One of the things I miss about New York is easy access to the zillions of great shops with modern and cool home goods (everything here leans pretty conservative). The Conran Shop, now closed, was one of those shops I liked to take a spin through, especially their lighting department. So occasionally I check out the website of the original London shop. You can't find pieces like these beautiful glass pendants here (though, luckily, you can find them in New York).
Designed by Czech partners Jan Plechách and Henry Wielgus for Lasvit, these handblown crystal glass lampshades are directly inspired by the grand chandeliers found in opera houses worldwide. There are five designs of the Neverending Glory collection:
Designer Plechách said, "We wanted to create just a ghost of the original chandeliers, or just the soul, the shadow, the shine of the original ones. If you imagine the grand, original chandeliers in these opera houses, they’re glorious, and the ‘neverending’ part relates to the profiles and the idea of infinite rotation—a neverending glory."
I love the sketches below showing the process of translating the original design to the modern interpretation.
Another thing I love about these pieces is the scale of them. Each is between two and three feet high. I think every house needs a statement light fixture.
Each light certainly holds its own, but they look quite striking together in a row.
I'm not sure which is my favorite though I'm leaning toward either La Scala, or probably not surprisingly, Metropolitan Opera. Which is your favorite?
Sometimes we need a mental health day, right? Or a day where we can look at beautiful things, not necessarily to buy, but to slow down, appreciate beauty, nature, and color, to be inspired or feel renewed. I could use a day like that, but in lieu of an entire day, I can't stop looking at this image displaying a rare selection of natural pearls on loan to London's Victoria & Albert Museum from the Qatar Museums Authority Collection for a joint exhibition.
Can you believe these are natural and not man-made? The colors are so gorgeous and the shapes are perfectly imperfect. In a way, I wish you could see pearls like this more often, but then of course, these wouldn't be as rare.
Pearls, an exhibition presented by the V&A and the Qatar Museums Authority, is on exhibit at the V&A through January 19, 2014.
If you can't make it to London, as I sadly cannot, there is a great deal of information on the museum's website including some history, and additional pictures of art and jewelry that are part of the exhibit. All of the jewelry pieces are fascinating either for their unique settings or the age of the gems, some as old as the Roman Empire.
The V&A does have jewelry, books, and more for sale in their museum shop, as well.
H/T to W magazine for making me aware of this exhibit.
image via w magazine
I probably shouldn't admit that I have a strong love of McDonald's, especially their fries--and especially when the fries are eaten simultaneously with the hot fudge sundae (hold the peanuts). So this nightlight would probably keep me up at night with cravings; good thing it was only a concept in a print ad for the chain. It's also an interesting symbol of the pervasiveness of our consumer culture and the idea of bringing it into the home.
I know this blog and the bulk of my career relates strongly to consumption, so it might come across as disingenuous (I hope not), but I'm actually in favor of a less-is-more approach to consumption. I am troubled by the disposable culture we live in and the impact it has on the environment. I try to look for companies responsibly producing goods with positive impact on the people and resources of the planet, and of course support artisans and handmade products. I want people to choose things for their home and lifestyle in a meaningful way, and not just by trends or what others are doing.
I am fascinated by consumer behavior and the motivations behind it: I actually took a psychology class in college specifically on this topic and have several books on the subject. Actually, I should dig those out of the moving boxes and read them again. Although, I'm sure there are also several new books on the topic.
Two of the books I read in college that I highly recommend are: Do Americans Shop Too Much by Juliet Schor and Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America by the amazing Barbara Ehrenreich. They impacted so much of my thinking. There was so much discussion around Nickel and Dimed in the past, but it's worth reading if you haven't yet.
I also recently downloaded the app Buycott for my phone. You select the causes that you support, then scan items you want to buy or are looking at, and it lets you know if the manufacturer's ideals run parallel to yours or not. It's a bit eye-opening as sometimes (more often than I would have liked) you think a company may support one thing, but through a complicated chain of ownership, is a company you actually may not want to support. Campaigns relate to social causes, food manufacturing, and animal causes.
I realize that I will often be sharing products, many which are mass-produced. And I don't want to paint them with a negative brush. I love what I do and the companies I work with. I just think it's important to be a conscious consumer and I do always have a bit of this discussion running through my mind.
I'm curious how others feel, especially designers and people whose job it is to make/sell products. How do you shop?
image via designyoutrust
#checkout this blog with shop-themed puns
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