A few weeks ago I came across the most amazing floor lamps. I love a good lamp, like some women love a good handbag. Design Within Reach does this smart little write up on all their designers. I was so intrigued by the simplicity of the lamp and the first time I heard the name Greta Grossman, I was sucked in and read further.
Swedish designer Greta Grossman was ahead of her time. She was an architect when women weren’t. She was a designer and above all, she was a modernist. In the 1933 she opened Studio, a combined store and workshop in Sweden geared towards women who worked outside the home, along side fellow Konstfack classmate Erik Ullrich. The was filled with simple designs that were as functional as they were beautiful. To her it was more about a few special things over dozens of tiny odds and ends. Kinda like you and me, eh?
In the 1940s, Greta, along with her jazz musician husband Bill Grossman, immigrated to Los Angeles where she reopened her furniture store and continued to architect her way around the state of California. She is most renowned for her own home, a modest 1500 SF two bedroom perched on a hillside in Beverly Hills, but designed over a dozen homes from 1949-1959 in California, including one in her native Sweden.
The home was recently remodeled and nearly doubled in size. Around 3000 SF total and an added pool. Not too shabby. I love when a homeowner and an architect (Tony Unruh) pay homage to the original designer. So thoughtful.
And there’s that lamp that I love. It’s called the grasshopper. Seems fitting. It’s light and angular and looks like it could fit into any interior. And now, thanks to DWR, I, and you, don’t have to pay $10,000 dollars to get one because it’s back into production after 50 years off. That coffee table isn’t too shabby either. Unfortunately, because of the rarity, most of her vintage original pieces will fetch a pretty penny. So now that you know, keep a lookout in those yard sales and thrift stores. You never know what you may run across. Just because it doesn’t say Eames, doesn’t mean it isn’t good design.