Monthly Archives: January 2014

Happy Chinese New Year!

Posted on January 31, 2014 by Liz

Gong Xi Fa Cai or Gong Hei Fat Choi – it’s Chinese New Year! For many of our readers and for many businesses across the globe this means a holiday and lots of time for food, family and general celebrations. Last year I was living with a Chinese family in Singapore so I got to take part in the fun and learned a lot about their traditions at this time of year. At WIN we are of course still hard at work in the office, however we’ve been in contact with some great designers who have an oriental influence in their products and there’s one in particular that stood out for us. A New Year can symbolise a fresh start in many different ways, so why not a fresh start in the home? New wallpaper in particular can completely transform a room and with an amazing new collection from designer Steve Leung and Graham & Brown there’s no excuse not to start transforming your house.

Steve Leung is a Hong Kong based designer best known for his beautifully designed hotels, restaurants, club houses, show flats and retail spaces. He has also won the Best International Interior Designer Award an unprecedented ten times at the Andrew Martin International Awards. His wallpaper collection for Graham & Brown features seven contemporary designs, inspired by the Orient with a distinct Western influence. The range includes hand-drawn climbing florals, stylised geometrics and classical stripes in a balanced palette of auspicious earthy shades, sultry metallics and cooling neutrals. Delicate glitter embellishments have been added to give the wallpapers a delicate sheen. We’ve chosen some of our favourites for you below.

Juan, Graham & Brown

Juan uses a simple geometric pattern, with charcoal and bronze colours. An enhanced glitter and metallic effect reflects the beauty and simplicity for which Oriental design is renowned. This wallpaper is charming and we think it would look particularly great in entrance halls, workspaces or the bedroom.

Ling, Graham & Brown

Eastern design inspires Ling with its trellis effect, another geometric wallpaper from the collection. The mix of textures and heights within the design give a stunning three dimensional effect and the metallic highlights add a touch of decadence. The beige and green tones blend really well which will add warmth to your home. This is definitely one for the kitchen or dining room!

Jiao, Graham & Brown

Jiao is a beautiful floral wallpaper. The background is light blue with a white floral design that has shimmering highlights, producing a three dimensional effect on the flowers. It coordinates with some of the plainer wallpapers in the collection and so could be combined, perhaps using Jiao on one feature wall for maximum impact.

Bao, Graham & Brown

Finally there is Bao. This elegant geometric design is inspired by screens from the Orient, combining the traditional with the contemporary. Its clever use of tones and heights give a sophisticated three dimensional effect and again it uses metallic highlights. This wallpaper gives a particular air of elegance and decadence and works well with minimal furnishings and colour schemes of red, black and white.

There are many more designs in the collection and we’re certainly feeling inspired, looks like a weekend of planning my new bedroom! We hope the New Year brings lots of luck for everyone, especially those entering our WIN Awards 2014! For those of you celebrating, we hope you have an amazing time and to everyone else have a wonderful weekend. Until next time!

Chair Wear: Add Style to your Seats

Posted on January 28, 2014 by Liz

With a unique twist on fashion, function and sustainability, Design Studio Bernotat&Co have created a collection of clothing for chairs, asking: Why buy a new chair when you can dress up the one you have? Having already begun dressing up chairs with their Triennal design for Gispen, the Studio realised they could look at upholstery as a completely separate item – the upholstery becomes the chair’s clothing. This clothing gives new life to chairs, restyling them for a completely different look. Cleverly, it also has the possibility to add comfort to hard wooden chairs or allow for simple chairs to have more purpose and functionality which is especially handy for workspace environments.

Photo Credit Marleen Sleeuwits and Rogier Chang

Several textiles were custom-made in cooperation with the Audax Textiel Museum in Tilburg which resulted in technical and functional innovations, such as three-dimensional knits. Others are found materials, used for an entirely different purpose than originally intended. The team began with an initial ‘Haute Couture collection’ before creating the ‘Prêt-à-Porter models’ which we’re going to have a look at below.

Pique-Pocket, Photo Credit Marleen Sleeuwits and Rogier Chang

Firstly, the Pique-Pocket. This model carries household as well as fashion connotations: the structure of the fabric and the detailing are reminiscent of an oven mitten or an apron, but at the same time it has a dainty colour and a waist-like fitting. The two pockets in the back provide an ideal place to store clutter such as phones or books, a great addition to a dining or reception chair – I’d love one at my desk at home personally!

Knit-Net, Photo Credit Marleen Sleeuwits and Rogier Chang

Secondly, the Knit-Net. The protective foam net packaging of expensive apples served as inspiration for this design, which adds comfort to a hard chair and is made of specially developed 3D knitwear. Essentially, it’s a chair cushion, but in a very different shape and technique. Also, thanks to the netted structure in combination with four press studs, Knit Net folds itself beautifully on any regular dining or reception chair, independent on the position of the legs.

Hoodini, Photo Credit Marleen Sleeuwits and Rogier Chang

Next we see Hoodini. This design was created with a knitted textile and looks a bit like a Chesterfield sofa, but also like granny’s dressing gown. The cover is truly multifunctional: useful as baggy storage space when hanging over the back of the chair and as a privacy screen when pulled over the sitter’s head like a hood. Absolutely perfect for hiding and having a private moment in a shared office – we all need that sometimes! – or in a busy household, away from the family for a brief second.

Big Baggy, Photo Credit Marleen Sleeuwits and Rogier Chang

Finally there is Big Baggy. Being Pique-Pocket’s big brother, Big Baggy takes the idea of pockets for chairs to a professional level: he has pockets for anything a nomadic worker might need. The back has two big pockets for newspapers and magazines, the left side is for electronic media: iPad, iPhone and a practical hanging loop for headphones. The left side has pen loops, a pocket for a ruler and two pockets for those other small bits that are usually scattered on your desk. The compact office redefined and a brilliant idea for freelance workers!

From looking at each model individually, it can be seen that they are more than just chair covers and also more than storage creators; they are ambiguous objects with various sources of inspiration and us such are open to associations and even personalities. Being slightly strange, some of them maybe even awkward, they trigger emotional reactions. People relate differently to the chairs when they’re dressed-up, and the chairs suddenly acquire a certain anthropomorphic quality. Funnily enough, the Dutch word for upholstery is ‘bekleding’ – its root including the word ‘clothing’, creating a direct relation to the human body.

Photo Credit Marleen Sleeuwits and Rogier Chang

Here at WIN we love them all, both individually and as a family, and excitingly Bernotat&Co are already working on new models! We can’t wait to see what quirky covers are to come and I’m sure you can’t either – watch this space.

Blacksheep and Jamie’s Italian collaborate for exciting international expansion

Posted on January 20, 2014 by Liz

Autumn 2013 saw Blacksheep,  the hospitality design and branding agency, unveil their latest designs for three brand new Jamie’s Italians in overseas Dubai, Singapore and Istanbul. Blacksheep have worked with the brand for four years and thus understood that they had to reflect the traditional and classic Jamie’s Italian concept, whilst also considering the cultures and customs unique to those regions, ensuring that local guests and holiday makers alike, can enjoy the true Jamie’s experience. The team’s success came from their ability to build close partnerships with local craftsman and artisans to ensure each restaurant could relate to its locality, whilst also remaining true to the unique Jamie’s brand.

Emma Freed, Interior Designer at Blacksheep commented: “The best thing about working on Jamie’s Italian for the international market, is the fact that they represent something fresh and new to those regions. In Singapore for example, although they are familiar with the brand, it is many people’s first time experiencing a Jamie’s. There is something very rewarding and special about the excitement and anticipation which surrounds these projects.”

Main dining area and feature dividing screen, Dubai

Blacksheep’s launch of their very first international collaboration with the household name, in the form of Jamie’s Italian, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Dubai, marks the strength in their relationship with Jamie’s as they move to expand the brand internationally. Situated within the Jumeirah Beach Resort, the prestigious location of the restaurant was to be key to the brief. With striking views to the iconic Burj Al Arab already framing the destination, the team enhanced this feature whilst embracing the existing architecture of the new build site. Blacksheep created a semi enclosed circular space within the centre of the restaurant to form an intimate dining experience, framed by metal screens with open and closed glass detail. The overall result provides the guest with privacy whilst also reminding them of the wider restaurant setting and beautiful views throughout.

Rear dining room with antipasti bar, Singapore

With Jamie’s Italian in Singapore, the key focus was on reclaimed and homely materials to contrast with the clean lines of the shopping centre environment of where it is situated in Vivo City, one of the region’s largest and busiest retail destinations. Blacksheep created a range of different dining spaces to fulfil the brief including an arbour, private dining area and outside terrace providing stunning views across the harbour. The entrance is key as it allows open views into the bar and deli area enticing passers-by, as well as drawing their eye to the central views of the terrace area beyond. Reclaimed timber beams and vintage reclaimed lighting are amongst the key materials used in this location.

Feature wine display, Instanbul

Jamie’s Italian in Zorlu shopping Centre Istanbul, undoubtedly challenged the Blacksheep team as it marks the biggest Jamie’s Italian the creative agency has designed to date. The team looked to create a different dining experience on each level. The ground level presents a daytime sanctuary and includes an antipasti bar and theatrical kitchen with an emphasis on colour and the building’s grand ceiling heights. The first level provides a more intimate dining experience whilst also remaining an accessible dining space for all. This area also includes a striking wine display, its very own antipasti bar as well as a pizza oven and private dining area for those wanting to experience the brand in the intimacy of their friends and family. The destination restaurant also offers two standalone terrace areas to enjoy the Jamie’s experience.

Arbour dining area with feature chandelier, Singapore

All three restaurants also include glazing which can be folded back at night-time allowing guests inside to enjoy the outside atmosphere, something which is popular amongst diners in such tropical climates. Blacksheep continue to work with the brand on developing new sites in 2014. The team at WIN look forward to seeing more translations of this UK favourite, both at home and in more exotic destinations!

WIN Awards now open!

Posted on January 10, 2014 by Liz

We’re delighted to announce that we have now opened the World Interiors News Annual Awards 2014, following phenomenal success in 2013. Recognising and promoting the designs that have made the biggest impact on the cultural landscape over the past year, the awards programme spans 13 categories covering a whole spectrum of interior design. Interior projects include Residential, Workspace, Retail, Restaurants, Bars, Hotels, Leisure or entertainment venues, Museum or exhibition spaces, Public sector, Workspace, and Lighting design. The Products section focuses on Lighting, Furniture and Interior Accessories.

Ranging from emerging designers to long-established ones, our Awards have attracted submissions from over 120 countries. Judged by some of the most distinguished figures in the design world – many of whom have gone on to collaborate with award recipients – this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase innovative designs and boost your commercial potential. Previous judges have included Sir Terence Conran, Lee Hallman (Foster & Partners), Mark Majors (Speirs & Major), Vanessa Brady (interiors Designer and President, SBID), and Rabih Hage (Architect & Interior Designer).

Entrants receive considerable media coverage to our global community of over 220,000 architects, designers, developers and clients. Plus, all winning and shortlisted entries will be published in a Special Winners issue of INSIDE, our monthly round-up of the latest news, views and issues from the world of interior design. Many of our past winners have testified that this exposure contributed significantly to their business success.

Entry is just £250, but register before 14 March and you’ll receive a generous 20% discount on your fee. The winner from each category will be announced later in the year at a ceremony – date to be confirmed.

So if your designs have advanced practice and helped push the boundaries of both beauty and ingenuity, enter our World Interiors News Annual Awards and see how we can transform your business.

For further information about the World Interiors News Annual Awards 2014 and full details on how to enter, contact Liz Naven or call +44 (0)1273 201 117.