June 25, 2011 · 1:33 am
A while back, I wrote about the Tulip table and Panton chairs I ordered online. I promised to write about them when they arrived, and I haven’t forgotten.
I love the pieces! I ordered the table from Lexington Modern and the chairs from Pretty Stores because they have great reproductions at decent prices. The chairs are sturdy, durable, and haven’t scratched. They wipe clean and would be a great outdoors as well. I wouldn’t leave them outside to get mossy or sun bleached, but they’re a great temporary outdoor seating alternative. Best of all, these are comfortable chairs. And if you can call a chair sexy, well this would be it.
The table is great too. It was well packed and easy to assemble. I chose a marble top in case the wood veneer easily scratched. I have four chairs, but I set this up using only three so you can see the table pedestal more easily.
My only complaint—and it’s my own lack of foresight—is that I ordered the 36″ diameter table, not a larger size. With a small top, and a large base, sitting close to the table means my feet rest on the base. It’s not horrible, but if you buy a Tulip table, go for a 40″ diameter or larger size. I was afraid of ordering too big a table for my small dining area, but an extra few inches wouldn’t have mattered.
The space is sparse, but I like that look. A bouquet of flowers on the table will brighten things up. I added a retro-style clock on the wall. It’s from Chiasso. The framed photo of the Space Needle is actually a 1960s Jazz album cover. I liked the photo and it matched the period of the rest of the room.
After changing everything in the room, my old chandelier looked out of place so I bought a simple black dome-shaped ceiling lamp from Ikea and swapped it out. I love my dining room now and I’m actually using it (as opposed to sitting on the sofa and eating dinner in front of the TV like I used to do).
April 18, 2011 · 10:22 pm
“Welcome to my space-age bachelor pad.”
That’s how I plan to welcome guests to my home as soon as I get my Panton S chairs. A couple of months ago I wrote about the Tulip table I ordered, and how I needed a coordinating set of chairs. The table is fantastic! The chairs, as they say, are in the mail.
I chose the Panton S chairs for a few reasons. First, they don’t have “legs” so my blind cat will have fewer obstacles to navigate. Second, the chairs are plastic (well, technically polypropylene). They’re going to be really easy to clean, are stackable, and will function as indoor/outdoor seating, depending on the season. Finally, they’re sexy!
I love the sleek, fluid design and the almost sculptural look of them. I don’t have any plastic furniture in my home, but I think these chairs will add just the right amount of Swingin’ 60’s feel and help me create an eclectic vibe in my dining room.
So just who was the genius behind the chair? Verner Panton. He’s one of Denmark’s most influential designers. He worked with bright-colored plastics and created a futuristic style of furniture in the 60’s and 70’s. He designed the Panton S chair in 1960, making it four years older than the Tulip table. A May-December romance? Nah, I consider both items Mid-Century Modern pieces.
Reproductions of the Panton S chairs are available at Lexington Modern, the same place I ordered my Tulip table. However, I ordered my chairs from Pretty Stores. They have reasonable prices, high-quality reproductions, and the shipping was fast and professional. You can read about another experience I had with Pretty Stores in my post about my Barcelona chair.
As soon as I get the chairs, I’ll share pictures of my new dining room.
February 7, 2011 · 10:33 pm
If you’ve ever been to (or seen) Gateway Arch in St. Louis, then you know a little bit about Eero Saarinen. He was a Finnish-American architect and industrial designer—and he designed the arch that makes St. Louis so recognizable.
This past August would have been Saarinen’s 100th birthday and I decided that I’d pay homage to his wonderful Mid-Century Modern style and spring for a Tulip table. I’m finally doing that.
My reasons for choosing this style are two-fold. First, I love the simple elegance of the pedestal base. And I’ve always loved how round tables encourage closeness—not necessarily in the physical proximity to one’s fellow diners, but in the angle in which people are seated. Sitting at 90 degree angles seems odd. Remove the corners, and everyone is in a circle. It makes sense.
Second, I have a blind cat. Alice gets around the condo perfectly fine. She learned the lay of the land very quickly and never bumps into walls or furniture. She can even plan a jump from the floor to the bed from three feet away. She must count the steps from the door to the spot where she takes off. I don’t know her strategy but it’s flawless—well, except for those damn table legs! Between the table and four chairs, she’s got 20 legs to navigate around (16 of which change their position with each push of the chairs). It’s a lot to ask.
I was thinking that fewer legs would make Alice’s life a lot more predictable when I read a quote Saarinen gave in 1956 to Time magazine: He said he was designing a collection to “clear up the slum of legs in the U.S. home.”
That resonated with me. I have a slum of legs in my dining room! I’d been trying to justify replacing a perfectly usable glass and aluminum table and aluminum and microfiber chairs. So with Alice’s vision (or lack thereof) as my excuse, and Saarinen’s quote as my inspiration, I began my research.
Knoll manufactures the Tulip table. You can buy it at Design Within Reach and Room & Board among other places. Unfortunately, I have Knoll taste on an Ikea budget. Then I found a few companies that make reproductions. I chose Lexington Modern because they had the combination of table top and base that I needed. I ordered a marble top (I was afraid the wood or fiberglass tops would get scratched by Alice’s claws (yes, she manages to navigate to the tops or tables; apparently all cats, including those who can’t see how high up they are, love heights).
The matching Tulip chairs are terrific. But because I went with the black base, I decided to go with black chairs: specifically, the Panton chairs by Verner Panton. They don’t have “legs” so the slum won’t creep into my dining room. Panton is another great Mid-Century Modern designer, and I’ll write about him in another post.
My table is, as they say, in the mail. I’ll share pictures and thoughts about it when it arrives.