You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2011.

Matthew Rose is an American artist based in Paris, as his site so succinctly says. We love collage at Livingetc. And he has a new show starting on September 1 at Storie in Paris. Which we hope to pop into when we’re in town for Maison.


We featured the chandelier (above) in the magazine a few years ago, but we have been meaning to blog this wall light and table lamp for ages. Nice work, Atelier Areti.

Sebastian Cox (right) and Liam Treanor are We Have Furniture, and they do, look! And, it is beautiful furniture, which is good for us types who love that sort of thing. Their work is quite different (Liam’s is the top two images, Sebastian’s afterwards), but they share a passion for wood, design, craftsmanship and pastry (that’s just Liam, actually). Our kind of guys. They’re showing at this year’s Tent London, but until then, let’s meet them…

When did you know that you wanted to design? (SC) I suppose before I knew what design was. I wanted to be an inventor from a very young age, and made things from anything I could find. (LT) At cabinet making college I studied the great Marcel Breuer. His work made me realise there is so much more to a successful product than pretty joints and extravagant decoration.

What are you most proud of in your work? (SC) I’m most proud of my ethos of design through making. When I develop a new product I rarely sit at a computer designing on CAD. I do use CAD for working our scale and proportions, but most of the details and working elements I develop in the workshop through trial and error. I believe that having this engagement with making produces stronger pieces. (LT) Embodying everything I have found influential in design; but in a unique and fresh style.

What kind of material do you think has great possibilities? (SC) I think that coppiced hazel has so much potential. I’ve been working with it for a couple of years and I’d love to see it used more widely. (LT) I’m going to go for wood as a whole; I don’t really like moving away from it. It’s the texture it holds and patina it gains, other materials just can’t compare.

Which product would you redesign if you could? (SC) I’d probably re-design the M25. It’s one of the UK’s biggest headaches. (LT) I would like to design a 21st century Cona coffee maker, I wonder if I could redesign it with similar success to what Abram Games achieved when it was his job to do so.

Read the rest of this entry »

I really wanted to put these amazing, amazing A-Shade pendant lights on the November news pages of Livingetc, but alas, the whole shipping thing is a bit tricky. They’re made by New York studio Matter. Each copper-plated spun metal shade is suspended on leather rope, but my favourite thing about them is that the top one is HUGE. It has a 71cm diameter. If you live over the Pond, can you really imagine a better light to hang quite low over a round dining table? Exactly.

This amazing collection by Missoni for Target is only available in America. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Millie and Charlie (pictured) set up The Greedy Book to make and share lists of all the things they currently covet. We’ve been using it for compiling products for our shoots but it has also revolutionised our gift giving (and receiving!) Add this ingenious little website to your bookmarks and every time you come across something that takes your fancy you can add it to your list. Think of it as a treasure chest to hoard your greediest desires so next time someone asks ‘what would you like for your birthday?” you’re greedily prepared!

This weekend I’m day tripping with Toast to the Wilderness festival on the Cornbury Estate, Oxfordshire. The festival has been dubbed as a celebration of ‘arts and outdoors’ combining music, food, theatre, literary debate and outdoor pursuits so I’m in for a cultural one and Toast have joined in with a variety of events that sound right up my street!

The toast ‘spa’ gives me an excuse to swim in the wild lakes (although I’m frightened of fish!) and mooch about in the wood fired oak hot tubs and sauna. Finally, I’m hoping I’ll end up with a glass of my favourite tipple, wrapped up in a Toast hammam towel and nestled on a couple of cosy Reindeer rugs! (see above)

If the weather writes off the above you’ll find me in the Banqueting tent, enjoying a feast put on by Sam and Sam Clark from London’s famous Moro restaurant and Skye Gyngell of Petersham Nurseries Café. If you needed any more persuasion, a few of the musical highlights include Antony and the Johnsons, Mercury Rev, Laura Marling and Daniel Johnston .. Smug?… me?… no!

If you  do fancy any of the above, get in there quick as it’s all over on Sunday!

Milan-born designer Rodolfo Dordoni is a very busy man. Among others, he has designed with – deep breath – Vistosi, Barovier & Toso, Moroso, Foscarini, Brosis, Cidue, Ferlea, Halifax, Imel, Tisettanta, Artemide, De Sede, Driade, Crasseveig. Montina, Acerbis, Arteluce, Casakit, Sarila, Venini, Flos, Lema, FontanaArte, Schopenhauer, Minotti, Flou, Molteni, Jab and Dornbracht. You can see his beautiful new Set kitchen for Molteni&C Dada in the September issue of Livingetc, but let’s meet the man himself…

What was your first experience of ‘design’? My first experience of design was as 13 year old trying to decide what kind of secondary school I would attend. The natural choice for me was to go to design school, the Academy of Brera in Milan.

When did you realize that this could be your life and career? At 13 I didn’t know what a designer was. However when I went on to study architecture, the option became apparent because all designers were architects. All I wanted to do was draw.

Were you an academic or rule-breaking student? I was a real rule-breaker at secondary school but once I went on to study architecture I loved drawing so much that it consumed me. I wanted to create beautiful art.

You studied architecture, how does this practice influence your product design work? My architecture study is a reference, its character that influences me most.

Which design movement do you most associate with? I identify most with the rationalist movement. This is a period where the relationship between project and technology were really connected. Now concept leads projects and is more influential.

How can people recognize a Rodolfo Dordoni design? I try to do something that is consistent. I like to pay attention to detail and quality. I produce quire design. It is discreet. I also like to imprint my sense of proportion onto my products Read the rest of this entry »

There’s a somewhat frustrating trend happening in the hotel world these days. To draw crowds, more and more hotels are relying on peripherals — espresso bars, pop-up shops, gastropubs. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with good coffee or a happening bar scene, but sometimes hotels lose their focus on the rooms themselves — in theory, the backbone of the business. And this is a shame. To stay in a well-designed hotel room is a treat. So what makes for a thoughtful design? My preferences tend towards the more minimalist end of the spectrum, perhaps from having lived in Asia for so many years. But really it’s the feeling of openness that I am addicted to. It’s an invitation to relax. And that’s an invitation I can’t turn down. Here are three hotels whose rooms I’ve found truly exceptional…

The PuLi, Shanghai

The PuLi in Shanghai is an example of the most intelligent kind of interior design. For an urban hotel to create such a feeling of spaciousness within a relatively small space is quite a feat. First of all, when you walk in, there’s a lattice-like screen, which creates a kind of foyer. This helps the room feel more like a studio apartment that just your standard hotel room. Then, the bedroom and bathroom are divided, just barely, by two sliding partitions that can be tucked into a single column of solid wall. So you can choose to leave the screens open and it feels quite expansive. The TV, which hangs on this center column, kind of just floats. It’s nice to be able to watch television without staring at an expanse of blank wall. I found this to be a very clever design trick.

Another thing I love about the PuLi is that beneath the wall-to-wall window facing JinAn Park, there’s a daybed, and I’m quite a sucker for a good daybed. In the bathroom, you have a similar layout, with the bathtub is right beneath the window too. So there are plenty of places to be horizontal and still take in the excellent views of the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Find more beautifully letterpressed words of wisdom from Huw Griffith and Tessa Nicholson at  Clerk Ink Well.

As the team behind Livingetc, the UK’s leading magazine for modern interiors, we’re always out and about, scouting for inspiration. And when we see something that makes our design minds flutter with joy, we’ll share it with you here. To purchase the digital version of the magazine, click here.

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