Among my my favourite furniture designers is Christophe Delcourt based in Paris, France. His pieces are the perfect balance of industrial, organic and refined.  And I especially like his attention to shape and material.  Here are some of my favourite pieces as well as an image of his showroom in Paris which I visited the last time I was there scouring for new product.  Contact Anna Dhillon Design for information on pricing and availability. 



Sebastian Herkner's Bell table caught my attention the minute I laid eyes on it.  Herkner is a product designer and studied the combination of new technologies with traditional craftsmanship.   He has been commissioned to design a variety of pieces for various luxury furniture brands and his own line does not disappoint.  The base of the bell table is handblown tinted glass topped with a back painted black glass top with a brass trim.  They are the perfect balance between refined and organic - a line I work hard to toe. They come in a limited but satisfying array of colours and are a must have accessory for any seating arrangement.



I came across German artist Stephan Zirwes' work recently and had to share.  I was immediately struck by the visual aesthetic of his pieces most of which at first glance look nothing like what they actually are.  Although the first step when choosing art to invest in usually stems from a visual connection with the piece, the second step really is understanding and connecting with the artist's intent and process.  Zirwes hangs out of an open helicopter, hundreds of meters above ground wearing a climbing harness to capture his photographs.  When viewed from a distance they appear artificial and abstract but close-up you can make out what they really are.  The end result is an interesting and very true commentary on understanding what is beneath.  Here are some of the images I was drawn to.  The images range from ice fields to airplane runways to fields of flowers. 



It has been a busy year so far for us here at Anna Dhillon Design and we thought we would share a little of what we have been working on and what our typical design process is. The first step in our design process is the programming stage where we evaluate our client's needs, likes and dislikes, limitations of the space, and any construction constraints. The second step we take is the conceptual phase where this is translated into a visual dialogue. Here are some images we presented for a recent project for a couple and their two young children. Our mandate was to give our client a home that would be comfortable and easy to maintain yet at the same time formal enough for entertaining.  

Our inspiration for the family room shown above began with the carpets shown on the bottom right  which were sourced on a recent trip to New York. The family room is adjacent to the kitchen and children will be running in and out all day so for comfort we specified down filled deep seat sofas, a leather ottoman in place of a sharp edged table [kid friendly] and lots of colour to give the room a vibrant feel.

For the kitchen and breakfast area we chose a raw finish breakfast table in a smoked wood for texture and it's inherent forgiving nature as well as classic bistro style pendants above the counter seating. For bar stool and dining chair upholstery we love the Restoration Hardware indoor/outdoor perennials textured linen fabric for easy cleaning.  Dream item for the kitchen is the AGA stovetop - stunning.

The formal living area is also kid friendly with a custom mongolian ottoman in lieu of a formal coffee table. Throw pillows in on-trend ikat prints can easily be switched out and the second generation area carpet from The Cross gives the room some warmth.

In the dining room we suggested a round table that seats four but turns into a soft oval shape with the insertion of two leaves to seat eight to ten. We balanced traditional with modern through the chandelier and sideboard and suggested investing in Canadian artist David Burdeny's work [top left] which is timeless. 



There are many great interior design trade shows around the world and one of my favourites, and among the most influential, is Maison et Objet.  The show takes place in Paris twice a year in January and September and is well attended by designers, vendors and editors who want to see the best of what is available in the industry.  As you will see from the map above it is absolutely huge.  Depending on your interest level you could spend days in just one hall alone.  Although I don't usually take pictures of food I couldn't resist sharing images of the dessert at the cafeteria at the show, eclairs with leopard icing and mini-cheesecake with Josef Albers' Homage to the Square on it, such a sophisticated way to stay on theme - only the French.

I like to attend the September show because Paris Design Week happens right afterwards and the showrooms and galleries in the city have a great buzz and put on some great events.  Here is some of what I saw and liked on my most recent trip out.  

I discovered Le Deun Luminaires at the show and fell in love with their lighting.  The image on the right is an installation in the restaurant of the hotel I stayed at while in town, La Belle Juliette.  The pieces can either be placed table-top as shown in the top image above left, flush against a wall, or ceiling hung.  A great design and energy efficient as well.
Lobmeyer is a 6th generation crystal company based in Vienna.  Their pieces are exquisite and each one shows their fascination and love for crystal and design.  The glasses shown in the image above in the lower right corner commemorate a set of drinking glasses designed by the infamous Adolf Loos in 1931.  I was drawn to this set which has images of the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues on the bottom of the glasses - edgy and chic.

While in town I always try to stop by the India Mahdavi showroom on the left bank.  Mahdavi used to work with Christian Liaigre before launching her own interior and furniture design business.  Her style is very French in that it is both refined and whimsical - a mix that I think is hard to pull off but she does well.  She recently worked on the redesign of the Connaught Hotel in London and in addition to her furniture line has done many other restaurants, hotels and private residences. 

No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Hermes. Their newest store in Paris is on the Left Bank is a converted municipal swimming pool designed by Paris-based architecture firm RDAI.  This store is not only unique because of its contemporary meets historical design - note the swimming pool tiles kept intact and architectural wood "huts" - but it also displays a large selection of the Hermes La Maison, a furnishings line that offers reproductions of Jean Michel Frank's pieces, a cafĂ© - Le Plongeoir and floral shop by Baptiste Pitou.  The wallpaper shown in the image above right is the newest addition to La Maison - love it.



We recently began pulling inspiration images for a residential design-build project in Vancouver and came across these images of Luxury Bridal Gown designer Monique Lhuillier's Bel Air home.  I remember seeing the images when they first came out in 2008 and am struck by how current they feel five years later.  The colour palette is neutral silvery greys and the furniture chosen is what is called transitional - a blend of contemporary and traditional.  The result is a comfortable, yet chic and sophisticated home.  My favourite room is definitely the home office in the last image above.  The built-in millwork in the dramatic dark grey is an interesting contrast to the more tranquil feel throughout the rest of the residence.



This week I will be heading out of town for a much needed holiday to Marrakech and en route I am stopping for one night in London to see the anticipated retrospective of controversial British artist Damien Hirst's work at the Tate Modern. I have always enjoyed Hirst's work and among my [many] favourites are his spot paintings which were recently celebrated by the  Gagosian Gallery [331 of the spot paintings were on exhibition earlier this year in 11 Gagosian galleries in 8 cities on 3 continents - a feat to put together even for Larry I am sure]. The first time I saw one at an art fair in Paris I fell instantly in love, irrespective of my love for neutral colours, they just seemed - fun.

The inspiration for the works was looking at a painting can be like taking drugs. Hirst said that people would rather pop a pill than look at art to feel better and so he created what I like to call "happy dots". Each spot painting is different and named after a prescription medication.

The spot paintings are particularly iconic because they are truly reflective of Hirst's pop art style. After introducing us to the colourful versions Hirst did a series in grey shown in the homes below that I am seriously in love with. I am leaving you with these images until I return. I will report back with the trends from Maison et Objet a design show in Paris which I am heading to after Marrakech. Hope you are enjoying the last few days of summer wherever you are - I will be spending mine soaking up inspiration among the glamour and riads of the Red City.



I have recently been spending time in the water and it reminded me of the breadth of design from packaging to objects, homes to hotels and cars to yachts.  On that note and given that it is the last few weeks of summer I thought I'd share some images of a spectacular yacht I came across a few years ago.  The Beluga Yacht was designed by Antwerp based design firm Puresang.  The designs for this super-yacht were unveiled in the 2010 Monaco Boat Show and it is a truly gorgeous paring of futuristic and modern.  Said to be inspired by Moby Dick the yacht is not a reality yet therefore the conceptual images will have to satisfy us all in the meantime.



Summertime reminds me of escape and when I was living in New York I did as the locals did and headed to the Hamptons.  The area is usually visited by those who have a home or rent a home and in the past there have been very few hotels in the area.  Fortunately while I was there a new chic hotel had just opened among the perfectly manicured hedges which has since gone through a name change and is now known as the Inn at Windmill Lane in Amagansett [rumour has it the old name "The Reform Club Inn" caused too much of a stir!].

The owner of the hotel designed it himself with the help of an architect and did a fabulous job giving it the feel of a well designed, comfy home complete with your own porch in front of each cottage.

I think what gives the place a special touch is the artwork in all the rooms which is from the owner's personal collection and rotates regularly.  One of the rooms that we stayed in below had Hugo Guinness pieces with just one hung askew for a playful look [if you are in Vancouver you can find some of Guinness' pieces at The Cross].  

If you have a chance to make it out do so before it gets too popular...I hear they are expanding soon.  And if you are in New York City and crave a bit of this Hampton's feel I suggest eating at the owner's city restaurant Tremont where both food and atmosphere are wonderful.  Can't wait to see what the growing hospitality group opens next.



Spanish architect Jaime Hayon has received many international design awards including the Maison et Object Designer of the Year award in 2010.  He developed a large body of work, however I am particularly drawn to those shown below where he has used very strong metallic materials and combined them with soft forms resulting in very striking artistic pieces.  Hayon has collaborated with many international and well regarded companies.  I first came across his work in New York when I was invited to the exclusive launch of his bathroom furniture line created for the luxury tile company Bisazza Bagno. 

He has also designed a furniture line for Se London which includes many beautiful pieces including the Beetly sofa shown here.

Lastly a piece I have recently specified in a client's home is the Copacabana Floor Lamp by  Metalarte.  A great accent piece which will add punch to any room.



If you've been following my blog it is probably clear to you by now that I love homes that have defined architectural lines and a neutral colour palette.  A great example of this is fashion designer and business woman Vera Wang's new Beverly Hills home.  The home was built in 1967, and although later renovated, shows clear architectural signs of the period which was influenced by the famous architect Richard Neutra well known for minimalism, angular lines and use of glass and steel.

The interior color palette is entirely neutral - black, white and cream and is carried out well through the use of varying materials and furniture with interesting lines such as the Modo chandelier by Roll and Hill.

The monochromatic colour scheme is broken up by one of my favourite features in a space - stone and wood panelled walls.  This design feature adds warmth to what would otherwise seem to be very stark surroundings.

Last, but not least, love the high gloss flooring and walls. A great use of texture which not only works well visually but also adds light to the space.  Enjoy.