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Stay Green this Spring with Responsible Home Design Trends for 2016

Spring is here, and it brought its annual brigade of new style and design trends.One of these is more of a reiteration.

Spring, “If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it every year since 1998. Go Green! Solar panels, green juice, electric cars for Pete’s sake. Lets get it together!”
Everyone, “But spring, is this a passing trend?”

Spring, “No, no. Listen-What began as a perspective has become the standard. It’s a responsibility. Green is the future. Green is here to stay!”
Everyone, “Ok take it easy big guy (or is spring a maiden?) How can we follow the cutest trends while also being green?” 
Mohr and Mcpherson, “Um, excuse us please, over here. WE GOT THIS. Read our blog.”

Behold, a list of our favorite spring trends that are also completely green friendly. Whats more, you can find examples of all of these items in both of our showrooms.Talk about convenience!

Cisco Brothers Upholstery

Dalia_Slip_Sofa_Life-StyleWith a custom option called “Inside Green”,  its no wonder this brand is at the top of our list. Cisco Brothers has not only been producing high-end furniture since 1990, they have been “green friendly” all along. Based in Los Angeles, Cisco employs  local artisans to hand craft each piece of furniture, using responsibly sourced, sustainable materials.Every piece of furniture produced by Cisco is free of all formaldehyde and flame retardants, and built with FSC approved wood. In addition to this base standard, you can choose to upgrade any Cisco order to “Inside Green”. The Inside green option reduces materials to natural Latex, organic wool, organic goose feathers and down.

“These natural materials are not only superior in terms of comfort and lifespan, but are inherently flame retardant and hypoallergenic. Every product in the Cisco line can be ordered using Inside Green technology.” -Cisco.

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From Cisco’s new line of textiles: From Top left, Cocoa Chocolate, Farrah Wheat, Midnight Minh

Cisco Brothers not only sets the standard in luxurious, insanely comfortable seating, the brand aesthetic  is perfectly on trend. Their signature look relies heavily on textured, natural fabrics such as linen, cotton, jute and hemp, which come in a huge range of neutrals and brights. The brand has also recently developed a new line of textiles, which features a range of geometric and tribal inspired prints. Going for the California chic trend,or looking to lighten up your industrial loft? Go with Cisco. Do you need a timeless, understated sofa for your beach house that will stand the test of salt, sand and children? Trust us, Cisco.

Read More about Cisco Here.

Also: Now selling Karole Moe Wrist Cuffs, featuring Cisco leather

We have a crazy selection of leather cuffs made by our very own Karole Moe!  These bracelets are made using remnants and scraps of leather from the Cisco Factory. These are a fun and beautiful way to experience leather.

cuffs

 Live Edge Furniture

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Live edge has been creeping up steadily for several seasons as an exciting, yet somewhat alternative trend. In 2016, the look has landed front and center of basically everything.Live Edge dining, console and coffee tables can be seen across the board in design publications and have invaded pinterest  with total confidence. While the most  avant-garde examples are being used in editorials and high-profile commercial projects from offices to restaurants,  the average family home can incorporate a simple live edge piece with ease.

This unique design style was inspired by traditional Japanese woodworking, and created by  George Nakashima, a mid-century furniture maker and architect, as well as the father of the America Craft movement.
“Nakashima’s signature woodworking design was his large-scale tables made of large wood slabs with smooth tops but unfinished natural edges, consisting of multiple slabs connected with butterfly joints.” Wikipedia.

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Live Edge furniture is completely organic, and makes use of wood that would otherwise  be deemed unusable due to being knotty, or having unruly angles and gaps. The Live Edge philosophy  seeks to feature these “imperfections”, working them into the design of the piece. This style is great if you want your home to feel more organic and down to earth, while at the same time majorly chic and modern.  You really can’t go wrong.
At Mohr & McPherson, we’ve had a long time crush on this genius and beautiful design style, showcasing a range of examples. We love the Asian design roots and detailed craftsmanship that goes into Live Edge, as well as the  amazing sculptural essence each piece provides, making art of something functional.

Read more about Live Edge here.

 

Mango Wood Furniture 

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Similar to Live Edge, Mango Woofurniture is made from wood that was once considered “scrap”. In this way, it is  economically responsible and hugely sustainable, as mango trees are already  being grown in massive numbers by another industry altogether the fruit trade. Mango trees only produce fruit for about 15 to 20 years, and at this time the trees would traditionally be cut down and either used as fuel or left to rot-which also increased co2 emissions. These two industries have reached a very sensible deal, and are now helping each other, as well as the earth.

Mango wood is a very grainy hardwood, but soft enough for woodworkers to manipulate. It is very receptive to staining and waxing. Naturally, it has a golden, sometimes light brown color, and often  unique pattern to the grain. Because of its availability, Mango wood tends to be less expensive, despite its high quality, making it very popular in the furniture industry.

 

Indian Furniture from Reclaimed Wood

 

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If we are going to talk about being green, we can’t leave out The 4 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,Reclaim. All of these are relevant when it comes to our curated selection of wood furniture from India. While we supply furniture from lots of countries, our  largest selection of reclaimed pieces is from India.  Some of these are entirely “reused”- antiques and vintage pieces with a particular story. More often, our Indian pieces are newly constructed using reclaimed wood, which has often been taken from antiques. For example, an armiore might be constructed of new wood, but the doors are taken from the doorway of a palace.

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These pieces are a great example of the “eclectic” presence which is becoming a defining aspect of every “boho-chic” or “Urban loft” look. In 2016 there is a strong desire in the design world for authenticity, and this has led to the increased demand for unique, rustic pieces that you probably can’t find in a catalogue.  These items provide character and that hard to define “lived in” aesthetic, while also adding a big dose of statement to your space.As luck would have it, this is our specialty! We have an ever-changing selection of one of a kind, Indian furniture for you to endlessly peruse until you find your perfect fit.

 

 

 

 

California Boho in 5 Steps

California Boho is a fairly new phrase, applied to some very classic aesthetics.You might ask, what does this word pairing really mean? How does one california-ize their boho?   Of course the concept of bohemia has never been far in people’s minds from California. The ideologies of both words conjure other words- surf, sand, salt-soft. Waves in the ocean, waves in your hair. Waves in the patterns of your textiles. Still, this is not your standard Haight/Ashbury fan fare. We’re talking sleek lines. Were talking sophisticated neutrals dusted with specific, sparkling odes to boho; ethic patterns, layered textures, organic materials, nature inspired pieces. Regular old hippie dippie  style can exist anywhere. The key to California Boho is modernization. Heres how to get to the land of chic: Steer with great restraint away from over doing it with the boho part, take a slight left at minimalism, and straight on till morning through mid century modern.

 

1.A Vibrant, Tribal inspired Rug
A rug is a great first step. You can choose one to compliment the furniture you already have, or if you’re starting from scratch, you can choose whatever you want and design the rest of the room around the rug. Flat weaves are great for  this look, and the Kilim is at the top of the list.

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Red Kilim RugBlack and White Rug, Multi Colored Diamond Rug

 

2.Mid Century Modern
Look for low profile neutrals to offset the bright colors and busy patterns of your boho pieces.

 

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Taylor Chair with Rush Seat, Avery Mini Buffet, Louis Sofa

 

3.Poufs, Pillows, and Boho Accents
Here’s the place to go crazy! Since you have kept it neutral with the larger items, the interchangeable accents can be some what of a free-for-all without compromising  sophistication. You are encouraged to layer patterns and textures, which will give dimension and  warmth.

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Poufs

4.Live Edge
Live edge furniture is a great way to introduce nature inspired themes into your decor, without turning your living room into a summer camp log cabin.  you can keep it simple with a small stump used as a stool or side table, or make a statement with a larger piece.

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Live Edge Bench
, Acacia Console, Live Edge Coffee Table

5.Unique, Antique or One of a Kind Pieces
This step is important for adding  character and authenticity to your space.


unique finds

 

Tile Inlay Cabinet, Blue Trunk, Drum Coffee Table-Out of stock

Other Ideas

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Silver Lantern,Ganesh,   Brass Singing Bowls, Marble Bowls

Wiki Wednesdays

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In this business, we  tend to use a lot of words that many people have never heard of.  Why would you know the vocabulary of Japanese antiques, or pertaining to Carpets hand tied by tribes in the mountains of Morocco? We thought there should be a place for people to learn about some of these things. Therefore, we are pleased to introduce  Wiki Wednesdays.

Wiki Wednesdays will be like our version of Wikipedia. We will use it to define terms that are used commonly in our industry, many of them with foreign decent. Lets start with our title itself.

Wiki-
Most of us think “Wikipedia” or “Wikileaks” when we hear this word, and this is correct. Wiki was introduced to the masses in 1995 by computer programmer Ward Cunningham. Ward first used the word in naming”WikiWikiWeb”, a collaborative computer software he created.

However, many people are unaware that Wiki, or Wikiwiki  is actually a  Hawaiian word meaning “Quick” or “Fast”.

Cool huh?

Here are some examples of Wiki being used in modern day Hawaiian culture

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Nautical by Nature

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Nautical decor is classic. Though this look never goes out of style, it is having a moment in Spring/Summer 2015.  Often times people stay away from Nautical for fear of making their home  look like a beachside souvenier shop. To keep this look modern, go for simple pieces that have a touch of nautical flair, or choose one or two kitschy items and pair with toned down neutrals.

 

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AD Jewelry available in our showroom,  Winery ChandelierWooden trunk with strapping and handles

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Morse Pendent Rope LampSteel & glass lantern

 

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 Beaumont Sofa by Cisco Brothers, available to order at Mohr & McPherson

colors

Wooden blue trunk with handles. Great as a coffee table!,  Vintage orange life preserver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning

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You’re ready for spring, I’m ready for spring, the poor, shivering earth is ready for spring. But what about your home? Clearing out the cob webs of winter, especially this winter, may seem overwhelming. Fear not.Choose one task at a time to focus on, and the familiar, joyful, catharsis of spring cleaning will take over. Before you know it your chores will feel more like spiritual cleansing than work. So lets get  it together.Here is what we’re going to do.

 

Outside

1.Repair Walkway
If you have a walkway or driveway leading up to your door, its probably kind of a mess from the ice, snow, and sand. Get to work patching up the cracks or loose bricks. This is also a good reason to go outside for some fresh air and sunshine.

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2.De-Weed
While you’re out there, get out the pruners and  start trimming dead and overgrown branches and shrubs. Pull out weeds, and cover up patchy, weird looking areas with  mulch. If you feel like it, you might as well plant some flowers too.

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3.Spruce up your front door.
If your door is faded, paint or stain it in a vibrant new hue.Polish doorknobs and knockers.Surround your door with hanging or potted plants and buy a new welcome mat.

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Inside

1.Store away Winter Linens. 
You will (fingers crossed) not be needing quilts or heavy blankets much longer. This is an easy first step in the process of getting your home ready for spring. Insects and moths are attracted to body oils, so make sure you wash your winter linens before storing them. Store them in boxes under beds or in vacuum-sealed or zippered bags. You can add sachets of lavender or cedar to keep your linens smelling fresh until you are ready to use them again.

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2.Deep Clean Fibers
Flip or rotate your mattress.Wash curtains and pillows to reduce dust mites and allergins. Shampoo or steam clean carpets and air out rugs on a clothes line.

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3. Buy or unpack Lighter Linens
Now is a good time to change bedding,towels and table cloths, and try out new patterns and colors.You can change the mood, energy and style of a space with textiles alone.

4. Experiment with Color
It can also be fun to fill your space with  colors that remind you of nature, like this green grass carpet, or teak armiore which is perfect for storing all your fresh, spring linens.

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HandKnotted wool carpetWooden Cabinet

Don’t these remind you of a Monet painting?  If you do this right, you should feel inspired to picnic in your living room.

Blue is also found in nature.  Navy and Shibori print are trending this season.Blue and white is a classic combination, seen historically all over the world from China, to Greece.

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Sea Blue Trunk

Speaking of Greece, shades like Greek Blue and Cobalt are also big for 2015.

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Wooden Cabinet, wooden Chair

Another nature inspired route is live edge furniture, like the tables below made from our unique Live Edge collection, found in Thailand by our owner,Kevin McPherson.

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Rosewood Live Edge Dining Table,  Acacia Wood Live Edge Table

 

 

 

 

 

Trending: Mid Century Modern

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Although Mid Century Modern never quite goes out of style, it has been having an extended moment in home design. The look is sticking around this spring, and there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to keep the look modern and on trend. Pay attention to details to avoid recreating your grandmother’s house, or possibly worse, an outdated, wannabe version of your grandmother’s house circa 2011.

A general concept that is definitely out in 2015 is the “Instant Vintage” trend. This was based on making something new look old, but not in a hand crafted, shabby chic way. It was more about mass produced knock offs of classic vintage styles, which lacked not only character but one of the best things about vintage furniture-quality and craftsmanship. Regardless of the trend, this season is all about authenticity. When it comes to doing mid century modern, if it’s vintage, great. If it’s not vintage that’s great too, but look for pieces that are M.C.M inspired, while still maintaining their integrity. If done right, these pieces will add a chic, contemporary, depth to your overall look,

41404__49591.1416420687.1280.1280Parker buffet, mango wood. 

Another way to keep this trend fresh in 2015 is to mix it up. The whole space does not need to be head to toe M.C.M; in fact it is more modern to add in multiple ethnic accents. Steering away from traditionally vintage, loud colors such as bright orange, olive green and teal can also help to modernize your Mid Century Modern look. If you do choose a piece or two in those colors, balance it out with neutrals everywhere else, such as grays and natural woods.

These photos from Apartment Therapy show a great example of mixing mid century modern pieces with, ethnic prints, organic textures, and neutral tones to give the space an overall modern and minimalistic bohemian feel.
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If you are purchasing an investment piece such as a sofa and want to go mid century modern, neutrals are a safe bet. Precedent Furniture, which we now carry in our store, has lots of great options, including an entire line called “Vintage made modern”. Featured below are  the Astor Sofa and the Edward Sofa by Precedent Furniture.

 

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If you want to add a bold pop of color, a smaller piece like this chair is a great way to go.

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Or, go with something big and bright and tone it down with neutrals and contemporary pieces.

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George Sofa, by Precedent

Which ever avenue you choose to explore, you have tons of options. Check out some of them in our Mid Century Modern gallery below.

Gallery 

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Large mango wood cubby bookcase with five drawersLarge mango wood cubby bookcase with three drawers,

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Ryder mid century modern chest of 6 drawers, Mango wood, honey finish,  Austin 3 drawer media center in Mango wood,

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Grayson Chest 12 drawers, Easton 2 section 6 drawer Buffet

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Iron and Glass ArmioreEbony/Alberta Taylor Chair

Trend Alert 2015

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 This year in the design world, it’s all about keeping it real. Whats out? Inauthenticity. That includes chalk board paint, faux fur, and Instant Vintage-something new that’s made to look old. Lucky for us(and you), we have the real deal when it comes to old furniture, rustic, textured surfaces, raw materials, and layers upon layers of ethnic prints and influences. Read on to learn more about what is trending  in 2015.

Top Looks

Eco Friendly-Inspired by Nature
This look is just what it sounds like. It’s clean, soft, neutral, and inspired by all things organic. The focus is on natural imperfection-if its lopsided, uneven or unfinished it works. Relevent materials include Copper, glass, stone, burlap, rope, linen, bone, horn, fur, and raw wood. More often than not this look incorporates raw wood in the form of Live Edge, which is a huge trend in its own right and is being used within many other decor styles as well.

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nature3nature inspired

 

 

ScreenDaybedTribeca LoveseatMango Table Lamp,  Banyan Vine Sculpture,

 

Incorporated Trends:
Live edge, Cowhide, Mixed Materials, Painted wood, Textured surfaces, Nature Inspired Neutrals.

 

Ethnic Mix
This look is a large scale representation of the mixed materials trend. It’s all about the fusion and of different and often contrasting cultures, styles and textures. Getting away from the minimalism craze, this look emphasizes that more is more. Layered textiles and patterns is key, and finding complimenting qualities in seemingly contrasting items makes it all come together, often through color.  An easy way to experiment with this look is by adding bold, ethnic accents to your space, instead of starting out with loud basics.


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Chandelier, Blue Cabinet, Laughing Buddha, Folding Screen, Mirrors, Cupboard

Incoporated Trends: Textured Surfaces, Painted Wood/Pop of Color, Kilim Rugs, Mixed Materials, Cow Hide, Wire Accents, Marble.

 Industrial Chic
Once again, the merging of different aesthetics comes into play. The difference between Industrial and Industrial Chic is softness. Lighten up an Industrial decor and add soft, plush blankets and rugs in neutral tones. Incorporate raw materials and nods to nature such as live edge, petrified stumps and  plants. Or, take a soft, neutral space and add in the industrial accents such as leather, wire furniture, Edison lamps, and Industrial themed wall hangings.

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Bird Cage Lamp, Glass Coffee Table, Edith Sofa, Bookshelf

Incorporated Trends:
Mixed Materials,especially metal and wood and Mixed Metals, Wire Accents, Rose Gold.

 

 

Specific Trends

Mixed Materials
This trend is all about the clashing and merging of different cultures, attitudes and qualities, which is an overall theme in the design world this year. Wood and Metal are a common example of this trend, representing the coming together of nature and science.

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(Triple Threat Trend: Mixed Materials, Nature Inspired, Industrial Chic)

 

Rose Gold
This trend started in fashion and has spread to home design. It was once primarily popular in copper light fixtures but is now also commonly found in plumbing fixtures, hardware and flatware.

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Wire Accents
This trend is biggest in the form of lighting and side tables . It is incorporated heavily into both the Industrial Chic and Geometry looks, but can also be spotted hanging out in ethnic mix and nature inspired decors.

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(Triple Threat Trend: Wire Accents, Industrial Chic, Geometry)

 

Marble-Solid and Print
Although Marble surfaces are common in bathrooms and kitchens, marble is making its way into the rest of the home in the form of solid, marble furniture. It is also a popular print for pillows, blankets, and wall pieces.

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Live Edge

Live edge is a style of wood furniture where the natural edge of the wood is used in the design of the piece. Gnarly wood and salvaged wood which could not be used in conventional woodworking are often used in the production of Live edge.Live edge is a mix of “Western” and rustic furniture styles. It was made famous in the middle of the 20th century by George Nakashima, who was the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement.

We can’t really say enough about Live edge. We love it, and so does the design world. It is being incorporated in a variety of decor styles, and is  moving quickly from a trend to a basic.

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(Triple Threat Trend:Live Edge, Textured Surfaces, Nature Inspired)

Cow Hide
Nature inspired for sure, cow hide is a bold and glamorous statement piece while it also remains neutral with its organic colors and feel.

hide

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Textured Surfaces
This trend encompasses many other trends, such as live edge. It works with the Ethnic Mix look and is definitely part of the Nature inspired attitude. Textured surfaces are multi-versitile and easy to work into many different looks, from shabby chic to Industrial.

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Painted Wood-Pop of Color
Painting a wooden piece of furniture is an easy and understated way to add color to a room. Although this specific piece is dipping into the textured surface trend, the painted wood look can also be sleek and smooth, almost glossy.

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(Triple Threat: Textured Surface, Painted wood-pop of color, Cobalt blue)

 

Colors

Marsala
Pantone color of the year- The spring/summer version of this trend is called “the in-harmony trend”. It is a much softer version of Marsala and mixes deep mauve and apricot shades.

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Cobalt Blue-Greek  Blue

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Natural colors
Inspired by natural landscapes like mountains and forests, this palette is all about toned down neutrals like inky blues and beige-grey. These colors Pair well with the raw materials found in the Nature Inspired look.

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 Rugs

Painterly
Rugs that look like paintings are huge right now. Think florals, swoopy designs, and uneven shapes.

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Tile Inspired
Rugs that look like a tile floor or mosaic.

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Kilim
Persian Flatweave

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A Look Back at Mohr & McPherson’s History

Kevin-McPherson-Portrait-by-Jessica-WeiserKevin McPherson, owner of Mohr and McPherson, recalls his journey to building the store we know today. He also shares insights on design, eastern culture, and his passion for travel and discovery.

When did you first make the decision to start the company? What brought you to that decision?

In the early 80’s, I operated a small furniture retail business selling factory produced contemporary furnishings. In 1990, I was doing small renovations and general contracting with my business partner, John Mohr. I had the idea of returning to something related to home furnishings. 

This time around, I wanted to sell things that were hand crafted with some real provenance… something genuine & authentic. I felt that I had a calling in that realm and we decided to open a small shop in Cambridge. After each borrowing $5,000 on personal credit cards, John and I opened Mohr & McPherson’s doors on a shoestring budget in March 1991.

 

 

 

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Photos from our original Cambridge location in 1991.

 

Did you start traveling in search of exotic furniture before you opened or after?

The original inventory was crafted by American artisans, and we acted as their agents. Most of our sales were custom items based on the samples we had in our shop.  After 2 years in that business, I bought out my partner and started traveling to the west coast. There, I purchased furniture from China, Indonesia, Japan and Morocco and had these items trucked to Cambridge. My interest in rugs from the rug producing countries also took shape after meeting two Afghan brothers in San Fransisco, who helped me establish a rug business. In 1995, we were doing enough business for me to make my first trip to Asia to buy a 40 ft sea container of goods to ship directly to the store.


Where were the previous store/s located?

The original store was on Concord Avenue in Cambridge. We also rented another location across the street that acted as our warehouse annex. We’ve lived a nomadic experience in the past 22 years, with locations in Charlestown, Alewife & Moulton St in Cambridge, and Arlington St, Boylston St & Dry Dock Ave in Boston, before consolidating at our current location at 460 Harrison Avenue in Boston.

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460 Harrison Ave in Boston’s South End

 

What do you love about Eastern Design?

I was in love with the aeshetic From the moment I can first remember seeing asian design. It has always called out to me. The simple Japanese zen wabi sabi approach was the most interesting to me, but the over-the-top, highly ornate approach from India and China also caught my eye. I was also intrigued by the idea that these uncommon things came from the other side of the world.

What are your favorite materials used in Eastern Design?

Asian textiles are fascinating to me. I also love the wood carvings from Java, India and China. Ceramics from Japan, China and Vietnam are amazing. Rattan, bamboo and other materials from Thailand, Phillipines, Burma and China are great examples of the efficient use of simple local materials to produce durable lightweight furniture, baskets, etc.

What can a piece of furniture from the east add to a western home décor? 

A home decorated with only modern, machine-made goods lacks a human touch and can feel a little like an office environment. A hand-crafted rug, antique cabinet or tribal carving brings humanity back into the environment. 

Also, Asian color sense, especially in textiles, is different than the current western movement towards black, white and gray. It adds color where it is sorely needed.

If someone could add one Eastern item or piece of furniture to their home, what would it be? What about attitude/philosophy? Are there any cultural outlooks on homelife you have witnessed in your travels you think westerners should adopt?

Many modern home interiors look a little like a museum or a hospital. There is something calming about the lack of clutter and sense of order in the modernist aesthetic. What it lacks is any reference to the passing of time. It is frozen in the moment and does not allow for the patina that is a part of the natural process.  Modern homes and furnishing were not designed to show age well. 

The zen term wabi sabi (literally translated means humility and rust) is the zen acknowledgment that nothing is permanent, that all things age and deteriorate and that we must accept or even grow comfortable with this fact.  I believe that the eary modernists were inspired by the spare aesthetic of the Japanese zen aesthetic, but left out the important reference to the passing of time.

Mohr & McPherson Timeline:

    1991: Opened Mohr & McPherson in Cambridge

    1993: Started selling Asian pieces

    1994: Opened annex

    1995: Rented warehouse in Charlestown, Started traveling to Asia to buy

    1997: Opened on Arlington St, Boston, Moved warehouse to Seaport 

    1999: Opened 20,000 sq ft Moulton St warehouse in Cambridge

    2001: Opened Alewife location

    2004: Opened Boylson St location

    2008: Moved to 460 Harrison Ave

    2011: Opened warehouse at 460c Harrison Ave

Feng Shui Decorating Steps for Beginners

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Feng Shui translates to “wind and water” which equals health, peace and prosperity in the Chinese philosophy. It is an ancient art form and science which is believed to balance both emotional and physical energy. The goal of Feng Shui within interior design is to balance the positive and negative energies within your space as well as within yourself. This will bring harmony of the senses, tranquility and well-being.

It is a common misconception that Feng Shui decorating means creating a completely “Zen” environment. Decorating with Feng Shui actually means that you are catering your decor to support the best energy for whatever activities are intended to occur in a specific room or area. Following basic Feng Shui principles will help you to achieve a desired energy.

Chi means energy. In order to have good energy or “Seng chi”, the energy needs to flow through the home freely without being blocked. If the energy is stagnant or blocked it is bad, or “Si& Sha Chi”.

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Feng Shui looks at a house as one, complete being. You may have some rooms that have great energy, but other rooms that are out of control, or just confused and stuck. Many people tend to ignore these disaster areas by shutting the door, or they purposefully put things in the messy room when they don’t know what else to do with it, in order to keep the nice rooms clean. These spaces are like when children are told to clean their rooms and instead of actually cleaning they just shove all their belongings under the bed or into a closet. From a Feng Shui perspective, the messy room being ignored is affecting the energy of the entire house, and therefore the energy of the good rooms.

Though the principles of Feng Shui are extensive and complex, there are simple ways beginners can approach living in a more Feng Shui environment. Start by identifying problem areas, and make a plan for your house. Figure out what needs to change, and define the steps necessary for those changes to happen. Then just be persistent.

6 Feng Shui Decorating Steps

Step 1.Clear Clutter

In order to create good chi, you first must get rid of the old energy.If an area of your home has stuck energy, an area of your life will eventually become stuck. Clean out your garage, reorganize your storage areas. You want the goal to always be free-flowing space.

Step 2. Good quality air and light

A clutter free space with tons of natural light and clean air is like the canvas on which you will paint your Feng Shui masterpiece. These basics are necessary and without them, Feng Shui will only go so far.Lighting can also be used to alter the mood of any space. Light is the strongest manifestation of energy and as humans it is our number one nutrient. The harmful effects of fluorescent lighting on human behavior and the deficiency of sunlight or “Malillumination” according to light researcher Dr. John Ott, are widely documented. Lack of quality light can decrease your overall health, ability to learn and effect your behavior. Try to have at least three separate sources of light in every room.

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Step 3. Define your Bagua

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The Bagua is the energy map of your space that determines which areas of your home are connected to specific areas of your life. Bagua translates to “8 areas” because in ancient times people deemed that there are 8 areas of  life that are important for well being and health. Each area of your home is connected to a specific area of your life. Therefore by changing your home you can change your life.

You can use the bagua as a guide to tell you everything from how to arrange furniture to how to choose colors.

There is the Classical or Traditional Feng Shui school Bagua, and there is the BTB Western school Bagua. It is best to not use both in the same home.

Step 4. Choose Colors

Every color fits into one of the 5 Feng Shui elements.

Fire-Passion and High Energy
Colors-Red, Orange, Purple, Pink, Strong Yellow
Fire is the strongest Feng Shui element in South Bagua of your home. It can also be used in Northeast and Southwest Feng Shui areas.

Earth–Nourishment and Stability
Colors- Light Yellow, Beige/taupe, Earthy/sandy colors
This element is needed to promote inner balance and health, as well as protection of relationships.

Water-Ease and Abundance
Colors-Blue, Black
Water is the ancient symbol for abundance and a Fung Shui cure for wealth. This element brings energy of freshness, purity, and calm.
The north, east and south east bagua areas benefit from a strong water element.

Wood-Vitality and Growth
Colors-Brown, Green
This element is healing and promotes vibrancy, strong growth, as well as abundance. Wood is the main element ion south and southeast Bagua areas.

Metal-Preciseness and Clarity
Colors Gray, White
Metal is the dominant Feng Shui element of west and northwest bagua areas, and the north bagua also benefits. This presence promotes calm, precise, light and focused energy.

Step 5. Choose items

Define specific items that will add to the  Chi of your home. Feng Shui holds to the belief that energy is improved when living things are present. An easy way to achieve this is by incorporating plants, bonsai trees, flowers, fish and of course pets. A fountain is a great way to add water, a symbol of abundance. Selecting natural materials such as wood, stone and metals is another way to stick to the organic nature of Feng Shui.

Some examples of classic Feng Shui items are:
Fountains, Mirrors, Lucky Bamboo as a health cure, Images or statues of Buddha for harmony and spiritual growth.

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Step 6.Positioning

Understand how and where to position your decorating items and furniture to create the best energy for the space. Focus on the big picture, but also be able to zoom in on each specific area.Match elements to your map, or Bagua. If you want to put a fountain in your home, which is a water element, you need to put it in the Bagua areas that benefit from water, such as North, East and Southeast areas of your home.

Fun Fact: Elephants are part of Feng Shui!

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The elephant is associated with Buddha and Ganesh, who is an Indian deity. The elephant symbolizes Power, wisdom, strength, protection of the home, fertility and good luck and because of this elephants are often used in Feng Shui. Here are some of the areas an elephant symbol can be useful in.

Protection– To prevent the loss of Chi from the home, place an elephant facing outward.

Bringing Good luck– Place an elephant facing inwards, to draw good luck and blessings into the home.

Love and Fidelity– Place a pair of elephants in the bedroom to promote love within a relationship.

Fertility-Place an elephant beside the bed, or one elephant on each side of the bed.

Mother and Child-Place a statue of a mother and baby elephant in your living area or children’s room to strengthen the bond with your children.

Work- Place an elephant near the front door to attract power and protect the office from bad energy.

Management– Place an elephant on your work desk facing out. This represents caution, poise and strong leadership.

Good thing we have so many elephants around here!

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Top Summer Design Trends & Styles

Lets discuss some of the hottest trends for Summer 2014. These styles have exploded across the design world and are all likely to stick around for a while. The best part about these looks is that while they are super modern, they are also rooted in classic style and can be worked into the most simple décor, as well as an avant-garde abode.

Honey Toned Wood

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This mega trend is a refreshing switch from the darker, espresso hued woods that have reined for several seasons. Paired with white and neutral finishes, honey toned wood can really lighten things up and make a small space seem larger. The honey toned wood trend is also reflective of some of the major design themes of the moment such as “back to nature” and “rustic simplicity”.

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“I am excited about the come back of honey wood tones because I think they are easy to maintain and incorporate well into any interior. A medium tone wood is always in style, and mixes easily with other woods.”  – DeidreInteriors.com

At Mohr & McPherson 

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Ryder Bedside Chest,  Avery Mini Honey,  Honey/Alberta Taylor Chair

 

Exposed Nail Heads

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This is a versatile and widespread trend that actually dates back to 17th century France and 19th Century England. During these times, furniture was often embellished with nail head or rivet trim as a decorative way to secure materials. Today, this trend can be used to enhance traditional style or to bring a piece in the total opposite direction by making it urban and edgy, depending on the application.

Here are some ideas for getting this trend right.

Pay Attention to Detail:

*The spacing between nail heads in relation to the size of the furniture is important.

*If it fits your budget, always choose metal individual nail heads rather than plastic.

*For a rustic look, nail head trim looks great with textured materials.

At Mohr & McPherson 

 

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Gallant Loveseat (Cisco Brothers),  Rustic Whiskey Tub Chair
Crescent loveseat (Cisco Brothers),  Smoke Armchair

 

Nature/Mixing of Indoor and Outdoor/Layering of Textures

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 This concept never goes out of style, but it has become increasingly popular in the last few years, probably because of the global focus on being healthier and more economically responsible. A simple way to incorporate this trend into your design scheme is to focus on tones, textures and colors. Go for wood surfaces and use natural materials such as exposed brick, stone, bamboo, etc. Live Edge furniture and upholstery that mimics natural surfaces such as moss make great statement pieces. Natural light is also a sneaky way to open up a space and bring the outdoors inside.

At Mohr & McPherson  

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banyonLive Edge ConsoleBanyan Vine Sculpture, Mangosteen Coat Rack,  Tribeca Loveseat (Cisco Brothers)

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