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Monday, February 20, 2012

Mid-century Modern Masters - Iconic Chairs by: Katie Funt

Mid-century Modern is a design style encompassing modern architecture, interiors, industrial design, and furniture design from the 1930's until the mid to late 1960's.  It is acknowledged worldwide by scholars, designers, and museums as a highly significant design movement.  It is most often associated with the 1950's although it spanned several decades.  Its influences were spawned from Frank Lloyd Wright's principles of nature, simplicity, and organic forms juxtaposed with industrial advances and elements from both the Bauhaus and Industrial movements. 

Scandinavian, German, and 
American designers were very influential at this time.  The goals were to create modern designs to impact suburbians and urbanites and makes their lives more comfortable and open.  Function and form held equal weight and emphasized fulfilling the needs of the average American and European.  Designs often incorporated glass, metals, plywood, plastics, and so forth.  Chairs were generally lightweight and stack-able.  Colors also played a notable role.  Below Perlora outlines a few revolutionary chairs from the Mid-century style. 

                                                    Panton Chair

The Panton chair was designed by Verner Panton in 1960.  Panton was one of the most influential furniture and industrial designers in the 1960's and 70's.  He had a strong interest in the use of plastics, which was a new material at the time.  Panton had a concept for a single piece constructed chair which was multipurpose, comfortable, and affordable. With the assistance of Vitra the chair was ready for series production in 1967.  What makes this chair revolutionary and prolific 
is its one piece design. 

The Panton was the very first chair to be created with one continuous piece of material.  The material in this instance is injection molded polypropylene.  You are probably asking yourself what this means unless you work in the plastic, chemical, or furniture industries.  Polypropylene is a thermoplastic, which means it undergoes a process of heating and pressure and then can be molded into different shapes.  The benefits of this material is it is both flexible and tough.  It can be used in indoor and outdoor applications due to its durability, it's highly resistant to chemicals/acids, and can be produced in a translucent or opaque finish, and in colors.  It is light-weight, can be stacked four high and has a sleek cantilevered design.  The dimensions are 32.75" h x 19.75" w x 24" d.  One of the original prototypes of this chair is housed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

I own these chairs (in a glossy white) and love them!  They can be wiped clean or scrubbed with soap and water.  However, a draw back considered by some (as with any plastic furnishings), is the chairs may incur small scratches from use.  It is similar to the effect leather obtains and adds character.  Vitra currently has no listed weight limit for this chair but it is often used in restaurant and other commercial settings.

                                                              Egg Chair

 Originally designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958, this iconic chair is synonymous with Danish furniture design.  It was created by Jacobsen for the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen for the hotel's lobby and reception area.  The chair provided some privacy in an otherwise open public space.  It was originally cast in plaster but today is made of a synthetic padded shell and covered with fabric or leather.  
The base is a star-shaped aluminum piece which swivels.  It also comes with an ottoman and is often shown in the classic red wool finish. 


Jacobsen was propelled into furniture design stardom for his chair designs such as the Series 7, Ant Chair, and Swan series.  He uses nature, animals, and organic free flowing forms as inspiration.  Some features of the Egg chair include a resilient polyurethane foam with fiberglass reinforced shell.  It comes in a variety of finishes and an automatic return mechanism is optional.  Dimensions are 33.8" w x 31.1" d x 42" h x seat: 14.5" h.

                                      Diamond Lounge

 Harry Bertoia designed the Diamond Lounge in the early 1950's with a unique construction of bent and welded steel rods.  Bertoia was an Italian sculptor, artist, and furniture designer.  At the age of 15 he moved to the United States to attend technical school and went on the College of Creative Studies and the Cranbrook Academy of Art.  At Cranbrook he encountered and encouraged several other influential designers and artists such as the Eames, Walter Gropius and Edmund Bacon.  He eventually relocated to Pennsylvania and opened a studio in which he worked on a project of 5 wire frame chairs, which he created for Knoll.  One of these five pieces was the dynamic Diamond Lounge.

Bertoia considered it a work of fine art and said, "If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them."  These chairs are certainly a work of art with their lattice work steel frame.  An upholstered cushion can be attached or removed with lock snaps.  The frame is scratch, chip, and chemical resistant.  Dimensions are 33.5”w x 28.25”d x 30”h with a seat height of 16.5”


Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, otherwise and more widely known as Le Corbusier, was a Swiss designer who eventually became a French citizen.  He was an artist, designer, architect, writer, and urbanist.  He made many notable designs in both architecture and furniture design such as the Villa Savoye, Ronchamp Chapel, and LC-series.  He was met with resistance and criticism early on as being too "revolutionary" in style, but came to be accepted and highly celebrated for his innovative artistic merit.

His famous lounge, the LC-4 Chaise Longue, or Long Chair is made in Italy and was a collaboration with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand.  It has a chrome frame, black base, leather headrest and comes in black leather or pony material.  The chaise lounge is described as a resting machine due to its ergonomic design which fits the contours of the human body.  It was presented to the 'Salon d'Automne' in 1929 and is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. This icon of timeless furniture design is instantly recognizable and world renowned.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Color Me Happy.....Calm, Passionate, Artistic, Intelligent... By: Katie Funt

PerLora takes an in-depth look into color psychology and theory to see how and why color affects our mood.  In a previous blog, the "Color of the Year"- Tangerine Tango was described as a color evoking courageousness and encouragement, but do we know why?  Color can affect our mood without our cognition.  So read on for some insight into the often subliminal world of color!

A Breakdown of Color
There are primary, secondary and tertiary colors. 
-Primary colors are red, yellow, and blue and can be combined to make secondary colors.  These colors are very vibrant and pure; they promote brain development in children and are therefore good 

for use in schools and nurseries.


-Secondary colors are orange, green, and purple.  They are created by mixing two primary colors.  These colors are not pure hues and are slightly more muted than their primary companions.

-Tertiary colors are created by combining a primary and
 secondary  color, such as yellow-orange, red-purple
or yellow-green.  

Along with the aforementioned system for classifying the color wheel, it can be broken down into two sides as well.  Warm colors and Cool colors.

-Warm colors are red, orange, and yellow.
-Their cool counterparts are blue,green, and purple.

Great Color Schemes for Interiors

When using the color wheel as a visual aid in design there are several  tried and true color recipes.  For example, the 

complementary scheme. 


Complementary schemes (above)

Complementary colors are colors which are opposite one another on the color wheel.  For instance blue and orange or yellow and purple.  These colors work well together due to their warm to cool contrast ratio.  
 When placed beside each other they will amplify and intensify one another.  
These combinations will have a high impact and contrast.

On the other hand are analogous schemes, which are colors that are next to or close to one another on the color wheel.  They work best in groups of two or three and one color will generally dominate.  These colors work well together due to their close proximity and tone on the color wheel.  They create a more harmonious and relaxed atmosphere.

Analogous scheme (above)

Monochromatic is a third great color solution for interiors.  Meaning mono-one and chroma-color.  This is achieved when most or all of the colors are of the same hue (including tones, shades, and tints)  By combining the same hue, differentiated by adding black or white to darken or lighten the hue, a classy and subtle effect is created.



Monochromatic schemes (above)

Color Associations
Understanding how and why color conveys meaning is vital in successful design.  Color is communicative in two general ways, by natural and psychological associations.  Natural associations are a broader and more global perception of color.  For example, red is associated with fire/heat, blood, and many kinds of food in nature.  It's no wonder why so many restaurants choose red in their decor.  The natural and familiar psychological association with food helps this color induce hunger and appetite.

If you're trying to succeed with a diet, consider painting your dining room or kitchen blue.  The color blue is a natural appetite suppressant.  There are very few natural foods which are blue, aside from blueberries.  So try eating off of  blue glass plates or surround your eating environment in blue to curb that hunger.

The psychological effects of color vary due to cultural context, upbringing, and society as a whole.  Colors can have positive and negative associations so it's good to know which way a color may affect you when choosing interior paints.  Perhaps you have a warm and positive association with the color taupe because your grandmother always wore it. You also happen to adore the color personally, so it may be a great choice for your living room.  Incorporating positive color associations into your house is a guaranteed way to ensure it'll be a place you love to come home to.

Some colors are best (or are not ideal choices) in certain areas of your home.  For instance, yellow tones (especially bright ones) are not recommended by color psychologists to be used in the kitchen.  The reason?  Yellow is the most straining and fatiguing color to the eye, due to the high amount of light that is reflected.  On the flip side, yellow is purported to increase metabolism, is a sign of cheerfulness, and due to it's high visibility is very attention grabbing.

Want to learn more about color psychology?

Here are some other color associations and perceptions.  Check out the coordinating color rooms to see which catches your eye and appeals most.

 Red- Red is an attention grabber and increases heartbeat and breathing.  The color of love, passion, and temper, this color is for the bold.  It makes a statement and is a wonderful accent color to keep your eye interested.  Red is not generally recommended for bedrooms due to it's intensity and energizing effect, but is great for social gathering spots.

Orange- This color is energizing like red; it symbolizes excitement and enthusiasm due to its heart rate increasing properties and mix of red and yellow attributes.  It's not as intense as red but is still an attention getter.  It is viewed as a fun, warm, active color.  It promotes activity and is great in dining, exercise, and family rooms.  It can be very sophisticated when used in darker, muted tones or very youthful when pure and bright. 

Yellow- The most visually tiring color in the spectrum, yellow has it's good qualities too.  It is seen as uplifting and cheery.  It speeds metabolism and can help enhance concentration.  However, overuse of this color should be avoided as it can be temper provoking.  Studies have found babies will cry more in yellow rooms.  Try using this color in accent pillows, side chairs, or area rugs to add some warm sunniness to a room in concentrated pockets to take advantage of its benefits without any negative effects.

 Green- Green is the easiest color on the eye.  It has a soothing quality and is heavily associated with nature.  Green is relaxing and a good color for bedrooms, waiting rooms, and spas.  Try acidic greens to add a little more energy to a room.  Pairs well with muted pinks for a fresh springtime look.

Blue-Symbolizes peace, tranquility, and sadness.  This color has calming effects and is associated with water and the sky.  It releases chemicals in the brain which promote relaxation and calmness.  Studies show weight lifters can lift heavier weights in blue weight rooms.  It is non-confrontational and good for use in all areas of the home, especially bedrooms.

Purple- Purple was previously considered the color of royalty as the pigment could only be obtained by a rare kind of snail.  It was therefore very expensive.  Nowadays, purple is associated as fun, energetic, feminine, and fresh.  It promotes creativity and cognition and is a great color for play rooms, classrooms, and art studios.

Pink- A romantic color which is generally perceived as playful, youthful, and sweet.  This color is tranquilizing and is often used to pacify inhabitants as demonstrated when used in prisons and competing teams locker rooms.  It is considered the true color of love and helps to calm aggression and soothe.

Black- The color of authority, power, and mystery.  Black communicates a wide array of color associations, a sultry side, sophisticated elegance, alternative and edgy, and somber.  It is a great grounding accent color, or can be used as the main color for a real impact.  Black goes well with just about everything.

White- Symbolizing purity, innocence, cleanliness and crispness.  White is highly light reflective and can be helpful when trying to make a room appear larger.  It is seen as clean but can appear sterile and cold when overused.  White is a good color to use when preparing a home for sale as it allows perspective buyers to imagine themselves in the space.  It's a nice neutral and considered a "safe" color.  However, using a lot of white in upholstery, rugs, or drapes when children and pets are involved may not be ideal.

Gray- Gray is very easy on the eyes.  It is a good soft neutral that works well with many colors.  For a contemporary while grounded look, try yellow and gray.  Gray is associated with practicality, timelessness, stability, and age.  Too much gray can be dull, so try pairing with some warmer colors to add depth and interest to a room.  This is a great color for offices and kitchens due to it's neutrality and ability to be played up.  Using a silver or chrome tone can add sparkle and elegance to a room or help it feel more modern.

Brown-The true color of nature.  Brown is easy on the eyes and is a versatile neutral.  It works well with most colors and can be used in many applications.  Try a rich chocolate color for your bedroom, or a light beige for hallways.  Brown hues are generally seen as masculine, earthy, rich, and reliable.  It is a stable and static color. 

 We hope you enjoyed this article, thank you for reading!
Stay tuned for a new blog next week and don't forget to Like us on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Red Hot Sassy Seating and Great Gift Ideas

Just in time for Valentine's Day, we've pulled together a great collection of hot seating and unique gift solutions you're sure to desire. Stop in to PerLora and PerLora Leather if you're searching for a knock-out gift for that special someone.

Check out these beautiful upholstered swivel chairs, sure to make a bold and daring statement you'll love. These chairs have select hardwood frames, goose feather and down back pillows, and polished chrome bases with swivel mechanisms.  Call for pricing.

   This sweet pair in an arm chair and sofa are sleek in appearance and go hand in hand together.  Customizable with hundreds of upholstery options.

Show your loved one you're thinking of them by giving them a HUG, even when you can't be there. The HUG salt and pepper shakers are an adorable way to add spice to any table. $24.00 at PerLora.

The Frilly-(Right) Polycarbonate chair was created from the concept of juxtaposing industrial sculpture with a charming ergonomic design. It comes in a wide variety of colors and was designed by Patricia Urquiola. $299.00

 Add some sparkle to your living or dining room with these dazzling home decor bowls.

Circles bowl-$89.00 (left)
Fruit bowl-$29.00 (right)

This sofa is futuristic yet reminiscent of ancient lounges and is great for those cold rainy days when you just feel like lounging around (in style, of course.)

La Boheme is a collection of vases and stools created in bright brilliant colors with a transparent finish. Versatile for indoor or outdoor use and durable due to their polycarbonate material construction.      

 $198.00 Stool                                                                                         $198.00 Vase


Forget those standard clear glass vases and opt for these instead, certain to be the jewelry of the table but won't over-shine the beautiful flowers they'll hold.

 $19.00-Silver Gourd Vase                                  $79.00-Face Vase                               $19.00-Dark Silver Gourd Vase

Snuggle up with your loved one on the Cuddle lounge. The curvaceous design of this piece and soft throw pillows treat you just like a hug.  In swivel or stationary design. 61"W x 37"H x 57"D.

Want more fabulous gift ideas? Go to...

to see just some of PerLora's awesome
selection of accessories and gifts.
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