Office design icon: chairs

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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 Miller.com
The iconic Aeron chair designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf. Photos: Herman Miller.co.uk

 

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.

herman-miller-office-chair-dezeen

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 www.storiaolivetti.it – 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 www.storiaolivetti.it – 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?

Sources:

Wired/Dezeen/Creativereview

New Lighting trends

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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.

Sources: www.insekdesign.com

www.arturo-alvarez.com

www.alialiali.com

www.sdgconstructiontechnology.com

www.kathleenplate.com

www.ridgelystudioworks.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

TheMART, an Inspirational Design Center

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We recently wrote about innovative co-working and maker spaces, and the impact they can make not only to boost creativity but with added benefits to health and wellbeing.

Today we expand on the theme, with focus on theMart, the world’s largest commercial building and design center, a truly inspiring center for design professionals and customers alike.

The Merchandise Mart on the Chicago River photo@Mike Boehmer, Flickr
The Merchandise Mart on the Chicago River photo@Mike Boehmer, Flickr

This art deco building has been an icon in Chicago’s history since the 1930s. It still remains a landmark hub for design, innovation and business, and the impact it has made on the surrounding area, with resulting buzz and connectivity for the community around the Chicago river, can not be underestimated.

TheMART building Chicago Photo credi:pixabay
TheMART building Chicago Photo credit:Pixabay

 

Developed by Marshall Field & Co to create a central marketplace where retailers could come to buy their wares all under one roof.

Sitting across two city blocks, and with twenty-five storeys of innovation and culture, it is visited by an incredible 25,000 people each day.

Its Design Center, across four floors, is home to hundreds of tenants and offers a space for leading manufacturers with over 115 showrooms, showcasing over 2,500 products.

TheMART also serves as a business hub for interior designers, architects, contractors, business owners and buyers, as well as hosting several trade and consumer conferences and events each year.

 

 

 

Vornado Reality Trust and New York-based A+I unveil transformative renovations. Photo source: Huffington Post/Building Design
Vornado Reality Trust and New York-based A+I worked recently on some stunning architecture renovations for the building. Photo source: Huffington Post

With such an amazing choice of luxury and contemporary design on offer, we’ve space today to highlight just one of the amazing showrooms within theMART.

Cia Mooney at theMART photo:ciamooney.com
Brayton showroom,  Cia Mooney (designed with Robert Leonetti) at theMART photo:ciamooney.com

We particularly like this approach of industrial designer, Cia Mooney, who worked with the design team at Brayton to create this showroom. Using a limited budget, it still creates a huge impact with the space allowing the craftmanship of Brayton’s upholstered and wood framed furniture to take central stage.

Which designer wouldn’t love the opportunity to be included in such an innovative and creative design center?

Contact us at: https://www.moodymonday.co.uk/bespoke/

Sources

TheMart.com

Designcenter.com

Huffington Post.com/amanda schneider

Business of Furniture

Ciamooney.com

Christmas gifts for the style hunter

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We’re delighted to announce a new stockist for Moody Monday’s stylish homeware products. Perfect for that special Christmas gift for friends and family.

The UK’s largest art, craft and design gallery, set in Newcastle’s cultural quarter, the Biscuit Factory, will stock a selection of our cushions, coasters and placemats in it’s cutting-edge store next month.

Stylish contemporary placemats bring a touch of class to any table this Christmas.
Stylish contemporary placemats bring a touch of class to any table this Christmas.

Choose from a delightful range of luxury cushions with the most original decorative patterns. Durable, opulent and exquisitely made – our cushions are the perfect accessories for the stylish, self-assured home owner. Available in sumptuous velvet or practical cotton, in a range of patterns and sizes.

Vulpecula cotton cushions, with Nebulae fabric featured (available in velvet cushions to order)
Vulpecula cotton cushions, with Nebulae fabric featured (available in velvet cushions to order)

What colours and trends will you choose for your table decor this Christmas? We predict contemporary graphics, set against classic glassware and cool white crockery will bring a simple, yet elegant look to any festive occasion.

Our tableware range has been designed to add a touch of luxury to any dining table. Mix and match individual pieces for a polished contemporary style. Super stylish and luxurious, yet practical for everyday use, these eye-catching coasters and placemats make an immediate statement.

Blackkeys design coasters
Blackkeys design coasters

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For those closer to our Edinburgh studio, we continue to work with the Scottish Design Exchange, Ocean Terminal, Leith as well as Concrete Wardrobe, Broughton Street. Pop in and check out our products, or take a look at all our ranges and order online at https://www.moodymonday.co.uk/product-category/boutique/

Biscuit Factory Newcastle

scottish_design_exchange_edinburgh

concrete-wardrobe

The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle http://www.thebiscuitfactory.com/ products available in store mid-November

The Scottish Design Exchange, Ocean Terminal http://www.scottishdesignexchange.com/

Concrete Wardrobe, Broughton Street, Edinburgh http://www.concretewardrobe.com/about.html

Moody Monday UK, order online at  https://www.moodymonday.co.uk/orderingdelivery/

(Gift cards also available)

 

Inspirational Offices – co-working and maker spaces

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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.

MOODY MONDAY LENDS AUTUMNAL WARMTH TO INTERIORS

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The nights are fair drawing in and as evenings get more autumnal, Moody Monday’s innovative collection of bold provocative prints for accessories include this season’s must-have – sumptuous velvet cushions. Perfect for creating a splash of colour, and adding warmth to any sofa.

 

Nebulae Velvet Cushions

 

Debuted at the ICFF New York earlier this year, this collection ‘STELLAR’ is inspired by the boundless hidden beauty of the sky and space. This luxurious, contemporary collection of designs captures the dualistic nature of the skies with a colour palette evoking both dawn and dusk. Vibrant jewel colours accompany mesmerising geometrical patterns paired against contrasting backgrounds.

From the dazzling colours of the Northern Lights to the abstract patterns of constellations, the depths of sky and space provide an intriguing array of inspiration.

The ‘STELLAR’ collection also consists of four wallpaper designs in varying colour ways, three fabric patterns, two cushion designs, four coasters and a set of matching fabric, coaster and placemat designs. One of our most provocative patterns, Nebulae, consists of strong geometric shapes with intense contrasting colours that creatively interpret the enigmatic nature of space.

Designer, Eliza Kesuma comments, “I love the changing of the seasons, which provide me with fresh inspiration to create new and contemporary prints. The Stellar range of fabric fits perfectly into nights on the sofa. Inspired by patterns of light created at dusk and dawn, the warmth and feel of the velvet cushions are the perfect way to create an instant boost.”

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Available to buy at: https://www.moodymonday.co.uk/shop/nebulae-cotton-velvet-cushion/
Follow us at: Twitter #MoodyMondayUK Pinterest – /MoodyMondayUk Facebook – /MoodyMondayUk
Contact:T: +44 (0) 131 618 2979 T: +44 (0) 131 777 2679
Unit 13 – Abbeymount Techbase, 2 Easter Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5AN

Decorating with Yellow – Ideas and Tips

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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.

 

Interior Designers you should follow on Instagram

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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

@jonathanadler

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

@abigailahern

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

@kellywearstler

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

@justinablakeney

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

@kellyhoppen

All images were sourced from Instagram

Keep Your Garden Stylish with Contemporary planters

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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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Modern Kitchen Ideas to inspire you this Summer

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Whether you can cook up a storm or you can eat up a storm, nothing stops you from having a kitchen you’re proud of any day. Isn’t the kitchen really the heart of the home? Yes, for most of us at least it is. It’s where you get fuel for the day and perfect your culinary skills for that long-awaited dinner party.

You know you’re ready for a kitchen revamp when kitchen catalogues become your bedtime reading. Or maybe, the idea of a trip to your favourite kitchen showroom sounds more attractive than a few extra lazy hours in bed.

Look no further for inspiration to get you planning out your next kitchen design. We’ve sourced some great modern kitchen examples to get you salivating over.

elledecor white modern kitchen

Sleek and understated, this kitchen’s all-white colour palette is anything but boring. All you need sometimes are a couple of bar stools and colourful pendant lamps. The statement lighting is perfect for the island.

Source: Elle Décor

homedesignetc modern kitchen

When you’re looking to infuse a je-ne-sais-quoi quality, a statement backsplash like the one in this modern kitchen will do. The cabinets have a stylish look and finish which is bound to appeal to both men and women alike.

Source: Hatfield Builders

industrial style modern-kitchen-645x859

If exposed brick rocks your boat, then you’ll love this modern industrial style kitchen. Fully kitted with stainless steel appliances and surfaces set with a backdrop of a brick wall, we love its rustic appeal. The use of copper also warms up the look of the space. Perfect match.

Source: Brit +Co

plastolux mimk8 modern kitchen

Black and white rule in this super minimalist kitchen. It’s a classy take on modern luxury. Perfect if you believe less is more.

Source: Plastolux

branded tiles_colourful modern kitchen

Obviously not one for the fainthearted but if you love a bit of colour, then why not go all out. Colourful tiles make a whole lot of difference in this eclectic Brazilian kitchen. What’s not to love about the vibrancy? The combination is perfect.

Source: Branded Tiles

Get designing!