I have a dream, a dream that one day, I will be able to travel to an exotic location and spend the rest of my days shopping to my heart’s desire without paying a single dime.
Louis Vuitton offers just that, besides the last part of course (I’m still on the hunt for a working money tree).
Imagine coming home every single evening and casting your gaze upon this sucker in your dining room? Well one lucky couple in Munich can, and does. Suspended 25 feet in the air is a 12 foot amoebic creation designed by legendary lighting designer, Ingo Maurer. He calls it a Biotope.
Incidentally, a Biotope is an actual thang: a contemporary combination of the Greek terms Bio, for life. and Topos, for Place. In short, it’s a fancy word for habitat, and quite frankly, we should all start thinking more about our own Biotopes. Seriously, bitches.
Maurer was commissioned to create and design this masterpiece to illuminate and act as a sound barrier in a dining room whose previous life was a 19th Century chapel. He describes it as a ‘hybrid lighting and acoustical devise.’
In order to satisfy the ‘sound deadening’ challenge, he came up with quite the ingenious usage of sponges; yes, sponges. Farmed of course, because that’s what responsible Biotope developers would do. Each sponge was then sprayed with a specially formulated green pigment. L.E.D lamps, along with an integrated sound system are hidden throughout the structure. If Bach composed a Katydid Concerto in D Minor, this chandelier would have it on repeat.
But it gets better: Maurer wanted “something artificial, something abstract” so his team of Creatives set forth to locate a Californian artist who makes insect replicas. Adding delicate butterflies, dragonflies & insects, this light fixture takes on a world of its own.
Breathtakingly brilliant. A Home Tree for the rest of us.
I call it as I see it: genius.
Outside of Seoul, Korea, lies a house that is unique from the typical buildings you would see dotting the Korean landscape. Built by the Finnish architect Sami Rintala, The Element House winks down at visitors from atop a forest park in the city of Anyang, and operates as a secular temple paying homage to each of the four elements: water, fire, earth and air. A cavernous cube that supports its four elemental limbs is the anchor for this man-made sanctuary, and each separate room highlights one of the aforementioned elements.
The park lies in a river valley that has long been a treasured Buddhist retreat. Colored concrete forms a bed for incense, and guests may feel free to rest in the building, enjoy lunch, or just sit and clear the mind while contemplating the scenery.
The Elements House is a rumination on how a building could stand in as the polar opposite of the corybantic dynamism of a city such as Seoul. Its purpose? To remind us that beauty can most easily be found in nature, and that silence of the mind is as powerful as thought.
There is an architect out there who is near and dear to my heart: Robert Whitton.
I have never met the gentleman and probably never will, but I love him in the same way I love my four-year-old UGG slippers [editor's note: Stephanie, this is unacceptable], the same way I love the pre-dinner aromas in my Mom’s kitchen on a late Sunday afternoon. Comfort love.
Why? In the early 70s, he designed a very special home. The home in which my husband and I now live. It has had a few owners, one major renovation; but it will grow old with us.
Here’s to the person who made me appreciate the makings of a pretty cool-looking box.
It took me about 6 years to track the man down. When I finally did, through a writer in Arizona, it was an honor to speak to the man who 1. Designed something pretty cutting edge, especially for this neck of the woods 2. Made me understand the spacial importance of the Golden Section and 3. Appreciate, yet again, the steadfast dedication of a true artist. I live within someone else’s sculpture.
And the Heavens aligned…
I found out that Mr. Whitton, not only an architect but an accomplished artist & furniture maker, designed a handful of houses similar to mine, randomly scattered across the country, from the East Coast to Arizona, where he now lives.
What at first appear to be a coincidental collection of boxes, arranged together to create solid looking yet unfixed dwellings, is subsequently a haven for the mathematically inclined. Every single wall, floating bookcase and window has been calculated to the n-th degree. For the ‘design-OCD mind’ (and really, I wouldn’t know), it really is heaven.
All of Robert Whitton’s houses have similar details: enormous expanses of stucco wall, Mondrian-like splashes of color, Meier-esque cantilevers and roof lines and a Walter Gropius blend of traditional and modern materials.
Additionally, Mr.Whitton’s jewelry and one of a kind pieces of furniture are black and white versions of the collaborative mingling of Art Deco, Modern, and Memphis Design.
Thank you, Mr. Whitton, for providing shelter in the form of a grand scale sculpture and for reminding me each and every day that some things are better left untouched.
Have you ever worked for a company who can’t seem to get their business strategy down pat? Like they are moving in a million different directions and the pathway to success seems long and harried at best?
Perhaps they should have taken tips from the Stockholm law offices of Hannes Snellman. A place where clarity and, at the same time, aggression, screams at you from every angle. In a lovely contemporary way of course. Hey, if you’re going to defend someone, you might as well be clear about it, right?
Artist Ulf Rollof teamed up with Swedish rug manufacturer, Kashtall, to weave together a hand-tufted wool and linen billboard, stating their main objective: fight with passion, strategy, and audacious commitment. And they did it in three pieces measuring 30.5 feet x 48 feet.
I wonder if these honchos have any specific reading requirements?
Imagining your Grandmother’s little tufted tuffet sitting by its lonesome in the dark corner of her faded, floral-wallpaper covered living room while you wait patiently in your Sunday best for some of those cookies she promised you?
It’s time you reacquaint yourself with tufting, my friends. Here are a few of my favorite tufted numbers. Some will make you want to get your drink on. Some will make you want to get your… other things … on. Either way, tufting has never seen such a sleek silhouette.
Recently dubbed the “Lady Gaga” of architecture by New York Times writer Paul Goldberger, Zaha Hadid designed this Established & Sons Aqua table with the undulating motion of water in mind. Available in either black or white, this gorgeous three-legged table perfectly balances a Mod aesthetic with an undulating, organic quality.
Fin like legs register as dimples on the upper surface of the table, giving texture and movement to a utilitarian object that many would typically think of as flat and rigid. The outré form implores interaction, needing naught to legitimize its existence (not even a fancy coffee table book).
Interested in purchasing? Make sales enquiries HERE.
An Interior Designer must always try to approach ordinary scenarios and dilemmas with a new perspective, always try to create new ways of looking at things, objects, people, the spaces in which we live and work. The spaces in which we exist. Observation is the critical first step, to absorb and consider.
When I came across the most recent issue of W Magazine I immediately recognized why I love the enigmatic Tilda Swinton so much: she is a human form of architecture.
In this particular comparison, the alternating black and white of her sail-like collar mimic the shadowy interior levels of the Guggenheim in Bilbao. True to form, her lichen green eyes seem to look right through you, or you through them. This ephemeral moving through space, the openness of her frame, these are the goals of great architecture.
The illustrious French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela was recently commissioned by Hotel Maison Champs-Elysées in Paris to reconceptualize the interior design of the 5-star hotel. La Maison Champs-Elysées is located on 8 Rue Jean Goujon, in a corner of Paris that boasts all the most distinguished French couture houses, making it most fitting that Maison Martin Margiela would be chosen to redefine the image of such a lavish hotel.
This was a huge undertaking for La Maison Champs-Elysées, and I really would like to sing Margiela’s praises because the result of the redesign is a luxurious universe that completely transcends time. The space allows you to leave reality behind, to forget the worldwide economic crisis that has dominated each and every newspaper, to just sit back and bask in contemporary opulence.
Maison Martin Margiela’s goal was to create “a theatrical environment where reality and trompe-l’oeil blend into a surreal atmosphere,” and it is clear the design house has more than succeeded.
Mirrors abound throughout the rooms, producing hallucinatory spaces within spaces that simultaneously entice and confuse. Intricately designed wallpaper and carpeting depicts traditional French architectural techniques, tricking the eye yet delighting the mind.
This is a building of cool paradoxes, all done in a palette of silvers, whites, greys, golds, and blacks – shades that echo royalty but truly appeal to the modern and cosmopolitan nouveau riche. The highlight of the building is a hallway completely veiled in silver leaf, alluding to the golden pavilions of Edo Japan. This passage is punctuated by a floating white diamond chandelier, and it is here we are pushed completely into the dream world, floating past the most beautiful of diamond jewelry, off to bask in the luxury of Margiela’s desirous illusions.
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