Tuesday, 20 March 2012

House of a Collector

I absolutely love this house of collector, Alketas Pazis in Athens.  His passion for collecting objects and furniture from 1900-1950 is obvious however the interiors aren't overwhelmed.  In fact this is pretty much my dream house.  The interiors have filled with sentimental objects, every piece different with its own story to tell.  I love that.  As much as I adore the 'design classics' they can become a little predictable in interiors sometimes so it's so refreshing to see some beautifully curated pieces that you don't instantly know the designers name, you know what I mean?  This looks like a home with personality with a 'one-of-a-kind feel and not bland like a showroom.

I love how the walls are painted that dark sludgy grey to the bottom half of the walls, to give those high ceiling spaces an intimate feel.  The grey walls also prevent the spaces from feeling like an art gallery and that floor, it's gorgeous.  In Australia we are obsessed with timber floors so it's interesting to consider tiles especially when they are covered with gorgeous rugs.  An inspirational interior.
Found via Yatzer

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Art Interior

I am a fan of the work of Martin Creed, a Glaswegian artist based in London.  I love his work.  He got us all wondering what art actually is when he won the turner prize in 2001 for his work the lights going on and off, which was an empty room in which the lights went on and off in case you didn't get that from the title.

In 2008 his work consisted of a runner sprinting the length of Tate Britain's neo-classical sculpture galleries. He said that he sometimes finds walking around galleries to be quite a laborious task and "Art doesn't have to be in a frame separate from you."  Stephen Deuchar, director of Tate Britain said "In lifting an everyday activity out of its usual context and dropping it into the central galleries of Tate Britain, it upsets any preconceived ideas of how to move appropriately through an art space. At the same time it asks us to reassess a mundane activity as if it were a theatrical event."

This all gets us thinking about art in new ways and I love that.  But now I must admit that I'm confused.  Creed has recently completed his work in the restaurant of one of my favorite place in London, Sketch (I blogged it back here).  I don't like it, there I said it.  I love Sketch because they collaborate with artists and it is packed with artworks, it's a beautiful place to be.  An art installation is one thing, but interior design is another.  There are many practical requirements of a restaurant, one of which is aesthetics which I feel has been ignored here and it is hard to tell from the photo how the space planning works and that would be interesting too.

This space is so chaotic that I wouldn't want to spend longer than 5 minutes there, not to mention dining for a few hours enjoying a beautiful meal with friends.  Not one chair is the same which is a novel idea so you can feel like Goldilocks until you find one that you like but it all looks like a thriftstore.  Every wall is different so there is no focal point so you don't know where to look, there is no unity so I imagine it could feel quite unnerving.  Panadol anyone? 

It looks amateurish to me.  In such a beautiful space the basic principles of design have not been considered.  The proportion is out, the grand scale of the space has not been used to the best advantage and what about lighting and acoustics?  This isn't your average cafe, the chef French Master Chef Pierre Gagnaire and pretty fancy food.

The floor is a mix of 96 different marble types in a chevron pattern because Creed couldn't decide which one he liked the most, so he just threw them all in.  I don't see how this decision adds to the meaning of the artwork.  I am all for artists collaborating with designers and architects, the results can be absolutely amazing, the key word being 'collaborating'.

What do you think?  If this restaurant didn't have the artists name associated, would it be acceptable and would people go there?  How does the cross-over between art and design/decoration work in this case?  Can an artist install his work in a restaurant successfully whilst still being an artist and not a designer?  So many questions???

Information from The Telegraph, The Independant, Sketch and Dezeen

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Supermarket Sweep

Today at the office kitchen bench we chatted about how much we hate doing the supermarket shopping.  Wandering around the aisles aimlessly just searching for dinner inspiration is so exhausting.  I try to shop at the Prahran Market and it's a real pleasure, I love the atmosphere and the service.  However it's not always convenient so inevitably I find myself at the Supermarket.  Wouldn't it be fabulous if our supermarkets were a little more inspiring?  

Quarter 21 (above) opened at Westfield Sydney a few months ago and reminded me of some of the beautiful food retailers I visited in Japan last year so I've dusted them off to share.  Quarter 21 is a food store, cookery school and restaurant with a focus on locally sourced produce.  Such a great concept and since you can't turn on the tv these days without seeing a celebrity chef or cooking show it was only a matter of time until a cookery school opened in a shopping centre.  This idea isn't a new one, I saw a cookery school at Tokyo Midtown last year.  ABC Cooking Studio is a beautiful space designed by French architect Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design where students can learn about cooking and baking
Dean & Deluca Toyko Midtown.  This is such a beautiful shopping experience.  It felt luxurious and exclusive and although it isn't the kind of supermarket that you buy your everyday groceries, there are elements in the design that we can apply to our major supermarket monsters.  It has more of a market feel with designated areas for different produce with pendant light fittings and different floor finishes, not just aisles and aisles that all look the same.  Perhaps if this way of thinking was applied to other supermarkets consumers could find what they want easier? 
Isetan Shinjuku.  What can I say?  We had died and gone to heaven.  A truly luxurious shopping experience.  Luckily we had our Japanese friend show us here otherwise I don't know how we could find it, shinjuku station is the largest station in the world!  Amazing. 

Photos by Lauren Macer except ABC Cooking Studio and Quarter 21.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Apartment On Oscar Freire Street

Isn't this apartment delightful?  Designed by Felipe Hess for an empty nester couple, the apartment is located in the posh part on São Paulo, Brazil.  It has a warm sophistication through the use of that gorgeous Embula wood paneling and a 1950s vibe that is only enhanced by the classic furnishings.  Check out the Charles & Ray Eames chaise in the TV room, Florence Knoll dining table and the stunning pair of Jorge Zalszupin armchairs in the library.  The apartment is filled with furniture, artwork and books that reflect the personality of the owners, just how it should be!

I love the openess of the spaces, no walls or partitions.  The dark timber clad hall opens out to a large light living space, which is just perfect for entertaining friends.  I only wish I could find some images of the kitchen or bathroom as it would be interesting to see how these spaces integrated with the living area.

The designer of this project states ''this apartment is an example of urban living in the heart of fashion in the most vibrating district, bringing calm and comfort to the interiors thanks to the materials, the art works & the objects''.

Found on Yatzer 


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