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!
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.
If you’re like us, chances are you love a good barrel chair! This classic accent chair is sure to offer some real charm and comfort.¬†The true start of the barrel chair remains hazy, as various sources site its location of origin to be in¬†places including¬†the United Kingdom, the Virgin Islands, Italy, and France. One thing that remains certain is that the well-constructed design was in use around the world by the mid to late 19th century and enjoyed a great deal of popularity in the United States during the middle of the 20th century.
The barrel chair is a style of seating that is traditionally upholstered with arms and back forming a continuous line. If you haven’t guessed it yet, it is constructed to resemble the shape of, and is often repurposed from, an old-fashioned whiskey barrel! One side of the round construction is cut out to¬†make room for the seat and back padding that forms a comfortable nook, surrounded with a high contoured back and a swiveling base. These chairs make an efficient use of space with their relatively small footprint¬†that is contrasted by their big personality.
FAMILY ROOM FURNITURE that’s really designed for FAMILY FUN! With so many things going on outside the home these days, keeping the family together for work, and play, is harder than ever. You do need to give special attention to your home so see that it is really designed for family living. Formal and fussy furnishing are fine for company . . . but for the kids and dad to really relax . . . well, you need something like this family room suite from BROTHERS of Kentucky. Built for fun, built for comfort, built to last! Don’t wonder where the kids are … they’ll be having fun at home. – The Daily News from Port Angeles, Washington. Page 30. April 20, 1975.
In the showroom, we’ve got some¬†unique barrel chairs of our own for sale. These ones, in particular, were manufactured in the 1970s by Brothers Furniture and Corp. and were¬†constructed from¬†Kentucky whiskey keg barrels! Fun and punchy, they feature colorful patchwork vinyl upholstery. Whether solo or as a set, they’ll add some rustic charm to any living space or bar.
From their first collaborations as husband and wife in the middle 1950s until the present day, no other designers have spoken as completely and as articulately in single furniture offerings. Each piece, whether their Biagio table lamp for Flos, their Bastiano seating range for Knoll or their Centenary vases for L’eclaireur, simultaneously addresses history, industrial production, form, function, materials and contemporary cultures. – Matthew Sullivan of Core77
Their design work ranged from full scale architectural projects¬†such as factories, shops and offices created¬†for Benetton to everyday household items including art, glass, clothing and furniture.
Tobia and Afra were innovators¬†of their time because of their consciousness to produce functional pieces with a poetic, amalgamative¬†and polished design.¬†While they used modern materials and procedures¬†to create their products, their designs were more classical than the ones being produced by their peers during that time. This influenced the way people furnished their homes as residents wanted furniture that stood in perfect harmony with modern and traditional interiors alike.
Here at Furnish Green, we come by many beautiful pieces of furniture crafted from¬†a wide variety of wood species. Many factors make a piece special (aside from the fact that it has already stood the test of time), including design style or time period of origin, but¬†the wood grain detail is often a distinctive feature. Therefore, I would like to introduce you to crotch walnut wood grain!
Crotch walnut comes about at the point where¬†a branch intersects with a tree’s trunk and/or when there is a double trunk.¬†In this region¬†there is limited¬†space for the tree to grow.¬†With each year of growth, another annual ring of thickness is added; as wood pushes against wood, the grain starts to buckle in different directions. Wood fibers weave together to strengthen the limbs or branches, forming the crotch and feather appearance.This beautiful distortion rewards us with¬†a grain that¬†shimmers in the light and looks like waves of liquid.
A wonderful Furnish Green¬†example¬†can be seen¬†in our recently sold¬†
1930s Crotch Walnut Chifferobe¬†¬†(featured in the image above).¬†This piece displays¬†fine carved wood detail¬†accompanying¬†mother nature’s art¬†of the crotch walnut wood grain along the doors.
Check out another example of some FG crotch walnut in coffee table form here!
To read more about the¬†process of the crotch walnut check out these articles:
In 1941, Brown-Saltman‚Äôs first pieces were based on [Paul] Frankl‚Äôs designs, with a few minor adjustments making them adaptable to mass production (onekingslane.com).
So we had this very interesting coffee table in our showroom recently, and we just received a pair of beautiful mid century end tables that all happen to be connected to¬†some noteworthy names in furniture design. Since our inventory is not heavy on high-end designer pieces, I usually like to do a bit of digging around to better understand the higher price-point attached to these sorts of items.
Brown-Saltman was a collaboration between Dave Saltman and Paul Frankl, a leader in American Art Deco design. Frankl created the “Skyscraper” furniture that was made to resemble the increasingly Art Deco skyline of New York City. Although Frankl had some valued big-Hollywood customers, by the 1930s he became interested in the opportunity to distribute his designs to the masses.
The Brown-Saltman partnership began in 1941 and was instantly successful. Certain more expensive features were eliminated in order to attain the lower price point. Most often, the pieces were constructed using soft woods or Weldtex, a combed wood, plywood laminate invented by Donald Deskey. With original Frankl designs now geared toward mass production, there was no slowing them down.
Or so it seemed… In 1942, only the day after signing an extended contract with Frankl, Saltman died in a car accident. The original momentum diminished, and although Frankl continued with the business for a bit longer, it did not last. Although short-lived, the collaboration left behind some innovative and lasting designs.
We’re particularly loving these end tables.