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Monday, September 15th, 2014

(Re)Introducing the Spanner Lounge Chair With Arms

Becky

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We are so pleased to announce that we are carrying The Spanner Lounge Chair with Arms at Design Public. Originally created in 1950 by Russell Spanner (1916-1974), the award-winning chair has been out of production for more than 50 years. Gus*Design Group worked in collaboration with the Spanner family to revive this iconic chair, meticulously matching the materials, construction and details to the original chair.

The frame is constructed of  solid birch and curved birch plywood and the seat is 100% cotton woven strapping. During the design collaboration with the Spanner family, Gus*Design Group worked hard to match the finishes (both light and dark birch) and strapping colors (choice of green, red or black strapping):

Vintage Ad for Russell Spanner's Furniture

Today we’re talking with Joran Van Lange, the designer at Gus* Design Group who acted as design and production lead for the Spanner Lounge Chair reissue, to learn more about this exciting re-release.

How did you discover the work of Russell Spanner?
I first saw his work in a design lecture while I was in school.  His original designs show up occasionally here in Toronto at vintage and mid-century antique shops, so before we even knew Russell’s background story, we were familiar with the Russell Spanner “look”, which is very recognizable.

What drew you to the Spanner Chair in particular?
There’s something really positive and energetic about the lines and angles of the chair.  It’s bold without being too serious.

Which leads me to, what about its mid-century design still works so well today?

The design is relevant today for the same reasons it was relevant in the 1950s. At that time, North American cities were seeing an explosion of compact, post-war homes, which needed furniture that was smaller scale.  The movement toward condo and small space living in the last decade has meant that consumers are again looking for smaller, lighter furniture pieces.

Aesthetically, the chair embodies the mid-century tradition of leaving components and hardware in plain view.  Nothing is hidden by panels or upholstery.  There’s a transparency in that which people appreciate.

What is the history of the chair?

The Lounge Chair was designed by Russell while he was working as foreman at his family’s woodworking factory.  It’s believed that he used some of the jigs and parts of other industrial products to form the basic components for the Lounge Chair.  As an example, the frame for the seat shares the same proportions and joinery as the industrial battery boxes which the factory produced at the time.

Where are the reproductions produced?

We felt that because this chair was originally designed and produced in Toronto, it was important to carry on that legacy and produce the re-issue here as well.

Did you learn anything new about design and production from the process of putting the Spanner Chair back into production?


We realized once we began to dissect the original chair that there are some very sophisticated joinery details going on.  Everything must be manufactured perfectly in order for the design to work.

It works beautifully.

Purchase a Spanner Lounge Chair with Arms at Design Public

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Friday, September 5th, 2014

Save 15% on Loll Designs Through September

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The great thing about September is that it will give us some of the nicest days of the year and is also a good month for scooping up outdoor furniture at a discount. Through September 30, 2014, save 15% on Loll Designs.

Loll Designs is a company that celebrates mid-century modern classics as well as contemporary style, adding twists like an unexpected line, bold bright colors and always a big old dollop of playfulness.

Get the fire cracking with Loll’s Fire Ring Set.

One of the best things about Loll Designs’ furniture is that while it’s durable enough to stand up to the elements, the pieces look great indoors as well. The Racer Rocker will put you at just the right height for toasting your marshmallows, and with it’s vibrant color options and low height is a great pick for a child’s playroom too.

Perhaps your pooch is craving some style at dinner time — she’ll love being served from a sturdy 1 Quart Pet Bowl.

Add some classic mid-century modern style with the timeless High Back Rocker by Ralph Rapson.

Put your feet up on the Bolinas Cocktail Table — it’s shape harkens back to the Atomic Age, and it also lends casual surfer-chic style.

Loll’s even got a killer Longboard, created in partnership with Grow Anthology.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Loll makes benches, planters, toolboxes, dining tables and chairs, birdhouses … even a bike. In total, there are 146 items you can scoop up on sale, all of which have Loll’s signature playful style.

Shop the Loll Design Sale

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Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Labor Day Sale: Don’t Miss the Chance to Save!

Becky

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In case you’re not on our email list, you should know, we’re having a big fat …

(a few pesky little exemptions apply)

You have through midnight, EST on Labor Day 2014 (that’s September 1st to those of you who are having a little too much fun to keep track this weekend) to save 15% on almost everything at Design Public.

I am using this uncharacteristically big font so that you don’t miss out.

So have a fun browse now, go toast up some s’mores, catch some fireworks, sleep on it and order up your goods tomorrow. Just use the coupon code LABORDAY14 during checkout to get your discount.

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Monday, August 25th, 2014

California Boho Goes Pro in this Santa Monica Office

Becky

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TV production developer Ashley Stern needed to set up a Los Angeles outpost for her Paris-based company —quickly and on a limited budget. The space her real estate agent and interior designer Veerta Motiani helped her choose had plenty of pluses. It was around the corner from Santa Monica’s Main Street, it had wonderful high ceilings and industrial style, the building was new with a gorgeous lobby and roof-deck ocean views, and the price was right.

However, the long narrow space posed some design challenges. It didn’t get a great amount of natural light, the ceilings were a little too high for human scale and she wasn’t allowed to paint the walls. On top of that, Stern needed the space to serve as her office, have room for a potential intern, include a conference table space and be set up to accommodate two of her French colleagues when they were in town on business.

photo by Alen Lin

The project began with Stern’s desk. “She was nervous about this idea, but I had to tell her to just trust me, we were going to use a dining room table instead of a desk to serve as the centerpiece of the room,” Motiani says. The rustic light pine table serves primarily as Stern’s desk but can also accommodate two of her French colleagues when they are in town. Because it’s open underneath, her co-workers or her intern, or both, can join her around the table to conference and to work on their laptops. Two comfortable modern chairs serve as their desk chairs when they are in town. Turned around, as you see here, they offer another place for Stern to have one-on-one meetings.

Motiani wanted the room to reflect Stern’s bohemian style and the relaxed coastal Santa Monica/Venice Beach vibe. The rug’s deep blue chevron pattern brings in ocean color, while a woven ottoman adds a beach grass feeling. The ottoman also functions as a side table for notepads and pens during meetings and as a casual extra seat.

photo by Alen Lin

Because the room was dark and they weren’t allowed to paint the walls, Motiani found a contemporary steel chandelier that fit in with all of the industrial elements on the ceiling. She also chose a white filing cabinet and accessories near the windows to reflect the light and keep things bright. Stern literally was brought up in a [converted] barn and loves horses, so Motiani chose a white horse ceramic piece to sit atop the filing cabinet. She brought in plants to play off the glimpses of tree branches outside.

To save on the budget, Motiani found a handful of pieces in Stern’s family storage unit. The tall lamps were among their things; Motiani knew their exaggerated height would help the design stand up to the extra-high ceilings.

photo by Alen Lin

Another way Stern’s family helped the decor in a major way was through the artwork. Stern’s grandfather is noted photographer Phil Stern. He allowed Motiani and his granddaughter to cull his archives and pick out exceptional pieces for the office.This photo of James Dean in the turtleneck is one of his best-known pieces.

The glass console table can serve as a landing spot for keys and bags, a credenza or as a separate desk for an intern. A sofa serves as a more casual space to work from, where Stern can relax and get her creative juices flowing or pow-wow with a colleague. The coffee table is an upside-down metal bucket from Stern’s family storage unit. Motiani chose it because of its beautiful green-gray color. The piece adds an interesting rusty and crusty patina to the room, suitable for this more relaxed seating area.

photo by Alen Lin

“This project was a challenge — I really had to hustle to keep within the budget,” Motiani says. “We were really lucky that her family had so much great stuff they weren’t using!”

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Friday, August 15th, 2014

Last Chance To Save 20% Off Gus*Modern Upholstered Pieces

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Just a reminder that our sale on Gus*Modern upholstered pieces is ending soon. So take the weekend to think it over and get your orders in by Sunday (August 17, 2014) at midnight EST. If you haven’t had a chance to glance over the options, here’s a peek at a few of the highlights.

Gus*Modern has great sofa selections, whether you’re looking for a loveseat, full-sized or a sectional. The Jane Loft Bi-Sectional Sofa is very versatile. Its metal base lends it well to a loft, while its tufting lets it fit right in with a more traditional family room.

Speaking of versatile, one of my favorite pieces is an upholstered ottoman. The Gus*Modern Henry Ottoman can serve as coffee table, a footrest and extra seating in a pinch. It also looks great at the end of a bed or in an entryway.

Gus*Modern GT Rocker is a new classic. WIth its simple modern silhouette, it references mid-century style with a contemporary twist. The hard steel base contrasts with the contoured soft upholstered seat and back. It’s a great accent piece for a living room, home office, family room or bedroom.

Gus Modern Carmichael Bed

The Gus Modern Carmichael Bed is clean-lined yet soft. Its wingback headboard nods to traditional style in a contemporary way. It also includes a support system that eliminates the need for a box spring, and its upholstered side rails eliminate the need for a bedskirt.

This is just a tiny sample of all the great modern pieces you can save on through Sunday. So go take a last look and make your decision while you can still save 20%!

View all Gus*Modern

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