Optical illusion chairs by Ibride

Thursday 28 February 2013

French design studio Ibride has released a collection of surrealist chairs that confuse and confound the viewer. While they appear borderline absurd, they are actually very simply inverted: the seat initially perceived is not the one that is actually meant to be sat on.

Le Coq: London mixology in Paris

London's famous mixologist Tony Conigliaro - owner of cocktail hotspots 69 Colebrooke Row and the Zetter Townhouse - has expanded across the pond to open Le Coq, in collaboration with Eric Fossard and Thierry Daniel. Located in the 10th arrondissement, the bar blends the best of French 1970s glamour with the best of the '70s New York underground music scene. The interior conjures images of Grace Jones, Marianne Faithfull and Serge Gainsbourg all sipping on a Fig Leaf Collins.

Subscribers can click here to see the other places to be in Paris this season.

My First Fiskars: kids' gardening

Gardening tools My First Fiskars are made to encourage children to help, learn and play outdoors. Available in a hand tool boxset and stick tool collection, the range allows children to explore the garden safely with modernised products made for little hands.

Raphia chair by LucidiPevere for Casamania

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Studio LucidiPevere has designed a new chair for Italian furniture brand Casamania that brings together two great elements of Italian production: a metal structure and a wicker seat.

Oscars 2013 menu

Concord grape macaroons by Wolfgang Puck for the Governor's Ball 2013

Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck has revealed the menu devised for the after-Oscars dinner, the Governor's Ball, last weekend. Made by a team of 350, food on offer to A-listers included chestnut tortellini, concord grape macaroons, Maine lobster, wood fired Oscar-shaped flatbreads and gold-wrapped baked potatoes topped with caviar. The complete menu comprised more than 50 choices of small plates.

The chef - who has catered the event for the past 18 years - Instagrammed photos throughout the night as a special guest poster for Bon Appetit.

Delicious jewellery by Thierry Mulhaupt

To celebrate the arrival of the spring next month, French pâtissier Thierry Mulhaupt has created a gem of a cake. Its soft and fruity centre of vanilla mousse and strawberry compote is delicately ombré and set with beads of creamy choux puffs.

As food presentation is becoming more and more important, as seen at Sirha 2013, pastry chefs around the world are outdoing themselves to come up with creations that are as appetising to the eye as to the taste buds. Subscribers can read more about Ombré cakes and Choux puffs in our Food & Drink area.

Artek 60 Special Editions at The Lollipop Shoppe

Special Edition Artek 60 by Nao Tamura
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Artek 60 this year, the Finnish brand has collaborated with a series of designers on new Special Editions of Alvar Aalto's classic three-legged stool.

Fanions rugs by BKS

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Swiss designers Dimitri Bähler, Linn Kandel and IsmaëlStuder (who together make up BKS) have made a collection of fringed, CNC-cut woollen rugs called Fanions, which use a simple optical illusion to appear almost 3D.

Salt Tequila Shot Glasses by The Spice Lab

Gourmet food brand The Spice Lab will show a range of tequila shot glasses made from Himalayan salt at Chicago's International Housewares Show next weekend. With the appearance of rose quartz glass, the finely translucent glasses add a salty flavour to drinks, and are sold in boxed sets of 4.

Most Beautiful Object in South Africa 2013

Monday 25 February 2013

Slice chopping board by Jonathan Fundudis/Snapp Design

The finalists for Design Indaba 2013's Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award include a steampunk-style mechanical bureau for storing laptops, a function-driven cutting board and a bicycle made of wood and carbon.

Emerald Love Seat by Ercol

British furniture brand Ercol has released its classic Love Seat in 2013's Pantone colour of the year, Emerald Green. The two-seater elm and beech bench retails at £720 with a gradated emerald finish, or £685 with a clear wood finish.

The Picnic by Raw-Edges

London-based design studio Raw-Edges transformed Kvadrat's stand at this month's Stockholm Furniture Fair into a giant wooden cabin draped with fronds of the Danish brand's textiles.

Designer bread stamps by Studio Lav

Designer Baking by Studio Lav, photo by Predrag Pajdic

Studio Lav has created a pair of bread stamps that allow bakers to pattern the surfaces of their creations. The pyramid-shaped wooden blocks are carved with classic Pied de Poule and Tweed Herringbone patterns, and are designed for use on cookies, biscuits and small breads.

Faye Toogood for MAKE

Friday 22 February 2013

Matte Lipstick in Magma

British designer Faye Toogood has teamed up with new for-benefit beauty brand MAKE to create a range of cosmetics drawing inspiration from art, nature and volcanic ash.

Calia Italia at Salone del Mobile 2013

Blues & Hip Hop by Calia Italia

Italian furniture brand Calia Italia will be showcasing its Hip Hop, Blue and Candy sofa collections at this year's Salone del Mobile in Milan.

Stained glass: from window to vase

Thursday 21 February 2013

Vases by Jeremy Maxwell Wintrebert at Merci, Paris
Paris-based glassblower Jeremy Wintrebert is working with German manufacturer Lamberts to turn stained glass usually meant for cathedrals and churches into new decorative accessories.

The glass company has been making stained-glass windows for two centuries, respecting the ancient technique. Glass blowers were not able to make flat shapes, meaning they blew a tube instead, before cutting its end and flattening it while the material was still hot. The young designer decided to stop the process at its beginning to create oversized vases.

Google Glass

Google is currently inviting applicants to test its latest project, Glass. The radical new eyewear allows users to access the internet in front of their eyes, and can take pictures, records videos, and even answer questions via voice command. The product is available for trial in the US only at this stage: Glass Explorers can apply via Twitter with a 50 word application tagged with #ifihadglass.

Textile workshop by Ikea

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Ikea is currently hosting an exclusive textile fest outside one of Paris' main train stations, Saint-Lazare. In a huge space built for the occasion, eight seamstresses and two interior designers are showing hundreds of ideas to the many commuters that walk this area of the city every day.

On their way to work, people can order their favourite item from a catalogue that is put at their disposal inside the hall, choose the exact fabric they want it in, and pick it up on their way back in the evening, after it has been made specifically for them.

B&Q launches Mother's Day rose

DIY giant B&Q has unveiled a limited edition rose named Amazing Mum, just in time for UK Mothering Sunday on the 10th March.

The pink rose, which has been given its name by B&Q to celebrate mums, will retail at £7.98 and will be available in 50 stores from 1st March, with all proceeds to go to the charity Sentebale. The Amazing Mum rose will also form part of the B&Q Sentebale Forget-Me-Not garden, which will be unveiled at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Fortuny Interiors: luxurious fabrics in real homes

New book Fortuny Interiors, written by Brian Coleman and photographed by Erik Kvalsvik, gathers together images of Fortuny textiles in use all over the world, from Venice and Aix-en-Provence to New York, San Francisco and Malibu.

Magna Pars Suites: Milan's perfume hotel

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Housed in a former perfume factory in the heart of the Navigli district, Magna Pars Suites is a five-star hotel created by a long-established perfumier family and touted as the world's first hotel-à-parfums. Every element of the design and decor is inspired by the world of essences and scents, with special attention given to eco-friendly solutions.

Bocci at Euroluce 2013

Monday 18 February 2013

Vancouver-based lighting brand Bocci will be exhibiting for the first time at Euroluce this year, launching a new, flexible chandelier called 57. The horizontally positioned chandelier emulates the composition of clouds, with heads injected with air for a contemporary light effect.

Subscribers can see our trend flash on Clouds for more on this area of inspiration.

Design Indaba Conference 2013

Tickets are now available for the 2013 Design Indaba Conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. From 27 February to 1 March, the event sees over 30 speakers providing expert insights into graphic design, advertising, film, music, fashion design, industrial design, architecture, craft, visual art, new media, publishing, broadcasting and performing arts. Due to high demand there will also be a live simulcast at various venues around South Africa.

Subscribers can see our report from Design Indaba Expo 2012, the exhibition that follows the conference, and our article on one of last year's most inspirational speakers, Porky Hefer.

Food for thought at Ambiente 2013

Friday 15 February 2013

Joy of Cooking collection by Lee Sanghyeok at Ambiente 2013
The 2013 edition of consumers goods tradefair Ambiente is rich in positive colours, warm designs and innovative ideas. Some of the most fun of these ideas are to be found in the Talents section of the show, where international young designers are invited to exhibit free of charge, every year, to present their projects to potential buyers and manufacturers. 

Here is a foretaste of three designers who decided to change the way we cook, to be followed by our uncut photo gallery next week on Homebuildlife, as well as by further trend analysis. 

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013 by Sou Fujimoto

This year's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion will be a fine steel lattice, designed by architect Sou Fujimoto, through which the plants of the park will weave into visitor's views.

Echoing our spring/summer 2014 macro trend Next Nature, Fujimoto says of his proposal: "Within the pastoral context of Kensington Gardens, I envisage the vivid greenery of the surrounding plant life woven together with a constructed geometry."

Maarten van der Horst x Total Greek Yoghurt: charitable lunch pots

Thursday 14 February 2013

Fashion designer Maarten van der Horst has collaborated with Total Greek Yoghurt to create a new range of limited edition lunch pots, made by Black + Blum. 100 pots altogether will go on sale from tomorrow, priced at £25 each, with all proceeds donated to Action For Children.

Stand-alone bathroom unit by Filip Deslee

FD1 by Filip Deslee
Belgian interior designer Filip Deslee recently launched a compact bathroom unit including all the essentials and available in 100 RAL colours. The designer has fitted a sink, several drawers, electric sockets and light switches within this self-sufficient product, making it an ideal choice for those with limited space or a taste for minimalism.

Steve Leung for Graham & Brown

Bao wallpaper

Graham & Brown has launched its first collaboration with Hong Kong-based interior designer and architect Steve Leung. The collection features seven contemporary wallpaper designs, including elegant geometrics inspired by hand carved Chinese screens, climbing floral trails, classic stripes and feminine blossoms.

Lalique celebrates Chinese New Year

Renowned glass maker Lalique has launched a collection especially for the Chinese year of the water snake.

Seifried&Mack renovate Hotel Scholl

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Offbeat interior designers Seifried&Mack have renovated the 15th century Hotel Scholl in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany, into a contemporary space with strong colours and unusual details.

Leather candlesticks by Slow Design

Barbare candle holders by Slow Design
Italian studio Slow Design, which collaborates with Tuscan artisans to restore and reinvent objects for the home, has launched a new collection of candle holders made of steel, scraps of leather and handcrafted wood.

Droulers: feeling at home in Italian style

London, Mayfair 2012. Photo Pietro Savorelli 

Published by Electa, Droulers: Feeling Home is a bilingual volume (in Italian and English) with texts by Francesca Molteni, which recounts the quest for beauty driving the work of Italian architects Nathalie and Virginie Droulers.

Live from the 2013 American International Toy Fair

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Wow Wee at American International Toy Fair 2013

The newest trends in toys, games and youth entertainment are currently being displayed to more than 30,000 industry professionals at the 2013 American International Toy Fair, which runs until tomorrow in New York.

Chinoiseries Collection by Ramy Fischler for Tai Ping

Belgian industrial designer Ramy Fischler has designed a new collection of rugs for luxury flooring brand Tai Ping that is inspired by the movements of ocean waves and rivers, and the organic forms of pebbles, rock and stone.

Goods And Better: details for the home

Founded in 2012, Austrian design studio Goods & Better offers a range of notebooks, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, recipe cards, weekly planners and pencil cases, with each product inspired by the studio's travels around the globe. All products are designed and manufactured locally and assembled by hand.

Glass Elephant: the stand-out exhibition of Stockholm Design Week 2013

Heavy industrial robots share space with delicate glass pieces in Glass Elephant, which staged an encounter between the fragile material and powerful machines in an dramatic, obscure environment.

Furniture collection by Farm

Brazilian fashion brand Farm has launched its first furniture line, in collaboration with design brand Oppa. The collection, which comprises two chairs, a dinner table and a stool, is made of wood and has a pared-back design approach. Nature-inspired prints, such as flowers and butterflies, are used throughout.

American Design in Paris

Monday 11 February 2013

Spike chandelier by Lindsey Adelman
For its first show of the year and for the fourth year running, Paris's Triode Gallery is dedicating the whole of its exhibition space to the best of contemporary American Design - this time focusing on pieces that explore light.

Food hybrids at Fruit Logistica 2013

Eosta B.V., The Netherlands, at Fruit Logistics 2013

Berlin-based tradefair Fruit Logistica - the annual destination for fruit and vegetable buyers looking for the next big thing in taste, shape, texture and colour - closed the doors of its 2013 edition on Friday.

New hybrids unveiled at the fair include tiny berries developed from kiwis, vibrantly coloured apricots, and a nutty-flavoured vegetable developed by crossing Brussels sprouts with kale.

Chinoiseries collection by Nicolas Cheng

Friday 8 February 2013

Inspired by the balance between mass-produced and hand-crafted, Nicolas Cheng has designed a collection of detachable vessels with a cloisonné centrepiece and a darkened stainless steel outer shell.

Valentines by Baccarat

The Harcourt Glass with red button is one of three new pieces from Baccarat for Valentine's Day this year. Homebuildlife subscribers can see our product round-up of Valentines gifts for 2013 here.

Form Us With Love Market at Stockholm Design Week 2013

Thursday 7 February 2013

Swedish design studio For Us With Love has opened a pop-up shop and exhibition for Stockholm Design Week

Love Shack at The Conran Shop

The Conran Shop's Chelsea flagship has dedicated the whole of its event space, the Blue Room, to romance. From now until 18th March, the space will host Love Shack, a display of 800 gift ideas ranging in price from £10 to £10,000 and themed according to the six different types of love.

Marshmallow Apothecary by The Robin Collective

A new pop-up store in London will prescribe flavours of marshmallow according to visitor's needs and ailments this month, tackling everything from winter colds to romantic disappointment.

Valentines Pop Up by Anatomical Snuffbox

Wednesday 6 February 2013

This weekend will see a Valentine's pop up with a twist open in Bethnal Green, east London. Specialising in anatomically correct products, the shop has been organised by Anatomical Snuffbox, an alternative events company founded by creative director Miss Cakehead and medical illustrator Emily Evans.

Retro radio by Ionna Vautrin

Mezzo radio by Ionna Vautrin for Lexon
Lexon has released a new radio by French designer Ionna Vautrin. With its simple controls, rounded shape and retro colour combinations, the Mezzo radio looks as familiar and comforting as an old transistor, and is available in four cheerful colourways.

Architecture to be loved at villa Noailles

Manuel Aires Mateus, EDP head office, Lisbon, Portugal, in progress. © Manuel Aires Mateus 
The villa Noailles center for the arts, in southern France, will soon open its new exhibition To Love, To Love, To Love: To Build. In celebration of the tenth year of its architecture exhibitions, villa Noailles has invited ten renowned architects to give a personal interpretation of their production, past, present and future. 

Pieces at Stockholm Design Week

Swedish design brand Pieces is presenting a characterful new collection at this week's Stockholm Design Week, in collaboration with Evert Lindelöf.

Designed by Gabriella Gustafson and Mattias Ståhlbom of TAF architects, the updated Trotters collection includes cabinets, birch sideboards and side tables, each with oversized feet. Presented alongside the collection is A Piece of Mind, a limited-edition print by Kyuhyung Cho.

Oki Sato at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair

Oki Sato, founder of Japanese studio Nendo, is this year's guest of honour at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair. The designer has created an installation and lounge for the fair's main entrance, which was inspired by snowcapped mountain peaks and combines lasercut plastic foam sheets with pieces of furniture created by his studio.

The Food Project at Mart Rovereto: exploring the shape of taste

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Jelly St Paul's Cathedral by Bompas & Parr. Photo Greta Illieva

Creations by a large range of food designers are at the centre of The Food Project: The shape of taste, the next exhibition at Mart (Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto). Curated by Beppe Finessi, the exhibition explores the art of industrial projects and experimental design applied to food, and runs from 9 February - 2 June 2013.

The artist & the window: 500 years of art

Henri Matisse, Nice, cahier noir, 1918
Hahnloser/Jaeggli-Stiftung, Winterthur
Photo Reto Pedrini, Zurich
© Succession H. Matisse / 2013, ProLitteris, Zurich
The Swiss Fondation de l'Hermitage, in Lausanne, is currently hosting an exhibition called "Windows, from the Renaissance to the Present. Dürer, Monet, Magritte...". Artists have long been fascinated by the window, with painters using it to guide the eye towards beautiful landscapes and bring light in, or to blur the boundaries between inside and outside space. It is often seen as a subject in itself rather than a simple architectural or decorative element.