Monday, 26 October 2009

NeON and on

I've been a fan of Paul Cocksedge's work since I first clapped eyes on the inspired NeON light.
Each glass vessel is filled with gas which is then charged with an electric current, creating hanging droplets of pure, beautiful colour.
The design for NeON was developed in 2003 but still feels fresh today. I had tried to use these in a bar installation but was told they too closely resembled a mans rubber friend! I'd honestly not seen that myself, but I guess, as in art, we all have our own interpretation!
One of his latest installations for The Wellcome Trust building in London has passers by literally stopping in their tracks and shows Cocksedge is pushing the extremes of lighting design once again.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The Wild Things Are Here

One of my most treasured reads as a child was "Where The Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. It seems surprising to realise that the first release of the book was in fact 1963!
I am now eagerly awaiting the release of the new film adaptation, and I just hope that the film does not dilute the wonderful character of the story which was so beautifully captured within Sendak's most perfect illustrations.
The Morgan Library in New York will be exhibiting these original illustrations, allowing visitors to view the very thought processes behind each sketch, to witness the development of these remarkable images with which Sendak enhanced his heart warming story. Enjoy it NY!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Urchin Poufs

These Urchin Poufs are so tactile and comforting, they remind me of a favourite woolen hat!

Created by Christien Meindertsma the hugely talented designer, creator from The Netherlands, who has also created the One Sheep Cardigan. Christien has been nominated for the Rotterdam Design Prize 2009, in recognition for her unique approach to design and you can vote for her here

Euro Baby

I am a sucker for anything retro and this Euro Lantern with patterned shade from Nordic design house Moooi certainly ticks that box for me!
But I also love the delicate oriental influence which echoes the design of traditional Chinese paper lanterns. The lamps are made from stretched polyester over a wire steel frame plus they have a beautifully detailed decorative ring at the base. Surely the best way to display would be in a cluster of the different sizes available to create an eclectic showcase!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Jona Hoad Design

It's hard to pick out favourite images from the imaginative works of Jona Hoad. The design company based in London has a unique technique, illuminating carved or etched surface to produce feature screens, lighting fixtures and stunning artworks.
The bathroom image above also features their IlluminArt as a backdrop for another of our favourite artists Jeff Bell who casts the wonderful glass baths.

Days Pass

I wonder what the world would be like if we didn't have dates? I guess we wouldn't have birthdays, Christmas could be anytime of the year. In fact, there would be no years?!
We need to know the day, the month. It's how we live, without truly realising it.
The Perpetual Calendar from Enzo Mari I think is a great statement of time and date. It's such a strong piece and you must physically move the calendar each day, therefore being in tune with the date, perhaps then the seasons and maybe even life that little bit more.
Or perhaps, again, I let myself get carried away....

Available from Nova68 as well as others online

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

My Home. My Gallery

The creations of Jung Myung Taek are engaging and yet perplexing. They appear as sculptures or objects of art to be admired from afar, but these pieces are functional. They are designed for a purpose as well as being designed to evoke a response or emotion. Form & function being of equal importance.

The Ducking Lounge Chair above is perhaps my favourite from the collection, I imagine this could be a statement piece in an ultra modern room or a beautiful addition to a bustling eclectic interior.

Photographing The World For You

Yann Arthus Bertrand is a stunning photographer with a unique view of the world. He captures the most incredible images of countries and cultures, from inspiring landscapes to amazing detailed views of plantations and environments.

What is more, Yann Arthus has provided a free desktop wallpaper library from which you can download any of the images for your own personal use. With over 2000 images to choose from you can travel the world from your desktop!

Athenaeum Hotel Goes Green

The Athenaeum Hotel in London's Mayfair has installed a beautiful vertical garden on the corner of the building. It's a stunning transformation for the building and also provides a perfect retreat for flying and crawling London tourists, as well as the more conventional 2 legged variety!

The wall has been designed by renowned designer Patrick Blanc and showcases swathes of native plants, wildflowers and nettles. We sincerely hope this starts a trend!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Teatime at The Tea Palace

We just love these quirky tea gift sets from Tea Palace London.
This beautiful tin Book of Tea contains 4 sample tea boxes. Choose from the
Classic Edition containing Assam Superior, Imperial Ceylon, Finest Darjeeling and Palace Earl Grey or the Herbal Edition with Organic Chamomile Flowers, Peppermint, Lemon & Ginger and Vital Apple; Both at £22.95
The Tea Palace also have gorgeous tea fragranced scented candles, and other fruit and herbal teas. Treat yourself and pretend you're having a cuppa with the Queen!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Still Fabulously Floral

The new rug patterns from design house Vanderhurd have a beautiful depth, and take strong inspiration from Mashrabiya fretwork. For us however, the Fabulous Floral range from 2005 still gets our pulse going! In particular Flower Power and Deliriously Daisy have a fresh quality and yet are still vibrant enough to create a strong feature in a room with a quiet palette.
Petit point rugs are also such a rariety with a contemporary design, it's always fantastic when a modern design house can explore traditional techniques.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Magno Radio

The Magno Radio has such a beautifully tactile design, I'm sure we'd be changing stations all day, any excuse just to twiddle those gorgeous wooden knobs!
The radio is crafted by hand in an Indonesia farming village, and for those eco-aware the timber is selected new growth wood and for each tree used, another is re-planted in its place.
Standard am/fm channels are received via the pop-up aerial and, believe it or not, the radios are also mp3 compatible.

Designed by Singgih Kartono for Areaware, it's available in varying sizes, starting from $200

Laser Quest

The delicacy of the Hidden.MGX vase is an obvious intimation of the flowers it is designed to play vessel to. It is also, however, a beautiful showcase of modern day crafting techniques being championed by Belgian design firm Materialise.
Made from Polyamide using Selective Laser Sintering processes, which basically scan a 3D model of the vase pattern and then fuse particles of nylon together to form the same shape - clever stuff!
The vase is designed by Dan Yeffet and can be seen as part of the permanent collection at Musee d'Art Moderne in Luxembourg. Recognition surely of the creative wonder these innovative processes can evoke.
Crafting with computers, would you recognise laser production as a modern craft technique?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Urbis Design's Outdoor Furniture

We love the sleek planter ranges from the UK's Urbis Design, and now they have transferred their clever glass reinforced concrete, moulding technique to a cool collection of Outdoor Furniture.
There are currently three designs, including the elegant Shell Bench above which has a certain air of the Tom Vac chair about it - not that we mind!

Yarn Storming, Making The World A Cosier Place A Stitch At A Time

Heard of Yarn Storming? Maybe not, but if the Yarn Corp Girls from Knit the City have their way you soon will, with their amazing woollen sabotage of an iconic London Telephone Box in July 09.
So what's it all about? Known as knitting graffiti it's a public display of creativity with the main aim to soften & beautify our surroundings, and it may just knit its way into a town near you.
If it should, enjoy it, knit happens!

Thanks to Knit The City for image use, Image ©Lauren O'Farrell

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Give Your Room Its Own Identity

We are loving the new Identity range of Wallcoverings from Harlequin & Harris.
In particular the clean lines of Barcode would complement many room types, and the quirky Illuminate design would look fantastic in a study setting, featuring the iconic Artichoke lamp outline from Louis Poulsen.
Prices start from around £33 per roll at Wallpaper Direct

House of Bling!

The National Trust have a fantastic exhibition at Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire; "The House Of Bling".

The castle has literally been taken over by contemporary artists to create a stunningly elloborate showcase of work.
Each piece is installed within the rooms or grounds of the castle, with the aim to directly engage the visitors who will be able to get up close to the installations and even interact with the art itself.
Keen visitors can inlist as volunteers, perhaps as exhibition guides or to help install the artworks alongside the artists. Workshops are also running throughout, truely worth a visit!
From Sat 8th August to Sun 23rd August 2009

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Lubna Chowdhary

We love the work of ceramicist Lubna Chowdhary. The vibrant use of colour throughout her work against the bold patterns make each piece a real statement. A particular favourite of ours, the Hot Plates as above, which are tactile and beautiful, yet wholly practical as a hot trivet for the kitchen and dining table.

Beat The British Summer!

Don't let them tell you this summer is a wash out, the sun will come out to play and when it does, make sure you are ready for it!

We have some great Outdoor Accessories at Soulful Toaster, perfect for BBQ's at the beach, chillin' in the park, or even just relaxing in your own back garden!

First Blog Of Many!

So, we have pondered the idea of creating a Soulful Toaster blog for some time... and, finally, here it is.

We aim to provide a source of inspiration for the latest and greatest products, design, artwork, events and generally, anything which catches our eye.

We hope you enjoy, and hope we do too!