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Office design icon: chairs

No matter what our office environment looks like, whether we work out of our home or within an open plan space in a corporate building, we all experience a lot of sitting at our desks.

Comfort and practicality remain some of the key factors in choosing an office chair, but that doesn’t mean that design has to suffer. Here we take a look at some iconic designs across different eras:

The ergonomic HÅG Capisco designed by Peter Opsvik. ‘The Saddle Chair’ – was designed modelled on the horse rider’s dynamic seating position.
The ergonomic HÅG Capisco designed by Peter Opsvik. ‘The Saddle Chair’ – was designed modelled on the horse rider’s dynamic seating position.
The iconic Aeron chair designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf. Photo: Herman
The iconic Aeron chair designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf. Photos: Herman


Described by Herman Miller as “a true machine for sitting”, the company’s Aeron office chair was designed in 1994 by Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf. One of America’s most famous products this best-selling chair now sits in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.


The Aeron was designed according to what the body needs, not what the eye likes, resulting in a chair that looked more engineered than designed.  In technology, design has to continually evolve to keep current. In furniture, not so much, however in this instance Herman Miller have just last month launched a re-design.

“One of the concerns, originally, was we needed to preserve the iconography of the chair,” Chadwick says. “It has such a strong visual personality that there was reluctance to changing it very much.”  It retains the shape and size of the original back frame. In the new version however, the real difference is in the chair’s mechanics. Consider the tilt function. CEO Brian Walker compares the tilt on a chair to the engine in a car—and an engine from 2016 will undoubtedly boast better performance than one from 1994.


The Z9R typist chair by Ettore Sottsass for Olivetti, as seen in an original 1970s advert (Photo © and courtesy – Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, Ivrea, Italy)

The Z9R typist chair by Ettore Sottsass for Olivetti, as seen in an original 1970s advert (Photo © and courtesy – Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, Ivrea, Italy)

Among the most fruitful collaborations between an industrial concern and a designer was that of Ettore Sottsass and the Italian office equipment manufacturer Olivetti. Appointed by the company’s founder Adriano Olivetti to work alongside his son, Roberto, and the engineer, Mario Tchou, together they developed a series of technically innovative and visually seductive office products including the jaunty Synthesis 45 office chair which, with its bright colours and chunky silhouette, was intended to appeal to younger office workers and truly epitomises 1970s style.


Office chair, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1904. Photo@ V&A Museum
Office chair, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1904. Photo@ V&A Museum

Given the bespoke nature of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs his furniture was available to only a small number of clients until late in his career. But unlike Arts and Crafts designers, Wright saw the value of machines. He extolled their ‘wonderful cutting, shaping, smoothing and repetitive capacity’, which could master, with ease, the signature square-section spindles of his chairs, beautifully brought to light in this office chair from the turn of the 20th century.

So a very brief look at the development of the ‘humble’ office chair, from crafted, individual pieces to more mass-produced items which, as the Aeron chair, continues to sell millions across the world. What has not been compromised however is the attention to detail and design inspiration behind each chair, resulting in these once practical and essential items of office furniture becoming part of our design history.

Which era or chair design icon, best suits your style ethos?



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New Lighting trends

As the night’s are drawing in, it seems a perfect time to focus on the work of some innovative lighting designers.

I was able to take a personal look at some of their work, and trends to look out for, at the ICFF contemporary design showcase event earlier this year.

This combination of walnut sits well with the unique excavation technique employed by New York based In.Sek. Designer Ashira Isreal adds quartz crystal to specially blended concrete, creating a torn window effect for the shade, which in turn casts a sprialing light and soft glow across any space.

In Sek Design, New York, Excavation Dune Pendant
In.Sek Design, New York, Excavation Dune Pendant

Created from painted stainless steel mesh, the apparent simplicity of these Arturo Alvarez designed lamps belies their delicate crafting. Fine pleats form two overlapped layers creating two different lamps full of dynamism – two lively shapes born from one, creating the same movement yet at a different tempo.

Tempo Vivace pendant lamps designed by Arturo Alvarez

I particularly like how Iranian-born designer Ali Siavoshi works with everyday objects, transforming them into light fixtures, whilst injecting a sense of humour into these stylish and innovative displays.

Ali Siavoshi lamps on display at ICFF 2016 New York
Ali Siavoshi lamps on display at ICFF 2016 New York

Another designer who creates extraordinary pieces of art and lighting from ordinary “up-cycled” everyday glass bottles, is Altanta based Kathleen Plate. Her innovative techniques and sophisticated designs sit well within contemporary and stylish restaurant and hotel groups.

Smart Glass Art (SGA) custom chandelier designed by Kathleen Plate
Smart Glass Art (SGA) custom chandelier designed by Kathleen Plate

Zac Ridgely is a trained artist who uses his talent in the medium of light, son of a famed Canadian architect he quickly learned how to navigate his way through architectural drawings. The CRISS-CROSS series was created from a genuine desire to blend art with lighting, and this sculptural piece of cut steel rod is carefully arranged and welded in a seemingly random pattern.

Zac Ridgely's Criss Cross wallsconce

Zac Ridgely’s Criss Cross wallsconce

I hope these inspirational creations will give you some ideas for transforming your living or working spaces.

Moody Monday offers a bespoke design service to complement any projects you might be considering, and I’d be happy to discuss these further, Eliza.








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Inspirational Offices – co-working and maker spaces

As the trend towards co-working spaces continues to grow and expand across some of the world’s most vibrant and creative cities, we take a look at some inspirational creative hubs, offices and studios.

These all feature innovative design; converting and reimagining former office blocks, warehouses and factories.

New York – Coworks, Brooklyn.

Leeser Architecture has inserted angular and brightly coloured stairwells into an ageing industrial building in Brooklyn to create a vibrant office for creative professionals and entrepreneurs.

Coworks facility, Brooklyn, transformed by architects Leeser.
Coworks facility, Brooklyn, transformed by architects Leeser. Photo: Leeser Architects via Kontor

To create visual continuity, the firm used brightly coloured angular forms throughout the building, most notably to enclose stairways that connect each floor. Referencing origami, the stairwells feature sharp folds and bright colours – Yves Klein blue on the exterior and teal on the interior.

Coworks - on one floor, the backside of the stairs – a space not often utilised – merges with a large communal table.
Coworks. On one floor, the backside of the stairs – a space not often utilised – merges with a large communal table. Photo: Leeser Architects via Kontor.  Source: Dezeen


London – Walthamstow Central Parade, built in the 1960s first served as council offices.

Inspiring Offices, co-working space designed by Gort Scott
Walthamstow Central Parade, a co-working space designed by Architects Gort Scott Photo: Dirk Linder

Architects Gort Scott worked on restoring the unusual façade details, including the wavy concrete canopy, painted yellow, and the decorative tiles, both of which provided design cues for the interior and new signage.

Interior Walthamstow Central Parade, shared work space and bakery, Photo: Dirk Linder
Interior Walthamstow Central Parade, shared work space and bakery.  Photo: Dirk Linder

Mid-century-inspired details and furnishings pay tribute to the building’s heritage, while utilitarian elements suit its more functional new use. (Source: Dezeen)

Edinburgh – The Biscuit Factory, Leith, is an arts & fashion hub housed in the former Crawford’s biscuit factory built in 1947.

The Biscuit Factory, the former factory converted into a 7,500 foot venue/gallery space
The Biscuit Factory, the former factory converted into a 7,500 foot venue/gallery space

Housing a selection of established and up-and-coming designers, photographers, and creative businesses it epitomises the perfect urban re-development and offers up a new prototype for living and working.

The Biscuit Factory, arts hub and home to photographers and designers, offers the perfect backdrop for pop-up events.
The Biscuit Factory, arts hub and home to photographers and designers, offers the perfect backdrop for pop-up events.

Dundee – Fleet Collective is based on the top floor of the grade A listed Chambers East building of the old Royal Exchange.

The old Royal Exchange was designed in the 1850s in the ornate Flemish Neo-Gothic style by the famous architect David Bryce, in order to house the Chamber of Commerce.

Fleet Collective Dundee, a community of artists and designers, is housed in Chambers Building.
Fleet Collective, a community of artists and designers, is housed in the Chambers Building.

Transformed into a light and practical working environment, it now exists as an important creative hub in Dundee, whose model as a collective has been commended and internationally recognised.

Fleet Collective, Dundee, an open plan working space, incorporating practicality with fun and quirky elements.
Fleet Collective, Dundee, an open plan working space, incorporating practicality with fun and quirky elements. Photos: Fleet Collective

These innovative design elements, combined with opportunity for more social interaction, also create a sense of wellbeing with proven health benefits for those working in these and similar spaces.

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Decorating with Yellow – Ideas and Tips

Some colours can appear overly dramatic, some can appear moody, but yellow is that colour which can bring instant cheer to a room. Especially when it’s summertime, no home should go without a hint of this colour.

Although usually used as an accent colour , you can go as far as you want in using its summery tones. Switch up the hue and you can get amazing results with the mood or ambience. For a soothing neutral look, go for muted yellows or warm things up with a sun-kissed yellow.

Learn how to create a welcoming scheme and create instant uplift to your space with these ideas.

blog1_fall for yellow_accessories

Sources 1 | 2 | 3

In these examples, yellow accessories add the much needed life and colour to these spaces. The shade doesn’t matter as much as the presence. Gray and yellow are a combination which many interior designers like to use. The balance of soft toned down grays and a bubbly yellow is like a match made in heaven.

blog2_fall for yellow_seating

Sources 1 | 2

No designer does dark rooms as well as Abigail Ahern. Here it is easy to perceive the allure of this gorgeous colour even in a dark space. It almost adds an extra layer of dimension to the already interesting decor.

blog3_fall for yellow_kitchens

Such a contrast with these bright and airy kitchens. The use of yellow makes the room look bigger and creates an even more inviting space.

Source: 1 | 2

Bright ideas for stylish spaces. Fall for yellow as we move very gradually into the next season.

Tell us how you plan to incorporate this versatile colour into your living space.


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Interior Designers you should follow on Instagram

Instagram has grown to become a go-to source of inspiration for many a design enthusiast. Whether it’s for design inspiration or to understand what makes your favourite designer tick, following some Instagram accounts is worth your while. Today, we share those that have made the Moody Monday list.

Jonathan Adler

Be prepared to feast your eyes on beautiful interiors to stimulate all the senses. His bold and colourful style always comes through. The designer, ceramicist and author also shows off his home decor collections.

Instagram interior designer_Jonathan Adler


Abigail Ahern

It’s amazing the way this talented designer can create such dark alluring interior spaces. She also keeps followers updated on happenings in her London store.

Instagram interior designer_Abigail Ahern


Kelly Wearstler

Kelly transports us into her world through inspirational photos. She is inspired by anything and everything – graphics, interiors, nature, architecture, patterns.

Instagram interior designer_Kelly Wearstler


Justina Blakeney

Her Instagram feed is a haven for all things relaxed and boho-chic. The interiors blogger shows that a home can never have too many plants. Her blog, The Jungalow has quite a generous following too.

Instagram interior designer_Justina Blakeley


Kelly Hoppen

Her designs are so elegant and classic with a sophisticated twist. Follow the British interior designer to stay updated on her interior design projects and her fun lifestyle.

Instagram interior designer_Kelly Hoppen


All images were sourced from Instagram

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Keep Your Garden Stylish with Contemporary planters

Barbecues, picnics in the park, kite races. It means one thing, we’re officially in summer. We know it may not always feel like it though.  You’re probably looking forward to all the wonderful exploits and family gigs planned for the season. If you’re the hosting type, a few barbecues are probably on the cards. To make this happen, your garden needs to be in tip top shape.

Let your garden reflect your personality and be as unique as you want it to be. Read on to discover some contemporary planters we think will inspire you. Just a few changes can make all the difference.

Knit Planter by Curver

With a design which reflects a traditional knitting pattern, The Knit planter is a new-wave weave, inspired by the art and nostalgia of knitted textiles. We love the sturdiness and classic elegance of these products. It is made from a UVA- resistant plastic which means the colour won’t fade and it will be easy to clean too.

contemporary planters_knitbycurver

Adan Planter by Teresa Sapey

The Adan Planter is quite a conversation starter. Created with the design of a thinking face, it is crafted as a statement piece with a white matt finish. Perfect for indoors and outdoors. With its crisp white palette, it will show off brightly coloured plants and flowers well.

contemporary planters_teresa sapey

Soma Planter by Indigenus

The Soma planter is made from lightweight concrete and wood to create a contemporary object of beauty and function. Handcrafted with a natural aesthetic to live in harmony with nature, it was designed to age beautifully over time if used outdoors.

contemporary planters_indigenus

Image sources

Bonluxat | Pinterest

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The Spirit of Summer Fair starts tomorrow

From 22 – 26 June 2016, a special design event will be taking place at Olympia in London. For four full days, guests of the Spirit of Summer fair will be invited to feast their eyes on product collections from over 450 independent designers and boutiques ranging from fashion, gifts, artisan food and drink.

Organised in association with House and Garden, the House fair which is wholly dedicated to the home will be on too. With over 100 prestigious interiors brands cutting across furniture, lighting, soft furnishings, wall coverings, you’ll have so much design choices on offer.

Spirit of Summer fair Olympia

If you could do with new ideas and inspiration for all the rooms in your home, then this is the event for you. Quality British design will not only be in abundance but showing you how to enhance your interior space with beautiful products and furnishings is of utmost importance to the organisers.

Event highlights will include ‘Decorated spaces’ by interior designs, Joanna Plant Interiors and Salvesen Graham. Another unique feature will be three styled rooms sets designed by three prolific interior bloggers. The bloggers involved include Martyn White, from Martyn White Designs, Grant from Interior Style Hunter and Gabriella Palumbo from Flat15.

So whether you’re looking to revamp your home or redo a new client project and are looking for some inspiration, look no further. It comes round once a year, you don’t want to miss it. Enjoy the spirit of summer.

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The Timeless Appeal of Mid-century Patterns

Chances are you would have come across mid-century patterns if you’re into interior design. Very popular in the 50s and 60s, minimalism and simple repetition ruled with this trend.

Even today, they’re still very much in vogue. You can understand the appeal for these designs. They’re striking, geometric, reminiscent of things we can all relate with and at times nostalgic. Nowadays, it is more common to find people seeking interesting modern interpretations.

What’s not to like about the sheer simplicity in the patterns used? The bold contrasting colours are a staple which means they’re nothing but bold and beautiful. A perfect match for anyone who likes full on colour.

One very popular design is the Dandelion clocks pattern which was designed by Fiona Howard for Sanderson in 2008.

Dandelion clocks, Fiona Howard

Going down memory lane, a textile designer well known in her days for brilliant designs was Lucienne Day. The ‘Calyx’ which she designed for Heal’s in 1951 was the fabric that brought her fame.

Calyx, Lucienne Day

Orla Kiely is another lady whose name rings a bell when it comes to mid century patterns. Her designs are literally on everything.

Multi Stem wallpaper, Orla Kiely

Even some designs like this Aquila wallpaper design in our Stellar collection have been said to have mid-century feel to them too albeit a modern take. We sure didn’t see that coming but we’re more than happy to take the compliment.

Aquila wallpaper_sage and orange2
Aquila wallpaper, Moody Monday

With applications on wallpaper, fabric, wall art and even custom headboards, you’ll agree that these designs are very versatile. Inspired? Why not look to infuse this into your home?

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What we saw at ICFF 2016: Inspiring Lighting

Did you know we just launched a new collection? Sure you’ve either met us at ICFF, heard about it on social media or one of our newsletters. Well, yes we launched our new ‘Stellar collection at ICFF a few weeks ago.

Anyone who has exhibited at a trade show knows how tiring and full on they can be. But it’s all a labour of love. We enjoy making connections with potential and existing clients. To top it all off, the feedback to the new designs was fantastic.

ICFF 2016 Moody Monday stand

The Moody Monday stand

Amidst the great time we spent at our booth, we were sure not to miss out on all the contemporary design on offer in the Javits centre. A stroll round the hall packed with eager exhibitors, and we found some interesting products.

As far as product design goes, outside of our product lines, one of the areas that continues to fascinate us is lighting design. Grab a seat and enjoy the highlights from the Moody Monday perspective.

blog1_ICFF lighting4Sketch light, Work and Design by Rafael Avramovich

blog1_ICFF lighting1Cloud softlight by Molo Design 

blog1_ICFF lighting3Light Forest by &Tradition ; Lamps by Luke Lamp Co

blog1_ICFF lighting5LED Book lamps by Ali Siavoshi

Quite special, aren’t they. Which of them was your favourite? Look out for more interesting designs from our ICFF trip over the next few days.

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Destination Inspiration: Creative Office Designs

Long gone are the days when office spaces were clinical and lacked personality. Thankfully we’ve moved on from multitudes of white cubicles and stark boring set ups. These days, companies are paying more attention to the design and quality of their workspaces. The usual suspects like Google, Pixar, Skype get top marks in this department. But they’re not the only ones making a change. We share two other examples that show creativity and character in office design.

1) Nuon Amsterdam office

Architects: Heyligers Design + Projects

blog1_nuon amsterdam_office design blog2_nuon amsterdam_office design blog3_nuon amsterdam_office design

Image source: Contemporist

2) Axiom New York office

Architects: BHDM Design, Photography by Adam Macchia.

blog1_axiom law new york_office design blog2_axiom law new york_office design blog3_axiom law new york_office design

Image source: InteriorDesign

Share your own remarkable office designs with us.

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