Reinventing Oriental Carpets: Golran at Milan’s Design Week

Golran reinterprets oriental carpets with a perfect mix between expert technique skills and sensitivity. It has taken a new contemporary turn with this new Kilim collection designed by BertJan Pot under the direction of Francesca Avossa Studio.

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The new generation at Golran is driven by a contemporary approach that began several years ago. This approach aims to promote research, while also conveying a new company spirit.

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A collaboration with the Francesca Avossa Studio two years ago allowed for a redesign of the brand. This led to the development of a new identity that would unite the various activities of the brand, and create a cohesive message in both publicity and collections.

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After the revolutionary Carpet Reloaded collection, whose innovation has been the engine of the company’s repositioning, Golran decided to invest further in contemporary collections.

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The first two collections designed by Isabella Sodi – “Memories” and “Shadows” – preceded the collaboration with the studio of Francesca Avossa; a former consultant for several companies, including as artistic director of the brand’s collections at Ligne Roset.

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The new editorial line has been designed in harmony with the spirit of Golran: reminiscent of the East, with traditional and artisanal know-how, using a contemporary approach to décor and a particular style of transgression.

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Spring’s Salvaged Chairs at Retrouvius

Retrouvius specialises in reclamation of materials and design, they have a wide collection of salvaged furniture and lighting. Based in Harrow Road in London, they have undertaken numerous design projects in London and throughout the UK. Currently they have an eclectic selection of chairs, ranging from mid century and industrial to Victorian office furniture.

DANISH ARMCHAIR

DANISH ARMCHAIR

TRIPOD DESK CHAIR

TRIPOD DESK CHAIR

PAIR OF ERCOL ROCKING CHAIRS

PAIR OF ERCOL ROCKING CHAIRS

VICTORIAN OFFICE CHAIR

VICTORIAN OFFICE CHAIR

TUBULAR FRAME CHAIRS WITH BEECH SEATS

TUBULAR FRAME CHAIR WITH BEECH SEAT

ITALIAN DASHING TWEED STRIPE

ITALIAN DASHING TWEED STRIPE

FURRY RED ITALIAN CHAIR

FURRY RED ITALIAN CHAIR

REGENCY DESK CHAIR

REGENCY DESK CHAIR

DANISH TEAK FRAMED CHAIR

DANISH TEAK FRAMED CHAIR

The founders of Retrouvius, Adam and Maria believe in reusing and salvaging materials and preserving beautifully crafted objects wherever possible:

At the heart of Retrouvius is the belief that good materials and well-made things are precious; whether quarried stone or a piece of expert joinery, these objects were hard won and have an intrinsic value that argues for them to be re-conditioned and intelligently re-used.”

For more information on these chairs and other items, visit their website.

The Wingin’ It Floor Lamp: Pianos, Nuts and Bulbs

BRC Designs features modern studio built furniture by Benjamin Rollins Caldwell made from sustainable materials. Their latest pieces include the Wingin’ It Floor Lamp .

Wingin' It Floor Lamp

Wingin’ It Floor Lamp

Inspired by the numerous defunct pianos collecting dust at second hand stores and charity shops, Caldwell sought to use these piano parts as a material for his furniture.

Wingin' It Floor Lamp close up

Wingin’ It Floor Lamp close up

After creating the Korobeinski Chair and the Hammer Chair from the piano keys and the hammers, the Wingin’ It Collection incorporates the wood planks on the back end of the piano keys.

Wingin' It Floor Lamp close up

Wingin’ It Floor Lamp close up

The Wingin’ It Floor Lamp shows how versatile lighting structures can be, instead of a conventional single bulb and lampshade, several bulbs are wrapped around the wooden structure to emit a unique lighting effect. The lamp also uses 15 energy efficient LED bulbs, altogether consuming less energy than one 70 watt incandescent bulb.

Wingin' It Floor Lamp

Wingin’ It Floor Lamp

Each plank is attached to the other using wing nuts and bolts, and dubbed the Wingin’ It Collection which refers to not only the wing nuts used in the structure of the piece, but also the haphazard manner in which the whole collection is pieced together.

Wingin' It Floor Lamp close up

Wingin’ It Floor Lamp close up

BRC Designs: Re-think, Re-purpose, Re-invent

Benjamin Rollins Caldwell, the founder of BRC Designs describes his passion for creating his pieces and affirms that this talent has been a part of him from an early age.

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“Design and Conceptualization has always come naturally to me… For me, the physical act of making an object is just as important as the cognitive evolution of the concept.”

He adds “Luckily, it’s also something that excites me.”

Binary Table 01 01

BRC Designs is a modern studio furniture company that uses the expertise of a number of highly skilled craftsmen from different backgrounds.

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Wingin' It Bed 04

The company makes limited edition objects, one-of-a-kind pieces, and caters for bespoke projects. Benjamin works directly with the materials from the inception of an idea until its completion.

Capped Out Chair 01

He emphasises his love of diversity in the design process.

“If I were forced to work with one material, in one style, using only one process, I would be completely miserable.”

Label Whore Low Table 1

Pockets Rug 1

One of the things that struck me immediately about BRC Designs is it’s eclectic style, Benjamin explains that he is energised by the variety of projects he’s involved in. It appears that multitasking is one of his key strengths, as he successfully manages to balance numerous projects while constantly coming up with new ideas.

“Typically I have five to ten pieces in process at the same time and up to twenty concepts that I am developing; therefore, when I am in the studio working on a piece and come to a point where I need to make a design decision or need a break, I can simply move across the room and focus on a different project.”

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He gets his inspiration from second hand/vintage shops, salvage yards and abandoned warehouses. Sometimes these objects act as a basis for an overall design idea and other times they are used as the raw material for the piece.

Found Concrete Side Table

He focuses on re-purposing objects and materials to give them a new beginning and a new function.

“My objective is to use materials in such a way that I completely transform their original purpose into something new and innovative.”

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Benjamin achieves this through repetition, arrangement and stripping materials down to their raw essence. He claims that more often than not, the most fascinating aspect of a material lies under its exterior surface. I love tearing things apart to see what interesting parts I can find and wield into something completely unique.

Interweb Chair 1

He aims to create unique pieces by salvaging interesting parts of large items or integrating smaller objects and seeks to dismantle one thing to rebuild it as something entirely different.

“Everyday I am surprised by what materials I stumble across and what ideas pop in my head.”

Korobeiniki Chair 1

BRC Designs is based in Inman, South Carolina and is represented by Industry Gallery, Washington DC

Suicide Chair 01

Suicide Low Table 01

Merry Recycled Christmas!

Artist Sarah Turner not only makes beautiful hand crafted lights from waste materials as mentioned previously on our blog, but she also has some particularly festive ideas this Christmas. Her sustainable designs show us that recycled creations can not only look stunning but are also a great way to decorate your home during the holidays. Here we get a peek behind the scenes of the making of her recycled bottle tree.

Nahui Ollin – Unique Recycled Style

Nahui Ollin bags are made from recycled materials. Every bag is unique and is constructed from old sweet wrappers, newpapers, barcodes, magazines or bottle labels. Nahui Ollin is inspired by ancient South American traditions and mythology.

The bags are crafted using  ancient Mayan weaving techniques. It can take up to four thousand sweet wrappers and as long as four days for an individual artisan to make one bag.

Their unique process ensures that no two bags are the same and despite being made from paper wrappers and labels, they do stand the test of time and weather for tear-free, long-term durability.

Each bag is hand-made from around 1500 individual wrappers and follows a process of folding, weaving and sewing each one into place – sometimes taking up to three days to make. Being that the wrappers are put into place one at a time, each bag is produced in its own colour scheme and pattern, insuring that it is one-of-a-kind.

Although you may expect most Nahui Ollin bags to be colourful and cute, aimed more at young teenage girls than grown women, you’d be surprised at how diverse the range of bags are. There is a huge variety in shape, size and style of these unique bags, whether you are looking for an evening bag, a bag for grocery shopping or a smart bag to wear to the office.

Nahui Ollin is also the name given to a famous Mexican artist’s model Carmen Mondragon by Gerald Murillo (also known as Dr Atl) with whom she had an intense love affair. He named her after the symbol of Aztec renewal meaning “four movement” – the fifth and last epoch and the sun of earthquakes which will result in the extinction of the human race.

Carmen Mondragon also known as Nahui Ollin, this photo also shares a close resemblence to the Nahui Ollin logo.

“According to Mondragón’s own writings, Nahui Olin is a cosmogonic name that signifies the strength and the power of the movements that emit light, life and force.” The Fiery Spirit Of Carmen Mondragon

Nahui Ollin seek to remain ethical as well as sustainable in the production of their goods, ensuring they stick to Fair Trade and Sweatshop free practices in Mexico.

Their growing family of upcycling partners such as Tootsie, Disney, Hershey’s, pez, and Target has allowed them to create a cottage industry helping to support local artisans. The bags are a stylish alternative to the  handbags made by the big designers, they are ethical, sustainable  and you will be sure to have the only one of it’s kind as each bag is individual.

Design London: Lounge Lover Shoreditch

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

I recently had drinks in Lounge Lover in Shoreditch. After hearing people rave about it for several years I was surprised it was still so popular, as many bars have a relatively short life span. Just a short walk from Brick Lane and Shoreditch High Street, it’s tucked away in an old brick warehouse building on Whitby Street next to the popular fine dining restaurant Les Trois Garcons.

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

Lounge Lover opened after the owners of Les Trois Garcons – Hassan, Michel and Stefan decided to convert a defunct meat packing factory  into a stunning space in 2003. As soon as I walked in I realised why it’s charm and eccentric style was still attracting the fashion crowd after all these years. It’s almost like stepping into the world of Alice and Wonderland, away from the busy high street and cold East End streets.

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

When you step inside, a beautiful maze of hanging plants and draping materials welcomes you in, leading you to flamboyant sofas, red drapes and an abundance of surreal artwork. Antique street lamps line the bar and small wooden carousel horses hang from the ceiling looking over glass tables and plush chairs. The vibrant and colourful decor creates a perfect atmosphere for a night out or a post dinner drink. There is a huge range of exotic cocktails to choose from and if you’re feeling hungry, you can order tasty Japanese inspired tapas.

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

The long main room leads into a succession of themed areas such as the Cage featuring a large swan in its centre, the Dolls House which hosts a large hippos head at its entrance, as well as the Baroque and the Gold Room allowing guests to experience a range of different interiors.

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

The large oriental vases, antique wall hangings and mismatched chandeliers almost give the impression you are in a cave of raided vintage treasures. However the decor works exceptionally well and the colourful lighting adds to the extraordinary feel along with the very fitting electro lounge music.

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

Lounge Lover brings a taste of decadence and lasting style to Shoreditch, with its eclectic decor and delicious cocktails continuing to attract the fashion and celebrity crowd even after all these years.