5 Chairs: Modern Design Classics you should know by Ginevra Held

1.  Lounge and Ottomon Charles and Ray Eames 2. Panton Classic Chair, Vernor Panton 3. Wassily Chair (1925), Marcel Breuer 4. Tulip Chair, Eero Saarinen  5. Chaise Longue, Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Pierre Jeanneret

1.  Lounge and Ottomon Charles and Ray Eames
2. Panton Classic Chair, Vernor Panton
3. Wassily Chair (1925), Marcel Breuer
4. Tulip Chair, Eero Saarinen
5. Chaise Longue, Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Pierre Jeanneret

Without any arrogance, I promise, I am starting a series of  "You should Know"s for your personal Design Development. The intent of this series is to give you a little bit of cocktail convo knowledge and a lot more confidence in what you know about design.

So to begin, I chose the number 5, not because there are only 5 modern Classic chairs to know, far from it, there are way way more, but because its a nice prime number to start with.  These are the chairs, as the daughter of an Architect, that I have known about my entire life.  That I have seen over and over again, that I have lounged in and enjoyed.  

I hold these chairs to be self-evident, but there are many out there who can't tell an Eames from a Panton from a Corbu. This, my friends, is for you.

Finally, before I describe each in detail, an Interior Design note for everyone:  These are the chairs that can live anywhere. Whether you have a Haussman apartment in the 6th (thats in Paris for Newbs) or a 260 square foot studio in Detroit, these chairs make your space.  Read on and enjoy.

1. Lounge and Ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames, 1956, Herman Miller.

Ahhh, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, officially known as No. 670.  The holy grail of modern design cool.  If you are trying to impress, and don't know much about design, you should at least recognize this beautiful piece.  Often placed in somewhat lonely looking modern rooms, with little adornment, it was actually designed by two of the most exuberant luminaries of the modern design world: Charles and Ray Eames.  This is an important moment to note that the Eames' house was full of color and design and anything but bare minimalism. The Eames' were commissioned by the United States government to design splints for US soldiers, this led to experimentation with molding plywood, which eventually led to many of their most famous chair designs, including this one.  The No. 670 was originally designed for the Museum of Modern Art's "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" competition in 1940.  The prototype exhibited there, became one of the many furniture collaborations  between the Eames's and the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller.

2. Panton Chair by Vernor Panton, 1959-1960, Vitra for Herman Miller.

Vernor Panton is probably one of my most favorite designers, and this is my favorite chair.  I saw an exhibit on Panton at the Design Museum in London in the early 2000's.  It was an absolute experience.  I was transported to the '60's and the fun and exuberance of Pop Art Culture.  I was completely enamored by the work of this amazing Danish Architect.  The Panton chair is arguably the most physical embodiment of form meets function meets beauty.  It was the first chair made of an unjointed continuous material, perfect for mass production.  The joint forces of Swiss manufacturer Vitra and American Herman Miller have made its manufacture possible.  Verner Panton wanted design to be fun.  He made these chairs in bright colors and their striking organic form plus their innovative production came to represent Pop Art Culture of the 60's.

3. Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer, 1925-1927, Knoll International.

Marcel Breuer, one of the founders of the all important Bauhaus, designed this fascinating tubular and leather suspension chair, made to be a modern interpretation of the club chair that does away with the typical timber, horsehair and spring construction of traditional chairs.  The Wassily Chair is so named because it was part of Breuer project at the Bauhaus to furnish the appartment of the painter Wassily Kandinsky. The Wassily Chair, leads a group of Breuer designs that explore this suspension collection of metal tubing and leather.  In this time of turmoil, its important to note that the Bauhaus and the innovative designers who headed it, whose works are now considered part of the lexicon of modern design, were deemed degenerates by the German government.  Think about that.

4. Tulip Chair, by Eero Saarinen 1955-1956, Knoll.

This is the tulip chair.  It is awesome. The Entire Tulip collection by Eero Saarinen represents the best in design.  Attractive, practical, innovative, fun.  The miriad of tables and chairs in this collection share the single pedestal support.  By rethinking the traditional four leg support of most tables and chairs, Saarinen opened up the area under these forms and created new open space. This chair is elegant in its form and simplicity, but embraces an organic beauty that keeps it cool and modern for today.

5. Chaise Longue, by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Pierre Jeanneret, 1928, Cassina.

Last, but certainly not least the LC4 Chaise Longue, designed by Le Corbusier, his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand.  The other day, someone, looking at a living room design I did said the "brown chair didn't match."  To which I replied, that "brown chair" is the penultimate of modern design classics.  That chair is the LC4 Chaise Longue.  And that chair is allowed to go wherever it wants. I hold this truth to be self-evident: the LC4 is at home anywhere. I've been napping on my Dad's chaise since, well, forever.  For architects and designers this chair is THE CHAIR.  It represents the fundamentals of the modern design movement of form following function, a pure example of Le Corbusier's idea of a "machine for living".  

As a send off, here is a photo of how I used the LC4.  Like I said, its at home anywhere, with anything.

Ginevra Held Interior Design

Where to buy:
1. Lounge and Ottomon by Charles and Ray Eames, $4,935.00 - $6,435.00 Design Within Reach.
2. Panton Chair by Vernor Panton, the Classic $1,675 and Regular $310 Hive Modern.
3. Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer, $2498 Hive Modern.
4. Tulip Armchair by Eero Sarrinen, $1720 Hive Modern.
5. LC4 Chaise Longue by Le Corbusier, Perriand, Jeanneret, $3,875.00 - $4,810.00 Design Within Reach.

Design: Interior Styling of a Living Room Side Table by Ginevra Held

Hi Friends!

Its been a while....

So, I have to admit, I really like Instagram.  In thinking about why, its the purity of one really great photo.  So I thought I would use my Instagram account as a jumping off point for my post today...and maybe for days and days or miles and miles if you're a fan of The Who.

Yesterday I posted the photo you see above.  It is a detail shot of a chair and side table in a living room design I did.  The styling was influenced by a Philippe Starck Interior style shot:

I created my own composition of Fornasetti candle, other candle, bulb vase and pillow.  The Fornasetti candle I chose ended up dictating the rest of the composition.  My candle shows Fornasetti house muse Lina Cavalieri. (the lady who's face is on everything Fornasetti) looking up at a bee.  I then found a beeswax candle with a gold bee on it.  I then found vintage red silk fabric of a Napoleonic Bee print embroidered on it and my little mise en scene was complete.

Here is a little board with the individual components of the design:

1. Restoration Hardware Lorraine Chair
2. Napoleonic Bees Pillows from One King's Lane
3. Ikea Rens Sheepskin
4. Fornasetti L'Ape Candle from Barneys New York
5. Gueridon Style side table from Ballard Designs

(the above items are all clickable with links to the items.)

Well, dear reader, that's it. From inspiration to reality.  Stay tuned for more!

xoxo, Ginevra

Interior Design: Tiny Styling Tip by Ginevra Held

Hey People! Here is a styling tip from yesterday's room reveal:

Instead of going all Marie Kondo on your magazines (you know that lady who wants you to throw out all your shit so you can have an organized life, but you really like your shit, it's yours after all, so wtf) - stack those magazines and make a side table! Organizing and Decorating in one! Then put a clock on it.  A vintage Louis XVI style clock on it.  If you liked it, you should have put a clock on it.  Feel me?

Then, if you're really cool, and I know you are, get an industrial lamp, and put in on the floor.  Not on a magazine stack.  That would be uncool.  I mean you should probably throw some of them away.  It's getting a little cluttered......




Hello Vogue!

One Room Challenge: Post 4 by Ginevra Held

I've got a blank space baby, and I'll find some orange....

So here we are, three weeks along.  Now, the middle part of an interior design project is not pretty.  Have you ever visited an artist and seen a painting partially done?  It is not a pretty site. This is true of Interior Design.  Catching a project in the middle is scary if you are not the designer.  Like artists, Interior Designers have the final picture in their head the entire time.  This is what keeps us going, otherwise we may very well give up somewhere in between.  Luckily, I have a pretty picture of what this is going to become tucked away in my head.  So while this may look appalling to you, to me its the means to the end.

That disclaimer in place I can discuss my progress.

The pattern for the wall behind the bed has been laid out and the first layer of paint applied.  I am happy with the pattern.  It is more dynamic than stripes, and has more meaning as it is indigenous to the architecture of the area.  I am happy with it indeed.

The frames that I originally showed to be hung over each bed, I have now decided to move them to the far wall.  I moved the dresser out of the way, and I will be taking it out and replacing it with a compfy chair. The frames will now hang on the far wall, side by side, there will be orange behind or in them, and I am working on some other ideas of what perhaps they may frame.

Here is the far wall:

I am off to find my orange tomorrow!

The plan is to paint the orange, in as many coats as needed and then go back and put a second layer of blue over the existing first layer and define edges more carefully.

I also need to get said compfy chair in place.  And evaluate whether simple orange behind the frames is enough or if more design is needed.

So there you go, midway and a to do list.  I am excited with the progress and continuing to progress and move toward the final.  The image in my head is getting realized with each brush stroke.

Continue to stay tuned and thank you, as always, for reading!

xo, Ginevra

One Room Challenge: Southern France Farmhouse Guest Room by Ginevra Held

This morning I was perusing One King’s Lane’s Style Guide, as you do and I came across this lovely designing couple of Pencil and Paper.  I went to their website, clicked on their blog and saw that they were participating in the One Room Challenge.

I had seen this mentioned before, but had never really read the details.  It is a design competition that is much as it sounds: a One Room Challenge.  Founded by Linda of Calling it Home , 20 designers/bloggers participate in the challenge of re-designing one room over 5 weeks and share their progress on their blogs.  You can also “guest participate” so if you go to the guest participation area you will see bloggers/designers from all over participating in this challenge.  It's fun to look at the rooms they are challenging themselves to overhall.

Anywho, it started on Thursday, April 7th.  So I am technically not allowed to linkup, but I thought I would put this up as my start date and then post every Thursday like the rest of the participants.  I am a little late to the party, just a couple of days, and Woody Allen said 80% of success is showing up, he didn’t say you had to show up on time.

At any rate, this seems like the perfect framework for which to discuss one of the rooms I am going to re-decorate for the french Farmhouse.  The competition runs from April 7th through May 12th, and therefore, so will my re-design.  I am starting today by sharing with you pictures of the guest room I will be “challenging" myself with.  


Here she is:

View to outside private patio area.

View inside to back wall.

View of two beds and toile curtains.

This room has gorgeous architecture, beautiful stone walls and I love the blue and white toile!  She just needs some pop!

Ideas for the room:

I want to add some vintage pieces/objets to make it more lived in

I want to up the bedding area, adding more sumptuous bedding

Color! I want to add color. Bold color. As you may have realized, paint is my jam baby, so I am going to decide on a color scheme and the wall treatment will be paint.

Side Table Vignette styling - Probably going to go with one table between the two beds, it needs a different lamp and a few objets.


Stay tuned as I will attempt every Thursday to update the blog on what is happening in this space!!!


I am going to leave you with 2 things: Me, in case you are new here and don’t want to click on About (and I get that):

This is me, Ginevra Held, in the Dining Room I designed.


And this photo of my Mom and my friend Rafa, they are at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, (without me!) at the exhibition of Oscar de la Renta.  Next week I will let you know how this photo is going to play into my redesign. 

Rafa on left, Mom on right, and the Oscar de la Renta designed dress that Kirsten Dunst wore for her Marie Antoinette Vogue shoot.  (Basically my dream dress).