Oooo I love, love, love these quirky cushions. Aptly named The Marionette Collection, they are by Scandi design whizzes, Ferm Living. Reminiscient of 1950s American children’s books these cute characters – particularly Mr Fox, should totally be adorning the comfy chair in our lounge. Cushions for kids? Pff! £30 a pop – spotted these ones at the wonderful Lollipop Shoppe.
Oh how darling! These lovely little paper flowers by Dutch stationery designer, Jurianne Matter are beautiful – and cheap! Her kits come with a variety of different flowers in various colour combinations and have all sorts of uses: You can thread Blom flowers on a string to create cute floral bunting or jazz up your fairy cakes as well as making a bouquet by pressing the flowers out of the A5 card and threading them onto traditional florist wire.
These packs can be bought in lots of places but check out Berry Red. Each contain 3 cards printed with 5 mixed flowers (15 easy pop out flowers in total) + 4.50 m florist wire. Diameter of each flower is approx. 6 cm. Kits cost £8.50.
Apologies for my absence of late – a promotion is a fine thing but it keep one rather busy! Still I have sneaked in a quick post between hot chocolate and sleep to show y’all some lovely finds I have been collecting up for a moment such as this.
Take these funky watches – ok so £50 isn’t recession busting but they are so 80s. You can find one here.
Now you must have been living in a cave (with terrible wallpaper and artex) if you haven’t heard or seen this brilliant piece of organisational design.
Created by Dorothee Becker it comes in three different colours: white, black and red. It’s made out of plastic and is produced by Vitra Design Museum who has modelled this on the original 1969 version. I for one think it is a thing of beauty. £177 from The Lollipop Shoppe.
I love these paper boats and lanterns from KZuid in Amsterdam – if you ever get a chance to go – you have to visit this shop on Haarlemmer Straat! You won’t be disappointed.
Image found here
Righto, been out of the loop for a wee while thanks to being rather ill so apologies to my regulars, however, I have been busy creating some lovely bits and bobs for the VintageVerity line of products that will be up for grabs at some point this year – so keep your eyes peeled! To ease myself back into the daily blog, I had a wonder around some of my old haunts and was pleasantly surprised by my finds – in particular with Cloudberry Living which, in my opinion, has had a bit of a much-needed revamp and now has some stunning new editions outlined below…
First up is this gorgeous bike basket which comes in black and green and at a very reasonable £69.90 by Design House Stockholm. I think it is top and would rather fancy cycling about Bristol with this fancy pants basket on my wheels.
Next up is the lovely matryoshka teatowel at the top of this post that I spotted on Not On The HightStreet.com – only £8 and if like me you think of such things as art, then you too can frame it (I did this with the ace Ferm Living bird in a cage tea towel in a recent post!
As a fan of the old scandi design, my magpie eye quickly spotted this lovely and unique bread board by ISAK (£22) which would look splendid in my kitchen – there are lots of other pretty designs by the same company – well worth a look.
Now these aren’t just pretty flowers, these are quirky pot rests by Verso Design and they are made of felt so you can save your worktops and keep up the style factor at the same time – £7.50 each.
I totally have a penchant for monochrome and love bold prints, so I have been drooling over the latest edition on the Pedlars website – this gorgeous and striking oilcloth – it comes in stag or rabbit – fabulous! Sizes include 150cm, 200cm, 250cm, 300cm, 350cm (l) x 150cm and prices range from £32 – £72.
So there you have it – lots more on these sites, totally worth a browse! Happy shopping…
This is a call out to all you design lovers with great taste!
We need your help for a brand new design resource that aims to catalogue the best secret shopping spots from across the globe so wherever you are in the world, style is only a street away.
(picture: Hansel Und Gretel – an amazing Scandi design shop in Bath, UK, that also has an uber cool strudel bar tucked away beneath it)
Please visit our sister blog – Secret Shopping – and give us your nomination for the funkiest shop in your neighbourhood.
We plan on shortlisting the best to go into a hardback book – and of course will credit any contribution and photography supplied – this is an exciting design project and YOU can help!
Phew, that’s nearly it, for now. I just want to add a couple of ladies into the mix.
Charlotte Perriand was perhaps one of the most influential furniture designers of the early modern movement. She has been credited with bring the industrial age to the world of furniture design and was one of the designers involved in the creation of Le Corbusier’s chaise lounge. She also designed the infamous ‘Stacking Chair’ seen around community centres, bars and bistros the world over.
Patricia Urquiola, a Spanish designer, cut her teeth amongst such purveyors of fine design as Achille Castiglioni and Eugenio Bettinelli and now designs such delights as the Fat Sofa for B & B Italia below.
Ok, Shin’s a fella, but together with Tomoko, this Japanese twosome have produced some of my favourite all time products (though not all of their creations are furniture) however, I love the way that they ‘zjuj’ up everyday objects, such as lights and salt shakers, with elegance and humour. I find the simplicity of their wire chair inspiring (though perhaps it doesn’t make me want to veg out in front of the telly, more sit uncomfortably and comptemplate the difference between a line and a curve. Hmm.
Bigging up the Brits
Of course I can’t forget my own kind – yes, fab furniture is not just for the Fins, Danes, Germans, Italians, French and Spanish. No siree bob. Us Brits are coming, so hold on to your spanners and bendy bits of plastic…
Jasper Morrison is a cheeky cockney designer renowned for his ascetically elegant, quietly humorous style . I am totally digging’ his Cork chair.
Likewise, I quite fancy sliding my bottom on Ron Arad’s weirdly erotic Voido Rocking Chair– spotted one at Heals. Rather! The architect designer (who is actually Israeli but let’s call him an ‘adoptive’ Brit) is well known for his quirky shapes and use of various materials.
Here’s one more for you: Ross Lovegrove. His Go chair is reminiscent of something you would find Sigourney Weaver straddling in Alien. Almost bone like. But I love it!
There are of course countless designers that have contributed to the richness and diverse products that have gone on to inspire modern design, so this is just a smattering. However, these are my personal faves. Hurrah for chairs!
If your appetite has been whetted by my mini-history of chairs, below are a couple of websites worth visiting:
Welcome back to the second installment of my short history of chair design. I have also found a great little chair blog that is worth visiting for up to date info on, well, chairs over in the old blogroll, so check it out.
Back to business…
Charles Eames was a clever bugger. Not only did he revolutionise how we see furniture today but this American designer was the creator of the rather famous Lounge Chair 670 and Ottoman 671. In fact many of the most recognisable chairs around are regurgitated variations on his original creations. He also championed the use of moulded plywood as seen in his beautiful Eames 670 chair.
Arne Jacobsen was one of Denmark’s most influential 20th century architects and designers. His exquisite Swan and Egg chairs, were testament to his passion for modernism and his love for Scandinavian simplicity. He also created one of the most recognisable chairs in existence, the Series 7 chair, and his Egg chair made a memorable appearance in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In fact, he was such a prolific designer, chances are you will either own a Jacobsen-inspired piece or at least covet one!
Verner Panton must’ve had a penchant for hallucinogenic drugs as his futuristic designs couldn’t have been created by a-two-pints-and-a-packet-of-peanuts man. Verner was a total master of plastic and his furniture has been studded across popular culture since he bent his first bit of the bright stuff. Naturally, he was a Dane (see a theme developing here? I tell you it must be something in the water.) Although I cannot afford one, I would just kill to get my paws on an original. Sadly it will never be so I’ll have to settle for a reproduction – fortunately, Purves and Purves sell them in five delicious colours for around £165.
Hans Wenger has also made him name synonymous with outstanding furniture design. Having begun his career as an assistant to Erik Møller and Arne Jacobsen, Wegner branched out on his own and created such classics as the Wing chair seen here.
Moving into 21st century design
Following up such inspirational design icons was always going to be a challenge and thankfully there are some real contenders for the modern furniture design crown such as the charming Terence Conran, who not only founded Habitat back in the 1960s but produced a load of talented offspring who are also a dab hand at the old design malarky. And lest us not forget the imitable Philippe Starck, whose Louis Ghost chairs can be seen adorning the chicest of boudoirs.
Other designers that float my boat include Peter Karpf who dreamt up the awesome the Tri Chair – both ergonomic and sustainable as it is formed from one entire piece of wood, ticking all the must-have green boxes required in modern design.
Described as one of the most European of Japanese designers, Toshiyuki Kita is famous for his ‘Wink’ chair which was typical of the loud design aesthetic popular in the 1980s.
We had to get a Spaniard into the mix, and who better than Molina. This designer has created a whole host of iconic pieces, perhaps none more so that the nature-inspired, Leaf Chair.
San Giovanni Piretti is an amazing Italian furniture designer, Piretti crafted the now ubiquitous ‘Plia’ folding chair – I was bought one for Christmas in the 80s and never realised what a design classic it was.
What can I say about chairs? Well. We sit on them – a lot. We whine about them at work. They can give us so much comfort, yet they have been known to cause some serious aches and pains – so why do we have such an ongoing love affair with the humble chair?
I have long been an admirer of ‘la chaise’ and cannot pass a furniture shop without stopping to drool over the latest ergonomic offering, so with this in mind, I have decided to compile a short modern history for all you furniture fans out there, to give you the low down on the all time best bottom candy.
To begin at the beginning…
Many years after we swapped the hard rock for the patch of moss, some bright spark decided that we were getting a bit grubby on the floor, and it was playing havoc with granny’s lumbago and the chair came into existence (I would just like to point out that this is not historically accurate) and thank God it did.
All hail the Bauhaus
The 20th century was awash with designers, many of whom came from an architectural background, and all were fixated on designing the most fabulous chairs. For the uninformed, Bauhaus is the name given to the particularly pertinent era of design which began in Germany in 1919 and ended in 1933. This design school created a number of amazing furniture designers and sparked a period of experimental and innovative design which has clearly inspired the majority of contemporary furniture creators.
Gerrit Rietveld never actually attended the Bauhaus but was one of the architecht / designers that inspired many who did. He was an early member of the Dutch Modernist Design Movement (De Stijl) before going on to create the Schroeder House in Utrecht, Holland. However, he is probably most famous for his Mondrian-inspired Red/Blue Chair – very stu-stu-studio line ‘n looks a bit of a beast to sit on!
Luwig Mies van der Rohe worked in an architectural firm before turning his hand to furniture, and good job he did as we wouldn’t have the fabulous Barcelona chair as seen propping up the bums of the entrepreneurs on Dragons’ Den. He was actually the director of the Bauhaus from 1930 until it closed in 1933 when the war kicked in and he scarpered to the US.
Marcel Breuer – Hungarian Breuer was a top architect and is famous for his rather quirky steel designs such as the Cesca chair below. A firm favourite of executive types that like to play with stress-bustin’ office gadgets while musing the movements of the stock market.
Le Corbusier an architect by profession is for many the most influential yet most maligned architect of the twentieth century. Famed for his ideas on urbanisation, he was a true modernist and many of his ideas were used to inspire the post war regeneration efforts. I love his Basculante chair below and of course his celebrated chaise lounge…
Alvar Aalto was a bit of a revolutionary and yep, you guessed it, a Scandinavian, well Finnish actually. His work typifies the best of 20th-century Scandinavian architecture, and he was one of the first to depart from the stiffly geometric designs in favour of a more ergonomic expression. I love his simple stool which is as popular now as it has ever been.
Eero Saarinen is more well known in design circles but your average Joe may not be familiar with the name. Another Fin, Saarinen – not to be confused with the evil overlord from LOTR – created the beautiful Tulip Chair below – simple yet beautiful.
Stay tuned for Part Deux – women designers and Brits. Vive La Chaise!
Oh how I love a good dose of Scandi-chic – it can inject a real calm, streamlined feel to interiors, whether it’s through the simple fabric in pretty red and white check, chic alpine flower prints or bold statement textiles that scream sophisticated style.
Having lived in Holland for a couple of years, I have long loved Dutch designs but more recently I have cast my net further afield and have caught a whole new generataion of Scandi designers that I just have to tell you about. As such, I have taken it upon myself to create a mini guide of designers to watch, places to find these gems and a couple of local haunts to try if you are on the hunt for a dose of Scandi –love (and we’re not talking strapping Swedish hunks in the sauna).
The good, the old and the ones to watch…
We can’t really talk about Scandinavian design without mentioning Verner Panton and Arne Jacobsen. Panton, made famous by his chair of the same name, used rich colours and soft lines to create his signature look, while Arne Jacobsen’s striking design and architecture is embodied by his famous Swan chair.
As for the young Scandi upstarts worth keeping an eye on, Sofie Refer and Jacob Staer – are two budding designers that are currently gaining a great deal of press thanks to their jaw-droppingly exquisite lighting accoutrements – in particular their glamorous chandeliers while René Hougaard who goes under the name of Dnmark – is definitley worth noting.
I have also fallen hook line and sinker for the Lily light by Janne Kytanen and Jiri Evenhuis. This is part of a new collection by Freedom of Creation called Materialise while this quirky Yes/No pillow by Nicolette Brunklaus is simple yet striking. See her unusual lampshade designs, reminicent of a Dutch Deborah Bowness
However, we must now move swiftly on to more of the good stuff:
As your first port of call in the Scandi design trail, it is worth checking out The Scandinavian Design Centre this website which has a good overview of Scandi design, however, if you are after fabrics with a difference, Finnish company, Skandium, runs its own sumptuous fabrics and daring design shop called Marimekko – a regular haunt for me – the only problem is deciding which fabric to choose from the extensive collection – I defy you not to love them all. Here a re a few of my pickings:
This Hetkiä fabric with black and grey pattern makes perfect wall candy art. Designed by Maija Louekari, it is very on trend – see my previous post on doodling and illustrations.
Try Unique Interieur for great lamps –
this delicious one, clearly inspired by Panton, looks good enough to eat!Likewise, this happy horse oilcloth, by Susanne Schjerning
is one of my latest finds, she is a serious contender for my top list of all-time great inspirational designers.
While this spring-influenced oilcloth, entitled family tree, by Trine Andersen can be snapped up through Ferm Living (which Trine founded) at around €25 a pop, I reckon it’s a bargain – I expect to have one gracing my kitchen table before too long.
And there’s more…
Nordic Style has all sorts from chairs and tables to fabrics and is great if you are looking for a starting point
Filippa and Co – despite a shop closure, they are still up and running and have a host of original pieces of furniture to tempt the pounds out of your purse
Dutch by Design is one of my faves
Absolut Form offers Danish inspired design
95% Danish, is another one worth favouriting – a fantastic cutting-edge Scandi designers’ site
Elias and Grace have the cutest toys for kids in the signature Scandi style
Scandi Living – another good resource with a host of links and info to designer sites
Ferm Living, as mentioned earlier is a veritable smorgasbord of delicious design treats to get your inspiration flowing…
So there you have it (for now). There are of course plenty of other fab places and if you happen to live in the south west then I recommend a visit to ‘Hanzel und Gretel’ on Brock Street in Bath.
Walking into the shop stuffed to bursting with cookoo clocks is the first treat, as well as the hand-crafted Austrian lace and other fripperies but if you go down stairs there is a little grotto type coffee and strudel bar where the Sound of Music plays and the lights twinkle…a secret space worth visiting.
I advise you to favourite these little beauties so if you are ever in need of a serious dose of design, you can get your fix!