April 21, 2021
A recent press release from Benjamin Moore, the paint industry giant, got me thinking about how consumers are influenced in the
contemporary home furnishings market. It's done, in short, by changing colors and styles of furniture so that previous choices seem outdated or old-fashioned. For those of us in the
field of home design and interiors, we actually look to the consumer for inspiration, and in a sense, work backwards. Street wear, pop-culture, music, even food, influences the trends that translate into something we can see, touch and feel. The folks at Benjamin Moore look at a range of design influences like furniture, lighting, fabrics, home accessories and more for their annual selection—and then consider the relationship that paint and color has to each of them. Next, they incorporate art, from contemporary to classic, to help us see color pairings in a fresh, new light. Seeing how artists use color always energizes and inspires. Fashion, ever-changing, and consistently informed by color, is an expression of personality and style reflecting the moment. Environment too, factors in, since every setting offers its own unique natural landscape, distinct color palette and architectural traditions. Finally culture in general, including social trends, consumer sentiments, economics, and lifestyles affect the annual color palette selection
March 16, 2021
It doesn't take much to get our wheels turning, especially when a customer calls and says "I am looking for something BOLD for my modern furniture
collection." (The capital letters are ours.) But how could they not be when we're talking about European contemporary home furnishings, simply one of the most fashionable, exciting categories of furniture product around.
What does bold man to you? Or better — to us?
We look for innovation, big ideas, new perspectives in the design of a product meant to be used for years. We don't care if it's wood, glass, stone or leather, it must integrate all its parts and be so well done it appears to have sprung fully formed from the hand of the designer. That's no easy feat. Junk piles everywhere are full of sagging couches, broken tables, and a myriad of cheap assemblies called furniture that are merely particle-board tinker-toys. The industry calls it "borax." A cheap commodity.
January 09, 2021
Goodbye 2020 and good riddance. It's a new year and time to look ahead, think fresh contemporary thoughts and try not to linger in the
past. Remember those who dare not be forgotten, but forge ahead with a sense of purpose.
Do you ever look around and see your life in new terms? The trappings, furniture and objects that manifest who we are? Does that experience prompt a feeling of change? It
can and should. Due to COVID, even if we still cannot go anywhere, we can at least move things around. Have a new view.
Most of us live in spaces that are familiar and personal. We work hard at arriving at a sense of balance and style. Sometimes however, we outgrow our spaces
December 02, 2020
and that means showering our loved ones with all kinds of ways to show we care. Call me old-school, but in these fast-paced, modern
times, I like to make gifts that are handmade or fun to eat, or curl up in a comfy piece of furniture
and share some music or a great book with the ones I love. That said, there's also room for some dazzling contemporary gifts, the kind that anyone can live with for a lifetime, pass on to their kids, and never grow tired of.
Those are the kinds of gifts we offer. Maybe you didn't know: we're more than just a furniture showroom. So much more.
If you've never seen our collection of glass sculptures from Murano, Italy or our Italian ceramic vases and bowls,
November 19, 2020
We just heard the news that the new color for 2021 from Benjamin Moore is something modern color marketers call "Agean Green",
a lovely shade of blue-green subdued almost to a neutral. The ever-changing furniture industry is ripe with shifting trends designed to
attract new buyers and different age groups. Color schemes are just one way of doing so. Evoking a predominant color and applying it to contemporary fabrics, accessories and wall paint is one sure way to stimulate change
and interest, every single year! (Note: historic properties rely on established color schemes. No point changing those.) For pure staying power, as a design consultant I always like to stick with neutrals and set them off with bold accents. But I have to say this coming year's color caught my attention because I have been using it for
October 14, 2020
As the un-abating Covid pandemic continues to redefine our contemporary way of life, more and more people are digging in and working from home, the new normal. If this is what modern day-to-day living is, then we need furniture to fit our lifestyle. That means products that work for us, provide comfort, visual excitement, flexibility, and value.
I don't know about you, but that means making good, long-term investments. Desks, chairs, sofas and tables that are built to last and perform. Products that are low maintenance, yet natural, linking us , even as we sit indoors, to the natural world. Wood, stone and glass. We have those products. If you haven't been in a while, or ever, take a tour through the showroom on-line and then treat yourself. Come in-- masks on, it's easy to distance yourself in 30,000 square feet. Roam and investigate. Have a sit-down. Put your feet up. Ask any questions you might have. Here's a world you can feel safe in and welcome.
Home is your haven. It should feel good and look good. We can help make it that way.
August 25, 2020
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer and poet
I find it fascinating that the author of this profound quote is a French writer, the author of "Le Petit Prince, a
remarkable and endearing book about what matters most and how we take care of each other. Though the writer is not our contemporary, this undeniable viewpoint is as true today as when it was written back in 1940, a classic maxim on perfection that relates to the design of modern furniture, machinery, or interiors.
Perhaps that's what we look for when we seek the next acquisition for our collection; that which has harmony, functions as it should, and seems complete.
August 01, 2020
In this modern age of turmoil and ambiguity, few things restore a sense of peace and order like the color white. Perhaps it sounds vague or esoteric, but it seems to be universally accepted that white brings serenity and even purity to our contemporary world. It feels clean,
healing, and almost antiseptic sometimes. It's even true when it comes to furniture and décor. Almost
nothing reduces anxiety like a room with the softest white on interior walls, or a blanket of white snow upon the earth seen through a window, or a cluster of white candles flickering holy flame. Once upon a time, white walls were served for institutions, hospitals and clinics. Those applications gave way to softer neutrals, easier on the eye. But who doesn't remember when actor Morgan Freeman played the divine
July 15, 2020
For those of us who love to travel, the times have surely changed. Going anywhere in this modern world means taking your life in your hands, if you can find a plane to take you there. For us, that means no furniture shows, no contemporary galleries of design to explore in far-off cities, no way to do what we do best which is to bring modern furniture to Denver. But of course, that hasn't stopped us. All our manufacturers are working with us via the Internet, and fresh goods are still being conceived and created and shipped to our door as time passes.
For those of you who miss Paris and New York as we do, think
June 25, 2020
If you love contemporary design and all things that link to modernism, log onto the Kirkland Museum site and look at their current virtual tour of 100 items from their vast collection of over 4000 paintings, sculptures ceramics and furniture items by iconic artists and designers. The Kirkland is more than museum of decorative art; it's a bridge between the functional and the decorative,
between those things we need and those we love. In addition, it has an impressive collection of Colorado regional art, one that grows year by year. Vance Kirkland, (1926-1981) became the first director of the art department at
June 10, 2020
In this modern world so full of division and strife, it seems like home has taken on a new meaning, and furniture has become our ally . It's a place where values are strengthened and respect is taught. It's where we work and love and play.
This reawakening of businesses all over town is bittersweet. Only when we don't see you do we realize how much our customers mean. You bring joy to our store. We know it's been too long and too quiet. But after all that's happened in the last few weeks, many of us feel a time of reflection was long overdue. We all need to do better. Now it's time to breathe in, exhale, and seek togetherness, friendship, respect and solace with friends and family.
I know I've spent more time at home than ever before and am sensitive to how it comforts me. More than ever I appreciate how my favorite chair allows me to relax and regroup or pick up a book,
February 19, 2020
It doesn't matter whether your style is traditional, contemporary, eclectic or anything else, certain rules about room design seem to apply no matter what.
In the design world where Modernism dictates "less is more", a great room might be spacious and sparsely furnished, yet still have something that draws our eye to a focal point - a center of interest. It might be a painting on the wall or a great rug underfoot, or a grouping of furniture that brings us a sense of security and rest. It might be that very special antique or odd piece that stands alone, creating an accent for the rest of the space, one that quietly demands our attention. Whatever it is, a focal point is a great way to organize space. So, stand at the entry to your living or family room and ask yourself, "Is there a focal point here, or is everything of equal importance, screaming for our attention?"
January 03, 2020
With the new year, 2020, come so many fresh ideas and inspirations related to our modern world. Many of us respond viscerally to our very surroundings. If our furniture could speak, it might say "make me new again." And we're listening. It's as if spring can hardly wait to come bursting into our lives, full of color and spirit.
It's no coincidence that the paint companies announce a new color of the year each January, as if last year's color wasn't fashionable anymore, or didn't reflect our current mood any longer. Perhaps they know more than we do. In our fast-moving contemporary life, filled with anxiety, danger, and often violence, the message might be to create a safe haven, a quiet peaceful retreat.
September 10, 2019
Denver recently celebrated Modernism Week in late August, time set aside to honor the over 6000 residences built in the area during the Modern Age when key elements of design prevailed in architecture and design. The term "modern" differs from contemporary in that refers to a period where certain ideas define the appearance of buildings and furnishings. Contemporary refers to the here and now, the advancing and ever-evolving interpretation of what living in the present day looks like and means to the user.
In the words of the Modernism Week organizers, "Denver and surrounding communities are fortunate to have had so many innovative modern architects, designers, and builders working here in the 1940s-70s, with a robust economy strong enough to support their efforts. There has long been appreciation for this cultural heritage by a small group of historians, enthusiasts, and others, but it has become clear that as more new people move to our city, and more generations are raised in the city with limited awareness of this unique period in time, building a greater cultural awareness of this design heritage is necessary. " We say bravo to that.
If you missed the event (tours and lectures) —don't despair. It's destined to become an annual. In essence, the focus is on architecture designed by modernist architects and builders who were influenced by the Bauhaus School and the ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright which inspired the most cutting- edge buildings in the city primarily during the 1950s and ’60s. They're worth looking at.
February 11, 2019
According to the color pundits, 2019 is the year of bold, saturated color. As always, the latest color selections are a reflection of the country's outlook on life, the economy, and a mirror of our optimism, or lack of it. Based on the latest reports, things are looking up.
That said, why not see if you can deduct what was on the minds of these major tastemakers as they came up with the following decisions.:
Note- not to be off-trend, we are proud to say all these colors can be seen in the home furnishings and accessories in our showroom, right now!
Let's start with the neutral favored by Benjamin Moore, a lovely shade called Metropolitan AF-690. A rich chalky, grey, it's close to the color on all the perimeter walls here in the showroom. Shown below, see it woven into this colorful rug. It looks great with black and white, primaries or jewel tones too.
January 26, 2019
The evolution of design continues to shape the world we live in, especially as the meaning of the word contemporary changes, reflecting the constantly fluctuating status of what is "au courant" or current.
Therein lies the challenge of running a company devoted to contemporary design and products, addressing the way people live in this modern age, and the values that drive their choices.
When we began over 40 years ago, bringing contemporary design to Denver, all eyes were on Scandinavia, a forerunner in the world looking for easy solutions to maximizing space and living efficiently. Enter the Italians who diffused the following era with luxury- new colors, new finishes, new materials.
February 06, 2018
How do humans define themselves? Outwardly, that is? That's the question pop-culture mavins have been asking for decades. It's what drives the fashion, furniture, and home furnishings industry around the clock. Personally, I like to think of us Americans as either traditionalists or rule breakers; the latter referring to those of us who love change, and new designs, as well as modern and
Wherever your tastes fall, one can only wonder how the consumer chooses from all the options offered today from various dealers of modern and contemporary goods, and all those other guys who sell absolutely everything, every style, every era. So much to look at, so many choices. It's dazzling. It's precisely why we specialize, and strive to sell only the most beautiful and the very best created by contemporary designers in Europe
redefining the way we live now.
Fashion is a fickle thing; it evolves. But some things stay true, like proper proportion, line and good design. Over the decades we've come to admire the masters who create the things with staying power; furniture that somehow never goes out of style. Museums are full of them. They're there for a reason. And it's why we've curated a collection that we think reflects those values and why we've invested in a brick and mortar location to allow the consumer to experience the same things for themselves. A place to wander, muse and dream.
December 21, 2017
It's the start of a new year and we're cheering for you! Get organized, get inspired and motivated. Take a look at your living room.
Couldn't it use a lift? We're ready to help you take it up a notch! If you haven't been in lately, you need to stop by to see just what we mean.
We're leading the way when it comes to redefining contemporary in Denver. Like a fresh wind bringing new ideas and inspiration, we think we've got just what it takes to make your home more beautiful than ever, from floor to ceiling!
Come experience the power of our stunning
new flooring, the bevy of bold colors on our walls, and the magic of big screen projection where you can watch our amazing collection of videos made by our producers. (See the craft and the art behind the creations, nearly big as life.)
October 19, 2017
Mies Vander Rohe, Wassily Kandinsky, Isamu Noguchi. Do these names have anything in common?
You bet they do. Each one can be remembered by their unique furniture designs that helped shape and define an era. "Modernism," also known as Mid-Century, or Post-War Modern.
For every one of us who loves the lean, spacious and inviting effect of a modernist interior, it might help to know that there's actually a difference in
definition between the terms contemporary and modern. To the average Joe, they might seem to be the same idea, but in fact, in the furniture world, they're not at all. Contemporary design is all about the present; the ever-evolving moment,
September 11, 2017
Yes, you're at the right site.
Looks different? Stay put. We used to have a different name.
It's been a long road home but that's just how it feels as we return to our roots and welcome old and new customers to our invigorated, newly branded collection, ZOLi Contemporary Living. Not that we really went anywhere; we've simply ended a long time relationship with a European brand. They left. We're still here.
August 22, 2017
Each week our staff at ZOLi Contemporary Living has news to share with you. From the latest trends in the design industry to our favorite residential installation, to news from Europe or simply down the street, we hope to keep you in the loop.
Our in-house staff blogger, Corinne Joy Brown, is an award-winning published author, editor and writer, and frequent contributor to Architecture & Design of the West, Southwest Art, and Western Art & Design.
She's also a trained interior designer with 30 years of experience. She hopes you’ll enjoy her particular view of the design world, as well as news from our buying trips and in-store events. Sometimes we’ll offer a manufacturer's biography; on other occasions, we’ll walk you through our new arrivals and the background of the exciting pieces on our showroom floor.
Sometimes we’ll just look into the past and share some enlightening history on the evolution of a style, an object, or whatever seems worth exploring. We’re also here to answer your questions. We hope you’ll join the conversation by writing to us.
Drop in as you have time and become part of the family of friends who have built Zoli Contemporary Living, formerly Roche Bobois/International Design. We'd love to hear from you.