Posted on

Using Pattern & Light In and Around Dining Areas

Exquisite dining – in your own home. Who’s to say you need to head downtown for a memorable, fine dining experience? While we will not be making dinner menu suggestions, we would like to give you a few tips on how to arrange your dining area to create an elegant and luxurious atmosphere.

Low hanging light solutions over the dinner table really bring the area into emphasis, and we find them to be a great way of enhancing the dining experience. They also add a flare modernism to the space. Our favourite ones look like this:


Pattern at the dinner table: to add a subtle yet outstanding note to your dining area, we recommend using high quality design place mats and coasters. These will serve a double purpose, protecting the surface of your dining table, and adding a dash of personality and an accent note to the table:


If you would like to see our entire collection of tableware accessories, they are available on our website: coasters and placemats.

After-dinner relaxing

For the after-dinner lounging area, we prefer low intensity lighting and even candle light, depending on the context and guests you’re entertaining. This will help create a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. Add a glass of wine, and you are bound to be a fabulous evening in. Here are a few examples:


Comfortable, visual textures as patterns: According to designer Abigail Ahern “soft furnishings are the five-minute face-lifts of the decorating world, instantly perking up your room with an array of different textures”. You can sue these either as stand-alone statement pieces, or bundled up to create contrast and play, using different visual textures. Recommended materials are silks and cotton, and our own collection offers luxurious cushions in daring patters and texture, ideal for adding a subtle yet outstanding note to your dining area:


From top to bottom, cushions suggested are:

Posted on

Salone Del Mobile, Milano – Part 2: Glass Furniture

A couple of weeks ago we posted about the vibrant root vases we discovered thanks to Salone del Mobile in Milano. Today we’re looking at Patricia Urquiola’s work, also present in the Milano exhibition: and we were quite taken by her innovative approach!


Are you as intrigued as we were? Entitled SHIMMER, the collection comprises low tables, consoles and shelves in laminated and glued glass, characterized by a special iridescent multi-chromatic finish:


The nuance varies according to the angle of the light source and the vantage point, giving the reflected objects a magical and ethereal appearance:


We learned from Glas Italia that the collection items come in opaque or transparent glass, or transparent glass with a special micro dot decoration. We this this one in particular is hypnotically elegant:


Posted on

Unusual Living Spaces

As humans, we tend to be wary of odd things around us, and the same applies to unconventional spaces. While these may sometimes be a bit more challenging to arrange, it can also be an opportunity to create a unique interior, with a very different feel.

One great example to illustrate the creativity behind the design of an unusual living space this is the triangular house in Muko, a one of a kind design created by Fujiwara room Architects in Japan.


From the outside, the building looks like an unusually geometrical shape, being wrapped in glass and tall vertical louver slabs. The advantage of this is that it allows light to both enter and exit the home, depending on the time of day, and the interior continues to receive sun light throughout the day, from different angles. This creates interesting patters of light and shadow in the interior, at the same time being an ingenious way of making the most out of natural light.


Once you step inside the Muko house, the experience changes completely, from the firmness of precise geometric lines and angles, to more fluid shapes that undulate throughout the interior.


The ground floor is arrange as one open plan design, and the use of these, and all the furnishings in this interior are based on curvilinear formations, which give an interesting, flow sensation, making is easy to navigate from the dining are into the bedroom, without the use of any sharp dividers.

Fujiwara room Architects

Photography by: Toshiyuki Yano

Posted on

Design Trends From Salone Del Mobile, Milano – Part 1

The Salone Del Mobile di Milano has recently finished, so we took a sneak peak to see what the latest trends in furniture design are. The first piece that grabbed our attention and won us over, are the root vases, created by Milanese designer Giorgio Bonaguro and produced by DRIADE.


We think these are a brilliant execution of an ambivalent object: they combine a simple, clear glass cylinder on the outside, with an internal element of coloured glass imitating the roots of a flower:


The creative vase is both appealing in design, and functionality as it can be turned and used either to hold one single flower, or flipped over, to hold a colourful bunch:


The vases are made in blown borosilicate glass, and come in three lovely hues: yellow, green and blue, the central colours of nature, representing the sun, grass and skies. What a lovely touch!


all images © andrea basile studio

Posted on

A large space design that enhances creativity – found in Bangkok

We found this gem online, and simply fell in love with it! The two floors of the Bangkok University Creative Centre (BUCC) designed by Supermachine’s architects Pitupong Chaowakul, Nuntawat Tassanasangsoon, Suchart Ouypornchaisakul, and Worawit Hongwiang are a mesmerising journey of colour, shape, light and texture. We love the way this large space design fosters creativity, in every one of its rooms and halls. The BUCC includes a workshop, library, exhibition space, viewing room and offices:

Bangkok University Creative Center is a perfect example of large space design to foster creativity

The entire large space design is centred around the 180 square-meter wall – “Lo-Fi pixel wall”, an installation of 10,000 custom-made rotating four-sided plastic pieces in pink, blue, green and yellow, that students can play around with, to create colour patterns or write messages:

The “Lo-Fi pixel wall” – one of the main attractions in the BUCC

We really like the feel of this place, as it seems to perfectly exemplify the type of oasis where creative ideas are born. In fact, just looking at these pictures is getting our creative juices flowing! What’s you favorite creative space?

Posted on

Inspiring Designers, Part Six

This week we’re looking at fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki, though you might know her better as the founder of high-end clothing and homeware brand Biba.

Hulanicki launched Biba in the 1960s, before it became a popular high-street brand in the 70s. The brand was relaunched in 2010 in House of Fraser stores, where it continues to be successful for its iconic patterns and prints.

Photo: Biba 2015.
Photo: ©Biba 2015.

What we find most inspiring about Hulanicki’s work is its subtle theatricality and use of beautiful Art Deco style. The designs are bold, statement prices yet remain sophisticated and elegant. The use of plush colours ensures a sense of luxury, making the Biba homeware collection feel really special.


Posted on

Inspiring Designers, Part Five

This week we’re keeping it bright and bold with Basso & Brooke!

Revered for their digital prints, fashion and textile designers Bruno Basso and Christopher Brooke have collaborated with many major corporations where they have produced cutting-edge work that never fails to express a strong sense of personality. If you like making a statement then Basso & Brooke are for you.

Photo: ©Basso & Brooke Studio 2015.
Photo: ©Basso & Brooke Studio 2015.

We really adore the diversity of their prints, which are often busy with a geometric, artsy style. The designs are inspiring for their bold, surreal style that sometimes borders on ‘trippy’. We’re also impressed by their ability to match their prints to such a range of products: clothing, accessories, homewares, even skateboards!

Posted on

Inspiring Designers, Part Four

Today we’re looking to the futuristic work of architect and designer Neri Oxman for inspiration!

Oxman’s designs are particularly striking, incorporating digital and computational design with materials science and synthetic biology to explore the relationship between the natural world and the artificial components that we build into it.

Photo: Zuhal, part of the 'Wanderers; An Astrological Exploration' collection. ©Neri Oxman 2015.
Photo: Zuhal, part of the ‘Wanderers; An Astrological Exploration’ collection. ©Neri Oxman 2015.

We find the ‘Wanderers’ collection particularly compelling, not least for Oxman’s stunning use of colour, materials, and surface textures. This project is a collaboration with Stratasys, a 3D printing company, and ties in with their collection ‘The Sixth Element: Exploring the Natural Beauty of 3D Printing’. The designs are tailored to the various environments of the planets within our solar system, and the concept behind each design is to aid humanity’s survival within that landscape through absorption and production of biomatter.

Photo: Mushtari, part of the 'Wanderers' collection. ©Neri Oxman 2015.
Photo: Mushtari, part of the ‘Wanderers’ collection. ©Neri Oxman 2015.

What we find so inspiring about Oxman’s designs is their tactile quality; you can’t help but be drawn in by the diverse textures and materials. Though beautiful, the designs are also subversive and surreal – a unique blend of science, technology, and design innovation that we can’t resist.


Posted on

Inspiring Designers, Part Three

A change in pace this week for our inspiring designers series, we’re looking at Ryo Matsui, of Ryo Matsui Architects Inc.

Matsui’s work is undeniably elegant, clean, and stylish, with a real architectural edge. His use of contrasting surface patterns and muted, natural colours means his design concepts remain at the forefront of contemporary trends.

Photo: Project for UDS Ltd., 2014. ©Ryo Matsui Architects Inc 2015.
Photo: Project for UDS Ltd., 2014. ©Ryo Matsui Architects Inc 2015.

What we find most inspiring about Matsui’s work is its ability to present complex design ideas in a simplistic, minimalist form. His use of lighting is also something to be marvelled at; these finishes are often delicate but make such a difference to creative spaces.

Photo: Project for TOSHIBA Milan Salone, 2009. ©Ryo Matsui Architects Inc 2015.
Photo: Project for TOSHIBA Milan Salone, 2009. ©Ryo Matsui Architects Inc 2015.
Posted on

Inspiring Designers, Part Two

Our Inspiring Designers blog continues this week with French architect and designer, Emmanuelle Moureaux.

Moureaux resides in Tokyo, Japan, where she has been living and working since 1996. For Moureaux, colour is key. She prefers to use colours as a way of structuring rooms, rather than as a finishing touch or complement to the physical design. This concept, created by Moureaux, is called ‘Shikiri‘ which, literally translated, means ‘dividing space with colours’.

Photo: Shinjuen Nursing Home. ©Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture and Design 2015.
Photo: Shinjuen Nursing Home. ©Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture and Design 2015.

We find Moureaux’s work particularly inspiring for its fresh, contemporary vibrancy. If Pantone had gone down the architecture route, we feel, it would look something like this.

Photo: Puzzle Building, Tokyo.
Photo: Puzzle Building, Tokyo. ©Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture and Design 2015.

Moureaux’s designs are artistic and playful – a real aesthetic treat.