Friday, April 13, 2012

Salone Del Mobile

by Jenny Guggenheim

The studio is closing up shop for about 2 weeks while we're out scouting the latest and greatest in Milan, Italy.  The Salone del Mobile takes place April 17th through the 22nd, and we'll be there for every minute of the design action.  Shoes don't fail me now!  

Following the fair, we're headed for 3 days of exploring the wonders of Marrakech.  We're excited to be staying in the heart of the medina and learning more about the Moroccan culture.  I'm anticipating a lot of cous cous intake and color and texture overload.  We're on a special mission to bring back decorative items for a new bedroom project we signed this week.

We're wrapping up our trip in Barcelona, where we'll meet friends in town for a wedding and introduce ourselves to Gaudi.  Although Paella is better known in Spain's southern region, I'm betting we will be able to get our hands on the dish if we know where to look.  

I'll be updating you all on our finds in Milan throughout the trip and intermittently sharing photos via Facebook as we find hotspots.

We have big news to share with you all upon our return.  Until then...


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hunt and Gather: Heath Ceramics

By Amanda Rickenbach

Heath Ceramics has been handcrafting ceramic tableware that is beautiful, simple and enduring since 1948. Worldwide, Heath's limited production ceramics are treasured for their timeless beauty and functional everyday use.

Heath Ceramics homeware collections allows you to decorate living spaces that are both contemporary and timeless. On their website they describe their tile as "perfectly imperfect" which resonates strongly with me because, in my opinion, "imperfections" bring personality and character to a space. This isn't to say that you will receive chipped tiles, it simply means that each piece has it's own organic and beautiful shape that perfectly compliments other pieces in the collection.

Heath's iconic, mid-century aesthetic extends from intimate home environments, to restaurants, to large-scale public installations. Their traditional hand-glazing techniques "produce a ceramic tile with which endless creative possibilities can be explored."

I've admired Heath's ceramic house numbers for some time now. Pictured above is a celebrated Eames tile; but they also combine clay, kilns and craft with numerical interpretation of Richard Neutra's design legacy. They marry simple, geometric forms and rich glazes in classic, beautiful colors.

All photo's from Heath Ceramics website.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Concrete Fireplaces

By Amanda Rickenbach & Jenny Guggenheim

We've seen an uptick in requests for concrete used as a finish material-  and for good reason.  When done right, it has a uniquely warm, earthy quality while remaining fresh and modern in contemporary residences.  We particularly love it's use around the hearth:  Low maintenance, trend-proof, and adaptable.

The ones featured above are in ultra modern spaces - but imagine if you brought in some color, interesting textiles, and artwork? Concrete fireplaces are versatile because they are so simplistic. Would you put one in your home?

Concrete work should be done by a skilled professional-  getting that smooth as butter surface is no easy feat!  It can be an investment to sculpt a beautiful hearth, but the results are lasting and complimentary to a variety of architectural styles.

photos from top left: design sponge remodelista, Daniel Hertzell, Renaud De Poorter and Femke HoldrinetMessana O'Rorke's

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bio Top Natural Pools

By Amanda Rickenbach

I am the definition of a water person, so these pools/ponds rock my world. Although water is awesome, who likes mucky ponds where bugs breed and slimy algae attacks you every opportunity it gets? Or pools so full of creepy chemicals your skin smells and your hair turns green? These pools by Bio-Top are infestation and chemical free!

There is a plant portion, or regeneration zone, that is separated from the swimming area by the wall seen a few inches below the water’s surface. The regeneration zone can be along the perimeter of a natural pool, or a pond unto itself but connected to the swimming area. 

The pools have skimmers and pumps that circulate the water through the regeneration zone and back into the swimming area. The aquatic plants filter out contaminants and use nutrients from the water as food which helps prevent algae. Then rocks, such as granite river rock or haydite, to which friendly bacteria attach, act as biological filters.

So you can feel clean, safe, and au naturel in these wonderful pools.