Every generation or so, a brave soul pops up to proclaim the end of an era. For literally buffs, it happened in 1967 when Ronald Barthes declared the Death of The Author. And again in 1992 when Francis Fukuyama published his infamous essay on the End of History.
Design experienced one such moment in 2007 with the arrival of Jaime Hayon. Through a series of whimsical designs, he encouraged the industry to rediscover its childlike sense of curiosity. And to simultaneously stop taking itself so seriously. Like all the best philosophies, it took a while to take root, bursting into full bloom this spring as we each search for new ways to fall back in love with our living spaces.
As such, this season’s crop of covetable designs sees portable table lamps shaped like ice-creams. Sofas inspired by croissants. And rugs in which a mini medieval jester has the last laugh. Dive into our full shortlist of serendipitous styles, here…
Ice Cream Portable Table Lamp by Lladró
Design that’s good enough to eat. Such is the idea behind this little lamp from Lladro. All smooth, sinuous swirls, it takes the ethereality of the classic Japanese paper lantern and rewrites it in precious porcelain. And because the designers know that the best meals are experienced alfresco, it also happens to be portable. You can think of it as a playful contemporary candle for outdoor dinners. Or else, a source of solace for summer evening strolls.
Croissant Collection by Gubi
Vying for the top spot in the delectable design stakes is the new Croissant Collection by Gubi. Available as a sofa or lounge chair, its purpose is threefold. To indulge the body. Flatter the eye. And delight the senses. We recommend upholstering it silky Chamois leather. Or, if you favour fabric, Gubi’s very own lightweight Bouclé Wool.
Dreams Rug by GAN
You’ll often hear rugs described as accessories. And yet, to us, they are as essential an ingredient to contemporary homes as good plumbing. The liveliest example we’ve seen this season comes from Brianda Fitz-James Stuart’s collaboration with GAN. Over a series of rich woollen tapestries, the former Gucci illustrator traces medieval jesters and dancing daisies — an original bit of underfoot couture for rooms in search of je ne sais quoi.
Hubble Bubble Pendant Light
Is there a pastime alive more joyful than that of blowing bubbles? Marcel Wanders doesn’t think so. This wholesome hobby provides the inspiration for his playful new pendant for Moooi. Affectionately named Hubble Bubble, the halo of bulbs can finished with an iridescent oil or a beautiful frosted texture. The effect? Homes are that are rich, warm and full of feeling.
Cop Dining Table by Bonaldo
Cop sees Bonaldo turn traditional dining on its head. The brainchild of Roberto Paoli, it pits the flotsam and jetsam that usually appears above board — bottles, wine glasses and the like — and uses them as the inspiration for the statement asymmetric base. A clever twist on a classic item, it promises to make an arresting focal point in contemporary dining rooms.
Dada Dining Chair
The world went a little bit loopy in 2020. This year, design has followed suit with meandering curves and squiggly lines the order du jour. Dada is one such sinuous style. Designed by the gurus of good taste at Bontempi Casa, its curvy metal back traces new ornate trajectories, a delicate flourish that adds a lightness of touch to traditional dining settings.
Asmara Sofa by Ligne Roset
A sofa or an unidentified flying object? When Asmara was first introduced in 1968, many critics, including designer Bernard Govin described it as the latter. Rolling and infinite like dunes in the desert, it envisioned an entirely new way of lounging, and was immediately adopted into the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. 53 years later, it’s back and making waves in homes as disperse as Paris and Tokyo.
DS-142 Lounge Chair by De Sede
A good design should be two things. Generous enough to involve the user in the creation of its final form. And versatile enough to switch gears at a moment’s notice. The DS-142 Chair by De Sede does both beautifully. An oversized yet stylish lounger, its cosy armrests can be adjusted into a wide range of positions, allowing each sitter to create their own personal definition of comfort.
Albero, on the other hand, is for the bookworms and collectors who believe in making art out of their passions. Originally designed in the late 1950’s, it is believed to be the very first floor-to-ceiling bookcase capable of rotating like a ballerina on point. Dainty, daring and unabashedly Italian, it promises to reimagine the dreary act of storage with new lightness and flair.
In pirate lore, X marks the spot where the goodies are found. And yet despite our best efforts to be decisive in our treasure-seeking, it’s hard to choose a single boon from the new Cattelan Italia catalogue. If we had to pick out one particularly playful item, it’d probably be the Voyager Sideboard. Beautifully embellished with individually-placed concentric studs, it makes a striking and glamorous statement wherever its placed.