Author Archives: Megan

About Megan

WIN has quickly become a major online resource for showcasing the latest interior design projects and innovative products from across the globe. Featuring all the latest news, views, jobs and expert commentary, WIN provides invaluable information for our extensive database of architects, designers and suppliers.

From Paris to Tokyo

Posted on December 19, 2013 by Megan

Diptyque, a textiles company founded by Christiane Montadre-Gautrot, Desmond Knox-Leet and Yves Coueslant, is the product of a shared dream: a boutique textile outlet combining their artistic collaborations, inventiveness and creativity.

In the early 1960s, 34 Saint Germain des Prés was a prestigious address; a hub for Parisians in search of creativity and new ideas. The shop had two windows, like a diptych, giving the boutique its name. Originally designers of beautiful cotton fabrics with striking patterns, these three arty friends also loved traditional or unusual objects, which they sought out all over the world. Very quickly, Diptyque became a “chic bazaar” that people flocked to in search of a departure from the norm.

Two years later, in 1963, the designers built upon the boutique’s unique ambience with the introduction of three scented candles. The scents of Thé, Cannelle and Aubépine, (Tea, Cinnamon and Hawthorn) helped the company establish itself as a leading name in the world of pure, natural fragrances.

Today the brand has a stronger industry presence than ever, including a store in Tokyo’s Aoyama district, where alternative, eclectic style is welcome.  In its Tokyo home, the Parisian spirit of Saint Germain pervades, but Diptyque has also been reinvented for the Japanese market. The ethos behind the company’s success, however, remains: rigorous selection of raw materials and the desire to learn, discover and reinvent. The designers continue to deliver ranges and collections which evoke a subtle blend of elegance and simplicity, just as they did in the early 1960s.

A combination of stone, wood, tatami, brass and warm colours give the Aoyama shop interior a friendly, intimate atmosphere, blending wood with flamboyant shades and bright essences. 550 candles form a tree trunk, acting as a shrine to fragrance. Dyptyque fabrics, in varying and unusual colour blends, form the backdrop to the iconic 34 Boulevard Saint Germain range, encapsulating the history and the spirit of the old Parisian days.

Amongst the collection are two limited edition lanterns designed by José Lévy, sealing the relationship between Paris and Tokyo. Levy worked with Japanese artisans to understand their relationship to light and produced an installation of a bed of 50 Diptyque candles for the city’s first night-time festival. Inspired by the gardens in each city, he proceeded to design two lanterns entitled “Tokyo” and “Paris”. Through their differing scents, each suggest elements of their respective city.

Aesthetically the lanterns are simple and contemporary, with a cream backdrop and clean black lines, making them a stylish accessory for any interior – they’re certainly on our Christmas Wish-list!

For more information about Diptyque and their ranges, visit www.diptyqueparis.com.

Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Megan

Inaugural Award of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund announced at the World Interiors News Awards, Saatchi Gallery, London by John Roake, Chairman of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund. The Trustees of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund are pleased to announce that  award has been made to Alex Stewart, a second year Masters student from the School of Architecture at Parsons, The New School for Design, New York. Alex was selected from a strong field of candidates drawn from schools of architecture in the UK and US.  A detailed selection process ultimately determined that the combination of Alex’s architectural skills, his passion for light and the strong recommendation received from his university made him the worthy winner of the £10,000 scholarship. The funding will be used to support his ongoing education and investigation into the relationship between light and architecture.

Chairman of the JSSF John Roake spoke on behalf of the Trustees of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund: “I am delighted to have made this first award. Whilst the selection process was tough thanks to the very strong field of candidates, it was a unanimous decision to make Alex the first JSSF Scholar.  His love of architecture and light was transparent from the outset but it was his enthusiasm, professionalism and warmth that reminded us so much of the individual at whose behest this scholarship has been set up”.

Alex Stewart commented: ”It is an honour to be selected as the Jonathan Speirs scholarship winner, and to be the inaugural year makes it even more special. I see myself as a steward for the award and Jonathan’s memory moving forward.  He sounded like a truly wonderful man. I only wish I had had the opportunity to meet him. However, his legacy most certainly lives on. Thank you for this distinction”.

John Roake concluded with a plea for ongoing support: “This award was only made possible because of the incredible generosity of a number of companies and individuals who came forward with donations. It is our stated intention that we will make a minimum of one award each year until 2023.  To that end we still need further financial help. We would therefore like to use this opportunity to appeal to companies, professional practices and individuals who both knew Jonathan or benefitted from his incredible insight into light and architecture to give generously going into the future”.

Details of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund, including ways to donate, are available at www.jssf.org.uk.

Celebrating at Saatchi

Posted on December 10, 2013 by Megan

Ten days on from the inaugural World Interiors News Annual Awards ceremony and dinner the winning designers are still basking in the glory of their successes. London’s Saatchi Gallery played host to the most distinguished figures in architecture and interior design, treating the attendees to an opportunity to view the latest exhibition entitled “Body Language” which explores the physicalities of human beings through photography, sculpture and painting.

Escaping the cold November night outside, over 300 guests from across the globe retreated into the gallery’s warmth for a cocktail reception, a 3-course meal and some all-important networking opportunities. Amongst the many well-known faces was judge and interior design guru Sir Terence Conran, who has been a keen supporter of the awards programme.

As petit-fours and coffee were served, the awards ceremony began with a speech from Annalisa Hammond, Editor of World Interiors News, welcoming the guests and introducing Art historian and BBC Culture Show host Andrew Graham-Dixon who proceeded to present the awards for the winning designs.

Whilst the shortlisted entries from each category were announced and the winners collected their trophies on stage, guests from all areas of architecture and interior design were reminded of the designs which have helped shape the material and cultural landscape over the past year.

When the ceremony came to a close, the elated winners and shortlisted designers were photographed with their trophies and certificates, and the champagne flowed as celebrations began.

After overwhelmingly positive feedback about the event, Annalisa Hammond reflects that “the intimacy and originality of the venue appealed to our sponsors and guests, many of whom have already enquired about next year’s event!”

With the 2014 Awards due to open in early January, it promises to be another exciting year ahead for World Interiors News.

Introducing HAM

Posted on November 28, 2013 by Megan

London based designer Jo Robson (née Ham) has designed a range of 100% British-made wares which draw aesthetic inspiration from her childhood nostalgia of growing up on a farm. As a farmer’s daughter, Robson grew up in the Shires before training as a fine artist, and it was these years spent in rural England that have provided her with the creative fuel for this collection.

Through this range of prints, greeting cards, notebooks and mugs, HAM designs capture some unexpected moments in the quiet lives of a pig, a horse and a rabbit. The minimal aesthetic brings a serious edge to the playful subject matter.

Established in 2011 as a pop-up shop in London’s famous Carnaby Street, HAM has since been featured in a number of press titles and can be found on the shelves of many prestigious design-led stores and galleries around the world.

Minimalism and bold silhouettes against a crisp white background define HAM’s aesthetics, and only on closer inspection can the eye detect more specific details about the animals and their curious behaviour, which exhibit Robson’s subtle sense of humour.

Included in the range are a collection of screen prints (available in varying sizes) and A5 notebooks.  HAM has produced a line of British-made luxury greeting cards, litho printed on thick matt paper, accompanied by brown kraft envelopes.

In the spirit of the forthcoming Christmas season, HAM has also launched two new festive designs featuring the pig and rabbit.

More information available at http://www.hammade.com/

 

Westin Palace

Posted on November 19, 2013 by Megan

Rockwell Group Europe have recently completed the interior design for the new event spaces at the historic Palace Hotel, Madrid. Originally designed by Catalan architect Ferrés i Puig, the internal event space within the 20th century building have been given a touch of modern elegance in a bid to revive the hotel’s longstanding role as a hub for Madrid civic life.

A total area of 1,185 sq m was transformed by Creative Director Diego Gronda and his team. Worthy of note within these designs are several custom lighting features, including an LED lighting system which allows users of the “Circulo Palace” to choose between more than 250 colours, to set the mood of the room at the touch of an I-pad.

The new venue, Espacio Palace, complements the hotel’s existing meeting rooms, providing a distinctive spatial and aesthetic alternative. “We developed a design language that is at once respectful of the 100-year history of this magnificent building, yet offers a contemporary interpretation and accommodates the technological needs of guests and customers of the 21st century,” says Gronda. “This project has been especially important to us because the hotel plays such a prominent role in the life of Madrid, and it’s our first commission in our home city.”

Rockwell Group Europe invented a sophisticated, multi-purpose space that is adaptable to amaximum of private functions, such as business presentations, cocktail parties, wedding celebrations, dinners, and ballroom dances. The design is intended to capture the essence of the glamorous “Palace Brasserie” that occupied this location in the early 20th century while imbuing the space with a modern sensibility and firmly anchoring it in our time. Inspired by the landmark Neptune Fountain in front of The Westin Palace, Rockwell Group Europe integrated subtle design references to water throughout the new venue, connecting the hotel’s interior to its urban context and adding a sense of movement to custom furniture, lighting, and carpeting. Neutral and metallic tones lend the spaces a fresh and contemporary feel.  

The project nearly doubles the hotel’s banqueting capacity, making The Westin Palace the largest luxury hotel supplier for special events in Madrid. It is the culmination of Rockwell Group Europe’s interior redesign of the hotel’s most significant public spaces, which began in 2012 with the renovation of the dramatic rotunda lobby and lounge, long known for its spectacular stained glass dome, as well as four of the hotel’s meeting rooms.

QE2 Hotel Design Proposal by Benoy

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Megan

Almost 50 years on from the launch of The QE2, design proposals are being put forward for the ship’s conversion into a floating 5-star hotel. Amongst the proposed plans is the scheme of award-winning designers Benoy, who propose a design preserving the original architecture and ambience of the world-famous vessel, uniting the character of the 60s with contemporary and cutting edge design trends. It is a scheme which propels the liner into the 21st century luxury market.

In the historically important spaces of the Midships Lobby and Queen’s Room, Benoy propose to conserve the forward-thinking intent of the original QE2 design by introducing modern variations on textiles, lighting, fittings and technology. 

Amongst the design challenges encountered during the early stages of planning was the issue of how to introduce light and physical space into the arteries of the ship, given the long, straight passenger corridors which run through the vessel. Benoy’s solution was to carve circular vestibules out along the passageways, providing opportunities to showcase art and feature lighting to open the space up.

Within the guest suites, the curved alterations of the corridors continue to flow through the spatial design, with subtle hints of a nautical theme. The luxurious ambience was crafted using highlights of marbled stone, stand-alone bath tubs and glass walls. The furnishings note the style of the QE2 history, with a vintage appeal that is accompanied by a natural and contemporary colour palette. 

The floating hotel will accommodate private residences, a conference centre, a performance theatre and ballroom, as well as retail and leisure locations. Benoy has accommodated space for a modern maritime museum, present the important and fascinating history and artefacts of the iconic vessel to both the public and hotel guests. Guests can experience an elevator ride to the top of the ship’s funnel, which has been re-designed as an observation platform. Above deck, the original swimming pool has been enlarged to accommodate 5-star standards.

John Denton, Director of Interior Design at Benoy, commented that the firm’s submission embraced the “history and philosophy” of the transatlantic ocean liner.

Benoy’s design concept film for the QE2 hotel can be found on the Benoy YouTube Channel.

Moroccan Bazaar

Posted on October 14, 2013 by Megan

Moroccan Bazaar is a leading supplier and manufacturer of exquisite Moroccan interiors, a family business spanning three generations dating back to 1946. Today, the company, which initially started out as a wholesale supplier, has evolved into a well known and trusted name in the manufacture and distribution of home and contract furnishings. A range of over 3000 products can be viewed and are available to purchase at its West London showroom as well as Moroccan Bazaar’s stylish online website. 

Over the years Moroccan Bazaar’s products have been used throughout the world, catering to the retail and events industries as well as in luxury hotels and private residences. It has also supplied production companies for well known film and television shows and home improvement programmes. Moroccan Bazaar work tirelessly to provide high quality authentic furnishings, this ranges from intricate fine lighting through to beautiful furniture collections made from many different materials, all produced in its own workshops in Morocco.

Quality is the company’s key principle; its approach in conducting its business with honesty and integrity is adopted by its talented craftsmen who ultimately form the foundation of the partnership. A network of over 1000 craftsmen who work exclusively with the family ensures a constantly evolving product range which is high in quality and consistency.

The company prides itself on its comprehensive traditional range, as well as collections which are more suited to a contemporary living space, where a touch of something exciting and different is desired. For inspiration, the projects gallery offers an insight into a handful of completed Moroccan interior design projects the company have undertaken and browse through the online catalogue for their range of Moroccan Decor.

Some of Moroccan Bazaar’s beautiful products will be illuminating the Saatchi Gallery on 28 November as World Interiors News reveal the winners of this year’s interior design awards. To see who is coming or to get involved, visit www.worldinteriorsnews.com or contact Naomi for more information.

Antonio Aricò: ‘Still Alive’ for Seletti

Posted on September 30, 2013 by Megan

Antonio Aricò’s new collection ‘Still Alive’ deals with the artistic and timeless theme of the ‘Still Life’. For this collection, specially designed for Seletti, Antonio wanted to play with inanimate objects and natural shapes usually put together by famous and amateur painters.

‘Still Alive’, a ‘practical and organized piece of art’, comes from Stefano Seletti’s desire to work on wooden boxes that can be used for storage. Antonio decided to use a “graceful detournement” and he wonderfully moved objects from one context to another by simply transforming common products and their uses to create new stories and feelings – always referring to pure and simple emotions.

The result? An arrangement and combination of elements that you can use and play with. By juxtaposing their various shapes and shadows, the user receives a daily invitation to discover and explore them in a creative way. The design set includes a tall wooden pitcher, which can be used to
hold rulers or scissors, a wooden vase which is divided into three parts for storing items like tacks and paperclips, a practical cup made of brass which can be used as a pen holder, a wooden pencil box to hide your precious, favourite pens, a porcelain bottle which can be seen as a simple mono vase to put a smiling flower in, a wooden pyramid-shaped box in emerald green with a retro “radica” effect to put your personal treasures in, and a magical magnifying glass sphere to help you read the passionate letters of your lover.

All of these elements are highly functional, so ‘Still Alive’ will become part of your daily routine – ready to be used at your desk or living room table. Sensorial, tactile, and dynamic, every piece has its own carved-out place on a polygonal wooden base and you’ll have the freedom and pleasure to move them around, tidying up or playing with all of their functions and materials.

Already featured in Seletti’s catalogue, ‘Still Alive’ will be presented for the first time in Maison et Objet from the 24 – 28 January.

Farrow & Ball’s new colours for 2013

Posted on September 18, 2013 by Megan

Farrow & Ball have unveiled nine new colours to add to their paint palette; four greys, a soft white, an inky blue and three brights. Design and colour consultant Frances Tobin reports…

F & B Colourcard

So how do they look? Well the grey tones are gorgeous – it’s quite surprising that F&B took so long over this – grey has been on trend now for at least five years and their other grey levels are quite limited. But I do love the tones they have chosen, they are so right for their brand, especially Mole’s Breath pictured below.

Mole’s Breath

The Wevet white is a perfect addition to work back with these greys and necessary, as the other whites in their range are too strong and yellowed to allow the greys to breathe.

 

Farrow & Ball new colours

The other addition I love is the wonderfully named Stiffkey Blue. Pronounced stoo-kee, this blue is named after the mud found at Stiffkey beach in Norfolk, it really is a colour you could wallow in!

Stiffkey Blue

Which brings me onto the sharp brights – Nancy’s Blushes (another great name) is too sugary for me but I can see it being popular for young girl’s bedrooms.

F & B Colours

St Giles Blue I find quite hard, there is a little too much yellow in it, but talking of yellow, I really do not get why they have added the acrid Yellowcake. This level of colour should be left to the likes of Designers Guild; it just doesn’t work on any level with the Farrow & Ball brand or palette. When you see it on the colourcard slotted in to the existing yellow’s in the range, it throws them all out – it’s so sharp you can’t see the colours adjacent to it.

I have always admired Farrow & Ball’s style and vision but I think this yellow throws that into question. I’m not sure whom they are trying to attract with this colour, in fact I think they may put potential customers off, as this colour weakens the overall offer.

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Frances Tobin is a design and colour consultant; advising on trends in colour, the effects and benefits of colour and the coordination of colours, materials and finishes. She works with architects, designers and manufactures creating colour palettes for fashion collections, product ranges and the built environment, from private homes to large public buildings.

www.francestobin.com

 

 

Handmade in Britain: New Graduate Showcase

Posted on September 17, 2013 by Megan

Handmade in Britain returns to Chelsea Old Town Hall this November for the seventh edition of The Contemporary Crafts & Design Fair.

Experience a rich variety of contemporary craft and design in fashion and interiors from
disciplines including ceramics, jewellery, glass, textiles, wood, metalwork and furniture, all under
one roof on the King’s Road, London.

This year, Handmade in Britain highlights the exceptional talent of 5 emerging makers in their New Graduate Showcase – a dedicated gallery celebrating the next generation of innovative design and dedicated craftsmanship, featuring makers in glass, textiles, jewellery, ceramics and interior accessories. Each selected maker graduated in his or her discipline in 2012 or 2013.

The New Graduate Showcase 2013 features:

PETER KUCERIK
Glass + Lighting

Peter’s collection of glass lighting features sculptural pieces which respond to both nature and digital technology – inspired by the crystalline geometry in nature and modern architectural design.

www.peterkucerik.com

Peter Kucerik – Ghost

ANNA BYERS
Jewellery

Anna Byers’ bold, geometric jewellery is inspired by the architecture of temples, mosques and cathedrals. Anna’s ‘Interactive’ collection features multi-layered pieces that can be rotated and rearranged, inviting the wearer to create their own unique compositions.

www.annabyers.com

Anna Byers – Interactive necklace

ELAINE BOLT
Ceramics

Thrown Porcelain and terracotta in soft, inviting forms contrasting with dark and semi-enclosed interiors. Elaine’s work suggests secluded spaces, and emphasizes contrasts in interior and exterior, dark and light.

www.boltceramics.wordpress.com

Elaine Bolt – Vessels group

FELIX PROCTOR
Interior Accessories

Felix has created a series of hyper-functional and partially dysfunctional objects which stretch the
conventions of materials – the series includes ceramic speakers, concrete cups and plywood salad tongs.

www.felixproctor.co.uk

Felix Proctor – Concrete Bowl

AMELIA GIBBS
Textiles

Free machine embroidered textiles combining flowing forms and intricate cutwork, hand dyed and painted. Amelia’s current work is a collection of delicate, handmade silk scarves, each one completely unique.

www.ameliagibbs.co.uk

Amelia Gibbs – Embroidered Scarf

The New Graduate Showcase will be located on the stage of the main hall for the duration of the show. 8-10 November | Private View: 7 November | Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, SW3 5EE.

GALLERY