Ideas for Contemporary Living

Tag: Furniture

2018 Showcase House

Posted on September 25th, by David Bjorngaard in Inhabit, Knowledge, The Moment. No Comments

Why can’t the dining room be the new family room, a place where the entire family can gather throughout the day? This is what I was saying as I drove back to the house, to take a second look at the dining room when it was in its ugly, no-character stage prior to our work.  How would I use the space, I opined? Coffee and news in the morning as I wake up; some breakfast at the cafe table to get me going; work on my laptop at the BDDW dining table, working but feeling like I’m in the park; read my book and enjoy the fog rolling in mid-afternoon; dinner with Sean or friends; a cocktail party in the evening. A room with this view needed to be used! Towards this end, I created a flexible space to accommodate lots of uses. Here’s a quick look at my approach.

Provide the tease.A bit of sparkle, reflected in the mirror just off the entry, catches your eye as you enter the house. (this also provides a great space to check your hair while heading out). A neutral color palette of sisal and plaster, with the absence of window treatments, focuses the attention.

Draw … Read More »


Sea Ranch

Posted on August 10th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, Knowledge. No Comments

I recently came back from my first stay at Sea Ranch. This was a pilgrimage to visit the works of Charles Moore, William Turnbull and Joseph Esherick, and it was a chance to disconnect and relax. Sea Ranch, which was formed in the 1960’s, is a planned community which was built on the idea of preserving and appreciating the land. Homes were designed to sit gently on the land and are built-in a mid-century rustic vernacular: timber-frame structures clad in wooden siding or shingles, and designed to open onto the landscape. Homes blend into the landscape, sitting low to withstand the rugged winds, and are clustered together to maximize the open meadows and woodlands to be enjoyed by all. Connection to nature is crucial, and during my stay I enjoyed viewing the resident deer, jack-rabbits, turkeys, and varied coastal birds, along with the local frogs that lived under the deck.

Blend into nature.  Inspiration and lessons abound at Sea Ranch. First, homes are set close to the land, with the boundaries between home and open-space blurring.

Window seats. You probably know that I love a good window seat…probably a reflection of upbringing on the farm, where being immersed in nature was a … Read More »


Summertime

Posted on June 23rd, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, Inhabit. No Comments

Summer is finally here. Time to relax, get outside and enjoy the fruits of our labour in comfortable style. For outdoor spaces, the right mix of furniture has  flexibility, personality, durability and style. Above all, an outdoor space requires fun, sculptural pieces to compliment the organic shapes of nature. To help kick off your summer, get inspired, or find that right piece to mix into your outdoor room, here are a few of my favorite outdoor furniture finds.

Mix light and airy with solid volumes. For this outdoor space in Palo Alto I designed with Monica Ream and Stephen Verner, I paired oversized Lolah Lounge chairs with a Paola Lenti Otto footstool and Orlando daybed, resting on a custom concrete platform. The white curved slats of the chair create an organic volume, and echo the wood of the trellis. The solid shapes of the day bed and ottomans don’t compete with the chairs, while offering a really relaxed, carefree and flexible space to enjoy the sun, shade and pool. Click here to see more of this project.

Every outdoor room needs a piece of sculpture. The view is inspired, so should be your furniture. Simple, refined shapes mix well with the outdoors, and hold their own … Read More »


Caning

Posted on December 13th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, Inhabit, The Moment. 2 comments

This brilliant restaurant, Loulou Restaurant Paris, recently got me thinking more about the use of caning in interiors.  I love how the technique softens and adds texture to a clean modern space.  I also am intrigued by the veiling of our voyeuristic tendencies:  cane gently obscuring mirror. Clean interiors require a bit of texture, and modern interiors require a bit of history.

  

Lately I’ve searched out the variety of caned furniture. I like the touch of artistry and handicraft, plus the sense of exotic glamour.  Adding warmth, texture and color to modern interiors is the key to creating inviting, comfortable spaces to live. Here are a few of my favorite interiors and pieces of furniture.  I recommend you embrace the trend.

I’m not terribly acquisitive – could be an occupational hazard –  but I regret passing up a set of 6 Marcel Breuer chairs at a second-hand store in San Rafael years ago.  Bent tubular steel fashioned into a continuous frame, softened by the caned seat and back. Casual yet elegant, modern yet grounded in craft techniques, nearly a perfect chair…and now someone else’s chairs!  Probably in a breakfast room in Mill Valley, or a second home in Palm Springs.

Here are a few other … Read More »


Spring Design

Posted on April 13th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, The Moment. No Comments

I wasn’t fortunate enough to make plans to attend this years Milan Furniture Week, which just ended. I followed with envy as friends and showrooms posted pretty pictures on Instagram. I did however take the time to check out some of the newest designs unveiled recently at the San Francisco Design Center. Color, texture, precise detailing…here are a few of the trends which I observed.

Pops of Color. Fresh, vibrant yellow and green made a strong showing. Clearly the design world is taking its cue from fashion. It is refreshing to see a bright yellow chair on a grey day, but I prefer the lichen green for a cozy read.  Isn’t this what we need in the foggy Bay Area?

 

Richness of leather. Leather is being used in warm camel and wood tones, providing a visual rhythm and tactile warmth to any room.

Texture. Materiality and texture are having a strong presence, with chunky, tactile imperfection prized. Look for wicker, rattan, brushed wood, rope and hides to compliment your home.

Elegance and precision. There is still a strong showing for elegant, clearly crafted pieces, but often done in a restrained color palette. Look for details like metal legs, wide arms, simple proportions, and … Read More »


Outside

Posted on June 18th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, Knowledge, The Moment. No Comments

When selecting outdoor furniture, there are so many options. It’s possible to find outdoor furniture that’s stylish and durable for all personalities, whether you want to be hip, retro, practical, modern or traditional.  All you have to do is choose the one that reflects the way you want to live.

If there is a trend, it is the marriage of material performance with advances in manufacturing technology to create shapes which are lighter, sinuous and stronger. Fabrics performance has also increased, to the extent that many outdoor fabrics are now being used in family rooms and kids rooms. Fabric durability means that you don’t have to worry about kids with ice cream cones and guests with red wine. And since outdoor fabric now feel and look like indoor fabrics, you can bring the comforts of inside life outside. This is California living!

Here are a few of my favorite pieces of outdoor furniture. I love how playful, novel and modern these pieces are. I hope these inspire you to get outside and enjoy the summer.

One trend in outdoor furniture is an emphasis on fun. New technology also allow for softer shapes, sharper curves and materials which are more durable.

The 70’s seem to be coming back, with furniture that feels cool, sophisticated, and sexy…ideal for the bachelors … Read More »


Books

Posted on March 5th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, Knowledge. No Comments

Dealing with storage and clutter are concerns in most of our lives. Dealing with too many clothes, collections, books, and mementos from a life well lived is the dividing line between the Minimalists, and the rest of us. Yet, while clean, well-ordered space is not only good for the psyche (i.e. I know where to find my stuff so I’m not stressed out!), but it also helps make a small space feel bigger. As such, finding a place to put that new pair of jeans, or that new tech gadget, is a great thing.

For me, the problem is books. I have lots of them. Lots! Books are stacked in bookcases, under night stands and on coffee tables. And still, I have design books that are in boxes and stacked on the floor. It’s my (or Sean’s) cross to bear. Considering that Sean and I have lived in our loft for over 2 years, we both agreed that it is time to take advantage of an awkward corner of our loft – otherwise unusable space – and have some book cases made (or find something ready-made, as Sean keeps telling me). The goal is to rid our lives of boxes and piles of books … Read More »


Fog Fair

Posted on January 15th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

I had the opportunity to go preview the Fog Art + Design Fair 2015 yesterday morning. Really it was a chance for me to go see the show, have a cup of tea, snap a few pictures and write a blog post! Little more than a cheap marketing opportunity by Fog Fair, which I willingly joined. I’m a sucker, as I love many of the furniture companies and art galleries that exhibit at the fair. Art furniture, check! Top tier New York art galleries, check. Difficult art, check! As I walked around the fair with a good friend, I realized that this is the stuff which CCA alumni love: process, difficult, intellectual, not-mass-market, just like a CCA degree. To say the least, I was in my own little heaven. This is the world of design which I prefer for myself. So if you get a chance this weekend, go to Fort Mason and check out the fair. It’s not Room and Board furniture, but it is interesting arts and crafts.

Now, for the crunchy ceramics!

David Bjørngaard, January 2015


Baxter

Posted on August 7th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements. No Comments

I am intrigued by this line of Italian furniture now represented by DZine in San Francisco.  Perhaps I’m just persuaded by the Italian villas in which the furniture was photographed {I love color saturated walls and patterned tile floors} or perhaps I just have a weakness for leather. I love the retro vibe of this furniture !

David Bjørngaard, August 2014