It's important to have a comfortable floor for all those times when you need it. You know - spousal feuds that disinvite you from the bed, days that tire you out so much you get home and collapse, and the occasional alcohol-inspired "can't find my bedroom". Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola presents "Mangas Space", a cosy knitted modular living space for soft and inviting nights in. The series was commissioned by Gandia Blasco and will be presented at Maison&Objet in Paris this January.
Remember when children's furniture meant "all the loose bits of furniture that didn't quite fit into the themes of other rooms, and/or anything that fit through the door frame of a kid's bedroom without scratching the doorframe, and a bunk bed from the darkest corner of your basement? If this brings back stressful memories for you, Adensen Furniture is here to help you break the cycle. Your own children never have to know the terrible injustice of stubbing their toe every morning on the ill-fitting bureau behemoth that belonged to a distant set of great grandparents. From this kid-minded design company comes the Smart Kid series of convertible furniture that changes with your kid as they grow from peanut to person. You can tell them it's like Transformers with real life applications, and then regale them of tales of the terrible rusty bunk beds from "back in the day".
Jose Carvajal and Daniel Aristizabal of QSTO believe the chairs of today are not evolved enough. They make some good points - my chair is crumbling as I write this. Their invention, the "Suzak" is a highly modern, flexible chair that allows for comfort, easy assembly and versatility. The "Suzak" will adapt to anyone's behind, and won't tire out the backside like the stiff couch or wooden table chairs that you use in your house.
Abraham Roentgen may have completed his life in the year 1793 but the design legacy left by him and his son David Roentgen lives on today. Their series of "Extravagant Inventions" is an array of royal wonders - cabinets with hidden compartments and desks with mechanical drawers. The creations raise intrigue about the kinds of assortments people would have stored in these nooks back in the Old World. I wonder if in another few centuries, people will discover goods from The Container Store and wonder the same about us. The exhibition of their work is available to check out at The Metropolitan Museum of Art until January 27th, 2013.
As if you didn't have enough things on your living room wishlist, here is an elegant and functional coffee table where you can store your New Yorkers and Phaidon art books. The Cirkel, designed by Daphna Laurens, a Dutch design studio, is balanced by a storage cone at one end of the table. Perfect for fast tidying up when mothers come over. And next time you wonder where your keys went, just remember, they're at the base of the cone.
It happens to the best of us: the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the sane, the drunk. I'm talking about writer's block. Sometimes words just don't come out. In these situations there is a myriad of activities that will seem like they need doing. A good trifecta is making a sandwich, cleaning the kitchen then reorganizing all the books you own. But if you're Wade Davis, National Geographic extraordinaire, you can conceptualize an entire office with overhead book-cave, hire some architects to build it, and enjoy your new studio. If you still have writer's block after that, well, then, there's always the garage.
A large downfall of being a neat and organized person is jealousy. The first time your friends come see your apartment, they praise you on your tidy displays, with your books organized by height, your films lined up by genre and your cabinets all perfect squares. The next time they come, they ask how you manage to keep your house so neat all the time. Before you know it, their lives are spiraling out of control, they're selling their houses, buying a goat and moving to Cleveland. All because of the high standards you set. So maybe this isn't the exact scenario that caused designer Sehoon Lee to come up with "Squaring", the configurable bookshelf, but I'm sure it was something similar.
Even those without children can imagine the amount of clutter and objects that enter your life when the little creatures come out. They make a mess, demand attention and they don't even pay rent. Furniture extraordinaire Frederik Roijé has invented the all-in-one, triple-use chair slash lamp slash table, a neat and tidy addition to your child's room. With furniture this efficient, you can train your babies for a life of modular living (well, houses aren't getting any cheaper) and perhaps even teach them to answer your phone and make you appointments. You might as well use them for something, right?
I'm sure it must be hard to redesign a chair or dresser after well, centuries of chairs and dressers. It can feel as though there's nothing new. And Ikea, the furniture meat market, has all but globalized our homes with conformity of style - you and I most certainly have the same floor lamp. Judson Beaumont's furniture designs are a little crazy, reminiscent of some kind of thrift store-dwelling Disney-madness.
The days of one function per room are over. The trends of space-efficient living have been accepted into larger homes, with design firms such as Italian Florida creating thoughtful environments such as this one: the sliding kitchen-living room. The tall storage cubby serves as a separator and the table can slide either direction, so you have more space for working during the day and more space for cooking come hunger-time.