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Mid-century Modern

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Vitra on Sale at Design Public


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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It only happens twice a year — Vitra is on sale at Design Public. Save 15% on iconic modern classics now through October 22nd 2015. Here is just a small handful of the wonderful products that add a playful feeling to modern design.16806__dpVitra Eames Elephant. Vitra’s got something for all ages. Charles and Ray Eames designed this happy little elephant back in 1945 but it was never mass produced. Vitra has stepped in and made their design come to life in plastic that can stand up to being left outdoors.


Vitra Eames House Bird. This classic little folk-art guy has been a symbol of the great taste and style of Charles and Ray Eames for decades.


George Nelson Clocks. No mid-century modern wall was complete without one of these playful and functional pieces keeping time.


Uten Silo. Whether you need to corral you office supplies, crafting materials or bathroom stuff, designer Dorothee Becker’s Uten Silo has you covered, right within reach on the wall.


Vitra Kast Storage. This modular color-blocked composition floats atop its metal legs. Designer Maarten Van Severen designed several versions — this serves as a low console, perfect to use for a TV. This two-tiered version makes a great sideboard. The tallest version is a shelf/cabinet unit.


Verner Panton Cone Chair. A sale is the best time to pick up that iconic work of art you have been looking for. This eclectic classic plays with geometry and color. Of course, if you’re not into the cone, there’s always …



The Vitra New Panton Chair.  The wide variety of colors and durable polypropylene make this a sculptural chair a versatile piece that works as well in an elegant dining room as it does in a playroom.


Vitra Cork Stool. Jasper Morrison’s simple stools add a big dash of light texture to any room as a side table, nightstand or coffee table.

So you’ve got these an over 100 other options to save on now. The catch: you have to hurry! This only happens twice per year and the sale ends October 22nd.

Shop all Vitra at Design Public


Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Our Top Five Favorite Mad Men Design Moments


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Now that Don Draper finally nailed the ultimate account and Mad Men has disappeared into 1970 forever, I’ve been binge watching the whole thing all over again on Netflix. There were so many fantastic moments of graphic design, fashion design, even hair design (and some not-so-good ones, those ’70s staches and sideburns were not doing the characters any favors). But most of all, I loved to watch Mad Men for the spot-on 1960s set design.

There are too many to count; with all that Eames, Saarinen and other mid-century icons lurking everywhere. Here are some of the highlights:

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What does this guy need an office for? No actual business ever happened here, except for a fake phone call to Lee Gardner over at Lucky Strike weeks after Roger had lost the account.

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1) The best moment to me was when Jane Sterling hired a decorator to redecorate Roger’s office, the spot where he dictated that not-so-bestselling Sterling’s Gold. A tulip table, a CJ Corona chair, op art and more iconic items in a black and white palette. I mean, check out that phone!


“A modern Chinoiserie breakfront, a Dunbar Japanese-influenced sofa, silk Dupioni drapes, Murano vases, and a classic Drexel end table.” — Betty Draper’s decorator


2) Betty redecorates the living room. Betty hires a decorator that gives her sharp Hollywood Regency style for her living room. Don walks in and moves a lamp around to make it perfect. Then Betty buys a very symbolic fainting couch that messes the whole look up. It’s so appropriate because the poor woman is trapped in an era that squeezes her like a Victorian corset.


3) Betty goes to get analyzed. Has there ever been a sadder woman on a Barcelona daybed? And did analysts really call husbands to give them the rundown after the wife’s appointment? That was crazy. Anyway, this image is fun to compare and contrast with the fainting couch one above it.


4) Don flies to sunny L.A. and winds up hanging out with a bunch of European tax evaders in “The Jet Set” episode. According to Curbed, this house is The Fox House, an abode Sinatra rented for 10 years. If that’s not a ringing endorsement that it’s classic California modern, I don’t know what is. The set designers and art director captured that clean white, glass and that unique California cool.


Bert Cooper’s Japanese-inspired office. No shoes allowed in here. The arrival of new art was always exciting and gave us insight into Bert’s character and tastes. A new Rothko had everyone in the office a tizzy, a Pollack was behind his head during the moon landing, but the best was the sex octopus:

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But the best sex octopus moment was this vision of Peggy Olson, completely transformed, strolling into McCann-Erickson unrecognizable from the young secretary we’d met a decade earlier.


What was your favorite Mad Men design moment? Please share it with us!


Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Sale Spotlight: Save 15% on Vitra

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Hey all! March is a great time to shake up your interior design, and we’re having a slew of sales to help. In fact, there are so many sales going on at Design Public right now that it’s almost hard to keep track! We’ll be featuring some of the highlights throughout the month to help you navigate.

Today we’re focusing on the Vitra sale, which begins today and will end on March 19, 2015. Save 15% on mid-century modern and modern-day classics from iconic designers like Alexander Girard, George Nelson, Verner Panton, Jasper Morrison and more!Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 9.38.48 AM

Vitra Cork Stools. Add wonderful texture and a strong silhouette to your room via this charming stool. 9868__dp

Uten Silo Wall Organizers. Keep all of your desk necessities corralled in a way that turn them into an artful assemblage.


Panton Classic Chair. This curvaceous beauty has become a contemporary classic, seen in rooms from the most traditional to utterly minimalist, in a range of colors from white to black and everything in between.


George Nelson’s Iconic Clocks. The mid-century modern great’s original clock designs are available, including playful yet sophisticated wall clocks and desk clocks.

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Vitra Alcove Love Seat. This cozy furniture is available in a one, two or three-seater version.

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Lots of great items featuring the work of the great Alexander Girard. Graphic design classics from the iconic designer appear on accessories from dolls to trays to pillows.

Shop all Vitra

View all current sales

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Friday, January 2nd, 2015

SALE! 15% Off Gus Modern

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If you’re in the middle of rethinking your furniture and interior design for 2015, now’s a good time to shop. We are offering 15% off all Gus Modern for the entire month of January. Here are just a few highlights to tempt you.

gt-rockerGus Modern GT Rocker

carmichael-bedGus Modern Carmichael Bed

Transit_Bench_-_Natural_Ash-31.jpgGus Modern Transit Bench


Gus Modern Bloor Sofa

wireframetable01b_1024x1024Gus Modern Wireframe End Table


Gus Modern Spanner Chair


Gus Modern Davinport Bi-Sectional Sofa


Gus Modern Hex Ottoman

Shop all Gus Modern


Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

(Re)Introducing the Spanner Lounge Chair With Arms


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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 designer’s 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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