L.A.’s very cool new Museum of Ice-Cream

Who said museums had to be serious? Los Angeles’ latest museum is far from it. The Museum of Ice Cream pays homage to all things sweet and features 10 rooms each with a unique dessert theme. Its mission? To “design environments that bring people together and provoke imagination”.

The first stop of the tour will see you in a room full of phones, where you’ll receive a call from none other than Seth Rogen to give you a run down of the experience ahead. From there, you’ll work room by room through the exhibit, where you’ll experience the ‘mint chocolate’ room, with its mint planters growing in cacao chip soil; a pool of sprinkles for you to dive into to; and the banana room with giant, scratchy, sensory walls to reveal that unmistakeable confectionary banana smell, to name a few.

With admission limited to 20 people per half-hour and tickets frequently selling out, you’ll need to be quick to experience this unconventional museum, and we’re certain it’s something you won’t forget in a hurry! Take a look…

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Images by Jennifer Chong from here.

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What’s new in the world of design: June 2017

This month, we look at a unique collaboration between one of the biggest names in haute couture and the art ‘masters’; a collaboration in the name of women’s rights, the quirkiest shop front we’ve seen in a long time and the most beautiful new washbasins designs, by a company right here in Melbourne. Take a look…

Designing Women exhibition

Egg Collective is a New York-based design company established in 2011 by three female designers — Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie. In May, they ran a benefit show to raise funds for ‘Girls INC NYC’: a charity with the mission of inspiring “all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.” The show featured work by top New York-based female artists and designers – including textile artist Hiroko Takeda, sculptor Maria Moyer and jewellery designer Caroline Ventura. Housed in Egg Collective’s West SoHo showroom, the show was full of soft colour tones, the aged metals that are a key trend of 2017, and structured textiles.

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Images above from here.

Louis Vuitton x Van Gogh

New York-based artist Jeff Koons is the latest collaborator with Louis Vuitton. The fashion house engaged Koons to present iconic works, by the likes of Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Peter Paul Rubens and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, in a new way.

This saw the launch of a capsule range of handbags, shawls, purses, clutch bags, backpacks and keyholders, each featuring a piece from one of the artists. The bags are pieces of art themeselves, and have the name of each of the masters on the front. And for the first time, the Louis Vuitton monogram has been reconfigured: for this collaboration into Koons’ initials.

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Images above from here.

Caldera by Rogerseller

Melbourne-based Rogerseller has been a go to for premium quality fixtures and fittings. This year, the family business launched a new range, ‘inspired by the irregular shapes of collapsed volcanic craters’.

Caldera by Rogerseller‘ comprises sculptural washbasins that boast ‘expressed crisp peaks that plunge into elegant depressions below the surface’ and are perfect for semi-inset installations.

Inspired by nature, the range comprises of two shapes: one very organic in shape being an elongated asymmetrical oval, and the other more conventional in shape, being rectangular. Either way, the pieces provide a chance to introduce another Rogerseller beauty into our homes.

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Images above from here.

Czech showroom covered in 900 plastic chairs

Well this is certainly a sight you don’t see every day! Architecture studio Chybik + Kristof have used 900 plastic chairs to form the outside of a former car showroom in Czech’s Brno. Now a furniture store, the exterior is a fitting reference to what’s within. When the furniture company MY DVA Group jokingly asked the design studio to do it “do it cheap, ideally for free,”  Chybik + Kristof took on the challenge, sourcing the black plastic chairs for £2.50 each.

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Images above from here.

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Three of Europe’s most stylish ski resorts

Location: Val Thorens, the French Alps
Stand out features:
  • With a strong Nordic interior, stone and wood are key materials used in the build, softened by plenty of fur throws
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Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company HQ

Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company is now five years old and in its third office space. Unlike the other two spaces, with the business more established, there was a dedicated budget to play with, and for the first time, a professional team behind the fit out.

Alba engaged the company who redecorated her home – Consort Design – to recreate the 83,000 square foot work space and transform it from a huge warehouse-aesthetic to an inviting, homely office space, along with showroom spaces for the many The Honest Company products.

The actress and businesswoman said that for her new office space, she wanted to create the same durability, warmth and coziness that she has in her home. Both spaces have a vintage vibe and a focus on functionality throughout.

Housing 450 employees, it was important that the Californian office inspired them creatively but also gave them focus on their work. This was created through different zones, lots of couches and even a roof top bar.

To create the sense of comfort in the space, Consort Design used consistent colours throughout, layered rugs onto floorboard, and used velvet lounge suites and plush cushions for softness.

Take a look…

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Images by Mat Sanders from Consort here.

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Four amazing spas resorts from around the world

If only we could fly away to the world’s leading spa resorts to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. That’s not a reality for many of us, but not to fear: we have pulled together four incredible spa resorts to go on all of our bucket lists. From Marrakech to Miama beach, take your pick…

1.Lanserhof Tegernsee, Germany

Tucked into the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, the Lanserhof Tegernsee was designed in line with a ‘high tech monastery’ for the body and mind. Its spa program is based on the famous LANS Med detox regime and it brings together medical treatments and luxurious comforts to deliver a world-class experience.  This includes an outdoor heated saltwater pool, evening classical concerts, yoga, tai chi and kinesis workouts and an 18-hole golf course.

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Images: Lanserhof Tegernsee 

 2. Faena Hotel, Miami Beach

With filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his Academy Award-winning designer wife Catherine Martin at the helm as the creative directors, this luxury hotel now has a show stopping spa. Full of theatrical touches, like the bold red, gold and tiger prints and the contemporary art, the ‘Tierra Santa Healing House spa’ features one of the largest hammams on the East Coast, along with age-old South American shaman-developed body-healing rituals.

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Images from here.

3. One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

It doesn’t get much more relaxing than this: expansive relaxation lawns, manicured gardens, and spectacular ocean views. The One & Only Reethi Rah is positioned on a secluded island in the Laccadive Sea. Guests can enjoy private pools, canopied day beds and soaking tubs or wander to one of the eight luxurious treatment villas to indulge in treatments based on Ayurvedic traditions and infused with Western luxuries.


4. Royal Mansour Marrakech Spa, Morocco 

Built under commission for King Mohammed VI, the Mansour in Marrakech is the gold standard of luxury with just 53 private riads and, of course, that enchanting spa. In the heart of the resort is the picturesque (and often photographed) white, wrought iron atrium. The spa itself covers three floors and features ten spa cabins offering a range of treatments from massages, facials, and hydrotherapy as well as aesthetic and beauty services. Post-treatment, guests can take to the tea lounge to enjoy the selection of chef-made dishes, herbal teas and fruit juices. Pure zen!

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Images: here and here.

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What’s new the world of design: Mother’s Day Edition

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we’ve curated a mum-friendly edition of our wrap of the latest and best from the world of design. From quirky, kitsch mini-golf to a new look Aesop store and a favourite design magazine celebrating half a century, there is plenty in store for your mum – and yourself – to enjoy this month.

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Images from here.

Holey Moley Golf Club

Part bar, part mini-golf kitsch, Holey Moley Golf Club is Little Bourke Street, Melbourne’s newest addition. The 27-hole course will see you navigate a Game of Thrones hole, a large-scale turntable, a Simpsons lounge and a Pac-Man with ghost obstacles.

Dreamt up by Fun Lab, the owner of Strike Bowling and Sky Zone Trampoline parks, the company’s CEO Michael Schreiber says the course will continue to evolve over time, while maintaining its tongue in cheek, colourful and pop culture vibe. Perfect for a girls day out.

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Images above by Simon Shiff from here.

Vogue Living celebrates 50 years

Whether it was with your grandma, your mother or yourself, there’s a strong possibility that Vogue Living found its way into one of your hands over the years. This month the magazine celebrates is 50th anniversary, and it did so in style with an intimate breakfast at Melbourne’s Vue de Monde. The 50th edition cover features an exclusive artwork created by Dinosaur Designs and photographed by Edward Urrutia. The magazine is now under the direction of editor-in-chief Neale Whitaker, formerly at the helm of Belle until late last year. Pick up a copy for you and your mum!

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Images: Vogue Living

This is one to add to the wish list: a trip to Japan to explore the whimsical Nacrée restaurant. Tucked into an industrial site, this eatery sees acrylic cylinders filled with globes suspended from the ceiling, while the ‘walls’ are formed from curves of more acrylic cylinders, decorated with acrylic flowers. The result is a space where the light is diffused and a sense of movement is prevalent… almost like a futuristic garden.

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Images from here.

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The fairytale-like Keemala Hotel, Thailand

Set into the depths of Phuket’s Kamala rainforest is a resort like no other: Keemala. Inspired by the stories, cultures, traditions, and lifestyles of four groups of fictitious ancient Phuket settlers, the resort is divided into four different lots of villas, each with their unique design and distinctive guest experiences.

They are shaded by a canopy of rainforest, connected by jungle walkways and each have a private pool, but from there, the similarities end.

First are the ‘Clay Pool Cottages’, which reflect the earthiness of the ‘Pa-ta-Pea’ clan who believed in a strong connection to the earth. They would also incorporate earth into their walls, roofs and furniture, even the beds they slept on were made from soil and clay. Clay can be seen used in the construction of these villas.

Next are the ‘Tent Pool Villas’, taking reference from the ‘Khon-Jorn’ tribe of wanderers, who excelled in hunting and trading. Their nomadic lifestyle is exhibited in the tent-like structures, which feature stand-alone bathtubs, monsoon showers and outdoor showers.

Third are the ‘Tree Pool Houses’, built to represent the ‘We-ha’ people who worshipped the universe and chose to live suspended from the trees to be nearer to the sky. The ‘We-ha’ people built their homes elevated from the ground in order to obtain better creativity and liberty. This is reflected in the two stories of these villas, along with the suspended furniture and cocoon like beds and loungers.

And finally, there are the ‘Bird’s Nest Pool Villas’, which take their cue from the ‘Rung-Nok’ community. This group enjoyed an opulent way of life compared to other clans and their craving for exclusivity supposedly resulted in a woven tangle of a bird’s nest design, seen on the exteriors of these villas.

Regardless of where guests stay, they can enjoy spa treatments, holistic programs and gastronomic experiences… or simply relax in the tranquil surrounds of the rainforest.

Take a look…

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Images from here.

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Three amazing chocolate shops around the world

This year, instead of loading up on cheap, poor quality chocolate, how about choosing less but better? If you need convincing, how about this: more expensive chocolate is typically better for you as it is made from organic, top quality ingredients. To help you choose some artisan products, we’ve gone inside three leading chocolatiers from around the globe. Take your pick!

1.The Margaret River Chocolate Company, Perth

A former bank is the new home of the Margaret River Chocolate Company in Perth, Western Australia. Not only does the store showcase and sell the company’s expansive range of colourfully packaged chocolates handcrafted from Belgian couverture, but the team also provide bottomless tastings. In fact, the company recently crunched the sums and realised it gives away more than $300,000 worth of chocolate to the one million people who visit its three stores each year!

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Images above from here.

2. 100% Chocolate Shop, Tokyo

With Japanese design firm Wonderwall at its helm, the finished design of 100% Chocolate Cafe wasn’t going to be anything but impressive. Running above the communal table is a dark-wood carved ceiling, shaped just like a block of chocolate! Meantime, visitors can watch chocolate being created in the grand, open kitchen, then take their pick from the 56 different varieties in the cabinet, each with their own colour code. A stand out feature of this chocolatier is the view from the street, with the huge floor to ceiling windows just tempting passers-by to step in.

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Images above from here.
 3. Les Marquis de Ladurée
Renowned for its macarons, Laudree delighted fans when it opened its first chocolate boutique in Paris. Expanding on its traditional offering of macarons,“Les Marquis de Ladurée” is a new Laudree sub-brand devoted entirely to chocolate. Positioned near the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, the interior is intricate and old-worldly, with the walls decorated in Acanthus stucco leaves, and the ceiling embellished with a stucco garland and decorated with Murano chandeliers. White Carrara marble fronts the counter and is adorned with ‘marquis’ medallions.

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Images above from here.

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Inside Sarah Jessica Parker’s first ‘SJP Collection’ retail store

In a fitting move, the fashionista of Sex and the City has opened a ‘real life’ fashion store. Sarah Jessica Parker is building on the success of her self named accessories and apparel brand –  SJP Collection – with the launch of her first standalone store.

Made famous through her character Carrie Bradshaw in the hit TV series, Parker says the new store treats colour ‘as a neutral’.

“Colour as a neutral allows a sort of whimsical decadence. It sets us apart in the market. It allows real creativity. We’re not always thinking about practicality.”

The walls are painted a muted pink and the shelves and furniture are made from a transparent lucite, letting the brightly coloured shoes steal the attention. Likewise, the customers of SJP Collection tend to be seeking something unconventional and whimsical, with many even choosing to wear the designs for their wedding day.

The store in Washington D.C.’s National Harbor resort houses SJP Collection dresses, candles, bags, fragrances, and of course, shoes under the one roof. Take a look…

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 Images from SJP Collection and Footwear News and header image from here.
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Inside Etsy’s pioneering new HQ

Dumbo is fast becoming the trendiest, up-and-coming suburb in New York. It recently welcomed Etsy’s new HQ – a 200,000-square-foot hub that took 2 years to complete and is double the size of the company’s previous complex.

Etsy launched in 2005 as an online marketplace for crafters, makers and ‘DIY-ers’. At its core are the values of community, craft and sustainability, and the development of its new headquarters kept these front and centre.

Global architecture firm Gensler was brought on board to design the new office so that it met the Living Building Challenge (LBC) – a green building certification program, that specifies buildings should:

  • Connect occupants to light, air, food, nature, and community.
  • Be self-sufficient and remain within the resource limits of their site.
  • Create a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them.

Etsy is committed to being 100% powered by renewable energy by 2020, which means that solar panels cover 20% of its roof, there is a rainwater irrigation system and occupancy sensors control how much lighting is needed. Plus, no object in the building can contain toxic materials or chemicals; materials must be responsibly sourced and have minimal carbon footprints and the building and everything inside should be sustainable, from the furniture to the internet cables.

Erected in the iconic Watchtower complex, the space has hundreds of furniture pieces and installations that were either created by local artisans or salvaged and reclaimed.

As Etsy described on its blog:

“Whether we’re typing on desks made by Craig Montoro and Bryan Mesenbourg of First Third, sitting at tables made by Jason Hernandez of HENDO or working underneath the light fixtures crafted by Ashira Israel of In.Sek Design, every day we’re fortunate enough to physically engage with our community through their work.”

There are workstations for the 600 employees, but the communal spaces are the ones that really stand out. The Lab is like a workshop with its screen-printing studio, letterpress machine, craft supplies, digital design studio and a 3-D printer. For employees looking for some R&R, the wellness studio offers yoga and beanbags for naps, while the roof deck and terraces provide space to soak up fresh air.

Step inside…
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Images from here.

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