Design Daily Digest: Inspiring Products for Fall

In the magazine world, autumn is the busiest time of the year. The perfect storm of a back-to-school mentality, fall fashion and upcoming holidays makes for a season that disappears before you know it. Nate Berkus for Target hits stores Oct. 21 (better get in line now for his amazing Branch lamp—a steal at $40) and Oakland’s BaDesign is adding leather upholstery to its line of furniture made from reclaimed wood pallets. We also spotted new additions to Los Angeles architectural firm Marmol Radziner’s jewelry line, in blistered and blackened brass for men and women. Browse our top picks from the last few weeks in our recurring Design Daily digest, and check back each day for more product finds.

By Sarah Virginia White
Photo credit: Target
Nate Berkus for Target Branch Lamp

Nate Berkus sculpted branch lamp base, $40, and drum shade in natural, $25. This fits into modern or traditional homes due to its sculptural shape and elemental and natural finishes.

 

Photo credit: BaDesign
BaDesign Pallet Form Leather Stool

 

I’m loving the latest addition to PalletForm, a line of furniture from Oakland’s BaDesign that is made from repurposed shipping pallets. This new upholstered stool is a leather-wrapped update on the wood-topped version, but the coolest aspect is that it moves with you. 
The blackened steel base has two main struts for support, giving a bit of flexibility and making it a perfect stool for playing instruments. "I think seating that gives under a person's weight is more intriguing than having a static platform," Adams says, who says nervous types have also commented on the benefits of the sway. People who get motion sick, however, should opt for the stable three-legged style, which doesn’t move at all.

 

 

Photo credit: Marmol Radziner
Marmol Radziner Unisex Jewelry

Necklaces, bracelets and rings, oh my!—the unisex jewelry line from Los Angeles architecture firm Marmol Radziner got an infusion of new items recently, with additions to the small collection it launched in 2010. Frustrated by the lack of attractive, simple jewelry available for men, architect Ron Radziner personally tackled the issue, designing his own creations from industrial brass and bronze. Find the unisex collection on the Marmol Radziner website and at three retailers in the LA area: Hammer Museum Store; Guild in Venice; and OK in Hollywood.

Photo credit: Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore Tintable Chalkboard Paint

Maybe some people are over chalkboard paint, but I’m not one of them. I’ve wanted it somewhere in my home ever since the day I spotted it covering the side of a neighbor’s ugly old fridge. He was a musician posessing a far more interesting (and unpredictable) social life than I, and instead of a yellowing pebbled surface, the black painted side of the fridge became a spot for jotting down cocktail recipes, played drunken hangman or working out song lyrics. While the matte black surface wasn’t stunning, it was social and functional. So, to sum it up, chalkboard paint was attractive not because of what it looked like, but how it performed—until now. Benjamin Moore just launched a line of chalkboard paint that can be tinted to any hue in the company’s 3,300-shade spectrum. Forget about black or green. My next painting project will be an entire kitchen wall, a central gathering spot where choice suggestions and turns of phrase will be sure to confuse me the morning following a gin-soaked evening with friends.

 

Photo credit: Blik
Bilk Vivid Wall Decals

Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. The faint pattern that haunts this vivid green decal is one of three superimposed graphics that make up the new Carnovsky X Blik Rosoni wall designs, which change under green, blue and red light to reveal different surface images. The RGB graphics are a natural fit for Blik­—the Venice-based firm has reimagined Nintendo graphics and Charles and Ray Eames designs in past projects. I was a huge fan of the PAC–MAN decals they launched in 2011. The Rosoni collection originated with Milan-based Carnovsky, a design partnership between Francesco Rugi and Sylvia Quintanilla, which has experimented with spectrum wallpaper for a couple of years.

For this collection, they created four combinations of images. Each decal, $89, is 4 feet across and comes with three sets of RGB glasses so you can view the separate images without changing your light. 

Photo credit: Image courtesy of Russel Baldon, Furniture Program Chair, CCoA
CCoA Jeni Tu's Linea Chair

Does the word laminate conjure images of rippled, split or peeling Formica counters? Yeah, me too. But six California College of the Arts students reversed my perception by translating the surface material into fluid, natural and innovative chair designs. It doesn’t seem right to play favorites, since each piece was superbly innovative in a different way. But there’s no morality to my aesthetic deliberations, so my favorite was Jeni Tu’s Linea Chair (above). Inspired by taillights on the LA freeway, she wrapped walnut laminate around a vermillion steel frame, creating sensuous lines that hold up to heavy sitters.

Photo credit: Coyuchi
Coyuchi Accent Rugs

Kilim might be having a moment, but I’m a little more obsessed with dhurrie. The flat-woven floor coverings originated in the Indian subcontinent, but everyone from John Robshaw to The Rug Company has gotten into the game. Now, California's own eco-friendly textile darling, Coyuchi (founded 20 years ago in Point Reyes Station) launches a vibrant new line of dhurrie accent rugs. 

 Traditionally woven on looms, dhurries are thick textiles that are often characterized by blocky, macro patterns. Coyuchi’s bright designs are true to that spirit, but lighten the carpets with smaller patterns and bright color combinations. My favorite is the undulating Wave rug in Tangerine and Charcoal, which has a chunky weave and would look amazing layered among a pile of rugs. The new line hit stores in early October, and is available from a slew of California retailers.

San Francisco residents can head to Aldea Home in San Francisco’s Mission District orSprout San FranciscoTerramor Organic Home in Santa Barbara and Beginnings in Los Angeles also carry the Coyuchi Line.

Photo credit: DVF
DVF Colorblock Tableware

It’s not just for fashion; the colorblock phenomenon is seeping into every aspect of design, including this on-trend tableware from Diane Von Furstenburg Home. 

New for fall, the muted canary and red flatware is accented with neutral gray, beige and black. It’s a sophisticated match for the table—rather than the neon pinks and purples that I’m loving for clothing right now. With its clean lines, the graphic pattern mixes well with other silverware. Add a fork and knife to your next table setting for a punch of modern texture.

If I’m being honest, I’ve never actually thought about my silverware. I’ve picked up the odd mid-century fork or knife at estate sales, but I’ve never fallen for the idea of an entire matched set of silver. That’s why I like this DVF pattern so much. I’d throw it in with my existing pieces, most of which are slim and simple Danish designs. 

The pattern is handpainted enamel on steel and includes a dinner and dessert fork, knife, dinner spoon and teaspoon, $75. It’s available in two colors, canary and lilac, from Bloomingdales.

 

Photo credit: Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon Eclectic Line

My first reaction to Eclectic, a new accessories brand from British designer Tom Dixon, was a magpie-like thrill at the polished gleam of the items. Eclectic recreates quotidian objects—an English brogue, a jack, the shape of a factory building—in heavyweight materials such as marble, brass, nickel and cast iron. The collection straddles the line between semiprecious and industrial charm (and the charm is undeniable). My favorite is the Cast Factory Moneybox, an Industrial Revolution-style British factory reimagined as a piggy bank. Drop coins through concealed slots in the cast-iron rooftop. At 8.5- by 6-inches, the bank is a perfect gift for the penny-pinching hipster in your life.

Eclectic has barely made it to local showrooms. Find a few items (and order the rest) atTwentieth in Los Angeles, but be prepared to wait for shipping. 

Photo credit: Eva Zeisel & Klein Reid, Swans, 2011. One of Eva Zeisel's final collaborations before her death.
Eva Zeisel Walll Art

Last week I got a chance to preview a huge selection of new accessories at Room & Board, and was captivated by the stunning silkscreens that Eva Zeisel created with design houseKleinReid, in one of the last collaborations she completed before her death. 

Zeisel (1906–2011) was a famed ceramicist from Hungary, and the fluid elegance of her creations brought good design to rest on many an American table after she emigrated here in the 1930s. What was unique and lovely about Zeisel was her emphasis on function. Nesting salt-and-pepper shakers, modular vases and simple table settings—not ornate, as was the style in the '30s and ‘40s—were hallmarks of her practical nature.

The limited edition prints launched October 2 in stores and online. I’d act fast—a previous Room & Board collaboration with Eva Zeisel sold out within weeks, and you won’t find the exclusive prints anywhere else. The collection features 10 different silkscreens, each hand-screened onto cotton archival paper, then numbered and signed; $299-$499. 

Photo credit: The Republic of Fritz Hansen.
The Swan chair upholstered in Point by Paul Smith

British designer Paul Smith adds to his growing roster of collaborations with Point by Paul Smith, a textile collection that’s pitch perfect on iconic chair designs from The Republic of Fritz Hansen.

Inspired by Scottish Fair Isle knitting, Smith recreates the style’s vibrant mix of colors, but gives them a modern pointillist twist—hence the name—with gridded repeats of persimmon, ultramarine, mustard and loden green (olive green, to laypeople).

To bring the patterns to life, Smith partnered with Maharam and Kvadrat New York- and Denmark-based textile companies. The Republic of Fritz Hansen got into the mix to celebrate the upholstery collection launch, wrapping classic designs such as Arne Jacobsen’s Egg and Swan chairs in Smith’s woven cloth.

Point by Paul Smith launched in summer and is available through Design Within Reach stores in San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. 

Photo credit: CB2
Novogratz Hearty Dining Table

For the family that’s cleaning up crayons mere moments before dinner, CB2 introduces the Hearty Dining Table, a versatile work-play design created by Robert and Cortney Novogratz

Handcrafted from hardy acacia wood, the table’s industrial styling is more than skin deep. Four expansive drawers lined in turquoise and white can store silverware, homework supplies or work projects that get interrupted once dinner fills up the table. Sand blasted iron legs and glass drawer pulls keep the work/play metaphor going.

Family-friendly design inspired the capsule collection Novogratz launched with CB2 on October 4, which includes rugs, a playful “family” light, a side chair and the dining table. The husband and wife design team has seven children and made their mark on reality TV on Bravo’s former show Nine by Design. The duo is currently in its second season on HGTV’sHome by Novogratz.

Photo credit: Anzfer Farms
Anzfer Farms Silver Collection

Nothing lights up a piece of wood like the glow of silver leaf, but the new functional works by Anzfer Farms highlight the unsung quality of the metal—its reflective nature. By applying delicate sheets of silver leaf to low-hanging planks or parts of furniture, Anzfer Farms cofounders Jonathan Anzalone and Joseph Ferriso reflect bright swaths of rainbow color painted on the underside of each piece. 

The furniture glows from the inside out, especially the Silver Collection Coffee Table, in which a dark wood surface of salvaged plywood is split by a slim gash of riotous color. Anzalone and Ferriso founded Anzfer Farms in the Outer Richmond district of San Francisco in 2009, creating a space that functions as a workspace and showroom all in one. Their newest collaboration, the Silver Collection, is made primarily from salvaged wood and was influenced by the color explorations of artists such as James Turrell, who plays with light and space, and artist Josef Albers, who painted with color straight out of the tubes. 
Ferriso describes the new collection, currently in development with The NWBLK(pronounced “the new black”) in the Mission District, as a means to transport hidden color to the surface. “These functional works frame color events that are meant to change in different light conditions and from multiple vantage points,” he says.

 

 

Photo credit: Zak+Fox
Zak + Fox

What’s not to like about a line named after a boy and his dog? Inspired by the idea of traveling with “fox,” his pet Shiba Inu, Shinji, New York designer Zak Profera launched his debut collection of textiles in May.

If cloth could talk, the Zak+Fox fabric would tell tales of a vagabond life through space and time. Profera, a graduate of San Francisco Art Institute, excerpts minimalist motifs from Moorish tile, cuneiform writing, Japanese textile and Indian Matahari trade cloth—to name a few—for his cosmopolitan creations. Printing on Belgian linen seems to lighten the impact of the ancient shapes, however. The prints would balance both traditional- and bohemian-style homes. 

Retail pricing for the linen fabrics starts at $143 per yard. This winter, Zak+Fox adds a collection of stonewashed linen, but in the meantime, fans can find the textiles atHarbinger in Los Angeles and Holland & Sherry in San Francisco. 

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