Monday, 31 August 2009

Soapy snout dispenser for the shower

You'll be pleased to know that this runny nose shower gel dispenser is currently in stock at, because, let's face it - who couldn't resist buying one?!

Posing as a practical gizmo to attach to your bathroom wall or indeed any flat surface with the help of some super suction cups, all the dispenser needs is filling up with a suitable goo you'd willingly wash your body with.

Easily refillable and handily supplied with instructions on how to blow out the required amount of cleaning gel, all you really need to know is that once filled you just squeeze and out pops oozing soap from the right nostril.

Mmmm, lovely. Well, you don't have to pick green shower gel but I guess it makes for better comedy value.

And for just under $15 you could plop them all around the home, furnishing your kitchen, garage or shed.

The online store informs us to have a wonderfully wacky day. Oh, okay then - we will!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Coin chair that costs a pretty penny or two

We stumbled across this lush butterfly shaped chair, which is ergonomically designed and composed of 1500 half dollar coins, and 7000 welds.

Contoured to cradle the body and hand welded to ensure comfort, we think that the superbly named Johnny Swing’s Coin Chair would be a stunning centrepiece in any room.

Looking like it’s fit for a king, from the price requested you’d need a princely sum to be able to afford one. $59,000 to be exact. Wowzers.

Which really is a shame, although with an impact puncher like this you certainly wouldn’t need more than one anyway; it’d only detract from how uniquely beautiful it is.

Weighing more than a small child, this 60lb sterling wonder chair probably won’t be ideal for lugging around the home, so pick a room and decorate around what we reckon is a pretty impressive feature.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Chainsaw carpentry you’ll be off your rocker for

Now it’s not something we’d normally think of as completing a lounge, games room, or conservatory but this incredible chainsaw chiselled full scale wooden replica of a Honda Accord car seat is a real spectacle.

A fully functional rocking chair with brass plated rockers, the sweeping curves defining the iconic car seat are undeniably realistic.

We’re just amazed it’s been accomplished with a chainsaw of all tools; it must have required hours of concentration from the artisan Christopher Chiappa commissioned to help render it faithfully.

Chiappa claims it was a real challenge to find an expert chainsaw handler who would carve out anything other than bears, wolves or eagles, but he was thrilled with the result.

And so are we with this nice juxtaposition of high and lowbrow art.


Friday, 28 August 2009

Perfectly preserved pieces for the home, set or exhibition

Here’s an innovative idea to add an air of mystery to your home, Dutch designer Maarten Baas has been preserving interior design pieces with a unique approach of combining charred furnishings with an epoxy resin.

Exhibiting 25 pieces in New York, the Smoke collection is an unusual concept that reclaims abandoned and forgotten furniture to preserve them as souvenirs of the past.

Iconic pieces from the likes of Gaudi were blowtorched to create the necessary impact and coated in the translucent resin sealant to preserve the furnishings from turning to ash whilst retaining the charred texture.

A fragile project that’s been hardcoated for posterity as objet d’art, we’re just grateful that international design company Moooi have commissioned reproductions for distribution.

Back in time this Autumn

Whether you're a fan of the Eighties or not they're here again if music and fashion are to be believed. Now expect this Autumn/Winter to bring a whole host of Eighties inspired interior trends; from neon furniture to shaggy rugs. It seems that every few decades, fashion trends come back, gain momentum and re-emerge. So when crop tops, neon high top trainers and acid wash denim leggings started creeping into the fashion world last year, critics took notice. "A bit like Sleeping Beauty, they [the Eighties] have been roused from their fashion coma by the mwaah-mwaah air-kiss of style," says fashion writer Hilary Alexander.

Take this Louis Console Table part of the 'Heal's Discovers' range, created by British designer John Reeves. "Stylised around contemporary baroque, this decadent piece has three drawers and a seamless lacquered finish. Innovative in design, the traditionally turned table leg is divided into four and inverted on each corner to create a striking leg profile" say respected furniture house Heal's -we say, you couldn't have imagined having an shocking blue table three years ago but now it seems like quite a 'cosmic' idea.

In the Eighties, the theme was "anything goes" when it came to texture and scale; the more tactile and the more playful the better. Hairspray sold like hot cakes and velvet was the fabric du jour. This season's homeware collections mix and match silks, metallics, velvets, leathers and sequins so be prepared.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Crystal chair not built with comfort in mind

This stunning natural crystal chair has been created by submerging a polyester elastomer chair skeleton in an aquarium.

Grown entirely within the laws of nature and fit for purpose as a home furnishing, we feel that although it’s completely sustainable in source material it’s probably completely uncomfortable for use as a chair!

In fact, our bums hurt just looking at it.

Winching aside, this incredible creation entitled Venus by Japanese artist Tokujin Yoshioka is no surprise for his previous collaborators at Hermes, Toyota, BMW, and Swarovski were similarly stunning interior pieces.

However, it's not all about discomfort, at Yoshioka’s Second Nature exhibit in Tokyo, he displayed lamps and other interior design pieces that aren’t so reliant upon having cheeks of steel to endure sitting on them.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Kooky creations from Straight Line Designs

With furniture concepts straight out of Alice in Wonderland or a Tim Burton flick, we’ve pretty much fallen in love with Straight Line Designs.

It’s fortunate they ship worldwide because these Canadian creators of frankly the most fun furnishings we’ve seen in a long while take our breath away.

With tables that take a tinkle on your rug, beds shaped as beehives, cabinets in the shape of carrots, and drawers that melt on to the floor we’re wondering just what they’re likely to come up with next.

Made from the finest materials, primarily maple solids and veneers, these fully functional pieces of furniture would be an absolute dream to have in the home.

We’re particularly excited about their latest offering, the little black dress(er) which suspends from straps on a wardrobe rail.

Not exactly the nifty nightwear that usually comes to mind, but one we’d definitely keep in the closet.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Enlightened One

Check this cool lamp out. We recently featured a new range of funky plastic moulded lamps, but Buddha here exudes a little more class. The Buddha Head Lamp is made from polyethylene, a strong and durable plastic which can also cope with high temperatures. It’s available in three different colors including the yellow as pictured and also white and a reddy-orange.

Smart Space at Fairmont Battery Wharf

Kim Vallee took these quick shots of a space maximising room layout at the newly opened Fairmont hotel in Boston. We think the colours are subtle and it certainly looks comfortable. "The most clever design idea is definitely the closet. It has doors that open from both sides: from the bathroom and from the bedroom. This is an idea that you must remember if you are renovating your master bedroom with its ensuite bathroom." We love the shorts by the way!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Best for classic home furnishings on the high street: Laura Ashley

We’ve always had a sore spot for high street staple, Laura Ashley, and their iconic classic home furnishing lines.

Managing to pair classic and contemporary styles seamlessly each season without appeared tired or twee in their inspiration; the items they deliver are quality, enduringly fashionable pieces of furniture that build stylish homes effortlessly.

Their new collections are no disappointment, with bedrooms, living and dining design ideas to lust after.

As they bridge the gap between designer home furnishing and the likes of Ikea, Laura Ashley has something to offer every budget as even the smallest addition from their subtly styled ranges appears a statement in the home, thanks to the detailed craftsmanship of their products.

Best for unique home furnishings online:

We reckon we’ve found the ultimate in stylish home furnishings. Ladies and gentlemen, may we present Etsy.

A site dedicated to selling bespoke artisan pieces from across the globe, this site is the Amazon equivalent for the artsy among us. They list a million new products each month!

Pick uniquely designed pieces from your local area, or choose something from another continent with the location finder; alternatively, and this is our favourite find, use the colour picker to select items to fill your home with according to specific colour themes.

Just drag your mouse around the screen until you find the exact shade you’re looking for, and click!

Magically it matches the shade to images of products within the site and does the hard work for you.

We like. A lot.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Greener outdoor spaces with recycled decking

It seems there’s a use for everything as American garden furniture company Trex manage to produce reams of high quality garden decking from our throwaway plastic bag habit.

The result is incredibly impressive; with the authentic appearance of wood (even under close scrutiny) this original product can be fire proofed, stain, scratch and mould resistant.

Cleverly composited from a balance of plastic and reclaimed wood, they can recycle 140,000 plastic bags to produce a 500-square-foot composite deck.

Reportedly one of the largest plastic bag recyclers anywhere in the US, you can see they're putting waste to good use.

Annoyingly, we’re likely to be more damaged by the sun than their recycled product, but it’s worth all the extra hours we’re likely to spend in the garden.

Purrrfect Polystyrene furniture

We stumbled across this amazing line of furniture created from expanded polystyrene (EPS) that includes living room tables, chairs and bookcases, all innovatively crafted with characters cut from solid white blocks.

A cat coils itself around books as small birds peck at personal belongings, all resulting in a visually striking yet minimalist feel.

Fill In The Cat is a real achievement for NEL, a collective of Mexican independent designers, who we think are definitely one to watch…

Floral prints are back with a vengeance

Zoe Wood from the Guardian has noticed how the quiet growth of floral print is steadily taking over the high street. One designer that can profess this to be true is purveyor of "kitchenalgia" Cath Kidston, who has seen sales and profits have jumped more than 60%.

Accounts filed at Companies House show profits at the retailer increased from £2.9m to £4.6m in the year to March, as its floral biscuit tins proved a "tonic for recesssionistas."

Kidston's teapots and oilcloths, which epitomise the image of the 1950s housewife, celebrating baking, tea and buicsuits, have become addictive for a generation of women whose busy working and home lives have led them to idealise rather than practise domesticity.

There are 27 Cath Kidston stores in the UK and Ireland, with 10 new retails outlets opening in the last 12 months. The prints have also risen in popularity in Japan, where Tokyo, Nagoya and Yokohama have outlets.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Seating gets sexy with the Naked Chair

This ergonomic acrylic chair is described by its creator, Chez Banc, as being "more than a love chair for two".

Well, it sure as hell does what it says on the tin.

The Naked Chair has been built for comfort and its bold presence is enhanced by a custom made cushion.

With customers able to pick from an array of impressive fabrics or even suggesting their own, the Naked Chair’s seating pad comes complimentary with purchase of the seat.

Combined with an appropriate fabric, the Naked chair is designed for use both indoors and out.

Great news, as we’re tempted to get two…

Stones that cushion the blow (to your wallet)

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but living stone pebble cushions will never hurt you…

That’s a rhyme we anticipate hearing in playgrounds across the country as Smarin’s snazzy seats take a meteoric rise in to the public view after appearing in this year’s Big Brother garden.

These oversized spongy creature comforters would be a great addition as furniture for the lounge, bedroom or garden.

Relaxing both in appearance and structure, these pebbles are a fantastic alternative to beanbags or traditional sofa suites.

See for yourself at Smarin, and relish the exclusivity of them only being available in Europe!

Park Woo Sung takes the classis lamp to pieces

We were delighted when we saw this new creation from Korean designer Park Woo Sung. Its as innovative as it is practical. Available in a range of cool hues like red, purple, green, blue, orange and white. We would love to see some more variations on colour patterns, the colours of the Union Jack maybe, or how about a red/white candy effect?

You can see this and many more cool creations over at Park Woo Sung's own website.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Homemaker notion turned on its head

A survey this month has indicated that it’s no longer the “fairer sex” who is committed to building a nest, but it is in fact men who are spending more on furniture for the home.

While women spend lavishly on personal items like jeans and perfume, it is men who are investing in large pieces of furniture for the home.

Experian’s survey results are supported by the impressive statistic that UK furniture stores saw the largest sales growth for 3 years last month.

Due to the recent poor weather in Britain, it is believed that the boost in sales of homeware and furniture is due to shoppers turning their sights inside the home.

With the boys spending £257 on average to improve their home surroundings last month, the UK’s girls lavished £231 on themselves!

Brooklyn artist’s Plywood seat sets the benchmark

This incredible bench redefines the popular misconception of plywood being a cheap and unattractive material as Brooklyn artist, Susan Woods delivers her stunning New Wave Line of seating.

Our favourite, the Working Wave, is both sculptured and structurally sound in its design and perfectly demonstrates Wood's approach of combining selective and reclaimed materials to produce innovative and artistic furniture pieces.

She calls them prototypes, bespoke creations for individual requests, so unfortunately there’s no price tag to speak of.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Back to nature with Otobi’s furniture from the rainforest

Hats off to the creative geniuses that produced this amazing advert.

Featuring 3-dimensional mahogany furniture pieces that appear to grow organically within the jungle, Asian furniture company Otobi almost convince you that their tables, beds and seats all belong in the forest.

The pieces appear to grow from vine stems shooting from the ground, as leaves fall and tropical jungle creatures comfortably mooch around in the backdrop.

As much nature documentary as profiling the furniture, this is an excellent piece of marketing.

Amazing concept showcasing some beautiful furniture; who could ask for more?

See for yourself, we've had to watch it a few times ourselves.

A table built to last infinity

Jason Heap’s stunning dining room table, Infinity Squared, is one of the most beautiful creations to eat your Sunday dinner from.

A circular sheet of toughened glass sits atop of the American black walnut woven frame with shocking green edge detailing.

Created to undermine the rigid constricts of ordinary tables, Infinity Squared has been designed to deliver an undulating focal point that commands attention.

Well it’s certainly done that; Heap’s spectacular centrepiece is featured in this year’s Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design exhibition in Cheltenham.

Held from Saturday 15 to Monday 24 August, the exhibition will feature modern furniture and decorative arts from 70 designers.

Pop along and pick up a statement piece to furnish your home before it’s all bought up!

Tips on Coordinating Curtains and Soft Furnishings

For most people, high fashion, and stylish interior design seems far away from the realms of our real homes. Our homes are places of practicality and living not puffed pillows and chaise lounges. Whatever your budget and whatever your tastes, it is very simple and moderately inexpensive to give your rooms a lift and create a more aesthetically pleasing and balanced space. By choosing coordinating and well fitted curtains and other soft furnishings you can create a sense of logic and identity within an otherwise eclectic room of new and old.

The first step in choosing new window dressings is to look at your existing room. What is there in the space that defines it and gives it character? It could be an old sofa, a mirror, wallpaper or a rug. Whatever it may be, you should use this as a central point for your inspiration. Look at the colours or patterns within the item and use this style or colour palette to choose your curtains. Consider prints, velvets, silks, hessians, damask and plains. Consider how using vertical or horizontal pattern will accentuate the width or the height of the space. Consider whether to include just curtains or a curtain and blind. Although not particularly necessary, this enables you to have an elaborate dress curtain for visual impact and use your blind on a daily basis to block out the light.

If you want to further enhance the look of the room why not buy some coordinating scatter cushions and a throw to incorporate your sofa into the design scheme. Either buy ready made or ask a seamstress to make you the covers piped in matching material to your curtains or blinds. Similarly, why not consider adding ribbon or trim around your existing lamp shades to again incorporate them in to your scheme?

When selecting fabrics do not be scared to ask for samples as, once home, fabrics can look completely different. Furthermore, it is sometimes best to use both ready made and made to measure products. For example, you may find the perfect pair of ready made curtains for your home but struggle to find a matching blind in a complementary colour and to fit your window. If this is the situation, shop around and look for the best solution for you, your budget and your timescales.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Ideas from the Academy

Just came across these amazing bits of furtniture from the Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show.
Design Academy Eindhoven presents its annual graduation show: Graduation Galleries 2007. The exhibition takes place in deWitteDame in Eindhoven, the monumental factory premises in which Design Academy Eindhoven is located.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Next Stop Dubai for Interior Design Showcase

Around 800 designers will visit Dubai for the bi-annual International Federation of Interior Designers/Architects (IFI), which will also focus on fusion design, such as the blend of East and West, According to Design Week.

Scheduled to take place from November 6th to November 11th, it will have the theme 'Celebrate Interior Design'. The event will take place in the Grand Hyatt Convention Centre and Sebastian Conran, founder of Conran and Partners, will be among the speakers.

The publication noted that other speakers will include Ross Lovegrove and Piero Lissoni who along with Conran will appear at the World Interior Design Congress, which is part of the event. Other features of the general assembly will include workshops, student competitions and masterclasses.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Brighten up your child's life

Casey Lewis from Cookie magazine posted some exciting pictures of the new candela lamps from OXO.
"OXO's brilliant candela lamps are LED lights that provide eight hours of illumination. The quirky Zoom and Tooli models are perfect to top a bedside table, while the sweet house-shaped Roomi makes a relaxing nightlight as your children drift into dreamland."

Monday, 3 August 2009

Draw on your walls

We like these wall vinyls from Wright On The Walls a lot. Although the living room space above gives us creepy memories about The Birds (not sure if that was intended or not). You can choose from a load of styles and colours to suit your room. In the shot below you can see they've matched the stickers to the fabrics seamlessly.

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