Tuesday 27 September 2011

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL: a bit of Baccarat and a slice of Rifat Ozbek

London Design Festival is now over of course and the focus has moved on to west London and the more sedate surroundings of Decorex and Focus, both in Chelsea and both frequented by a gaggle of 'assisted' blondes up from the 'shires and doing clever things with ticking and vintage linen for the Home Counties yummy mummies.   I did indeed stick my own assisted blonde head round the door of Decorex yesterday - nothing to get too excited about sadly apart from the always fantastic Emery et Cie.  Such a creative company. 

So, as I have a moment to kill, I have picked off a few more little gems that caught my eye last week.  First off, a little of bit of crystal magic from Baccarat.  Curated by the talented Suzy Hoodless, the Monocle offices (and boy aren't they lucky to have such enviably fabulous offices) had been transformed in to a kind of blinged-up Swiss chalet with over-sized crystal chandeliers, wall sconces, candlesticks, table lamps and some bonkers crystal animals from the brilliant Jaime Hayon.

Chandeliers with real swagger.......

and adorable little crystal dumpling animals, more fun than a teddy bear any day....

When I'd done with chalet living I moved west and stopped off at the new(ish) shop from ex. fashion designer Rifat Ozbek, namely Yastik by Rifat Ozbek.   If you're wondering what Yastik means, it's cushion in Turkish, and as Rifat is Turkish and the shop is full of cushions, it seems a rather sensible name for the shop.  A riot of colour and pattern (both of which I'm a huge fan of), the white backdrop of the shopfittings make the jewel coloured cushions sing out, winking suggestively at you to come and touch, stroke and sit upon.  And then of course you're done for because you know you won't be going out empty-handed......

Yastik, 8 Holland Street, London W8 4LT

Wednesday 21 September 2011


Yesterday saw a quick trip up to see what Tom Dixon  has been up to.  Always coming up with fresh and exciting new ideas, there was so much that caught my eye it was difficult to know where to start.  Here are some of my favourites.

First off, bright shiny things you'd like to pop in your pocket and disappear with (not that I did of course)....

a small version of the famous Jack light, cast in copper and perfect for a shelf, 
the aptly named Cast Mini Jack Copper
little copper and gold beakers, perfect for sipping from or just looking at

beautiful delicate beaten bowls - bitter chocolate exterior and burnt gold interior - gorgeous

and this fabulous solid copper dish, hammered with an hexagonal pattern 
and beaten finish, entitled the Hex Bowl
On the more sober side, these little gems also went on the wishlist..........
Simon Hasan's boiled leather and resin vases.  They are so tactile and smell fantastic!
Knackered floorboards?  Nope - super clever wallpaper from Piet Hein Eeek
(with Tom's brilliant Marble Knob!)

and another version.  So realistic it's kind of spooky (good spooky though)
And that's it from the Dock visit - but then again, there was 
THIS I spotted when leaving.....
Aston Martin have a showroom next to Tom's shop and how adorable is this little monster - want one now!
Aston Martin does SMART car (I miss my little Smart but this would do
very nicely thank you)!

Sunday 18 September 2011

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL: Michael Anastassiades

Today saw a trip down to South Kensington to check out the work of the incredibly talented and very lovely product designer Michael Anastassiades.  I absolutely love everything he creates - always original, the carefully considered materials are used to produce extra-ordinary pieces that I long to own.  His beautiful pop-up showroom in Knightsbridge is showing a selection of work during London Design Festival.  Here are some of my favourites.......

the incredibly elegant Onyx Light

 the astonishing beautiful gold plated Beauty Mirror

 the adorable and satisfyingly chubby gold plated Ball Lights

and the suitably grand double wall mirrored glass Mirror Glasses

Dreamy. Go see while you can.

Michael Anastassiades, 235 Brompton Road.  16-25 September

Friday 16 September 2011

AL_A and RONAN & ERWAN BOUROULLEC kick off the fun and games of LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL

London Design Festival officially starts tomorrow but I was itching to get out and see some of the installations already on display and are on my hit list of 'must sees' of the week.

A gorgeous Indian summer September day in London meant there was no excuse not to get the bike out and cycle down through Hyde Park (my favourite green space) to the V&A, the hub venue for this years festival.  I peddled gently down in the warm sun and arrived at the exact moment they were taking the barriers down on the incredible installation Timber Wave by architects AL_A.   So, I had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with just one other, the lovely interiors write Barbara Chandler who I'd never met before but thought was rather fabulous.  Anyway, back to business.....how bloody gorgeous is this piece! Built from red oak, 12 metres in diameter and 3 storeys high, it's a truly beautiful feat of engineering. 

When I'd stop marveling over Tidal Wave, I scooted inside the V&A, side-stepping groups of bag dragging students and headed straight for Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec's Textile Field.  The Bouroullec boys, both of which I'd marry in a shot if they asked, were invited to create a design intervention anywhere in the V&A and they chose the Raphael Court, which houses 7 enormous works by Raphael.  The contrast between the work of a Renaissance great and a 21st century pair of design masters is spectacular.   Undulating Kvadrat bright fabrics create a kind of massive lounging platform and you can't help but kick off your shoes and lie down and have a little 'me' time. 

These are open to all to visit, for FREE, two things I really approve of.  So GO!

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL 17-25 September 2011

Saturday 10 September 2011


Winter seems to be on it's way as London sinks in to a grey, dank stillness.  Where did the summer go?  Lots of interesting design exhibitions coming up soon including the London Design Festival and Decorex which will cheer me up.  In the meantime, a bit of texture, pattern and colour that caught my eye this summer around Britain........