Sunday, 25 May 2014

Clerkenwell Design Week
20-22 May 2014

Dodging showers and basking in sunshine, I hopped from exhibition to another in trendy Clerkenwell for the final day of Clerkenwell Design Week.

Clerkenwell Design Week celebrated it's fifth year and yet again managed to deliver a visual feast to all.

It was a great day to catch up with familiar faces and discover some new and exciting design newcomers.

Here are some of my highlights from the day;

Design Factory

The Farmiloe Building, a Clerkenwell landmark, showcased plenty of eye catching leading furniture, lighting and product design.

It was great to catch up with Buster & Punch team, a London based interiors brand. 
Selection of light bulbs in varied finishes by Buster & Punch.
Image by Katja

Great new additions to their "rock style" product range include hardware and these contemporary light switches.

Selection of light switches in various finishes.
Image by Katja

Selection of handles in various finishes.
Image by Katja

Lovely to see some fellow Scandi's being showcased too.
This contemporary Madison sofa is a new addition to the collection from Swedese.
With it's clean lines it works great both at home or in an office environment.
Madison sofa by Leila Atlassi for Swedese.
Image by Katja

The industrial backdrop of the Farmiloe building was ideal for displaying these Orient copper pendants.
Selection of Orient pendants for Light Years.
Image by Katja

These clever light displays by Vibia caught my eye.  For me, they work as contemporary mood lighting as well as wall art.
You can easily create and configure your own design to suit your preferred space.
Set by Xucla for Vibia.
Image by Katja

Set by Xucla for Vibia.
image by Katja

London based furniture and lighting studio Pinch showcased a series of delightful Float tables. Available in various shades and combinations.
Float table by Pinch.
Image by Katja

The Tile Mile
St. John's Gate, EC1

Design studio Russ + Henshaw created this colourful 3D installation with Turkishceramics. 7200 tiles were used with mirrors to brighten up a medieval arch way in St. John's gate.
The Tile Mile - St John's Gate, EC1
Image by Katja

The Tile Mile - St. John's Gate, EC1
Image by Katja

The Crypt On The Green, St.James's Church, EC1

Additions, were dedicated to small design pieces and interior accessories by emerging talent and international brands.

Hend Krichen.
Image by Katja

Copper and terracotta vessels by Hend Krichen.
Image by Katja

Beautiful copper and terracotta vessels on show by emerging London based Tunisia designer Hend Krichen.
Krichen's vision is to create timeless everyday pieces through the use of local artisanial skills and craftmanship of Tunisia. In addition to her terracotta vessels, her collection include small copper bell pendants, hand woven throws and patterned coasters.
One designer to look out for!

House of Detention

Tea for One by DesignK
Image by Katja

This quirky tea table was inspired by english afternoon tea and was a winner of London Design Festival Design 25 in 2013.
A great piece of furniture designed just for that specific task, a nice cup of tea.

House of Detention - location for Platform.
Image by Katja

Enjoy the weekend!


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Design Tales from Vietnam

Having just returned from an amazing trip through Vietnam with bags full of sand and memories, I couldn't resist sharing some images and experiences with you.

On my  travels, I came across some cool exteriors and interiors along the way, from grand hotels and secluded island resort to an old junk boat and a floating school.

My adventures started in Hanoi and I was fortunate to stay in the region's few remaining hotel's of it's era, Hotel Metropole, Hanoi.

Image by Hotel Metropole

The Metropole is a beautiful French Colonial style hotel in the heart of the city centre and it boasts of a classical white facade, green shutters, original wrought iron detail, wood paneling and a lush courtyard lawn.

It has been carefully modernised in keeping with the city's colonial history. Dark woods elegantly feature in every room and colour and texture has been added by feature wallpapers, wall panelling and accessories.

Image by Katja

Luxurious bathrooms feature gorgeous freestanding, roll top baths. Marble and mosaic have been used to decorate and protect walls and floors.

Image by Katja
French colonial architecture still very much dominate Hanoi's old quarter with it's tree lined boulevards, villas, mansions and public buildings. A master example is Hanoi's grand Opera House.

Image by Katja

Even the entrance to the 'Hanoi Hilton" caught my wondering eye.
"Hanoi Hilton" was used as a prison during the Vietnam War and most of the building has now been rebuild into a modern skyscraper. Luckily one part of this historic building  still remains and has been opened to the public as a museum.

Halong Bay

Leaving Hanoi behind, our journey took us to Halong Bay, one of the Unesco World Heritage Sites and one of the new seven wonders of the world.
Halong Bay includes some 1600 island and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. As the area is so vast, most of Halong Bay is uninhabited and unaffected by human presence except a few little bays that are occupied by local fishing families and communities.

Image by Katja

Image by Katja
Fishing boats in Halong Bay

Image by Katja

Image by Katja
Local family accommodation - Halong Bay

Image by Halong Violet

The best way to take in the beauty of Halong Bay is to step onboard a junk boat and cruise around admiring the breathtaking scenery of different bays overnight.

In all honesty, I didn't quite know what to expect from my chosen junk boat, but as it turned out, it was a far cry from junk. This luxury vessel had the perfect combination of traditional and modern touches, with meticulous details embedded in the decoration style and interior furnishing.

Image by Katja
Luxury cabin onboard Halong Violet

Dark mahogany furniture complimented with lush full lenght silk curtains and accessories.

Image by Katja
Halong Violet

Beautiful copper detailed washing bowl with tap designed from ordinary pipes.

Ninh Van Bay
Six Senses

Ultimate paradise, Six Senses Resort and Spa was our final stop before catching a flight back home from Ho Chi Minh city.

Image by Katja

The Six Senses brands are synonymous with a unique style – authentic, personal and sustainable, and in harmony with individual surroundings. 
A complete getaway from the busy every day life.

Image by Katja
Hill Top Pool Villa

Villas featuring plunge pools, facing the mountain ranges and offering views of the sea.
Elevated bedrooms are all open plan with walk-in closet and vanity areas. En suite bathrooms are all fitted with handcrafted wooden bath tubs.

Sustainable, local materials have been used to design and build each villa's exterior and interior in fine detail. And each villa has organically merged into the dramatic landscape.

Image by Katja

Image by Katja

As a visual creature, travelling is a thing that I crave. It awakens every sense.
 Every colour, smell and detail has a story to tell.

I hope you have enjoyed flicking through these images and maybe get to visit them too some day.

Till next time.... Kx