After over 60 years in the industry, Vladimir Kagan serves as a reminder that good design has no expiration date, and that creativity and imagination are not hampered by age. Plus, I really love cute, old men:
At 82 years old, Kagan could easily rest on his laurels after achieving top dog status as one of the 20th century’s most influential furniture designers, yet he still continues to work, tweaking his classics line, producing carpets, and creating fresh, new icons of design. Kagan started designing in the 1940′s and by the 50′s his work was as readily recognizable as it is today.
No student of mid century design could possibly be unaware of Kagan’s iconic pieces, and the ones above are so sought after that they’re still in production. Kagan’s Unicorn base range, his biomorphic walnut coffee table, and his organic, sculptured wood pieces are so classic that they can easily exist as statement pieces, or blend seamlessly into a mix of styles.
Of course, I love the mostest some of the oddities he produced that are a little less ubiquitous, especially his hubba hubba 70′s designs:
A quick search on 1st Dibs yields a treasure trove of deliciousness, including a lounge chair I would give a tooth for, but these babies ain’t cheap and I don’t think my lowly tooth is worth that much $$$: 1) Lounge chair and ottoman – $6500. 2) Dining set – $37,500. 3) Burl and lucite coffee table – so expensive the dealer won’t even list the price on 1st Dibs… 4) Pair of lucite and lamb chairs – $3800. Ebay, anyone?
Also, you have no idea how much I want this.
I generally think of Kagan’s work as sleek and spare (but with a touch of whimsy), so when I came across a house tour of his personal pad, I was surprised at how warm and inviting it is. And human — I love the dust underneath a Kagan-designed red chair with chrome base. I think a lot of the eclecticism may come from his wife, who is needlepoint doyenne Erica Wilson:
Between her sense of pattern, texture and color, and his sense of form, they’ve created a unique home that reflects over 40 years of collecting and living in the same space.
Of course their house includes many of Kagan’s signature pieces, including a lucite base sectional, his iconic rocker, a chrome base table and a multitude of sculpted walnut tables and chairs, but it’s no minimalist parking lot for modern furniture.
The magic is in the mix.
And did I mention the color?
How sweet is a guy who will let his wife put a hot pink chaise in their bedroom? (Ok, ok, he did design it himself…)
I really admire the sense of humility in their home; with Kagan’s success, they could easily afford to have a brand new, enormous mansion filled with all the latest and greatest.
But you know, I think they just really like their own stuff.
I am so overcome with cuteness — cute people, cute life, cute home — that I just can’t think of anything snarky to say. Hmmm, maybe I’m coming down with the flu, too? Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be back to my usual nastiness next week, but until then I wish you unicorns, puppies and rainbows!