Designer Profile: Marcel Wanders

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Marcel Wanders is a Dutch designer and architect considered to be one of the most talented, forward thinking innovators of our generation.  With a truly unique style that is easily recognizable, Marcel Wanders has made his mark on the design world setting out to “create an environment of love, live with passion and make…exciting dreams come true.” Known to seamlessly combine styles and materials with historical influences, Marcel Wanders conceives each of his projects, be it an interior or a product, with exhaustive attention to detail, intertwining opulence and exclusivity to instill an utterly unique sensory experience onto the space or the object.

Marcel Wanders is the co-founder of Moooi, a Dutch manufacturer of innovative, modern furniture, lighting and accessories as well as the interior mastermind behind notable architectural wonders like the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, Kameha Grand hotel in Bonn, the Mondrian South Beach hotel in Miami, Quasar Istanbul Residences, and the Villa Moda flagship store in Bahrain.  Among his unforgettable collaborations are products for Mac Cosmetics, Alessi, Cappelini, Bisazza, Moroso, Kartell and Flos.  Marcel Wanders is the winner of numerous design awards, curator of extraordinary art exhibits and creator of provocative advertising campaigns that shattered boundaries between perception and reality.

With decades of artistic footprint on the global design community, Marcel Wanders continues to surprise with his ingenuity and imagination like this year’s tribute to the notorious French monarch Louis XIV with Le Roi Soleil Chandelier for Baccarat.  Infamous furniture designs like the Dream platform bed for Poliform or the Flare table for Magis as well as his more recent work for Louis Vuitton in the form of the highly voluptuous lounge chair reaffirm Wanders’ philosophy that “Luxury starts where functionality ends and where the true value is personal and so has no price or reason”.

Famous designs by Marcel Wanders

3 reasons why poufs and ottomans offer so much more to modern interiors

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Poufs, footstools and ottomans are no longer designed and used for their sole and primary purpose.  Instead, manufacturers are rethinking their original purpose in innovative ways, adding not just sculptural originality but also functional enhancement with value for every space around the house.  While the fundamental objective of an ottoman remains as it was, the following modern ottomans offer storage, a source of light and sculptural integrity.

1. Visual originality – Earth Wind and Fire Poufs by Gino Carollo for Bonaldo are meant to be used as a composition or individually; turning from a single seat into a bench while enriching the visual value of their surroundings.

Earth Wind and Fire Poufs by Bonaldo

Earth Wind and Fire Poufs by Bonaldo

2. Storage – functionally convenient without visually depreciating the overall design impact, Secret ottoman by Mauro Lipparini offer storage and a seating solution at once.  The same stunning aesthetic dominion and functional brilliance applies to Plisse ottoman by Tonin Casa and the smart stool trio of Freddy, Bruce and Sugar by Gamma Arredamenti.

Secret ottoman by Mauro Lipparini

Secret ottoman by Mauro Lipparini

Plisse ottoman by Tonin Casa

Plisse ottoman by Tonin Casa

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How architecture inspires design

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Design’s ever-strong bond with architecture is central in personifying these inspirations in a creative and functional manner.  Architecture thus lends itself to applied concepts around the design world in the form of furniture, art and fashion.

Profound influence comes from major religious buildings that were constructed for the admiration of the masses and for the eternal emotional connection that people experience with these structures.  Example of this emulation can be seen in the architectural elements of St. Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow and likewise found in the Venetian glass legs of the Jewel dining table by Costantini Pietro.

St. Basil's Cathedral on Red Square, Moscow

Royal palaces of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque movements are known to showcase lavish splendor and offer visual magnificence that easily stirs creative and sensory emotions.  Not unexpectedly, Van Cleef & Arpels famous quatrefoil (four leaves) motif necklace finds inspiration from a traditional Christian symbol found in many infamous structures among which is the Dodge Palace in Venice.

Dodge Palace in Venice

Abstract structures of the 21st century like Santiago Calatrava’s L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia influence modern design in fundamental depth with many similarities that can be drawn between such revolutionary architecture and innovative modern design.  Tonin Casa’s Gaya dining table features a palpable base with underlying structure that draws inspiration from the likes of Calatrava’s fluid elements, integrating the tangibility of architecture into people’s daily lifestyles.

City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

Revolutionary architecture of early 20th century, known today as the Bauhaus movement spearheaded by Walter Gropius was full geometrical intensity, formed by linearity and pragmatic regard for function.  The Fagus Factory designed by Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer was one such radical structure that was constructed in 1913 and later served to inspire Pablo Picaso’s Three Musician Painting that depicted classic cubist style with evident parallels original modern architecture.

Fagus Factory by Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer

9 guidelines that will inspire your next accent wall choice

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

An easy way to introduce tonal variation and overall depth to any space with maximum flexibility is through an accent wall.  The virtually infinite color, texture and material selection allows the accent wall, the greatest degree of personalization and creativity.  In case you are pulled in too many directions when it comes to your accent wall, here are some guidelines and inspirations to make that choice a little easier.

1. Use bold colors for the accent wall but make sure that the rest of the walls are muted and accompany the color of your accent wall with harmony.

Giotto bookcase by Cattelan Italia

Giotto bookcase by Cattelan Italia

2. Don’t limit your accent wall to just paint color.  Expand your options to wallpapers, wall tiles, and panels.

Jerez dining table by Cattelan Italia

Jerez dining table by Cattelan Italia

Meeting platform bed by Presotto

Meeting platform bed by Presotto

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4 examples of a bronze and grey color theme by Fiam

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Bronze and grey is a striking color combination that is suitable for any space.  Its modern vibe is edgy and fresh, while the bronze hints add an inviting allure.  A deviation from the typical neutral palette and departure from its colder grey brethren, bronze and grey are the new modern colors that are being echoed by many Italian manufacturers and leading designers.  The likes of Fiam Italia are offering bronze glass as an option for its iconic Ghost glass armchair by Cini Boeri and Tomu Katayanagi and for the Macrame coffee table collection by Pablo Lucidi and Luca Pevere.  Bronze color is also used as a background to Fiam’s newest introductions like the Phantom mirror and the Venice console by Fiam’s Veblen division.

Bronze and grey color theme by Fiam Italia