Friday, 30 April 2010

Exciting things afoot...

...will keep you updated...

Friday, 23 April 2010

Where I want to live this week...


= heavenly!

If I could mix Olivier Gagniere's Parisian apartment.....with the Ritz Carlton residences in Toronto...I'd move in tomorrow. The colours are divine, and the mix of furniture (albeit polar opposites) are to die for.

Olivier Gagniere's apartment photographed by Simon Upton for Elle Decor, Ritz Carlton residences by Munge Leung.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Edition 20

Edition 20 - a new site that displays 20th-century design classics from the world of furniture and interiors which are still being produced - was launched over Easter this year after 12 long months of hard, but passionate, work by Munich based Robert Stephan.

The site offers a comprehensive and free research platform for architects, private property owners, interior designers and all other aficionados of classic design. Furniture and design pieces can by searched for by Theme, Designer, Style, or Product Group, making it a fast and fun way to search for design classics.

Buffet bar by Willy Rizzo

Five questions put to Robert Stephan:

What is it that makes 20th-century design classics so fascinating?
RS: Essentially, 20th-century design classics are conceptually timeless. The year in which a piece was created may lie a decade back or – in the odd case – a century or more, and still such a classic retains its modern appeal! Those of us who resist the temptation of short-lived fads and instead opt for design classics are effectively choosing the collector’s items of tomorrow.

Serge Mouille ceiling lamp

Why was edition20’s focus placed on design classics still in production and not simply on vintage designs in general?
RS: Unfortunately, a great may vintage designs are extremely hard to locate, having originally been produced only as limited editions. And if one does show up at an auction, then it often goes for an outrageous price to some aficionado prepared to pay anything for it. Design classics, on the other hand, which are still (or once again) being produced by authorized premium vendors, continue to meet the standards of workmanship demanded of them by their original creators. And at a reasonable price, too! To illustrate the point – in 2005, Christie’s auctioned off a 1949 Carlo Molina table for a then-record $3.8 million. An almost identical piece, however, can be had today from the Italian manufacturers Zanotta, who have re-edited it under licence. This means you can secure the same design – free of signs of wear and tear – produced to the highest standards by premium vendors and even choosing the colour of the table base yourself – and all at a fraction of the auction house price.

Serpentine sofa by Vladimir Kagan

Why doesn’t edition20 feature any design classic copies? Wouldn’t these be much more affordable?
RS: The reason is clear – in more than ten years, I have yet to come across a copy which comes anywhere near matching the formal and functional demands placed on the original creation. What might at first glance appear a fair price to the purchaser is anything but. Design classics produced under the original licence excel by virtue of their superior quality, durability and lasting value.

Fontana Arte lamp by Gio Ponti

How did the idea of edition20 come about?
RS: My work as an interior designer has given me first-hand practical experience of the comparative merits of interiors research platforms. While there are a number of perfectly decent on-line furniture catalogues, the researcher still has to wade through reams of indiscriminate data without any practical guidance or inspiration. Existing portals for design classics present a different problem – users are often disappointed to find that a large proportion of the items displayed are no longer available. So what was needed was a well-constructed and easy-to-use research platform for design classics which have recently become available. Which is what edition20 is.

Eileen Gray Bibendum chair

What do you want edition20 to achieve?
I want edition20 to become the first address anyone turns to for 20th-century design classics still in production, whether they’re looking for actual items or just information or inspiration. edition20 is there for both specialists and absolutely anyone else interested in the exciting world of design.

Ardea chair by Carlo Molino

Images all care of Edition20, and are just a tiny portion of the designs to be found on the site. Happy hunting!

Sunday, 18 April 2010


I don't think I've ever seen the Lane Crawford home store in Pacific Place so crowded as it was on Thursday night. Thursday night was of course the launch of the seasonal Monocle store, the first of the magazine's retail outlets in Asia. Being a fan of Tyler Brûlé from way back when he launched Wallpaper, it was hard to resist the invite. Sipping Veuve and listening to the tunes of the Japanese 'Immigrants Bossa Band', and a chance to meet the man himself, the evening was definitely one that will be tough to beat, in terms of store openings. The Lane Crawford pop-up store will stock Monocle's range of lifestyle goods from their own CD compilations, posters, notebooks, candles and other accessories. So if you're in Hong Kong, go check it out! More photos of the new store can be found on the Lane Crawford website. Above photo of Mr Brûlé taken by me (I already mentioned I was a groupie...).

Thursday, 8 April 2010


What do you get when Rem Koolhaas teams up with David Collins? You get a pretty freakin fabulous building, that's what you get! And it just so happens to be called MahaNakhon.

The MahaNakhon, when completed in 2013, will be an iconic landmark in the Bangkok skyline. The complex will consist of private residences by Ritz Carlton, a retail complex, and the new Bangkok Edition Hotel by Ian Schrager, operated by Marriott.

The MahaNakhon Pavillion, a stunning building in it's own right (seen below), will house the sales offices of the Ritz Carlton Residences and a Sales Pavillion which David Collins Studio has designed. I'm excited to be able to share these just released photos of thepavillion, which were designed in a style which Mr Collins himself has termed 'minimalist luxury'.

Collins has used his trademark touch of 20th century inspired glamour and a seriously cool colour palette that seems perfect for Bangkok. And I have to say, I'm so excited to see this style being adopted in Asia.

Stunning, no? I wonder what they'll do with the show flat once the residences have all sold? That chaise longue is drop dead gorgeous. I might need to consider moving to Bangkok...

Oh, and, as if all that wasn't already enough, there is a Dean & Deluca cafe in the ground floor. Seriously yummy. I wish they'd open one in Hong Kong!

All photographs by Richard Powers Photography, courtesy of David Collins Studio.

Friday, 2 April 2010

I'm back!

I had such a great time in Tokyo with friends, but it sure is nice to be home. Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions about what to do, but I actually lived in Tokyo for 3 years before I moved to Hong Kong, so was hardly a tourist. However, it had been 6 years since we left and this was my first time back since then. I'd forgotten much of the Japanese I knew, but that's what Sake is good for ;) While we did get a sneak peek of the cherry blossoms (see the photo below I took at Shinjuku Gyoen Park) the weather was much colder than normal for spring. The weather was warming up as we left so I have a feeling there will be lots of Hanami parties all over Tokyo this weekend. Apart from attending our lovely friend's wedding we made it to the Tsukiji fish market and managed to eat and drink way to much for the entire trip.

And somehow I found time for a little bit of shopping too....

Remember this post I did a few months ago about the lovely sculptural bottle openers by Oji Design? I had a few comments about where to purchase them. Well, I just couldn't resist, and picked up this little treasure. I got mine from Saya in Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi, however you can also order them online from the All About Style Store. I'm happy to report that it's as functional as it is beautiful.

Speaking of which, I don't remember if Japan has always had a great range of stylish desk accessories, but I saw so much great stationery and desk top items and wanted to buy them all! One particular brand I have posted about before, Craft Design Technology, has this super chic brass desk set which I couldn't find in store while I was there, but I did stock up on some of their pens and notebooks. Their new website has a list of stockists in Japan and elsewhere as well as a list of online stores.

Another brand whose desk accessories I fell in love with was Romeo which I saw at Ito-ya, also at Midtown. Their designs were super chic and looked really sturdy, especially this desk top pencil sharpener. Perfect for a designer or anyone else who draws a lot.

I will definitely be stocking up next time I go back, which hopefully will not be another 6 years away!