On more things i’ve been meaning to post for a while. Here’s a brilliantly fun idea… how do you take a normally boring average looking bottled Magners Pear Cider and elevate (or catapult) its status instantly? Give the awesome Bungalow 8 in London an exclusive stunning bottle that is only available there, and only 500 bottles are produced. The new design was created for Magners by their brand entertainment agency, Cake. They were even kind enough to send one over so i could take a look at it in person - and its lovely! Its a sleek black bottle with 5 gloss silver sticker stripes wrapping the bottle and the Bungalow 8 ‘8’ etched in the silver pear. Honestly, it’s hard to look at the original bottle the same way after seeing and holding this. Actually, it’s hard to look at any cider or beer the same. Why don’t they all look this stunningly designed? See more pics on the next page…
Entries tagged with: london
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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 libraries, books, bookshelves, and since i was a little girl i've always wanted one of those massive libraries with a rolling ladder to climb and slide around on... maybe that's part of the inevitable draw i have to leaning bookshelves. Combine that with a sleek, slim, modular swedish design in stunning blacks and whites and you've got me. When i came across the Swedese Libri shelving unit at Tom Dixon's The Dock. Favorite aspects, they are slim, yet wide enough to stack my favorite bigger design books every which way interspersed with objects, and simple enough to fill a wall with half a dozen units and still have it look beautiful... or even attach them to each other for non-wall-leaning freestanding units. It's always bad news when you see, fall for, and already envision exactly how something would fit into your space. Take a peek at more pics of it in context, in real life at The Dock, and product shots ~ on the next page!
On fun brands and packaging, after visiting the Mr. & Mrs. Smith HQ in Chiswick ~ grabbed a lovely brunch with my sister and couldn't help popping into the ever adorable and enticing Cowshed. I won't lie, the mix of black and white vector prints with just a splash of single color, combined with cheeky names like "horny cow" and "knackered cow", lovely scents, and even custom lined hunter boots... of course i loved it. But beyond that, it was fun to read up on the background of the company which launched in 1998 originally for use in the Cowshed spa in Babington House, Somserset, is actually part of the Soho House Group, and is used in all of their venues (including NY!)... and i was delighted (amidst the fever boiling up within me) to happen across the one airport location you can find them last night as well... Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Lounges!
So take a peek ~ while the shop girl panicked slightly a the idea of letting me take pics in the store to share with you, you can see the few i picked up to try (and they were SO fun and awesome as tested out in NY) ~ and an overview of the packaging style on the next page!
Last year when i was in Paris, i fell in love with Penhaligon's Artemesia ~ and while in London this year i had to make a pit stop to check out their stores... always exquisite with their packaging, and perfume being a bit of a pain to travel with, i fell for the Penhaligon's Artemesia solid fragrance in the silver plated compact ~ perfect for my purse, and such a nice weight to it too... so on pretty packaging details, and a beautiful gift to keep in mind next time i'm stumped on gifting... take a look at the details on the next page. And it smells divine, and the solid fragrance has an ever so subtle shimmer to it as well...
On stunning bottles, i couldn't resist this G&J Greenall's Bloom Gin ~ beautiful color, gorgeous silhouette, particularly from the side! Found it at Liberty in London when we were late night wandering, while waiting for a table in Soho for dinner... The other random note ~ who knew! The bathroom in the St. James Hotel and Club would be so incredible for taking backlit snapshots of the bottle?!?! And slightly disappointing note on packaging, that nice black extruded part on the neck? Just a sticker... As for the taste, its quite refreshingly delicious - the Bloom Gin website describes it as "... a new romantic twist to the world of gin. With its ornate jewel-cut bottle, Bloom's fresh flavour offers a strikingly smooth, soft taste. This triple distilled gin uses demineralised fresh spring water and natural botanicals for its flavour. Created from juniper, chamomile, pomelo and honeysuckle it offers a light, refreshing experience rounded with subtle notes of honey and orange. Bloom -- a new gin to be enjoyed by lovers of nature." Definitely yummy ~ and will look stunning on any shelf. Take a look at the details on the next page!
Troy Abbott's Nano Cage - "All digital beauty. No Mess or Mortality." Came across this piece at Tent Digital at Tent London 2009, and it was hard to ignore, adorable little digital finches living in gps sized screens inside colorful bird cages... my favorite is of course the Yoko which lives in the classic bird cage in a matte black. In fact, all of these are even available for purchase!
While i can't possibly imagine having one of these replacing the joy of having an adorable little bird accompanying you... it's an intriguing concept mixing nature and technology, and it's certainly fascinating to watch... so take a peek at more pics and a quick video i made while at the show on the next page!
Far more exciting than design week, everywhere i went i heard "You HAVE to go get ice cream at Selfridges!"... which seemed bizarre until i found out about the Icecreamists, and now i must tell you, "You HAVE to go get ice cream at Selfridges!" Before i get into the space and concept itself though, their The Infamous Sex Pistol Ice Cream deserved a post all on its own... "Natural stimulants & Absinthe Ice Cream. A classic Fior di Latte or Milk Ice Cream blended with Ginkgo Biloba, Arginine and Guarana for blood flow and energy. Scented with a gentle infusion of citrus zest. Topped with a shot of La Fee Absinthe. Strictly only one per person. Served with a complimentary Icecreamist badge." The London Paper deemed this the "Viagra Ice Cream"... but realizing that the absinthe was served out of an iv drip, i simply HAD to order it. Also, this ended up being breakfast with a friend, so a little pick me up didn't help before a full day of shopping in the saturday high street crowds. To take a look at the process and the cocktail itself, check out the pics on the next page! More to come on The Icecreamists soon!
and while i don't normally love absinthe, this was rather delicious...
Sometimes you find inspiration in the most random of places... like stuck on the side of a cross walk button machine with a cucumber on top of it. This graphic from Waste Yourself was too cool not to share... found out in the East end of London when checking out Tent Design and wandering about. See it bigger and a few other silly little discoveries as well on the next page...
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!
"Inspired by the comet logo and created by Design Research Studio under the creative direction of Tom Dixon, Veuve Clicquot presents The Comet. The Comet is a natural evolution of Tom's original creation the Comet Lamp." (Which we gave away to a luck reader earlier!) I've always loved geodesic structures, and to have this large igloo like cave of a space in that vibrant Veuve yellow ~ and filled with perfectly stacked bottles of champagne... it was just a delightful space! Also unmissable from afar as you wonder what the bizarre yellow structures are as you enter from the bridge...
I suppose i shouldn't be too surprised to find myself coming from the history and source of Veuve Clicquot having just participated in harvest, only to be mesmerized and inspired once again by their design collaborations... on random thoughts, these comet structures would make for a very cool fort if i was still a kid... or maybe a sanctuary or work space? tree house? Unfortunately there weren't really any kids at the VIP event, but i bet they would have made for some adorable pictures! See lots of pics of the structures and some other Veuve details on the next page!
Freshly back from the party at The DOCK, described as "An emporium of creative talent instigated by Tom Dixon and sponsored by Derwent London." ~ and before i even show you what's inside, coming back to the hotel and browsing the pics, the way the space photographs as the sun set was just so fun! So take a look ~ the lighting was certainly one of my favorite things about tonight!
I'm sitting at that desk, in that chair, as i write to you... I don't even know where to begin, as you know, i've been a bit quiet the last few days as i was whisked off from LA to Paris and driven to Reims as soon as i touched down to go meet up with Veuve Clicquot for the start of the harvest. Which means, packed to the gills schedules, lots of champagne, a day of manual labor picking grapes, incredible experiences with friends new and old, and so many photographs to share with you! So with hundreds of photos awaiting, running on minimal sleep and having just hopped a train over to London from Paris ~ i find myself trying to catch up in the stunning Hazlitt's in Soho. I'm going to walk you through things a bit haphazardly, but know there are MANY posts in progress to come! So first take a look at where i've landed to spend the day writing/photoshopping/processing my thoughts to share with you!
Huge thanks to Mr and Mrs Smith, they've helped me find a few hotels i may not have found on my own, and as my first stop, i'm blown away. Hazlitt's in Soho. There is something incredible about being surrounded by walls of old books and paintings, georgian period furniture... and nice speedy wifi, bluray players and flat panels hidden behind mirrors... coupled with a huge bath tub and a thrown like wooden toilet... and motorized shades and skylights... its fascinatingly comforting to step in from the midst of Soho and into another time period, but equipped with all the tech-infused modern amenities i couldn't survive without. Firstly, i'm just going to show you what you'll find inside my room (honestly, i'm so tired and have so much to do, i'm hiding out for a little while, so i'll go shoot and share some of the other amazing shared spaces later!) ~ but for a quick background... "Hazlitt's was created in 1986 from three unspoiled 18th century townhouses, built in 1718... the hotel takes its name from William Hazlitt, perhaps the greatest of all English essayists and critics..." He both lived and died here in the 1800s when it was a boarding house, and all of the bedrooms here are named after people who lived in or has some connection with these buildings... my room is named after Mrs. Teresa Cornelys ~ a viennese opera singer and lover of Casanova, with whom she even has a child! So while i get back to catching up, take a peek at the stunning suite ~ and i'm just so inspired and excited by all of the walls of books and clawfooted fixtures around the property!
On awesome 4th of July presents from afar ~ my sister just bought me and then installed to photograph ~ this awesome Beasties Lamp Shade from Habitat! (It's waiting for me out in London, so the unbox will hold me over till i get there on my next trip!) If it looks familiar, i posted it as #22491... These Beasties are "Acid etched metal shade featuring animal-shaped silhouettes etched around the shade." Take a peek at more shots of it, the cool shadows it makes, and the packaging on the next page!
Phone Lust! Crunching to get this post sorted out before i run to LAX to pick friends up... and because of that i wasn't able to make it out to London today for the HTC Hero and HTC Sense launch! Fortunately Dr. Justine (yes! my little sis is all done!!!) was able to spare a few hours, hop out of oxford, and out of the academic world to go see what all this mobile fuss was about. And get pics to show me what i was missing. As usual, you can get all the technical details on any site, but she got us those key moments and details i love seeing... like the expressions the C-level presenters have, and the presentation graphics they used... and quotes about things like Drunken Thumb and Teflon fingerprintlessness and how 'fun people make fun phones, nerdy people make nerdy phones' (yes, this is a "fun" phone). So on the next page you'll see a bunch of hands on pics of the new phone, as well as my favorite snippets of her press event experience.
As for the phone lusting ~ the new HTC Hero is like a super thin keyboardless version of the G1 (in shape!) ~ and it is running Android, with their new HTC Sense experience that takes it to a whole new level (keep in mind HTC are the guys who even skinned windows mobile to a point where i loved looking at it, and the UX, until you realize its still win mobile under there, too bad they couldn't hide everything?) ~ Its most appealing feature is that it is truly PEOPLE centered, in that instead of looking for your friends on twitter, facebook, flickr, address book, email (of various accounts)... it sorts the content by PEOPLE! So you can see all of a person's feeds/interactions with you in one place. And it sounds like it does it pretty easily too ~ get your account info in and the phone does the rest and updates it regularly and syncs people up. Now if that meant all those people i'm bad at officially putting in my address book can have their info sucked in from facebook/linkedin etc ~ that'd be awesome. (p.s. while it does apparently magically sync matching names on its own, you can decide which get paired or manually sync for people who like pseudonyms on various accounts.)
OK ~ go see the pics!
Ok, i need a teleportation device. Please! Today, National Geographic opens their first retail space and it is a 3 story 1,800 square metre world of its own on London's Regent Street. We were lucky enough to get an invite to the launch party, but i was unlucky enough not to be able to teleport over for this stunning event! However, my sister, Justine (Rugenius) and her boyfriend, were kind enough to take a break from her PhD thesis writing to pop over and give us her take of it... and i think her animal loving, scientifically minded side really came out and fell in love with the space! She even has me excited about the upcoming talks, as well as dying to go shop the store in person...
So here's the deal, she's done a very thorough, visual walkthrough of the store for you on the next page, and she sent me SO many pictures that i've pulled out a few for the post, but you can view them all in Gallery NOTCOT. A few standout things to take note of? The layouts! Incredibly fun use of crates, industrial feeling containers, gorgeous gallery spaces... no one will be able to resist going into the magical red chamber with the GIANT block of ice to try on cold weather gear, and see where their heat is escaping on the screen... it looks like whether you're planning a trip, looking for an adventure, or just escaping for a quick snack, this museum-esque store is going to be a hit. So, check out our first look on the next page!
Penhaligon's ~ i tried to tell myself i'd stick to French brands and stores while wandering around in my few days in Paris ~ but i couldn't help myself when i wandered into Penhaligon's, the legendary british perfumerie that dates back to the 1800s. I've been drawn to their fragrances at Fred Segal most recently, and vaguely remember loving a lavender body wash of theirs an ex had... but the store, packaging (love their tissue paper), layouts, and product designs were so gorgeous i was smitten - and had to share a few pics. So take a peek on the next page... even their tiles had me mesmerized...
I still have SO many things i want to share with you from the Paris trip, but strangely enough the jetlag has left me in a bit of a haze the last few days here in LA... so more catching up to come soon!
NOTCOT Note: Here is the first post from guest contributor Dara Lang who is currently exploring London while studying fashion promotion! A fellow globetrotter, she has lived in Brussels and Paris, is half egyptian and half english, and is just as crazy as we are when it comes to finding new things... i love that she will take a bus and get off on every stop to find the coolest unknown spots in London. Anyhow, more on her later...
Behold London’s newest concept store, Wonder Room which has just opened in Selfridges department store in the heart of Oxford Street. Spontaneous, unique and entertaining this 19,000 square foot space is dedicated to luxury items. From designer AreaWare ashtrays, Bedside Gun Lamp by Philippe Starck and18 carat gold Ipods, The Wonder Room brings together exquisite products! From fine jewelery brands such as Tiffany & Co, finely crafted watches by Breitling, high fashion brands sunglasses and handbags including Chanel and Bvlgari, the rooms has a beautiful mix of high end items. Everything in this room has value, whether it being a quirky toy or an unusual book on flowers, its wide selection of products is perfect for precious gifts. And for those of you who can't make it over yet, see more pics below! Also take a look at the podcasts section where Wanda of the Wonder Room hunts for dragons, magic beans, cats that turn into unicorns... and other Wonder Room requests of that nature.