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Industry & Trends

Making Modernica’s Sublimely Beautiful Alpine Chair

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March 2, 2021 | Bill Esler

Los Angeles, CA – For more than 30 years, Modernica has built each piece of furniture, one-by-one, at its five-acre campus in Los Angeles. Family owned and operated by Jay and Jenny Novak since it opened in 1999, the company produces its own original designs, as well as collaborating with other brands and designers. 

Modernica woodshop chair construction

Modernica is home to a world-class upholstery department and woodshop, in addition to being a top source for mid-century modern molded fiberglass chairs.

For a number of its designs, Modernica applies adhesive then layer plywood and veneer under heat and pressure to form molded or contoured components. Subsequently cut by CNC, components are refined by hand. This approach is used in its Alpine chair (video above, photos below). 

Alpine chair in rosewood from Modernica

The Alpine dining chair was designed, developed and created at Modernica. Its sculptural form is created by molding layers of North American hardwoods and bonding them into a unified structure.

The chair features outer layers of walnut or ash veneer with maple inner ply and is finished with a supple sheen. The santos rosewood veneer features a very fine grain and takes a very high polish.The dining chair provides comfort and great strength in a simple, fluid shape. (It retails for $495 at Modernica‘s online store.) 

Modernica Alpine chair

Modernica also sells furniture to commercial accounts, with its products specified for hospitality and other non-consumer segments. For these projects it provides customized finishes and personalized service.

Taking advantage of its locale, Modernica operates Modernica Props, providing props to Hollywood studios from a 60,000-sq.-ft. showroom in Silver Lake, Calif. An inventory of more than 15,000 vintageand contemporary items includes furniture, lighting, and décor. Sold at its location or through a Shopify website, Modernica says its props have appeared in thousands of films, television shows, commercials, and photo shoots.

Modernica woodshop facility

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