Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Mini me

How adorable are these miniature versions of two of my favourite chairs?

They're by Vitra and available from E Furniture, who also stock tiny Eames DKR wire chairs and a rather nifty toy-town scale Le Corbusier chaise longue.

Ok, so they're not exactly very practical but in the absence of the real deal, I think one or two of these would look great sitting on my desk.

And no self-respecting doll's house would be without one although I'm not too sure Barbie would have got classic chairs...

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Sheer delight

I have always loved Sheer Home, ever since I first discovered their beautiful and decorative wall hangings.

Lucky for me then (well I suppose everyone) that they also produce a range of beautiful chairs.

My favourite, without a doubt, is this classic French Louis armchair.

You can have a the chair upholstered in a wide range of fabrics but this Silver Chandelier one is to of my list.

Ultimately glamorous, a little bit tongue in cheek, it's perfect for any room.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Go Green

We're constantly being told we need to be more eco friendly. Whether it's carrying jute bags to making sure we don't keep appliances on stand by; most of us are trying to do our bit.

When it comes to home wares however, there's still grey area on what is eco and what isn't.

Some unscrupulous manufacturers have tried to get on the bandwagon by claiming their products are green, when in fact it's just the packaging that is 100% environmentally friendly and the product isn't.

Bit cheeky I think, which is why it was refreshing to find this little gem.

Reestore is a company which sticks to its ethical principles while still producing stylish, thought provoking designs.

They take everyday items and turn them into functional furniture, such as this sleek Gordon chair which started off life as a wheelbarrow.

Other items include a sofa made from an old roll top bath and a table from a washing machine drum.

I think they prove that being green doesn't mean compromising on style and that's how it should be.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

A little bit of NYC...

Back in May, I went to New York City for the first time; it was love at first sight just like I knew it would be. In fact I loved it so much, it kinda felt like I was cheating on London.

It is everything people tell you it will be. It is huge, it is bright (even the Times Sq NYPD station has a neon sign) and it is very, very sleek...

...which means it's no surprise that this chair takes its name from one of Manhattan's streets.

The 59th Street Armchair is an offering from Content By Conran - and as we know the surname Conran has become synonymous with style and great design , whether it be interiors, dining or fashion.

What I really like about it, apart from the fact it would go really well with my cream leather sofa, is that you can choose to have it upholstered in 91 fabrics or or 23 leathers.

New Yorkers are known for demanding choice, so I think even they would be impressed with this.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Anyone for a snack?

I love pretzels, so it would seem yet again, I'm lucky to have one of my other favourite things combined with a chair.

This is The Pretzel chair, (you can see why, well I can at least) elegant and understated it came from the mind of American designer George Nelson, who along with two of my other chair heroes Charles and Ray Eames, was responsible for Modernist design Stateside.

To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Nelson's birth, Aram and Vitra have joined forces to release a limited edition version of the chair of which there will be only 1000 made.

However it doesn't come cheap and will certainly set you back a few more quid than a packet of Penn State Sour cream and chive (it's in fact £1,480) but I think it's beautiful and when that elusive lottery win comes through, it will definitely be joining the Barcelona, the Eames and et al.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Danish delights

A while back I interviewed a Danish home owner who had an amazing array of beautiful mid century Danish furniture in her home.

Expressing my enthusiasm for the pieces (and ok slight jealousy) it emerged that her boyfriend ran a business dealing in and selling original pieces. She asked if I would mind giving the website Kolmorgen a mention so I decided to check it out myself.

I'm not lying when I say I became a little giddy when I logged on. Kolmorgen, for me, is like a treasure chest. It's like opening a secret door to chair heaven.

My particular favourite is this rather majestic leather number by Han Wegner. I adore is winged arms, light caramel-coloured leather covering and most of all it's beautifully buttoned back.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to book my flight to Copenhagen...

Beautiful Barcelona

Much like I resisted sharing my almost slightly worrying obsession with the Eames lounge chair, it's taken me a while to feature the Barcelona chair.

Perhaps it's because, while I fell in love with it when I first came across it as I started my career in publishing six years ago, it' s kinda become common place in offices, hotels, waiting rooms...what's next, they swap it for those benches at stations?

I suppose what I'm trying to get at is that, for me, it's been kind of diluted.

It was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the German pavilion at Barcelona's Ibero-American Exposition in 1929 and has been a design cult classic since then.

Don't get me wrong, I'd still love one. Which makes me worry slightly what I'm going to do with all these chairs seeing though the dream Richmond mansion is fast becoming just that.

While there are lots of cheaper copies about (which has started a contentious issue amongst the design fraternity) if you want the real deal, head to Knoll who are the official licensee.

My advice, if you do want one, get a real one, otherwise you'll always be looking it slightly disappointingly, like you would a fake Prada handbag.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Special edition

The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea is one of my favourite places to visit.

I first saw it years ago when shooting a house in the area. At the time it was under going a major revamp so I was delighted when some friends announced they were moving to the area.

It's a truly beautiful place to visit. This stunning Modernist piece of architecture faces the long, wide pebble beach and I urge you to see it even if you're not attending an event.

As part of the renovation, Established & Sons designed these industrial chairs, which are used in the restaurant and balcony.

Available in Green, White and Black, try one out for size on your next visit and if you like, buy one at Nest

Multi faceted

While I love a good arm or lounge chair, dining chairs are just as important and can be just as beautiful.

The trend for faceted accessories refuses to go away and I for one am pleased - in fact I wish I had embraced this trend a little more when I first saw it at Habitat's SS08 show.

East London furniture workshop Unto This Last, translates the trend perfectly to furniture with their Facet chair which is available in Oak, White or Dark.

Try a mixture of all three round a simple dining table to create an eclectic mix or use as a lone hallway chair.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The one I dream about

So, this blog is a week old and I can't quite believe it's taken me so long to mention the one chair I want more than any other.

Perhaps it's because anyone who's seen me walk through the Liberty furniture department knows I can't walk past it without giving it a quick stroke or if there's no one around I might even have a sneaky swivel.

The Eames Lounge Chair by Charles & Ray Eames for Vitra is without doubt my favourite chair ever.

Everything about it is perfect. The way is gently swivels, it's clean and simple lines and to be honest just the entire sheer loveliness of it.

I dream of the day I walk past it, perhaps at Liberty and that it has a whacking great SOLD label with my name on it.

Well you can but dream...

Endless choices

Laura Ashley, without a doubt, is one of my favourite interior stores.
Season after season, they produce elegant, accessible, beautiful pieces that look just at home in a contemporary scheme as much as a traditional one.

AW08's offering is no different, with classic cabinetry that gives a nod to the 1920s and yet another stunning range of upholstered options.

They also design wonderful chairs (obviously otherwise they wouldn't be making it onto my blog)

This Hathaway chair is the perfect example; it combines good design, comfort and what more should the Rowena fabric in Truffle not suit your scheme, you can choose to have it covered in a wide range of fabrics and leathers.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Happy Birthday

I'm sure there are those who question my sanity with regard to my love affair with chairs. It's understandable; why would anyone be so fanatical about something that to most is a purely functional object designed to rest one's derriere on?

For the cynics out there, a chair is just somewhere to rest, a four legged item of furniture that folds, stacks, gets pushed under a table or is used, God forbid, as something to stand on when you can't reach a high cupboard.

Well, I tell you this. You definitely wouldn't be standing on this one if it was in my house. And for a start it doesn't have four legs.

The Shell chair or to give it its correct name the Shell chair CH_ 07 was first designed in 1963 by Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hensen & Son and to celebrate their 100th anniversary, they have reissued a limited edition version of which there are only 250 available.

I'm holding out for some kind reader to buy me one but if you have saved your pennies and like me have fallen in love at first sight, then head to Brighton's The Lollipop Shoppe to grab one before they go.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Petal power

London Design Festival was certainly a busy one but I managed to find time to attend the launch of Orla Kiely's new interiors collection at Heal's

Most famous for her handbags and clothing ranges, the designer has transferred her famous prints onto a collection of furniture.

Now, I'm usually not one for colourful chairs but this one is just so, for want of a better word, pretty that it's made it on to the blog.

Ok, granted it might be a little over the top to team it with the matching bedlinen, rug and wallpaper but I reckon in a neutral room, this piece is great for creating a floral statement without being too girly.

And it's also a big thumbs up from me to Heal's and Orla for combining my two great loves - fashion and chairs.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

100% Design

A recent visit to 100% Design threw up some truly unique furniture and of course lots of chairs.

A walk around Earl's Court on an unseasonally warm September morning is always going to be a little taxing but discovering a design company like Japanese Karimoku Inc made it well worth walking around carrying a million press releases.

Their stand was full of delights for a chair junkie, including their sure to be iconic K chairs but what really caught my eye was this Lobby chair.

Reminiscent of, yep you guessed it, hotel lobby chairs, it's perfect for any living room (my living room preferably)

Wish list

Top of my chair wish list at the moment is this delicious Cole chair from Habitat

At £1,399 it looks like it could be a while before I get my hands on one, but there's no harm in window shopping.

Available in Brown, White, Black and this decadent Bronze leather, it ticks all the requirements for a chair to make it on to my never ending list of wants.

1. Great design and finish . No shoddy chairs for me thank you very much.

2. It needs to be comfortable. I'm not a style over substance girl, it needs to have both. After all I'm not starting a museum , I'm feeding a passion.

3. Great colour, and this one definitely has that. It's glamorous without being too bling, sleek without being to scary and frankly makes me want to sink into it and curl up.

The one I own

Some people dream of Manolo Blahnik shoes, some Marc Jacob handbags (I love these too) but what I always wanted was a Louis Ghost chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell

Call it a love at first sight, call it an almost obsessional desire but from the day I first clapped eyes on this amazing creation I wanted to own one.

So imagine my delight when a PR called me one day and said she was bringing a gift for me and was having trouble getting on the tube with it, I was, well a little excited.

Excitement quickly turned to mild hysteria when I saw her sitting in my reception with my dream chair.

You see these chairs (available at Nest among other retailers) are special. Just like their creator, they have become a design icon.

My one sits in my dining room waiting for me to save enough money to buy its brothers and sisters and have a beautiful dining table to put them round.

Swedish style

It's not just designer chairs that get my vote. I love beautiful chairs regardless of price and stature.

This Stockholm easy chair from Ikea is also top of my hit list and thankfully at £209, it's a little more affordable.

Again it has a nod towards mid century style, but what I really love about it is the shape. I can just imagine being curled up on it with a good book.

It's also available in beige and cerise but I think this sleek, slate grey is my favourite or then again maybe I'll just get one in every colour...

A classic vintage

I have always loved mid century furniture. In fact if I win the lottery tonight, it would be the first thing I would splash the cash on.

Which is why I was delighted to have this little beauty pop up in my inbox.

It's a reissue of the classic Butterfly chair by Ercol and it would definitely be top of my list.

There's so much to say about it but my favourite aspect is that it just looks so elegant while being massively understated.

At £425, it doesn't exactly come cheap for a dining chair but I reckon I would be prepared to sit on the floor while saving up for 4 or 6 of them.