Tag Archives: the design hub

Design of the Day – Moschino’s Dreamland Hotel

If you’re lucky enough to be whisked off into the sunset for a romantic weekend break with the other half, the ambience and atmosphere of your hotel room play’s a major part in making or breaking your holiday experience.

Well, if you decide you want something a little more out of the ordinary, stay at the Maison Moschino Hotel in Milan and you’ll feel like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and stepped into a dreamland. A branch of the high-end fashion brand Moschino, the hotel houses 65 quirky rooms designed around the theme of fairy tales, to give guests a rather exciting and adventurous experience.

Room names include; “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ”, “Alice’s Room”, “Luxurious Attic” and my fave “Sleeping in a Ball Gown”.

Trying to describe the rooms to you all would be an injustice to the fabulous design schemes, so have a little look for yourself!

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Mapping out the future of design

A huge hello to my fellow readers! I hope you all had a fab bank holiday weekend and made the most of it, I certainly did!

Today’s post is rather special and will definitely make you go “oooooooooo”. Ever heard of 3D mapping? Well  it’s something which is widely used in parts of Asia and is becoming very popular in the west, giving a whole new meaning to advertising with maximum effect. It’s basically like watching a 3D movie projected on the front of a building for the people who like it in simple terms.

A friend told me about this brilliant example of 3D mapping and it was just too impressive not to share with you all. To promote the launch of the 2010 adventure film “The Tourist“, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, a team of techi geniuses created a mind-boggling 3D video with super cool effects, that was 80′ x 80′ in size and projected on to the front of The Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas.

Take a look for yourself and be amazed with how fast technology is developing and constantly pushing the boundaries of design!

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Design of the Day – Cosy accessories for your home

As it’s Monday, the doom and gloom day of the week, I thought I’d bring a bit of colour into your day with this super cosy, multi-coloured knitted lamp by Melanie Porter.

This piece is certainly fashion forward and the perfect Autumn/Winter accessory for the home. You may be thinking WINTER – ALREADY? Well, yes I am and we all need to get prepared because the leaves are starting to fall and the summer nights are slowly fading away. Harrods even has christmas decorations up – so I’ve heard!

That aside, this whopper of a lamp is hand woven by the Knitwear Designer herself and each piece is bespoke. The design comes in a range of colours with one named “Freya”, which has a white base and coloured flowers made from felted material around the shade. Simply gorgeous!

If you want to get your hands on one of Melanie’s lamps, prices range from £400 – £550 and are available from MyDeco or direct from her website.

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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, Design of the day, Designers, Home Acessories, Living room Interiors, My Deco, News, Quirky, upholstery

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 your room in 3D for free!

Coming up with a completely new design scheme for a room in your home can be a little daunting, especially for anyone who hasn’t an ounce of interior design training. Trying to visualise a scheme from all those ideas flying around in your head is also rather difficult. But there is hope!

Online interior design website MyDeco, have created a “Fisher-Price” version of CAD (computer aided design software which professional designers use) that is super user friendly and offers amateur’s a wealth of products, wallpapers, paint, flooring,  and so much more, to help build the ideal room scheme.

I decided to try this software for myself, now bare in mind im not a professional and have never claimed to be, so this was like delving into the unknown! Firstly I picked a floor plan, (you also have the option to upload your own floor plan with specific measurements which is extremely helpful) I then chose a door and two windows from the side bar where you can pick and choose from a range of furniture, staircases, accessories or paint, which you want to include in your design. You can then plonk them into the diagram wherever you like, It’s basically a “drag and drop” process from there onwards.

Users can switch between the 2D birds-eye view or the super cool 3D view that shows you a more realistic representation of your scheme. However to move certain items on to another wall or turn around, I found I had to change from 3D view to 2D, although I only had an hour or so to get to grips with the software and didn’t read any of the tutorials which may hold the key to doing this in a more efficient way.

2D Birds-eye view

There is a mahoosive range of furniture for every room in the home to choose from and the best part is the products are available to buy through the MyDeco site. This brings me onto another handy tool, when you pick a product the size, price, colour and supplier are displayed, so you can work out exactly what will fit and if the flow of the room will work. If it does, then you can surf on down to the online store and get your order in! If you’re on a tight budget, that’s okay, the system will calculate how much you’ve spent so you  don’t end up designing a room for £10,000 instead of £1000!

Finished render of design with price list

Plus, when you pick a colour of paint for the walls, you’re given an option to request a sample pot of that colour direct from Dulux! The possibilities are endless!

But there are few little snags with the software, Interior Designer at the National Design Academy, Vicky Arbuthnot had a little test run, she said, “I find it a little frustrating the I can’t put stud walls in my plan or change the size of the windows, so this meant I needed to alter the size of the whole plan. That said, the software is great for beginners who want to visualise a design, see manipulation of space and traffic flow. It’s also a great tool for those who want to progress onto more complex systems.”

The image below shows the back view of my design, but what it doesnt show is there are two arrows, left and right,  underneath the simulation that you can use to spin the design around and view from various angles.

After faffing about for over an hour, I was sort of happy with my design and decided I could brave the storm and share my creation with the world. From the top menu, I could tweet, Facebook or blog the design which I now regret slightly as the design team here kind of ripped it apart, but I do appreciate they’re pro’s in their field and only say what they see (tears welling up).

Sharing your design

I jest, MyDeco’s 3D room design is a beneficial tool to those wanting to accurately see what their design would actually look like without paying a penny. The site also has a large selection of designs uploaded by other users that are perfect for drawing inspiration and ideas. I’d suggest you have a bash and see what you can come up with! Make sure you forward them on to me and I’ll post your scheme up!

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NDA National Design Award shortlist – Katherine Charles

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, NDA National Design Award 2011, 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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Filed under Design of the day, Eco-friendly, Home Acessories, Living room Interiors, modern design, News, Quirky

NDA National Design Award winner is announced!

It’s finally been announced! The winner of the prestigious NDA National Design Award is Grace Moulder from Darlington. The recent graduate beat off hundreds of entrants from colleges and universities from all over the country to bag the HUGE prize of £3000 cash, see her design implemented and a professional portfolio of photographs of the finished design.

The national competition was exclusive to architecture/design students, keen amateurs and recent graduates, who had the task of designing a £1 million penthouse situated in the luxury River Crescent complex, Nottingham.

Grace also won a work placement with NDA Private Clients to oversee her design come true, as well as one years membership to the British Institute of Interior Design, an NDA workshop of her choice and the chance to show off her design at a VIP Champagne unveiling ceremony to be held later this autumn – WOWSER!

Grace was thrilled when told the great news and said,

Knowing this was a national competition I realised the standards must have been very high, so I am so proud of all that I have achieved and that my hard work has paid off!  I look forward to coming to work with the design team and hope that my genuine enthusiasm and passion for Interior design will shine through. I will treasure all the experience I gain and I am hopeful that it will give me the confidence to succeed in the design world! Thanks again to the NDA and all that was involved in giving me such a fantastic opportunity.”

As well as Grace, there where 5 shortlisted designers who will also receive a years membership to BIID, a workshop of their choice, an NDA National Design Award trophy and an invite to the unveiling ceremony.

Check out Graces submission!

Owner of the penthouse, Ian Roberts, found it extremely difficult to choose between the 6 shortlisted designs, he saidI would like to thank everyone who took the time and effort to submit designs, the response was overwhelming. I would also like to thank the NDA for organising the competition and my fellow judges whose guidance I could not have done without. The quality, innovation and creativity of the short listed entries exceeded my expectations and selecting a single winner was very difficult.  I congratulate Grace and really look forward to working with her and the NDA to deliver what will be a world class interior to a breathtaking apartment.”

A huge well done to the 5 lucky shortlists!

 

Nicola Dejewski from Nottinghamshire said “Thank you to all the judges, I am really excited to be named as a shortlisted designer. This is the first design competition I have entered and I’m very proud of the outcome. I really enjoyed working on the project and am over the moon that my hard work has been acknowledged by the National Design Academy. I am now looking forward to completing my final year at Nottingham Trent University and a successful career in the design industry.”

View Nicola’s submission!

Julian Potts  from Bath and currently studies at KLC School of Design  said, “Thank you very much for running this competition– I really enjoyed researching the scheme and coming up with a concept as well as trying to do something interesting with the living area and all within the constraints of a budget … it’s scary how easy it is to use up the £100,000. It was very motivating to know that the winner gets their scheme built, and I would like to congratulate Grace on getting that fantastic opportunity! I am also really pleased to have been short listed. I just need to find someone else who needs a penthouse fitting out now!”

View Julian’s submission!

Erika Davies  from Southampton Solent University said, “Taking part in the National Design Award 2011 has been an invaluable experience, and a great opportunity to apply my passion for interior design to a real-world brief. To have been short-listed is fantastic and will provide a great stepping stone into becoming a freelance designer, as well as a great addition to my portfolio.”

View Erika’s submission!

Katherine Charles who lives in London and studies at Middlesex University said,  “Thank you very much for considering my design and congratulations to the winner! I look forward to meeting you all at the VIP evening.”

View Kathrine’s submission!

Karen Lane from the National Design Academy and lives in Lincoln said, “the Penthouse Apartment was a fabulous plan to work on and I was absolutely thrilled to be told that my design had been placed in the top five.  This is the first ‘national’ Interior Design competition I have entered and to get this far is very encouraging for the future of my business.” 

View Karen’s submission!

The judges were impressed with the high standard of work submitted and indicated that the process of short listing had been a very enjoyable and challenging experience. Following lively debate and discussion, the extensive judging panel reached agreement on the winning design. The decision was based on clear criteria, particularly the commercially realistic interpretation of the client brief.

Congratulations to all and I look forward to seeing you at the unveiling!

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Filed under NDA National Design Award 2011, News, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

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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