28 August 2010

Saturday silliness--vote for your favorite TV housekeeper

We take a break from home decor, furniture and accessories for a bit of fun.

Alfred (Batman) and Daphe (Frasier) are deadlocked in the second round of my "TV Housekeepers, Nannies and Maids" poll. Vote now to break the tie.
Mr. French (Family Affair), Aunt Bee (The Andy Griffith Show) and Alice (Brady Bunch) are winning their races.
Click here to take the survey.

27 August 2010

New mirrors in transitional, contemporary styles




Howard Elliott Collection has new mirrors in contemporary and traditional styles.
The Montana mirror features a rectangular frame upholstered in a chocolate-brown faux-leather outlined in antique brass nailhead studs. There is a singe floral medallion placed in the center of its arched top. The outer dimensions are 18 inches by 45 inches.
The David Mirror is a contemporary piece with a frame of intertwined strips of silver leaf and black glass.

It measures  38 inches by 38 inches.
The Dominic mirror features a puzzled arrangement of overlapping square frames. It is finished in a lovely brushed copper lacquer. The outer dimensions are  31 inches by  32 inches.

Retailers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer to order this item for you.

26 August 2010

Design bloggers have their say at NY gift show

The Bloggers' Choice Awards are presented semi-annually to exhibitors in Accent on Design, one of 10 divisions of the New York International Gift Fair. "Design bloggers have a unique aesthetic sensibility, as well as an inherent knack for identifying emerging talents," said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM senior vice president.
"Accent on Design offers an excellent platform for sourcing and rewarding design innovation." Each blogger selected one product from among the thousands featured by 200 Accent on Design exhibitors.
The bloggers - and their choices for the "next big thing" - are:

Jennifer Lockwood of DailyGrommet.com:
Cast Iron Skillets by Borough Furnace (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
"It is all about the story behind the product. From humble beginnings as scraped, upcycled iron to a cool, hip, useful cast-iron skillet that will last forever. Old made new."

Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of ApartmentTherapy.com:
Sundara Rug Collection by Donna Wilson & SCP (London, England)
"One of the best new debuts I found at the NYIGF was the Sundara Rug Collection by Donna Wilson and distributed by SCP. All rugs are hand-made in India, using three different techniques: flat-weaving, hand-looming and hand-tufting. Like Donna's other designs for SCP - Frank, Henry & Ernest pouffes and Nos Das pillows, throws and bags - color and texture are at the fore-front for these new rug designs."

Kristin Coleman of Design-Calendar.com:
Umbrellas by Brelli (New York)
"I've been thinking for years now that the umbrella was due for a redesign. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the Brelli, which delivers a stylish, versatile and sustainable solution."

Rain Noe of Core77.com:
Chop, Patrick Jouin's bamboo chopping board, by Alessi (New York)
"This caught my eye because the indented, curved edges, in addition to making you want to touch the object, allow you to cut and swipe vegetables directly onto a plate. I think that simple, subtle human factors and details like this are what makes for great design."

Heather Clawson of HabituallyChic.com:
Michelle Parker Table Lamps by Stray Dog Designs (Chattanooga, Tenn.) for its lamps with shades made from vintage topographical maps and pages from old dictionaries
"It's such a cleaver and original idea and they look great. The company employs artisans in Haiti in Mexico so you know you are buying products that benefit those in need as well."

Marisa Marcantonio of stylebeat.blogspot.com:
Nasca Collection of globally-inspired textiles by Suki Cheema Studio (Brooklyn, NY)
"Merges the traditional craft of handmade Indian textiles with saturated colors and creative pattern play. The 100% cotton Taquile pillow is made using an ancient embroidery technique out of several fabrics, so the pieces add history and tradition to a home. The collection is very current with its playful graphic designs and cheery colors."

Jaime Derringer of design-milk.com:
Piggy by Materious (Chicago)
"A refreshingly new concept that shows us good design is more than just form and function - it's human too!"

Stephanie Murg of UnBeige (mediabistro.com):
Husque bowls by Designs Abroad (Lawrenceville, Ga.)
"I'm nuts for Husque products! Handmade in Australia, these colorful bowls and platters are not only inspired by the smooth curves of Macadamia nuts, they're also made from waste shells of the locally-farmed nuts. Queensland-based designer Marc Harrison developed the novel composite material, which is then colored and hand-polished (with Macadamia nut oil) to a beautiful luster. The resulting objects look good enough to eat - or at least eat off of."

25 August 2010

Best new products from the textiles show

Five companies participating in Home Textiles Market Week in New York were presented with Best New Product awards last week. Designers Guild received the “Best of Market” award for its Orangerie Cushion. All of the winners exhibited in the At Home division of the New York International Gift Fair.

Designers Guild (New York), for its Orangerie Cushion, designed by Tricia Guild. Manufactured in the United Kingdom, the Orangerie design features hand painted florals on a fresh white base—which are digitally reproduced and printed onto the cushion’s cotton percale front fabric. The cushion’s trimming and solid silk back provide some extra contrast to its patterned front.

Bōdmer Blankets (Carlton, Ore.) for its Jaspé Blanket, designed and hand woven by Craig Bōdmer. Made of 100% natural baby alpaca yarn and bound with 100% hand-woven silk, the blanket provides both beauty and comfort. The non-dyed blanket has an all-natural alpaca color, which is revealed as its color subtly transforms from dark to light, and is woven with a classic 2/2 twill weave structure and available in twin, double, queen and king sizes.

Brahms Mount (Hallowell, Maine) for its Linen Towels, designed by Claudia Brahms. The towels, which are woven in North America, are 100% linen and naturally anti-microbial and available in 3 sizes: and six colors. 

Blissliving Home (Rockville, Md.) for its Samsara Table Linens, designed by Mei Xu and Amber Kleiner. The Samsara Table Linens include a runner, square placemat and matching dyed linen napkin and is available in two colorways. The linens traditional embroidery is borrowed from their Samsara decorative pillow. 

Alicia Adams Alpaca Inc. (Stanfordville, NY) for its Travel Set. Designed by owner, Alicia Adams and manufactured in Peru, the travel set comes with a blanket and eye mask, which conveniently fit in a travel-size pouch. Made of 100% baby alpaca, this soft blanket provides the ultimate in luxury for travel. 

Award criteria included innovation in design, creative use of materials/construction and new fiber, material or technology.

24 August 2010

Home decor winners from the NY gift show

Four Accent on Design exhibitors at the New York International Gift Fair were honored last week for "superior design creativity and innovative product design," according to the fair organizers. Accent on Design is one of 10 divisions at the show. The winners are:

Best Product Collection
Paul Smith for Stelton (Copenhagen, Denmark) "for reimagining Arne Jacobsen’s classic Cylinda-Line collection and introducing color in celebration of Stelton’s 50th year." Manufactured in Denmark, Paul Smith for Stelton features AddColour (above), a series of stainless steel iced water, tea and coffee jugs, and French press with muted, bright or pastel colored handles. Available in nine color palettes, Dot features three small, medium and large jars and bowls in stainless steel with enamel tops and mouths. The collection’s bar set, Statement, includes ice bucket and tongs, cocktail shaker, martini mixer, glass coasters and serving tray in rich, black stainless steel. Each piece features a statement written by Paul Smith. http://www.stelton.dk/

Best Product
Wabnitz Editions (Columbus, Ohio) for Boomerang Wok, by Royal vkb, for "its innovation in industrial design, solving an age old problem." Designed by Nikolai Carels, its unique patented edge shape alleviates the stresses of cooking by reducing the skills necessary for an evenly cooked meal – just a simple push towards the curved edge of the pan turns the food easily. This aluminum pan is ideal for cooking eggs, fish and meat. http://www.wabnitzeditions.com/

Best Product
Branch Lamps (New York) by Rich, Brilliant, Willing as part of the American Design Club Collection, for "a modern classic used in a multitude of ways." With bent wood arms attached to metal hubs resembling the branches of a tree, the chandeliers, floor lamps and table lamps filter light through perforated brass shades. Ebonized, natural and custom color wood finishes are available. http://www.richbrilliantwilling.com/

Best Product
The Sasa Clock  (Housatonic, Mass.) designed by Thorunn Arnadottir for HeadsUp Design Company Inc., for "its interpretation on the concept of time in an artistic and poetic manner." Made of a polished stainless steel hub and beech wood beads, time can be read from a color coded necklace—with each bead representing a 5 minute increment. The necklace is available in both 12 and 24 hour versions; natural wood with white, "hour" beads and blue stained wood, with orange "hour" beads. http://www.headsupco.com/

Retailers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer to order this item for you.

23 August 2010

Winning products from the Ex-tracts show

Ex-tracts honored six companies with Best New Product Awards last week in New York. The winners are:

Royal Apothic
Royal Apothic (Los Angeles) for its Bathe Collection – City of Angels Fragrance, a distillation of gentle marine top notes blended with Night Blooming Jasmine, particular to Southern California, and a crisp base of Eucalyptus. The indulgent formulation provides skincare with next generation hydrators and micronized conditioning ingredients, and is paraben free. www.royalapothic.com

DayNa Decker (Los Angeles) for its Couture Body Treatment, offering Body Cleansing Crème, a creamy, lather-rich cleansing crème that gently soothes and nourishes the body with calming extracts; and Hydrating Emulsion, a naturally derived body lotion that combines sultry fragrances with Shae Butter, Gold and Pearl to enhance skin’s radiance and youthful glow. www.daynadecker.com

Archipelago Botanicals (Los Angeles) for its Pomegranate Purse Set, a sheer lip gloss wand, roll on EDT and travel lotion collection that carry the delightfully fresh scent of pomegranate and are blended with premium ingredients, including Phase II Enzyme boosters that help detoxify and cleanse. www.archipelago-usa.com

House of Lubin (Paris, France) for its Lubin Perfume, a reintroduction of the legendary force in the perfume industry with 10 designer scents and vintage perfumes crafted in the Grasse region, including Gin Fizz, a delicate fragrance of iris and swamp lily, inspired by the luxurious Metropolitan lounges, and Bluff, a new scent drawn from the tonics found in the saloons of the American Wild West. www.lubin.eu

Winner: European Soaps LLC (Seattle) for its Rampal Latour, a certified organic soap made with olive oils and sweet almond oils, and natural mineral pigments, excluding preservatives (EDTA) or artificial coloring, that hydrates and delicately perfumes the skin. www.europeansoaps.com

Altru (Los Angeles) for its Purity Collection, an exotic floral fusing ylang ylang, tuberose, gardenia and magnolia, with base notes of blond woods and tonka bean, in a hammered copper candle vessel, hand-blown glass diffuser and aromatic incense packaged in an antique Japanese kimono print.
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