Tag Archives: design

New moods – furniture for autumn/winter 2017

With thoughts turning indoors as autumn progresses, I’ve been drawn to some recent new furniture launches. It’s easy to underestimate how a smaller piece of furniture can alter or influence the look and feel of a room: and the well-thought-out designs of these simple, versatile chairs and tables will bring modern style and comfort to many rooms.

Nordic House have just launched a capsule collection of sleek, contemporary metal-framed chairs that bring an instant update without taking up huge amounts of space. The Odin chair has a black or Cognac-coloured leather seat; the Butterfly chair comes in black or brown leather:

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Luxe leather butterfly chair in black £450, Nordic House 

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 Odin leather chair in cognac, £545, Nordic House 

 

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Log and kindling table, £395, Nordic House 

Tall, compact side tables (not console tables) are hard to find, so I’m delighted to discover two styles this month. The log and kindling table at Nordic House (above), made from wrought iron with a wood top, gives wood-burning stove lovers a contemporary alternative to the traditional fire-side basket – and provides extra surface space for lamps, mugs etc…

For a more pared-down design, the streamlined Copenhagen tray table by Danish design house Norm Architects is lightweight and comes with handles so it is easy move around, should you wish to move it from room to room. It’s also the perfect height to sit beside a high bedstead (antique beds + modern mattresses are often too tall for modern bedside tables), or in a hall; as a drinks table, or on a terrace or balcony for groups of pots plants.

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Copenhagen tray table by Norm Architects from Menu, £179.95, Clippings.com 

Spotted at Design Junction, Design House Stockholm‘s new Wick chair, below, is a curvy, comfortable chair that sits as well as a desk as it does at a table, and was inspired by plaited Swedish wood baskets. Visit their website for local stockists and online sales.

 

All these shots of stoves are prompting me to light mine now, so happy shopping! Jx

 

 

 

 

 

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White goodness: stunning handmade ceramics by Emma Alington

Browsing the many inspirational stands at Design Junction a few days back, I spotted Emma Alington and spoke to her about her latest collection of handmade ceramics.

After graduating in 2013 with a first-class honours degree in Ceramic Design from Central St Martins, Emma took the brave step of setting up her own business. Now working from her studio in Berkshire, England, Emma designs and creates her own ceramics collections.

Beautifully crafted, each piece is tactile and functional. Choose from cups and mugs in three sizes (tiny espresso, medium cup and larger mug) plus several sizes of carefully crafted bowls, and plates and a jug.

The china comes either in white or decorated with a shimmering gold rim, and finished with a simple black heraldic motif:

 

How to choose? I’d opt for the upmarket gold rimmed designs for celebration china (they would make ideal wedding gifts) whilst the microwave and dishwasher-proof white design is a treat to use every day.

Shop directly through Emma’s website or search for stockists; you can also contact Emma for bespoke commissions: www.emmaalington.co.uk .

 

 

Best buy – winter toned baskets

The first snowfall here in a couple of years and the countryside has ground to a halt, with winter making its presence felt once more both indoors and out. A day spent snowed in reinforces my awareness of everyday life’s clutter: these fabulous felt baskets in tones of cool ivy and charcoal grey suit today’s mood perfectly….
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With stiff sides, the baskets hide much from view, and I love the contrast stitch detail. Sold as a set of three, £52 from Nordic House.

 

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.

Help create the ultimate street art: painting a favela

Dutch artists Haas & Hahn are currently campaigning to raise funds for their latest art collaboration: to transform an entire favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with paint. Previously, they’ve worked with members of the local communities in the city to create street art on the walls and surfaces in parts of the city’s slums, and now they’re embarking on their most ambitious project yet.

Favela painting, findthedetails.com via designboom

An impression of how the finished favela will look, above, and how it looks today:

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Haas & Hahn’s first project, Boy with Kite (2006, Vila Cruzeiro), transformed this concrete neighbourhood:

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In 2010, the team worked on this colourful, ambitious project, a square in the Santa Marta community. Together with 25 locals who were trained and hired, the project took one month to complete, and has turned the area from a no-go zone to a tourist attraction:

favela painting, via findthedetails.com and designboom

favela painting via findthedetails.com and designboom favelapainting via findthedetails.com and designboom

[images: favela painting, designboom]

This latest huge, many-year project has it roots firmly in the community; from gaining approval for the painting (this means travelling through the favela, door to door), Haas & Hahn will work with local people, training them in the skills of plastering and painting, so creating neighourhood jobs alongside the creation of the public artwork. Basic human needs are also being addressed: simply by including plastering in the process, these handbuilt houses will have better longevity, temperature and moisture control. They’ll need headquarters, paint supplies, and huge amounts of funding, though their initial target is a restrained $100,000. 

Do use a click to visit Haas & Hahn’s Kickstarter and Favela Painting sites to help with the fundraising and view more of their work.

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:

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[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!

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.