After recently receiving¬†some beautiful new Heywood Wakefield Modern pieces in our Manhattan showroom, we found ourselves fondly looking back at how this series of early American modern furniture came to be.
When the five Heywood brothers started crafting furniture in their family‚Äôs barn, they probably never guessed that their pieces would lead to a turning point in American furniture.
Following the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the Heywood-Wakefield brand stood strong, but on the merit of the furniture designs crafted before the turn of the century. In other words, the furniture they made looked dated.
Heywood Wakefield took note, and in (the mid-1930s) released the Heywood-Wakefield Modern series. The Modern series popped with it‚Äôs bright, solid Northern Yellow Birch. Pieces forwent ornamentation for smooth, rounded edges; steaming and bending the wood achieved this look. Modern industrial designers, including Gilbert Rohde, Russel Wright, W. Joseph Carr, among others, were brought in to help streamline production of the modern series throughout the 40s and 50s.¬†
Check out our current Heywood Wakefield selection¬†here, or stop by our Manhattan showroom at 1261 Broadway, Suite 309!
The busy life of a New Yorker means making lots¬†of decisions prior to even stepping out your front door. The decision of what to wear carries obvious importance, and therefore, choosing the right dresser as the proper home for our clothing deserves some serious consideration.
We recently¬†got in this mighty fine 5-drawer dresser designed by Gilbert Rohde for Herman Miller; it¬†features brass drawer pulls, flared legs and a two-tone body with a light wood front. The drawers pull out smoothly and the top drawer contains a center divider; a¬†big plus for the meticulous organizer.
(To read more about wear and condition, please¬†refer to the product page)
Founded in 1905, Herman Miller, an American-based furniture production company, soared to fame in the 1940s with collaborations involving many talented designers such as Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson, and Ray¬†and Charles Eames.¬†The company produced pieces that would later become definitive examples of industrial design. By the middle of the 20th century, Herman Miller was synonymous with “Modern” furniture.
In 1931, Gilbert Rohde, considered a vivacious modernist himself, attracted the interest of Herman Miller and he soon began designing for the company.¬†His designs combine the¬†form and ornamentation reminiscent of the Art Deco style with the rationalism from Bauhaus¬†design, while still maintaining a sense of simplicity.
While Rohde designed for several other furniture manufacturers like Heywood Wakefield, Widdicomb Company, and the Troy Sunshade Company, his work for Herman Miller remains his best work and is considered some of the best work of the period.
We sat down with Rich Fostek of¬†Edge Mid-Century Designs¬†to discuss his luxury apartment staging business in Manhattan. He shared some great insights into the art of staging as well as some personal wisdom on the topics of¬†vintage furniture and interior design!
So follow your heart when¬†designing your own space and follow Rich and David at Edge Mid-Century Designs¬†to stay up to date on¬†their latest stagings!
This holiday season we decided to bring you a handful of curated wish lists from some friends who have an eye for design. Enjoy!
Casey’s Wish List
Casey DeBois, an interior designer for Homepolish, is a great supporter of Furnish Green, purchasing pieces not only for clients but for herself as well. She has put together her personal Furnish Green Christmas list to share with all of us. Some strong and beautifully designed pieces with a couple of fun quirky items mixed in:
1. Tufted Mustard Button Ottoman¬†–¬†“I could collect chairs and this one is small – so it‚Äôs ok. The yellow/brass combo is great and it is good for flexible seating, when you have company over.”
2.¬†Chromcraft Creamsicle and Chrome Bench Settee –¬†“I‚Äôve been pitching this to everyone. These would look great in a small office waiting area, or an entry area of a home. Pair with a great wall covering or accent wall.”
3. Set of 4 Mid Century Knoll Wire Chairs –¬†“KNOLL Chairs! Great classic timeless design, can easily re-do cushions and restore if needed.”
4. Mid Century Ridged 9-Drawer Dresser –¬†“This. I love this piece and think it would be best in a bedroom or living room area, above it I would install an interesting gallery wall.”
5. Ivory Bush Coral –¬†“This is great for bookcase styling. You can use as a chic bookend or you can display on top of pile of flat books.”
6. Peter the Tiger –¬†“This is just awesome. I would maybe put it in my entry area, along side an umbrella holder. I think it would be fun to come home to Peter; he‚Äôs definitely more of a watch guard then my dog, Tuck.”
Danielle’s Wish List
Danielle Arps, recently launched her own interior design firm and has been utilizing the FG inventory in a variety of design projects. She has provided us with some of her favorite pieces this holiday season. A mix of furniture and charming accents pieces, all with the potential to be great gifts. Take a look:
Richards’ Wish List
Furnish Green regular customer, Richards Jarden, seems to constantly have his eye on our website. ¬†With a particular taste for accent pieces and small stands, it has not been uncommon for the FG staff to see such pieces depart for the land of Jarden shortly after being posted online.
“I am a big fan of small things – in particular – small tables, benches, stools, etc. There is always room for something like that, and Furnish Green has a great inventory. A Wish List of these unique items – maybe for me – maybe as gifts.”
Nathan’s Wish List
We asked Nathan Hescock, owner and buyer for Furnish Green, to put together a list of ¬†some of his most-loved pieces in the showroom right now. While we try not to pick favorites, it is only inevitable. Check out what he came up with:
1. Chromcraft Tomato and Chrome 2-Seater with Side Table¬†– “This came from a ¬†dentist’s office that was closing after 60 years. It not only looks cool, but was made for heavy use.”
2. Antique Mission Tiger Oak Arts & Crafts Desk¬†– “This piece came from an abandoned house very close to my own. I just love the classic Mission style and the idea that it had been spared the wear and tear of daily use.”
3. Al Pacino Scarface Framed Oil Painting¬†– “I kind of just like the way he’s looking off into the distance figuring out his next move.”
4. Jade Stained Glass Art Deco Industrial Lamp¬†– “I bought this piece from my friend Caesar, an art dealer. I’m thinking about taking it home to use in my own office.”
5. Rustic Industrial Machinist Cabinet¬†– “I found this in the back of a garage from a house in my hometown. It was buried in a pile of rubbish.”
6. Metal Tornado Mid Century Table Lamp¬†– “I love the wide twisting base and how it narrows until it hits the shade.”
7. Mid Century 3-Drawer 2-Door Credenza¬†– “The slight convex top gives it the perfect combination of masculine and feminine. Some pieces just have ideal proportions, and I think this one’s got it.”
We hope you found some inspiration within these distinctive and thoughtfully curated wish lists. Happy Holidays from the FG Team and a big thanks to all of our contributors!
Casey DeBois, interior designer at Homepolish, was recently featured on The Everygirl. She discussed her career and her beautifully designed apartment (with photos). She’s a frequent Furnish Green customer so take a look at what you can achieve by adding some vintage charm to your home. View the article and featured photos here.
One Saturday morning in February, a gentleman by the name of Matthew Cohen came into the Furnish Green showroom. A designer from Toronto and founder of the¬†Matthew Cohen Design Collective, Cohen has spent the past two years working on a very special project: designing the New York branch of the Centre for Social Innovation. To make his vision a reality, Cohen aimed to use existing materials and repurposed items. Furnish Green became one of his sources, and he purchased a varied assortment of pieces from us. From industrial shelving units to a ceramic stallion’s head, all of these pieces would come together in one unique space.
The Centre for Social Innovation was founded 10 years ago in Toronto, with a simple yet revolutionary philosophy. It’s a place where independent small businesses can share space and resources, and work alongside each other to build relationships.¬†All companies working through CSI are involved in social enterprises.¬†About two years ago, CSI started planning for a new branch in New York City. One of the first steps was finding someone to design the new space. Cohen was working in Toronto at the time, designing venues for various non-profits. CSI took notice of him and his work, and soon he was brought on to oversee the design of the new CSI branch in New york. Since then, Cohen has been working tirelessly to turn the New York CSI into what it is today.
CSI has three locations in Toronto, and the New York branch is the newest addition. Since its opening in May 2013, the New York CSI has grown to accommodate over 180 organizations. CSI also rents spaces to outside companies for various events.
A few weeks ago, Cohen was kind enough to give us a tour of the new site in Chelsea. Tucked in an imposing converted warehouse building, the new CSI is a bustling space with an urban aesthetic. Everything inside was made with existing materials, and built by local craftsmen and contractors. It’s a lively, inviting place, with a strong sense of community.
A number of Furnish Green accent pieces, from vintage globes to geometric sculptures, were used to decorate the charming lounge area, one of the first things you see upon entering CSI. This eclectic look was consistent throughout.
Some old tool drawers from Furnish Green help to keep them organized and maintain the colorful yet industrial style.
Young professionals take advantage of all that CSI has to offer. Companies can rent offices for the long term, while many individuals use the “Hot Desk” system: pay for an allotment of hours, and come to work at any desk that’s open.
Lighting is clearly an important design aspect of the new CSI where individuals are developing all sorts of “bright” ideas. These fixtures were particularly striking.
This coat rack wall was made with repurposed materials from an old nunnery.
All cabinets and shelves in the shared kitchen area were taken from a run-down mill.
These are just a few of the many repurposed design elements at CSI. Some of the rooms are decorated with vintage wallpaper from¬†Second Hand Rose. There are large work tables made with old freight elevator doors from Carnegie Metal. Desks made from felled trees were provided by¬†NY City Slab, and some other wood surfaces were built by¬†Brooklyn Woods. Through its design, CSI has strongly supported local businesses and artisans.
The goal of the Centre for Social Innovation is to revolutionize the way we do business; to be more conscientious of each other and the world we live in, and to make resources available to everyone. After seeing all that goes on at CSI, it’s safe to say that they will have a very positive impact on the world as they continue to grow. To learn more about the Centre for Social Innovation, visit¬†nyc.socialinnovation.org.
The Heywood-Wakefield Furniture Company
Furnish Green carries a fluctuating yet constant supply of furniture pieces by the Heywood-Wakefield furniture company. We value the craftsmanship and quality of their pieces, so if you don’t happen to know the history behind or connotation associated with the Heywood-Wakefield name, we would like to give you a bit of background so you can share in our appreciation of these guys.
Heywood Brothers was established in 1826, while Wakefield Company came about in 1855. Both firms produced wicker and rattan furniture, and as these products became increasingly popular towards the end of the century, they became serious rivals. In 1897 the companies merged as Heywood Brothers & Wakefield Company, but this name was changed to Heywood-Wakefield Company in 1921.
During the 1930s and 40s, Heywood-Wakefield began producing furniture using sleek designs based on French Art Deco. However, all of the pieces maintained a decidedly contemporary look and feel. Vintage Heywood-Wakefield furniture works well with many design concepts due to its strong, solid birch wood construction, simple lines and light blond color.
The Heywood-Wakefield Company continues to make furniture out of Massachusetts and North Carolina. They have maintained a similar aesthetic in their furniture while becoming a bit more modern. Their vintage pieces are sought after for their Mid Century Modern style and structure. Because of the style and quality of the pieces Furnish Green tries to bring in as much Heywood-Wakefield as possible. We hope you like it as much as we do!
Check out our current stock of Heywood-Wakefield now!
Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes,¬†Museum of Modern Art. ¬†June 15 ‚Äď September 23, 2013
Furnish Green is excited to attend and share the information about MoMA‚Äôs first major exhibition on the work of Le Corbusier (Charles-√Čdouard Jeanneret, 1887‚Äď1965), encompassing his work as an architect, interior designer, artist, city planner, writer, and photographer. He was a pioneer in studies of modern high design and was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities. Conceived by guest curator Jean-Louis Cohen, the exhibition reveals the ways in which Le Corbusier observed and imagined landscapes throughout his career, using all the artistic techniques at his disposal, from his early watercolors of Italy, Greece, and Turkey, to his sketches of India, and from the photographs of his formative journeys to the models of his large-scale projects. His paintings and drawings also incorporate many views of sites and cities.
Click here¬†to see sample photos curated by Jean-Louis Cohen. The full edition is available in hardback and is highly recommended.
For those of you who aren‚Äôt familiar with his work, you will be interested to know to that Le Corbusier began experimenting with furniture design in 1928 after inviting the architect, Charlotte Perriand to join his studio. His cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, also collaborated on many of the designs. Before the arrival of Perriand, Le Corbusier relied on ready-made furniture to furnish his projects, such as the simple pieces manufactured by Thonet, the company that manufactured his designs in the 1930s.
The first results of the collaboration were three chrome-plated tubular steel chairs designed for two of his projects, The Maison la Roche in Paris and a pavilion for Barbara and Henry Church. The line of furniture was expanded for Le Corbusier’s 1929 Salon d‚ÄôAutomne installation, ‘Equipment for the Home’. These famous chairs included the LC-1, LC-2, LC-3, and LC-4 and projected a new rationalist aesthetic that came to epitomize the International Style. Shown in clockwise order below, these chairs were clear depictions of the way Le Corbusier felt about furniture. In 1923, he was quoted as saying ‚ÄúChairs are architecture, sofas are bourgeois. ‚Äú In 1964, while Le Corbusier was still alive, Cassina S.p.A. of Milan acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture his furniture designs. Today, many copies exist, but Cassina is still the only manufacturer authorized by the Fondation Le Corbusier.