Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beyond the Valley of the Ultramods

The further we get from the 20th Century, the more I'm starting to realize I'm no longer much of a Modernist.  I just don't think it's conducive to creating warm, pleasing environments.  Having said that, I can't deny that Nolen Niu out of Beverly Hills is doing some really stunning work.

Here's their "Divide" line, the chair and ottoman:

This was nice enough, but then I saw that the ottoman actually fits perfectly into the chair upside-down, which I thought was very sleek.  I don't suppose it has any other function that way, but certainly allows it to remain beautiful when saving floor space.  I think I like that heathery gray the best.

Here's the sofa in red:

I'm really not feeling this bright primary color, to be honest.  They show a lot of their pieces in colors even more blinding than that, too.  I think it's redundant on such a modern piece, and does the form of it a disservice.  For me, anyway, I think something as modern as this deserves a warm, earthy color, even upholstery with a big, striking floral pattern to make it more dynamic and interesting.  If your heart's set on red, I'd also like to see this with the recesses upholstered in a much lighter red, to play around with what the piece is doing with light and shadow.

The white one would probably stay clean in my apartment for a total of about 37 seconds:

Now, despite what I said about the harshness of the bright red, ironically, I think the black & white is so hot.  Personally, I'd ask for a blue so dark it almost looks like black at first glance, but the way it reveals only the thinnest, most tantalizing slivers of black is totally getting all my Minimalist juices flowing.

Here's the "XO" sofa.  Maybe I'm insane, but there's something almost obscene about this that I can't quite put my finger on:

The fact that it's pink probably isn't helping.  Nevertheless, the angular forms of this piece are so strong and powerful:

From every angle it causes the most amazing geometric relationships:

And this is their "Zero" chaise:

They show this also in red with black trim, which is a little bit too 1980s for my taste, but in all black it's just so simple and virginally pure I can't help but think this is perfect.  The base is mirrored chrome, which gives it the illusion of disappearing, as if the lounge is floating magically in mid-air:

The black & white is very successful also, though maybe not as pure:

I suspect the only way this could be more heavenly than the all black one is if your walls were pure white (which I couldn't handle, myself, I like color too much).

Nolen Niu

©2008, Ryan Witte

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