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
photo: Verso Shelf 34 and 56 by One Nordic Furniture
With a depth of only 16 cm (6 inches), Verso fits into narrow spaces. What I like about ladder style shelving unit is their versatility. They can serve so many purposes that you never get tired of them. You could use it for hanging scarfs, umbrellas and a couple of hangers in an entrance without a closet. Or to provide extra throws in a guest room. During the holiday season, Verso can become your ladder Christmas card holder.
With two sizes and additional magazine stands, it’s easy to create your own version of the Verso shelf. The available widths are 34 and 56 cm. Verso was created by Finnish furniture designer Mikko Halonen for One Nordic Furniture. For now, they only ship within Europe.
It is just after I checked the furniture used for this modern Scandinavian restaurant that I realized that the dining table they used was collapsible. Simsalabim can be used a sideboard or a dining table. This feature comes handy when you are having a party since you can create more floor space and still have a serving station.
This is not a new design. Börge Lindau, the late founder of Blå Station, designed this multi-purpose table in 1993. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you where to buy it. Simply for the concept, it is worth sharing it.
+ restaurant photo: Kvadrat
We have seen tons of use for the Mason jar, and this one is a keeper. Next time that you are having friends over for diner or to eat a raclette, be ready to serve your baby potatoes in a Mason jar. Go either for individual portions or for a few communal jars.
I spot that idea on Apartment Therapy from Amy Rosen’s trip to Copenhagen. She saw it at the famous Restaurant Jacobsen.
+ photo: Amy Rosen for Apartment Therapy
Whether you have a mud room or an entryway, you need to take into account form and function to design a beautiful, practical room. It is even harder if you live in a colder climate because you need to store many coats, boots, mitts and hats.
So, what are the must-have items for an efficient mud room or entryway? My must-have list includes:
- shoe racks
- a coat and hat stand or hooks
- at least one top shelve
- several baskets to neatly organize mitts and scarfs. Ideally, I like one basket per family member with an extra one for your guests
- an umbrella stand
- a bench where to sit to put and remove your boots, or to deposit your packages when you enter your home
- a mirror to see if you look pretty before getting out of the house
- an indoor/outdoor mat next to the door. I will show you the cool ones that I saw at IDS later.
Mud Room Design Ideas
For inspirations, I am leaving you with three inspiring mud rooms. The first one was spotlighted on The Wall Street Journal last weekend. Read their article for more good tips by Rita Koning. The Wall Street Journal’s mud room has a cottage feel while IKEA proposed us a more family-oriented mud room.
IKEA also designed this casual hall way. Here shoe cabinets add a more stylish touch.
Look at the well-done black and white mud rooms from Skona Hem. I like how the cycling accessories are displayed on the wall as art instead of every items. I spotted these Scandinavian mud rooms on the blog High Street Market.
+ Tidy up the Mud Room on The Wall Street Journal – photo by Don Freeman
+ IKEA mud room – photos from catalogues
The Danish studio Norm created for Menu a luxurious Carving Set and a practical Serving Set. The duo of architects designed four pieces that can be used in many ways. The melamine tray when used in combination with the carving bamboo board, or the porcelain dish and cooling pad delivers handy features.
Simply pop the cooling pad in the freezer in advance. Then, put the cooling pad between the melamine tray and the porcelain dish when you are ready to serve desserts, sushi or any cold dishes. There will be no more mess when you carve the meat thanks to the hole in the middle cross of the bamboo board. The hole allows meat juices to drip down into the tray. The melamine tray can be used as a normal tray to serve drinks. As you can see, these sets are quite versatile and clever.
You can buy the carving set (2 pieces), the cooling serving set (3 pieces) or the 4 pieces together. For the slight difference in price, the 4-piece set is the best buy.
+ Norm’s Carving Set for Menu $125 USD
+ Norm’s Cooling Set for Menu $125
+ Norm’s Hot+Cold Serving Carving Tray Set $158
This summer home is heaven on Earth. I do not know which view I prefer between the bathroom or the outdoor wood-fired hot tub. This is the summer house of a new star in the Swedish stylist scene (according to Emmas designblog), Katarina Grundströmer.
Do not miss the rest of her summer home, it’s a place where it should be great to go every weekend.
+ photos: Sköna Hem
+ via Apartment Therapy San Francisco
Over the last couple of years, the vintage style of the Dutch (or Italian) city bike is in vogue. It’s cute and it’s true that you need a different style of bicycle to run errands and for transportation across the city. I love the aluminum racks with bamboo panels. It used to be that we could only get these bikes from European brands. Since, a few American brands have started making vintage style utilitarian bikes.
This is the case of Civia Cycles, a Minnesota-based new comer. You can read Dottie’s review about the Civia Loring on Let’s Go Ride a Bike, a blog run by two girls. Trisha in Nashville and Dottie in Chicago provide a women prospective in their bike reviews. They show on their blog that life on two wheels can be simple, stylish and fun. It sounds like a good match for At Home with Kim Vallee.
I had to share this stylish solarium with a stunning garden view. I would like to rest, eat and on colder days, take care of my garden in that space. This is from a summer house on Gotland, Sweden’s largest island and a true summer paradise. Via Emmas designblog.
+ Civia Loring from $895 – $1395 USD, photo by Let’s Go Ride a Bike
+ summer house solarium: photo by Johan Carlsson for Sköna Hem
I love cleverly made 2 in 1 design products. I could not pass this one. Måns Salomonsen designed a brilliant one with Cocoon. Made of clay, it is a herb planter that cools down the shell the fruit bowl as the water evaporates. Did I mention that it is beautiful!
Sadly, the Web site of this Swedish designer lacks information on the product. There is no way to know if this is only a prototype, or if there is a way to buy it. Many design bloggers introduced Cocoon last week but no one mentioned if or where we can buy it.
I wish to thank publicly my friend Corinne who tipped me about this awesome space saver kitchen accessories.
+ Måns Salomonsen – photography by Martin Gustavsson
As a cat lover, I could not pass this story. The Sweden Post Stamps revealed last week a stamp collection that honors cats. I love it! The stamps were designed by Carina Länk. She also designed the picture of the cat on the First Day Cover, the head of the cat on the FDC cancellation and the illustration of kittens on the Collector’s Sheet.
The cats booklet costs 60 kr, which is a little bit more than $8. But I am unclear about the shipping fees and if they ship to Canada or the United States. I find it strange since stamp collectors often wish to buy stamps from other countries.
+ Cats stamp booklet 60 kr
+ via Modern Cat
For his baskets, the Finnish designer Mika Tolvanen imagined simple lines. The shape is obtained by covering a soft shelf with polymer felt made from PET bottles. The baskets feel cozy and inviting. They are big enough to store or carry inside your home your favorite magazines, toys or even a small batch of firewood. The Restore baskets for Muuto were launched late fall 2009. It comes in five colors: purple, light grey, dark grey, green, blue.
+ Restore Baskets for Muuto $145 USD