Knolls New Collection – 80th Anniversary

Period homes and mid-century furniture? To celebrate the release of Knoll’s New Collection for their 80th Anniversary, we browsed the brochure.  It demonstrates how you can make mid-century style furniture work perfectly in any period home.

This period home scene is distinctly unique. It has wonderful high ceilings, doors and windows. It’s also laced with period features throughout, such as the cornicing, door and window frames and beautiful shutters. Whilst it resembles a modernised Parisian 6th quarter apartment, the Italian made furniture designed over a century ago blends beautifully. In addition, Knoll’s trademark phrase ‘Modern Always’ is demonstrated and validated by the way it still creates a contemporary style in old surroundings.

Knoll New Collection - Florence Knoll

Choose Your Base Aesthetic

First of all, within a period home you have to pick certain features that act as key parts of the design. Try highlighting small elements. For example, decorative ceilings or panelling to evoke the periodic feeling is a great start. Then, choose a neutral base palette. Opt for strong whites and pale greys and soft stone colours. Most noteworthy, anything too yellow and dark will make it tip more towards the midcentury era (and this is where magnolia was the most prominent colour choice).

Accentuating or adding period features within the home (such as the panelling above the door) will add to the decorative elements and work in contrast with the sleek modern lines of the furniture. As per this example, the period features add elegance to the space. The curves of the Brno chair (designed in the late 1920’s!) add a feminine aspect to the space and are complemented by the impossibly thin marble topped Grasshopper table designed in 2017 by Piero Lissoni.

Knoll New Collection - Grasshopper Table


Period Home: Choose Your Furniture Palette

Next, chose your furniture palette. Above all, choose 3 main colours that work with each other. Either 3 shades of 1 colour, or 3 separate complimenting colours. Next chose your metal and one marble (you can have another accent material too).

If you chose fairly muted colours, you could chose one vibrant accent. Either a bright green chair, a red marble dining table or a blush pink sofa. Having the neutral base is essential to keeping the space looking clean and fresh. Like the example below, the styling added an electric blue fabric into the space which creates a strong look. Ideal for people who love to add pops of colour throughout their period home.

In addition to the blue sofa a soft tan leather on the re-released iconic Butterfly Chair adds another level of texture. The design of the butterfly chair is to create a piece that looks as light as it feels. A intricate structure with an additional sheet of fabric thrown over creates an elegant and simplistic form.


Knoll New Collection - Accent Colour Florence Knoll Sofa


Period Home: Bring It All Together With Key Pieces

Now you need to chose your key statement pieces. All of the designs from Knoll were created over the past century, but still remain timeless and modern. So don’t be scared to choose the ‘wrong thing’ as it’s essentially impossible to do. All the pieces in the images from this blog are a collection and example of how these designs integrate with any style home and with each other to create a gorgeous and calming aesthetic. Choosing your key pieces may be from personal taste or because you simply love a specific designer.

We adore the Eero Saarinen designs and love the Tulip chairs fully upholstered, as shown here. Combined with the Platner table and an impressive Flos pendant light this is a dream combo. Alongside it is the new Red Baron shelving unit designed by Piero Lissoni.  These contemporary pieces work beautifully – as though they are ‘floating’ – against the period backdrop.

Knoll New Collection - Saarinen, Platner & Piero Lissoni

Family Living

Finally, these collections have shaped family living in Carly’s home in Hampstead, London, UK.  Carly opens her home to share with clients how she combines the collections and chooses fabrics and finishes.  Ultimately it’s illustrating how the collection can grow over the years, encouraging sustainability.

Need help styling your home? Do get in touch, as we love to chat about design.  You can speak to NW3 Interiors here to get your interior design project started.

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