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!
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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?
I suppose the real question is... How can you pass up seeing DJ Kreemy (Karim) spin and dance all decked out in one of his all pink outfits (down to the watch even!)? There was quite a line for the Artemide party once Karim was spinning, and it was really quite odd trying to explain to this older french couple that may have just happened to wander through Soho at the right moment what it was exactly that people were lined up for... Also hilarious to see more beefy guys in super tight tees, this time green with I <3 LED on them and serving appletinis... The Cadmo lights by Karim were quite beautiful as well, honestly i liked them far better in person than i had in photos that had been circulating. Take a peek at the grassy window display, Karim in action, the lighting, and the I <3 LED bartenders on the next page!
Amazing that Kartell is celebrating their 60th birthday this year! 1949 - 2009! To celebrate their design week party was "Kartell, 60 Years of Design! What a wonderful world!". Such a classic design powerhouse ~ it was fun not only to see some of their new pieces launched this year, but also their great color sorted displays, playful human cut outs, great use of mirrors, and perhaps my favorite unexpected detail... beefy guys in very tight I <3 Kartell Lights shirts, complete with their lighting collection on their backs. I couldn't help but as the nice server to pose for me to share his shirt with you! So click on to the next page to take a peek at the Kartell soho show room and the scene tonight!
There are some things you can read about and only when you play with it and get to take it apart in person do you fully understand how awesome it is. It also doesn't hurt to first see it in an awesomely large grouping arranged like a sculpture on the 3rd floor deck of the The Standard, New York with all of NYC as the backdrop... and then again back down on the ground in a shipping container both intact and taken apart...
Of course i'm talking about Artek's 10 Unit System by Shigeru Ban! Both Artek and Shigeru Ban are known for their love of beautiful simplicity, functionality, and sustainability ~ so it's no surprise that this 10 Unit System emobodies all of those qualities wonderfully. "Systematizing, Standardizing, Making It Accessible." This is the chair who's motto is boldly "One chair is enough"... and being constructed of 10 identical L shaped pieces, one can create chairs of varying designs, stools, coffee tables, and even combine them for benches and more. When feel like a quick change, simply rearrange the pieces! These are made from ProFi, an environmentally friendly wood-plastic composite - non-toxic, sustainable, and recyclable, it utilizes the surplus materials from the label stock production of UPM. (Artek also used this material for the Artek Pavillion that was sold by Sotheby's as well as floor tiles.)
Take a look on the next page for images from the The Standard, New York deck ~ in the Playful New Finnish Design 09 shipping container ~ up close ~ press photos ~ and even the really fun propoganda cut/paste/photocopy zine looking booklet!
The Bd Barcelona Tout va bien ~ a collection by Antoine + Manuel. While wandering ICFF, i was immediately drawn over to e Bd Barcelona for the Jamie Hayon Showtime chairs in new colors... and then mesmerized by this new cabinet! Being human, its near impossible to not attempt to make a story out of random snippets ~ personally i initially assumed it would be some crazy myth or fairy tale... but the woman at the booth informed me it was far more fantasy and artsy and no real meaning... but fascinating details none the less...
Bd Barcelona describes it as: "Rarely does a graphic designer (two, in this case) go into the field of furniture design. We have to go far back in time to find them, to the times of the high and low reliefs. This is exactly what Antoine Audiau and Manuel Warosz have done, a couple of extraordinary Parisian graphic artists who sign their works as Antoine+Manuel. The cabinet they have designed for this new collection brought out by Bd Barcelona design is a surprising mixture of applied arts, hieroglyphic language, contemporary graphics, fantasy and optimism. It is produced with the quality of yesteryear but using today's technologies in two versions, Basic and Top, distinguished by the shape of the top and because the more exclusive option also offers the possibility of choosing the colour in accordance to the RAL colour referentes."
Check out close ups and press pics on the next page!
Stand out at ICFF that i walked away still lusting after? Shimna! Based right here in NY, their tag line is "avoid the aesthetic of the moment" ~ and it just about sums it up perfectly. It's like rustic meets modern ~ but not rustic modern. Soft and cozy meet hard and rough ~ but not hard and cozy. Outdoorsy meets urban chic? The only descriptions i can give you sound ridiculously juxtaposed ~ but they have struck a beautiful balance in their juxtapositions that i'm in love with. I can see their pieces in my rustic modern loft... or my modern ranch/cabin in the woods...
OH, and i didn't even get to talking about the 80$ ebay stuffed rabbit they placed on the bright red couch yet. Details like that really draw everyone into a booth... even adorably mesmerized babies (see pic on next page to make sense of this!). Also the bed, those drawers are slanted! So from afar, you wouldn't even guess there are 4 large drawers of goodies hidden beneath ~ it just has sleek lines underneath... and then next to your head there are drawers for your glasses and jewelry... but not for your partner/lovers. They even have gorgeous updated variations on what felt like a trunk that evolved into a seat/coffee table that still opens up to provide tons of storage space... and apparently coyotes went from near extinction to overpopulation ~ so they are doing their part by using some of the special culled coyote skins on their cozy chair... and the couch is incredibly comfy/cozy and mounted on gorgeous woodiness... anyhow, see the juxtaposition of press and real world photos on the next page!
Firstly, oh yes, i will probably be that girl at the supermarket rocking the metallic bronzey Tom Dixon tote in line... with my random magazines staying dry from wet goods and showing off the title perfectly in its exterior pocket ~ clearly made FOR that reason! You will suddenly know exactly what mood i'm in... artsy, businessy, car-y, fashiony?
But seriously ~ how can anyone resist these parties in empty Soho condos on GORGEOUS days with never ending Veuve Clicquot flowing ~ Tom Dixon lighting and furnishings surrounding you ~ and nearly 360 skyline views to stare out at? Dwell hosted a great party! Met some really cool folks ~ and yes... i'm impressed with their very trendy tote. Also see the sweet grassy kid friendly rooftop i spotted as well as many water towers... and all the Tom Dixon goodies on the next page!
Landed in NYC at the equivalent time earlier than i normally go to sleep in LA... huge points for the sweet Ace Hotel NYC guys for giving me a room at 7am and letting me curl up in bed with wifi and post to you now... yes, i'm a little deliriously giddy and going to crash in a few, but far too excited not to show you these pics first...
I think i'm *home* ~ but i must admit i was nervous ~ kind of like meeting someone you've talked to online for ever, and you know you like a lot of the same stuff, but when you finally meet in the flesh ~ well its nerve racking. And you hit your kinks and panic attacks along the way (they JUST soft opened yesterday after delays) ~ but then its love at first sight?
So we're going to do this the inside out way ~ starting with the room itself, its amazingly awesome details (my house so needs a black smeg, i wish i could just stick it in my suitcase and bring it home!) ~ adorably cozy vintage designy furnishings ~ glossy black outlets and faceplates! ~ big metal door ~ gorgeous lights ~ yummy treats ~ anyhow, see for yourself... pics of the room on the next page...
saw sunset in LA and sunrise in NYC ~ and in between it was incredibly clear out tonight ~ really bright moon and stars and darkness with patches of towns/cities in the middle... so also a few pics of the crazy view.
My kitchen is DONE!!! So, a few weeks ago you saw the unboxing of the Kohler Karbon Faucet and Smart Divide Sink ~ well many an early morning, some banging, bashing, painting and more later... the 30s kitchen has had all its tiles ripped out, plumbing cleaned up, granite counters installed, and sink and faucet have been Kohler-ized... and i LOVE it.
Really it's one thing to play with the Karbon at trade shows, but to have been actually using it ~ doing dishes, filling pots, spraying people, etc... it's awesome! (i highly recommend playing with one!) ~ And the Smart Divide sink having a lower divider means far less splashage as i'm cleaning and moving things between the different sides...
As for how decisions were made... Yes. I became that girl in the ads who basically walked around with a faucet and designed counter around it... So see the advert, and the whole process from start to finish on the next page!