Been There, Done That!


Robert Allen Launches New Website

By Lucy

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Robert Allen has done some spring cleaning and released a fresh new website: www.robertallendesign.com. The cleanly designed site features a crisp white background, which serves as the perfect backdrop for a rotating display of their new collections on the homepage, and also includes an intuitive new search that allows designers to search by such useful categories as color family, yardage, availability, and scale. My personal favorite feature? A color bar on top of each page that allows you to search quickly and easily from Robert Allen’s innumerable proprietary colors. So if you’re looking for a break, go over and give the site a whirl! (but don’t blame me when you’re still playing on it in 4 hours ;) )

 

The New York Times Home & Garden Section Closes – A Great Loss for Design

By chris

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Yesterday morning marked the last time that we will all have the pleasure of reading the NY Times Home & Garden section over breakfast.  It is a ritual that will be sorely missed. We counted on Currents to keep us in the know with Rima’s deals and Elaine’s meticulously fact-checked stories on the latest product introductions, store openings, special sales, designer collaborations, etc.  Tim and Rima’s Shopping With was always inspiring and fun – presenting new local design talent and their favorite shopping sources. Noel, Julie, Penelope and Steven and all of the other wonderful contributors over the years delved deep into a quirky and unexpected range of design content that took readers all over the world – reporting trends even before they launched in Milan to alternative living approaches in the far corners of civilization.  Where will we find this content in the new lay of the land is still unclear, but there is no doubt that the design community and NY design-lovers deserve and need some dedicated space in the new order of things. We have heard that the Home coverage will land in  Real Estate, FashionStyle and Food – all great overlapping content areas — but PLEASE, powers-that-be at the NY Times, find a permanent home for some of our favorite go-to sources for information on new innovations and happenings in the design world. It means a lot to the global design industry and to the local New York consumers that came to the section for inspiration and help creating and maintaining their dream homes even if those homes were one-room walk-ups in the outer boroughs.

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TrendSpotting: Unexpected Use of Material at NY Now

By dania

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So excited to be guest blogging for my dear friends at Design-CalendarWalking the aisles of the Javits Center for the winter edition of NY Now 2015, I was struck by how much unusual use of material I was seeing. That, coupled with a great range of interesting, amorphous shapes made for a real eye-catching show.

Some of my favorites in the Accent on Design section:

Love these charming vases and accessories by Elyse Graham, made from resin.

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The process is fascinating, here’s a video: http://www.elysegraham.com/process.html

Beyond Object’s desktop collection was hands down one of my favorites. This London-based design firm has the most elegant and interesting pieces for anyone who cares about all the small details (such as myself). A USB stick made from rose gold and a pencil sharpener made from a solid block of polished metal. Need I say more.

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Martini and Wine Glasses made from wood. By David Rassmussen Design, a great little company out of Colorado.

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Brooklyn-based design firm Souda always has something great going on. The Kawa series of dishes comes in a range of colors and finishes and such beautiful shapes.

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The husband and wife team who founded Oropopo, take inspiration from Native American, classic Western and New Mexican culture to create their fabulous laser-cut leather pieces.

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I love the new infuser by the Los Angeles company Sempli. The Incanter boasts the their unique trademark shape and spinning functionality.

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Last but not least, a personal favorite – Michele Varian. I’ve been drooling over the Nymph Wallpaper online for a while so seeing in person was great.   From a distance it has an abstract, Rorschach quality, up close it’s elegant, feminine and romantic.

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Biennale Interieur – In Review

By chris

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For 46 years, the Biennale Interieur (located in the charming city of Kortrijk, Belgium) has been a destination for design-lovers seeking fresh ideas and innovative makers from Belgium and beyond.  It was our first time at the bi-annual show and we were frankly blown away.  The quality of the exhibition space/exhibitors and the thoughtful offsite exhibitions really made a walk down each aisle an exciting discovery. The show offered a well-curated experience between the main hall and the installations and exhibits located across town in the Buda Island district.  Organized and run by a non-profit organization, with sleek Audis ferrying attendees back and forth, the two days we had for the show, were not nearly enough time to soak it all in. We did our best by taking very short breaks in the charming onsite cafes (created by designers), monitoring our beer drinking (we even visited a Beer Temple) and keeping a brisk pace (our FitBit numbers were through the roof).

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One of our favorite areas was the special section celebrating outstanding Belgian designers and going back in time to show the rich talent that distinguishes the Belgian design scene.  This year the “Designer of the Year” award, a prestigious title given to one who exhibits unique and creative design in their industry, was given to Marina Bautier.  Marina is a native to Belgium, where she set up her own furniture design practice in 2002, until Lignet Roset discovered her work and fueled her international career in Milan.  At a cocktail in honor of the exhibit, we got to meet other Belgian design super stars, including Alain Bertau, the founder of Objekten and one of our faves, who was awarded this title in 2006.

In addition to thought-provoking exhibits, installations and cash and carry designs, the show line-up included cocktail and dance parties at all hours and all over town.  Our friends at Architonic went so far as to rent a decommissioned church for their annual disco event.  The venue was attached to an old school that was soon to be demolished.  The city allowed the show to take over the space to fill it with student design work as well as a fab pop-up restaurant.  We got coveted reservations for dinner on the long school-house tables. It was wonderful! Another after-hours hot ticket was to the Wünder party sponsored by Axor, Duravit, Delta Lighting, Casaus, Samsung and Barrisol and featuring installations, dancing and Belgian beers.. need we say more!

Additional culinary highlights included the home gelato makers on the show floor and some of the best gelato we have ever had… AND for free at a trade show to boot – fantastic chocolates and frites!!!

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Go See The Situation At Storefront, It Ends Saturday

By Abbey Cahill

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The unsuspecting viewer is the subject of a social experiment in perception, encapsulated by a strange vibrating, pink form. It’s porous and biological in structure, but the medium is rigidly composed of thousands of laser-cut metal pieces — inorganic. The experience is all-encompassing, distilling light, sound, and form into one controlled environment.

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Situation NY is a sensory installation at the Storefront of Art and Architecture that explores context, perception, and the real and unreal. A collaboration between Jana Winderen (an artist with a background in mathematics, chemistry, and fish ecology) and Marc Fornes (architect and founder of THEVERYMANY studio), the “situation room” questions how we read our environment, especially in a world where digital and physical realms are becoming more and more inseparable.

Dying to see for yourself? Get to 97 Kenmare Street in Soho this weekend! The installation ends Saturday, December 20th.

Dreaming 2074: A Futurist Foray In French Luxury

By jacqui

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Last week, the French Embassy in New York hosted the US launch of Dreaming 2074, a digital book that harnesses science fiction storytelling to forecast the world in 2074 and the role that French luxury will play in that future society. The event was hosted by the Comité Colbert, an advocacy umbrella organization that represents 78 French luxury houses and 14 cultural institutions from Hermès to Maison du Chocolat.

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Interior Design’s 30th Annual Hall of Fame

By yvonne

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Suit up for the annual Hall of Fame. The “Academy Awards of Design” is celebrating its 30th year! Hosts Cindy Allen, Editor in Chief of Interior Design and Mark Strauss, President of Interior Design Media Group, outdo themselves every year and we cannot wait to see what they have in store this time.  2014 inductees include: Hagy Belzberg of Belzberg Architects; David Lake and Ted Flato of Lake|Flato; Paola Navone of Paola Navone; and Andrea Woodner of Design Trust for Public Space, the recipient of a special leadership award.  We’re excited to see Interior Design‘s signature documentaries honoring each of the inductees. We hear there will be popcorn in the coveted goody bag (courtesy of Ilex) so break it open for your viewing pleasure.

The event – a veritable “who’s who in the industry” – will honor both present and past HOFers. It’s black tire attire, so if you haven’t found your outfit yet, we suggest you take some time over the holiday break to do so. And be sure to put on your dancing shoes for the  after-party! The anniversary event will certainly be one to remember. Information to purchase tickets here.

Interior Design Hall of Fame
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
Waldorf Astoria
301 Park Ave
New York, NY 10022

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Above: Interior Design’s 29th Annual Hall of Fame attendees

Put a New Spin on Your Holiday Table

By jacqui

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Let the entertaining begin! With holiday season upon us, it’s time to bring fresh decorating ideas to the table. Spin Ceramics’ collection of delightful pieces offers plenty of inspiration. The Chinese porcelain tabletop brand blends ancient techniques with the modern artistry of eight contemporary designers who are based in Spin’s Shanghai design studio.

The results are wonderful and often whimsical—captivating designs impeccably rendered by master artisans in the Jingdezhen region, which for many centuries has maintained its reputation as China’s “capital of porcelain.” Since the techniques of the craft date as far back as the 13th-14th-century Yuan Dynasty, you could say that all tea served in Spin Ceramics is steeped in history.

The brand recently opened its flagship store in SoHo and it just relaunched its online store to feature a wider selection of product: store.spinceramics.com. And newsflash: Spin Ceramics is offering free domestic shipping until December 15.

Feast your eyes after the jump: we’ve curated some recommendations for reinvigorating your table (or gift list) these holidays. Ranging from complete dish sets and salt and pepper shakers to candles and vases, these exquisite, enigmatic pieces will get the conversation going.

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Above: Zisha Teapot for Twelve Tastes – This gorgeous, seasonal teapot is pictured with Zisha Grandpa Teacups. Designer: Gary Wang

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Above: White Biscuit Moebius Strip Vase Set - Even without stems, the fluid lines of the sculptural Moebius draws the eye. Designer: Q.Q. Qiong

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Kickstart the Next Great Artists Residence

By sevan

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Brooklyn-based artist Robyn Renee Hasty and Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects just launched Stilt City, a new adaptive reuse project sited in Rockaway Park, New York, which they hope to fund using Kickstarter.

What is—or will be—Stilt City? The project brief presents it as a live-work artists residence and community space that will adaptively reuse a vacant bungalow in Rockaway Park, NY that was flooded by Superstorm Sandy. The renovated building will implement innovative flood-resilient architecture and focus on low-impact design features. With Stilt City, Rockaway will not only have a new space to experiment with radical ideas and alternative  social and economic structures that are at the intersection of art, community, and urban development, but also a new prototype alternative for housing in flood zones that cannot elevate to the adjusted Base Flood Elevation.

The project’s Kickstarter campaign launched this past Thursday with a festive event at Pioneer Works—but don’t wait until they’re down to the line to donate! The project needs to raise $60,000 to get funded and become a reality, and we know you’re eyeing the SLUMBER PARTY reward.

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Robert Allen Announces 2015 Interior Designer Color of the Year

By Lucy

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Robert Allen has launched its new Interior Designer Color of the Year program, and the results are in for 2015. Interior designers and industry experts cast their votes from predictions selected by the color pros at Robert Allen, and Calypso Blue came out on top!

Robert Allen Director of Fabric Design Hannah Alderson explains, “Calypso Blue is a vibrant color with bold, inky undertones. It represents where design is headed in the coming year, a reinterpreted twist on a classic shade, and we’re excited to see how designers use it in their interiors throughout 2015.”

Calypso Blue will be featured in upcoming Spring 2015 collections from Robert Allen, but in the meantime, I’ll be dreaming of avoiding the cold and lounging at the beach in front of a Calypso Blue ocean! Check out this gorgeous hue below.

The 2015 Interior Designer Color of the Year!

The 2015 Interior Designer Color of the Year: Calypso Blue!

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