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Sarah Oates is a young artist living in North-East England who works with furniture to create objects of symbolic and practical signifance. Her latest pieces are a collection of glass and steel tables fitted with throwaway objects such as wine bottle corks, foam and striped vinyl tape. The most captiving amongst the collection is perhaps her Polo Mint table – rows of the white mints have been fitted under a pane of toughened glass for a cool and sleek effect.
Objects With Light’s latest release is a novel lamp at the junction of sight and sound. The Tweeter lamp uses reclaimed parts from stereo speakers arranged in a spherical or semi-spherical shape surrounding a bulb. Once the light is plugged in to an electrical source the lamp lights up and the speakers begin to play whatever music they are hooked up to.
The One Shot.mgx Stool by designer Patrick Jouin is now available at Unica Home. This rare piece is a portable, fold-away seat that was originally presented as a concept at the Del Mobile exhibition in Milan last year. The seat unfolds at the push of a button so that the legs entwirl outwards. This sturdy and stylish stool is perfect for jaunts out to the country to paint with a suicidal Dutch friend that you are sharing a house with in Arles. And don’t worry when he cuts his ear off, that’s totally normal.
Rene & Edgar have created this outdoor storage unit for dutch design market Frozen Fountain. Called “Herbal House”, it’s intended as an open cabinet in which to store whatever herbs you may wish to grow, from domestic staples such as Rosemary or Thyme, to more illicit varities of shrub. The wrought metal calligraphy adorning the sides of the cabinet consist of 12 English herb names often used in European cuisine.
Tord Boontje’s line of lights for Unica Home are currently selling fast at the store and this is one of the stand-outs. These wonderful chandeliers speak of once lush foliage now crisp with the cold autumnal air, turned golden brown in the sun or to flakes of silver in the snow. The light emanting from within briefly touches the elaborate brocade and dusts the patterns with wintery light. The tones of earth, rust, barley and wheat are expressed by the choice of materials, grounding the frail designs with permanence and instilling a sense of perennial fall. A Hanging Gardens of Babylon curated with the colours of New England.
These parachute hanging lamps from designer Chahiro Tanaka are currently selling at Australian boutique Via Alley. The lights are suspended in groups like dynamic sculptures of movement, falling bombs arrested at the decisive moment just as they approach the ground, or parturient biopods pungent with life. Thankfully this intimidating, haunting power is counter-balanced by the soft, cushion-like feel of the lights as well as the joyous and ambient glow that the lamps subtly and beautifully emit. These lights are as belligerent and as soft as a pillow-fight.
Over a decade after the concept design for Marcel Wanders knotted seat was presented in Milan, the idea still seems as contemporary and cutting edge as ever. Now those in the US can purchase one of these unique furnishings – cathedras of barbed-wire lattice bristling with beautiful tension. The chairs are made from aramid and carbon fibers and possess a strong, taut frame whilst also looking as precarious and as dainty as the ornamental icing on a wedding-cake.
Tord Boontje’s tempered glass table design for MoreSo presents a sleek black dining surface shot through with his fine etchings. Like the veins on a dead leaf the iconic patterns resemble a skeletal map, transcending mere ornamentation. The table is sustained by a steel base powder-coated in high gloss black.
The Corallo armchair is fabricated from hand-curved steel wire that has been finished with epoxy paints. This disjointed construction from some angles appears unsound, unfinished, unrefined – like a jumbled up mass of string thrown into a waste paper bin. Yet from other angles the inherent characteristics of the armchair are readily perceived, perhaps even more lucidly than normal due to their structural estrangement. Each chair is woven in a unique, irregular fashion, making each a veritable one-off.
The elusive & empyrean cloud shelving system designed by the Bouroullec Brothers is currently being sold at Unica Home. The shelves consist of repeated circular modules that combine to form a shape not unlike the humble cumulus cloud. Stack the shelves on top of one another to create a vertical bookshelf or room divider. The stratospheric shelves are constructed from high-density polystyrene and come in 4 colours – white, light green, dark green or red.
These chic, modern designs make functional clothes baskets an integral part of a well designed room. Made of a soft rubber with a brash sheen, the baskets concentrate on deep, autumnal browns lifted by blasts of sharp yet bright coolness from the pictorial representations.
This is one of the most vibrant of Domestic’s Vinyl Wall Prints, a mix of fireworks exploding and silver sparks leaping upward like mackerel. It reminds me of a recent advertisement for Sony Bravia, where a bunch of Glaswegian tower-blocks have been rigged up with paint bombs. This wall graphic springs out like a geyser from its source, perhaps as the visual manifestation of an imagination busy at work at the desk. In this sense it reminds me of RW Buss’ ‘Dicken’s Dream’, the unfinished painting of a dozy Charles Dickens surrounded by the wonderful characters he is dreaming of. Perhaps this wall decoration will inspire you similarly.
Donna Brady’s gritty photographs of urban Brooklyn have found their way into the home as images printed onto lampshade. The hanging lamps use Brady’s pictures of street graffiti on dark, gloomy walls. Twice removed from their natural environment, the exuberance inherent in the colours of the graffiti is exaggerated and heightened, modifying the lamp light with their brash tone. Brady’s photographics are perhaps second-hand art, simply recording the raw & immediate expressions of street art, yet for this reason the pictures seem perfect for the medium of a lampshade – lit from beyond by second-hand light.
These two wall lamps do not shy away from attention but provide reference points for a room, domesticated installation lights that attract as much light as they provide.
The first is entitled ‘Edge’ – it’s an elided cube with panels lit in various bold colours. This is designed by Alessandro Mendini for Artemide.
Some of the best times in your life will be sitting on these – park benches. The ones in the Luxembourg Gardens are the best, watching kids play football, little toy dogs being walked by their little toy owners, joggers, families having picnics, lovers kissing and so on. In the summer the best bench is by the Fruit Garden, a good place to eat gelato or sorbet. In the winter there’s a bench by the Rue Fleurus entrance that is very pleasant, and good for munching on the chocolates you just bought from JP Hevin round the corner.
Now DMK have their hands on a rare, historic piece from Danish mid-century designers Wörts. You can sit down and contemplate the world in your own residence as if you were in the middle of a large city-park.
Sam Buxton’s latest take on the Mikrocube template is a garden to go with the much larger Mikrohouse. It follows the same principal as the house in that it is formed from a single sheet of steel which can be folded flat, or unfolded to create a box structure with intricate, foliate patterns of well-tended foliage . This is Paradise in the original Persian sense of an enclosed garden.
This table lamp looks like it is made out of folded paper, so light and ethereal like an origami crane, yet when it is turned on there all kinds of subtle and deep shades & blushes that shine through from within.
This tea sampler comes with 5 little tins of Leaf Tea Shop’s loose-leaf infusions inside a neat little satchel designed by Clare Nicholson exclusively for the store. Some of the infusions included are Peppermint leaves, an Ayurvedic infusion and a toasy Oolong.
Black & White or Blue & White patterns are in vogue today. So I’ll finish off today’s posting with this fantastic Bone Inlay Chair, available from G&G on the King’s Road in London.