Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


California (Design) Dreamin' part 5

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

There is a theory that the living room is the heart of any home. It is where host and guest are meant to relax, enjoy each others' company and simply let the moment move them where it will. If that is the case, then these pieces culled from LACMA's California Design could only benefit from having these pieces around. Employing a more natural template (rather than vibrant), the woodsy color palette fits in with indoor or outdoor settings.

Dan Johnson's Gazelle lounge chair caught my attention with its graceful arms and legs and arched backing. Entirely handcrafted, it never caught commercial success and only 150 were ever made. I now wonder how comfortable this piece would be, but perhaps I won't ever really know.

Miller Fong (a rare Asian American designer then) conceived the Lotus chair, which instantly brought me back to the my days in tropical climes. Made with woven rattan on a steel frame, this chair easily fills the living rooms of luxurious mansions. I love its shape. With its arms outstretched, it almost looks like a host spreading his arms asking for a hug.

I couldn't find too much information on Mabel Hutchinson, but her patio bench certainly made me stop. Its polished construction is interrupted with what at first looks to be embossed hieroglyphs that eventually reveal themselves to be simple geometric pieces engagingly fit into a whole. Beautiful piece, though I wonder how difficult it would be to dust in between the grooves.

This living room could have been plucked from Mad Men and nothing calls out "designed," but a closer look at Milo Baughman's cocktail table reveals true creativity. Made for Glenn of California furniture company, Baughman's cocktail table sought to be all things at once. A spot for greenery was set aside as well as a cigarette box, other compartments and clear glass. Multi-functional and discreet. I like it. 

What would you like in your living room?

Read the other California Design posts. See more pictures of the exhibit here.


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