Monday, 28 September 2015

Elsewhere last week: Maison & Objet 20 Best in Show

Elsewhere this week on you can find me talking about the 20 best in show new products at Maison & Objet and the emerging trends. I was particularly taken with the Tired Man armchair shown in navy and the kudus brass bowl by Lassen (top picture). The Unico Vase by Kähler Design stopped me in my tracks which is no mean feat when you're stomping through 8 halls of furniture and home accessories.


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Alison Brooks for Interni Aperitivos

London Design Festival is without doubt a daunting feature in the calendar. Why? Because there is SO much to do and see and it encompasses a whole myriad of events and venues. When I speak to people about what they’ve been up to during the festival an overlooked aspect seems to be the “talks”. There are literally talks happening all over town, amazing opportunities to see and hear leading designers, architects and thought leaders express their views. I had the great pleasure on Wednesday evening to attend the third in a series of five INTERNI Design Aperitivo talks.
Alison Brooks with Gilda Bojardi and Michelangelo Giombini of INTERNI
Alison Brooks with Gilda Bojardi and Michelangelo Giombini of INTERNI

Created by the renowned Italian design magazine INTERNI, Salone del Mobile.Milano, the leading Italian furniture trade fair and the Italian Trade Agency, the talks were headlined as British Architects meet Italian Design. In fact each of the talks is being held in a London outpost of an Italian design company and Wednesday’s event took place in the relaxing surrounding of the Natuzzi showroom on Tottenham Court Road.  The guest speaker was none other than Alison Brooks from Alison Brooks Architects. Her talk on ‘Crafting Experience: A New Collegiate Architecture’ was a case study review of her practices Exeter College Cohen Quad in Oxford. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Don't be blue - Decorex 2015

September is a busy month of shows, fairs and the London Design Festival. I've been busy hoping from show to show and plan to show you some of the lovely new products I've seen along the way. On Monday I visited Decorex at Syon Park. I realised I first went to Decorex 10 years ago - my first interior design focused show. It's a bit of a milestone really, as it helped me refocus my career in a different direction, interior design. This years Decorex saw an assortment of British and international home furnishing and fabric manufacturers and designers bring their new wares to a discerning crowd. To whet your appetite here's a quick look at the always beautiful Ochre stand - that inky blue teal colour is to die for especially with the tangerine colours in the velvet and horsehair chaise. The seed lighting is of course the show stopper. 


Thursday, 17 September 2015

Maison & Objet - beautifully precious

Obviously the largest interiors trade show in France is going to have some truly beautiful products. The below magnificent items are by Anna New York for RablabsIsn’t this Malachite just way to pretty?
Malachite, Rablabs

Working with skilled artisans in Brazil, designer Anna Rabinowicz elevates these beautiful and rare natural agates edged with gleaming sterling silver and 24K gold.  I spoke with Anna Rabinowicz on her stand at Maison & Objet and I just can’t tell you how passionate and nice she is.  How she is able to juggle designing, running a company, attending fairs like M&O, teaching and family life is beyond me - I’m blown away that she’s able to do it all!

She also sagely noted that aesthetically successful homes aren’t just filled with just the latest trends but also need heritage, well loved pieces that you’ve had for a while or were past down to you.  Definitely a sentiment I echo.  It's worth remembering though that if you don’t have the kind of family passing you beautiful interesting furniture or objects and art, you can always “fake” it in the vintage markets. 

In the meantime I'm going to lust after these and her soon new to the market almost translucent alabaster bowls.


Monday, 14 September 2015

Maison & Objet 2015 - September Edition

Going to Maison & Objet twice a year means that I see a lot of new products and emerging trends.  Many of you will know that Maison is among one of the most important international design and decoration events in the calendar.  It’s not just about the big brands though - there are plenty of smaller companies represented and it’s a huge show with over 3000 exhibitors.  In order to not get the equivalent of design “snow blindness” I find I need to approach the show with a clear strategy and if possible a companion, ideally one who’s design aesthetic is different from mine.    

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Maison & Objet 2015 - Flower Garden

I’m now back from a frantic but memorable trip to Paris to attend Maison & Objet. I’m busily sorting through notes, photo’s and press releases to bring you an update on the highlights of MO15. In the meantime I want to share with you one of the most notable highlights of the exhibition, the Floating Flower Garden Space by Japanese techno-artists TeamLab. This was an extraordinary sensory experience of 2300 suspended flowers with their roots anchored overhead created a botanical fairyland of rising and falling blooms. It was a serene oasis in the fast-paced energy fuelled show; with its a quiet calming soundtrack and the plants rising whenever a visitor approached the installation, almost like a breath. This remarkable installation reminded me how precious nature is, especially when viewed in such an alien environment. I just wish the video I took had come out so that you could have experienced it too. Simply breath taking.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Back to School or Back on the Road

It’s officially Autumn today but I’m just not going to believe it. If I believe it, that means there is not a chance of some last summer days squeezing in before the leaves start falling from the trees. August may not have been the lazy days of summer I’d hoped for but it was a month of fun outings and quiet work moments.
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