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Top picks from Tent London 2011



The London Design Festival has come to an end, unfortunately. With bags full of information and a head full of inspiration, it’s now back to business! During the festival, a visit to Tent was high on my list, and it proved to be right up my street. As a result, there is simply too much I want to share, so here are just a few things I liked:

  • the ‘Festival’ mix and match tableware design collection of Mini Moderns, a collaboration with homeware brand Magpie.
  • the DEK table lamp by Khairul Hussin, where the coiling of the cord (usually the ugly part) has become part of the design. The lamp is made of recycled felt and oak wood.
  • the concrete collection by Ivanka Studio, including their stunning floor/wall tiles.
  • La Bibliochaise by Nobody & Co is a chair and bookstorage at the same time. It has hidden wheels and the leather cushions colors are customisable.

There were so many things I liked about Tent: the cutting-edge products, the innovation, and even the location (the Old Truman Brewery). I wish I didn’t have to wait a whole year!

Bloggers Meet Up Woonbeurs Amsterdam



Last weekend I had my very first bloggers meet up in Amsterdam. The meet up was at the Woonbeurs, the Dutch exhibition when it comes to homes and living. The Woonbeurs is organised by Sanoma, publisher of Dutch home magazines such as VT Wonen, 101 Woonideeen, Ariadne at Home, Eigen Huis & Interieur and More Than Classic. I once did an internship at Sanoma, I used to live in Amsterdam, I blog and love anything design related. So enough reasons to fly especially to Amsterdam to attend and it was well worth it.

After receiving our press badges in the press room (first time and I have to admit it felt pretty cool), it was time to explore the fair. What is nice about the Woonbeurs is that each magazine has a house on the fair which is designed and decorated according to their particular style. Editors in chief of magazines VT Wonen and 101 Woonideeen welcomed us in ‘their’ houses. Above you see an impression of the VT Wonen house, one of my favourites because of the industrial and funky look.

If you want to find out what Dutch design is all about, the Woonbeurs is open until October 2nd!

An impression of Maison & Objet Paris 2011


It has already two weeks ago that I visited Maison & Objet in Paris. And ever since my visit my bag full of flyers, brochures and business cards has been sitting in my room waiting to be unpacked. September surely is the busiest month for design lovers. With Paris Design Week barely finished, the London Design Festival is already in full swing. And in between there are events in other countries which I don’t want to miss. My friends are not seeing much of me as I go from one exhibition to another and in the mean time trying to keep up with my blog. So stay tuned, as you will be swamped with posts the coming week(s)!

This year was my first visit to Maison & Objet. Not having learned from Salone del Mobile in Milan I planned again a one day trip, which I won’t recommend. One day is simply not enough as there were 9 halls and after about 4 your feet start to protest (don’t know if that is proper English, but you get the point..). I tried to sqeeuze in as much as possible in a day and as I was rushing my way past all the stands I noticed a few themes:

  • Combination of (seemingly) untreated wood and shiny metal
  • Upcycled furniture and accessories
  • Studio lights with an industrial look
  • Supersized items that make a statement
  • Denim (more on the blog about this soon!)

Read The Rest

Baked and ready to launch: The Muffin Pouffe

Only a few days left until The London Design Festival starts. During 9 days, more than 280 events across 25 design disciplines will be held across London. With so many events, getting the most out of the festival requires some rigorous planning. What definitely should be on the agenda is a visit to Tent London: a progressive exhibition where you can see the latest contemporary interior products. One product that will be launched during Tent London, and that should definitely be on your ‘must see’ list is the Muffin Pouffe.

The Muffin Pouffe is a brand new product design from Matteo Bianchi, Italian born designer and Director of Daruma Design Ltd. Having been very successful as an interior designer (and in my opinion ‘one to watch’) Matteo turned his hand to furniture design, of which the Muffin Pouffe is the result.

As the name suggests, it’s a muffin and a pouffe, but it’s more than that. As Matteo describes it: “This luscious and functional cushioned stool is not just a regular seating item, it is humorous and stylish, bursting personality, and it also includes a hidden storage. Made with the finest materials, prime-cut leather from North Italy area of Veneto and optimum solid woods, the feeling you get couldn’t be more overjoyed. These ingredients give you unlimited options in finishings and colors for you to bake your own Muffin, according to one’s personal taste!”

I asked Matteo who he sees as his typical customer Read The Rest

Decorex Loves Bloggers Final

As you may have noticed (in fact, it was probably difficult not to..) I’m participating in the Decorex Loves Bloggers competition. The winner of this competition will become this year’s official blogger for Decorex and report live from the event taking place from 25-28 September. In addition, the winner will be invited to go to New York in March 2012 to report from The Architectural Digest Home Design Show (another prestigious interior design event) as part of BlogTour 2012.

And here is the good news: I am still in the running to becoming Decorex next top blogger! I never thought I would get such positive response as a result of participating, let alone even make it to the final. I am absolutely delighted to have already come so far and am thrilled with excitement to know I have a chance to win. The final task for the finalists was to write a preview post for the show, you can find my submission here (‘Love Design- Love Decorex’). To decide on who wins, there will be a vote from the public and votes from a panel of judges, including the famous Pippa Jameson, Ellie Tennant and Holly Becker. Not the smallest names in the world of interior design! You can not imagine how honoured I am they are even looking at my blog. Read The Rest

Love Design- Love Decorex

28.. 27.. 26 days to go until Chelsea’s Royal Hospital grounds will transform into what is considered to be the event in the interior design industry: Decorex. It almost feels a bit like the time towards Christmas, where the excitement grows and everyone seems to be talking about only one thing.

With nearly 300 exhibitors, exciting features created exclusively for the show around this year’s theme ‘Cherished Places’, and a name for being trendsetting and innovative, I believe my excitement is justified.

Diana Yakeley, President of the British Institute of Interior Design, explains why she believes Decorex is an event not to be missed: “Free from the large corporate suppliers of office furniture or carpet tiles, designers have a chance to see the more desirable and unusual suppliers on well designed stands – it should be on everyone’s agenda for late September.”

Your Decorex journey will start as soon as you arrive at the lobby, which designers Nicky Haslam and Colette van den Thillart turned into a surreal, theatrical space with (to speak in interior design terms) a good portion of drama added.

As you explore further, you will discover exquisite trend setting products, come across new materials, find beautiful craftsmanship and (for the savvy minded) see the latest innovations in home technology. You will (re-) discover established names of the industry and meet the emerging designers of the future.

There will be new product introductions too. Such as the ‘Charleston Collection’ of beds and furniture designed by Nina Campbell for ‘And So To Bed’, which will be launched at Decorex, to name just one.

Adrenaline may just be enough to keep you going, but why not recharge at the enchanting riverside Café and Ranelagh Restaurant, designed by Broosk Saib, or drop by the exclusive Champagne Bar, designed by Martin Hulbert. What’s nicer than a combination of bubbles and design and indulge in true style?

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the show, find sanctuary at ‘And So To The Beach’, the ultimate coastal retreat, created by ‘And So To Bed’. This stand promises to be utterly tranquil with a soundscape of waves and gulls, and the perfect place to relax and find inspiration. Read The Rest

Some upcoming design graduates to look out for

I have a thing for innovation, whether it be the use of a new material, a new manufacturing technique, or just a different interpretation of an existing concept. For this reason, I particularly like exploring work from designers fresh out of university as they often literally have a ‘fresh look’ on things. Here are a few (of many) products from graduate designers I like. Hope you like them too.

Industrial design graudate at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich Florian Schmid designed these stitched concrete stools. These stools are made of the material concrete canvas, where a fabric cloth is impregnated with flexible cement. When in the desired form, water is added which then hardens. I love how these stools have a roughness and softness to them at the same time. The bright coloured stitches give them a funky look.

Freya Swell is a 3D Design graduate from the University of Brighton and designed the Hush, a cosy ‘cocoon’ seat made from 100% wool felt. The seat allows you to withdraw and enjoy some private space and time. I noticed many cocoon type products this year, perhaps it’s following a trend of escaping from everyday busy lives and people wanting some ‘me time’. Living in London, I definitely would like to escape sometimes. I saw this at New Designers a month ago (for my review see here)  and when you see it you just want to jump in.. Rumour has it (unverified) she is currently in talks with Fatboy to commercialize it.

Also at New Designers this year, but in a different discipline, were the ceramic bowls from Jill Shaddock. Jill, a 3D Design graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University, has already won quite some awards with these stunning bowls (love the colours!). The bowls are made through a method called ‘slipcasting’, where slip (liquid clay) is poured into a plaster mould and excess water is drawn out leaving a layer of solid clay. Read The Rest

5 London Design Events in September not to be missed

It’s already August, and with lots of interesting events coming up in September, now is the perfect time to start planning and registering. From the 17th until the 25th of September The London Design Festival will be held in the creative capital of the world (well, at least of Europe). This annual festival includes over 250 events and activities in different design disciplines. Please find here the absolute must-not-miss-events during the festival: 

1) 100% Design

For cutting-edge contemporary interior design, it includes three exhibitions under one roof: 100% Design (interiors), 100% Materials (surfaces) and 100% Futures(emerging talent). WIth over 21,000 trade visitors this is one of the biggest events.

Read The Rest

Future design icons at New Designers 2011 London


Last week I visited New Designers 2011 in London for the first time, an exhibition showcasing more than 3,500 newly graduated designers from across the UK. I visited the second part, which covered (amongst others): Furniture Design, Spatial Design and One Year On. The latter consisting of 50 selected designers who are one year on into their business. My overall impression of the exhibition was: wow! Read The Rest

Seen at Pulse London 2011: beautiful fair trade design products by Unseen Products

When visiting Pulse London 2011 yesterday I came across a Dutch company that makes beautiful fair trade design products. This company, Unseen Products, aims to offer exclusive design products made by small producers in developing countries and make them accessible to the European retail market. Unseen Products is initiated by Dutch NCDO, the National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development.

Read The Rest

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