The year's finest furniture
Claesson Koivisto Rune / Arflex
Claesson Koivisto Rune's 'Hug' armchair for Arflex invites you to take refuge in its ample seat and seek reassurance in its enveloping arms. There are two seat heights and two seat options to choose from: one with arms, and another with high sides (pictured here) for more privacy. In addition, the upholstery, wood and leg colour can all be mixed and matched.
Matteo Zorzenoni /
Price on request
This graceful vase was part of a ballet-themed exhibition to celebrate Milan clothing store Dimensione Danza's 30 years in business. Conceived as a pirouetting ballerina, the vase's layers of delicate pink blown glass mimic the dancer's raised arms and tutu.
GamFratesi / FontanaArte
From £260 each
It was Alice in Wonderland's grinning Cheshire Cat that GamFratesi had in mind when creating these new lamps for FontanaArte. With a disappearing and reappearing crescent-shaped glow, the lamps silently perch on a tabletop, rest on the floor or hang upside down from the ceiling.
Rui Alves /
Price on request
Portuguese designer Rui Alves hails from a family of skilled craftsmen, so it's no wonder he wanted the carefully made ash wood structure of his 'Tailor' sofa to take centre stage. Wood joints are meticulously executed, while the simple foam shell echoes the frame's light aesthetic.
Torafu Architects and Mikiya Takimoto / Kami No Kousakujo
After finding inspiration in graphic patterns and space shuttles, Japanese practice Torafu Architects and photographer Mikiya Takimoto have turned to the Bauhaus movement to design a new variation of their ‘Airvase’ collection. The delicate flat-packed bowls, which gain strength when expanded and pulled, now feature details of the legendary German design school building.
Photography: Fuminari Yoshitsugu
Jonah Takagi / Roll & Hill
Tokyo-born designer Jonah Takagi has layered multiple materials to create his Silk Road collection of pendant lights. A traditional pleated lampshade is encased by a tapered wire cage, shrouded by a large piece of handblown-glass. Atop these sits a spun-metal shade. The result is a pleasing play on texture and pattern.
'FK04 Calvert' coffee table / e15
German architect and designer Ferdinand Kramer conceived this table as part of his 'Knock-Down' furniture series while in America in 1951. Revived by German brand e15, the easily invertible and collapsible coffee table is cut from a single plywood sheet, and is available in oak or walnut veneer, as well as coloured lacquer.
Patricia Urquiola / Baccarat
£2,120 per piece
The Variations Collection of vases by Patricia Urquiola for French crystal manufacturer Baccarat teeter somewhere on the brink between object and sculpture. The stackable forms come in two parts, of varying sizes and colours, which can be mixed and matched to eye-popping effect. Each piece has been richly patterned with pleats and cuts, created using glass-cutting principles.
K% / K%
This year is shaping up to be a bumper one for Nendo. Among the Japanese studio's numerous 2012 projects, its new K% label with Singapore's K Projects is most impressive. The concise range includes this ingenious steel magazine rack, which displays all the subtle qualities that have made Nendo such a roaring success.
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.
Gordon Guillaumier / Tacchini
From 745 each
In the sea of tables and chairs we've seen this year, the purity of Gordon Guillaumier's coffee tables easily stood out. The Milan-based designer's choice of simple shapes is made all the more playful by his pairing of a wafer-thin marble surface with three or four classic wooden legs. Available in polished Biancone marble or matt black travertine, these versatile tables can be arranged and used in numerous combinations, while always embodying the contemporary aesthetic Tacchini is known for.
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.
Architecture & Associés / Knoll
Knoll has teamed up with Pierre Beucler and Jean-Christophe Poggioli of Architecture Associés, a prolific Parisian practice that has designed boutiques for Dior and Lanvin, to produce a range of seating and ottomans. Their cosy sofa boasts enveloping side panels, chrome legs and copious, horizontal armrests to better balance the remote control on.
Jean Prouvé and G-Star Raw / Vitra
Although initially apprehensive about a fashion brand (no matter how fabulous) meddling with the historic archives of Jean Prouvé, we admit to being very happily surprised by the results of G-Star Raw's recent initiative. Working closely with the Prouvé family and Vitra, the brand has bravely brought alive several of the modernist's most iconic designs, retaining the sense of balance, logic and use of pure and raw materials while applying new and innovative construction techniques and textiles along the way. The Lit Flavigny daybed is especially inviting - perfect for a post prandial nap.
Ralph Van Der Made / Ralph Van Der Made
Aside from his work for collective Design By Us in Copenhagen, Ralph Van Der Made is also quietly making a name for himself as an independent furniture designer. The 'Plus 31' cabinet, with its giant circular sliding doors, is one of his best pieces to date and features a layered oak veneer base, massive oak legs, and a series of different doors in acrylic, aluminum and oak veneer that can be swapped around... And around. And around.
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.
Nadadora Studio / Sancal
Spanish design outfit Nadadora Studio found inspiration in the local form of 'trobos' - beehives created from hollowed out tree trunks, typical to the north of the country - for this collection. Echoing their form, the resulting Tab stools are created from curved sheets of chestnut would and come in a broad range of colours.
Minimalux / Minimalux
Starts from £185
Celebrating the soon to be obsolete incandescent light bulb, this is the first lighting offering from Minimalux - the fledgling British brand behind last year's beautiful Wallpaper* Handmade cutlery set. Bulb is made from hand blown opal glass with a machined brass stem and cable entry, and is fully compliant with the changing array of energy saving light bulbs. It will be available to buy online from 23 September.
Atelier Oi / Röthlisberger Kollektion
This shelving system is that perfect occasion when a design is so neatly described by its name. Look at the Staccato shelf long enough and you begin to see how its complicated interlocking grid does, in fact, visually rap out a pattern of closely packed narrow and abrupt spaces. The flexibility and stability of the modular design also means that the shelves, made of natural oak, can expand or contract depending on need and room space, while the shelves are sufficiently tall and deep to fit your precious collection of coffee table books and Muranos.
Christophe Pillet / Ceccott Collezioni
It's rare to find a completely straight line in Christophe Pillet's designs, and when you do find one, it's placed at such an angle as to create the sensation of a curve. His Rive Droite sofa, which is also designed with an accompanying armchair, looks so light in its slender American walnut frame, you almost think it would float off were it not for the weight of its fabric clad cushions (a leather option is also available). A striking addition to any living room.
Martino Gamper / Nilufar
price on request
When is a lamp not a lamp? We found the answer in Martino Gamper's otherworldly Composizioni collection where he appears to have taken apart quotidian pieces of furniture, rummaged through a pile of spare-parts and reassembled a deconstructed version of the original. His floor lamp has a captivating Dali meets Miro meets Picasso quality about it, in the way its long stem bends and folds at odd angles while wires twine up into a hooded tube here and hang off there. It's still recognizably a lamp, but re-imagined in an altogether alien way. And it's all the better for it.
Pool / Pool
price on request
One of the more impressive exhibits at this year's Salone del Mobile was Nouvelle Vague which Milan's Centre Culturel Français held as a tribute to the new talents in French design. Among the pieces that caught our eye was this table by Pool, a Paris-based studio headed by Léa Padovani & Sébastien Kieffer. Made from a mix of digitally cut walnut and cork, its low squat profile is accented by a gently tapering beveled base. The result almost looks as if a giant pencil had been stabbed into the ground, a dark-humoured moment that pairs well with one of Pool's other designs, a fiberglass chair moulded into the shape of a human skull.
Rodolfo Dordoni / Molteni & C
price on request
Since Dieter Rams first unveiled his Universal 606 back in 1960, modular shelving units have been a boon for the house-proud set. We're especially enthusiastic about Italian architect Rodolfo Dordoni's contribution to the milieu. Comprised of wood and matt lacquered aluminium sheets, these shelves form a tesselated pattern that can be configured in endless permutations to fit an assortment of small drawers and hinged doors, while hidden tracks for power sockets allow TVs and assorted gadgets to be hooked up. And depending on your wall space, the shelves can be laid out horizontally, tipped on their side, or even just put on the floor as a free-standing piece of furniture.
Piero Lissoni / Matteo Grassi
Easy on the eye and invitingly comfortable, the Pallet stretches out in a languid L-shape, making it particularly perfect for a loft space, though an outdoor version, made of weather resistant material, is also available for the terrace. The comfort factor is ramped up with extra thick and plush cushions that are filled with double layer padding and then clad in cotton canvas with a feather mix back cushion padding. The sofa is contained within a frame made of raw larch and essentially comprises two two-seaters separated by an expansive gap at the joint. This creates handy pockets of space for different splinter groups to form at your party.
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.
Thierry Dreyfus / Flos
price on request
Thierry Dreyfus's predilection for the dramatic continues to astonish for its precocity, which may explain why he's so sought after by major fashion houses to stage and light their runway shows. His creation for Flos's Soft Architecture Collection, in particular, is a knock-out: A beam of jagged golden light produced by twisting LED light threads fairly erupts through a full length vertical fissure in a black surface. To be sure, this is more an outré art installation than any lamp we've ever seen, which is why we've already placed our orders. We're not quite sure where we're going to put it, but we don't care. Something this dramatic deserves some wall space.
Rodolfo Dordoni / Minotti
It's no secret that a comfortable chair makes or breaks a room. After all, nothing says unwelcoming more than a stiff seat that has all the wrong angles. Which is why Rodolfo Dordoni's 'Jensen' series for Minotti ticks all our boxes. These armchairs come in a variety of designs and are not only good looking, they're also incredibly comfy. The secret is in the upholstery. First, the form-fitting structure of metal and flexible rubber moulds around the body in all the right places. Secondly, the cushioning is made from goose down padding and high density foam. Meanwhile, the triangular base is made of glossy die-cast aluminium and scratch proof rubber glides to protect your floors. And when it's time to make-over your living room, the Jensen's cover slips right off, ready for its new fabric swatch.
Antonio Citterio / B&B Italia
B&B Italia has always played a strong hand when it comes to chairs and this year it lined up the aces once again. As in previous years, B&B have worked with a star-studded collective of designers including Patricia Urquiola and Oscar Buratti. We're sitting especially pretty on the Beverly, its latest collaboration with Antonio Citterio. The Italian architect's fondness for mixing soft curves with masculine lines is particularly evident in the chair's foldable aluminium alloy frame. The seat and back are swathed in a variety of material -- sheepskin being our favoured covers -- while the backrests can adjust to two different heights making the 'Beverly' a serious study in stylish comfort.
Eric Degenhardt / Böwer
Cologne-based Eric Degenhardt’s architecture training is clearly evident in the faceted construction of this elm wood cabinet. Its angular form comes in different configurations of drawers and doors, held up on thin but sturdy round steel legs, which give it its lightweight and elegant appearance.
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
Samuel Wilkinson / Decode
Industrial designer Samuel Wilkinson has created a fittingly sculptural home for the 'Plumen' low energy light bulb by Hulger (see W*139) launched earlier this year. Each mouth-blown vessel - created for Decode's 'Exclusive' label - is sliced at an angle or horizontal, revealing the amorphous creation inside. When lit up, the tinted glass mutes the light without hiding the bulb, and produces a surprisingly irregular reflection that appears holographic. Mouth blown by eye and without a mould, no vessel is the same. This piece can be hung as pendant or placed on a flat surface as a floor or table light.
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.'
Mathias Hahn / Marset
It's the satisfying geometry of the 'Scantling' lamps that gives them their poise. Reminiscent of schoolboy compasses, they take their name from the term used to define the size to which a piece of wood is measured and cut - a testament to the precision with which they are produced out of wood and metal by Barcelona-based lighting company Marset.
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.
Jaime Hayon / BD Barcelona Design
Giving an obvious nod to the ubiquitous Eames design, Jaime Hayon's latest addition to his 'Showtime' collection is stamped with his trademark playful and irreverent spirit. The Lounger's high back and wings give it a commanding presence, while the thick cushioning ensures it lives up to its namesake. Available in lacquered wood finish, electric blue or red, it also has an optional footrest.
/ e15 and Arctic Paper
Here's one for the forgetful among you... e15's new Munken Cube - produced in collaboration with Swedish natural paper manufacturer, Arctic Paper - comes in the form of a giant notepad. Comprising 2200 sheets of Munken Pure Rough paper, stacked on a solid oak base, the cube twists and flexes as you move it, thanks to the one-sided gluing of the pages. A small metal pin in the centre of the oak plinth holds the stack of paper neatly flush with its base.
Stephane Parmentier / Ormond Editions
Price on request
Made from Volvic stone, a black lava known for its incorporation into the cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne region of France, this stool is part of the 'Lava' series made for Ormond Editions by Stephane Parmentier. A French designer who has so far spent his career rocking the fashion world at Givenchy, Montana and Karl Lagerfeld, he now seems to be doing the same for furniture. The forms in this collection are inspired by the 1970s airport architecture of Roissy.
Form Us With Love / Muuto
Lighting gets a playful makeover as switched-on Stockholm-based design studio Form Us With Love shows us just how to reinvent an industrial design classic. The Unfold pendant lamp is made from malleable but hardy silicone rubber and crumples pleasingly into a neat package - ready to spring into action on unpacking.
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.
Franco Albini / Cassina
Simple, clean-lined and modern, the 'Canapo' rocking chair offers an irresistible invitation to recline. Designed in 1945 by the Italian architect and urbanist Franco Albini, the 'Canapo' had never been put into production. Having unearthed Albini's original sketches from the archives, Cassina now offers the rocking chair in a choice of black ash or walnut. It features a cotton canvas support and removable cushions in leather or bright fabric. Once again, 20th-century design rocks.
Jens Praet and Vibeke Skar /
Price to be confirmed
These elegant side tables are the result of a new collaboration between Belgian designer Jens Praet and Oslo-born Vibeke Skar. Made of white Corian, the only decoration comes from the water-carved grooves around the edges, meant to reference the melting ice caps.
Daniel Rybakken and Andreas Engesvik /
When compared to natural light's infinite variety, indoor lighting can seem a little boring. Thankfully, we now have a new alternative for those occasions where the dimmer switch just doesn't cut it: 'Colour', a lean-to floor lamp that uses sheets of coloured glass. The lamp's possibilities all but eclipse the competition. Light, prototype.
Martí Guixé / Danese Milano
When Martí Guixé first presented his 'Xarxa' multipurpose 'seat' in 2008, a few eyebrows were raised. It consisted of five cushions and a strap -- the idea being that they could be stacked or spread out and that was all you really needed. Much as we love to lie low, tatami-style, we're thrilled that Guixé has now thrown a solid birch sofa frame into the mix. Infinitely adaptable, it features removable slim metal arcs that act as supports for the pillows.
Mia Hamborg /
As many well brought up children will recognise, Mia Hamborg’s ‘Stable bord’ was inspired by Brio, that bastion of Swedish toy manufacturing. Hamborg, spotting that noone ever really grows out of their childish desire to stack beautifully finished objects, created a side table along the same lines. The turned birch, modular pieces come in a range of shapes and colours, each with a hole in the middle so you can stack them on the central column as you like. The table is going into production with Unique Copenhagen and will be available later this year.
William Emmerson / Ralph Pucci
Though there’s a general feeling at W* HQ that walnut may be a bit of a tired material, we’re willing to make an exception for William Emmerson’s new daybed. The daybed is part of Emmerson’s Ab Ovo collection (meaning ‘from the egg’) inspired by a dream the designer had about human anatomy. The resulting furniture pieces explore various organic, vaguely anatomical shapes in walnut, upholstered with woven leather. There’s nothing gruesome though, indeed it’s all rather dreamy; the mid-century, antique feel of the daybed particularly, with its combination of dark leather and hand carved walnut, will have even the hardened workaholic giving in to the occasional urge for a kip.
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.
Autoban / De La Espada
Turkish design company Autoban has a knack for reimagining classic forms with an unusual element added into the mix. The results are often beautiful pieces that combine practicality with character, such as the Deco Sofa – luxuriously deep with a Deco-inspired play on geometric shapes in the rectangular oak panels and round cushions.
Dieter Rams / Vitsoe
£175 low, £195 high
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Vitsoe is releasing the last 50 of Dieter Rams' 621 side tables from the original production. Originally commissioned in 1962 and not produced since the early 1980s, the versatile little table (it can be used upright or on its side) was part of Rams and Vitsoe's investigation into new plastics. It is made out of foam-injection-molded polystyrol, which we'd now refer to as high-impact polystyrene. Very hard but surprisingly light, the tables are being sold in their original packaging, another reason why they'll fly off the 606 shelving at Vitsoe when they go on sale in September.
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?
/ Casimir Meubelen
Price awaiting confirmation
There’s very little of Belgian company Casimir Meubelen’s portfolio that we wouldn’t have in our homes but if we had to settle for just one piece it’d be the new ‘ladder’ series. Made from solid oak, ladder is in the words of Casimir, the designer ‘a fusion of a movable stairway and an immovable shelving unit’. Rungs of the former have been extended to become shelves of varying depth and height. When viewed straight on it appears like a regular ladder but seen from the side it makes for an interesting tetris silhouette.
Claesson Koivisto Rune / Swedese
Price awaiting confirmation
Swedish stalwarts CKR's take on the hostess trolley is a rather attractive option to wheel into your living room. Unmistakably Scandinavian, the graphic silhouette and pristine white won't really be bettered with too much cluttering and the odd tea spillage so, despite its name, we're using it as an occasional table instead.
Hanna Ehlers /
Like giant tops, there's a clumsy elegance to the way Hanna Ehlers' new designs lie on the floor at an angle, uplighting or downlighting as you choose. Available in brass or plexiglass (with a silver metallic or white finish) they were one of our favourite examples of a games-inspired trend that crept into design at this year's Salone. We're not sure if it's a reaction to the very serious mood elsewhere in the world, but as long as it continues to be this tastefully executed we'll play along.
Beoc / Cerruti Baleri
Few can claim to have a library just yet, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have need for these library steps. For one, when closed, the wooden monolith becomes a stool. Second, when open the grey lacquered interior can be used as a small bookcase in itself, biding time for a day when our book collection can be termed a library and Beoc’s steps can be used as such to reach the dusty ones on the top shelf.
/ Poltrona Frau
Taking its lead from the original Chester collection from the Porltona Frau archives this pouf is an altogether easier element to incorporate into your living room than the imposing sofa, adding a classic touch without overwhelming any more contemporary designs.
Leonardo Talarico / Cappellini
€814 excl. VAT
Cappellini showed this simple contemporary update of the traditional nesting table set in Milan, designed by Leonardo Talarico. Available in plain ash or brown, red and blue painted versions, we felt it was best to nest au naturel.
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.
Nathalie Dewez /
Though neutral colours and raw materials were the order of the day this year we were still drawn to the odd flash of colour like moths to a flame. For the living room the proverbial flame was young Belgian designer Nathalie Dewez’s suspension light. The child in us likes that it resembles a bat and ball – the serious adult knows how well bright red goes with industrial grey and natural wood.
Petter Skogstad /
We’re predicting great things for this young Norwegian designer. Though still completing his MA at Akershus he has an impressively developed style – quietly charming designs with a graphic edge. Whilst most young exhibitors at Salone Satellite flex their growing muscles on smaller items – accessories or at most chairs – Skogstad designed a sofa, and a very fine one at that. ‘Hay’ is derived from hay bails and each bail module is the same dimension as its namesake.
Limited to just 100 editions Armani/Casa’s cocktail cabinet is quite a magnificent creation and definitely worth raising a toast to. Framed in bronze (a material that’s making a comeback) the body of the cabinet is divided into alternating smokey resin strips and polished Canaletto walnut. Interior LED lighting on the interior casts a warm glow through the transparent resin when the doors are closed.
Vincenzo De Cotiis / Progetto Domestico
Chair €5719, lights €1925 each
It took Vincenzo De Cotiis two years of research to track down the tannery that makes the leather for these chairs. The Italian tannery he settled for uses only the finest European bovine hides and create bespoke colours so were able to match the particular anthracite De Cotiis was after. The lamps have a similar degree of finesse, made from two shells, an outer black glass case and an inner Belgian glass layer, which rotate so you can control the direction of the light.
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.
Paolo Cattelan / Cattelan Italia
Cattelan Italia’s take on mirrored table is one of the more interesting we’ve reflected on in some time, marrying a neat geometric shape with a mirrored finish it’s a perfect surface for serving a final coffee on whilst checking there’s nothing in your teeth before a lingering kiss goodnight.
Ronen Kadushin /
Israeli-born, Berlin-residing lecturer, Ronen Kadushin, is the founding father of ‘Open Design’ - a movement that propagates free, downloadable templates of 2-dimensional designs. He recently showed his Open Designs at Berlin’s Appel Design Gallery and the Italic Shelving, named after the tilt of their vertical partitions, was a particular highlight. Designed in birch plywood the shelves are made up of two adjustable components that can be scaled and arranged to fit any space.
Naoto Fukasawa / Maruni Collection
There’s something of a trend afoot in sofas for feet to be raised. Maybe, like hemlines the height of sofas rises in times of economic crisis or, more likely, it’s to do with smaller living spaces seeming bigger when there’s room under (and around) furniture. It’s no mean feat making a three seater sofa appear to float but if anyone can, Naoto Fukasawa’s probably the man. His Hiroshima sofa is a case in point. The sturdy, attractive oak legs give the right-angled, box frame a distinct levity – a master of simplicity, illusion and, of course, comfort.
Alexander Taylor / Established & Sons
£1980 excl. VAT
Alexander Taylor’s ‘Punch’ collection of storage units was a quieter highlight at Salone 2009, channelling an industrial, school locker feel with their graphic indentations and aluminium material. The charcoal finish on the sideboard is an altogether more sophisticated affair though than anything you’d find in your old school.
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.
Jonas Lyndby Jensen / Skandiform
Taking its lead from the natural curves of its namesake the designer says his intention was to ‘capture the experience of sitting in a sand dune’. There’s room for two on the low version.
If Mooma’s ‘The Fall’ chair looks a little familiar it’s because it has two very famous ancestors: the classic Chinese Ming chair and the English Windsor chair. Not just a random hybrid of two designs, Mooma felt the better elements of both could be combined to produce a contemporary, graceful update. So the combined arms and back of the Ming sit on the angled legs of the Windsor, a design that, in the words of its creators “is as charming as a lady and gentle as the fall”.
Samuel Chan / Linteloo
Another product of yore that’s returned to the stands this year is the book tower. Less commitment than a library but more interesting than a bookcase, it’s a welcome revival that leaves us wondering why it ever fell out of favour. Dutch company Linteloo has a natural oak set that strikes a neat balance of contemporary cool and old-fashioned charm; think modern day bookworm rather than ageing woodworm.
Sam Baron / Bosa
These voluptuous ceramics by French designer Sam Baron are as diverse in their inspiration as they are in their function. Informed by the columns of Palladian villas, architecture in Lisbon and details of Parisian metro stations it’s hardly surprising the collection is so extensive; tables, flowerpots, bowls, candlesticks, vases and lamps, Baron has all options covered. However you choose to use them be sure to group a cluster together for maximum impact.
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.
Pierre Charpin / Galerie Kreo
Part of his latest collection for Galerie Kreo, Pierre Charpin's Parabola light consists of two elements: a sleek metal tube with a naked bulb bent at right angles, and a wall-mounted, resin parabola into which the bulb shines. Half sculpture, half standing lamp, the pastel pink of the shade gives a pleasing, ethereal glow, but it’s the innovative arrangement and contrast of the parts that really shines.
India Mahdavi /
India Mahdavi’s ceramic ‘Bishop’ stools have become a bit of a signature design for the French multitasker. Increasingly though, she found they were being used as side tables and, not happy with the small surface area, decided to tie two together with the addition of a peanut-shaped, walnut tray. “I called it ‘The Peanut’ not just because of its unusual shape, but also because peanuts are associated with cocktails, and, just like the nuts, the tray is perfect for serving cocktails,” the designer explains.
Andree Putman / Litton Furniture
The Jack in the Box low table with silver brass edging is inspired by one of Putman’s favourite jewellery boxes, the refined nature of which bears testament to her core ethos: “ornamentation is a crime - seduction resides in simplicity.”
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.
Turkish duo Autoban’s ‘Wired King’ is a shining example of how to scale back whilst moving forward. If the design looks familiar it’s because the light is a wire frame outline of their wooden King Light from 2006. Seyhan Ozdemir of Autoban explains, “our current focus is on new materials and different forms of manufacturing, and ‘Wired King’ is our first result.”
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.
Russell Pinch / Pinch design
Pinch worked last year with traditional cabinet makers to create a timeless furniture collection with exquisite finishes. The Vigo shelving system, with its combination of block colours, empty spaces, natural wood panels and drawers makes it the perfect unit for a modernist living space.
Shelly Shelly / Bernhardt design
Shelly Shelly – a name surely destined for fame - is a student at the Art Center College of Design in California, whose Loft chair was part of the third annual design studio in collaboration with Bernhardt, presented at ICFF in 2008. The design created a buzz for the unlikelihood that such an experimental but robust form came from the hands of student. Not to say students aren’t capable of genius, simply that the Loft is such a grown-up design that encapsulates a wealth of American and European design heritage. Hand carved from walnut but using laser scanning to reproduce the design, Loft also succinctly merges traditional craftsmanship with contemporary technology.
As any maths grad will know, the name of these lights of course refers to the right angles of the powder coated steel sheets that make up the three-sided design. This arrangement means they can hang flush from or rest against any flat surface and are particularly handy when it comes to lighting bookshelves, also doubling up as bookends. The simple design is intended to be unobtrusive but with a range of eleven possible finishes, there’s a colour to either blend in or stand out however you like.
Remember all those times you've been round design museums drooling at old vintage pieces and wondering why oh why these beautiful designs ever fell out of production. The people behind the Kubista Gallery in Prague did and decided to do something about it. At the end of 2002 they opened their own gallery in the historic centre of the city that sells not only reproductions of beloved antiques but has also branched out to display pieces by contemporary designers that have been inspired by the decorative art and design for the 20th century. Among several fantastic objects, we fell for this exact replica of a glass side table originally found in a Prague antique shop and dates from around 1930.
Lina Lundberg / Ariterm
Price awaiting confirmation
In a society living on borrowed resources, this surprisingly attractive, new generation pelllet-burning stove offers environmentally friendly, cost-efficient heating solutions with heaps of style. Designed by Stockholm-based, Lina Lundberg, a graduate of Kalmar College of Design, her carbon dioxide neutral stove thrives on wood or peat pellet by-products. Developed in 2005 as part of her graduate work, it has taken till now to perfect the piece and the Stora Rör is available later this year through Swedish heating specalist Ariterm. Requiring minimal maintenance, this state-of-the-art stove combines firelight with sizzling Scandinavian good looks in eight hot colours that include pink, turquoise, red, gold, bronze, grey and white.
Shiro Kuramata / Living Divani
The diaphanous delicacy of expanded steel mesh and the sensuous black leather of this compact armchair creates a poetic statement anywhere. As Japanese designer, Shiro Kuramata, said before his premature death in 1991, 'If I could say it in words, I wouldn't be designing.' Fortunately, seven of his hugely collectable pieces, including this classic armchair, are being reissued by Living Divani. Kuramata's signature simplicity and structural purity is recreated here in chrome-plated steel mesh, the padding is in differentiated density polyurethane foam covered with acrylic fibre layers, and covers in leather or fabric are removable.
Vincenzo De Cotiis / Ceccotti Collezioni
For elegant, low-level lighting that's all burnished brass and tempered glass, this unashamedly minimal floor lamp with tubular stem creates a seductive glow. Designed by Italian architect, haut fashion and interiors designer, Vincenzo de Cotiis, this floor-level lamp combines hi-tech functionality and cutting-edge design with Tuscan artisan perfection, the hallmark of Ceccotti Collezioni's 'Modern Sense' home collection.
D'Urbino-Lomazzi / De Padova
Like a lesson on how the planets revolve around the sun, Donato D’Urbino and Paolo Lomazzi's ingenious side table is made up of two different size circular tops that revolve around a circular axis. Each table-top moves independently, so the main table-top which is 24.8" wide, can be easily rotated close to a seat for eating, working or drinking, while the lower surface creates space for other useful, terrestrial objects. Saturno is made of powder painted steel with a base in HPL stratified laminate, the table tops are MDF with polyurethane paint in black or white, or a combination of both, giving table manners a whole new meaning.
Hanna Ehlers /
Serene in their simplicity, these smart wood and white ceramic combos by graduate designer Hanna Ehlers stole the show at last year's SaloneSatellite. Drawing inspiration from ecology and sustainability these low tables perfectly capture the theme of this year's Salone. Plus Ehler's effortless, modern lines and creative combination of blonde wood and ceramic were indicative of a larger trend of mixing materials to great effect.
Antonio Citterio / Flexform
A vision in velvet, this highly sociable two-seater is impossible to ignore. Its lucid and inventive lines are pure Antonio Citterio, whose recent work forms the basis of Flexform's new and supremely elegant collection. Citterio's charming divanetto, mysteriously called Margaret, is built in a combination of wood and metal with polyurethane seat cushions and feather-filled back rest cushions and leather covered armrests. Margaret can be dressed in gorgeous velvet or seductive leather as the mood
Abdul Ghafoor / Kursi
Taking their name from the Arabic-Persian word for chair, Kursi are keen to stress their hands-on approach towards the design and manufacture of their currently small portfolio. We've settled on the sideboard principally for the charm of its retro undercarriage, but equally we couldn't help but be interested in the elevated pod. Pushed to explain this curious aesthetic, Abdul Ghafoor, Kursi's Design Director explained the pod had it's origins in a back copy of Wallpaper*. The designer created a mood board from a feature on Copenhagen's Royal Library, the projecting shape of which provided him with the inspiration for the form.
Finn Juhl / Wohnkultur66
One of our favourite discoveries of last year was a reissued Finn Juhl sofa, originally designed in 1946, on show at the Hotel Chelsea in Cologne. Courtesy of Hamburg based store Wohnkultur 66 (who hold the German license to reissue and sell Juhl's furniture) the hotel played host to a handful of reissued classic pieces from the archive of the great Dane. Juhl's pieces are possibly even more appealing today with their playful curves and beautiful upholstery than first time round; proof that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
/ 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.
Mikiya Kobayashi /
Mixing a vintage look with splashes of modernity has the potential to go so very wrong. But Mikiya Kobayahi pitched it perfectly with his 'Brio' Chair. The wicker backrest played on our heart strings reminding us of Marcel Breuer's much loved Cesca chair, while the thin white metal legs and coloured felt seat hark to a more contemporary age. Not surprisingly we weren't the only ones who picked up on the design, Kobayashi can't reveal too much but nods to the fact that there are currently at least two companies very keen on producing it. Keep a sharp eye on his website for further details.
Patrick Norguet / Poltrona Frau
There's something so decadent about mixing the finest Poltrona Frau leather with the crème de la crème of marble. Patrick Norguet certainly didn't hold back when it came to choosing the highest possible quality of materials for this piece, preferring instead to show restraint with the design. Should marble however not be to your taste, the top is also available in natural oak, Canaletto walnut or ebony, while the leather upholstery support can of course be made up in any colour you so wish.
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.