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Afternoon tea will never be the same again with this elegantly engineered tea set from Emma Louise Payne. Inspired by the days when English ladies would place their teaspoons in specific positions to indicate if they needed a refill, were still drinking or had finished, the tea set stands upright when full and gently tips back when empty, wordlessly telling the host a top up is required. Victorian etiquette, modern design- simply brilliant.

Amy, Style Intern

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 Sophie Smallhorn is a London based artist who’s work sits somewhere between art and design. Known for the strong use of colour within her work and her specific colour palettes, Sophie was commissioned to create a very special work for the Olympics that involved wrapping the gargantuan Olympic stadium in a riot of colour. Inspired by the colours associated with the Olympic rings and the flags of the 204 countries participating, Sophie has transformed the monochrome structure into a dynamic piece of architecture. Here she tells us about her work, inspirations, and what it was like working on such a large scale project.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I made furniture at college and was definitely on the design path but the sculptural pieces started to evolve initially made from offcuts from the furniture projects. I certainly didn’t set out to be an artist but it’s a very good place to be now.

Was colour something you were always fascinated by?
My mum was a textile designer so I was brought up with quite a lot of colour around and ever since college my work has centered around colour. I like the endless possibilities of it and the idea that you can make a seemingly ‘difficult’ colour work within a piece; In fact it’s essential to work with the tricky colours otherwise a composition can just be too safe.

What are you most proud of in your work?
I am very proud of the Olympic project because of the scale and idea that the colour will influence the way in which visitors will interact with the building. Apart from that I just feel proud and very lucky to be working and making a living from creating things.

Which designer or artist do you admire most for their colour sensibility?
I think Sauerbruch + Hutton architects have created some amazing buildings using colour ingeniously. And Japanese textile designer Mina Perhonen whose books I dip into often

Where would you like to apply your work next? 
I am currently working on a glass canopy which will be installed in Victoria in London. It uses glass enamel screen printed colours and I hope will create a beautiful covered public space. I am also starting out on a commission to make a large hanging mobile which I am particularly excited about.

What was the biggest challenge about the Olympic project?
The biggest challenge was dealing with the politics involved in this type of project. One of the best parts was watching the stadium being built and working with Populous the architects because they allowed me a lot of freedom to play.

See more of Sophie’s work here.

We love a bit of impractical nail art, especially when it involves flocking. With her nails newly flocked photographer Alice Bartlett visited a model shop where she found people tiny enough to populate her garden like fingertips; life looks so simple on such a small patch of grass… although it’ll be chaos when it’s time to do the washing up.

Amy, Style Intern

I love Dolce & Gabbana, so their first ever couture collection, which recently debuted in Sicily was something of a treat. Though there were many amazing and intricate gowns, oh how I lusted after this lovely frock with it’s delicate hand painted blooms. See this and some of the rest of the collection here.

Then, while browsing other generally wonderful stuff over at AnOther, I came across this beauteousness.  Flowers! In ice cubes! How pretty are they? This would be just the thing to sip while wearing the dream dress.

So maybe D&G couture is a bit out of my league budget wise, but if I make the ice cubes (essentially free) I could still sip the drink while admiring this beautiful, breezy curtain by our friends over at Bluebellgray.  A decidedly more affordable option.

Claudia, Features Editor

 

Forever dismissing our ideas of beige cardigan wearing grannies towing tartan shopping trollies along the high street, these fashionistas are giving the young guns of the fashion world a run for their money. We could all learn a thing or two about style from these utterly fabulous women snapped by Ari Seth Cohen for his blog Advanced Style, which has now been published into a glossy coffee table book. Seriously addictive stuff.

Kate, Editorial Assistant

 

We’re loving Charlie Turner‘s timely clock designs – they’re refined, beautiful timepieces with a contemporary twist.

 

The sculptural Helix echoes the Cornish waves and coastline, where Charlie hand-crafts his clocks…

The Helix Clock by Charlie Turner Design

While the Red Classic is more of a vibrant statement…

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Check out his other designs: they’re bang up to the minute. 

Jo, sub-editor

I follow photographer Kevin Russ on Instagram (turns out so does Life.Style.etc favourite Miss Moss) and am transported on a daily basis by his atmospheric shots. The most surprising thing about these images is that they’re taken with an iPhone. They make me want to pack a car and spend the next year driving round America. Musn’t forget the charger, though.

Mo, deputy chief sub-editor

If you’ve been looking for a project for one of the many rainy days lately, why not get inspired by this clever reinterpretation of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night? Remember, patience is a virtue…..

Kate, Editorial Assistant

Over the next few weeks, all eyes will be on the architectural wonders of the East End’s Olympic Park. But that’s not where all the interest lies. Less than a mile from the action, local Hackney artist Alex Chinneck has found true beauty in the broken factory windows of an industrial wasteland and staged an artistic ‘intervention’ to transform a former cannabis factory into an amazing public art project. 

Chinneck spent a gruelling four months removing the detritus of its former life – bags of soil, wiring, grow bags, water tanks, plant pots and heat lamps.

After clearing the site, Chinneck duplicated one of the smashed panes 312 times, then used it to replace each original factory window.

 

“There is something mesmerising about the way light catches a broken window pane, not only is the glass shattered but so is the reflection,” says Chinneck.

 

Fast becoming a ‘Hackney landmark’, the former factory, which is on the corner of Mare Street and Tudor Road, will soon be demolished, the work disappearing with it. So if you can’t make it to the 100 metres…

Title: Telling the Truth Through False Teeth

Artist: Alex Chinneck in association with Sumarria Lunn Gallery

Location: corner of Mare Street and Tudor Road, Hackney, E9 7FE

Installation on view: now until November 2012



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Winter

Whether it’s the primrose tufts and periwinkle trails of Spring that appeal, or it’s the Autumn season of mists and mellow fruitfulness that you long for – all Four Seasons are represented until the 16th September at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in South London.

These giant 15-foot high fibre-glass sculptures by American artist Philip Haas are based upon the artworks of 16th-century Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who painted portraits composed of various objects.

Go enjoy Summer. Well, at least in some form.

Bethan, News & Travel Editor

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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We’re always looking for inspiring houses, full of clever design tricks, to feature in Livingetc. If you think your home is what we’re after, email pictures to our houses editor, mary_weaver@ipcmedia.com.