Friday, February 26, 2010

Meet our Celebrity Judges

With three of the five finalists of the Smart Space Design Contest chosen, announced today the panel of guest judges who will select the $2500 Smart Space Design Contest Grand Prize Winner. The guest judging panel consists of design experts and celebrities from within the design world. The guest judges include: Jason Chen, editor and writer at Gizmodo, one of the web's most prominent blogs covering electronics, technology and industrial design. Known as The "Gadget Guide", Gizmodo offers a tech-hungry audience valuable insights and commentary on new products, from the latest video game to the latest-greatest back-scratcher. As a contributor at Gizmodo, Jason is at the forefront of the convergence between electronics and design. Lisa Hubbs, an executive at Herman Miller® for the Home, co-sponsor of the Smart Space Design Contest. Dozens of Herman Miller products are featured in the Smart Designer, including design icons like the Eames Lounge Chair, Noguchi Table, and Nelson Marshmallow Sofa. Herman Miller produces prizes awarded to each Finalist, including their choice of the Herman Miller Aeron®, Embody®, Mirra® or Setu™ chair. Jaime Derringer, operator of Design Milk, a design-oriented blog that keeps tabs on trends in modern decor, interior design, architecture, furniture, and consumer goods. While she keeps a close eye on major movements and achievements in the design world, she also enjoys telling the world about her favorite newly-discovered everyday items, be it salt-and pepper-shakers or garden tools. She also helps run Bakery, a business incubator that helps get startup companies on their feet. Eames Demetrios, a writer, artist, and principal at the Eames Office, celebrates the legacy of Charles and Ray Eames, as grandparents. Eames educates the public on Charles and Ray Eames’ impact on the world of design through various mediums, including exhibits, photography, and literature. Gifted with a vivid imagination, Eames is the author of Kymaerica and the Kcymaerxthaere, an alternate history of the world. The Smart Space Design Contest is open to everyone. Entrants must design an original space using’s Smart Designer. The Smart Designer is a revolutionary 3D space planning tool that allows designers to create customized spaces from scratch directly through their web browser. The last finalists in the contest will be chosen between March 1st and March 5th, and the Grand Prize Winner will be chosen the following week. More information is available at

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week Three Winner of the Smart Space Design Contest

Jeff is our week three winner of the Smart Space Design Contest. Check out his Home Studio B (music pad) below. Jeff chose the Herman Miller Embody chair for his prize. Stay tuned for our week four winner... and here he is. The winner himself... We still have TWO Herman Miller chairs to give away. Monday is the last day for week 4, but the screen shot with the most 'likes' and comments through facebook will also receive a chair. Happy Designing!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Week Two Winner of the Smart Space Design Contest

Joseph won an Embody Chair for being our week two Smart Space Design Contest winner! He chose to design The Garden Office for those who work from home. The office features three areas, desk, reading nook, and media center. The front wall consists of windows and doors letting in a lot of light and warmth. The natural cork flooring is contrasted with the modern functional furniture. Joseph also blogged about us here encouraging others to enter for a chance to win two more Herman Miller chairs, another Herman Miller chair through Facebook, and the finalist have a chance to win $2,500 to their smart space. Below are his screen shots of his designs. Enter to win your dream space, you have two more weeks left!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Week One Winner of the Smart Space Design Contest

Bryan won the first week of the Smart Space Design Contest. He designed a home office conversion for a high end video production suite. Walls are non parallel to reduce standing waves for audio. Walls and flooring enhance task based lighting, and muted color helps with client viewing. The Smart Furniture staff were pleased to announce him the first winner and to send him his free embody chair. Below are some screen shots of his room. Enter to win the contest here for a chance to win a Herman Miller chair weekly, and the finalist recieves $2,500 to their dream space. Bryan chose the Herman Miller Embody chair, which one will you choose?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Old vs. New

By: Anne Braly, Times Free Press Furniture trends change with the generations, so what do you do with your grandparents' treasures when they pass down to you? Antiques are not only valuable; they carry memories. But what if your taste runs more toward modern designs, such as straight lines versus fanciful details.

Incorporating the two can offer rooms a dynamic look, said Karen Liwanpo, creative director at Smart Furniture on the North Shore.

"The two really work well together," she said, provided there's some coordination between the two.

Joy Devlin, manager at Smart Furniture, explained that "modern" furniture appeared in the 1920s with the Art Deco movement. By the 1940s and 1950s, it became mainstream alongside traditional pieces. The designs remain popular and continue to be used by many of today's furniture designers.

And, Ms. Liwanpo added, the modern furnishings from the early and mid-20th century now are considered antiques of great value.

If you prefer furnishings with a modern edge, use your antique pieces as an accent. Or visa versa.

"Balance the two," Ms. Liwanpo said. "Don't just mash them together. It would look like a Bohemian dorm room."

The focus should be on unifying the elements.

"It's a good marriage of fashion and function that allows you to hang on to your roots but give your home a more modern look," Ms. Devlin said.

Here are their tips for fusing the two.

  • Match colors and textures. Put modern cushions on an old sofa using your accent colors. Or add throw pillows to highlight accents.
  • Try different arrangements. Move pieces around to create symmetry.
  • Strive for balance. If you have an older, traditional table, you can add a clear, polypropylene chair that will add no visual weight.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment. To try out the look, place a contemporary lamp on your heirloom table. Like it? This is a good place to begin outfitting your home or office with a new look.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Herman Miller's Blog Post on The Gifted Eye

We think of Charles Eames as a great designer but an exhibition that opened last night shows us another side to this talented man - that of photographer. Hosted by Smart Furniture in their Chattanooga, TN showroom a show of 100 photographs by Charles runs until March 4. It was a rather cold evening last night but over 200 design enthusiasts showed up to hear Eames Demetrios talk about Charles and Ray’s design philosophy and enjoy the images. Many of the shots, which cover not just Charles’ work but also his travels and life with Ray, had never been exhibited before. I’m going to see if I can get a slideshow together of at least 20 of the images to post here. But for the moment I can tantalize you with pics of the show before the guests arrived!

The Gifted Eye of Charles Eames: a portfolio of 100 images: a success

Last night, Smart Furniture studio hosted The Gifted Eye of Charles Eames, a traveling exhibition of Charles Eames’ personal photography, published by the Eames Office and commissioned by Herman Miller to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. We had a great turn out, many people showed up from Chattanooga and surrounding areas, even some from outside Tennessee. We were honored to have Herman Miller's Senior Retail Sales Manager, Lisa Hubbs fly down for the event as well. We started the evening off with a question and answer session with Eames and Smart Furniture's Director of Special Accounts, Karen Liwanpo. We live streamed the interview, as well as documented it on video. We will be blogging that soon. The event opened up with wine and hors d'oeuvres, art, and good times. Eames shared a slide show presentation of art by his grandfather, Charles, and shared a few fond memories of his grandparents. Thanks to Eames Demetrios, Charles Eames' gifted eye, Smart Furniture, Greenlife, and all who came out. We had a great time!