In December, our Float Graphite Sheets were featured in Babiekins Magazine! The shoot turned out great and as always, it’s a thrill to see our bedding styled by others, especially in such a whimsical fashion as seen here.
Babiekins Magazine, print issue 5. Photography by Priscilla Barbosa and styling by Gina Munsey
In my line of work, it’s wonderful how often the line between business and pleasure gets beautifully blurred. Like during my recent buying trip to the New York Now Market for Home & Lifestyle, where I got to source new pieces, meet new artisans and craftspeople, and – perhaps best of all – connect with many of the vendors that we at Unison already have the pleasure of working with.
Check it out:
Workaday Handmade was exhibiting some really unique etched, dark stoneware in geometric pattern. I love the contrast of painterly and marbled style with that of geometric pieces.
Also, I noticed the great material play of their plywood backdrop: it really helps the ceramics stand out.
River Song Jewelry had an amazing textile collection, all limited run and hand made in Mexico of very substantial wool. Look at the great pops of color against the natural wool. Very dimensional and tactile quality.
The Areaware booth displayed new colors in Brendan Ravenhill’s magnetic bottle opener. We’re big fans of color here at Unison, and I picture these integrating wonderfully with our Shapes table linens.
Also, the vibe and imagery of their booth was a showpiece: very SoCal summer, modern/relaxed.
Good Thing! Glad to finally meet Jamie and Sam in person – and see their new line of spun aluminum trays. Very original use of material, and great execution, made in the USA. (Similar to the reasons we already love their undeniably stylish Utility Hand Mirrors.)
Another highlight of the show: these Ruutu vases by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Iittala. These striking pieces are mouth blown and meant to be layered, creating unique color fields and geometric structures.
Ever heard of the storytelling app called Steller? If not, we encourage you to take a peek. Beautifully designed with hundreds of visual stories to explore, Steller quickly became the next digital world we wanted to join. So, we put together a story about our collaboration with Chicago artist, Alex Chitty. Only one day later, we made it to Steller’s Top List of stories to peruse. We’re delighted by this stellar experience (no pun intended), and hope you enjoy it too!
In February 2008 for my birthday, Alicia and I traveled to Tokyo to see the Police in concert on Valentines Day. Japan in itself is a huge influence for Alicia and I with all the design, fashion, food and culture. We are also big Police fans and never thought we would see them, let alone in Tokyo. When I was young, I coveted the film “Police Around the World” documenting their world tour of 1978-80. In the film, they perform in Japan also in February and it was an eyeopener about their fanatic fans and technology of the day (Bullet trains and Sony Walkmans). It was so exciting to be their 30 years later with Alicia celebrating this special day! So, in celebration of Valentine’s day (and it being Thursday – a day for throwbacks and all that), I dug up some photos from our trip and put together a playlist to go along with it. Enjoy!
Playlist by: Robert Segal
LVL3, an exhibition space in Chicago, recently featured Unison in it’s Spotlight series. We were delighted to speak with them about our products, inspiration, Chicago, and more. To read the article, click here
Pat Kim is a designer / maker based out of Brooklyn, with a knack for creating fun, thoughtful, and timeless objects – which is just one reason that we at Unison love to collaborate with him.
To celebrate a few of his latest additions to the collection, we took some time to ask Pat a few questions about his philosophy and inspiration as a designer. His answers inspired us, so we thought we’d share them with all of you:
Unison Home: How would you describe your overall design philosophy?
Pat Kim: My aim is to create functional, thoughtful objects with a balance. I try to instill a simplicity to my designs, with just the right amount of flourish. I believe the objects we make should be timeless but with a certain nowness. I try to make and design objects that are seen as personal, something you will care for and that will be long lasting.
UH: What inspires you most about designing pieces for the home?
PK: When I go about designing new pieces, I think about what I would want in my own home and use that as a jumping point. In that way, my collection is a really personal reflection of my personal tastes. I’m also inspired by antiques, especially antiques from around the world. They help me to realize what is lasting, the kind of objects people hold on to and pass on, and what these objects say about us.
UH: What inspired the soaps you’ve created, or what do you find particularly important or interesting about them?
PK: For the soaps, I was inspired to tackle the process of casting, which is so different from the woodwork I normally do.
For the Soap on Rope, I wanted to in modernize a nostalgic object that is visually striking to an oftentimes mundane space.
Triangle Dinner Bell
UH: How about the Triangle Dinner Bell?
PK: The Triangle Dinner Bell is unique in that it is both a functional object as well as a piece of wall art. It is a symbol that, for me, represents togetherness, family, and friendship.
Zig Zag Trivet
UH: And the Zig Zag Trivet?
PK: The Zig Zag Trivet is an object that is a culmination of a long process of experimentation with form and the processes to achieve function. I think the combination of the zig zag form and material make a really great, simple trivet that does exactly what it needs to do and then some. Its form lends itself to being used as a serving platter, desktop organizer, display for small objects, planter stand, or whatever else comes to the imagination.
UH: Anything else you would like to share about your experience as a designer or your feelings about interior design?
PK: The culmination of my experiences in woodwork, toy design, leatherwork, jewelry, etc. dictates my process, and I hope that shows in my work. Though I don’t strive to master any one skill/craft, I’m inspired by those who demonstrate mastery, whether it’s in cooking, smithing, printmaking, or hand lettering. I try to use what I’ve learned everyday and hone my skills with every new object I make.
Do you have some questions for Pat (or any of us)? Share them on Facebook, and we’ll be happy to answer!
We were thrilled to see our Areaware Plywood Playing Cards in a Chicago Tribune piece last month. They were in high demand over the holidays and now they’re now back in stock!
Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. And when it arrives, even the curmudgeon-iest of curmudgeons will inevitability find herself scrambling to the store for a little something festive. Maybe it’s a cute trinket for the friend you have a dinner-and-an-80’s-movie sweatpants date with every year on this holiday. Maybe it’s an okay-fine-you’re-sweet treat for that special someone of the moment. Or maybe it’s a little something red and rad for yours truly.
The fact is, V Day is a shopper’s holiday. But nobody likes a last-minute dash. So we’ve gathered a list of unique and memorable gift ideas for the occasion. (And we’ve created a sale to help you fall even more in love: 14% off everything red from February 3 – 8). So from us to you, here’s a shopping experience that’s ever-so-much more fun than finding a table for 2 by the window.
Dots Red Runner & Napkins
Know someone suffering from the Valentine’s Day blues? Red is the remedy in this cheer-me-up recipe: 1 Dots Red Euro Runner, 1 set of Dots Red Napkins, 1 bottle red wine, season with hugs and laughter. This pattern is so bright and cheerful, it’s sure to bring smiles wherever it goes.
Tiles Poppy Napkins
Whether or not you’ve found your perfect pairing this Valentine’s Day, you can bring home a set of napkins that pair perfectly with – well – most anything! Bold and fun in poppy, ultra-mod Tiles Napkins bring symmetry, depth, and geometric punch to your tabletop. And don’t forget the matching placemats and aprons!
Lily and Rose Applicata Candle Holders
On this most romantic of holidays, what could be more appropriate than an alluring silhouette inspired by flower buds opening their lovely petals to catch the warm sun? With their streamlined profile, Lily + Rose Candle Holders from Applicata invite you to arrange a modern twist on the long-stem bouquet of red blooms.
Eve Cake Servers
For the ultimate Valentine’s cupcake pyramid, Circa White Platters are made using a unique firing process that turns the porcelain hard and lustrous. Like a diamond (hint hint).
Festive Pillows & Bedding
Simplicity. Even the word itself is beautiful – and rich in fresh, bright, and positive connotation.
As a company that embraces and purveys the modern, we live and breathe simplicity. Not only because it appeals to every clean-loving bone in our modern-loving bodies, but because it’s at the core of the design philosophy we represent.
The interior style of a home or public space is not a matter of taste alone. It’s also a reflection of certain beliefs and goals. So modern design is really shaped by and shaping its culture – both now and throughout history.
Understanding the foundations and philosophies of the modern movement can bring greater meaning to your interior spaces – and greater enjoyment to the process of defining your style!
So today, we’re taking a closer look at one core element of modern design: simplicity. We’re thinking about how it evolved, why it’s important, and how we can translate this look into our own interior spaces.
Sounds like a fun excuse to get our thinking caps on.
Evolving toward Simplicity
The beginning of the 20th century was an era of huge social and political change, and these shifts quickly affected the world of interior design. The modern movement embraced new technologies that came with increased industrialization, while recognizing that this major cultural shift would need a new design language.
In response, modern design rejected the lavish excess of the Victorian Eclectic and Edwardian Art Nouveau styles. Pioneering architects and designers fused the traditional craftsmanship of the Arts and Crafts movement with industrialization and mass production, aiming for (among other things) simpler forms, cleaner materials, and a rejection of ornament.
Soon, light, fresh shades replaced heavy, deep color. Intensely patterned wallpapers disappeared in favor of bright, white walls. Clean-lined steel, glass, and concrete arrived on the scene where dark, ornate furnishings and flourishes once reigned supreme. Unnecessary accessories were cast aside, opening interior spaces up for more comfortable living and entertaining.
Form and function began to dance hand-in-hand.
Modern Simplicity in Today’s World
In short, today’s modern style means clean, practical living.
Streamlined and sleek, modern interiors still avoid excessive accessories and ornate decoration. Which leads to a strong focus on function and organization. (Clutter: keep out!)
Polished materials like chrome and glass continue to take center stage, and furniture is defiantly simple, designed for economy of form. The shapes also reflect simplicity at every turn (or lack thereof): clean lines, functional curves, and basic shapes are hallmarks of the modern home.
Color is simple but often bold. Think monochrome walls, neutral furnishings, and bold pops of brave color peppered throughout. And speaking of bold, today’s modern patterns will knock your socks off, fusing geometric tradition with 21st century personality for conversation-sparking looks.
More welcome today than ever, the modern home provides a calm, peaceful, and inviting reprieve from a world that beeps and buzzes with its demand for an ever-faster life.
Bringing Simplicity Home
Making simple beautiful isn’t as hard as it might sound.
The first trick is to keep simplicity top-of-mind with every design decision you make. When choosing a piece, ask yourself about its function. When selecting an accessory, think about how it will be incorporated into your space. (Correct answer: seamlessly.)
Your goal is a space that feels completely clutter free. A room built on a clean foundation and punctuated with only the most meaningful and truly-you pops of color, pattern, or punch. Think standout shades, bold geometric forms, or remarkable artwork.
And remember that these pops of personality are easy (and fun) to rotate thanks to your simply modern foundation. Your clean backdrop means that taking a room from holiday time to springtime can be as simple as changing out a few throw pillows, rotating a featured piece of wall art, and inviting a gorgeous new plant in for the season.