Daily Archives: July 1, 2009

Shifting Gears – Bernhardt Shift Casegoods

Shift from Bernhardt Design designed by Lauren Rottet

Shift from Bernhardt Design designed by Lauren Rottet

In architecture school, we were drilled to appreciate the modern movement of mid-century design that sparked the “less is more” mentality and “decorating” with materials not fluff. I consider myself a modernist, but admittedly, I have a soft spot for ornamentation and the frilly stuff. This is probably why I changed majors but kept the minor in design. I can forgo the cheap thrills if the design is of quality and precise, warm and provocative, all without being austere. I think you will agree that the Shift collection designed by Lauren Rottet for Bernhardt Design meets this criteria.

The casegood furnishing line includes several pieces more apt for private corporate spaces, but my favorite piece from the collection is the freestanding cantilevered desk suitable for both offices, work and home. Available in either cherry, maple, anigre, or walnut, the natural wood veneer is laid in an intricate direction that provides some interesting detail on the work surface top. Combined with a brushed stainless steel base that provides the structural support, the desk effortlessly appears to float. In the world of architecture, surfaces, walls, ceilings, and floors are called planes. In this design, the planes appears to shift with each subtle intersection.

Veneer detail of Shift Cantilever Desk

Veneer detail of Shift Cantilever Desk

Detail of Shift's structural base

Detail of Shift's structural base

The designer of the collection is Lauren Rottet, an architect specializing in modern interiors. Her work for various corporate clients also extend well into the contract furnishing market with other designs for giants like Steelcase, Halcon, Decca, and Lees Carpet. She’s like a modern day Florence Knoll, creating timeless designs for today’s workplace. Her amazing portfolio of interior architecture is available at www.rottetstudio.com.

Furniture and design, such as this, does come with a hefty price tag. The cantilevered desk will run you approximately $7,000, but the investment is one that I believe to be comparable with art. I can imagine this desk in an executive suite with simple, elegant accessories, a sleek laptop computer that can easily be stored in the desk, a Bang Olufsen phone in the corner and a few strategically placed pens laid on the top.  Some day I’ll be so lucky to own this desk. It’s just a matter of shifting gears and making the money to do it. Wish me luck.

For more information about Shift and other furniture from Bernhardt, visit www.bernhardtdesign.com .

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Sweet Sticks – Room Diffusers

Sweet Water Aroma Sticks by Method

Sweet Water Aroma Sticks by Method

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” How many times did your mother tell you that as a kid? I always knew it was one big lie. Words hurt and at times can be sharp like a knife. I’m sure in today’s workplace, you have to deal with obnoxious, power hungry idiots who made their way up the corporate ladder and we are all left wondering how and why. I was reminded of this recently with the painful and stressful story of such an issue with a loved one and the designated nightmare of a manager. I detest individuals who believe in breaking down their team rather than building them up. I can’t offer words of advice on how to mitigate the situation (actually, I tried and it didn’t go over too well), but I can empathize and suggest that you create a calming environment for your office since you will most likely retreat to your desk in a fluster and try to regroup and compose yourself. Other than some light BGM (background music) that can help change your mood, you can also employ the use of relaxing scents in the office.

Unlike those of us with a home office and the freedom to light a wick, candles are typically forbidden in a corporate building due to city codes and zoning. You can still add some long-lasting scents to your area with plug-in fresheners, air sprays, and my favorite, room diffusers. An economical choice is one from Method, the eco-conscience and design savvy home care suppliers. Their Aroma Sticks not only provide a strong, ambient fragrance in your workspace, but also adds a great contemporary flair to your accessories. The white ceramic vase is a great accent piece for your desk with contrasting chocolate colored sticks that diffuse the oils. I especially like the Sweet Water scent for its simplistic and clean smell, suitable for a man or woman’s desk.

Method has several other aroma specific products that can be used for work. Pick a scent that’s not too overwhelming. Find something that will provide a sense of calm. Remember, take a deep breath and try to find alternate ways to release the stress for the day. Words do break us at times, but sweet sticks can help diffuse the pain.

Method’s products can be found at most major retailers. Visit their web site for their entire collection. The Aroma Sticks sell for $15 and can be ordered directly from the company. www.methodhome.com

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