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Image: island*atelier
This year's top reads were an eclectic mix: from toys to interior design to interpretive modern dance.  Have a look after the jump to see who took the top honours and, if you haven't already, click on the individual photos below to be linked to the original post. 

Image: Erik Jørgensen
Similar to several other sofas we've featured here this year, is the Toward sofa from Danish designer Anne Boysen for manufacturer Erik Jørgensen.   The curvaceous lines of the piece combine the function of an armchair and a chaise lounge to allow maximum comfort.  The Toward has two backrests in different sizes which are upholstered in loose, interchangeable cushion covers allowing the appearance of the sofa to be easily changed.  At present, the sofa comes in three colour combinations: light gray, dark gray and brown.

Image: Francis Amiand
Striking wire collection of pendant and table lamps from Forestier Paris called Fil de fer.

Image: Sonia Rykiel
With modern metallic touches and graphic star patterns, Sonia Rykiel's Spring 2014 line is a standout collection especially the leather satchels and rectangular tote bags.

Image: Creature Collab
One more quick toy feature in the run up to Christmas is the Crocodile Puzzle from Creature Collab, a limited edition puzzle made ​​of hand-painted wood. The front of the board consists of seven colourful crocodiles, while the back depicts a swamp scene into which the crocodiles can be inserted to make them stand.

Image: Isolda
I still have a thing for fluorescent colours even though it is probably high time for that trend to move on, so I particularly love the bright mix and patterns of the Converse Isolda Sneaker Collection, a new footwear range that celebrates Brazil’s vibrant culture through a series of nine bold watercolour prints of cashews, guavas and gemstones, along with playful renditions of lobsters and octopi, all brought to life on iconic sneaker silhouettes from the Converse archive: the Chuck Taylor, the CONS Auckland Racer and the CONS Skidgrip.  The sneakers have an all-over printed canvas upper and lining and an all-white rand with premium white leather logo detailing.

The collection was launched during Fashion Rio in November but unfortunately will only be available for sale in limited quantities at select retailers in Brazil.

Image: Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham unveiled her ICON collection recently featuring a re-issue of her line's most popular dresses since her label launched in 2009 in newly reworked colours and fabrics.

Image: Michele Stroppa

This is a fun idea, perfect for your budding fashion designer.  These Pret a Jouer tee shirts are made from organic cotton and come with loose felt pieces which can be buttoned on in different designs to create many different looks.  

Image: Rebecca Kline
We're all about the statement, geometric jewellery here so Micha Gomes Jewelry checks all the right boxes.  Designed by Trinidadian Laura Gomes who studied at SCAD and majored in metals in jewellery, the pieces are bold, modern and attention-getting.

Image: Viktor Legin
Australian-based industrial designer Viktor Legin has created Droplet, a pendant light which is appropriate for both ambient and task lighting.  Inspired by (you guessed it) a drop of water, the pendant is intended to mimic the beauty of fluid form.  The light is available with a black or white aluminum spun top and an American Oak or black walnut ring.

Image: Michael Svane Knap
Made of wood, leather and rope, this beautifully imagined and minimal rocking toy from Michael Svane Knap is high on design and fun.  Called the GRO rocking horse, this new interpretation is a perfect mix of  chair and horse.

Image: Adidas
We've finally seen some more images from British industrial designer Tom Dixon's much hyped collaboration with Adidas and our favourite items thus far are these shoes and boots which are designed with the spontaneous contemporary traveler in mind.  The footwear is made of just two elements (either lightweight canvas or suede with raw edges and a deeply-ridged gum sole) which are secured together with a single strip of stitched PVC tape.  The Adidas by Tom Dixon SS14 collection is available in stores and online at East Dane now.

Image: Levi Christiansen
This streamlined chair called the X-IV is designed and manufactured by Levi Christiansen and handmade in Phoenix, Arizona.  Christiansen combines his skills in photography and carpentry to create a multifaceted brand of furniture goods and photo services.
Image: Milimbo

We haven't featured many toys in the run up to Christmas, so let's rectify that omission with a look at these adorable cardboard figurines from Milimbo, a Spanish graphic studio and publishing house.  The simple, pared down shapes are designed to encourage imaginative play.

Image: Lina Benjumea

Here's a little eye candy for you: the fluorescent bright, highly-patterned furniture designs of Columbian architect and artist Lina Benjumea.  Benjumea, whose work ranges from furniture and household goods to skull figures and cyclopean matryoshka dolls called The EYE Family, is inspired by frequent trips she makes around South America and Asia combined with her experience in the big cities of New York and Hong Kong. 

Images: Hundred Million
Continuing with today's trend for sweet posts, how about this simple but effective deterrent to adding too much sugar to your food.  From design group Hundred Million, the Sugar Skull Spoon is a helps you to remember to put your health first as the bowl of the spoon is designed to mimic the shape of a skull when filled with sugar.
Image: Maksim Arbuzov
Some creative concept packaging for honey from Maksim Arbuzov.  In the hexagonal shape of a honeycomb, the bottles can be stacked together in a simple but highly effective display while the different types of honey are identifiable by their colours. 


Interior designer Gregory Nelmes recently completed the renovation and decoration of a small space and was kind enough to invite us to look around.  

Consisting of a mere 550 square feet, the studio apartment has been cleverly divided into several functional zones, including areas for lounging, dining and sleeping, all without sacrificing style or comfort.  Painted in a warm dark blue, the space features a stunning hand-painted striped floor as well as several of Nelmes' signature touches such as Chinoiserie vases and lamps.  Natural textures can be found in the oversized linen lampshade that hangs over the dining table, raffia cushion covers, woven placemats and decorative balls.  Little island touches such as seashells and rope baskets that evoke the water are scattered everywhere.  Lighting is varied creating a softly lit and cozy retreat.

Image: Anthony Burrill

We first wrote about graphic artist, print-maker and designer Anthony Burrill here when his poster kept popping up everywhere.  Burrill is now back with a book in which several of his most recognisable works (and a few new ones) have been published.  Entitled I Like It. What Is It?, the book is meant to be read and then taken apart as it is wrapped in a manner which makes the images easily detachable.  Each one is printed on heavy card stock and the reverse of every page reveals the story behind the work.

Image: Antoine Peters
The Lenticular dress designed by Antoine Peters needs to be seen in motion to be properly appreciated as the pattern of the material changes from dots to stripes depending upon the viewer’s perspective.   Peters was inspired by lenticular printing to make two-dimensional fabrics more dynamic with the use of pleats.  Filmmaker Oscar Verpoort demonstrates the optical illusion in a video after the jump.


Image: Stephanie Ng
This is a cool (ha) spin on the cluster light trend from Australian designer Stephanie Ng.  The Scoop pendant light is made from wood and metal and its shape is inspired by an ice cream cone.  The light can be used on its own or as part of a collection.

Image: David Cole
Staycation is a collaborative home collection by artists and designers Eric Trine and Will Bryant.  It includes the lounge chair pictured here and while the powder-coated steel frame pieces are structurally simple and utilitarian, they have been given a playful twist with the addition of brightly patterned, hand-silkscreened cushions which have been upholstered with white piping.  Other items in the collection include a leather sling side table, multi-functional stools, canvas print wall hangings, leather dyed coasters and a leather dyed snack bowl with a cylindrical tube pedestal - everything you need to feel like you're on holiday right at home.

Image: Emilie Voirin
Independent Arms by French designer Emilie Voirin is a borderline ridiculous design where the bulk of the sofa has been eliminated leaving only the arms.  The reasoning?  Most people only sit on the arms anyway.

Image: iimo
Winner of the Kids Design Award in 2010, the IIMO is a stylish and innovative tricycle that combines japanese design with a retro aesthetic.  The height of the tricycle can be easily adjusted so it can be modified as your child grows transforming it from a push ride to an independent tricycle.  It also features thoughtful touches like an extra foot rest for younger kids and locks on the back wheels to prevent it from moving when parents are not watching.

Image: & Other Stories
& Other Stories have entered into a new collaboration with Paris-based designer Isabelle Bois on a line of pouches and bags.  Bois who comes from a background in industrial design, infuses her designs with her distinctive aesthetic resulting in a functional and stylish approach to fashion.

Image: Uncle Goose
I love well-designed children's building blocks which encourage free play and these from Uncle Goose and Invisible Creatures are no exception.  With four different sets to choose from each comes with fifteen colourful pieces made from certified basswood and non-toxic inks.  

Image: Nike
Nike+ FuelBand SE Rose Gold is a sophisticated addition to the personal activity tracker market.  Designed for people who are both style- and fitness-conscious, the clasp, bezel, and screws are made from 316 series stainless steel, hand polished and finished in durable PVD coating.
Images: Tcherassi Vilató

These Miss Understood tables by Tcherassi Vilató are inspired by the rockabilly tables from the fifties. Made from carved MDF with Iroko timber legs, the tables are sprayed in a variety of colours and given a glossy finish and protective coating. 
Image: Roll & Hill
These 1970s-inspired Roll & Hill Woody Lights are crafted from aluminum, acrylic and wood and mount to the ceiling using aluminum stems that are finished in black matte.  They can be combined to create a single lighting fixture (even around corners with the addition of angled pieces) or used individually. 
Image: Rebecca Minkoff
This new collaboration between Rebecca Minkoff and Frends combines premium acoustics and elegant design to deliver a statement accessory.  Called the Frends With Benefits headphones, the removable headphone caps in Minkoff's signature style and materials are made to be used with Frends' Taylor headphones' black leather and gold finish to creating two headphone looks in a single box.  The headphones are available at the Apple online store and in Nordstrom stores nationwide.

Image: Unknown
Bermudian designer Meagan Wellman's final-year fashion degree collection was shown at Earl's Court, London in June of this year.  While appearing to be modern and minimalistic on the surface, Wellman's designs were actually largely inspired by the history of her native island, in particular 19th century convicts and Boer prisoners of war who were transported to Bermuda and kept on islands in the Great Sound between 1899 and 1902.

Many of the crafts and artefacts made by the Boer prisoners of war are currently on display at the National Museum of Bermuda and these provided a wealth of inspiration for Wellman.  Her designs featured Edwardian-style clothing, specifically clothes worn by imprisoned suffragettes and echoed the shape of convict hulks.  Classic prison stripes were paired with the broad arrow which the navy (also hugely influential in Bermudian life at that time) uses to mark its property, while the colour orange was borrowed from modern-day prison uniforms.   Wellman's inspiration could also be seen in the accessories which included oversized necklaces, belts and bags which were in fact enlarged copies of carvings made in Bermuda by the prisoners of war.


Images: via iTunes
You can experience a virtual piece of musical history with this app created as a collaboration between Design I/O and strategic design agency eyeball nyc.  John Lennon: The Bermuda Tapes is an interactive album app that tells the story of Lennon’s life-changing journey by sailboat Megan Jaye from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda in June 1980, and the creative re-awakening he experienced during his time on the island which lead to the release of his album Double Fantasy: A Heart Play.  The trip, which Lennon had been encouraged to take by his wife Yoko Ono and which occurred six months before his death, is uniquely chronicled in this electronic format.

One of the project’s directors - Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Michael Epstein - wanted to recreate the experience of becoming immersed in a record album, something he felt no longer exists in a world made up of electronic music files. The Tapes are essentially a conversation between Lennon and Ono through songwriting, and Design I/O were given unpreceedented access to the demo tapes Lennon recorded in Bermuda as well as interviews with Lennon, Ono and Megan Jaye's crew.

The story is divided into six chapters which cover everything from the sailing voyage, to his arrival in Bermuda, to the visit to the disco which his creative re-birth is attributed.  Told with the use of illustration and interactive techniques including 3D and dynamic/generative content, it features music, photos and interviews that detail a relatively unexamined slice of the former Beatle’s life.  The team wanted the design and experience of the app to match the tone and feeling of each section of the story, therefore different techniques were used for each chapter in order to provide the most poetic interaction.   

The app, which is currently only available on Apple devices, is solely owned by WhyHunger with all net proceeds going to benefit that organisation's work to realise a world free of hunger and poverty.

Images: Ingo Maurer
This table and chair set by Ingo Maurer (produced by Established & Sons) removes the tedium of trying to decide who gets to sit by the leg by removing vertical supports altogether.  Instead, the weight of the table is translated through a single arm attached to each chair around each table.
Images: island*atelier
There is exciting news on the local home design front with the launch earlier this month of a new retail space.  Urban Cottage, an occasional shop featuring a mix of new and vintage home decor, gifts, reclaimed goods, one-of-a-kind objects and architectural salvage, is the brainchild of Nicole Golden Hendrickson who, while lacking a formal training in interior design, more than makes up for this omission with an innate understanding of colour, texture and form and a keen eye for design.  Hendrickson formerly spent time living in the US and her design philosophy revolves around the repurposing and reuse of items.  She has the prescience to see the potential in items which otherwise would have been discarded.  Take for example the road signs which were acquired as they were being replaced and are now regarded as collectors' items or the fact that the previous occupier of the premises left behind piles of lumber which Hendrickson (who carried out much of the overhaul of the space herself) repurposed as cladding, adding warmth to the loft-like interior of the warehouse space.

Strikingly beautiful lighting, both modern and traditional, is carried in store.  Large items of furniture including tables, chairs and sofas are also available for purchase in addition to smaller finishing touches such as cushions, cowhide rugs and vases.  We were particularly fond of the mid-century modern chairs as pieces from this period are rarely available for purchase on island but all of the items offered at Urban Cottage are designed to create a focal point or add a quirky touch to a room's decor.

Visit the store's website for more information and hours of operation.

Image: Vial
This variation on the shell chair is by Patrick Frey.  Called the Kirk Chair, it is manufactured by Vial and made from aluminium suitable for indoor as well as outdoor use.  The aluminium of the chair consists of a special alloy which is bent into the shape of the seat and the edges are then folded under to increase stability. The chair is constructed in such a way that the actual design process remains visible.  The cutouts give it a unique spatial quality.

Image: Thomas Loof
I love this quilted sofa from Bolia's 2014 collection which is available in three colours   The padded shape provides a nice contrast to the thin metal frame.

Image: Damien Gernay
Although the materials differ, the Bloated Stool by Belgium-based designer Damien Gernay is extremely similar to the metal stool designed by Moran Barmaper which we featured here.  The inspiration for the Bloated Stool came from the provocative image of a potbelly constrained by a belt.  The stool is made of sheets of leather filled with expanded foam.  No complicated molds or seams were used in its production as the leather inflates naturally thereby making each piece unique.  The stool is a dialogue between a rigid structure (the legs) and a flexible skin.


Gingham featured prominently on the runways of New York, London and Milan.