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THE DESIGN CHASER

Douglas and Bec Launch the Arch Collection

6.23.2017

Last night I attended the Douglas and Bec Showroom in Auckland to see the launch of their beautiful new collection, Arch. Described by the New Zealand studio as their most ambitious yet, the new furniture and lighting collection marks an impressive ten years in design. Over the last decade father and daughter team, Douglas Snelling and Bec Dowie have created a world-class brand epitomised by immaculately beautiful craftsmanship. Striking a perfect balance between tactility and poetry, their work explores the contrast of natural hand-crafted materials with elegant linear forms. To celebrate the exciting ten year milestone, Douglas and Bec have in addition to launching Arch, undergone a brand refresh and will be opening a new showroom space in Melbourne designed by renowned interior designer Rufus Knight.

Arch Pendant 03, Arch Chair and Arch Side Table 

The new collection casts a look back to the late 1920s and ‘30s, a time when key items of furniture were at the heart of daily rituals of living – starting or ending the day at a dressing table, reading in a chair by the light of a lamp, or gathering in the lounge for cocktails. Designer Bec Dowie says she was inspired by the way her grandparents’ generation invested time and appreciation in the furniture they used daily.“As much as this collection is born out of historical personal narrative, it has a modern feel,” she says. “I wanted to use negative detailing and reflections to bring a playful element into the work.”

Arch Vanity Table & Mirror, Arch Side Table and Arch Floor Lamp

The collection draws influence from the curvilinear Parisian design of the time, with echoes of French designer Charlotte Perriand’s clean yet feminine aesthetic apparent. A centrepiece grouping is the Arch Vanity Table, Arch Vanity Mirror and Arch Vanity Chair. The generously sized, tiered three-piece mirror features rattan side- panels, and seems to float like a cloud above the slim-legged vanity table. The companion chair, in muted duck-egg blue or buttery gold velvet, has a sense of solidity even as it glides on rolling caster feet.


“With the table, I wanted to celebrate the beauty of the natural grain of the wood,” says Dowie, “as well as my dad Douglas’ skills of hand-turning.” 

Arch Pendant 01 and Arch Vanity Chair 

Those skills are also evident in the graceful Arch Cane Chair, with its steam-bent American Ash frame and rattan lining, which call to mind the classic Thonet Chairs that were a popular feature of Parisian brasseries in the 30s.

In the lighting collection, Dowie has reached further than ever before, experimenting with reinventions of the classic pendant, and using custom tooling for every part of the designs. The tripartite design of the pendant shades and table and floor lamp bases evolved from a thought experiment around folding, and the way shadow and negative detailing could be used to emphasise the linear aspects of the design. The lighting tubes use state-of-the-art custom LED bulbs.

Arch Vanity Chair and Arch Floor Lamp 

Completing the collection, the Arch Side Tables feature the same tripartite design as the lamps, finished with a double glass top that sandwiches brass coin detailing.

Dowie says that the sense of weightiness in the collection compared to her earlier lighter and finer work is deliberate. Taking a longer-than-usual eight months to work on it, she aimed to juxtapose heavy forms with the use of negative space to give a linear quality to the pieces. From a conceptual viewpoint, she enjoys the way that the laborious, technical process behind the collection has resulted in finished shapes that are still easy and graceful.

The material palette of the collection stays true to the Douglas and Bec signature of pure natural materials played off against clean lines: American Ash, rattan, brass, reflective glass, powder-coated steel and velvet. Likewise, the colour palette of duck-egg blue, gold, off-white and natural wood, sharpened up with the judicious use of black, was inspired by a seascape painting by Dowie’s great-aunt, Helen Brown, a renowned New Zealand artist.

Arch Vanity Table, Arch Table Lamp and Arch Wall Light

The Arch Collection is now available in store. 

In early September, Douglas and Bec will move their current Melbourne showroom to 15 Bedford St, Collingwood. As mentioned at the start of the post, the new space will be designed by Rufus Knight whose incredible work has been featured here on TDC before. I can't wait to see the result of this new collaboration! 

Images courtesy of Douglas and Bec

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A New Project + Wise Words from Pella Hedeby

6.22.2017

This beautiful show home created by Pella Hedeby for JM is a lesson in light and airy Scandinavian interiors. With an appealing palette that combines neutrals and a touch of soft colour, the interior showcases the timeless quality and effortless, relaxed style that Pella is known for.


Prior to posting imagery of this project on her blog, Pella shared her mood boards along with her vision for the interior in this post. An insightful read, Pella explains her styling process from planning through to sourcing textiles, furniture and furnishings. With a focus on soft fabrics she says these were used to create both a cosy feeling and contrast to the modern lines of the architecture and furniture. Both new and vintage furniture has been chosen with longevity in mind as Pella says she wants to inspire people to create a home and furnishings that they can live with for a long time, from both a stylistically and aesthetically practical perspective.

Interior styling by Pella Hedeby / Photography by Kristofer Johnsson

To see the full house tour and product details take a look here

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3daysofdesign | The Grand Opening of Menu Space

6.21.2017

During 3daysofdesign the press tour were invited to attend the grand opening of Menu Space. A spectacular evening, we were treated to dinner in the beautiful new surroundings, followed by a special performance by dancers from the Royal Danish Ballet. As some of you know I am very fond of ballet, so to see a fusion between this gorgeous art form and the very best in design was a truly magical moment. 


Located in Nordhavn, we arrived at Menu Space by boat and received a warm welcome from the Menu team, along with a beautiful violinist who accompanied the ballet dancers later that evening. Stepping inside the incredible space felt somewhat surreal. This is a brand that I have admired from a far for such a long time, and to be one of the first people in the world to experience their newest project was such an honour. The contrast between the warm minimalist aesthetic of the Menu collection and the raw concrete interior is striking. The expansive space which features subdued lighting and smaller focal points is grounded by a meeting room framed in steel and glass. 


As we sat down for dinner, Menu's design manager Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen of Norm Architects addressed the group and shared a little about Menu Space. Created as a shared work and meeting place with a cafe open to the public, this new concept brings about a wonderful sense of openness and transparency for those who want to experience more of the brand. In keeping with Menu's collaborative style, they will over time invite designers to curate the interior, promising an ever evolving space. I'm already looking forward to visiting again next time I'm in Copenhagen.


Menu Space is located at Hamborg Plads 2, 2150 Nordhavn, Danmark. 

Images: 1-4, 7-11 photography by Michelle Halford for TDC
Images: 5-6 photography by Filippo Bamgerghi for 3daysofdesign

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Note Design Studio | Hidden Tints

6.20.2017

Known for embracing colour in their work, Note Design Studio have transformed a 19th century office space into a family home, applying a stunning palette throughout. 



Formerly the head office of a fashion brand, located in the centre of Stockholm, there were traces of 19th century splendour including worn wood floors and ornaments in the form of stucco and carpentry. However all these beautiful, old characteristics were painted in thick layers of white with modern spotlights in all ceilings, which reinforced the feeling of an impersonal office.

During this process, Note Design Studio found three old tiled ovens, one green, one pink and one a yellowish white. Behind a wall that was torn down to access the old piping, they found original 19th century paint on a door frame. Painted in a mustard yellow tint, they noted how this powerful hue suddenly illuminated the entire white space. Using this existing colour scale, Note Design Studio added new tones, which worked as a bridge between the powerful original hues. The result? A harmonious but rich colour experience that, incredibly, originated from the hidden traces of the old apartment.


Do you notice the subtle patterning of crossing lines in squares on the walls? This veneered surface was taken from a beautiful patterning in the original parquet in one of the corner rooms of the apartment. Much care was taken to prevent disturbing the original features. New elements were placed between the old ornaments, while all cabinets designed for the apartment hover on the walls between base boards and stucco or are free sanding on the floors.


What a gorgeous kids room! Seen the entire project here

Images via Note Design Studio 

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3daysofdesign | Frama Studio Store Visit

6.19.2017

During my visit to Copenhagen I was very lucky to be given the opportunity to join the press tour for 3daysofdesign. Established in 2012 and directed by Signe Byrdal Terenziani, 3daysofdesign distinguishes itself as Copenhagens’s leading annual design event. Comprising journalists, bloggers and magazine editors from around the globe, we were all excited to be in Copenhagen to see the latest, greatest design ideas from Denmark. With a packed schedule led by Signe that involved various modes of transport (the boat ferries were a favourite), I'm so glad we got to see as much as we did. Every place we visited gave us a warm, hospitable welcome (the Danes know how to wine and dine!) and we were given insight into each brand, its history and new products. One of the highlights on day one was our visit to the inspiring Frama Studio Store. I've featured them before - the Frama Kitchen post immediately springs to mind - and I couldn't wait to experience the beautiful store in real life. 


The Frama Studio Store is located in central Copenhagen, in an historical building established in the 1800s. Formerly home of the St. Pauls Pharmacy, the striking interior features original woodwork and architectural elements. With a focus on solid materials with natural finishes and simple geometry, the objects within the Frama Collections signal a return to basics, representing a graphical and straightforward aesthetic approach to design. During 3daysofdesign, the showroom featured new behavioural case studies, showcasing a mixture of traditional and contemporary environments with different coloured tones and materials focusing on the context of home using elements of living.

Photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

Frama founder Niels Strøyer Christophersen also opened the doors to his apartment in Østerbro during 3daysofdesign. Showcasing a holistic approach to design and decorating, my friend and fellow blogger Hannah of Hannah in the House managed to squeeze in a visit to see the tour and listen to Niels speak. Definitely worth a read, take a look here

To see the collections including St Pauls Apothecary range, furniture, art, lighting, kitchen and accessories and to shop online, visit Frama

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