History Lesson: Vegetal

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are the designers behind Vegetal.  They set out to create a comfortable, stable chair that looked like vegetation sprouting from the ground. Vegetal was designed in 2008 and features flat “branches” overlapping to form the seat. This stackable, indoor/outdoor chair is available in 6 colors and is made from 100% recyclable polyamide.

(Images via Vitra, Rum21)

Destination: The Flatiron Building

Located in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, The Flatiron Building is a landmark structure that is a tourist destination and beloved part of the New York City skyline. The Beaux-Arts building was designed by Daniel Burnham and completed 1902. At the time, it was one of the tallest skyscrapers in NYC. It is located at the triangular intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, which dictated the famous shape of the building. Currently, the Flatiron Building houses offices, but it is destined to become a luxury hotel.

(Image via Great Buildings)

Design Meets Fashion: Happy Easter!

Break out your pastels, Easter is here! If you’ve been holding off on using or wearing spring colors, now is the time. Add some color to a room by filling a bowl with dyed eggs, like these lovely hand painted ones from Cost Plus, or by filling glass jars with springtime flowers and setting them around the house to instantly add cheer.

(Images via Cost Plus and Pinterest.)

History Lesson: Wiggle Side Chair

The now infamous cardboard Wiggle Side Chair was designed by Frank Gehry in 1972. It is part of his Easy Edges collection, which also consists of additional side chairs and a dining table among other pieces. The chair is constructed out of about 60 layers of cardboard with a fiberboard edge, and the result is a very structurally stable piece of furniture. Gehry’s inspiration came from a pile of corrugated cardboard he found outside his office. He began sculpting it, experimenting with gluing it together in different directions. The Wiggle Side Chair and the Easy Edges collection were a success, and although he didn’t want it, gave Gehry recognition as a furniture designer as well as an architect.

(Images via DWR, Home Adore)

Weekly Wrap Up: Sammezzano Castle, Concrete & Gold, & Adjustable Table E 1027

Monday’s History Lesson: Adjustable Table E 1027
Wednesday’s Design Meets Fashion: Concrete & Gold
Friday’s Destination: Sammezzano Castle

Destination: Sammezzano Castle

Sammezzano Castle is an abandoned castle near Florence, Italy. The extravagant structure was built in 1605 for Ximenes of Aragon and redesigned in the mid-1800s. In the 20th century it was used as a luxury hotel, and eventually closed its doors in the 1990s. The castle’s style is Moorish and no corner or detail was ignored when it came to the design. Everywhere you look is a textural feast for the eyes in every color of the rainbow. Sammezzano consists of 365 rooms, all with a different theme from the next.

The castle is open to the public on a limited basis, so contact the organization in advance if Sammezzano is in your travel plans.

(Images via Sammezzano)

Design Meets Fashion: Concrete & Gold

One of my favorite things to see in art is the juxtaposition of two seemingly opposite or unrelated things. The perfect example is this wonderful project by Martin Boyce we are still and reflective in which he designed a concrete pathway with gold insets as part of Skulptur Projekte. There is something unexpected and yet organic about seeing different elements side by side in this way, and I love the use of geometric shapes in both Boyce’s piece and this beautiful stone and gold necklace.

(Images via Skulptur Projekte and Burnetts Boards.)

History Lesson: Adjustable Table E 1027

Often imitated never duplicated, iconic furniture and interior designer Eileen Gray has designed many items that are considered classics today. Designed in 1927, the Adjustable Table E 1027 is probably the most recognizable of the pieces that furnished her home on the French Riviera. It was originally considered a bedside table, but its sleek Art Deco silhouette and cool materials would suit a modern living room as well. The Adjustable Table E 1027 is part of the permanent collection of the MoMA, New York.

(Images via DWR, ClassiCon)

Weekly Wrap Up: Eames Elephant, The Brooklyn Bridge, & Villa Vals

Monday’s History Lesson: Eames Elephant
Wednesday’s Design Meets Fashion: The Brooklyn Bridge
Friday’s Destination: Villa Vals, Switzerland

Destination: Villa Vals, Switzerland

Completed in 2009 by Christian Muller Architects and Bjarne Mastenbroek of SeARCH, Villa Vals is a vacation home in the Swiss Alps. The structure celebrates the incredible landscape by literally blending right into the mountainside. So as not to interfere with the natural elements, the designers built the 1,700 sf home completely and creatively burrowed in the ground and accessible only through a nearby shed and underground tunnel. The interior is eclectic, warm, and modern, and honors Dutch design. The house features a round and slanted façade with lots of windows and a patio that lets guests enjoy the pristine views.

(Images via Villa Vals, Architecture News Plus)