Aug 11, 2015

Oscar Niemeyer Chaise Lounge

Oscar Niemeyer Chaise Lounge images via R 20th Century

Originally published July 6, 2013.

Oscar Niemeyer made cool furniture as well as buildings? Of course, he did. Seems like most architects are also budding furniture designers (Frank Lloyd Wright, Ron Thom). Niemeyer passed away in December 2012 - 10 days short of his 105th birthday.

The Rio Chaise Lounge was designed in 1978 with his daughter, Anna Maria Niemeyer.

Features a bentwood frame, woven cane seat, and leather headrest pillow with weighted straps.

The image shown is a 2001 reissue for sale on 1st Dibs.

1978 original for sale at $28,000 in 2013

1978 original sold at auction for $22,000 in 2008

1978 original unsold at auction $5000 in 2003

images © R 20th Century

Jul 17, 2015

Dining dilemma

I've had at least five dining tables in the past ten years. Partially because I've moved six times in the past five years (and you've been with me for each one). What was purchased for one area only fits in one location. This is what leaves me torn. I need a new table - again. I want to invest and get something I can keep from this day forward, but seeing as we rent, who knows what will happen? Our last movers trashed our teak bedroom set, smashed most of my BC ceramics, broke my alabaster table, and gouged the top of my stump table with a six-inch crevasse. What do I do? Of all those tables, our card table was the most versatile, and the size was right for each dining room. I should look for one of those old wooden ones.

If I had 'my own' dining area, it would go something like this:

Florence Knoll's oak or walnut-topped table.

or the Wegner CH002 table

"Oh, hi, we just look cool."
Jonathan Adler's Sputnik chandelier

Hoffman for Thonet cane back chairs
mixed with Wegner's Wishbone chairs

Not in my dining area but, the Womb chair would be had. Now I'm into the flax colour. 

Here's one of those card tables I just found on Craigslist. Thirty bones and a "leather top" - too bad those fantastic chairs aren't included.

Jun 18, 2015

Terribly Planned Circulation

I'll tell you something about renting. You get to live in many different neighbourhoods and eras of dwellings - a pseudo try before you buy. As you know, we were renovicted from the place we moved into just seven months into our lease (a long-term rental, my ass). We were turned down for about six or seven places we applied to rent - who knows why? Besides, I don't really care. We finally got accepted into one - we moved all our stuff over on the 31st, and within 30 minutes of stepping foot in the place - in the daylight - I gave our notice to get out. Our total stay was thirteen hellish nights. What a pen of filth. Viewings only after 6pm! After 6pm because it's dark and you can't see the filth. Anyway, this dump of a building was built in 2009; I hadn't lived in anything newer than 1965 since I was nineteen and living at home with my parents. I'll never live in anything 'new' again. Speaking of such, how can people line up to buy condos that still need to be built? They've never even sniffed out the place. By sniffing out, I mean precisely that - smelling it. An educated nose knows the smell of particleboard and cheap flooring. An educated nose knows the scent of cheap. How do people put their trust in some developers they don't even know? Developers are business people. What do businesses care about in the 21st Century? The bottom line. What's the number one rule in business? Buy low, sell high. So, to all those people I saw lined up on 41st and Cambie today to buy an unbuilt condo on a major traffic artery - all the best to you and yours.

So, where is home now? Well, I had a Quebecois/Portuguese friend who used to like to call me a WASP; I adamantly disagreed - and even more so now that I looked it up. I don't have an Anglican or Protestant bone in my body and horses. Besides, horses and I have a mutual understanding - they don't like me, and I don't like them - but we're cool. Let's say I'm back at the beach (the other place was on 8th and Cambie). I haven't lived more than two blocks from the beach in eighteen years. What's that saying, once you leave, you can never go/get back?


Here I sit with all my furniture from our place in West Van. Stuff bought for our place in West Van. How do you make things fit in a space you didn't intend to put it? I thought I'd check out some of my interiors books to see what they had to say. That's what got me writing this post to begin with. After reading a chapter entitled Planning for Space*, it got me thinking about how all these new condos lack precisely that - a plan for a comfortable human space. Take these eight points on well-plotted circulation, for example:

  1. Can you get to the bedrooms without passing through the major group area?
  2. Can guests get to the bathroom without passing through a bedroom?
  3. Can you move through the kitchen without interfering with the cooking operations?
  4. Are hallways wide enough for two people to pass each other comfortably?
  5. Are entrance areas large enough to welcome guests to the home without dumping guests straight into the middle of a party?
  6. Are staircases wide enough to permit the passage of furniture?
  7. Are doors well situated to allow for traffic flow and comfortable furniture arrangement?
  8. Does the home have a "heart" - where people automatically congregate? Are paths to that area unobstructed?


Now, please memorize these points. Only rent/buy something after you ask yourself these questions. Landlords and developers - the same goes for you. It's in your best interest to keep happy, long-term tenants. That being said, although the layout sucks, I think the new place is going to be entirely satisfactory. You know I'll keep you posted.

On another yet similar note, I went to park in front of one of my favourite little Vancouver houses today and noticed it looked neglected. Well, it's been listed for sale - $899,900.00. It's probably 100% original - and it's listed for its property only. I've posted photos of its amazing dark purple hydrangea bush on Instagram.

* Faulkner, Sarah. Planning a Home. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.

Feb 4, 2015

An Untouched 1970s A-Frame Wonder

The Gienger Residence in West Vancouver is on the market for the first time. The original owners/architects have lived in the home since 1971. And what a beauty it is! Is that plush carpeting I see in the living room? Look at the beautiful, unstained cedar walls and exposed beams.

The original copper pendant lights and a burl bar.  I'd take the rope off the bar.
The original floor to ceiling stone fireplace and hand carved beams.
Spiral staircase and original brick kitchen. The floors may have been replaced with unfortunate laminate. However, nothing appears to have been updated in the home, so it could be the original hardwood floor. They're well cared for, as it looks like the rest of the house has been.
Are the burl table and chandelier included in the sale?
Sold me at the sunken purple bathtub! I'd rip that carpet out, though. Please, the carpet does not belong in the washroom. Gross. I'd put in a light-colored heated stone floor of some sort.
There you have it. For more images, check out the realtor's website. It would be a shame if the home was bought strictly to be torn down and replaced with the ever-popular West Van Baroque Craftsman.


Remember these little guys?

images © North Shore Realty 

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