A Game of Furniture Spotting

If you are interested in twentieth century furniture, you may well share the rather annoying habit I have of “furniture spotting” while watching films. Feeling the need to mention product names, who designed them, the year of manufacture is I am sure rather tedious for anyone wanting to concentrate on the film’s plot and I am trying to curb the habit but I thought you may like to do a little furniture spotting in  bica do sapato restaurant in Lisbon, described in the Lonely Planet as a “uberhip dockside restaurant part owned by John Malkovich.

The pink upholstered Warren Platner wire chair (1966) provides a perfect punch amongst the more sober Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs (1955).

The terrace chair, Joe Colombo ‘s iconic Sedia 4867 designed in 1968. The first industrially produced plastic chair made from a single mold. Practical and comfortable but also semi- formal in black next to the crisp white linen.

A twentieth century enthiast couldn’t complete the interior without some Mies Van der Rohe in the project (above). The Barcelona stools (1929) give the area a certain lived-in cache.

Look carefully above and you will spot Eero Saarinen ‘s tulip chairs (1955) creating a smooth, sleek modernism to the dining room (chairs which of course appeared in the 1955 Star Trek TV series). And as this is primarily a blog about colour, you will notice the designer has chosen the traditional Japanese four colour palette which dates back to the eighth century. Bright vermillion red, pure white, jet black and sky blue used together represent the “perfect” palette in Japanese culture. A good choice as the restaurant is famed for its sushi.

Well I’m afraid I had to concede defeat with the last piece of furniture I spotted. The lounger (below) was commissioned specially for the restaurant – a brilliant combination of an old army bed and clear plastic upholstery stuffed with hay, genius.

By the way, the food was good too…….

Lisbon’s Light and Colours

For anyone who is even vaguely interested in colour and light  you really must visit Lisbon.  The clarity of the light is close to perfect helped of course by the  Atlantic Ocean and Tagus River reflecting light back on to this elegant city.

Old crumbling surfaces steeped in history, parched in the sun and beaten by strong salty winds present the most magical array of colours.



But in the same city, visit the Expo site built in 1998 and you will see squeaky clean shiny surfaces covering imaginative office buildings and pavilions.

And if this is not enough and interiors are more your thing, you will not be disappointed by the imaginative and often cutting edge designs gracing the city’s food havens – more about that in my next post….