japanese art, design and culture

Posts from — May 2008

Before I head out for the weekend…

Before I head out for the weekend, I need to get something off my chest. It’s my obsession with coral prints, especially antique-styled. So in an attempt to puke it all out I’m doing a coral print extravaganza.
So here are the prints…

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from left to right: Esper Coral Print ($135), Black Coral Print ($195), Coral Print by Pretre ($75)

And here are the print/motif inspired housewares…

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from left to right: Botanical Coral Silk Twill Pillows ($98), sea life lumbar pillow cover ($39), inhabit coral pillow ($60)


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From left to right: coral chair by Ton Haas, oly coral armchair, hand-printed linen chair ($1,695)


left to right: coral dinner plate set ($36), oversize coral chandelier (unfortunately, no longer available)

…aaah, now I feel much better! Have a happy happy weekend!!

May 9, 2008   Comments Off

I would LOVE to wake up in one of these

These images from Italian architecture magazine Abitare are some of the most terrifying I have ever seen. But I must say that the aesthetic of the magazine is quite beautiful, don’t you think? I found myself staring at these images a long time, partly because of the fear-factor, but also because they were so intriguing.

Click for high-res images.


The bldgblog has a really good write-up on the portaledge from an architectural perspective.

(images courtesy of Abitare)

I think the reason we find ourselves attracted to the portaledge is the same reason that, as kids, we loved the idea of a tree house; a physical extension of your dwelling in a location where normally it could not exist. Of course, the whole side-of-a-mountain thing adds an entirely new level of excitement to it!

(via bldgblog)

May 9, 2008   Comments Off

the photobooth diaries

I share our fascination with the photo booth but I’m not sure why. There’s something very attractive about the concept of inserting money, walking into a booth – which without a doubt feels like you are stepping into a parallel world – and then having a machine take your photograph. The full results aren’t known until the strip of 4-panel photos fall through the slot, which is perhaps part of the magic.

Hillhaven Lodge, by Brett Ratner (the director) is a collection of candid photo booth photos of celebrities that visited the director’s home and stopped to indulge themselves in a few minutes with Ratner’s very own photo booth machine.

But what interests me even more are the artists who have been intrigued by the photo booth, often interpreting it as a component of their art. I’ve started a bit of a collection myself.

Andy Warhol, Photobooth Self-Portrait (courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Andy Warhol is usually the first who comes to mind but I was blown away by this photobooth image of Ansel Adams. Don’t you think the image is so telling of the artist?

Ansel Adams, Photobooth Self-Portrait (courtesy of Smithsonian Photography Initiative)

According to this NYT article, the International Center of Photography archives contains photobooth portraits of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. Both appear with their eyes closed because the surrealists believed that “the dream was the key to the unconscious.” Wow, how I would love to lay my eyes on those!


May 8, 2008   Comments Off

the new umbrella – Nubrella!

nubrella_washingtonp.jpgHas anyone heard of this new design for an umbrella? It’s called a Nubrella. I was reading about it in the Washington Post yesterday and was fascinated. “The Nubrella is worn with a harness, and closes around its user like a clear, private cocoon, guaranteed never to turn inside out.” Will it ever catch on? It could…. but I just don’t think people will want to pay $50 for an umbrella.

(image courtesy of The Washington Post)

(image courtesy of nubrella.com)

May 7, 2008   3 Comments

Blacksheep Redesigns Eastgate Hotel

Interior design firm Blacksheep recently completed their face lift of the Mercure Eastgate Hotel in Oxford. From what I can tell from the images, the results are what you would expect from Blacksheep: elegant and luxurious. But what I really like about their work is that they always manage to find quirky, unorthodox wallpaper that adds a certain edge to their refined style.


eastgatehotel2.jpg(images courtesy of Blacksheep)In their most recent work they opt for this faux-bookshelf wallpaper. I’m not sure where it’s from but it reminded me of the fact that the fabulous Deborah Bowness has some faux-bookshelf wallpaper of her own.



(images courtesy of Deborah Bowness)

May 6, 2008   Comments Off

Ott + Stein Grafikdesign

I highly recommend checking out the retrospective on graphic designers Nicolaus Ott and Bernard Stein, currently going on at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. If you’re not in the neighborhood, you can view some of the work here!




(images courtesy of Staatliche Museen)

May 5, 2008   2 Comments

It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want to!

This image is <gasp> from my post yesterday. But this Ditte Hammerstrom sofa was so so beautiful that I felt it deserved its own post. Hey, I’m allowed!! Happy Friday everyone!!wrinkle02.jpgwrinkle03.jpg wrinkle05.jpgwrinkle06.jpg wrinkle1.jpg(images courtesy of Ditte Hammerstrom)Reminds me a little of Christo’s early works.

May 2, 2008   Comments Off

Sofa-King in love with sofas!

I’ve been collecting images of sofas for a while now and I feel that today is the day to unleash them!! The criteria was, sofas that I LOVE, but would not necessarily place in my room ;-)

(click to enlarge)

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From left to right: Loft by Yonoh, Libri Lounge by Tod Bracher, Luno Sofa by Chris Grattan, High & Low by Studio Room 906, Ovum/Ovo by Vertijet, Tacchini by Pearson Lloyd, Wrinkle by Ditte Hammerstrom.

May 1, 2008   Comments Off