Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gramercy Park Hotel, New York.

No one understands how a New York hotel should be like Ian Schrager (co-founder of Studio 54) . After all, he is the largest private hotelier in New York and also the man who created the boutique hotel genre.

The Gramercy Park Hotel itself is also a legend. It is next to Gramercy Park which is one of the few private parks left in New York. Firstly, it was build by famous developers, Bing and Bing in 1925, then there are the celebrities who lived out of the hotel. Some notable guests include Humphrey Bogart, Joseph P. Kennedy, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Madonna and David Bowie. In 2003, the hotel was sold to Ian Schrager who collaborated with artist and film maker, Julian Schnabel to re-design the hotel.

I love the Haute Bohemian feel of the hotel. The bright colours, the art pieces selected for the hotel (pieces were by Andy Warhol, Richard Prince and Damien Hirst to name a a few), the cocktail of old and new, luxury and simplicity, bold colours. It's almost something that would have come out of a 21st century storybook. It houses a private rooftop club, looks like a gentleman's club of sorts. It has a retractable roof and beautiful views of New York City.

Apparently, it has paved the way for a whole new genre, the art hotels. All in consent, say Aye!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chasen Lamp By Patricia Urquiola for Flos.

When Flos commissioned Italian designer, Patricia Urquiola to design a lamp for them, they must have known that it will be a hit. After all, the Caboche lamp, that she had designed for Foscarini a few years back was so well received. The Chasen lamp that she designed for Flos is simple in shape and colour yet its curves make it so fascinating and fun. The light gets beautifully diffused and the light dispersion can be altered by changing of the lamp's shape.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kit Cosmetics and Dulux Paint Collaboration.

Kit Cosmetics, the younger sister of Mecca Cosmetica in Australia has recently collaborated with the folks at Dulux to come up with a range of nail varnishes inspired by Dulux's just released summer colour forecast. Now your nails can be as trendy as your favourite living room wall.

Each bottle costs AUD $15.95.

The colours from left to right: Dulux Hot Calypso, Dulux Blue Surf, Dulux Kiss and Dulux Exotic Flower.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nomiya, Paris

I love this make-shift idea of a restaurant. Nomiya is a temporary structure that is seated on the roof of Le Palais de Tokyo Museum. It is designed by a Parisian architect, Laurent Grasso and it can host 12 guests at any one time. This concept by Electrolux and Le Palais de Tokyo Musuem has been named "Art Home", pronounced as arĂ´me. It features the breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine.

The resident chef, Gilles Stassart promises that the menu changes with every seating, so that every experience is unique. Lunch is at 60 Euros and Dinner at 80 Euros. Bookings are made online though the website.

Personally, I love the simplicity of the structure and the way the purple LEDs light up the restaurant at night. The exclusivity and the views are all the more reason to covet a spot.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily.

Sicily. The things that come to mind are, the mafia, the sea, and food. Judging from the beauty of the Southern Coast near Caltabellota, it's no wonder that the Rocco Forte Collection has picked Sicily as the place to open it's 13th property, Verdura Golf and Spa Resort.

The resort has two championship 18-hole golf courses and one 9-hole course. The spa complex has 2 thalassotherapy pools, 11 treatment rooms (each with its own terrace) and 2 swimming pools. The treatment rooms are set around an open courtyard, and the treatments use Mediterranean sea water and locally grown lemons and oranges. There is also an open air amphitheatre and its own private beach.

The jewel in the crown must be the 1883 square foot presidential room. It comes with 3 terraces and a breathtaking view of the sea, its own private swimming pool, courtyard and a walk-in wardrobe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some Shots of Hong Kong.

Last weekend, I skipped out of town to Hong Kong for a few days. No matter how many times I've visited Hong Kong, the cityscape never fails to stun me. It's so beautiful. The bright neon lights at night, and in the day, the myriad of grey shades against the blue sky. Thought I'd share some of the photos that I've taken with you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Louis Poulsen 50th Anniversary Editions.

Last year, Louis Poulsen released two 50th anniversary editions of their most iconic lamps, PH5 and PH Artichoke. As many have already known, the initials before the names of the lamps represent the designer. Eg. with the PH refers to Poul Henningsen and AJ refers to Arne Jacobsen.

Poul Henningsen was trained as an architect between 1911 and 1917 but he did not graduate. Instead he tried to be a painter and inventor. In 1958, he designed the PH lamps, of which the PH5 was the most popular. I met a couple of Danish folks and they tell me it is almost as though every other Danish home had a PH lamp in the 70s. For that same reason, it was not hard getting two pre-loved PH 5 pieces for my own home imported from Denmark. The simple lamp had a red and blue light filters so that the colour of the light would be soft and the concentric design eliminated visual glare. The 50th Anniversary editions are aptly named PH50. They come in 5 different colours to update the already modern looking lamp. The finishes are glossy giving them a wet look.

The PH Artichoke lamp is definitely one of the first lamps that drew me to lighting fixtures as an art piece. I love how the 72 pieces of leaves are put together without screws in a geometric fashion. The leaves are designed to reflect light and eliminate glare. It's original Danish name is PH Kogle which meant conifer cone, which was what Poul Henningsen took inspiration from. For the 50th anniversary, a sand blasted glass version was created. Unfortunately it came only in its smallest size. Out of curiosity, I decided to make a trip to Space Furniture to see it in flesh, bask in its beauty and also have a peek at its price. It's a king's ransom, ouch!

Poul Henningsen.

PH Artichoke Lamp, 50th Anniversary.

PH50, in 4 of the 5 colours. The 5th colour is just a high gloss white.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pashley Cycles.

In Asia, riding a bicycle usually concocts ideas of un-stylish people riding a beaten heap of metal and rubber with a bell, or folks in tight Richard Simmons inspired outfits milking power (and sweat) out of their sporty mountain bicycles.

People with such thoughts at the mention of bicycles have obviously never heard of Pashley. Pashley Cycles has been making bicycles since 1926 (that's over 80 years). Their town and country bicycles have been painstakingly hand-built by a team of craftsmen in Stratford-upon-Avon. It is their attention to detail and passion that has made them the most exclusive bicycle manufacturer. They also make tricycles, work bicycles, cargo bicycles and load carrier tricycles.

My choice would the the Pashley Sonnet Bliss in cream and midnight blue. What would you pick? This could be the perfect way to get a bit of exercise and also save the earth (and fuel) on those short distances.

Pashley Princess Sovereign.

Pashley Guv'nor.

Pashley Poppy.

Pashley Sonnet Bliss.

Pashley Roadster Classic.