Friday, 27 May 2011

Not so Grand Designs


From the 30th of April to the 8th of May 2011 (that is one long fair), was Grand Designs at Excel London, over in the old east London dock area.


Grand designs live always has such potential, but they seem to lack direction when it comes to curation and layout. Especially in the ‘Design Arcade’ where good design was thin on the ground. Little gems of design were peppered in-between; graduate style projects,  cheapo looking prints and fleece throws etc. Basically anyone who would pay for a space.

The main zones are: Grand Bathrooms, Grand Gardens, Grand Interiors, Grand Build, Grand Kitchens, Grand Bathrooms and the Design Arcade.


On the plus side, there were some Grand displays that visitors to walk around, which was very popular if this queue was anything to go by.


As well as the food stands (where I has a tasty burger) there was a great restaurant area and cooking demonstrations.  You can see Kevin enjoying a crafty glass of wine below.


I really liked the more design/material led instillations like the above, than the more prevalent shiny mass branded stands. 


Then to the Design Arcade where as I mentioned above was a mix between a high end fair and east end market.

Fighting the corner for High end was Dare Studio. With some new products, these ace cork wall mirrors and the Wire tables in a copper finish.


Also JamesUK have been busy, exhibiting at Grand Designs, then ICFF New York. With their Classic wingback and their new Alywn Chair that made it’s debut back in September in the Tramshed.


Another stand that caught my eye was JohnGreenDesigns. The Embrace multi-function coffee table came highly commended for the Grand Design Awards 2011.


Above is the Grand Theatre, where various interior, product, architecture and design creatives/academics,  discussed pressing issues of todays design world. Here I hit the jack-pot with Kevin McCloud, Naomi Cleaver and George Clarke. Shame there weren’t enough seats.

Overall; this show did not live up to expectations, but did contain a few gems, definitely worth keeping an eye out for the 2 for 1 ticket offers!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Purewhyte Blogspot is no more!

As you know Purewhyte has now re-branded to Kirsty Whyte so now my blog has followed suit. 
All the old posts and witty new posts can be found on 
Thanks for following!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Array Fruit Bowls–Now at Paperchase!

For those that are not members of the Kirsty Whyte Company Facebook and/or Twitter pages:

Add a touch of colour and style to your home!

Array is the Fresh, iconic and stylish way of storing your five-a-day fruity treats.

The Array Fruit blows designed by Kirsty Whyte for Aarevalo are now available to purchase from Large Paperchase Stores.  Yay!

Array Fruit bowl at Paperchase

They are £40 each and come packaged as above.

Bowl: Dia 300 mm


I popped into their Tottenham Court Road store, where they are on sale on the 1st floor within the gift department.


So if you have any birthdays, weddings or special occasion's they would make a pretty good gift, that will be admired for years to come.

Unfortunately they are not currently on their website so if you can’t get to a store or are an international customer please contact me on and we can arrange Paypal payment including postage and packaging. 


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Milan Furniture Fair - 3 of 3 - i Saloni Fiera

This year was the 50th Birthday of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Fiera Saloni; more than 2,700 companies exhibited.

Founded in 1961, the fair was a driver of the Italian post-war design powerhouse that it is today, helping establish the idea that Made in Italy was a guarantee of quality.

Since then the Fair has increase in size, so much so it grew out of it’s old home in the city and was re-located to a purpose built site out of the city in Rho.



Sorry for the delay with instalment 3 the Fiera Saloni – I’ve managed to loose allot of my business cards and brochures from this part of the festival (they must be in the same place as the odd socks). So it’s mainly just photos and no text: good for you but bad for the designers work featured! So apologies.


An early start on the second floor of the Fiera Salone. Already buyers, journalist , designers and more were herded though the entrances, carrying cameras and empty bags ready to fill with leaflets (the majority of which will probably just gather dust in an office the following week).

Salone 2011 floor plan

So Halls 20 & 16 first, with the large modern design brands & Kartell know how to make an impressive entrance display.


Their stand was huge, mainly consisting of their familiar translucent classics. There was also a sneaky preview  with prototypes of products they hope to roll out in 2012


Missoni Home had a very different space this year, but as always it was filled with intricate patterns and fresh new season colours. I would never think of mixing this much pattern together, but it works.

From their  Centosettanta collection I particularly like their simple Bubble Lamps.


Molentini&C had yet another massive stand. I really like this modular blocking shelving used as a divider; if only I had this much space!


One really prevalent trend this year was leather covered metal frames, from rod to box section. quite an industrial look with an element of luxury.


The mix of on trend tones and colours with vintage feeling materials was also about. Here on the German company Sahco’s stand, some of the materials were reminiscent of  50’s/60’s dresses or embossed anaglypta wallpaper.


Allot of companies incorporated their product direct into the display and structure of their stands.


Italian company Alias, had so many amazing well considered designs were every details had been meticulously developed until the product was resolved.

The development of the Loggia bookshelf by Jakob Timpe, was shown in diddy display cases. Below you can see the range of connector shapes that were prototyped.



Some Grass Skirted wanders by the Campana Brothers.


Vitra had a large multi room display crammed full of people eagerly craning their necks peering between each others heads to see.

Each roomset was carefully curated and exquisitely styled. All the products contrasted so much in colour and texture, but still came together under the Vitra style. 

Above Grand Repos and Panchina Antonio Citterio.

Below HAL chair by Jasper Morrison.



Easy Chairs were everywhere, think Pierson Lloyd PLC chair. The Wolfgang Chair by Luca Nichetto caught my eye. There are a family of chair within the range, where the curved wood back comes with and without upholstery.


Above a totally thankless task. They had even given up telling people not to take photos!


Big knits are still popular. Casalis is a company usually associated with just rug, but how cute are these creature-like bean bags?!


Patricia Urquiola is an amazingly talented designer with products on virtually very big name stand at the fair! Above is a sofa part of the Klara range for Moroso.

Milan Salone 2011-Product info pads

On the Moroso stand they had a wall of information pads, where visitors to tear off the product information they wanted, a great idea and easy on the increasingly heavy bags!


Below are just a selection of stand displays; some nicer than others.


Mattiazzi stand that launched products by Nitzan Cohen, Sam Hecht, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec.


Pedrali had a large spacious stand, with a simple but effective stand. Sometimes the products are over shaddowed by hw they’re displayed.


Above was a ‘I wish i thought of that’ moment with the Game of Trust Coat Rack by yiannis ghikas .


Not every stand had carefully muted down design, some went fore garish!


Foundry are a brand I haven’t come across before , their philosophy is to design Classics of the Future. Some really nice pieces from lighting to accessories.


Another Patricia Urquiola design; the Nub Chair by Andreu World. According to the designer, the Nub collection is the result of sophisticated cabinet-making, update with great care in a contemporary manner

Salone Satellite Logo

And Finally, at the end of the day and at the end of the Halls; the Salone Satellite. 

I don’t know if it’s because I was exhausted by stand after stand; or whether the product blindness had set in, but I was pretty underwhelmed by this zone this year. The same set up as last year, with no exciting seating areas. This was the only area if the fair where the credit crunch was still evident.


Well, that's enough negativity, there were still a few gems.


t/m Wafft Table by Japanese designer Takaaki Tani.


Fresh From The Mint consisting of six designers work. They tied their products together with the same colour pallet and design ethos. I also really loved their fabric logo on the back wall.


Malinen Takkinen a collaboration between two designers.


Like a moth to a flame I was drawn once again to the Studio Juju stand. last year they had a very different chair range called (Bambi and Platypus see Milano blog 2010), and this year they have illustrated, their design skill and style translates across to tableware and lighting too. I particularly liked their Wobble and Mushroom tableware range made from Maple and Aluminium.


Warm, a brand by designer Corinna Warm, had a much larger stand this year and launched several new products. My favourite was the Glaze lamps (above) . the depth of colour was delicious, with the dipped colours calling out to be touched.


Jarrod Lim design, had a real mix of product, his Koi chair and Hi Ho rocker was exhibited last year and was taken on my Innermost, who exhibited it at Designjunction in 2011. the Interlock Coatstand was the most interesting for me this year.

salone-satellite-2011-up tower

Up the top of the viewing platform.


And down below!


Serpent modular shelving by Bashko Trybek.

Ser­pent Shelving sys­tem — appeared on the SaloneSatel­ite Award 2011 short­l­ist and later was placed among the 50 best SaloneSatel­lite 2011 pro­jects on the design site.



FABRICA - Applied Arts and Communications Research Centre, this year exhibited under Here & (T)here. The brand is based on the combination of blown glass and oak in a search for dialogue between fragile and transparent glass and simple, solid wood. The result is a collection of hybrid sculptures centred on form that incorporate multiple functions.

warn out shoe You’ve made it to the end, for another year! I actually managed to wear a hole in my shoes from all the walking!

Ciao for now.