Category: Front Page Blog

Mobel Link Zag Zig Chair Birmingham MI

Mobel Link’s Zag Zig Chair and Dif Lounge, were staged in a beautiful house in Birmingham, MI. Art and furniture was supplied by Mobili|Now Furniture. — in Birmingham, MI. The open house that took place on Wednesday was a success and a great way to show off  beautiful artwork and furniture from around the area. Place Mobel Link furniture anywhere you please and it will stand out and make a great impression on your guests.

Mobel Link Dif Lounge Birmingham MI

Mobel Link Zag Zig Birmingham MI Mobel Link Zag Zig Chair Birmingham MI Mobel Link Dif Lounge - Birmingham MI Mobel Link Furniture Birmingham MI


Pure Michigan-Inspired – Detroit Home – Summer 2013 – Detroit, MI


“This Detroit company turns out chairs that draw me to their simplicity in design. A clean, innovative line features a single piece of Baltic birch plywood, and it’s a great color that reminds me of the grasses along Sleeping Bear Dunes.”

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May 10, 2013 at 1:00 am
Maureen Feighan

Made in Michigan: Hand-crafted furniture

Designers create unique pieces from wood, steel and recycled materials

From The Detroit News:

The smell of lacquer wafts through the air inside Alan Kaniarz’ large, dusty workshop at the Russell Industrial Center as workers assemble cabinets and National Public Radio plays in the background.

On a large work table near the back of the shop rests a chaise lounge made of Baltic birch plywood, but one glance at it and it’s clear it isn’t a conventional chaise. With its round curves and elegant shape, it gives the illusion of bent wood, making it as much an art piece as it is furniture.

“Once it’s designed, how it’ll be put together, the dimensions, all of the lines have to converge,” says Kaniarz, who started his Mobel Link furniture line two years ago. “The shape of the chairs is comprised of differing arcs and where those arcs connect and that line has to be digitally perfect.”

Kaniarz is one of several local furniture designers creating their own pieces and lines with a distinct point of view. And while many of the area’s largest furniture retailers assemble their products overseas, local designers are doing it right here in Michigan.

Kaniarz creates pieces that bend and twist and have a distinct mid-century and modern aesthetic. He says he does a lot in the Arts and Crafts style, the design movement that flourished from the late 19th century through 1918.

“When one compares the spare lines of this style to the excess ornamentation of the Victorian era, you can see that the style was thoroughly modern,” Kaniarz says.

Kaniarz, who grew up in Detroit, first started working with wood more than three decades ago after getting his builder’s license. He also used to make custom stained-glass pieces. But it wasn’t until making some wood pieces for a friend, Ben Hall, co-owner of the Russell Street Deli near Eastern Market, that he ventured into making his own furniture.

Working with CDX plywood, they cut the wood in angles, creating shapes that almost looked like parallelograms from the side.

“I was fascinated by the interplay of the end grain and the side grain, and from there, I made my first chair,” Kaniarz says.

Today, Mobel Link — some of which is available at TRA Art Gallery in the Michigan Design Center and at Mobili Now in Birmingham — is a mix of intricately cut and assembled chairs and some tables. Pieces range from $1,200 to $6,700.

His Frond chair, with a 60-inch tall back and made from 78 pieces, was inspired by Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of the most celebrated architects and designers during the arts and crafts movement of the 20th century. Famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright also did a lot of high-back chairs, says Kaniarz.

“Frank Lloyd Wright said that because we come from cavemen people felt secure with their back against the wall, so this was a way of reproducing that feeling of safety and security,” says Kaniarz, who also is an adjunct professor at the College for Creative Studies and has taught at Wayne State.

Each piece starts with a sketch. Kaniarz uses a computer-automated design (CAD) program to convert his sketches into a one-sheet diagram that breaks down each chair into individual pieces that can be carved from one piece of 4-by-8 plywood. A computer numeric control router takes that diagram and carves the pieces 90 percent out of the wood; the pieces have to be cut the rest of the way with a hand router.

Then the real work begins, says Kaniarz.

“All of the edges need to be sanded,” he says. “We round the edges a little bit using another router. There’s just a ton of handwork in these things. They’re all handmade.”

The Dif Lounge, Kaniarz’s chaise, is made of 132 pieces of Baltic birch; it’s assembled with dowels, nails and glue, as are all of Kaniarz’s pieces. Each piece also has several coats of a post-catalyzed lacquer with resins and hardeners that make it moisture resistant.

Kaniarz says he designed an earlier version of the Dif Lounge and while it looked good, “it ended up being a torture device in that it was too low and the back curved downward.”

“On redesign, we changed the height which was a major plus, but the arcs and angles that were created to give proper back and leg support really dictated the end result. After I figured that out, it was a matter of connecting the dots in a pleasing manner that was at once structural and sculptural.”

Structural and sculptural could also be used to describe Chris Palmer’s work. The St. Clair Shores designer, who is just starting his business, has a modern style but uses a wide a range of materials, everything from steel wire mesh to materials he’s created. For him, he doesn’t even like to pigeonhole himself as a furniture designer. He considers what he creates more “expression in design.”

“I don’t like to have a style,” he says. “I think it’s a challenge for a designer to be flexible. Usually if there’s any style, it’s in my process. And my process depends on a material or manufacturing process.

A graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art where he received a master’s degree in 3D design last spring, Palmer says he’s been creating things and making things since he was a child. And that’s continued into adulthood.

His spring mesh chair is made of wire mesh and has an integral spring, meaning the spring is built into the chair. Palmer made a die and formed the spring’s curve in a press. For the seat, he used a swage block and hammer and rolled it by hand. It’s attached to an ash base.

“A lot of work and more than one process (was used) to make that form in steel mesh,” he says.

Many of his pieces are surprisingly comfortable. His stainless steel lounge is made of stainless woven mesh that was bent with an anvil. It’s attached to a walnut base and molds to the body. Pieces range in price from $200 to $4,000.

“I don’t want to do just one thing,” says Palmer, who says he’s a big fan of Knoll, known for its modern designs. “The one thing is trying new things.”

Palmer has even created his own materials.

“I’ve got a whole chemical library of nontoxic materials and I’m just trying to make expressions with the material,” says Palmer, who was a tool and die maker and worked in metal fabrication before going to graduate school.

An avid traveler, Palmer says he was inspired by all the trash he say in some places and thought there had to be a use for it. Back home, he mixed old paper, cardboard, and fibers such as old clothes, grinded them up, and mixed them with a biodegradable binder. It creates a strong compound that be used to make a structure, he says.

“Is it the most beautiful material in the world?” he says. “No, it’s not. But is it interesting? Yes.”

“With a kitchen blender and four buckets, you can make something really structural out of garbage,” he says.

And while his business is in its infancy, Palmer has a vision.

“I’m always trying to go places design hasn’t gone before,” Palmer says.


From The Detroit News:


Headed to Canada anytime soon? If so be sure to check out the article in the enRoute Magazine in Air Canada. Möbel Link’s very own Alan Kaniarz is featured on Page 48 with a photo of himself and Möbel Link’s Award Winning Motion Chair.

This article dives into the resourceful businesses that Detroit attracts. The article states “Craftwork is as much a part of the city’s DNA as assembly line production.”  Many Detroit located companies are spoken of: Honor & Folly Inn, Craft Cocktail Purveyor Sugar House, Mercury Burger & Bar, Michigan Central Station, Soup, Russell Industrial Center’s A.K. Services & Michigan Hot Glass and Eastern Market.

During Alan Kaniarz’s brief interview he gave some insight into his A.K. Services woodworking shop located in the Russell Industrial Center. He goes on to describe how Möbel Link’s Award Winning Motion Chair is made of dozens of Baltic birch plywood strips that create one elegant rippling line taking three days to produce. He then elaborates on his one-off halo chair with an adjustable crown of light bulbs with bits and pieces salvaged from a nearby church.

Albert Young, Owner and Artist of Michigan Hot Glass states “Artists from all over the country are starting to move in.” Looks like things are looking up for good ol Detroit! With all of the Detroit pride, this city sure will shape up and turn into something more magnificent than it already is. Detroit captures the souls and hearts of Michiganders and brings out the artists in all of us.

Be sure to take a look at the article as it showcases many of Detroit’s great businesses. In Air Canada today!





Bailey House

A big congratulation goes out to the Bailey House for putting on such an incredible Auction & Gala last Thursday night, March 28th at Pier 60 in New York, NY. This event was held to celebrate 30 years of service with featured entertainment by legend Alan Cumming and corporate supporter Harlan Bratcher of A/X Armani Exchange. Tributes for each honoree were made by Jane Pauley, Wendy Williams and Terrence Meck while the incredible live auction was led by auctioneer George McNeely and the legendary Alan Cumming.

The Bailey House was founded in 1983, to support and shelter the homeless with HIV/AIDS. At the Bailey House, they not only address the essential human needs – housing, food, safety, they deliver a wide range of support services including access to healthcare, counseling, support groups and substance abuse treatment. Bailey House clients are empowered with education, job training and employment assistance which enables them the ability to craft their own future. Bailey House clients (homeless men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS in NY) develop a sense of trust, community and stability with the support of the Bailey House.  An incredible charity indeed!

The event last Thursday brought in incredible individuals. There were numerous Auction Item Donors, including one of our very own pieces – The Mini Frond Chair, showcased in the photos below by Syd London. Our Mini Frond Chair was bid on and taken home to garner oohs and ah’s by someone at the event which we are unable to disclose. Enjoy! Other incredible auctioned items at the event included photography, vacation destinations, fashion accessories, unique home decor items, 2 VIP tickets to the Opening night of Macbeth on Broadway, Champagne weekend at the Kentucky Derby, Full High-End Audio Visual System along with many other incredible items. Definitely something for everyone!

Over $15 million dollars has been raised since the Bailey House’s opening event. With generous sponsorships  intense bidding and celebrity buzz, these events have been able to provide more housing and supportive services for their clients. It’s never too late to make a donation and support the Bailey House. Make a contribution today!

View our Mini Frond Chair on our new and updated website at Or Contact us today at 313.972.1010

Photo by Syd London

Photo by Syd London


Photo by Syd London

Photo by Syd London