Back to the Future

Friday, February 4, 2011 - 10:30am

STOP! Oak is BACK!!!

Well, they do say that “everything old is new again” and that is proving to be true. All indications in trade-shows, magazines, and the architectural circles are that oak cabinetry is returning with a vengeance! Of course, just like the shoulder pads appearing on fashion runways this spring, there is always a slight re-interpretation. In this case, the changes include “french” oak, which has a slightly driftwood gray or antiqued mocha (edges only) stain, and “quarter sawn” or “rift cut” oak which cuts the grain across a quarter of the round producing a more even look. You can see some examples of the latest trends in the Restoration Hardware catalogue.

Back to the Fifties! – Now called “Mid Century Modern”

Can you believe that all those great sets shown on ‘Mad Men’ and again in design magazines are considered THE THING to have now!? Noguchi Tables, Eames (Charles and Ray) Furniture and Fabrics, Bertoia, Mies Van der Rohe, Warren Platner (my personal favorite tables EVER)….most of which came out of Knoll – all now the real classics!!! This comes as no surprise to us “old” designers who grew up studying these great design pioneers. They have always been the inspiration for and at the forefront of commercial interiors, but taken for granted by most residential projects. Perhaps they were considered too modern and sterile. But, at last we have our day in the sun…thank you Mad Men!

Our office is starting a project in Fanny Bay for the restoration of a mid-century one story beach house. Watch for the details and photos in the next couple of months. We are so delighted to do this type of restoration work on classic homes and I get to reckon back to my roots as a budding designer in the early ’70′s inspired by the great designers at Knoll and Herman Miller! Oh, how I wish I had kept every piece – all tossed out from corporations looking for the next trend. So many Florence Knoll chairs in the land fill.

Of course, if you must have a piece – one good place to start looking is at Design Within Reach - a lot of replicas and some of the real thing too!