Blog, Cool Places

Cool…tiong bahru, singapore

29 March 2013

Cool…tiong bahru, singapore

One of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, Tiong Bahru was famous for its low rise apartment blocks that used to house many a rich man’s mistress.  Now it is the home of some of Singapore’s quirkiest independent stores and cafes.

Nana & Bird has cool clothes by Singapore designer, Aijek and the most beautiful fine necklaces by Japanese designer, Yuki Mitsuyasu, inspired by the designer’s travels to Nepal.  Tucked away on side street, the jewellery collection alone is well worth a look.

I was also impressd with design store, Strangelets collection.  I love Astier De Vilatte’s piece of porcelain.  Strangelets selection was quite varied and put Lane Crawford’s to shame. This is where you should go if you can’t make it to Paris to pick up pieces.

Two book stores are worth mention: Woods in the Books and Books Actually.   Woods in the Books is a picture book store, but it’s not just for kids- a cool selection of graphic novels make fun for the hipster adult.  Books Actually has books of course, but we more more excited over the vintage bits and pieces in the back- piles of pencils from the 60s as well as great stamps and clips, Pez dispensers etc- this is a collectors heaven.  Don’t forget to pick up a Marginalia  cahier by Birds and Co.  Individually typed and stitched little books  with famous quotations from artists, philosophers and writers.  I can’t tell you how cute they are.

After all that shopping, don’t forget to get your cup of kopi at Aussie style cafe 40 Hands.    The cakes were delicious.






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Blog, Design

Cool…grand furniture

28 March 2013

Cool…grand furniture

I love it when a designer has a new spin on an everyday thing.  Sometimes it can be kitsch beyond imagination, but sometimes it is so simple and elegant that it makes you wonder why it hadn’t been done before.   These elegant pieces from Swedish designers, GRAND, are great examples.  GRAND is a newborn collaboration between the designer Mathieu Gustafsson and cabinet maker Niklas Karlsson, who chose a name that reflects their vision for design and the quality of their work.

To be honest the cupboards themselves are nothing amazing but the beautiful brass work of the hinges and handles of the white cabinet makes it something special.   I wonder  if the handles work in real life. I think the expansion and contraction of wood in HK would make these handles less effective.

The basket weave cabinet is less successful.   It looks a bit flimsy to me- I like things to look substantial- but then again the colours and detailing of the panels are rather interesting.

Apparently, the stand received lots of attention during Stockholm’s Design Fair so I think we will be seeing a lot more of them.

 

 











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Brands

PUREST

18 March 2013

PUREST

The finest cashmere from Mongolia has been woven in Nepal and hand finished in Italy making the most beautiful cashmere products you have ever seen.   A perfect weight for Hong Kong, the quality of this product has to be seen to be believed.   Use while travelling or as a stylish addition to everyday wear.  Keep one in your bag for those chilly HK office blocks and shopping malls.











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Blog, Design

Bedside tables and all that…

18 March 2013

Bedside tables and all that…

Have you noticed that we are putting more stuff on our bedside tables?  Mine is a jungle of beauty products (too lazy to clean my face at the sink- so I use Mac or Sephora wipes), electronic equipment (2 phones, iPad and iPad Mini), piles of books, a lamp, a carafe of water and my glasses to name a few of the items vying for that valuable piece of real estate called my bedside table.

We’re currently designing a bedside table which can also be used as a small desk for our own collection and we decided to do away with a closed drawer- using a leather lined tray that can fit all your electronics or even a keyboard.  (btw I am totally loving the new Logitech bluetooth keyboard that allows you to add up to 3 devices).

A recent article in the New York Times talked about how there are 2 schools of thought: the bedside table as a place to store all your stuff or a place to promote good thoughts about sleep.  In the latter camp, you need to do away with all devices and just have calming and relaxing collection of items, strategically placed to bring you easily to a lethargic state….

In HK, so many of my clients complain that there is only enough space for one bedside table which, no doubt, can lead to relationship disharmony. I’m all for equality, especially in the bedroom (read into that what you want!), so this definitely wouldn’t work for me.   Maybe a wall-hung table would do the trick?

What ever your stand- do you ever wonder what sleeping next to all those electronic devices is doing to your health?   To scary to contemplate….

Anyway, here is a selection of the best bedside options and inspiration….











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Blog, fashion, Shop Now

Introducing…Purest

18 March 2013

Introducing…Purest

Have you ever been frozen in a building in HK?  Steaming hot outside but frigid inside?  We’re all about practicality with bit of luxury thrown in here at Eclectic Cool and we have the answer to your problem…

We are so lucky to introduce PUREst to you.  A  range of beautiful stoles and scarves, created by Patrick Garbini, a Swiss, Purest uses the finest fibres from inner Mongolia which is then woven with precision in Nepal.   It is finally hand-finished in Milan.   Quality,  luxury and understated design are the hallmarks of these beautiful stoles.

You can read more about the brand here, but you don’t really need to- come into the store to see and touch this gorgeous product.   It comes in a stylish bag to protect your scarf from unnecessary wear and tear.  I am taking mine on holiday this easter to Sri Lanka, to cuddle on the plane and then protect me from the harsh sun.

There are scarves for men and kids too! We’ve added a few products online but PUREst is best experienced in the store- we’re looking forward to showing you…

 











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Blog, Design

Happy St Patrick’s Day

17 March 2013

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Eileen Gray is probably Ireland’s most talented designer.   Born at the end of the nineteenth century, her creative life led her from art school in London to Paris where she embraced the Art Deco movement.  Her lacquer work was particularly beautiful, having trained with one of the great Japanese lacquer masters of the time.

In the thirties she turned her attention to architecture, designing a house which she filled with modernist pieces plus her own designs.   Her chrome side table , which is adjustable in height, is one of the most copied modernist designs.   Her choice of materials, shiny chrome and gleaming leather, was a clever spin on the luxe lacquerware she loved.

If you are ever in Dublin, the National Museum of Ireland has a permanent exhibition dedicated to her work.

 

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

 
Go n-éirí an bóthar leat

Go raibh an ghaoth go brách ag do chúl
Go lonraí an ghrian go te ar d’aghaidh
Go dtite an bháisteach go mín ar do pháirceanna
Agus go mbuailimid le chéile arís,
Go gcoinní Dia i mbos A láimhe thú.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.











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Architecture, Blog

Barki- tecture

16 March 2013

Barki-  tecture

Architecture for dogs by world famous architects?  No this is not joke but a really cute project by Japanese art director, Kenya Hara.   He commissioned 11 architects to build breed specific homes for dogs.  Playful to practical, these homes are designed for man’s best friend to enjoy and engage.

My dog would love the’dog cooler’ for the spitz by Hiroshi Naito.

Check out the really cute website too…











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Blog, Design

Cool…new edition of Est online

16 March 2013

Cool…new edition of Est online

The new issue of EST has been released.  Consistently the best online shelter magazine around, this months issue is packed full of amazing interiors that are beautiful and liveable (it’s harder than you think).  Take a trip around houses in Paris & the Netherlands. Visit all the cool design stores in London and whip up some delicious meals.

Even the travel had me wishing to pack my bags and leave immediately for Dubai.

Check it out here.











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