From September 13 to 21, London will be brimming with all things design thanks to the 12th annual London Design Festival. With a medley of 300 events, installations, themed workshops, lectures and presentations that focus on interiors, graphics, architecture and furniture from a mix of fledging and established designers, there’s plenty to “Lose yourself” in, as this year’s tagline suggests. Here, some of the highlights:
A Place Called Home: Four designers—Jasper Morrison, Raw Edges, Isle Crawford and Paternity—created their interpretations of the ideal room. Think spaces with large kaleidoscopes, specially created scents and recordings of a kettle boiling to stir up feelings of home. September 18–20; Trafalgar Square; londondesignfestival.com.
The Wish List: Ten established designers, including Zaha Hadid, Allen Jones and John Pawson, pair up with emerging talent to create a never-before-found masterpiece using a single material—American hardwood. September 13–20; Victoria and Albert Museum; Cromwell Rd.; 44-20/7942-2000; vam.ac.uk.
100% Design: London’s biggest original contemporary design show for brand-new and seasoned names reaches its 20th year. The four-day event kicks off with Philippe Starck’s new tile collection, Flexible Architecture, for Italian ceramic firm Ceramica Sant’Agostino. September 17–20; Earls Court Exhibition Center; Warwick Rd.; 100percentdesign.co.uk.
Decorex International: In case the nine day festival isn’t long enough, this luxury interiors “Design Destinations” group-show extends the fun a little further. This year's Decorex International shines the spotlight on Georgian-themed furniture, carpets, flooring, lighting, textiles and wall coverings from over 350 exhibitors, including newcomers Liberty Art Fabrics, Eley Kishimoto and Maya Romanoff. September 21–24; Syon Park; decorex.com.
For a full schedule of events, go to londondesignfestival.com.
Joaquim Tenreiro/ Galerie James
Aesthetes, mark your calendars. The 18th edition of PAD Paris Art + Design (pad-fairs.com), the foremost design fair in the city, is set to hit the Tuileries from March 27 to 30. There, upwards of 50 exhibitors from France, the Netherlands, Lebanon, Russia, Spain and the United States will showcase their most spectacular 20th-century and contemporary wares, arranged in handsomely curated living room–like environments.
“For anyone interested in collectible design, either as a serious collector or as simply a design aficionado, PAD is a must-see fair,” says Susan Boullier of Artecase, a collecting advisory in Paris, who, along with her colleague Elizabeth Chase Rochette, is offering private guided tours of the fair.
The two-hour walk-throughs—available for up to four people at a time—will focus on the most significant pieces featured through a historical, aesthetic and market-driven lens. Guests will have access to prominent dealers, such as Maria Wettergren, Galerie James (its chaise longue by Brazlian designer Joaquim Tenreiro is pictured above) and Carpenters Workshop Gallery, and credited design specialists will answer questions, help expedite purchases and tailor the overall experience.
“Above all, we want to transmit the passion we feel for collectible design and make each client’s visit to the fair fun, exciting and enlightening,” says Boullier. “At Artecase we see collecting design as a lifestyle and believe that the choices we make bring harmony and meaning to our lives.” For more information and to book a tour, e-mail email@example.com; arte-case.com.
Courtesy of Palm Springs Modernism Show
Design buffs are descending upon Palm Springs for the desert oasis’s annual Modernism Week (February 13–23). Celebrating the city’s roots in midcentury architecture, design and culture, the 11-day extravaganza features more than a hundred events ranging from a twilight tour and wine reception at the Edris House (February 20), a private home built in 1953 that is impressively integrated into its rocky surrounds, to a sneak peek at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center (psmuseum.org), which is set to open this fall.
This year’s docket includes a slew of architectural tours by double-decker bus, offering a glimpse of the Southern California design destination’s 20th-century architectural gems, including the Neutra Kaufmann Desert House and the homes of Elvis and Frank Sinatra. And those in the know have already scored tickets to the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale (February 14–17), now in its 14th year. Held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, the event features more than 85 world-renowned exhibitors, including well-known midcentury design dealers Mark McDonald of New York, Southern California–based Off the Wall and (new this year) Alexandre Huygevelde of Paris. (Exhibitor Timeless Modernism’s Barcelona chairs and Tugendhat table by Mies van der Rohe of Metallwerkstätten Berlin are pictured above.)
But for perhaps the ultimate ode to the 20th-century movement, head to the city’s first Modernism Week show house, dubbed the Christopher Kennedy Compound after the locally based designer who spearheaded the project. Here, his talents and those of his contemporaries like Celerie Kemble, Thomas Lavin and Trina Turk converge under one roof to create a stunning homage to California glamour and the laid-back vibe of Palm Springs. The house goes on the market following this year’s festivities so you, too, will have the opportunity to own a slice of modernist heaven. 760-799-9477; modernismweek.com.
Photo courtesy of Foscarini
The lamps developed inside Foscarini’s stark white research laboratory shine far brighter than the average desk light. Each is produced in collaboration with a world-renowned artist, like Luca Nichetto, winner of the 2008 Gran Design Award, or Giulio Iacchetti, who was presented the Premio dei Premi by Italian president Giorgio Napolitano in 2009. The Venice-based lighting company itself is no stranger to awards. In addition to a slew of Compasso D’Oro and Red Dot award winners, pieces from its line were selected for inclusion in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Foscarini’s fall lamps take their cues from nature. German designer Werner Aisslinger’s Behive suspension lamp (shown here; $1,136), with soft light diffused through stacked white polycarbonate rings, brings to mind a dangling beehive. And from Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, designers of the Birdie lighting family, a ceiling light (from $608) combines the elegance of a chandelier with the simplicity of the outdoors, its adjustable steel arms recalling the thin branches of a young tree. 17 Green St.; 212-247-2218; foscarini.com.
© Jordan Kisner
The Kips Bay Decorator Show House, an interior design bonanza held each year to benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, opens its doors on May 16 with an eye-popping display of various styles and aesthetics. Thirty prominent designers have taken over two bi-level units at the Aldyn Residences on Riverside Boulevard, each choosing a room and making it his or her own.
For many participants, the experience is quite personal. “Normally when I design, it’s a collaboration between myself and clients,” says Lynne Scalo, whose white lacquered retreat features oversized portraits of Steve Jobs and Andy Warhol. “But here, my only collaborator is the architecture, and that’s a really wonderful opportunity to showcase my point of view as an artist.”
That connection is apparent throughout the house: Alexander Doherty’s version of an art collector’s inner sanctum features several pieces from his own art collection on the wall, and a mirror-paneled library by Jamie Drake is filled entirely with his own books.
For others, the 40th annual showcase is an opportunity to escape into fantasy. Raji Radhakrishnan composed her corner unit as though it were the private home office of the head curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, incorporating Art Deco and modernist elements, custom photo murals of the King’s Chapel at Versaille and a gilded plaster ceiling medallion designed by Radhakrishnan herself. Charlotte Moss turned her suite into a taste of the French countryside, layering trompe l’oeil wallpaper and garden photography, freestanding trees and an immense antique birdcage from her own collection.
Even without the lavish interiors, both units are impressive, with oversized pools and sweeping views of the Hudson River. But with the addition of each decorator’s dream pieces—witness the $115 million antique desk in David Scott’s sophisticated, richly textured gentleman’s study, or the massive 1820s Neoclassical secretary from Germany in a dining room by Patrik Lönn—the scene is fairly stunning. May 16–June 14; 60 Riverside Blvd.; kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org.
Ron Lessard / Courtesy Interiors by Olatz
For more than a decade, Olatz Schabel has been celebrated among New York’s design cognoscenti for two reasons: first, for her role as the longtime muse and partner to celebrity artist Julian Schnabel; second, for her own line of opulent bespoke linens and loungewear (sold out of an expansive, checkerboard tile-floored shop in the West Village). Now, the art world has a third reason to keep Olatz top of mind: the launch of her new interior design firm, Designs by Olatz. As of this month, Olatz and her team will be bringing her signature aesthetic—an eclectic mélange of vintage furnishings, artworks, and crisp textiles in colors that recall the Mediterranean port towns where she’s made her part-time home—to discerning home and commercial property owners. Among the services she’ll offer her clients (besides the traditional selection of furnishings, fixtures, and fabrics) are custom product design, branding consultation, and obtaining one-of-a-kind pieces (or “objets trouvés”). Interiorsbyolatz.com.
Courtesy Red Cross West Palm Beach
Interior design lovers are gearing up for the opening of West Palm Beach’s 36th Annual American Red Cross Designers’ Show House, one of the region’s most hotly anticipated events in home design. Located in an expansive, Southern-style mansion—the oldest original home in the historic Old Northwood neighborhood—the Show House gathers the best of the best designers, both nearby and national, for a showcase to benefit the localRed Cross. The event runs from January 19 to February 18, but for those looking to get a sneak peek before it opens to the public, there is the preview party on January 18, where socialites, philanthropists and designers will have the opportunity to browse over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. redcross-pbc.org
Courtesy John Houshmand
“I’ve always been interested in developing combinations of wood
with materials like glass, fine metals and acrylic,” says furniture designer
John Houshmand, 57, who lives and works on a 950-acre farm in Hobart, New York.
“Then recently I thought, What if I make a mold of one of the magnificent
pieces of wood and poured in aluminum?” The result is a cast-aluminum
table made from a giant slab of mulberry wood, anchored by sturdy black walnut
legs—undoubtedly one of the most romantic and bold pieces of furniture
to emerge this year.
This Cast Aluminum Low table is $19,750 and can be purchased at Houshmand’s
showrooms in New York (31 Howard St.) and West Hollywood (8687 Melrose Ave.).
For details, call 212-965-1238 or go to johnhoushmand.com.
Carlos Diniz's Monarch Bay Homes, Laguna Niguel (outdoor dining terrace), 1961. Photo © Carlos Diniz Archive Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
A Don Draper type lounging poolside; boxy, streamlined homes dotted among the Hollywood Hills; sleek, minimalist decor. Los Angeles in the 1950s conjures strong imagery when it comes to the revolutionary aesthetics of that time. But post-World War II, SoCal fashion, architecture and design had more to do with embracing a certain ethos than it did with expressing a particular style—or so asserts "California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way," on view at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art starting October 1. The exhibition—one of dozens opening over the next few months in conjunction with Pacific Standard Time, a Getty Museum-initiated citywide celebration of L.A. art and design—includes furniture, ceramics, jewelry and architectural drawings by such renowned midcentury designers as Richard Neutra, Greta Magnusson Grossman, Rudolph Schindler and Charles and Ray Eames. Be sure to browse the LACMA gift shop on your way out for related items and works by the artists themselves. Our favorite: the iconic Eames dining room chair, available for $860. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-857-6000; lacma.org.
Plus! L.A. Lately
We didn't think it was possible, but Paris just got a little bit chicer with the July 4 opening of La Maison Champs-Elysées, a 57-room hotel (and the 19th-century home of the Duchess of Rivoli) near the Golden Triangle whose ground floor was designed by the style gurus at Maison Martin Margiela. All common areas, including the lobby, restaurant La Table du 8, red-lit bar, cigar room and garden terrace, feature artistic techniques ranging from trompe-l'oeil to silver-foiled walls. Margiela's team also designed 17 "couture" rooms bearing the fashion house's signature stark minimalism, with mostly white rooms outfitted only with zen-like basics, as well as Apple Mac Minis. Rooms from $500 at 8 rue Jean Goujon; 33-1/40-74-64-65; lamaisonchampselysees.com.
Photo Martine Houghton