Decor8 is an inspiring design blog updated daily featuring everything from sofas to stationery along with product reviews, reader discounts, contests, interviews, store and home tours, do-it-yourself projects, and trade show coverage.
I'm currently looking for new furniture for my living room. My god, it's hard as hell because so many choices exist. What do you look for when shopping for sofas and chairs? What I really need and love about chairs and sofa has to be comfort combined with beauty. Beauty, for me, is when design is clean and simple and honest materials are used that make you just stop and say, "Wow". Are these traits also important to you?
So many that I've tested while perusing fairs and showrooms are gorgeous to look at BUT horribly uncomfortable to sit on for more than 10-15 minutes, especially unbearable for a cuddle session or to binge watch Netflix with your friends. I'm a sofa person, I rarely use our living room chairs, so I'm definitely more concerned about the comfort of our sofa over the chairs in the same space. Most of the time, our guests end up on large cushions laying on the floor or in the kitchen cooking with me anyway.
I'd like to share with you today a company in Sweden called Ire furniture, which is under the expert eye of Creative Director, Emma Olbers, who was asked to take on this important role in 2016. Because I love comfort and beauty, some of their chairs caught my and eye and definitely their sofas. Today, I'm going to share with you 5 of my personal favorites.
Designer and Creative Director at Ire, Emma Obers
In addition to Ire, designer Emma Olbers has a studio in Stockholm's Södermalm district where she has worked for nearly two decades designing everything with such honest simplicity while simultaneously honoring the environment. Everything she works on for Ire is produced in Sweden in compliance with Swedish laws for emissions.
Agnes, Agda, Eva and Estrid chairs created by Front, Broberg & Ridderstråle, Andreas Engesvik and Emma Olbers for Ire.
Ire also collaborates with other distinguished Scandinavian designers, for instance Andreas Engesvik, Jesper Ståhl, Broberg & Ridderstråle, Carl-Henrik Spak, Mattias Stenberg, Josefine Alpen, Ellinor Eriksson, and design duo Anna Lindgren and Sofia Lagerkvist of Front. In addition to Emma, Mattias Stenberg is another favorite of mine. Maybe you've heard of some of them and follow their work?
Now it's time to show you some of my favorite pieces from Ire. Here are my top 5:1. ESTRID
One design that launched recently at the Stockholm Furniture Fair was Estrid, designed by Emma Olbers for Ire. It's such a lovely armchair (shown above) that looks so warm and soft, with its inspiration found in mid century classic armchairs that perhaps your grandfather would sit on, only it was re-imagined with clean lines, a more modern simplicity, lovely silhouette and a touch of elegance.
Estrid is also beautifully handmade, the hallmark of all furniture from Ire, with natural materials and the best part, it's comfortable! The proportions are generous enough to tuck your legs beneath you when you read (like I do) or to invite your little one to share storytime with you (also something I love to do, spend moments with my son).
Estrid chair designed by Emma Obers for Ire
Agnes is an informal chair designed by Andreas Engesvik that was made to fit a variety of homes, from the urban residence to the beach cottage. The frame is very traditional, however the upholstery looks very relaxed and invites you to do the same.
Agnes designed by Andreas Engesvik for Ire
3. HANNA CHAIR
I love Hanna's white-pigmented and waxed oak frame silhouette and that you can choose your own fabric cover. I would definitely opt for something in a neutral quilted fabric, linen or vegetable-tanned leather.
Hanna designed by Emma Olbers
Ohhhh the Como... It's a sofa, but here's the end piece shown in this gorgeously dilapidated old home. It consists of four parts which you can combine, a corner part, 1-part without armrest, 1-part armrest left and 1-part armrest right. I love that you can also choose to order it with our without decorative stitching (shown in black below). I'd take that WITH, please.
Como designed by Mattias Stenberg for Ire
5. HANNA SOFA
I'd love the Hanna sofa for a guest bedroom or a sitting room. Again, that white-pigmented oak frame steals the show for me.
Hanna sofa by Emma Olbers
I love their use of honest materials coupled with such a vast array of colors and fabrics that customers can choose from to create the perfect piece. Customizing is such an important thing, isn't it? I'd never buy a sofa nowadays without some tweak, I'm too particular!
I wish you a lovely day and remember, if you want to see regular content from me multilple times a day, you can visit my Instagram and Instagram Stories because I'm quite active over there. Big hug to you all, so glad to see you are still reading blogs and showing up when I post, it makes me super happy.
Hello friends! I have a very special guest today on decor8, Mr. Jonathan Adler himself! Swoon! I had the pleasure of working with Jonathan and his team recently because he officially launched Jonathan Adler Germany and I got to be a part of that, which was an absolute honor and career highlight for me.
My relationship with the brand started in 2006, when JA advertised on decor8, which really helped me to quickly gain credibility as a new journalist and blogger. I will always be grateful for his support. Later, I asked if I could work in his home for a day in 2011 to style and photograph it for Decorate, and he accepted gladly, another special moment in my career.
I’ve been around his products for years, I’ve watched how his collections have evolved, and I even own a lamp, serving dishes, Christmas ornaments, candles and bookends. I also have most of his books too, and last month, he signed one for me which made me so happy.
If you’re like me and don’t live near a JA retail store, you may have also only shopped his collection online, but good news for me now! He has a concession in nearby Berlin in one of the oldest, most famous and decadent department store in Germany called KaDeWe. In fact, last month he was in Berlin to launch his collection and I was there to meet him and see his latest creations up close and personal and it was great.
But first, the pre-party. I met JA the night before the KaDeWe launch at a swanky French bistro with a small group of journalists and friends/colleagues of his in Germany, including Dag, his new German distributor, and Micah, from the New York office. With us was also his London-based PR firm who were in charge of organizing the pre-launch and launch. Naturally I have to shout them out because they are the reason I got this spectacular invitation to work with his team in the first place.
Because it was Fashion Week in Berlin, the restaurant was filled to the gills with fashionistas wearing very expensive, and expressive, frocks. It was fun to be immersed in this gigantic French-inspired restaurant, eating schnitzel, sitting across from Jonathan discussing the horrors of nudity in German saunas, and general people-watching in this beyond loud hot spot, but the buzz and energy was just fantastic.
At his KaDeWe launch the next day, many of his fans showed up and all eyes were on Jonathan. A few were quite star struck, three of my friends’ hands were shaking when they walked up to him, because it was a big deal for them to meet their interiors idol. Luckily though, he’s a nice guy, grounded and funny, so the evening felt very relaxed and friendly.
I also respected so much that he offered to sign ceramics for his guests who purchased them during the party – I was so impressed and regret that I didn’t think to ask him for a signed piece. I was so caught up in the moment that it didn’t occur to me until I was on the train ride home that I’d missed out on such a special opportunity.
I must confess, I’m even more endeared to his collection than before I met him. Something clicked when we spoke, in the sense that I felt like he really works hard for his success, earned everything he has, and continues to show commitment to his brand, team and products. JA is involved in all aspects of his business and has a very close relationship with his staff but also with his workers abroad who are dispersed all over. He visits them, watches them make his products, inspects, gives his opinions, he's present and involved. Respect.
When I interviewed Jonathan, one of my first questions was, "Since you are always on the go, when do you even have the time to design new collections?", and he explained that while on the road, he’ll have an idea and immediately, he'll call his team and/or sketch the idea out. He also added a good point that I often think about a lot, "We are all very lucky to live in this age because the internet makes it so easy to get our work out there but also to run and manage a business, you can text or phone your staff instantly!", and from there, at least for him, it's done!
You should surround yourself with stuff that means something to you. Sometimes people just get things that are fine, and “will do”, and I feel like you should never settle, you should always seek the sublime.
— Jonathan Adler
I find it worth mentioning a little about his background, since we always tend to judge someone successful as having had it all handed to them somehow. Jonathan openly shared that he grew up on a farm in southern New Jersey, definitely not in a hot spot for design. He explained that this somewhat mundane environment fueled his creativity because he aspired for more - to dream and design.
I asked him about what he thinks when young people come from similar places, not from the hot spots like New York City where he has lived now for many years, and he responded without hesitation that he actually worries about the kids in NYC that he knows, because they are growing up so privileged with everything handed to them, and he wonders what they will have to look forward to someday. I was touched by his honesty, because often when you are flying among the stars all day, you lose touch with reality and forget how most of the world lives. I can tell Jonathan has never lost touch with his roots and that he is relatable and genuine and this made me see him and his work in a whole new way. For me, it gave me a clearer picture of who he really is and before, that was always missing.
We are all very lucky to live in this age because the internet makes it so easy to get our work out there but also to run and manage a business...
— Jonathan Adler
We also chatted about his overall line, as it has evolved since years back. He has grown it in a more sophisticated direction, which I like, because it fits his products and price point much better, while still retaining his tongue-in-cheek wit that made him famous in the first place. I believe that his sense-of-humor (combined with his obvious talent) really put him on the map because he came into design with his unexpected and eccentric pieces at a time when design was still pretty serious business in the United States. Vases were meant to be beautiful objects of art at the price point in which he sells at. But he challenged how we see objects. He made things that were cheeky and today, he still does. His humor is his strongest selling point, and it runs through everything that he designs, and I believe JA will be embraced by Germans since, once you really have a German friend, you learn quickly that all of the serious professionalism that they show publicly is often just one face; behind closed doors they are fun-loving, warm and quite funny.
I asked Jonathan to articulate how he personally sees his collection because I enjoy listening to how someone defines their own work. He explained, “I call it Modern American Glamour. Modern in the sense that I always try to make things that are new, creative and have never been seen before. American, as I feel like my stuff has an American-ness, which is impossible to define, but you can see it in my collection, an optimism, the freedom in America, so my work feels American. And Glamour, it’s another tough word to define but to me Glamour is about making stuff that is bold, memorable and shiny.”
We also discussed his philosophy when it comes to the home and how he feels about the things we bring into it and he explained, “Your home should make you happy and should be eccentric and personal. You should surround yourself with stuff that means something to you. Sometimes people just get things that are fine, and “will do”, and I feel like you should never settle, you should always seek the sublime.”
We spoke briefly about his line in Germany, since it just officially launched here, and how it’s been received so far by consumers. He remarked, “Luckily it’s been really well received, thank God, and gives me an excuse to always come back here… I think that to me a lot of contemporary German homes are quite minimal and in that sense my stuff works perfectly because my actual objects are minimalist.”
I thought about that for a moment, because I never in my life would have thought of anything from him as minimalist, but stepping back I believe what he meant was that you could take a lamp from his collection, or a vase, or a single object and place it in a more minimalist environment and it would still work and fit nicely. His objects only become "maximalist" when you place them all together or in spaces that are already very full-on and decorated.
Your home should make you happy and should be eccentric and personal.
— Jonathan Adler
If you live (or are visiting) Germany, please visit the official Jonathan Adler shop within KaDeWe on the 4th floor or visit Coop Raum Werk in Munich or The Interior Club in Dusseldorf to experience his products in person.
Jonathan, it was an honor and pleasure to meet you, and thank you so much for signing my book and for the time that you spent with me – it was a very nice few days in Berlin with you and Team JA! All the best, and welcome to Germany!
Hello everyone! As the snow hammers down on many of us, let's talk about something really positive and exciting for a moment, shall we? If there is one e-course you need this year, it's the one we'll teach in March/April. I know that sounds a little arrogant to say, but I'm so confident about this class because I've teamed up with my friend, Agata Dimmich, a stylist living in Milan from Passion Shake, and together we will deliver Content Creator for the first time.
This class promises to be inspirational, educational and lots of fun. We will show you lots of tricks and great ways (and challenging ones too, but that's good!) to pull together beautiful content for your blog and social media platforms. We have SO MANY new ideas to talk to you about in class! Weeee.!
If you register now, you will pay only $79! The class will be $99 soon, but for now, we are keeping it very, very affordable so those of you who may be a little short on $$$ can still afford to take it and be inspired and encouraged.
From March 23 - April 9th, you will learn :
How to find your focus and plan your photos in advance
How to set up a space for styling a scene and how to style interiors
How to style and shoot flatlays
How to create a consistency between your visuals
How to style yourself (and friends) into photos
Camera tips and tricks for bright and sharp photos (though this isn't a photography class, one lesson will cover photography)
Product styling for companies
How to edit photos using Lightroom and your Smartphone
Case studies of stylists and what we can learn from them
And more about how to create gorgeous content for your portfolio, Instagram, blog, etc.
We will teach you through a balanced mix of:
Live video chats
Questions you can ask us and fellow students in the forum
Plus the $79 fee includes:
A brief professional evaluation of your final project by Holly Becker
2 week free class extension until Monday, April 23, 2018 at 5:00 PM CET.
Full access to our student-only forum where you can meet and talk to us and other students
Lifetime access to our private Facebook page with 2,500 student members
AND you can download everything (except the two live chats)
Some of our testimonials:
We hope to see you in our class, it will be so nice to welcome you and a great time of the year to get started - before all of the sunshine and beautiful weather arrives... We will get you ready for the months to come so you're able to rock your blogs and social media platforms. We will teach you simple techniques that can really transform your visual identity online and how you feel about your work - it doesn't have to be hard or time consuming - let Agata and I show you how!
Collect, the Craft Council’s annual fair, was established to showcase the premium end of contemporary craft, from museum-quality pieces in ceramic, glass and wood to conceptual installations. Collect filled the entire Saatchi Gallery for its fourteenth edition, where the Crafts Council gathered 40 of the most prestigious galleries together to show more than 400 artists, from 13 countries around the world. It was a celebration of making, in all its disciplines. And talking of museum-quality, the V&A were actually at the show purchasing for their collections.
When the weather is cold, don’t we all just want to cozy up and look at something pretty? Today I have 12 favorite finds from my recent visit to Collect, and I can't wait to share them with you. This is Mary and I’m back on decor8 today with more inspiration for you from the UK.
I’m not much of a crafter myself, I think it must have skipped a generation as my Mom and my Grandmother were avid knitters and makers. Not me though, I’m quite hopeless.
A recent Craft Council survey found that 25-44 is the fastest growing age range of amateur crafters, from knitting clubs to spoon carving. It's not just a homegrown phenomenon though as there is a rise in professional designer-makers too. Maybe it’s a response to our increasingly digital lives. Maybe it is the need to do something physical with our hands. Whatever is at the heart of its increase, I think it’s great to see so much talent and creativity on display.
The sheer breadth of work is impressive at Collect, and there was so much that I really liked. To keep it simple, I’m going to share the 12 pieces that captured my attention.
1// This year, designer Jay Osgerby and the Crafts Council team selected 14 makers from across the craft spectrum for Collect Open. One of those selected was Forest + Found who created their largest installations to date. Max Bainbridge and Abigail Booth who make up Forest + Found work with wood, natural pigments and textiles to produce sculptural and wall-based works. Their installation The Between explored the way humans interact with made objects.
2// I first saw the work of Vezzini & Chen at the Future Heritage exhibition at Decorex in 2016. Cristina Vezzini specializes in handcrafted ceramics, and Stan Chen is a glassblower. They bring both disciplines together to make incredible objects, with my favorites being their lighting pieces. A highlight of the Ting-Ying Gallery booth.
Vezzini & Chen Sand & Water and Acropora - Photo: Michael Harvey
3// Louis Thompson, represented by the London Glassblowing Gallery, is a highly regarded artist working in glass. His artworks can be found in museum collections in Japan, Germany and the USA. What I loved about his textured pieces was the overwhelming desire to touch them. Full of bumps and curves and reminiscent of colorful alien-like sea creatures, they had a bold yet playful feel to them. I imagine they’d look fantastic styled in a little tabletop vignette.
Desire by Louis Thompson represented by London Glassblowing and Vessel Gallery. Photography: Jake Curtis. Art direction: Hana Al Sayed. Via Zetteler.
4// Another watery, colorful and otherworldly example of gorgeous glass work. Glass artist Tim Rawlison (also with the London Glassblowing Gallery) uses two different processes that distort the layers of color within the blown glass components, giving the illusion of ink dispersed in water. This was one of the pieces that I would happily have walked away from the Fair with, if money were no object, of course.
Photos left/right: Ester Segarra
5// Laura Hart is inspired by a love of flowers, particularly orchids. Her sculptural flower collections are breathtaking in their detail, particularly when displayed in a large group as they were on the stand of Vessel Gallery who represent her.
Photo: Ester Segarra
6// Jo Taylor’s colorful Pride & Joy series was inspired by the Pride badge worn by someone close to her. Jo’s work made me smile as soon as I saw it because it was vivid, bold and saturated in color. The relationship between the six colors is fascinating but ultimately happy. Jo is part of the Young Master program at Cynthia Corbett Gallery.
7 //Jan Hendzel exhibited a collection of furniture and vessels for Collect Open, using both digital techniques and traditional woodworking methods to explore "what lies beneath" the materials.
Photo: Sophie Mutevelian
8 // Seeing a “domestic” table scaled to 2.5m long and 1.1m tall is slightly disconcerting. Table by metal-smith Juliette Bigley is an installation of 20 unique tabletop vessels including a wine bottle, a jug, and water glasses, crafted from a mixture of patinated copper, brass, nickel silver and silver. There is something so familiar and routine about it, yet utterly throws you off balance. Beautiful and discombobulating at the same time.
Photo: Sophie Mutevelian
9 // The Cynthia Corbett Gallery showcased the work of the nominees and winners from the Young Masters Art Prize. Showing a variety of work from artists such as Matt Smith, Alissa Volshkova, Alice Couttoupes and Tessa Eastman. Drawing inspiration from the Old Masters either through technique, imagery or subject these artists are creating unique contemporary work.
Photo: Sophie Mutevelian
Matt Smith, Photo: Sophie Mutevelian
10// As one of the finalists for the LOEWE Craft Prize, Irina Razumovskaya represented by Officine Saffi was on my must-see list at Collect. Inspired by tree bark, peeling paint and aging materials, this inspiration is very apparent in her Post-Surface series. The texture gives a sense of natural degradation and age, which is fascinating especially combined with a warm pink color. Irina fires her pieces 5-8 times until the layers peel to get the desired effect.
Photo Left/Right: Royal College of Art
11 // Represented by Cavaliero Finn, Egyptian-born British ceramicist Ashraf Hanna signature muted palette pulled me in to take a closer look at his Petrified Forest installation. Then I spotted his voluminous Undulating Vessels that he is so well known for, and they were sitting on top of the Galvin Brothers Battalion Spook Wood... Wow!
12 // An exercise in wood-turning, Spook Wood is a capsule collection of furniture made from hand-turned spindles in their East Yorkshire workshop and can be made to order in various shapes and sizes. Spook Wood is represented by Cavaliero Finn.
So what do you think? Do any of these capture your imagination? Would you want to make a little space for them in your home?
These are future antiques after all. Sometimes I find at shows like this, it isn’t necessarily about coveting the piece directly but about being inspired by the shape, material or color and wanting to bring those elements into our homes. Hopefully see you again soon with my finds from an exhibition.
Hi and welcome to a new week on decor8! Let's talk about Wabi Sabi today, okay? Ever since reading, Wabi-Sabi Welcome by Julie Pointer Adams last summer, and two years before that, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo, I wondered exactly how these two lifestyle and decor trends would merge and find their "place" in modern living. Then came the Danish HYGGE as a "trend", which felt like a good way to merge eastern and western ideas and decor, and it still is.
Yet, there is still a push towards even more simplicity and a better edit of our homes, which is why WABI SABI seems to be gaining traction. So let's talk about, shall we? First, a defniteion is important...
In traditional Japanese aesthetics, Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō), suffering (苦 ku) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū).
Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.
Lotta Agaton Interiors
I often wondered, after reading Kondo's books and then, Pointer Adams' book, how would someone get rid of everything on one side (ala Kondo's overarching theme - ultimate simplicity/minimalism) with the exception of a few things, while also having a wabi sabi home which is, as Author Pointer Adams outlines in her book, "Wabi means something like simplicity, humility, and living in tune with nature; it describes someone who is content with little and makes the most of whatever he or she has, always moving toward having less. Sabi, on the other hand, refers to what happens with the passage of time; it's about transience and the beauty and authenticity of age,"?
Wabi Sabi Style Moodboard by Lotta Agaton Interiors
How will you have a very de-cluttered home with few belongings but also have things that you've saved over time which creates this sort of authenticity of living? Hmmmm. I guess westerners are creating a bit of Wabi Sabi Our Way?
Tisca Rugs "Wabi Sabi Style" by Lotta Agaton Interiors at Domotex, Hannover, Germany
I gave a lecture last month at Formland in Denmark about trends and spoke about WABI SABI and how I see it as a definite interiors trend. I've noticed this Japanese aesthetic gaining traction here in Europe and also in the United States - have you noticed this as well? That's why I thought to talk about it today, as it's something I find worthwhile of a good old-fashioned blog post - I actually miss writing posts like these where I really explore trends. I don't find Instagram as emotionally satisfying as a good blog post now and then, to really capture what I'm thinking and to put it on digial paper.
Kristina Dam Studio
Back to the books... While seemingly close in theory, The Magic of Tidying Up and the Wabi Sabi Welcome book still feel very different to me in practice yet I'm beginning to see that the happy middle point is more of how I personally aspire to live. I see Wabi Sabi as a lot more warm and less methodical, and definitely imperfect.
I like things in my home, I like some "clutter" (and I use air quotes because my clutter is 10 things on a desk, not piles of things), I like saving my skinny jeans because it does give me a good feeling to imagine getting back into them again (and I have a few times, they are always my bookmark of being in shape, or not), and I can't imagine ever throwing out some things from my son (like his wrist ID bracelet from his birth), yet I also know there is MAGIC in tidying up and having a lot less junk in the house that serves little to no purpose except to create chaos and stress.
The way Wabi Sabi is being interpreted however, is a bit different but also the same, as how the Japanese have been doing it for ages. Wabi Sabi to westerners seems to be Kinfolk, minimalism combined with clean lines and organic shapes and imperfection thrown in - but overall, definitely thought out and planned. Which isn't really so Japanese.
Lotta Agaton Interiors
I digress... But I wonder, how do you see this Wabi Sabi Style fitting into your life? Could you adopt it? Let me explain further what it is in 10 Steps and then maybe you can answer that question better. It can be broken down this way:
1. EMBRACE AGING
I wish we could do this better with ourselves! Allowing things to age gracefully and enjoy what you have instead of always bringing in the newest and greatest. Not intentionally making something look worn or aged. Not buying something that looks aged. The age comes over time.
Kristina Dam Studio
2. NATURAL MATERIALS
Living and working with raw, honest, organic materials as much as possible. Less plastic, more wood. Glass, marble, ceramics, concrete, stone, metal, etc.
3. NATURAL COLOR
Wabi sabi draws from the colors of nature. What you see when you go to the beach, the mountains, the dessert - these hues, this is wabi sabi color. Obviously, lots of neutrals and gray tones.
Lotta Agaton Interiors
4. NO FUSS
You don't need to press the linen drapes or the tablecloth, no need to hem the curtains, no worries if the floor has some scuff marks or the linen sofa is wrinkled and worn in a bit. As long as things are clean and fresh looking, no fuss, casual, simple - this is wabi sabi and in a modern home, isn't this refreshing to live like this vs. having the perfectly pressed drapes and the tablecloth without a crease?
Lotta Agaton Interiors
Bringing nature in. Sticks in vases, branches in pots, leaves scattered on the dining table for an Autumn feast, acorns in a bowl collected by your son, craft projects with natural materials (think: Waldorf School style - my aunt was a educator at one in New England and I love and fully support their curriculum), pampus plumes in pottery, the key is not to overdo it and let things fall as naturally and loosely as possible - again, no fuss! No perfection!
Sania Pell For Elle Decoration, UK
Embracing and enhancing as much natural light as possible. I leave the lights off until it's dark outside, which saves on our electricity bill but also I feel better working near the windows and keeping my home very light and bright. In rooms where privacy is essential, I have natural linen drapes and shapes. But out of the 10+ rooms in my home, only 3 rooms have linen drapes, the rest of shades or nothing at all. I find this daily connection to the outside world really helpful - it is great for depression because you don't feel isolated and alone when you see people and homes and are forced to be part of the daily routines of others - you can't draw the thick velvet drapes and stay cocooned in - and I like this.
Pella Hedeby for RUM Hemma, Photography by Sara Medina Lind
Open the windows. This may not be part of wabi sabi style as much as it's something I've added here because I open the windows in all seasons, once a day at least, to keep the fresh air circulating and new smells to come in and old ones, to exit. I use healthy, organic candles and also I have Muji fragrant lights and use essential oils to make the home smell wonderful. I also use Humdakin cleaning products, even for our clothing, and my house smells and looks so nice just from a few simple, but effective products.
Lotta Agaton Interiors
8. STRONG EDIT
This is one of my favorite things about decorating but also where I'm at in my own decorating timeline, which is, the importance of a good, strong edit. You hear this a lot in fashion but it applies as much in design for the home and styling overall. It's fine to curate and collect, but you need to have a real editor's eye and give a good edit before calling your vignette, room or even the home, "done" (at least for this week, no one ever finishes the on-going art project that is decorating). A strong edit is essential in the style of wabi sabi because humility is, to me, a fundamental characteristic of this Japanese aesthetic.
For instance, Jonathan Adler and Abigail Ahern are NOT wabi sabi in any way, shape or form. They are maximalists, they thrive on being over-the-top, overly decorated, bling, fun, personality, stuff!
But then you look at someone like Kristina Dam, a trained architect turned product designer, Lotta Agaton and also Pella Hedeby out of Sweden (whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Hannover, Germany last month), or even London-based Stylist and Art Director Sania Pell has gone into this direction in the past 6 years, and you see humility, paired back, a strong edit, and that definitely less is more.
Sania Pell for Elle Decoration, UK
9. CLUTTER FREE
Along with a strong edit when decorating and choosing objects for the home comes a clutter-free environment. You don't really need all of those sweaters, socks and extra shoes (that are no longer even stylish in your eyes), do you? Do you need to keep ALL of the baby clothes from when your son was little? Can you keep maybe a few outfits and donate the rest? Even digitally, do you need your computer hard drive to be packed with millions of photos that you'll never refer to, or need? Digital clutter is also clutter. Consider strongly what you need and what you don't need and be ruthless!
Sania Pell for Elle Decoration, UK
10. USEFUL AND PRETTY, IN BALANCE
I have been preaching this for over a decade in my books, along with most of the things on this list above though I don't have a "wabi sabi style" home, but I believe in having useful and pretty things that we're using daily. You don't need to have an ugly neon green toothbrush when you can buy a nice looking wooden toothbrush from Muji, you don't need to have your bathtub littered with products with ugly labels that make your eyes hurt - you can store them away, put the contents in clear simple bottles (again, Muji), or buy products with labels that are good-looking and are pleasing to you visually. Some people are more sensitive visually than others, just as some are more sensitive to smell and sound. I think people in the decorative arts are very visually sensitive and anything that introduces stress to them has to be dealt with, even if to others it makes us look a little crazy or OCD. But I do believe strongly that you can have pretty soap in nice dispensers, towels that look and feel good against the skin, mixing tools and bowls for the kitchen that fit your personal style too, and that you aren't going to necessarily pay more for the white bowl versus the ugly one that has the crazy pattern on it.
So, what do you think? Could you embrace this style of living? Or at least, try to create your own version of Wabi Sabi at home? And if so, how do you intend to do this - any of the 10 tips above resonate with you?
Hello dear decor8 readers! If you are in the mood for a minimalist and bright table decoration with flowers that, yay!, announce spring... come along! This is Anke with a new column for the month of February where I want to show you how uncomplicated a little party at home can really be. In this column, I want to show you five (5) easy steps to a very nice party for your friends. It can be to celebrate anything, but also to celebrate nothing in particular except to have a nice excuse to host friends.
1. TABLETOP THEME
First, my table is laid in foundation white and grey colors this time giving the setting a very fresh look. Geometrical shaped vases as well as the ones with a concrete surface emphasize the clean and modern visual appearance. It's easy to go with tons of white because it's very easy to source, in fact most of us have white dinnerware and some white vases in our cabinet. You can mix and match shapes and textures very easily if everything is in the same tone of white.
2. HOSTESS GIFT
Think of a little something small to give to your guests. In order to repeat the geometrical theme, I folded white paper Octahedron pendants for every guest to take home after the gathering and placed these on the cake plates. I used pink adhesive dots to add a little color. You will find a lot of different instructions/ templates for geometric shapes on the internet! I discovered the one I used on this site. In Germany, we like to hang little ornaments on branches to decorate our homes during Easter, so this gift gives my guests something they can use on their branch during Easter, for instance.
I always like to pick flowers that set the tone of the party, the color of the flowers create the palette for this tabletop since my vases and plates are white. You can do the same, let the flowers dictate the palette, makes it very easy! My heralds of spring are white Anemones, white Ranunculus, pale pink and white Hyacinths, slim white Tulips, Eucalyptus sprigs and huge Poppies. I simply arranged them loosely in different vases, without planning. Only for the wreath I proceeded with a little bit of a system.
Isn't the salmon colored Poppy an uncontested show stealer?!
4. WALL DECOR
I always like to make a little something for the wall nearby to the table to repeat the theme from the table to the wall somehow. You can try something similiar. The beautiful white wreath ring from danish manufacturer Strups was a Christmas present of a dear friend of mine. It is such a toy for every decoration enthusiast and can be ordered in two sizes and different colors.
5. SIMPLE CAKE
You don't have to lay out a roast that you spent a day preparing! Try to think smaller, but handmade and special. A simple cake will do with a pot of coffee or tea and some prosecco to make it a bit festive (we add prosecco to everything in Germany to give it a festive feeling - including brunch!). For my party, I made a moist Austrian Mohnkuchen Gugelhupf (Poppyseed Bundt Cake) I served with Lingonberry Whipped Cream, yum. If you google, look for "Austrian Mohnkuchen Gugelhupf" or "Poppyseed Bundt Cake".
So let's review. You have your tabletop planned with white ceramics, glassware and white vases, with loosely styled flowers in each vase. You've made a simple hostess gift for each guest out of paper. You've made a small wreath for your wall using the flowers from the table. You've added a nice homemade cake to the table with some sparkling wine. Now, you could add some tealights, a soothing playlist and great conversation and you have a perfect little party for your dear friends. That wasn't so hard, was it?
I hope to see you again in March to show you some ideas for Easter decoration. Honestly, I can hardly await the end of winter and the return of light and warmth! - Love, Anke
Hello everyone. I was recently at Formland in Herning, Denmark for the first time and so I wanted to tell you all about it because it was just great! I was invited as a special guest to give the opening speech along with two lectures, one on trends for 2018 and the other on the unexpected health benefits of good design. I had a great time and I will definitely return again someday, for sure. At Formland, you can expect to see the latest trends and tendencies within Scandinavian design today and in the near future. The fair has been around for 34 years with a total of over 67 fairs so far. I can see why people attend this fair, it was certainly special.
There was so much about it that I really liked, but I'll break it down in 10 bite-size points:
1. GREAT OVERALL SIZE
It was large enough to feel fun to explore, but small enough to not feel exhausted, overwhelmed or like you had to spend hours digging to get to the pearls - it was quite easy to find beautiful things, fast.
2. INSPIRING TREND PRESENTATION
It had, by far, one of the best trend presentations that I've ever seen at a fair. This was a big shock, I wasn't expecting it, but it's the truth. It was so well organized, huge, beautiful and also educational and valuable. I could have spent half a day in the trend zones created by the talented duo STUDIE FLYHELSTED. I would return to this fair JUST for the trend zones by these two ladies - they were really THAT good.
3. CURATED HALL = LOVE
I loved the curated hall by Danish interiors celebrity, Mads Arlien-Søborg. This was the hall I stayed in the most during day two. There wasn't one booth in the entire hall that I disliked, everything was gorgeous and so well presented. I really like the idea of having a tastemaker curate an entire hall at a fair. Why aren't more fairs doing this? I want to curate a hall at a fair - would be exciting!
I really liked the food hall. It was great to have a good hall to begin with, because you could walk around and sample things and meet people and the vibe was really open and friendly. I also liked knowing that when I ran out of energy, I could go to the food hall and find chocolate or something to munch on.
5. FAIR FOOD WAS GREAT
Speaking of food from point 4, the food at the actual fair was delicious. Each hall had it's own cafe and some, a few different things like a cafe and a food truck, or a food truck and a non-alcoholic bar... In any case, it was so well done and everything was fresh and delicious. I had a very healthy avocado salad loaded with other delicious things and it gave me the perfect energy boost. Most of the time, fairs have terrible food or very unhealthy things - Formland thought of everything! They even had a MICHELIN STAR Asian food truck - HELLO. Have you ever seen THAT on offer at a fair?
6. FRIENDLY EXHIBITORS
This was such a highlight for me personally. I loved how friendly the exhibitors were, and how they invited people who were using Instagram or bloggers to take as many photos as desired and they even told people to rearrange products and style things as they wish for photos, it was quite amazing really - there wasn't a single booth with a "NO PHOTOGRAPHY" sign, everyone was open and invited and encouraged photography, conversation, styling, anything!
7. NEW TALENTS SECTION
I really liked the new talents section, it was so lovely to meet the many exhibitors there who were eager to show us what they are producing. Their passion was very contagious and I liked strolling around there meeting everyone. I got the sense that all of the exhibitors were really trying to help each other too. Many times, a stand would suggest another exhibitor there I should check out, or would walk me over to their friend who was selling this or that product. There was a great community spirit at this fair but especially in the New Talents Section and in the Curated Hall by Mads Arlien-Søborg.
This was the coolest presentation I've seen yet at a fair - an entire hallway dedicated to tastemakers and influencers whom the fair invited to take part in showcasing favorites from the fair. They had everyone from the Editor-in-Chief of Bo Bodre, Charlotte Ravnholt, to others considered tastemakers in Denmark and also me, as an online influencer and trend expert. This was such a great use of an otherwise boring hallway between halls! Instead, it was filled with things we'd handpicked - was great!
9. POP UP FLOWER SHOP
This was another unexpected treat - a local florist, Bloom, on site! And after they make an arrangement for you, they kept it all day with your name on it so you could return at the end of the fair and have something inspiring to bring home with you. This was great.
10. MEET GREAT PEOPLE
What I didn't expect was that a smaller, more focused fair like Formland gives you an incredible chance to MEET great people. I really connected with people - exhibitors, magazine editors, sales agents, trend experts, all of them. I also got to connect with those whom I know already and care about, like my new friend Stefan from TrendStefan in Stockholm. Here were are below clowning around a bit after we were both interviewed on camera by the fair.
Will I go back to this fair? ABSOLUTELY. I loved their new format, how they've taken the fair to new heights, and I felt the fair was inspiring and felt fresh.
Thank you Formland for having me as your opening speaker (a mini clip of me speaking here with an audience of 300) and for being so kind in welcoming me to give two trend lectures, too. I loved being there and will always remember it as a great time and one of the friendliest fairs I've ever been too.
We’ve all heard about IKEA hacks right? Well they’ve now come up with the first official hackable product, designed by Tom Dixon for IKEA and which is open for your interpretation and imagination.
Hi everyone, it’s Mel here. Last week my adopted city of Stockholm was jam-packed with events around town for Design Week, in conjunction with the Stockholm Furniture & Lighting Fair. One of the events I attended was a press talk on sustainable design and circular economy with IKEA and Tom Dixon, to coincide with the release of their collaboration, DELAKTIG. At the end of the talk I had the opportunity to interview Tom, which I’m so excited to share with you here on decor8! But first, some background about their partnership.
I attended an evening in conversation with Tom in Auckland, New Zealand a few years ago and one thing that struck me about this iconic British designer is that he is anything but conventional. So when I heard that he spent time in car factories when researching for a new functional and sustainable furniture line for his collaboration with IKEA, I wasn’t surprised. From there, he looked at smartphones, where people are constantly downloading and changing the applications and interface to suit their changing needs. He then got to work on the project with seventy-five design students around the world as part of their Masters degree, a great way to look at design through another generation’s eyes and needs.
To Tom, sustainability is very much about the longevity of a product that will stick around for longer, as people use it differently and as their lives evolve. He came up with a base that is a comfortable and affordable bed and that has add-on components, to make it into a sofa. What I find exciting here, is that is that not all parts for DELAKTIG, which translates to, “involved”, are available at IKEA. I’ll explain how it works.
You’ll find the base, which comes in three different sizes, along with backrests, tables, sides and light units at IKEA. All of it is very functional and adaptable as is, however as a world first, approved hacks can be purchased elsewhere. Tom Dixon has covers and add-ons available exclusively through him and Bemz who are known for their custom sewn IKEA sofa covers. You can, of course, get creative and hack the product yourself, hence the aluminum frame, that, along with its durability, is a metal that’s easy to design in grooves and parts, making it easy to hack in.
It’s an interesting idea, as a designer you’re always trying to create the perfect iconic product to sell and market. Here we were doing the opposite, it was: How can we make the perfect base for people to do what they want? It’s both thrilling and terrifying.
— Tom Dixon
The day before the interview, I walked along Hamngatan, a main shopping strip here in Stockholm. The four main windows of the department store, Nordiska Kompaniet, were dedicated to Tom Dixon, design icon. Seeing his creations there all together reminded me of just how huge this man is in the design world and I admit, it stirred up a few healthy nerves in me. Tom soon put me at ease though. He is sharp, super passionate and he is self-taught, which I suspect might be his weapon in pushing the boundaries of design.
Mel: I love the idea of good design being available to everybody. Is that one of the reasons that you teamed up with IKEA?
Tom: I worked for ten years as creative director of Habitat, which was owned by IKEA at the time, so I had a much deeper insight into what they do and how they do it, than most other designers. In that context, when I started my company and after ten to twelve years working as an independent and building my own brand, I did miss the affordability, mass production and the might of working with experts in that field. So those two factors and also the fact that realistically I don’t think that we’ll ever do beds because of the logistically they are complex with comfort levels and various mattress sizes in different territories. It’s not the sort of thing that we’d be able to do properly because IKEA dominate in this area. In that context, it was the right person to go to. I also like that more luxury fashion labels are working with high street and doing something that is mutually beneficially stretching themselves. I loved the Commes des Garcons and H&M collaboration.
M: Did you learn anything through IKEA’s production chain?
T: The learnings were more about the mentality towards change and working with a company that has resources to pull on and can make big decisions that have got global impact. They spoke about that earlier in regards to the amount of glue they use (referring to how IKEA is now developing a more environmentally friendly glue which will reduce 2% of their emissions). You learn a hell of a lot from the work methods and the way they are organised. There is also a kind of second generation in IKEA coming through now and they are intent on changing the way in which they work. There are bigger openings. The hacking idea three or four years would have been impossible because they were keeping their secrets. We were talking about this project once it (hacking) started. Why would we do that for, when there is nothing to buy, so why would we talk about it? But in the modern world, that’s what you do. You also have access to vast amount of data of what goes on in people’s lives and how they live, which you never get in a small company.
M: What do you think about sustainability in general and how are designers like yourself trying to solve the problem?
T: I think it’s essential to have an aptitude to it and take it very seriously. Every designer has a duty to do that but then again, so does every consumer and every government. It has become such a pressing thing and obviously for most of us, it’s very hard to unravel the complexity of what one should do about it. I think just being active is definitely what you have to do and be conscious. Then also, without a doubt, my thing always comes back to making something that will stick around long enough to justify the production in the first place. Then there’s aluminium, obviously there are all sorts of issues in terms of mining but if you make it, it can be recycled, it’s valuable enough that if you left the sofa on the street, someone will recycle it because there is a few pounds in it. You can also recycle it forever, you have to add a small percentage of virtual material, something like ten or fifteen percent, but it is infinitely recyclable, unlike plastic.
M: Okay, we’ll change the focus a little. Will you be in Milan this year for the Salone del Mobile?
T: We are going to skip Milan this year for the first time in fifteen years. There is a good reason, but one that I can’t talk about for a couple of weeks, until we make the announcement. I will substitute this with a world tour though.
M: What designers have your attention in London at the moment?
T: There are more conceptual artists at the moment that are amazing like, Philippe Malouin and Max Lamb. Watch out for Faye Toogood who is a stylist turned furniture and fashion designer. I can’t think about any stores off the top of my head though.
M: On the topic of retail, what do you think about the future of it, and how can shops keep people coming in, as apposed to shopping online?
T: It sounds cliché but you have to entertain people, you have to go into the world of entertainment and activity and exclusivity for some things. You have to work harder than ever before because locations are expensive. That’s not why we’ve gone into having a restaurant in place but you want to keep the place alive then people will want to visit. People will still want to go places, whether they buy in store or later online is almost immaterial but you need to engage and you’ve got to work a lot harder than before.
Okay lovely decor8 readers, I have a question for you now. How do you shop for things for your home these days? Do you pay attention to whether the product has had a sustainability component in the design process? What do you think about a product like DELAKTIG adapting to your changing needs and would something like that work in your life?
Can you feel it – Spring is almost here again. And you know what is here again too? Me, Allan Torp. In all honesty I can’t really complain much, as the weather has been relatively mild in Copenhagen, just a lot of rain, and I’ll spend more or less all of February in Los Angeles where I am currently and the weather is sunny and warm! Here are 10 things for February that I love, that you may like too.
1 // FURNITURE:
It is not often a new Danish brand launches with more than 100 new pieces of furniture, but in Stockholm (where I just attended the furniture fair), Warm Nordic did. With clear reference to Danish mid-century design, Warm Nordic shared original pieces brought back to life, but also many new pieces.
Many times, it’s been discussed if the mid-century era can keep momentum and how brands keep finding pieces that are not yet in production. I, of course, would love to see new designers make it big too, but as long as there are so many undiscovered beauties from the past, I welcome them.
2 // ART:
Another relatively new Danish brand is Wulffwinding, a partnership between Christina Wulff and Josefine Winding. Drawing inspiration from nature, they manufacture and design the most stunning, vivid, exclusive, dynamic and inspiring wall sculptures. Their sculptures comes in different sizes and materials, not making it super easy to decide which one would suit ones wall best.
3 // DECORATE:
When I am in LA, I live in Topanga, as I see this as my second home it is nice to have something in Copenhagen that can remind me of the canyon every day. I brought home a few pieces of Earth + Element ceramics on my latest trip. I love the great handmade feeling of the imperfect edges and the glaze is just perfect for my Nordic Scandi home. I use the bowl in my kitchen as a catch-all bowl and it looks great among my other small bowls.
4 // SLEEP:
Staycations are the best, being a tourist in your own city. Just in the new year I had the pleasure of experiencing one night at the majestic Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. One of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen and certainly with the best view of the city center and Tivoli. The hotel just went through a renovation adding many great new modern furniture to the many Arne Jacobsen icons. Jacobsen is the mastermind behind the hotel and designed everything for the grand opening in 1960.
Luckily there is one exception to the renovation, and that’s room 606 – the room is still standing exactly like Mr. Jacobsen intended it. If you ask nicely in the reception, you might be lucky to get a quick look inside.
5 // LISTEN:
I’ve been anticipating Justin Timberlake’s new album and so I have been playing Say Something on repeat for a while now. Maybe even better is the video for the song, where Timberlake worked with La Blogothèque, a Paris-based collection of filmmakers – it’s a remarkable truly live, single-shot experience. Hit play and learn back for the next 6,5 minutes its pure poetry.
6 // GROOM:
This past month I’ve been testing relatively cheaper brands for this grooming section – Vichy, Bulldog and Rituals.
I am no expert believe me, quite often I am way too cheap to spend a lot on grooming and I am not even sure if you can see the difference. Daily moisturizing is pretty much all I use and remember, I throw on the occasional face mask, but in the shower and for my beard I use brands which looks and smell nice – and most importantly are affordable.
None of these brands are Aesop or Le Labo when it comes to packaging, but all blend in quite well without being too noisy if you know what I mean. Bulldog Skincare is created for men and are all parabens and synthetic substance free, which I enjoy, and I really appreciate the smell of menthol in the shower gel.
Apparently Japanese Samurai warriors have known for centuries that a strict grooming routine gives you more power and confidence. And after using the Ritual Samurai face cream for the past month I kind of have to agree. Especially the anti-age and energizing face balm has a very freshening and vitalizing effect.
Last but not least, I’ve been using the Vichy Homme shaving range, not that I shave that often, but when I do, I like product that actually work, and this one does. I tend to get really red skin when shaving, and the anti-irritation foam and soothing after shave balm have really helped.
7 // READ:
Fritz Hansen’s In Perfect Shape is everything a coffee table book should be: fantastic photos, incisive text, and beautiful design that makes you want to leaf through the book again and again for inspiration if not only to dream about your very own iconic pieces like Poul Kjærholm’s PK22 or Arne Jacobsen’s Swan in your own living room.
8 // EAT:
Every year in one week of February (11-18th) its Copenhagen Dining Week, which basically means that you can eat at 200 of all the great restaurants at a super low rate for a fixed menu. This year, same week, foodies can end their night out with great drinks as Copenhagen Cocktail Week will take place for the first time too. I’ve already tested the two cocktails that will be served throughout all the best cocktail bars in Copenhagen, and I’ll tell you, if you are in town, you are in for a treat.
9 // SHOP:
Every capital has its own amazing concept store and in Oslo its called Kollekted By and is owned and managed by Norwegian power stylist couple Jannike Kråkvik and Alessandro D´Orazio. Kollekted By and is four beautiful rooms with large windows and they sell all their favorite furniture, lighting and interior objects from around the world from brands like Fogia, Menu, New Works, Another Country, Hasami, Please Wait to be Seated, Flos, Restart Milano, Artek and many more. It’s also the place to visit if you are looking for unique Norwegian design objects which is all represented by Kollekted By.
10 // ONE LAST THING:
In January we said goodbye to one grand name of interior design, Ingvar Kamprad, who has died at age 91. And although he might not be a household name, the company that made him a billionaire most certainly is. Ikea, the Swedish flat-pack furniture group with 412 stores in 49 countries, bears the name that Kamprad registered in 1943, at the age of only 17. Ikea is for everyone and will continue to break barriers as they work with some of modern times biggest designers like Ilse Crawford and Tom Dixon. In fact, some statistics have claimed that more than 10% of the population of Europe have been conceived in an Ikea bed.
See you again in March with some more favorites! But first, don't miss THIS on my blog, it's something very special that I found during the Stockholm Furniture Fair...
[Editor's Note: All grooming products and the Fritz Hansen book are gifted as part of reviewing for this column in partnership between Allan Torp and the brands. This review is provided by Allan Torp for decor8, any collaborations are his own. All words and opinions are his own.]
Hi decor8 readers, I’m Mary and I am delighted to be part of decor8 team as a foreign correspondent. For the trade shows Holly cannot attend, I’ll be bringing you news from these shows and locations across Europe. Holly and I both have young boys, which makes it impossible to be on the road attending every fair out there, so she wanted to hire on someone like me who can visit fairs she can't, because decor8 is more and more becoming a source for readers to find the latest trends in Europe - and so together with Holly, we want to continue bringing those to you.
I sometimes refer to myself as a trade show veteran, and I’m not referring to my age! I’ve been reporting and trend hunting for more than 10 years at trade shows across Europe, with Maison & Objet Paris being the first I ever visited outside of the UK. I do, in fact love interiors fairs. There is a thrill I get from spotting something new, unique or particularly well crafted. I’m a fan of color, form and function and get very excited if I come across all three in a product. I love meeting the faces behind the brands and hearing them share their passion for the products they create and produce. Trade shows are also remarkable places to network and geek out with fellow like-minded design lovers.
Just last week I was at Maison & Objet in Paris for their January edition of the trade show. If you’ve never heard of it, or been, it’s BIG. With over 3,000 exhibitors showcasing the latest international home wares, furniture, accessories, and lighting in 8 halls. It’s easy to clock up double-digit miles walking through the aisles. Having a plan and knowing where to look to find the kind of products you’re after is essential at trade shows this large, but I always like to go a little off-piste to find new things.
The design influences I think we are going to be seeing more of in 2018 are; Rich earthy and berry colors, more velvet, curved shapes, cane work and rattan and monochrome being the new minimalism. So with that in mind, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite finds from this edition of the show. Some of them you may well have spotted already on social media and others will be filling the pages of magazines by this summer.
CC-Tapis is an Italian company, which produces contemporary hand-knotted and hand-woven rugs which are created in Nepal by expert Tibetan artisans. Known for it’s contemporary design and fashion-forward color they’ve collaborated with design luminaries such as Patricia Urquiola as well as many up and coming designers. They always deliver a knockout stand that’s like a warm hug of color. The newest releases for 2018 are predominately soft toned representing the new neutrals, which are extremely calming and utterly feminine. I’m a big fan of the “face” as it reminds me of the Miller Goodman Faces blocks.
Casalto is referred to as the Interior Jeweler by its mastermind, Architect Eric Willemart. That alone was enough to stop me in my tracks and ask a few questions. It’s more like a mix and match configuration game, than a traditional home furniture and accessory line. Made up of 27 individual pieces shaped like cones, cylinders and disks they can be combined in a number of ways to make unique pieces for your home – tables, lights and vases for example. What was so impressive was that each element is handcrafted and it’s so striking in black and white with metallic accents. Completely new to me and a really fun concept.
3. Rina Menardi
Italian ceramicist Rina Menardi is always a must visit stand, as her vast collection of elegantly shaped and colored ceramics are all inspired by nature. The color palette is always so beautiful, the baked stoneware incredibly tactile and the shapes are incredibly versatile. I’d love to own one but with a small child, I might have to wait a few years.
I have a soft spot for Danish brand Woud, mostly because it’s so easy to live with. Holly has written about them here from her visit to IMM last year, and she had used their chairs in the decor8 booth that she designed for the fair. Each time I see them at a trade show they are never shy with color and seem to be masters at color blocking. They excel at wall hanging storage/shelves but it’s their cute little wooden animals that without a doubt melt my heart.
5. Eno Studio
Eno Studio always creates at least one item that catches my magpie eye, when I’m stomping through the halls of Maison & Objet. This spring edition was no exception. Not only are they clever with color; they also have a fine tuned radar for alluring finishes – think warm metals and lush jewel toned velvet. I loved the abundance of deep red hues and dusky pinks and the Vega pouf in the brass finish was definitely on my lust list.
6. Ay Illuminate
It was impossible to miss the organic, ethnic-inspired trend of cane, wicker, rattan, straw, and raffia that has developed from the Boho and 70’s trend across the halls of Maison & Objet. Dutch based Ay Illuminate were one of my favorites; inspired by nature and different cultures, they use natural waste materials to produce their collections. Their Buri range of pendants and baskets are made of palm leaves utilizing local handicraft expertise in Asia.
Jo Ham is the creator of Ham, which was born in 2011. A design led homewares and paper goods range following the incredibly cute life of a contented rabbit on his daily adventures. The range of prints, mugs, cards, wall stickers and pins have featured in Paris’ Collette store and in Vitra’s advertising campaign for Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s Corniches wall shelves. I’ll also happily admit to having a Ham bunny myself.
8 Petite Friture
There are understandable a lot of French companies that exhibit at Maison & Objet, one that is particularly playful and gathering a bit of a following is Petite Friture. I really liked their new black and white wallpaper by illustrator Lisa Laubreaux, which to me evoked the artist Keith Haring.
Sklo designs and manufactures hand blown Czech glass. With a gorgeous range of lighting and accessories, they unveiled new colors of their WRAP collection. These hand-blown tubes are turned into effortless knots by Sklo craftsman and look amazing on top of a stack of books or styled in a table vignette. The new opaque colors of celadon green and apricot and the new clear version turquoise were my favorites.
Not strictly at Maison & Objet as they were showing in the center of Paris, but Vitra had an accessories showcase at their new store which was impeccable styled. The peach wall with Alexander Girard Metal wall reliefs was an absolute delight and it’s a color I think we’ll be seeing more of in 2018. From the new collection I was particularly taken with the new Trays and High Tray by Jasper Morrison simply because a shot of color is always a good thing in my book.
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