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Entries in furniture (14)

Wednesday
Feb012012

we got your back

What’s so special about the backside of a credenza, bed or bookcase? Plenty if you live in a loft and use furniture to create walls, if you want to see how the cord management really works, or if you want to see absolutely everything you’re getting.

We pay special attention to every aspect of our products—including the back side—so new furniture pieces will now include a photo of this angle on our website. Check it out!

Monday
Nov142011

redefined: the credenza

photo by: roberto_venturiniSimilar to credence, or belief in Italian, in the Middle Ages credenza was the act of tasting or testing foods and wines so they could be served to a master—with assurance from a credible servant that they were safe to eat.

Later the term referred to the room for this tasting—probably between the kitchen and the dining room—and still later, to the furniture the food was placed on.

Originally waist-high for convenience, with storage cabinets to keep serving utensils and table linens, and often topped with a sheet of marble or a linen runner. Later, fine china and small treasures were protected behind glass doors of taller styles—going up as rooms were made smaller and less communal.

Since furniture has been commercially marketed, they’ve been included in dining room sets so all the pieces match—table, chairs and storage. Now synonymous with a buffet—where all food plates sit cafeteria-style on top of a sideboard, or credenza—this casual style of self-serving a large party versus formal table service for each guest, suits relaxed gatherings in modern, open-plan homes.

So just as formality has relaxed—an engraved invitation can be a simple evite or tweet—credenzas can be used for dining, media or office storage, and mixed with various woods or lacquer finishes.

Tuesday
Nov082011

1938 buenos aires, argentina

photo by: nancyesmith Originally created in 1938 for an apartment building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the designers of both named the BKF chair after themselves—Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy.

In 1940, after seeing the chair on exhibit at the Salon de Artistas Decoradores, a sample was requested by MoMA and remains in the permanent Collection.

More commonly referred to as the butterfly chair, it was inspired by a folding campaign-style chair—the Tripolina. Many versions have been produced over the years—in both fixed and portable styles—and the design has gained worldwide popularity for its ease of assembly and transport, its light weight, and the variety of materials that can be used for production.

Whipstitched by hand, the natural leather sling of the 1938 butterfly chair covers a metal frame—true to the original.

Friday
May062011

material world: eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a diverse type of flowering tree within the myrtle family. There are over 700 species, most of which are native to Australia, and only about 9 can’t be found there.

Eucalyptus are favored as a fast-growing sustainable resource, similar to bamboo, and all of the tree—it’s wood, leaves, flowers—are broadly used.photo by: Umesh Behari Mathur

First, the flower blossoms provide nectar for insects, birds, bats, etc. and essential oils from its leaves contain natural disinfectants so it’s used in cleaning products, deodorants, toothpaste, decongestants and cough/cold medicines.

Its also a key food source for some koala and possum who are tolerant of those chemicals which can be toxic in large doses.photo by: puuikibeach

On both a positive and negative note, eucalyptus trees require lots of water.

In swamp-like areas, planting them can reduce soil erosion and malaria bearing mosquitoes—ironic considering its inherent insect repellent properties—but in normal to dry or non-indigenous areas, they can prohibit other plants and native plants from thriving.

Such is the case in California where eucalyptus trees were introduced in the mid 1800s with the hopes that their fast growth would offer a vast supply of railroad ties as miles of new tracks were laid during the Gold Rush.

Unfortunately, wood from younger trees warped dramatically and wood from older trees was so dense that nails couldn’t easily secure them in place—both characteristics sealed its fate.

Although its favored as a windbreak and for curbing erosion, it’s disliked for its role in feeding forest fires (read on) and regenerating from mere trunks, so currently measures are being taken to reduce its population there.

Types of eucalyptus plants and trees have been carbon dated to tens of millions of years ago—around the time charcoal deposits have been dated as well—which is interesting since they share a common trait.

As a living plant, and at high temperatures, eucalyptus oil can be emitted as a vapor—which creates the characteristic blue haze of Australia’s landscape, shown above—but it can also be highly flammable, like charcoal.

But the wood becomes more dense—and therefore stronger, much like teak—so it’s also prized for its durability outdoors while those same natural oils help protect it from the elements.

Like most woods, eucalyptus weathers to a soft silvery grey but tung oil can be applied periodically to help preserve its original patina.

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