I missed Kelly Hoppen. Yup. It happened. And it seems I’ll miss Lulu Guinness tomorrow and even Cath Kidston in November! Aaaarghh!
What am I talking about? I’m talking about the Friday Evening Talks at Victoria & Albert Museum, about which you can read here. The Talks feature artists, writers and designers talking about their work and inspiration. When I visited the Telling Tales exhibition recently (yes, I will finally get round to writing about it as it was A-MA-ZING) I took the leaflet with events, but to my perish I only flicked through it two days ago..
…and it turned out there was a talk by my guru Kelly Hoppen just 2 weeks ago… and even though Miss Lulu is only to appear tomorrow, and Miss Cath in two weeks, there is no chance to see either of them, as all tickets are obviously sold out and though I’m on the waiting list, I was not given much hope…
But I managed to get a ticket for a talk by Konstantin Grcic, an industrial designer behind these objects:
Click on Konstantin’s picture below to go to his website and see more designs:
Konstantin Grcic is an award-winning industrial designer whose work includes objects for Capellini, Iitalia, Krup and Muji. He is also the curator of the Serpentine Gallery’s forthcoming show, Design Rea. His own work is pared-down and combines formal strictness with mental acuity and humour. He discuss the ideas behind the exhibition and his career with Alice Rawsthorn, design critic for the International Herald Tribune.
So, hopefully this will be as inspiring as all that I’ve missed and will miss…
Further to my post about vintage, second-hand finds a few days ago, let me share with you what I found in shops on my Polish trip. You know I love a budget find – and all that’s featured below comes from high-street retailers.
One of the super-hot designs of this season – cross-legged side table. I’ve seen it on cover of the new John Lewis catalogue, of the Dream Bathrooms (from Homes & Gardens) too, and inside many recent magazines! I find it so light and delicate – it can visually lift up any sofa it stands next to, and add elegance and subtleness to the bedroom when used instead of heavy bedside tables:
Funky retro lamps – white & black – absolutely spot-on for now and for such a good price! Found in the local equivalent to Homebase and consting from £30 for a table lamp, through to £60 for the floor lamp.
The huge wall light from the series is the truly fabulous – it has this designer feel to it which makes it a great statement piece, and it’s so versatile due to the long arched arm – one moment it can be used over a table, another – give you the reading light over the sofa…
Another (bargain!) table lamp replicating the eye-ball shape, working well with minimalist, retro and modern interiors:
Is it only me or does this lamp look like it was made from a jar? 🙂
And now – inspired by nature and thus timeless, but fun at the same time, the ‘twigs’ lamp:
Loads of such ‘wavy plastic‘ designs around, both on high street and at designers, and yet few of them cost £10…
This gorgeous glamour, delicate ceiling lamp with crystals-and-sheer-white-glittery shade will most probably find its place in the yellow bedroom. Under £30.
Now to some coffee tables.
This one intrigued me with its lovely visible wood design (check out both the general pattern and the 3 tiles in the middle of the top), its practicality (huge drawers) and its lightness achieved thanks to slim metal legs (this photo does not show off the lifting effect too well). Price: ca. £200.
This one I love for its functionality and versatility – not only in size and shape but also colour and finish. I adore such items for their aplicability to small spaces, when you need something smaller for everyday, but need space when entertaining guests.
This one is pretty simple, not from best materials either, but interesting enough to have cought my eye… and I had to give it a second look when I saw the price – for £80 you can buy it for a few years or for your rented flat without guilt!
Sleek, linear design makes this chair a great addition to a sharp, elegant home office:
And finally – what lovely fabric! Believe, when I cast my eye on the same sofa in cream alcantara, I haven’t blinked twice. But this is an example of how the choice of fabric can dramatically influence the look, instantly making it a fashionable statement for the bachelor’s pad.
…believe it or not but this is not all I want to share with you from my trip – there will still be one more buy, and a DIY project we’ve completed in our flat back home.
Tak jak obiecalam, po znaleziskach ‘z drugiej reki’ – czas na to co znalazlam w polskich sklepach podczas mojej ostatniej wizyty. A bylo tego sporo i naprawde pozytywnie mnie to zaskoczylo – a zgodnie z moim motto, szukalam jedynie produktow w dobrych cenach!
Znalazlam wiele pieknych dizajnerskich lamp – niektore retro; najciekawsza z nich to ‘kinkiet’ z biala kula na bardzo dlugim ramieniu dzieki czemu moze oswietlac dwie strefy – no ale zyrandol ze sloika nie odbiega oryginalnoscia!. Inne inspirowane natura i dzieki temu ponadczasowe (bardzo ciekawa lampka nocna z galazek drzewa), a takze lampa podlogowa z falujacych kawalkow plastiku, bardzo modna w tej chwili – a jeszcze za taka cene?! No i piekny delikatny glamour w postaci krysztalkowego zyrandola z przeswitujacym abazurem, ktory, cos tak czuje, znajdzie swoje miejsce w zoltej sypialni.
Dalej – stoliki kawowe. Piekny wzor slojow przyciagnal moj wzrok do pierwszego mebla, ale tak samo interesujace sa w nim dwie niezwykle pojemne szuflady i metalowe nozki dodajace stolowi lekkosci. Potem trafilam na kilka stolikow ‘warstwowych’,interesujacych tym bardziej im wiecej mozliwosci ustawienia daja (idealne do malych pomieszczen!). No i moje ulubione ostatnio – stoliki ze skrzyzowanymi nozkami, ktore nadaja niezwyklej lekkosci kazdej sofie przy ktorej stoja, oraz elegancji i delikatnosci sypialniom, gdzie zastepuja ciezkie stoliki nocne.
No i jeszcze dwa ciekawe meble do siedzenia – przepiekny, elegancki i prosty w formie fotel laczacy drewno, metal i skore doda szyku kazdemu gabinetowi, a kanapa z niezwyklym lekko blyszczacym szarym obiciem bedzie wygladac pieknie w kawalerskim mieszkaniu modnego mezczyzny – idealny przyklad jak duzo zmienia material, gdyz ten sam model widzialam moment wczesniej w bezowym obiciu z alcantary… wystarczy powiedziec ze nie spojrzalam na niego drugi raz, a ta wersja az wyprosila zdjecie.
…ale ale, to nie koniec relacji z tej podrozy – podziele sie jeszcze z Wami kolejnym zakupem i projektem zrob-to-sam ktory popelnilismy z mezem w naszym polskim mieszkaniu!
I can’t believe how many great products and designs I’ve seen on my last trip to Poland. The interior design market is changing there rapidly, and there aren’t that many new trends that you can’t find there now; even better – most of them are available at high street retailers, making great design available for many!
But before we go into the New, first let us talk about the Old. First, a find stil bought in the UK, but which I envisage to place in the yellow bedroom I was describing some time ago. For now to keep you in suspense – still in packaging, you will see the final effect when all is ready! This vintage glamour / shabby chic mirror frame cost peanuts and is absolutely amazing; I found it on iBootSale and picked up the next day. As it turned out, it was too big even for my mutant-huge suitcase, so had to ship with DHL. But it was worth it, the new owners are thrilled to have it!
As we’re with vintage, when we visited my in-laws, I was in heaven. Here are some more finds. First, the sideboards, etc that my husband’s grandfather hand made some years ago (he was even taking carpenter order for those for local people, and funnily enough I saw a very similar one in some other garage when cycling through the village):
I’m planning to sand it, paint in a delicate pastel colour, add a few embellishments and generally keep it shabby chic / country. Whether for me or someone else – I don’t know yet!
This is another beauty, with more bite to it and gorgeous handles… there is also a sideboard top in another shed but in much worse condition – still there is a chance 🙂
Loads of those around as well… I’ve seen some very nice decors of country kitchens with stove door as a decoration on the wall:
…and finally our finds from a nearby house that is being refurbished – a vintage double shelf and an old radio which I am thinking about converting into a night stand. They were just being thrown away so hopefully they will get a second chance 🙂
And now last truly vintage items. Not obviously planning to do that, and with ideas ranging from ghost chairs to mismatched vintage, we bought 8 chairs 🙂 When we first got into this antique shop, we just came in to browse, and then we came across the two beauties:
…the raspberry-peach louis-style chairs, eight
…and the black and golden stylized chairs (19th c. Art Noveau style), six
I couldn’t decide which ones are better. The raspberry ones worked well with my idea, and I even considered such chairs (with different upholstery); they are also much easier to fit with many styles; glamour, eclectic, shabby chic, etc. The black ones, though, were absolutely original and different to what you normally find, but would not suit our space as they would really require it to be much more upscale than we planned for.
But we couldn’t decide, as both sets were gorgeous. We also had to think through whether they really will work well, how much they will influence other design elements in the house, even what are we going to do with this number of chairs 🙂 At some point we wanted to get both sets, as the black ones were dirt cheap. Having slept over the night dreaming about them, we took a decision – we go again and we buy one set that will work best.
At closer inspection, it turned out that the black chairs were very uncomfortable – what looked as well-formed foam was in fact a nicely shaped plank, or some other piece of wood, and the seats were darn hard. Also, the paint was peeling off at the teeniest touch, and someone actually painted (probably with spray) over part of the fabric at the back. There were a few other elements we didn’t like either.
Generally unhappy about the quality, we turned to the raspberry set. Gosh, that was comfortable 🙂 Very soft, stable, and sturdy in construction; after being told the shop can pressure-clean them, and having got a super-discount, decision was taken and they are OURS! Of course they need re-upholstering and a new coat of finish (and maybe crystal buttons?), but after cleaning they can even serve as they are for the time-being (meaning: when they are in the shed waiting until we move back to Poland, but no one knows when!).
Their versatility will allow me also to use one for a work desk, and another two can work very well with some retro or modern couch.
My mother-in-law even suggested some fabrics for upholstery from her own collection:
OK! Enough of vintage, I will show you what I found in shops next time 🙂
Az mi trudno uwierzyc ile przepieknych i oryginalnych produktow i projektow znalazlam w czasie mojego ostatniego pobytu w polsce. Rynek wnetrzarski i projektowania wnetrz naprawde jest teraz ciekawy, i niewiele zostalo jeszcze designow ktorych w Polsce nie mozna teraz znalezc. Co lepsze – dostepne sa w zwyklych sklepach, nie u drogich importerow, dzieki czemu dostep do nich ma w koncu wiele osob.
Ale zanim o nowosciach, troche o starociach. Najpierw przepiekna stara rama, na skrzyzowaniu glamour i shabby chic, ktora planuje powiesic w zoltej sypialni o ktorej kiedys pisalam. Znalazlam ja za grosze na iBootSale i odebralam nastepnego dnia. Niestety okazala sie za duza nawet na moja gigantycznie zmutowana walize, wiec poleciala do Polski DHLem. Ale bylo warto – rama bardzo spodobala sie nowym wlascicielom!
Juz w Polsce najpierw odwiedzilismy tesciow. Moja radocha nie miala konca gdy zajrzalam do stodoly, obory, i innych skrytek. Znalazlam na przyklad dwa przepiekne kredensy / komody zrobione wlasnorecznie przez dziadka mojego meza (robil je tak dobrze ze nawet przyjmowal zamowienia od okolicznych mieszkancow, i faktycznie – rowerujac sobie przez wioske znalazlam w innym garazu bardzo podobny kredens!).
Z kremowa lub pastelowa farba i krysztalowymi galkami beda przepiekne 🙂 (choc ta mniejsza komoda sama z siebie ma piekne raczki wiec moze zostana). Jeszcze nie wiem czy znajda miejsce u mnie (w koncu 59m2 ma swoj limit!) czy jednak u kogos innego…
Mnostwo jest takze drzwiczek od starych piecow kaflowych, ktore pieknie moznaby wkomponowac w kuchnie wiejska.
…a na spacerze kilka domow dalej trwal remont, gdzie wsrod wyrzuconych smieci znalazlam piekna podwojna polke i rame starego radia (ktora byc moze stanie sie stolikiem nocnym). Cuda nad cudami 🙂
No i w koncu – ‘niechcacy’ kupilismy krzesla 🙂 no nie moglismy sie oprzec. Zastanawialismy sie nad dwoma zestawami – malinowo- brzoskwiniowymi Ludwikami, oraz czarno-zlotymi z przelomu XIX/XX wieku, w stylu secesyjnym. Przyznaje ze bardziej za serce w pierwszym momencie chwycily secesyjne, choc od razu wywietrzylam problem. Te krzesla mocno narzucaja swoj styl, ktory jest duzo bardziej elegancki niz planowalismy. Z kolei ludwiki jak to ludwiki – pasuja do wielu wnetrz (eklektyczne, glamour, shabby chic, i inne), wygladaja dobrze nawet z nowoczesnymi (szklo, plastik itd)…
…przespalismy sie z problemem, w pewnym momencie nawet uznajac ze moze kupimy oba zestawy. No ale przy drugim obejrzeniu okazalo sie ze jakosciowo te czarne nie sa najlepsze… i mocno niewygodne. Oczywiscie byloby to do zmiany ale juz nas tak nie zachwycaly jak dzien wczesniej. Malinowe (choc siedzenia bardziej w brzoskwinke wpadaja) ludwiczki za to jak najbardziej wygodne, i nawet sprzedawca dorzucil profesjonalne pranie zeby troche ich jeszcze pouzywac tak jak sa. No i je wzielismy 🙂
I tak przyda im sie nowa tapicerka z pelniejszym wypelnieniem, krysztalowe guziczki (moze) i nowy lakier, ale poniewaz na razie i tak stoja w schowku czekajac na lepsze czasy czyli nasz powrot do PL (kiedy? kiedy??…) to moga byc 🙂 Planuje jednego uzyc do biurka, i sa odpowiednio ozdobne by pasowac tez przy retro czy nowoczesnej kanapie. Kochana tesciowka odlozyla juz nawet material ktorego moglabym uzyc na obicie i inne dodatki, ale to juz zalezne bedzie od ostatecznej koncepcji. Juz sie nie moge doczekac!
No! To tyle tego vintage. W nastepnym poscie przechodzimy do nowosci jakie znalazlam 🙂
I know, I know, it’s been ages since I last was here! But fear not, I have not forgotten 🙂 The work – actually the homework for the design school – has been taking every minute of my free time over the last few weeks… but more about it later.
First, let me share with you the amazing news – a new series has just started on the BBC and it is about product design! This has been my first passion – applied art and product designs have been my passions even before I started thinking about full-blown interior design. I find it amazing how everything that surrounds us has been designed by someone even if we don’t think about it, and that – as opposed to fine arts – an object of beauty can be also an object of function.
But – back to the topic: the amazing, the great, the best, the ingenious, the inspiring, the genious Philippe Starck is hosting ‘Design for Life‘, a program about 12 young Brits spending a few weeks in Starck’s design agencyin Paris in hope that one of them can be the future of design in the UK. The main prize is a 6-month placement at Starck’s, but even those ten weeks are more than any designer could ever dream of, so all the best to the participants and let’s hope we’ll see some great designs! You can see the first episode here.
And if you don’t know what Starck designed, here are some of the iconic objects:
What I really liked is his design philosophy, or rather life philosophy, some of it we could observe already in the first episode. As he said, ‘we are not artists‘. What designers do, or should do, is to create functional and sustainable products for the masses. Also interesting was how important to him the history behind a product is. What is it made of is an obvious question, but is it functional enough? Who made it? How? Does it make sense? Does it show the way forward? The designer need to think really outside of the final product. He controversially criticised a lovely bicycle brought as an example of an ecologically sound product by one of the contestants. It cost only €90, which is why Starck dismissed it as a product most probably done by people who earn almost nothing. How else can you create this complicated piece of technology for so little? Stay tuned for next episodes!
Uwaga uwaga, na BBC wlasnie zaczal sie swietny program. Design for Life, prowadzony przez genialnego i wyjatkowego projektanta ktorym jest Philippe Starck (jezeli nie bardzo wiesz o kim mowie, zerknij na zdjecia kilku z jego niezapomnianych projektow powyzej). W tym programie, 12 mlodych Brytyjczykow spedzi kilka tygodni w Paryzu w firmie projektowej Starck’a, a my wszyscy mamy nadzieje ze dzieki temu narodzi sie nowy talent w UK. Nagroda glowna jest 6-miesieczna pozycja w agencji, choc juz te kilka tygodni sa wyjatkowa nagroda…
Sztuka uzytkowa byla moim marzeniem jeszcze zanim zaczelam myslec o projektowaniu wnetrz. Uwielbiam to ze wszystko co nas otacza jest dzielem jakiegos projektanta (czy zdajemy sobie z tego sprawe czy nie), oraz ze w przeciwienstwie do np. malarstwa, piekne przedmioty spelniaja rowniez funkcje.
No ale wracajac do tematu, spodobalo mi sie ze Starck od samego poczatku przekazuje swoja filozofie. Ucina niefunkcjonalne projekty mowiac ‘nie jestesmy artystami!’, za misje uznajac tworzenie funkcjonalnych i ekologicznych produktow dla mas. Wazna dla niego tez jest historia produktu. Z czego jest zrobiony? Jak? Przez kogo? Czy jest odpowiednio funkcjonalny? Projektant powinien myslec duzo szerzej niz o samym koncowym efekcie. Ciekawie wyrazone zostalo to w momencie gdy jeden z uczestnikow przyprowadzil rower jako przyklad dobrego ekologicznego produktu. No tak, ale skoro ten skomplikowany technologicznie i wysoki jakosciowo rower kosztowal jedynie €90, czy ci robotnicy co go zbudowali mogli zarobic wiecej niz grosze? A wiec: polecam pierwszy odcinek (do obejrzenia tu) – i czekajcie cierpliwie na ciag dalszy!
OK – so I’m finally back from my day of window-shopping (well, not exactly – I actually bought some side plates, two books on design and color, and hand cream!). First, let me share with you the furniture side of my IKEA findings.
– a space-saving solution for small kitchens. Also, table top is bought separately so one can get a bigger one if space permits:
– one of the more stylish double desks I have seen on the high street (and it is not easy to find a desk for two…)
– an interesting dining table ‘for surfers’ as my husband called it :). Not sure what the name is though…
– …and that’s how the Bernhard chair looks in reality – was very comfy as well!
– nice idea for kitchen fronts – in wide-and-glossy units-dominated kitchens, this vertical beech set provides a welcome change:
– Now the tricky part – what the hell is this wallpaper / material on the wall? I thought I’ll find it in the online catalogue but there are no matches to ‘wallpaper’ and I am pretty sure it is one, as it reflected light when photographed with flash. Really pretty French country style, with roses and birds… anyone knows?? I attach a magnified view of the design as well. HELP! I see it in my mother’s bedroom and I need it desperately and why oh why have I not asked anyone of the staff?!
– …and finally to lamps / shades. I have chosen three of the new designs that seemed most interesting:
That’s it for now. To follow – some nice fabrics I found, as well as a few finds from another shop 🙂
Ahhh… if I ruled the world… this is definitely a Number One item I’d want in my flat when I finally come around to properly finishing it (one day!).
Created by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the German Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exposition, the Barcelona chair features the pure compositional structure that now epitomizes Modern architecture.
This is one fine design masterpiece. Looking deceptively clean and pure, it is hell to make. Especially the frame, made as one piece. This, plus the high-quality, beatifully finished leather, and its place in the creme de la creme of furniture (can you actually call it furniture?…) all make up for the very hefty price tag, starting at around $4.5k for a Knoll piece (the authorized manufacturer).
And interestingly! It seems that a small war is secretly going on around the rights to the design, between the powerful Knoll, and Alphaville Design of Fremont…
Thursday, July 30, 2009 1:16:33 PM
Suit to settle whether Barcelona chair design is protected
Knoll, Alphaville duel over Mies van der Rohe works
Gary Evans — Furniture Today, July 30, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal lawsuit here will determine whether the Barcelona chair and other historic 1920s designs created by renowned designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe are in the public domain.
The case involves contract manufacturer Knoll, which claims exclusive trademark rights to the iconic chair, and residential producer Alphaville Design of Fremont, Calif.
The companies have been in a legal battle over the chair since 2007. The court recently cleared the way for a jury trial when it denied motions from both sides to resolve the case short of trial. In the ruling, the court said, “Specifically, the trademark rights will not be valid if the designs have gone into the public domain at any time. …”
“We are delighted at the chance to present our case to a jury,” said Alphaville President David W.F. Lee. “We have no doubt that the designs long ago passed into the public domain. … We feel that historical designs should be accessible to all. If we win, the people win. If we lose, that might be the day when affordable design dies.”