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Pash Living Blog

  • When marble shines for dining

    If one material is dominating the thoughts of interior designers in 2016, it is marble. On one hand, austere and opulent but on the other, luminous and visually fascinating, it brings a new dimension to any home.

    And probably nowhere more so than the dining room. A marble topped dining table is elegant and – even in black – has a reflective quality that helps to softly illuminate a room, as well as being hard wearing and easy to clean.

    At Pash, we have long been lovers of marble and our range of tables includes several superb designs both classic and new.

    At the top of our list is Eero Saarinen’s Tulip table, one of the most instantly recognisable of 20th century furniture icons. Somehow both Space Age and essentially organic, it is usually made in fibre glass but we now also offer a white marble-topped version. The elegance of this material brings something new to a design that is already breathtaking and beautiful in its simplicity.

    Timeless Scandinavian style

    If a rectangular shape is more to your taste, our recently-introduced Fjord dining table is evocative of the finest 20th century Scandinavian design. With distinctive, solid wood, double-tripod legs, it offers a clean and timeless sense of style.

    Topped in a lustrous, high-gloss white or black finish that is similarly reflective to marble, the Fjord provides seating for six people and – we can vouch ourselves – is equally suited to family meals or party dining with friends. Solid wood and glass tops are also available.

    Additionally, Pash offers a wide range of dining chairs to complement these tables – including the matching Tulip chair – elsewhere on this web site. All will help create an attractive and stylish dining experience. Bon appetite!

  • Rocking the RAR with NetMums

    How do you find the perfect nursery chair? At Pash, we believe it’s got to be beautifully designed, fun, hardwearing – and hopefully excellent value for money, too.

    This month we have teamed up with NetMums, the UK’s biggest parenting web site, for a free competition to win an Eames-inspired RAR rocking chair.

    They are very demanding at NetMums, as you would expect. They want a nursery chair to be “bold and playful”, not to mention “oozing style from every curve” and to “serve a purpose long after your little one has dropped the night feeds.”

    Bearing all of these requirements in mind, the RAR rocker is an excellent choice.

    A development of the Eames DAR - the world’s first plastic, mass-produced chair designed for a 1948 competition to create low cost furniture – the RAR is a delight and has become a treasured piece of nursery furniture among thousands of our customers.

    The original DAR is known as the “Eiffel” chair because of the resemblance of its metal frame to the Paris landmark, but the RAR instead uses simple stainless steel and maple rockers. This unexpected touch brings a playful edge to a chair that already oozes joyousness thanks to its use of bright, bold plastics.

    Importantly, it’s very comfortable for children – and for adults. The ergonomically-moulded shell has a high, flexible back and a deep seat pocket that means you can use it comfortably for hours at a time, rocking or just sitting.

    Will it match your nursery? It is available in no less than 22 different finishes, so we can answer firmly in the affirmative. Will it match your budget? At just £59, we think that we can definitely say “yes” to that question, too.

    Finally, will your kids love it? Well, ours certainly do.

  • From cafe seat to utilitarian chic

    A very few designs move beyond their original, practical purpose and take on a universal appeal that means they work in almost any setting. The Converse trainer is one. Almost no-one uses them to play serious basketball any more but instead wear them in almost any other situation, from hanging around on the beach to adding an unexpected twist to a formal suit.

    The Tolix chair inspired by Xavier Pauchard is surely another. Mass-produced for French bistros, its beautiful ubiquity means that it now looks equally at home as garden furniture or in your dining room (or any other room of the house or office) as colourful, comfortable seating.

    The seeds of the chair were first sown in 1907 when Pauchard discovered that, by dipping steel in zinc, he could galvanise it and protect the metal from rust. Soon, a factory was successfully producing a wide range of steel household items under the Tolix brand.

    It was in 1934 that the chair first appeared, complete with drainage holes for outdoor use. However, the design was fine tuned over many years, most notably to allow café owners to stack them up to 25 units high, and the final, iconic design arrived in 1956.

    For many years, the chair was treated very much as a utilitarian item, often given away by French breweries to businesses that agreed to stock their beer but it gradually took on the mantle of a design icon. Today, the Tolix chair is recognised by design museums across the world, incuding MoMA in New York, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Vitra design collection in Weil am Rhein in Germany.

    Pash’s high quality reproduction chair is available in a wide range of colours - black, blue, green, grey, orange, red, sage green, white and yellow. Personally, we like to mix them up in neutral settings, creating a vibrant splash of colour. But however and wherever you use it, the Tolix always adds charm and vitality.

  • The perfect furniture for the perfect meal

    A good meal is not just about food but many other elements, an essential one of which is your surroundings. And that includes the table and chairs at which you sit.

    At Pash, we believe that good furniture design enhances everyday life – and that this is as true in the dining room as anywhere else in the home. That is why we offer a carefully chosen selection of iconic designs from the minimalist to the playful.

    A recent addition to our range is a French bistro staple, the Tolix chair inspired by Xavier Pauchard. Dating back as far as 1934, this was designed to be a hardwearing seating for cafes and bistros. We love its vibrant colours and utilitarian chic.

    Another everyday classic is the Eames DAR chair, the world’s first mass-produced plastic chair from 1948. This makes excellent dining seating and is available in a wide range of variations and finishes, including a beautiful, new walnut DSW version.

    Perhaps the most striking beautiful of all our dining chairs is the Eero Saarinen Tulip. Somehow both Space Age and essentially organic, it is among the most instantly recognisable of 20th century design icons and make a striking design statement.

    Of course, the Tulip table is the ideal companion to the Tulip chairs and is available in different sizes as well as with one of this season’s must-have features – a marble top.

    Our other table choices include the beautifully simple LC10 table, inspired by Le Corbusier and part of his iconic 1928 furniture range. Just a rectangular glass sheet over a polished stainless steel frame, it adds a sheen of elegant simplicity to any dining room.

    If you select any of these designs for your dining room, we’re confident that you’ll be helping to create surroundings in which a meal is not just food but an event.

  • Let there be lights

    The right lighting can really make a room shine. That’s why, at Pash, we offer a small but carefully chosen range of some of the finest modern lighting designs.

    Probably the most popular is the iconic Arco floor lamp from 1962. Its inspiration is clear - designer Achille Castiglioni took the outline of a street lamp, realising that the way in which a road or footpath was illuminated would also work in the home or office.

    So the Arco provides overhead light without the need for any kind of fixtures or mountings and has a very small footprint, making it ideal for many different kinds of spaces. Sleek, cool and minimalist, it is one of our recommendations.

    At the other extreme of modern design is the exuberant Artichoke lamp, created by Poul Henningsen in 1958. Made from copper or white painted steel in three sizes, it forms an eye-catching centerpiece for any room.

    What is not perhaps less obvious from looking at pictures of the Artichoke is the degree to which it works brilliantly as a light source. The brightness of the bulb is defused and deflected by each “leaf” creating soft but highly usable illumination. Very clever.

    Finally, lighting is not just about brilliant design but exceptional bulbs. At Pash, we stock Plumen, the creators of the world’s first designer low energy light bulbs. Their 001 bulb is included in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Collection and the Design Museum in Helsinki. Quite a list!

  • The Poet of the sofa

    At Pash, 2016 is going to be something of the Year of the Sofa. Alongside our established and popular favourites, we’ve recently extended our range with new designs named after some of the world’s most stylish and famous cities.

    Many of these are Scandinavian and we urge you have a look at our Stockholm, Malmo, Helsinki, Oslo and Aarhus sofas and chairs, which just ooze minimalist chic.

    However, in among these products is something much more idiosyncratic from the same part of the world. The Poet sofa by Finn Juhl is like no other seating design we know. It is upright but also enveloping, modern and stylish but also organic. We love it.
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  • At head of the herd for Christmas

    In the Pash catalogue, there are many pieces that make excellent Christmas gifts but one in particular always makes us smile. The Eames elephant is one of a family of animals including frogs, seals and bears, designed by Charles and Ray Eames in the 1940s, that are sort-of-stools and sort-of-toys and sort-of-decorations, too.

    Originally made in moulded plywood, the elephant proved too difficult to mass produce until a limited edition was created a few years ago. It generated so much interest that it was soon followed by colourful, hardwearing polypropylene versions like ours, suitable for both indoor or outdoor use. Pash’s version is available in vibrant hues of blue, green, pink, red, black and white.

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  • Getting wired with Harry Bertoia

    Take a good look at Harry Bertoia’s Diamond chair. You’d probably say it was made of wire but Harry had a different take. "If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them,” he said.

    Harry is not among the most well-known of the designers whose products we sell at Pash and his name is not revered like Eames or Knoll but he is still one of our favourites and worked with both these husband and wife teams.

    The Diamond chair was actually created while he worked for Hans and Florence Knoll. Harry had arrived in America from his native Italy in 1930 at the age of 15, literally starting out with nothing. However, Continue reading

  • The World of Eames comes to London

    Classic Eames designs such as the DSW Eiffel chair and Lounge Chair are among the most popular that we offer at Pash – so we are very excited about the launch of a new exhibition in London.

    The World of Charles and Ray Eames runs from 21 October 2015-14 February 2016 at The Barbican and is the largest Eames retrospective yet seen in the UK and among the biggest staged anywhere.

    Charles and Ray Eames weren’t just among the most influential designers of the 20th century, they also experimented with photography, film, architecture and exhibitions. The show features personal letters, photographs, drawings and artwork, products, models, multimedia installations and furniture - including some very familiar and well-loved designs.

    The narrative reveals that, among modernist designers, the Eames became renowned for their eclecticism. They weren’t all about clean and rigid lines. Instead, as can be seen in the designs that we offer at Pash, they embraced a kind of optimism and warmth, with a preference for bright fabrics and a disregard for conventional ideas about taste. British architect Peter Smithson summed it up like this: “They made it respectable to like pretty things.”

    But, most exciting to us, is the way in which the exhibition brings the creative approach of the Eames to life. There is a playful spirit that really comes across alongside a dedication to doing good work. As Charles Eames used to tell his staff: “Take your pleasure seriously.”

    Perhaps the best illustration of this is a replica of something that Charles and Ray built for their own home. Called the Music Tower, it is a kind of gravity powered xylophone. Drop a ball bearing in the top and you get a tune. It’s enormous fun but also beautifully designed. We don’t yet stock them at Pash but when we can source a supplier, we’ll be sure to let you know.

  • The living link to mid-century design

    Florence Knoll is unusual among the designers of mid-century modern furniture that we love at Pash for the very simple reason that she is still alive. Aged 98, she forms a living link to a golden age of design.

    At school, she developed a passion for architecture and befriended Eero Saarinen, who would himself become a designer of note through the beautifully organic Tulip table and chairs, reproductions of which are sold by Pash.

    Florence also studied under Mies Van der Rohe, whose stunning Barcelona chair is another modernist design classic that is also part of the Pash range.

    However, her break came in 1943 when she moved to New York and met future husband Hans Knoll, who was just starting his own furniture business. The partnership was complimentary – Florence provided the designs and Hans the business acumen – and international success soon followed.

    At the heart of the company was the Knoll Planning Unit, essentially a designers’ brain trust that sought to redefine the interior of corporate offices, creating light and cleanly planned spaces for clients including CBS, General Motors and IBM. As part of these holistically planned interiors, Florence designed a range of furniture – The Knoll Collection – that has become universally acknowledged as modernist classics.

    Florence’s approach to furniture was that it should be highly restrained yet perfectly proportioned and made from high quality materials. This philosophy means that pieces such as Pash’s Knoll sofa and chair have an inherent rightness that mean they look superb in any environment, whether placed in your office or home.

    Many Knoll interiors used bright splashes of primary colour and, at Pash, we especially like to see her furniture used in these types of interior. The contrast between Florence’s reserved and correct designs and a bright red or yellow wall seems to work especially well.

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