Events

A Look Forward to MAISON&OBJET Paris 2016:

26th August 2016
MAISON1

2016 has been a year of incredible innovation and creativity, driving the world of interior design forward. There have been some real highlights including the wonderful design workshop hosted by the KLC School of Design at London Design Week and the hugely exciting new product releases from the likes of Hay, Vitra and Kartell at Salone Del Mobile 2016.

There is another event on the horizon that we’re all super excited about – MAISON&OBJET Paris (Taking place September 2nd – 6th 2016 at the Paris Norde Villepinte).

What is MAISON&OBJET?

MAISON&OBJET proclaims to be ‘the major event for professionals working in the art of living in all its rich and varied expressions’, and we wholeheartedly agree.

With Paris Design Week (an extension of MAISON&OBJET), the organisers are showing that it’s not only about exhibiting some of the biggest brands in the world but also about celebrating young and creative minds.

Those lucky enough to be attending MAISON&OBJET can expect to be treated to a plethora of interior decorations, furniture, accessories, textiles, fragrances and tableware treats from some of our favourite brands. This wonderfully eclectic and diverse selection is brought to life through inventive design, combining creativity and business with beautiful design firmly at its heart.

What to look forward to at MAISON&OBJET 2016?

House Of Games

There’s so much to look forward to at the show this year, and the first thing to mention is some of the brands we love that are exhibiting:

  • Menu
  • Umbra
  • Normann Copenhagen
  • Woud
  • Gubi
  • Tom Dixon
  • Gandia Blasco

tom

These and so many more are expected to use the event to launch product ranges and to show their new trends for next year, so there really is so much to get excited about. But that’s only the beginning…

One of the main installations at MAISON&OBJET this year is known as the HOUSE OF GAMES – a section of the trade show packed with colours, signs and shapes that have been very deliberately chosen to reignite the creative mind.

In an interview about the installation on the MAISON&OBJET site, Vincent Gregoire, said: “HOUSE OF GAMES marks the return of a renewed baroque, dandy style, which leaves ample room for fantasy, eccentricity and appeal. More generally speaking, we are noticing an increasing interest in board games, as well as private clubs, which counterbalance the lonely life we lead behind screens and help us restructure our lives around rules we can easily apply.”

This explains the aesthetics of board games and chance games that sit at the heart of the design, and the images that have been released look incredible.

Another part of the show we’re really keen to see is the Matériauthèque section, by Matério’. This space is dedicated to ‘material innovation’ and will be bringing together a very broad and unconventional selection of material products that visitors will be able to experiment with. A team of experts will also be available for consulting.

Follow up with Utility

If you want to keep up with comings and goings at MAISON&OBJET Paris 2016 remember to check back on the Utility blog. We’ll be following up with a comprehensive show recap in coming weeks, and looking back at some of the new product ranges and trends that you’ll soon be able to shop right here.

Before then, get in touch on Twitter and let us know what you’re most looking forward to.

Paris Maison Objet 2016

 

Time for more? Real vs Replica – Don’t Get Fooled | Design Tips For First Time Buyers | What’s On Your Eames? 

Featured Posts, Post

12 Ingenious ways to use Washi Tape

22nd August 2016
WashiTape

There’s a washi-tape mania going down at Utility, but we’re not the only ones getting into the craze.  Washi tape is everywhere on DIY craft blogs and Pinterest boards lately, but what exactly is it?

Washi tape looks and feels a lot like masking tape, except it comes in a million patterns and colours. Made from natural fibres and acrylic glue, it has the perfect amount of strength and stickiness; it’s reusable, repositionable and it won’t even damage paint.  This means you can use it in many more ways than normal tape.

We’ve rounded up 12 easy and creative ways to use your Washi Tape. Check them out below…

Make a Headboard

Washi  tape can work wonders for temporary home decorating. Use the blank space above your bed to add a bit of character to the wall in any way, shape or form you like! Then if you move out or decide you need a change, it will peel off easily without a trace.

 

Party Decor

It’s all in the details… Add a bit of washi tape to bottles, tags, napkins, plates, straws, – anything you see fit, to add a cute and personal touch to party decor.

 

 Washi-Calendar

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your busy schedule then you’ll love this idea. Make a  grid of seven columns and five rows out of washi tape to create a personalised monthly calendar, displayed bright and big on your wall. You’ll never forget a big date again!

 

DIY Wrapping Paper

If you fancy something a little less garish than your traditional Christmas wrapping paper this year, why not craft your own? Decorating plain paper with washi tape is a cheap and easy way to make your gift look that extra bit modern and chic!

 

DIY Decor

Washi tape can update the look of just about any household object. Here, DIY & design blogger Homey Oh My has added a simple grid pattern to her desktop planter, transforming a plain home accessory into a minimal piece of design with a Scandinavian appeal.

 

Washi your Workspace

Colour inspires creativity. Washi your workspace by colouring your keyboard  and other accessories with bright spots of washi tape. Click here to watch the tutorial.

 

Washi Tape Pencil Pot

Washi tape is a cheap and easy way to transform an everyday object like this old tin into a piece of contemporary art. It will give a fresh look to just about anything.

 

Washi Tape Photo Frame

For students moving into halls or temporary accommodation, washi tape will come in really handy for sticking photos and prints onto the walls. Washi tape doesn’t stick permanently to the wall or effect its structure, so it’s easy to remove and replace as and when required!

 

Washi Tape Phone Case

Washi tape offers a fun and easy way to personalise your phone, cables, headphones and other personal accessories. A quick search on Pinterest will throw up hundreds of inspiring examples and tutorials.

 

Make a Bouquet

Most of us love receiving flowers, but why not make it that little bit more personal by using some washi tape to tie the bouquet?

 

Spice up  your shelving

We love this design hack so much so, we tried it out in our store on 86 Bold Street. Click here to shop our range of washi tape,

Boldstreet

 

Washi your Bike

Okay, so this one’s a little ambitious but we love it anyway. If you’re feeling especially creative, why not use some tape to add a bit of colour and character to your bike?

 

Feeling inspired?

MT is the original brand of washi paper masking tape, created by the 100 year old company Kamoi Kakoshi and produced in Japan. We stock a huge range of MT Tape, available online and in store. Click here to view the full collection.

MT

How have you used your Washi Tape? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram

Time for more Utility? 

Real Vs Replica- Don’t Get Fooled | What’s on your Eames?| Design tips for first time buyers 

Featured Posts, Inspiration

Utility’s Californian Mid-Century Modern Road Trip

18th August 2016
Albert Frey Gas Station, 1963

Here at Utility we’re huge lovers of all things design, so when we recently took a trip to California we couldn’t help but fawn over the stunning Palm Springs and L.A architecture that has become so synonymous with the finest in mid century modern design.

We embarked on a road trip, taking in some of the most iconic homes and buildings from the mid-19th century. One of which was the house and studio of Charles & Ray Eames, at Pacific Palisades which, considering we sell plenty of Eames furniture (as well as lots of other furniture from the mid-century modern period), was just too good an opportunity to pass up.

Below you can see just some of the places we visited and photos we took…

Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs Art Museum

We felt like a kid in a candy shop when we visited the Palm Springs Art Museum. We were a little overwhelmed with the number of amazing pieces of artwork on show, covering everything including architecture, paintings, glasswork, photography, sculptures, furniture, and much more.

The museum was founded way back in 1938 and was home to pieces of artwork donated by wealthy local homeowners. It has moved sites several times before settling into its current location. Today it features all sorts of exhibitions and programs, making it a must visit if you’re in the area.

Check out more info on their website.

Eames House

Eames House

Of course Charles and Ray Eames designed and built their own house – we wouldn’t have expected anything less!

Otherwise known as Case Study House No. 8, their house is a lesson in clever, stylish design that looks as amazing now as it no doubt did when it was built in 1949. The architecture itself is actually quite simple, essentially two large glass and steel rectangular boxes, but the coloured glass really brings it to life. Inside is packed full of not just some of the Eames’ personal belongings, but also plenty of their classic furniture, including some we sell at Utility. It’s been left just as it was when Ray Eames died back in 1988. Inside photography is strictly forbidden and reserved for fundraising to preserve the trust but we were allowed to look in through the open windows and doors.

The surroundings aren’t to be overlooked either. In an elevated position overlooking Santa Monica beach over a meadow (albeit very dry due to the drought) it’s a serene and relaxing location, set amongst eucalyptus trees with the sound of birdsong and the ocean in the background.There aren’t many better places to live and work.

If you want to go and take a look, make sure you make a reservation as it’s incredibly popular. You can do so over at the Eames Foundation website and if you’re feeling inspired, you can check out our full range of Eames furniture here.

Kaufmann House

Kaufmann House

Designed for businessman Edgar J Kaufmann in the mid forties, this masterpiece by Richard Neutra is one of those places you’d find hard to beat if you could design your dream home. It’s now even considered one of the most important homes of the 20th century and a jewel in American architecture history.

It’s quite a simple layout, featuring steel, glass and stone in its construction, and it’s this house (and some of its copycats) that has become the archetype for houses in the Californian hills. Once owned by singer Barry Manilow it was restored most recently by Brent Harris, an investment manager, and Beth Edwards Harris. Rumour has it it’s recently been touted on the market for $38m, a far cry from the $348,000 it cost to build!

Frank Sinatra’s House

Frank Sinatra's House

Among the many celebs who have owned property in the Palm Springs area, one of the most famous is undoubtedly Frank Sinatra, and what a house it is.

Sinatra was one of the first big names to live in Palm Springs, which led to a flurry of others following in his footsteps. Sinatra originally wanted a Georgian-style mansion, but architect Stewart Williams was able to convince him to opt for something more modern and “desert appropriate”.

Named Twin Palms, you can imagine Hollywood parties for the rich and famous being held here, with cocktails aplenty around the Grand Piano shaped pool. You can even rent the house, at a price!

You can learn more over on the Twin Palms website.

Del Marcos Hotel

Del Marcos Hotel

The 17-room Del Marcos Hotel was designed by William F Cody in 1947 and is still an incredibly popular place to stay in the area. The award-winning hotel was Cody’s first independent commission in Palm Springs, and was built in a U-shape around a courtyard to encourage guests to socialise.

Tramway Gas Station

Albert Frey Gas Station, 1963

The iconic Tramway Gas Station, designed by Albert Frey, was intended to be the first Palm Springs building people saw when approaching from California State Route 111. Designed in 1965, it quickly became one of the key examples of modernist architecture and set foundation stone for this desert location’s iconic status as a mecca for contemporary design.

However, it closed and began to fall into disrepair in the mid 1990s, until it was turned into an art gallery and later the Palm Springs Visitor Centre.


These were just some of the amazing architectural stops on our tour of Palm Springs. We also were lucky enough to see the Dinah Shore House (now owned by Leonardo Di Caprio, again available to rent); The Edris House, Bob Hope’s House (the behemoth, John Lautner designed 23,000 square feet structure in the Coachella Valley), the Chase Bank Building and many more.

We certainly left feeling inspired and the trip re-inforced our passion about the amazing furniture we sell here at Utility. Whilst most of us will never have the luxury of Palm Springs, we can have our own little part of it wherever we live.

Take a look at the gallery below to see all the pictures we took.

See more amazing design over on our Instagram and Pinterest pages.

Time for more Utility? Interior design tips first time buyers should know | 7 things you need to know about decorating with white | Travel with Utility: Where to go and what to take

Post

The Comfiest Chairs on Instagram

15th August 2016
Lounge-Chair-Ottoman-Prismatic-Table-Wool-Blanket-Christmas-motif-2014

After a busy week or hard day’s work there’s almost nothing more enjoyable than taking some me-time to switch off and relax. And what better way is there to do that than to sit back, read or even take a nap on an exceedingly comfy designer armchair? Well perhaps go on holiday, but we don’t sell those at Utility, so we’ve rounded up a few of our most comfortable lounge chairs as seen on Instagram, that also happen to be design classics. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Fritz Hansen Egg Chair

Available at Utility from £4282.00

Knoll Bertoia Diamond Chair

Available at Utility from £845.00

Hay J110 Chair

Available at Utility from £179.00

Vitra Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman

Available at Utility from £3878.00

Cassina LC4 Chaise Lounge Chair 

Available at Utility from £3282.00

Fritz Hansen Swan Chair

Available at Utility from £2661.00

Knoll Womb Chair & Ottoman

Available at Utility from £5372.00 

Fritz Hansen Fri Chair

Available at Utility from £2035.00

Vitra RAR Rocking Chair

Available at Utility from £448.00 

Carl Hansen Wish Bone Chair

Available at Utility from £504.00

Feeling inspired? Head over to our Pinterest to see more of the best, or click here to browse our full range of lounge chairs.

shop-lounge-

Do you have a  chair that you love to relax in?  Tweet us @utilitydesign or tag us on Instagram

Time for more?  Interior styling for the Harvey Spector look | A Chair to Cherish : Our Top Three Armchairs | What’s on your Eames?

Featured Posts, Inspiration, Products

Office Interior Styling for the Harvey Specter Look | Suits

11th August 2016
HARVEY_SPECTER

LIFE HACK: If you don’t currently watch the USA Network’s hit show “Suits” – start now!

Based in a fictional law firm in New York City, Suits features a host of charismatic and powerful people. Whether your favourite character is Mike Ross, Donna Paulsen or Louis Litt, we can all agree that the boss of style is Harvey Specter.

With sharp dialogue, stylish suits and an office interior to die for, it’s safe to say that Harvey is the envy of many a man (it can’t be just me).

With season 6 in full swing and the recent announcement of a 7th season, we’ve taken a comprehensive look into his Pearson-Specter-Litt office and gathered together the best contemporary furniture & lighting to help you create your very own Harvey Specter office or apartment.

4

Harvey Specter Style Seating

Whether you’re sat in front of a computer typing all day, sifting through legal documents or simply require a James Bond villain style swivel, you’re going to need a great office chair. We’ve included a number of options that look strikingly similar to those Harvey is seen using as his throne, as well as the Knoll Brno chair which is the actual chair used by Harvey’s guests.

If it’s a contemporary design classic that combines luxurious leather and metal, it’ll look great in your Suits inspired office.

Harvey Specter from Suits style chairs

  1. Knoll Brno Chair
  2. Vitra Eames EA217 Office Chair
  3. Vitra Eames Aluminium Group EA207/208 Chairs
  4. Fritz Hansen Oxford Chair  – Low Back

See our full range of office chairs and feel like Harvey when tackling those spreadsheets.

suits-breakroom

Image Source: http://creativeofficefurniture.com/get-the-look-suits/

We’ve also got to give a special mention to the Knoll Bertoia Side Chair, seen above being used by Louis and Katrina in the Manhattan based law firm. Designed in 1952, it’s made from polished chrome welded steel rods which are scratch, chip and chemical resistant. It also comes in three upholstery levels.

1

Harvey Specter Draw-less Office Desk / Table

Perhaps you’ve noticed that Harvey Specter’s office is missing something – drawers! I guess that’s because Donna takes care of everything he needs to hide. For this reason, we’ve taken a leaf out of Harvey’s book and selected tables rather than the conventional desk seen in most offices.

Honourable mention goes to the Knoll Barcelona Side Table designed by Ludwig Van Der Mies and the stunning Eero Saarinen Tulip Side Table as they’re the actual tables spotted on the set of Suits.

TABLES

  1. Kartell Zooom Table
  2. Cappellini Fronzoni 64 Table
  3. Cassina LC10-P Table
  4. Knoll Barcelona Coffee Table
  5. Knoll Saarinen Tulip Side Table

Don’t yet have a Donna in your life? The Knoll Albini Desk has a drawer unit while still having the necessary elegance to shine in a Specter Pearson Litt office. Designed by Franco Albini in 1949, this classic desk is suitably understated and looks just as good today as it did half a century ago.

ALBINI

See our full range of home and office desks.

sofa

A place to put your feet up

Although we rarely see Harvey lying down like Mad Men’s Don Draper, it’s always nice to have a spot for reflection in one’s office – so long as you can avoid the urge to take a mid afternoon nap.

tumblr_mqs6x4jQmZ1stlgi0o3_500

As well as a sofa and armchairs, Harvey also has a Chaise Longue in his office so we’ve picked our two favourites, the Mr Chaise and the Le Corbusier LC4.

SOFALOUNGE

  1. Bensen Lite Sofa
  2. Knoll Mr Chaise
  3. Le Corbusier LC4 Chaise Longue
  4. Florence Knoll 3 Seater Sofa

See our full range of designer sofas that would look fantastic in any Harvey Specter apartment or office.

Foscarini Aplomb Suspension Lights now 5% Off at Utility

Foscarini Aplomb Suspension Lights now 5% Off at Utility

Home & Office Lighting

Functional lighting doesn’t feature heavily in Harvey’s office, probably due to light pouring in from its huge windows. However, we have selected a handful of desk, floor and reading lamps that we think Gabriel Macht’s character would appreciate. We’ve also included the Foscarini Aplomb Suspensions lights from Harvey’s apartment (shown above).

LIGHTING

  1. Zeitraum Read Noon Floor Lamp
  2. Flos Ray Table Lamp
  3. Moooi Double Shade Floor Lamp
  4. Orsjo Crane Lamp

home

Harvey Specter’s Apartment

Possibly even more impressive than the astonishing 360 degree city views from Harvey’s home, is the interior styling within it. Featuring Foscarini Aplomb suspension lights above a contemporary breakfast bar, this apartment is the perfect fit for a high flying lawyer.

3

These furniture pieces will allow you to turn your home into a beautifully modern escape from the rigor of office life. We’ve also included the Knoll Barcelona Chair (as seen above) because in our opinion, it’s the one piece missing from Harvey’s life.

APARTMENT

  1. Vitra Grand Repos Lounge Chair
  2. Vitra Eames LTR Side Table
  3. Muller Low Line Sideboard
  4. Hay About A Stool AAS38

tumblr_ntp1p5961k1uepsaxo1_500

Do you think we’ve nailed the Harvey Specter style office look? Check out our full range of office furniture and create your very own Suits office.

Buy office furniture