Sunday
Jan062013

unto this last | brick lane, london

If you are in East London on a weekend afternoon and feel inspired to take a meandering stroll down Brick Lane, you're likely to encounter Unto This Last. This corner shop is a little marvel of self-sufficiency and local craftsmanship. All of the furnishings are constructed of birch plywood that is cut, bent, and laminated to order in a small workshop located at the back of the showroom. The owners employ a number of designers who are challenged to dream up functional and elegant pieces within these production constraints.

Keeping their operation small and local, Unto This Last maintains a low overhead, thereby offering bespoke product at extememly reasonable prices. Provided the very nature of this business model, the chances of a New York outcrop are slim, but I'm hopeful that at least the idea will transport itself across the pond in the near future.

Friday
Jan042013

chairs by BENJAMIN HUBERT

Warm grays and slightly amorphic forms that give off a futuristic feel. But we're not talking about sterile modernity here. These are comfortable chairs...one might even call them juicy.

The puckered leather beauty on top is Juliet, available from Poltrona Frou and winner of the company's 100th Anniversary Design competition.

Below it sits the majestic Garment, where origami meets enlightened upholstry. Available from Cappellini, this chair is covered by a single piece of fabric that expertly fits the underlying form without a stitch.

Visit Benjamin Hubert's website for more information along with photos that reveal some of his design process.

Wednesday
Dec122012

the covent garden club chair by VG&P (very good and proper)

A technicolor tubular frame juxtaposed by warm neutral upholstry is what caught my attention here. According to VG&P, the leatherwork was attended to by specialists using standards more common to  automotive manufacturers. Visit Very Good and Proper for more details and images.

Friday
Nov092012

trend: knits and wovens

From the top:

1. & 2. These are the work of UK-based Melanie Porter, who also makes these amazing pillows using gigantic knitting needles.

3. Modular Pouff from Spanish company Gandia Blasco. This is part of their Canevas collection, which includes rugs and throw pillows in the same pattern.

4. Handknitted chair covers and throw pillows from Rose Sharp Jones, based in London.

5. A classic Le Corbusier LC4 Chaise salvaged by the handiwork of Sinje Ollen, who works out of New York City.

Wednesday
Oct312012

more eye candy: decorative mouldings

Wednesday
Oct312012

eye candy: some gorgeous door fittings

This is the kind of thing that just takes my breath for a moment. It's all in the details.

Wednesday
Oct312012

LDF12: Servemuto Lampshades @ 100% Design

Theatrical and ironic, I pictured these lampshades a perfect accent to a restaurant or hotel space. Visit the site of design duo Servemuto for more information and photos.

Sunday
Oct142012

London Design Festival 2012: Spotted at 100% Design

A little time has gone by since the amazing week I spent running around the London Design Festival, enjoying all of the exhibitions, trade shows, lectures, and performances on offer.

I arrived back in New York to throw life as I've known it into spectacular motion. This included moving to a new home and giving away most of my accumulated possessions while keeping only the few items that I love and cherish most. This was a cleansing and meaningful process (albeit chaotic) and now I am absolutely thrilled by the result: a cleaner slate, and the cognitive space to imagine something entirely new...

So...getting back to London...here are a few ideas that caught my eye at the 100% Design show. I'll continue to post images from LDF (there's just so much)...so stay tuned!

Pictured above:

1) A built in projector screen from Tandem, a UK-based design firm. This project is an example of their bespoke Made for Architects service. What a stylish way to make a presentation, display cutting-edge video artwork, or catch up on your favorite sitcom.

2) JiB design studio was part of 100% Design's super-exciting Emerging Brands showcase. Their Console O and Credenza O (not pictured) both invite greenery into a space by literally embedding it into the furnishings. I appreciated how the matching containers can also be used to store fruits, odds, or ends.

3) And then there was the ironic and cheerful Harvey Sofa by Deadgood Design. Now this is a sofa: a bit Jetsons, a bit Sherlock Holmes, but all the way cool. Described on the company's website as "an individual expression of British eccentricity", the Harvey Sofa's brand of oddness is one that I see spanning nations.

Thursday
Sep202012

London Design Festival 2012: Big entrance at 100% Design

Making my way through the London Design Festival, I am continually impressed with not only the products and work on display, but also the structure of the exhibition spaces themselves. 100% Design is one of the largest venues of LDF. Entering the show, one is immediately led through this dramatic and sexy corridor that opens into a circular shaped bar and lounge, which is the nucleus of the exhibition floor. From there, one can choose to walk through one of 4 entryways dedicated to a specific design sub-discipline -- Office, Interiors, Kitchen & Bath, or Eco/Sustainable building materials. Kind of like Alice and Wonderland for creative professionals.

Wednesday
Sep192012

London Design Festival 2012: Vera, Chapter Two

These lovely items are part of an interesting project called Vera, Chapter Two, exhibited within London's Brompton Design District. Someone found a pile of vintage photos of a little girl in various vacation scenarios, then asked a number of designers, artists, and writers to interpret one photo at a time.  This is the second installment.  These were the objects that I liked the most.

Wednesday
Sep192012

LDF12/V&A Museum: Sofa_xxxx by Yuya Ushida

What's so special about this? It's a sofa that expands.

Just think of the possibilities...

Wednesday
Sep192012

London Design Festival 2012: Mimicry Chairs at the V&A Museum

Greetings from London! I arrived yesterday and was immediately overwhelemed by the sheer breadth of the London Design Festival taking place this week. Spanning the city, this is an event that celebrates and elevates design in a way that I think only London can do. This was my first time visiting the V&A musuem and I was absolutely breathtaken by the beauty of the space and the substance of the collections. It was striking to see contemporary works situated among more classical pieces. The above photos are of an installation called Mimicry Chairs by nendo. The idea is that the chairs, which are sprinked in galleries throughout the museum, somehow imitate the structure of the space that they inhabit. I liked the playfulness of them.

Tuesday
Aug282012

pillows by LANCE WOVENS at the New York International Gift Fair

These woven leather pillows caught my eye last week at the New York International Gift Fair. What a fabulous way to up the luxury factor of sofa or bedding arrangement. I can imagine these tactille and plush beauties fitting into any number of design styles. The plaids especially could go very traditonal and heritage but also super modern and eclectic. The company's representatives hinted at how lovely a patina the pillows develop over time. I'm saying yes to that.

visit Lance Wovens online for more information.

Monday
Jul232012

can't get enough of copper...but what's next?

Metallics and bright color have been predominant themes during these warm months. Beginning with many of the new pieces launched in the Spring and sprinkled about the shelter mags and blogosphere. Reflective surfaces and neon, tempered with pretty pastels and grounding neutrals. When a trend reaches its tipping point, I get excited about the next current on the way. My predictions are a resurgence of black and a shift from graphic color to the more ornamental, emphasizing detail and surprising us with unlikely textural juxtapositions.

Pictured from top to bottom:
Tape Dispenser in spun copper, case concrete, and steel by Tatsuya Akita
Real Good Chair
and Scamp Table, both from BluDot
Table installation and Etch Light Web pendants at the Tom Dixon London Underground space during ICFF 2012
...and a pair of my own platform shoes from Topshop, becuase i always succumb to at least one trend per season -- either for myself, the home, or both ;)

Monday
Jul022012

L.U.M. Lamp by OM DESIGN PROJECT

hmm yes...more coppery bits. visit umproject.com for info.

Thursday
Jun282012

Mirrorized Dimpled Block Installation by JAMIE HARRIS STUDIO

I love scupltural elements on a wall...the type that tempt passerby to reach out and touch. These are made from hand-blown glass. Visit jamieharris.com for more work by the artist.

Wednesday
Jun202012

work lamp by DESIGN HOUSE STOCKHOLM

Simple, self-referential, and so stunning.

Visit Design House Stockholm for details.

Tuesday
Jun192012

block lamp by DESIGN HOUSE STOCKHOLM

A modern classic. One of those cool things designed in the nineties that trancends it's era. I love it in the amber color. Visit designhousestockholm.com for details.

Wednesday
Jun132012

Hidrìa by STEFANIA VASQUEZ for DIAMANTINI & DOMENICONI

These beauties are modeled after ancient terracotta water jugs, whose shape and size allowed for natural purification. So much more elegant than my Brita. Visit the website of Diamantini & Domeniconi for more details. 

Sunday
Jun102012

dromedary loveseat by JOHN DERIAN for CISCO BROTHERS

Such lovely lines on this loveseat. A perfect structure for a meaningful chat or just sitting pretty. I spotted it a couple of years ago at ABC Home and just came across the photo. A quick search revealed that it's available with and without a slipcover. I have a bit of a soft spot for the shabby-chic effect of rumbled white linen, which is why I'm partial to this version. Visit Cisco Brothers and John Derian for more info and images of the underlying upholstery.