Mid-Century Modern Furniture Then and Now - Paradigm Gallery Blog

Louise Blanchard Bethune

“… there is no need whatever of a woman architect. No one wants her, no one yearns for her and there is no special line in architecture to which she is better adapted than a man . [The woman architect] has exactly the same work to do as a man. When a woman enters the profession she will be met kindly and will be welcome but not as a woman, only as an architect.” ~ Louise Blanchard Bethune

In a predominantly masculine profession, Louise Blanchard Bethune proved that she could hold her own. It was also clear that Louise felt that there was no need to distinguish women and men architects from each other. She felt that they did the same job, and therefore required no special treatment.

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How Florence Schust Knoll Influenced More Than 50 Years of Interiors

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On September 12th

Florence Schust Knoll - Bertoia Diamond Chair

“Good design is good business.” -Florence Knoll

Known in familiar circles simply as “Shu”, Florence Schust Knoll was a memorable figure in mid- century modern design. She has had a profound influence on more than 50 years of buildings’ interiors.

Knoll graduated from the Kingswood School before studying at the famous Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. She also received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Armour Institute, which is now the Illinois Institute of Technology. Following this, Florence Knoll briefly worked with many leaders of the Bauhaus movement, including Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and Wallace K. Harrison.

In the 1940’s, while working for Wallace K. Harrison in New York , Shu met a well known furniture company owner named Hans Knoll. She convinced Hans that, even in America’s wartime economy, she could help bring in business to his company by expanding into interior design and working with architects. He asked her to design an office for Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, along with many other jobs to follow. In 1946, Shu and Hans married and formed Knoll Associates, Inc.

Shu is famous for her “total design” philosophy. As the director of the Knoll Planning Unit, she revolutionized interior space planning. Her approach was to embrace everything about a space. This included:

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And the Winner is….

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On April 23rd

Congrats to “Miss Ann”, our $250 Gift Card Award Winner. If you’d like to win as well, simply send us your photos with Paradigm Gallery products and a review, and we’ll pick the winner with the best design skills. Living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, have fun with it.

Below are images from Miss Ann’s gorgeous living room. In the photo, you’ll find our Pavillion Chair and Knoll Sofa.


“I had a wonderful experience with Paradigm Gallery.  Their customer service is outstanding.  I placed a custom order and Paradigm Gallery’s staff kept me apprised of my order status on a regular basis. The furniture quality is excellent.  I’ve seen (and sat on) many reproduction Knoll pieces – most of them don’t even come close to the originals in quality.  Paradigm Gallery’s furniture is outstanding – from the high-grade leather to the steel and chrome.  These pieces are reproduced so close to the originals that only the owner will know they aren’t the “real McCoy.”  It’s rare to find companies these days that strive to provide exemplary customer service and a phenomenal product.  Kudos to the team at Paradigm Gallery!”

Miss Ann
Northern New Jersey

Thanks again!

30 New Products in 30 Days

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On April 22nd

As we start enjoy Spring and even Summer like weather across the country, we’re also refreshing things by adding new products. So, for the next 30 days, stay glued to our blog as we introduce 30 new modern furniture items to the Paradigm Gallery collection.

Today’s addition: The Day Dining Chair

Fitting for Spring, the Day Dining Chair has a wonderfully soft microfiber covering, in gorgeous floral print. Supporting the seat are high quality chrome legs. Only $395 for a Set of 2. Can’t beat that.

What Should We Do?

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On April 14th

As it stands, Paradigm Gallery has over 2000 unique products in multiple color options, sizes, etc. But, as we’re focusing on expanding our product line, we would love to get you guys involved.
What products would YOU like to see on Paradigm Gallery. Accessories, outdoor, more dining?

The future of our collection is in your hands.

Hotel Review: Tower 23 – San Diego

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On January 22nd

What? You thought we just cover design and furniture. Actually, we have a huge interest in pretty things, great designs, nice hotels, food, and the beach. It’s just not often that you combine it all and output a truly wonderful experience while on vacation.

And that is what Tower 23 in San Diego does. Recently, on a little Paradigm Gallery break, I stayed there for 4 amazing days for my birthday. I had strict marching orders: “If it’s cool, take a pic”. Simple enough, but once I stepped into Tower 23, I knew I could waste my entire trip taking pics. So, we’ll share some of the best moments of the trip, including the beautiful design of Tower 23; inside and out.

We arrived at Tower 23, and upon our entrance, we knew this place was slickly designed. Often times,  trendy little hotels have issues with other things, like food, food prices, drink prices, and usually service, so we were not sold just yet. Check in easy, “get us to our room”, I thought. We arrived and a magnificent view awaiting us:

Ok, so it was a little cloudy, but things looked much better 10 minutes into our stay when this arrived:

After all, it was my birthday. We were really impressed by the speed at which this was brought up. Service at Tower 23 was on the right track. And, regarding food, well, desserts, delicious is how we can sum it up.

We hung around for a while, stepped onto the Tower Deck, which is the central mezzanine for the hotel. It’s basically a lounge where you can enjoy the weather, a nice drink, or the sunset. Again, it was cloudy on Day 1, so not much to see, but in the span of our trip, really a great place to kick back:

Our plans in San Diego called for 2 days at Tower 23 and 2 days at the Se’ San Diego, previously known as the Setai. When we checked out, we really wondered why we were checking out. The Se’ San Diego was in the Gaslamp, and while being in the city is cool, West Coast “downtowns” simpy don’t have the same vibe as cities in the East Coast, San Francisco excluded, and Seattle, and Portland. 🙂 We checked into the Se’ and while it was wonderful and luxurious, we missed Tower 23 badly. After 20 minutes, we realized, this wasn’t right. We checked out, called Tower 23, and went back. And, I’m an avid hotel connessiour, but I wasn’t about to have my trip end poorly because of the wrong hotel selection. Don’t get me wrong, the Se’ San Diego is beautiful, great service, etc, but we really NEEDED the beach. So, our time at Tower 23 continued.

Overall, Tower 23 was by far the best hotel I’ve ever stayed at, trumping the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel. You ask, “how can anything trump the Ritz?”. Easily. Tower 23 provides world class service, great food, a happening locale, but isn’t too stiff. Prices are affordable with rooms starting at $179, and $229 for our ocean front room, suites are $350-$750. Can’t beat that. JRDN, the restaurant on location was delicious, accurately priced, although a bit noisy, but not a big deal. The staff is tremendous. Big kudos to George and Vinny to helped us during our trip. If in San Diego, check Tower 23 out!

Here are some pics:

Crab Cakes at JRDN - the corn relish was tremendous

Crab Cakes at JRDN - the corn relish was tremendous

Wild Berry French Toast from JRDN

Wild Berry French Toast from JRDN

From the outside

From the outside

From the Tower Deck

From the Tower Deck

Room #307

Room #307

Tower Deck Sunset

Tower Deck Sunset

Piece of sunshine

Piece of sunshine



View from #307

View from #307

View from #307 again

View from #307 again

From Room #307

From Room #307

The Pier

The Pier

Sunset from #307

Sunset from #307

Show Us How You Live & We'll Pay :)

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On January 20th

Every month, we get pictures from our customers showing us their homes with new Paradigm Gallery furniture. Most of the times, these little snapshots only show the Paradigm Gallery items, but that’s not fair, is it?

We want to see how you really live. Your living room. Your dining room. Your bedroom (if you’ll allow). And any other of the best parts of your home.

We’ll rate, rank, and post the winners of the Paradigm Gallery Home Tour Contest one month from now. Winners will receive a $250 GIft Card for any item on the Paradigm Gallery site.


1) Ensure pics do not exceed 800 x 600 resolution

2) Send at least 3 pics

3) Be creative

4) Have fun

5) Send all pics to info@pgmod.com

Happy Thanksgiving from Paradigm Gallery!

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On November 25th
Series 7 Dining Chair

Arne Jacobsen Chairs


A Modern Dining room with Series 7 dining chairs (set of 2) $495.00…
Table cloth & linens set $49.00….
Place settings $185.00……
Feast to enjoy with your family and friends: PRICELESS!
We at Paradigm Gallery would like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving Day!

The Battle With Knoll

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On August 28th
Knoll Barcelona Chairs

Knoll Barcelona Chairs

Once when I was in business school, a professor told me, “you’re not really doing anything in business until you get your first lawsuit.” I thought to myself, “come on, why would I want that?”. Well, our little company is facing one of our biggest challenges in our 4 year existence.

This battle goes back to the age old battle of reproduction vs. originally licensed classic debate. I rather not get into the ethics or morality of Paradigm Gallery providing modern classic reproductions, but designs have entered the public domain, and our customers deserve options. You can purchase an original Barcelona Chair from Knoll at nearly $4k, or you can have the OPTION of buying from us for a quarter of that price. It’s about options. That’s why Paradigm Gallery exists and our purpose.

We never mislead customers…EVER! We make it very clear that we DO NOT provide originals through our product descriptions, and even more vehemently through our customer care team. We also do not bad mouth originals, talk about how overpriced they are, nor do we ever talk foul about any competitor in the market. In fact, we sometimes refer potential customers to our competitors if they provide a better price or availability. Again, we care about profits, but we feel that treating a customer properly is paramount and everything else will fall in place.

Our Barcelona Chair reproduction, called the Pavillion Chair, is under attack by Knoll. Knoll wants us to stop selling this reproduction, among a couple of other of Knoll’s original designs. This is a tough challenge for us. In fact, go to our Pavillion Chair page and you’ll see that we actually promote the original from Knoll through their dealer, Design Within Reach. Again, we provide options for you. That’s our goal.

We respect Knoll and in all our marketing of our reproduction vs. their original, we’ve always given them the proper respect.

Where do you stand on this issue? What do you think? Give us your opinions, support, criticism, anything.

Smyth Hotel – Countdown Begins…Opened 08…

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On August 1st
Smyth Hotel - newest addition to NYC Financial District

Smyth Hotel - newest addition to NYC Financial District

We’ve done a ton of commercial projects over the last couple of years, including lobbies, lounges, clubs, etc. But, the behemoth project of ours is the Smyth Hotel in New York City. 65 rooms of the Smyth Hotel will contain our new and improved Womb Chair, which we will reintroduce early Fall.

The new Womb Chair will come in wool, microfiber, and leather. We listened to you guys and made the following upgrades:

  1. Increased upholstery thickness on the wool – the new wool will be 5x the thickness as our original chair.
  2. New support system – we’ve designed a stainless steel cross bar spanning the width of the chair for added support and durability.
  3. Nylon articulating feet – perfect for leveling out uneven surfaces and protecting your precious floors.
  4. New cushion structure – cushions affixed in place via snaps to prevent sliding.

If you’re interested in the new Womb Chair, make sure to send us an email to womb@pgmod.com and we’ll add you on the list for the exclusive launch.

Now, back to the Smyth Hotel. Here’s a NY Post article on the Smyth Hotel:


Smyth Interior

Smyth Interior

Hotelier Jason Pomeranc is bringing one of his cutting-edge hotels to the border of the Financial District.

And this time he’s adding residential units to the mix. The owner of the Thompson hotel in SoHo, who also runs other celebrity-friendly places including the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, is about to begin construction of the Smyth hotel at 85 West Broadway at Chambers Street.

The 100-room hotel, with interior design by Richardson Sidecki, will open in winter 2008 and will include 15 one- and two-bedroom residential apartments priced between $1 million and $5 million.

Beginning in March, the condominiums on the top floors of the 14-story building will be available for purchase through real estate firm Stribling & Associates. Pomeranc stresses the residences are not condo/hotel condos, which are eligible to be placed into a hotel pool and rented out when the owners are out of town. “This is going to be an individual’s home or second home that will have more of a degree of privacy,” he says. “This way buyers can create their own style with their own furniture while having all the advantages of a hotel, such as room service and maid service.”

The hotel will feature a gym, spa services and a multi-level restaurant with a lounge and cellar bar. Pomeranc says he wants the restaurant to have a neighborhood feel “not necessarily the same but in the style of what the Odeon was in its heyday.”

There will also be a public rooftop bar, while residence owners will have communal rooftop space.

Other hotels in the works for Pomeranc’s group include the 6 Columbus that’s still under construction across from the Time Warner Center, as well as properties on the Lower East Side.