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Friday, 30 May 2014

Blue Bentleys & Herringbone Bolsters


I have fond memories of being carted off to jumble sales at the Great Barn in Ruislip as a child. Rummaging through crates of bric-à-brac, like a young Indiana Jones to chance upon a... well, I haven't the foggiest what I ever chanced upon, as nothing in my collection hails from the 700 year old cow-shed. But the seed, or rather feed, was sewn nonetheless.

Enjoyable as sifting through curios at the Place du Jeu de Balle today may be, the experience is, like those early childhood adventures, largely folly and seldom fruitful. Unlike the Spring Clean event held to support charity Kids Company...

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Furniture as Metaphor - The Grand Piano


Almost four years ago I coined the term 'furniture as metaphor' in reference to a black lacquer sideboard that abstractly referenced an elegant upright piano. The point being that in an environment where a piano wouldn't look out of place, referencing it with an object made from similar materials is a clever visual trick.

Having taken delivery of a smart new dining table for Ultraloft, the same phenomenon appears to have materialised. This time in the form of a much larger, grand piano. A quick glance at said altar, with it's deep and sweeping plateau provides a remarkable likeness to a Steinway's rear end. That, or I'm inadvertently revealing a Freudian fixation with lacquer, ivory and tailcoats.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Trawler to Raise $25,000 for Flying Residence


Ben Schlappig is a Trawler that puts the number of miles undertaken by even Design Trawler to shame; using airmiles, he's reviewed pretty much every first class airline offering in the world through his website One Mile at a Time. But this Sunday, Etihad announced a game changer amongst first class products. A three room flying apartment. 'The Residence' features a private en-suite with shower, double bedroom and lounge for two with a dedicated Savoy trained personal butler.

The design of looks promising; contemporary yet authentic to the Emirati aesthetic. It uses modern geometric pattern, a subtle yet masculine pallet and Poltrona Frau upholstered leather. At more than twice the price of Concorde, the $20,000 one way trip is unlikely to get a review any time soon however.

Because of this [and because Design Trawler isn't headed to Abu Dhabi in the near future], Ben is attempting to raise the funds needed for a commercial ticket on crowd funding website Kickstarter. From one Trawler to another, credit where it's due Ben! You've got my backing and I look forward to the full review soon. Support Ben's campaign here.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Fire in the Hole!


I spotted this smart alternative to a grand fireplace at this year's Maison in Paris. When retrofitting a gigantic marshmallow-toaster isn't appropriate and integrated bioethanol flames too, are difficult, a simple hole in the wall can replicate a cozy corner.

An inset needs only to be candle deep, painted black and voilà. Design as metaphor strikes again. The eye sees a hole in the wall filled with fire, the brain thinks 'fireplace' and you can invest the money you've saved in £9,000 toasting forks for your evening nibbles.

How to Steal a Damien Hirst


Not content with only one Damien Hirst in the Ultraloft, Design Trawler set out to acquire a slightly larger masterpiece by the enfant terrible of the contemporary art world. Here's how he did it.

The artwork in question is a limited edition butterfly design on silk released by Damien Hirst in late 2013. A combination of delicate butterfly wings with four skulls arranged in a kaleidoscope of intricate pattern. Its location? Mayfair, naturally - The flagship Alexander McQueen boutique on London's Old Bond Street. Accomplices? five in total, starting with the sales assistant...

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