best-MADE modern furniture? looking for chaise

mahatmacat1September 7, 2005

We're looking for a chaise for the bedroom, and then later for LR furniture (next year :)). I love modern design, but I'm wondering what modern furniture company/designer/whatever makes the best *made* furniture. I don't want to get something that looks fabulous and falls apart in a year, iykwim...I looked at West Elm last night and I liked the squarish chaise--it's very comfortable and versatile--but I'm leery of it because there's no description of the construction beyond "hardwood frame, foam" and I don't know what supports the foam...

So any leads on the toughest best built modern furniture (that doesn't look too commercial) would be most appreciated.

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mahatmacat1

I just found the modernaddict.com forums and there is a thread on quality of modern design sofas. Not exactly chaises, but pretty close.

Here is a link that might be useful: lots of good ideas here

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 2:42PM
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lynnski

Hi, FlyLeft. I'm curious to see what responses you get from the real furniture mavens who post here. I've just begun looking, and it seems to me so far that the better manufacturers all have some pieces that could be considered modern, contemporary, or perhaps neutral in a lovely way.

I aspire to a legacy couch, like my late grandmother's that is still stylish and comfortable after more than 60 years. So I don't want cutting edge modern, but I do want simple lines and a strong architectural/sculptural presence. Often termed "modern" or "contemporary." Baker has some VERY nice sofas along these lines, as does Hickory Chair. Design Within Reach has lots of good stuff, but the sofas are all too sharp-looking for me.

Another key question is whether leather? I'm seeking upholstery, but leather seems to be very much of the moment, particularly in the modern mode. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 2:59PM
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mahatmacat1

I sat in the DWR sofas, and only the most expensive one was comfortable for me...of course...well, actually one of the least expensive ones was also comfortable, but we need leather or microsuede, so our cats will have less chance of scratching it. Actually, I'm going only on their experience with leather, which they don't scratch. I don't know for sure whether microsuede would be similarly uninteresting.

I'll look at Baker and Hickory Chair as well. What make is your grandmother's?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 1:08AM
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Jill_77

Fly, West Elm is about one small step above Ikea upholstery in quality--it looks good, and is great for your first apt or short-term use, but not for the long haul. Baker and Hickory are very good, but expect to spend $4K and up for a sofa. Mitchell Gold makes decent (but not legacy) quality items at a decent price....many of Pottery Barn and Crate&Barrel's sofas are made by them. There are a lot of really high-quality Italian sofas, like Cassina, but super pricey.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 4:19PM
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mes444

They come in leather as well as the vinyl shown in the pic. We have the leather.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 7:35PM
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mahatmacat1

Jill, I figured West Elm wouldn't be the place to get anything at this stage of our lives-- not that we're floating in money, but I'm definitely pickier than I was at 25 :) -- Baker and Hickory make modern pieces? I'll look at them. I do love the classics but I'm not getting an Eames chaise for our bedroom--I insist on comfort as well as looks :) (bad modernist!)

mes444, that looks SO comfortable to my aching bones (exercised for the first time yesterday, spent much of evening in ER standing and stressing with DH who cut his finger--I'm just a ball of muscle knots today!)--but I think I want something that will also allow me to curl up with a book. But maybe I'll go test out that chair today just to see :)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 12:30PM
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mahatmacat1

I apologize for completely forgetting that Lynnski mentioned Baker already! I'm so beat.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 12:33PM
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lynnski

I liked quite a few clean-lined sofas in both the Baker and Hickory Chair lines. But I don't think I'm prepared to spend 4K+. And yes, that does seem to be the bottom of their ranges. Egads. Now I'm looking at a couple of nice pieces made by Century/Destinations and Vanguard/Michael Weiss. They look good, are reputed to be well-made, and I could spend closer to 3K.

I think it really might be the case that NO ONE makes sofas like Gramma's any more. The market isn't there, as folks don't want to live with the same look for their whole lives. I think Gramma had hers custom made through one of those great old NYC department stores that no longer exist. She may have been exaggerating, but I think she told me hers cost $5K when she bought it around 1940. Imagine!

Gramma passed away peacefully last month at the age of 87, and I'm gonna buy a sofa in her memory. But to buy a sofa like she did way back then would probably cost me a year's salary. Not gonna happen. I don't have the kind of nerve that grand old woman did! She knew what she wanted, and by golly she got it and held onto in. Her old sofa is still going strong--she had it recovered just once, in the same garnet-colored velvet. One of my favorite lines about her sofa was when she'd hollar at us not to be d%#m careful about our possessions. She'd point to her glamorous old sofa and exclaim,

"It's been peed on by experts!"

She was a firecracker, my old gramma.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 3:09PM
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dogitnice

I am looking for contemporary 20th century classic. The best construction seems to come from Italy. Cassina was already mentioned. You might try Herman Miller and Knoll. I do not know if there are online sites where you could buy at a discount.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 9:06PM
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mahatmacat1

Cassina...WOW. Just looked it up. OH well.

I'm currently lusting after a Womb chair. Sat in one at DWR a couple of weeks ago and it's one of the few modern icons that really feels as wonderful as it looks. I can't find it online anywhere copied or discounted. There are some discount knockoff sites, but that chair feels *so* good I am putting it on my immediate-buy list if I ever see a real one at a decent price. One might argue that now is the lowest they'll be in the future, but I'm afraid I'll still have to put it off at these prices compared to our pocketbook.

Unless someone here is tired of theirs and is interested in having me take it off their hands...:)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 3:33PM
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avspatti

Room and Board has modern furniture that is comfortable. It is in the medium range for price, I believe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Room and Board

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 10:23PM
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trose1

I bought a light in color cloth couch five years ago and it still looks great. My family and I are very hard on a couch. The name of the company that made it is J Raymond or Norwalk. My grandfather used to make furniture in his furniture shop. So, I am picky about furniture products. Since furniture company's went over seas the quality is not airloom. Is is not who makes the furniture, but simply that the furniture is not well made. I bought an Ashley table and chairs after the first place setting it had scratches all over it. I refuse to put a table cloth on it. I had a table that I sold because of a move. It was one of Ashley first peices before the company started mass production and it was very well made. You could eat off of it with sledge hammers and it would not scratch. I wish I still had it. I hope this will help.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 12:03PM
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suero

Stickley, the Heritage part of Drexel Heritage, Roche Bobois -Maurice Villency.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 11:01PM
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