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Furniture shopping

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I went furniture shopping this weekend, and there aren't too many places in Santa Barbara with nice pieces. We have a DWR, a Neuvie, and a little gem called Entenza. DWR is DWR, and has some nice pieces. Neuvie is just tacky (check out, and I couldn't stand being in the store for more than 10 minutes --- think of them as badly executed knock-offs with a side of tackiness thrown in. Entenza is a little shop that sells Cassina, Giorgetti, Eames, etc. and its owner seems like a bona fide design enthusiast --- for example, he's waiting to find a vintage Saarinen table for his home instead of getting a new one now. Anyway, for various reasons, I have to start from scratch for most things, so I was advised to get a dining table and some chairs along with a couch to start, and then slowly add pieces as I figure out what I like and the bank account recharges. So far, I think I like the Cassina Nest couch (it looks and feels good though it's quite expensive), and definitely the 42-inch Saarinen all-white table (which can be reused as a kitchen table should I move to a larger place with a separate dining area). Here's the Nest sofa: I also need to find 4 dining chairs to go with the table. The current front-runner for chairs is the Modernica Case Study fiberglass shell chair with the Eiffel base in two different colors. It's comfortable, which is more than I can say for most of the molded plywood chairs, and goes well with the Saarinen table. Entenza also had a couple of gorgeous Giorgetti pieces (which are way out of my budget) in the store, done in an Art Deco style. First was the Nyn corner drawer set designed by Chi Wing Lo: The 2nd is the Wood armchair, which is such an elegant-looking piece: They also had a very nice Rietveld Utrecht: There are so many nice armchairs, and so little space! I haven't yet moved into my new space, so I'm holding off ordering anything until I can get a better sense of it, but that's what I'm thinking about for now. --Andre
post #2 of 7
You can't go wrong with a Cassina sofa, it's one of the highest quality you can get on the market. The price will vary a lot depending on the fabric/leather you will chose. And don't forget the delays, it takes at least 10-12 weeks to deliver.
Saarinen is fine, 42" is small though, no more than 4 people.

I'm not convinced on the eiffel base modernica chairs, as I think the chrome base will not blend nicely with the powder coated white base from the table. I would go with jacobsen serie 7 in natural, or bertoia side chairs with a saarinen table.
(I have a noguchi cyclone dining table with eiffel base chairs from vitra).

When you have a couch, armchairs can wait and I would order one accent piece from Marc Newson (embryo, for instance) instead of two more conventional armchairs.

Enjoy the process, but take your time. It pays to be patient.

post #3 of 7
I like the fabric treatment on the wall behind the couch in the first shot. Should I assume that's your place? If so, how did you do that?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Luc --- that's very good advice, especially on patience. I'm still figuring out the chairs.

Originally Posted by johnapril View Post
I like the fabric treatment on the wall behind the couch in the first shot. Should I assume that's your place? If so, how did you do that?

I wish! I will be moving into a generic California condo. That picture is from Cassina's website.

post #5 of 7
I would be interested to know if mohair--the unruly sort--could be made into sofa material.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know about Swedese furniture? They have a showroom in Santa Monica that I'm going to try to visit this weekend, and they have some nice looking pieces.

(That's a coffee table.)

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I visited the Cappellini store in LA today as well a store in Santa Monica called Functions which is supposed to carry the Swedese line I mentioned above.

The Cappellini was by far the more interesting of the two places, and after having seen and touched their pieces in real life, I understand better what its promoters and detractors say about the company. Two of the pieces I really liked were the Bird chair, and the Rainbow chair, but for totally different reasons. The Bird chair is very comfortable, and I was surprised that it rocks (literally). It's definitely a successful union of form and function: it looks great, and it works well.

The Rainbow chair, which is a side chair made out of layers of transparent plastic in different colors , and polished absolutely smooth, is very dense, very solid, and very stiff. I admire it for the work that went into it, and for making it look like it was carved from a single piece of super-dense plastic. I think it's also about $12K because of all the handwork.

I also loved the giant floor lamp by Marcel Wanders. It looks like an abstracted glowing mushroom.

The other stuff was kind of hit-and-miss for my tastes, but every single piece made you think about the function of the piece. If there's such a thing as self-deconstructing furniture that made you question its form and reason for being, there were lots of examples in that store. There was a table that looked like a piece of glass standing on ropes that draped to the floor, sort of like a rectangular flat jellyfish. The S and Felt chairs made you reconsider what a chair should be, as does the Morrison Oblong couch, which looks like the world's most rumpled couch with no structure (but was surprisingly supportive).

There were more "normal" things there too. I liked the Tate chair and the low-pad. The high-pads were a bit uncomfortable with the bulging cushion hitting at the wrong part of my back. But there were interesting little twists in these chairs as well. The upholstered Tate had a little cushion bulge on its bottom that extended into the steel frame. The pad chairs' pads bulge out with no seams.

All in all, an interesting collection of stuff. I don't think I could ever make it work in my home, and I can only admire people who do.

FWIW, Bang & Olufsen apparently co-market with Cappellini in Europe, and here, the Cappellini store is combined with a B&O store.

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