Blog Archives

Painted wooden horses

July 4, 2013

painted wooden horses

Brought back by the Mellors from Sweden, the painted wooden horses reflect their love of traditional crafts. These colourful creatures cost £10.50 for the 13cm high one; and £19.50 for the 15cm size, from The Blue Door.

Plywood chair

July 1, 2013

plywood chair

Whether it’s Arts and Crafts-influenced or classic 20th-century design, each piece of furniture is carefully chosen for its look and maker. Echo
the cantilevered lines of Alvar Aalto’s celebrated plywood chair with the ‘Kimsta’ from IKEA. It costs £69, as shown, in a natural cotton cover.

Dishwashers miele

June 14, 2013

miele dishwasher

Dishing the dirt:
Solved at last – that fiddly task of removing sharp knives and cutlery from a tightly packed dishwasher basket. This dishwasher has a tray at the top that’s designed to take a whole set of cutlery, making it easier to lift out pieces and put them away, and keeping sharp utensils out of harm’s way. Miele claim that their dishwashers are the quietest on the market and use the minimum water, detergent and electricity. The high-street price for the G674SC model is £659.

Home decorating accessories

April 22, 2013

From the very beginnings of civilization, small, rare, and beautiful objects have been sought, collected, and cherished, perhaps because they can be held in one’s hand and are yet evocative enough to represent a whole culture. Through them, in fact, the past comes alive, and that is one of their chief attractions for Armin Brand Allen, a dealer-collector with a sharp eye for quality and the unexpected.
Armin Allen, an American who has just moved to London—”I had the opportunity,” he says, “of taking over a shop just around the comer from ChristieV—is well aware that his double occupation has its pitfalls. Thus he sells ceramics and ornamental and botanical drawings but collects a variety of decorative objects from many periods. “You cannot deal and collect in the same area,” he explains, “because you would be in conflict with your clients.” Indeed his point is well taken: wouldn’t the dealer be likely, after ali, to keep the best?
That would strike at the heart of the client-dealer relationship. “People,” he says, “come to you for your taste; the client evolves along with you and you along with the client.” Perhaps it is a measure of the modern mass-oriented aesthetic that this statement sounds new. At the be-ginning of the century it would have been taken as the merest commonplace that eclecticism and individual taste were the norm. Then carne decades of specialization among collectors and a homogeneous look to modern interiors. Today, however, blending styles and periods is again becoming popular. In a resurrection of what used to be known as legoüt Rothschild, people are now willing to put a Renaissance bronze, a Rococo porcelain, and a piece of Neoclassical crystal on the same table, and there can be no doubt that the very difference of form and feelings adds a resonance that a single object rarely has.
Successful dealers, whether in objects or paintings, are those who participate in this evolution of taste. As they help collectors to understand a hitherto neglected style or period, they shape the look of their own time. And that is just what Armin Allen does. In his case a love of beautiful objects goes together with a natural response to the constraints of the market. “I was interested at first in Baroque and earlier sculpture,” he notes, “but now the material is so limited, while significant nineteenth-century works are still available.”

Home decoration with carpet

April 4, 2013

Raw, graphic power takes the floor with new rugs so robust you can hardly hold them down. Alter all, why should rugs just lie there, warming up the room, when they can go a step beyond and rival the art on the walls! The new breed of area rugs has stories to tell, such as design doyenne Andree Putman’s study for Grange, called Paoli Paolo, its braided border is modeled after a general’s uniform in an 18th century French children’s book. Jay Spectre, not the type to let anybody walk all over him, sows his abundant Garden Deco rug for Louis de Portoore. Christine Van der Hurd cesmically interprets Charles Baudelaire’s poem Les Fleurs du Mal in her All Elements rug, for her New York City-based collection. Another master, Arts and Crafts fountainhead William Morris, inspired the Billmore rug from Sanony.

Baccarat’s Orsay vases

March 28, 2013

Color’s message is crystal clear: Diamondlike purity madre Baccarat and Lalique the sparkling names of French crystal, but now they, too, are tossing rich, intense tints into their melting pots. Baccarat’s Orsay vases shine like opals and sapphires. Lalique’s Filicaria comes in 10 shades—a palette painterly founder Rene would love. In Venice, the epicenter of the art of glassmaking, the maestros of Hurano are handmaking frosted, excavation glass  in ancient-seeming shapes—and Technicolor.

Lenox dishes

March 22, 2013

The tables have turned: to color, to bold forms, to daily landscapes of dramatic brilliance. Gone is the monochromatic, special-occasion-only table. Lenox is bringing new color to formal patterns such as Tosca from the Grand Tier collection, whose azure, maroon and turquoise rate bravos. In the Amadeus coffee set, Italian fashion-force Claudio la Viola dresses classic shapes from manufacturer Richard Ginori in celadon an old gold—freshly red objects of desire.

Royal Holland

March 19, 2013

Painters with a fashion background, “we create environments,” explain Van Geuns and Rameckers. Punched-up and stripped-down, color is key: The duo’s palette is a saturated selection of basic black, white and golden yellow highlighted by blood red, turquoise, muted pink or gray. Ravage is taking a similar approach in new designs for faience, fabrics and carpets. Royal Holland, a collection of dinner-ware, was inspired by Napoleon I’s nephew Louis, who ruled the Netherlands for only four years. Explains Rameckers, “He never had enough time, you see, to complete his household furnishings, so we’re doing it for him.” With humor and respect, of course — the cornerstone of Ravage’s golden, goofy grandeur.

Ghost tub chair

March 18, 2013

DONGHIA’S design director, 42, says his Ghost tub chair was inspired by a night time visit from the late, great Donghia himself. That may be a first, but as a compelling design from Hutton’s studio, it’s only one of many.

How to save energy in your home

February 27, 2013

Bright Ideas:
Bailis family tricks for saving energy and staying streamlined.
■Wrinkle-proof your wardrobe. Work outfits get crushed inside a snowsuit, so Beth’s closet consists mostly of knit tops and wool pants,
■ Unplug appliances. Even when turned off, the TV and the printer use power if they’re plugged in.
■ Shop for groceries twice a month. Beth plans ahead so that each dinnerthey cook feeds the family for two meals.
■ Light up wisely. Long-lasting compact fluorescent bulbs work well in basements and closets. Use a few incandescent bulbs where you want warm light.
■ Get electrically educated. The Bailises know exactly how many amps each appliance takes (their answering machine takes 1.2; the hair dryer uses about 44) and monitor the ones with high needs.

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