When we get some spare time we like to read interior magazines, trawl through pinterest and read blogs from our favourite interior bloggers. We receive millions (slight exaggeration) of newsletters a day showcasing new products, design and styles. It’s both exciting and intriguing to watch the world of design move at such a fast pace alongside fashion and technology. Creatives diving head first into projects, exploring new concepts and ideas to provide us with new collections almost seasonally.
Hans and Florence Knoll
More often then not the inspiration is drawn from cultural and geographical influences as well as delving into past movements and design that already exists. People realise the value that previous designs hold, exploring a vast catalogue of ideas that ‘made it’, so to speak or didn’t come to fruition perhaps because of the technology available at the time, materials or a simple glitch in the design, frees up a world of unexplored territory. Utilising designs and bringing them into them into a modern day setting and seeing that the design still holds true to its values of modernity is what allows us to refer to key pieces and designers as ‘iconic’ and timeless’. Such values are attributed to many of the designs and designers from our brand-partners, Knoll, Fritz Hansen, Vitra & Cassina.
The latest design fad or craze is always built on temporary appeal, not longevity and timelessness such as Pantone’s colour of the year. We get told that the colour of the year is orange, and we think great! I shall paint my bathroom orange, we paint our bathroom orange, a year later they announce, the colour of the year is yellow and you still have an orange bathroom. Suggesting to someone that you can buy furniture now, that was designed in the 60’s and is still be manufactured exactly to it’s original license and it would look perfectly at home in your own is apparently quite bemusing to some. That’s what makes midcentury design so special. It never loses its value, both economically and emotionally.
On this premise, we did some research to find out whom and where midcentury design is still relevant. Luckily for us we didn’t have to look that far, as we stumbled on this incredible 1930’s home, almost untouched since it’s construction on The Modern House right up the road from our showroom in NW3. Designed by Austrian-German architect Hermann Zweigenthal, a friend and colleague of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, in 1938 this incredible property came into existence. Left undisturbed, it’s astonishing to see midcentury design look so, well, cool! The warmth of the wood tones all over the home and the featured classics such as the leather egg chair designer by Arne Jacobsen in 1958, the original Royal Storage System for which DK3 now hold the license in the upstairs bedroom, the gold PH Pendant by Poul Henningsen also designed in 1958 are all still classic pieces used today. Chevron flooring seen throughout the homes living space has made a comeback in design also within recent few months. Showing how poignant and influential midcentury design is in the 21st century still. See if you can spot them in the photos of the home below.
Flicking through various other luxury properties we can see other iconic designs such as Bertoia chairs for Knoll, Noguchi coffee tables, Wishbone chairs disseminated over the interiors of these wonderful homes in London. Proving yet again, the importance of investing in timeless quality pieces and how they will help your home stand the test of time. If they can last almost a century, I find it hard to believe we would ever see the back of these wonderful and whimsical pieces.
If you’d like some help choosing and deciding on which pieces to invest in your home, or for styling advice, contact NW3 Interiors.
We went to view this incredible project in Beaconsfield at the beginning of the year to take a look around. Undoubtably it needed some NW3 Interiors love…the lack lustre and outdated decor made the place seem cramped, dark and uninviting. Often when we have clients with a large property they can often be overwhelmed by how to use a space or design the layout, which results in rooms not being used to their full potential or having loads of items in to compensate for the large space. Our main objective was to create a warm and inviting experience for family and guests, providing relevant materials, colour schemes, practical elements and a new layout to accommodate needs and wants of the client. Take a look for yourself and see the before and after photos of our clients new home.
If you’ve ever been to Copenhagen you’ll know what an incredible city it is. The Danish have such a minimal approach to everything, lifestyle, food and design. In fact the Danish are renowned for their design and are home to some of the biggest names in the interiors world, providing us with timeless iconic pieces from the likes of Hans Wegner, Jens Risom and Verner Panton. Before going to Copenhagen we did our research to make sure we utilised our time efficiently from a design point of view. We were sure to book a few restaurants and map out a route that meant we would intersect with interesting and inspirational interiors along the way whilst also giving us the flexibility to stumble on the ones that didn’t pop up on the first few pages of our google search…(okay…just the first). Luckily for you we’re prepared to divulge the information that google won’t and give you an insight into cool places to visit, shop and eat, so enjoy sharing our experience of 48 hours in Copenhagen.
Our first venture was to further broaden our knowledge of Danish design. So we took a trip to the not so local DK3 factory to see one of our favourite suppliers at work. We arrived at the factory after a lovely seaside lunch to a small, but impressive workshop. Not the usual sparkly, metal jungle you’re used to seeing these days. Instead crafters and skilled professionals at work, utilising god’s greatest gift…their own hands. Cutting, shaping, sculpting and creating each individual piece as per the order of the client, scribbled out, on a small piece of paper, of course. The tangibility and realness of it all reminded us of how far removed you can be from an entire process from conception to completion and it was refreshing to see that behind the scenes are old school methods and real people. It is obvious that every employee is a dedicated individual to the ethos of the company, committed to providing the highest finish and standard they can.
The DK3 royal storage system
Walking through the workshop, we found out more information about the history behind the designs, how they carry the brands ethos and the legacy that each unique piece brings in to the 21st century. The Tree Top table designed by DK3’s founder, Jacob Pledjrup is remarkable from a design perspective, formed of one giant slice from a tree it creates a stunningly seamless piece. DK3’s most notorious piece, the ‘Royal System’ carries a legacy of the world’s first wall- mounted shelving system from the 1948 furniture designer Poul Cadovius. Gaining rights to such a momentous design we’re sure weighed a heavy responsibility on Jacob’s shoulders. A risk that has ultimately bolted DK3 into the forefront of the design world and paid proud tribute to Cadovius. We couldn’t help but fall more and more in love with DK3 as every minute passed.
Our stay at Alexandra Hotel in the city centre was an experience we were not fully prepared for! Filled with carefully curated Danish Retro design, the hotel’s 100-year-old walls are dressed in modern Danish art and staying in any of unique rooms is almost like immersing yourself in a 60’s design classics museum or knocking your head and waking up in a time when your grandma rocked a perm and coloured tights. A surreal experience to say the least, each room furnished to recognise an iconic Danish designer provided an insight into just how influential their designs were and still are to this very day. Not to mention that the hotel also implemented DK3 furniture – a sure way to win us over and remind us that iconic design and timeless design goes hand in hand. The relaxed atmosphere was appreciated in the middle of the busy city centre, providing 60’s styled chill zones and most importantly mentioning… an honesty bar. It reignited our passion for 60’s design and we were able to take away inspiration to bring home to our clients in London.
Manon Les Suites
If hotel Alexandra isn’t for you, then we definitely suggest staying at this insane boutique hotel also located in the city centre (about a 5 minute walk from Hotel Alexandra). Even if you don’t stay, then you can freely pop in to take a look at the breathtaking interiors, grab a drink by the pool or head to the terrace bar for a cocktail and some lunch! The hotel is called Manon Les Suites and is discretely hidden down a main road into central Copenhagen. You would have no idea that this incredible place exists let alone that it holds a hotel compromised of a number of rooms that centre around this insane lounge & pool area. With fresh smoothies and alcoholic drinks on tap complimented by a selection of snacks and vibey music there’s no way better to spend a late afternoon. Either that or head to the roof bar and terrace when the sun is out for an escape from the busy city.
Dinner was a spectacular treat, we had already been pre-warned that the Danish food was expected to be as minimal and interesting as their design and we were not dissapointed. With a fresh starter of raw vegetables in a tagine, which came both as a surprise and for free alongside an order of their delicious homemade gin & tonic (which bears absolutely no resemblance to a gin & tonic) we were set.
All the excitement of the day and the 5am start was taking it’s toll but the elegant and whimsical interiors were a perfect end to the day. A warm and inviting ambience was created by the soft woods, extensive selection of candle lights and the charming green house filled with fresh hanging plants.Presented with a menu of fresh and healthy options we ordered the fresh grilled beef tenderloin with smoked marrow and tarragon sauce and the fried pork breast with kale and apple salad to share. The food was exceptional and was presented beautifully. So much so that we couldn’t help ourselves but to order dessert opting for the delectable strawberry sorbet with buttermilk & vanilla cream, verbena & caramelized white chocolate.
We also visited Pilestraed which is the ‘cooler’ street in Copenhagen and will save you aimlessly walking around the same shops we have riddled in the streets London H&M, Zara etc etc. Instead this street compiles of a collective of individual and unique Danish shops, interiors, clothing and accessories you won’t find elsewhere. A few streets adjacent you will find some of the bigger names in design, Gubi & Hay were one’s we decided to pay a visit to! Gubi is without a doubt a good place to shop for interiors, their style is muted, iconic and oozes with elegance, but in a cool way. Gubi chair’s are everywhere and we particularly enjoyed this Japanese-esque fabric we spotted in the showroom!
Overall Copenhagen was a massive success and we can’t wait to share everything with you. If you visit any of the places we’ve recommend let us know in the comments below!
Introducing the new sofa system collection made in Italy by Knoll, designed by Piero Lissoni. It’s called ‘Avio’. A design masterpiece which combines luxury and comfort with timeless design and hand-finished upholstery.
Founded in 1938, Knoll has been recognized internationally for creating workplace and residential furnishings driven by design philosophy that modern furniture should complement architectural space, not compete with it. Knoll follows a “Modern Always” ideology because modern always works. The design firm produces furniture designed by some of the world’s most iconic furniture designers of not just the 50’s like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Harry Bertoia, Florence Knoll (Florence Schust), Frank Gehry, Maya Lin and Eero Saarinen but also the pioneers of the modern design era.
Avio reflects Lissoni’s minimalistic design style approach that pivots on both elegance and comfort. The sofa design, based on extensive aesthetic research, enhances and redefines the use of any type of space in residential and contract environments. The rotund volume of the seats along with the modular and linear framework of the design complements a variety of settings, showcasing the functional and proportional poise of the sofa system.
With a strong steel beam load-bearing structure, the seats, back and the table appear to be floating on an elegantly designed sleek framework. This sofa system remoulds the idea of the traditional upholstered furniture to versatile configurations of benches, sofas for two or three people, a chaise longue and table tops including surprising corner compositions.
Avio’s seats provide great comfort with the supreme padding. The aesthetics can be further enhanced by adding decorative throw cushions. Knoll’s extensive collection of textile, provides a wide range of upholstery options to cater to various needs to accommodate the diversity of the users. The sofa system along with the marble side table, available in some of the world’s most exclusive types of marble including natural tones of black, grey and green catalyses the overall luxury appeal.
In all, Avio sofa system collection offers plump cushioning, light structure, sleek & strong framework, modern design, contemporary finish, timeless beauty, which is ideal for everything a comfortable and luxurious sofa is supposed to offer: for resting, conversing, reading, listening to music, sleeping, watching a film…
This Knoll furniture comes with an etched signature for authenticity and in the near future the sofa system will be enhanced by new elements to gradually expand its functional range and versatility.
The sofa color scheme that is suggested by Carly Madhvani to our client who owns a home from Grand Designs. The chunky Knoll fabric in tones of blue and black for the sofa looks fabulous and is practical, combining with a grey soft fabric for the cushions allows you to rest on luxury.
The beauty of the sofa is further enhanced by the new marble called Statuarietto. The Italian marble has a salty grey and white tones.
Carly Madhvani is an authentic Knoll dealer. To buy the iconic Knoll furniture, visit our NW3 Interiors showroom in Hampstead or ask for brochure you can contact us here.
Wherever I go in the world, I am always looking to surround myself with beautiful scenery. The outdoors can be a wonderful inspiration for the indoors and can trigger creativity. Whilst on holiday I usually get so excited by these inspirations that I find myself itching to get home to share all of my new knowledge and design ideas with colleagues and clients.
Drawing inspiration from around the world allows for truly inspiring and interesting homes. My most recent holiday to Japan was one of the most incredible
experiences not only because of the interiors but because every single aspect of the Japanese culture is not what I had anticipated at all. Being blown away by food, manners, societal values, museums, sculptures, gardens, the soft blues and whites of Mount Fuji complimented by the blush pinks of the blooming cherry blossom. The picturesque and decadent views that had my eager to get home and start designing again! Nothing compares to beautiful scenery to get your creative juices flowing.
The Japanese interiors were just as astonishing as the indoors. Their ability to create sleek minimal spaces appear warm and inviting is a trick only a master designer can achieve. Modernism is still a thriving era, utilising concretes, whites and straight lines to create a modern look – however this is usually tricky to adhere to in a family environment as minimalistic interiors and materials can be quite cold and impractical.
Personally I think Japanese designers have solved this issue. They’ve created wonderful, liveable spaces that are slick and super cosy by incorporating warm natural elements like wood into their spaces and a key element, lighting. Without the ambience created by the warm glow given off by the cleverly placed lighting, these interiors could have been perceived in an entirely different way. The use of dark materials and concrete and even the darker woods could have left these spaces appearing bland and eerie. This is when we remember why lighting is so important!
The prominent use of straight lines is broken up by utilising organic shapes in intricate details of the design. Such as in the prints and patterns of the woodwork, this incredible arm chair and the rounded ceiling in my hotel!
What I found remarkable was, whilst being totally lost in a world I was sure bared no resemblance to anything back home, I found comfort like a familiar friend. In my hotel that was buried in a mountain, I noticed had decorated the outdoors with a handful of Bertoia chairs! It was nice to know they evidently shared my love of Knoll furniture!
Taking inspiration globally to bring home to my clients is one of my greatest passions, so you can be sure I’ll be implementing these influences in upcoming projects so make sure you follow us on social media to stay up to date.