Follow by Email

Monday, March 26, 2012

Innovative Outdoor Furnishings By: Katie Funt

As the weather warms up PerLora takes design to the outdoors. We carry many products to help you make the most of your exterior spaces and have compiled ten great pieces to add style and comfort to your patio, yard, and pool areas. We are definitely thinking spring!
First let's take a look at some innovative materials being used for outdoor furnishings.  polycarbonate, polymethyl  methacrylate, and polyethylene are three plastics which are rapidly gaining in popularity and influence in the design
community. Here's a run down of the
three and their main properties and
differences.  These plastics are similar
but there are some differences in
appearance, cost, and physical makeup.

For those who aren't sure what polycarbonate is, it belongs to the group of thermoplastic polymers and can easily be molded, worked, and thermoformed. It is temperature and impact resistant, has unique optical properties which are highly transparent to visible light, and is stronger than polymethyl methacrylate. It has low scratch resistance so a hard finish coating is generally applied to help protect the surface. It has flame and heat resistant properties as well, making it an all around great product for furniture design.

Polymethyl methacrylate or (PMMA) is another thermoplastic. It is usually a transparent plastic used in similar applications to glass and known by names such as Plexiglass, Lucite, and acrylic glass. However, unlike glass, it will not shatter, is a lighter density, and is more easily scratched. It can be translucent, transparent, and solid in a plethora of colors. It is weatherproof and durable and can be molded in similar fashions to polycarbonate. Methacrylate is somewhat cheaper although slightly less durable than polycarbonate.

Polyethylene is the most widely used of all plastics. It is generally found in packaging like plastic bags, bubble wrap, Saran wrap, and even buckets. It is classified in several categories depending on its density and branching. Many polyethylene grades have excellent chemical resistance. Its application is almost endless and incredibly varied. It is strong while somewhat flexible, fade resistant, mildew and mold resistant, and even element resistant. It weathers much better than wood outdoors and insects and termites cannot cause damage. HDPE, or high density polyethylene, is the most common type of polyethylene used in furnishings.

Now that you have a base knowledge of these versatile plastics, let's get to the fun part!

As outdoor seating and table trends change, outdoor furniture is becoming more contemporary and stylish. Bright bold colors, sculptural design elements, and new materials are making a splash in the outdoor furniture world. PerLora offers options far removed from the standard wicker and wrought iron patio furniture, to pieces which accentuate and flatter your space, elevating it to a whole new level. Form and function marry for stunning and thoughtful design sure to create that outdoor atmosphere you'll love to relax and entertain in.

1) The flower chair is made of sturdy polycarbonate. It has a stylish transparent nature in either crystal clear or black and comes with a seat cushion. It was designed by Pierre Paulin in 2009. The organic curvature of the seat provides back and arm support while the fluted design allows the light to be dispersed in different directions like a fine diamond.
2)/3) The same company which created the flower chair has some other amazing outdoor pieces. They collaborate with world renowned designers to help make revolutionary products. An example of such is this great chair designed by Konstantin Grcic. This avant garde chair comes in 4 colors, red, white, black, or anthracite gray with a concrete contemporary base that has a self-returning mechanism. Considered a part of the modern industrial style, this piece works both in interiors and exteriors and fits in perfectly with the urban landscape. It is a functional work of art that is strong and safe due to its die-cast aluminum painted seat and meets flame retardant standards.  The chair comes with a matching bistro table from the same designer. Designed in 2006, it has a painted aluminum frame, concrete base finished in transparent clear and a HPL laminate top.   

4) Seating functions at its optimum level when it's paired with its best mate, the table! The Happy hour table is aptly named and is great for outdoor use. It was produced in 2008 and is made of polypropylene. The frame is sure to withstand the test of the elements with its cataphoretically-treated steel tube and Werzalit top. Several finishes are available. 

5) This whimsical armchair was designed by Alessandro Mendini in 2011. This piece was designed using rotational-molded polyethylene, has comfortable seating, and tons of classical ornamentation with a contemporary twist. Comes in a variety of colors including a burnt orange, red, blue, green, white, black and the multicolored as shown. This chair is fit for kings and queens!  

 6) Designed in 2011 by Ron Arad, this outdoor chair comes in a rainbow of colors constructed using rotational-molded polyethylene. Its sculptural and playful design makes it a conversation piece that adds whimsy to your outdoor decor and pulls its inspiration from stuffed Italian pasta. Its continuous loop ribbon design, with separate interior and exterior textures, make this chair one of a kind.    

7) Another great manufacturer producing outdoor goods comes from Italy. This bucket armchair provides comfortable seating with a seat back cutout allowing for easy lifting and repositioning. It is constructed two ways, solid opaque matte finishes or with a translucent polyethylene frame and a two way lighting system. A fluorescent bulb with a cord or RGB LED lamp with rechargeable battery and remote control are the two options. Colors can be changed from red to green to blue. 
Creates a soft glow to help illuminate your outdoor 

8) Kartell has designed a curvy new chaise lounge called LCP. It's constructed of a single form methacrylate mold which retains its strength and flexibility as well as purity of form. The radically innovative structure of the chaise makes it a form flattering while interesting piece. Don't let its evanescent appearance fool you, this is one tough piece! Comes in crystal clear, baby blue, yellow, and pink. 

9) This ghostly chair was designed in Italy by Orlandini & Radice. The armchair mimics haunting draped upholstery with a soft glowing interior light and appears to almost be floating. It has several light setting choices with energy saving bulbs and rechargeable batteries. Its construction is of polyethylene and will stand the test of the elements.

10) Rounding out our list is this stackable chair which works both in and outdoors.  It comes in a variety of sensational colors to add some sparkle in durable polycarbonate.  It's recyclable and manufactured with an ecological production process so you can feel good about your environmental impact.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hungry Ghosts-the artist Stephanie Armbruster

Stephanie Armbruster - Hungry Ghosts

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

February 10, 2012 - April 22, 2012 
6300 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Gallery Hours: Tues - Saturday 10am - 5pm, Thurs open late until 7 pm, Sun 12 - 5pm


***Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 6pm
  (Pittsburgh Center for the Arts)

“Everything that can be said, can be said clearly. And what we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein

The subject of these paintings is something that we cannot speak about. In Buddhist folklore, the hungry ghosts are spectral creatures that roam the Earth, tormented by cravings that they can never satisfy. These hungry ghosts cannot be seen, but their presence can be felt.

This series began as an attempt to illustrate the purely subjective portions of memory – the private experiences that we feel and sometimes share, but which evaporate the moment we try to articulate them. We live through our experiences, moment to moment, chasing them, trying to capture them and hold on to them like hungry ghosts – but all we are ever left with are memories. The negative spaces in our public reality.

 Composed of encaustic paintings on panel, these emotive pieces represent a developing vocabulary of gesture and color, exploring the language-less nature of transition and uncertainty. With their floating, atmospheric presence, at times both beautiful and malign, each depicts the texture and feel of a memory. They document the anticipation of possibilities, and the obsession with events that have already transpired, seen through the lens of synesthesia. Formless and devoid of literal language, these memories are stories that must be 
shown and cannot be told. Fragments
of a greater reality; whole, yet incomplete.

The transitory nature of memory speaks to the ephemeral nature of encaustic as a medium. Each gestural mark is created by reworking layers of material – wax and graphite - scraped from the works themselves to then be reintroduced back into the surfaces of the paintings. Like layers of memory, certain elements become obscured, while others are exposed, rising ominously to the surface as if paused between actions. A series of moments frozen in time as experiences transition into memory.

Stephanie Armbruster is an artist living and working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Originally from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, Stephanie finds endless inspiration in urban spaces, populations and visual textures. Often series based and introspective, her work suggests a multi-layered sense of place. Armbruster is the recipient of numerous awards including the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Artist Opportunity Grant in 2011 and a Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project Stream Grant in 2008. She is a 2011 Flight School for Artists Fellow and her recent exhibits include In Search for Something More a solo exhibit at 709 Penn Gallery, and Encaustic Works 2011, an international biennial juried exhibition in print. She holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University.

Monday, March 12, 2012

by brush and breath-the artist Mia Tarducci By: Katie Funt

PerLora is all about supporting local artists and this week we are featuring an artist's upcoming show.  Mia Tarducci Henry has taken part of our Chairs for Charity event by hand painting a chair to be auctioned during our gourmet dinner.  The proceeds for the event will be donated to the Warhol.  Mia graciously donated her time and skill to help with our event and is an all around amazing artist!  
You can view her artist's site here.
Her show, titled "by brush and breath", will take place in collaboration with her brother, Justin Tarducci, from March 10th-31st at the Spinning Plate gallery.  Mia will be displaying oil paintings while Justin will be showing blown glass works.  Justin is from Newport, RI and is an artist/co-owner of Anchor Bend Glass in Newport.  Check out his site for more great works.  
This incredibly artistic family extends well beyond just brother and sister.  Mia says, "we are two artists from our family but actually everyone in my family of origin is an artist."   Her mother, Sarah attended RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and taught art in public schools for 37 years.  She does pen and ink and textile work as well.  Her father, Vin, also a RISD graduate is a landscape architect and cartographer "pencil and ink drawings".  Her older brother, Marcus attended Washington University and is a graphic designer who paints in oils.  Mia, a Georgetown graduate in Languages with a minor in art concentration, is an oil painter. And Justin, also a RISD grad is a glass blower/ sculptor.
Some more facts about Mia and her work....
-I will also be in the show Wide Open 3 in Brooklyn, NY this month having been 
juried into the show from 1670+ submissions 
(134 pieces were selected)
-I am a PerLora chair artist. 

The by brush and breath show, at the Spinning Plate is at 5720 Friendship Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15206.  The opening reception was held March 10th, where modern dancer, Sophie Levine, and her brother Isaac Levine composed her music.  Their other brother Jules Levine, deejayed.  The Spinning Plate is also open by appointment.  Call 412-370-6916 to schedule a viewing or email  Once again, the show runs from March 10-31st, so check it out and help support amazing local art!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lighting, Tuffets, and Benches OH MY!

In this week's blog we're taking a look at some unique lighting solutions, ottomans, and other low seating and storage options.  We're going to take things down a notch and see how to incorporate the floor as more of a design element.  Too often we put down beautiful carpet or hardwood floors and the consideration of the floor stops there.  We simply place furniture on top.  Instead, try utilizing floor lighting and low seating to help emphasize those great floors!

This organic flowing lamp has a white molded polypropylene diffuser.  It is also available as an outdoor light and has wall and ceiling versions.  It works as a multidimensional piece and can be used on many surfaces.  When used in groups they really pop and add soft diffused lighting for a cozy look.  These pieces emanate a creative sense when grouped together and due to their curvilinear design draw your eye in and around them.  


Solar is a unique multifunctional object.  Its configuration allows it to function as an ambient light, low cocktail table, and art form.  It is certain to become a social gathering center where friends can congregate around or enjoy a small meal or glass of wine.  The surface finishes are glossy white or dark wood.  It also is available in an outdoor version with a rusty and textured finish.  Made of polyethylene, the hemispherical shape of the body allows for the piece to be tilted, diffusing light in different ways.  It will create an artistic subtle atmosphere everyone is sure to appreciate.

Another fantastic lamp is this egg shaped poylethylene orb which is available in three different sizes.  It can be used both indoor and outdoor and comes in medium, large, and extra large.  It uses fluorescent bulbs for a clean bright glow.  Works on flat and/or uneven surfaces.  


 A tuffet or pouffe, are terms used for a piece of furniture which functions as a footstool or low seat, such as an ottoman. Ottomans are no longer just the standard leather cube.  Some new trends are emerging including super soft  and fluffy pouffes, Tetris ® and geometric shaped ottomans.
 Take for instance, these great pieces.  They fit together like a winning game of Tetris ® or can be pulled apart to accommodate even more seating.  These pieces are adaptable to your needs and work in many configurations.  They are playful while still sleek.  The upholstery can be customized to suit your tastes and work in both residential and commercial settings.
Another way to lighten up your decor with a playful feel is by adding shaped ottomans.  This group comes in round, square, oval, and flower with casters which make for easy mobility.  Colors/fabrics are customizable and the fun shapes allow for utilization in whatever type space you have.  There are tons of options with these great pieces and they work well in both modern decor and even children's rooms.
Looking for an ergonomically designed ottoman that puts a fresh spin on the traditional?  Try these out.  They come in a wood or soft version.  The curved design makes it a comfortable low seat, great footrest, or can even be used like a tray if eating seated on the floor is your thing!  They come with casters for easy mobility, and either a walnut or upholstered finish depending on your preference.  This ottoman is sure to be frequently noticed and then appreciated by guests when seating is scarce.  However, guests may be fighting over who gets these seats first!

If comfort and style are on your check list when picking out an ottoman then look no further!  These super soft and sophisticated cylindrical ottomans will make your feet (or behind) feel like it's in heaven.  They come in a variety of textures, materials, and colors to fit in with any color scheme.  Covers can generally be removed for cleaning. 


 Bench trends have drastically changed from the boxy wood staple.  Today benches are made in all kind of shapes and materials and deserve some recognition.  They can be used instead of chairs at your dining table, double as a cocktail table when needed, and work as extra seating.
Stainless steel rod style benches and tables are becoming extremely popular.  They offer clean lines and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as below.  They have multiple functions, are well built, and are visually striking pieces.

 For those who still love wooden benches have no fear, we pulled together several that are sure to please.  These benches are made of reclaimed wood in dark oak or natural wood.  This bench, made of recycled cast iron and hardwood has a distressed industrial look.  As being eco and Green conscious grows in popularity, furniture makers are producing products which are more sustainable and environmentally friendly.  Using reclaimed wood and recycled materials not only produces beautiful pieces but leaves your mind at ease that you're doing your part to leave less of an environmental footprint. 
There was an error in this gadget