Evolving furniture design

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Retirement Rocks

For some it’s a house in warmer weather, for others it’s traveling around Europe.  While contemplating the challenges of future retirement in about 35 years, between the financial issues of IRA’s, 401K’s and social security, my next biggest hurdle will probably be what rocking chairs to adorn my front porch with. Since I envision my retirement on a big porch in the country with my dog at my side watching corn grow, rocking the sunset away, this will be a very important decision. By the time I retire I believe my taste may evolve a little from the high tech modern aesthetic I currently lean toward, into a more timeless handcrafted theme. Below are some designs currently in competition for square footage on my porch. I do after all, have a few years or so to decide 🙂

The title of my favorite rocking chair of all time currently belongs to Sam Maloof’s iconic version. Done in the grain figuring of the second photo, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more beautiful piece of hand carved wood. Although Sam Maloof passed away, his legacy is continued in his shop by fine woodworking craftsman in the same style, even using the same patterns he did.

sam maloof        maloof1108edit2


Next on the list is this rocking chair held together with rope suspending individual blocks of hard wood. It is designed and crafted in Vermont by a company aptly named Vermont Folk Rocker. I have had the pleasure of trying these out, and they are quite comfortable!




This beautiful piece is designed by Gary Weeks, and speaks for itself. It has clean elegant lines, yet stays edgy, sharp and manly at the same time. It looks like it could hold up the years of front porch sitting abuses.




Bill Kappel is an incredible craftsman and woodworking expert. Just take a look at this rocker designed by him below and I think that point is obvious. I think these would be perfect for a long relaxing sit.





A few other options are below. Decisions Decisions. Since many of these aforementioned rockers are priced in the $6,000 range, I had either better make some smart financial moves, or begin to whittle my own chair now, in order to have a seat when my days of office chairs are finished !











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Tractor Seats

To go along with my recent post about reclaimed wood, I thought I might touch on some other cool sources of reclaimed materials used to create furniture. I stumbled upon a bar stool made from a tractor seat and and felt that it really embodied that same upcycled aesthetic that is sought after right now. The old rusty barn-chic look is currently making a run in rural and suburban design circles, and has an amazing quality to it. The patina and age give the pieces a hand crafted soul, that you just can’t find any longer in a factory mass produced item. Tractor seats were designed to be sat on for hours at a time in a bumpy field. In order to take a piece of hard metal and make it comfy for this use requires some incredible ergonomic design. When the tractor seat was first sculpted, ergonomics wasn’t a field of study, these really showcase a design born out of necessity. Check out these tractor seats, and keep on the look out for the next cool reclaim trends!

tractor 7

tractor seat stool

tractor 4


tractor 8

tractor 9

tractor 10

tractor 11

tractor 12