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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Big Cheers for Quiet Design

Somebody once told me "if the Death Star had a tube station, it'd be Westminster"; and anyone who has passed through the terminus will know this holds true. It's a monolithic concrete bunker with cantilevered steel beams, industrial uplighters and scissored escalators. Subtle it is not.

In this respect, if the Death Star needed a vacuum cleaner, it'd be spoilt for choice. Almost every bagless cyclone machine on the market seems to have several dozen conical protrusions and articulated joints, with flashes of patronising neon colours around every gasket, bolt and wheel nut.

We're not designing Lloyds of London here. Vacuum cleaners should be more like the well turned out domestic staff that use them; unobtrusive, quiet and reliable. It's why I was drawn to the top of the range Mach Zen 2 by British firm Vax.

Friday, 18 March 2016

If Laura Ashley did Industrial Chic

As Ultraloft renovations get underway, stripping back unbearably dull kitchen tiles revealed the most remarkable surface. Artifacts of the construction and previous tiles create a bohemian patchwork of the most interesting colourway. Warm and peachy plaster, cool duck-egg blue and textured grouts in taupe and white. It looks masterful paired with the smooth carrara marble workstops specified for the design.

In a moment of crazed inspiration, instructing the tiler to down tools and get a protective clear glass splashback to protect the sacred discovery would seem like a smart idea. If Laura Ashley did 'reproduction warehouse chic' it would probably look like this [and cost more than said marble]. Alas however, the effect might be lost on those who don't appreciate nonchalant chic.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Prague Invaded by Italy, Brother & Duck

Design Trawler's predicted 'revolution of pattern' is gaining momentum. Advancing north from Italy and in to Prague's Vinohradsky Pavilion are these intoxicating graphical tiles. Patricia Urquiola uses an innovative digital on cement technique for Mutina that torpedoes the plain and austere.

Paired with cool greys, green foliage and the frosted glass doors, pictured, Brother & Duck strike a contemporary yet classic balance for the Pavilion. At over €140 a meter, nobody said being at the cutting edge of design is cheap, but similar styles are already filtering through to clued-in retailers in the UK.
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