After last month’s ‘art special’, I’m going back to normal with my November round-up of new furniture and homeware launches. So, without any further delay, here are some of the designs that have caught my eye over recent weeks…
New editions of Arne Jacobsen classics from Republic of Fritz Hansen
I’m starting with Republic of Fritz Hansen, which has debuted updated versions of two pieces by renowned Danish designer Arne Jacobsen. The first is the ‘Grand Prix’ table, which was originally created by Jacobsen back in 1957 to match his ‘Grand Prix’ chair. Manufacturing issues meant it was sold for a limited time only, but Fritz Hansen has now relaunched the design in beautiful oak veneer to mark its 60th anniversary.
The second is the ‘Series 7’ chair, which Jacobsen designed in 1955 as a simplified, more affordable version of his iconic ‘Ant’ chair. It’s now available with striking velvet upholstery thanks to a collaboration between Fritz Hansen and clothing label lala Berlin, which aimed to explore the blurred boundaries between fashion and furniture design. The new edition comes in deep burgundy red and midnight blue, with matching powder-coated legs. Both colours work beautifully with the chair’s curved shape, adding a dash of opulence without detracting from the minimalist form; there’s also a velvet-covered version of the ‘Dot’ stool. The fabric choices were inspired by the Iranian heritage of lala Berlin founder Layla Piedayesh, who explains: “Velvet brings back memories of my childhood in Iran; velvet, like no other material, can take me on a journey to another time. The dark blue takes me back to midnights in the city of Isfahan, and the Cimmerian water of the Caspian sea, and when I see the burgundy shade, I can almost taste the barberries used in traditional Iranian cuisine.”
The latest designs from Muuto
Danish brand Muuto has launched several new pieces for autumn-winter 2017. Among them is the ‘Tip’ lamp, created by Swede Jens Fager to emphasise simple, functional design. Made from moulded aluminium, it’s available in four colours: black, white, copper brown and olive. The name reflects the way the lampshade gently tilts backwards to distribute the light more evenly; there’s also a dimmer switch and an adjustable arm for increased versatility.
Also new is the ‘Fibre’ bar-stool series, conceived by Copenhagen-based duo ISKOS-BERLIN to be comfortable yet unpretentious, and Thomas Bentzen‘s ‘Loft’ chair, whose powder-coated steel legs and plywood seat were inspired by industrial design. Both are available in various colour combinations – I particularly like the black and cognac ‘Fibre’ option, and the dusty rose ‘Loft’ legs. In addition, there are more colourways for the felt ‘Restore’ storage basket, along with British studio Industrial Facility‘s stackable ‘Platform’ tray, which fuses Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics to beautiful effect.
New additions at Skagerak
Staying with Danish brands, Skagerak has revealed a raft of new designs over the past couple of months. They include the angular, multi-functional ‘Building’ table, which comes in two sizes and various colours that can be combined to ‘build’ a coffee table, side table or nightstand. There’s also the sleek and simple ‘Norr’ magazine holder, which sits flat against the wall and so works brilliantly in narrow spaces, and the foldable ‘Miskito’ lounge chair, which combines Central American and Scandinavian influences (its name refers to a Nicaraguan dialect of Spanish).
My favourite pieces, though, are the ‘Reykjavik’ daybed and the elegant ‘Vent’ stool. The former was inspired by the architecture of Iceland, with solid wooden planks and colour-block cushions that imitate the distinctive wooden and corrugated-steel buildings of the capital city. The latter consists of braided paper cord on a powder-coated steel frame and is partly made by socio-economic company Blindes Arbejde, which employs visually impaired people in the manufacture of handcrafted design.
Stylish ceramics from Cooee Design
Next I’m moving on to Sweden, where Cooee Design has extended its range of beautiful home accessories.
I’ve long been a fan of Cooee’s powdery-matte ceramics, so I was excited to see several new colour options for the iconic ‘Ball’ and ‘Collar’ vases, including warm autumnal hues such as ‘cafe au lait’ and ‘coffee’. There’s also a new decorative bowl in muted shades of green, grey and blue, and ‘Edge’ flower pots and vases with striking geometric shapes. Most eye-catching for me, though, are the softly curved ‘Convex’ flower pots, and pairs of ceramic candlesticks – one taller with a matte finish, and one shorter with a glossy surface – in a choice of black, green, pink or white.
The ‘Fa’ spotlight from Goula / Figuera Studio
Finally, some news from Pablo Figuera and Álvaro Goula of Barcelona-based Goula / Figuera Studio, who have just launched a minimal and versatile floor-standing spotlight called ‘Fa’. Originally created in May 2016 for a Ramón Casas exhibition at the Círculo del Liceo (part of Barcelona’s Liceo opera house), the design needed to illuminate paintings from many different angles without anything being fixed to the walls or ceiling. The resulting light is surprisingly simple: a solid steel base, a thin rod, a head, and a magnet that’s used to direct the beam.
After receiving excellent feedback during the exhibition, Goula and Figuera decided to bring the lamp to market and worked with Home Adventures to produce a larger version with an improved magnetic system. It now comes in two sizes and several colours, and can function as a reading lamp, a spotlight, ambient light or even a bedside lamp. Its name, ‘Fa’, was inspired by the musical note and is a tribute to the place for which it was first designed.
All photography via the respective brands named above