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Thursday 14 September 2017

Bordeaux Chance!

Drinks coasters, like the great pyramids of Giza, or Mayan temples of the Yucatán peninsula, are sign of man's achievement as a species. It's true. Those perfectly formed little squares of slate, acacia or nickel that proudly prop up your Petrus, are the only thing that separate civilised man from the wolves.

This weekend I picked up two shiny Bordeaux coasters that mirror the vintage labels of France's finest appellations. In a beautiful moment of design happenstance, the silver coasters mirror the dimensions of Nambé's elegant Twist coasters; adding a pair of carver coasters to enhance the set civilisation in general.

Friday 8 September 2017

Luxe the Kasbah

Morrocco has long been a 'go to' destination for the well informed, the glamorous, the mysterious and those seeking exotic and luxurious design inspiration. Yves Saint Laurent famously owned the Majorelle Gadrens, and British department store Liberty of London has always been renowned for it's selection of fine [if you have to ask the price you can't afford it] Oriental and Berber rugs.

Inevitable therefore is Design Trawler's first trip to Morocco - to capture the richness that this unique culture presents. With its North African tradition and French influences, craft and effortless style is to be expected. Of particular interest is how these traditional aesthetics remain relevant in today's top-tier Moroccan environments... and how exporting this back to London might be appropriate. The first challenge therefore is finding a top tier Moroccan environment.

Friday 1 September 2017

Grand Hotel Barcelona

There is no getting away from the fact that AirBNB is hammering a nail in the hotel industry's coffin. For far too long, hotels have had it easy; and especially so when it comes to design. Identikit decor, standardised room layouts, and soulless artwork have had Design Trawler often wondering if he's waking up in Beijing or Bermuda. With an almost Darwinian poetry, those hotels that fail to up their design game will die; to be outlived by only the strongest of species. 

Nowhere is this more true than Barcelona. Design Trawler is a big fan of the sail-shaped W Hotel perched at the top of the harbour, and the equally eponymous Hotel Arts situated next to Frank Gehry's 1992 Peix sculpture. But it's the volume and quality of the listings on AirBNB in the city that these two iconic hotels have to compete with. From modern penthouses, to luxury yachts, beaux arts apartments and classical townhouses; all display a design dexterity that's quite remarkable. 

Design Trawler chose to check in to an architect renovated, 1888 apartment in the heart of the city's Raval district to find out why the Barcelonés are on top of their design game, and what hotels could learn...

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