Charles Eames, one half of the world’s most famous frolicsome design duo playfully posited, “whoever said that pleasure wasn’t functional?” Form follows function was a — if not the — guiding principle of modern architecture and industrial design in the 20th century, and the Eames hit it on the head with their lifelong pursuit of forms for the sake of pleasure. There’s no better representation of this doctrine than the imaginative modern designs for children. From Eero Arnio’s whimsical design hybrids to Hans Bolling’s classic Danish ducks, click through to check out well-designed playthings perfectly suited to tiny (and not-so-tiny) modernists the world over. … Read More
Long before Jack Nicholson’s character got carried away with the idea of a balanced work life in The Shining, the prolific Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth had concluded that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but all play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.”
The days are growing noticeably shorter, meaning the inevitable winter work doldrums are right around the corner. There’s no better time to incorporate a little cheerful fun in to your work day, so we’ve rounded up some of the most clever furniture designs to cure seasonal office melancholia. From a swing set that doubles as a conference table to a lush green rug mimicking the pastoral picnic environs of hot summer nights gone by, click through to check out nine designs guaranteed to add a little whoopee to your work day. … Read More
This week marks the opening of Goldfinger: The Design of an Iconic Film Title, MoMA’s focus installation — in conjunction with the film exhibition 50 Years of Bond — featuring the first film title sequence to enter the museum’s permanent collection. In honor of Bond’s golden anniversary and a long-standing legacy of outstanding opening credits, we’ve taken a look at the art of the title through the ages. From Saul Bass’ pioneering early work all the way up to the exceedingly clever introduction to nerd dramedy at its best, click through to check out the most iconic film title sequences of all time.… Read More
The Anthropologie catalog is one of the few free ware-peddling publications in print that we actually read. Scratch that. Covet. Sure they’ve started posting a digital version, but like most design porn, it’s best absorbed in the flesh. Now we admit, the monthly tome of whimsical inspiration can be intimidating. We’re often left feeling less than adequate about a kitchen lacking in charming Moroccan terracotta, unassumingly matching the playful, but sexy apron we don’t own. We wonder why the handmade felt bird’s nest dangling over our not-so-perfectly mismatched bedding doesn’t look as effortless as the set up we loved in last month’s home edition. We remind ourselves: it was probably in Mallorca.
Thanks to Renaissance Europe, there’s a sure-fire solution bringing hope to hopeless Anthropologie admirers everywhere, and it’s called wallpaper. From clever rolls that make your boring plaster walls look like salvaged scrap wood to a graphic mountain range designed by an 8-year old boy in Sweden, click through to check out some of the most creative options on the market today. … Read More
T.S. Eliot, quite possibly the greatest English language poet of the 20th century, oh-so eloquently reflected on the passing of time by saying, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” So have we Thomas, so have we. From the borough of Brooklyn to Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tokyo, and every other hub buzzing with creative productivity, we suspect that if they’re not all jump starting their days with Nespresso at the crack of dawn, they’re fueling their weary world with the rich, velvety, caffeinated goodness of some damn good direct trade, shade-grown beans roasted on vintage gear, pulled by an expert hand.
In true Flavorpill fashion, we’ve rounded up some of the most beautiful purveyors of coffee around the world in virtual guide form, meaning not only have we included the eye candy you know and love, but we’ve also added addresses and handy links to Google Maps. Bookmark it. Share it. Re-post it. Set the ultimate nomadic coffee lovers goal and try to hit each and every one at least once in your life. From a charming shop in a 19th-century Portuguese townhouse to a converted orange-packing factory in Tel Aviv, click through to check out some of the most beautiful coffee shops in the world. Help us discover more java gems by nominating your picks in the comments below! … Read More
Vanna Bonta, the space traveling author, award-winning poet, and notable inventor of the lovesuit to promote sex in space and other similarly weightless environments, keenly observed that “popularity is not an indication of quality.” Case in point: Pikachu-inspired cars and engagement photos ala The Phantom Menace. We’re now adding over the top interiors to our growing list of unfortunate achievements by pop culture aficionados the world over. From an exact recreation of the Starship Enterprise’s famous flight deck in a London flat to a baby’s nursery inspired by The Dharma Initiative from Lost, click through to check out some of the most bizarre interiors that take obsession to another level entirely. … Read More
With all the virtual chit chat about Myspace’s second (third?) coming thanks to a new look and possibly a new logo, we got to thinking about a recent — dare we say disappointing — trend in the big business of branding. Myspace isn’t the only identity grappling with the reality of a brave new iWorld dominated by Facebook and its burgeoning entourage of enterprising social spaces. Everyone from Microsoft to eBay to Domino’s Pizza is feeling the need for a digital era makeover. The ubiquitous look: simple sans serifs in a pared back, “friendly” style. We’re all for simplicity, but why does simple and friendly have to mean flat, boring, and uninspired? Why the pursuit of friendly in a digital world?
Maybe the answer’s an obvious one. After all, every online thesaurus lists friendly as the number one synonym for social, the undisputed buzzword and ultimate objective of every brand on the planet. Click through to check out a handful of logos making headlines today as we take a look at why we think the rise of “friendly” design is more complicated than a simple synonym. … Read More
Before there was IKEA, there was Bloomingdale’s. Founded in 1861 by Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale, the first incarnation of today’s upscale department store was a “Ladies Notions’ Shop” specializing in hoop-skirts on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Having the brains — and the imagination — to predict that the bourgeois metropolis to come would need a glorious retail destination housing everything from a delicatessen department to the largest rooftop greenhouse in America for city dwellers wanting the fresh air of a country estate, the Brothers Bloomingdale did more than outfit an era, they defined it.
Bloomingdale’s Book of Home Decorating by Barbara D’Arcy, the influential interior design guru and chief decorator of the model rooms in the flag ship store’s furniture department, is testament to its influence. As one particularly helpful Amazon reviewer writes, “this book showcases the best of the best, furniture for your dream home, no budget in sight. It’s an inspirational, all-out, sky’s-the-limit explosion of creativity, trends and fantasy.” Click through to check out the very best of this ’70s design dream tome. Then, let us know in the comments what inspires you the most today! … Read More
Architects often get classified as stark minimalists obsessed with the seemingly boring, non-color palette of black and white. We thought we’d dispel this myth with a virtual visit to the vibrant homes of some of our favorite design legends. Verner Panton, enfant terrible of Danish design and creator of fabulous, funky pieces in exotic colors, once said that “choosing colors should not be a gamble. It should be a conscious decision. Colors have a meaning and a function.” Color brings life, meaning, and mood to even the most simple of spaces, and when done well — in our opinion — is the sign of real genius. From Luis Barragán’s vivid pink walls to Charles and Ray Eames’ whimsical use of red, yellow and blue, click through to peek into the surprisingly colorful lives of some of the world’s most famous architects. Which would you want to live… Read More
It’s been a while since we thought about the doom and gloom prediction the Mayan calendar made for the end of this year, but with the days getting shorter and fall right around the corner, we’re back to wondering, what if there’s something to it? The experts claim that it was one big mix up because someone somewhere confused the Roman Stone of the Sun with the Mayan calendar and interpreted this year’s Winter equinox as the end of the world, when really it’s more of a calendar reset.
Whether you accept the idea of an imminent apocalypse or not, it’s always good to be prepared. From an underground villa in the Swiss Alps to a sprawling mini city preserving popular culture, click through to check out architecture that will save you and quite possibly your soul. Which would you choose to weather what may come? … Read More