August 11, 2009

The Cool Brilliance of Chrome in Interior Design

Nickel is nice, but chrome is cooler! Nickel has a high end cache.  It’s true that in general nickel is more expensive, and has a softer  warmer glow.  But I guess I’m an all or nothing kind of designer.  If metal is going to be bright and shiny, I prefer it VERY bright , VERY shiny and VERY cool in tone.  That’s why I LOVE chrome, and of course, I’m not alone.

(below:Artimede Mercury Ceiling light fixture) lsiepj;soejfsljdflsihslkndflsiehfslhdf;lakjfpsiefhkshflsihfoih

Mercry Ceiling light  Artemide62Lincoln142836814670.PICT00196a00d83452989a69e20105360b9e38970c-800wi477875348_0856da50b2
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Chrome has been the favored metal finish for furniture, ever since Marcel Breuer first fashioned the Wassily Chair in 1925, and continues to be so in the new century. The development of chrome in furniture runs parallel, and has often been reflective of  its use in the car and motorcycle industries. Above and beyond its obvious practical applications, chrome denotes speed, modernity,technology, and a forward looking optimism.
livingincomfort.com Zuo modern carbon accent chairThe Zuo Chair (above) is from www.livingincomfort.com LIVINGINCOMFORT.COM ZUO CHAIRlkjfowifosjfosieufsknfoisehfsikhfoi;ajli

david jimenez

Design by David Jimenez

This bedroom by David Jimenez uses generous doses of chrome, and is nothing if not cheerful and optimistic!  Wouldn’t you love to wake up in a room like this?5-21-platner-tableThe Platner Table (above) is available through Design Within Reach

I love the relationship here, between the spiroscope patterns in the art, and the similar effect in the chrome table base

Image via designsponge

Image via designsponge

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Here’s a question I’m often asked:  Is it OK to mix styles and periods? Let this eclectic, pretty room be the final answer to that question!  What could provide a more elegant, yet neutral link between the wide ranging looks in this room, than the classic chrome Brno Chair,(1930) by Mies Van der Rohe.

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The Brno Chair is available through Knoll Studio

b701c67efe4dALMOST DINER CHAIRS IN DINING ROOM lskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdhl

I can’t resist comparing the chairs in this airy inviting dining room to good old fashioned diner chairs like this one from americanchairs.com Why not use diner chairs with a light neutral covering, in a slightly more formal way?  The cost is low,  the comfort is excellent, and the look would be very original.

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MY LIVING ROOM slkdjfowiflskdfhosieflskdjhosih;saljps;jpsihlkfhgosiohlkj

Here the chrome of the classic Wassily chair mixes beautifully with a warm earthy color scheme, adding a little glitter and shine.  The Wassily Chair is available through Knoll Studio Designed in the Bauhaus Studio in 1925 by Marcel Breuer, then only an apprentice, it was the very first steel tubular chair.
MBreuer-WassilyChair

Here are some of my favorite interior design CHROME INSPIRATIONS:
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furnitureinfashion.netEdge 5 light table lamp form Fabbianbarcelona-pavilion-tableamericanchairs_2061_3641810sam flaxmylivingspaceco.uk10198b
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LAMP: furnitureinfashion.net, FABBIAN EDGE 5 LIGHT TABLE LAMP: YLighting, BARCELONA PAVILION TABLE: classicsinstock.com ,CHROME BAR STOOL: AmericanChairs.com, DESK: Sam Flax, FURNITURE HARDWARE: mylivingspaceco.uk, MARTINI END TABLE: Kravet Furniture
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GET NAMES OF DESIGNERS FOR ROOMS lkdjperod;ljperjgp;ojgpojg;sldjps9upsodjgpsodugp9rutpdojfgpsdjf;sljdgpsougpsouposufpsodufpso
candice Olsen

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chista-natural-wood-coffee-tables-1Designed by Candace Olsen, this room has both a modern sensibility and a warm rusticity.  This approach is embodied in the coffee table which  combines a hand hewn rugged wood top, with machine age chrome legs.  The open leg notches on the top enhance the effect of nature-plus-technology.  It’s almost sculptural, and very forward looking.  The table to the left from Chista, and the others below from Century and Hudson Furniture Inc. are very much in the same vein.  In fact, once I started looking around, I saw enough in this general style to pronounce it a trend! These furnishings display a reverence for the beauty of the natural world, combined with a use of high tech man made materials.  What a great metaphor for the future, if you’re an optimist, like me!

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Century Furniture

Century Furniture

Hudson Furniture Inc.

Hudson Furniture Inc.

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We have enough history with chrome interior furnishings to look back on some of it with affectionate nostalgia. Meanwhile, many early examples remain as relevant and cutting edge as ever, and far more popular and available than when they were first created…And, the market place is filled with current, new examples of beautiful chrome furniture, from the innovators of today. It will be very exciting to see what  forms in chromed metal will appear next!

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Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

-Neil Young

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5 Comments »

  1. You’ve posted a lot of great chrome pieces :-) I love how chrome shines & sparkles and reflects light. I’ve tried to capture that sparkle in some car pics I’ve taken — you know, when the sunlight hits the chrome and you get that twinkling effect — but I just can’t capture it.

    Love the rugged wood & chrome table in the Candice Olson room — I’m a big fan of combining opposite elements like that. Also, the circle wall sconce next to the framed coral in the picture above that one is gorgeous :-)

    Kelly @ DesignTies

    Comment by DesignTies — August 12, 2009 @ 11:21 AM

  2. Kelly,

    I am MAD about that coffee table in the Candace Olsen room. I couldn’t figure out where it’s from, but I found something that is in that vein from Christa, which I just added to the post.

    Thanks for reading, and commenting! (-:

    Leona

    Comment by admin — August 12, 2009 @ 1:31 PM

  3. Wow! So many great examples on how to use chrome. I love that coffee table as well. Its good to see that chrome is not exclusive to just modern decor. I love the idea of throwing in a little chrome to shake things in a more traditional setting. Great post, Leona!

    Comment by Live In Full Color — August 13, 2009 @ 8:19 AM

  4. Honestly, Leona, and with all due respect to your Internet colleagues, you are just THE HIPPEST, coolest, savviest stylist and designer!! This post, though treating a fairly uncomplicated subject (not to say anything disrespectful about chrome, because I adore it), is so rich in associations and demonstrates the versatility and utility of this valuable but accessible design element. You consistently find great, affordable pieces and give excellent, varied examples of their uses. Thanks for this lovely post!

    Comment by Caitlin — August 20, 2009 @ 10:50 AM

  5. Fabulous stuff!! Living rooms are too good!Cheers!!

    Comment by Sandy55 — October 25, 2009 @ 10:56 AM

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