design

  • 5 smart pieces of space saving furniture

    Posted on 8th November 2013 by Andy.

    Controliss electric blinds are compact and neat, which makes them ideal for apartments or rooms where space is limited. Urban living in particular is changing the way we live and so smart, space-saving ideas are helping redefine living spaces for city dwellers. These are just some of latest ideas: The Circle kitchen The Original Circle Kitchen takes a conventional kitchen and redesigns it as an all-in-one appliance. It can be easily relocated and behaves in the same way as a carousel, letting you revolve the kitchen to get to the appliances and cupboards that you need. The bottom unit revolves 180 degrees, while the top revolves a complete 360. It comes in a variety of configurations and can include a sink, hob, oven, fridge and dishwasher, as well as cupboards and shelves. It has the added bonus that once you’ve finished with it you can shut the doors and forget about the washing up.

    Original Circular kitchen

    Aquarium sink Keeping pets in a small apartment can be a real problem, but this clever aquarium bathroom sink makes the most of the smallest room to create a real talking point. It also gives you the added illusion of washing your face in a fish tank, which may put some people off, although the glass tank can also house a small zen garden to help you find inner-peace.

    Aquarium-Sink

    Pull-Down Bunk Beds The Pull-Down Bunk Bed by Italian designer Giulio Manzoni clearly takes its inspiration from the fold-down beds in the sleeper cars of European trains. A great way to free up floor space in the smallest of rooms, it also gives you additional, compact guest beds should the need ever arise.

    Giulio Manzoni Bunk-Beds

    The Open Book Library Chair Originally designed for a Grade II listed property that didn’t allow for book shelves to be installed, the OpenBook is essentially a bookshelf/magazine rack/armchair hybrid that provides a simple yet comfortable retreat where you can get stuck into a good book.

    StudioTilt OpenBook Chair

    The Living Cube The Living Cube by Till Konneker is designed to create storage and shelf space for small studio apartments. It’s essentially a TARDIS-like box that is part entertainment centre room and part walk-in wardrobe, topped off with a bunk bed. For something so compact it has plenty of room to keep all your stuff and keep your apartment tidy.

    ILLDesigns Living Cube

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with design, furniture, home, living, space

  • The walls are alive with the sight of pot plants

    Posted on 6th August 2013 by Andy.

    Garden-Wall

    Architects and interior design firm Hassell has teamed up with the world’s leading wool textile organisation, Woolmark, to transform even the most cramped modern spaces into a green oasis. In order to create a natural, sustainable eco-friendly way of growing and keeping plants in your home the designers have developed a simply weaved material with pockets that can be used to hold plants. The material can then be used to hang the ‘garden’ on a wall or even larger versions can be suspended from the ceiling to create a ‘living partition’. The prototype is currently doing the rounds of the Design Festival circuit and garnering a lot of attention. So hopefully it’ll be in the shops in time for Christmas. Find out more: http://www.hassellstudio.com/

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with design, Hassell studio, partition

  • Splinter Works striking designs

    Posted on 8th July 2013 by Andy.

    Splinter-Works-Vessel

    Worried that you may have the same furniture as everyone else? Is your living room starting to resemble an Ikea catalogue? Well UK design company Splinter Works can change all that. The company was created in 2009 by Miles Hartwell and Matt Withington with the idea of making inspiring sculptural furniture and to ‘elevate the experience of everyday life’. Their strikingly original twists on familiar objects are still functional and are always of a high quality of finish.

    Tipping-Point-kitchen

    Working on a commission basis as well as producing a range of limited edition furniture their work is very exclusive. Commissions involve working closely with clients to create pieces that meet their needs and personality. As a result a lot of their work can be location specific, resembling art installations as much as they do furniture. A prime example of this is Vessel, a carbon fibre bath in the shape of a hammock. It takes the idea of luxurious and relaxing baths to extremes to produce a bath that looks nothing like anything else on the market. Working across a variety of materials nothing is off limits to Splinter, resulting in some extremely experimental and theatrical designs that become the focal point to any space. Their breath-taking Tipping Point open-plan kitchen design remains user friendly while also appearing to defy gravity, thanks to clever design and some sleight of hand. The knife edge on which it appears to rest beautifully echoing kitchen utensils.

    Tipsy-Stool

    They’re also happy to turn their hands to something smaller. The Tipsy stool also has fun with physics to create something that looks like it’s about to topple over, while the Stiletto table evokes the elegant lines of women’s shoes but creates something entirely new. Find out more: http://www.splinterworks.co.uk

    This Post was posted in Colour & Design and was tagged with bathroom, design, furniture, kitchen, splinter works

  • Summer festivals with a difference

    Posted on 29th June 2013 by Andy.

    It’s the Glastonbury Festival this weekend so the British Summer of music festivals is officially in full swing. But it doesn’t always have to be about the music. Coming up this summer are a couple of alternative festivals that mix music with a spot of culture. Latitude Festival Where: Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk When: 19th to 21st July

    To the untrained eye the Latitude Festival, now in its eighth year, looks like a conventional music festival with names like Bloc Party and Foals topping the bill. But this family friendly festival is a much bigger melting pot of arts and culture with multiple stages and tents hosting full schedules of comedy, theatre, dance and literary events across the festival site. It’s possible, if you so desire, to visit Latitude and never see a musical note played, although you’ll be missing the point as the real pleasure of Latitude is the opportunity to dip in and out shows from obscure acts as well as big names. The highlight must surely be German techo geniuses Kraftwerk headlining the main stage on Saturday night with a 3D extravaganza. Find out more: http://www.latitudefestival.com/ Vintage Festival Where: Glasgow When: 27th to 28th July

    Vintage-Festival

    The brainchild of designer Wayne Hemingway the first festival was created in 2007 to celebrate the rich heritage of British creativity. It plunders every field of creativity and culture such as music, fashion, art, design, film and even food from the 1920s all the way up to the 1980s. It will showcase how style through the years has influenced modern design while also celebrating the revival of retro and vintage design. It’s unlikely you’ll find another festival this year where you can learn hair and beauty tips from specific decades of the 20th Century and enjoy ‘Make do and Mend’ workshops. Find out more: http://www.vintagefestival.co.uk/

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with culture, design, glasgow, latitude festival, suffolk, vintage

  • The Design Museum says hello to Paul Smith

    Posted on 14th June 2013 by Andy.

    Paul-Smith

    London’s Design Museum announced this week that it will stage an exhibition dedicated to British fashion designer Paul Smith. It will explore his inspirations, and collaborations, giving a rare insight into the wit and wisdom that he brings to his clothing and accessory ranges. His eccentric and playful designs have established the Paul Smith name as a one of the biggest fashion brands in the world. The exhibition will look at Sir Paul’s past, present and future, starting with a recreation of his first shop in Nottingham, a windowless 3m by 3m room located in a narrow  alley in Nottingham's city centre. Hello, My Name is Paul Smith, opens on 15 November, and you can find out more here: http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2013/paul-smith

    This Post was posted in Design Icons and was tagged with design, london, museum, Paul Smith

  • Journey into the unknown

    Posted on 7th June 2013 by Andy.

    London architecture Where: Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames London SE1 2YD When: 4th June to 22nd July 2013 As part of the London Festival of Architecture the Design Museum is running a free exhibition that celebrates London’s under appreciated buildings. Leading architecture critics have nominated 10 buildings that are often overlooked, forgotten or rarely seen and give them a chance to be in the spotlight.

    Cabmens-Shelter

    Selected architectural gems include the ubiquitous green Cabmen’s shelters, which are found in some of the Capital’s leafy squares providing sustenance to salt-of-the-earth cabbies, and the Brownfield Estate, dominated by Erno Goldfinger’s brutal looking Balfron Tower.

    Brownfield-Estate

    To see what other left-field architectural treasures have been unearthed click here: http://designmuseum.org/news The London Festival of Architecture runs until the end of June, find out more here: http://www.londonfestivalofarchitecture.org/

    This Post was posted in Architects and was tagged with architectural, architecture, buildings, design, festival, london

  • Clerkenwell Design Week 2013

    Posted on 28th May 2013 by Andy.

    Clerkenwell-Design-Week-2013

    Last week was the fourth Clerkenwell Design Week, an event where, for three days in May a small corner of North London becomes a creative hub showcasing the best in interior design. This year it had over 150 exhibitors spread over 60 show rooms and galleries. Big names such as Knoll, Vitra, Arper, Camira, Ege, Mitab and Muuto all made the trip to show off their latest designs but Clerkenwell is also a great place to see up and coming designers with all three winners of the 2012 W Hotels Designers of the Future award presenting work at the festival. It’s a great place to get inspiration for your home from furniture to decoration, and lighting. If you didn’t make put the date in your diary for next year and head over to the website to see what you missed: http://www.clerkenwelldesignweek.com/

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with Clerkenwell Design Week, design, knoll, vitra

  • Inspiring summer exhibitions

    Posted on 23rd May 2013 by Andy.

    If you want to see inspiring, innovative art and design from the past, present and future this summer London is offering a wealth of opportunities. We’ve chosen three of the best must-see exhibitions that are going on in the capital right now. David Bowie is Where: V&A, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL When: Until 11th August www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/david-bowie-is/ The V&A have got into the habit of staging high-profile exhibitions but the latest is by far the biggest and the best. Bowie is… celebrates the life and work of the Thin White Duke, David Bowie. Not only is it the fastest selling exhibition in the museum’s history but it also sold out online before it even opened. It’s a fantastic showcase of his influences, work and amazing stage personas, packed with over 300 objects ranging from handwritten lyrics to stage costumes. As an exploration of his work it illustrates how Bowie fused music, fashion and art to create exciting and original performances. Despite a few glaring exceptions (such as Bowie’s less successful side projects like Tin Machine) this is a comprehensive journey through the career of one of the Twentieth Century’s leading musical icons. Don’t worry if you haven’t got tickets though. You can still get tickets at the V&A box office on the day but be prepared to queue. Designs of the Year 2013 Where: Design Museum 28 Butlers Wharf, Shad Thames, SE1 2YD When: Until 7th July www.designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2013/designs-of-the-year-2013 The Design Museum’s annual exhibition of new and innovative design from the past year celebrates up and coming as well as established talents, awarding the best in seven design categories. The exhibition encompasses architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product and transport design. So not only will you see iconic buildings but the best in cutting edge lamps, chairs, audio equipment and even bicycles. However, the stand out designs of the exhibition have to be Thomas Heatherwick’s stunning Olympic Cauldron, which had a starring role in the Olympic opening ceremony last year, and Renzo Piano’s The Shard, which looms large over the Design Museum from it’s home in nearby London Bridge. Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2013 Where: Burlington House, Piccadilly London W1J 0BD When: 10th June to 18th August www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/summer/ Every year new artwork is selected from thousands of submissions from new and established artists by the Royal Academy panel of experts. Now in its 245th year it’s a showcase for paintings, sculpture, photography, film and architecture. You’ll see over a thousand new works of art and the best bit is they’re all for sale. So you get the chance to make a canny investment or get a one-off for your living room. Even if you’re not in the market for some art, they’ll also be new work from Grayson Perry and Anthony Caro to enjoy.

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with design, exhibitions, Summer

  • The Best Things On Four Legs

    Posted on 11th May 2013 by Andy.

    A classic designer chair can make any living space. They’re not just somewhere to sit, their sculptural form can be a talking point, adding character and dominating a space, even setting the tone to how the rest of the room looks. Few designs manage to make it to iconic status but here are several whose four legs (or in one case a single leg) straddle the 20th and  21st centuries.

    Eames Lounge Chair

    Eames Chair The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman were designed by Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company in 1956. The classic design, made from moulded plywood and leather, has been in production ever since. Brand new, the chair in the classic leather design retails for around £4,000. However, original, vintage versions are also very collectable as they are made from Brazilian Rosewood, which is now protected. Ideal for that vintage feel the Eames chair is an evocative retro throne for those that want to chill out, read or listen to music.

    Louis-Ghost-Chair

    Ghost Chair A modern classic from leading French product designer Philippe Starke is the iconic, transparent Louis Ghost Chair. Starke designs a lot of furniture for the Italian manufacturer Kartell, many using durable, injection-moulded polycarbonate plastic. A clever twist on a classic Louis XVI armchair, Starke stripped back the design to just its shape. It’s the chair that isn’t there, which pulls off the double whammy of being both traditional and modern. Although it is available in black and a variety of different tints it is the clear version that is most iconic and that will pretty much go with any colour scheme. Get a lot together for a stylish dinner party or a single one makes an ideal occasional seat.

    Barcelona-Chair

    The Barcelona chair Originally created during the German modernist movement for the International Exposition of 1929 in Barcelona, furniture manufacturer Knoll resurrected the design in the 1950s. It is a design that has managed to stay timeless and has become much copied. A popular fixture in fashionable reception areas its sleek design and smooth surfaces make it beautiful to look at, while its wide seat makes it ideal casual seating. Its low profile makes it seem to shy away from the limelight and it can often be found skulking against walls. However, arrange a few around a low table to create a relaxed place to sit and mingle with friends.

    Eero-Aarnio-Ball-Chair

    Ball Chair Designed by Finnish furniture designer Eero Aarnio in 1963, the Ball Chair (also known as the Globe Chair) screams Sixties quirkiness like a six-foot tall lava lamp. As designs go it couldn’t have been more simple – a revolving ball sitting on a single leg. When designing the chair Aarino drew an outline of his head in a sitting position on a wall to determine the chair’s height then took in to account the need to fit it all through a doorway. It’s a big statement chair that sets a retro tone and demands to be sat in. It comes with a caché of cool and will dominate any big room making sure all eyes are on it.

    The-Wassily-Chair

    The Wassily Chair Also known as the Model B3 chair, The Wassily Chair was designed by Marcel Breuer in 1926 while he worked at the Bauhaus in Germany. A classic of the modernist era it is simple and utilitarian in its design. The design was revolutionary in its use of materials. The bent tubular steel and canvas design had only become feasible after German steel manufacturer Mannesmann perfected a process for making strong, seamless steel tubing. This was also critical in that it allowed for mass production, which helped cement its iconic status. It inspired many similar designs and has been widely copied. It wouldn’t be out of place in a minimalist, utilitarian space where its clean angles and lines will add another dimension.

    This Post was posted in Design Icons and was tagged with chair, design, eames, furniture, kartell, knoll, vitra

  • All I Want for Christmas Is a Kitchen

    Posted on 30th November 2011 by Jules.

    I can confirm that I am firmly in denial!  Having been presented with a "Chrismas Wish List" by my 7 year old yesterday, I slipped in to panic mode, realising that the big day is only 4 weeks away!!  I haven't done a thing, which is not unusual for me; favouring a 'last minute rush' each year!  I couldn't decide whether the 'wish list' was incredibly cutesy or really manipulative.  After each item, in brackets appeared "only if you have enough money" and then the very last item was "Keep my family happy" in brackets ("the main thing").  Well, needless to say whatever the motivation, mission accomplished! In addition to not doing any Christmas shopping, at the moment of speaking we don't have a kitchen to cook Christmas lunch in! Christmas is traditionally a time when people try and get projects completed, so that the fruits of their labour can be enjoyed at leisure over the festive season; hopefully our kitchen will be one of these projects!  At Controliss Blinds we are extremely busy keeping up with Christmas demand for our motorised blinds; our order books are high for both 240V electric blinds and battery powered blinds. We have some exciting new fabrics ready to come online in the next few weeks, and as the 'In- house designer" at Controliss, I have had the delightful task of putting the collections together. We have some fantastic, inspirational contemporary fabrics alongside superb, opulent classics ranges.  We have a new designer Visio-lux range, of cosmopolitan screen fabrics (which incidentally I have chosen for my own kitchen!), these fabrics look incredibly stylish and diffuse the light, providing privacy without blocking the light completely. I can't wait to enjoy the experience of mains powered remote control blinds in my own kitchen.  The former stable block has become the kitchen in our barn conversion, so we have a series of windows along one elevation, so the motorised blinds are perfect as we can program them to operate as a complete group, moving up and down simultaneously, at specified times, how impressive? We have chosen some fairly high-tech appliances from Siemens, incorporating s Steam Oven alongside 2 conventional and a microwave. I figured if it is good enough for Kelly Hoppen then it is good enough for us! Adding to the touch control technology of our motorised blinds, is the sleek De Dietrich Downdraft Extractor which rises majestically from the island worksurface at the mere touch of a button! Obviously I shall only be able to impress my guests with my fabulous new blinds if I have an equally impressive kitchen installed, so fingers crossed!!

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with battery, blinds, Christmas, contemporary, control, design, electric, interior design, kitchen, remote

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