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Sanderson’s Mad Hatters Tea Party: you’d be Tweedledumb to miss it! 16 March, 2010

Posted by Bethany Wrede Peterson in Bethany's blog.
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Sanderson Hotel, Philippe Starck, Mad Hatters Tea Party

Image credit: Morgans Hotel Group

The hullabaloo of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland may have come and gone, but a true  Mad Hatters tea party – like Lewis Carroll’s original works – is a classic novelty not to wane with the passing trends.

Luring us to fall down the rabbit hole of epicurean delights,  jaw-droppingly impressive central London hotel, Sanderson and its Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea takes the cake!

Last week, we got to hob-nob and fall into Wonderland – and just as surely as we were ooh-ing and aww-ing the swingin’ decor like Alice in her newfound surroundings (the hotel was designed by the ultimate Mad Hatter himself, Philippe Starck), we salivated over the yummy salmon finger sandwiches, the pineapple lollies that make your mouth hot and cold, and the to-die-for Queen of Hearts foam cake.   Perched like tiny works of art atop beautifully bespoke cakestands (that we unfortunately couldn’t fit into our bags!), we suspect we’ll be raving about our sugar-induced Wonderland for a while.

Fall into Wonderland at The Sanderson. The Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea has been extended through the end of May.  To book, call 020 7300 5588

Image credit: Morgans Hotel Group


Talent at Tent London 28 September, 2009

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After the corporate finesse of 100% Design, Tent London marked a welcome contrast. The event had a distinct East London vibe – shabby chic in location, but innovative and cool in content.

Earlier in the year mydeco and Tent London launched a competition to give three lucky design graduates the chance to pitch their final projects to Sir Terence Conran and Philippe Starck. And it was at Tent London that we got to see the ten short-listed contenders exhibiting their wares at the ‘Talent Zone.’

Although my opinion may be somewhat biased, I think that the ten graduates provided some of the most interesting and conceptual products of the whole event.

I first chatted to Omri Barzeev, who’s responsible for designing the Zaza chair. The felt chair has real character, almost a comical personality, with its conical shape and sturdy legs. Its design plays upon the relationship between soft and hard materials and the physical boundaries of these materials. The tactile chair was extremely comfortable and surprisingly flexible; it was made all the more charming by its modest creator.


Image credit: Omri Barzeev

I was then drawn to speak to Nicole Mueller about her maison sauvage range. Mueller used video footage of people interacting at a table as the basis of her designs. She traced the movements and connections made between the people in her video, and worked with the individual shapes and lines that they created.  The neon lines that are distinctive in Mueller’s work were inspired by her regular use of highlighter pens. Mueller’s products are aimed to reflect the nature of the ‘present day patchwork family.’ They can work together, but also separately as independent pieces.


Image credit: maison sauvage

The Korean designer Jaebeom Jeong is a promising talent who adheres to the ‘form follows function’ concept.  For his grid chair, Jeong used a scaffolding structure to draw attention to the internal mechanics and formation of a chair. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective.


Image credit: Jaebeom Jeong

The last designer to really catch my eye was Hannes Grebin. The affable German, wanted to distort the classic idea of furniture by using abstract and asymmetrical shapes. After looking at his ‘old and ugly couch’ Grebin wanted to see if he could reshape its geometry and turn it into something better and modern. From this start-point, Grebin has experimented with other types of homeware; his restructured objcets really push the boundaries of what we can acceptably call ‘furniture.’


Image credit: Hannes Grebin

It was great to talk with these original and motivated designers, and I look forward to seeing if the designers I picked out make it to the final three.

Monday’s news – Cheeky baths in the bedroom, Vivienne Westwood Wallpaper and a divine new chair from Vitra 28 September, 2009

Posted by katykimbell in Daily news.
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Good morning all, and welcome to the joys of Monday. I hope you’re feeling refreshed after the gorgeous autumnal weekend, and are now ready to tackle the week head-on. Over the last couple of days, London has been moving and shaking to the latest beats in the design world. For more scoop on the ups, downs, ins and outs of London Design week, keep checking our blog.

In the meantime, you can get an immediate fix, with our daily update of the latest news and gossip from the design world.


Image credit: The Times

Who says you need to have a separate room when it comes to soaking in a scented tub of bubbles? Mark Macauley, a documentary-maker from London, chose not to follow the general protocol when it comes to room distribution and opted for a deluxe bed/bathroom. Macauley took inspiration from designer hotels that have been playing with this unusual concept, and splashed out on a  handmade £5,200 copper-clad bath that takes centre stage in the master bedroom. Does the concept really work outside a hotel? Read on and find out.

The Times -The 18th Earl of Devon is selling the family silver to pay for the upkeep of his lofty castle

The Times – High tech glass will transform the way we live

The Telegraph – All aboard the Marrakesh Express

The curious blend of Arabic culture and modern style has led Marrakesh to become the bohemian playground of the rich and famous. But getting your hands on a divine Moroccan property may not be off the limits. Thanks to a sudden fall in prices, there are rich pickings to be had for the savvy investor.


Image credit: The Telegraph

There aren’t many fashion lovers out there who won’t admit to having a penchant for the gothic flair of Vivienne Westwood. And now, the grande dame of anarchic fashion, has designed a wallpaper collection for Cole & Son. Its 12 patterns are based on prints and weaves from the Westwood fashion collections. The two figures in the image above don the Dogtooth and Cut-Out-Lace motifs. Now it’s not just the corset, platforms and bag that we’re after…it’s the wallpaper too!

The Telegraph- Elle MacPherson finally sells her house!

The Daily Mail – Teal Appeal, the latest colour for Autumn

NYTimes – The French contemporary design scene is alive and well

AA Gill may have ripped Philippe Stark to pieces in The Sunday Times yesterday, but I’m quite the fan of the sexy Gallic designer. In recognition of all things French, The New York Times is celebrating contemporary French design and has picked out three top show-rooms to keep an eye out for.


Image credit: Vitra

It’s always fun to keep a look out for new products, and I simply love Vitra’s new Vegetal chair. The chair was inspired by shapes from the world of vegetation. The plant-like structure and the choice of six beautiful colours  make this chair a contender for a future design classic.

Design Week -British legend Paul Smith is awarded medal at London Design week

Design Week -Tom Dixon says British design needs more focus

Design Week – Pearlfisher brands new energy drink

That’s all for now folk’s, but see you tomorrow for the next instalment.

Philippe Starck – School of Design BBC2 15 September, 2009

Posted by vickyharrison in Vicky's blog.
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Described by The Independent as “a cocktail of Dragons’ Den, The Apprentice and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” BBC 2’s new reality show ‘Design for Life’ kicked off last night with an action-packed first episode.

It’s a familiar format which has been livened up by the enthusiastic and unpredictable Philippe Starck (polar opposite of The Apprentice’s Sir Alan). 12 contestants have to compete for a high-stakes prize (a placement at Philippe Starck’s world famous design agency) with one contestant being eliminated each week. Last night’s episode saw the contestants thrown together in a studio in Paris where the aspiring designers were greeted by a typically exuberant Starck who swept in on a motorbike for his dramatic first entrance. After quick introductions he sent them all off in the back of an army truck to the nearest supermarket for their first design challenge.


Image credit: Philippe Starck

Asked to find examples of good and bad design the contestants were clearly feeling the pressure right from the start as they made a panicked dash around the supermarket. And back in the studio, it seems that they may have had good reason to be nervous. Each student was asked to explain their design choices to which Starck gave a crushingly honest appraisal. ‘Boring….lazy…obvious’ were a few choice comments (although he did have a point). So it was back to the drawing board for them as they were given 10 minutes to come up with a pitch to convince Starck that they deserved to stay in the competition. So no pressure then.

After this, two contestants were sent home, leaving the remaining wannabe designers holed up in an apartment together to face the next few weeks. From now on they will face increasingly challenging tasks until only one student remains to claim the prize of a six month placement in Starck’s design agency in Paris. I predict high drama.

yoo and Kelly Hoppen collaborate 30 July, 2009

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Kelly Hoppen is the newest recruit on board Philippe Starck and John Hitchcox’s yoo design company.  Being members of  mydeco’s design board, Hoppen and Starck know a thing or two about interior design and the collaboration will transform boxy lakeside houses near Lechlade in the Cotswolds.

The development aims to redesign a whopping 650 acres that are home to 167 houses. For those that swan around these second homes, they enjoy a deck overlooking the surrounding water, large windows and four spacious bedrooms. With prices ranging from £775,000 to a bank-breaking £2.2 million these lucky swans certainly aren’t poor either.


And if you want to recreate a designer development, think along the clean lines of a luxury Hungarian goose down duvet (£134) at The Cotswold Company or a white Jasper table and four chairs dining set, (£199) at John Lewis.

On the redesign, Hoppen said ‘I tried to create a country/city feel – it’s like ‘I’m still hip but I’m in the country for the weekend’.’ So ‘hip’ means antique Hungarian linens, unlined curtains and shuttered windows to admire the view from. She’s kept to her trademark clean lines and muted tones with whitewashed floors as well as mixing modern furniture with vintage.

yoo have mixed modern and traditional styles of seating. Striped sofas seem to be a yoo fave, such as this comfy Burghley grand sofa, (£2,200) from John Lewis. These contrast with their white Ball chairs. Add a bit more colour with this modern vintage Ball chair (£988) from Artdeco.


“Children can have an adventure,’ she said. ‘There’s a concierge service to fill your fridge, it’s totally secure and safe. I’d give my eye teeth for this kind of thing.’ Or she could just redesign her own Cotswold home and hire a butler?

Check out Kelly Hoppen on mydecoTV. Here’s a bit of a taster.