Evolving furniture design

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Fun Furniture

Furniture is sometimes regarded as such a serious subject matter. What will people think when they enter my home? Some even go so far as to put plastic over everything, or have an entire room thats sole function is to never be used, but to show off “what my house could look like if I didn’t have kids or cleaned every day :)” Today I thought I would poke a little fun at this mentality. Furniture is meant to be used! Some of my favorite pieces are not necessarily the coolest looking or the most trendy thing to brag how much you spent on it to your co-workers. Some of my favorite pieces are simply FUN. They evoke a childlike giggle when you see them, or use them. These tend to start a conversation more easily than any pristine white parlor I have ever sat in by far.

Here are a few ideas that you could throw in your favorite room, just to start a little conversation and say “furniture is supposed to be FUN!”

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Unique “Fusion Table”  by Matthew Robinson and “Paint Drip Table” by  John Nouanesing are two very different creations and approaches to a similar design idea. I love both of these and couldn’t decided which to showcase, so I figured I would compare and contrast. While the Fusion Table is carved out of walnut and maple to create this fun conversation piece, the Paint Drip Table has a much more modern aesthetic. The Paint Drip table almost suspends time, as the paint glossily oozes over the sides. I don’t what else to say other than I love both of these for adding a little fun factor to any room!

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Aptly named the “Funky Blast Chair”, this piece is hand crafted in the UK and sure to bring a sense of fun into your living room. The chair is a padded seat connected to 31 American ash legs. It really takes a traditionally stuffy element of americana furniture and uses it in such a unique way, it is guaranteed to get attention. I believe this particular piece is sculpted to sit level on certain legs. Of course my imagination wonders, what if this could roll around and depending on your current mood for sitting angle, land on any 3 legs, and balance there?

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Judson Beaumont is always looking to push his conceptual furniture pieces to a new level of fun and exciting. His “Bad Table” and “Sobey Dressers” are two of my favorites. Completely bringing comedy back into a typically mundane world of furniture is a tough task, but here it is shown flawlessly. Breaking the paradigm that drawers need to be square or equal is such a simple design criteria yet so difficult to execute. The way that the top surface of the “Bad Table” curves up to one corner to allow it to do it’s business is seamless. The small details that go into the craftsmanship of these pieces is what really gives them their whimsical personification, and makes it believable.  Please check out more of this amazing designer’s work at Straight Line Designs

Let’s make furniture FUN again !!!


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Pet Friendly Furniture

Today I thought I would have a little fun with furniture. We all love our pets, but hair on the furniture can become a huge issue Rather than Pet proof our furniture, why not give our pets something that is their own?

An estimated 60% of all US homes have a pet (true), and an estimated 99% of all homes have human furniture (ok, so I made that one up. I’m not sure what the other 1% are sitting on, but who knows, maybe they’ll get a kick out of this post too! )

When we’re talking about reducing hair on furniture, there are tons of online posts about this. There are all sorts of tips and tricks to remove the hair, and obviously Leather is a great option, but why not think about this a whole different way? Instead of getting angry at your pet for shedding on your furniture, let’s look at some furniture that they can have full access to.

The first idea is a couch for you, that integrates a cat tunnel for your furry friend. They can hide out or join in, while you watch today’s edition of the PIR. It gives them the ability to feel like a part of the fam, while giving them the privacy they want when feeling a little introverted.

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I love this concept because it really integrates human and pet furntiure together into one design

Designed by korean designer Seungji Mun, you can see detaials here

How about this cat couch? It allows your kitty to chill next to you while elevated off the floor.


Aptly named “The Pod” by Hepper is a genius design. It lets your cat climb in and be off the floor, while being isolated in their own space. The top can also be removed when they feel like lounging and still being social.

This elegant sofa design integrates a pet bed in the base of the arm. Since the arm is open, your pet can pop in, to feel like part of the action, or chill out on their own space. I like that this piece doesn’t sacrifice an elegant timeless aesthetic to cater to your pet, rather integrates their space and keeps the high end look!


Maybe your pet is a little bit of a design nut like yourself? What better way to show off both of your taste by giving them their own couch. Instead of just a basic pet bed that every pooch seems to have these days, elevate your decor by adding some modern flare.

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Easily washable and super comfy, these dog couches make your pooch feel like they are part of the family during TV time. They come in all sorts of styles to easily fit you and your pet’s decor style. (Yes… They even make a Race Car bed for dogs..google FURRari bed ) With options such as this or ones imitating famous Le Corbusier designs, any designer would be proud.

Wayfair.com has tons of pet couch ideas. Check them out here; Pet couch

If you want to get even more custom check out this option;

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Don’t worry I didn’t forget about all the cat lovers. This awesome cat bed lets your feline live in the true life of luxury. Cedal Pets and Style is a custom furniture design company that focuses on building pieces suited for your furry friends.

I love the idea of integrating your pet into your life, and if that means giving them a seat right next to you in the office, then so be it.

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If your Dog loves to keep you company while you work I think this idea above could be easily turned into an office option. It is shown set up as more of a TV credenza, but I think with a few tweaks a similar version could be built into your desk, allowing your pet to hide away during those long boring conference calls.

I’ve touched on it before, but one of my favorite lounge furniture pieces is the hammock. Nothing else says relaxation like swinging between two palm trees on a deserted tropical island. Now your cat can imagine doing just that, without all the hassle of going through TSA stuffed in a tiny carrier.

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You can find these great hammocks at catcrib.com or, petloungestudios.com

Is space at a premium? How about a pet murphy bed?

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I like this idea because it allows you to hide away your pets bed in a stylish piece of furniture. Hair, what hair? When company comes over, or if space is at a premium, why not allow your pet to pretend they are in a 1980’s sitcom?

If you want to let your pet beat the heat in style, but don’t want their peers to ridicule them for being shaved all summer, here are a couple COOL ideas.

The air conditioned pet house. Keep their own thermostat turned way down for those humid beach days.


This not so humble abode offers features such as LED interior lighting, adjustable temperature settings, and even a built in webcam, so you can check on your pet while at work. You can grab one for your pampered pet here

Another option to give your pet the cool temps they desire is the duotemp pet bed.


With a built in fan system, It’s like those air conditioned seats you dream about having in your beamer 🙂 Why not at least let someone in your family enjoy this comfort all day long?

How about those pets that jet-set to luxurious locations on the daily? Well I have a solution for them as well. It’s called the Global Gallivanter trunk, and screams pet luxury. I love how everything has a very specific place, purpose, and elegance about it.


Rest assured, with your butler carrying around this complete kit, your pet will never be without their essentials. It comes complete with silk bed, water bowl, collar and leash, passport holder, and plush chew toy. I’ve seen this advertised for around $2,000, which may be why it’s no longer listed on the manufacturers webpage. Maybe it’s like the Visa Black Card; if you are worthy of this exquisite trunk, you will be contacted.

What about something a little edgy, to offset your contemporary home decor? Check out these eclectic ideas to fit the most unique of spaces.


The Cat Cabin is hand made out of bent wood and comes with a comfy water and dirt repellant cusion.See more on it here

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Scottie’s canine caves and feline mountains are some of my favorite designs I’ve found for retrofitting your space to give your pet some shelter from the terrain of everyday living.

Taken direct from the manufacturer’s webpage, “Scientific evidence strongly suggests that modern day canines are in fact decedents of the wolf. It is no secret that both species share many similar physical and behavioural characteristics. At Scottie’s Fine Art caves Inc. we believe that every canine companion /wolf descendent living within our homes unequivocally has a right to their own private space. Here at Scottie’s Fine Caves Inc. under the watchful eye of the President and founder, Scottie the terrier, we work diligently to create such spaces, one of a kind, hand-crafted Canine Fine Art Caves for the entire life of your companion.”

I love the concept, and I love the design, with an elevated interior sleeping area, built in sound deadening, and even cave art on the interior walls, the only thing not to love is the 6 thousand dollar price tag that comes with bringing the outdoors to your loft. see more

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Laminated Plywood

Today’s sprout: Laminated plywood. Made famous by the Eames in the early 60’s, plywood lamination has since made some major advances both in the material availability and the molding processes. I love the idea of breaking a material from its perceived shape or range of use. Here are some sweet examples of plywood laminations.


Let’s start with simple elegance. On the left is a chair designed in the 1930’s by Simple Furniture Ltd. On the right a chair designed as a college project by Nicole Hodsdon. I think both of these chairs show a beautiful curve and use the negative space under the arms as a focal point. the simplicity of construction is evident although anyone who has worked with bent laminations knows this is very deceptive and to create all the molds and ways to press these chairs is much more elaborate than it appears. This also goes to show that some aspects of this craft have not changed in 70 years.

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Julia Krantz has taken plywood lamination to a whole new level with this flat stack and carve technique. It almost looks as though the piece has been carved from a single tree. The laminations are carefully cut to show the topography of the furniture and define the elevations of the piece.


This is named the Mobius chair by Frans Schrofer. It was an entry into a design contest, and I think is stunning. The way that the grain is used to denote various planes of the chairs surfaces is excellent. I am curious what the joints are that hold together the chair where these beautiful grains intersect.


The “Why Knot” bench is another cool example of pushing the limits of what plywood can do. Elyse Belanger has really shown what can be done with a typically very structural flat material.

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I feel like bent plywood furniture has always been one of those processes used to produce a lot of one off pieces, but very few manufacturers have been extremely successful selling a mass produced version of the designs. The Eames were obviously one of the examples of a success selling a mass produced version of an exploration piece. Their bent plywood recliner shows that bent plywood can be mass manufactured. The above photos are of a product called ZA by Davis Furniture. I’ve had the pleasure of installing a few versions of this in office lobbies over the years, and it is always a hit. I have high hopes that this beautiful design will be the next great, in the small percentage of bent plywood pieces that go mainstream.

Check it out here: Davis ZA

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Trans Alpin really stepped outside the box with this bent plywood concept named Wood.E. They have taken the idea of plywood furniture to a whole new level by creating an entire space and environment complete with integrated lighting.

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Sticking with the theme of using plywood for an entire space rather than a single element, A. Kinney Court has integrated plywood into their point of purchase displays. I love when raw materials are showcased and Plywood really has a soul of its own. The most impressive part of these displays is that from the front view this looks like a very linear rigid use of plywood. As you come around to view from the side, you notice that the plywood has been bent to curve in unique ways, which really breaks the material from its stereotypical societal role.