PURE settee and banquette

i LOVE this pretty and perfect air hazel settee as well as the fire cyrilla banquette by PURE. the company claims that this is green design, by using sustainable materials, working with local craftspeople and participating in fair trade with their international sourcing. sounds reasonable to me.

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did i mention that i love these? the color, the embroidery, the elegant retro modern lines?

they’re $4418 and $4017 respectively, are available in nine luscious colors and with or without embroidery, and right here at structured green along with some other very cool furniture.

via ecosalon


tall cu side table by kristalia

if i had seen this guy last week when i was doing my side table round up, i would have included him. i love the simple design and versatility of c tables (do you call them u?), to be used as table, seat or tray. this tall cu table from monica graffeo for kristalia is made of durable polyurethane, so it can take a beating inside or out.

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the table measures 15 3/4″h x 25 5/8″w x 17 3/4″d, it’s $439, and it’s available right here.

via betterlivingthroughdesign


french industrial furniture at wisteria

(ed. note: sorry folks, but as of 8/15/08 it appears that this furniture is not currently available. with any luck it will come back in stock. if anyone knows of another resource for it, please click the email button to the right and let me know so i can update this post. thanks.) 

q: have you seen what is new over at wisteria?

a: some gorgeous vintage modern french industrial furniture (like this double book shelf and chair), patterned after 19th century designer reactions to the elaborate pieces that were being produced at the time.

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gorgeous.

see the whole collection and much more over at wisteria.


better living through design: let’s chat!

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if you love contemporary design as much as i do, you’ve got a list of places you visit regularly. perhaps you’re familiar with the finds that katie hagar and kris bernard show us on their fabulous website, better living through design. katie, a former product and interior designer (and current editor of the site), and kris, a kitchen and bath design instructor and information technology expert, tirelessly hunt for the most clever, functional and well made products and accessories for our homes. the spare design of their website is a blank canvas for the great breadth of selection featured; it consists of four sections including products, remodeling, books and travel. i appreciate the fact that their personal love affair with design and style grew into a tremendous one-stop resource that we all benefit from. let’s have a chat with katie and kris and find out more!

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q: where do you live and where do you work?
a: katie: i live in houston, tx, and i work in my home office/studio.

kris: i live in los angeles, ca (silver lake) and I work in downtown la.

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q: how did you meet, and how did bltd come into being?
a: katie: we met in dallas at some art show. i guess we had mutual friends, but it wasn’t until we started talking about architecture did we realize how we both liked the same sort of stuff – that turned into exchanging ideas about floor plans and home design and then kris actually came up with the idea of bltd – she thought it would be a good idea to create a site where we could keep track of all the great products available on the internet.

kris: ditto what katie said, but she left out that we were actually pen pals for a while, which is how we exchanged ideas about our floor plans. i thought that was important to add because it shows how truly nerdy we are about design. as far as how bltd started, i had actually purchased the domain about a year before we started the site. i really liked the feeling that the domain evoked, but i wasn’t sure what i was going to use it for. then somehow the idea struck me to start a website and i asked katie to join me. the funny thing is that we had only really talked in person that one time when i asked her to do it, but now three years and 2500 posts later i probably talk to her everyday.

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q: what is your criteria for including pieces on your site?
a: katie: i think it’s fairly intuitive. most of the time the item has to stand out in some way – good design that meets at least one of the following criteria: affordable, useful, or spectacular.

kris: also, it needs to be available for sale online. very rarely do we post anything that’s not available online. we really wanted the site to be a comprehensive resource for anyone who’s looking for the perfect table or wallpaper, etc, so we try to include important design pieces as well as lesser known items that may meet a need for a space.

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q: do you have a favorite category? if you do, why is it your favorite?
a: katie: i love home furnishings in general, but i’m quite fond of miscellaneous accessories – i guess because they’re more affordable (usually) and an easy way to make a small change in your surroundings.

kris: my favorite is our new “remodel” section which we launched a few months ago. it’s for people who are looking to make a major change in their space, such as surface treatments like changing flooring or wallpaper, or for remodeling their kitchen or bath. i used to teach kitchen and bath design at the college level, so i’m pretty excited we added that category. i really get giddy over fixtures.

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q: can you name a few current design trends that you love?
a: katie: i like the new crop of products that have been designed with sustainability in mind, not just because it’s a trend, but because it’s interesting to see how designers are pushing the boundaries a little, and how manufacturers are more likely to take a chance considering the recent “green” movement.

kris: i’m kind of an urban nomad right now, so i really like the new “flatpack” trend, which is furniture or other items that are easily packable and movable. i also like the modernization of older styles; for example, the digitization of older baroque styles like the pixelated tables by salad industrial in spain.

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q: what do you think is the biggest challenge in writing a design website?
a: katie: finding the words to express how i feel about something without reverting to “i love this”, “this is awesome”, “holy”, and “dude, you have to buy this” all the time.

kris: we try to keep it affordable but that’s not always easy. there’s a reason good design is expensive. a great sofa can last 50 years, not only in terms of construction, but also being relevant aesthetically. but not everyone has the budget for that so we try to find the less expensive items too. unfortunately they don’t last as long, and that has an environmental impact. so, i’d say that’s my biggest challenge: trying to meet the needs of all our readers’ budgets but at the same time trying to strike a balance between providing enough interesting content but making sure the pieces are relevant.

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q: can you finish this sentence? the future of design…
a: katie: looks promising.

kris: looks exciting! i can’t wait to see what people come up with next.

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like-minded design connoisseurs can hop on over to bltd and see lots more substantial picks. i don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

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thank you katie and kris!


twig stool and bench by russell pinch

i am quite smitten by the gorgeous twig stool and bench from english furniture maker russell pinch. it’s made from the offshoots or stems from the stumps of hazel or sweet chestnut trees from a local forest, in a technique called coppicing.

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see more beautiful work from russell here, and purchase these pieces and more beautiful, earth friendly goods at one eco home (based in the uk).

via HAUTE*NATURE


skogstad/vold product design: let’s chat!

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ever since i caught a tiny glimpse of their work on designboom, i have been charmed and slightly obsessed with the clean, youthful designs of petter skogstad and haakon vold, for their company skogstad/vold. the items they have included in their collection are fresh, playful and inviting all at the same time. the designs have a flexible versatility, which make them appropriate for use in a variety of applications. to me the outstanding consistent theme here is the focus and balance of both masculine and feminine qualities. i love their stealth lounge chair (above), which was inspired by modern military aircraft, but it also reminds me of the opening petals of a flower. i enjoy the minimal lines and strong material of the steel break vase (below), which softens and transforms when flowers are placed within it. and of course this balance is clearly demonstrated in the graphics on the appropriately named fun wall clocks. these are the thoughtful qualities that compel us to appreciate, seek out and live with quality design everyday. let’s have a chat with haakon and petter and find out more!

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q: where do you live and where do you design and make your collections?
a:
we both live in oslo, norway, and we are senior students at akershus university college of product design (bachelor). we make most of our prototypes in the workshops at our university, but for bigger projects and production processes we use other companies with the competence we need.

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q: what is your top priority (or the most important element) when designing furniture?
a: to create products for the future. we focus on making contemporary products where aesthetics, function, environment and high quality play a big role.

q: who or what are your main influences?
a: we get inspiration from nature, specifically norwegian nature and clean shapes. this is further enhanced by exploring new materials and technology. we also have some favorite designers: ronan and erwan bouroullec, konstantin grcic, stokkeaustad, norway says, arne quinze, karim rashid and mid to late century scandinavian design (in the 60-70’s).

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q: are any of the pieces in distribution yet?
a: no, not yet, but we hope some of our products will be in production soon. we have a catalogue and website and have been in contact with a few manufacturers.

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q: do you have a favorite material you prefer to work with?
a: we are trying to work with new materials, new technology and new production processes all the time, so we have no favorite material.

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q: what is the best single piece of advice you have received as designers?
a: keep it simple and focus on the details.

q: how would you finish the following sentence? the future of design…
a: the future of design will have more focus on the environment and it will be important as a designer to focus on the whole life-cycle of the product.

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skogstad/vold will be exhibiting these pieces and some exciting new prototypes too at the milan international furniture fair, from april 16th-21, 2008. they will be located in the area considered the launching pad for young designers, called saloneSatellite. i have high hopes that production with a quality manufacturer will begin soon, and look forward to seeing their pieces here in chicago someday.

thank you haakon and petter!


neverending bookcase by luca nichetto

italian designer luca nichetto has created some beautiful pieces for clients including salviati and carlo moretti. this undulating neverending bookcase, made of corian and inspired by the pattern a ribbon makes, was a special collaboration with andreoli, a factory specializing in its use.

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i view this as more of a room divider or art piece than a bookcase; it would be really hard for me to put anything on the shelves!

see many more of luca’s designs right here.

via design milk


zack design contemporary beds

if you like hefty but minimal looking beds, i am sure you will enjoy the many styles from germany’s zack design. they’re made of high quality beech, walnut or cherry wood, and many of the styles have thoughtful details like attached lights or side tables.

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i appreciate the flush and rounded corners on these styles, because no one wants to crack their knee on a corner if they have to get up in the middle of the night.

find more minimal designs and purchasing info here.

via trendir


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