7 White Designer Chairs

I have a secret. Over the past year or so, since moving into my new home, I have developed a chair fetish. It is not something I am proud of but a few of the chairs I aspire to own are all designer and all completely out of my price range! Below are my particular favourites. Some of them are classics and some of them are new collections that will probably become classics soon. All of them, in my humble opinion, would look stunning either as an accent chair or lined up in a row adorning a lovely dining table. Its actually interesting to see how some of the chairs relate to one another; although designed in different decades, the popular shell shapes of days gone by still feature today in new designs such as MDF Italia’s Flow Chair (number 4).

1. Tulip Chair- Eero Saarinen 1956. Finnish-American architect-designer. Moulded fibreglass shell on a cast aluminium base. Loose foam cushions are available in a huge range of colours.

2. The Eames DSW (Dining Side Shell Wood) is a contemporary version of the legendary fibreglass chair that was first presented at the Museum of Modern Art’s competition ‘Low-Cost Furniture Design’ in 1948. It was discontinued in 1993 as fibreglass cannot be recycled; however this contemporary re-edition from Vitra is made from recyclable polypropylene.

3. B Chair Oak Designed in 2010 by Konstantin Grcic. Crafted from a solid oak frame and a stained oak veneer seat with aluminium underside. Handsome in its pure simplicity, and extremely functional with its understated X-shaped frame, the B chair folds neatly to enable horizontal stacking. Available at Conran.

4. Flow Chair by J.M Massuad at MDF Italia. A polycarbonate shell optionally completed with upholstery in fabric or leather.

5. Jean Prouvé 1934 Standard Chair with Cream or Natural Oak Seat. Prouvé practised a sort of functionalist furniture design that, is often found in French schools.

6. Gray 23 by Paola Navone for Gervasoni. Chair in walnut / oak, optional seat cushion in polyurethane foam.

7. Xavier Pauchard 1934. Powder-coated steel. The original was supplied to cafes and brasseries by drinks manufacturers anxious to secure customer loyalty.

Despite chairs 4 & 6 by MDF Italia and Gervasoni. All other chairs are available at Conran where you can find more info …and me pretending I live there.

London Design Festival 2011

This is the last weekend of the London Design Festival 2011 so if you haven’t yet attended any events then you’re still in time! I’m feeling guilty about not having posted about it sooner, but I too have been busy preparing for my company’s presence in the festival (more on that later). Fret not, however, as after the festival finishes on the 25th of September, a new one called FOCUS/11 hosted by the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour, and participating showrooms, starts and runs until the 27th of September.

Both Festivals are a wonderful source of inspiration and invaluable hunting grounds, an opportunity to see new products and meet inspiring people from the trade. Even if you’re not in the industry it’s still great to keep your finger on the pulse of the UK’s world-class creative community. You never know, you may find some great ideas for your own home.

I’ll be attending 100% design tomorrow at Earls Court to check out latest product launches, ideas, designs and technology, and on Saturday, I’m going to make my way to the V&A , the hub of the festival, to enjoy the installations (THEY’RE ALL FREE!) and events. I’m particularly looking forward to the work of Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec called ‘Textile Field’ “their most ambitious collaboration yet, taking over 240 square metres of the gallery floor, with gentle undulations of soft fabric, creating an expansive coloured foam and textile lounge that invites visitors to spend time relaxing in front of the artworks in a much less formal way than usual.” I’m really keen to see firsthand how they’ve managed to “close the formal distance between the viewer and the artwork” especially when the room is known for Raphael’s Renaissance paintings! Looking at the photo though, I think you’ll agree they’ve done a stunning job.I’m also attending a Google design lecture at the V&A on Saturday the 24th of September discussing Living and Designing in the DIY age. I’m still not too sure what this entails exactly but I’m excited to find out! In conclusion, there is loads going on celebrating design in London and you should get involved! Even if it’s just window shopping on the King’s Road to see the preview of Designers Guild new furniture range for Spring 2012 (a project involving yours truly!).

Follow my links to browse events that you may be interested in, go on, I bet you haven’t had a cultural weekend in a while.

Vanessa xo

Reclaimed Retro

Apologies yet again for my leisurely blogging schedules, I have, however, had lots of exciting affairs going on, one being going on holiday to Canada to visit the family and getting nostalgic for all my childhood stomping grounds, smells and flavours!

On the theme of nostalgia, this has also been the month of antiques, and tracking down once loved goods that need new homes. Tom and I are moving into a new home this September (another exciting pursuit) and are trying to find some lovely pieces to furnish the space on a modest budget. We are trying to avoid spending a lot of money on furniture for a space we don’t yet own so, under the advice of many of our friends, we started looking at alternatives such as local furniture charity shops. I was astonished at the variety and quality of the goods at these thrift stores and actually even fell in love with a couple of pieces  -especially so when I found out how cheap some of them were!

I really recommend anyone to go look in a second-hand shop or even join their local neighbourhood network on sites such as Preloved  that sell goods from nearly new to really old. Like a cyber car boot sale,  Preloved is packed with second-hand bargains, you can also shop by categories to save time. Even better is that they’ve also now added a new section called Freeloved which is like Freegive in that the items are even being given away for free, of course you can always see them first before agreeing to inherit them. The beauty of these websites is that they connect people who are giving, and needing, unwanted items for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse, reduce, recycle and keeping good stuff out of landfills. It’s completely free to join and everything posted must be free.

A lot of the pieces I’ve recently found are really on trend and have that 70’s retro feel…Also, with them being such good value you can afford to experiment a little and give the pieces a little personal touch. If it’s a soft furnishing why not re-upholster it in a new fabric? If it’s made of wood….why not sand it down and give it a brand new finish with a stain or statement paint colour? Let’s admit it, a home with a bit of character is always for more interesting than a carbon copy of the Ikea catalogue, not to mention the environmental implications!

If you are going to buy second hand furniture I recommend you to check out this website that has 20 tips to consider before you do…

Other sites to check out would be…Gumtree, ebaySecondlife, and Oxfam to name a few. I endeavour to take my own advice and hope to post some pics of my new/ old furniture soon!

xo Vanessa