In two days time, the film of the year - The Great Gatsby - will finally hit our screens. Set in east coast America, the film depicts decadence, glamour and the American Dream in the 1920s.
While the story is well-known for being a social commentary on the economic prosperity in the post-war years, it’s the showmanship, costumes and lavish sets of Baz Luhrmann's screen adaptation that have really got us excited. Decadent furnishings are the only thing that will do for the wealthy residents of fictional West Egg - think chandeliers, plush velvet furnishings, the finest walnut cabinets and, of course, lots of gold.
The decadent look needn't only belong on the silver screen, however. Channel the Roaring Twenties in your own home with our selection of items.
For your star piece the Muuna Josephine Sofa or Driade Vigilius Armchair would fit the bill very well indeed. These art-deco-inspired designs are made from luxuriously soft velvet and have an effortlessly curvaceous shape that perfectly embody 1920s living.
Complement your dream sofa with an American walnut cabinet from Ginger & Jagger. This beautifully patterned cabinet with antique brass finishings is a piece to treasure for life.
No 1920s abode is complete without a dash of sparkle and what better way to add this than with a statement chandelier? Driade have a fantastic piece with the aptly-named The Empire Suspension Light. This gorgeous piece will dazzle whether it’s lit or not.
Steel has long been an essential material for the design industry.
It is, and always has been since its discovery in 1913 by Harry Brearley, used in all areas of design from cutlery and jewellery to larger items such as furniture. It is hard-wearing, long-lasting and beautifully reflective making it not only extremely practical, but aesthetically-pleasing too. We have all had experiences with the material from using the ‘best’ cutlery that came out only on special occasions, to proudly displaying our shiny football trophies.
As 2013 marks the 100 year anniversary of the discovery of stainless steel, Galvanize Sheffield is curating a month-long event to celebrate the material. There are a number of exhibitions happening all over the city including Designed to Shine at the Millennium Gallery, Stain-Less at The Sheffield Institute for Art, and Aesthetics of Manufacture at the Butcher Works Gallery. If you are based in Sheffield and fancy popping along to some of the events, you can find the full event list here
As a Sheffield-based company that sell many items in this material, we were asked to be a part of the Designed to Shine exhibition. Many furniture manufacturers continue to use steel in their products, so we had a lot to say about its use in furniture design - both past and present. You can see our Marketing and Communications Manager, Toni, in the video below talking about Tom Dixon’s Etch Web Pendant Light, a contemporary design launched this year, made completely from steel. The video will be on display at the Designed to Shine exhibition until October.
Tom Dixon isn’t the only manufacturer using steel in his designs, however. Nest sell a vast collection of items – from design classics first produced in the 1920s to modern day designs being produced right now - that use this material.
Tom Dixon’s wide range of products include a number of items made solely from this material – including the Etch Tea Light Holder and the Etch Shade, both of which glisten when lit.
The Knoll Wassily Chair, designed in the 1920s by Marcel Breuer, was the first chair to be made from tubular steel and it had a lasting impact on the furniture industry.
For more contemporary pieces, Dutch manufacturers Moooi rely heavily on this material for their beautiful Raimond Suspension Light which is made from polished stainless steel and LED lights.
Additionally, a great example of this material being used in a decorative way is the Driade Miss Lacy Easy Chair – a beautifully patterned chair that just radiates luxury and elegance.
So it’s clear to see that this material is here to stay. Its durable properties mixed with its aesthetic beauty make it an ideal material, especially in furniture and lighting design, and it’s great to see it finally being celebrated. The Galvanize festival runs until the end of May, so be sure to pop down to one of the events before then.
Nest is delighted to welcome Areti into their growing lighting collection.
The design team consists of creative sister duo Guillane and Gwendolyn, who create wonderfully unique designs that are stylish and practical. The duo began designing for Areti in 2008 after lengthy experience in architecture and design practices all over the world. Areti is predominantly based in London in the UK, but the team also work with skilled craftsmen and manufacturers in Sweden and Germany.
Last week we had the pleasure of interviewing Guillane and Gwendolyn, and we are pleased to share our conversation with you guys today. The duo answered our questions on why they started their own practice, what their favourite items are and what a typical day is like at Areti – read below for the full, insightful interview.
Both of you had careers before starting Atelier Areti – what made you want to set up your own design practice? It’s important to have worked for other people before you set up your own practice. You can learn from the way others approach design, manage a project, manage an office etc. When you work for an already well established office, you also get to work on large complex projects, which is of course exciting and a great learning ground. But there comes a point where you’ve done similar things several times and you feel that you are not learning as much anymore.
Most importantly though, when you design for someone else, you don’t have the last word! We’ve both been lucky to have been given a good amount of responsibility and freedom, but there is always a limit. And at some point, your desire to get the design exactly how you want it becomes so strong, that you take the risk to do it on your own. But when you start your own practice, you usually start working on much smaller projects than when you were employed - but that’s not a bad thing. When you have your own practice, all of a sudden you are dealing with a lot more than just design, and so it’s good that you start small scale.
While before we worked on larger architectural and interior architecture projects as well as urban design, currently we focus solely on objects – lights and furniture.
Areti’s first lighting collection was inspired by Guillane’s final year project at Central St. Martins – can you tell us a bit more about this please? We were asked to work with glass as a material. The idea for this project was to explore the way glass reflects and absorbs light depending on the type of glass. There was thus an inner sphere made of frosted glass and outer sphere made of clear crystal glass. The inner sphere acted as a diffuser to spread the light evenly and reduce the glare. The refracted light was then ‘captured’ so to speak by the surface of the crystal glass, thus emphasizing the exceptional clarity and shine of this material. We were convinced of the first prototype and decided to develop it further by engraving simple patterns into the outer surface. ‘Simple’ turned out to be not as simple as first thought - engraving straight lines on a round surface proved to be difficult. As is often the case with ‘simple looking’ designs, they are actually very intricate when it comes to the details of fabrication.
You have both lived in numerous places through your work, do you have a favourite city? Neither of us really has a favorite city. Every city has its charm and its drawbacks. For everyday living I (Gwendolyn) quite like Amsterdam or Berlin. For the occasional visit I can name many places! As an architect I of course love Paris, NY, Rome - the usual suspects. I (Guillane) used to live in Paris and it is still a special place for me, the beauty of it still touches me every time I go. I also like Milan a lot and of course London, mainly for its diversity and open-mindedness.
The Areti Alouette Light has been popular with the Nest customers, do you have a personal favourite design from your collection? Our favorites tend to be our latest designs, simply because we get very excited about projects while we work on them. At the moment these include the Squares or Mimosa lamp for example, but also our yet-to-be-released new designs! We are also quite attached to our first designs such as the Kirchschlag or the Alouette because we started out with them.
How has growing up in Austria inspired your designs? To be honest we’ve never thought about that. Probably what has inspired us more is the fact that we have lived in many different places and thus are not attached to any particular ‘style’. We’ve always been a ‘foreigner’, so to speak. When we lived in Austria we were considered (and considered ourselves, as one often defines oneself by difference), French because we spoke French at home. When we lived in Germany we were Austrian because we came with an Austrian accent. When we lived in France we were German, because that’s where we had gone to high school and when we were in the US, we were simply considered European. Coming to a foreign place allows you to look at everything from politics to culture with curious eyes. We’ve learned from each place we lived in, not just regarding design – it’s been at times stressful, but overall an enriching experience.
Can you describe a typical day at Atelier Areti for us? There is no typical day! As we work in different places (London and Frankfurt), we communicate by Skype. Every one or two months we meet in person to work together more intensely. We design in a rather old fashioned way. We sketch an idea and usually, the end product is rather close to that initial sketch. We of course do detail drawings, make models and have to adjust the design as we work on the prototypes with the manufacturer - but generally speaking, the first sketch already contains the essence of the project. What we really enjoy is that by setting up our studio, the two of us can work together. While there is some friction of course, as is the case any time two people work together, it’s quite minimal. We have similar ideas about art and design and that makes working together a pleasure because there is an inherent understanding and most energy is put into pushing a project further rather than having to convince the other person of ones own opinion. So it doesn’t matter who comes up with the first sketch or idea for a project, most of the time, we end up both being convinced by it and developing it further or dropping it. While this sounds like quite a plain statement and one would assume partners always work like this, we know from past experience, that this is not to be taken for granted.
With the sharp increase in home renovation and building shows, the UK, as a nation, are becoming more and more involved and immersed in architecture.
There are more blogs, websites and TV shows on the subject than ever before, and more and more of us are actually building and designing our own homes too. I know that it is a personal dream of some of our team to do just that, but how about you? Is it something you have dreamed about doing for a long time?
This increased interest in architecture and large-scale home renovating has really caught our attention, so we have compiled a list of our favourite architectural projects from this year. Although we have a slight preference towards spacious homes with high ceilings and glass panels, there are a few surprising elements to these homes - like an indoor Zen garden and a grass roof for instance. So please let us know your thoughts – which style of architecture do you prefer? Have you built your own home? Get in touch via our social media channels – we are always up for a chat!
Edgeland House – Austin, Texas
The first house we take a closer look at is Edgeland House in Texas, designed by Bercy Chen Studio. This home mixes Native American architecture, cutting-edge technology and ecological concerns - creating a dramatic yet eco-friendly home.
The ecological merits of Edgeland House are vast. Firstly it has been erected on disused brownfield land, making use of abandoned areas. It has been designed with genuine thought to the original landscape by being built 7 feet into the ground - reducing the visual impact on the landscape. And lastly, it has a grass roof – allowing for maximum energy efficiency.
The building itself is constructed from a steel frame, and is fitted with double-glazed tinted low-E glass panels and concrete retaining walls. It is a striking design made from honest materials. The interior of the house is unique in that it is divided into two clear sections – one for sleeping and one for living/entertaining, which can clearly be seen in the photo above. The omission of a hallway was one that was made on purpose – to encourage more time spent outside whilst moving between the two areas.
The house was built to essentially "enhance one's experience of nature" says architect Bercy Chen - something that can be seen immediately from the outset.
Continuing the modern lines and angles from Edgeland House, we take a look at Flip House, a quirky property located in the heart of San Francisco.
This project proves that you don’t need to build your own home from scratch to have your own ‘grand design’. The owners approached local architectural firm Fougeron Architecture looking for an ‘edgy’ remodel of their original home. Although large structural work was carried out (floors were lowered and ceilings were raised), the bones of the house were already in place.
Flip House has been updated with stunning angled glass panels covering the whole of the back wall which work to bring in plenty of natural light – more so than traditional straight glass windows. The interior has been completely renovated with modern furnishings in modern materials – perforated metal staircases, white sofas and transparent Kartell furnishings. The interior has been re-designed to be conducive to modern-day living, giving the home a spacious feel.
One of the main reasons this project caught our eye was due to its location in heart of a metropolitan city. Many architectural projects are built in remote areas, so it’s great to see a large-scale project being carried out in the middle of a busy city, thus proving that you don’t need to move to the outskirts to have your perfect home.
Lastly we take a look at the Optical Glass House by Hiroshi Nakamura, based in Hiroshima. This project is unique in that it is constructed using contrasting materials – man-made concrete and glass sit happily alongside natural timber, stone and indoor Zen gardens.
The outside façade of the Optical Glass House features a two storey glass wall constructed from 6,000 borosilicate glass bricks. The bricks, which are more durable than conventional glass, offer privacy without being impenetrable.
Indoors, numerous Zen-like gardens are dotted throughout offering a place of tranquility from the bustling city life outside. In addition to these green spaces, the interior is constructed from even more glass bricks (to maximize light), built-in wooden furnishings and stone floors. The main reason this home made it onto our list is the use of these materials, which work to create a warm, cosy interior whilst still maintaining a contemporary feel.
Image: Koji Fujii / Nacasa & partners via Designboom
If you’re thinking (or dreaming!) of designing your own project, why not have a look at Dezeen, Design Milk and Designboom for some online inspiration. Alternatively, print-based resources include Icon Magazine and Grand Designs Magazine – both of which are packed full of inspiring projects and news.
The brothers were born in the French town of Brittany in 1971 (Ronan) and 1976 (Erwan) and began designing together in the late 1990s. Since then, they have designed for an impressive list of manufacturers, including Kartell, Flos, Magis, Vitra and Nani Marquina among many others.
The brothers’ careers really began to take off in 1997 when they exhibited at Salon du Meuble in Paris with their Disintegrated Kitchen design – a flexible kitchen solution for modern homes. The brothers’ talent was spotted by Giulio Cappellini - owner of Italian design firm Cappellini – who swiftly gave the brothers their first industrial design projects.
After this initial breakthrough in product design, the brothers began experimenting with spatial design. Their first project came in the form of an exhibition space for Issey Miyake’s new collection of A-Poc clothes in Paris.
In 2002 the brothers met with the chairman of Vitra, Rolf Fehlbaum, and their careers really began to escalate. A flurry of designs for the iconic brand emerged in the ensuing years, including the Alcove Sofa, the Slow Chair, the Vegetal Chair and Corniches – all of which are now household names.
Their time working with Vitra really heightened the brothers’ profile and many collaborations came along after this. In 2004, the Bouroullec’s worked with Magis where they designed two complete furniture collections – the Striped and Steelwood collections – as well as a number of individual items.
In 2009 the brothers embarked on a creative project with Kvadrat called Clouds. Clouds was a modular system of small triangular textiles that lay somewhere between furniture, curtains and installation. Pushing the boundaries of modern design, this project again opened new doors for the brothers’ flourishing careers.
In 2011 the Bouroullec’s continued their experiments in textiles and designed the Losanges Rug for Nani Marquina – a hand crafted, hand spun and beautifully detailed woolen rug.
2011 also marked the brothers’ presentation of the Flos Piani Lamps at Euroluce in Milan. Again, these instantly became classic designs and have since been produced in a plethora of finishes and sizes.
Most recently, the brothers have been working with Danish manufacturers Hay on the Copenhague furniture collection. Designed for the University of Copenhagen, the Copenhague collection features a series of practical items that have been designed to have a domestic feel, whilst still being able to be produced for the contract market. The collection includes a chair, stool, table and desk which all come in a selection of colours and finishes.
The varied and creative work of the design duo has really struck a chord with the design community and we can’t wait to see what’s next!
Last week saw the return of the most important furniture fair in the world, ‘iSaloni’ in Milan.
Showcasing the biggest furniture and lighting brands during the 52nd installment, over 2,500 brands were on show across 24 halls, as well as numerous events taking place outside the fair in central Milan. It is a true feast for the senses and a comfortable shoe is highly recommended!
We had the pleasure to visit over three days and here are our highlights.
Day one was spent at the fair itself. It was great to see Knoll, Cassina, Cappellini and Poltrona Frau back at the fair and their stands and new products did not disappoint. Displaying design classics alongside brand new designs, there was a real buzz surrounding these long-standing iconic brands.
The Poltrona Frau stand exuded elegant opulence and the smell of high-quality premium leather was divine. The craftsmanship is hard to ignore and their new products - the Mamy Blue Lounge Chair and Antohn Sofa (designed by Jean-Marie Massaud) - were firm favourites.
Vitra launched a variety of product extensions and this year colour was the key theme. From Hang it All’s in ice cream shades, to the classic Eames Storage Unit’s (ESUs) in fresh autumnal tones (chosen by Dutch designed Hella Jongerius), to the Prouve Standard Chair in pale yellow (citron) and dark grey (which really worked), colour was abundant.
On the flip side they launched the Eames Lounge Chair in a deep black version, a very chic and aesthetic tweak to the original design, along with new bases for the Eames side chairs in dark maple, black maple and powder coated basic dark.
Kartell’s stand was once again all singing and dancing! The stand depicted a Galleria and products worthy of note are the new Clap Armchair designed by Patricia Urquiola and their move into bathroom design with the launch of their collaboration with Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, ‘Kartell by Laufen’.
The collection includes a mirror, a container unit with shelves, a stool/occasional table, a lamp, wall shelves and a towel holder made of various colours of PMMA.
Monochrome with hints of primary colour was the theme at Artek, who do this look so well. The re-issued LUKKI range designed in the 1950s by IImari Tapiovaara makes a welcome comeback.
Day two was all about central Milan and ‘Fuori Salone’ what lies outside of the fairground and what a perfect day to wander the streets visiting the satellite events.
We kicked off at MOST (hosted at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia) for a traditional British breakfast and a private presentation by Tom Dixon of his new ‘Rough & Smooth’ collection.
The ‘Rough & Smooth’ collection is a story of opposites, materials, honesty and textures. Inspired by the two sides of the British character the collection embodies uniqueness. The Gem range includes furniture, lighting and accessories and each piece is unique with a textural finish inspired by the natural world.
The Cell family compliments their popular Etch collection and continues Tom’s fasciniation into refined precsicion engineering, manufacturing and low energy lighting.
The smooth, handblown glass Flask pendant offers diffused lighting suitable for any environment and looks stunning hung in small groups.
Other products launched include MASS, Bell, Spun, Fan and a range of new ECLECTIC accessories (coming online soon).
MOST had a lot to offer visitors and it was great to see new and emerging brands on show. Tom’s collaboration with Adidas to design a travelling, ‘Capsule’ fashion collection was fun, unique and, at the same time, intriguing.
After a quick metro ride we ended up in the Brera design district of Milan to see what EDIT by Design Junction had to offer. Housed in the recently rennovated La Pelota venue, it was great to see award-winning British brand Modus taking centre stage, who’s new Geta Sofa by Arik Levy was a joy to discover.
It was an absolute pleasure to meet Guillane Kerschbaimer, one half of sister duo behind Atelier Areti, who’s products are lovingly hand made with quality and sustainability in mind.
Ercol showcased fresh, new, contemporary designs including the gorgeous walnut and oak Svelto sideboard.
A short walk led us to the traditional Lee Broom Crystal Bulb Shop for a refreshing change of pace as well as scenery. The twists on the Crystal Bulb (launched last year) were fabulous and included a frosted version, table lamp and chandelier, which we know you’ll all love.
The stand-out product for us this year has to be the new Ro Chair designed by Jaime Hayon for Republic of Fritz Hansen. Ro (meaning tranqulity in Danish) is a style icon in the making and was inspired by the thought of creating tranquility in a fast-paced urban environment and exudes unpretentious glamour.
Jaime Hayon reflects “We put a great deal of effort into the form of the chair, which is inspired by the human body. We wanted a chair that was comfortable as well as beautiful. My goal was to create a slim and elegant chair that encourages reflections and comfort.”
The Ro Chair is available in nine carefully selected designer colours, “colour being the most important thing you can do right now in terms of communication” says Jaime, and will be released in September 2013.
Dinner took place at Savini, a favourite haunt for the world’s celebrities since the turn of the century due to it’s location close to the Manzoni theatre, across from the Duomo and in the oldest shopping mall in Italy ‘Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II’.
Dessert came in the form of an ‘Unexpected Welcome’ by Moooi in the vibrant and bustling Tortona district. Our visit coinsided with the Frame Moooi Award 2013 event and security was tight. After some serious hustle and bustle and a fair bit of queuing we entered the 1.700m2 location which was transformed into a series of stylish living spaces inhabitated by a number of colourful and suggestive mannequins! It was great to see yet more colour here and the French house music helped to set the tone and atmosphere.
Following a well-needed sleep we started our final day back at the fair in Rho, with the morning focus being all about lighting at Euroluce.
Foscarini Launched four brand new products as well as LED versions of their four best sellers Twiggy, Tress, Caboche and Big Bang. The Yoko Table Lamp designed by Norwegian designers Anderssen & Voll is reminiscent of a bubble about to burst over a light source; it is simple with a clear design focus on both form and function.
Diesel with Foscarini continued to drive forward its rock and roll theme launching Crash and Bell, a pair of suspension lamps. Crash is inspired by the top of a drum, and Bell, the percussion.
Oluce impressed us this year with a number of exciting new products, of note is the re-issued Zanuso 275 Table Lamp originally designed in 1963, and the Empty Suspension Light which gives both direct and reflected light through its light source and cleverly faceted interal surface.
Soft architecture and technology was the focus at Flos and the new table lamp ‘Volt’ designed by Rodolfo Dordoni summed this up brilliantly. Rodolfo has focused on the LED heat source and the way in which it is cooled by transporting distilled water along a central tube, which he made the focal point of this fascinating table lamp with an almost art deco feel.
We finished our final day in Hall 16 and we had a lot to fit in!
Colourful, vibrant and fun are the three key words to sum up Moroso’s optimistic and warm offering. The Hood Lounge Chair by Patricia Urquiola was welcoming as were the bright fluro shades on the Wood Bikini Chairs.
Relaxed sophistication with a Scandinavian edge was the theme at Arper and with a distinct move towards the family-friendly home. Their new children’s Saya Chair was super cute.
Nordic brand Muuto continued to grow their collection with the launch of the new Oslo Sofa & Ottoman – which is slim, simple, curvy and very comfortable with a forgiving seating position and springy seat.
Sancal launched the ‘tierra’ collection with a re-focus on the home environment and family-friendly designs in pretty shades of pink, grey, pale blue and a snip of apricot. The Tecno Sofa by Rafa Garcia is chic, practical (with removeable zipped covers), extremley comfortable and hides a wireless electronic system that enables you to move the seating position to exactly your liking.
Our time in Milan this year was full and hectic but thoroughly enjoyable and we look forward to bringing you all the latest news from our next design event ‘Clerkenwell Design Week’ in May – stay tuned!
To call it a grand affair would be somewhat of an understatement. Salone is the veritable design mecca, a high society event replete with the great and the good from all quarters of what is undoubtedly an eclectic design world.
This year’s Salone theme is Milan, interiors of tomorrow. Design is ubiquitous, a bridge that links past, present and future. It is a powerful mediator between making something better or making it worse. As such, designers with a considered approach to design problems, those who think about design’s true potential and meaning, are necessary protagonists and leading lights in a densely populated field. Their vision can greatly enhance the lives of future generations, because they think not only about today, but also about tomorrow.
&Tradition Mayor Sofa. Image via Nest. ‘Mayor’ was created in 1939 for Søllerød City Hall, Denmark, by Arne Jacobsen and Flemming Lassen. Its reissue by &Tradition won the award for ‘Best Reissue” at the Wallpaper* Design Awards, 2013.
If we are to consider the interiors of tomorrow, then we must think about design as being virtuous or good. In advocating for design that is good, the acclaimed industrial designer, Dieter Rams, championed a number of good design principles. For example, good design should be innovative, aesthetic, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting and as little design as possible. Perhaps within our current economic climate, people are thinking harder about what actually matters to them. In design this can equate to a rejuvenated appreciation for contemporary products, interiors and architecture that are designed with the highest levels of craftsmanship, exude quality and are enduringly modern. Moreover, many people want to have an emotional connection with design. With an eye on the future, they are firmly against ‘throwawayism’, choosing objects that are made with natural materials and built to last.
Prouvé RAW Special Edition Fauteuil Direction. Image via Nest. Vitra’s classic design by the innovative French designer Jean Prouvé has been reinterpreted in a modern version by G-Star RAW.
A great number of companies and designers who embody the quintessence of good design are directly, or indirectly, working to bring about a change in societal attitudes to design. They are concerned with designs that are beautifully crafted, long lasting and timeless in their execution. This is true of companies such as Gubi, Vipp, Vitra, Republic of Fritz Hansen and Carl Hansen & Søn, to name but a few. Television and film have a role to play too. Many of us have fallen head over heels for that modernist tour de force that is Mad Men. It may be a time-capsule of 1960s Americana, but much of its style remains relevant today and will continue to be relevant far into the future.
If Milan’s theme is interiors of tomorrow, then two interior spaces that people will find particularly pertinent in this regard are the home and the office. But what of their utility and function? It is fair to posit the idea that we have reached a tipping point in how we conduct our daily live-work balance. Where it may once have been a rarity to work at home, it is now becoming more and more common practice. This is especially true where we see a rise in the number of small businesses, freelance working and those magnanimous employers who are relaxing the strict protocol of employees being present in the office from Monday to Friday. The question then arises - if the home is the new office, how do we structure this environment? And conversely, as our expectations of better working environs increase, how do we improve bland and often unwelcoming office surroundings?
Carl Hansen CH110 Desk. Image via Nest. Designed by Hans J. Wegner.
Ideally, design should be less autocratic than is often the case. For example, where offices are designed so that employees will work in a specific way or where homes are built so that people will live in a prescribed manner. Architects, planners and designers have the aptitude to think about people’s needs and their likely changes in behaviour as we progress further into the 21st century. As such, design is a powerful force for betterment.
At this year’s Salone, French Architect Jean Nouvell is curating an exhibition of office spaces. He believes that frequently, “our apartments make better places to work [and that] often it is better to live in the space designed to be an office” (Dezeen). Nouvell considers a generality of solutions in design as being bad for everyone involved. Perhaps most interestingly, Nouvell proposes that furniture companies should have less of a divergence between domestic and commercial products; that furniture is for both office and home. (Dezeen)
Bridging the divide between the home and office, social working or shared working spaces are becoming more sought-after by entrepreneurs and freelancers. Eschewing the simple staid office plan, these environments are increasingly looking to design in order to add an innovative wow factor. Communal work spaces accommodate an array of working situations: from small desks for solo workers to larger tables for teams and informal meetings; lounge areas to interact, network and chat, and designated private meeting spaces. People are able to move around and typically no one has a fixed abode. Design furnishings and lighting add to the overall creative vision and help bolster expression, passion and professionalism.
When working from home, the delineation of an office space is important - or is it? Some of us may choose to have a desk in a dedicated room that is our study or office. Others may choose to set up shop at the dining room table, camping out until the kids come home from school or it’s time to cook dinner. And there are some who may grab their MacBook, curl up on the sofa and begin writing that article or report. Given the correct tools and enough design savvy, it is of course feasible that people are able to create a home working environment that suits their own particular manner. It is certainly something that many of us choose to consider when thinking about the work that we do.
Milan’s insights and revelations about the interiors of tomorrow will doubtlessly effervesce during the festival, taking shape in both form and conversation, helping to define and influence the future state of design. But as already expressed, design is ubiquitous; its past is a link to its future. The interiors of tomorrow may not be so dramatically different to the good interiors of yesterday or today, but merely refined and improved upon versions.
Gerard McGuickin is a freelance design writer and blogger for his creative design bureau, Walnut Grey Design.
As you read this we will be on our way to the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Italy, also known as the Milan Furniture Fair – Europe’s largest design event.
Milan is known internationally as the place to be for the latest design news and product releases from the largest furniture and lighting brands. It is an exciting and insightful event and one that is certainly not to be missed.
Over the last few weeks we’ve kept our ear to the ground and have made a hit list of this year’s ‘must-see’ events and shows. There’s a lot happening in a just a few days but we hope to fit it all in. Continue reading to see where we’ll be and what we’ll be checking out.
As well as the traditional fair, Milan often has events running alongside the exhibition. This year the two events we hope to visit are MOST and EDIT.
MOST, held at Milan’s Museum of Science and Technology, is an event arranged by Tom Dixon. It showcases the latest collections and products from the brand, as well as displaying new pieces from numerous other designers. It aims to be a creative hub for the fair by promoting a forward-thinking culture. They aim to attract visitors from all disciplines, including retailers and the media.
EDIT, presented by Design Junction, is a carefully curated exhibition, featuring a select group of brands. Alongside displays from world-renowned names, there will also be live workshops, installations and pop-up eateries. Brands exhibiting include Ercol, Modus, Innermost and Areti, among many others. Edit will take place in the heart of the Brera district in Milan.
Because of Milan’s reputation for design, many major brands’ showrooms are based there - we hope to be popping into a few of these while we are in the city. Top of our list is Republic of Fritz Hansen showroom located on Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi 77 in the heart of Milan, where Jaime Hayon’s new ‘Ro’ chair will be featured.
We are also hoping to pop into the Moooi showroom – where the winner of the Frame Moooi Award for 2013 will be announced.
Within the actual fairground at Rho, there are numerous halls with dozens of exhibitors inside each space. This year Hall 20 will be a hive of activity as many of the big-name brands are showing there. On our list is Knoll (stand C01 / D02), Vitra (stand C05 / D04), Cassina (stand D01 / E06), Magis (stand C15 / D12), Artek (stand C08) and Kartell (stand A15 / B14) among many others. We’ve heard that there will be new releases from the following brands so we will be making the effort to see all these stands as well. These include Zeitraum (Hall 7 stand L14), Punt (Hall 10 stand C20), BD Barcelona (Hall 16 stand F32), Nanimarquina (Hall 16 stand E33) and E15 (Hall 16 stand E53). Remember to keep your eyes glued to our social media sites to see the new items as they are revealed!
To top the fair off, 2013 is the year of Euroluce - the international lighting sector exhibition. At the top of our ‘must-see’ list are Flos (Hall 13 stand C09 / D18) and Foscarini (Hall 11 stand A19 / B18 – A29 / B24).
It’s going to be a great event and we’re looking forward to sourcing some new products and designs. Follow us at the fair via our social media channels, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and keep your eyes peeled for some live updates.
Also, to tie-in with the exhibition, Gerard McGuickin from Walnut Grey Design, will be guest blogging for us on Wednesday to talk about ‘The Interiors of Tomorrow’ – check back here on Wednesday to see the full post.
To coincide with the release of our Sofa Buying Guide, we have put our heads together and chosen our top ten sofas.
Here at Nest we know that purchasing a sofa is one of the biggest investments you will make for your home, so it needs to be right. To help you choose the right model for you, we have put together a handy guide that talks you through some of the main factors to consider when making your choice. We take a look at size, fabric, filling and how to look after your item among many other factors. So if you are on the lookout for a new suite, take a few moments to have a look through our guide.
To mark the release of our guide, the team at Nest has chosen their all-time favourite sofas. Here are our top ten.
The Vitra XS Polder Sofa is a cool, classy design from Hella Jongerius. Its unusual configuration is in fact highly practical, allowing for a relaxed lifestyle. It is available with either a left-hand or right-hand armrest and comes in green or red. Also available in an XL version.
The recently re-released Mayor sofa from Arne Jacobsen has won all our hearts in the Nest office. Its elegant wooden base and curved, studded back really make this sofa stand out. It is available in a selection of colours, but it is the golden yellow that gets our vote.
The Muuto Rest has a relaxed and informal feel, whilst still looking smart and elegant. It can be upholstered in a choice of Kvadrat fabrics – all of which are hardwearing and soft to touch.
The Normann Copenhagen Onkel (the Danish word for Uncle), is a sofa that combines the simplicity of modern forms with the soft curves of the pre-50s era. It has a lacquered wooden frame and is upholstered in Gabriel fabrics.
The classic mid-century Studio Couch was first introduced in the 1950s by Lucian Ercolani, the founder of Ercol. It is available either with or without back cushions and comes in a large choice of woods.
The SCP Oscar Sofa is a relatively new addition to our collection. It was designed by British designer Matthew Hilton and is made in the UK using sustainable materials.
The Fredericia Haiku Sofa is an expressive and unique design from Danish/Italian design duo GamFratesi. Its playful curves and contrasting colours really set this piece apart from many other sofa designs.
Since its release in 2011, the Favn Sofa from Jaime Hayon, has constantly been in our top ten sofas. It has a beautiful and fluid shape and comes in a selection of bold, statement colours, making this a real stand-out piece.
Known for their exceptional quality and craftsmanship, Poltrona Frau’s collection of leather sofas really do not disappoint. The Kennedee Three Seater Sofa incorporates a modern quilting of the back cushions and has a beech wood frame with steel feet. It is available in a collection of colours from white (Polare) to red (Cremisi).