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Stuff & Stories

Vintage interior design from the former Czechoslovakian Republic

Stuff & Stories is specialist in Czechoslovakian design from the second half of the 20th century.

In the 60’s, the former Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia stands out as a producing country of high quality interior design of elegant simplicity. The style is strikingly modern with a line that is clean and gentle. The furniture is both functional and robust.

This boost of Czechoslovakian design is rooted in the success of the 1958 Brussels World Fair. The team of architects, artists and designers responsible for the Czechoslovak pavilion are granted an exceptional artistic freedom. Six million people visit the pavilion, which is awarded the best pavilion of the Expo 58. At the exposition “A Day in Czechoslovakia” international visitors indulge in the achievements of socialism. They can enjoy the elegance and comfort of a design that depicts a progressive vision of communist lifestyle; one that welcomes a new modernity, self-confident and free of the dogma’s of the early 50’s.

With their designs, famous interior designers such as Miroslav Navratil or Jiri Jiroutek, define the very aesthetics of a lifestyle that in their view befits the ideals of socialist modernity. Many of these designers work for the famous furniture factory Interiér Praha or Tatra Nabytok.

The Czechoslovak contribution to Expo 58 also expresses the growing conviction within the Communist Party that capitalism should not be fought with military force, but with technological and artistic achievements.

Expo ‘58 marks the beginning of a decade of cultural and economic liberalization in Czechoslovakia that ultimately leads to the Prague Spring of 1968, when the newly elected communist leader Alexander Dubček starts a program of decentralization and democratization. His peers in Moscow and the other capitals of the communist block are not pleased with this independent course. In August of that same year Soviet tanks enter the streets of Prague to bring a brutal end to this brief period of economic and cultural freedom which also leaves its mark on the artistic output.

An iconic  design is the U-450, a series of sideboards by Jiri Jiroutek. Characteristic element in this design are the bright colors of the drawers in a clean enclosure of oak veneer.

The vintage furniture of Stuff & Stories is well loved. Luckily, Czechoslovakian design is made to withstand the test of time. That does not mean that the furniture is invincible. Stuff & Stories restores each item with the greatest care and is committed to preserve the original character of the design.

Interiér Praha and all other producers where obliged to mark all furniture with a production label that included the year of production. Practically all furniture still have this label. There can’t be a more convincing certificate of origin.