Category Archives: modern design

The download from Decorex 2011

This years Decorex event was again spectacular. Set in the grounds of the picturesque Royal Chelsea Hospital and housing some of the globe’s most exquisite interiors, luxury fabric stalls and future trend setters.

The marquee was bustling with designers, suppliers and business folk perusing each stand for something to take their fancy.

One area that certainly took the biscuit was the entrance. Designed by legendary British Interior Designer Nicky Haslam, the space was made to resemble a serene underwater bedroom and study.

Nicky Haslam

Dainty 3D flowers lined the walls, silver silk and velvet fabrics draped over the bed which was set inside a giant oyster shell, positioned in between two large statues. The floors were scattered with sea shells and a vintage film was projected behind the desk accompanied by soft Jazz music.

As a Decorex Blogger runner up, I was invited by Decorex to be involved in a special tweet-up gathering at the event where I met fellow bloggers from the design world and those involved in Blogtour2011 who had travelled over from America.

Just before the tweet-up was about to start, all the bloggers had the rare opportunity to meet Nicky Haslam himself in the Press Room and engage in a short question and answer session.

He sat with everyone for around half an hour sharing his experiences, design tips and advice. The group were hooked and I could see the severe disappointment in their faces when the time came for him to go. But not before a few pictures of course!

Then it was up and onwards to the tweet-up which was a huge success. It was fantastic to converse with other bloggers and be able to exchange tips and experiences. Although, I did have an embarrassing moment when I was asked what my “Twitter handle” was and I replied with, “sorry what’s that?”. So, I’m not as techi savvy as I thought, but on the upside I’ve learned a number of new tricks and terms from the bloggers across the pond. Thank you guys!

Among the top designs of the day for me, were a collection of stunning circle lights made by French company Le Deun Luminaires. The thin handmade lights are made from energy efficient LED’s which last for over 800,000 hours and don’t get hot whilst turned on. Believe me I tested them!

Another great find I know will be popular with the boys, is Billiard Room Ltd. They had two rather exciting tables on show at the event. One which looked like it had been beamed down from space, with it’s hollow centre, sleek white outer shell and bright orange felt lining. The other, lay on top of a metal grille base with neon blue lights fitted underneath and a steel brushed border along the table top. I hear footballers running!

There are of course many more exciting designs that I’d love to include but would simply spoil it for those who will be trotting along later this week. And for those keen bloggers out there look out for Decor8’s Holly Becker today, she’ll be giving a seminar called “Blogging your way for Designers”, I’m deeply upset that I can’t make it to see her but if anyone can fill me in please

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Filed under Decorex, Kitchen Interiors, Living room Interiors, modern design, News, Quirky

Design of the Day – Little People Project

Street Artist Slinkachu was born in Devon in 1979 and moved to the hustle and bustle of London in 2002 to pursue a career in commercial art and design. Then in 2006, the anonymous artist embarked on the first installment of his street art collection, the “Little People Project” in 2006, which has attracted attention worldwide.

Slinkachou uses miniature figurines of people and abandons them in various satirical situations on the streets of London, based around themes of anonymity, alienation and loneliness inspired by city-living. You can choose from a number of this artists though provoking imagery in the form of a poster, badge or model from The Andipa Gallery in London.

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Our Panasonic experience at Pinewood Studios

As the economy seems to falling back into decline and markets all over the world severely suffering, there is one sector which is lucky enough to have been given a recession-free pass. The technology industry is growing at a fast rate especially in parts of Asia and one brand, Panasonic has taken this opportunity to expand its “techi savvy” product range and sprinkle the UK with a bit of Japanese living star dust.

Based at the bustling Pinewood Studios in London, the Panasonic Experience Studio was set up 8 weeks ago to give businesses and people the chance to sample their latest range of retail screens, 3D televisions, interactive plasma’s and 2012 Olympics range.

The National Design Academy tutor team, Directors, NDA Private Clients Manager and of course myself (not wanting to miss out on anything exciting) made the trip to Panasonic’s studio to see first hand what all the fuss was about and how this latest technology would be stitched into the Interior Design industry.

As we made our way up to the studio, my camera was out and ready to get snappy happy and the group were becoming extremely excited to see what was in store. As soon as we stepped into the hallway before entering the studio, gasps and oooo’s were exhaled and a rush of bodies proceeded to the corner.

A brilliant sales tool on Panasonic’s part, they had cleverly placed a tall interactive screen in the corner of the room (above) that allowed a person to manoeuvre and manipulate what showed on screen – it reminded me of something from CSI Miami! In fact, this screen is similar to those which will be distributed around London during the 2012 Olympic games as information guides. Everyone was hooked by this point.

We were then ushered into the main studio which was nearly pitch black, except for spots of bright flickering screens lining the edges of the room. I was rather impressed with the trio of towering screens lacing the back wall, with what appeared to be the angels from the Lynx adverts trying to smash their way out of the screens.

The group were shown an rather impressive 103 inch plasma screen, fully interactive and used by Sky Sports presenters in the studio. This big boy has up to 6 points of contact, can use live feeds and uses infrared technology to follow contact, which means you don’t even have to touch the screen to use it! For roughly £50,000 smackers you could have one of these all to yourself!

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, James Pilling, Living room Interiors, modern design, News, Outdoor Living, Technology, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Design of the Day – Wallpaper that will literally brighten you’re day

This Design of the Day will certainly make your ears prick up and eyes open wide! Here is a revolutionary design by Swedish Artist Camilla Diedrich, that will transform any wall in any home into a glowing feature piece! Her fiber-optic wallpaper collection, Nature Ray Charles, is simply mesmerising with its subdude lines and feminine flower motifs, which project out the light.

Diedrich was drawing on her computer one day and accidentally slipped, knocking her keyboard and changing the appearance of the drawing making it extremely light. She then associated this with how blind people might view the world and the musician Ray Charles popped into her head. His name was then adopted as the collection’s title.

The are 8 different colours of paper to choose from so a colour to suit every personality! However, I’m struggling to find an explanation for how the light is sourced, powered fitted within the paper, so if anyone had a clue please give me holla, I’m dying to know!

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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, Design of the day, Living room Interiors, modern design, News, Quirky

Design of the Day – Polar bear rug speaks a thousand words

A team of designers have a taken one of the worlds most pressing environmental issues and created a piece which speaks louder than words. Designers Ricardo Casas, Alejandro Castro, Héctor Esrawe, Emiliano Godoy and Cecilia León de la Barra have produced a thought provoking rug, which contrasts it’s oft and pleasant texture with the prickly problem we have surrounding the rapid decline of the Polar bear and melting ice caps.

Ironically named ” Global Warming“, this statement piece is sure to make anyone stop and think whether its placed in a living room, waiting room or café. I’m very impressed with the rugs simple design and how it conveys this message with such impact.

I would definitely have one of these in my home as way of raising awareness of global warming.

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Design of the Day – Humpty Dumpty’s murderer is shelved!

Humpty Dumpty sat on the, wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall! We all know the famous children’s nursery rhyme about a poor egg that broke into a thousand pieces after falling from a wall. Well, leading artist Jim Rosenau, has used this ancient tale to create a “tongue-in cheek” bookshelf which reveals to the world a secret….

It seems Rosenau has inside knowledge of who pushed Humpty Dumpty off the wall and has used three individually and carefully sourced books to name the culprit! Not only that , he seems to have found the suspected weapon used by the murderer – AN EGG WHISK!

Acutely named “Who done it?”, the shelf consists of three black and red books which have taken Rosenau years to source and holds a whisk through the middle of the base. I’m just in complete and utter love with Rosenau’s creativity and use of 3-D haiku’s to convey cheeky messages to passers by.

Rosenau creates an array of other wonderful pieces of furniture from his California studio, This and That which are also made from books. It’s no surprise this artist has such a flair for words, as he was raised in a house containing over 5000 books – not short of inspiration then!

You can buy one of Jim Rosenau’s off-the-wall shelves for roughly £600 which isn’t bad for something which is deep in meaning and has taken years to form.

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Design of the Day – Pantone bag for life

 

Strut your stuff and look the bees knees with one of Pantone‘s trendy shoulder bags. Made from cotton and hiding a zipped pouch for your pennies, the bags are available in three of colours exclusive to Pantone.

You can pick one up from www.illustratedliving.co.uk for under £30 and also choose from a range of matching purses.

 

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Baaarmy head to toe ceramics

 

I met  one half of the Yas-ming duo, Yasmin Dilekkaya, at this years New Designers at London’s Design Business centre.  I was exploring the One Year On exhibition, curated by Jethro Macey, when in passing their collection stopped me in my tracks – a display full of the weird and wonderful was just my cup of tea.

Yasmin Dilekkaya and Ming Wai Sung both studied at the University for the Creative Arts in Rochester and have been working together since they graduated last year. They’ve created a collection of ceramic mugs, plates, bowls and chop stick holders with the heads and bottoms of animals – how fun! The head and bottom of the animals are made in separate moulds and then carefully attached to the plate, mug or bowl.

If Yas-Ming make you squeal with joy and you want to fill up the cupboard with a heard of animal friends, then you can head down to Magma in Covent Garden or YSC@HOME in Yorkshire.

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A treasure trove of design gems at New Designers 2011

Well I’ve made it back from the New Designers Show 2011 part 2 which is being held in London’s Business  Design Centre, feeling shattered after two whole days of intense interviews and general press duties – but well worth it! I’ve come away totally inspired and have huge admiration for design students everywhere.

The level of work was exceptional, from furniture to textiles and product designs to Interiors, if I was a robot I’d definitely have a design overload!

Firstly I’d like to say CONGRATULATIONS to all the New Designers 2011 winners, they’ve worked so hard to gain recognition from the UK’s freshest student design event and of course their peers.

Here are some of my favourites and the names of the other winners can be found on the New Designers Website.

Luke Diaz Habitat Innovation Winner - Bucks New University

Judges thoughts: “We admired his innovative construction and use of material. We enjoyed his overall charm, warmth and character. The low storage with woven sliding doors is a product with soul.”

Oksana Akishyna - Interior Design Association Winner AIU London

Judges thoughts: “Oksana’s portfolio showed refreshing clarity and at times mesmerising presentation that was refined and at a professional standard.”

Northumbria University - Best Stand Award

Judges thoughts: “Northumbria have a huge variety of inspirational products on display. The graduates have made clever use of recycled materials-creating a highly polished and professional presentation.”

Brinley Clark - Business Designer of the Year winner University of Hertfordshire

Judges thoughts: “Brinley has got design in his bones. Passionate, inspiring and intelligent, with a wicked  streak of humour. His pigeon project is ‘shit’ – go and find out more!”

The event was split into three floors and then sub divided into specific design sections so it was easy to make your way around. Although, it wasn’t easy walking around each section without stopping to look every few steps and swooning over another fantastic design.

The One Year On section, curated by award winning designer Jethro Macey, showcased 50 specially selected designers who’ve set up a business in the last 12 months. In this wonderful room, I came across Imogen Heath who launched her first ever collection at the show. Her mid-century patterned wallpaper and fabrics instantly dragged me in. Imogen was just as colourful and sweet as her designs which are inspired by her love of geometric composition, art deco and contemporary art.

If you’re just as head over heals in love with Imogen’s designs as I am, you can bag a cushion from £48 – £55 and wallpaper for £100

As I  was interviewing Imogen, just opposite us a group of talented artists and illustrators under the name of Secret Wars, were doing a live graffiti demonstration on their white stand. Their creative flair attracted the attention of lots of visitors who stared in amazement at how effortlessly they drew – I couldn’t take my eyes off them!

After, finally pulling myself away from the One Year On section, I had a good gander on the first floor and came across a product which The Design Hub had already featured as a Design of the Day – the Tweetingseat. Created by Product Designer Chris McNicholl, who’s recently graduated from the University of Dundee in Product Design, the Tweetingseat has caused a huge stir.

The seat takes reality and combines it with the virtual world by taking pictures of anyone sat on the seat and uploading the image to a live Twitter feed. This is done by one camera in the shape of the blue Twitter bird which can be mounted above the seat and another camera inside the seat that takes an image of anyone standing in front. So in the end you get two images uploaded to Twitter – genius!

Chris McNicholl speaking to Kellie Hill

As well as the tweeting seat causing a buzz with social media lovers, some feel this idea of sharing images on Twitter of people unaware they have been papped is unethical. When asked, Chris told me he welcomes the debate and encourages it. Listen to Chris’ interview!

Innovative furniture makers

The level of talent and skill shown by the students at New Designers was breathtaking and one designer rom Plymouth University certainly took the biscuit. Michael Carroll had created a chair without using glue or nails.

Named “Tankard“, this chair is held together with…. well you’ll have to watch his interview to find out!

The young furniture maker also made a table using metal bars which resemble the shape of a mouse trap.

Another talented chap, Luke Diaz from Bucks New University, won the New Designers 2011 Habitat Innovation Award for his Eco cabinet that he bound together with hemp twine. Like Micheal Carroll above,  he didn’t use a single nail or drop of glue. I see a trend developing here!

Diaz taught himself how to weave the twine and create the doors of the cabinet, which I think make it look beautifully organic and earthly. He also designed two stools, a smaller cabinet and hanging stand to complete his sustainable furniture range.

Interiors

We’ve all had to live in a boxy apartment or a ground floor flat that resembles a dungeon (like myself) when starting out on the career ladder.  Having to cook, sleep and shower in the same room is something which the majority of yuppie’s (young professionals) put up with until the day comes and a promotion lands on the table.

And if you’re like me and LOVE to decorate but also rent, it’s fair to say that the landlord wouldn’t be too happy at the next inspection to find two walls knocked out and the living room changed into a bedroom. Renting makes it near impossible to flex those creative fingers.

Well, I met young innovative Interior Designer, Henry Parker at New Designers 2011 and he has come to the rescue with a city apartment perfect for the hard-working yuppie’s, that want to make their flat into a home.

Adaptaflat is an apartment which is flexible, moveable and totally brilliant! These living spaces are the same size as a two bedroom flat but have maneuverable walls. Yes, you heard right, you can move the walls  in the apartment to suit your needs, lifestyle or make space for Saturday night’s party. Somebody PLEASE commission this!

How does it work? There are a series of custom made tracks on the ceiling of the apartment which the walls are connected to and this allows them to be moved in the desired place and clamped down when positioned. Want one? Then listen to Henry Parker’s interview with The Design Hub and learn more about this clever design or click HERE to go to his website.

 
 
 
 
 
Images: New Designers 2011, Imogen Heath, Kellie Hill

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New Designers 2011 Gallery

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Filed under Art, BA in Interior Design, Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, higher education, homeware, lighting, modern design, new career, New Designers 2011, Quirky, Soft Furnishings, upholstery