Visit any factory-inspired condo project, or hip-and-happening home store, and you’ll find designs dating from the 1920s through to the 1970s.
Attention design devotees. Hands up if you’re currently bathing in an avocado-toned acrylic bath. Anybody? Thought not.
Let’s try another tack. Which of you will admit to decorating with genuine 1970s wallpaper featuring psychedelic orange flowers and chocolate brown leaf motifs? Nobody? Why doesn’t that surprise us?
You’re all way too cool and way too “now” to be so attached to the past. Or are you?
Visit any factory-inspired condo development, or hip-and-happening home store, and you’ll almost certainly find yourself wading through design history from the ’20s, ’50s, ’60s and even the ’70s.
The reality is that much of what we consider cutting edge actually predates our parents. Age issues aside, many aspects cut a surprisingly contemporary dash, thereby making them perfect fodder with which to transform otherwise characterless spaces.
Consider the evidence. Step inside our time shuttle, if you will, and enjoy a spot of progressive 1920s modernism via the iconic Barcelona chair, love child of Mies van der Rohe, a German American creative whose work is revered, to this day, across the globe.
The Barcelona’s original purpose was as a modern throne for visiting King Alfonso XIII and was designed to provide a seat as he and his Queen signed the Golden Book to open the International Exposition of 1929.
With button-tufted upholstery and an iconic metal X frame, the chair drew on van der Rohe’s determination to combine supreme comfort with manufacturing economy.
As secondary seating in today’s project, it’s comfortable and elegant and adds immediate historical gravitas. Discover your nearest stocklist at knoll.com.
And our clients? A super fun couple named Laura and James. We figured that, their love of retro taken into account, they’d enjoy a scheme that plundered the past, but in a strident and very contemporary manner.
Why hadn’t they got round to renovating? For starters, their busy schedule as independent film makers meant they had little time to devote to domestic style — as our before pictures can attest. But no worries; what they lacked in time was more than made up for in enthusiasm and blind decorative ambition. Aye, we made a great team!
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