On NY Design Week must sees… Merchant No. 4 Secret Shop is a MUST! Sadly it closes tomorrow, but you’ve still got a day! So get on it! I’ve always adored the wonderfully curated collection in the online store, but to see and touch and play with it all, i felt like a kid in a candy store. The products are even more incredible in person ~ in design, colors, packaging and more ~ few stores have made me want nearly everything! Cheri Caso’s beautiful selection of design objects of wood, glass, and porcelain make for a breath taking collection. So for a peek at the wonders that lie within… as well as the teak ice cream scoop, measuring spoons and cake knife i fell for… see it all on the next page!
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MIO debuted their new “Design On The Go” Collection ~ “featuring products that move with their owners and become part of their every day lives.”… As Isaac Salm said “We are extending MIO’s product line from the home to the rest of your life.” A true lifestyle company! This new collection includes bespoke 2000+ hats, tyvek Loop Cut jackets, and my favorite the Pop Up Bicycle Baskets and Pop Up Baskets. The bike baskets ship flat and are made of laser cut powder coated steel and come in the prettiest black, white, and green options…
This post is a sponsored series that takes a fun peek at the gorgeous details of modern life. The irresistible design details that enhance our lives… Gillette is the sponsor… but, as always, the post and ideas are 100% NOTCOT.
Found at Agape’s showroom at this year’s Salone was a interesting combination between modern rustic and stylized high tech, Patricia Urquiola’s 2008 design “Vieques” bathtub and Gwenael Nicolas’s recent addition to his “Sen” faucet program created also in 2008 for the Italian company, which will be finally opening an Agape store in NY May 17th during design week! It’s absolutely breathtaking the way the faucet functions… and would be a perfect match with the matte black japanese “tools for men” featured earlier… even though first out in 2008, seeing it in person just made me want it that much more… take a peek at close up images of this beautiful line on the next page!
While exploring Ventura Lambrate during the Milan Salone 2010 ~ in the dreary weather, we stumble into a run down garage looking space… and get pointed to enter a dark curtain across the lot… like sheep, we follow. It’s DARK in there! But then, quickly i get distracted by these shiny objects… radiators… that remind me of 50’s cars… seriously, its something about those metallic paint jobs with the chrome… it just draws you right in!
These were part of Autofficina (a Dutch Still Life Composition), an assembly of products shown during Salone in the Lambrate area featuring the works of a group of prominent Dutch designers. The exhibitors were looking for international producers, retailers or galleries. All items are either in production or ready to be produced. The space heaters are part of the series, “I am furniture”, designed by dutch design Studio Vraay. See more info, and lots more pics of the radiators as well as the Autofficina exhibition on the next page!
Zanotta Zum Expansion Table by Emaf Progetti… Sure it looks like a sleek simple table, but you have to see HOW it expands! We made the guy open it again just so i could make a video to show you ~ because you really need to see it in action to appreciate how awesome it is! See close ups and video on the next page!
As design week comes to a close, but not the trip (we’ve been hostages of the volcano), i’m still sorting and posting much of the fun stuff discovered this week! Here’s a favorite photo from Milano Salone del Mobile 2010 this 4am. Staring at it ~ Leo, who’s been amazing helping explore and cover design week with me, and i joked that in a way, this image epitomized the key elements of the design week chaos…
Milan Design Week = beautiful objects + flowing libations + a sea of humanity
Blofield is known for its inflatable chesterfield arm chairs and sofas… spotted at Superstudio Piu ~ an inflatable BATHTUB! And it was incredibly sturdy! Complete with champagne bucket and wood rack for wine glasses, naturally. Can’t find images of it online at the moment, but you can see my few detail shots on the next page!
Bottega Veneta Home Collection was one of my happy surprises this Salone ~ i showed you the fun pop up shop with an incredible curated selection of goods from Japan as well as exclusive and my new favorite Wine Opener i couldn’t resist there… well here is a look at the beautiful leather seating collaboration with META and Poltrona Frau (with classic Bottega Veneta woven pillows!), beautiful Murano glassware (with the bases etched with the iconic weave pattern), stunning Intreccio Svanito porcelain tea services in collaboration with German porcelain manufacturer KPM (with what almost look like charcoal rubbings of the iconic weave)… Creative director, Tomas Maier says “Many of the new furniture designs came out of customer requests, so they feel like natural next steps. Philosophically, the collection reflects Bottega Veneta’s commitment to meeting the needs of our customers with pieces that are versatile, understated, and beautifully crafted.” I had no idea that you can buy or order these in any of their stores… take a peek at the beautiful pieces on the next page! (I’m lusting after the couch and glassware…)
On standouts at the Fiera this year ~ the green and wood combination pulled me right in. Designed by Giulio Iacchetti for CASAMANIA, the BEK is a small but eye catching table. It looks like an excellent option to live underneath my Droog parasol. The main feature of this table is concentrated it is leg, composed of two identical metal elements: the combination of these two halves creates a unique object, perfectly adapted to be mounted between the table and its base. The series, including the BEK chair, were designed in 2009 but now for 2010 they are available in this new shade of green that looks super nice combined with natural wood. Additionally the matching BLOOM bookshelf is adorable as well! See images and more info of both on the next page!
On adorable irresistible impulse buys ~ i’m totally carrying this Ele Funnel back in my luggage. Thai Qualy Design, had the most adorable (and adorably packaged) Ele Funnel! The graphics are great, the plastic feels so nice in your hand… you can even hang it on the wall… see lots of pics unboxing it on the next page!
Firstly, i’m not really a crystals kind of girl… but for some reason Swarovski is doing some pretty irresistible stuff this year! (How stunning is the Crystal Palace?!?!?!) Bisazza has always been a fascination of mine, the way they turn tiling into quite the art form is fascinating, and the designer collaborations are always stunning. However, the one thing about tiles i never loved is how FLAT they can feel visually ~ sure you can cover incredibly curved walls with their tiny tiles, but with the new Bisazza Crystal Collection with Swarovski, the crystal tiles add this incredible depth to the tiling! (Not to mention inevitable blinged out effects as well.) To see “flat” crystals essentially is bizarrely mesmerizing up close, since you see them come to a point beneath the surface, it’s as if you’re peering into the wall… The Crystal Collection is a series of decorative patterns “bejeweled with Swarovski crystals” ~ and the most noteworthy is the Skulls & Crown pattern… I’m imagining the interior of a pool with black reflective tiles and crystal/metallic skull markers for the depths…
See images of the cocktail party last night ~ the candle and chandelier lighting create interesting light effects in combination with the Bisazza tiles~ on the next page!
While exploring Milano Salone Satellite 2010, i was taken by Frame Series, the premiere collection of Rends Design, the design duo Masanao Furkawa and Kaori Akiyama! The quality of the pieces feels incredible ~ so strong, yet delicate in the curvature. With simple elegant lines and a strong japanese modern aesthetic ~ the piece i’m most lusting after is the sofa! Sadly, they didn’t have a prototype of that pieces at the show! The Easy chair is even more comfortable than it appears, and they truly had to pry me out of there after a full day of walking the show floor! Take a look at the images of the collection (and a few fun booth pics!) on the next page…
(On a quick silly side note/disclaimer, Leo and I were actually looking for our grad school friend, Masa, and this ended up being his booth! But no one was in the there at the time! But we loved the collection! It was pretty funny when he finally called, and we looped back to find his booth number, only to realize it was his work we already liked while passing by!)
While checking out some of the new malls that popped up in Singapore since my last trip ~ came across the adorable new Atomi in Mandarin Gallery ~ specializing in “Japanese Designs x Comfortable Lifestyle”. Irresistible were the beautiful pearls by japanese parisian Miya Shinma (grew up in japan and studied perfumery in paris) ~ the Perle Parfumée was designed in Paris made in Japan. Basically these spheres (housed in a wood box sealed with wax paper) are scented… and you can leave them in little dishes or satchels around the house ~ and every 4-5 months, if needed, you can refresh them with essential oils. The whole box would make such a lovely gift! Take a peek at close up pics on the next page!
p.s. Also a fun idea ~ her scented fans!
Fusion Brands’ FoodPod ~ i ran into it at A+R and it was so odd, i couldn’t stop poking at it. Then i had to buy it. It’s another silicon creation from Fusion Brands to help in the kitchen… they are certainly creative with their ability to solve problems i didn’t even realize i had. Like keeping my veggies/eggs separate from other things, or together in the pot for easy removal… here you can fill the FoodPod with just about anything… and then you can dunk it into your boiling pot of water, and even hook the angler fish looking top to the lip of the pot for easy retrieval! lift and autostrain ~ unhook the cap, and your food is ready! See more pics of it on the next page!
Who knew wine in a bag could be so… designer? functional? pretty? Or that a decanter could aerate and feed the wine right back into the bottle? Leave it to Danish company MENU to help us rethink the way we interact with our wine! I love the the Wine Breather Carafe ~ which can be used either by attaching it to the bottle, and flipping it… then flipping it back into the bottle, OR serving it out of the carafe. It’s designed by Norm, idea and patent by Peter Orsig. (Doesn’t the shape remind you of those adorable Aladdin sake bottles?) Also fun is the Baggy Wine Coat designed by Jakob Wagner ~ wine in a bag never looked so ruggedly high tech. Also cute in the new collection ~ Norm’s stackable, spherical, tripod set for condiments! So playful, they’d be delightful in a restaurant! Take a peek at all of these up close on the next page!
It’s always hard after a full day of racing around the show floor at CES to decide what to share first - as my body wants to dive in a bubble bath and my brain is getting ready for drinks, dinner, etc. SO, don’t laugh, but the first thing i have been craving since i saw the adorable minimalist mod booth… Mint: Automatic Floor Cleaner… think swiffer meets roomba, but with a design treatment by Yves Behar’s Fuseproject… and hyperintelligent guts by Evolution Robotics, Inc. This feels like my Method oMop’s futuristic robotic relative. So yes, stunning, wicked smart, cleans with popular we/dry cleaning cloths (think swiffer/pledge/etc), AND charges upright!
Also fun? Besides the booth design and beautifully designed product? They throw coffee on the floor… let it dry a little… then demo the machines. And i love how versatile the concept is, you can use any cloth ~ and the panel that they attach to is MAGNETIC! More pictures of the details and a video on the next page from my CES discovery of Mint! (It officially launched at midnight!)
So Thomasville is a NOTCOT advertiser, and when they approached me, i got curious. Particularly about this Metamorphic Candelabra from their Darryl Carter for Thomasville Collection. So they were kind enough to send the photo sample over for me to play with. I've been a bit fixated on chandeliers and candelabras recently ~ i blame that dinner at Versailles where the fake candle light at dinner drove me absolutely nuts (pictures in that hazy orange glow looked atrocious!) ~ and suddenly i find myself noticing real candles anywhere i go! SO, i brought this brassy candelabra out to palm springs a few weeks ago to play with ~ and dragged the others out exploring palm springs to find candles with me... and we tried it out at the Ace.
Honestly, the concept is what i found most interesting ~ the Metamorphic Candelabra allows you to move the two pieces vertically ~ and then all arms also swing. Whether this is a good or bad idea when you have flames going was unknown, since unlike most candelabras, there are definitely moving parts ~ so running around with the candelabra was a bit drippy... but overall ~ its a fun concept! And we had fun playing with it out in the desert! Have any good candelabra recommendations that are interesting? Would love to see more!
Click for Art has branched into Cups & Saucers ~ and i'm totally smitten by the Nanami Cowdroy Suspended Animation black and white goldfish one as well as the Si Scott Lovebirds. Can you imagine cuter cups to serve espresso in? Staring at these just makes me dream up the most adorable little cafe ~ with an outdoor patio of course. And we haven't even started to look at the packaging! Such a lovely gift idea ~ and they are each a limited edition of 250 - shipped with a sequentially numbered mini art print signed by the artist and a Certificate of Authenticity! See more pics of my favorite two on the next page...
Undergrowth Design "Wash Away All Sins" Soap Dispenser ~ designer Tina Tsang describes it as "Angled for a perfect scrub to cleanse away all your naughty secrets! Resembling a 'foaming' bar of soap sinking into the sink top, the 'Wash Away All Sins' Soap Dispenser is hand-made in England with ceramic earthenware. On the reverse side, a definition of 'clean' to remind user of new state of 'cleanliness', innocent of all their little sins."
Half awake in the airport lounge at Arlanda ~ going through pictures, and since i'm not over it yet... more chandeliers that grabbed my attention at the Grand Hotel, Stockholm (that became my home for the last 4 nights!). According to their website (and everyone i encountered in Stockholm), it is "Scandinavia's leading hotel and much appreciated meeting place. The hotel opened in 1874 and has a long and fascinating history." And it truly is quite the opposite in style of the Lydmar Hotel next door which i adored. Part of what made this trip so fun was the stark contrast between the two! I must admit they took incredibly good care of me, had lightning fast wifi, and all the rooms (peeked into a few others!) were quite unique ~ but all with a consistently luxurious historical atmosphere... so on my last night when i ran out in hope to get some pictures of the black cube, i also got distracted by some of the crazy abs on the men holding up the building, the amazing glow of the building itself, and the chandeliers i couldn't believe i'd missed as we rushed between events! Can you believe it was dark out when these were all taken? That image above still blows my mind when i stare at it and realize the sun had fully gone down by then... see more on the next page!
Biggest tease was that the full spa and pool are opening in 10 days!
So much i want to share with you from the last week or so, and as usual having trouble catching up ~ sensory overload! Inspiration OD? So i'm just going through pictures and will share pieces with you as they get me all giddy again. Firstly, being invited out to Sweden for the Absolut Art Collection celebration is a dream come true on so many levels ~ Absolut Ads were one of my earliest obsessions of where advertising met art, the ads were on my walls, i had the books and museum/art collection cds (totally need to find that when i get home), postcards in my notebooks, i probably even discovered a few artists through them (imagine 10 year old me?)... and over the years i've definitely grown up following the art they've enabled in so many mediums as i've also progressed further into the tech/art/ux/online/new media worlds... It's incredible that this weekend was celebrating 30 years of Absolut's creative collaborations! And the talks with their global marketing heads about the history and philosophies of the brand as well as the panel discussion with artists who have worked with them in the past on "Commissioned Art - Career boost or selling out?" was inspiring and thought-provoking for sure... but before we even delve into all of that... you know i fixate on the visual... and i had to show you the brilliantly simple portable/modular panel set up they popped up inside the Lydmar Hotel Restaurant!
Basically it is a series of two layered panels ~ lots of hinges... striped, in the front, had openings to expose the pink layer behind and also served as a frame for the flat panel TV behind. The A shaped stools were close didn't perfectly match the Absolut A, but the designer did say that it could be said it was inspired by the Absolut A (with a wink). Also adorable was that the stools also apparently make great little tables while the Absolut team had lunch perched on the audience set up of a rainbow of Starck's Kartell Ghost chairs... Apologies for being too mesmerized and immersed in conversation to take pics while they were taking it down, but it was impressive how quickly they collapsed it all before dinner! Take a closer peek at the set up on the next page...
aren't the A's a little sesame street? I kept thinking, and today is sponsored by the letter A! (and A is for Absolut?)
I know. I go rather quiet for a few days as i travel far too much the last few months, still not sure what day or time zone i'm in most of the time, but one thing i'm sure of... it's 5:30 am and i should be sleeping, but i'm staring at such an awesome bathroom here in the Lydmar Hotel, i just had to share it with you before i go sleep. The slate tiles floor to ceiling... the incredible lighting... the way the fixtures all seem to float... the contrast in textures... the hardcore thick grey blinds... I suppose the part that i'm smitten with most is the inset mirror that then doubles as a shelf, as well as a beautifully lit frame (only lit by two strips of light along the sides), and everything on the shelf looks so dramatic! So take a look at more details... including the packaging of their Byredo Parfums Tailor's Cotton line of toiletries...
you also have to see the room key... it looks like a car key... and they all have different keychains!
So since that top picture is what i am literally lying in bed staring at as i write this post (yes, i went to paris/versailles for barely 24 hours, and am now in stockholm)... and since it's already 4:30am, and i'm kind of on a chandelier high (they are kind of mesmerizingly stunning, and at the moment, i just feel drawn to standing directly under them and looking up)... figured i'd show you the crazy contrast between chandeliers from Versailles and the various more modern chandeliers here at the Lydmar Hotel in Stockholm. More to come on the Lydmar soon, but it has definitely jumped up on my list of favorites quickly ~ there's something so nice about their eclectic mix of modern and woody and i'm completely smitten by the bathroom, particularly the lighting! But first... go see the rest of the modern chandelier mandala pics on the next page!
There's something so magical about being able to wander around the Chateau de Versailles after dark in black tie garb with only a handful of people around... and free flowing Dom Perignon. Actually, there's something so magical about Versailles at any time, but this was particularly surreal... and while there, i think i've discovered a new obsession. Chandeliers. From directly below! Particularly with mesmerizingly mind bending shadows and/or ridiculously opulent and stunning ceilings... and yes, there was a point where i became that girl who handed off her glass of Dom to lay on the floor in the middle of an empty room in my dress, louboutins, and clutching my massive camera to see just how much ceiling my wide angle could ingest from directly below the center of the chandelier. It's a bit dizzying at times shooting straight up and getting lost in the concentric circles ~ but it's such a fun perspective... Ami from Cool Hunting is calling them our 'chandelier mandalas' (and huge thanks for Ami for resisting iphone-pic-ing me while i was laying there on the floor!)... so take a peek at *some* of the chandeliers (and a few bonuses!) from perhaps (but hopefully not!) the most magical night i will ever spend in Versailles...
The Dyson Air Multiplier Fan is inescapable since its launch two days ago ~ and to be honest, i'm a huge dyson fan (honestly, smart innovative tech/science for everyday products with gorgeous design and sleek packaging, what's not to love?)... so instead of showing you the usual press photos, how about a peek into the really fun launch! You know Dyson, they don't overlook any design details, so as expected, everything from the custom tees on the all black tee/pants dressed fan plug-in-ers to the adorable mini BLT branded mini toasts to the bottom lit displays with cable captures (think half cable turtles) for perfect length cords when displayed... also, when it comes to a product like this, while the object itself and the technology are fascinating, there is something truly awesome about being able to watch a crowd of people respond and react to it for the first time (or perhaps that is just my voyeuristic inner user experience junkie!)... So take a peek at everything from the stunning sunset river views to launch reactions to the munchies to the beautiful displays and Dyson Air Multiplier Fans on the next page!