CLEO BALDON: A GOLDEN STATE OF MIND

American architect Cleo Baldon (1927-2014) was a pioneering figure in the worlds of furniture design, architecture, and landscape design. Baldon is recognized for bringing the concept of outdoor aspirational living to residences across Southern California. Her inspired furniture designs are at the top of collector’s lists, while her pool structures and outdoor living environments are still being admired today. Born in Leavenworth, Washington, Ms. Baldon came to Los Angeles to attend Woodbury University. She profoundly influenced California’s outdoor living and swimming pool culture and has been credited for famously introducing the lap pool concept to California back in 1970.

Cleo Baldon - Lounge Chair for Terra

Cleo Baldon Designed Over 3,000 Swimming Pools

Cleo Baldon established the Venice-based landscape design firm Galper-Baldon Associates, a landscape architectural firm responsible for creating stunning outdoor environments across Los Angeles. She was passionate about transforming bland yards and backyards into lush, inviting spaces. Her partner, Sid Galper was the horticulturalist in the design practice. Baldon claimed she didn’t understand plants – that was strictly Sid’s territory. Throughout Southern California, Baldon created more than 3,000 swimming pools and was granted a design patent on the contour spa with seating designed to provide maximum comfort underwater.

(Above) Extremely rare, iron and leather lounge chair, a hand-crafted studio piece from Baldon’s furniture company Terra, c.1960s. An excellent example of Baldon’s emphasis on quality construction hand-forged iron, leather and fir wood. Also known as the “saddle pack” chair with overstuffed armrests draping over the structural frame, referencing the designer’s inspiration from the American West. This design element is also seen in works by Sergio Rodrigues and Percival Lafer. Background fabric from Perennials – Far West collection in the Baja West pattern/Sol colorway.

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Arne Norell : Sumptuous Seating

Post-war designer Arne Norell, was born in Åsele, Sweden in 1917. In 1954, Norell opened a small furniture workshop in Stockholm and by 1958 he launched his eponymous manufacturing company, Møbel AB Arne Norell, still active today, with his work being carried on by his daughter and son-in-law. His company is set upon a two-acre farm in an idyllic countryside, which was the main source of inspiration for his work. Norell employed traditional materials, leather, turned and bentwood and metal in unexpected forms with a lyrical flair. His pieces are credited with an effortless casual character combined with all of the muted sophistication of Scandinavian modern design. Posthumously, in 1973, The British Furniture Manufacturers Association awarded Norell’s low-slung Ari Chair c.1966 – Showpiece of the Year.

Arne Norell Inca sofa

Norell’s Inca 2-seat sofa chair is a masterpiece of construction. The solid beech wood frame is held together by strong leather supports without glue or screws c.1960s.

Arne Norell Ari chair

The Ari chair received the most recognition for Norell. In black buffalo leather and brushed flat steel frame, this chair expresses his wonderful curvilinear style, c.1960s, still being manufactured today.

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Jorge Zalszupin | Utter Utopia

Polish born Jorge Zalszupin, b.1922 moved to Brazil after World War II. It was an extremely creative time to rebuild a post-war world and the atmosphere in Brazil allowed his sensual, modern approach to design and architecture to flourish. In 1959, Zalszupin started the furniture design firm L’Atelier, which saw immediate success. He became part of a select team of talented furniture designers who worked closely with Oscar Niemeyer on developing furniture pieces for the new federal capital. His work is characterized by both geometric lines and organic forms combined with impeccable woodworking and classical detailing. Jorge Zalszupin is known for his refined work in jacaranda and other Brazilian specialty woods such as rosewood and ironwood. L’Atelier’s designs stand as benchmarks of modernism today and Zalszupin is considered one of Brazil’s most important designers of the twentieth century.
Jorge Zalszupin chair

The Annette armchair is named after Zalszupin’s wife. This chair is comprised of a metal frame structure, a leather strap base and solid Imbuia wood carved arms. Originally designed in the 60s, there is now a re-edition of this stunning piece available.
Jorge Zalszupin table

Named after the Swallow bird, the Andorinha coffee table is inspired by origami paper folding art and contains an integrated magazine holder.

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RAYMOND LOEWY | A Charismatic Master of Design

Franco-American Raymond Loewy was the “starchitect” of his time, while not officially an architect, rather an industrial designer, Mr. Loewy was the first celebrity designer ever to grace the cover of Time magazine. He was the ultimate style guru, he rode a Harley-Davidson, hung out with jet setting beautiful people and owned houses in New York, Paris, St. Tropez and Palm Springs. Loewy is credited with launching the industrial design movement that changed the look of American life. In addition to his furniture and china pieces, he designed branding experiences for TWA, Lucky Strike, variations of the modern day Coca-Cola bottle and enduring logos for Shell, Exxon, Quaker and Canada Dry.

In 1963, Loewy designed an automobile, the Avanti  – a personal, luxury coupe, built by the Studebaker Corporation. The car was designed in Palm Springs, CA over a five week period, a feature unheard of in automotive design history. Loewy was concerned with fuel economy, stating that “weight is the enemy” in automotive design therefore the Avanti was designed without a grill, thinking
“who needs a grill… those are associated with sewers…” Raymond Loewy saw the modern world as a magical and interconnected series of phenomena, each in need of careful engineering, Avanti Raymond!
raymond-loewy-df-sideboard

An eye-catching double sided DF-2000 sideboard, c.1965, boasts four bold colored plastic doors ranging from red, pink to orange, with a lemon yellow interior. The metal base is powder coated metal coordinated with the laminate body of the cabinet.

This Droptop desk c. 1950s expresses itself in functional simplicity. The exterior is constructed of cerused wood, the interior a lacquered robin’s egg blue with iron legs and handles. This piece perfectly showcases Loewy’s mantra that simple can still be stylish.

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Michel Boyer | Luxe 70s Comfort

Interior architect and designer Michel Boyer, studied under renowned decorator, André Arbus and began his career specializing in office furniture in corporate interiors, offices and banks. He is known for his clean sleek shapes and monoblock designs with a luxurious undertone. Boyer played with solids and voids in familiar geometric shapes and established a certain standard of 1970s style. By the end of the 1960s, Boyer began receiving many private commissions for prestigious clients such as Elie de Rothschild, Lilian Betencourt and Karim Aga Khan. One of his most well known commissions was for the interior architecture of the Rothschild Bank in the 70s. He also worked with fashion desighers including Lanvin, Dior and Balmain. His designs emanate the inviting comfort of objects and interiors made for people not for buildings.
Michel Boyer loung chairs

A striking pair of lounge chairs, linear tubes of foam covered in leather lie on top of an extruded metal tubing structure, c. 1971.
Michel Boyer waterfall desk

An important waterfall desk created by Boyer for the Rothschild Bank. This “Directors” desk in constructed of hardwood, covered with walnut veneer, lacquered Formica, aluminum and a brushed stainless steel reveal running the entire length of the piece, c. 1970.

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