Ovalia Egg Chair

In 1968 the Ovalia Egg Chair was introduced at the Scandinavian Furniture Fair. Designed by Henrik Thor-Larsen, the chair was an instant success. It sold for only 10 years and the original editions can sell for up to $5,000!

In 2001, this iconic image brought the spotlight back to the egg. And in 2005, the Egg Chair was re-introduced. The right photograph below is of the original designer in his throne.

The current Egg Chair design looks identical to it’s original counterpart but rencent changes improve the experience of “cocooning” in the Egg.

Um, you guys? Is that Megan Draper in the chair on the left?

Information via Ovalia Images via Ariacao


Toile. It’s a word that rolls right off your tongue.

Originally called Toile de Jouy, toile is a type of decorating pattern consisting of a usually white or off-white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme. The original toiles depicted idyllic pastoral scenes and a range of settings near the factory in Jouy where they were made, showing people hunting, working, picnicking, fishing, drinking, dancing and courting. The pattern consists of a single color; most often black, dark red, or blue. Toiles were originally produced in Ireland in the mid-18th Century and quickly became popular in Britain and France. They were the height of fashionable interiors in the Colonial Era in the US, and again in the 1930s, and in the 1970s, and another upsurge in popularity occurred around 2000. I was definitely on board with that last one. The bedding set my mom made for my first NYC apartment was a blue and white toile.

Nowadays toile has become decidedly edgier. In other words… this is not your mother’s toile.

Blue and White via QueenDecor, Toile all over via Spicerandbank, Contemporary scenes via Natural History, Attempted Robbery by Timorous Beasties, Aliens and UFOs by Historically Inaccurate via If its Hip its Here, Spot of Color by Cucumbersome via Apartment Therapy


The Thonet Bentwood Chair

I wonder if Michael Thonet had any idea of the longevity of his Model 14 bentwood chair design, when it was released in 1859? He was experimenting with bending woods and was looking for simpler and more economic means of production than the traditional methods. He discovered that a solid piece of steamed wood and a metal strap could be bent together in a certain way without cracking the wood, and after being dried out in a jig the wood held its shape. A strong chair could thus be made with less pieces and less joints, with screws replacing glued connections. This process also lent itself to economical mass production.

The Thonet bentwood chair consists of only six components (plus a few screws and nuts) and the design has remained virtually unchanged for nearly 150 years. The chair is simple while still being interesting, lightweight but very durable, and this combination has made it a favorite chair at cafés and restaurants since the 1860s. It was also popular with artists. Auguste Renoir and Toulouse Lautrec both featured Thonet chairs in their paintings and drawings, and Pablo Picasso had one in his studio.

Michael Thonet’s company has now passed through five generations of his family and Thonet bentwood chairs are still popular today. As you can see below, over the years other artists and designers have discovered ways to modernize up this iconic chair.

 Original Thonet via The Old Cinema, Pink Thonet via ABC Carpet and Home, Thonet with Socks via The Design Files, Patterned Thonet via Name Design Studio, Thonet history via Patrick Taylor

Grandfather Clock

You know about my obsession with Swedish mora clocks, yeah? Safe to say, it extends to the ever classic Grandfather Clock. Every time I worked on this post I’d hummed to myself “my grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf so it stood 90 years on the floor… hmmm hmm hmmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm and it weighed not a penny, weighed more”

Two important facts to consider:

1. In actuality, the end of the verse is “It was taller by half than the old man himself, though it weighed no a pennyweight more..”

2. The Grandfather Clock got its name from that song! It wasn’t referred to by that name until an American named Henry Work penned the song in 1875, inspired by a clock at the George Hotel in North Yorkshire, England.

Also, Grandfather Clocks are not inexpensive to come by, but I love some of the modern alternatives that pay homage to the shape without wreaking havoc on the bank.

Top Row (from left to right) BC Jeffries, Gary R. Sullivan, V and MBaxter and Co.
Bottom Row (from left to right) Cite NYC, DesignIntell, BlikDesign*Sponge 

Louis XV



Popular between 1715 and 1774, the Louis XV decor style is known for its curves and ornamentation. Today, the Louis XV wine rack retains his highness’ curves but adds a touch of color.

There’s a great guide to Louis style chairs on The Aestate.

Commode via Olivier Fleury, Wine Rack via Mos Mode

Then & Now: Knoll Tulip Chair

We have a rustic wood kitchen table in the dining area of our kitchen. I believe my mom found it at a flea market and it lived in my brother’s room for years until I needed a kitchen table in NY. I’ve been working to strip the paint off of and finish the matching chairs, but slowly a change of heart set in. 

Wood and the Knoll Tulip chair. There aren’t many things more striking and in such wonderful balance of one another. I’ve been looking for my own set to pair with our sweet country table. If nothing else, they will be a comfortable improvement to the folding chairs we have now.

You probably have heard of, or at least seen, the Tulip chair before. It was designed in 1955 and 1956 by Eero Saarinen for Knoll. Since then there have been many reproductions and I recently found this most intriguing update by Jeorjia Shea; a hand drawn reproduction Tulip chair. 

If you are looking for a vintage Knoll Tulip chair, manufactured in the US, I read here that you should look for BR51 stamped in the base. Never fear if the vintage ones you find are a little out of sorts, there is hope for restoration. The reproduction Tulip chairs are pretty darn close looking to the Knoll design and since Knoll has also been manufacturing the design since the 50’s, it would be quite easy to mistake a reproduction or a more recently produced chair for its original mid century predecessor.

Wood and Tulip Photo 1 and Photo 2, Vintage Eero Saaranin Tulip chairs by Knoll, Hand-drawn reproduction Tulip chair by Joerjia Shea, Tulip Chair DrawingEero Saarinin photo.