Designer Profile: Konstantin Grcic

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

To the naked eye, Konstantin Grcic is the epitome of raw industrialism, because just by briefly looking at his most accolated work, the common theme of minimally essential silhouettes gets the spotlight time and time again.  Perhaps this is not as surprising given that the very origin of today’s modern design, the Bauhaus movement and Grcic share the same German roots.

Iconic modern designs by Konstantin Grcic

Iconic modern designs by Konstantin Grcic

From an early age, Konstantin Grcic found inspiration in the functionality of common objects, starting his career in cabinet manufacturing and eventually studying design at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London.  Once he set his foot in the world, Grcic’s immediate stylistic impact had a very particular signature, favoring simplicity and essentialism to access.  His passion for architecture and innovation became the common denominator repeatedly seen through the multitude of collaborations that Grcic had over the years.  Among his more groundbreaking partnerships is the one with Magis, which in 2003 produced one of the most iconic modern furniture pieces, fittingly named Chair ONE.  Other legendary contributions to the design universe included Mayday table lamp for Flos which earned Grcic his first Compasso d’Oro Award; Osorom table/chair for Moroso; as well as various products for the likes of Vitra, Driade, BD Barcelona, Establish & Sons and many others.

At this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan, Konstantin Grcic earned the “migliore designer” award which celebrated his creativity and purity as well as his innovative adaptation of new materials in a modern context.  The judges applauded Grcic’s successful illustration of new design ‘while remaining true to his own rigorous technical and expressive language.’

Color Story: Earth Tones in the Family Room

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

What’s more welcoming than a palette that signifies warmth and coziness?  Decorating with earth tones is easier than ever with the addition of modern colors that have minimal yellow and orange undertones but instead have delicate hints of grey, an example of which can be seen with the exquisite leather upholstery of Sunset sectional sofa by Gamma Arredamenti.  Additionally, reinvention and reintroduction of precious metal finishes like bronze and copper inserts a new dimension to everyday objects like the Kadoo coat rack and the Apollo chandelier both of which have dynamic natures thanks to their metallic finishes.  And finally, natural influences like the walnut wood of Lingotto coffee table, cotton chenille of the Delhi area rug or the cooper stone facade of Presotto’s I-ModuleArt wall unit allude to the inviting and softening aspect of organic textures in the realm of modern decor.

Earth tones in the modern family room

4 types of leather and what you need to know about each

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Full grain leather is the most natural unhindered form of leather.  It is the closest leather type to rawhide and features imperfections like scars and stretch marks on its surface.   It is not corrected and does not show uniform grain, varying from animal to animal in its surface.  Full grain leather maintains all of its natural grain and is known for its strength and durability.  With time, full grain leather develops a patina that also signals of its high quality.  Full grain leather is available as aniline leather which is the most expansive, highly coveted leather and is also the most commonly used leather upholstery top Italian sofa manufacturers like Cierre and Gamma Arredamenti.  It is dyed with mild dyes that don’t cover the surface with paint or pigments, which preserves the hide’s natural surface including all of its grain and all the imperfections.  Full grain leather can also be semi-aniline which follows the same process as aniline leather only it also includes a thin protective top coat for better wear and stain prevention.  A superb close-up of full grain aniline leather can be seen on the Kong sectional sofa by Gamma Arredamenti.

Kong sectional sofa by Gamma Arredamenti

Kong sectional sofa by Gamma Arredamenti

Top grain leather is the next best thing after full grain leather and also the most frequently used in leather sofas and sectionals.  Top grain leather is stain resistant because it’s surface is buffed and sanded after which it is also coated by a protective surface.

Top grain leather by Gamma Arredamenti

Top grain leather by Gamma Arredamenti

Corrected grain leather is lower quality and has been artificially embossed to match the grain in a more uniform texture.  The “corrected” look hides all the imperfections and is most often available in many colors.  Corrected grain leather is available as semi-aniline (see above) and pigmented.

Corrected grain leather by Gamma Arredamenti

Corrected grain leather by Gamma Arredamenti

Bycast Leather is a combination of split leather with a polyurethane film laminated to the surface.  It is rigid and cheaper than top grain leather.  It features a uniform surface because it is manually embossed and is very easy to maintain.  Bycast leather cannot be repaired like natural leather.

Color Blocking with Gemini by Artifort

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Following on the footsteps of the hottest trends in fashion, Gemini modern chair is full of effortless style and fluidity of design.  Designed by UNStudio for Artifort, Gemini is envisioned to epitomize the “half” and features two irregular seats that mirror each other in shape and are complemented by a small table. The collection offers different color and layout variations that help create unforgettable and highly graphic settings befitting both commercial and residential environments.  From highly contrasting color blocking combinations to more similarly tonal, ombre-like pairings, Gemini chairs leave extra room for imagination and customization.

Gemini chair by UNStudio for Artifort

Gemini stunning chair by Artifort

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Modernizing the craft of quilting

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Dating back to 3400 BC, to the era of the 1st Egyptian Pharaoh who is illustrated in ancient drawings wearing a clothing article with quilted pattern, the art of quilting has evolved over many centuries, always embodying people, places and techniques.  Synonymous with patchwork, quilting fuses an assortment of materials that long surpassed their scope as a singular textiles into an original creation that can be used in a multitude of ways.

In the modern furniture industry, quilting epitomizes some of the most memorable and innovative design elements whether on a limited edition like Cattelan Italia’s Piuma dining chair or as unforgettable staples of Italian home-fashion brands among which is the boundary-pushing Leatherworks accent chair by Campana Brothers for Edra and Edward Van Vliet’s Sushi collection for Moroso that includes Karkaoma sofa, Juju armchair, Donut and Joy stools.

Piuma dining chair by Cattelan Italia

Piuma dining chair by Cattelan Italia

Leatherworks accent chair by Campana Brothers for Edra

Leatherworks accent chair by Campana Brothers for Edra

Sushi collection by Edward Van Vliet for Moroso

Sushi collection by Edward Van Vliet for Moroso