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Thursday, May 31, 2012

More Gus

A couple of Gus*Modern pieces were backordered when we got our initial shipment, so I want to share two more chairs with you. I think you'll like them very much.

This is the GT Rocker. It has a steel base and cushions inspired by vintage auto upholstery. The GT Rocker is available in three fabric choices.

Gus*Modern GT Rocker in Tangerine

This is the Delano chair. It has a stainless steel frame and blind-tufted cushions. It can be upholstered in fabric or leather.

Delano chair in Nickel

I fell in love with the orange GT Rocker the first time I saw a photograph of it. Now that I've seen it in person, I'm even more enamoured of it.  This is one Gus piece I definitely plan to buy for myself soon.

I'll be busy the next few days doing a big project for the school district, so my posts will probably be fairly short. In the meantime, I'll be sharing photos of some of the new pieces in the store without much commentary. I'll be back to my usual chatty self as soon as possible, I promise. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fifty years from now: Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava
Santiago Calatrava Valls (1951- ) is a Spanish architect, sculptor and structural engineer. He was born in Benimàmet, which is now considered part of Valencia, Spain. He received an undergraduate degree in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and did post-graduate work in urbanism. In 1975 he enrolled at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich to study civil engineering. After receiving his doctorate in 1981, he opened an architectural and engineering firm in Zürich. He now has offices in several major cities around the world.

His early work was primarily bridges and train stations, although in later years he has designed towers and skyscrapers. Some of his most famous designs are the Montjüic Communications Tower in Barcelona, Spain, the Allen Lambert Galleria in Toronto, Canada, the Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Turning Torso tower in Malmö, Sweden. Calatrava's work has already won tremendous acclaim, and he will undoubtedly be viewed fifty years from now as one of the most important architects of this era.

From and 

Montjüic Communications Tower - Barcelona, Spain
Allen Lambert Galleria - Toronto, Canada
Quadracci Pavilion - Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA)
Turning Torso - Malmö, Sweden

In 1999 Calatrava was commissioned to design a bridge spanning the Trinity River in Dallas, Texas. Construction began in 2007, and the bridge was officially opened in March of this year. It is significant because it is the first vehicular bridge Calatrava has designed in the United States. The bridge, named the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge after the daughter of Texas oil magnate H. L. Hunt, Jr., is affectionately known to Dallasites as "Large Marge" and is destined to become the iconic landmark of the city.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge - Dallas, Texas (USA)
Another view of "Large Marge" - Dallas, Texas (USA)

My daughter and I took the boys for a drive over the new bridge a few days ago. Grandson #1, who's two-and-a-half now, was somewhat impressed, although he was very distracted by the fabulous kite-flying event taking place on the riverbanks on both sides of the bridge. Grandson #2, who just turned one in December, was enthralled by the kites and didn't even notice that the bridge existed. :)

Here is a beautiful video of the activities commemorating the official opening of "Large Marge." I think you'll enjoy seeing the bridge...and how Texans celebrate a proud moment...with speeches, photograhy, food, fireworks, and dancing to the music of Lyle Lovett.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pssst...It's called a slip seat.

It's time for another installment of furniture term trivia you'll probably never need to know...but, boy, will it make you feel smart to be carrying all this knowledge around in your head!

A slip seat is an upholstered "loose seat" insert that is dropped into the frame of a dining chair and can be removed for reupholstery. It sits inside and somewhat flush with the frame, rather than sitting atop the frame.  While many mid-century chairs, especially Danish Modern designs, have seats that extend beyond the frame, slip seats are not uncommon.

Arne Vodder chairs
Chairs by Anderstrup Møbelfabrik - thekeyantiques
Johannes Andersen chairs

Here's an example of a chair that does not have a slip seat. Rather, the seat sits on top of the frame and extends several inches beyond it. 

Vilhelm Wohlert chairs - NOT slip seats

Monday, May 28, 2012

Back in the day: Drive-in movies

I grew up in the heyday of drive-in movies. During the summertime, the whole family enjoyed an outing to the drive-in. My mom would pack pillows and quilts, then slather us with mosquito repellent and put us in our pajamas, and off we would go for an evening out together. As we got older, we were allowed to wear our play clothes and go to the swings and slides below the gigantic movie screen, where we could laugh and run and burn off excess energy till it got dark enough for the movie to start.

Off insect repellent
Drive-in marquee

As soon as we arrived at the drive-in, my parents would hang the tinny speakers on the car windows and listen to music and announcements till the snack bar ads and previews of coming attractions began. The minute singing hot dogs or dancing cold drink cups started cavorting across the screen, my dad would make his way to the snack bar, returning to the car with boxes of popcorn and sodas in divided cardboard carrying trays just in time for the movie to start.

Drive-in speakers
Snack bar ad

You could usually hear a ripple of applause and muffled cheers when the opening credits started to roll. After all the anticipation, however, it wasn't long till the youngsters were asleep in the back seat of the car, and mom and dad could enjoy the main feature.

I continued to go to the drive-in even as a newlywed in the late 1960s. There was one near our apartment complex in Grand Prairie, Texas, and it was cheap entertainment for us when we were in college. Unfortunately, with the advent of the mall and the multiplex theater, drive-ins lost their appeal. Most closed and fell into disrepair and were eventually razed, although a few abandoned screens remain in a seas of weeds and speaker poles.

After reading that drive-in theaters are making a come-back, I was thrilled to learn that a brand new one will be opening here in Fort Worth in July. Coyote Theaters leased a large parcel of land on the banks of the Trinity River and is building three screens that will show movies in digital format.  Moviegoers will be able to watch from their cars, rent cabanas or set up chairs in pavilions. Movie soundtracks will be played through state-of-the-art speakers in the cabanas and pavilions or through car radios. Each screen will have space for 250 to 500 cars, and admission will be $6 to $8 per person.

Artist's rendering of the new drive-in theater
to open in Fort Worth, Texas

It may not be the drive-in of my youth, but you can bet our family will be there!

Read more here:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Donald Deskey

Donald Deskey
Donald Deskey (1894-1989) was born in Blue Earth, Minnesota. He studied architecture at the University of California, but he chose not to practice. Instead he became an artist and an industrial designer.

In 1925 he went to Paris to attend the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. What he saw there would influence his approach to design.

He first gained recognition for creating window displays for the Franklin Simon department store in Manhattan in 1926. In the 1929 he won the competition to design the interior of Radio City Music Hall.

He opened a design consultant firm in New York City and later entered a partnership with Phillip Vollmer, forming the firm of Deskey-Vollmer, which specialized in textile and furniture design. In the 1940s he formed Donald Deskey Associates and became a pioneer in the branding industry. He designed the original brands for Tide laundry detergent, Crest toothpaste, Joy dishwashing detergent, Pampers diapers and Duncan Hines food products. This firm is still in business in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Deskey's designs progressed from Art Deco to Streamline Moderne and included a broad range of items, even including light poles for New York City. A collection of his work is held by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

From and

Coffee table for Charak Modern

Art Deco table

Art Deco lamp
Pool table

Dining chairs

Three-panel screen


Radio City Music Hall

New York City lighting

Tide bullseye logo

Patent application renderings for Drene shampoo and Joy detergent bottles

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend: The sale to remember

My daughter, SIL and the boys are in Denver this weekend, and they left the store in the hands of our good friend Robert...and me...with instructions for us to hold an unforgettable Memorial Day Weekend sale. That's exactly what we're going to do. We'll be lowering prices on everything in the store...some as much as 40%.

Here are some of the things people will be getting remarkable deals on this weekend.

Eames lounge chair and ottoman

Danish credenza

Austrian bowl

Rope folding chairs

Guzzini arc lamp, tulip table, Saarinen Executive chairs

Blenko fish

Ole Wanscher chairs

Grete Jalk sofa and coffee table, George Nelson bubble lamp, Gus*Modern Timber table

Blenko decanter

Broyhill Brasilia room divider
Milo Baughman tables

George Nelson bubble lamp

Friday, May 25, 2012

The livin' is easy

Summertime...Do a little grilling, then kick back in a great chair with a frosty cold drink and enjoy life. (Yes, it's time to try some of those scrumptious-looking recipes you've been pinning.)

We can't provide the food and drinks, but we can definitely provide a set of cool outdoor chairs. Take a look at these Thinline of California wire chairs in a cheerful green that's bound to put everyone in a party mood. They didn't have cushions when we bought them, but if the new owner wants us to make some, we will be happy to do so. We think a nice marine grade vinyl in white would look perfect.

Patio chairs by Thinline of California
Champagne cocktail with mint and lemon sorbet
Sangria Bianca