Christmas 2013: shop window trends in Milan

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

De Padova 

At Christmas, Milan’s window displays are even more stunning than usually. This year, three trends emerged from the decked-out windows of the city's most stylish streets, such as Via Montenapoleone and Corso Venezia.

India-inspired homewares by Meera Lee Patel

Artist Meera Lee Patel creates illustrative homewares and stationery inspired by her native India, quiet stories and the mysteries of nature.

Portrait 360 by Gianluca Traina

Monday, 30 December 2013

Inspired by the warp and weft of fabric construction, Gianluca Traina printed a series of 3D portraits onto woven paper. Standard portraiture is transformed into a disjointed experience, causing us to question our assumptions: eyes and ears move to the back or bottom of the head, while noses protrude out of hair.

Objets Ostentatoire by Mathieu Frossard

Friday, 27 December 2013

Mathieu Frossard's vessel series, Objets Ostentatoire, explores the build-up of material to create layers of colour and texture. In line with our spring/summer 2014 macro trend, Neo Geo, the crafted objects resemble artefacts unearthed by future archaeologists.

Happy Holidays from Homebuildlife

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all our readers!

Homebuildlife subscribers can see all our Christmas and Holiday reports, including our photo file of London's best festive lights - by clicking here. For more festive inspiration, you can also browse all of our Christmas-related blog posts.

Chic & Basic Mayerling hotel, Madrid

Part of the Chic & Basic family, the Mayerling hotel lives up to its name by providing minimalistic accommodation in the heart of Madrid.

The Natural Home by Hans Blomquist

Written by Swedish stylist Hans Blomquist with photos by Debi Treloar, The Natural Home guides readers through different ways to bring nature inside, with sections such as Still Life, Texture, Colour, and Plants and Flowers. A final section called Homes presents in-depth case studies of houses and apartments that epitomise the natural ideal.

Homebuildlife subscribers can explore natural interiors more in our trend report, Natural Structures & Materials.

Colour Capturing Cube by SwatchMate

Monday, 23 December 2013

SwatchMate has created a handheld device that is able to capture an exact colour. Users place the Cube on any coloured surface, where it pairs up with the Bluetooth on a smartphone and records the colour directly into Photoshop. Up to 20 colours can also be stored on the smartphone.

Italian food curated by 4COSE

Created by artists Cullinan Richards and Andrea Sassi of Dispari & Dispari Project, 4COSE sells a curated selection of the highest quality produce from Italy.

Four different products are available each month, chosen by Andrea, with the first exhibition showcasing salami and parmesan cheese from Reggio Emilia, Andrea's home town, and olive oil and pasta.

Illustrative children's rugs by Zugs

London-based children's rugs company Zugs will launch its first collection in March 2014. Made using 100% pure wool pile, each rug features a colourful character - there are eight designs in the range.

Handcrafted boats by Dorset's Boat Building Academy

Friday, 20 December 2013

Handcrafted boats constructed by Dorset’s Boat Building Academy are launched into the English Channel.

Traditional artisan construction methods and wood inlay techniques are used to introduce exquisite detailing and pattern. Paddles are made with a combination of wood varieties, including Sitka Spruce, Yellow Cedar, Mahogany, Black Walnut and Douglas Fir.

Pierre Frey x Vincent Darré: Surrealism on fabric

Lasso by Vincent Darré for Pierre Frey
French interior designer Vincent Darré has created a capsule collection for historic textile company Pierre Frey, in line with his detailed, whimsical style. Each of the six patterns developed, three of which were based on designs from Pierre Frey's extensive archives, are printed on cotton, with a distinct mid-century aesthetic.

Scented Christmas lamp by Artemide

Vico Magistretti's classic 1960s Dalù lamp has been relaunched in hundreds of versions over the last ten years. This Christmas, it comes glittered and scented. It is available in four fragrances: cinnamon to boost energy levels, jasmine to stimulate creativity, lavender to help relaxation and eucalyptus to encourage harmony.

Homebuildlife subscribers can read more on innovations in scented projects here.

Birdbnb: Airbnb's 50 most interesting homes turned into birdhouses

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Restored '20s Sheep Wagon, Casper, Wyoming

Holiday rentals website Airbnb commissioned artists to recreate 50 of the most unusual properties on its site as birdhouses for its new campaign, Birdbnb.

Ceramic theatres for contemporary art: Paolo Polloniato at Segno Italiano

Segno Italiano, the company that endorses high-quality Italian artisan products internationally, is currently staging an exhibition of ceramic works by Paolo Polloniato at its Milanese showroom (Via Palermo, 8).

Called Theatres Of The Contemporary Art, the show tells the story of our time through the artisanal technique of ceramics - and is an example of the trend towards elevated storage that emerged at Maison & Objet this season.

Chocolate Christmas tree by Alain Ducasse

Alain Ducasse has collaborated with graphic designer Pierre Tachon on a chocolate Christmas tree made up of discs studded with nuts and candied fruit.

Christmas pop-up shop: Clippings x Designjunction

Until the 5th of January, Londoners can pop into Clippings' first brick-and-mortar Christmas Shop, situated in Covent Garden and curated by leading design trade show designjunction.

S/S 14 collection by Calvin Klein Home

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Montauk from Calvin Klein Home spring/summer 2014 collection

Calvin Klein Home's spring/summer 2014 collection includes Montauk, a crafted geometric design in indigo and white with accents of red; and Falcon, a menswear-inspired printed sateen woven in earthy tones such as pumice and charcoal.

Tokyo & Paris: José Lévy for Diptyque

José Lévy has designed two limited edition candles to celebrate the opening of Diptyque's first store in Tokyo. Called Tokyo and Paris, the candles are inspired by the greenery found at the heart of both cities.

Shaken: cocktails by post

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

New subscription gift service Shaken delivers the ingredients and recipes for a different cocktail each month, selected by renowned mixologists. Tying into the trend for experience gifting and discovery kits, the service includes the supplies for at least four servings and is priced at £29 a month plus postage.

For more on experience lifestyles and DIY kits, Homebuildlife subscribers can read our reports Learning, Not Leisure and DIY Food Kits.

Elixir by Studio Appetit: tasting history

Roseito Tudor-inspired Elixir by Studio Appetit

Food designers Studio Appetit invited visitors at this month's DesignMiami/ to taste the foods and flavours of five historical eras, including prehistoric times, Tudor Britain and Ancient Egypt.

Holiday packaging by Willoughby Design for Panera Bread

Monday, 16 December 2013

Designed by  Willoughby Design, this year's holiday packaging for US bakery brand Panera Bread uses a combination of traditional Christmas colours, playful contemporary characters and Letterpress typography.

Wake and Wonder by Adrian Esparza

Currently on show at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, Wake and Wonder by Texas-based artist Adrian Esparza is made from a traditional serape blanket from Mexico, which has been pulled apart at its threads and woven back around nails hammered into the wall.

Lunar Calendar by Tyler Stout

Friday, 13 December 2013

Tyler Stout's 2014 Lunar Calendar showcases each of the 365 moon phases of the year. Made using letterpress printing and archival quality paper, and printed with glow-in-the-dark moons, the unusual calendar ties into the increasing popularity of letterpress across typography and graphics.

Recycled silk furniture by Meb Rure

Meb Rure has launched a new furniture collection made from American white oak and sponges wrapped in colourful recycled silk yarns from Nepal.

Santa Paws Grotto at Lily's Kitchen

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Holistic pet food company Lily's Kitchen is hosting a pop-up Christmas grotto for pets in London. Open at 67 Pimlico Road, Monday to Saturday until 21st December, the grotto offers a feast of food, drink and activities - including homemade Christmas dinners for dogs, a festive fancy dress box, massage station, photos with Santa Paws himself, mince pies and mulled wine.

Homebuildlife subscribers can find out more about Christmas for pets in our trend report, Holiday Pet Gifts.

Babylounge by Eric Jourdan for Beaba

Eric Jourdan has designed a baby rocker for French kids' brand Beaba. Suitable for children from birth up to 30kg, the soft form features a bright yellow stripe and is designed to match easily with grown-up furniture in its style.

Lord & Taylor: Christmas 2013 windows

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Inspired by vintage style in New York City, Lord & Taylor's windows depict a traditional Holiday scene, created with 2D drawings and small figurines. The story starts with city residents preparing for the Holidays with festive décor and moves into a scene from Lord & Taylor, where customers are shopping for gifts from overflowing shelves.

Moto lamp by Jean-Baptiste Fastrez

Made using the same technology as motorcycle helmet visors, the Moto lamp by Jean-Baptiste Fastrez is made of translucent acrylic with an iridescent finish. When lit from behind it casts a kaleidoscope-like display of coloured shadows.

Homebuildlife subscribers can find out more about using iridescence to create a sense of wonder in products in our trend report on Changing Surfaces and our retail report on Moritz Waldemeyer's Winter Wonder installation for La Rinascente in Milan.

Cath Kidston flagship opens in Piccadilly

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

In its 20th birthday year, British retailer Cath Kidston has opened its largest store yet at 180 Piccadilly. To celebrate the opening, eight London taxis covered in Cath Kidston prints burst out of giant Christmas presents at Marble Arch, and carol singers and snow machines entertained passers-by as the taxis travelled down Oxford Street to the new 7,070sq ft flagship.

Joined + Jointed x Compass Box Whisky: design & drinks for Christmas

New furniture brand Joined + Jointed has teamed up with Compass Box Whisky to offer a special Christmas combination of design and drinks to its customers.

Galeries Lafayette's Christmas windows

Monday, 9 December 2013

Galeries Lafayette's scheme celebrates the forthcoming release of Beauty and the Beast, starring Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux. Five window displays replicate sets from the film, featuring the Beast's mysterious mansion and majestic hallway, the grandiose dining room in his castle and Beauty's bed chamber.

An interactive digital screen encourages customers to move petals around with their hands in order to discover the images behind.

WinterWonder: La Rinascente's Christmas lights in Milan

It has become a tradition for La Rinascente to celebrate Christmas by giving the city an artistic installation; and this year, the Milan department store has entrusted its windows to designer Moritz Waldemeyer.

WinterWonder is his interpretation of the classic iconography of Christmas: a vortex of 1,300 laser-cut plastic snowflakes that soar beyond the confines of the windows into the entire portico.

Tree of Light by Droog

Friday, 6 December 2013

Dutch design studio Droog has installed a holographic projection of a Christmas tree in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. The tree's shape and colours shift continuously, ranging from blue to green and adding in star ornaments and rippling branches.

Phare No.1-9 by Simon Heijdens at Design Miami/ 2013

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Perrier-Jouët House of Champagne has commissioned London-based designer Simon Heijdens to create a light work, which was unveiled today at Design Miami/.

Homebuildlife on Instagram

As well as checking in with us here, on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, you can now follow Homebuildlife on Instagram! We will be posting inspiring images from events, trade shows, exhibitons, collection launches and interiors shops.

Radiant Orchid: Pantone Colour of the Year 2014

Pantone 18-3224 Radiant Orchid has been named Pantone Colour of the Year for 2014. Following on from Emerald in 2013, Tangerine Tango in 2012 and Honeysuckle in 2011, Radiant Orchid "reaches across the colour wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Homebuildlife subscribers can read our full Colour report on Radiant Orchid here.

Mark's Bar by Lee Broom for Selfridges

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Lee Broom has designed a new bar for Selfridges to celebrate the first anniversary of the department store's Men's Shoe Galleries. Called Mark's Bar and operated by British chef and restaurateur Mark Hix, the space features bespoke furniture by Broom that transforms from a lounge collection into a fully functioning mobile bar.

Petit h x Studio Toogood at Hermès, London

Photo by Andrew Meredith

Created to launch the Petit h concept at Hermès' flagship Bond Street store, Studio Toogood's dramatic blood-red installation references craftsmanship and British traditions with a sense of humour.

Statoil Masters Tennis 2013 trophy

Libor Sošťák has designed the trophy for the 2013 Statoil Master Tennis, which takes place in London's Royal Albert Hall this week. Produced by glass specialist Lasvit, it is made of solid rose rubin extra bright hand-blown glass and draws inspiration from famous traditional tennis trophies.

Smoon Christmas tree at the Royal Monceau

Lighting sculptor Sylvie Maréchal of Beau & Bien was commissioned by prestigious Parisian hotel Royal Monceau to "decorate" their traditional Christmas tree. In place of it, she created a light and airy, 3 metre high lighting installation. Hundreds of pieces of porcelain in the shape of birds and stars are suspended in mid-air to form the silhouette of a tree, a poetic and lyrical take on this inescapable Christmas symbol.

Lazy Bytes exhibition: the new remote control

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

EPFL+ECAL Lab invited four of the world's most prestigious design schools to re-invent the remote control. For once, the main purpose is not just performance and functionality but also the aesthetic and experience of the object. 

The projects by ECAL, ENSCI-Les Ateliers, Royal College of Art and Parsons School include concepts such as the combination of hand-writing and digital control, or the transformation of everyday objects into remotes. Most ideas are currently undergoing tests to be turned into marketable products.

Christmas Market at Republic of Fritz Hansen in Milan

It’s already Christmas time in Milan. The Republic of Fritz Hansen store at Corso Garibaldi 77 is presenting its special Christmas Market, an international selection of new brands and young designers with products ready to be this season's must-have gifts.

The Hands of Time by Studio qoowl

Monday, 2 December 2013

Designers Quinten Peuling and Wisse Trooster of Studio qoowl have created a clock made from a worn sanding disc and timber, which they're currently raising funds for on crowdfunding platform Crowdy House.

Festive Collection by Pierre Hermé

This year's Festive Season Collection by French patissier Pierre Hermé includes chocolate ganache, candied chestnut, foie gras, passion fruit ganache macarons and ginger and orange marmalade pound cake.

Inamatt: tactile, warm and pared-back interiors

Multidisciplinary creative consultancy Inamatt's studio and private residence in Pingjum, in the north of Holland, is a testament to their style: features like exposed beams and poured concrete floors create a mix of heritage, original features and a modernist, gallery-like mood.

Felipe Bronze: Brazilian food innovator

Friday, 29 November 2013

Squid on compressed watermelon at Oro; photo by Daniella Duarte

At 35 years of age, Felipe Bronze is one of the most important names in contemporary Brazilian gastronomy. This year he opened Pipo, a bar and restaurant in Rio which he describes as "a carioca bar with avant-garde food".

Fiona Barratt-Campbell opens shop in London

Interior designer Fiona Barratt-Campbell has opened a shop in London's Belgravia, FBC London. The first collection of 32 pieces, all manufactured in England, sit alongside a selection of soft furnishings, hard accessories and lighting sourced from around the world.

Shelter lamp by Normann Copenhagen

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Danish design duo HolmbäckNordentoft has designed the Shelter lamp for Normann Copenhagen. Made of lacquered steel, it is available as both a table and floor lamp, in classic black or limestone grey.

Donna Wilson for Mamas & Papas

British designer Donna Wilson has collaborated with kids' lifestyle brand Mamas & Papas on a range of textiles, strollers and toys inspired by her fox leaf patterns.