Sunday, 31 October 2010

Tom Dixon at Lane Crawford

Brit designer Tom Dixon made an appearance at Hong Kong's Lane Crawford on Thursday night to celebrate the launch of his new Industry collection and a book by the same name.

New products in the collection include 'Peg' a funky little solid wood, stackable café-style chair (seen below) and some wonderful new lighting designs using the Dixon signature metal- copper. I've always been such a fan of copper so its nice to see someone using it in a new way.

‘Industry’ the book is the first of a new series of self-published books by Tom Dixon. The series will highlight and discuss a particular topic, the first being a subject at the forefront of Dixon's mind - challenging society's accepted means of design and production. The paperback outlines a critique of various design production formulas followed by Tom’s own proposal for a Future Industry, and includes previously unpublished conversations between Dixon and design critic Laura Houseley. In the same spirit of his philosophies, this publishing venture cuts out the middle man by employing Print On Demand technology. The book doesn't appear to be available online yet, but I'm hoping the Tom Dixon website or Amazon will make it available to non British sounds like an interesting read!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse

I am so excited to be able to share with you a sneak peek of the as yet unpublished Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse. The iconic suite, which has been recently revitalized by Alexandra Champalimaud and her team, is 6,000 sq ft of pure luxury.

Ten times larger than the average apartment here in Hong Kong, the suite spans the entire eight floor of the building and consists of three large bedrooms, a living room with grand piano, a formal dining room able to seat 60 people, a kitchen, a two-story library, a billiard room, and an expansive terrace with sweeping views of San Francisco.

On top of all these amazing features, the suite is also home to an impressive art collection featuring original works by David Hockney and other contemporary artists as well as a grouping of exquisite Chinese porcelain vases.

If that's not enough to impress you, the world’s elite have called The Penthouse home. President John F. Kennedy, Prince Charles of Wales, Mikhail Gorbachev, King Hussein of Jordan, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands as well as Mick Jagger, Elton John, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Marlene Dietrich are just a few of the suite’s famous guests since it opened to the public.

About the spectacular suite, Champalimaud says “The Penthouse of The Fairmont San Francisco is like no other hotel suite. This mansion in the sky is a perfect example of the grand and richly detailed residences that were built for families of San Francisco’s great fortunes almost a century ago. In designing The Penthouse, we have inherited a rich history and the eclectic and sophisticated tastes of the suite’s original owners and those who lived here".

One of the three bedrooms in the Penthouse, this one is utterly beautiful. The colours are so fresh and calming, and the mix is classic and completely timeless.

The living room...I am absolutely in love with it! The colours are beautiful, as are the subtle details and the mix of antique and modern furnishings.

Can you imagine 60 of your closest friends in this room for a night? That's a recipe for one hell of a dinner party if you ask me!

The two-story circular library crowned by a rotunda where a celestial map is rendered in gold leaf against a sapphire sky. A secret passageway concealed behind bookshelves on the library’s second floor lends a sense of intrigue to the historic suite.

The billiard room covered in Persian tile from floor to vaulted ceiling. The Moorish details in this room were inspired by the original designer of the suite, Arthur Upham Pope, a pioneering scholar on Persian art and architecture.

The suite's terrace with enviable views of San Francisco. I certainly wouldn't mind sitting out here with a gin & tonic on a nice night! What do you think?

All images taken by Matthew Millman, care of Champalimaud design.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Just spotted...

these stunning leather products by German company Ludwig Schröder.

the Table lamp and 'Ring 3' bowl are stunning!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

based upon...

The group of artists and designers based in London known as based upon were established by the Abell twin brothers in 2004. Their studio specialises in unique finishes that are so beautiful and yet so discreet you've probably seen them without even realising. Take the David Collins designed Artesian Bar in London's Langham Hotel - those seriously delicious tabletops (below) and the beautiful bar front are both by based upon.

The based upon studio has developed a unique liquid metal and resin finish that has been hand-applied to a variety of surfaces, large scale artworks and installations, and bespoke and limited edition furniture, and are often commissioned by leading designers for some of the worlds finest homes, boats and commercial spaces.

I have been coveting their furniture for some time now....check out their "Plum Blossom" cabinet....isn't it amazing?

Creating bespoke items for a project obviously comes at a cost, so the folks at based upon have launched the Plane collection - a range of customisable tables that allows clients interested in creating their own unique piece to do so without the time and cost usually involved in commissioning a completely new form. The tables use an adaptable leg design allowing several different shapes, and with a range of surfaces to chose from, voilà! - you have yourself a semi-bespoke piece of furniture!

Working models at 1:10 scale showing tables from the new Plane Collection

One possibility from the selection of shapes and finishes available.

A stamp of authenticity.

One of the beautiful surface finishes available for the Plane Collection.

I would seriously love to work with these guys on a project at some time soon, and will be putting one of these tables on my Xmas wish list. In the meantime, I'll just have to be content with lusting after the images on their website.

All photos courtesy of based upon.

Monday, 11 October 2010

100% Design & Decorex

There's nothing quite like coming back from a holiday to a pile of work the size of Kilimanjaro...its about as fun as a slap in the face. There should be laws to enforce a slow ease back into a 5 day work week after a holiday! I had intended on doing this post sooner, but better late than never I guess...

London was, and is fantastic. Our 7 days away were refreshing and inspiring in many ways. For me particularly it was being in an international city with a great creative vibe and attending several world class events. My first ever visit to 100% Design and Decorex were certainly not disappointing. I'm sure I don't need to give a blow by blow account of the two days I spent with my jaw dragging along the ground, but I will give you my highlights and favorites.

100% Design to me was a typical European fair - all about quality, not quantity. I was completely inspired by all the new up-coming designers and the vast range of products on show. The one stand that has stuck in my mind might've been the smallest, but I'm totally in love with the surfaces created by Giles Miller. Each and every one of his surfaces on show was totally creative and unique - but I can't get past his cardboard butterflies (below).

Decorex was also completely inspiring. I'm totally digging the collections and new products that were shown by Fromental, Sommerville Scott, Collection Pierre, CTO Lighting, and especially the new coloured vellum tables by Julian Chichester (below).

After a morning of wandering around in what seemed like a haze - which I can only liken to a drug overdose - I spent too little time browsing at Potterton Books and then had the pleasure of hearing John Minshaw speak about his work. After an inspiring and thoroughly entertaining introduction to his career we were treated to images of his never before published home in the English countryside. Pure bliss. It's going to take a lot to top a day like that!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Mark Cunningham

OK, I'll take a quick break from the London lowdown to give thanks to Elle Decor for bringing a few much deserved glossy pages of Mark Cunningham's work to us. I won't post all the images in case you haven't seen the spread yet. To die for. All I can say is, I can't wait to see more from this talented designer, and what Russell does with the US Architectural Digest...

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Jaime Hayon per sé

One of the most exciting events for me during my recent trip to London was being able to attend the launch party of the new range of furniture from by Jaime Hayon.

I can safely say that each of the pieces in this collection is set to be a future design classic. The 'Arper' lounge chair (seen below in the showroom window) is the signature piece of the collection and its easy to see why. The Arper was inspired by the form of the traditional wing-back club chair and interpreted in a way that has Hayon's signature all over it.

My favorite piece might be the tambor table (second last image) - the super sexy shape and the combination of carrara marble and lacquered metal is so simple yet so chic. Its hard to choose though, each and every one of the designs are charming, and show a delightful selection of materials not normally seen in such a contemporary range - velvet and leather upholstery and lacquered metals in a range of subtle metallic colours teamed with classic marbles. Oh, and the colours, did I mention the colours? Divine.

If you're in London and you missed the launch, the collection will be in show in the pop-up showroom on Brompton Road until October 5th, so go check it out!