Design is in the Details: From Furniture to Architecture

By on November 21, 2013. Posted in , , .

Simple. Simplified. and Elegant.

For me, designing and building furniture is a means for playing with form + balance and materials + connections. It’s a way of thinking beyond the use of a space to consider how one intimately engages with a space.

“Living is in the details, that is what I always say!” – John Kapel, furniture designer*

In the book Handcrafted Modern, Leslie Williamson describes, and illustrates through truly beautiful photography, how influential mid-century designers live in their homes. My favorite is the story she tells of visiting the home of John Kapel, a furniture designer born in 1922. “Kapel’s skills as a woodworker and metalsmith made it possible for him to deal with these daily visual blemishes in a third way, by constructing something to disguise it in plain sight and make it beautiful as the same time. His home is chock-full of these little details.”* I have included a photo of one of the pages in the book showing a small hanging cabinet which holds (and disguises) a toaster.

“His home is a testament to his master craftsmanship and attention to detail.”*
Handcrafted Modern - book by Leslie Williamson, furniture cabinet by John Kapel
Original photo is by Leslie Williamson from her book Handcrafted Modern.*

 

Today’s post shows off 7 Elegant, Simple and Simplified details + a peek into a Pinterest board that I follow which is chock-full of super-inspiring designs!

 

A perfect example for the definition of “simplified”:
Cord Sconce by Brendan Ravenhill.
The bottom pivoting arm is steel and in compression. The top cord, which is also the electrical, is in tension.
Brendan Ravenhill, Cord Sconce - Design is in the Details: Furniture to Architecture
Design is in the Details: From Furniture to Architecture - Cord Sconce by Brendan Ravenhill

 

Peninsula Chair designed by Benjamin Klebba with Matt Pierce for Phloem Studio
From Furniture to Architecture: Design is in the Details - Peninsula Chair by Phloem Studio
Design is in the Details: From Furniture to Architecture - Phloem Studio, Peninsula Chair

 

Marx Stool by Gabriel Scottbeautiful connection detail with brass hardware and steel:
Marx Bench by Gabriel Scott - Design is in the Details: From Furniture to Architecture
Design is in the Details: From Furniture to Architecture - Marx Stool by Gabriel Scott

 

Kilin Chair by Sergio Rodrigues – images via espasso.com – a stunning pin detail!
From Furniture to Architecture: Design is in the Details - Kilin Chair with beautiful pin detail by Sergio Rodrigues

 

1.2 Chair designed by Darin Montgomery and Trey Jones for urbancase
From Furniture to Architecture: Design Details - 1.2 Chair designed by Darin Montgomery and Trey Jones

 

…and for the last detail I’ve pulled once again (see Residential Architecture: Exploring the Relationship btwn Interior + Exterior) from the simple + elegant designs of Olson Kundig Architects:
Custom designed door hardware from the Tom Kundig collection: “a steel accessories line focused on intimately scaled hardware components. Each piece celebrates the moments when people touch the buildings and spaces they inhabit.” – from OlsonKundig
Design is in the Details: From Furniture to Architecture - Tom Kundig collection, custom steel and wood door handles

 

+ endless detail inspiration from T. Nishibayashi on Pinterest:
Design is in the Details: From Furniture to Architecture - Pinterest inspiration from T. Nishibayashi
Design is in the Details: From Furniture to Architecture - detail inspiration from pinterest board by T. Nishibayashi

*Williamson, Leslie. Handcrafted Modern. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2010.
This book was a gift to me from a friend. I love it and highly recommend it for all designers. You can see unpublished and outtakes of Handcrafted Modern houses at Leslie’s blog.