Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Nobody is Perfect

Eva Menz is well-known for her elaborate chandeliers, however the London designer is dabbling in the world of accessories as well. Her 'Nothing is Perfect' series embraces imperfection; vases are cast from existing bottles - dents, dings, cracks and all. The final products are available in matte white, black, 10 K gold, 10 K platinum and antique bronze.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Team 7: Magnum Table

Whenever I start feeling like I need to find a bigger place, it's usually because I've found another great table. Really...I could sleep in a closet, get by with a small bathroom...but someday I would love to have the space for a proper dining room table. And there is nothing I would like more than to host my next dinner party on this beauty from the Austrian design group, Team 7. In addition to the nice blend of materials, the table's smart design includes a well-hidden extension for accommodating extra guests. Alas, not only can I not afford to buy a house, I probably can't afford this lovely table either.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Designer Dreamboat

I know it's wrong to laugh, but this photo is so silly. I was trying to look up more information on designer Heath Nash's recycled plastic lamps and found this. C'mon, who poses with their work like some sort of 80's teen Bop idol? Regardless, his lamps are cool and I love the wild colors. OK you know you're giggling too...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Diamond in the Rough

Artist Kirsten Hassenfeld's translucent, paper gem sculptures are gorgeous. When the light hits them just right, they look like drawings floating in the air. If this doesn't inspire you to do something creative this weekend, I don't know what will. And if you're looking to share your creativity, don't forget to join in on Open Project #2: Journal Show. There's been some great contributions already and I'm going to start posting the results soon!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Loving Bracelets

Magnetic bracelets? These are so great. Imagine clicking hands with a total stranger...oh the humorous and wonderful antics that could ensue. I suppose you could also wear them with someone you know, but where's the adventure in that? Designed by Stéphanie Radenac (via Bientot Demain)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Setareh Arefi

Here's a new take on wallcoverings from Iranian designer Setareh Arefi. Setareh uses off-cuts from recycled rugs, carpets and felt to create an interesting patchwork of tiles for the wall. She further manipulates each piece through processes such as heat-transfer printing, laser-cutting, etching and coloring with eco dyes to give these remnants a whole new life. I'm not sure this image does the idea justice - but her website is still under development, so hopefully there's more to come.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mio SoftBowls

Wool vessels are not a new concept, but there are several reasons to love these colorful 'SoftBowls' from the eco-conscious company Mio. Their wool content means the containers are both recyclable and compostable. In addition, creating the bowls uses only about 10% of the energy needed to make a similar ceramic vessel. And then, as if you weren't feeling good enough, SoftBowls are handmade in the USA at one of the last remaining millineries in the country. Pretty good for a simple little bowl.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Birthday Break

Hey everyone, today's my birthday so I'm taking the day off to enjoy pancakes, pinatas and friends. If you are in the Denver area, the Limited Addiction Gallery is having an opening reception tonight for a huge new show (over 50 artists). The gallery is located at 825 Santa Fe and the event goes from 7-11 pm.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday Fantastic

Everyone has fantasies about living in a tree house. I still envision having one someday complete with a bed and an easy chair so I can actually hide out up there for a day or two.

This, however puts my Swiss Family Robinson dreams to shame. The Fab Tree Hab, which is being developed by architects at MIT, takes a handful of saplings and transforms them into a two-story, energy efficient, water recycling haven. The system will take about 5-10 years to grow, depending on your climate, but once it's matured you can insulate it with straw, put up plaster walls and carry on with business as usual. The conceptual drawings make it look a bit like some futuristic bug, but really its just an awesome, creative solution to living in tune with the environment. Or, literally, in the environment.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Annabel Waterman

Take a look at this lovely pillow by textile designer Annabel Waterman. The pattern is inspired by Russian nesting dolls - so charming. Her website is still under development, but I'm putting this London lady on my 'one to watch' list.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sam Pickard

I've really been enjoying the English floral trend I've been seeing lately, which is surprising even to me. The difference between good floral and bad is all in how it's updated for modern audiences. Sam Pickard's pretty textiles are a striking mix of black and white line drawing with the addition of digitally precise splashes of color. The effect is subtle enough to keep your eye moving over the entire motif, but interesting enough to keep you staring at it's delicate detail. And I love, love, love the large black splotches that look like spilled ink. Nice touch.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Big Head Coasters

I've always loved these 'Big Head' coasters by London design team j-me. You can stack'em, stand'em up and best of all, knock'em over.

Desktop Design

These days you can customize your own sneakers, tee-shirts - even computers. Why not throw in the kitchen table too? Desktop Design is an Austrian company who is making tabletop dreams come true with their fun laminate creations. Customers can choose from one of Desktop's pre-made designs (as seen above) or send in an image of their own. Personally, I'd stick with a pattern over a single, enlarged graphic...not only will it stay in style longer - it's less distracting too. That photo of your cat may look cute now, but by next year you probably won't want to be staring into Fluffy's giant face every day as you sip your morning coffee.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Heidi Butler: Love is Enough

Sometimes, a girl likes to have options. Jewelry maker Heidi Butler is providing just that with her clever double-duty design, 'Love is Enough'. Made from reclaimed wood, it can be worn as a ring, or as a brooch, depending on your fancy. Choices galore: fancy that.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


The Swedish design company Vujj has been turning out some winners lately. One of my favorites is their 'Flight' sofa - a piece of furniture that has it's priorities in order. This sofa just looks relaxed. I like a couch that allows you to ease back and won't leave your legs dangling helplessly over the edge. Although it does look like it may benefit from a throw pillow or two, the scale and the materials are great. Also by Vujj are these lovely 'Don't Touch' vases. Made from hand-blown glass, the tilt makes them a fun addition to the coffee table.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Tsang Kin-wah

Since we're on a roll with wallcoverings, here is another designer who is too good to pass up. Chinese artist Tsang Kin-wah's meticulously rendered patterns are a wild combination of floral motifs and calligraphy. Take a closer look Tsang's designs and you will see that they are really composed of rivers of text. English words and phrases (sometimes not the most polite language) flow between beautifully drawn Chinese characters. The overall effect is dazzling, but it's the incredible detail that takes the cake. (Thanks to Paul for this one.)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Come Rain, Come Shine

One more beauty from the P Design Gallery. I'm not a huge fan of Tord Boontje's well-worn deer and windy vine motif, but the 'Come Rain, Come Shine' light is in a whole different category. If you're in the Denver area, go check it out in person.

P Design Gallery

Do you ever have those moments when you feel like the stars have aligned, the gods are smiling and all is good in the world? Well I had that experience yesterday when I walked into Denver's new P Design Gallery. This gallery/store/exhibition space is just what Denver has been missing. Owners Paul and Pifuka Hardt have assembled an amazing collection of furniture and accessories from the latest and greatest designers. (They are also the nicest people ever, so go in and say hi.)

P Design Gallery has the same conceptual pieces and top designer items normally seen in the galleries of NY (or if you live in Denver, the pages of a magazine). Here I was holding one of Tobias Wong's 'Ballistic Roses' in my hands. Was this Denver or Oz? For all the Denver design lovers out there, the P Design Gallery is the perfect compliment to Denver's emerging design scene.

With great stores like Fancy Tiger supporting the indie designer and places like Mod Livin' outfitting your home with style, P Design Gallery is the cherry on top. The place where you can go to see museum quality design pieces AND still shop for items that won't break the bank. For instance, right next to a throw by Studio Job sat these great little vinyl vases by the Japanese design team D Bros. which will set you back a mere $14. (You can order them by emailing the store here.)

P Design Gallery is currently running an exhibit with Citizen: Citizen until March. Next up: Denyse Schmidt. The exhibitions are free and open to the public. 2590 Walnut St.

Denver, consider our city very lucky.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rough Rider

In college, my friend strapped bull horns to the roof of her Volvo and drove around with unabashed Texas pride. On a smaller scale, this bike by Swedish designer Jenny Nordberg, seems like a good alternative for all the urban wranglers out there. Made with roadkill handlebars and a fancy crochet seat, I could easily see many a rough rider cruising around Denver on one of these. All it needs is some rear saddlebags for toting your gear (or your groceries). (via pan-dan)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Flavor Paper: Sneak Peek

As promised, here is a sneak peek of two of Flavor Paper's new designs, 'Noveau Riche and Laced'. Thanks to Jon for providing designklub readers with an exclusive inside look at these great new patterns before ICFF! They will debuting a few more patterns at the show - I can't wait to see what other tasty treats are revealed.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Flavor Paper: Interview

Flavor Paper is one of my all-time favorite wallcovering companies. In fact, it's one of my favorite design studios, period. (Now I may be a bit biased because I did work there, but who better to trust than a direct source?) Their patterns are creative, their colors are bold and above all, they are some of the nicest folks you'll meet. Almost all of their production is done in-house, meaning you get the ultimate in customization and quality with these handcrafted lines. Flavor Paper's wild ways have gained the attention and love of flavor aficionados such as rocker Lenny Kravitz, C.Ronson and Nike.

Flavor Paper owner, Jon Sherman, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to sit down and answer a few questions for designklub readers. Read below to find out more about this amazing studio - all they've been through in their first few years and what's in store for the little company that could. Also stay tuned, because tomorrow I am going to post a sneak peek of some of Flavor Paper's new designs. You get to see it here before ICFF! Yes, you are very lucky...

dk: I’ve always found the Flavor Paper story to be quite inspiring. Could you share a little bit about how you got started in design?

JS: My parents’ living room in the early 70’s featured lots of velvety texture in a range of deep blues and turquoise shades. Sitting around that room and admiring the album cover art on their albums really started my aesthetics direction for life. Ever since then, I have been consumed with designing the environment around me. After receiving great compliments over the years I finally began to design interiors for others in 2001 and it has been snowballing since.

dk: Flavor Paper is handmade, which is so admirable in today’s design world. Why have you chosen to take on this part of the production process?

JS: Originally, that was our impetus as it was a production company that went out of business that led to the birth of Flavor Paper. But a desire to control the quality of our final product and have the ability to make changes in color and design relatively easily has kept us producing in-house. We also use a combination of interesting grounds and vibrant water based ink colors that are not used by virtually any other wallpaper company which gives us our unique impact.

dk:Your studio is based in the Bywater district of New Orleans. How did Hurricane Katrina affect Flavor Paper and how are things going now?

JS: We were obviously severely impacted mentally and emotionally, but physically we were very lucky. The Flavor Lab managed to dodge the bullet of the storm and two huge pecan trees just missed us when they fell, but they did knock out our power lines. We were without power for two months and then had to communicate via cell phone and cell internet for another two months. We just got our gas service back up and running a few months ago, just in time to avoid a second winter without hot water!

dk: Some of your patterns are available in silk. Can we expect to see Flavor Paper popping up in other products such as furniture or tableware?

JS: We are working on a number of home product concepts right now, so look for those in the near future. We currently also do custom fabric prints, although we did not print the silk. There are companies using Flavor Paper in lampshades and patterns in rugs, so there is a bit out there already.

dk: What is your favorite part of the design process?

JS: I really love it all. From initial concept all the way to seeing wallpaper up on someone’s wall, it is very rewarding. I think choosing colorways for new patterns is always a favorite as you can change the feel and impact of a design so much with color choices.

dk: What has been your greatest challenge?

JS: Staying in business!!!! We have endured a flood, a fire, a train wreck and a hurricane in the past three years, so just remaining a business has been a monumental struggle and test of determination.

dk: What has been your greatest accomplishment?

JS: Staying in business!!! That and having been lucky enough to have some of the best clients and magazines recognize our talent and support us. We topped our five year plan of non-financial accomplishments within our first year. I could have walked away happy after that, but why stop now?

dk: What’s next for Flavor Paper?

JS: We are working on developing some accessories and home furnishings that we feel are lacking in the marketplace currently and could use some Flavor to perk them up. Some are partnerships and others are exclusively in-house. We will also be starting an online sales presence through a website called where we will sell Flavor Paper at a discount as well as one of a kind prints, framed panels and other treats.

Production in the Flavor Lab

Flavor Lab after the storm

Flavor Paper in rocker Lenny Kravitz's house

Thanks Jon and I'll see you at Jazz Fest! Don't forget to check back tomorrow for a sneak peek of two of Flavor Paper's new designs.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Demakersvan Dreams

The Demakersvan team is on a roll. The Dutch designers recently teamed up with Fatboy to create a new laptop bag that's made from the same material used in bulletproof vests (the streets of Rotterdam must be tough). In addition, their ingenious 'Lace Fence' is finally going into production. Expect to see decorative fences popping up in industrial yards everywhere. Well, we can hope at least. I'm taking the weekend off to spend time with some out-of-town friends, see you Monday with a tasty treat (hint, hint).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Daruma Light

We all know I love lanterns, but a lantern floating on a misty lake? I couldn't resist. This one is the 'Daruma' light by the Japanese company Tonerico.

Creative Ceramics

These have been all over the place, but they are definitely worth one more mention. Ceramicist Annette Bugansky creates these beautiful porcelain vases by imprinting knit textures into plaster molds. They look so much like hand-knit pieces, it's amazing.