Monthly Archives: September 2013

Lovers of blue and white, part IV: reinterpreting Japanese ceramics

Continuing my love of blue and white, (see previous posts here, here and here) I’ve just come across this new concept by Japanese design studio nendo, which has worked with Gen-emon to create a new series of porcelain tableware. Gen-omen is one of Japan’s most respected and long established traditional porcelain kilns, and nendo has taken some of their classic motifs, from small florals to geometric shapes; keeping the signature (and much loved) blue/white colour combination but playing with scale and the elements of the patterns to reintrpet the designs for today’s living:

nendo, designboomnendo, designboomnendo, designboomnendos-ceramic-play-collections-for-gen-emon-designboom-11nendo, designboomnendo, designboom

[all images, Designboom; products by nendo and gen-emon

By playing with the possibilities of pattern to plain; blue on white to white on blue, and using traditional motifs, the porcelain is beautiful both individually and as an eclectic group of several pieces. From plates to bowls, pots to spoons, this collection is definitely on my wish list!

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Colourful, textured, covetable: West Elm comes to London

Super-popular in the US and coveted by those in the know around the world, American interiors giant West Elm is set to open its first ever UK store this autumn on London’s Tottenham Court Road, W1. Here’s what to expect:

Textiles are textured, tactile and detailed:

bedroom

west elm2

Tableware is designed with the same attention to detail; adding the tiniest pattern and creating pieces with thoughtful shapes turns white china into objects that demand to be displayed:

china

Upholstered furniture has tight, clean lines:

sofa

The autumn/winter colour palette zings with ornate, jewel shades of gold, peacock blue, amethyst and cobalt:

west elm1

west elm3

And the scene is set for winter entertaining with mercury glass candlesticks: 

mercury glass

[All images courtesy of West Elm]

The shop opens late October; happy shopping! If you can’t get to the London store, the US website does offer international shipping for some non delicate items. Visit West Elm for more details.

The river rises: Thames Festival 2013

As I mentioned before here, London buzzes with festivals and high profile events in September, and visitors in town for London Fashion Week and the London Design Festival can also participate in The Mayor’s Thames Festival, which starts today and runs until Sunday 15 September.

This year, the events and performances of the Thames Festival have been re-focused to concentrate on celebrating the River Thames itself,  and one which caught my eye is the film Portrait of a River by Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen. You can get a glimpse of his thoughtful, dramatic style with these stills:

Image 1_Swarm_Portrait of a River_Mayor’s Thames Festival 2013 Image 2_Kites_Portrait of a River_Mayor’s Thames Festival 2013 Image 6_Gateway_Portrait of a River_Mayor’s Thames Festival 2013 Image 9_Tom_Portrait of a River_Mayor’s Thames Festival 2013 Image 10_Golf_Portrait of a River_Mayor’s Thames Festival 2013

[All images, copyright Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen

From the military helicopters which gather, then seem to swarm, above the city, to the golfer oblivious to the river beyond, Larsen’s film depicts both the people and the places who define the river, and shows how the Thames is both a place of serious industry, and a place where many relax.

You can view Portrait of a River daily from noon till 9.30pm on a huge outdoor riverside screen near Oxo Tower Wharf. For more information and events happening during the Thames Festival, including the Great River Race, visit Thames Festival.