Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Stick and stones may break my bones, but bricks are surpisingly comfy

The concept of outside architecture influencing the interior design form is one that's become rather en vogue recently.

Looking at the highly artistic concrete structures of recent installations around the globe, influences can be found that are evocative of the East German modular home constructions of the 80s.
"Ostalgia" as epitomised by 2003's cinematic hit Goodbye Lenin can certainly claim responsibility for making a once isolated endearment held by few into an accessible artform appreciated by the masses for its contextual integrity.

An incredibly insightful and thought-provoking installation is distilled somewhat into this realistic and surprisingly comfortable sofa, despite its rather non-conforming appearance from designers Sebastian Wrong and Richard Woods at Established & Sons.

By utilising the angular structure of the sofa to add dimension to the piece, it is complemented by the carefully scaled design which provides a geometrical layout to the brick printed fabric.

Very clever.


Sunday, 25 October 2009

Just hanging out at home (in a suspension bed)

You didn't mishear us, Bernstein Architecture produces an array of hanging pieces of furniture for the home that perfectly fit with the concept of minimalist living.
With beds, tables, chairs and bookcases, they've created an interior design dream collection that saves space and looks great.

The pieces are all tension based; and while we'd advise sticking to the instructions for the most part, Bernstein actually encourage having a play to find your optimimum tension on their beds. Ordinarily motionless, once the stablising wires are loosened, it's an adults' playground!

The one piece of advice we would advise you follow to the letter is that you're careful not to trip over the wire ropes as you could do yourself a serious mishap.

With a combination of solid steel support entwined with crossed suspension wires, weight bearing surfaces are supported and structurally held in place from every required angle.


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Graffiti for tea? It's on the table...

Having been a controversial symbol of expression for centuries, street graffiti's form has finally been coverted to art form and accepted into the homes of the fashionable.
Renowned for plauguing the walls of property in run-down estates, the aesthetic potential of graffiti has been recognised as a design discipline in its own right; combining form, symbols and style to produce innovatively expressive pieces that are both striking and functional - in essence, mimicking the very essence of graffiti in producing both a statement and contribution to the home.

This is truly experimental contemporary furniture that undoubtably provokes strong reactions from its audience, whilst it's also possible to recognise almost baroque style decor notes in the curved scroll form.

Venezualan UK-based designer Luis Alicandu has created some absolute talking points with his graffiti inspired furniture set, as they are as equally eyecatching as complementary to other interior design influences.

Visit his website for further inspiration.


Monday, 19 October 2009

There's an app for everything - even designers!

Ever been caught out without your trutsy Pantone book or in need of some inspiration for a new interior design project? Well there's a new iPhone application that you may just find useful. Color Expert from developers code-line is an intuitive, interactive colour wheel that has all the Pantone colours.

Color Expert can be used to select and experiment with different colour schemes or just as a reference tool. Just the thing if you are out of the office sourcing ornaments or styling rooms and need a colour chart. Or even in a meeting with clients deciding on colours for a shoot… every interior designer should have it.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Display the date with this dynamic design...

Even the most adoring of mothers soon tires of receiving embarrassing wall calendars constructed from glued macaroni pieces on cardboard. These days, even when it's been purchased from a shop, the style police would have just cause for banishing the offending article from your pad thanks to the monotony of zany animal images on display each month.

Let's face it; traditionally calendars aren't cool. Although an artist called Oscar Diaz might just change all that with his incredibly clever/astonishingly simple wall construction. It is nothing less than art integrating with its own environment in a rather organic fashion.
The dates in this piece of wall art populate over time (24 hours to be exact) as the ink crawls along using a capillary action for momentum creating a truly perpetual calendar.

Even more impressive is how Diaz has developed specifically coloured inks that correspond to the season; the mixtures respond according to temperature and humidity and produce the neccessary capillary momentum speed required to move through the dates at an appropriate pace.

Expect dark blue hues in December to shades of green in spring, or oranges and red in the summer. The scale for measuring the colour temperature that Diaz used is a standard called ‘D65’ and corresponds roughly to a midday sun in Western / Northern Europe.

Too lovely. We want one, or several.


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Need a cheap decor update? Go and stick it.

And no, we're not being rude - what we mean is that the best solution we've found to make an instant update to your home decor when it all feels a bit drab is to invest in some vinyl wall stickers.
Both removable and handy to position strategically over scrapes and marks on the wall, the choice available these days is disarming.

Our favourites come from Hu2, whose designs - and seriously affordable ones at that - will be just what you needed to makeover your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or any room for that matter.

Forget the bland car and princess vinyl cutouts you'd expect to see in B&Q - this is vinyl with style. Think peel-off cocktail recipes for the kitchen, Banksy replicas for your living room, or amusing cartoon styled graphics surrounding light switches which depict a hamster powering it from a running wheel.

We especially like how Hu2 not only seperate out their designs by room (and room owner; kds, adults etc), they'll also let you select the colour you'd like it supplying in. Prices start from about a tenner, with the really big art pieces costing up to about 70 quid.

If you're after something just a bit more unique though, you can email them a photo and they'll provide you with a vectored vinyl cutout to adorn your wall; there's customer service for you.


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Goldilocks and the Grizzly Bean Bag Bears

As modern fairy tales go, this is one you'll want to hear - we guarantee it.

Take a comfy lounging concept, add some great graphics, and finally add someone sleepy for maximum impact.
This bean bag is the most realistic looking grizzly bear imitation I've ever seen, and despite their ordinarily grumpy demeanour I'm really inclined to give it a snuggle.

Featuring knitted bear graphics to mimic a real grizzly's furry hide (much better than printed fabric), and a moulded bear's head, the rest of the body is perfectly rounded and filled to the seams with thousands of "beans". Measuring 51cm in height, 70cm wide, and 103cm from top to tail, there's more than enough room to get comfortable on and have a snooze.

Handily, this grizzly's fur will happily peel off to visit the washing machine during hibernation season; in fact it'll even endure being pegged out to dry in the garden. For 135 dollars this bear will belong to you - a small price to pay for the big bear hugs you'll receive in return.

Visit the Etsy store here to lure him home with you. We can certainly see now that Goldilocks was ahead of the style curve, but it's never too late to catch up with this trend we reckon.


Friday, 9 October 2009

Create your own Cabana

We love this product. And so will you, or even your dog if you've got $500 to spare.

After stumbling across Modern Cabana who build small prefabricated buildings to provide affordable space to relax, or live if you prefer, we're thinking of jacking in the two-up two-down and going for broke with a lovely little nest like this.
Especially when you discover that it's possible to have a prefab delivered that comes with a kitchen and bathroom installation - so no late night calls in the the wild, you'll be glad to hear.

Posed as the ultimate solution to tranquility and solitude (we're there already...) prices start from $11,500 for the basic Cabana package, but if you're interested in having one to replace your current abode expect to spend up to $67,500 for the mod-con inclusive version that you'd need. Kennels come in at a much more affordable $500 though.

What's nicest we think is that you can build your dream home yourself with the pre-assembled panels that Modern Cabana provide and two able bodied adults with some construction experience in only a couple of days.

The quick and easy build is largely thanks to the ingenious concrete pier system that allows the Cabana to sit on top like a deck would, without the need for pouring a slab foundation.

May we introduce "Less hassle", you'll be very pleased to meet it!


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Tips on Lighting from LLB

Ever get confused on how best to light a room, to make the most of its features and create as much space as possible? Well TV favourite Laurence LLewelyn Bowen or LLB as we like to call him has posted a short guide to lighting on his own website. The foppish interior designer made famous my BBC's 'Changing Rooms' is still creating and innovating even though not as much in our living rooms.

Here's a tidbit of advice from the great man:

"Never, ever, ever underestimate the decorative potential of lampshades... That is of course the kind of statement that one expects from an interior designer and whilst it sounds floppy, it's actually very true."

The Interior Design Blog - Blogged