Thursday, February 25, 2010

Design Blog Profile: Danielle de Lange of The Style Files!

Continuing with our efforts to bring you the best of the best blogs out there every week, we give you the great website The Style Files. Based out of The Netherlands, The Style Files is the place to go when you’re looking for the hottest and latest trends in fashion, interior design, architecture, design and more. You get a unique glimpse into the world of style, but this time from the angle of Europe! Though there is a discernable lean to Dutch design, you get a good taste of what’s going on globally with this great blog.

Started by Danielle de Lange, a consultant in trend watching, interior design and even location scouting, The Style Files is de Lange’s personal blog about design and the stylish lifestyle. She searched the globe for the greatest and brightest in interior design objects, design ideas and even design tips. Not just posting about objects or spaces, de Lange also uses her wealth of experience and expertise to also publish observations, tips, and ideas on interior design, design in general and even art. You’ll not only find great new products or style ideas for your space, you’ll also gain inspiration from the photos and tips she shares.

Organized pretty simply, The Style Files, quite incidentally, also has one of our favorite blog header images of all time. With a nice white background, the large photos of the posts stand out well, and though the site does featuring advertising it doesn’t take away from the original content. The category system on the blog is prolific, allowing you to search for just what you are looking for at any given time. There are categories like: ceramics, christmas, design, diy projects, dutch design, eco-design, etsy, events, fashion, flooring, food, furniture, home accessories and more.

Among the other blogs listed as the top 25 interior design blogs in the world, it’s no surprise that The Style Files has been such a great hit. Simple, straightforward and full of amazing inspiration, you’ll want to check this blog out so you can bring some style in to your own space!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This Week's Top 5 Favorite 1stdibs Items: Sections!

We found a number of furniture pieces and accessories that involved different segments in today's newest items from 1stdibs. Some are actual individual segments that come together to make a whole, and others are visual segments that appear to create a whole. Either way, these pieces prove that you've got to work together to achieve something great!

1) Eleven section de sede non-stop organic sofa
We love the way this over-sized sofa looks like eleven separate pieces. It gives a fun, exciting feeling without being too cluttered. Can you imagine having that many pieces to a sofa!
Price: $11,500
Phillip Thomas

2) "Trico" Unique 6 Drawer Chest by Roberto Rida
This is a chest of drawers that features six separate drawers to make up the whole dresser, but visually is looks like a lot more. The addition of mirrors and complicated drawer pulls makes this piece look a lot more visually complicated than it really is!
Price: contact dealer

3) Spherical suspension light
We love how all these small pierced steel balls come together to create one dynamic lighting fixture! Individually, they just wouldn't have the same impact in a space that they do now that they are all combined together!
Price: $7,900
Phillip Thomas

4) 19th.C. Plan of Paris
This is one of our favorite examples of many pieces coming together to create a whole! We just love how these 20 framed prints, when hung close together, create one large, wall-sized map of Paris! So fun and flexible!
Price: $6,800
W Gardner Ltd.

5) 1930's Keith Murray Pottery
These aren't actual individual pieces shown in this gorgeous collection of pottery, but you can't deny that with the striations it gives a great visual look, as if there were separate pieces.
Price: contact dealer
Benjamin Wilson Antiques

Don't forget to check out the rest of this week's listings from 1stdibs, where you can find more fabulous, one-of-a-kind show-stopping pieces, as well as a number of other great pieces!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

10 Seguso Lamps We Love!

Archimede Seguso is a name that, up until yesterday, we weren't always familiar with when we saw attached to a Swank Lighting lamp! Now, we understand him to be one of glass history's finest masters. So, in honor of his great work, we've rounded up 10 gorgeous examples of his glass---in lamps! Here are 10 of our favorite Seguso lamps for your viewing (or purchasing) pleasure! Is one of these lamps the perfect pair for your home?

1) Seguso Lavender-Blue Opaline Murano Lamps on Gold Lacquer "The beautiful opaline lavender-blue glass was blown by Seguso in the 1950s. These Murano lamps have a whimsical and elegant design. They are breathtaking in person! The color changes with the slightest change in light from intense lavender to rich periwinkle blue."

2) Seguso Red Hot Murano Lamps on Lucite Platter "Hotter than a pepper sprout! These Murano lamps are a gorgeous chili-pepper red and just as hot. The heavily ribbed glass seems to float on that big hunk of icy lucite. The lamps are topped off with polished nickel hardware, doublecluter sockets, and twin on/off switches, whch dangle like earrings - they make quite a statement."

3) Seguso Swirled & Ribbed Baby Blue Murano Lamps on Lucite "This glamorous pair of vintage Murano lamps was made by Seguso in the 1960's. They are a soft, rich, sexy blue robin's egg blue. The design is so simple yet they are breathtaking! These lamps have a wonderful swirled rib design. The thickness of the glass in the ribbed sections gives the illusion of a darker color blue, making the lamps appear striped in certain light."

4) Seguso Gold Kissed Raspberry Swirled Murano Lamps on Lucite "A very stylish and elegant pair of Seguso Murano lamps from the 1950's, swirled in raspberry and crimson and heavily dusted with 24 karat gold. The lamps are mounted on lucite chunks. The glass is perfect, with no imperfections whatsoever. All new solid brass hardware with satin finish."

5) Seguso Lemon Yellow Opaline Murano Lamps on Marble "These lemon yellow opaline Murano lamps were blown by Seguso in the 1950's. They are the color of a lemon meringue pie - that wonderful sweet and tart color that, because of the opaline, gets more intense when the sunlight hits it."

6) A Pair of Italian Art Glass Table Lamps by Seguso A great pair of Italian Seguso lamps in a rich color, fun texture and a soft, sensual shape.

7) Seguso Rare Opaline Striped Murano Lamps in Pink Lemonade "These wonderful Murano lamps are called 'Opalina Rosa' on the original 1950's packing label. They are gorgeous! There are swirling stripes of white opaline in the pink-lemonade colored glass. The thickness of the glass creates all kinds of beautiful, magical distortions and optical illusions. The vibrancy of the color is best seen in the outdoor photos as the flash seems to minimize the fruity flavor of the glass. In certain light, they are psychedelic."

8) Seguso Vintage White Opaline Murano Lamps on Gold Leaf Base "The glass is awesome - it has a very soft bluish hint to it. The glass pieces, alone, measure 22 1/2 inches. As shown, the lamps are 31 1/2 inches tall to the socket top."

9) Seguso Turquoise/Aqua and Copper Murano Lamps on Black Lacquer "These turquoise/aqua Murano lamps with swirls of copper are spectacular! The Asian-style bases, which were original to the pair, have been relacquered in an ebony egg shell finish."

10) Seguso Monumental Peach Opaline Murano Lamps on Gold Leaf "These extra large opaline Murano lamps are a beautiful misty peach color - like two giant Jelly Belly candies! Opaline lamps are hard to photograph indoors - when the flash comes on the color of the lamps becomes way muted, so the outdoor pictures are the best at showing how striking the glass really is."

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Masterful Glass of Archimede Seguso!

Have you ever been perusing some of Swank Lighting’s great lamp products only to come across a word or name you are not familiar with? One word that shows up often is “Seguso,” as in Archimede Seguso, one of the great masters of glassblowing from Italy. We thought we'd tell you a little bit about Archimede Seguso for today’s designer influence so next time you see it, you know how great of a moniker it is!

Seguso was born in 1909, into a family long considered experts at glass. In fact, Seguso’s family history can be traced back to the 14th Century to the libro d’oro of the citizens of Murano, Venice. Starting young, Seguso’s glass career began at the tender age of 14. Even that young he was able to work under great masters and learn the specialized skills necessary to become one of the finest Venetian glassblowers of the twentieth century.

He worked under various glass artists for years, eventually making it to the Seguso Vetri d’Arte, where he became partner and maestro. Leaving Seguso Vetri D’Arte in 1942, Seguso didn’t take long to open up his own glass factory, the Veteria Archimede Seguso, in 1946, where he led the glassblowing as artistic director and chief designer. Proving that sometimes talent is genetic, Seguso was eventually joined by his sons in glassblowing: oldest son Gino Seguso in 1959, his second son Giampaolo Seguso followed in 1964 and his grandson Antonio Seguso in 1985.

It’s not just Seguso’s skill and talent that made his work so famous—it was his brave inventions and additions to the art of glassmaking. He’s most famous for his Merletto Vases, which were glass vases created using the ancient technique of filigrana. His secret for doing it inside the glass by floating dainty threads of color inside the glass, rather than on top of the surface of vessels as was tradition, made his work so successful. He was also know for the Losanghe vase in a lattimo-cased glass with geometric designs, and the macchie ambria design, which featured gold and green amorphous designs that were contained in a thick wall surrounded with gold powder.

Seguso wasn’t just known for vases, though. Seguso considered himself a sculptor and an avid lover of animals, so it should come as no surprise that Seguso is also known for a wide array of animal figurines. Also, in the 1950s he became known for his alabaster figurines and accessories that mimicked natural white alabaster, as well as other stones, in a lot of colors. Of course, if you’ve been keeping up with Swank Lighting, then you also know that his work looks great mounted and made into lamps! Though Archimede Seguso passed away in 1999, his sons, grandsons and company still live on with his legacy, creating great glasswork that continues to stretch open the ideas of glassblowing conventions everywhere!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Design Blog Profile: Ikea Hacker!

When we look to share one of our favorite design blogs with our Swank Lighting blog readers, we try to find those blogs that we love, but that we also think will come in handy to our readers. Whether that’s because a blog features amazing inspiration or lots of design information doesn’t matter—as long as we feel it’s helpful. We say all of this because today’s blog choice might seem a bit odd—it’s not some famous designer’s blog or even one of the lesser known but charming blogs out there. Today’s choice is…Ikea Hacker!

It all started in May of 2006 when Jules (the name the site owner goes by) decided to do a Google search for ideas on how revamp (or hack) Ikea furniture. Ikea furniture is great, as reluctantly as one might admit; it's cheap and their stuff isn’t even that poorly made (most of it, anyway). The thing of it is, is that so many people buy Ikea, that it can be a bummer to walk into someone’s place and see the same pieces of furniture. So, Ikea Hacker was born to help folks around the world hack their Ikea purchases into functional, aesthetically pleasing furniture that is completely customized to each user!

The hacks of Ikea products are sent in from all over the world, and Jules curates this online collection of the DIY spirit for us all. Some hacks are as simple as using an Ikea product in a different way, say like a magazine stand as a night stand, all the way from complete power-tool projects, like melding two pieces of Ikea furniture into one entirely different piece of furniture. Though not everyone has the capacity or power tools to hack entire furniture pieces, there are plenty of ideas for just about everyone. One of the most recent ideas and a personal favorite is taking Ikea’s wooden magazine holders and painting a little chalkboard paint on them for a label. Adorable, smart and cheap: the perfect combination.

No matter what your personal style of d├ęcor is, there’s sure to be some idea on Ikea Hacker for you. Some ideas are way out there, some too hard to try, but we bet if you surf through Jules’ organized site (you can click on categories like accessories, bathroom, furniture, kitchen and more) you’ll find inspiration for your own project you’ve been itching to take on!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

This Week's Top 5 Favorite 1stdibs Items: Show Stopping Red!

Last week's newest 1stdibs listings had a lot of furniture that was, well, rather dainty in a way. Featuring pieces that were more or less metal and just frames of furniture, very airy with a lot of ability to sense spaces flowing through the pieces. None of those pieces had a lot of what's called "visual weight." Meaning, they looked good, but they won't command the attention in a space. Boy, the furniture pieces we chose today sure will. We chose a whole host of bright, deep, crimson red furniture and accessories pieces, in case you're looking for something to stand out.

1) Tufted red leather sofa
This bright red leather sofa just can't get any more bold. Large, long and tufted, it empowers a room, and would be the visual anchor for any living room. The black accents almost give a graphic quality to it.
Price: $5500
NoHo Modern

2) Big Easy Soft Chair by Ron Arad
Not only does this lounge chair come in a bold, bright shade of red, it's also got a powerful shape and size on its side. Definitely bold and supposedly comfortable, a piece of furniture like this could hold its own against other bold red furniture pieces.
Price: $6000
SoHo Treasures
3) Tall Console Table
We love this console table for its thin profile, funny shape (does this remind anyone else of the symbol of pi?) and the glossy, red color. This would look great in a room by itself, or accompanying other bold red pieces.
Price: $3500
Fat Chance Los Angeles

4) Antique 19th Century Heriz Serapi Persian Rug
Though this rug is the same price as most luxury vehicles, we can't help but love it for its rich, bold red color. We'd love to see this rug adorning the floor of a room, under red or other colored furniture.
Price: $38,000
Nazmiyal Collection

5) Whimsical French Red and Yellow Desk Lamp
This is a perfect little addition to a space if you're only desiring just a hint of bold, red color. Perfect on a desk table, yes, but also perfect on a console in a living room, on a sofa table, side table or even buffet in a dining room. There's always a space for a pop of bold red color!
Price: $1200
Modern One

Don't forget to check out the rest of this week's listings from 1stdibs, where you can find more fabulous, one-of-a-kind show-stopping pieces, as well as a number of other great pieces!