An Interview with....
Chairs And Skyscrapers
Being partial to the odd piece of mid century furniture in our home,
I was intrigued by some of the props used in the
photography for the Scion press launch
back in March. Today, I'm pleased to introduce
Chairs and Skyscrapers, set up by Rich and Elaine Harris
and run from their base in Leicester.
With a love for all beautifully designed pieces-
whether they have a 'label' or not, Rich and Elaine set out
to find the best furniture they can, 'from one of the most exciting
and ground breaking eras in the history of design.'
Through an admiration of some of the 20th Century's most
iconic names in both architecture and furniture design-
Juhl, Eames, Mies Van De Roher and Breuer,
the name company name was born.
These greats were designers... of chairs and skyscrapers...
T.D- Tell us a little about your background and what led you to set up Chairs and Skyscrapers.
C&S- 20+ years in IT, but I guess I was always a frustrated designer or architect! I got the chance to get out and took the plunge...
T.D- Where do you source your products and do you have a particular item that you're always drawn to?
C&S- Mostly the UK, although I do occasionally travel further afield and from anywhere really. My wife Elaine loves a good car boot, but we don't seem to get the time these days! I don't really have a particular item that I'm drawn to...although I do love chairs...at the moment I've got a thing for Folke Palsson J77 stick-backs.
T.D- Which mid-century designer do you love most and why?
C&S- Probably Finn Juhl-he turned joining bits of wood together into an art form!
T.D- Do you have a favourite period of Mid-Century design that stands out from the rest?
C&S- I guess the fifties is the decade. The idea of form and function, taking ideas from the pre-war Bauhaus and the idea of bringing design to the masses...exciting times. In realistic terms though, I like what I like and don't get too hung up about when or where it came from.
T.D- What has been the most popular theme or individual piece since you started trading?
C&S- That's a good question...and I'm not really sure I know the answer! I've had pieces that I could have sold ten times over, but there's been no real pattern. That's what I love about it...you never really know.
T.D- Which Mid-Century read do you think no home should be without?
C&S- We've got loads of books and Elaine fills the house with magazines, but I can't say I particularly have a favourite...it depends on my mood or what I'm doing at the time. I get influences from all over the place, but books are just one part.
T.D- Name 3 designers, past or present, who you'd like to invite back for dinner...
C&S- My house is a semi-building site at the moment, so dinner parties are definitely out...maybe we could go for a coffee! Finn Juhl for being Finn Juhl...and possibly Eric Lyons...I think that whole period of bringing modern design to the masses is quite interesting...I'd probably run out of things to say though! I'll have to think of a third guest...
T.D- What has been your biggest challenge?
C&S- Selling vintage furniture is about knowledge and to a certain degree, having an eye, but it's also about being in the right place at the right time...now that's a challenge!
T.D- What is your greatest passion or achievement in life and work?
C&S- As you get older, I think you look for the simpler things. I don't think I'm going to make that million, so I'll sell my furniture, play a bit of golf and try to see more of my family and friends. I'm not sure what order to put those in!
T.D- Give us just three words that your family and friends would say summed you up best!
C&S- I'm not sure...I guess it depends on who you're asking. One would definitely be indecisive...I think!
Thank you for the interview Chairs and Skyscrapers.