Each year, the ICEHOTEL in the Jukkasjärvi, Sweden asked designers from across the globe to create themed art suites for their guests. Science-fiction fans would be delighted if they stay at the ICEHOTEL. After the TRON Legacy art suite from the British designers Ben Rousseau and Ian Douglas-Jones in winter 2011, they could now experience a stay in a UFO themed ice room.
Pinpin Studio staged a room with four huge UFOs hover that stand tall over an ice forest. Instead of an art piece over the bed, you see a huge UFO beaming you up. I love the theatrical nature of the Beam Me Up room.
+ photo credits: Beam Me Up room by Pinpin Studio
Excellent space planning often leads to no waste space in a home. It often requires to think outside the box to found easy to implement solutions. Let’s look at two efficient ways to achieve that goal.
Placing the bedrooms at each end while the open kitchen / living area occupies the middle of the house eliminates the need for a corridor. This is what architect Rick Bzowy did for this superb perched over a hill resort holiday house. Located in Tasmania, this modern architecture house costs $2.5 millions. You can stay at The Lair for $1,100 a night.
Storage Units used as Wall Partition
Another space saving technique is to delimit the space between two rooms with tall storage units. In a Montreal loft, the owner raised a mid-century bookcase on a platform. Then, they hung full-length drapes at the back of bookcase to add privacy to their guest bedroom.
A full-height storage and display unit separates the dining room from the living room. By keeping the center low, you maintain a visual connection between both rooms.
+ The Lair Holiday House in Tasmania
+ Factory Special from Canadian House and Home – January 2011 issue – photo by Jean Longpré
+ Minimal to the Max from Canadian House and Home – January 2011 issue – photo by Rob Fiocca
Fans of Amy Butler will be happy to know that she published a new sewing book. Style Stitches proposes 12 easy ways to make 26 wonderful bags. The book explains to you how to customize and tweak each bag to let your own style shine. There’s a wide range of great projects, from chic clutches, coin purses and wristlets to modern hobo bags and cool reversible totes.
As you can see the projects covered on her book are diversified. If you are a sewer or have a girl friend who enjoy sewing, this would be a great addition to your book collection. As a bonus when you buy the book on Amy Butler’s web site, you get a signed copy by Amy. Otherwise, the book is available at a book store near you and on Amazon.
+ Amy Butler’s Style Stitches $29.95 USD with a signed copy
+ Amy Butler’s Style Stitches $19.95 at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
In case you missed it, the November 2009 issue of Wallpaper showcased forty of the best things from ten of their favorite global destinations. You will find the best from USA, Canada, UK, Scandinavia, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Brazil and Japan.
From Canada, I discover a few names that I did not know. On the architecture front, I love the work by Süperkul in Toronto. I am fond of the cottage they designed on an island in Georgian Bay. This is my type of cottage by the lake.
The best of the SHIFT cottage by Süperkul?
The SHIFT cottage has a must have feature for a summer place. It is a bridge to link the private and public areas. One volume contains the living spaces while a second section is dedicated to sleeping and washing areas. This allows you to have friends over for the weekend but keep your privacy when you feel like it.
Another good luxury is the wood deck terraces that fold into the island on three sides. Who would not want to read a book in this living room?
I am sure that I will present you more fabulous designers from their listing over the next few weeks.
+ SHIFT cottage by süperkul architect
+ Fab 40: Canada on Wallpaper
Russian designer Natalia Ponomareva invented the cutest tea bag on Earth. I like the refinement of the triangular cloth tea bags but her origami tea bags are second to none. Sadly, this is only a prototype. Her tea bags received good press from many bloggers around the World.
I wish I will be able to serve those to my friends pretty soon. Imagine the Wow factor at the dining table when they see the bird gradually taking shape as they infuse their tea.
I discovered it originally on Inspire Inspire, the awesome blog of a London girl called Naomi. It is not the last time you hear me referring to her finds.
+ Natalia Ponomareva
+ Via Inspire Inspire, Sub-studio design blog, Packaging UQAM
The best trend that happen in kitchen design has to be the social kitchen. By social kitchen, we mean a kitchen space that acts as the hub of a house. You aim for bring the outside in and vice versa.
+ The excellent kitchen designer Susan Serra of The Kitchen Designer shares her top social kitchen design tips on Twitter. Go for a large kitchen door access for outdoor socializing. The glass wall with the sliding doors is the ultimate but classy French doors work as well. I love what the Dublin-based design studio Fuse Interiors did.
+ You have a narrow long space. Do not worry; it is possible to bring several elements of the social kitchen in a long narrow kitchen. Look at how Colin & Justin did it in one episode of Colin and Justin’s Home Heist. Here a butcher’s block doubles as an entertaining bar or buffet station. The lounge area at the back allows the cook to be with her guests without the kitchen feeling crowded.
+ I love the look of a fridge hiding in a flat wall unit. But for practicality reasons, you need a 12-inch wide flat surface on the opening side of the door so you can deposit things when you get food in and out of the fridge. One solution is to integrate a sturdy pull out tablet on either side of the fridge. For more kitchen design tips, check out what Marissa Ponikowski wrote for HGTV.ca about the Top Ten Kitchen Layout Mistakes.
+ Top Images from Fuse Interiors
+ Colin and Justin’ Home Heist TV show
+ Via The Kitchen Designer
I watched with delight Chef Abroad hosted by the Canadian Chef Michael Smith has he finds a culture that has lost touch with its traditional food ways in Amsterdam.
I adore Amsterdam. It has been over a decade since my last visit which was a couple years after I graduated from interior design. Shopping in Amsterdam is a treat since you discover amazing design products. The sad thing for us is that almost none of Dutch design product is exported.
The Netherlands like to push the envelop of design. This is what eating-designer Marije Vogelzang of Proef does in her designs studio-restaurant in Amsterdam.
Marije is an artist who plays with edible food. Her creations are meant to be eaten. She wants us to take conscience of where our food comes from. Her Ham Man filled with pieces of ham on a stick illustrates one of her display techniques.
Other times, Marije Vogelzang works on ways to rediscover a forgotten vegetable. Some dinner menus are declinations on an ingredient where one ingredient is eaten 7 ways from appetizer to dessert.
She uses how we perceived eating and etiquette to stimulate people interactions at the communal dinner table. For example, she gives two half-plates to every guest with the same food on both plates. Half the people receive two plates of smoked salmon; the other half gets two plates of lemon. People have to exchange plate to assemble the dish. Another event was a picnic where half of the guests received the food and the second half got the tableware.
As a designer Marieje explores food through 8 factors: senses, nature, culture, society, technique, psychology, science and action.
If you are curious to have a look at her spectacular eating concepts but do not plan to go to Amsterdam in the upcoming weeks, get her book Eat Love where she explains her philosophy.
I applauded her imagination. It is on my to-do-list for my next trip to Amsterdam.
+ Images from Proef
+ Eat Love by Marije Vogelzang ? 32
Gone is the design that Philippe Starck did at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, California.
The hotel needed to update its Alice in Wonderland concept for some time now. The mastermind behind the new design at the Mondrian Hotel is Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz.
The party to launch the $40-million redesigned Mondrian is scheduled for September 4th, 2008. But I bring you a speak preview, thanks to Los Angeles Times.
The fanciful mirror works as a TV screen. You will see pieces from many superstar designers in the remodeled Mondrian next to affordable pieces like the installation of inexpensive hooks in the bathroom or the La Murrina and nickel lanterns made by Roost on the lobby.
I like the black and white polyethylene table on the guest room terraces designed by modern Dutch designers Marcel Wanders next to the Nest chairs by Tord Boontje.
The ABYU Lighting feather lampshades at the concierge’s desk are supposed to be something. I do not know if it is a different design than the one made for Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and Steven Wine Private Residence.
The feather lampshades are becoming a signature since Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz used them in many projects since 2006.
+ Mondrian Hotel
+ Nest chairs by Tord Boontie at Unica – price: $687 USD, in 8 colors
+ Roost Jumbo Nickel Lanterns at Velocity – price: $96 USD for medium, $120 for large
+ ABYU New York Custom Lighting
+ Images photographed by Mel Melcon for the Los Angeles Times
+ Bottom right image featured in Metropolitan Home in October 2006
A late Friday afternoon post calls for a relaxed and entertaining topic. It is a night to go out with friends and have friends over for a cocktail before going out.
Talking about a dinnerware set for chic casual entertaining fits well with that spirit. So let’s introduce one of my favorites this season.
If you are looking for touches of spring to add to your home, look no further at the tableware collection from Kenzo for inspiration. The designer took vibrant colors of nature as its inspiration.
The idea is to mix the patterns with solid colors. The result is a unique and lively tabletop since everybody will coordinate it to their taste. Harmonize it one day with solid color plates for a different look.
Produced by a team of amazing artisans from France and Italy, the Kenzo tableware proposes a new take on old meets new. I will like to display this tableware on my table.
Buy online: Kenzo Dinnerware at Micheal C. Fina