Embrace Colour

Strolling past our Gastown showrooms you will notice our summer window displays are an homage to our inspiration for this season — the artist David Hockney. With Los Angeles as one of his primary muses, Hockney pulls from the Californian palette of bright yellows, greens, blues and pinks. Evoking lush lawns, summer heat and shimmering swimming pools, his fearless use of colour is refreshing and thrilling.

“…If the water surface is almost still and there is a strong sun, then dancing lines with the colours of the spectrum appear everywhere…”     — David Hockney

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My HÄSTENS Experience

Today marks the 10th annual World Sleep Day. I’m not kidding, look it up. World Sleep Day is held every year on the Friday before the March Equinox. I had no idea this day existed, but it does. There are discussions, presentations, and exhibitions online and around the world dedicated to this day with the goal of celebrating the benefits of good and healthy sleep. As someone who has a very active lifestyle, I rely on a good sleep every night. Recently, I made the decision to purchase a new mattress; this may not sound exciting, but it is. Now I’m celebrating sleep more than ever.

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Contract goes to Spain

This past autumn the team at Inform Contract had the opportunity to travel to Spain for an in-depth look at the design and manufacturing processes of the innovative Spanish brands that are represented in the Contract Showroom in Vancouver. Here is a peek at their educational, inspiring and, of course, fun trip… it is Spain after all!

Pulling up to the forested grounds of Santa & Cole, the group was met by ‘Nina and Nina’, to see the inner workings of their carefully edited furniture and lighting collections. Nina Maso co-founded the company in 1985 during the creative revolution that occurred in the years following the end of the Franco era. Her daughter, Nina Ordeig, is the current head of marketing. Together they toured the grounds as they discussed the history of the 33 year old family-run business, gained insight into the design process for both custom contract and standard products, and learned about their thoughtful approach to running their business.

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Carpet Diem with cc-tapis

Born in France. Designed in Milan. Produced in Nepal. cc-tapis is an Italian company which produces contemporary hand-knotted rugs created in Nepal by expert Tibetan artisans. The company was founded by Nelcya and Fabrizio Cantoni who have been producing hand-knotted rugs in Nepal for over 17 years. A strong respect for the materials and for the culture of this ancient craft is reflected in the company’s eco-friendly approach to every step of production, ranging from the hand spinning of the softest Himalayan wool to the use of purified rainwater for the washing of the final products, making each one of cc-tapis’ rugs unique.

Far from mass production, cc-tapis aims to offer a tailored service to those who understand and enjoy a high-end product, where a three month production time contains a story of ageless culture.

Fabrizio and Daniele introduced their new collection titled Inventory, designed by Faye Toogood. cc-tapis works with a wide array of designers, such as Patricia Urquiola, Chiara Andreatti, Martino Gamper, Parisotto + Formenton, Alex Proba, and Mae Engelgeer.

Kaikado

We were honoured to host master craftsman Taka from the legendary Japanese manufacturer Kaikado.

Kaikado was established in 1875, shortly after Japan opened its doors to the rest of the world. With welcoming outside civilizations came the import of tinplate from England. Tin was used for the plating of steel, and was considered a fashionable foreign-made item at that time.

In the Edo era, canisters made from tin became commonplace means of storage for tea, as were jars made from china or earthenware. It was the company’s founder, Kiyosuke, who first designed the tin tea caddy and made it into a commercially available item, the very same caddies that they still make today.

The following day after Taka’s talk, he held a workshop with a lucky few in the craft of fabricating one of their small plates.

Arigato Taka-san!

Nani Marquina | Carpet Diem

In Barcelona, Spain – well known industrial designer, Rafael Marquina, has a daughter named Nani. She would grow to continue her fathers design legacy while also carving a new path for herself. Starting in Spain and branching outwards, Nani Marquina would go on to open her own interior design shop. In the late 80s, she went one step further and begun to manufacture her own carpet design collection. Today she is internationally known and praised, winning awards and even holding the presidency of the ADP (Design Professionals Association). On October 24th, we welcome Nani Marquina to our showroom for a very special engagement. 

Nani Marquina was a student of industrial design at the Massana School. At the age of 22, she opened her first retail store “Self-Decor”. Ten years later, Nani began to design custom carpets and textiles. Not long after that, the nanimarquina brand was created. The Begonia collection was selected to be a part of the MoMA store.

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Spain has an incredibly rich artistic and architectural heritage. Especially in Barcelona – with it’s countless Gaudi structures, beautiful concert halls and world-class culinary artists throughout. It is no wonder that Nani found inspiration in her home-town, along with her radiant personality and drive, she would generate mass appeal that has paired her company with the world’s leading designers. Nani is pictured on the left with her daughter Maria who also works at the company.

Nanimarquina has received numerous awards including the Red Dot, Delta Awards, National Design Award, and the Award for Woman Entrepreneurs FIDEM.

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Jean-Claude Leblanc’s Core Collection

Like many lasting designs, Jean-Claude’s Core vessels were created out of a need for the product by the designer:

“The idea to create a pot came from a succulent installation I saw on a trip to Tokyo a year and a half ago. It reminded me of my mother’s love for plants and the life it added to my family’s home as a child, something i’ve been trying to emulate ever since.  This inspired me to buy a succulent for my bedside table so I always had this life form to wake up to. After searching, I couldn’t find the right pot. I then began designing my own, knowing I wanted the finished product to be made from marble.”

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Visiting Fritz Hansen HQ

On their way home from imm cologne this year, Niels and Nancy stopped by the Fritz Hansen headquarters in Allerød, Denmark – approximately 40 minutes north of Copenhagen. Receiving a warm welcome from Jacob Holm, CEO of Fritz Hansen, they toured the offices and museum taking in the vast amount of historical pieces. Fritz Hansen was one of the first brands that Niels distributed when he opened his first retail store nearly 50 years ago.

They ate lunch, connected with Hans Mannerhagen and left reassured as to why Fritz Hansen has achieved legendary status and will continue to develop as an industry leader.

Click here to view the rest of Nancy’s photos.