Rocking the Rapson on your porch

  • Updated: June 30, 2012 - 2:20 PM
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Outdoor version of chair designed by Ralph Rapson and manufactured by Loll Designs of Duluth. Provided by Rapson, Inc.

Furnishing your deck, porch or patio? Here's a new way to do it in style, with chairs designed by renowned architect Ralph Rapson. Rapson was best known for designing the original Guthrie Theater, but he was also a prolific furniture designer.

Now two of his iconic designs -- the low-back lounge chair and the Rapson Rocker -- have been released in outdoor versions made of recycled materials, in a partnership between Duluth-based Loll Designs and Rapson-Inc., the family's design firm now headed by Rapson's son Toby. A prototype recently debuted at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City, and the chairs are now available to the general public.

Rapson sketched the first version of his rocker in 1939 while studying at Cranbrook Academy of Art under Eliel Saarinen and Charles Eames. In 1940, he modified the design as his entry for MoMA's Organic Design in Home Furnishings Competition. In the mid-1940s, in collaboration with Knoll, Rapson completed a full line of solid wood and webbing furniture.

The new outdoor chairs are faithful to Rapson's designs. The lounge chair ($1,099) features sculpted, cantilevered arms and a deep curved seat, while the rocker ($999) features the original's smooth rock. Both are available in eight colors at www.lolldesigns.com.

Casting call for ugly rooms

Is your living room tacky ... outdated ... just plain ugly? HGTV is searching for the "Most Embarrassing Living Room in America." Yes, the winner will be embarrassed on national TV in a half-hour special. But the winner will also win a free makeover by HGTV designer Meg Caswell, host of "Meg's Great Rooms."

To submit your room, e-mail your contact information, including city of residence, a description of your living room, photos and video of yourself and your space to: livingroom casting@gmail.com. Deadline for submissions is 4 p.m. Twin Cities time on July 21.

Win a $20,000 makeover

If your dream home improvement project is beyond your financial reach, here's a chance to make it a reality.

HouseLogic, a website of the National Association of Realtors, is sponsoring a "Boost Your Roost Contest," with the winner receiving $20,000 for home renovation.

To enter, describe what room/area you want to renovate and what the renovation would mean to you personally (300 words maximum). Include at least one photo, but no more than five.

Then send your entry to one of six selected home-improvement bloggers, including Curbly (www.curbly.com), a DIY blog based in St. Paul. Each of the six participating bloggers will select his or her favorite renovation project idea, and those six finalists will be voted on by the public at www.houselogic.com. The finalist with the most votes will win the $20,000 prize.

E-mail your entry to boostyourroost@curbly.com before 11 p.m. Twin Cities time on July 16.

Pottery pilgrimage

If you collect Red Wing pottery, want to start or just want to see and celebrate a homegrown tradition, head to Red Wing, Minn., July 11-14 for the 35th anniversary convention of the Red Wing Collectors Society.

Many events are free and open to the public, including: tours of the Red Wing Pottery Museum, noon-2 p.m. July 11; followed by a wine-and-cheese fundraiser, 6:30-10 p.m. July 11; keynote address by Hannes Kuehn, believed to be the last living molder/designer, at 10:30 a.m. July 12; "Crockfest," a celebration featuring music, food and family activities, 5-9 p.m. July 13; and a show and sale, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 14.

For more information, visit www.redwingcollectors.org or call 1-800-977-7927.

KIM PALMER

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