen, and is a companion piece to the ivory tuxedo sofa we featured a couple of weeks ago. The wood base is finished the same, and has the same clean lines as the wood base on the sofa.

It's difficult to see in the photos, unfortunately, but the cushion is tufted and includes a bolster on one end. This would also be beautiful in a silk velvet with bolsters on both ends.

November 22, 2015

Custom Oak Ottoman

This ottoman was made to sit at the foot of the bed for one of our clients. The base is fabricated in oak and has a natural finish. Since this is a custom piece, we can fabricate it in any species of wood and finish it in any way - the beauty of customization!

A line of nail heads in a French natural finish separates the fabric from the wood. The attached cushion is fabric, but we have also made this ottoman with a leather upholstered cushion, as well as with a dark finish & dark leather.

November 19, 2015

CK Armchair

The CK Armchair is one of our most popular armchairs, and its' comfort is unsurpassed. The lines and aesthetic are clean, classic and timeless - and the style is actually a chair version of one of our popular sofas, the CK Sofa. This sofa was also featured in Architectural Digest Italia in 2012.

Its size is a little scaled down, so it's perfect for tighter spaces. Since all of our pieces are custom made, the dimensions can be modified, so this piece can work in a variety of spaces and settings.

The oak feet are slightly tapered, and can be customized as to wood type & finish as well. This chair was upholstered in a gorgeous silk mohair, that has the softest, most plush hand. Truly, a gorgeous armchair.

November 17, 2015

Restored Palo Alto chair

This poor chair! It had been badly reupholstered many years ago in vinyl by its' previous owner, and as you can see, the tufted back cushion did not hold up well over the years!

It's called the Palo Alto chair, and it was designed by California designer Byron Botker and produced by the Landes Manufacuring Company in the 1970's. Which makes sense, because it is pure disco era!

We brought it back to life with a complete restoration, and reupholstered it in black leather.

Our research discovered that this chair is part of the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
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