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!
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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!
Last night popped over to the Beverly Hills Anthropologie down the street to celebrate the launch of the new Sundance Channel Show Man Shops Globe ~ and some late night shopping, some Stella Artois and Ferrero Rocher too of course... While normally not so much a reality TV person, this one is pretty fun! I love Anthropologie, and global shopping, and in this show you get to explore the world with Keith Johnson, buyer-at-large for Anthropologie, as he scopes out everything from St. Ouen Flea Market in Paris, the Kapalicarsi Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Piet Botha's Craft Shop in Cape Town... it's a shopaholics dream. Did you know they actually shop for all the one offs strewn across the stores... and absolutely anything you see in a store (furniture, displays, etc) are ALL for sale?!?!?! I had no idea... on that note, take a peek at a preview vid as well as some pics of the very cute (and huge!) beverly hills store ~ the succulent and bromeliad displays were my favorite of course...
On random sunday inspiration from the tons of photos from the last few weeks of travel, while wall stickers have been a bit overdone the last few years, and black on white vector motifs have been omnipresent more so than usual this design week. But what was surprisingly lovely was the juxtaposition of the gorgeous white house within The Dock, with beautiful ornate ceiling moldings and wrought iron staircases contrasted with these delicate 2D strands and clusters of black faux foliage and fauna draping on the bright white walls. A little cluttered, but nicely detailed and random ~ the concept has been stuck in my head and inspired so many ideas! Take a peek at more pics + close ups on the next page...
I love bent plywood, and i love simple multipurpose pieces that are incredibly versatile... and when i spotted John Green's Embrace shelf/table at Tent London out of the corner of my eye, i was smitten. And i wanted a few! Basically they are a pair of tables that can be interlocked to form a lovely floating shelf with room for magazines/etc to rest on the side. The first use case that popped into mind with this was - bedside table! And laptop resting in the shelf, such that when it got too hot on my lap in bed, i could grab the tray and flip it over my legs to lazily laptop in bed! With my current offi one i never know where to put it when not in use! It's too shallow for a side table, to big to slide under the bed.... this would be perfect! And its so beautiful! No wonder why its been winning awards!
On exciting finds at London Design Week ~ my favorite discovery at Designersblock is definitely Masako Sugar and her Mushroom Hooks! I feel like i've been hunting for years for the perfect coat rack or hallway hooks ~ in fact i had a big post during my hunt back in 2007! Well i wish these had existed back then! Even though i'm not exactly sure where they will go when i get home, i couldn't resist buying three of the red ones ~ made of silicon rubber, it is nice to your clothes, far softer aesthetically than many of the harsher powder coated steel options omnipresent these days, and they are all one of a kind mushrooms (slightly different in spots, etc) ~ not to mention they look absolutely adorable on the wall, and i love the packaging! Also brilliant is the simplicity of the metal mount, and you can simply slip the silicon shroom over... or perhaps someday she'll expand the line to different hooks you can swap in? But for now. LOVE the mushroom hooks, take a peek at close ups on the next page!
The Bloomframe is a reality! Not that it wasn't real before when i posted about it about 2.5 years ago, but now its in production!!! There is something so thrilling about watching these ideas grow and garner so much interest as concepts and make it into working production models! And don't take my word for it... there's even a VIDEO! See the video and more pics on the next page! If i had a second story, i'd definitely want one!
"The Bloomframe® balcony, designed by Hofman Dujardin Architects and developed and manufactured by Hurks geveltechniek, is the winner of the prestigious Wallpaper* Design Award 2009 in the category Most-life-enhancing-product." Additionally it's picked up - 1st prize Audi Design Award 2008, 1st prize Red Dot Design Award 2008 Germany, Nomination Index Design Award 2009 Denmark, Nomination Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany 2009, and Nomination MKB Innovation Top 100 2009. And there are various options/sizes/etc ~ take a peek at more pics (and the video!) on the next page!
My pens got envious as soon as i opened the latest email from the folks at Merchant 4 ~ their new Place For Trace ~ pen/pencil and tracing paper roll holder... so pretty, so simple... it makes me want to drill holes along the edge of my desk to line up all my pens/markers/pencils... i suppose it would end up like a colorful picket fence of writing instruments (and maybe x-actos too?) around my laptop and such? Anyhow, take a peek at this new desk accessory on the next page!
afterthought: i wonder if these holes fit sharpies?
Bodum. There's something so irresistible about the way they do glass... and now there is even double walled porcelain! And a clear glass stovetop kettle! And planters! And baguette tubes? The 2009 catalog is beautifully laid out too, with cheeky typographic bits... Take a peek at some of my favorite pages on the next page... and view the catalog here.
Excited to get a first look at Arta's gorgeous and playful set of bar tools that magically nest (tools into rack into ice bucket that sits on the cutting board) as well as a shaker with a built in jigger/strainer. Beautifully unique designs, and really fun packaging, first reaction was definitely - awesome house warming gift idea! (The tools in ice bucket particularly!) I love the packaging! Those silhouettes really grab you! Its such a fun portable set of - muddler, tongs, stirring spoon, bottle opener, knife, citrus reamer, citrus zester, drip-free ice bucket, and integrated cutting board. And since i played with it before lunch today, we actually used it while playing around with some lemons from the tree out back and made some lemonade. While the shaker is fun, and the integrated jigger and strainer are an unusual design, it is a bit impractical... its hard to get the top off, and unless you're pouring it when pretty level, using that for measurement while chatting with friends gets tricky! I think it's complicated instead of simplifying the drink making process? But the tool set is a fun one to have around the house, especially for a quick set you can bring outside with you for cocktails while bbq-ing! Take a peek at the details on the next page!
I keep hearing about SciFi/Syfy's Caprica recently ~ so got curious and checked out the DVD on directv tonight ~ and i love the designy details of this alternate reality. Particularly the tennis court!!! And the architecture of the main house, the bookshelves, and the computer sheets... take a peek at some screenshots on the next page!
i must admit i haven't really watched battlestar yet, but it has come up so many times in the last week alone, definitely need to do some catching up?
The one thing that i couldn't get out of my head after leaving Dwell On Design - Woolly Pocket Gardening Company, and they adorably cool recycled plastic felty living walls/vertical gardens and planter pockets! It's a brilliant concept that really softens up a space, and such a fun subtle texture to add both indoors and out. These pockets are ready for planting, come in a variety of sizes... and can be both lined on the interior base (so they wont leak onto your walls/etc) or unlined for outdoor use. "Woolly Pockets are flexible, breathable, and modular gardening containers. They`come in two styles: those designed to be placed on horizontal surfaces, and those designed to be hung on walls for vertical gardening. You can use Woolly Pockets both indoors and out; they have built-in moisture barriers to help protect furniture, and they're equally at home outside in the elements"
Also - how adorable is that logo and tag??? Their website + blog have adorable photography as well ~ but for some first hand looks at them, check out more pics on the next page of the various setups and colors all over the Dwell show ~ not only at their booth, but also found at the VIP section and throughout the Outdoor section. I have so many ideas for movable gardens in my patio as well as covering some walls now! See the pics...
How perfect would the small table top ones be for fun succulent filled gifts???
Latest in designer collabs for Target is Dror. While most of the new collection is more pillows, bedding, little stationery accessories ~ the one piece that really caught my eye are the Nesting/Stacking Bookcase/Shelves! I wonder if they could also be little stools as well? While i'm not sure that i love how they look stacked, i do love that they stack and nest! So multipurpose, and easy to move? Take a peek at some of the larger pics on the next page, and browse the full collection here.
I have had a thing for awesome classic-esque black wood chairs with a twist... i went through classics, was tempted, but wanted more. And then i walked into the Design House Stockholm event at NY Design week, and just gravitated to these 4 Family Chairs by Lina Nordqvist - and just FYI, i love almost all things DHS, so i knew i hadn't seen these before, and just kind of wandered past the door list and right over to them. They are such a fun twist on a classic! Here's their description:
"Not every chair is created equal. Especially not Family Chairs by Lina Nordqvist, a foursome of traditional Swedish stickback chairs. Separately they present themselves as individuals, unique chairs aspiring to be something more than just pieces of furniture. Together they form a boisterous family, with each one displaying a distinctive character. Even the horizontal spindles between the chair legs play their part in the game. "I'm fascinated by objects, and I like it when they have their own special individuality, something beyond mere technical function. That's why I decided on a graduation project at Beckmans College of Design in which I transformed something well-known and traditional into something unexpected." It's no surprise that Lina Nordqvist's Family Chairs seem to be made for the stage: she has already pursued a career as a professional set designer in the Swedish film industry for several years. Family Chairs will be available in natural wood and in a black-lacquered version."
See the many pictures on the next page! Which is your favorite? I also have a thing for playfully mismatched chairs...
IKEA PS Collection 2009 is stunning ~ those of you following NOTCOT.org may have seen a bit of this collection as it launched in sweden ~ and as the playful animations about the design stories behind the collection began to circulate. While the anticipation for this collection is not yet over (the collection wont be available in the US until August 2009) - but it's official US launch was at ICFF, so i finally got a chance to check it out in person! This year the theme is "Never Ending Design Stories" - the press release says: "The new collection is all about stories. Stories about our roots, of empowering people, of innovative ways of minimizing the use of resources and maximizing our responsibility for our world." And the products reflect this beautifully with so many playful, unique, pieces that manage to dance the line between mass produced and full of character. You can see some of my favorites above ~ and on the next page take a peek at pics from the IKEA booth at ICFF 09, as well as the full catalog of products, and a peek at the history of the PS collection.
I have to admit this up front because i felt so silly about it ~ when i was trying to start catching up on what ICFF goodness to share, i couldn't get this insane reflective jellyfish-like icelandic lamps out of my head, so i start photoshopping pictures, and then researching online, only to find that it had already been on NOTCOT.org #20302... So yes, even I can't keep up with absolutely everything anymore, and truthfully, it was even cooler in person!
Now for those who don't know, these lights are Illuminant by Kristin Birna Bjarnadottir out of Iceland ~ and there is no actual LIGHT in the light! It is like a jellyfish of reflective fabric ~ reflective strands hanging down and bundled above the more classically shaped lamp shade ~ and on the floor is a high powered LED light, simply shooting light up inside of it, and the result is this ethereal glowing free flowing creature... and to change colors, you simple put glass filters on the lights. (Literally just put a glass disc on the top of the light source) Now, imagine a forest of jellyfish in the ocean... can you imagine these installed in an array of sizes and heights hanging from trees in a garden party?
Take a look at the various pictures on the next page!
i could also totally see these installed in a rave/burning man type situation evolved into a visual/sound installation where the lights pulsate with the music and possibly even push bursts of air upwards to create perfectly timed motion in the tentacles of a forest of these... how fun would that be to watch?