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Fanny Dora / Super-ette
'In the world of magic, "prestige" is the conclusion of a trick, the moment when the audience is captured,' says designer Fanny Dora. If you look at her design straight on, it appears to be a conventional round mirror but, change your position slightly and its second function is revealed. 'Presige' also doubles as a small shelf, suitable for storing small belongings.
Jonathan Adler / Kohler
Manufactured in cast iron that can be enameled in dozens of colours, the 'Tides' has an undulating rim that dips slightly lower in the front for access and a basin that curves gently downward to contain splash.
Elisa Honkanen / Elisa Honkanen
Elisa Honkanen is a Finnish designer who worked for Piero Lissoni in Milan and Patrick Norguet in Paris before going it alone in 2009. Mounted on an oak frame, her 'Cut' mirror features an unexpected additional sliver of bronze-tinted mirror that either gives extra light or stays mute and dark depending on how the room is lit.
Fabrica / Fabrica
A hit at this year's Salone del Mobile, Fabrica's exhibition at Villa Necchi saw designers draw inspiration from the villa's original features to create 25 objects that were then produced by various Italian firms. These elegant fireplace tools reflect the wrought iron and marble surroundings of the property's fireplaces.
Sylvain Willenz / Chevalier Édition
With all the other things to admire in a living room, carpets are often overlooked. Not so with this eye-catching specimen by Belgian designer Sylvain Willenz. Relishing the chance to work solely on a two-dimensional level, the designer settled on three designs that reduced traditional folkloric patterns to their fundamental, geometric form.
Cristian Zuzunaga / Cristian Zuzunaga
257 - 380
Cristian Zuzunaga's forward-thinking ethos has manifested itself in a new range of pixel-print textiles, developed from his digital manipulations of photographs of our urban environment. The Barcelona-born, London-based designer has worked with weaving specialist Teixidors, based in Terrassa, Catalonia, to give his modus operandi a fresh twist. The resulting blankets, all made from 100 per cent ecological merino wool, are each beautiful explorations of colour and scale that pack a subtle yet hypnotic punch.
David Weatherhead / Thorsten Van Elten
Originally designed in a limited edition for an exhibition at Goodd called ‘A product of Geometry’, these wall clocks explore a sense of the primary, essential and formal in object design. With echoes of Bauhaus, road safety signs, and the back reflectors on a trailer, the elegant Douglas fir clocks have – of course - the added bonus of telling the time.
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.
Another Country / Another Country
British furniture brand Another Country's satisfying solid first range of wooden furniture went down such a treat that founder Paul de Zwart (Wallpaper's founding publisher) has decided to reminisce with his latest offering. The clock is a brilliantly simple twist on the company's first piece of furniture, a stool.
Itay Lanido / Itay Laniado
We're not known for getting our hands dirty, but these garden tools by Israeli designer Itay Laniado have us itching to start our own co-op farm. There's a pleasing agrarian roughness about the set that includes a machete, shovel, spade and bow saw. But Laniado has done more than create pretty tools that look good propped up against the shed -- there is also a healthy dose of common sense practicality in his designs that promise great things for the future. The scythe for instance can be quickly dissembled for safe storage, but more ingenius is a groove in the handle into which is wedged a sharpening stone for use in the field.
Emu / Emu
price on request
Tattered, sun-faded outdoor furniture speaks of careless housekeeping. Keep your guests' disapproving looks at bay with these striking patterned cushions by Italian outdoor furniture specialists Emu. The mass-dyed acrylic provides a tough barrier against both the sun and general weather damage. The cushion filling yields comfortably to pressure, but immediately plumps back to its original shape. Ten solid colours are teamed with ten patterns ranging from rugged geometrics and pretty florals to stripes and arabesque curls. You'll never again be short of an attractive pillow to sit or lean on.
Broberg & Ridderstråle / Roshults
If you're the particular sort, like we are, outdoor cooking is an acceptable activity only if it doesn't involve food prepping and washing up by a muddy stream. This garden kitchen sink allays any lingering phobias with its reassuringly sturdy profile. The corrosion resistant frame wraps itself around an oiled oak work-bench and a generously proportioned stainless steel sink. Water is piped in with a standard hose and drains away into a container that, in turn, is easily emptied into the gardenia bed. Two spacious shelves below deck keep assorted cooking tools and containers neatly stacked away. We won't blame you if you decide to cook outdoors on a permanent basis.
Mermelada Estudio / Mermelada Estudio
price on request
Outdoor showers, however attractively designed, tend to be hidden away against a wall feature and then unceremoniously ignored. The Delta, however, goes firmly against the grain. Barcelona-based Mermelada Estudio reworked the triangular form of the Greek letter to create a simple but stable tripod stand that connects to a hose. Water is fed through a long angled shower head that delivers a thick spray. Best of all, the Delta can be easily picked up and moved to another location or left in situ as a garden installation. Come winter, it's just as easily dismantled and packed away. That's the kind of shower power we'd like to see more of.
Tony Almén and Peter Gest / Nola
There are trellises and there are trellises. Tony Almén and Peter Gest's all-white version will turn even the dullest corner of your home into a picture perfect backdrop for a festive garden party. Made up of a series of slender identical panels, the trellis ripples outwards like a concertina. Repeating triangular cutouts form an attractive geometric pattern that also serves as gaps for vines to grip hold of and twine upwards. The versatility of the design means that the trellis can used as a single unit to, say, divide an indoor space, or as a series that runs along an outside wall like a living green tapestry.
Domenico De Palo / Antonio Lupi
Fireplaces have rightfully reclaimed their hot spot in the modern home. There's something incredibly soothing and communal, primal even, about warming yourself next to merrily crackling flames. More so when the flames are contained within a fireplace as discretely unobtrusive yet structural as Domenico De Palo's 'Il Canto del Fuoco', literally song of fire. Made of stainless steel, the surfaces are either lacquered or sheathed in rust-hued Corten steel, while heat is generated by bioethanol, or traditional wood. We know where we'll be gathering around this winter.
Sebastian Bergne / Atelier d'exercices
Perpetual calenders are tricky things to design in part because you have to incorporate disparate elements and various date combinations in a cohesive whole and in a way that doesn't require a degree in advanced maths to read. Resembling a deconstructed astrolab, London-based designer Sebastian Bergne's 'Calendrier Ring' achieves the goal most admirably with just three interlocking circles. Dates are marked simply by lining up the relevant circle to a central rod that acts as both a hinge and date marker. In the Calendrier, Bergne, whose works have shown at the Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art has created a calendar that will never date.
Laure Gremion / Alessi / ECAL
price on application
It's never a good idea, especially in an office setting, to be caught watching the clock, but it's difficult not to make an exception with Laure Gremion's hypnotic Volta; the dizzying pattern is created by the movement of the second hand against a circular face spoked with 60 radiating lines. The result is, dare we say it, a timely reimagining of a quotidian object but executed with a quiet intelligence and restraint that bodes well for Germion's future. More so because the Volta is part of an imaginative series of desk and office accessories designed for Alessi by Germion and her fellow second year students in the industrial design bachelor programme at ECAL. For now, the Volta exists only as a prototype, but be assured we're barracking for its eventual production.
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.
Aldo Bakker / Izé
price on application
In the great pantheon of home accessories, door handles often tend to be given shortshrift. Which is why we can't keep our hands off this brass beauty that Dutch designer Aldo Bakker designed for hardware specialists Izé. The angled lines of the lever is almost mercurial in the way it flows out of the door before flaring into a comfortable ergnomic shape that folds naturally into the contours of a palm. At this year's Salone del Mobile (see W*146), we picked Bakker, the son of Droog founder Gijs Bakker, as one to watch -- a choice we feel is vindicated by the minimalist discipline of this door handle.
Pratesi / Pratesi
We love relaxing in bed as much as the next person, but this new collection by linen maestros Pratesi -- which debuted at this year's Salone Internazionale del Mobile as a more contemporary and considerably less expensive range than the classic Pratesi collection -- might be just the thing to convince us to stage a more permanent lie-in. The clean tailored sheets, made of Egyptian cotton and Italian linen especially, are accented with discreet patterns and colour palette that won't clash with even the most outré décor. What we applaud most is the fact that they are wrinkle-free, meaning they can be taken straight out of the dryer and tucked back onto the bed. The new line is available online with a limited retail presence at Pratesi's flagship stores in Melrose Place, New York and Hong Kong.
Sebastian Herkner / Studio Sebastian Herkner
On a visit to Spain, Sebastian Herkner came across a company that makes yarn from paper. Intrigued by the material's possibilities, he began incorporating it in his designs. 'Bask', Herkner's new line is a multi-tasker after our own heart. A slim metal grid provides these baskets with an unexpectedly strong frame around which the paper yarn is woven. The deep storage capacity make the baskets perfect for collecting laundry, while the lids double as either storage baskets for magazines and new towels, or when set over a stool, as a handy side-table.
Neunzig Design / Boffi
Price on application
Cleanliness may sit comfortably next to godliness in many households, but we think there's much to be said for adding tidiness into the mix. And with the assistance of this sleek versatile shelf, there really is no better place to practise what we preach than in the bathroom. Designed by Barbara Funck and Rainer Weckenmann of Neunzig Design, the Skyline comprises two Corian trays, one shallow and one deep, stacked over a u-shaped frame -- perfect for holding soap, razors and the like, while keeping your bottles of assorted unguents, fresh hand towels and toiletries neatly together. To help clean your act even further, a floor mounted version in white metal is also available.
Big Game / Amorim / Materia
Price on application
Just because we're all grown up now doesn't mean we're not partial to a bit of fun in the bathtub. A few years ago, Corticeira Amorim, the world's largest cork producer, decided to team up with a group of designers to come up with novel uses for cork. Two years later, the results debuted at the recent Salone Internazionale del Mobile and we were immediately taken with this playful trio of toy boats by Swiss-based designers Big-Game. With just a few simple but elegantly designed plastic attachments, the base cork hulls convert into sail boat, submarine and dinghy. Light in shape, buoyant in spirit, these little boats are proof that it's never too late to have a second childhood.
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.
Price on request
Big-Game's mirrors are created by silvering the windshields of cars - ideal for souping up a bathroom. To ensure the user's image isn't distorted, the Lausanne-based studio selects only flat mirrors from cars like the VW Beatle, the Citro ë n 2CV and the Renault 4L. Hopefully the reflection will look as good as the mirror.
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.
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec / Nanimarquina
Price on request
It almost seems a shame to tread on the Losanges collection of rugs by the Bouroullec brothers, beautifully made by hand in Northern Pakistan, using hand-spun wool. Their 13 colours and geometrical rhombus shape give a modern rethink to traditional kilims. 'We have always been captivated by the traditional Persian rug, especially by the very old kilim savoir-faire, which we see as a delicate mix of rusticity and fineness,' they explain. Thanks to the hand-crafting, each carpet is unique.
Image: © Studio Bouroullec
BCXSY / Established & Sons
'We wanted to create patterns out of simple geometric shapes,' say BCXSY duo Boaz Cohen and Sayaka Yamamoto of their series of three screens. This humble mission belies the craftsmanship involved in their making. It took the Eindhoven-based designers months to track down the right Japanese Tategu wood joinery specialist to bring their ideas to fruition. Finally, a couple of photos on a blog led them to Mr Tanaka, who meticulously crafted each of the folding screens (in editions of eight) out of Hinoki Japanese Cypress wood in his Tokyo workshop. 'We found the process, the extreme skill and accuracy required by the craft, fascinating,' explains Cohen. 'Every piece requires a variety of different tools that are often custom made by the craftsman to address a specific task.'
Francois Xavier Balléry / Domeau & Pérès
390 for three
Proof that inspiration can come from the strangest places - the simply named ‘Pretty Vase Collection’ takes its cue from household water pipes, which designer Francois Xavier Balléry has reinterpreted in PVC. With matt, satin and glossy finishes, the family of three vases gives plumbing a new dose of style.
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.
Johannes Herbertsson and Martin Berg / RVW
The 'Haijk' flower pot is not content with playing host to the fruits of nature's intricate eco-systems - it also takes inspiration from its patterns for its own form. Designed by Herbertsson and Berg to be easily movable, the concept is that the pot should create a dialogue between the sun, the plant and the viewer. And, best of all, its base is made from pine and is accompanied by a tiny atlas which shows where in the world the tree was harvested.
Joseph Forakis / Normann Copenhagen
Ballo takes its name from the Italian for 'dance'. Sound an unlikely one for a toilet brush? Well, yes. But this cheery Jozeph Forakis-designed version of that most unglamorous of bathroom accessories raises a smile as it wobbles and flexes on its rounded underside. Based on Forakis' early experiments with the concept of balance, the plastic brushes come in black, grey, green and blue.
Tomàs Kràl and Camille Blin / Okolo
Serial mislayers of writing implements can now keep their pens and pencils safely stored within the stylish locked jaws of the Pen Monster. Tomàs Kràl and Camille Blin came up with this wooden container after visiting the woodworking shop of Joseph Miele, where they were inspired by an avertical shaper. Each fiendish tooth encloses around a writing utensil, while a black screw on top locks them in place.
Tom Dixon / Tom Dixon
The problem with beautiful hooks is that you never want to hang anything on them. Like the very best butler, however, this graphic coat tree will hold its own while holding your coat as well. Also available in white, black and natural oak, the design is one of the better branches of Tom Dixon’s latest collection, and we’re very happy for it to take a supporting role in our hallway.
Inga Sempé / Moustache
Inga Sempé, who has launched a number of covetable designs this year, is clearly having a moment. It's her time, and -- lucky us -- she's sharing it with her new 'Guichet' clock. Easily the best product in Moustache's new collection, the blue clock has a hypnotic aperture that shows moving stripes with the passing of the seconds.
Wendy Legro / Wendy Legro
Why don't people use hot-water bottles any more? That's what Dutch designer Wendy Legro wants to know. Theorising that perhaps electric blankets were stealing a march on the more traditional body warmer, she set out to redesign it and brings that warm and fuzzy feeling back to bedtime. The result is made from rubber and white felt, impregnated with polyutherane to make it stronger. While you might want to display it in the daytime, ultimately this is a piece to covet under the covers.
Sohei and Sumiko Arao / Sides Core
Price on request
Architects seem to have a particular capacity for cutlery, and the proof is in the eating with this new range of spoons, knives and forks by Sides Core, a company founded in 2005 by Osaka-based architects Sohei and Sumiko Arao. The duo designed the curves of their stainless steel 'Link' cutlery by considering how the pieces would look when placed side by side.
As if in vindication of the 'Quietly Brilliant' tag line, HTC's Legend is a pocket sized piece of technological innovation. Integrating all the data streams we generate into one navigable interface, the Legend is milled from one solid lump of aluminum and comes complete with an OLED screen - providing superior colour quality and depth. With a ringer which pipes down once the phone has been picked up; an online widget library and pinch-to-zoom controls, the Legend's quiet brilliance is plain to see.
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.
Agnes Vries / Kahler
Kahler is a lesser-known icon of the Danish scene. Founded in 1839, long before anyone was debating the merits of design art, its mission was to create ceramic pieces as functional as everyday designs but as beautiful as art pieces. In 2007 the company relaunched, introducing contemporary Danish designers to the fold. The Bottino vase collection by Agnes Fries is inspired in shape and pattern by fishing floats and we’re hooked on the interplay of horizontal lines and curved forms. Group the different sizes together and there’s really no need for flowers.
Satisfying our pleasure for playing with packaging, the small French company Adonde has created a cardboard box set of desktop elements that are part 3-d puzzle, part practical storage for your stationery.
Sam Hecht / IDEA International
Nobody really likes an alarm clock but modern life decrees we must wake up before our bodies would naturally want us to and hence they are very important. Sam Hecht’s Bell Clock, which debuted at the London Design Festival, is simple, beautiful and very loud. Though you might resent it’s sonorous force for a morning or two, you’ll never be in danger of sleeping in.
RMK design /
RMK has launched a soberingly simple range of modular desktop helpers. Made from unfinished, unvarnished, solid beech, the pencil blocks, containers, cardholders and trays can be used in any combination to accommodate as much stationery as you like to hoard.
Hans Bolling / Architect Made
£65 large, £35 small
You more often hear of moments being set in stone. But wood is the material in which a moment of Danish history has been preserved. In 1959 a policeman stopped traffic in Copenhagen to let a mother duck and her brood cross the road safely. A picture of the incident appeared the next day in numerous local newspapers, which caught the eye and captured the heart of the designer Hans Bolling. Reissued this year his teak models have momentarily bumped Kristian Vedel's chubby birds off our mantel.
Studio Dror / Target
The New York designer Dror Benshetrit created a limited edition range of furniture and accessories for US superstore Target recently, which included this wooden clock. With a nod to George Nelson’s classic 1950s clock designs, this one has the slightly gimmicky appeal of being foldaway too, should you wish to take it with you on your travels perhaps?
Vipp might be a company you associate with bins but there’s certainly nothing rubbish about their latest offering. Using their expertise with springs, the Vipp Design Lab has created a collapsible mini table, designed for use wherever you might find need for an impromptu flat surface. If you happen to spill your breakfast coffee in bed, the non-slip silicone rubber tray has a small lip so you don’t ruin your linen and, proof that the Danish company really has thought of everything, the tray itself is dishwasher friendly too.
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.
Paul Loebach /
Young American designer Paul Loebach's wall-leaning mirror debuted at Salone 2009 and drew busy crowds for a quiet moment of reflection. Designed for lean spaces, the painted maple frame is exquisitely finished.
Atelier 522 / Serafini
If you don’t fancy ruining the line of your front door with a traditional letterbox, it’s worth investing in one of Atelier 522’s freestanding mailboxes. The German creative collective designed these Bauhaus-inspired models a few years ago, which have recently gone into production with German company Serafini. Available in black, white or translucent (which also doubles up as a light), they’re big enough to hold a newspaper alongside your daily offering of junk mail and bills, keeping them off your doormat and out of sight.
Ari Kanerva / Kokoomo
The young Finnish designer Ari Kanerva has given the grandfather clock of yore a makeover with Tiuku (bell in Finnish), a standing clock that leans against the wall. Though streamlined in every possible way he’s still incorporated everyone's favourite bit from the original - a swinging pendulum.
Jasper Morrison / Pamar
Cork isn't the most obvious material from which to hew a doorknob but it feels surprisingly good to grip. Jasper Morrison has created a range of cork knobs for historic Italian handle specialists Pamar with the precise intention of moving away from the company’s metal tradition. Morrison is of course no stranger to cork, following the success of his 2004 ‘Cork Family’ for Vitra, a range of doorknobs was a neat, if maybe unusual development in exploring the material’s properties. And the fact that it weathers and changes over time is part of its appeal.
Roberto and Ludovica Palomba / Exteta
This folding wooden screen is so much more than something to throw your robe over – for starters, it’ll likely to outlive you and the rest of your home. It’s made from Red Cedar wood (the material used by Native Americans to make their totems), which is known not just for its extreme durability under all conditions but also for its natural mould and parasite-preventing properties.
John Pawson / When Objects Work
‘Gracious solutions for the tasks of everyday life’ is how Beatrice de Lafontaine describes the mission of When Objects Work, the company she launched in 2001. In the eight years since, she’s handpicked architects and designers alike to tackle the small things in life and make them better, or frequently in our opinion, close to perfect. She went back to one of her favourite designers John Pawson to redesign the soap dish with a sparklingly clean, black ebony result.
voonwong & bensonsaw /
More show stopper than shaving station this Cubist mirror consists of six brass plates that interlock with one another, creating a multifaceted reflection at the same time making for ease of manufacture and assembly. It’s made to order by London duo voonwong+bensonsaw whose recent product designs explore cutting up or distorting products to unusual effect.
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.
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.
Christine Birkhoven / Post Fossil
Christine Birkhoven’s fireside companion ‘Souffler Ramon’ has us feeling the urge for a log cabin in some remote corner of the northern hemisphere to go with it. Until we’ve settled on a more specific location it’ll make a very fine addition to our living room as more of an object than a functioning log basket and bellows. The leather and wood set is a sophisticated update on a product we haven’t seen on a contemporary design stand for a good few years but Birkhoven has certainly rekindled our love for it.
Verner Panton / Designer Carpets
The Ypsilon design by Verner Pantern, originally from 1985 and intended for use as wallpaper or curtain material, was reissued at IMM Koln this year by the German company Designer Carpets as a rug alongside a clutch of forgotten Panton patterns. With something of MC Escher about it, the muted palette and graphic, almost 3-dimensional repeat motif makes a neat addition to a bare wood or concrete floor.
Romeo Sozzi / Promemoria
The post-coital cigarette might be something of a rarity in these increasingly smoke-free times, but for anyone who is still seduced by a smoke ring, Promemoria’s bronze ashtrays are weighty and large enough to make sure there are no ashing accidents. Like a bad eighties film star rebel, this is one moody, sexy ashtray. It even has a piercing.
Daniel Buren / Chevalier Edition
Price on request
The first output of luxury French rug company, Chevalier Edition, is enough to floor any critics who say now’s not the time to be launching a company. Started by brother and sister, Camille and Nicolas Chevalier together with their father Peter, they’ve collaborated with 14 artists and designers to produce a collection of handmade, limited edition rugs. The guest designers range from young stars like Ora-Ito to celebrated typographer Albert Boton. Our favourite though is the graphic op-art offering from French artist Daniel Buren.
Prairie Arts /
Prairie Arts is a family-run manufacturing studio outside Chicago that specialises in reissuing Frank Lloyd Wright accessories and Teco Pottery. The original pottery, designed by architects of the Prairie School, is interesting precisely because it displays many of the elements employed by the same architects in their buildings (albeit in pot form) hence the modernist lines, bold, geometric shapes and lack of surface decoration. Prairie Arts has recently reissued five new vases including the Pagoda, the Genie and the Large Zen, pictured. Made, as the originals, from slipcast earthenware, they are finished by hand and glazed in three original colours.
Pierre Charpin / Galerie Kreo
Price on request
This series of limited edition, porcelain vases was designed by Pierre Charpin and jointly produced by Manufacture Nationale de Sevres and the Galerie Kreo. The historic manufacturers approached Charpin, reviving a tradition that had lain dormant since the 1950s of guest designers creating ‘new shapes’ of vessels. The Vases Ruban were the result. Two indentations form the start and end points of a coloured band that winds its way around the circumference of each vase – the understated decoration highlighting the vase’s shape. Available in three models, each in a different colour, they’re really too good to put flowers in.
Mikko Laakkonen / Casamania
The metal waste paper bin doubles up as a magazine rack and comes in three detachable panels, with interchangeable colours depending on your mood or scheme.
Singgih Susilo Kartono / My Amenity
€45 a set
Hot on the heels of his award-winning wooden radios, Indonesian designer Singgih Susilo Kartono has taken desktops to task, designing a range of office accessories in his trademark Mahogany and Sonokeling wood combination. Finished by hand the four-piece collection (comprising tape dispenser, stapler, letter opener and letter tray) bears the same hallmark charm of their radio predecessors.
Jon Harrison /
RCA graduate Jon Harrison took it upon himself to give the traditional brass hook a bit of an overhaul, cutting and folding brass hooks in different angles from flat sheets of the metal. “On several there are slots encouraging the use of coat hangers, which tend to keep coats and jackets in better shape”, explains the young designer. Were proof needed as to the quality of the design, Ron Arad and Martino Gamper were first in line to order a set.
Gustaf Karlsson / Blyert Design
Karlsson, a Stockholm-based trained architect pinpoints his love of minimalist architecture and raw materials as the starting point for his designs. 'I wanted to create a useful product out of concrete,' he explains, 'and seeing these archetypal house-shaped forms holding up books or doors is like having a piece of minimalist architecture inside your home.'
Matti Klennel / David Design
Slick design production with a visual twist is at the heart of Swedish manufacturer David Design. One of their recent highlights was the Orb hanger system by local Stockholm designer Matti Klenell. Available in red, white ir black powder-coated steel, as a freestanding hanger or single orbs, the molecular model is a surprising hit for the hallway.
Anna Deplano / Nito
We appreciate any serious thought that goes into the long neglected category of bathroom accessories. Which is why we applaud Italian bathroom manufacturer Rapsel for creating its own spin-off company dedicated to the field. Nito launched a whole range of cute waterproof additions for your smallest room including hooks, trays, cups, towel rails and this beautiful mirrored cabinet by Italian designer Anna Deplano.
Alexander Ortlieb / Ortlieb Bernau
Translating from German as 'time tog rind', which is a colloquial expression meaning 'bon appetit', this collection of grinders was a Form 2008 winner at last year's Ambiente Frankfurt fair. Simplicity is key: a gentle twist of the cylindrical top opens the easy-to-fill maple body of the mill. The tops in different woods distinguish your pepper from your nutmeg, while the grinding mechanism is as easy on the wrist as the mills are on the eye.
Jiri Pelcl / Krehky
The Czech Republic has a quietly formidable heritage in glass and porcelain, which formed the focus of Krehky's travelling exhibition last year. Combining historic and contemporary designs it proved the craft is alive and thriving. A highlight were these cactus vases by veteran designer and former chancellor of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, Jiri Pelcl. Exquisite, fragile and ethereal they might not be prickly to the touch but should certainly be handle with care.
Ettore Sottsass / Glas Italia
"Yes, with great pleasure," was architect-designer Ettore Sottsass' response when asked by Glas Italia if he’d design a range of coloured mirrors for them last year. Both parties were of course unaware that the mirrors would only be completed after Sottsass' death, the poignancy of which merely adds to their charm. Bearing an unmistakeable 1980s stamp, the designs are intended to be part wall art, part functional mirror and as such, wholly attractive.
Alfredo Haberli / Mater
Enlisting the help of Alfredo Håberli for their second collection, 'Solid' continued in the footsteps of Mater's award-winning debut. The Solid Coat Hanger, made in dark wood or carbonized bamboo is a wonderfully sculptural design, infinitely pleasing in weight and shape. The extended handle is a nice touch, meaning ease of rifling, though if you ask us it's way too good to hide in your wardrobe.
/ 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.
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.
/ Armani Casa
We love this unequivocal geometric statement in ivory white and black by Armani/Casa, whose graphic new 2008-9 collection explores contrasting moods through dark and light, and between raw materials and sophisticated, glossy finishes, creating natural Armani drama. The pointers and signs on this audacious hand-made knodes rug, evoke an abstract cityscape, making it perfect for the urban pied-a-terre.
/ Bottega Veneta
Price on request
Though we don't know many people in possession of a fine set of desk accessories anymore, we're quite keen to spearhead their revival. And so too are Italian masters of luxury Bottega Veneta. Their new collection of desirable desk objects, made from sterling silver, contain office staples of yore like a bookmark, a magnifying glass and a paper knife. Embellished with the brand's trademark woven design, though in silver not leather, the collection has a fine, antique, handcrafted appeal. Creative director Tomas Maier rightly says that, 'If you have a beautiful desk or office, you want the objects on top to be distinctive.'
Bucking the trend for office products favouring the darker shades of the colour palette comes Italian firm Rexite's cheerful waste paper bin. A red waste paper bin makes sense for many reasons, principally as a target for scrunched up waste it's perhaps a little easier to hit than a standard graphite or black model. Rexite's design also includes a detachable white section to encourage recycling, the idea being that the smaller white compartment is for non-recyclable waste, whilst the main red body is for paper. Unless of course you want to award yourself double points for getting a ball of paper in the white...
StokkeAustad / ABR
Price awaiting confirmation
"We made this calendar because we feel the way the year passes is a very personal and subjective happening," Norwegian duo StokkeAustad explain, "we wanted to create a calendar where you are able to arrange your year however you wish." The colours are based on Norwegian associations with blue representing winter, green is spring, yellow summer and red autumn. The potential hours of fun you can have arranging your year might just make those office days pass a little quicker too.
Pieter Woudt / Kikkerland
American designer Pieter Woudt's 'Futuro' eternal calendar is one of the simplest we've seen on this theme. Woudt calculated that with just 14 double-sided inserts, he could cover every day-to-date eventuality. Sensibly the calendar's timeless aesthetic gives it a good chance of surviving generation after generation of study walls too.
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.