Inside out [identity (United Arab Emirates)]
(identity (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) It seems rather apt that we have entered the Year of the Dragon.
The dragon is highly unpredictable and flourishes only in an environment with plenty of room for personal creativity, according to Chinese lore.
These creatures are dreamers, lovers of adventure and cherish the dramatic - the dragon is also capable of achieving great success.
We could ask for no better guide to lead us through this year, which promises to be just as capricious as the past few months.
The field of interior design, luckily, is not immune to the pull of the Chinese zodiac and in this realm the dragon holds sway as well.
From the major furnishings fairs that kicked off the new year, the message is clear: it is time for some fun at home.
Creativity and quirkiness get carte blanche, both indoors and out, and furnishing introductions al fresco herald a touch of the irreverent designed to raise a smile.
In fact, if there are any lessons to be learnt from not only from the dragon, but also from the recent design shows in Europe as well, it is that freedom reigns supreme.
"Enough of gloom and doom in this crazy world!" proclaims Paris's major furnishings expo Maison&Objet from its trend Observatoire.
This year's slogan, "Crazy", is thoroughly apropos given that the fair coincided with the ushering in of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon.
"A pinch of folly and caustic humor can let imagination take the wheel.
It's time to champion the right to a breath of mental fresh air, to have fun.
To affirm the jubilant desire to detonate wan conformity.
Quirky, festive creativity is turning to whimsy and humor.
Insolence and irony, extravagance and outrageousness are sweeping away things we've all seen before.
Now is the time for sweet delirium and highly euphoric abnormality.
In the offbeat bazaar of our contemporary cabinet of curiosities, we don't take ourselves too seriously, and it feels crazily good."
Dedon reinterprets the base camps of early explorers in its City Camp collection.
Not too long ago the options for outdoor residential spaces were hindered by an extremely limited array of furnishings, which often lagged far behind the innovations and directions being taken inside the home.
The distinction between the two areas has now been completely erased and today on point outdoor products move in step with what is happening indoors.
The sophistication and refinement of outdoor furnishings have made impressive strides and the top manufacturers now often present their outdoor collections in indoor scenarios.
For instance, when Barcelona-based Kettal chose to showcase its greatly expanded Bitta outdoor furniture collection designed by Italian architect and designer Rodolfo Dordoni, it did so by presenting its seating elements inside.
Its combination of braided cord seats topped by comfortable cushions took a familiar outdoor vernacular and recast it for contemporary use both for outside spaces and the living room.
The expanded range includes everything from a modular sofa system, club chairs and stools to roomy daybeds, deckchairs, and swings.
"My aim was to create dense braiding that would still let the air through," says Dordoni, who has also created collections for other top European furniture players such as Artemide, Cappellini, Cassina, Minotti and Flo.
"The pieces look lightweight but, at the same time, they look just like cosy nests."
It isn't a stretch either to envision the in-out Oskar collection from Sifas, a company founded on the French Riviera in 1937, in the interior.
The product of the mind of French designer Éric Carrère, he has reinvented the classic, folding American director's chair and adds a touch of luxury to the collection by introducing padding to its chairs, chaises and love seats.
The expanded Haven series, designed by Claesson, Koivisto, and Rune for Paola Lenti, and Tribu's Natal Alu both make the transition from inside to out without interruption.
Haven, launched in 2009, has evolved to include armchairs, a two-seater sofa with a high backrest and sun bed, all of which feature an elastic fabric slung on a still visible, steel structure.
The strong geometries of the seating are softened by the sheerness of the fabric and generous cushions and pillows.
Natal Alu, with its elegant lines in aluminum and generous cushions, now available in genuine outdoor leather, makes it equally appropriate for both living rooms and backyards.
Still, outdoor furnishings, which now hold their own against interior pieces, bring more than boundary shifting to the table.
As the polish and complexity of the products continue to improve, so too do the range of exterior design possibilities and applications.
"The outdoor design revolution is not just about cool chairs and sofas," says Anne Robert, founder of British consultancy the Outdoor Stylist.
"It is not a new outdoor room in the limited sense.
It is about using outdoor spaces as multi-purpose and multi-targeted outdoor spaces.
One single area needs to be a kitchen, a wet space, a playroom, a lounge, a dining area, a gym, a work place etc...
Parents, kids, teens, grandparents need to use the space."
Flights oF Fancy
In the field of interior design, the guiding principals for the past few seasons have focused on reconnecting to natural world, adding the spice of individuality to a space and carving out more private spheres within the larger context.
Those considerations are present in the outdoors, too, and the mood these days is definitely about freedom of expression.
So while concerns of privacy and tapping into rustic elements remain constant, injecting the backyard with hyper-individualisation will move front and centre in the coming months.
Though many collections are again leaning toward an understated simplicity and clean, linear shapes, many with a nod towards Scandinavian and Nordic design, there are plenty of introductions designed to make a splash.
In fact, Maison&Objet's "Crazy" itinerary is all about that and reveals the winds blowing through the aisles of the fair.
For January last year, the Observatoire team focused on the concept of "Unplugged", getting back to nature and escaping the world beyond the front doors.
Cocoon and nest-like seating popped up on the map as has a desire to move away from mass conformity, to seek out more pageantry appeared underfoot as well.
Like previous Maison&Objet shows, this January's event was conceived by a trio of top European stylists: François Bernard for Croisements, Vincent Grégoire for NellyRodi and Elizabeth Leriche for the Elizabeth Leriche Agency.
All three were asked to interpret the theme and each created an elaborate exhibit illustrating how the trend will play out in home designs for the coming years.
Bernard slugged his presentation "Art'keting - Mad about art" and states: "In our carnival of madmen in which we are all trying to proclaim our uniqueness, we often tout pointlessness.
Unique pieces draw out nothing but the boredom of the commonplace.
Hyper-personalisation is now designing our décors.
So it's time for the unexpected to leap into a scattershot yet elegant jumble that is both ironic and luxurious.
Anachronisms, colliding materials, collusive colors...
The home is becoming a work of art, and you are its creator."
Can you not feel the presence of our guardian the dragon nearby? And what about, Grégoire's airing of "Sweet Freaks - Monstrous beauties" for all the design world to witness? He too has captured the essence of the spontaneous dragon in his exposition.
"Eccentricity is energising our imaginations.
Wild flights of fancy and offbeat whimsy are shaking up a world caught between being too orderly and unhinged.
Supercharged design is experimenting with curious overlaps combining the unusual and the refined.
Juxtapositions, accumulations, and subversions are creating a dizzily psychotropic style.
The home is mutating into a cave of wonders."
In fact, Roche-Bobois advises in its just-released spring/summer 2012 catalogue that we rip up the rulebook.
"Embracing this era of eclecticism and individual style, Roche Bobois's collections explore a mix of aesthetics, blurring the lines of distinction between 'outdoor' and 'indoor', subtle and statement, gentle and geometric, 'high-tech' versus 'low-tech', formal versus relaxed.
Fresh ideas are born, new stories are told.
Throw some wit and fun into the mix with a splash of strong colour here, a surrealist
'melting' vase there..."
From this forward French atelier we get new introductions that toy with preconceived notions of outdoor style.
Cédric Dequidt created Ferre, his first outdoor collection for Roche Bobois, where the simple repetition of differently coloured steel tubes carries a cheery, retro vibe.
It is composed of a sofa, an armchair, a dining, and a low table.
Christophe Delcourt's Saga collection, also for Roche Bobois, moves outdoors this year.
The line's double chaise longue cocoon, made of Italian acacia wood with a tobacco coloured oil finish, features tall, branch-like back and arms climbing toward the sky.
French design firm Qui est Paul? proposes a number of introductions this year that are full of quirks and good cheer.
The team behind the brand includes Alain Gilles, Nicolas Le Nocher, Eric Raffy, Cedric Ragot, Francesc Crous and Alessandro Calogero, and the penchant is skewed towards the artistically intriguing.
The plastic-molded, throne-like Altesse armchair and modernised rocking chair Tom Yam, both by Ragot, are sure to brighten any setting.
The avant-garde works from outdoor furniture maker Kenneth Cobonpue always pack a punch.
The company's Bloom chair and Dragnet armchair are visually arresting, with their elegant shapes, vivid colours and just the right touch of caprice.
Each collection is meticulously hand-made by Filipino artisans and Bloom (available in lime green, moss green, muted red and yellow) features a micro-fibre stitched over a resin top, sprouting from a base made of steel.
Dragnet, which is inspired by fishermen's nets and created from fabric twisted and wrapped around a steel frame, surrounds you like a cocoon.
"Look, touch, feel, smile, " says Swiss designer Lætitia Florin of her new, flexible Bidum collection of decorative storage units for Ligne Roset.
Her comment is so appropriate of the emotions so many are craving at home and which they can now find in stores.
Too much cannot be said about living without borders, it is now a lifestyle embraced at home.
We move effortlessly from space to space, doing what we want without effort or encroachment - entertainment, family-life, work and relaxation are enjoyed at whim and wherever we please.
Naturally, this move extends to the outdoors as well.
As we move outside, living and dining room, kitchen and bath, entertainment and work have followed along.
The modern lifestyle demands a free flow of ideas - and furnishings.
Pieces need to be nomadic, easily moving from indoors to out, or from one corner to another.
During IMM Cologne's January home fair, movability was an oft-repeated refrain.
As various areas of the home merge, furniture has to be light and flexible because it is used wherever its needed rather than sitting in the same place for years on end.
This not only includes smaller upholstered furniture and seating, but small workstations and bureaus as well.
In fact, portable furniture has been one of the driving factors behind the phenomenal designs hitting the market.
A few months prior to IMM, during its September event, Maison&Objet hosted its annual Outdoor_Indoor show-within-a-show.
"Country homes, city apartments, urban lofts, design or luxury hotels ...
the outdoor-indoor phenomenon affects all types of living spaces," proclaim Outdoor_Indoor's organisers.
"Between the indoors and the outdoors, the boundaries have been broken.
From sofas in the garden to chaise longues in the living room, from terrace showers to weatherproof rugs ...
the outdoor spirit is blowing through our homes in a joyous melting pot of nature, design, architecture and technology.
In the wintertime as well as the summer, we're decompartmentalising, mixing genres and getting a big breath of fresh air thanks to collections of nomadic furniture and decorative objects inspired by the world of the garden."
One need look no further than contemporary furniture maker Ligne Roset's first foray into the exterior environment, which it introduced last April and has now expanded upon With the commission of designs by Jacques Ferrier, Francois
Asambourg, Philippe Nigro, Kensaku Oshiro and others, the cutting-edge French brand certainly proposes some intriguing concepts, each infused with a spirit of flexibility.
Take the Fifty armchair by Copenhagen design duo Dogg & Arnved.
Icelandic designer Dögg Gudmundsdottir, who studied in both Milan and Copenhagen, has been collaborating with Danish architect and designer Rikke Rutzou Arnved since 2010.
Together, they combine traditional Scandinavian design with modern technology and a real passion for new materials and textures.
This modern riff on the Flag Halyard Chair designed by Hans Wegner in 1950 is no exception.
The original recliner paired a tubular metal frame with cording wrapped around the structure.
Fifty features a woven tall back and wings protruding from both sides of the headrest, surrounding a slim black lacquered steel structure.
The pair designed a straight backrest to allow not only for rest but also reading (or watching television) and the woven "ears" on each side of the headrest reinforce the general feeling of intimacy.
An optional footrest supports total relaxation.
Available in tobacco or black plastic threads, the piece can survive inside or out.
"And so it is that in 2012 a Scandinavian influence - with its clean, soft lines, almost austere modesty, natural materials [such as natural or black-stained wood] and the meticulous, almost handcrafted way in which they are used which flirts with Japanese minimalism - can be detected," notes Michel Roset, head of Ligne Roset, pointing to Fifty as just one instance of its influence.
Another in/out concept, Serpentine by young French designer Eléonore Nalet for Ligne Roset, is a sumptuous and seductive addition.
Crafted from a special fabric called tempête (interwoven with metallic thread), Serpentine's "lumpy" cushions are twinned through the armchair's metal structure for supremely comfortable seat that is light and stylish enough to move from the dining room to the backyard.
"I must be the only person pleased with the rise of fuel prices," Robert says.
"And for an embarrassingly selfish reason! Since I started exploring the designs now available to city dwellers owning outdoor spaces, I have realised a key trend now will be for urban escapism: to have a sense of leaving the city by simply stepping out: outdoor showers, climbing walls, plug and cook outdoor kitchens, mp3-equipped outdoor heaters...
so many designs now give us a sense of joy and freedom that mirrors what one finds on a distant mini-break."
Ultra contemporary outdoor furniture makers open up the possibilities, offering a range of cutting-edge products.
From Spanish brand Vondom comes a host of introductions that push the design envelope.
Its extensive new Vela, designed by architect Ramón Esteve, is full of inventiveness.
The strong, angular geometric forms have the option of being infused with light, so they positively glow.
Likewise, the company's Alma collection of slim, dynamic flowerpots from Studio A-cero can also be integrated with lighting in a number of colourways.
Those are just two examples among many from Vondom and others that have begun adding a lighting element to outdoor furniture and accessories.
Italian brand 21st Living's collection of multi-functional plastic-based designs for both indoors and out, includes pots, sculptural objects, with or without in-built lighting.
Integrated products such as these are just the tip of the iceberg in what is certain to become a major phenomenon for outdoor - and indoor - furnishings.
With more people taking their portable devices outside, added functionality, such as built-in lighting or Wi-Fi, are surefire hot spots.
Though still in its infancy, features such as the smartphone controlled indoor/outdoor gas fireplace from Escea or the Tweet Bench, a seat doubling up as an entertainment hub/multi media centre, offer a glimpse of the future.
A life without borders leads us to wellness without borders.
The master bath has morphed into a wellness suite, and it makes perfect sense to shift the concepts of rejuvenation and relaxation to the open air.
Pools, tubs and Jacuzzis are getting a sophisticated revamp for the exterior landscape, with many players in the bathroom arena extending their lines beyond the four walls.
High-end bath fittings maker Zucchetti.Kos, which unveiled its new outdoor pool concept at Maison&Objet, adds to its wellness proposition with the introduction of Minipool.
Designed by Milanese team Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, who also designed the outdoor Geo 180, Minipool is Zucchetti.Kos's first overflowing rim mini-pool in a free-standing version, while Geo 180 pairs hydro- and chromotherapy with an oversized rain shower-head.
Premier spa designer Aqua Dolce comes to market with another contemporary design dubbed ID4, which offers a slew of wellness options to help one relax and unwind.
A collaboration that included designer Bertrand Medas and ergonomist Jean-Luc Reneiro, ID4 features a backlit waterfall, chromotherapy lighting system, five different massage positions and scores of various types of jets.
Duravit's Sundeck and Blue Moon collections reposition the traditional bathtub outside.
Blue Moon, designed by Jochen Schmiddem, offers a circular water pool, complemented by a sleek, concealed square surround.
In contrast, Sundeck, designed by the EOOS, has a rectangular profile that can be installed as either a stand-alone element or in a corner or wall application.
Both tubs are dressed in a weatherproof wooden exterior and are covered by a hand-sewn, white upholstery that quickly converts the pools into a large sunbathing area, making it an apt choice for smaller spaces.
Sophisticated spa technology amps up the experience by offering three unique spa functions that include "Power", "Relax" and "Emotion" cycles and an LED coloured light system with numerous settings.
A floating, waterproof remote control operates home entertainment components.
Adding to Sundeck and Blue Moon's ease of use is the fact that a permanent water connection is unnecessary; a simple garden hose is all that's needed for filling.
Escapism outdoors has truly become fluid and carving out a personal space that encompasses all aspects of living has never been easier.
Cooking, entertaining, working and relaxing in style outdoors gets easier with each passing season as more attention is focused on the possibilities.
Italian indoor/outdoor furnishings maker Paola Lenti, in collaboration with Bestetti Associati, begins a new undertaking giving a contemporary twist to the cabana.
Cabanne offers up a chic shelter for those seeking a sense of intimacy and a beautiful view.
This four-piece modular iroko-wood system can be combined in a number of ways.
A roof cover in Jarrah fabric or sassafras wood lattices completes the modules - for the Quadro module a roof covering in waterproof, varnished aluminium panels is available.
In a similar vein, but composed of aluminum and glass, is Gandia Blasco's Cristal Box, a flexible, modern day pergola that can be enlarged or extended.
"Colour had new preferences.
Shape held different options.
Materials and patterns were also on the move," Michelle Lamb, director of US consultancy
Trend Curve, says of the future for outdoor designs.
"The shifts and evolutions in those categories confirmed that outdoor living is not only here to stay, but also is still a big growth sector for home decor." ID
(c) 2012 Motivate Publishing. All rights reserved. Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
[ Back To LatinAmerica.tmcnet.com's Homepage 's Homepage ]