January 19, 2010
George Nelson designed this Michigan home for Hugh De Pree in 1946.
Who is Hugh? Hugh was a son of Herman Miller’s founder DJ De Pree and CEO of the company from 1962 to 1980. This was also the period in which charismatic designer George Nelson worked as Herman Miller’s creative director (1945 – 1972). Nelson was not only busy designing for the company – he also designed Hugh’s Zeeland, Michigan home. The 3,000 square foot house built for Hugh and his wife Ruth in 1946 (Hugh was vice president at the time). Nelson also designed the 1961 additions that included a sunken living room and interior courtyard.
A recent visit to the archives, which are an absolute treasure trove of material, found these images taken by an unknown photographer. The home is still standing and has changed hands out of the family since Hugh’s death in 2002. The current owners, Richard and Cheryl Van Oss, bought the house in June 2004 and spent a year renovating it. The Van Osses moved into the house in May 2005 adding vintage and new Herman Miller pieces – including a 1954 bedroom suite designed by George Nelson. They certainly have a great respect for the Nelson legacy and have documented their restoration of the house. For a wonderful insider’s tour click here. And for more on Nelson click here.
These photos are from the Herman Miller archives.
January 18, 2010
Treehugger is a great site for all things green. And they’ve got a particularly strong section on greening your home office. Probably the best part is their top 10 Green Work from Home Tips. The guides sit on their sister site Planet Green. You’ll find so much here – from a guide to green office chairs and ways to find green jobs to green tech tips and ideas on how to go paperless. It’s very inspiring – and very doable.
January 15, 2010
We’ve had a great response to Dave Cuzner‘s interview with artist Matte Stephens so I’ve decided to share the work Matte did for Herman Miller’s ‘See’ magazine. Unfortunately we no longer publish ‘See’ and the story, which was about the Pacific Northwest, that Matte illustrated never saw the light of day. We’re thrilled now to share the images with you.
January 15, 2010
Designer Nate Duval’s take on a 2010 calendar.
If you are still wondering which calendar is just right for your office let me confuse you with a few more choices! So many of us rely on our electronic calendars – and they are truly great tools (those reminders that spring up on my screen are brilliant). But there’s nothing quite like a beautifully designed calendar that you can hang on the wall. It acts as a piece of art as well as a functional office tool. I went to Etsy and found a slew of handmade calendars to suit all tastes.
A new addition to the ‘Keep Calm’ series – a single page calendar to pin on your bulletin board. It is printed on a Crane & Co. 100% cotton card and you can choose from a range of colors.
A lovely letterpress page-per-month calendar. Holes drilled in the top of each page let you hang it easily.
Another month-per-page calendar with handy notes section and a clean simple design.
This is a perpetual calendar and it arrives via email as a PDF. Designed by Patricia Zapata of A Little Hut.
Editor’s note: I owe a huge debt to Christine at Etsy. She did the Look on the Bright Side story for the Etsy Finds section that I culled for this post. Thanks Christine! Nice work.
January 14, 2010
Not all of us are tech savvy. I can get by but only just. I confess to using my mobile phone applications to find restaurants and play Hangman with my son. But for those of us working from home you can now – with relative ease – write your own ‘app’ and help promote your business. Riva Richmond’s piece in the Wall Street Journal outlines just how to go about creating the application. And it actually sounds easy…I’d love to know if anyone of you try it. I’m going to do one and I will keep you updated on its success!
Balance, Design, Products
January 14, 2010
Artist Matte Stephens has worked with a variety of clients such as IBM, Disney, Boston Globe and American Express. His paintings have graced the spaces of Jonathan Adler, Rare Device and Velocity Art and Design.
Matte lives and works in a beautiful mid-century modern home in the southwest corner of Portland, Oregon. His studio is warm and cozy, and filled with objects that tempt and tease the eye. I spoke to Matte about his inspiring workspace and it’s effect on his painting.
How long have you been working from home? Around 15 years. My first real space was a basement with no furniture and canvases on the floor. I’m very happy with the way it is now.
What do you like most about your workspace? I like that it is small. I have had a large workroom and it was hard for me to keep up with everything I need. Now I have everything within arms reach. I have really enjoyed the Eames Storage Units. I keep all of my art supplies in the one right of my desk and it really helps keep my room tidy and looks great. Organizing my workroom has always been a challenge. I work in a traditional medium, so there is a lot of stuff that goes along with it.
Looking around your studio it’s obvious you have a love for mid century design. How and when did you first become interested in the furniture of this time period? I was introduced by a librarian in my home town in Alabama when I was around 20. I had found a copy of The Herman Miller Collection published by Schiffer Books and I have loved everything mid century modern ever since. After that one of my first art dealer’s father was a Herman Miller representative during the 50′s 60′s and 70′s in northern Alabama. He had all sorts of mid century things in his home and office. He gave me my first Eames shell chair.
What are some of your favorite objects in your studio? I really love a pair of wooden eggs that I have that are attributed to Alexander Girard, two 1960′s elves that I have had for years that bring me luck, a few vintage Herman Miller ads signed by Irving Harper who has been very kind to me over the last few years with his time, advice and friendship. [Harper designed Herman Miller's logo]
Do you feel that your working environment has any influence over your painting? To me it’s the most important thing when working at home to have an inspiring workroom. I spend a lot of time in the room so I have tried to make it as inspiring and comfortable as possible. As you can see I love mid century design and I feel its one of my main influences. Being able to live with and work with good design makes everything more efficient and it’s just great stuff.
Editors note: There is more about Matte on Dave Cuzner’s blog – Grain Edit.
Balance, Design, Products
January 13, 2010
Patrick Conner, design manager at Fossil, lives near downtown Dallas in a duplex imbued with a distinctly mid-century modern aesthetic. The home he shares with his family is decorated with a strong mix of modern and vintage finds. His home office? Patrick has cleverly confined it to a single piece of furniture. “I have to be organized before I can get any work done! This red Chinese secretary serves as a great workstation. It closes completely up to hide my work. And looks great open too. I also love clocks- any kind of clock, especially Nelson clocks and vintage finds.” You can read a full interview and see the complete house in all its glory at Design*Sponge.
January 13, 2010
A large part of organizing a day is keeping track of the time. This screensaver by the clever people at 9031 harkens back to the cool digital clocks of the 70s. I found it on Nicole Balch‘s blog, Making it Lovely. I’ve invited Nicole to share the rest of her home office. Stay tuned for more…
Design, Products, Technology
January 12, 2010
For all you designers and would-be designers this is a great opportunity. Metropolis Magazine Next Generation design competition is all about today and tomorrow. They are “looking for ONE design fix you can make now… in the products you use, your home, your workplace, your city, or any commercial application—that, in scale or as inspiration, can improve our future.”
Sounds intriguing doesn’t it? We can’t wait to see the results. And if you want to be part of it you’ve got until January 29th to get your ‘fix’ in.
January 12, 2010
The other day Cerentha blogged about architect Roger Sherman’s home, and I was immediately taken with the contrast between polished concrete floors and birch walls. I’ve been thinking along the same—albeit far more crude—lines for our home office. We are hoping to finish the back A-frame wall of the garage in some sort of wood paneling, which would include doors to storage behind. We haven’t decided on material yet, and I’m sure budget will make the ultimate selection for us, but in the meantime, here are some spaces that inspire.
Residential space by architect Barbara Bestor.
Oxbow Wine Merchant, Napa Valley.
Home of Dan Martensen and Shannan Click via The Selby.