Meet Sonja and Milan

Meet Sonja and Milan – Studio Sonja Milan


Meet Sonja and Milan, my fashion-forward grandmother and business savvy grandfather....and the cause for my mid-century obsession.

After I decided to turn my passion into a business, I knew I needed to settle on a name.  While agonizing over the options a friend asked a simple question, “When did your passion for mid-century furniture first start?"  Interestingly, it took me a few minutes before I could answer that question. I started by telling her about my very first big purchase (big at the time because I was a recent college grad with a student loan debt that left me with very little disposable income at the end of each month). I purchased a pair of early Kofod Larsen Danish modern chairs. They had gorgeous walnut frames with loose cushions. They were chairs that had graced my grandparent’s home for as long as I could remember. After they passed away, the contents of the home were put up for sale. I kept my fingers crossed that I would be able to afford them and that I could snap them up before anyone else could do so.

Those chairs sat in the living room of the next several apartments I rented and eventually a few condos I came to own. I never tired of them…and often thought about how lucky I was to have them, to have something so beautiful and functional…and to have something that reminded me of my grandparents.

After that story tumbled out, a few other memories followed. My grandmother was a very beautiful and stylish woman. When I was about 4 years old, she convinced my grandfather that they should redecorate their small Chicago bungalow. The finished product looked like a scene out of Madmen. She installed a curved orange sectional sofa, the two Kofod Larsen chairs and a surfboard coffee table in their small living room. I thought it was the most beautiful home in all of Chicago. It was colorful and so incredibly stylish – just like my beautiful grandmother.

My grandmother succumbed to early onset dementia before I turned 13. At that age I was too young to truly appreciate her extraordinary eye or good taste…..but speaking about her that day I realized that she was the catalyst for my obsession – my love of clean lines, architectural shapes, vibrant color – my appreciation for the beauty and simplicity of mid-century design.

I chose to name the business after the two people that had the greatest influence on my love of furniture from that period. Sonja, my grandmother and Milan, my grandfather. 

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