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Publication Date: 2014-02-01

Inspiration

Duane Modern Q&A

For more than a decade Bruce Glickman and Wilson Henley have specialized in decorative midcentury modern furniture at their New York City store Duane Modern, selling pieces by the periods’ leading designers—Karl Springer, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, James Mont, and Tommi Parzinger.

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In 2007, the duo launched Duane Modern, a line of more than 30 original handcrafted pieces inspired by the classic shapes that have passed through their Tribeca shop. From elegant sofas and super-chic slipper chairs to modern side tables and buffets, every item is made in the United States and constructed of the highest quality materials.

You have specialized in mid-century modern antiques for many years. What was the impetus behind launching Duane Modern?

We launched Duane Modern about five years ago as a result of the needs of clients. All the time we would hear, “you really should make this piece” when they learned that a vintage item they loved was sold. So when we recognized a vintage piece had great lines and style we would modify and reinterpret it for the present day.

What is it about mid-century modern design that you believe appeals most to your clients?

We try to stick to clean, tailored lines and simple shapes that we mix with a variety of interiors. You can pretty much use a Lucite lamp or table in any kind of room.

What periods, if any, do you particularly like to mix with your pieces?

If chosen thoughtfully, many of the Duane Modern pieces would work quite well with 19th-century French and Italian pieces and would be compatible in an Art Deco or Asian-inspired setting. Almost anywhere, really.

How would you describe the Duane Modern style?

Streamlined, tailored, with graphic lines. Definitely not fussy. The line as a whole feels friendly, accessible, and comfortable.

Do you have a favorite mid-century modern designer?

We have several, but T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings would have to be number one. The masculine and graphic lines of his pieces seem to be what we channel when we design for Duane Modern.

Would you say that your design aesthetic has changed over time? If so, how?

Yes. Edit, edit, edit. If anything, I think our design aesthetic has just gotten simpler, cleaner, and most of all honest. Nothing unnecessary.

What guided your selection of pieces for Dering Hall? Any personal favorites?

We have included our full line on Dering Hall. We especially like the Greenwich Club Chair, which is such a great-looking chair. It’s low, deep, and super-comfortable. We also love the Hubert Bench in walnut or cirused oak. Great for a foyer or at the foot of a bed.

I adore with the Canal Slipper Chair. The shape, the linen, and the buttons are so beautiful. What inspired this piece?

It was inspired by the straightforward designs of Paul McCobb in the 1960s. A pair of these tall-back, buttoned chairs could easily have appeared in Laura Petrie’s living room on the The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Limited to only a few, what pieces here would make for a strong statement in any room?

The Walker Slipper Chair, with its Hollywood glamour, and our new Barkley Armchair, with its curvy silhouette, have so much subtle presence.

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