If you happen to find yourselves in Singapore in the next couple of days, do go to this wonderful store Egg3 who are having their end of season sale with discounts of up to 50%. It’s a treasure trove of unique and quirky homeware, tee-shirts and gift accessories. Whenever I go back to Singapore, this is one shop, I never fail to visit. Besides the original shop at Erskine Road next to the ubercool Scarlet hotel, they have now two more sister shops at Haji Lane called Salad and another Egg3 in the Eastern suburbs in Joo Chiat.
Call 0065- 6536 6977 for more info.
New York-based architect Ali Tayar has redesigned The Omnia hotel in Zermatt, Switzerland. Tayar conceived the 30-room boutique hotel as an avant-garde contemporary American mountain lodge in the Swiss Alps, furnished with some of the greatest 20th century design classics by Mies Van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen amongst others.
Here are some more cool hotels that are on my list for 2008.
Top: Dar Beida is a restored Moroccan House and is undoubtedly is one of the coolest places to stay in the hippie-chic town of Essaouira overlooking the Atlantic ocean, where Jimi Hendrix wrote the hit song Castles in the sand. The house-turned-hotel has been featured in Elle decor magazine and is kitted out in modern-retro style.
Middle: The Serinn House in Cappadocia, Turkey designed by Turkish architect Rifat Ergor and owned by Eren Serpen is one of the hottest hotels to make its debut this year (2007). Serinn, that means cool temperature in Turkish is a super stylish cave hotel inside a fort-like structure. Inside it’s a modern minimalist haven with designer furniture including Chair One by Konstantin Grcic.
Bottom: Beit Al Mamlouka is Syria’s first boutique hotel located in Damascus’s old Christian quarter. With only eight rooms and tastefully-rendered traditional decor, with a central courtyard adorned with trees, the hotel is steeped in luxury and charm.
Mark your calendars. Here’s a little round-up of most of the important design events/furniture fairs for the year 2008. A couple of dates are yet to be confirmed but there’re tentative dates to help you plan your schedule better. See you there!
- IMM Cologne, Germany, January, 14-20, 2008 http://www.imm-cologne.com
- The Office Exhibition, Dubai February 4-6, 2008 www.dmgdubai.com
- Stockholm Furniture Fair, February 6-10, 2008 http://www.stockholmfurniturefair.com
- Design Indaba in South Africa, February 23-29, 2008 http://www.designindaba.com
- Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan, April 16-21, 2008 www.cosmit.it
- International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), New York, May 17-20, 2008 www.icff.com
- Art Basel, Switzerland, June 4-8, 2008 http://www.art.ch
- Abitare il Tempo, Verona, Italy, September 18-22, 2008 www.abitareiltempo.com
- 100% Design London September 18-21, 2008 www.100percentdesign.co.uk
- Tent London September 18-21, 2008 www.tentlondon.co.uk
- Dutch Design Week in Eindhovan, The Netherlands, October 1-31, 2008 (dates to be confirmed) www.dutchdesignweek.nl
- Orgatec (Office Design), Cologne, Germany, October 21-25, 2008 www.orgatec.com
- 100% Design Tokyo, October 30-November 4, 2008 www.100percentdesign.jp
- Art Basel Miami, December 4-7, 2008 www.artbaselmiamibeach.com
From top to bottom: Jeronimos hotel, Lisbon; Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman; 9Hotel, Paris; Aji’a on Bosphorus, Istanbul.
Forget New Year resolutions (they’re only meant to be broken anyway); instead make holiday plans and add these cool hotels to your list. Design hotels genre is the in thing, even though I read somewhere Ian Schragger saying that they are passé and that he has moved on to the next big thing in hotels (we’ll find out soon). Personally I would rather stay in a decadent and obscenely luxurious Ritz Carlton or Raffles kind of hotel anytime, but you’ve gotta give it to the ‘design hotels’ for making the hotel industry more interesting than just butler service, chintzy furniture and carpets. Here’s some eye candy.
This yellow tripod chair is based on a 1953 prototype designed by Danish designer Poul Kjaerholm and manufactured by two New York based galleries- R Gallery and Sean Kelly Gallery. It was recently on display at Art Basel Miami and Design Miami. It is available in 25 limited-edition pieces in gray, yellow, black and blue each.
The boundaries between art and design are increasingly getting blurred. Investors are turning to high-design pieces just like you would invest in a Rembrandt or a Klimt. This brings me back to my favourite question- capitalism might keep the fires in design industry burning but it’s design democracy that will make it everlasting.