Tag Archives: modern

a modern neo-classicist.

Set within a neoclassical building in Piraeus, Greece, the journey begins in the wonderful, tiled ground floor courtyard, previously a place for residents of old to meet and chat. Then on, up through original stonework and 19th century walls to the 1930s, and on to the contemporary new build extension and penthouse on the fourth floor.

The original staircase painted glossy black wends and winds its way through the spaces in dramatic fashion; elsewhere, white predominates as the background. Original tiles are maintained in the courtyard, new wood floors are laid in a herringbone pattern giving warmth and a contemporary flavour.  Original details are evident throughout. All existing interior walls have been demolished and replaced with sliding doors and walls for flexible living; the courtyard too has over-sized glazed doors emphasising the verticality of the space. Bold colours and contemporary furniture pieces chosen for their sculptural forms create a wonderful blend of old and new.

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Photos: Vangelis Paterakis

More wonderful spaces, here

at the fair – the mid century show.

Once you have your Richard Neutra-designed home (see my previous post, here), you will need to furnish it. Here’s my take on last Sunday’s Mid Century show at Lord’s in North London; a wonderful trove of Scandinavian classic furniture, simple, functional lighting, local salvage, industrial pieces, jewellery, art and ephemera. Forty seven businesses were represented, here are just a few of my favourites:

E&T photo by owl's house london

1. These gorgeous ducks also have the most wonderful provenance:

One particular spring day in 1959 in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, a policeman found the time to stop the traffic in order to let a young duck family pass. It was a meaningful enough event to the passers-by that all the newspapers published a now famous photograph of the ducks. This captured moment ‘encapsulates the Danish attention to nature and detail and the ability to appreciate small everyday miracles’. Inspired by the duck family, Hans Bølling designed this pair of small wooden duck figures.

Duck and Duckling in teak by Hans Bølling 1959 at Elliot and Tate, specialists in finding and rsstoring the vintage Danish Furniture of Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen, amongst others.

LandCo photo2 by owl's house london l&c photo by owl's house london

2. Lovely and Company are an on-line vintage furniture store based in Brighton, UK.

One gets the same thrill scratching around here as any flea-market – they carry a clever mix of 20th Century design classics alongside soda crates and multi-drawer haberdashery chests. Ferm Living is represented, along with House Doctor and Tas-ka. They carry reams of Eames original fibreglass shells (the new version of the chair is in polypropylene), which can be mounted on new walnut bases.

Saunders Fine Art on owl's house london.

3. Beautiful mid-century art at Saunders Fine Art, specialists in Modern British and European painting (all images, Saunders Fine Art). Clockwise from top left:

Esbjörn (Bo) Lassen, Still Life, Daily News, Watercolour, 1946

Douglas Swan, Composition, Mixed media on paper, 1962

Jürgen Von Konow, Lowering the Nets, Oil on canvas1949

TMW photo by owl's house london

4. Based in Victoria Park, East London, The Modern Warehouse specialise in buying and selling mid century modern furniture and accessories from Scandinavia, U.S.A. and the UK. The collection is made up entirely of original vintage pieces, not reproductions.

The Modernist photo by owl's house london

5. The Modernist based in a wonderful little antique emporium in North London, is one of my favourite haunts: stunning vintage Georg Jensen silver jewellery along with other precious pieces, all from early to mid-century and all fabulous. I wrote about The Modernist in an earlier blog post on the Hampstead Emporium, here.

VU photo by owl's house london

6. Vintage Unit source and refurbish industrial furniture, lighting & accessories, with examples from Britain and the continent from the post war period. Their pieces are beautifully refurbished things of beauty as well as utility. Practical but decorative and collectable in their own right.

Retrouvius photo by owl's house london

7. Retrouvius is a stalwart in the architectural salvage business, full of wonderful reclamation pieces. They have released a book, Reclaiming Style, outlining the Retrouvius ‘re-use’ philosophy,  from sourcing material at demolition sites and filtering this into the warehouse to adapting materials for re-use in homes via their in-house design practice. I loved the stacks of worn, colourful aluminium pendants.

TCA photo by owl's house london

8. Twentieth Century Antiques are Edinburgh based, and specialise in modern design from 1920-1970. I rather liked the idea of the Jacobsen Egg chair, Danish rosewood sideboard and original Picasso exhibition poster on display in my own home…

AG photo by owl's house london

9. A fabulous array of classic lights including the sweet Pinnochio desk lamp from Augustus Greaves, who specialise in architect designed, post war modernist pieces (and have a beautiful web-site, as well).

Which pieces would you like to see in your home?

All images owl’s house london, unless noted otherwise.

More happenings, here.

open and close house.

It begins as a linear box, then, a system of wooden, slatted blinds create a dynamic, evolving facade. The blinds and openings operate separately and so allow for different compositions, sometimes controlled and sometimes random. At any given moment and for whatever reason (privacy, protection from the sun) the facade can change. Thus: ‘we can achieve a composition that is balanced, dynamic, haphazard, closed or open within the same framework’.

Within, the space is simple. White perimeter walls, dividing walls that don’t meet the ceiling, others that shoot past. Linear slots in the ceiling contain the lighting. A poured concrete floor provides a seamless transition throughout. The stair comprises timber treads cantilevered off a concrete wall, with formwork bolt holes forming the decorative element on the surface of the concrete in a controlled pattern. The balustrade comprises sheets of iron-free glass (so are transparent, not green in colour) which are without frames or evident fixings.

The furniture is classic and simple – Eames DSR chairs, a Barcelona coffee table, a parasol-like pendant over the solid wood dining table (I’m not familiar with this particular pendant, but it’s rather lovely).

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The wood slats are continued inside, which together with the external slatted blinds, cast wonderful lines of sharp, playful light.

Kfar Shmaryahu House in Israel by Pitsou Kedem Architects via 

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a glamorous modernist.

In a series of low-slung, white, modernist buildings set among vineyards is this hotel. The warm, earth-toned interiors are dominated by wood and slate, with timber slat walls dividing the linear spaces according to function. Copper light fittings and bronze sculptural pieces add glamour to the wonderfully textural, bespoke furniture pieces.

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This is the first project in Portugal to be certified under BREEAM. BREEAM (BRE – Environmental Assessing Method) is a standardised environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. A BREEAM assessment uses recognised measures of performance to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use. The measures used represent a broad range of categories and criteria from energy to ecology. More about BREEAM, here

So – good looks AND green credentials. I think I’d like to be checking in about now…

L’and Vineyards, Montemor, Portugal by StudioMK27 with Promontorio architects; photography Fernando Guerra.

More wonderful spaces, here

a thoroughly modern mirror.

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I haven’t seen a mirror this fabulous since Gubi introduced the elegant Adnet Circulaire L, (here). Many styles away, this one is set to inspire a multitude of copies, with its simple, geometric form and clean finish. It is a truncated cone, made of aluminium.

The images they have produced are beautiful and clever – is it a hook? Is it a table? Is it a random object? Is it big or small? The final image reveals the mirror – a very contemporary piece to hang on a wall or place on the floor. It is also a hook. And a table. And a random object. And it comes in both big and small.

JF D'OR_EDVARD mirror_Reflect+_preview Interieur 2012

All images, Daily Icon. Edvard Mirror Collection, by Jean-Francois d’Or, for Reflect+, here

More found objects, here

hampstead emporium.

Hampstead Village in North London is a village in the true sense, and the most wonderful place to amble around. It is home to the wonderfully exuberant and eccentric Hampstead Antique Emporium, a narrow winding arcade of tiny antique shops, tucked behind Perrins Court.

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Each is a place you want to peruse at leisure, where every piece for sale has a history. The owners are passionate about their wares, and that passion shows. Three of my favorites:

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1. Maud and Mabel (feature image and above) exudes calm and serenity. The backdrop is natural and neutral, and the products are all tones of white, pale beige, pale blue and eau-de-nil. Karen has styled the shop to within an inch of its life – it is beautiful. She carries wonderful ceramics by top ceramicists; the tightly edited selection mean the pieces form a cohesive whole. There is a distinctly Japanese feel (2 of the ceramicists are Japanese) and the Japanese raku ware are standout pieces, as well as plates painted with a pattern of old lace. Other items are staunchly Brirish and utilitarian – string, scissors, cards, towels – but all things of beauty. Table linens and a small collection of clothing are soon to be added (hooray!)

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2. The Modernist stocks vintage jewellery from the 1930s to the 1970s, mainly Scandinavian and American; beautiful sculptural pieces, each one a statement. Vintage silver, copper, bronze and jewel-coloured 1950s enamels; it is the mid-century Danish stuff that really resonates for me – vintage Georg Jensen, Henning Koppel and Nianna Ditzel, amongst others (I have a silver choker from here that I adore). The owner Nicole’s interest in American Modernist copper jewellery was sparked by a piece her mother had bought in New York just after the war; spending time in NY she became hooked. Scandinavian silver was later added and the result is an amzing collection of unique pieces.

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3. Loved Again is all 50s snd 60s homewares – sorbet-coloured melamine plates, baskets, mid-century furniture and plastics. It’s all about shape and colour, sourced from all around. Monica is a cook and it shows in the wonderful collection of 1950s kitchen aids, later to become household objects during the rise of mass production. Babycham glasses inprinted with sweet baby deers are best sellers and about as iconic of the era as it gets.

Hampstead Antique and Craft, 12 Heath Street Hampstead NW3

More found objects, here

a light called artichoke.

Louis Poulsen, purveyor of light fittings, produces some true classics. Icons of Scandinavian mid century design, ubiquitous and recognisable everywhere. I came across these new images for Louis Poulsen’s latest catalogue and simply could not resist. So I thought I’d first do a little research…

Perhaps the two most distinctive, the wonderfully named Artichoke and the rather more dry PH5 were both designed in 1958 by Dane Poul Henningsen. He was an architect and critic, but his main focus was lighting and he collaborated with Louis Poulsen over his career. He designed not just aesthetically, but scientifically, using refraction to create soft, glare-free lighting. He grew up with petroleum lamps, and, with the advent of harsh electrical lighting in the 1920s, his objective turned to creating an ambient, warm glow rather than to ‘flood the home with light’. His first design was a three sided lamp of brass and opal glass, exhibited in the Danish Pavillion at the Paris Exposition of Decorative Arts in 1924. It was picked up by his peers and used internationally by amongst others, Mies van der Rohe in his Villa Tugendhat. The first PH lamp.

Image Villa Tugendhat

The PH Artichoke is characterised by 72 leaves forming 12 rows of 6 leaves each, which are positioned to provide 360 degree glare-free light when viewed from any angle. They also shield the  light source, redirecting and reflecting the light onto the underlying leaves. The result is a luminous glow.

The PH5 was developed as a response to constant changes to the shape and size of incandescent bulbs by bulb manufacturers of the time. The light produced is also glare-free regardless of where it is positioned, the multiple concentric shades emitting the light both downward and laterally. A version designed for use with energy saving lamps was introduced in 1994, and the PH50, in high gloss colours for the 50th anniversary.

Photographed by Jacob Termansen. Images Elle Decor.

Two very distinctive designs, one designer. What do you think? Unique and individual, or ubiquitous and much-copied?