Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Case Study Houses.

Since young I always knew what sort of houses I would like to have if I could build one from scratch. As I have mentioned before, one of my favourite houses is the Farnsworth House at Piano. It is a fine example of mid twentieth century architecture. These case study houses which were sponsored by Arts and Architecture magazine in the late 1940s to early 1960s started as an invitation to major architects to design and build inexpensive and efficient homes during the housing boom after WW2, and the return of millions of soldiers.

Out of the 35 designs, only 24 were built and out of that 24, 2 were demolished and another 2 were remodeled. What a pity. The most photographed and iconic one must be Case Study #22, Stahl House by Pierre Koenig. It is at West Hollywood and is a cantilever house over a cliff. However, my favourites are Case Study #9, Entenza House by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen (which has been remodeled as a guest house or annex to a bigger house) and Case Study # 21B also by Pierre Koenig.

Case Study #8, Eames House by Ray and Charles Eames.

Case Study #9, Entenza House by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen.

Interior of the Entenza House.

Blue Print for Case Study #18A, West House by Rodney Walker.

Case Study #21 By Pierre Koenig.

Case Study #22, Stahl House By Pierre Koenig.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thakoon Tasaki Jewellery.

I love pearls and that's not a secret. When I first laid eyes on Thakoon's collection for Japanese jeweller, Tasaki, it was love at first sight. I love how simple the pieces are yet they bring upon a little funk to a classic "string of pearls". My favourite piece is the necklace.

Quoted from Thakoon:
“I really wanted to just go back to the DNA of what Tasaki’s about, which is beautiful pearls, beautiful materials and beautiful diamonds,” Panichgul said during a press presentation at the Grand Hyatt. “It’s working with the materials, making them feel a bit more sculptural as well, and modern. I wanted to put some youthful spirit into pearls.” “There’s a tradition here, and they respect that, but they want to move forward as well and make it very modern,”

His pieces can be bought online through Colette.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Emeco 111 Navy Chair.

Emeco's original 1006 Navy Chair is so iconic and not forgetting eco-friendly. It is made of 80% recycled aluminum. The new 111 Navy Chair follows in its "daddy's" footsteps being made from 111 recycled plastic Coca Cola Pet bottles to form 1 chair. The price is around half the price of the aluminum one and it comes in an array of colours. My favourite has got to be the red as well as persimmon. They make great chairs for an outdoor dining area or even in cafes.







Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Inspiration for Casual Dining Room.

I've put together some pieces which I would love to have together for a casual dining room. The dining area would also have a corner for folks waiting for dinner to be ready, and also a console table that would also double as a bar or buffet. I have selected vintage chairs for their simplicity and beauty. The Arne Vodders would flank both sides of the length of the table and the Grant Feathersons would be at both ends of the table. Above the Concorde table would be the Nautic Portreath pendant lamp. The reason why I picked the Concorde table was that usually the casual diner would be near the kitchen and it could also double up as an extra prep/pastry table (being marble). The decanter lamps would be hung above the console table.

I think that a casual diner should always fun and different without all the chi chi stuffiness that is usually in a formal dining space. It should be a space that people want to hang out in, sometimes even do work in. Something to think about. Enjoy.

Nautic Portreath Pendant Lamp.

Poliform Concorde Table by Emmanuel Gallina.

Arne Vodder Dining Chair in Teak.

The Arne Vodders to be re-upholstered in a purple tweed.

Grant Featherson R152 Dining Chairs.

Lee Broom Decanter Lights.

Another Country's Console.

Ercol Studio Couch.

Monday, November 22, 2010

James & Tilla Waters Ceramics.

The older I get, the more I learn to appreciate certain smaller things in life like ceramics. I especially love the grey and orange range that James and Tilla Waters has. My favourite has got to be the deep bowl. There is something so simple yet beautiful about their pottery that appeals to the senses. You just want to feel it, smell it, eat from it or even just look at it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lanvin for H&M: The First Wave.

The first wave for Lanvin for H&M has swept through North America. On the 18th Nov, there was a fashion show at Pierre Hotel, NY which the dresses were reworked and to be auctioned off to benefit UNICEF. Check out the auction site which also has 5 Alber Elbaz sketches up for grabs. I think that would make great art for any Lanvin fan.

On the 20th Nov, H&M opened its stores to crowds of people queuing to get their hands on the much hyped designs. Check out the video.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Edition Hotels.

You must be kidding if you think that Hotelier and Real Estate Developer, Ian Schrager (co-founder of the legendary Studio 54) could ever sit around and not be busy with yet another ambitious project. In 2006, he reopened the iconic Gramercy Park Hotel, NY to much fanfare and excitement. The hotel with its bohemian charm and distinct character has earned its place in New York as one of the coolest hotels around.

So the man understands what hip is. Maybe he got bored with the whole boutique hotel thing (100 or less number of rooms), so he is reinventing the industry. After all he is the father of boutique hotels and everyone in the industry over the last decade have tried to replicate his success, interpret their own style in the many boutique hotels that have sprung up.

This time, he has teamed up with Marriot to come up with a new hotel brand named, Edition. Its target market are the young, hip who are understated, love art and the finer things in life. No more very trying, pretentiously hip and self-conscious hotels. Their first hotel in Waikiki, The Waikiki Edition (353 rooms) opened its doors on 15th of October 2010. Most of the rooms have terraces, the hotel has also a very famous chef, Morimoto as its resident chef, its own exclusive beach, an outdoor movie theatre and also its own surf and bikini boot camp. It can't get more cool than this.

The next few hotels will open in London (the old Berners Hotel), Istanbul, Barcelona, Bangkok, Mexico City and South Beach, USA. So look out for them.

The Reception of The Waikiki Edition.

Lobby of The Waikiki Edition.

One of the Rooms at The Waikiki Edition.

View of the Hotel and Swimming Pool of The Waikiki Edition.

The Artist's Impression of The Mexico City Edition.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lanvin Loves Hennes And Mauritz (H&M)

It's no secret. I love Lanvin. I want to eat in, live in, dream in, marry in and die in Lanvin. Alber Elbaz is a genius. He designed clothes for the today women to be strong yet fragile in. The Lanvin for H&M collection will be for sale at shops around the world on the 23rd of Nov. Apart from the dresses, accessories, there is also a lipstick and fishnets. Personally some of the dresses are a rehash of some of the most iconic pieces that he has done, I have nothing against that (or will I ever against Lanvin) because it is affordable and who says style has to be expensive. Even the rich sometimes can't buy grace or style. Will I be getting any? But of course. With much trouble, I managed to streamline the pieces that I want really badly. Fingers crossed that the buyer manages to get her hands on them and I just might have something Lanvin for Christmas.

The mens collection is also very desirable. I love his tuxedo shirts and suits. My favourite piece from the mens wear is the old-school blazer.

See the entire collection here.

Check out the ad. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Most Desirable Christmas Gifts 2010.

Every year when it hits November, I can't help but think about Christmas. This year, it is no different. The Christmas wreath is already on the door to welcome visitors as early as the first day of November.

I absolutely love Christmas. It is my favourite holiday of the year. The expression of love through the grand celebration with friends, showering your loved ones with gifts (mine include homemade goods), holidays and the most delectable of food (Turkey, Ham, Roast Beef, Fruitcakes, Candy Canes). This is definitely the season of joy and thanksgiving.

Then you dream of, ever since you were a child (sometimes aloud), what the most ultimate Christmas present would be for that year. Remembering that if you keep it realistic, it just might come true. Of course, the most ultimate gift for me (any year) would be a hotel of my own which I get to design from scratch. A close second would be a piece of land and a house that I get to design. The experience on both counts would be so delightful.

Then there are realistic gifts. Those that someone could easily buy which would charm me and I would definitely love. Take out your wallets, it is time to buy some affection from your special someone.

Bellocq Tea and Accessories. They are to die for, especially for an avid tea drinker. I adore the tea cannister, gold vial (gold dust to sprinkle on desserts or even in the tea), mate guord and bombilla from the accessories line.

Diptyque's Limited Edition Perfume Bottle by FX Balléry. It is a handmade crystal bottle that has it's own unique number. The bottle is sold with a concentrated version of one of diptych's signature scents - either Philosykos or L'Ombre dans l'Eau. It is sold with a black lacquer box, metal funnel and refill. I love the lines on the bottle as though they were the fumes enveloping it. Gorgeous.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Lady in Yellow Gold and Leather Strap. This is a classic. I think it is
simple, has a quiet charm and beautiful. First I must declare, I am not a watch collector. I only own two watches; a 20 year old Tag Heuer F1 rubber strap and a 15 year old Baume and Mercier Rivera. Both given to me by my dad, one to swim with, the other as an everyday watch. I have recently gone round declaring recently that if I were to acquire any watches, there is just room for maybe 3 more in my lifetime. 1 gold watch (at the moment, Patek Philippe Nautilus), maybe the Georg Jensen Vivianna and 1 leather strap watch ( this is it). It is simple, understated and a tat old-school. Very me.

The Agrarian Kitchen Experience as well as the Whole Hog Classes. Agrarian Kitchen is a fantastic experience for any foodie. Besides learning how to cook, you get to wear your gum boots into their farm to pick your fresh produce and eat your "practical" there. They grow their own vegetables as well as farm some "forgotten" animals. Imagine eying a little wessex saddleback piglet and thinking of all the nasty things you would like to do with it. The thought is enough to quicken my juice. Jokes aside. This is an experience of a lifetime for the "green" foodie. Their classes are almost fully booked right through to June 2011. Time to make travel plans to Tasmania and make a pit stop.

Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica Dinner Service. So why would I want porcelain and as you notice the price of the desirable gifts are supposed to get more and more expensive. How expensive can China be? Let's just say a plate could be as cheap as USD300 up to a few thousands for one of the rarer pieces. A quick history lesson.

Flora Danica was commissioned by Crown Prince Frederik on behalf of king Christian VII of Denmark for creation at the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory. According to tradition the service was intended as a gift for the Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, an enthusiastic collector of porcelain.

The king chose to have Danish plants depicted on the porcelain service, thus making it an obvious choice. The 18th century was the age of enlightenment and sensitivity, and Europe's fascination with botany was growing. Porcelain had become a matter of royal prestige since the recipe for this 'white gold' had been rediscovered in Europe in the beginning of the century, and most European princes quickly founded their own porcelain manufactories.

Flora Danica was used for the first time on 29 January 1803. The occasion was nothing less than the birthday banquet for the king himself. Ever since this royal service has been used only on ceremonial occasions, among which were royal birthdays and weddings, visits by- foreign monarchs and banquets held for the opening of the High Court and the investiture of knights.

After the creation of the original service Flora Danica was not produced for a further 60 years. Then, in 1863, a new service was made as a wedding present from the Danish people to Princess Alexandra, daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark, on her marriage to the Prince of Wales, later king Edward VII. Queen Alexandra's Flora Danica service is now kept at Windsor Castle as part of Queen Elizabeth II's collection.

Of the 1,802 pieces of the original Flora Danica service delivered in 1803, 1,530 survive to the present day. Part of this service still graces the royal table of Queen Margrethe II on state occasions at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen. Other pieces from this rare, old dinner service remain safely exhibited at Rosenborg Castle, now a museum, and Amalienborg Palace, the official residence of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

The pieces are hard to come by and no private collector has ever collected the whole series as yet, with all the different floras, let alone a dinner service for a few people. I only ask for a teapot, tea cup and saucer with it's dessert plate. Happy Hunting.

Francesco Clemente's Artwork. This year, I have collected more art than my many years added together. I absolutely love Francesco Clemente's work. This one here is his portrait of the famous designer Gianfranco Ferre. (This is for sale) I love his watercolour portraits, then again seriously, I would love to own anything from him. No qualms about that. It would make a good piece to add to the collection.

2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S. I always loved the Porsche. It isn't as loud as a Ferrari or Lamborghini but it packs a punch and makes a really good drive. This version has 530bhp, 0-62mph at 3.3s. Top speed of 195mph. It comes exclusively with the 7 speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission which essentially is a double clutch gearbox. This ensures a smooth change of gears. I am a fond believer that if nothing goes quite wrong with the car or if finances permits, to keep it for as long as I can. That's what makes a Porsche so desirable. Its design is so easy to love even many years from now. Just like my Mini.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hello There!

I know that I have been missing for quite a while and my apologies. This year has been a rollercoaster of a year for me; personal, career as well as in the area of my interest. I am however determined to write this most more consistently like before, starting with an update of my apartment.

As I am living alone now, I decided to put in a few touches in the flat. I think it is always nice to give your home character by adding some items up for display especially when they are meaningful to you not just a mere testimony of your great taste.

I have put up a little display of some possessions from my past under a huge glass dome on top of a few wine crates to double up as extra bookshelf space. I am running out of bookshelf space rapidly due to my magazine collection as well as CDs.

Recently I have also been in a habit of burning a Malin + Goetz Cannabis candle before showering at night, so that the room will be perfumed with it's gorgeous musky, spicy scent. It smells to me how a man should be, mysterious, masculine and inviting. When it isn't in use, it is covered with a glass cloche. It sits on a pretty vintage plate that has been chipped on the edge.

I have also designed a mirror to be my permanent menu board. You can see it in use for a dinner party. It is adjacent to a small grouping of art, photos and a handwritten piece. Frames are from Ikea.

My door knocker for the longest time has been left without a label, so instead of a family name, I cross-stitched a modern greeting. This adds a little fun to the old fashioned knocker. A nice element of surprise.

These were handpainted by Mara of Blue Trike. The butterfly was commissioned by me. The slices of wood are hand picked and cured by her husband. They have such a beautiful detailing on their own. Art does not always have to come from someone famous or be expensive. Art has to speak to the soul of its audience/spectator.