What is happening in the candle world? It seems like only a few years ago that everyone got on board again with tapers, which were once relegated only to formal dining rooms and Victorian-era cosplay. Now, not only are tapers available in every color of the rainbow, but you can also find candles in nearly any form you can imagine, from a female torso, to waxed Italian fruit, to ropes, yin-yangs, and Romanesco broccoli — all imbued with a sophistication and color palette that lifts them beyond their mall gift-store origins.
When we first saw these pieces by the Turin-based collective Studio Nucleo, we thought they were miniatures. Between the pastel colors and the blocky Tetris aesthetic, we understood them, at first, to be maquettes, studies for a larger project. But after looking twice, judging them by the details of the garage they were photographed in (and, more recently, seeing the pieces with a human for scale) we realized they were the real deal — called Primitive, the pieces represent the 10th anniversary of a collection originally created in all white and now re-imagined in color for an ongoing exhibition at Nilufar Gallery in Milan.
Whether chairs, macaroni-shaped light fittings, or knotted, tubular standing lamps, Polina Miliou sees her pieces as creatures. “I often start from an archetypal furniture form and gradually twist it into more of a character,” she says. Once she’s sculpted their form, she dresses the pieces in a final smooth layer of papier-mâché. “It is a slow but fun process, during which I literally slap and caress the furniture,” she says. “The time I spend with each piece lets me build a personal relationship with it."
Just when we'd almost begun thinking of him as "the candle guy," his pillars and tapers seemingly having colonized every store in New York, Dutch designer Lex Pott posted a photo on his Instagram late last month of a single eye-catching chair wrapped entirely in hand-woven nylon straps. We did a mini interview with Pott to find out more about the project.
In the world of Pieces, a rug can be inspired by a warm clay tennis court and a showroom can be a place you check into for a weekend away. Variations on the items that make up Collection III, which launched at Offsite Online, were first introduced in their shoppable Airbnb house in Kennebunk, Maine. The trio spent the whole of 2019 renovating the house and filling it with design products for guests to live amongst before purchasing.
When Jill and I posted pictures of our favorite books on Instagram last week, mine featured one of my favorite objects in my living room, shown above: A pot, used by me as a planter, that features two hand-painted, color-blocked pastel faces. I bought it on eBay for $10 a year and a half ago. I don't remember how I found it. I had no idea, at the time, who the maker was, only that her name was Victoria Crowell and I assumed she was an obscure local artisan who made the pot in the '80s. I was mostly correct.
When Gerrit Rietveld designed his famed Red and Blue Chair in 1917, it wasn't red and blue at all, but plain, unstained beech wood. Only six years later, after his De Stijl collaborator Bart van der Leck suggested he add bright colors, did Rietveld create the version that went on to make history. The same is true, in a way, of the Barcelona studio AOO's Chair 8, whose colors were envisioned by painter Claudia Valsells for a recent collaborative exhibition in Spain.
Six pieces of furniture, hand-built from ash in Northeast England and stained with brightly colored pigments, form the core of Darkroom's 10th anniversary collection.
The first time I saw South Korean designer Chiho Cheon's lacquered cement and corrugated cardboard Criteria chairs, I joked to Monica that they were the furniture equivalent of Issey Miyake's ready-to-wear cult-favorite Pleats Please brand. Now that I've seen Cheon's extension of the line — tables and chairs in vibrant shades of red, lavender, and robin's egg blue — I stand firmly by that assessment, especially as we've seen tiny plissé folds take over everything from fashion to architecture in 2019.
When asked about his relationship to color, furniture and interior designer Fabien Cappello stifles a laugh. “I find this so funny,” he says, “but I am colorblind.” This comes as somewhat of a shock after having seen the inside of Cappello’s Mexico City studio, a 1,075 square-foot space littered with designs in various stages of development: yellow and red fiberglass plant pots; a woven lounge chair with teal legs; lantern-like prototypes made of blue, orange, and pink wire.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: an explosion of color in our current must-see art exhibitions, an affordable new housewares series by Philippe Malouin, and four very different takes on wooden furniture, including the table above.