Home > switchmodern blog

switchmodern blog

3/10/2016 3:59:00 AM  

It is difficult to overstate the impact of minimalism on art, architecture, and design. When minimalism first emerged in the early part of the twentieth century it was an enormous departure from traditional Western design, which had long focused on crafts and ornamentation. The pioneers of minimalism rejected the stuffiness of traditional design and sought to create functional spaces, furnishings, objects, and art that were stripped down to their essential elements.

minimalism - word on chalkboard

Minimalism has penetrated virtually every corner of life and is apparent all around us—from the sleek designs of the smartphones we use (pioneered by Apple) to the cars we drive, to the Internet and visual designs we see and interact with every day.

We’ll explore key concepts in minimalism, the roots and history of minimalist design, and we’ll look at some influential minimalist designers, past and present.

Key Concepts and Characteristics of Minimalism

“Less is more.” –Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, renowned German-American architect

At its core, minimalism is more a principle than a design element. When constructing something according to minimalist principles, the designer asks whether each element is necessary for the proper functioning of the item, or is any part superfluous.

Key characteristics of minimalism include:

  • Emphasis on clarity and simplicity of form
  • Frequent use of monochromatic surfaces
  • Clean vertical and horizontal lines
  • Lack of narrative or anecdotal content/references
  • Elements or layers that don’t intersect, allowing each to exist independently


minimalism in modern home design minimalism in modern home bathroom

Minimalism Takes Root
Minimalism as we know it today was born in the twentieth century, yet it was influenced by things that came before it—among them, traditional Japanese design (more on that later), which is minimalist at its core. Other key influences include:

  • The de stijl (Dutch for “the style”) art movement, which began in the Netherlands in 1917 and lasted until around the 1930s. The movement aimed for simplicity, reducing designs to their essential forms. Use of rectangular forms, horizontal and vertical lines, primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), and white, black, and gray are hallmarks of the style.
  • Architects like van der Rohe. Minimalist architecture incorporates modern materials like glass, steel, and stone. In his style, structural frameworks are minimal, spaces are open, and lines are clean. Perhaps the best counter example of minimalism is the Victorian style, with its unabashed emphasis on ornamentation and opulence.

de stijl art example

An example of de stijl art, by G. Rietveld and V. Huszar. Photo source: Public domain (PD-1923)

Minimalism began with architecture in the early twentieth century, around the 1920s. Van der Rohe was one of the first prominent architects to employ minimalist design principles. Fueled by the availability of modern materials post World War I, such as glass, concrete, and steel, minimalism took root. Building standardization was also emerging, which further helped minimalism take hold. Buckminster Fuller, a prominent twentieth century architect and inventor, designed domes using simple geometric shapes that still look modern today.

While the focus on simplicity began with architecture, it soon spilled over into art, interior design, and even fashion and music.

Minimalism in Art
The 1960s saw tremendous growth in minimalist art, as artists began to reject art they felt was stale and academic, pushing past conventional boundaries between various media. They began using industrial materials in their work, focusing on materiality and anonymity. Painting and sculpture incorporated sleek, geometric lines and shapes that challenged conventional aesthetics. Painters used rudimentary geometric shapes in their work without superfluous decoration—a reaction against abstract-expressionism. In the words of minimalist painter Frank Stella, “What you see is what you see.”

Although minimalist art reached its peak during the 1960s and 1970s, its principles still have a huge impact on virtually every facet of society. As one example, minimalism has carried over into the digital realm and is an increasingly important part of Web design today.

Japanese Design: Paving the Way for Modern Minimalism
One only needs to look at traditional Japanese architecture to see that minimalism is at its core. Clean lines and forms, few embellishments, simple color choices---all perfect elements for contemplation.

mimialism in a japanese home mimialism in a japanese living room

Japanese design parallels Japanese culture, both of which are focused on simplicity and the Zen philosophy—from food preparation and presentation, to traditional stone (Zen) gardens, to architecture and even personal dress (i.e. the traditional kimono).

The Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi (wabi, meaning simple beauty, and sabi, meaning beauty that comes with age) calls for design with no unnecessary features. The Japanese concept of ma emphasizes the essential space between objects—space that allows the objects to stand out and have meaning. Minimalism is heavily influenced by these same concepts.

Minimalism in Design: Practical Tips
While the minimalist approach is “less is more,” this doesn’t have to mean boring, and it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice infusing your personality into your decor. In fact, the quite the opposite is true; when you carefully choose furnishings and objects that resonate with you, the space inevitably becomes a reflection of your personality. Here are a few design ideas for inspiration.

#1: Create a Mid-Century Modern Look
A pop of color in your modern living room space adds visual interest. Choose a monochromatic base, and consider adding a pair of colorful Walter Knoll armchairs for a standout look. Patterned pillows add additional interest without detracting from the overall simplicity of the design.

#2: Make a Statement with Graphic Posters
A classic black and white kitchen with pops of color—a red tea kettle, counter-top appliances, and storage containers—preserves the minimalist ideal while drawing in the eye. A black-and-white graphic poster is an ideal element to add visual interest to your kitchen/dining space.

#3: Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary
A room free of clutter is important for any space, but none more so than the bedroom: your personal sanctuary. The basics, including a comfortable bed and functional dresser, end tables, wardrobe, and table with minimal embellishments will help you create your Zen space. To create a more dramatic look, consider painting one wall gray, and keep the overall look monochromatic. A Minotti bed, such as The Anderson, is stylish, comfortable, and sleek, making it a perfect addition to anyone’s private retreat.

monochromatic bedroom interiorminotti bed in monochromatic color

“Warming Up” Minimalism

A common complaint about minimalist style is that it’s cold, sterile, and uninviting, but this doesn’t have to the case. It’s possible to add warmth without adding clutter. Let’s look at some ways of doing this while maintaining minimalist principles.

  • Incorporate natural materials—Steel, glass, and stone are core minimalist materials, but without the softening influence of wood and natural fibers, the space can feel cold for some. Add a cluster of branches or a contemporary floral arrangement and an area rug made from a natural fiber such as New Zealand wool to warm up the space.
  • Add color—Rather than adding unnecessary objects to your space, find interesting ways to use color. Colorful pillows, a knit throw, an area rug, placemats, or even a single wall painted another color can create a dramatic effect. Only introduce colors that complement each other, and be sure to pay attention to how colors affect feelings. Only use colors that invoke the feelings you want (and that you want your visitors to experience).
  • Add texture—A rug or other floor covering designed with different textural elements or a pattern that creates a three-dimensional effect adds interest to any space. Opt for a hammered metal bowl or a modern sculpture for additional texture. 


living room with warm minimalism

Notable Minimalists

  • Buckminster Fuller—An American designer best known for his geometric dome designs, Fuller was a visionary for his day.  His designs are still studied and celebrated.
  • Dieter Rams—The industrial designer whose 10 principles of good design are a model for designers today.
  • Steve Jobs—The pioneering information technology entrepreneur and inventor whose Apple technology has forever changed society.

Other notable minimalists include A.G. Fronzoni, an Italian minimalist furniture designer; Japanese furniture designer Tokujin Yoshioka; and Swiss designer Peter Wigglesworth.

Minimalism, the design revolution of twentieth century, has impacted every facet of modern life, from architecture, to interior design, to art and Web design. This innovative movement is functional, unobtrusive, and honest at its core.

Check out the stylish and minimalistic home furnishing options available from Switch Modern!


Bookmark and Share
2/23/2016 2:14:00 PM  

When a person hears the phrase “less is more” – especially regarding art and design – they might imagine a scene with sparse decorations, monotone surfaces with flat lines, and very little clutter or embellishment. In interior design, this would be called minimalism. It’s an aesthetic that’s widely known today, with its roots appearing fairly recently in American visual art of the 1960s and 70s.

Minimalism in art is often seen as a reaction against anything that’s unnecessarily elaborate. Minimalists believe art shouldn’t “symbolize” anything; instead, it should represent only the materials at hand, providing the viewer with an immediate, pure visual experience.

Living minimally creates an incentive to buy only quality items that are built to last, which runs counter to the ideal of working more, earning more, and thus spending more to accumulate more belongings only for the sake of owning them.  Conversely, by uncluttering and buy only quality items that you truly want and are essential, you feed your soul and the benefits of living with less will be immediately apparent. You will start to view meaningless “stuff” as an obligation, debt and stress – so look for treasures that truly enhance your life and don’t just fill it up.

To read more about the origins of minimalism, as well as how widespread its influence is today, see the infographic below.

Click below to embed this infographic into your website:

Bookmark and Share
1/22/2016 5:03:00 PM  

Color forecasting is critical to the fashion, home, and interiors industries. Aligning your designs with the prevailing color trends can boost sales dramatically; failing to do so could turn potential customers away, as the products might seem irrelevant.

Twice a year, 10 experts convene at Pantone – the standard-bearer in helping designers select and specify colors – to choose the colors that will dominate runways and home goods in the future. Their inspiration comes from the worlds of street fashion, movies, current events, and more.

Trend forecasting is so much more than just a random selection of beautiful colors. Customers respond in an emotional way to relaxing hues and natural tones, perhaps as a way to escape from the chaotic, “plugged-in” lives we live. In an era where customers are sharing their favorite products on so many different platforms, it’s easy to see how the color trends in fashion make their way into the world of interior design and furnishings very quickly, and just how crucial it is to pay heed to the always-changing trends in the world of color.

Click below to embed this infographic into your website:

Bookmark and Share
1/6/2016 12:07:00 PM  

We know what someone means when they say they “see red,” or “feel blue.” Color is part of our everyday lives, affecting mood, outlook, and more. Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about color until it’s time to make a purchase, from clothing to furniture, linens, dishware, even cars. Each season, design leaders in all those fields offer a mix of products in a remarkably similar array of colors. Ever wonder why? You will need to choose colors if you plan to invest in new furniture, whether one well-designed new lounge chair from B&B Italia Outdoor Furniture, or a complete suite of Walter Knoll furniture.

Understanding more about the way colors are determined will help you make the right choices when designing your home interior. Furniture is likely to be a part of your life for an extended period of time, so make the most of your investment by becoming a savvy color consumer.   

Where Do Color Trends Originate?

Color trends come from every direction and multiple sources. Generally, textile designers and manufacturers together with color forecasters get the chain started, and the fashion industry can originate or spread the trend. Color forecasters use a long-established process of “boots on the ground” research around the world. They observe emerging grassroots changes in color use, getting a feel for the mood and concerns people express through their choice of colors and in their everyday lives. They draw on expertise in psychology, the arts, and design, and gain insights from expert panelists working in all the major related industries.1

Fashion designers choose among new fabrics offered each season, or they commission textile designs based on their own sense of trends. Typically, they study the forecasters’ color palettes and develop their own seasonal palette. Then, they begin sourcing fabric to fulfill emerging design concepts. Furniture manufacturers follow a similar routine, studying color forecasts and monitoring developments in fashion colors.

The time lag between new colors turning up in fashion, and then in home interiors, has gotten dramatically shorter in recent years, shrinking to less than two years, as consumer color awareness grows, thanks to social media and greater access to advance information. Some furniture manufacturers are able to stay right in step with dominant fashion color trends, at least in accent pieces that can be quickly adapted and turned out in time to enter the semi-annual furniture markets at High Point, North Carolina and elsewhere.2

How You Can Make the Right Color Choices

Chances are, you’ll keep furniture for a much longer lifecycle than you will apparel, so it’s a good idea to think first about the neutral palette you will use in your home décor, especially for hard case goods (furniture) and surfaces (walls, floors, carpeting). You can then layer on trendier accent colors in replaceable items like upholstery and accent pieces (pillows, lamps, wall hangings, decorative pieces, area rugs). Wall color can also be used to carry out a strong accent tone if you choose one wall to liven up with the accent color, while keeping other walls neutral.

You may be convinced that your tastes are entirely your own and what you love today, you will love tomorrow … but don’t be too sure. Trend forecasters know that we are all subtly influenced by the world around us. We take in all kinds of information, from economic pressures to political tensions, plus visual exposure to evocative, current colors. Multiple influential color predictors foresee a dominant social trend described as “duality,” to reflect these opposing influences. We look to the future for innovation and newness, yet we look to the past for tradition and stability, even nostalgia. We live mostly in crowded urban zones that are never fully dark, although we naturally require hours of darkness. Our overly structured lives make us long for the feel of tech-free things like paper and pencil, or printed books and graphics made from letters and words.3

The Pantone Color Institute, the leading world authority on color standards used by most industries that depend on color, issues a highly influential prediction of color trends for the coming year. Pantone has synthesized the choices into sets of color groupings or palettes that reflect the ways we interpret these realities in our own lives.

Here are Pantone’s 2016 groupings for home interiors, collectively titled “Innovation and Impact.”4 Professionals in all facets of home furnishings, manufacturing, design, interior design, and retail, will consult them in making their choices for the coming year. Look up examples of these shades to see what kind of color interplay they inspire for your home, indoors and outdoors:

  • Natural forms: Taking color from natural sources like moss, sheepskin, rust, a rose-colored clay, a plum wine, bone brown; copper and lead for metal grounding.

  • Dichotomy: Reflecting the duality concept, it includes colors that prove opposites attract, like a silver metallic, a bright cobalt blue, and a sunny yellow, with lighter versions of the same hues.

  • Ephemera: Pastel colors that include palest, even washed-out shades of aqua, blue-gray, rose pink, light peach, light yellow, orchid ice, opal gray, grayish white (cloud dancer), and frosted almond beige.

  • Lineage: Includes grounded, deeper colors like Biscotti tan, Apricot Brandy, a charcoal-navy tone called Stargazer, deep Mars Red, a softened green called Epsom, a brown-tinged Fire Brick, black, violet, and champagne beige.

  • Soft Focus: A muted collection of soft, relaxing colors, including peach, rose, pale minty green, a nearly-black brown, a classic beige, tourmaline, mustardy gold, and a soft, deep pink.

  • Bijoux: Is the bright, jewel-like collection of more intense colors, from a nearly-orange Amber Yellow to amethyst, deep green, a deep taupe, a light glowing red, bold pink, a golden green, topaz, and violet.

  • Merriment: Happy colors to brighten your rooms, including cantaloupe, a bright aqua- blue, darker Super Pink, a toasty brown called Sesame, a spicy gold, another deep taupe, and comfortingly classic bright green and orange.

  • Footloose: And fancy free? That is the idea with these fun, summery colors that mix bright orange, aqua-blue, periwinkle blue, and navy, with pale green, Meadow Green, a light coffee color called Latte, and the yummy Strawberry Pink.

  • Mixed Bag: Go for a mixed salad of bright colors that suggest strong prints more than solids. This group includes deep Mandarin Red, black, a hot Pink, a deep violet, a deep mossy yellow-green,  a lighter beige, and the famous color-of-the-year for 2015, Marsala.

Tips for Using 2016 Colors

Color trends are simply a guide, especially useful to industries and businesses at all levels that depend on color choice for success. At the same time, they guide us as consumers and often reflect impulses we feel but were not fully aware of before. Whether you work with a professional designer or enjoy inventing your own décor, here are some practical ways to interpret the color groupings described above to introduce fresh colors into your home.

  • Before tackling a whole room, do what the pros do and develop your color palette. Choose the neutral colors you’ll use as your background for stronger accent colors. Keep in mind, you can more easily update smaller items that carry out your accents if you want another change next season, or next year.  Look at how contrasting colors work together, and pay attention to your emotional response to color pairings.

  • You can choose more than one accent color, with one playing a more dominant role, and the second and even third ones used more sparingly. Layer them up to reinforce different shades of one color, or find contrasting colors within one of the Pantone groupings above.

  • Consider one dramatic piece of furniture as your room’s focal point, like the deep burnt orange Zeus Sofa, designed by Antonio Citterio and made by Flexform. Its asymmetrical, linear style is inviting and challenging, and the warm color is vibrant and exciting. Surround it with softer neutrals, and carry out the burnt orange in a few well-chosen accent pieces.

  • Limit your color choices to a max of three or four; more than that and a room looks cluttered and overly busy. The eye doesn’t know where to go.

  • Choose your colors for fabric, furniture, carpeting and floor coverings first, because they come in a smaller range of options than does paint. Next, look for the best paint color to set off the other colors and the furnishings you chose.

  • Keep in mind the kind of light exposure each room will have, as light—artificial and natural—can dramatically alter the way colors are perceived at different times of day.


Bookmark and Share
12/23/2015 12:18:00 PM  

Planning a room’s design requires a lot of thought, especially for all of the small details. Whether the room being planned is in a restaurant, office, or at home, the small details can make or break the desired atmosphere of the area. This is especially true when it comes to lighting.

The lighting in a room has the ability to make the area feel warm and inviting, or it can help highlight products being sold. Alternatively, improper lighting can have a negative effect, causing customers and guests to feel uncomfortable and leave. Because of this, it’s important to have the right lighting accessories with the right tone.

Do you want to learn more about creating the right lighting in a room? Whether you want to create a cozy atmosphere at your dining room table or if you want to illuminate an office space for optimal productivity, the following infographic teaches you about the right type of lighting for different situations and rooms. Continue reading to discover the right lighting for your home or business.

Click below to embed this infographic into your website:

Bookmark and Share
9/1/2015 1:55:00 AM  

We’ve come a long way in lighting—both at home and in commercial spaces. Interior designers and homeowners alike need to be more knowledgeable than ever when choosing the ideal combination of lighting fixtures for home, office, or business. Artificial light in homes began with one glaring, bare incandescent bulb hung from a cord in late 19th century rooms. Today, bulbs are flat, round, tiny, or long, using an array of technologies that deliver different degrees of illumination and color spectrum.1  

Two overriding concerns in lighting planning are energy efficiency and cost. Energy-efficient lighting may include LED (light-emitting diodes), which consumes the least, or the less expensive CFL (standard compact fluorescent), which remains in wide use for institutional and office commercial spaces requiring lengthy fixtures for ambient light. 

A well-lit space depends on blending layers of light at different levels, to achieve the right balance and mood. Here’s a brief primer on the basic elements of layering needed to achieve a good lighting mix, in order of importance:1

1—Ambient or general lighting illuminates the overall room or space, often relying on ceiling fixtures.

2—Task lighting focuses more narrowly and intensely on an area set aside for a specific function. Pendant lights and directional spots are good examples of task lighting.

3—Accent lighting highlights a particular object, such as a painting or a work of art. It may take the form of a recessed spotlight or track lighting that can be directed onto an item below, or uplighting from recessed floor spots.

Using this layering technique is a way of blending lighting into the three dimensions of a room. Install lights in the ceiling, recessed into the floor, or in walls. You’ll be amazed at the impact a properly balanced lighting scheme will have on the feeling and mood in any room. A space that generates such a sense of balance and well-being is a space that will be used, while a room that is gloomy or under-illuminated will be overlooked or nearly abandoned.2

Lumens vs. Wattage

Once upon a time, everyone used incandescent light bulbs. You chose the bulb primarily by checking the amount of watts on the label, indicating how much energy the bulb would use. Now, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission directs manufacturers to label each package with the level of brightness it puts out as measured in lumens, along with information about watts it consumes, warm or cool light it projects, and other factors. Choice may seem a bit more complicated, but each consumer is better informed, and the process of planning to scale up for lighting larger commercial spaces or homes is more efficient.

Getting in the Mood - Dimmers

Mood is important in every room of the home, and lighting is known to have a powerful effect on mood. Sometimes, full, bright artificial light is needed when accomplishing certain tasks in the kitchen or home office. At other times, the same room will be used for relaxation, perhaps reading by the fire, under a focused task light, with dimmed ambient light. A dimmer switch or a whole system with dimmability is highly practical, and allows the homeowner to maximize the way each space is used. Dimmers can be built into a new lighting plan or added to existing systems by most do-it-yourselfers.3 

The Trend toward LED Lighting – Homes and Retail Stores

LED lighting is gaining ground as the most energy-efficient option, a factor that will become ever more important in a changing energy environment. Using just milliwatts of power to produce the same illumination as the old incandescents (which required 75 watts or more in a typical table lamp), LED lights offer great savings for commercial as well as home use, especially as newer designs become available in more applications.

In retail store display, for example, LED lights produce significantly less heat, which saves on the need for cooling energy, reducing wear on products, and light fixtures.They feel cool to the touch and are virtually maintenance-free.

At the same time, proper lighting can directly influence sales results by creating an energetic—or, if appropriate, calming—mood. Using task display lighting puts the focus on specific products and shows them in a more … what else? ... attractive light. It all adds up to lower overhead costs, more motivation to buy, and, potentially, greater profits.4

As the technology continues to develop, so do the options for types of LED lighting fixtures—or total lack of fixtures. What was that? Yes, LED light bulbs are smaller, leading to new designs and fueling a trend toward light as a sculptural element without a visible source.5 Examples include strip lighting and small light bars, useful for under-cabinet kitchen lighting or downlighting along upper moldings in almost any part of the home. Softly colored strip lighting in a hallway or between glass shelving in a display case blends artistically into a lighting plan to enhance a room’s appeal. In effect, light becomes an architectural element that changes the way we think about furnishing and decorating the spaces in which we live and work.

Light Fixtures as Art – Retail and Institutional Spaces

Designers and artists have quickly responded to new technologies with innovative light fixtures that would have seemed inconceivable in the past. Many take advantage of the smaller, lighter LEDs that adapt to unpredictable shapes. A suspension lamp like the one pictured here, by Bocci Lighting and available through SwitchModern.com, sculpts glass, copper, and light together with living plants, to create an ethereal hanging that seems to pull electricity from the air. The piece takes three 1.8W LED bulbs, and could work equally well over a modern dining room table in a light, airy home, or as accent lighting in a beautiful retail store display.

The lobby of an elegant New York apartment building, or the entrance and grand staircase of a historic building in London (Canada House—pictured), could serve equally well as backdrop for the stunning, institutional scale light installation from the Bocci 57 series, pictured below. Again, LED lights, with their lightweight characteristics and the ability to combine multiple bulbs in one small fixture, no doubt helped inspire the realization of a project with so many intertwined parts, and the need to appear suspended in mid-air.6 The delicate lightness and very modern aesthetic contrast dramatically with the solid yet spacious neo-classical architecture.


1. http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/mechanical-systems/designing-a-home-lighting-plan

2. http://freshome.com/2012/02/10/how-to-transform-your-home-using-the-secrets-of-good-lighting/

3. http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/decorating-tips-techniques/interior-lighting/dimmers

4. http://retaillightinganddesign.com/importance-of-retail-store-lighting-it-increases-your-bottom-line/#

5. http://blog.americanlightingassoc.com/how-leds-are-transforming-home-interior-design/


Bookmark and Share
By Alex
8/14/2015 11:11:00 AM  


Eileen Gray Villa E1027


Recognized as one of the 20th centuries most important works of modern architecture, Eileen Gray's villa E1027 was nearly lost to history following years of obscurity, vandalism and neglect. Designed and built between 1926 and 1929, the small French Riviera holiday home was originally conceived as a refuge where Gray and her lover Jean Badovici could work in peace and relaxation while hosting occasional guests. The unique E1027 name was derived from an alpha numeric intermingling of the pair's initials - beginning with E, and followed by 10 for J (the 10th letter in the alphabet), 2 for B, and 7 for G. 


Villa E1027 by Eileen Gray


Villa E1027 by Eileen Gray


While Gray's villa is firmly rooted in the modernist movement, it's noted as a standout for its subtle sensuality. In contrast to Le Corbusier's "A house is a machine for living in." Grey spoke of "a dwelling as a living organism" and believed that "The poverty of modern architecture... stems from the atrophy of sensuality." With this outlook in mind, E1027 was born of a sensitive and in depth study of wind, sun and site topography and was imbued with artistic details as well as throughtful architectural decisions including windows that ensure views from a position of repose, shutters that allow for complex modulations of light and breeze and furnishings, both free standing and built-in, designed with multiple tasks and movement in mind.  Among villa E1027's earliest adornments were such iconic Gray designs as the adjustable E1027 Table and Satellite Mirror.


Villa E1027 by Eileen Gray


Sadly, for all the time and heart Gray put into the creation of her little love nest, by 1932 the relationship with Badovici had disintegrated and she left him and the home behind. In the years that followed, Badovici continued to reside at E1027 often hosting the famous Le Corbusier, who over the course of a series of visits painted seven bold and at times pornographic murals upon the pristine white walls of Gray's masterwork. Gray viewed Le Corbusier's interventions as acts of vandalism and if rumor is to be believed, Le Corbusier was in fact jealous that a woman should make such an important work in what he considered to be his own style.


Villa E1027 by Eileen Gray


Today, after decades of decline and decay, followed by 16 years of bureaucracy-filled renovation/restoration, villa E1027 has opened its doors once again. And while it may not be quite the home Eileen Gray had originally conceived - with restorations still under way and Le Corbusier's murals now protected works of art - it remains an incredible piece of architecture and design history with a fascinating story to tell. If only those walls could talk!

Tours are now available by appointment through capmoderne.com/fr/.

Photography by Manuel BOUGOT, and Tim Benton via The Gardian.


Bookmark and Share
By Alex
7/29/2015 8:11:00 PM  


Arne Jacobsen's Series 7™ Chair


In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Arne Jacobsen's Series 7™ chair, manufacturer Fritz Hansen has invited 7 renowned architects from around the globe to re-imagine this icon of design through the tint of their own lens. Unlike Jacobsen's other chairs, the Series 7™ is unique in that it was created with no particular project or setting in mind, making it the perfect choice for an updated spin.

Meeting the lofty challenge of redesigning a classic, were architects from Bjarke Ingels Group, Carlos Ott & Carlos Ponce de Leon, Jean Nouvel Design, Jun Igarashi, Neri & Hu, Snohetta and Zaha Hadid Design. To date, each of the 7 teams has put forth a single chair proposal and the combined 7 chairs have now joined forces as part of a traveling exhibit in honor of Jacobsen's Series 7™ classic. The show kicked off this July 14th at Belgium’s Design museum Gent and will travel around the world in the months that follow. Shown below are just a few of our conceptual favorites. What do you think?!


Arne Jacobsen's Series 7™ Chair


Arne Jacobsen's Series 7™ Chair


Zaha Hadid's take on the Series 7™ chair re-structures it as a dynamic seamless expression - where the iconic curves of its original plywood seat now integrate with its newly sinuous base.


Arne Jacobsen's Series 7™ Chair


Arne Jacobsen's Series 7™ Chair


Jun Igarashi Architects had the environment in mind when they devised a use for unsalvagable post earthquake building material. The idea is to collect and process waste wood into boards which can then be used to creat furniture of many forms.


Arne Jacobsen's Series 7™ Chair


Arne Jacobsen's Series 7™ Chair


Bjarke Ingels Group took inspiration from the Series 7™ chair's stacking capability and layered veneer construction to create the new seat based upon the subtle repetition of an iconic form.

To view Jacobsen's Series 7™ in all its original glory, we invite you to click through to SwitchModern.com or swing by for a visit to the Atlanta showroom.

Bookmark and Share
By Alex
7/26/2015 2:16:00 PM  


BOCCI 73 Light


Bocci is a bit of a darling of ours here at Switch Modern and we couldn't resist sharing this mesmerizing behind-the-scenes peek at the creation of their new 73 series. The line explores an unusual technique in which glass is blown into an ultra heat-resistant pouch of ceramic fabric...


BOCCI 73 Light - Switch Modern


The result is a brilliant combination of artisanal expertise and a counter-intuitive design mix of soft fabric texture and sleek hard glass. Each 73 blown is intended for use in clusters which, when viewed as a whole, read as a stunning hybrid between small ethereal clouds and luminous rock crystals. Enjoy the show!



Discover the full BOCCI collection at SwitchModern.com.


Bookmark and Share
By Alex
7/3/2015 4:27:00 PM  


Poltrona Frau's Bird Table by Tapio Wirkkala


Born in the Finnish port city of Hanko, Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985) achieved international renown by the time he was in his thirties and remains to this day one of Finland's most celebrated designers. His work traverses a wide range of mediums ranging from the design of Finland's longest-used series of banknotes to glass work for Iittala and Venini, to product, furniture and exhibition design.

Wirkkala first hit the wider international stage in 1951 with his curation and design of the Finnish section of the 9th Triennale di Milan for which he won three Grand Prix. This was only to be followed by true international fame in 1954 with his win of another 3 Grand Prix at the 10th Trienial.


Poltrona Frau's Bird Table by Tapio Wirkkala


Although Wirkkala's portfolio is vast and varied, his explorations in woodwork would remain a constant throughout his career, beginning with his formal education as a sculptor specializing in wood at the Central School of Applied Arts in Helsinki. In retrospect, his oeuvre can best be characterized by a study in dynamic and abstract shapes often pulled from nature.


Poltrona Frau's Bird Table by Tapio Wirkkala


Today, on the 100th anniversary of Tapio Wirkkala's birth, Poltrona Frau celebrates the Finnish master with the first mass production of his early 1950s Bird Side Table. While up until this point only a handful of these tables were ever made, Poltrona Frau took on the challenges of its layered and splayed birch table top to perfection - recreating Wirkkala's graphic portrayal of a bird wading in water, with its black beak tucked down and its legs emerging from a common seamless strip of black birch. In completion, the Bird's simple sinuous form stands as a perfect example of Wirkkala's "natural and organic poetry" and it is one that we are now thrilled to welcome to our Switch Modern offerings.


Poltrona Frau's Bird Table by Tapio Wirkkala


We invite you to view more of Wirkkala's work at our Atlanta showroom or online at switchmodern.com.


Bookmark and Share
Recent Posts
Minimalism: The Design Revolution of the 20th Century
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
What Is Minimalism?
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
The Fashion & Furniture Color Connection
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Color Trends at Home – How to Be a Savvy Color Consumer
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Why Proper Lighting Matters at Home and at Work
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Trends in Lighting for Home and Business
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Eileen Gray's Villa E1027 - Now Open To The Public!
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Arne Jacobsen's Series 7™ Chair Re-Imagined After 60 Years
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Poltrona Frau Brings Tapio Wirkkala's 1950s Bird Table into Production
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
 March (1)
 February (1)
 January (2)
 December (1)
 September (1)
 August (1)
 July (3)
 June (2)
 May (3)
 April (2)
 March (2)
 February (2)
 January (2)
Events (37)
"Spotlight on Design" (28)
Interior Design (34)
Accessories Design (21)
Manufacturers (48)
Trade Shows (11)
Architecture + Design (44)
Sales! (8)
Videos (31)
News (54)
Exhibitions (17)
Competitions (6)
Lighting (19)
Design Wise (5)
Furniture (25)
Blog Roll
RSS Feed
AlertSite is a leading provider of Web site monitoring and performance management solutions that help businesses ensure optimum Web experiences for their customers.