BRANDING | JAPANESE RESTAURANT HOKKAIDON IN HONG KONG

20 October 2017

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Japanese restaurant Hokkaidon in Hong Kong beautifully combines two of my loves, interior and graphic design. The stylish minimal identity was conceived by the creative dreamers mad people at A Work of Substance, an agency with studios in Stockholm, Paris and Hong Kong.

Hokkaidon serves sea-to-table Chirashi, a traditional Japanese dish of fish and rice that delivers a multitude of flavours and textures. The identity beautifully reflects the restaurant’s contemporary take on this traditional dish by depicting grains of rice at the core of it’s logo in combination with a strong indigo colour.

The striking graphic on the walls, menus and take away bags are inspired by the Japanese seigaiha motif which is a pattern of layered concentric circles creating arches, symbolic of waves or water representing surges of good luck. The graphic is interspersed with fish and fishing boats reminding the customer of the fresh ingredients.

The branding with it’s strong use of indigo blue works incredibly well for me in combination with the elegant, clean and minimal interior almost entirely kept in light cypress wood without any distraction from the dish and it’s fresh ingredients.

I must mention the tableware as well which is kept in indigo, white and brown tones with varying patterns of seigaiha and irregular shaped coasters subtly featuring the logo. The wooden menu boards are dyed to match the brand’s indigo blue and feature an easily exchangeable printed menu held by a strong blue elastic – simple, yet functional and completely on point.

Let’s hope Hokkaidon will open a London branch soon!

For more inspiring Branding head over to California cafe and bakery Voyageur du Temps and Austrian Hotel Trofana Alpin.
 
 

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BRANDING | A Work of Substance
PHOTOGRAPHY | Vita Mak with thanks
 
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‘A ROOM FOR TWO’ | PLYWOOD STRUCTURE BY BEN ALLEN STUDIO

17 October 2017

a room for two, barbican, central london, brutalist, architecture, custom made, birch plywood, versatile, strong, contemporary, minimal, clean, function, form, style, trend, functional design, v and a museum, creative application, interior design, furniture
 

I absolutely adore Ben Allen’s latest project, ‘A room for two’ which is a plywood structure custom made for an apartment in the Barbican’s Defoe House in central London.

Pale birch plywood is a massive trend at the moment as the inexpensive material is light, strong and versatile and can be cut easily into any shape. The pale colour and subtle wood grain texture compliments the continuing trend for minimalism, creating clean lines and a contemporary uniform look as so often seen in Scandinavian design.

The purpose of this commission was to divide a single bedroom into a creative sleeping and working space for the owners two children making sure that every piece of the off-site prefabricated structure fitted through the standard Barbican apartment door.

Studio Ben Allen picked up on details like the arches of the Brutalist style estate and created two separate entrances to the kids spaces which feature a desk and a bed each. I adore the way that each piece of furniture serves a function like little cubby holes in the steps for slippers and in-built drawers for books to read in bed. My favourite bit is the fold down desk which cleverly reveals a house shaped window repeated on the opposite side ensuring a straight sightline out into the open courtyard.

A fabulous piece of functional design that nestles perfectly into the 1950ies apartment.

If you love plywood you can see more creative applications in this cafe and this stylists home or head over to the V&A’s current plywood exhibition.
 

 
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MORE INFORMATION | Studio Ben Allen
PHOTOGRAPHY | Michael Sinclair with thanks
 
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OLD WINERY CONVERSION NEAR LISBON BY EXTRASTUDIO

13 October 2017

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Residential conversions of old commercial buildings always inspire me and I particularly like what Portuguese architects extrastudio have done with this old winery south of Lisbon.

It’s called the Red House and I love the striking colour of the lime based mortar which changes according to humidity levels from blush pink in hot weather to almost black when wet.

The former winery is adjacent to an orange tree orchard which dictated the landscaping and overall design of the house with large sliding glass doors across one side and a slim external courtyard letting in as much natural light as possible.

There are wonderful double and triple height spaces inside and floor to ceiling mirrors to bounce the light around all adding to that lovely feeling of space and contemporary minimalism. Spoilt for favourite features I’m going to pick the large bathroom window looking out onto the external courtyard with it’s lush vegetation – a view that would no doubt cheer me up every morning.

It’s projects like these that fire me up and inspire me to try harder and not pick the easy path.

PS: Check out these conversions of industrial spaces in Germany, Friesland and Sydney.
 

 

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ARCHITECTS | extrastudio
PHOTOGRAPHY | Fernando Guerra with thanks
 
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PLACES TO GO | LOFT HOTEL APARTMENT ARNHEM

10 October 2017

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You know that I’m partial to a nice loft so when I came across the newly opened LOFT Hotel Apartment Arnhem I was head over heels. It’s a concept store in an old Dutch warehouse, all white washed inside with tall ceilings and original large industrial style windows where they sell all those lovely things you need for a stylish life – from home furnishings to lighting, furniture, books, ceramics, beauty and fashion.

You can also rent two apartments above the shop where everything you see is for sale enabling you to take a teeny tiny bit of the atmosphere back home. The apartment I’m showing you today is apartment 2 with two bedrooms, a separate lounge area with kitchen block and a spacious roofterrace overlooking the city.

It’s pretty much my dream space and I’m already looking into things to do in Arnhem – watch this space!

PS: You might also like this concept store in Antwerp and this hip refurbished loft in Tribeca, NYC.

 

 
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MORE INFORMATION & PHOTOGRAPHY | Loft Hotel Apartment Arnhem

 
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PEOPLE TO WATCH | OVERGAARD AND DYRMAN FURNITURE

28 August 2017

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Today I want to introduce you to Danish furniture designer-makers Overgaard & Dyrman whom I had the pleasure to meet on my latest trip to Copenhagen a couple of weeks ago. It was in fact my friend Leonora who is an interior designer based in Copenhagen that introduced me to Jasper Overgaard at his workshop and showroom in Frederiksgade in central Copenhagen.

Visiting the Overgaard & Dyrman creative hub immediately struck a chord with me not just to experience, touch and feel the smooth leather and cool steel of the wire collection furniture but to see the sketches, tools and inspirational paraphernalia dotted around the small attic that all contribute to the exceptional designs.

By sheer coincidence I featured the Overgaard & Dyrman bar stool in my post last month about a tribeca loft renovation by Søren Rose Studio and it turns out that the two founders were invited by Søren to his Makers Journey event amongst other skilled craftsmen in the Catskills mountains upstate NY. A small world and a somewhat serendipitous moment that I should find myself in their workshop a month later.

 

Their short movie below about the design and making of one of their wire chairs is pure aesthetic and beauty and I urge you to play it and let yourself be drawn into their world. You will LOVE it!
 

I could sense that the two founders have a strong set of values and passion for their work and I was keen to find out how Overgaard & Dyrman came about and what background the two founders had. Luckily Jasper didn’t mind being quizzed by me and was happy to answer my questions about Danish design and why he thinks the Danes appreciate and value design and beauty in their home more than any other nation.

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

First of all please tell us about yours and Christian’s background, how did you two meet and how did Overgaard & Dyrman come about?

Christian Dyrman and I (Jasper Overgaard) met studying engineering in Aalborg (North-west of Denmark) in 2005 and almost from day one we realized we had the same ambitions and shared the same values and passion for great craftsmanship and design.

During the studies, our friendship and collaborative skills evolved. We ended up doing almost all projects together during our engineering course and later at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation in Copenhagen.

After graduation we split up. Christian, who was already a skilled blacksmith, went back to northern Jutland and got a job as designer and product developer at a textile and furniture company. I stayed in Copenhagen and was employed as product and furniture designer at a strategic design consultancy. But we kept in touch and two years later we decided to team up again.

We quit our jobs and formed Overgaard & Dyrman. We wanted to create a platform from where we could pursue our own ideas and dreams without compromising.

The first two years all furniture was made entirely by us. Christian did all metal work in a metal workshop in Northern Jutland, and I had a leather workshop outside Copenhagen where I did all the leather work, assembled and shipped the furniture. To work with leather was something we learned during the development process. Before that we had only been working with leather on a hobby basis.

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

How do you explain the Danes love and appreciation for design? Why do you think you have such a high proportion of great design talent in your country?

I guess our long dark winters have something to do with the focus on interior. We simply have to spend a lot of time in our houses – and therefore we want to be surrounded with good and beautiful products.

In the past years there has been focus on Danes being among the happiest people in the world, which can seem a little strange considering the country is so small and pretty dark and windy during the winter months.

I believe we rank in the top because our expectations of life are different from many others. Personally, earning a lot of money and filling my life with status symbols like fast cars and multiple houses doesn’t appeal to me. My greatest goal in life is to do what I’m passionate about, being creative and making things without having to compromise. Overgaard & Dyrman is our platform to do just that and when I’m not doing that, I’m with my family and friends.

To get back to the question. I believe when people realize that the process is as important as the final product, they are most likely to put a lot of effort into it.

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Who is your ultimate ‘Danish design hero’ in the past or present?

If I had to pick just one it would be Peder Moos – probably best known among collectors and furniture enthusiasts. He crafted the vast majority of his furniture himself and never compromised on quality or his passion for making things exactly how he thought they should be. A perfectionist and an original, we as designers and craftsmen can only respect and admire.

How do you make sure that Overgaard & Dyrman differentiate themselves from competitors? What’s your unique selling point and who are your customers?

I do very much believe in the power of crafting beautiful things and in the power of a beautiful, honest and well thought out process. In all modesty we have seen how much attention our approach to design and manufacturing has led to just by challenging how ‘a chair’ is normally made and hopefully also because the design shows that we have put a great effort into the shape and every single detail without compromising.

Our clients are located all over the world and are both private clients and businesses. It’s often people that admire a high level of craftsmanship and quality and the story behind the product – as well as a comfortable piece of furniture of course. They often tap into the details and see our pieces as more than just a piece of furniture.

Our brand naturally reflects these values and is built on integrity, innovation, exquisite quality, attention to detail and transparency.

 

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Thank you so much Jasper for your time and letting me have a snoop around your workshop. I’m sure we will see and hear a lot more about Overgaard & Dyrman in the coming years.

 

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

Overgaard and Dyrman, furniture, designer maker, interior, for the home, style, trend, leather, steel, inspiration, exceptional, values, danish design, quality, craftsmanship, makers journey, Søren Rose Studio, tribeca loft, peder moos, copenhagen

 

 
MORE INFORMATION & PHOTOGRAPHY | Overgaard & Dyrman
VIDEO | Surrender Productions
 
 

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