What is modern? 

Modern is not a style or a period in time.

'Modern' is a rational effort to solve everyday problems through experimentation - and design. With thoughtful discussion and development the designer is able to expand in new directions and improve on existing ideas. 

We are all familiar with iconic designers of the 20th century, Charles and Ray EamesFlorence Knoll, Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, but modernists have been around since early man sat on a flat stone covered in animal hide. Later lashing slatted wood together, hand carving the pieces that would become a chair and, eventually, machine turning on a steam driven lathe. Each generation of modernists using its own advancements to solve everyday problems, paving the way for the next.

And modern design is not just about organic forms or clean lines - it is the reflection of the resources and values unique to each era and culture and their place in time. 

Of course use determines the basic form but materials and method of manufacture should reflect the honest expression of the form. Technology, tools, resources at hand - these make the visual quality satisfy the aesthetic sense of beauty and proportion in our psyche - and these comprise modern design.

Curious? Each month in 'What is Modern?' we will explore topics that make modern, modern.

Thinking about enhancing your space with a special piece of classic modernism? Inspiration below...Come see for yourself. Visit us by appointment.


Tom Gibbs, founder of TOM GIBBS STUDIO, sits down with Alice Garbarini Hurley for the Dinner Guest feature in the ASPIRE DESIGN + HOME Winter 2018/2019 issue.

“I come from a background of restoring vintage cars in New York starting at age 15. I bought my first, a Studebaker Golden Hawk (made between 1956 and 1958) from a friend of my auto shop teacher at Freeport High School on Long Island. I took the whole apart and put it back together. You learn. It gives you an eye for symmetry, lines, color, detail. The I did the same thing with furniture - I started buying it at tag sales and restoring it. I’m interested in how its made and everything about it. It’s really a passion and a love.”

Read the full article below. Explore the full issue at aspiremetro.com.


Seeing Double

Don't let your sofa steal the spotlight. ... Add harmony and balance to your space with symmetrical seating and expand the possibilities for comfort and conversation with pieces that can be re-arranged with ease.

These chairs are so good you can't just have one...


As we prepare for the long awaited opening of our Ferndale gallery, we are dusting the shelves, curating cool, sophisticated seating areas and assembling some of our favorite pieces for a preview of what you will find September 21st when we open our doors.

Our favorites for the season are luxurious leather covered lounge chairs perfect for catching up on the reading you put off all summer, stools for gathering with friends and table lamps to punctuate any space and add a wonderfully warm ambience.

Discover some of our favorite modern originals...

EXPLORE LIGHTING:  Collection of Laurel Lamps

EXPLORE LIGHTING: Collection of Laurel Lamps

EXPLORE SEATING:  Florence Knoll Nesting Stools with Wrought Iron Bases

EXPLORE SEATING: Florence Knoll Nesting Stools with Wrought Iron Bases

Launching our gallery!

TOM GIBBS STUDIO is thrilled to announce the launch of our Ferndale gallery, the ultimate destination for mid century design in Metro-Detroit.

Come celebrate our grand opening celebration with special preview and happy hour.

Since 1991, TOM GIBBS STUDIO has offered a collection of the finest mid century design for interior designers, collectors and mid century enthusiasts alike. Curating mid century design for the contemporary lifestyle, TOM GIBBS STUDIO presents the highest quality modern masterpieces in original and appropriately restored condition.

Discover icons such as Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Florence Knoll, Paul McCobb, George Nelson, Eero Saarinen, Edward Wormley, Hans Wegner, and more.

Be the first to explore the TOM GIBBS STUDIO collection September 21st and celebrate the legacy of mid century design with wine, hors d’oeuvres and a very special discount on your first purchase.

Please register on eventbrite and visit us on Facebook for photos and updates.