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Tuesday, September 16th, 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 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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Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Last Day to Save on Pablo, Kartell and Vitra

DesignPublic.com

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Hey Everyone, Just wanted to let you know that if you’ve been considering purchasing from Pablo, Kartell or Vitra, today is the day to pull the trigger. The sale ends at midnight.

Warning: The following items and savings may tempt you ….

The Vitra New Panton Chair, down to $263.50 from $310. This contemporary classic adds a sleek touch to an eclectic mix, fits in seamlessly with super-modern rooms and slides its way right under a rustic reclaimed wood dining table. It’s glam at a dressing table and perks up a desk.

The Kartell Bubble Club Armchair slashed down to $612 from $720. These bring the library/family room club chair silhouette to an unexpected place — outdoors! Remember how James Spader and William Shatner used to sit in these and have a cigar at the end of Boston Legal every week?

The Pablo Lim 360 Task Lamp down to $255 from $300. I love this lamp because it’s very futuristic looking and sleek, yet the charm of the base gives it a touch of that retro ’70s paneling appeal. The balance between the pieces is pleasing and playful.

Speaking of playful, George Nelson’s iconic mid-century modern clocks are on sale too; this Ball Clock is down to $331.50 from $390. These are functional works of art you’ll not only treasure for life, but pass down as a prized possession.

So what are you waiting for? Hop on over to the sales and make up your mind before the clock strikes midnight!

SHOP THE SALES:

Shop all Pablo
Shop all Kartell
Shop all Vitra

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Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Gus*Modern Sale (There’s a Feel-Good Catch…)

Becky

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We’re having a sale, with a catch: Support your local food bank with at least 3 non-perishable items or donate at foodbankscanada.ca and receive 15% off items from Gus*Modern.

So it’s easy, while you’re taking care of that cleaning out the pantry New Year’s drudgery, put a few things aside for others; after all, if you haven’t eaten it by now, you’re not going to, and it’s going to waste. Stop by a local food bank (find one in this directory) and drop off whatever you can. Remember, once the holidays are over donations tend to take a big dive, so people need your help more than ever, especially during this polar arctic blast of freezing temperatures.

Or if you don’t feel like leaving the sofa, just donate over at foodbankscanada.ca and then hope on over to all the Gus*Modern goodies and shop with a 15% discount.

Ossington Coffee Table from Gus*Modern

The Ossington Coffee Table is a mix of dark metal and walnut wood. Best of all, it has a clever open shelf for coffee table books, tabloids and the remotes. It also comes in stainless.

The Truss Chair by Gus*Modern

The Truss Chair has Scandinavian modern simplicity, but plays a little with geometry, giving it a contemporary look as well. It strikes me as the kind of chair the best student in furniture design class presents for his/her final review and gets a dream job from one of the jurors.

Carmichael Loft Sofa by Gus*Modern

Finally, a sale is a great time to invest in a sofa that will last for many years to come. Whether you like the unique Carmichael Loft Sofa or are in need of a low, mid-century modern style sectional sofa, Gus*Modern has an option for you.

Shop all Gus*Modern

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Friday, September 20th, 2013

Doing Weekend Shopping? We’ve Got Great Sales Going on

Becky

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I wanted to let you know about two great sales we have going on right now.  First of all, if you’ve been saving up for an iconic modern classic from Knoll, now’s the time to bust open that piggy bank. Knoll is on sale from September 20-October 1st, 2013.

Personally, I’ve got my eye on George Nakashima Straight Chairs:

and a Noguchi Cyclone Table:

I love the way it looks with Eero Saarinen’s Executive Chairs; they aren’t just for Mad Men-ish offices anymore. In fact, I have one in my own bedroom.

Check out all the Knoll we have on sale

Speaking of offices we also have another iconic mid-century modern brand on sale. Selected items from Steelcase’s Turnstone collection are also up to 15% off right now. Steelcase is great for the office, the playroom, the living room, the family room and the bedroom.

This is the Steelcase Turnstone Jenny Coffee Table. Its shape is modern, yet it also has a contemporary sensibility. It’s a box that floats, and the wood grain adds warmth to any room, whether you’re a minimalist or a new traditionalist. The reason I love it so much is that you can keep that top cleared off; the bottom has plenty of room for your remotes, coffee table books, magazines, laptop, pet toys and whatever else tends to accumulate around the house.

This is the Steelcase Turnstone Big Lamp. I love the proportions; the shade is a narrow band that gets its heft from the black color, while the white stand is sturdy yet delicate. It has a clean look that will inspire you to keep those nightstands or your desk neat and organized.

See all Steelcase Turnstone items on sale

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Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

5 Spectacular Bridge Houses

Becky

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The idea of a home spanning a valley, creek, crevasse, what have you, is fascinating to me. While we’re all familiar with the jutting cantilever  over the falls at Fallingwater, there are other ways to span flowing waters and valleys. Intrepid architects have attempted this with different styles combined with feats of engineering, creating bridge houses. Here’s a look at some of the most stunning examples around today.

photo by Sam Noonan

This Bridge House is by Max Pritchard Architect, built in 2008. This home is located in Adelaide, Australia and spans a winter creek that babbles along well beneath its floors.

photo by Sam Noonan

photo by Christiaan de Bruijne

This villa in the Dutch Achterhoek was designed by 123DV Architecture and completed in 2011, and is totally self sustainable. Its long horizontal lines suit the park around it.

Taking a step back in time to a mid-century precedent bridge house – this is the Warner House, built in 1958 in New Canaan, Connecticut. I believe I featured it years ago when it was on the market and it was featured on the Modern House Notes blog. The home was designed by John M. Johansen.

Photo via Studio Green Landscape Architecture

This architect of this beautiful home, Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects, decided to place this house in a valley instead of on a hilltop in Marin County, California, fitting into the landscape yet contrasting with it via its strong lines and Corten steel panels that will patina over time. The house, completed in 2005, has elegant heft yet treads lightly on the land. The surrounding landscape is by Studio Green Landscape Architecture. Winter creeks travel underneath the home seasonally.

photo by Curt Clayton

Architect Wilfred John Oskar designed this stunning bridge house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and it was completed in 2008. The modern structure makes the most of the views of the surrounding bucolic landscape and natural light.

photo by Curt Clayton

Would you live in a bridge house? If so, where would your ideal location for it be?

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