For most people in 2018, it’s hard to imagine an incubator as a ubiquitous household item. But from the late 19th century into the first few decades of the 20th century, it was far from unusual to incubate chicken eggs inside your home or barn. Demand for chicken was rising as more Americans moved to urban environments without a chicken coop of their own. Incubators offered mechanical means of brooding eggs, prompting hens to lay them more frequently. This meant a savvy farmer could exponentially increase their profits if they yielded a good amount of chicks, but he or she had to keep a vigilant eye on the incubator’s temperature to ensure this (hence, why they needed to be indoors).
To keep the incubator at the proper temperature (102-103 degrees), these early incubators used small hot water boilers powered by kerosene. The eggs had to be turned manually for even warming. The incubation process can take up to three weeks, to yield at most 80-85% of the eggs they started with. The first major player in the American incubator market was the Buckeye, from Springfield, Ohio. As a major technological innovation that was changing the landscape of American food and farming, Buckeye incubators were prominently featured in an exhibition at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.
Which brings us to this¬†Buckeye Incubator Side Table. Though no longer a functional incubator, the glass-fronted cavity that once held eggs can now be used for all sorts of storage (it’s a great size for coffee table books). These legs were not originally part of this incubator, but suit the overall style well. With it now finally feeling like springtime in New York, this piece feels very seasonally appropriate. So stop by our showroom to examine this wonderful piece of American history–last one in to see it is a rotten egg!
Sofas and loveseats, with their size and function, have a way of really setting the tone of a space. While a sofa with a loud print or unusual upholstery can make the whole room feel like a party, one with a sleek or tapered frame can provide an element of sophistication. The tasteful Charles Pfister for Knoll Tawny Loveseat¬†has a clean, modern look and still manages to feel warm and cozy.
Charles Pfister (1940-1990) had a distinguished career as both a designer of furnishings and an interior designer. Though he may be best remembered for his innovations in corporate interiors, many of his pieces are timelessly stylish for home use. His design philosophy, in his own words, focused on “opulence without waste.”
This phrase perfectly describes the loveseat that recently arrived in the FG showroom. Part of his 1971 collection for Knoll, it’s all softness and sophistication rolled into a deceptively simple package. The upholstery is a calming golden brown, working both as a neutral tone and offering a bit of color when the light catches it. At a width of five feet, it comfortably seats two and fits well into a New York apartment.
Visit the product page for additional details on the Charles Pfister for Knoll Loveseat or stop by the showroom for a closer look and to experience its cozy embrace!
Though they’re rarely the first thing that comes to mind on hearing the word “furniture,” home appliances can make just as much of an aesthetic impact as a bold chair or ornate table. Kitchen appliances, in particular, have long been designed with a keen eye for style. We frequently get beautifully designed vintage kitchen appliances in stock at Furnish Green, like this art deco Breakfaster,¬†this Osterizer beehive blender, and this Maid of Honor ice cream freezer. But rarely has one caused such a stir of excitement as when the¬†Rival Ice-O-Matic electric ice crusher arrived.
“It’s so cool-looking!”
“We HAVE to try it out.”
And we did. It crushes up ice cubes into little ice shards so deftly that it seems to deserve a round of applause afterward. It could be a faithful friend through cocktail parties and hot days alike, and look good while doing it.
A little history: you’ve probably heard of Rival, and there’s a good chance there’s at least one item in your kitchen with their name on it. The Rival Company dates back to 1932 when, in Kansas City, Russian immigrant Henry J. Talge started a small die-casting business that soon began to produce their own products. Rival’s first product was the Juice-O-Mat manual juicer. The “O-Mat” and later “O-Matic” trademark landed on most of Rival’s kitchen and home products for decades, like the Shred-O-Mat, the Grind-O-Mat, the Steam-O-Matic, and the Protect-O-Matic.
The Rival Company produced many colors and styles of manual ice crushers and, in the 1950s, expanded into electric ice crushers. These sleek boxes of chrome, enamel, and plastic encapsulate the image of the perfect mid century¬†Donna Reed kitchen, highly color coordinated and filled with tools and gadgets for every need.
Though this is the end of the story for our friendly Ice-O-Matic, the biggest chapter of the Rival story doesn’t come until 1971, when they introduce the Crock Pot. This innovative slow cooker changed home cooking for countless individuals and made the Rival brand a true household name. The company still exists today, though their product line is not as “O-Matic” centered as it once was.
So whether you’re building up your vintage bar or just prefer your ice to be very small, consider the noble Ice-O-Matic.
These days, plastic doesn’t have the¬†most upscale reputation,¬†usually stemming from the idea of plastic as disposable. “Plastic furniture”¬†may conjure up images of lawn chairs and beach chairs sold at CVS or Target.¬†However, there’s a world of beautiful, stylish plastic furniture meant for indoor use. Plastic’s appeal in quality furniture isn’t disposability; plastic (and its¬†heavier cousin Lucite), is lightweight and durable, and presents a futuristic aesthetic with clean simple lines. Lucite and molded plastic can be clear, smoked or tinted, or a solid color.
Lucite, like Formica and Kleenex, is actually a brand name that became so ubiquitous it is¬†often used (as I will here) to describe all acrylic glass. The formula for acrylic glass was developed in 1928, and a variety of companies internationally brought it to market through the 1930s. The most prominent versions were Rohm & Haas’ “Plexiglas” and DuPont’s “Lucite.” The initial applications were utilitarian and coincided with World War II:¬†windshields for airplanes, periscopes for submarines, and gun turrets were all being made from Plexiglas/Lucite for both sides of the war.
Cosmetics titan (and first female Jewish magnate) Helena Rubinstein was an early acolyte of Lucite furniture, decking out her apartment¬†with custom-manufactured Rohm & Haas pieces in the 1930s. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the design world hit upon Lucite as the next big material for jewelry, art, and furniture. Through the 1960s and 1970s, Lucite was the medium of choice in evoking the futuristic and space-age for modernist and experimental furniture designers. Molded plastic was often employed in this aesthetic as a lighter-weight and less expensive¬†alternative to Lucite¬†that looked equally sleek and clean.
The Jetsons may have imagined some things that were out of reach, but the funky atomic-style shapes of the show’s backdrops were best¬†translated to the real world in Lucite and plastic. Lucite also became a key material in late Hollywood Regency designs of the 1970s and 1980s, since clear and tinted objects could match easily with gold, white, and even the loudest patterns. Clear furniture and decor, in particular, are strongly associated with the opulent styles of the 1980s.¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†
Molded plastic found a new design champion in the 1990s through Phillippe Starck’s Louis Ghost Chair for Kartell. Kartell, a Los Angeles-based company specializing in plastic furniture, had a hit on their hands with the Louis Ghost and subsequent similar styles like the Victoria Ghost. These chairs married traditional historic furniture shapes with bold modern materials and geometry for a stunning effect. The Ghost collection of furniture is still produced by Kartell, as well as many imitators offering versions at lower price points. We currently have in stock an assortment of imitation Louis Ghost and Victoria Ghost chairs, as seen below.
Though it has gone in and out of style since its creation, there’s no doubt that Lucite and plastic are here to stay in furniture.¬†As 3D printing becomes more widespread through all fields of design, it’s no surprise that¬†there’s a growing number of companies offering distinctive 3D-printed furniture. Here at Furnish Green, we’re always bringing in Lucite and plastic furniture in a range of styles, so keep an eye on our showroom or click here¬†for your next retro-futuristic treasure!
Denmark is considered the happiest country in the world. While the list of reasons is long¬†(dedication to workers’ rights, a rich history of art, Legos), we’d like to think their furniture is on that list. With the renewed popularity of mid century decor in recent years, you may find yourself wondering why so much furniture is marked “Danish” or “Danish Modern.”
The Danish Modern style of design began as early as the 1920s in Scandinavia, but it didn’t become visible on the global stage until after World War II. The style is typified by an emphasis on quality materials, sleek and novel shapes, and¬†finding beauty in the clean and simplistic. These made Danish Modern designs perfectly suited to postwar prosperity and practicality.
One of the largest factors in Danish Modern’s international popularity was its¬†role in the launch of the United Nations. In 1952, Danish designer Finn Juhl was chosen to decorate the Trusteeship Council Chamber in New York¬†City’s new United Nations building. This¬†important new international¬†organization for the mid century era became a sort of showroom for a style unlike any most Americans¬†had ever seen.
As Danish Modern swept the nation in the fifties, American companies started to produce their own versions of Danish Modern style furniture. While produced¬†at high standards of quality and design, these American-made pieces are less expensive today than their Danish counterparts because they often incorporated more plastic and Formica, and lacked the prestige of an attached designer name. We currently have Danish Modern furniture in our store made everywhere from Norway to Canada to Israel, demonstrating the international design community’s embrace of this style as one of the most significant of the 20th century.
The popularity of Danish Modern design peaked in 1963, and in 1966 it began to steeply decline in popularity. With the recent resurgence of Mid Century Modern, it’s no surprise that the style’s cool¬†European cousin is back as well. Here at Furnish Green, we have an ever-changing selection of Danish Modern furniture from a range of decades and countries of origin. Stop into our showroom or search “Danish Modern” on the website to stay¬†up-to-date¬†on this rich beloved style.
Very few weekdays pass when we don’t get a new piece of industrial furniture in our¬†showroom. The popularity of these pieces seems to grow by the second as furniture lovers have begun mixing more into their spaces.
When choosing furniture for government buildings, buyers needed two simple elements: function and durability. Furnishings in a work or public space were expected to be used often, and thus required the durability to withstand decades of use. The style organically born of these two needs was Industrial.
Industrial Furniture in the Modern Home:
Industrial furniture pieces can be some of the most difficult pieces to identify because most were never named to begin with. This mystery gives industrial furniture its timeless appeal. Most people have seen hundreds of industrial pieces in public or work spaces throughout their lives. So to see the style mixed into the modern living space gives a sense of nostalgia.
Check out our ever growing collection of industrial furniture and accent pieces¬†while they’re still¬†available!
Listen, I Like Industrial Style But I Also Like Wood:
Consider Arts & Crafts/Mission furniture with its similar clean lines and unpretentious designs. Hey, that rhymes!
We are always trying to discover new fun facts about the pieces that come into our¬†showroom. This week we are digging a little deeper into our Stanley Furniture collection.
In 1924, after quitting his job as an executive at Basset Furniture Company, Thomas¬†Bahnson Stanley decided to start his own furniture business. At the young age of 33, he bought a plot of land in Virginia and turned it into Stanleytown. A factory was built, streets were laid, and homes were constructed for his workers to live in. His factory became one of the leading furniture manufacturers in the country, producing quality furniture that impressed the markets in Grand Rapids, Chicago and New York. Even through The Great Depression, they remained a strong business because Stanley took such pride in keeping his workers and his customers happy.
Stanley has remained a high-end name in furniture throughout the decades. In the late mid-century, they produced a fun line of bedroom furniture called the Ol√© Collection. It came in several colors with red and yellow being the most popular. It was probably the most colorful furniture at that time and was featured in several magazines with the slogan “We made Ol√© because¬†little girls never¬†stay little”. It was a dream come true for many girls around the nation.
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We just got a nearly complete set of the Ol√© Yellow Collection in our Manhattan showroom. It includes a twin-sized bed, a desk with a matching chair, and a tall bookcase cabinet. The best thing about this collection is that you don’t have to be a little girl¬†to enjoy it. This energetic, retro furniture was designed to be appealing to both children and adults. It features a bright green trim and orange flowers around the hardware. It has a very whimsical vibe and is perfect for any space¬†in need of some color!
You can check it all out here.
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!
Have you ever wondered where your furniture comes from? It can have a huge effect on the price and quality of your piece. One of the places to look out for is Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Michigan has a rich history of furniture manufacturing. Grand Rapids alone is home to over 60 furniture manufacturing¬†companies including American Seating, Grand Rapids Chair Company, Haworth, Herman Miller, Leland International, Steelcase, and Vanerum Stelter, to name a few. It is often referred to as “Furniture City”.
If your furniture is marked with a ‚Äúmade in Grand Rapids‚ÄĚ¬†sticker then it is sure to be a quality crafted piece of furniture. It took a few lawsuits and a lot of money for the Grand Rapids Furniture Association to claim the name as a trademark, but it prevented other inferior furniture companies from putting the name Grand Rapids on their products and selling it for a higher price. Obtaining the trademark has helped Grand Rapids furniture establish its high-quality reputation that it maintains today.
Back in 1876, when Berkey & Gay Co. sold its furniture to the Eastern merchants in New York, Grand Rapids officially became a nationwide furniture provider. Since then, Grand Rapids has become the ‚ÄúFurniture Capital of the World‚ÄĚ, selling their one-of-a kind, high-quality furniture all over the country.
So when you are mulling over your next furniture purchase, take a minute to see where it came from. You might be surprised at what you discover.
When shopping with Furnish Green, we make sure to note how special or unique a piece is.¬†This is simply to inform and graciously prepare you with some wonderful talking points for your next get-together! It can be anything from a turn-of-the-century piece¬†with hand-cut dovetail joints to a creative use of material, a luscious color or perhaps a unique modular feature.
Currently, there is a great assortment of¬†vintage and antique pieces with splayed legs.
You may be asking yourself, what are splayed legs? That is a wonderful question. Kudos to you sharp Furnish Greeners, always willing to learn!
Splayed legs (or saber legs) flare out in a concave shape. At times, they can be round or squared and often¬†gradually tapered.¬†These are usually found on a chair, stool, table or sofa.¬†Fine splayed legs date back to the early 19th century¬†with designers such as Thomas Sheraton and thrived in Empire, Regency and Federal furniture styles.
So now, it is time for us to stop teasing and show a little Mid Century, Atomic and Danish Modern leg.
To see these and other splay-leg pieces in stock, check out our current¬†selection!