Mid-Century Modern Furniture Then and Now - Paradigm Gallery Blog

Archive for August, 2008

The Battle With Knoll

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On August 28th
Knoll Barcelona Chairs

Knoll Barcelona Chairs

Once when I was in business school, a professor told me, “you’re not really doing anything in business until you get your first lawsuit.” I thought to myself, “come on, why would I want that?”. Well, our little company is facing one of our biggest challenges in our 4 year existence.

This battle goes back to the age old battle of reproduction vs. originally licensed classic debate. I rather not get into the ethics or morality of Paradigm Gallery providing modern classic reproductions, but designs have entered the public domain, and our customers deserve options. You can purchase an original Barcelona Chair from Knoll at nearly $4k, or you can have the OPTION of buying from us for a quarter of that price. It’s about options. That’s why Paradigm Gallery exists and our purpose.

We never mislead customers…EVER! We make it very clear that we DO NOT provide originals through our product descriptions, and even more vehemently through our customer care team. We also do not bad mouth originals, talk about how overpriced they are, nor do we ever talk foul about any competitor in the market. In fact, we sometimes refer potential customers to our competitors if they provide a better price or availability. Again, we care about profits, but we feel that treating a customer properly is paramount and everything else will fall in place.

Our Barcelona Chair reproduction, called the Pavillion Chair, is under attack by Knoll. Knoll wants us to stop selling this reproduction, among a couple of other of Knoll’s original designs. This is a tough challenge for us. In fact, go to our Pavillion Chair page and you’ll see that we actually promote the original from Knoll through their dealer, Design Within Reach. Again, we provide options for you. That’s our goal.

We respect Knoll and in all our marketing of our reproduction vs. their original, we’ve always given them the proper respect.

Where do you stand on this issue? What do you think? Give us your opinions, support, criticism, anything.

Lite Literary Review: Le Corbusier Le Grand

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On August 17th
20 Pounds of Awesome

20 Pounds of Awesome

Foremost, this is an absolutely huge book + an accompanying book. While not the sheer size of 90lb Super Bowl commemorative book, the “Le Corbusier Le Grand” weighs in at 20lbs, so make sure you’re coffee tables are prepared.

It’s not a biography, rather, a collection of Corbusier’s sketches, writings, personal photos (good and bad), architecture, and more. The accompanying book is a translation of Le Corbusier’s French letters and demonstrate insight into Le Corbusier’s personal life. While that’s a definite plus, the true joy is in the 600+ pages of photographs. You get to see all the Corbusier’s classics like the LC4, LC7, LC2, and other modern furniture classics. Not to mention all the blueprints and designs…

This is a great book to have. It’s the complete package with a perfect blend of design, passion, personality, and life. No longer will you look at eat at your LC6 Dining Table again and just consider it a piece of furniture. To get the background, get into the mind of the designer, and experience it, that’s the true genius of “Le Corbusier Le Grand”.

9000 and going.

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On August 12th

Over the weekend, we hit our 9,000th customer. This is absolutely amazing. We’ve been working so hard on our new Fall items that we completely lost track of the huge milestones forthcoming.

So we did a little Happy Hour yesterday but now it’s on to bigger and better things. Coming up on the 10,000th order, we have a special surprise for that lucky customer. Details unveiled soon.

Spice Up Your Space for Fall

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On August 4th
Autumn in NYC - We really miss the giant fortune cookie at Tao.Fall in NYC – Yum, we miss the giant fortune cookie @ Tao.

While it’s still scorching in many parts of the US, fall is slowly creeping up on us. With seasonal changes, we see heavy changes in fashion, music, mood, and schedule. So, as days grow shorter, some interior design adjustments could also add spice to your space.

Here are some quick things you can do get your home “Fall Ready”:

  1. Splash of Color – orange, browns, and reds are seasonal favorites. If you’re committed to wall colors, use accent colors with pillows, vases, window treatments, and minor accessories.
  2. Give Your Sofa New Friends – new throw pillows in bold and daring colors work very well this fall.
  3. Candles – there are tons of scents that create a “fall feel”; including cinnamon and piney scents. Don’t go overboard though, minimal is a key word.
  4. Put it in Rotation – are you tired of seeing your furniture in the same places? Move ‘em around. Great exercise too…
  5. Pay Attention to Entry Ways – while having the heat on when walking into your home is always great, warm up the décor as well. Plush rugs, paintings, art, and warm colored furniture pieces pack a punch.

Smyth Hotel – Countdown Begins…Opened 08…

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On August 1st
Smyth Hotel - newest addition to NYC Financial District

Smyth Hotel - newest addition to NYC Financial District

We’ve done a ton of commercial projects over the last couple of years, including lobbies, lounges, clubs, etc. But, the behemoth project of ours is the Smyth Hotel in New York City. 65 rooms of the Smyth Hotel will contain our new and improved Womb Chair, which we will reintroduce early Fall.

The new Womb Chair will come in wool, microfiber, and leather. We listened to you guys and made the following upgrades:

  1. Increased upholstery thickness on the wool – the new wool will be 5x the thickness as our original chair.
  2. New support system – we’ve designed a stainless steel cross bar spanning the width of the chair for added support and durability.
  3. Nylon articulating feet – perfect for leveling out uneven surfaces and protecting your precious floors.
  4. New cushion structure – cushions affixed in place via snaps to prevent sliding.

If you’re interested in the new Womb Chair, make sure to send us an email to womb@pgmod.com and we’ll add you on the list for the exclusive launch.

Now, back to the Smyth Hotel. Here’s a NY Post article on the Smyth Hotel:


Smyth Interior

Smyth Interior

Hotelier Jason Pomeranc is bringing one of his cutting-edge hotels to the border of the Financial District.

And this time he’s adding residential units to the mix. The owner of the Thompson hotel in SoHo, who also runs other celebrity-friendly places including the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, is about to begin construction of the Smyth hotel at 85 West Broadway at Chambers Street.

The 100-room hotel, with interior design by Richardson Sidecki, will open in winter 2008 and will include 15 one- and two-bedroom residential apartments priced between $1 million and $5 million.

Beginning in March, the condominiums on the top floors of the 14-story building will be available for purchase through real estate firm Stribling & Associates. Pomeranc stresses the residences are not condo/hotel condos, which are eligible to be placed into a hotel pool and rented out when the owners are out of town. “This is going to be an individual’s home or second home that will have more of a degree of privacy,” he says. “This way buyers can create their own style with their own furniture while having all the advantages of a hotel, such as room service and maid service.”

The hotel will feature a gym, spa services and a multi-level restaurant with a lounge and cellar bar. Pomeranc says he wants the restaurant to have a neighborhood feel “not necessarily the same but in the style of what the Odeon was in its heyday.”

There will also be a public rooftop bar, while residence owners will have communal rooftop space.

Other hotels in the works for Pomeranc’s group include the 6 Columbus that’s still under construction across from the Time Warner Center, as well as properties on the Lower East Side.