Defining Design – Wainscoting, the Band-Aid of wall coverings

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Dating back to 16th century England, wainscoting was associated with the most modest of dwellings, initially used on the lower interior sections of stone walls to insulate the room from cold and damp weather elements. With better construction methods and the popularization of HVAC systems, wainscoting transitioned from a dampness and coldness Band-Aid, to being increasingly used by homeowners in the dining room as a sort of a bumper to protect walls from possible scuffing damage caused by dining chairs.

It is one of the world’s most ancient forms of custom-made decor, and has become quite a source for creativity and personalization as can be seen through examples of wainscoting in the modern dining rooms featuring Giano and Plisset dining tables by Cattelan Italia.

Giano dining table by Cattelan Italia

Giano dining table by Cattelan Italia

Plisset dining table by Cattelan Italia

Plisset dining table by Cattelan Italia

Today, wainscoting is no longer a Band-Aid for imperfect walls but rather a decorative element that can upgrade the style of any room, adding dimension to an otherwise dull wall surface, symbolizing prestige and casual elegance.

Defining design – bachelor pad

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

A term first coined in the 50’s in United Kingdom and widely commercialized by early James Bond films, is a living space occupied by a career-minded, unmarried and highly cosmopolitan gentleman. While not big in size, the bachelor pad is perfectly suited for entertaining and courtship as well as smartly designed to accommodate common male hobbies and activities. The stereotypical American version of the British bachelor pad went through a style downgrade when it landed on our shores and was widely associated with messy, poorly decorate spaces until the term and the space started to evolve again into a stylish, highly perceived living quarters of successful men.

Today, the bachelor pad is fitted with the best that modern design has to offer while being sophisticated and comfortable. Decorated with intense tones like grey, dark blue and black, the bachelor pad will typically include features high-tech equipment, lots of leather, metal and hard materials like stone.

An example of what the modern bachelor pad represents today could be seen in 2016 advertising campaign by Bonaldo which focused on the cosmopolitan male and featured its star dining tables – Ax, Big and Amond. The setting, photographed in the Pirelli Tower in Milan, is subliminally suggestive of high fashion, modern architecture and successful career, all of which are symbols of a prestigious lifestyle, elegance and innovation.

2016 advertising campaign by Bonaldo featuring Ax table

Ax dining table in 2016 advertising campaign by Bonaldo

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The New Stone Age

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Stone and ceramic surfaces are growing in popularity, reaching beyond their typical utility on the kitchen or bathroom floor with increased presence in products ranging from modern dining tables, contemporary wall units as well as bedroom furniture.  Paralleling the craze for rustic drift woods, stone finishes that feature rough, almost primal textures offer enhanced tactility and a rugged contrast to the sleek minimalism of modern design.

Balancing interiors with character and aesthetic dimension, marble surfaces like White Carrara and Black Marquina are often seen on tables like Penta coffee table by Cattelan Italia or Hoola Hoop dining table by Bonaldo as well as on wall units like I-modulART collection by Presotto Italia.  Sophisticated pieces like these create an unexpected edge and a counterpoint in the interior while helping balance softer materials with hard surfaces, complementing glass, wood or metals.

Penta coffee table by Cattelan Italia

Penta coffee table by Cattelan Italia

Hoola Hoop dining table by Bonaldo

Hoola Hoop dining table by Bonaldo

Are large scale square dining tables close to extinction?

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Perhaps the most unusual and least common dining room layout is one with a square dining table as its centerpiece.  Why?  While it’s certainly a contemporary choice, the open layouts of today’s living/dining spaces almost necessitate a rectangular or an oval dining option.  And even when the space does call for a square shaped table, many are discouraged by the edges and instead opt for a round dining table.  The resulting design prognosis in such environment where demand drives supply, is a scarcity of modern square dining tables that can accommodate a large party.   However, scarcity does not mean entire extinction which brings forth the awe-inspiring introductions in recent years with awe-inspiring aesthetics. Offering to make conversations easier and dining rooms more dramatic, these designer showpieces are truly awe-inspiring and can be easily paired with curved dining chairs to soften their hard edges.

Topping the list is the Autoreggente dining table by Patrizia Bertolini for Horm which is truly spectacular from every angle.  It’s sculptural but minimal, with the main focus on the purity of its materials, which are either solid walnut or stained natural beech and clear tempered glass top.  Autureggente’s largest size is 71”x71 making it fitting to accommodate 12 people.

Autoreggente dining table by Patrizia Bertolini for Horm

Autoreggente dining table by Patrizia Bertolini for Horm

Autoreggente dining table by Patrizia Bertolini for Horm

Autoreggente dining table by Patrizia Bertolini for Horm

Another stunner is the Mille dining table by Bartoli Design for Bonaldo featuring a striking architectural focal point as its base and a minimalistic aesthetic that transcends color palettes and even stylistic dispositions.  Mille dining table is also available in a 71”x71” size which can accommodate at least 12 guests.

Mille dining table by Bartoli Design for Bonaldo

Mille dining table by Bartoli Design for Bonaldo

When the after-party is at your house

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

YOU turn the music on; reinvent yourself as the DJ connecting to the cool and hidden sound bar inside your sleek entertainment center by Presotto Italia.  Immediately, the room’s atmosphere is in a blissful mode as if no interruptions ever took place.  Welcome everyone and please feel yourselves at home!

YOU extend your dining table, good thing you have one and it is easy to use because it’s late and you are sort of tipsy.  You thank your lucky stars that you bought the Quasar dining table even though you only thought you would use it twice a year.  With a quick and swift movement, you not only turn the normally used table for six into one that can accommodate ten, but you also impress the entire room with your magic skills and the incredible mechanism that parallels only the sophistication found in Swiss hand watches.Quasar extension dining table by Naos

Quasar extension dining table by Naos

YOU, wheel out your super handy Mojito mobile bar, full of highly saluted after-party drinks and swanky bottles of top shelf liquor to keep the happy people, happier!  Glasses start clicking and the party officially reignites.

YOU, order pizzas and pull out any snacks worthy of sharing from your pantry while waiting for the delivery.  The temporary pantry offerings turn your chic table into a centerpiece of food and fun commotion and you continue to accept compliments on the awesome investment of a table that you made.  Go You!

YOU, mingle and accept a bunch of thank yous from your guests for a great after-party and for being such a gracious host and guardian of fun!