Surface, texture and pattern get me very excited so the discovery of Giles Miller Studio has totally made my day! First up to whet my appetite is the hexagonal ‘Alexander’ tile in white ceramic or walnut. The scale is immense and its three dimensionality gives it a shimmering quality. What’s more the appearance can change depending on the angles that the tiles are laid, playing on light, dark and shade. This works particularly well in the walnut finish as subtle graphics can be drawn out of the pattern. All of Giles Miller Studio’s tiles are like this – they blow the traditional notion of ’tiling’ right out of the water.
They’ve also very cleverly created ‘Fluting’, a process which adjusts the angle of corrugated cardboard. This allows them to depict shadowy scenes or images in an abstract kind of way. Stella McCartney picked up on this and used the finish in her Dallas boutique (below). Incidentally I’ve always loved Stella’s shop interiors – they often play with new materials and beautifully crafted finishes that are either new or artisan. The dancers in the image below that are in the Met Bar in London.
I am totally wowed by Giles Miller Studio and I look forward to seeing what they do next!
All images via Giles Miller Studio website
Timorous Beasties first caught my attention when they launched their London Toile fabric; a cheeky take on the traditional French Toile de Juoy. Instead of quaint country scenes of folk frolicking in meadows with rabbits, this is an edgy toile depicting inner city mischief against a backdrop of London landmarks. In classic Timorous Beasties style the overall pattern is quintessential, appealing and even pretty until you get close enough to see the detail. Since then they’ve launched their Glasgow and New York toiles with the same attitude. But these Gaswegians don’t just start and stop with Toile de Juoy, they’ve brought so much more to the party with a growing selection of fabric, wallpaper and accessories along the same cool, sometimes alarming, graphic lines. They’ve also had input into some seriously gorgeous interior and exterior design.
There’s a great interview / article with the guys themselves via The Guardian here. All visuals care of Timorous Beasties website.
Grand Blotch Damask
Tree of Life
Birds and Bees
I don’t often get excited about gadgets and hi-fi (or whatever you’d call it), but these speaker-y things are just so damn sexy!
So I’m currently obsessed with Geneva Sound Systems and the sound that these babies produce is amazing (even I could tell that but I did double check with my husband and he confirmed it). My big lust is for the ‘L’ in walnut. I mean, how discreet and sassy can your sound system get? Check out BoConcept because that’s where they’re at. Yum.
Photos care of Geneva
The ECC Milan Report is Mike Thorburn’s bound treasure trove of gorgeous finds from the Milan for iSalone furniture fair. With an obvious eye for detail and a taste for design ingenuity Mike scans the extensive line up and brings some of the world’s finest and fresh design back home to us in New Zealand. It’s great eye candy this year and in particular I love this cool little range of amazing ‘why hasnt someone thought of this before?’ lights from Graypants in Seattle. They’ve brought out the best in the humble corrugated cardboard sheet and the results are delicious! Check out their site for more fantastic projects and pieces.
All visuals c/- Graypants website
La Maison Champs Elysees in Paris has been re-designed by Martin Margeila and it’s a graphic adventure. While it’s mainly a white affair there is lots of experimentation with interesting textures and finishes; gloss, matt, opaque, translucent, light, dark, mirrored, paneled, drawn. My favorite room is the Gilded Lounge Suite (coincidentally – see below). Not that there’s a lot of gold going on. But that fabulous side table is worthy of a mention. I like the black and white illustration or photograph of ornate French paneling that covers the walls. I admire how the illustration is not interrupted by the actual elements in the room such as doors and air conditioning units. It doesn’t try to work around these or incorporate them, it just rail roads them. My background and my perspective is to make things as ‘true’ or as precise as possible so I really like how this guy has consciously ignored reality. Of course this doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t annoy the hell out of me while I lay in bed staring at the mismatched paneling in my room. However, all would be forgiven when I cast my eye upon the amazing magazine wall with the effective double arm wall light. I am sure that that is a true magazine wall as the light casts the bumps of the spines on to the ceiling. Beats all of the faux library wallpaper out there hands down. A few of the rooms are white, just white. I find this a bit unsettling; it’s the same feeling I get when I view a work by Salvadore Dali – uncomfortable. Perhaps I’m just not a surreal kind of gal. But then again, it’s definitely OK for a space to evoke feeling so I’m good with that too.
I particularly like the mirrored furniture reflecting pattern and texture on another plane. I love the illuminated diamond suspended in space in the silver leaf hallway. Those are individual silver leaf squares applied by hand to the wall. The very act of installation and the quality of the material is worthy of a a few ‘oohs and aahs’ in my opinion. I like this space. It might unsettle me a bit and evoke memory of art I’d rather forget but I absolutely adore bravery.
All images care of La Maison Champs Elysees website.
I feel like something soothing to start the week…
This Swiss ski chalet should do it. Not particularly seasonal given that we’re supposed to be experiencing summer here in New Zealand but these photographs are so calm and tranquil that they’re putting me in a very good frame of mind. The cool, neutral colour palette suits the crisp light of the northern hemisphere.The course appearance of the serge fabric used to upholster the sofa and the other upholstery elements complements the rough plaster walls and the heaviness of the solid pine beams. The artificial lighting is constrained so that the few pieces of furniture and the variable, textured wall finishes are displayed in a theatrical way. The overall effect; the colour palette, the soft and careful lighting and the calmness of the environment puts me in mind of Vermeer. Calm and tranquil but full of interest. I really wanted to place a visual of a Vermeer interior here but I think that ‘The girl with the pearl ear ring’ is a beautiful reflection of this space.
www.lechaletzannier.com. Thanks to Kool and Kreativ blog for directing me to this chalet.
I’ve got a bit of a thing for architectural details and mouldings so I was pretty excited to find Solomon and Wu recently. They launched their first collection at The London Design Festival in 2010. I like how they’ve summed up their design philosophy so I’ll let them do the talking:
‘Solomon&Wu came together with the vision of bringing the best elements of contemporary design to a tradition of mouldings that has seen no development in 100 years. Throughout history architectural style has dictated the atmosphere of public spaces, displaying a wealth of detail that contained meaning and context for the people of the day. In the 21st century we have moved into an age of austerity dominated by a minimalist aesthetic, at Solomon&Wu our aim is to create mouldings that belong to the world we inhabit today. By taking the traditional formats of mouldings and applying contemporary design Solomon&Wu create fresh and entirely new products. We make elements you will recognise; skirting, cornice, wall panels, ceiling roses, corbels and architraves but never will it look like something that has come before.’
I like a lot.
Cubist Rose - this gets a big tick from me
Hudson Skirting - like the edge of an iceberg against this raw timber floor
Linear Structure - the cornice works for me. If I was specifying I'd simplify the architraves to let the cornice do the talking
Cubist corbels - Oooh I'm very excited about these! I have no doubt that you'll be seeing plenty of them in the future
I enjoyed reading the article about Kelly Wearstler, the interiors guru and fashion designer, in Harper’s Bazaar recently. Talk about everything you could possibly wish to be in your life; gorgeous, wealthy, complimented and listened to! Kelly’s interiors are complete. They’re considered and variable. She has input into every element of the room and the cohesion is glorious. There is something of the 80′s and the Memphis Group in a lot of them, carefully chosen pieces from antique dealers throughout the world – I’ve never bonded with the MG myself but if you love it, you LOVE it, you know? Whatever, her choices are beautifully proportioned and they’re striking, so much so that I imagine guests to each interior wandering through the rooms exclaiming ‘what is that?’, ‘look at that!’, ‘did you see that?’. That’s an inspiring interior to visit isn’t it? To further the cool element, in my books anyway, she once said: ‘I never did a job with white walls’. What a breath of fresh air! I’m personally looking forward to the passing of the current phase for white walls and colour pops. I mean, I get it, I do. But the possibilities for a space; the colour, light, proportion, texture, scale and pattern – are absolutely endless aren’t they?
The Tides, South Beach
I’ve got a new retail crush on Bello (140 Willis Street, Wellington). My heart skipped a beat when I spotted the beautiful display of Bollen Glass in the window – so effortlessly cool, delicate, precious and enormously collectible. From Amsterdam, the Bollen family business is renowned for its mouth blown glass vessels, using virtually the same techniques as their ancestors did 1100 years ago. All of their pieces are copied from centuries old models as depicted in paintings by Rembrandt, Jan Steen and Vermeer.
Equally eye catching are the porcelain bowls from Potomak Studio in Italy. Handmade and glazed in real gold and silver, these are unique and elegant.
And don’t even get me started on the sumptuous shot velvet cushions that Bello will have made to order for you in any one of a very sophisticated palette of fine English shot velvets. Divine!
What a wonderful addition to the retail landscape of Wellington – I’ll be back – often.
Bello Glass 09
Bello P87 - fabulous!!
Potomak gold glaze