Glass installation by Marc Barreda

Monday, 31 December 2012

This 2012 installation by glass artist Marc Barreda uses handmade water lenses and photographs of light projected through lenses to explore ideas of distorting and dismantling light.

Love Me Tender by Didier Faustino for Super-ette

Friday, 28 December 2012

Photos by Felipe Ribon

French design brand Super-ette has launched a brushed stainless steel version of the Love Me Tender chair, which was designed by Didier Faustino in 2000. The new release is limited to 100 editions, priced at 3900 Euros each.

Mirrors by Sam Orlando Miller

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Sculptor and artist Sam Orlando Miller has created a range of patinated mirrors with optical effects. Untitled Mirror 5 (shown here) uses silver with nine shades of emerald green (2013's Colour of the Year) to create a faceted optical illusion.

Petal Lamp by Jörg Boner

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Normann Copenhagen has launched a new table lamp, designed by Jörg Boner, which it asked its customers to name. 

Split Sofa by Alex Hull

Monday, 24 December 2012

Designer Alex Hull created this sofa for Gallery Fumi as part of its exhibit at art and design fair PAD London 2012. Called Split Sofa, the piece is made of leather and suede with a composite core, and is available in an edition of six.

Recycled toys by Muji

Friday, 21 December 2012

This Christmas, Japanese retailer Muji has launched a collection of lovable soft toys made entirely out of recycled fabrics.

Tomorrow Is Another Day by Mathieu Lehanneur

Photography by Felipe Ribon
French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has created a piece of art for the Palliative Care unit of Hospital Diaconesses Croix St-Simon, in Paris. Beyond purely medical care, the hospital takes into consideration the spiritual concerns of the terminally ill and their closed ones, and wished to address the issue of time - omnipresent within its walls - in a poetic and sensitive way.

Pull Lamp by Whatswhat for Muuto

The 2010 winner of Muuto's annual design competition has just been launched on to the market. The Pull lamp is designed by Whatswhat, a Swedish design collective founded by three recent graduates from Konstfack design school.

Happy Holidays from Homebuildlife!

Benjamin Hubert

Celebrate the beginning of the festive break with this selection of the best Christmas cards we've received from designers and brands around the world.

Le Bon Marché: Christmas windows

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Le Bon Marché continues its 160th anniversary celebrations in its Christmas windows, paying tribute to the Rive Gauche. Four of the Left Bank's famous landmarks are represented in two-dimensional cutouts, which are layered to create a 3D effect.

Wonder Christmas pop-up
by Klaus Haapaniemi

Finnish illustrator and designer Klaus Haapaniemi has opened a pop-up shop in central Helsinki. Open until the end of January, the winter-themed shop includes his signature collections of cushions, throws and hand-tufted rugs, as well as special products such as limited edition ceramics and jewellery.

Pompom & Twiddle: gifts and decor

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

UK online store Pompom & Twiddle specialises in home accessories and gifts with a handcrafted touch. Its Christmas collection includes felt pompom garlands, Moroccan-inspired bird tablecloths, circus puppets and silver bird decorations.

Fortnum & Mason: Christmas windows

Photos by Andrew Meredith
For the most part of 2012, London emporium Fortnum & Mason dedicated its windows and facade to celebrating all things British, in line with Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics.

The department store's Christmas windows continued this British theme, celebrating English folk tale and pantomine favourite Dick Whittington.

D.E.S.I.G.N. book for children

Ewa Solarz' design book for children, first published in 2011, guides kids through 69 of the most innovative household items from the last 150 years. Illustrated by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski, the book includes classics from Droog, Philippe Starck, Marcel Breuer and Le Corbusier.

Palle Presepe: Merry Christmas from Alessi

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A di Alessi has launched Palle Presepe, a range of crib figures to add some fantasy and humour to the Christmas tree. Included in the set are contemporary spins on Maria and Josef with Jesus, ox and donkey, angel, star and the three wise men.

Designed by Marcello Jori, the set combines two festive traditions: displaying the nativity scene and decorating the Christmas tree.

Winter Feast by Magnus Nilsson
for Veuve Clicquot

All photos by Georgia Glynn-Smith

Magnus Nilsson, head chef of the Swedish restaurant this year voted 34th in the world, Fäviken Magasinet, has teamed up with luxury champagne brand Veuve Clicquot for a short film.

Cursive Numbers by Cédric Dequidt

Monday, 17 December 2012

French designer Cédric Dequidt has invented a way of writing numbers in lowercase.

Dequidt designed the cursive style to bring the shape of numbers up to date with the evolved shape of letters, explaining that the way we write numbers today "was brought to Europe in the 10th century. Their definitive shape has been evident since the 15th century."

Meltdown Lamp by Johan Lindstén for Cappellini

Swedish designer Johan Lindstén has designed the Meltdown lamp for Cappellini. The glass is blown in a spherical shape with an extra bump at the bottom, for the bulb to nestle in.

Tree of light in Bruxelles

Challenged by the city of Bruxelles to rethink the traditional Christmas tree that decorates its Grand Place every year, 1024 Architecture have designed a contemporary electronic tree (or Abies Electronicus in Latin), made of a metallic structure covered in a white cloth.

By day the tree is a 19 metre-high belvedere that the public can climb up to in order to admire the panoramic view of the city; by night it is a musical and visual installation.

Cut-and-paste foods: Festina Lente for Etenschap

Friday, 14 December 2012

Dutch design collective Festina Lente created these styled combinations of fruit, vegetables and animals to make a new visual identity for catering experience designers Etenschap.

Pet-friendly holiday windows:
Marc by Marc Jacobs, New York

Interactive photo installation specialists Bring Into Being devised a wintry sleigh-ride theme for Marc by Marc Jacobs' West Village store this Christmas.

Shoppers were invited to ham it up, often including their kids and their pets in the fun, with photos later posted en masse in the store's windows.

Experienced Pillows by IHANNA

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Icelandic designer Ingibjörg Hanna of IHANNA created this range of pillows based on the aesthetic of wear and tear. Each one is made in the UK and now available at online retailer Lin Morris.

Shoreditch Christmas Triangle

SCP East

27 of east London's best design shops, restaurants and galleries have joined together to offer shoppers late-night opening and a special festive shopping environment in the run-up to Christmas.

Taking place on Thursday evenings, the Shoreditch Christmas Triangle sees brands such as SCP, Tord Boontje, Milk Concept Boutique, Labour & Wait, and Aesop, taking part in special discounts, mulled wine and mince pie nights, and Christmas giveaways. Click here to download the full map.

£2 coin by BarberOsgerby

Fresh from the success of its London 2012 Olympic torch, British design studio BarberOsgerby has designed a new version of the £2 coin, commissioned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground.

The design depicts a train rushing through the tunnels of the city's famous tube system, making the most of the coin's bimetal style, and will be released in 2013 as part of a special commemmorative set.

Saint-Etienne International Design Biennale 2013

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The 2013 edition of Saint Etienne's International Design Biennale will take place in March, for the first time in its fourteen years of existence. The theme, chosen this year by the Cité du Design as a general question to fuel all exhibitions and events, is 'Empathy or experiencing the other'.

Special installations and events spanning design, technology and architecture will be staged to explore ways to re-think society in a more respectful manner. As design is a dialogue between a creator and a user, what happens on the way between the two and what influence can they both have on the world in general? The Biennale will hence question the interaction we have with objects, with machines, with the planet and with the rest of the human community.

Frenchy Furniture opens new showroom

Frenchy Furniture has opened a new showroom near Sloane Square, in west London, which presents classic bespoke design from, Gilles Nouvailhac, Pouenat and Atelier de Brou.

100% ToBeUs: designer toy cars


Designers including Matali Crasset, Front, the Campana brothers, Alfredo Haberli and Marcel Wanders have created their own distinctive take on the wooden toy car for a new exhibition at Milan's National Museum of Science and Technology.

Called 100% TobeUs, the show is the brainchild of designer Matteo Ragni, who produced his first series of model cars back in 2007, and then invited 100 designers to design their favourite toy car, creating a highly original and varied new collection.

Play: International Design for Children

Monday, 10 December 2012

Installation view
Architect David Rockwell's Imagination Playground has arrived at the Dowse Art Museum in New Zealand, as part of an exhibition of design for children entitled Play which runs until 1st April next year.

Rockwell's installation invites young visitors to create their own course of play with contemporary objects, playscapes and furniture pieces. Works from designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Enzo Mari, Verner Panton and Eero Aarnio are featured alongside the project.

Moonish: Magnetic tiles

Brooklyn-based studio Moonish has created a range of magnetic wooden tiles made from marine plywood. Each tile is hand-painted with acrylic paint and water-based, natural dyes.

New House Textiles: blinds & window trims

Friday, 7 December 2012

British blind specialist New House Textiles has released its new trim and braid range, which concentrates on fabric, texture and colour to add a decorative element to window coverings. Floral, geometric or plain, each pull has been designed to instantly accessorise and match existing blinds.

Objets Nomades by Louis Vuitton

Hammock by Atelier Oi
Louis Vuitton introduced a new limited edition collection of travel furniture and accessories at DesignMiami/ this week. A tribute to the fashion house's original bespoke travel commissions from the 19th century, the collection includes folding beach chairs and table, stools, lamps, hanging seats, and even a hammock.

Each piece is made in fine leather and has been designed by high-profile studios including the Campana BrothersPatricia UrquiolaBarberOsgerby and Maarten Baas.

Design Museum Christmas tree by Mary Katrantzou

Thursday, 6 December 2012

London's Design Museum has unveiled its 2012 Christmas tree, a bold 2D print by fashion designer Mary Katrantzou.

Pantone announces 2013 Colour of the Year: Emerald Green

Pantone have announced its colour of 2013: a "lively, radiant and lush" emerald green, which the colour authority describes as "a colour of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony."

17-5641 Emerald follows on from Tangerine Tango, the company's 2012 colour, and Honeysuckle, 2011's choice. WGSN-homebuildlife's colour direction for S/S 13 can be viewed here.

Decorative animal heads by Bodie & Fou

Online retailer Bodie and Fou has launched a range of soft, decorative animal heads, to be mounted on the walls of children's rooms as a fun interpretation of the hunting trophy.

Hotel O: Colourful nights in Paris

Photography by Serge Ramelli
French designer and architect Ora Ito has designed the new Hotel O, a retro-futuristic hotel situated in the heart of Paris. The 29 bedrooms explore the whole chromatic spectrum, with each floor hosting four or five rooms in the same colour group. Yet each one is painted and upholstered in its own unique shade, thus participating in the creation of a graded path that runs throughout the building.

Marimekko x Aesop

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Finnish design giants Marimekko and Melbourne-based skincare brand Aesop have come together to create a collection of body products inspired by Scandinavian bathing culture.

The body balm and scrub of the Aesop-Marimekko Sauna Duet merges Marimekko's Finnish roots with Aesop's expertise in producing high-quality skincare products. Packaged in recycled jars and presented in a cotton bag decorated with Marimekko's Vellamo print, the products will be available to purchase from April 2013 in Marimekko stores and online at

RCA opens Christmas Fête

Minimal Nativity by Emilie Voirin, £10

This week The Royal College of Art opens its first Christmas Fête, offering a range of design and art pieces by students and graduates. Running 6 - 9 December, the event provides an alternative and affordable approach to seasonal gifting, and in turn helps promote the work of RCA students.

Blossom by Jean-Francois d'Or:
pixellated poetry

Belgian designer Jean-Francois d'Or combines rigorous shapes with the delicacy of clear glass in the Blossom tableware collection. A thick raised pattern runs around each piece, reflecting the light as if through pixels, while the base is curved, creating a magnifying glass effect.

Carpet Reloaded at Dimore Studio

Monday, 3 December 2012

Currently on show at Milan's Dimore Studio is a showcase of Persian brand Golran's latest research into contemporary carpets.

Design-art: BD Barcelona x Jaime Hayon

In celebration of its 40th birthday, Spanish company BD Barcelona Design has asked Jaime Hayon to produce a limited edition collection of 40 hand painted vases.