Mini Labo and the Collection

We are really thrilled to be able to show you the results of our collaboration with Mini Labo.

Mini Labo

Mini Labo are a trio of very talented graphic designers based in Paris – Caroline Diaz, Céline Héno & Sophie Adary.

Over the last 10 years they have created a huge range products with lots of different brands; home and fashion accessories, from children’s products to table ware – it seems that their is nothing they can’t add their joyous, colourful retro-inspired style to !

IMG_107  IMG_093  IMG_144

For their 10 year anniversary, Mini Labo worked with the Collection to produce a series of 11 new wallpapers.

Patchwork ‘Light’ and Patchwork ‘Dark’ are a joyful celebration of ten years of graphic design from the Mini Labo studio.

patchwork dark_72dpi     patchwork light 2_72dpi

Strawberries, Peonies and Pop are single motifs.

Fraisiers   pivoines

pop bleu   pop citron

Mini Labo also decided to work on a whole range of new products in collaboration with their other favourite (mainly French) brands; Clotaire, Les Gambettes, Mazet, Milh, Moutet, Tattyoo, Titlee, Vanina Escoubet and to host a pop-up store to celebrate. Along with all of these products there was a cafe and creative workshops.

IMG_267

IMG_260  IMG_253  IMG_162 IMG_222 We were so proud to be part of their event and help them celebrate the fruit of all their hard work. IMG_117 The Mini Labo pop-up store is now online  and you can buy the wallpapers on the Collection site here. Visit the Mini Labo blog to read more about their collaborations and projects. IMG_112_200 IMG_111_200 IMG_108_200

Modern chalet project

We regularly have the pleasure of working with interior designers and architects looking for special wallpapers, furniture and accessories for their clients.

But one of thing we really do enjoy is working directly with private clients. Recently we were asked by two of our favourite clients to work with them coming up with ideas and sourcing products for their newly built chalet.

CHALET SNOW BLOGCroquis Chalet BlogThe brief was for a modern take on the traditional chalet theme. They have four children as well as regular visitors so they wanted a home that is inviting and easy to maintain using natural, honest materials.

Wood, linen, rope and wool feature heavily, and as does concrete and stone. The palette comes from natural neutrals – different shades of wood, light and dark greys and soft whites. You can see a big selection of the products we sourced on our Pinterest Chalet pinboard.

The main living space combines the kitchen, dining and living room in one sociable big space.

CHALET INTERIOR BLOGLiving space : Studio couch & armchairs by ErcolFlax Cord lamp by Thomas Ekye, Fluorescent Hook swing cord by Chevalier Masson, Ribbon wooden stools by Alex MacDonald for the Collection Editions, triangle pattern rug by Ikea.

There are lovely textiles to snuggle up in. Blankets and cushions by Eleanor Pritchard, Texidor and Thomas Eyck.

Quadrille Pink Thomas Eyck cushion

The solid wood kitchen was custom made by Mint with a pale grey laminate finish and the dining area features a large Trappist table and benches by Heerenhuis ready to be laid with black French clay tableware.

HEERENHUIS Flow wine rack

In the kitchen there are useful products like Black & Blum’s Flow wine rack and Iris Hantverk’s broom and dustpan.

Vaiselle Guimards (13)340_BLOG Iris Hantverk Dustpan and brush

The chalet has lots of clever storage and lighting and some fantastic quirky details.

All Lovely Stuff DonutAll Lovely Stuff coat hooks, Climbing Lights by Black & Blum and Marina Vandel’s My Bookshelf panel in the kid’s bedrooms.

als_ss_animalhooks340x225 Climbing Light

Artemide’s Tolemeo reading lights, Le Petit Atelier de Paris Pear wall lights, Mint desks and rather surprisingly, Porthole lights from the BHV are used to great effect to light the hallways and living spaces.

Frise Farfelus Fardets No.3 Hublot

The bathrooms have large mirrors decorated with the frises by Les Farfalu Farfadets for the Collection Editions, linen shower curtains from Couleur Chanvre and wooden and concrete Iris Hanverk bathroom accessories.

WILLYGUHL LUDVIG340

When the weather is nice, the family enjoy the view on the terrace with a Ludwig table and chairs by Richard Lampert and the classic curved Willy Guhl chair.

BeesneesThere are even mini chalets to encourage the local bees – Beesnees by All Lovely Stuff !

Exhibition : In the Making at the Design Museum, London

Have you every wondered how the everyday objects around us are manufactured?

In the making Photograph by Mirren Rosie © Design Museum

‘In The Making’, curated for the Design Museum by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, addresses this question by capturing twenty four objects mid-manufacture.

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, photo by Alisa Connan_cropped

Barber Osgerby’s multi disiplinary design studio have created products for Flos, Sony, Vitra and are best known in the UK for having created the London 2012 Olympic Torch.

In the Making 2 Photograph by Mirren Rosie © Design Museum

From the £2 coin to a cricket bat, they have chosen an unusual range of objects shown in an uncompleted state, de-mystifying the production process and revealing their own curiosity about how things are made.

In the Making 3 Photograph by Mirren Rosie © Design Museum

Marble still attached to its coloured glass cylinder

In the Making 4 Photograph by Mirren Rosie © Design Museum

Cork stoppers as they are extracted from bark

In the Making 5 Photograph by Mirren Rosie © Design Museum

Bent-wood back and legs of a Thonet chair

In the Making 6 Photograph by Mirren Rosie © Design MuseumStaffordshire Blue Brick before it is cut into sections

We have curated an exhibition that will provide a platform to capture and reveal a frozen moment in the manufacturing process and unveils an everyday object in its unfinished state. Often the object is as beautiful, if not more so, than the finished product.            Jay Osgerby

BarberOsgerby on designing the Olympic Torch from Dezeen on Vimeo.

In the Making : 22 January 2014 – 04 May 2014 at the Design Museum, London

Shopping Insolite à Paris

We were thrilled to receive an email from Elodie Rambaud to let us know about the publication of her new book “Shopping Insolite à Paris“.

Elodie is a food, interior and lifestyle stylist based in Paris who regularly pops in to the Collection boutique for inspiration, to see what is new, what is on display. .

Her new book is a guide to all her favourite Paris spots – restaurants, fashion & interiors boutiques and of course, the Collection is in amongst there!

Shopping Insolites

Available from 22 January 2014, published by Editions Marabout.

New year…new press!

A great start to the year with loads of press for the Collection!

Le Journal de la Maison : February 2014    Bowl from Reversed Volumes by PCM
Art & Décoration : January 2014   White Wood Panelling trompe l’oeil wallpaper par Studio Mold
Avantages : Febuary 2014    Snowflake hot water bottle by Catherine Tough
Famili – February – March 2014    Baby elephant – vintage wallpaper by Inke
Maisons Cosy : January – February 2014    Wallpaper Meadow Grass Green designed by Little Owl
Marie Claire Maison : February – March 2014   Porcelain plates wallpaper by Studio Ditte
                              Prima Maison : February 2014        Marilyn panel by Tracy Kendall                                                                                                                                         White planks trompe l’oeil wallpaper by Studio Mold
A Vivre : January – February 2014      Dove waste paper bin by Tomoko Azumi
                Mon Jardin et ma Maison : Feb 2014     Vertigo lamp by Constance Guisset                                                                                                             Lace transitional wallpaper by Lene Toni Kjeld
Femme Actuelle : 27 Jan – 2 Feb 2014     Trompe l’oeil wallpaper Vintage Bookshelves by Studio Mold

Start the year well organised

Need a new calendar to start 2014 with good, well organised intentions?

You’ll find both these gorgeous models on our site..

Calendrier Ring (ambiance)

Ring Calendar designed by Sebastian Bergne

Règle du temps

Monthly Measure by Sebastian Bergne for l’Atelier d’Exercices

 

Lots of press!

We were really happy to see that we got so much press these last few months. What can we say? Magazines and blogs love our products!

Here’s our selection…

Maison et Jardin L’Essentiel : Nov / Dec 2013   Snowflake hot water bottle by Catherine Tough

Elle – December 2013    Olive wood Toast tongs by Berard

Elle Decoration – Dec 2013    thecollection.fr is n°3 in the top 10 best Parisian online shops!

Bienvenue Magazine – November 2013    Large Vertigo lamp designed by Constance Guisset

Femme Actuelle – December 2013    Pail designed by Hivespace

Maison et Tendances – Winter 2013    Harry’s Garden wallpaper by Louise Body

Maison & Tendances – Winter 2013    ZigZag knitted hot water bottle by Catherine Tough

Marie Claire Maison – November 2013    ThermoPot &
White wallpaper Scrapwood by Studio Ditte 

Le Figaro – November 2013    Papier peint Assiettes Porcelain par Studio Ditte

Paris Match – November 2013    Rake coathook designed by Hive

An interview with Marina Vandel

At the Collection, we love collaborating with talented designers. Marina Vandel, who graduated from the Saint-Etienne School of Fine Art is a young French illustrator with a huge talent. She has designed projects for Fragnonard, Anthropology, The Little Fashion Gallery, John Derian and her work has been featured in countless magazines.

For the Collection Editions, she created five different wallpaper panels.

Ma BIBLIOTHEQUE_513

My Bookshelf

MesLivres513

My Books

'Ma-cuisine513

My Kitchen

Jardin d'hiver_513

Jardin d’Hiver

Cabinet de Curiosités par Marina Vandel pour the Collection_513

Cabinet de curiosités

Poetic, sweet and colourful, they rank in our list of favourite products.

Continuing on with our series of interviews with designers, we took a little visit to Marina.

What made you want to work in this field ?

An exhibition by the painter David Hockney that I was lucky enough to see at the Centre Pompidou in 1997. I was 15 but I was literally caught up and really moved by the use of colour.  I had already been doing drawing and painting lessons since I was 11, so it really encouraged my desire to emmerse myself in this world . It was the event that started it all.

Talk to us about how you work on a new product or a new collection ?

Most of the time I receive a brief by email. I take time to try and not start immediately researching on the internet. I try to let the ideas and different directions brew…

I draw quickly to put things in place and I also make notes right to make things clearer. Once the first stage of the work is done, I look in books or on the Internet. I have an “ideas” folder where I keep images that inspire me. They come from different sources; it could be a beautiful cookery picture, the colour of a fashion garment like a designer jacket,  scientific drawings, paintings….then I get to work.

If the brief is well done and the customers’ requirements clearly defined, then I can work more rapidly because I’ll understand the universe in which I have to immerse myself. When I’m stuck on with a subject, talking it through really helps with finding ideas.

What is your idea of a perfect working day?

I arrive at work by bike. Generally I am more productive in the morning. I am organised so I’ve got my reverse planning in my head as I don’t like to be caught out by lack of time.

I use the morning to get my ideas in order, answer emails, and do some preparation. I have lunch together with my colleagues at the studio. I like feeling I have time plenty of time. In the afternoon, I can work confidently, knowing that I’ve put in place everything necessary for the project.

Marina Vandel513

Where do you work from and what does it look like?

I worked from home for a long time; it was difficult to balance my time – to wake up in front of my computer, I wasn’t able to have a break !

I’ve been sharing a studio for a year with other designers, illustrators and screen printers. There are 14 of us but it isn’t like a summer camp. Everyone has their own defined workspace and there is a shared kitchen.

I’m in a large open space with 4 other people, with great light like in painters’ studio! The atmosphere is work orientated, the toughest is agreeing to what we listen to. We have fazes. Right now I’m enjoy listening to France Musique all day long but I am not alone.

IMG1316_513

Does your home resemble your work? Do you use your own designs in your home?

Apparently my chimney resembles me! It’s a collection of pictures, succulent plants, little ceramic animals. It is a concoction of things I like,  it has a “moodboard” feel to it,  still life / composition / chic  - the things that are found in some of my drawings.

IMG1284_513

Other than that, I am not into making my home a museum! My drawings are in boxes or I give them as gifts to my friends. My walls are very plain, I have a collage poster from Yves Saint-Laurent which says “Love 1982” and framed butterflies.

IMG1300_513

It might be paradoxical for somebody that does what I do, but I enjoy having white walls. It allows my eyes to rest. I have so many images that go through all day long, that it is essential for me to have some empty space.

Who are you’re the people that have inspired you or what are your design inspirations?

Elizabeth Peyton, David Hockney, Sempé, Jean-Philippe Delhomme, Charlotte Perriand.

Which are your 3 favourite shops in Paris (or elsewhere!) ?

Astier de Villate (rue St Honoré), Anthropologie (Broadway), plant shops and grocers (like G.Detou or Bahadourian)

What is the object that is most precious to you, and why?

IMG1288_513

I have a few mid-season jackets with tapistery prints that I’m mad about, they make me feel good, I feel like me! I really like crockery and nice fabrics. I like things that create comfortable interiors, simple, well chosen objects or fabrics.

IMG1286_513

IMG1280_513

What are your favourite books / blogs / music at the moment?

I just read “Rosa candida” the story of a young horticultural apprentice discovering fatherhood. I am reading a graphic novel  ”Olympe de Gouges”, about the woman who wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen’s life. It is by the authors of “Kiki de Montparnasse” both published by Casterman.

I am fascinated by the lives of women with strong temperaments and conviction. I finally saw “The Eye has to Travel” about Diana Vreeland: a treat. “My Life” by Isadora Duncan and “A Life of Creation” by Charlotte Perriand are the sort of books that I really enjoy!

The blogs: Patternity, The Cool Hunter, Another Magazine

Music: my boyfriend is like an encyclopaedia of Rap music, so I get to listen it and and discover lots of new things. But I also enjoy classical music. Saint Saens and Bach’s cello suites.

If Marina Vandel were a food / recipe, what would it taste like?

Coconut chicken! I like I simple but spicy and tasty dishes, that dare to blend flavours! I’m not afraid of sweet and savoury.

Is the Marina Vandel glass half full or half empty?

According to those around me – half full!

New exciting projects for Marina Vandel?

Yes! But I can’t talk about them since that are not published/ out / or for sale in shops yet.

Thank you Marina! Marina Vandel for the Collection Editions is available here!

An interview with Coco Hellein

For the second in our series of interviews with designers, Corinne Hellein, very kindly replied to our questions.

coco gamme N.Y - copie

Colour consultant and expert, Corinne Hellein launched the brand Coco Hellein. The look is contemporary and colourful, with fluid lines & graphics influenced by numerous artists.

What inspired you to start working in this field?

In the field of decoration perhaps it was my grandmother who liked fabric and made clothes for my dolls and clothes for my mother and me. And my grandfather too who reupholstered armchairs.

Tri couleur

In the graphic design field I used to see my father designing posters and menus and decorations for parties. I always wanted to work with drawing and colour…I chose this discipline after my first year at art school. I hesitated between architecture and photography but textile design brings together drawing and colour with the fluidity of fabric.

Tell us about your working process. When you are working on a new product or collection, how do you work?

Often it’s a sketch made whilst travelling or the combination of colours that starts the process.

Découpe sac 5

But often it follows on from a finished project where I rework the different graphic elements, changing the layout or the scale and most of all the colours.

Colorama Agence

For example, for the design Ribbon that became wallpaper and linen cushions is about the graphic interplay between colours overlaid that I put together last year for a tufted wool carpet for the brand Roche Bobois. And in the beginning it was all about the idea of layers of paper, glued and pasted over each other that I saw, photographed and memorised on a door in Brussels.

nature morte retouchée_13

The design for I love Typo is from a long-term research into very different types of lettering to illustrate travel books on New York and Rio that I would like to publish and I ended up putting together an ABC.

Découpe sac 2

Coussin Typo_16

I like travelling, contemplating and taking in the habits and customs of other countries and cultures….I like to bring back their essence; photographs and sketchbooks are my favourite mediums. They allow me to immortalise experiences that I then re-transcribe to create fabrics bring back those fleeting moments into everyday life.

What is your idea of a perfect working day?

One which is not interrupted by a list of administrative tasks and follow ups – so, drawing, painting with coloured inks or working on collections. And exploring different compositions on my Mac. And also, when I’m working on new projects, coming up with ideas for shapes and brainstorming words to illustrate a concept or an idea.

papier coul 2

Where do you work from and what does it look like?

I’m lucky enough to work in a really lovely space designed by architects, a loft where I have my ‘nest’ with a bay window on one side that overlooks a quiet little patio and on the other side a large bookcase with loads of books and magazines. The place is light and calm and the materials used in the space are dark and minimal which helps my concentration.

CIMG0193

I’ve made myself at home by bringing in my table, sideboard and Danish 50’s style chairs that I picked up at the flea market. A junk corner and cupboards for keeping samples of fabrics and other materials.

Découpe sac lin 3

Compo toile de Jouy

Does your home resemble your work? Do you use your own designs in your home?

Yes, I think so. It’s lively and colourful whilst still being organised.

_EXT6421

Of course in my home I’ve got my cushions, rugs and curtains that I change when I bring out new designs…I sort of test out the newest products in my place but I like to mix them with other styles too.

_EXT6428

_EXT6453

Who are the people that have inspired you or what are your design inspirations?

Scandinavian designers for their graphic and radical style. And their nod to nature too. Japanese textiles too for their colourful and refined style.

The painters, Sonia Delaunay, Josef Albers, Fernand Léger, Matisse, Vuillard, Warhol, graphic designers like Paul Rand, Max Hubert, Paul Cox, architects like Niemeyer, Mies van der Rohe and artists and land artists like Andy Goldsworthy…Eliasson….Moroccan and Indian craftsmen.

Which are your 3 favourite shops in Paris (or elsewhere!)?

Liberty in London, Le Bon Marché in Paris and loads of little designer boutiques in areas that are less well known.

What is the object that is most precious to you, and why?

I have lots but perhaps my Danish ceramics picked up in Copenhagen and my Chinese paintbrushes that I bought at the flea market in Shanghai.  

_EXT6458

What are your favourite books / blogs / music at the moment?

In terms of music, Agnès Obel, Angus & Julia Stone, Natacha Atlas, Maria Callas, Lou Reed, Patty Smith … and Christine and the Queen that I recently discovered.

Mes livres

I have trouble reading unless I’m on holiday because my head is always full of things. I prefer to read new books or magazines like Clef for the subject matters or Courrier International to find out what is going on in the world…

If you were a food / recipe, what would it taste like?

A liquorice lace, Fig ice cream or a Nut cluster!  

Is the glass half full or half empty?

Half full…and often overflowing…well, mostly always optimistic.

Any exciting plans for Coco Hellein?

A trip to Finland in February with my daughters and two weeks teaching textiles in Morocco at the beginning of 2014. Maybe a trade show to show my new products.

24@ -

And I’d like to do a travelling exhibition of photos, drawing, fabric…I’d love to start in Brooklyn!

Thank you Coco!

Coco Hellein Pop-up shop at the Collection

We are thrilled to annouce that Coco Hellein will be presenting their new collections and collaborations in a pop-up shop  at the Collection during November.
Sacs Jeanne

Coco Hellein presents three collections – IRIS, I LOVE TYPO et RIBBON.

A wallpaper in collaboration with the Collection Editions, cushions, curtain panels, printed linen bags and  Mohair throws from Brun de Vian Tiran reworked with the colourful touch of Coco Hellein.

C Iris Noir

IRIS – A large stylised ” William Morris ” inspired print in two colour ways.
Black Iris – A monochrome atmosphere – blacks & cool tones with baltic blues and graphite.

C Iris Corail
Coral Iris  – A warm sunny look in orange, pink and chartreuse yellow.
Coussin Typo_16

I LOVE TYPO – A huge ABC in colour – an inventory of different typography both upper and lower case. I LOVE TYPO is a playful design using letters.

ruban bleuBlue RIBBON…… Pink RIBBON….a wallpaper in collaboration with the Collection Editions.….Aniseed RIBBONthe traces of the lines of weaving…..Cerise RIBBON…the overlaying of coloured ribbons or beams of light at a rock concert ! A graphic play of lively geometric shapes.

Coco Hellein pop-up shop at the Collection during November.

Scarpa chair by Pengelly Design

SCAPA CHAIR pengellydesign 2

Whilst we were in London recently, we feel in love with this chair by Simon Pengelly. For 25 years, Simon has been working as a designer for some of the top brands in design – Arper, Foscarini, Habitat, Heals, La Palma..

Trained as a cabinet maker, he missed the process of making and the integration of craft elements so he decided to launch the ‘Scarpa’ chair.

SCAPA CHAIR pengellydesign 1

Based on the design of the traditional chairs from the Orkney Islands, the Scarpa chair is a marriage of contemporary frame making techniques and the traditional method of straw weaving, a technique unchanged for many centuries.

For more information visit www.pengellydesign.com

Exhibition : From Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 80s, Victoria & Albert museum, London

Whilst we were in London recently, we visited the From Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 80s exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum.

The exhibition explores the creative explosion of London fashion in the 1980s. It features the work of designers Betty Jackson, Timney Fowler, Wendy Dagworthy, Helen David for English Eccentrics, John Galliano and Rifat Ozbek, who all went on to become increasingly successful internationally and shows the creative relationship between catwalk and club wear, and the emerging theatricality in fashion, reflected in magazines such as i-D and Blitz.

Lots of the outfits displayed were made specifically to be worn at clubs such as Heaven and Taboo – creations designed and worn by the flamboyant clubber Leigh Bowery, glamorous dresses designed specifically for men, studded biker outfits by Pam Hogg and Katharine Hamnett, customised denim jackets by Vivienne Westwood and Richmond Cornejo and exuberant knitwear by Joseph, Artwork and Bodymap.

The exhibition is on until the 16 February 2014

The Language of Flowers

All things botanical are on our minds at the moment – with the change of the season and the Little Owl Design showcase in the shop until the end of this month.

50ab309d7ab7a7e1b71ec9ffda1f341d

Above : Collage by Mary Delany (1700-88)

Below: Wallpaper Dutch Garden Copper designed by Little Owl

DutchGardenCopperPattern

This summer we read a book called The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It a very touching story about a young woman who uses flowers to communicate with others.

The Victorian tradition of the language of flowers was used to convey subtle romantic messages; honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love.

f6b0217cd4e9d7a74058cb97b40856a5

It’s a moving and compelling read that inspired and engaged us. If you are interested to hear more, this is a interview with the author talking about the book.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh has certainly encouraged us to find out more about this wonderfully coded language and it’s different meanings.

Which books have you read this summer ? How did they inspire you ?

1a0874c09f4f4b44998e4d64f20201c7

INDEX tea towels by Raw Color

The new products for autumn are starting to arrive at the shop and we are very excited to be selling these new INDEX tea towels by Raw Color.

IndexTowels12

Daniera ter Haar & Christoph Brach are the duo behind Raw Color and they work from their studio in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Bringing together the fields of graphic design and photography, their work shows a sophisticated use of material and colour.

Raw Color have manage to elevate these tea towels from humble object to something worthy of being framed and hung on the wall.

IndexTowels11

The collection consists of 3 different colour series. Each series follows the same process, from Monotone, through Duotone, to Multitone, with the first shade taking the lead and a new tone added each time.

IndexTowels10

The tea towels are available in the boutique or online.

Children’s bedroom

We love it when clients send us photos of our products in situ.

Simona Vicenzi, an interior designer here in Paris was kind enough to send us these pictures of our Child’s bed by Alex MacDonald for the Collection Editions.

The Child’s bed in certified FSC beech plywood is available with either a natural or red headboard. Suitable for children up to 9 years old. It’ such an elegant junior bed it could also be used as a chaise longue. It’s available to order with or without an organic coir and wool mattress – made in England.

_J7A4411

We think this children’s bedroom is a wonderful blend of clean lines and cosy.

What do you think?

A peak at the Little Owl Design showcase

A few photos of the Little Owl Design showcase…

Altered Perspectives : Hasselter Ask‘ – Set of 6 plates. In the window at the Collection

Herbarium‘ wallpapers – So much more beautiful in real life!

Prints ‘London Sky 1755‘ & ‘Night Sky – South Pole

Altered Perspectives : Ceylon Tea Groves‘ – set of 8 plates

Dutch Skies‘ wallpaper

The Little Owl Design showcase is on during September at the Collection boutique

33 rue du Poitou 75003 Paris

Tel: 01 42 77 04 20

An interview with Little Owl Design

Little Owl Design make such beautiful, poetic and sensitive work that we were curious to get to know a little more about them.

Bruce and Marcello were kind enough to share with us a few photos of their wonderful eclectic home and studio.

They also answered what we hope will be the first of many Q&A interviews with the designers who’s work inspires and engages us.

We hope you enjoy it!

What inspired you to start working together?

 Our shared backgrounds in art history/culinary arts (Bruce), and fine arts/apparel designs (Marcello), but both of us are interested in all these disciplines. From the very beginning we realized we share the same interests, and we are drawn to the same images.

A point of inspiration may be just a thought…, what if? Or it could be something we come across in a market that then sparks an idea. These thoughts and inspirations then open new doors into whole worlds of design. As in the Dutch Sky wallpaper, which started out by Bruce looking at empty 19th C French photo albums the two of us found being sold from a garage here in Amsterdam by a woman who lives on a barge, and travels the canals and rivers of France and Belgium buying antiques.  From that point we went into the world of wallpaper.

Tell us about your working process. When you are working on a new product or collection, do you each work on specific aspects?

Bruce works from a more verbal/physical point of view. At the start of the design process the idea is either drawn out, or discussed to the point we both can see it in our heads.  Later after we have researched the idea further we lay out the materials and combine them together in different ways before we decide how to proceed. In our works on paper for instance,

Marcello’s work as a textile designer comes to the fore, and his skill with various computer programs allows us to create the new from the old.  To take a 100+ year old dried plant specimen and turn it into a new wallpaper.  So he will work on the project in the computer, and then the two of us will discuss it again.  This is of course tends to go back and forth until we both feel satisfied with the end result.

Bruce keeps our Pinterest profile up to date with several boards of inspirations, while Marcello is in charge of CGI on our iMac.

What is your idea of a perfect working day?

The moment an idea of ours comes together, and we can see it materialize. We try out ideas all the time, but it is when one of them really ‘clicks’ into place that we feel most satisfied.

Where do you work from and what does it look like?

We work in a small studio (really a garden shed!) in our garden where we keep our large collection of plates, and all the tools we use, plus hundreds of pieces we collect as a source of inspiration for new projects.

It’s very small, but it is also quite peaceful, and a good place to work in – we just wish it were a bit larger! We are a pair of magpies, and so collect far too many objet trouvé for our little space.

Also our computer desk (with a well stocked bookshelf next to it) is another place we spend several hours every day.

Do your home resemble your work? Do you use your own designs in your homes?

Yes, as the very things that inspire us are also part of our everyday life.

We do keep some of our designs on display in our home as well.  Also by having the things that spark ideas around us we can think about them more. The home and studio have become one to a degree.

Who are you’re the people that have inspired you or what are your design inspirations?

Oh we are inspired by so many!

Here in The Netherlands we like Hella Jongerius for her ability to turn her eye to many different disciplines, be it textiles, or porcelain, and our friend Leslie Oschmann for her creative rethinking of objects.

From Italy we both love Giò Ponti and his light touch on anything he designed, and Paola Navone’s amazing work in so many different media.

Which are your 3 favourite shops in Amsterdam ?

Bok & Zn an old fashioned shop selling paints, pigments and other materials for the artist and the decorator, such as beeswax, shellac, gold leaf (even edible gold leaf!).

Capsicum Natural Fabrics Capsicum creates, imports and sells hand-woven fabrics, interior and fashion accessories mostly from India and South-East Asia.

Architectura & Natura bookshop specialized in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Natural History.

What is the object that is most precious to you, and why?

Bruce :  Some rocks I’ve collected over the years. They remind me of the places I found them, and for the fact the natural beauty of them never fades.

Marcello: A Summer picture of my parents in a pine grove. They were in their early twenties, my mother in a white bathing suit with matching star-shaped earrings, my father embraces her. They both look so happy, and beautiful!

What are your favourite books / blogs / music at the moment?

Bruce has recently read the English translation of Roberto Calasso’s ‘Tiepolo’s Pink’: a fascinating study of one of our favourite painters (we recently visited the Residence in Würzburg).

Marcello loved “The Fruit Hunters” about the thousand of different fruits you won’t find at your local supermarket.

We regularly check the Messynessychic blog. Vanessa (who lives in Paris!) has the most fascinating eye for the quirky, the beautiful, the unexpected and knows how to narrate about it. We found out about her as she listed our Altered Perspectives among her weekly ’13 Things I found on the Internet Today’ post and soon became hooked on her RSS feed.

We are avid Spotify users, especially the feature of the ‘radio’ based on a specific band/artist: the best way to discover new music! And we can’t wait to see Goldfrapp playing at Paradiso (and buy their new CD due in September).

If Little Owl was a food / recipe, what would it taste like?

That’s an interesting question. We would have to say it would have to be a recipe from Marcello’s mother for one of her family dishes, carefully written into a little notebook, and given to Marcello when he moved to Amsterdam 20 years ago so that he would never have to worry about being able to make something to eat for himself. The recipes are full of history, and yet simple and delicious.

Is the Little Owl glass half full or half empty?

Half full!

Any exciting plans for Little Owl?

We are working on a new project with glass made in the Czech Republic, and hope to be able to create new things combining our ideas, and the wonderful traditions and skills that exist there.

Thank you Bruce & Marcello !

Little Owl Design showcase their new work at the Collection during September 2013.

Little Owl Design September showcase at the Collection

We are very happy to announce that we will be showcasing the new designs by Little Owl Design at the Collection pendant during September.

Bruce Wayland and Marcello De Simone met in Amsterdam and formed Little Owl Design in 2009. Bruce moved from New York City in 2007, and Marcello moved to Amsterdam from Lecce, Italy in 1992.

Their respective backgrounds in art history/culinary arts and fine arts/apparel designs, are the foundations from which the two draw inspiration for their work. These very different histories have proved a perfect creative match, and the resulting designs reflect their many interests.

The Dutch Sky wallpaper, launched in September 2012 blends contemporary and vintage, in this case  digital photography, and 18th C etchings.

The skies of Holland which have inspired so many artists through the centuries was the focus of this series of three designs. Using their own photographs, and layering them with etchings bought at markets in The Netherlands, the wallpaper is a modern homage to the ever changing skies above their home town.

Their latest wallpaper is titled Herbarium, and based on the 19th C botanical albums Bruce and Marcello have been collecting.

Drawn to the beauty of the dried plant specimens and the patterns they create, the designs that have resulted are modern, and full of the very personal touches that drew the designers to the albums from the start.

They have also produced a series of prints based on the same botanical specimens, 21 prints in all  on aquarelle paper.

In the series Altered Perspectives Marcello and Bruce create the artworks by combining paintings on canvas with ceramics, and in the process literally ‘altering the perspective’ of the paintings.

The images on the plates add to the visual play between the two mediums. Each set is a unique work.

Working in their studio in Amsterdam the duo select from their collection of vintage plates and paintings bought at various markets in France, Belgium, and Holland.

New work by Little Owl Design at the Collection during September 2013.

‘Camerino’ valet stand – Kickstarter campaign

Sometimes we see prototypes from young designers that we get really excited about – the Camerino Valet Stand is one.

Designed by two very talented designers, Matteo Fogale and Joscha Brose, the they had the bright idea to use the Kickstarter crowdfund platform to launch it’s production.

They launched the Camerino Kickstarter project in July 2013 with the aim of exploring the influence of digital innovation in the user-designer relationship. This means cutting middle man costs, and allow users to buy the designs directly from the designer. Allison was so taken by the product that she decided to help them towards their goal. There is still time to get involved.

Visit their site or their Kickstarter page for more information.

We’re relaunching our blog! (and Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest..)

Hello dear friends,

It’s been a little while since we last wrote anything…We’re changing that by relauncing our blog, Facebook page, Twitter and Pinterest!

We’re back from the holidays full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm!

Just like you, we are preparing for the beginning of the new school year – sorting, organising and improving our nests, with beautiful and useful products, of course..!

Here is our ‘back to school’ selection. Chic, well designed products to improve life and make it just that little bit finer..

Two drawer desk designed by Mint  A two drawer desk in solid wood and finished with a coloured laminate. Ideal for office or home as a family desk.

Air chair in solid ash or walnut designed by Mint - A comfortable and stylish design made of solid wood with a melamine finish on seat.

Wood block cards-holder by l’Atelier d’Exercices – In a single glance, the Wood Block Cards-Holder by l’Atelier d’Exercices displays the events of the week: mail, invitations, theatre tickets, business cards…

Adaptable Storage by Sebastian Bergne for the Collection Editions – An innovative chest of drawers. The drawers can be used separately as storage boxes and the top flap opens out to serve as a small bureau.

From the Flapjack collection of furniture that is scaled down for children up to 8 years old.

Three Doughnut coathooks by All Lovely Stuff – Delicious doughnuts designed by Michael Marriott for All Lovely Stuff. These solid beech doughnuts can be used as coat hooks or handles, and look good lined up to create a coat rack.

Loop shelf by Amandine Chhor for Petite Friture  The Loop shelf from Petite Friture is the result of a research made in a factory specialized in soldered steel wire, on how to generate new curves by optimizing the constraints of the industrial production of storage trolleys.

Long shelf (1,60m) to be hung, its dimensions are ideal to put along a single bed, at the head of a double bed or above a desk or a sofa.

Pencil display by l’Atelier d’Exercices – The Pencil display brings together and displays at a single glance all the writing and drawing materials of both adults and children: pencils, markers, pens, eraser, pencil sharpener, paper clips…

- Vertically: the Pencil display occupies a minimum of space, and can hold up to 100 pencils.

- Flipped horizontally: pencils and pens are in an organized array making it very easy to choose the one you want.

- Hanging on the wall vertically: the pencil display is a storage compartment both convenient and secure.

Wooden Chopping Boards

There are a lot of chopping boards around these days, but few display the humor of the collection from  All Lovely Stuff, our lovely friends in London.

Have a look at Happy Chopper, Chop Saw or Cheesy Pete on our website or if you’re passing by our shop in Paris, don’t miss the new chopping board window display. They’re in stock now.

 

Paris Deco Ideas

Our friends in Tokyo, Fumie and Hisashi, have just produced another of their delightful little Paumes books.

This time they have concentrated on interiors from Paris homes.

I’m very flattered to see some photos of my home included in the book. Here’s a sneak preview and, with a bit of luck, the book will be on sale in our shop very soon.

Customized kitchen cupboards

The first time I visited Sophie Cordey’s new home I was struck by her beautiful, unique kitchen cupboards.

I was even more amazed when she told me they were actually basic IKEA cupboards she had painted.

Sophie promised to send me some photos and they arrived this morning. Taking these photos wasn’t easy – she had to remove the cupboard doors to get some good images. It’s hard to believe these doors started off as a simple white IKEA offering. What a happy transformation! Thank you Sophie!

Transitional wallpaper

We’ve just received these lovely photos of a project using our transitional wallpaper. The wallpaper was applied to the walls of a medical consulting room and they make the space look calm yet so inviting. Many thanks to Angèle at Entre les Murs for sending us these photos.

the Collection shop in the Marais

We asked our friend Karla to take some photos of the shop. We all love the black and white photos.

Above is a photo of the entrance and below is our main window. When I look at the window display, I feel like springtime is really here. I love the colours of the Mint chairs and the Eleanor Pritchard blankets set against the background of the wood panelling wallpaper.

the Collection shop 33, rue de Poitou 75003 Paris FRANCE tel: 0033 1 42 77 04 20 www.thecollection.fr

Collecting

If I was collecting ceramics I would be very keen to acquire some of  Chris Keenan‘s work.

Chris left behind his career as an actor to become a potter. Through a chance meeting with Edmund de Waal, well-known potter and writer, at his studio in Sheffield, he became a close friend and later was Edmunds’ apprentice.

Chris has developed his very individual style of pottery, making only in porcelain with either tenmoku (a dark glaze), celadon or a combination of both. Chris makes functional porcelain pots including one-off bowls, flasks and lidded jars, together with a range of domestic ware – cups, beakers, pourers and teapots. A few years ago he designed a range for Habitat called Sora and I’m the proud owner of a few pieces.

Rocking bowls

If you want to discover more of Chris’ work, go to his website

Some British Birds wallpaper

Yesterday Karla sent me some photographs she’d taken of our wallpaper used for the interior of a beautiful new shop in the Marais.

La Fée Maraboutée has just just opened on the Rue Vieille du Temple in the Marais. There are some beautiful clothes on display and the architect selected our ‘Some British Birds‘ wallpaper for the interiors.

This wallpaper consists of hundreds of British birds drawn by the musician and artist Edwyn Collins. Edwyn Collins’ music is part of my youth! He’s the Scottish musician and songwriter who started in a band called Orange Juice and after a few years with a solo career, gained worldwide recognition with the song ‘A Girl Like You’ in the 1990′s. If you’re still not sure who I’m talking about, have a listen here.

In 2005 Edwyn suffered two strokes which left him paralyzed on one side. As part of a plan to regain his mobility he started drawing birds. This was no mean feat given that he had to draw with his left hand, having lost control of his right hand after the strokes.  Luckily for us, Edwyn’s friend Katja from Elli Popp saw the potential in the bird drawings and developed them into a series of wonderful wallpapers. When I look at these wallpapers I see the work of a man with talent and courage – a man who didn’t give up.

It’s wonderful to know that Edwyn is making music again and is also performing live. Edwyn Collins and Katja Behr – thank you! You make my heart sing!