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Image  |  Nina Mair
The sleek and utilitarian Mashrabeya cabinet by Nina Mair is saved from boredom by the effect of its perforated doors which allow you to see its contents in shadowy form, and it is this mystery of half-hidden items makes the cabinet unique.  Somewhat contradictoraly inspired by decorative wooden frames that were used on windows and balcony enclosures in traditional Arabic architecture, the cabinet embodies only the functional principle of these elements as its delicate grid-like structure provides shading and ventilation.  The cabinet is available in four colour combinations: whitened beech or stained dark beech combined with coral or black.

Image  |  Karman Italia
The delicate, lace-like imprint on the plaster shade of the Domenica  light is in beautiful contrast to its exposed, utilitarian gold and brown metal wire skirt.  Designed by architect/designer duo Luca De Bona and Dario De Meo, the light is an elegant example of the concept of deconstruction. 
Image  |   Gemla Fabriker
The graceful, intertwined curves of the Bow Bench designed by Lisa Hilland for Gemla is a larger version of her award-winning Bow Chair which launched in 2013.  Like the chair, this larger version is designed with as few components as possible and with an emphasis on showing the bentwood technique at its best.  Three Ash arches are held together by a bronze fitting while the seat is upholstered in leather.  Each bench is carefully produced by hand using time age-techniques employed by Gemla's factory since its inception more than 100 years ago.

Image  |  A Common Space
The modern and clean design of this minimal backpack made of white nappa leather by Death in Paris is complimented by the nude and black leather contrasting trim on the back and the shoulder straps, while the thick silver hardware adds a unique aesthetic to its overall style. The straps are removable so the bag can be carried as a clutch for even more versatility.  Available from A Common Space, it is the perfect compliment to any outfit from dresses to off-duty looks.

Image  |   Pedro Paulo Venzon
The Tímida Chair is a retreading of Brazilian furniture from the 1950s, a time when the use of functional, urban pieces made largely of steel was commonplace.

With a form (given its stunted arms) that adds to its transportability and function, the chair is designed by Pedro Paulo Venzon, a designer who focuses on the creation of pieces that develop from conversations about contemporary and modem design in Brazil.  Venzon has snapped up numerous awards for the Tímida Chair including Honourable Mention at the Salão Design Award 2015, coming in as a finalist at the Museu da Casa Brasilia 2014 and winning the Brasilidade Industrial in 2014.

The Sublime Triangle: Inverted Spiral
Image  |  island*atelier
The phenomenon that is the Bermuda Triangle is mentioned here a lot less often than you might think.  It tends to comes off as a slightly embarrassing anecdote; known about but not discussed much.   Antoine Hunt is not afraid to embrace its notoriety, and he has used this pop culture reference as the inspiration for his latest solo show now being held in Studio B of the Bermuda Society of Arts.

The small but compelling exhibit called Golden Ratio Equilateral Triangles consists of five pieces in charcoal, oil paint and gold leaf on large canvases.  Hunt uses a subtly textured matt black as the primary colour, and this has the effect of drawing the viewer in.  The surface of each canvas is intersected by lines or curves of varying strengths and thicknesses.  At first glance the geometric shapes appear familiar in their structure but on closer inspection there is a sort of off-kilterness - just enough to throw you and your perspective off.

Golden Ratio Equilateral Triangles can be viewed until May 31.

Image  |  J.Crew
Rep your island with this garment-dyed Bermuda T now available from J.Crew.

Image  |  IKEA
Our second Swedish cycle feature, believe it or not, comes from IKEA, who with Oskar Juhlin, Jan Puranen and Kristian Eke of global design consultancy Everyday have designed a unisex bicycle called the Sladda.

Intended to fit an urban lifestyle, the design of the Sladda places an emphasis on ease of operation and low maintenance: gears are concealed in a sealed hub in the rear wheel and, instead of a chain, a corrosion-resistant, maintenance-free cogged drive belt has been substituted.  It is also proposed that the Sladda will have a system whereby various accessories such as a basket, a rack for panniers and a cart can be easily attached and interchanged.  The bicycle will have an aluminium frame to ensure it is as lightweight as possible and will be coated in two layers of lacquer to protect it from mud, salt and scratches.  With adjustable handlebars and a choice of 26- or 28-inch wheels, IKEA hopes the bicycle will be a popular option for persons aged 12 and up.

Although still in the prototype phase, the Sladda has already been awarded a Red Dot Design Award.  The bicycle is slated to go on sale in Europe in August.

Image  |   Vélosophy
Today's posts have two things in common: Sweden and cycling.

Up first, is the new Swedish bike company Vélosophy which was founded by Jimmy Östholm.  Vélosophy bikes were designed in conjunction with Olof Dimdag and have simple, aluminium frames that are complemented by brightly-coloured wheels, handlebars and saddles.   The bikes are available in two versions: a Sport edition and a Comfort edition. The Sport is an aluminum city commuter and comes equipped with alloy fenders, an anti-rust chain and a smooth-shifting three-speed integrated hub. The seat sits more forward that on the Comfort Edition and the saddle a slightly more more narrow.  Both bikes come complete with a carrier system or modified basket.  

We appreciate that there is an altruistic aspect of to the company as well.  For each bike bought from Vélosophy, another is donated through UNICEF to a schoolgirl in Ghana in the hope that girls' access to school  in that country might improve.
Image  |   Niklas Jessen + Julia Mülling
These playful pendant lamps, which can be used individually or in clusters, are actually modular units consisting of eight different components topped by an oversized, milky glass bulb.  This means they can be customised to your preference, allowing a certain amount of independent creation.

Designed by Niklas Jessen and Julia Mülling, the Junit lamp is made of high-quality ash wood and comes in a variety of finishes from natural and clear to various colours and combinations.  The light can also be further personalised with your choice of eight different coloured textile cables and is suitable for use in a domestic environments or public spaces.



Image  |  Sarkas
Consider these to be an updated, more elegant form of the plastic sippy cup, a necessary evil and the bane of most parents' existence.  Although the Lace Cups by Sarkas are porcelain, they are still intended to be used by young children.

Image  |  island*atelier
This year's ecoRunway show was held in April and saw eight teams of students from the Bermuda High School for Girls' senior school taking part in the fashion design competition which is loosely based on the American reality show Project Runway.  The girls were again challenged to come up with two designs - one conventional and one avant garde - using repurposed and recycled materials.  We saw the creative use of newspaper, trash bags, water bottles, cardboard roll and string and, after much deliberation from the judges, the Golden Stiletto was awarded to the team 'Spiders from Mars' who paid tribute to the late musician and fashion icon David Bowie.

Image  |  Qeeboo
Another popular piece at Milan were the Qeeboo rabbits by Stefano Giovannoni which showed up everywhere.

The idea of using a rabbit came from the fact that the shape of the animal mimics a chair as the ears can be substituted for the chair's back and the body of the rabbit for the seat.   Made of polyethylene they are available in two sizes - standard and small - and in several colours including violet, white, three shades of grey, light green, pink, orange and gold.  In addition to the two sizes of chair, the rabbit also comes in a version that lights up so it can be used as a lamp.  Instant classic.

Image  |  Kartell
We thought we'd feature some of the designs we liked from the recently concluded Milan Design Week.  This year, Kartell's "Talking Minds" exhibition at the Salone del Mobile paid homage to the well-known designers the company works with, including Patricia Urquiola, Piero Lissoni, and Antonio Citterio.  Several of these designers created pieces for children and, while each design was unique, the common theme of transparency acted as the unifying element.

Nendo were responsible for creating the H-Horse, a stylised version of a rocking horse made from lucite and the Smile seating.  Philippe Stark created the Airway swing with its invisible seat and colourful ropes, and the height and pattern of Clip Clap table by Ferruccio Laviani can be varied by changing its lucite legs.


Image  |  Karman
This pendant light called Crash is inspired by the idea that a broken item can create two or more functional and beautiful pieces.  These two complimentary articles consisting of lamp and bowl, were made by Matteo Uggolini for the Italian designer light specialists Karman.
Image  |  S'well
The popularity of these bottles doesn't seem to be waning!  We like this collaboration between S'well and Mara Hoffman featuring Hoffman's abstract tribal designs.
Image :  Nettleink

In recognition of the upcoming Mother's Day holiday, why not treat that special mother in your life to one of the these irreverent cards from Nettleink available exclusively at Urban Cottage.
Image  |  By Making Studio
Trinidadian design studio By Making had several entries in Milan this year including an updated take on the Peera bench and the multifunctional Verb bench/table/bookcase/sculpture shown here. Like the Peera, the Verb was given an upgrade in terms of its materials, details and colours for its showing at the Meet My Project design Fair.
Image  |  Valentino
We love star prints, so this tribute capsule collection from Valentino which is a homage to the DC comic superhero and icon Wonder Woman is really appealing to us, particularly the non-literal reinterpretation of Wonder Woman's costume. 
Image  |   Joshua Han
Up next on this Musical Monday are these eye-catching speakers called OLi which are designed by Joshua Han for appart_.  Perched on a single stand with a pull switch mechanism for turning it on and off, the slimline, free-standing Bluetooth speaker is designed to create an immersive experience.  The speaker can easily be moved and positioned in a room and is designed to take up as little space as possible in the home.

Image  |   Miniforms
We are having a musical day today.  Up first: the spare, geometric Caruso music cabinet by Italian designer Paolo Cappello for Miniforms.

The cabinet is made up of a high definition bluetooth speaker (handmade by Italian masters in Meolo, Venice) and a simple, boxy storage unit. The design combines elegant, traditional finishes such as lacquered wood, Canaletto walnut and precious Italian oak from the 1700s with modern auditory technology and the resulting piece of furniture is both stylish and functional.