Cool Décor

By Karen Parr-Moody


GasLamp and GasLamp Too feature furnishings that date back centuries and are as gilded ad ornate as they come. But the stores also feature a fun array of items that are simply cool and would be perfectly at home in a hipster’s above. 


This Mid-Century Modern chair style in the photo, right, takes its design cues from several originals that became iconic in the design world (Booth B-2010; $225). Its curvilinear lines bring to mind Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair, as well as Hans Wegner’s Shell Chair. During the early-to-mid 20th century, designers took advantage of technological advancements in materials, which led to a modernist approach to furniture. By using moldable plywood and fiberglass as primary structural elements to create organic shapes, designers created furniture that departed from conventional forms, which led to the formation of the Mid-Century Modern design aesthetic.  


Of course, this retro chair at GasLamp also adds the playful touch of cozy faux fur. It would become a fabulous accent in a home inspired by Mid-Century Modern design.


This page from a McCall’s magazine, left, was designed to advertise McCall’s sewing patterns back in the day when women made their clothes. This page features McCall’s pattern 7916, which is described as follows: “Dramatic grey – a simple shaft of a dress in fluid platinum-colored jersey, lightly skimming the body, is spectacularly highlighted with narrow bands of glittering rhinestones.”


The McCall’s page is in excellent condition and would be an inexpensive design choice – at $3 – for a bedroom or powder room (Booth B-311).


If you are an advocate of drama, this oil painting in the photo, right, fits the bill ($1,975; Booth B-222). It features a vintage New York City skyline, circa 1940s to 1950s, with a jet flying directly overhead. What makes this monochromatic painting particularly dramatic is its size: At a whopping 6 by 8 feet, it will dominate any room.


Chaise lounges have existed for millennia, but in recent centuries they were typically found in a woman’s boudoir. One thinks of Madame Récamier (1777 – 1849), who lounged on a divan that became known as a “récamier” in popular culture. Then there are the “fainting couches” of the Victorian era, chaise lounges called that due to a belief that women were prone to fainting due to the tight corsets worn during the era. But the one in the photo, below left, would fit just about anywhere; it’s not so terribly feminine that it would be relegated to a boudoir. It was originally custom made with a price tag of $4,200, but it is now being offered for $695 (Booth B-231).


One of the most influential designers of the Mid-Century Modern era was George Nelson. He ushered in the era of the “sunburst” silhouette in clocks, which had countless imitators at the time – and still does. Not only did the sunburst form manifest in clocks, it also trickled over into mirrors, which continue to be made today. The sunburst mirror in the photo, right, is an eye-catching way to bring a bold design statement to any room ($65; Booth B-2011).


"Eclectic" is a term that has become popular in interior design parlance. Naturally, it describes a blend of heterogeneous elements. And trust me: fans of the look need to look at GasLamp and GasLamp two, where “eclectic” is always fashionable.



Print this page