July 31, 2015

Mid century chair desktop wallpaper!

Fellow design junkies will appreciate this - David Vineis is a French digital artist, who created a set of 20 desktop wallpapers for your computer. You can download the entire pack and change them out as the mood (or imaginative decor) changes!

They are available here - scroll to the end to download the zip file. Have fun - happy Friday!

July 30, 2015

Upholstery School: Stitch Types & Samples

Many of the designers we work with already know this, but the average person might not know the difference between a plain seam, a single top stitch or a double top stitch. Oftentimes, this is one of the first questions we ask when we are reupholstering a piece, or making a custom piece.

The type of stitch will depend on many things, but most importantly is the style of the piece, personal preference and the type of fabric used.

The plain seam, shown at the top, is very common, and often used with thick, nubby or high pile velvet or mohair. It's simple and clean.

A single welt, shown at the bottom, is a thin piece of fabric, cut on the bias, and wrapped around a cotton cord. It is then sewn into the seam and provides a decorative element to a piece of furniture or cushion. This can also be a contrast fabric, or pre made element/cord. The single welt shown is small, but welts can vary in size. One thing to keep in mind is that depending on the size of the welt, and position (on the edge of a seat cushion, for example), it can impact the comfort when you are sitting.

The single top stitch has the appearance of a welt, but lays flat. This is very often used on seat and back cushions and gives an otherwise plain fabric some dimension. On thick velvets and mohair, however, this can look a little sloppy sometimes because the fabric 'hairs' can end up sewn in different directions.

The double top stitch is also very popular; it starts as a plain seam and then a top stitch is run down each side of the seam using a double needle machine. The double top stitch originated in Italy in the 1970's, and a single needle machine was initially used. The top stitch back then was rarely straight, and the needle impressions were not even. Thank goodness for technology, because it's really beautiful, but it can get lost if you are using a nubby or boucle type of fabric.

What's your favorite stitch?

July 29, 2015

Before & After: Vintage Florence Knoll sofa

We recently finished restoring a rare, early production Florence Knoll sofa for a client. This is a before photo:

It's a little different from the later models in that the arms are set outside of the metal base frame. Here's what we did:

It's always such a pleasure to breathe new life into an older piece, especially one as classic as this! 

July 28, 2015

Joseph Dirand's Paris Apartment tour

You have to see this beautifullly minimalistic flat in Paris, owned by architect Joseph Dirand. It's nothing short of gorgeous - from the Jeanneret slipper chairs & sofa in the living room to the Pouvre side chairs in the kitchen. It's light and bright, and pretty much perfection.

via MyDomain.com

July 23, 2015

From the archives: Pierre Jeanneret inspired Desk

This is a bit of a Throwback Thursday post! I was going through some of the thousands of images I have of previous projects, and this one always stops me in my tracks. We made this desk for a client a few years ago. It was inspired by a piece designed by the late, great Pierre Jeanneret, who collaborated a great deal with his cousin, Charles Edouard Jenneret (aka Le Corbusier).

This was a truly incredible piece; solid wood with a asymmetrical tapered front leg on one side, and a single drawer above an open compartment.

The back side features open compartments arranged as open shelves. I did a little research, and apparently these pieces were originally made for a student center in Chandigarh, India (crazy to think about these incredible pieces used by students!).

The client had an existing original chair that was refinished to match the desk.

 Together, they make a beautiful pair.

July 22, 2015

Ico Parisi inspired banquette sofa

Ico & Luisa Parisi designed a truly beautiful banquette sofa for the Hotel Lorena, Italy circa 1960. It is a very unique sofa, with a partially exposed frame and a tight seat & tight back.

Our interpretation, for a client, was recently finished and installed. The fabric they selected was perfect for this style - a little nubby with a beautiful texture and hand.

The exposed frame in the back is a gorgeous detail, but it doesn't stop there. The detail on the turned post legs and the connecting bars is a captivating aesthetic aspect. 

Details like this are complicated and often challenging, and there are always many drawings involved before we are satisfied enough to move forward into fabrication. 

The dark finish adds such a warm richness against the light fabric. We are so happy with the way this turned out and hope our client does as well.

July 21, 2015

About a chair...

For Every Need, In Every Way, For Everyone from Herman Miller on Vimeo.
Animator Bill Porter takes us on a simple journey through the life of a boy and a girl and the chair they encounter at every turn.

Story Concept and Creative Direction: WHY hermanmiller.com/why
Animation: Bill Porter www.bpbpbp.com

July 16, 2015

Classic Design's work in Veranda Magazine

In addition to restoration, reupholstery and custom furniture, we also fabricate wall & window coverings. It's difficult to show images of this kind of work, however, because the majority (read: all) of these applications are in private homes, and we are not permitted to photograph the homes we work in.

So when we happen upon a magazine spread showing our work, we are thrilled. These photos are of the original work that was done approximately 4 years ago for Anthony Baratta, for a client of his in Los Angeles. 

Classic Design fabricated & installed the wall upholstery shown above & below.

Classic Design fabricated the bed curtains & canopy in the master bedroom shown below.

We recently recovered all the outdoor furniture and remade the portieres (drapes) in the outdoor BBQ loggia (shown below) and pool loggia (second photo below), in preparation for the homeowners daughters' wedding. 

We are sure the wedding was a huge success - as you can see, the grounds are spectacular. If you have a chance, take a look at the entire spread in the July 2015 issue of Veranda Magazine, it's gorgeous.

July 13, 2015

Video: Finding Charles Pollock

As a design junkie, I spend quite a bit of personal time online reading blogs, following links, and getting inspiration. Clicking around on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I came across this fascinating (short) video about Charles Pollock (by Robert Chrisco), who designed the classic Pollock Executive chair, which is still in production with Knoll.

Almost all our office chairs here at Classic Design are Pollock Executive chairs, and they are probably one of the most comfortable I've ever experienced. 

We've also done our share of Pollock restorations, and not just the Executive Office chair (which was introduced in 1965). Another popular chair is the Sling Chair - also known as the Pollock Arm Chair, or 657 Sling Chair. This piece was the first he created for Knoll in the late 1950's. 

Interestingly, Charles Pollock worked with George Nelson in the early 1950's. During this time, he developed the Swag Leg Chair, which Nelson went on to produce with Herman Miller - also still in production. 

We have an early barstool - a very rare piece - here in the studio. 

In 2012, 47 years after the release and success of the Executive Office chair, Charles Pollock released his final creation - the CP.1 Chair.  Another beautiful execution of design and style.

It's amazing to see the succession of design through the years. Charles Pollock died in 2013 at the age of 83. I hope you'll take the time (5 minutes!) to watch the video above, and let us know what you think. 

July 08, 2015

Most Popular Question: Is my Eames chair real?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get on our contact form from new clients is whether their Eames lounge chair is authentic. Or, they think it is, and we have to break the news that it is in fact not authentic.



We originally ran this post in 2011 - but a good refresher is always in order! Here are the essentials:

  • All real Eames chairs are made in plywood, with cherry, walnut, santos palisander or rosewood veneers.
  • A real Eames Lounge Chair will have a five-legged base, and the Ottoman will have four legs. The bases should be die-cast.
  • The cushions for the ottoman and seat cushions for the chair should be the exact same size, and the leather should be soft.
  • The armrests should be slightly curved, not flat, and should have a separate piece of leather wrapped around the edge.
  • Finally, all originals do not have any visible screws or bolts, and should have natural rubber shock mounts and adjustable stainless steel glides.
NOT real!

NOT real!


If there is ever a questions about the authenticity of your chair, feel free to give us a call, or email us at info@classicdesignla.com. 

July 01, 2015

Milo Baughman inspired Curved Sofa

Another recently completed piece is this Milo Baughman inspired curved sofa. We tried to stay true to his style aesthetic, injecting our own standards for incredible comfort and longevity - this baby is solid (8 men were needed to move it!).

Our client had a specific space for this piece, so the dimensions were quite custom, and the radius is not as extreme as Milo had designed his pieces to be. We also made this in one piece, as opposed to the two, or sometimes three, that his sofas were constructed with.

The recessed black base gives this piece an ethereal, floating sense - and the ivory fabric is perfection on such a beautiful sofa.

Cocktails anyone?
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