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.

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