Design, Interiors

Cool…the best bathrooms

29 February 2012

Cool…the best bathrooms

One of the worst things about renting a home is being stuck with the existing bathrooms.  If you are lucky, your bathroom will be an expanse of highly figured marble and gold taps, ugly, but at least relatively modern. It does the job.

However, a bathroom is more than a place to clean yourself and get dressed.   It is a place to relax and luxuriate.  It is an  environment that allows you to kickstart your day with your best foot forward and then allows you to unwind and revive at the end of it.

So when I pick up a decorating magazine my eye is drawn towards the bathroom images…sigh!

One of the most lustworthy bathrooms is Jenna Lyon’s black and brass affair.   The combination of matte black walls, brass fittings and that gorgeous aged herringbone floor bathroom heaven.

I also love this design by Abigail Ahern.   See the similarity?   Again the freestanding bath, the chandelier or interesting light and the rustic floors.

The next has all the same elements.   Love the antique club chair in the corner…do you know where you can get one of these?

I guess you can tell what my dream bathroom will look like.






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Design, Interiors

Black, White, Grey and Yellow

25 February 2012

Black, White, Grey and Yellow

I am completely in love with this combination of colours…I guess I am drawn to it naturally. As I was putting together the images on a big search through my fave site, Pinterest, I realised they were Eclectic Cool’s colours…a different tone, but there you have it. I think I love the contrast of the variations in tones between black and white with that punch of bright right in the middle. There really is nothing so effective.

I am even looking for a pair of yellow shoes to wear as we enter into spring….











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Art, Cool Places, Design, People

COOL…AI WEI WEI @MAGASIN3

22 February 2012

COOL…AI WEI WEI @MAGASIN3

Someone asked me this week why Ai Wei Wei is considered to be the most interesting Chinese artist (at least as perceived by the West) of the time. I thought it would be interesting to look at some of his work as displayed at Magasin3 in Stockholm.
The first work I chose is that of Sunflower Seeds (2009). I have discussed this work previously, as it filled the Tate Modern in London in 2010. These seeds are made of porcelain, painstakingly painted by a village famous for their porcelain production, to look like the real thing. The point of this work is a comment about mass production and the perfection that personifies the moniker, ‘made in China’.
Another work on a similar vein is ‘Ghost Gu Coming down a mountain”. Again you have a large quantity of red and white pots, modelled on a 13th century Yuan pot. It is only when you see the pots en masse that you realise it depicts the legendary Ghost Gu. The idea of this piece was a comment about fakes and mass production. This comment is made again in ‘World map’. Over 2000 pieces of cut textile were assembled by 6 people to create this work. It took 2 weeks to assemble. the labor-intensive construction of the map is intended to illustrate china’s status as a platform for cheap labor in the textile and clothing industry.
The last work is “so sorry”. This is a video explaining the escalating tension between Ai Wei Wei and the Chinese government. The film critiques the empty apologies that corporations and governments offered after mistakes or in the wake of tragedies by documenting an investigation started by theAi Weiwei studio to identify all of the students who died during the Sichuan earthquake of 2008.
By commenting on the not so successful aspects of contemporary Chinese culture, Ai Wei Wei allows outsiders an alternate view of Chinese culture, allowing him to take a central place in China’s art scene.











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Art, Collecting, Cool Places, London

METAPHYSICS OF STONE

21 February 2012

METAPHYSICS OF STONE

Six giant heads have taken over Berkeley Square in London.  These works by sculptor, Emily Young are her most ambitious works yet.  The stones weigh from 1 tonne to 3 and have gorgeous variegations, showing the mix of minerals that melded together when the stone was formed over 150 000 years ago.

Some parts are smooth and silky, though Young has left on some  what she terms the ‘skin’: parts that have been touched by wind and rain.    This juxtaposition of natural and man-made is beautifully understated, leaving an feeling of reflection and contemplation.  We can’t help by  being awed by it all and the realisation that once upon a time, this stone was liquid and viscous.

You can read her artist’s statement here.  She wonders in her statement that the tools of stone cutting are cheap- she wonders why more people don’t take it up.   I’ll tell you why Emily, because it’s hard and dangerous (I’ve tried and nearly taken my hand off).  I think we should leave it to the experts and artists.

 

The Metaphyics of Stone can be seen in Berkeley Square, London, from Feburary 7 until April 25 2012. Admission free. A selection of Emily Young’s other works can be seen at The Fine Art Society, London, throughout February











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Cool Places, Design, fashion, Hong Kong, Shopping

COOL…SOFIA COPPOLA FOR MARNI + H&M

21 February 2012

COOL…SOFIA COPPOLA FOR MARNI + H&M

You can’t beat the combination of the prints and designs of Marni, the beautiful images and imagery of Sofia Coppola and the languorous tones of Brian Ferry singing Avalon.

I don’t know if you have to be a Marni lover to think that every piece is gorgeous- even the socks! You can check out the full lookbook at Refinery29 and pre-pick your pieces.   Bold prints and metallics, chunky jewellery, texture and colour-what isn’t to love.

I know what I am doing on the morning of 8th of March- come and meet me outside H&M in Queens Road Central and we’ll storm H&M together!

 











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Cool Places, Design, Hong Kong, People

COOL…WHITESPACE

20 February 2012

COOL…WHITESPACE

Danielle Huthart is the creative force behind Whitespace, a creative branding agency and consultancy.  Founded in 2005 after a stint working in New York, Whitespace is hub of creative and artistic activity.   In contrast to the busy and bright lifestyle of Hong Kong, Danielle wanted her agency to bring a breath of fresh air to this city- both physically  and ideologically.   Her studio, on the upper levels of bustling Sheung Wan, is a space that is, as Danielle puts it, ‘visually striking without unnecessary complexity’.

Whitespace’s work is characterised by this sense of simplicity but with an air of sophistication and cleverness.  The use of bright colours, strong graphics and a sense of humour means that their work stands out from the crowd and is always memorable.

When I visited the studio last week, entering the space was instantly calming.  This was a space that could solve creative problems and seemed full of bright ideas.  Recently, she has been involved some interesting projects…a standout is the  website of KorlaHome– an online home furnishings site that allows you to visualize your interior by some very clever drag and drop methods.

Danielle also loves fostering and promoting creative talent.   Last year together with Lancashire Road, she published Creative City HK.  This is a map of Hong Kong that highlights the location and creative energies of its artists and designers.  If you are interested in art and design, you can get your copy online or in stores like Kapok.

 











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Cool Places

COOL…ISOBEL CREATIVE AGENCY CHRISTMAS CARDS

19 February 2012

COOL…ISOBEL CREATIVE AGENCY CHRISTMAS CARDS

Each year, Isobel Creative Agency painstakingly recreates a tableau for their annual Christmas card- a printed one!   The  images are carefully costumed and staged and they focus on the  creative energy of the people in the agency.  These images have become so famous they have even won awards for them.   Mad Men eat your heart out- actually I am surprised they haven’t done a sixties Mad Men theme.  Too obvious?

 











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