Cool Places, Design, Hong Kong, People

Cool creative…Karen To of Epiclayers

14 March 2012

Cool creative…Karen To of Epiclayers

I had the pleasure of meeting the very talented graphic designer, Karen To in Hong Kong.  I am a bit of a fan of her bright imagery that draws together different symbols from the past and develops it into something new. Her multilayered and complex images  are a feast for the eyes, drawing you in so that you can see all the small details that make it all the more interesting.

Though based in very contemporary California, her recent work has been influenced by the past as well as her Chinese heritage.   The collages in the series, Surreal Tea Party,  play with scale and are filled with fun detail mixed with a feminine sensibility.   Her Chinese New Year posters are contemporary without losing the traditional references to an important cultural event.

We are going to see a lot more from this designer in the future. You can check out more of her work at epiclayers






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Cool Places, Hong Kong, Resources, Shopping

ECLECTIC COOL ONLINE STORE NOW LIVE

13 March 2012

ECLECTIC COOL ONLINE STORE NOW LIVE

You may notice that we look a lot different…we have updated our blog and now we have a great new website that includes a curated range of products from all over the world. Hopefully it will be easy to find your way around.  We have worked hard and will value any feedback that you give!

CHECK US OUT….

THE SITE

blog.eclectic-cool.com

THE BLOG

blog.eclectic-cool.com/blog

THE STORE

blog.eclectic-cool.com/store











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Design, Interiors

Cool…tables as metaphors

11 March 2012

Cool…tables as metaphors

Rough wooden tables are popping up everywhere.  When I was looking through one of my favourite design sites, Trendland, I noticed that a lot of interiors incorporated unfinished and textured wood pieces in their designs.   I think it is because the feel of the rough wood brings us closer to nature.  We feel grounded and part of the earth when we feel the tactile surface of grain.  These grain marks are,of course, a symbol of growth and renewal.

Recently, I designed a cocktail table as part of an interior project for a client.  I used rough elm recycled from an old Chinese village door and mixed it with smooth lacquered steel of around 5mm thick.   The result was sturdy and stable, a good feature for a cocktail table that has to withstand many parties as well as everyday life.   The rough surface is natural and forgiving, the steel delicate and light but with a toughness that can take life’s hard knocks.   A bit of a metaphor for life, don’t you think?

 











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Cool Places, Events, Food, Hong Kong

Cool…premiere pression provence

11 March 2012

Cool…premiere pression provence

COOL…PREMIERE PRESSION PROVENCE

Provence’s rolling hills, warm climate and fertile lands mean that the produce that grows there is amongst the finest quality in the world.   Premiere Pression Provence grew out of founder, Olivier Baussan’s great love of this region.   Baussan is best known for setting up L’Occitane- the world famous french beauty and personal care brand.  After Baussan sold L’Occitane, he turned his attention to the olive plantations and its passionate producers that dot this area.

The producers of the olive oil that is produced in Provence are characterized by their unconditional love and passion for their olive trees and the land in which they grow.   Baussan brought these olive growers together to give them an outlet for their select produce.  Most of the production of the olive oil is done by hand in very small mills.   This means that there is a variety of flavours and they are the freshest that can be found, passing through only the growers and then PPP’s hands for packaging  before it reaches the  consumer.

In order to showcase the unique flavours of PPP’s produced, Eclectic Cool was invited to an event at Hyde in Lyndhurst Terrace to taste these delicious olive oils in action.   Hyde created a selection of tapas including a delicious grilled fresh scallop, timbale of smoked salmon, sizzling prawns with chorizo and  a gorgeous cucumber cup stuffed with crab and caviar.   The tapas were liberally drizzled with PPP’s varieties of olive oil- a lovely piquant addition to the flavourful bites.

I have always been a great believer in the restrained addition of olive oil and garlic to a meal.  I haven’t met a pasta or piece of fish that wasn’t improved by the  taste of extra virgin! PPP’s oils were a gorgeous clear green ranging in intensity of colour and flavour.

Impressed by the flavours, the next day I popped into the PPP store in Graham Street in Soho.   The bright exterior beckoned me into this little piece of Provence where I was seduced by the verdant smell and luscious but simple packaging.  I couldn’t help but leave with my arms filled with some oils and some pots of truffle & artichoke cream to spread over the Poilane bread I bought earlier at Great.  I couldn’t wait to get to my studio to start lunch.  This is what is true luxury should be.

Premiere Pression Provence (PPP)

39 Graham Street Central ( just off Lyndhurst Terrace)

Tel: +852 2805 1599

www.ppprovence.hk

www.facebook.com/PPPHongKong

HYDE

2/F & 3/F Lyndhurst Tower

1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central

+852 2850 6283

 











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Collecting, Design, Interiors

Cool…french club chairs

10 March 2012

Cool…french club chairs

The Art Deco period in France, which began around 1929, was one of the pinnacles for french design.   The shackles of the nineteenth century and the Great War was well and truly thrown away and individual began to pursue a life of fun, frivolity and comfort.  One of the most popular designs of this period was the french club chair.

Inspired by the comfortable chairs found in gentlemen’s clubs, these chairs became popular in the home as well.   Known as the ‘fauteil comfortable’, a gentleman would come home and relax in  this chair, typically upholstered in rich brown lambskin with studding detail.

Often the seat was upholstered in a brown velvet, similar to the colour of the leather, which wore better and was softer to the touch.   This type of chair is still the epitome of comfort and versions are still in production today.

However, you can’t beat the feel of an original chair.   The patinated leather is still sublime to touch, the lines are elegant and well-proportioned: it can’t be matched by contemporary chairs with their low quality leather and oversized proportions.  And best of all, the design, though rooted in the 20s never looks out of place in the most contemporary of interiors.

 











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Design, Interiors

Tables as metaphors

5 March 2012

Tables as metaphors

Rough wooden tables are popping up everywhere.  When I was looking through one of my favourite design sites, Trendland, I noticed that a lot of interiors incorporated unfinished and textured wood pieces in their designs.   I think it is because the feel of the rough wood brings us closer to nature.  We feel grounded and part of the earth when we feel the tactile surface of grain.  These grain marks are,of course, a symbol of growth and renewal.

Recently, I designed a cocktail table as part of an interior project for a client.  I used rough elm recycled from an old Chinese village door and mixed it with smooth lacquered steel of around 5mm thick.   The result was sturdy and stable, a good feature for a cocktail table that has to withstand many parties as well as everyday life.   The rough surface is natural and forgiving, the steel delicate and light but with a toughness that can take life’s hard knocks.   A bit of a metaphor for life, don’t you think?











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Design, Hong Kong, People, Shopping

MARC NEWSON’S PENTAX K-01

3 March 2012

MARC NEWSON’S PENTAX K-01

I didn’t put cool in the title, because I am not sure how cool it is.   However, I think that looks may be the best part of the new Pentax K-01.   I am liking the use of yellow ( I am a big yellow fan) and I like a camera with a grip.

On specs alone, it looks pretty good.   A beautiful mirror-less digital SLR at 16M pixels . It comes equipped with a newly developed CMOS image sensor measuring 23.7 millimeters by 15.7 millimeters. With approximately 16.28 effective megapixels, this extra-large sensor assures high-speed readout of image data signals. But  it is mirror-less which apparently leads to sluggishness in focus speed.   The other criticism is that it is large, almost the size of the flagship Pentax DSLR.

I do like the designs of Marc Newson, who of course is a fellow Aussie.  His designs always have plenty of colour, though have not always been successful, case in point- the shocking Qantas seats. However, in this case the  cameras  good looks is less important than its function.

The camera will be released in the next couple of months and will be priced around the USD700 mark.

 











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Design, Interiors

Cool…Marcus Hay

2 March 2012

Cool…Marcus Hay

These stylists really know their way around an interior.   The home of interior stylist, Marcus Hay is no exception.  Full of great collections, bright colours and textures, his interiors really have a life and animation of its own.   I particularly love the organised clutter.  I wish I was allowed to have stuff all over the place,  but no doubt I would never find anything.

I am particularly loving the mix of aqua and bright punches, this combination shouldn’t really work but it does.

You can find Marcus’ blog here, enticingly called ‘fluff ‘n stuff‘- love it.











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Collecting, Design, Objects, Shopping

New arrivals @ Eclectic Cool

2 March 2012

New arrivals @ Eclectic Cool

We’re very excited as new products are being unpacked each week.   In addition to are own designs, we are pleased to announce some new brands to our store.  OOOMS from the Netherlands design homewares and interior products that are characterized by a quirky sense of humour.

Paperphine from Austria make the most gorgeous and original wrapping and craft twine, wound around vintage and handmade wooden bobbins…adding distinction to any desk.

Our Beni Ouarain rugs are selling fast.   They suit any decor and our handpicked vintage rugs are gorgeous and soft to the touch.











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Brands

Tine K Home

13 March 2012

Tine K Home

Characterised by her mix of Asian, Scandinavian, Moroccan and French influences, her designs are simple with attention to surface detail and quiet, elegant colours.











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