Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Ercol Originals in black

Although I suspect it could be a fake, I still count myself very lucky to own something that looks a lot like a vintage Ercol daybed, and am a huge fan of this UK company's other classic pieces. So I'm particularly thrilled to see that not only has Ercol re-released some of their 1950's Originals in recent years, they've also done some reinvention, producing them in a gorgeous new matt black finish.

And as if that wasn't enough gorgeousness, Ercol also has produced a special edition of the Love Seat in Ercol blue, with the ash emerging from a twilight fade. Just beautiful.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Circles in the sand

Many thanks to our Joburg bureau chief, Kerstin Eser for today's post.

Ceramicist Loren Kaplan was previously in partnership with renowned local potter Anthony Shapiro, who is best known for his minimalist tableware in soft celadon glazes. Having since embarked on a solo career, Loren’s flair for embellishment has come to the fore in the exquisite patterns she applies to her light diffusers, lamp shades, tealight holders and vessels of various sizes.

Inspired by sand patterns, her latest collection is once again beautifully adorned with her intricately detailed, handmade markings. She has obviously found her voice and a singular one at that.

See more of Loren Kaplan's recent work at Amoeba Concepts.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Happy Holidays!

From everyone here at ELLE DECORATION, we wish you a joyful Festive Season, with the help of this adorable seasonal card from Dutch Door Letterpress! Many thanks to all our readers for helping to grow our blog so wonderfully this year!

We'll be back again, blogging for all we're worth, on Monday 29 December.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Bed head

It's the holidays, and time to relax! Our design assistant at the ELLE DECORATION offices, Amy Reid, must have been planning how to spend her time off when she put together this post all about... beds!

Looking to burst the four-poster paradigm and leave sleigh beds in the snow? Well, finding an attractive variation on the traditional rectangle is not that simple, but rest easy knowing that I've hunted down a few viable alternatives. With a focus on nature and, of course, relaxation, dreams in these beds are bound to be sweet.

Waking up after a night in this womb-like bed from LOMME could well feel like a re-birth. LOMME stands forLight Over Matter Mind Evolution, and incorporates light, sound and massage therapies in its designs.

This romantic “nest” by Shawn Lovell invites the outside realm into your bedroom, creating a magical suspension of disbelief.

Cross a hammock with a Sealy Posturpedic, and what do you get? It's the Gazebo Floating Bed by John Huff, that’s what! I wonder if it comes complete with a gorgeous view?

Daybeds urge afternoon slumbers and lazy, dozy siestas. The Salome Daybed is one of many organic options available from the Lifeshop Collection.

Imagine a rocking chair that you would allow you to nod off comfortably. Get your own Private Cloud, and you'll be sleeping on Cloud Nine for sure!

Happy siesta, everyone!

(posted by Amy Reid)

Monday, 22 December 2008

A is for Anglepoise

This set of alphabet mugs shows the letter on one side, and a picture on the other. So A is for Anglepoise, and T is for... well, it's for Tea, of course! Get the whole set at Pedlars.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Issue 58: Down by the Water

Doesn't an "Escape" issue make perfect sense at this time of year? I can imagine in utter clarity the feeling of just dropping everything to hop on a Cessna taking me away from it all...

And where better to go than the Xaranna tented camp in Botswana's Okavango Delta? Here, you can relax in luxury during the heat of the day, and when things cool down, there are game drives and boat trips on the delta.

I haven't been there (yet!), but listen to what our travel writer, Louise McCann has to say about it:

"The sala, perched on the water's edge is, for me, theheart of the heart of this place. It's where I feel completely undisturbed and closely acquainted with the god of small things that presides over the wetlands. There is big game: two lazy hippos wallow in the waterway outside my tent and wake me in the depths of the night with their breathing and snorting: giraffes saunter past at sunset; and I spot elephants plucking berries from tall trees on nearby islands."

Hip City Guide is live!

We've had nasty tetchy tech stuff all week, but at last our Hip City Guide is live and we're loving it!

In the sidebar, you'll see links to the Guide, and these will be up all year long, thanks to our sponsors, Brutal Fruit. So whenever you're heading for Durbs, Pretoria, Joburg or Cape Town (or even if you live there already), all the news on South Africa's hottest city spots is just a click away.

If you have Flash, you can see a zooty animated version of the Guide, otherwise there's a good old PDF to view too. Just click the links in the sidebar.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Issue 58: Lodge Scarborough

So, we're all starting to get into the holiday mood, but sometimes, travelling to a holiday destination can be the most stressful part of all. That's why I rather fancy the idea of getting away, and I mean really getting away, but only having to travel 35 minutes out of Cape Town!

Our story about ZenSA Lodge on pages 94 - 99 show the gloriously renovated spaces of this Scarborough guesthouse, owned and run by two energetic young Belgians. Just looking at these clear and stylish rooms is enough to get me to start winding down, and I hope they do the same for you.
Hmm. I wonder if they have space for a last-minute booking...

Photographs: Philippe Vanderpoorten

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Issue 59: The Milky Way

With Cape Town temperatures way up in the late 20s today, we're certainly not expecting a white christmas this year. But that doesn't stop our Escape issue from having 12 gloriously pale pages, celebrating the possibilities of white-on-white.

We're so used to seeing perfect pics in magazines, and it's easy to forget how much hard work goes into getting them looking so good. A few months ago, I happened to stumble upon our stylist Tracy Lynch (above) in the middle of her Milky Way shoot, so I took a couple of behind-the-scenes snaps to give our blog readers an exclusive peek behind the scenes:

Clustered around the edges of the studio are hopeful props waiting in the wings, crossing fingers that they'll be included in the final shoot...

Need more white? Easy, just add baby powder!

Want to have some fun with your copy of Issue 58? Why not try to spot how many of the props I've snapped here actually did make it into the shoot!

Production on Milky Way: Tracy Lynch and Yelda Bayraktar
Photographs: Mark Williams and Justin Patrick

Monday, 15 December 2008

Issue 58: Monkeybiz

The brand new Escape issue shows pics of the seaside home of ceramicist Barbara Jackson, founder of the amazing beading company Monkeybiz. I don't have any extra pics of Barbara's home to share, but thought it might be nice to share some of what Monkeybiz does.
Monkeybiz is a non-profit organisation in Cape Town, and it supports over 450 women and their families – many of whom are HIV positive. By creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind beaded art pieces, the women who work for Monkeybiz have found a sustainable way to support themselves and their families.

Visit the Monkeybiz website to find out more, take a look at their catalogue, and shop online.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Hip City Guide

There's a brand new issue of ELLE DECORATION on the shelves, which is always exciting news. But there's more excitement this time, because along with the Escape issue, you get your very own free copy of the Hip City Guide.

So, whether you like shopping, or lunching, or partying or relaxing, you can get the skinny on the hottest spots in the cool cities of Durban, Cape Town, Joburg and Pretoria, just by reading the Hip City Guide.

Soon you'll be able to click on the icon in the sidebar (bear with our internet glitches today), and read the Hip City Guide online. It's going to stay there all year, so you can keep returning for updates too.

Right, I'm off for the weekend now, with my Hip City Guide firmly in my back pocket!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Stack 'em up

Such nice things are to be found at UK store, Pedlars. I'm totally coveting these Japanese maple stacking beakers, and the wooden platters to match.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Report from NYC: Pomme

I just can't help being drawn to the whimsy, colour and craft of the retro kids' toys, and the inspired decor on sale at Pomme, an airy, light-filled space in an old brick building on Washington Street in Dumbo.

Photo by V. Jane Windsor

This hand-screened linen pillow, available from Pomme, is by the Brooklyn-based duo Atsuyo et Akiko, who make possibly the most imaginative, chic things for children this side of the Atlantic.

The Japanese duo incorporates vintage, handmade elements into their very contemporary clothing, home accessories and jewellery. Case in point: this very dear tote bag, embellished with a pearlescent ribbon.

Even the most humble of toys get a stylish, minimalist makeover with these house blocks made from Japanese ash and this bowling set, both of which come packed in a burlap sack.

Imported from Europe, this classic rocker in birch plywood has been in production for over 50 years.

This glowing bunny nightlight will watch over your bundle of sleeping joy.

And if you think all that was good, I must tell you I've been saving the best for last. In my eye, neutrals have their place - but only alongside wild pops of cherry red, fuchsia and hot pink, like these play blankets in delicate Chinese fabrics.

With a colour palette like this, and a collection of objects from all over the map, it's no wonder that Pomme is one of my favorite stores in all of NYC.

Tuesday, 09 December 2008

Sarah Illenberger

Sarah Illenberger is a Berlin-based... um, actually, I'm not sure what to call her. Is she an artist, stylist, illustrator, conceptualiser...? She doesn't fit her work into any of these categories herself, and her meticulous handwork, mostly using mundane materials, is created for a wide range of editorial and commercial clients.

In a week of work insanity, the likes of which I've never seen, I enjoyed a much-needed still point as I sifted through Sara Illenberger's vast portfolio, endlessly delighted by the clever and diverse constructions and ideas recorded there. So if you're experiencing end-of-year madness, take some time out to appreciate her detailed, humorous and meticulous body of work.

via Emma's DesignBlogg

Monday, 08 December 2008

A pattern tale

Wallpaper is something that catches my eye over and over again, and consequently gets featured on this blog quite out of proportion with other decorative flourishes. And here we go again!

This time, it's a lovely design called Topo Azul from Pattern Tales, designed by Barcelona based artist, Ana Montiel.

Close up, it looks to me like an intricate design of the type one might doodle with a blue ballpoint during a lecture. I don't know how Ana went about designing this pattern, but I love the idea of an idle doodle like this covering an entire wall, don't you?

Visit the Pattern Tales website to see more lovely wallpapers and prints, all printed on premium non-woven Finnish paper.