For lovers of craft, indigo and textiles: an exhibition

If these words inspire you: textiles, crafts, traditional and inherited skills, and totally dreamy indigo blues patched over and over: then don’t miss the Boro: Threads of Life exhibition at the East Wing Galleries of Somerset House this April.

Focusing on the ancient Japanese textile tradition of Boro, which means ‘rags’ in English, the textile exhibits on display include bedcovers and clothes made by the poor, rural population of Japan who pieced and patched old pieces of discarded clothing onto and into new items, with fisherman’s jackets morphing into futon covers and on and on, as the pieces were passed down through families and generations.

With their beautiful colours, these humble works of art prompt the viewers to consider the act of ‘mending’: could it be considered an old-fashioned skill? Or, as we continue to embrace traditional crafts at home; and are more aware of the damage caused by excess waste (and/or simply feel the pinch financially) is it becoming more current to embrace repairs, so we can keep our possessions for longer?

Boro exhibition at Somerset House via findthedetails.com

Boro: Threads of Life, 2-26 April, free admission, Somerset House.

Located just off The Strand, Somerset House has to be one of the most hard-working arts and cultural venues in London; changing with the seasons, you’ll discover it hosting al fresco music gigs and giant cinema screens; a multitude of fountains; the latests frocks (it’s home to London Fashion Week) or a beautiful ice rink….

From this….

Somerset House via findthedetails.com somerset house via findthedetails.com

To this….:

Somerset house via findthedetails.com Somerset House via findthedetails.comfindthedetails.com

Somerset House via findthedetails.com

[images, Somerset House

The line up of their Summer Series of gigs (10-20 July) has just been announced: tickets go on sale this Friday 21 March, with the cinema screenings to follow later in the summer. To to learn more about the architecture, join their free guided tours (every Thursday and Saturday), taking in the Tudor and Georgian history to the modern-day, including the new Miles Stair created by Eva Jiricna. Enjoy! Jx

Just in: Arkiv wallpapers by Sandberg

Combining both the best of both old and new design processes, Swedish wallpaper design house Sandberg has drawn on a wealth of archive material - both their own and sourced from Sweden’s rich architectural and design history – to create their first digital wallpaper collection.

Launching this spring, Arkiv includes fifteen different highly detailed patterns: pictorial designs of trees and chairs; buildings (in particular the Nordic Museum) and architectural elements such as doors; as well as maps, Japanese woodblock prints (highly popular in 19th Century Sweden), and digitally reproduced images of popular Sandberg designs and sketches:

Sandberg Arkiv papers via findthedetails.com Sandberg Arkiv papers via findthedetails.com Sandberg Arkiv papers via findthedetails.comFrom the top: Justus, Gunnars Stolar, and Nordiska Museet from Chaper One: Architecture, Arkiv collection, Sandberg

Sandberg Arkiv papers via findthedetails.com Sandberg Arkiv papers via findthedetails.com Sandberg Arkiv papers via findthedetails.com

From the top: Georg, Tang and Botanica from Chapter Four, Sandberg Archive, from the Arkiv collection by Sandberg

Sandberg Arkiv papers via findthedetails.com

Sandberg Arkiv papers via findthedetails.com

Top: Hiroshiges Regnskyar and below, Eishi, from Chapter Three: Japanese Woodblock prints, from the Arkiv Collection by Sandberg

My favourites are these two, with their very different but equally calming tree motifs:

Sandberg Arkiv papers via findthedetails.com

Sandberg Arkiv papers via findthedetails.com

Top: Carlsbergs Trad, and below: Eden, both from the Arkiv Collection by Sandberg

[All images, Sandberg]

The Arkiv collection launches this spring; visit Sandberg for detailed global stockists information.

Creating art with Waterlogue: beware, it’s addictive

I’ve been having such fun with the Waterlogue app: I’m no professional photographer, relying on my trusty iphone 4 to capture my memories, but even the most basic images can look beautiful when given the Waterlogue treatment. Here’s the Victorian pier at Eastbourne in East Sussex, last weekend:

Waterlogue seascape credit Jenny Hastie findthedetails.com

… the beautiful Canadian Lake of the Woods in Northwestern Ontario, which we didn’t want to leave last summer….

Waterlogue lake view, credit Jenny Hastie findthedetails.com

And the boys making a bonfire this Saturday night:

Waterlogue image, credit Jenny Hastie findthedetails.com

Ordinary objects (and cats with ambitions to become models) turn into decorative still lives….

Waterlogue still life credit Jenny Hastie findthedetails.com

The finished files are large enough to be reproduced as hard images for display and framing, making them a clever and unique way to create personal artwork.

Find Waterlogue in the App store, and do share your images with me via Pinterest, I’d love to see them. Jx

Wish List: Grey china

For this Friday’s wish list I’m coveting tableware and decorative china in soft shades of grey: possibly to match the endless skies as here in the UK we limp, damply and soggily, into the middle of February – and possibly also because we can’t get enough of this versatile shade in our homes right now. These are my favourites:

Baileys stone bottles via findthedetails.com

Above: French stoneware bottles, from Baileys, approximately 30cms tall: fantastic in a group as shown… and below, mini tapas bowls and oval platters, from Pale & Interesting:

China by Pale & Interesting via findthedetails.com

Below, this simple grey china with its ripple pattern and chunky, generous shapes, is part of the SS14 collection at Sainsbury’s:

sainsburys china, via findthedetails.com

 A perfect salad bowl at Rigby & Mac, below:
Rigby & Mac bowl via findthedetails.com

…alongside more patterned, decorative grey accessories: this floral tableware is made from hand-painted metal, also in store and online at Rigby & Mac:

Rigby & Mac tableware via findthedetails.com

And I love these diminutive dipped terracotta bowls; made in India as part of a fair trade initiative, you’ll find them amongst other delightful products, including a similar mug and jug, at Decorator’s Notebook:

Decorator's Notebook terracotta bowls via findthedetails.com

Click through the images and links to take you to that product’s retailer… happy shopping! Jx

Revealed: Designs of the Year 2014: Design Museum / Makoko Floating School

Today The Design Museum  announced their nominations for the Design of the Year 2014 and one of the most innovative architecture designs has to be the Makoko Floating School, which is located in a lagoon in the heart of the city of Lagos, Nigeria. Designed by architecture / design practice NLE in collaboration with Makoko Waterfront Community (the area is described as being similar in functionality, if not looks, to Venice), the floating structure takes into account the community’s needs (for a school and social space) and the physical demands of their environment: increasing tropical rainfall and an increasingly urbanised population.

Lead by architect Kunle Adeyemi, this prototype building is sustainable, ecological and alternative: two classrooms above and a play area below ensure the available space is used thoughtfully:

find the details / makoko floating school / NLE find the details / makoko floating school / NLE find the details / Makoko floating school / NLE architecture

find the details / Makoko floating school / courtesy NLE architecturefind the details / Makoko floating school, courtesy NLE

[images courtesy of NLE, Iwan Baan]

Designs of the Year brings together 76 cutting edge, innovative and talented creations, with the best in world-wide architecture, fashion, product and digital design and more on show at the exhibition, which opens on 26 March (until 25 August) at the Design Museum on Shad Thames, London SE1. Head to the show and whilst there, vote for your favourite design; but if you can’t make it in person, the online Social Vote platform gives you a chance to have your say. On Twitter, follow #designsoftheyear and @designmuseum for current conversations.

Wish List: Marimekko Weather Diary china

For this Friday’s wish list I’m dreaming of Marimekko’s Oiva Saapaivakirja (Weather Diary) china. Created as part of their Autumn 2013 collection, the Marimekko design team were influenced by autumnal weather patterns. The resulting china patterns fuse intense colour mixes on to grey ceramic backgrounds, conjuring up the atmosphere outdoors during these stormy, chilly, sometimes sun-filled yet low-lit winter months. The blue and yellow/grey/blue designs are my favourites:

lautanen-25cm_46012_1_1

salaattivati_46018_1_2

muki-korvallinen2_46014_1

po_rkki_46015_3

WD_mm_image

Marimekko are justifiably proud of their design archive, and many classic designs are either still in production or used to inform new launches. This year they are happily celebrating the 50th anniversary of Unikko, Maija Isola’s instantly recognisable, simple and iconic floral pattern created in 1964. Join the celebrations with the fabric by the metre and accessories in this striking colourway:

unikko_50vuotta_912_51992-2 unikko_tea_bot_50651_50828_7 unikko_bowl_1

[All images, Skandium]

These and more Marimekko products are available in the UK online and in store at Skandium; and from February at the Republic of Fritz Hansen store in London, W1.

Make 2014 a year of timeless colour: beautiful paints from Belgium

New year: which means new must-have decorating colours for 2014 from those in the know: for Pantone, it’s a slightly stomach-turning shade of purple/pink they’ve named Radiant Orchid (for me, it’s not a shade that suits the cold light in northern hemisphere homes – though down in New Mexico, Marie from Breaking Bad would’ve been mad for it). For Dulux, 2014′s colour is a much more livable-with shade of Teal, whilst Farrow & Ball suggest a rather lovely deep blue balanced by shades of stone, warm grey and apple green.

If you’re in the mood for some more paint colours that will appeal for far longer than 2014, do take a look at the inspirational Emery & Cie shades, which are rich, timeless and striking:

mate-ex-interieurs-10-01 mate-ex-interieurs-13 mate-ex-interieurs-15 - Copy

mate-ex-interieurs-18 mate-ex-interieurs-19 mate-ex-interieurs-16 mate-ex-interieurs-04-01

mate-ex-interieurs-22[all images and paint shades, Emery & Cie]

Based in Belgian, Emery & Cie produce their ultra-matt acrylic emulsion and gloss paints in these atmospheric, strong shades, all designed to make your walls sing. Take your pick from their handpainted paint charts:

Test-Nuancier-Mat-page-5r Test-Nuancier-Mat-Page-3r

….which and come either as the pure colour (two above), or as a shade chart depicting each pure colour diluted with a specific quantity of white (two below):

Shades -3-Bleus shades Verts-Bleus

Beautiful: the perfect choice for classic paint colours. Visit Emery & Cie for more info and to discover the rest of their collection (exquisite wallpapers, tiles, ironmongery, furniture, lighting………all for the wish list!). Enjoy! Jx