The year's finest furniture
Peter Klint /
An experienced carpenter, Peter Klint has been designing kitchens for over 25 years. With its simple and honest construction, his 'Essential Eating' model is a celebration of Nordic design. Its solid smoked oak frame cleverly features a series of trays that slide out and can be placed on the work surface for use as chopping or draining boards.
Studio Lievito /
Price on request
From marble spaghetti measures to porcelain fruit bowls, Studio Lievito specialises in elegant kitchen accessories and tableware. The Italian trio's latest design, the 'Gravita' block, leaves us in no doubt as to where each of the kitchen utensils are kept. A sturdy wedge of oak houses a spatula, ladle and a slotted spatula that nest into the block's specially cut compartments. For the untidy chefs among us, each utensil features a handy wedge-shaped marble handle that when set down, elevates the messy head above the kitchen counter.
Industrial Facility / Mattiazzi
From €367 each
Sam Hecht and Kim Colin of British studio Industrial Facility have designed new stools for Italian manufacturer Mattiazzi by fusing together the front half of a traditional four-legged stool with a single supporting back leg to create a three-legged hybrid. Visually balanced and structurally sound, the stools have no visible fixings or screws and their seats appears to merely rest on the leg frame. On a more poetic note, the natural, yellow, red and black wood stain finish options are inspired by the changing colours of autumn leaves.
Daniel Gonzalez / Mütanta
We spotted this cast-iron pot, part of small cookware set by Czech designer Daniel Gonzalez, in Milan where it was shown as part of an exhibition by Prague's Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. A keen chef himself, Gonzalez wanted to create a heavy-duty range of pots and pans with a straightforward and long-lasting design. Comprising two saucepans and a cooking pot, the set was created as part of a graduation project in collaboration with Bohemian metal casting factory Stará Hut using traditional iron casting techniques.
Miranda Watkins / Miranda Watkins
Miranda Watkins' understanding of materials is key to her working process and contributes to the compelling beauty of these tumblers and cutting board. Each piece is precision engineered in high-grade materials and hand-finished in British workshops.
Studio Lievito / Studio Lievito
Florence-based Studio Lievito has turned the acts of chopping, crumbling and rolling food into a game with this geometric cutting board. The marble sphere crumbles spices, the cylinder is for rolling dough and smashing meat, while the cube can be used to scale fish, and the prism holds a blade for chopping vegetables.
Solomia Zoumaras / Solomia Zoumaras
Zoumaras' work first caught our eye at the Royal College of Art degree show in London. Her work hinges around geometry and symmetry, drawing inspiration from architecture. This tabletop creation makes a sculpture out of the humble egg.
Jens Fager / Stelton
Starting from 14.99
Rig-Tig is the new line of kitchenware from Copenhagen-based brand Stelton that gets its name (Danish for 'right') from its mission to produce 'the right product, with the right design at the right price'. We feel it has hit the nail on the head with these mixing bowls by Swedish designer Jens Fager. Made from bamboo melamine, they have a pleasing texture and their curved top lip acts as a helpful pouring feature.
Plus Minus Zero / Plus Minus Zero
Our love affair with multi-tasking, space saving gadgets hit another high when we plugged in this toaster oven by the homeware maven Plusminuszero. Overseen by creative director and legendary designer Naoto Fukusawa, the company produces the kind of pared back to the essentials products that only the Japanese seem to be capable of designing. The high shape of this compact toaster oven, itself a visual nod to a loaf of bread, makes it perfect for cooking everything from casseroles to reheating leftovers, while midnight snacks of croque monsieur are a snap to prepare.
TVS / TVS
Slaving away in the kitchen is all very well for some, but we insist on doing our sautéing and braising with precisely the right equipment. And since we acquired this set of pots and pans by Urbino-based cookware specialists TVS, our cooking escapades here at Wallpaper* HQ have acquired an almost mythic Julia Childs quality about them. Made from recyclable materials and coated with hard wearing ceramic, these robust additions to our kitchen have turned the usual tedious mealtime prep into an unexpected pleasure.
Matti Syrälä / Kaamos Group
price on application
In Finnish, 'loimi' means 'warp', but we're assuming some liberty has been taken in the translation because there is nothing that resembles warping with this set of elegant pendant lamps. The designer Matti Syrälä is a member of Kaamos, a design collective that strives to blend the Finnish fondness for functionalism with artisanal craftsmanship. Of the resulting range of household furnishings and accessories, the Loimi lamp features the austere silhouette of an aluminium disc that's available in different shades. And because the electrical cord is partially encased in an attractive ash stem, the lamp can also be taken off the ceiling and positioned on any flat surface like a dining table or the floor.
Konstantic Grcic / Magis
price on application
We sometimes wonder just when the insanely prolific Konstantin Grcic finds the time to sleep. But as long as he keeps producing arresting pieces like this pair of three-legged beauties, we're not complaining. Riffing off the humble workshop stool, Grcic has moulded three strips of plain solid beech around a boldly coloured plastic swivel screw. The stools feature two different heights (hence, the moniker). These, in turn, are adjustable depending on the occasion and the need. Just be sure to grab the higher ground, as it were, and show who's the boss during one of those politically charged office conversations.
Naoto Fukasawa / Alessi
Naoto Fukasawa has applied his distinctive brand of minimalism to a new range of pans for Alessi, named 'Shiba', after the small but agile Japanese dog. The designer limited himself just to pans that are strictly necessary for daily life for a family of four. With lids that are pleasingly flush to the base, the pans also come with the handle and knob in Bakelite, but we prefer the warmth of wood.
LucidiPevere / Normann Copenhagen
Whisking is one of the more trying jobs in the kitchen. But, to brighten the task, designer LucidiPevere has spurned the traditional metal utensil, fashioning a bamboo and plastic mixer in the shape of a tree. Inspired by an Italian cypress, it's a piece of sculpture for the kitchen.
Gio Ponti / Cassina
Gio Ponti ranked the Superleggera chair as one his three 'masterpieces' (together with the Pirelli Tower in Milan and the Concattedrale of Taranto) and we are inclined to agree - striking, as it does, the perfect balance between solidity and lightness. Designed for the Cassina I Contemporanei Collection, it his been in production since 1957, but Cassina has just unveiled a new re-edition of a version Ponti designed for exhibitions in the 1950s, which was never serially produced. Equipped with a padded white or graphite leather seat, the ashwood chair's black and white lacquered frame emphasises its elegant proportions - making it a definite show-stopper.
Kari Virtanen / Nikari
Finland's Kari Virtanen first created this table for an architect friend, who was after an outdoor table with a detachable top, before Nikara snapped up the design and put it into production. With no screws or metal parts, the ash, birch and black alder configuration is held together by a series of neat bolts and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It bears characteristic Scandinavian simplicity and has a smooth surface that is extremely soft to the touch.
Mikael Silvanto / RCA Design Products Collection
Digital broadcasting might be rendering traditional radio tuners obsolete but Finnish designer Mikael Silvanto takes subversive pleasure in accentuating the AM/FM device as an object to be tuned, just like an instrument. To find a station, you slide the body of the radio along the bar - a visual metaphor for measuring airwaves, as well as a practical tuning device. Part of the Design Products Collection - a new RCA initiative aimed at making the most innovative of graduate designs commercially viable - its red graphics echo the college's crest.
Atelier Polyhedre / Atelier Polyhedre
French ceramicists Baptiste Ymonet and Vincent Jousseaume of Atelier Polyhedre like to imbue their vessels with personalities, which – in the case of their growing Stomachs series – are a hungry bunch. The vases and carafes appear to have swallowed other objects, which stretch their curves and angular outlines, evoking the elasticity of the intestinal wall. This 'Carafe < Funnel' looks like it has gulped down a vase, which distorts the usual symmetry of ceramic turning to pleasingly irreverent effect.
Enofrigo / Arclinea
Price on request
First launched as a facility for professional kitchens, Arclinea's dish-warming cylinder has this year been incorporated into the 'Convivium' kitchen by Antonio Citterio. The vertical tower is embedded in the counter and covered with a lid. It takes up to 60 plates and the temperature is adjustable between 30°C and 50°C.
Danilo Radice / Elam
Price on Request
Presented as a multifunctional modular storage system for any room of the house, these cupboards, shelves and drawers fit comfortably in the modern kitchen and, with lacquer and wood finishes to mix and match, sit particularly prettily in an open plan space where cooking and living areas blend.
Anna & Gian Franco Gasparini / Alessi
£192 set of hard cheese knives, £168 set of soft cheese knives
Alessi’s new set of cheese knives, designed by Anna and Gian Franco Gasparini, hail from a tiny atelier in Scarperia, in the Tuscan Apennines near Florence, which has a longstanding cutlery tradition. Each knife is designed for a different cheese, the broad surfaced ones for hard and semi-hard cheeses, the semi-circular one for semi-soft and the narrow one for very soft cheeses. The shape of each is designed to maximise ease of cutting the various textures and a good tip to master is to keep the arm, hand and knife aligned at all times. Such is the craft involved in the creation of each knife that one designer looks after the entire process, from the forging of the steel blade to the shaping of the boxwood handles and each blade contains the initials of the craftsman who made it.
Russell Pinch /
Master carpenter-designer Russell Pinch’s new collection is pretty much faultless in its entirety. If we had to choose just one piece we’d go with the charming little IMO folding stool. The walnut frame and elm top have a ruddy, workmanlike aesthetic, but it’s the fact that they fold down the middle and can be hung on an accompanying walnut peg when not in use that singles them out for selection.
Victor Carrasco / Boffi
Price awaiting confirmation
There’s little less appealing than washing your hands and drenching the front of your outfit in water because the basin is too shallow. Hence it was the extremely generous basin depth that first attracted us to Victor Carrasco’s Vol design for Boffi. Though we favour the graphic, sculptural quality of the column on the floor mounted design, purists can choose a floating, suspended version instead.
Ignore the rather serious name given to this group of kitchen accessories – the Workspace Component System – and focus instead on the fact that three often neglected kitchen top items have been give a very elegant makeover. Henrybuilt, a Washington-based company, combines traditional cabinet making skills with contemporary kitchen design. This knife block, chopping board and rectangular colander, available in either teak or high density plastic, are designed to integrate seamlessly with the Henrybuilt kitchen unit but such a handsome set of objects will fit in to any kitchen beautifully.
Tom Dixon /
Fed-up with the 'dishonest' use of materials of late, Tom Dixon's studio have forged ahead with a back to basics approach instead. This Slab bar stool, made from solid oak with a rugged cast iron foot rest is as honest as it gets and was a highlight from his recent, appropriately named Utility collection.
Asif Khan /
Young London-based designer Asif Khan's clever kitchen storage is really a necessity for anyone with limited space but grand ambitions on the culinary front. The modular powder-coated steel and wooden elements stack neatly, keeping all sorts of things fresh, from biscuits to bananas, cakes to carrots. When it's time for chopping, simply dismantle and use the wooden bases/lids double up as chopping boards.
Sebastian Jansson /
These handy stainless steel implements perform a multitude of culinary tasks, from spatulas to knives to turners to salad tongs - a neat rethinking of several everyday kitchen tools.
Christian Spiess /
Another rising star at ECAL, Spiess showed this trestle table as part of a group show at Salone 2009. It can easily be folded away thanks to its three detachable parts: aluminium legs that support any flat surface; the tabletop of your choice; and a beam that extends up to 1.6 metres.
Shigeru Ban / When Objects Work
Price awaiting confirmation
Shigeru Ban has scaled down the lattice grid he created for the Centre Pompidou-Metz into a more portable design. Accessibility has always been Ban's forte and he's keen that the design should be affordable as well as beautiful.
Tomas Kral /
While most students claim inspiration from the contents of the bottle, ECAL masters student, Tomas Kral, took inspiration from the bottle itself, or the relationship between the cork and glass to be precise. Designing a collection consisting entirely from cork and free-blown glass, it includes lamps, a small table and this airtight kitchen storage jar.
Dick van Hoff / Royal Tichelaar Makkum
Netherlands-based ceramic company Makkum decided that the traditional tile stove was overdue for a rethink and, having seen the results by fun-loving functionalist Dick van Hoff, they were onto a hot idea. The wood burning stove was designed in collaboration with Welvetree, who knows about these things, and comes in a choice of black, green or white glaze.
Neri & Hu / The Design Republic
This lacquered box, traditionally used for packed lunches, is the latest offering from Neri & Hu. Their mission is to convert household Chinese objects into beautiful designs, without scrimping on function or traditional techniques. Seduced by its generous proportions, we’re keen to get our hands on one – not to take our lunch to work perhaps, but to salivate over at home for sure.
Gino Carollo / Draenert
The tea trolley, that bastion of mid century entertaining, has wheeled its way back into fashion seemingly, albeit with a 21st Century spin. A very fine reincarnation comes courtesy of Italian designer Gino Carollo for German company Draenert. The industrial smoked glass and clean, cylindrical shape has us thinking of two of our favourite greys – Eileen and Earl.
Ernest Perera / Delica
This graphic dish drainer made from a waterproof wood and melamine mix should have given us a good reason to enjoy a spot of washing up. But so keen are we not to clutter up its clean silhouette, we've ended up using the dishwasher more than ever.
Marco Dessi / Richard Lampert
Like the schnitzel and the waltz, Marco Dessi’s Prater chairs are nothing if not a product of their Viennese hometown. Not only are they named after the park in the Leopoldstadt district of the city but their form takes its lead from the work of another Viennese icon, Otto Wagner. Where Wagner created robust, pioneering bentwood designs at the turn of the last century, Dessi has translated these into a subtler play of detail and proportion. But just like the designs of his forebear, the dimensions encourage fully upright seating at all times and definitely no slouching.
Zaha Hadid / Triflow concepts
Many people have expressed a thirst for some of what Zaha’s on, and now she’s answered them, creating a tap for British brassware manufacturer Triflow. Her signature free flow design lends itself uncannily well to a faucet, playing on the movement of water and making for a particularly fluid, ergonomic function too. Showcasing the company’s patented technology, hot, cold and filtered drinking water are delivered through separate channels but arrive from the same spout; the former two are controlled by the joystick handle and the latter by a touch-sensitive button.
French company Adonde’s teapots have rustic charm down to a T. The modular pot is the final element in the 13-strong ‘cylinder’ series, which Adonde began back in 2005 with the aim of exploring as many functions as possible through this single shape. The teapot is a bit of a departure by virtue of having a specific function but such details as a handle and spout don’t stand in the way of the form’s simplicity or modular capacity.
Patrick Frey / Authentics
German stalwarts Authentics recently launched a new range of tableware at Tendence in Frankfurt, which has us feeling the need for an overhaul. PIU is designed by Patrick Frey and, true to its Italian translation, subscribes to the 'less is more' school of thought. The glassware and crockery are minimal and elegant but it’s the thermos flasks that are the standout pieces. Doubling up as a teapot (with a tea strainer insert), the flask has an ergonomic handle and flip-top lid arrangement that means it can be opened and closed with just one hand.
Singihh Susilo Kartono /
Far from simply being beautiful to look at and touch, the Magno wooden radio is something of an environmental fairytale. Its creator, Singgih Susilo Kartono, hails from Central Java and came up with the design to kickstart a community-based eco regeneration in his home village. Based on traditional woodworking craft, he set about training his fellow villagers to create modular wooden casing for a series of radios, made from a mixture of sonekeling (dark wood) and pine (light wood). Every piece is handcarved from the two types of wood and for each tree that is felled another is planted in its place. The three-band radio can also be hooked up to your mp3 player, but the charm of the design itself is what really sings.
Taps aren't usually a crowd-puller at the fairs, but Kohler's new Karbon faucet drew floods of people to its stand at last year's ICFF. The American company took inspiration from lighting and construction equipment to create a tubular tap with three hinges. The result is a strangely beautiful, if robotic, creation that you can pull, push and direct your flow wherever you wish. Made from a superior strength lightweight carbon fibre, the tap also comes with a separate joystick valve operator, which makes the old-fashioned screw tap seem particularly archaic.
Klauser & Carpenter / Established & Sons
£980 excluding VAT
Ed Carpenter and Andre Klauser's Louvre Light for Established & Sons has many visual references, all of which come together to make a rather unusual, industrial but charming design. Part window blind, part rear window of a 1980's 'muscle' car and part extractor fan, the repeated layers of pressed aluminium louvers give directional, glare-free light. The light comes in two sizes and a range of finishes and we favour the graded blue model as a cool partner above a kitchen table or worktop. "We think Louvre is like a canvas that can change character depending on the colour and finish," say the pair of their design.
/ Japanese Knife Company
These rustic looking knives belie the serious credentials they bear as the ultimate in kitchen cutting equipment. The seven strong collection are each handmade in a small Japanese artisan workshop with traditional skills used in the creation of the samurai sword. The specialist steel used, Aogami No. 1 Blue, has a rich carbon content, prone to oxidisation (hence the blotchy appearance of the blades) but this eliminates rusting. The steel is alloyed with Tungsten, which produces unrivalled toughness, hardness and endurance whilst the rosewood handles are not just an elegant touch but make for a comfortable grip too. A cutting edge collection, if you will.
Richard Lampert / Richard Lampert
German designer Richard Lampert devised this handy design with ease of storage or transportation and flexibility of function in mind. Lampert lists its range of possible uses thus, "it's a table to perch on, if used carefully, a seat or surface whilst fishing, a little helper in the kitchen or simply a table next to an easy chair." As a practical addition to the kitchen it's perfect should you run out of chopping space or need to create an impromptu table extension for an extra guest. The folding, powder-coated steel design is available in a range of eye-catching colours, and later this year will be joined by a folding sofa table and balcony table.
Lula chairs / Uno design
Kitchen chairs have quite an in between existence. Whilst you want something more informal than a dining chair, it's good to have something more structured than a stool too. Spanish contract furniture company Uno Design have created an attractive option with their new Lula chairs by Lagranja. The aluminium designs come in a range of bright colours, are stackable and have a character that belies their simplicity. Proof of the chair’s flexibility and personality comes in Lagranga's description of the design, "She doesn't mind being on a terrace, by the sea, in my mother's rose garden or Javier’s meeting room. Her back is like a hug that you don't want to leave."
Michael Young / Accupunto
Price awaiting confirmation
The British, Hong Kong-based designer, Michael Young teamed up with the young, and until now relatively unknown, Indonesian furniture brand Accupunto to design a capsule collection of four pieces for their 2008 collection. The Capra high stools (which come in a low variety also) stand out as something perfect to pull up to a breakfast bar. The elegant combination of white plastic and wood is a mix of materials that makes for a reassuringly traditional feel but with a contemporary edge. Charmingly understated and beautifully finished it might be the first time we've heard of Accupunto but we’re sure it's not the last.
Nendo / Cappellini
Designed to tease, yet still look as appealing and fragile as it's namesake, this table in the form of a single plain, bends this way and that, while each leg folds in a different direction creating, at first glance, a sense of unsteadiness. Of course it's not, for Nendo's Bambi table is made of ultra-thin sheet metal, 1.5mm thick that is laser-cut and folded into a handy 150 x 60 x 73 cm format. Easily dismantled, this flexible friend can be used indoors or out. Bambi's polish lacquered entrance for Cappellini, at this year's Salone Internazionale del Mobile was in blue, but it also comes in white, yellow, grey, red and black.
Wiel Arets / Alessi
This sleek machine is all power puree and performance, and exactly what you would expect from Dutch architect Wiel Arets' latest collaboration with Alessi. His semi-professional, 18/10 stainless steel appliance with anti-slip handle and thermoplastic resin wall support in white or black, is another reminder of how the world of architecture has much to offer contemporary interior design. That said, we think the real appeal of this super-sleek tool is its bayonet locking mechanism, graduated beaker in SAN and gratifyingly charged 600 watts, two-speed normal and turbo motor. Blending intellectual complexity with minimalist style has never been such fun.
Jaime Hayon / Gaia&Gino
Price on request
As interest in global artisan crafts with a fresh interpretation grows, Spanish designer Jaime Hayon's Grid vases are inspired, he says, by medieval helmets, suits of armour and Islamic art that brings a strong but fancy feel to his work. These vases for Istanbul-based Gaia&Gino are perfectly in keeping with their inventive, table-top collections that interpret the rituals of Turkey in unconventional, yet luxurious ways. Shown for the first time at Paul Smith's store in Milan, Hayon's Grid vases, made by Turkish metal craftsmen, come in three sizes, 31cm, 37cm and 41cm high and in blue/silver, green/gold, black/silver and white/gold combinations and ooze peasant power.
Madelene Bjork /
Research concludes more of us are living alone, in studios or open plan flats, and eating ready meals like never before. Madelene Björk, a graduate in contemporary furniture design, believes her prototype sideboard holds the key to our brave new world by linking living room to kitchen with a unit of boxes, each with purpose. Her quirky hybrid comes in corian, American cherry, white lacquered wood, glass and metal and houses a microwave-oven cupboard, drawer for plates and cutlery, glass-door cabinet for dry food, box for sink and waste bin and shelving for glass. Metal legs give the kitchen unit a furniture feel, and a taste of things to come.
We thought it only fair to throw open the doors to The W* House and share with you our wealth of experience in the design world. From cutlery to cupboards, pots to plumbing, The W* House features our favourite pieces of design from around the globe, room by room. We'll update them every time we find something new we like, building the collection into an archive for as long as the pieces are for sale. Practicality isn't often a buzzword at the Wallpaper* HQ, but when it comes to sharing our finds we wanted to keep things simple, letting you furnish your house the Wallpaper* way, with the click of a mouse.