An Homage to the Greek Key

A montage of products designed by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Company.
A montage of products designed by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Company.

Barry Goralnick’s first furniture collection for Currey & Company, which pays homage to the Greek Key, has become an instant hit.  It has already been featured in Aspire Design and HomeHome Accents TodayDesigners TodayBusiness of Home, and The Hive, a new publication by the Design Leadership Network that features ideas, inspiration, and insight from the best of the design community. The editors for the latter dubbed our new releases by Barry “Glamour Redefined.”  

Barry Goralnick on the Greek Key

Barry Goralnick. Photo credit Maura Sullivan.
Barry Goralnick. Photo credit Maura Sullivan.

The world-renowned architect and designer, who is a graduate of Harvard School of Design, has operated his design firm, Goralnick Architecture Design Studio D.P.C., for more than twenty years. Based in New York City, Barry debuted his first products with us in 2018, bringing a fresh perspective to task lighting. With his unique point of view, his furniture that he designed for us, which debuted this spring, is just as timeless. Take a look at the video below to see some of his new introductions for Currey & Company and be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel.

The Zoe Cabinet and Credenza, Artemis Leather Chair, and Zoe Club Chair all have something in common: the Greek Key motif. We asked Barry to share with our readers why he was inspired to choose this pattern to ornament his furniture. “Encompassing both the masculine and the feminine, the classic and the modern, simplicity and maximalism, the Greek Key can enhance architecture, interiors, and designs of many styles and eras,” he explains. “As an architect and a product designer, I look to motifs that not only embellish designs, but ones that connect my work to historic precedents.” 

The Zoe Credenza with a Greek Key motif by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Company

In our new introductions, he skillfully plays with the scale of the Greek Key pattern and deconstructs its elements. On the Zoe Cabinet and Credenza, the key is blown up to a single large bracket so that the design takes on a bold graphic quality; on the Artemis, a single key is silhouetted on the front of the seat back. On the Zoe Club Chair, the motif is miniaturized and densely repeated so that the keys become more decorative and graceful in realization.

“What is most astonishing about the motif is that it is found in the architecture, sculpture, and decorative arts of many early civilizations such as the Egyptian, Mayan, and Chinese—civilizations that could not possibly have known or seen one another,” Barry notes. “Those cultures, independent of one another, created their own version of the motif. It’s part of a time-honored, shared design vocabulary that humanity responds to collectively, then and now.”

Zoe Cabinet designed by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Company.

The Greeks used it most frequently, he adds, which is the reason we refer to it today as the Greek Key. “The Romans copied it,” Barry explains, “and by the 18th century, all of Europe had adapted it into their design vocabulary. In our own more recent history, the motif has been celebrated in many design periods, including Empire and Hollywood Regency.”

With the Zoe Credenza and Cabinet, Barry extracted a simple key from a Greek Key pattern. It is etched in gold on the drawer fronts and balanced by gold-toned brass circular pulls. The gold accents continue with the striping on the doors and the gilded base. The distinctive element is the curved detail at the bottom that adds the final touch of Hollywood Regency flair.

Artemis Chair with one Greek Key enlivening its seat back. Designed by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Company

The Artemis chair is an update of the classic Klismos chair, which has been around since the Egyptian civilization, to which he added a Greek Key motif. “Most Klismos chairs are more known for their look rather than comfort,” he says. “This chair is designed for comfort first with modern proportions thanks to a wider, deeper seat and the pitch of the back.” Its versatility makes the Artemis superb as an accent chair for a foyer and comfortable enough to use at a dining table. “I wanted to freshen up Hollywood Regency form with ebonized wood, ivory-colored upholstery, and exquisite updated neo-classical details,” he says.

Zoe Club Chair with subtle Greek Key detailing along its frame. Designed by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Company

For the Zoe club chair, he incorporated a continuous repeating Greek Key carved into the chair frame. “This new club chair is deep and comfortable,” he remarks. “With its Greek Key, dark chocolate wood, and blanc cassé fabric, it evokes the spirit of Hollywood Regency while offering a current sophisticated design that complements any room today.”

New Introductions in Lighting

Julian Chandelier designed by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Company.
The Julian Chandelier designed by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Company.

Though we are featuring his furniture today, you can find new lighting introductions by Barry by clicking through on each of the following: the Julian Chandelier and Wall Sconce, the James Flush Mount, and the Mizmaze Table Lamp. Shown above is the Julian Chandelier, which provides a high-impact presence with an airy open design. With all of our spring introductions, you can see Barry’s Blended Modern™ take on design and lifestyle emerge. “My Blended Modern approach to design provides what’s truly dynamic in design today—a mix of motifs, styles, and periods creating a modern counterpoint that captures our moment in time,” he explains. “Never before have individual interior expressions been richer. Blended Modern also allows for great pieces of design in the absolute to be part of an exciting interior vocabulary.”