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Friday, February 15th, 2013

SALE! Get To Know MASH Studios Dark Collection

Becky

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Ah contrast. Dark walnut-stained teak wood combined with sleek white powder-coated aluminum accents makes for beautiful balance in the sophisticated Dark Collection from MASH Studios. Whether or not your weekend plans include shopping for a piece or two of furniture, be sure to check out the clean lines and beautiful finishes on these clever contemporary pieces. We have a number of beautiful pieces on sale at 20% off while supplies last. All of these pieces are limited editions, so there is only a limited supply. Here’s a peek at some of my personal favorites.

I love a hard-working piece of furniture, and the Limited Edition Dark Low Storage Unit certainly fits the bill. What’s great is that you can use it in your living room for books, display and media storage today, then use it as a nightstand or linen storage in your bedroom when you’re switching things up. It has two large drawers for storage and an open compartment complete with an adjustable shelf. I think it also makes a beautiful TV stand; you could simply drill a few holes for wires in the back for the cable and ROKU boxes, then stash all of your DVDs in the drawers.

The Limited Edition Dark Coffee Table has clean lines that you won’t need to clutter up. Why? Because it has a secret…

… the white aluminum panels slide out, revealing a spot for remotes, trashy magazines, pens, and other items that aren’t up to coffee table book status.

Next we have the Limited Edition Dark Entertainment Shelf. It has three divided compartments for organization, complete with a white sliding aluminum panel. You can slide the panel over to hide the unsightly electronics when they are not in use.

The Limited Edition Dark Nightstand has a minimalist look but plenty of room to stash all of your goodies and room for your bedtime reading underneath.

Finally, a beautiful Limited Edition Dark Occasional Table is an elegant perch for cocktails. The simple construction, clean lines and beautiful wood color make it the perfect piece to center your furniture around.

Shop the MASH Studios Limited Edition Dark Collection Sale

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Friday, February 8th, 2013

Designer Interview: Peter Novague

Becky

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Today were sitting down with Peter Novague, Chief Designer at Novague. Peter is a product designer who has tackled items from tweezers to yachts. Somewhere in between the two lies The Novague Edge Chair – its form was inspired by Japanese origami, though it’s function, comfortable ergonomics, was the priority. 
Do you have any favorite chairs that inspire your designs?
There are many chairs I love for their form, among which I could name those by Eames, Panton or the Bouroullec Brothers (Vitra). For me, however, the key aspect of a chair is whether it is comfortable to sit on and many products don’t meet this standard; the ergonomics aren’t optimal. My flat is full of beautiful chairs, including the T3 by Maarten Van Severen, one of the most interesting pieces I know.

How did you come up with the Edge Chair?
In our small country, a designer like me gets contracts of a very different type. As my primary focus is on the product design, I work on items as varied as glasses or a smartphone. All my past projects were the result of a compromise between my idea and other circumstances (such as the production costs, technological limitations, deadlines, or continuity of the company product line). When I was working on a smartphone, for instance, I could only choose from a limited selection of plastics, and both the connector positions and dimensions were already fixed.

Yet as I’m now able to fund my own projects, I decided to work on a furniture piece and designing a chair seemed to be a challenging and interesting enterprise.

How do the wide array of items you design inform each other? That is to say, how does designing a yacht or a car influence how you design a chair or a smart phone? Are there any universal ideas that cut across all of these areas in your design philosophy?
Certainly. I think daily about why I do design, what I can bring to it, and what it brings to me in return. And it’s always inspiring to meet with company owners, CEOs and executives. I learn a lot from them, and it’s also perhaps what I enjoy the most about my job.
As for my contribution in making a new product, I find myself as a cleaner: I practically remove an idea of its unnecessary parts. I’m playing with the form and content, aiming to produce a natural-looking product. It’s important that in the end, it only consists of what should be there. In other words, while some products are complex sets of parts due to the manufacture and assembly processes, it is the aim of design to consider the product as a whole, something complete and seamless. The final product should be more than a some of its parts.
The second important idea that resonates with me is a kind of respect towards the history of the product and its previous models.
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world; how does it inspire you?
Prague is a splendid place for relaxation at cafés and enjoying the many cultural events it offers. Yet it loses touch with the latest developments in industrial design. In that sense, I’d prefer to have an office in London, New York, or Munich.
What are you working on at Novague right now?
An electric bicycle or a paddle, a typical product of which many people think there’s no more space for further designing and innovation.
Do you have any advice for people who are interested in a career in product design?
Don’t focus on the designers, study the individual products.
What kind of  products do you recommend buying?
Concentrate on things you enjoy. Buying one thing of quality and and keeping it in an empty flat is better than filling one’s life with products that mean a compromise.
Thanks so much to Petr for chatting with us today. Check out The Novague Edge Chair here; check out Novague’s other designs here.
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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Gus Modern Sofas Are On Sale!

Becky

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Is one of your design goals for 2013 to replace that sofa? Whether your cat has used your current sofa as a large scratching pad or you’re just plumb tired of its oversized rolled arms, January 2013 is a great time to save some bucks on a sofa from Gus Modern. These sofas will be on sale through January 31, 2013. Here’s a look at a few of the beautiful styles available. Please note that most of the styles are available as sofa and sectional sofas.

The Gus Modern Atwood Sofa. This sofa takes a dash of Chesterfield, a pinch of mid-century modern, a dollop of fresh creativity and results in an appealing cushy piece that is hemmed in by a large rectangular frame. It is also available in a chair and a sectional.

The Gus Modern Adelaide Sofa. The Adelaide could easily slip into a Mad Men set. I can just see Don Draper binge drinking at work, then curling up for the night in his office, on this sofa.

The Gus Modern Carmichael Sofa. This high-backed sofa is 72″ long and sits atop elegant ash legs.

The Gus Modern Thatcher Sofa. This sofa throws a diamond pattern into a room via a subtle harlequin tufting pattern. It sits atop a sleek stainless steel frame.

The Gus Modern Jane Loft Bi-Sectional Sofa. This sofa’s chaise can be swung to the left side or the right. It’s neatly tailored tufts add depth and comfort while its streamlined frame and lines keeps things contemporary. This version is for those of us with smaller living rooms; a larger Jane Sectional is available as well.

The Gus Modern Carter Sectional combines tufted upholstery with un-tufted pillows that you can steal and stack for extra lazy movie viewing.

The Gus Modern Richmond Bi-Sectional Sofa. Not so into tufting? Then the the Richmond is for you.  It’s a great way to go sectional without having the sectional eat up your room. The great thing about this shape is that is can work with rooms from traditional shabby chic to contemporary.

Shop all Gus Modern

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Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Trends: Do You Stand At Your Desk?

Becky

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For the past few years the standing desk has been getting a lot of buzz. Determined to cure us of our sedentary lifestyles, health gurus advocate that we spend much less time sitting and stand, even treadmill our little hearts out, at  our desks.

image via FitSugar, read more about perching atop a stability ball here

So, are you a sitter, stander, kneeler or stability ball?  It’s odd, when I was in architecture school, we mostly stood but had adjustable drafting stools for those times when our feet needed a rest, but now that I’m on the laptop all the time, I feel like I have to create a lap to use it.

I know I need to change my ways; according to a 2010 article in The New York Times, “part of the problem with sitting a lot is that you don’t use as much energy as those who spend more time on their feet. This makes it easier to gain weight, and makes you more prone to the health problems that fatness often brings.” That is not cool. Not cool at all, and the trend is ramping up to the masses.

Stoller Works Station Table

Evan Stoller of Stollerworks has created several standing workstations, including the Station Table seen above. The great thing about these desks is that they are unobtrusive enough to serve as second workstations in an office. The even greater thing about them is that they very cleverly designed and look super-stylish.

Stoller Works Yellow Frame Standing Desk

If you work from home and a new desk isn’t in the budget right now, try adding a flat podium box or play around with other stands atop a high counter at home.

If you’re already a stander, good for you! Please tell us about it in the Comments section.

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Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Stellar Designers: Patricia Urquiola

Becky

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Lately it seems every light fixture or chair that catches my eye was designed by the fabulous Patricial Urquiola. Urquiola is a Spanish designer of many talents; she’s an architect, she designs exhibitions, she speaks at conferences and her furniture and lighting designs are well on their way to icon status. She’s collaborated with the most pre-eminent furniture manufacturers in the world, creating artistic, thoughtful and most importantly, highly functional products, from rugs to sofas, and side tables to outdoor furniture. Her use of the latest technologies and materials provides the function, while her imagination informs the form.

Urquiola working on new designs and showing off her fabulous ring

Her artful approach and dedication to function makes her designs stand out; one of the first ones I fell for is the wonderfully loopy Re-Trouvé chair. Available in a wide range of bright powder coated colors, the designs combine Urquiola’s contemporary sensibilities with some whimsical nostalgia.

Re-Trouvé High Back Chair

“Inspiration came from the marvelous icon chairs of the ’50’s, so full of curls and doodles. I wanted to create new models which would bring together a re-interpretation of this old fashioned design with a more humorous twist, produced with numerical control technology,” she says.

Re-Trouvé Pouf

The line, produced by Italian manufacturer Emu and distributed by Coalesse, also includes this eclectic stool/ottoman.

Last Minute Stool

Coalesse is also distributing Urquiola’s Last Minute Stool, a streamlined and ergonomic piece that comes in counter and bar height. The seat is made of flexible steel and covered in leather; the legs are sleek chrome.

I am so happy that Design Public is carrying these stellar pieces from a superstar like Urquiola. We also carry a few items she designed in partnership for Kartell, including the flirty and strong Frilly Chair:

Kartell Frilly Chair

as well as the clever Matelasse Vase:

Kartell Matelasse Vases (these are 11.8″ high; I know it’s hard to tell the scale from this photo)

I look forward to seeing what she come up with next, and I’ll keep you posted when I find out!

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