Monday, February 21, 2011

Uhuru: Reclaim, Recycle, Repurpose!

Established in 2004 by Rhode Island School of Design Graduates, Jason Horvath and Bill Hilgendorf, Uhuru is a furniture design/build company merging avant-garde design with a commitment to environmental sustainability. Each piece produced by Uhuru is built by hand at their studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Uhuru’s mission is to create timeless pieces using materials that have been reclaimed, recycled, re-purposed, reused or otherwise rejected from their original function… pretty fabulous!

Uhuru has been internationally recognized for its innovation and has joined a vanguard of influential furniture companies from Milan to Tokyo that push the boundaries of contemporary sustainable furniture. All of the pieces featured on Uhuru’s website are beautiful! Here are a few that The Design Bee loves…

Above: Uhuru’s first outdoor line of furniture, Summer Snow, uses reclaimed snow fence from the western United States that has been aged for years in hot summers and freezing winters to give it an amazing grey patina. The line is a colorful mix of powder-coated steel tubing in simple, functional pieces.

Below: Never missing a design opportunity, Uhuru reclaims scraps of fine hardwood that have been discarded having been seemingly too small to use in furniture production. The Puzzle Bar Stool is made from short lengths of salvaged wood that are carefully pieced together, sanded, and hand-finished to a smooth shine.

Above: Designed by Jason Horvath, The Fenced-In coffee table is made from repurposed cast-iron fence pieces. It is inspired by the ornate Art Deco iron work in the Brooklyn brownstones in neighborhoods surrounding the Uhuru workshop. 

Below: Also designed by Jason Horvath, The Sakura Coffee Table is a 3" wood top on solid 6" legs.  It is embellished with hand cut recycled aluminum patterns applied with brass tacks. 

Be sure to check out Uhuru for more of their amazing designs!

Here's to a great week!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Diane von Furstenberg Launches Home Collection

Famously known for her iconic wrap dresses, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is moving into our homes! Last week DVF debuted her new Home Collection at Bloomingdale’s. The DVF home collection includes dinnerware, bedding, pillows, duvets, and throws. Check out these gorgeous, eye-catching designs:

DVF's animal inspired "Urban Jungle" bedding collection

 Bold and uniquely geometric!
DVF's "Mico Flowers" Dinnerware and Bedding

Check out the rest of DVF's fabulous designs at Bloomingdales!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday's Traveling Bee... Honolulu!

Last night I had a dream about Hawaii. My dreams are usually very vivid but all I can remember about this one is that my sister and I were simply planning a vacation. Call me crazy, but Hawaii is not at all on my 'places to see' list so why I would be dreaming about it is beyond me. I'm sure it is beautiful but perhaps it's my fear of massive bodies of water... yes an aqua-phobic! But besides all that... I logged on to Traditional Home today and lo and behold, a beautiful Honolulu design feature and I just had to share! Afterall, it was meant to be!

I absolutely love the combination of traditional features and the graphic, edgier pieces used throughout the home. The lush foliage of the banana trees seems to act as artwork through the windows, what great color too! My favorite room in this house is the dining room. Although I would have loved to see the softness of a beautiful rug, the use of heirloom furniture adds richness to this vibrant room.

Any plans for Hawaii, anyone? share your thoughts!
 Interior Design: Marion Philpotts Miller, Philpotts & Assoc. Inc.,
 Photographs by Joe Schmelzer

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rich, Radiant and Ravishing... Red!

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! My apologies for being MIA but The Design Bee is back with some Valentine's Day inspiration! Red is a powerful color - the base chakra, empowering our beings. It is the color of confidence, energy and passion! And these pieces are sure to make a statement...

1- Tuft back loveseat with signature Chris-X legs- Shown in Red Shimmer Silk – Christopher Guy
2- Hand carved wood dining chair in white lacquer – Christopher Guy
3- The Egg, Model 3316, designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 – Republic of Fritz Hansen
4- Kinkou bench with red lacquer seat – Bolier and Co.
5- Side Stools – Bolier and Co. 
6- Alessi "La Rosa" Fruit Bowl, Red designed by Emma Silvestris – Bloomingdales 
7- Boxed nailhead coasters – Dransfield and Ross 
8- Bungalow Jasper bolster and vintage Kachic embroidered Bugachi pillow – John Robshaw

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday's Traveling Bee... A Pair of Glamorous European Hotels

This week’s Traveling Bee is making stops at 2 glamorous European hotels. Here’s a peek!

Located in the heart of the city, the Barcelo Raval’s unique lobby is dazzling. Hot magenta seating, cylindrical light fixtures, sparkly interior columns, black and white… all fabulous!

This fancy boutique hotel is a whimsical retreat. Thanks to Italian fashion house Moschino, each of the 65 rooms and suites are designed with dramatic storybook details. Take a look at one of their Sleeping in a Ballgown rooms...

Happy Travels!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Item of the Week - Chic Placemats and Linens by Julian Mejia

In 2008, after traveling to Paris and working as a designer and illustrator for Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler, Julian Mejia launched his glamorous collection of fine table linens. How charming are these whimsical placemats?

Julian Mejia was also part of the team that designed the unforgettable set of Monica's bold and homey New York City apartment on the hit series Friends, one of my favorites!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday's Traveling Bee... Dubai!

In 2008 my family and I had the opportunity to spend a weekend at the beautiful Madinat Jumeirah Resort in Dubai. Although the summer heat was unlike anything we had ever experienced, a weekend was not nearly enough time to explore this majestic city. Dubai is home to the world’s most incredible skyscrapers, the magnificent Palm Island (often referred to as the 8th Wonder) and some of the most lavish hotels and residences in the world, to name a few. 

It is every interior designer’s dream to be given a  project that is a blank canvas and allows the imagination and creativity to run free.  When it comes to architecture and design, Dubai is a city of free spirit, a sponge for new ideas. So, when interior designer Michael Clattenburg asked his Dubai client what interior style he wanted for his home, it was no surprise that his client simply answered “Surprise me”. 

One of the first items on Clattenburg’s list was to allow the infamous Dubai sunshine to flood the living spaces. Removing walls and replacing windows with floor to ceiling glass transformed the once dark and gloomy home. One of my favorite aspects of the design was Clattenburg’s decision to keep the original dark walnut floors; it allowed for a beautiful contrast to the light walls and furniture. The furniture and accessories throughout the home were global finds; Botanicals from France hang in the sitting room, an antique Chinese screen is set in the dining room and various pieces from Dubai’s own local shops were incorporated in the design.

For the Master Bedroom (above) Clattenburg was inspired by his clients 
soccer jersey collection. In the guest bedroom (below) Clattenburg installed 
Brunschwig & Fils' wallcovering depicting rows of books... love it!

Right now is about the best time to visit Dubai, 75 degrees and sunny. Enough of this Northeastern snow already! So, who's on board?

Photos by: Andy Garner