Inspiring Ideas of Vintage Decoration with your grandma’s moulds

You will create a great kitchenalia style in your kitchen by using those old moulds.

Sparkling copper, rustic in terra-cota or modest in cast iron, the baking tins are just asking to be used again! They can also decorate so well your kitchen’ walls or even your shelves.

They became more democratic during the 20th century. The sophisticated pastries baked until now especially for the wealthy elite, invites itself to the middle-class table, thanks to the discovery of the beet sugar.

The sweet dishes, served on a service trolley at the beginning of each meal had to be as nice as good.


The brassworkers had to excel themselves to realize some perfect baking tins adapted to the various specialities of cooking.

Many of them present some spectacular decorations:  straight or trunks grooves, swags, and floors for tiered cakes… Those luxurious tinned copper moulds request a lot of maintenance and remain the privilege of the bourgeois’ houses and restaurants. They are still nowadays very popular. The most modest households are looking for the white iron ones, more practical for use and cheaper, but sensible to rust, also light and easy to manufacture. The cast iron baking tins are simpler than their copper’ equivalent: tart mould, panettone mould, charlotte mould, brioche mould, cannele mould… and many other cook tops for small pastries like: the “Madeleine”, the “financier”, the “langue de chat”… Nevertheless, this material, still used nowadays, is going to be less and less used during the 50’s, replaced by the aluminium material which was easier to work with and totally insensible to oxidation.

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What is the industrial furniture style?

Nowadays, the industrial style knows a considerable development. All industrial furniture and decoration can fit as well in a country house as in a purely design placed. Besides its functional aspect, its plays on the raw and on metallic materials, also on the straight lines and turns away easily to make it essential.

Every metal’ furniture used in the work’s world can become a nice piece of furniture in your own home and add a real industrial vintage character.

Its story began during the 18th century. Privilege of the powerful, the metallic furniture became more democratic under the Second Empire and under the Industrial Revolution to join now the house. It became aristocratic stylish and popular at the same time.


The industrial aesthetics was born in 1851, when Sir Joseph Paxton, engineer and nursery gardener of Queen Victoria, designed and built in a few months the huge Crystal Palace, of cast iron and glass, for the world fair of London. The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889, is another embodiment.


The first industrial furniture is deliberately functional. They are made to fit for a particular function in the industry. It’s in France, in 1969, that the brand Prisunic had launched the first collection of steel furniture for the house.

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Gras lamp: A special vintage Industrial Lamp

What a fantastic and innovative lamp designed by Bernard-Albin Gras!

As its sister the Jielde lamp, the Gras Vintage Industrial Lamp takes a special place in the world of lightning history. Manufactured in 1922, it inaugurates a new kind of articulate lightning that corresponds to the Industrial need as well as the tertiary sector rapidly expanding. There are neither screws nor welded joints in the basic form. This is the lamp for industries and also for engineering firms, laboratories etc… up to the Normandie liner’s office. This lamp was used to light architect’ tables and artists’ studios as well as machine tools.


On the 13th of October 1921, Bernard-Albin Gras applies for the patent Number 531 001 for an Industrial Lamp. He was one of the most innovative designer of the 20th century. The functional esthetic of his lamps and especially the design of details such as those of the articulated brackets, supports and bases were truly original and far ahead of his time.

The next year, the lamp is manufactured by Maurice Bruneteau from Sainte-Suzanne, then it is Louis-Didier des Gachons who gets the production of the lamp in his company “L’Industrie du Tourniquet et du Classeur” (Revolving Rack and Cabinet Manufacturer). They both create a range with 23 models of the lamp for everybody in industries, offices and every working situation.

Finally, the lamp signed “Lampe ajustable” “GRAS” stamped “S.G.D.G.” is manufactured in 3 finishes: chrome, nickel and black enamel. Since it was first produced in the 1920s it has had an exemplary career without even the slightest modification in half a century, a record!


How she did became a legend?

At first it was Le Corbusier who was seduced by the modern design and user friendliness of the lamps and introduced it in his own offices, as well as employing it in numerous architectural projects all over the world. He was saying that it was a “tool-object” and he became one of the most enthusiastic supporters. Other people followed this trend as well, like Robert Mallet-Stevens, Eileen Gray, Jacques Emile Ruhlmann, Michel Roux-Spitz, some famous painters: Georges Braque and Sonia Delauney and so many others…


From june 1927 Louis-Didier des Gachons joins Jean-Ravel and in 1932, the Gras Lamp took the name: RAVEL lamp. This new lamp will be manufactured until 1970.

Today the lamp Gras has become a collector’s item all over the world, most notably in France, in the United States and in Japan. Bernard-Albin Gras’s talented and visionary design has proven to be timeless.

His lamp became an icon of the 20th century!

How to know the exact date of manufacture:

  • 1921: the electric cord is completely out of the lamp
  • 1922: the flat connecting rod is replaced by a hollow connecting rod to get the electric cord isolated, the stamp “Lampe ajustable GRAS” brevetee S.G.D.G.”
  • 1927: stamped with “Ravel”
  • 1930: stamped “Lampe ajustable D.G.R.”
  • 1932: stamped “Lampe R.A.V.E.L. Clamart”
  • 1960’s: green or grey colors
  • 1970: composite wooden kneecap (permaly).
  • 2008: Philippe Cazer and Frederic Winkler formed the DCW Company and reissued the Gras lamp.

The Gras Nowadays:

Since 2008, Philippe Cazer and Frederic Winkler formed the DCW Company and reissued the Gras lamp. The Gras lamp is reissued within 35 models in total and 2 special Gras furniture! Thus, the Gras lamp fits perfectly in every corner of your home or office!


I personally find that the original vintage ones have so much character, let’s hunt them for antiques!

Discover all about its sister the Jielde lamp or check out all my Top 10 Favourite Industrial lamp!

More information about the Gras lamp:

Singer: iconic Vintage Industrial Brand

Sewing machines were not the only things manufactured by the world-famous Singer Company! They also manufactured some great industrial furniture such as the Singer stool and the Singer chair, a must-have for vintage lovers!vintage-industrial-furniture-singer-stool

New York, 1851, I.M. Singer & Company is created. Isaac Merritt Singer (1811-1875) is the inventor of the sewing machine. At first, all the items were manufactured in New York, Frederick Gilbert Bourne (1851-1919), head of the firm at the beginning of the 20th century, built up the first worldwide company in spreading the brand all over the world by establishing some customer and distribution services in every countries, and also in building many different factories abroad.

Isaac Merritt Singer had invented the hire-purchase system in order to equip as many women as possible. “Owning a Singer was the ambition of many working women, who would buy them on credit, with a subscription. Many married women hoped to earn some extra money while taking care of their homes”.

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The ”Navy 1006” chair, what a fascinating vintage industrial chair!

How amazing is this unsinkable chair. Did you ever dreamt of having such a nice industrial furniture in your living room?

First built in the USA in the 40’s (1944 in Hanover, Pennsylvania) by Emeco (Electric Machine and Equipment Company) for use on the American submarines and warships, to answer their specified contract “the chair had to be able to withstand torpedo blasts to the side of a destroyer”. And in fact Emeco’s founder in participation with Alcoa’s experts, Witton C and Dinges, have designed the 1006, an industrial chair so durable that it far exceeded the Navy’s specifications.


The Navy Chair has been in continuous production ever since. The Emeco chair embodies the perfect shape and material fusion.

It is a handmade item. Made of aluminium (so antimagnetic) very light but also very strong (can support more than 500kgs). The craftsmen take twelve parts being welded together, then being ground to create a seamless one-piece look. Finally, the chair is anodized for a durable finish. They need 4 hours to make it with around 50 movements and 77 steps Process.

This marine chair will go threw all oceans until the 70’s: during the cold war the sales stopped. And in 1998, Gregg Buchbinder acquires the Emeco Company and brings it a new corporate culture. He asked the French designer Philippe Starck to work with him. It is a success: the turnover gets a 300% rising and the staff triple!

After Philippe Starck many great designers have designed the “Navy 1006”, like Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, and Andree Putmann, they all signed a reedition.

Nowadays, “The Navy Chair” is still manufactured and the The aficionados give it the nickname of “Ten o six”.

You would like to find an original one?

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Nicolle stool: Discover this iconic Industrial Furniture

Nicolle Stool: a fantastic Vintage Industrial Furniture

From 1913, the “Etablissements Nicolle”, based in Montreuil, France, were specialized in the manufacture of washers (the Belleville washer very well known). As they needed better metal stools for their workers, they designed the “Nicolle Stool” for their own use and for some of their neighbouring factories. So was born this iconic Industrial Furniture:  The “Nicolle Stool” in 1933, with its three stamped metal legs and a seat in the shape of a large washer.

Soon afterwards they added a backrest, which was compared after the war to the “tail of a whale”, creating the “Nicolle Chair”. The industrial stool later became stackable and a fourth leg was added to increase its stability (and because of safety standards at the time). Soon, it was bought and used in factories all over France. It was available in eight different heights, ranging from 45 cm to 80 cm, making it suitable for use with many kinds of machinery.

In 1954, the company “Etablissements Nicolle” designed two different models of industrial stool with adjustable screws: the 45/60 and the 60/80.

vintage nicolle stool

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I love vintage furniture, but what means “Vintage”?

I’m crazy about vintage furniture!

And I hope I will be able to share with you my passion through this blog.

What is better than sitting in a comfy French Club Chair with signs of wear and tears, which, gives it an original vintage and unique charm?

Having a huge vintage butcher’s block which stand in the middle of your kitchen surrounding by some kitchenalia items, so great!


I could give you lots of examples like that.

You need storage? What about a vintage Danish sideboard or an antiques dentist cabinet or an haberdashery cabinet or…

You want to give your interior a vintage feeling, you can choose decorative items such as… sorry, the list is going to be too long.

So, vintage furniture is really great. But what exactly means “Vintage”?

We can read and hear all the time people talking about “Vintage”.

Did you ever asked yourself what the word “Vintage” does mean?

Is it only for clothes? Is it also for furniture?

Let me tell you about Vintage:

Discover the origin of Vintage

An awesome vintage industrial furniture: the sorting desk.

How an industrial furniture used by each french post office became an icon of Industrial Design?

In the edge of the first war, it was created for the French post, also called “Tri Postal“.  This metal furniture was a clever system, designed to answer at best to the many times reproduced gestures and to the postures of the post-office employees in the sorting rooms. It can be considered like one of the first ergonomic furniture of the industrial era.

If we go back in its family tree, we can find two ancestors. Until 1850, they used to store the mail in wicker suitcases, and this mail was essentially made by stagecoach. But the industrial era, the arrival of the railroad and the succession of the rural mailman in most of the back countryside lead the post office to get organize and began to sort out the mail, which meant to supersede the wicker suitcases to wooden lockers. And this change has to be done in Europe quite as in the United States of America, where the Taylorism success to increase the productivity of the workers, in the first decades of the 20th century, was going to introduce the idea of ergonomics.



So before the beginning of the First World War, the French post office becomes aware of the importance of the sorting operations. She began to study the gestures and postures of the workers, analysed their work behavior, and decomposed their movements, like the graphic designers are doing with their cartoons! Unfortunately, the approach remains empirical and few of these documents from that time were archived.

Those sorting desks were certainly not designed by chance…

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