There I was cruising my regular craigslist search keywords yesterday when I found something interesting, and cheap.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the end all be all of mid century furniture knowledge. Well I like to think I know more than the average bear in regards to the heavy hitters [see eames, nguchi, knoll, and nelson] I couldn’t tell you the name of anyone who designed more common pieces. When it comes to pieces that aren’t quite
, I’m at a loss.
I know I had seen that pattern before, but can’t think of, or never knew the name. I end up consulting my main man Mr. Google. I used image search and believe I typed something along the lines of “wavy wood mid century credenza”, technical I know. After about ten pages I found something similar and it was captioned, “Broyhill, Brasilia”.
I also know that Broyhill made some seriously stellar mid century wooden furniture, so I figured I had found something worth at least 30.00$. Not to mention I just overall really liked whatever they were, even if I had no idea of scale thanks to some pretty crummy listing photos. I didn’t expect for the background info on the design to be as interesting as it was though!
“The signature lines and waves of Brasilia furniture were inspired by the distinct architecture of the city of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.
The city of Brasilia was planned and developed between 1956 and 1960. When viewed from above, the city’s shape resembles a plane or bird, which is mimicked on much of Broyhill’s original fabric and tiles. Most of the city’s architecture was the vision of a man named Oscar Niemeyer. Some of his most notable works are the Palacio de Alvorada and the Cathedral of Brasilia (Pictured).
These both feature clean lines and simple, modern design. What stands out most about the architecture is the use of hyperboloid structures, as in the cathedral and it’s parabolic columns, which are said to represent two hands moving upwards towards heaven. This particular building is one of Brasilia’s most recognizable attractions, due to it’s unique design and grand scale.
When viewing the architecture of Brasilia, it is clear to see the inspiration in the design of the Broyhill Brasilia line of furniture. This line was first featured at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962 representing the city of Brasilia. These unique pieces were created throughout the 1960’s in various forms. “
I’m in love with Brasilia now. Why aren’t buildings designed so wonderfully as this anymore? You can really see the influence from those modern shapes everywhere in the city, even so in the seal.
Seriously some wonderful stuff. I also came across a copy of the original brochure for the entire line of furniture offered by Broyhill!
Now I’m able to identify my mystery craigslist item as two Broyhill Brasilia Commode. Internet sleuthing for the win!
Now for those of you not be well versed in furniture terms. I
buy a toilet. The word commode is french for convenient. It refers to cabinets, in more modern terms it's really a nightstand, which hold personal effects in the bedroom. Victorians had a "nighttime commode" or the cabinet that held their chamber pot and cleansing basin. The Victorian version is why we nickname the potty as such. I'm glad all these bad boys will end up holding is remotes and records.
I decided to use them for the time being in the living room seeing as we are sofa table less. As luck would have it they fit on either side of the couch quite wonderfully, dare I say perfectly? The lighting situation in the whole house right now is still pretty dim [SEE WHAT I DID THERE? DIM, LIGHTING, GET IT?] My friend anna reccomended doing like a pendant light cluster in the corner, and it's sounding pretty awesome at the moment.