Matt Manes has a good eye. When the executive vice president at M2L spotted seating by Finnish furniture maker Inno at ICCF a couple of years ago, he introduced himself to the CEO of the company. Then he followed up with a factory visit in Helsinki. Now M2L is introducing Inno’s line of seating and tables to the U.S. markets.
“I thought it really had a fresh look to it – a new look that you don’t see in the marketplace here,” he says. “And they’re always coming out with new products.”
Design genius Harvey Probber's modernist furniture designs don't merely look like hight-priced fixtures from the set of Mad Men – They're also back in high style and have been reintroduced in DC by M2L.
M2L acquired the rights to a selection of pieces by Brooklyn native and sectional sofa inventor Harvey Probber, including a 1960 Architectural Series boxy walnut chair, seen here.
Deep Tuft by Harve Probber; $4500 per module at M2L
Inducting Harvey Probber into its smartly curated collection of branded greats. M2L is reissuing a number of his better know pieces.
Here in a peroid photo with the dapper young designer, and the Deep Tuft sofa from 1972.
Wow Marble print screen by Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman for Cerruti Baleri; m2l.com
M2L Inc. Based on a well-know design by Swiss Architect/designer duo Trix and Robert Haussman the Haussmann 310 armchair offers button-tufted upholstery; tubular, steel legs; and a base available in polished steel, bronze coating or black chrome.
Swiss design team Trix and Robert Haussmann first created this modernist club chair, meant as reinterpretation of the traditional Chesterfield, for Walter Knoll in 1962, but it still fells cutting-edge today. Find the recently reissued piece at M2L. Boston
A novel idea won Harvey Probber his seat in the modernist pantheon.
Sink Into An Iconic Sofa
IF THE FLAT ROOFED house revolutionized architecture, the sectional sofa did the same for seating. And, according to most accounts, we have cult designer Harvey Probber—a New Yorker who died in 2003—to thank for importing this outré couch concept from Europe. Mr. Probber designed his first sectional in the 1940s and achieved what could well be its apotheosis with his improbably sumptuous 1970 Deep Tuft model. Its rows of distinct marshmallows seem to defy the laws of upholstery, if not quite physics, and would have been impossible without Mr. Probber's proprietary non-sag Proberon foam.
Typical for its era, the Deep Tuft manages to be both minimalist and maximalist, which invests it with unique power. Its decadence can instantly glamorize modern interiors that are a little too sterile and safe. At the same time, it's simple enough to inject freshness into a traditional room without skewing too cold.
Until this spring, only those lucky enough to run across a rare used model at 1stdibs.com or New York's Todd Merrill Antiques could own this masterwork (which wasn't produced in large numbers). Starting in May, M2L, a New York-based manufacturer known for reintroducing forgotten lines, will be taking orders for new models, along with other Probber designs. A basic five-piece configuration in fabric starts at $15,000 (or $19,900 in leather). m2l.com
A version of this article appeared April 6, 2013, on page D2 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Sink Into An Iconic Sofa.
Trick the Eye
The "Louis XV Goes to Sparta" chair showcases a silk cover in various faux-marble prints. Carrara shown here. Design by M. Galante and T. Lancman.
No one illustrates the emerging marriage of Scandinavian and Italian traditions as well as this 37-year-old breakout talent, who has studios in Venice and Stockholm.
ONE PIECE TO OWN:
The wooden conical rings of the Layer table's base balance a delicate glass top with bursts of color. From $5,220.
Some of the most iconic pieces of furniture were created by German designers - think Michael Thonet's classic bentwood chair or Marcel Breuer's tubular steel cantilever chair. Manufactured in Germany by the same companies since 1819, these classics are now available in the U.S. through M2L's Gebrüder T 1819 Collection, which features 150 years' worth of tables, sofas, chairs, and bookcases by well-known designers. Bentwood chair, $750. Call (800) 319-8222.