The Cat’s Meow

We have a perfectly functional desk.
But if we needed a new one, I know what we’d get.
It would be this awesomeness, designed by Ruan Hao and debuted at Milan’s Design Week.

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Read the full article here.

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Wherever you hang your hat

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Today, I have more fun design discoveries from over here in Blighty. Also at Boxpark, I found the oh-so-simple and oh-so-sweet work of Swedish designer Lotta Cole.

Aren’t her door stoppers and hooks pure genius? And that pretty tea towel is adorable, I think.

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How about the wooden drawer pulls and the sexy cutting board?

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The good news is, she has an online shop, right here.

Bottom four photos from the Lotta Cole website.

What do you have planned?

delovelydelightfulI am away from Delovely HQ for the next couple of weeks, visiting my BFF in London. When people hear my accent and ask where I am from, the next question they ask me is, “What do you have planned while you are here?”  I know they are expecting me to tell them I’m off to Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace or to take a spin on the Eye, but I have done all those things before and, while they are all great and I am glad to have done them, I’m not really here to be a tourist. Well, not that sort of tourist, at least not the entire time I’m here.

I am here because, in addition to needing some BFF-time,  I needed a fix of London. I needed the sights, smells and sounds of this enormous, gorgeous, vibrant city that is so steeped in history that you feel yourself moving through the layers upon layers of it with each step you take. London feeds my creative soul. I love the aesthetic, the cutting edge of design that is omnipresent here; fashion, decor, art, performance are all beautifully innovative and perfectly executed here, from street style to interiors to flower shops to specialty food shops. There is here an effortless ability to mix and mingle the very old and the contemporary. And all of that is what I am here to see. I am here for the inspiration, for the vibe, for the feel of this amazing place.  Somehow, in these days of global mass-market homogeneity, London manages to be simultaneously timeless and entirely vibrant, ever-new. London is, in a word, cool.

Today, I wandered out and down to Shoreditch and Spitalfields Market. The latter was disappointing, but on my slow, meandering way, I stumbled upon the brick-and-mortar shop of one of my favourite online design discoveries, the enchanting House of Hackney. I nearly fainted from the gorgeousness overload! The young woman who greeted me was amazing– friendly and helpful and willing to find any answer I needed.

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I’m not normally a fan of the “more is more” school of design, but I admire the all-out gutsiness of layering this cheeky pattern. It works, somehow.

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When I saw this “Hackney Empire” wallpaper in person, I felt a stab of regret at not having chosen it for my dressing room. With its oversized scale, it is So Much Better in person than it looked online.

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Who doesn’t love a coquettish otter with a fan? An eye-patch-wearing badger with a mojito? A frog in tophat? A sloth smoking a hookah? A tequila-swilling raccoon? (oh, wait, that’s just a regular ol’ Toronto raccoon…)

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Is that an accordion-playing lemur on that lampshade? Don’t mind if I do!

My plan?
To bring myself home a wee souvenir in the form of a metre of this fabric so that I can whip up a cushion from it.
(And to somehow convince my Mr. that we need Hackney Empire as a headboard-style feature in our bedroom….)

Meet the Designer

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How clever is her logo?

The very best thing about my day job is the teenagers. And then they grow up and into their gifts and talents and, sometimes, if we are very lucky, we get to see where their journeys take them. Such was the case this past weekend at IDS2013, when BMad and I got to see and chat with Jess Tasker, talented owner and designer at Trunk Studio Design.

It was great to see her after 10 years (!) and to see her truly beautiful designs.
She has had a lot of great press lately and deservedly so.

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Here is what her website has to say about her beautiful work:

Trunk Studio blends the clean lines of the Danish Modern furniture tradition with a new Canadian aesthetic. Designer Jess Tasker works with Nova Scotian woodshops to ensure her designs transition seamlessly from paper to their functional form. Her designs are inspired by Canadian culture and landscape, while also incorporating aspects of her Danish ancestry. Trunk Studio was accepted into the Studio North section of the Interior Design Show (IDS 2013) where the Station Chair, Scout Side Table and a ‘yet-to-be-unveiled’ Toque Wall Rack will make their debut on the Canadian and International design scenes.

Designs are subtle, yet creative as she plays with angles and mixes wood species. Pieces must be aesthetically pleasing but also functional and long-lasting. Much like hand-stitched quilts, the character shines through in the details. In other words, the patterns put on display by the wood grain and the design elements engaged. By working with small woodshops to produce her furniture, she is able to insure that pieces are built to a high standard of quality. Trunk Studio pieces are essentially functional works of art.

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The furniture is gorgeous to look at, but what you can’t tell from the photos is how beautifully it is made; the quality of the joinery and the finish of the wood is divine. The pieces are sturdy and durable, as well as lovely to look at. I wish you could feel how silky and perfect the finish is. I wish you could feel how comfy the chairs are!
The craftsmanship is exacting and each piece really is a work of art.

 

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I love the way the furniture hearkens back to Danish mid-century design; the blue fabric is even a re-issue of Danish mid-century fabric. If I were buying, I’d get a Station Chair with upholstery made from 100% wool blankets manufactured by a P.E.I. family — talk about Canadian!

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