Friday, September 27, 2013

bon appetite ! cutlery design

In this period I'm on  a diet and everything seems to  rotate around food, and since my attention can't concentrate upon what's in my plate, it moves a little aside, where it finds one of the most useful elements in the history of design: cutlery.

I have to say the world must be full of people on a diet who, just not to think about food, play with the table elements and  create wonderful works of art!

Sayaka Ganz, an Indian artist, can put such a passion into simple objects to leave you breathless!

Cutlery has never been really loved along the past centuries, but rather considerated as an interesting table ornament; the real love at first sight broke out in the XIXth century during the  Victorian Age, when cutlery pieces began to  multiply until they arrived to the remarkable number of 146 different pieces.
Luckily they didn't survive up to the present days!

The funny thing about cutlery evolution is that sometimes you have a feeling you are going back to  the dawning of appetite! Very interesting from the stylistic point of view and for people on a  diet, but definitely little usable: some artistic experiments that leave you astonished indeed!

At present the focus is on knives: 8000 different types, without considering the different materials used for experimenting! A complete set is supposed to include: cutlery for dinner, for salad, fish, seafood, snails, meat,  soup,  tea, caviar, dessert, steak, cheese, serving cutlery etc.

How to choose in such an infinite sea?

If you aim high, one of the most expensive knives is the one studied by Jason Jewellery from Beverly Hills for a restaurant in Las Vegas: a knife completly covered with diamonds, worth 15.000 dollars!

 Of course if you don't like such a glitter you can pass to something more sober and very classical: chiselled gold. On the website  you can find the most classical of that kind!

The real wildlife and “made in wood” lovers  in general couldn't  be but dazzled by these cutlery sets all of wood!

Bamboo for

If you need variety in order to choose your own ideal cutlery, on the website

you will find all the existing kinds; you can spend whole days looking at all the available models!

Very lovely is the design revisiting of chiselled cutlery by Pandora

The line studied by Makoto Yamaguchi is really beautiful but not very practical. 

My favorite ? Apart from the  “bite” cutlery that reminds me the sense of hunger I'm feeling at the moment

I love Yamazaki's tiny fishes!!!!!

Bon appetite and stay tuned!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Concept stores_ dream stores

Everyone has his own cult place; gluttons dream of a confectioner's, rockers at night see stages with worshipping crowds and I dream of “concept stores”.

I'm sure everybody has heard of them, bu what's a “Concept Store”? It isn't a store where you buy something, but it's a tiny world where you can live a real experience; you can eat, buy clothes,  read, look around, learn! A concept store designer leads us into a unique and unrepeatable world, where plenty of treasures are hidden, ready to be discovered. Behind this short word the longing for perfection that lives inside us is hidden.

Many designers have tried to reach the perfect project, designing furniture and interior decoration for their own house. The best known example is definitely William Morris who, in collaboration with a group of designer friends, designed every single detail of his own house; thanks to  this “concept house” the Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. was founded. It produced furniture, colorful glassware, wallpapers, metal items, tiles, pottery etc.: a real “precursor”!!!!

During the last century the first Concept Store was opened by Ralph Lauren in New York in 1986; consecration of his idea of America and of real luxury. He furnished a whole building as if it were his house and opened it to the public. Recently that beautiful building has been renovated leaving the space to the new Concept Store!

 Let me be a little patriotic for a while, because it's true that Ralph Lauren invented the word ”Concept Store” but Italian designers and stylists are the most important supporters of this philosophy.
Just to mention the most interesting: in Milan “10 Corso Como” and in Rome “Fleur”.
Completely different in their choices and in their mood, they are perfect examples of the thousands of stylistic facets hidden in Italian lifestyle!

If you are fond of English Country style, in Hong Kong there's the “Initial Concept Store”, that can provide everything to reach the perfection of style. The blog provides all the coolest advice!!!


If you feel as if you never know what side you are turned on, “Alter” in Shangai is the place for you; Escher is the center of inspiration and the store is all upside down and very minimal in the display, you can't be mistaken!!

For those that miss the “beat” times, a group of British architects, designers and creatives, have created in Liverpool this “Concept Place” where you can really find everything; from the art performance to the concert and from the hot dog stall to the most wanted vinyls. Original indeed and super concept!!

The French style is certainly one of the most loved in the world, hard to imitate; better let them
lead you in your choices and couplings. “Merci” in Paris has absolutely everything. You don't have to do anything but get lost in its spaces and you will come out “Fran├žais”.

All over the world a lot of concept stores are being created, of every kind, every style and tendency!
My favorite concept store?
Of course I'll create one suited to me: unique, colorful and amazing!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

design in the kitchen! pan & pot

Today I bought some new saucepans, designer saucepans of course, beautiful, chromium-plated and very expensive!

Now a terrible dilemma: since they are designer saucepans I can't put them into the kitchen cupboard and deny myself the wonderful sight of my new beautiful saucepans! But probably I can't even hang them all and turn the kitchen into a tiny grotto with metal stalactites.!

In this case you go into a very subjective sphere; I must state I like open kitchens, an open space linked to the dining room, to the living room, to the hall and, if I could have one, to the study and to the winter garden. A fluid space, unifying and involving.

This choice, of course, creates a great problem of order because actually a kitchen used to cook and not to appear on the cover of “AD”, is full of objects of any size, color and kind: I'm deeply jealous of people that can remain entirely coherent with the style they have chosen; plates, glasses, cutlery, saltcellar, pepper-grinder, cups, all exactly alike! There, that never happens to me, becauseI fall in love with objects that are completely different from each other, that have to coexist in the same space or, even worse, on the same shelf!

Of course it also depends on the number of objects to display. If I had to find a place for  all the  pots and pans displayed in Vishala, India, I'd have a great problem; 3500 pieces that tell hundreds of years of cooking history, not to speak of the collection of nutcrackers (I didn't even know there were nuts in India): the walls of my whole house wouldn't be enough!

Therefore an open kitchen needs, for the reasons I mentioned, closed cupboards! And if you have closed cupboards, where can you put the saucepans?

The Americans have a real passion for the pans hanging over the preparation area. Pans, pots and various gadgets swing noisily and harmoniously. But the space that holds them always looks large and harmonious, thanks to the coupling of classical elements, warm woods and involving colors. You can see this passion in any Hollywood movie, to start from “Sabrina”, starring Audrey Hepburn; to find this style the website suggests any kind of pot racks!

The same design, revisited in a modern key, is proposed by, very colorful and versartile!

But various alternative solutions have been examined by designers and housewives, and some are really cute! Why not to hang them from an old ladder? Or use a tool rack? Even wood collected on the beach may be useful for this purpose!

And if you are looking for something creative but ready to use , will be very useful!
My solution is graphic and worthily reflects my pride for the beautiful newly arrived: hang true pan with wall stickers! really a nice decor!

And now that we have chosen where to put our pans I have to tell you which ones you should buy! Obviouly on my next blog.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

vertical gardens!

Like every year, when summer is ending, I think how nice it would be to have a house with a winter garden; as I'm a person who likes torrid climates and equatorial vegetation, the idea of being able to live 365 days a year in a tropical jungle would be my highest aspiration.

In the past, country houses often used to have conservatories and gardens where they could grow the most delicate plants and the most tasty fruits at any latitude. The British have always been fond of winter gardens; actually , among the most important structures ever carried out is the Crystal Palace, built for the London Great Exhibition in 1851. 

The architect Joseph Paxton realized the biggest and lightest structure in the world, over 100.000 covered square yards, designed to amaze and to hold every kind of plant and exhibit!

At present the passion for the indoor green hasn't disappeared, in fact it has reached its highest levels thanks to futuristic architectures. 

In Singapore the “Four Seasons Winter Garden” has been built with grand intentions; rewarded as the best building in the world in 2012, the whole complex occupies almost 250 acres and in its two conservatories it holds hotels, restaurants and a lot of different natural landscapes.

The contemporary version of the winter garden is definitely the “vertical gardens” speaking of interior or “vertical wood” speaking of cities.
 The greatest artist of green walls is certainly Patric Blanc, who has created amazingly beautiful natural systems all over the world!

If you have decided to introduce such an important green element in your house, you can realize it in plenty of ways!

Let's start from a quite timid approach; if you aren't 100% convinced about the feasibility of the project or if all the plants die when you get near them, the solution studied by Mea Mea could be just what you need. You don't need to remember to water them and you don't even have to speak to them!

For those that feel a bit bolder but don't want a “demanding” wall: the project designed by Miguel Nelson could be what you want!

Tiny hanging pockets that you can modulate to reach any dimension!

 If you are fond of recycling and are happy when you can recycle broken objects and abandoned bottles, this idea will make you crazy!

An opportunity to decorate a wall with a touch of design mixed with a green spirit can be found in the very original suggestion by Jackson&Perkins; almost a living wallpaper!!

if you want to venture into more sizable proportions, the website
proposes modular kits that grant remarkable dimensions!

 A vegetable wall can also be used to separate rooms or as a part of a sitting area; the Belgian designer Jiri Vermeulen has studied the karoo module to give your imagination any opportunity!

The most important aspect of the vegetable wall, besides the aesthetic point of view, remains its capacity of purifying the air and improving the lives of the house inhabitants. On this concept the “Bali Ecological Center” has worked, studying craftmade, clay modules from the island, that you can easily stack and original indeed.

Of ecological inspiration is also the project of the Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology (CASE) that has developed projects of a modular green wall that can purify the air of offices, hotels and wide spaces, considerably reducing the waste of energy. Very futuristic!

Tip for the most greedy: why not take a mushrooms box?

 While I'm waiting to construct my wall, here's my advice: don't neglect your vertical garden too much or you won't be able to get into your house anymore!

Stay tuned!