Thursday
Jan122012

Winging It

Ever since I saw and, more importantly, sat in the Brunschwig et Fils Mr. Wing Chair, I have been in loveBrunschwig et Fils Mr. Wing Chair with today's re-interpretations of the classic wing chair. First introduced around 1680, the upholstered wing chair has been a staple of traditional style. Its "wings" were originally designed to protect occupants from drafts in dwellings heated only by fire. The style of the chair changed little over time varying mostly in the shape and carving of the legs. I hadn't been much of a fan -- way too stodgy and conservative for my tastes. Okay, maybe if it was upholstered in a fabulous flame stitch textile and adorned with nailheads (I love practically anything with nailheads), but not in my house. A stately wood-paneled library or ivy league clubhouse, yes. My house, no.

Then in the mid-1990s, Ralph Lauren reinvented the wing chair with his Writer's Chair--a high-back scrolled-arm button-tufted leather easy chair. I remember testing it out and feeling like I was in chair heaven. The chair enveloped me, and the soft, buttery leather felt like a vintage bomber jacket -- worn but yielding. It was instantly a hit. But its massive size and leather upholstery relegated it to the study, den, or family room. It was Ralph Lauren Writer's Chairjust not slender enough for a contemporary or transitionally-styled living room.

Along came the Mr. & Mrs. Wing Chairs by Brunschwig et Fils. I was surprised that a house like Brunschwig would invent these chairs. It just seemed out of character for a company aligned with everything traditional. But that didn't matter. Sitting in the Mr. Wing Chair is heavenly. And oh, the lines. My fantasy living room has a pair of the Mr. Wing Chairs opposite each other flanking my Barbara Barry Loose Back Sofa for Baker (that subject is for another blog post). I love everything about this chair: the low seat, the high back, the slender tapered legs and especially the silhouette. I just love a piece of furniture that looks good from multiple angles.

Since falling for Mr. Wing Chair, I've seen many other re-interpretations of the iconic wing chair that I present to you here. Modern heating systems may render wings unnecessary, but I say style like this trumps the need for functionality.

                                   

    Brunschwig et Fils Mrs. Wing Chair              Dessin Fournir Collins Wing Chair

                                

Dessin Fournir Tuva Club Chair                          Donghia Egret Wing Chair

                  

   Ironies Tule Lounge Chair                       The James Wing Chair by Victoria Hagan

                                       

                                 The Villa Chair by Thomas Pheasant for Baker

                                     

                                        Cisco Brothers Uncle Jim Double Chair

Tuesday
Jan032012

Welcome!

Why a blog? Why now?

Several years ago, when I first launched my website, the art of blogging was new.  Social media experts said only blog if you can create fresh new content and if you can keep up with it.  I wasn't sure that I could do that: the design bloggers out there were already doing a good job.  And . . .  they still are.  But everyone has a unique voice, and while I might not be discovering anything new, my way of looking at things and presenting them, may be new. 

I went back to school in my 30s after a career as an attorney to study design.  School is something I excel at.  The joke in my family is that, even with all the academic degrees I've earned, I'll probably go back to school for more.  No joke, really!  I love to learn, and I love to impart that knowledge to teach others. 

So maybe that's what this blog is about: educating you, my readers, about good design.  What makes a design good?  What criteria do you use to judge good design?  Why are good designers so good?  We'll look at interiors and the items that shape them.  In addition, I'll bring you sources (like where I like to shop or products I love), process (projects I'm working on) and stories (what's happening in the world of design).  Welcome to my laboratory.  Or, should I say, my blogatory?  Enjoy.

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