Year: 2013

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Chopsticks by Nendo

Japanese design studio Nendo has created a range of chopsticks in collaboration with manufacturer Hashikura Matsukan, who continues to make chopsticks using traditional techniques that have been used in the town of Obama for over four centuries. Since the seventeenth century, the town’s lacquered chopsticks have been recognised as the hardest and most beautiful of Japanese chopsticks. Nendo explored ways of increasing the surface area of the chopsticks in the hand, as a way of improving comfort and discovered the natural form of a flower, or the digital symbol of the asterisk. Another chopstick has been carved away to form fine points, so that they float above the tabletop for cleanliness, while another has in-built magnets to keep the chopsticks together. All the items will be sold at Seibu department stores in Japan exclusively from spring 2014. Photos by Akihiro Yoshida

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Notes on Charlotte Perriand on Disegno Daily

As the formerly unrealised La Maison au Bord de l’Eau by Charlotte Perriand is unveiled by luxury brand Louis Vuitton in Miami, I’ve taken a look back at the life and work of the French architect and designer in an article for Disegno Daily. Perriand had a fascinating career, which included ten years at the office of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, work with famous Modernist architects including Jean Prouve and Oscar Niemeyer, and several years in Japan helping the government improve product design. Reading her autobiography Une vie de creation, I smiled at the account Perriand gave for her first meeting with Le Corbusier. When she first walked into Le Corbusier’s studio on rue de Sèvres, Paris in 1927 to try and persuade him to hire her as a furniture designer, Le Corbusier took one look at her portfolio of drawings and curtly told her: “We don’t embroider cushions here”. Unperturbed by his brusque manner, Perriand invited Le Corbusier and his cousin and business partner Pierre Jeanneret to see her Bar sous le Toît – a rooftop bar …

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Christmas at our house

We’ve been getting into the festive spirit here at my house, it’s the first time I’ve properly had a living room so I really wanted to make it pretty. I’ve mixed a few shop bought items with some decorations I made myself, such as the pom-poms on the tree and the silver paper bunting (which is really easy to make). I chose the cream knitted tree from Habitat as an alternative to a traditional Christmas tree and added some cute animals, including the must-have sausage dog! My favourites, though, are the three stars made out of maps of England, which are from a small shop at the base of the OXO tower on the South Bank.         

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A Scandinavian home styled by Eva Lilja Löwenhielm x Fantastic Frank

Stockholm-based designer Eva Lilja Löwenhielm has styled a newly-built home for Scandinavian and German estate agent Fantastic Frank. Löwenhielm has mainly used her own products, such as the pink fabric-clad cabinet, originally designed for an exhibition for Kvadrat in Stockholm, and the ‘Dot’ stools, also wrapped in fabric. See all the images here.

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I wish I lived here: a bright Malmo apartment

This early twentieth century apartment in the stylish Swedish city of Malmo is lovely and bright. It recently sold to one very lucky owner (you can see more pictures here). Set on the third floor of a housing block on Queen Square, the apartment features tall ceilings and beautiful herringbone floors. The owners have decked it out in typically Scandinavian style, with brightly coloured Marimekko cushions and early Modernist furniture by Charles and Ray Eames and Arne Jacobsen. I could definitely live here! Images: Bolaget

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Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this week

Here’s my pick of three things to do this week- the Monocle Christmas Market is a must, as is the Chapman brothers exhibition, but there’s also a whole lot of sample sales in the city this weekend. Enjoy! STOP What: The Monocle Christmas Market Where: Midori House, Dorset Street, London When: Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 Dec Monocle magazine’s HQ in Marylebone will be home for the weekend to Monocle’s favourite nations and retailers, mixing the best bits of Swiss Weihnachten, Japanese Kurisumasu and traditional Yuletide cheer. There’ll be stalls to buy christmas presents, reindeer petting, musical performances, warming treats from the Monocle Cafe and a Monocle Tombola (last year we were very lucky and won a meal for two in the delicious Dinings restaurant…). LOOK    What: Jake and Dinos Chapman: Come and See Where: Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London When: Until February 9 Come and See showcases the duos provocative and confrontational work, including their large Hell landscapes, such as Hell (2000) and The Sum of All Evil (2012-13). The grotesque and often surreal violence of these scenes is offset by the overwhelming …

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West Elm comes to London

J Crew isn’t the only American store to land on our shores. The popular homeware store West Elm has come to the UK and opened up shop on Tottenham Court Road today- just in time for Christmas! Founded in 2002 in Brooklyn, New York, the store has been helping people express their personal style at home with collaborations with locals artists and craft communities, as well as a focus on handcrafted products. The 12,000 sq ft shop in London, neighbouring Paperchase, Habitat and Heals, will feature furniture, textiles, accessories and gifts, as well as a West Elm Market for kitchenware and homekeeping accessories, and a coffee shop. To mark the opening, the London shop will include a ‘Local Gallery Wall’ featuring art from UK artists sourced through Etsy and curated by Will Taylor of the blog Bright.Bazaar. West Elm will also offer a suite of in-store services at the Design Lab, where customers can take part in design consultations, workshops and space planning sessions. Check out West Elm’s blog Front & Main here.   Here’s my pick of …

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Leith Clark’s glasses for Warby Parker

Leith Clark– fashion stylist for Harper’s Bazaar and Italian Vogue, editor of Lula magazine, and friend of Kirsten Dunst, Clemence Poesy, and Keira Knightley- has designed a range of glasses for Warby Parker. Marva, Greta, Aurora, Wednesday, and Willow- available in both optical and sunwear- are inspired by smart-looking and smart-thinking individuals, such as writer and actress Zoe Kazan photographed in the collection. Leith says: I like the 1960s, librarians, nerdy girls. I like glasses you had when you were a kid—or that your dad wore when you were a kid—and wearing them now. I like Bergman. Big thick glasses on a little, tiny face. When there are etchings or engravings or magically-made materials. I like pearls, brass, opera glasses. Everything being all violet. I like seeing the world with a pretty pink tint to it.    The glasses are available online and at Warby Parker stores from today for $145 each. You can check out the collection amongst Warby Parker’s other eyeglasses and sunglasses collections. What’s more, a percentage from each sale will also go to Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation …

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Ideas for Christmas Decorations

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Yes, it’s that time of year again and I’ve been scouring the internet for unusual and handmade Christmas decorations, wreaths and advent calendars. I found the perfect alternative to a traditional Christmas tree, with this Arran wool wrapped tree from Habitat (see it here), and I’ve been slowly adding all my inspiration onto my Pinterest board, which you can see here. So have a gander and hopefully you’ll be inspired to do away with the tinsel and get creative with DIY projects and homemade decorations. Christmas Trees This fantastic garland is easy to make yourself, find out how to do it at A Subtle Revelry. This is for the purists out there, from Varpunen. It doesn’t have to be a Christmas Tree in the traditional sense. This looks beautiful but also acts as an advent calendar. The Merry Thought.   And don’t forget to check out my Christmas Pinterest board here!

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Studio Elke van den Berg

  Studio Elke van den Berg is a designer based in Eindhoven who makes delicate porcelain objects for the home. The clocks, for example, are hand stamped with numbers and letters and come in neutral, matte colours with contrasted neon hands, while the first image below shows some watering cans which are so beautiful they could be used as vases or as a water jug on a dinner table (in fact I didn’t even realise they were watering cans until I saw the description!). Be sure to check out her website here and have a look at her webshop here.