I had the absolute pleasure of getting my hands on copies of several books recently launched by Vendome Press. And let me warn you that each one is a must-have for your coffee table or strategically placed pile on a shelf or table somewhere. I’ll start with Beige Is Not A Color by designer Carlos Mota. I love that title and think he may have something there, which was then solidified once I got to the end of his book. It really shows how much impact and drama colour can have in a space. Bland is anathema to Carlos Mota. As he travels the world—from Lisbon to Tangier, India to Santo Domingo, New York to Paris—producing feature stories and ad campaigns for countless publications and companies, he exults in every spark of originality and creativity he sees. Fortunately for us, he not only documents his sightings with his camera but also collects images by a Who’s Who of interiors and architectural photographers. And in this volume, he has culled some 280 of his favorite images, all wholly different but all sharing one quality: the beauty of color, both literally and figuratively. There are interiors, table settings, fabric swatches, tiles, floral arrangements, sculptures, architectural ornamentation—whatever captures his discriminating eye.
Next up is Inside Tangier by Italian interior designer Nicolò Castellini Baldissera (Photos: Guido Taroni). Honestly I really knew nothing about Tangier before reading this book, but WHOA these spaces really captivate and make you want to book a flight to this Moroccan city. Absolutely stunning homes featured in this must-have book. A white-walled city perched between Morocco and Europe, Tangier was long a haven for the literary and artistic avant-garde—and black sheep—of Europe and America. Now a new generation of residents are blending color, pattern, and taste to create an interior aesthetic all their own. Inside Tangier explores a selection of these exceptional properties and their eccentric inhabitants—from antiques dealer and collector Gordon Watson and interior designer Frank de Biasi to the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and antiques dealer Christopher Gibbs—providing rare insights into the sometimes bohemian, sometimes extravagant, but always stylish “Tangerine” lifestyle.
And the last book of this round (more to share soon) is Near & Far by textile designer Lisa Fine with photos by Miguel Flores-Vianna. It is a treasure trove of homes where colour and pattern and textures are abundant and make you rethink your need to de-clutter or paint your walls greige. Lisa Fine invites us into her homes in Dallas, New York, and Paris and takes us along as she visits the places and people who have been her greatest sources of inspiration. Among her favored treasures are the Mughal palaces and gardens of India, the 18th-century home of Carl Linnaeus in Sweden; the whitewashed retreat of interior designer John Stefanidis on Patmos, the idyllic country house and garden of London-based designer Penny Morrison, and the storied house in the Tangier Casbah belonging to collectors Jamie Creel and Marco Scarani.
Time is short. Have you entered the prestigious A’ Design Award and Competition? Once again we are sharing some of our favourites from previous winners and more imnportantly how you can enter your own designs. With over 100 categories the A’ Design Award and Competition is the world’s largest design competition. But it is not just an award. It is an indicator of quality and perfection in design, recognized worldwide, your design front and centre before design companies and professionals. Entries will be judged by an international jury panel of scholars, professionals and media members (you can check out the methodology here) and the benefits to the winners are inspiring. The trophy, of course, an invitation to the gala night, a certificate of quality, inclusion in the prestigious A’ Design Award and Competition exhibition and the yearly ResultBook but even more importantly press, PR, introduction to industry professionals and companies and international exposure.
From the Good Industrial Design Award, to the Good Architecture Design Award. The Good Product Design Award to the Good Communication Design Award. The Good Service Design Award to the Good Fashion Design Award and so many more. Excited? Inspired? Ready to take on the best of the best design from around the world? The deadline for early submission is September 30 (yes that soon!) and results will be published on April 15. Of course we will be bringing you the results as well. You can find out exactly what A’Design Award and Competition is here and register here.
A few months ago the folks at Eternity Modern emailed us about a blog feature. I had not heard of this company before so I took a look around their website and was delighted to know they are headquartered in Vancouver (Canadian eh!) and have an appreciation for some of the best classic mid-century designs. They carry sofas, lounge chairs, dining tables and chairs, sideboards, office chairs and more, of the designs of geniuses like Hans Wegner, Eero Saarinen, Le Corbusier, Finn Juhl, Warren Platner and many more. I was asked to review a product from their shop and I wasn’t sure what to choose at first, until I came across their version of the Noguchi Freeform sofa & ottoman. I have dreamt of owning a curved sofa for quite some time, and knew I would never come across one in the wild here in Ottawa, land of some of the most boring vintage furniture, so as soon as I spotted this sofa I was sold.
The 9 or so weeks I had to wait for my sofa to be made based on my fabric selection were the longest 9 weeks of my life. Selecting fabrics was a bit agonizing too – Eternity Modern has options for this piece of either bouclé wool, cashmere or velvet (or custom, using your own fabric!). They will send along fabric samples which is VERY handy to help with the decision making process. Given the amount of cats I have I knew velvet would be ideal for me (so easy to wipe the fur off!), but picking colours was tough. I was torn between rose mauve and ginger cider for the base and ottoman but after asking on Instagram it seemed the ginger cider was the winner. I then chose slate pebble for the back rest. That done I started thinking about furniture placement in my living room. This sofa is rather large – a little over 10 feet long. and it ranges in width from left to right to form the curve so it’s the perfect sofa to have at an angle. The ottoman is no slouch at almost 4 feet long.
I realized once it arrived that I would have to rearrange the entire room to fit it at the longer end as it really it quite large and needs a fair amount of space. The photo below shows an “aerial” view (me standing on a chair) so you can really get an idea of the curves. It is absolutely gorgeous.
And I have to say it’s really well made.The velvet is beautiful and I hope wears well over time. It is perhaps a bit more firm than I would prefer (I just noticed the site says “cushion softness customizable”) but I’m sure it will soften in time. I had a nap on it the other day and to be able to spread out with the cats around me was fabulous. 🙂
I am really happy with my purchase (keeping things real here – I received a discount on the sofa, it was not free of charge). The only issue that came out of this whole process was with the shipping. Perhaps my fault for insisting the sofa be delivered on the estimated day the shipping company had noted on their site as I had booked the day off work, but when only one guy showed up and could not get it off the truck, I climbed in, unwrapped some of the packaging and helped carry this beast (I think it weighs over 200 lbs) into my garage. I was so excited to finally have my Freeform sofa in my living room as I had sold my previous sofa right after purchasing this one, that I was willing to do anything to get this in my house!
I am in love. It really is the sofa of my dreams.
A couple of quick notes about Eternity Modern: the designs are all identical to the original, shipping is free over $1000, their prices are great and totally reasonable for the quality of their products, they have a large selection of really beautiful fabrics. And did I mention they have a Canadian site? That is key for me as I detest spending money on exchange rates, duty, handling, and all the other fees that mysteriously pop up when shopping internationally. They do have a US site and have warehouse and distribution centers throughout the world.
I took a few shots around the room to show what else I have going on in there since I really did have to rearrange everything to fit the sofa in. It was alot of fun to work it into the space and create a new, lighter zone in that end of the room. I’m still going to be fussing with the layout a bit and the accessories but this is what I had going on during photo shoot day.
My husband bought me this swing-arm lamp about 10 years ago off eBay from the Netherlands I think, and it has been in a box in storage waiting for the perfect spot all those years. When the sofa arrived I realized it matches perfectly with the colour of the back rest. I’m so stoked to be able to finally use it!
My sister Jen was doing a tour of all the ice cream shops in the city she could find over the summer, and took this photo of my niece Adelina on one of their stops. She had eaten black ice cream and I had to have this photo blown up. I found a vintage frame in storage and for under $20 I have new art over my fireplace.
Where my last sofa was became the plant and book zone.
Across from the sofa I added some Panton chairs and a lucite table under my antique mirror (collage in the reflection that is hanging over the sofa was a new purchase for the space by Stephanie Clayton via Artfix Cultured Studios)
Parquet engineered flooring is a trend that’s sticking around and the look has inspired a whole new group of stylish ways to add personality to your home. The current revival of both herringbone and chevron parquet floors has exploded all over Instagram, Pinterest and the wider web, with interior experts loving this classic design. Whether you’re moving into a new build home and designing your space, or renovating an Edwardian property and are looking to re-inject some period style features, parquet engineered wood is a fantastic choice of material for your new floor.
The French craft of ‘parqueterie’, or parquet as we know it today, is the art of hand cutting rectangular blocks of wood and fitting them together to create a floor. Once popular with the 17th century aristocracy and royalty, parquet flooring gathered momentum towards the Edwardian period in stately homes, palaces and mansions. To have parquet flooring was considered a status symbol; after all, it required a great deal of craftsmanship which ultimately cost money.
There’s a whole host of traditional patterns that suit parquet engineered wood flooring; single herringbone, chevron, and square basket are some of the more popular styles found in homes today. Herringbone style parquet flooring are cut from rectangles to give the effect of a broken zigzag or fish bones. Chevron styles are different. These are aligned in a straight line and are cut at a sharper angle to give a more minimalist vibe. There’s a huge amount of choice for which style you opt for but each individual pattern has beauty to offer the different spaces in your home.
From a design aspect, when you choose engineered wood to parquet your floor, it really suits the ever-popular Scandi style. With stripped back, minimalist decor, your parquet flooring then becomes the main attraction. Combine a show-stopper herringbone parquet floor with neutral colour palettes, green foliage and a shaker style kitchen, and you’ve got yourself a one-of-a-kind space that’s sure to delight.
The classic zigzag pattern of herringbone parquet flooring lends itself to smaller spaces. It’s visually deceptive; if your space is narrow then it’ll widen the room by drawing the eye up and down the pattern whilst adding a touch of sophisticated elegance. Chevron patterns are fantastic for sprawling, open-plan areas in larger, period properties. These look amazing when combined with quirky, contemporary pieces of furniture, rich jewel-toned velvet, and succulents in every corner of the room.
Adopting a parquet pattern for your flooring makes a real impact in any room of the home; one of the best features of engineered wood flooring as a material is that you can use it in areas of the house that do contain moisture as it is resistant to damp. This means you can have beautiful parquet flooring made from engineered wood in places like your kitchen or conservatory. The only place that it’s not recommended for is your bathroom. Large amounts of water can penetrate through engineered wood and it will shorten its lifespan.
One of the best features of engineered wood is that there is so much choice available for your floor. Depending on which style you want to achieve, the wear-layer of your engineered wood planks can be made to pretty much any species of tree. Engineered Oak is especially popular at the moment and is beautiful when laid parquet style in your kitchen. Maple makes a real statement in dining rooms. Ash looks amazing in the master bedroom. Whatever you’re looking to recreate, we can help you find your perfect engineered wood flooring at Lifestyle Flooring UK. Parquet flooring looks incredible whatever the shape or size of your home.
This post was contributed by a guest writer.
A’ Design Award & Competition is organized and awarded annually and internationally in a wide range of categories, and is a competition that blows my mind each year with the amount of ingenuity that the contestants bring to the table. Projects that focus on innovation, technology, design and creativity are awarded with the A’ Award. While realized projects find opportunities to get published, reach new markets and meet a wide range of buyers for their existing products, the organization also helps the creative minds and startups to meet with the business people to realize their product ideas. Here is a look at 20 past winners that designed some pretty amazing products or spaces…
Some details not to be missed: The competition is now open for entries for 2019/2020! Details can be found here. Registration information is available here. At the end of the competition we’ll be featuring some of our favourite winners so stay tuned for that!
This post is in collaboration with A’ Design Award & Competition