Fabulous call to arms in issue six of Pretty Nostalgic magazine for our slow furniture movement. The magazine's wonderful motto is Spend Wisely, Waste Less, Appreciate More. TMO and Paul Anderson both fell under the magazine's radar.
FEBRUARY 10, 2013
Thanks to the Sunday Times Style magazine and the writer Katrina Burroughs citing Lapaloosa in her article about 'The New Luxury'. Lapaloosa was described as one of a few set of websites overturning the stereotype of the word craft in this country.
"Just like luxury, the significance of the term “craft” has undergone a transformation. Despite the skill of many designer-makers, the word has for years retained a whiff of hobby pottery. Several retailers have been overturning these stereotypes — sites to check out include miratis.com, wolfandbadger.com, lapaloosa.co.uk and makerseye.co.uk. Last year, Mark Henderson, chairman of the tailor Gieves & Hawkes, launched The New Craftsmen (thenewcraftsmen.com), a collection of the coolest crafters in the land, such as the textile artist Ptolemy Mann (see slideshow) and the ceramicist Billy Lloyd."
Just found this on a site in the US supporting our Slow Furniture Movement. You can click on the link see the piece, and this is what they said in their blog. Lovely to see that the movement is starting to find friends everywhere.
Are you concerned that cheap retail furniture, in price and quality, is eroding support for custom furniture design and traditional craftsmanship? If you’re familiar with Custom Made, you’re likely aware of Custom Made: spreading the custom word and bringing together artisans and consumers who understand the value of fine craftsmanship. When we hear about others who share this vision, it’s a pleasure to spread the news. When the news is from overseas, it also gives us (and our predominantly American audience) a chance to get a different perspective on the “wide world of custom making.”
We’ve previously looked at the controversy over the term “Bespoke” in the United Kingdom. This month, thanks to Emily Jenkinson’s article in The Independent, “Turning the Tables on Cheap Design,”we learn about the Slow Furniture Movement and the Lapaloosa website, both founded by journalist Melanie Cable-Alexander to promote British artisans and their craftsmanship.
Emily writes that Melanie was inspired by the Slow Food Movement, with its message of “buying locally and sustainably for a better future,” and her experiences interviewing artisans who were “the last maker of their kind” in families “where generations had been practising these skills.” The Lapaloosa website sells handmade furniture and crafts and helps connect customers with artisans in the UK who can turn a unique custom furniture design into reality. The Slow Furniture Movement takes the message of the Slow Food Movement into the world of design.
According to Emily, Melanie hopes her projects can become a “true celebration of British culture while reminding people of how things are made and the skills required to make them. As she says, ‘It is about choosing how to spend your money carefully and for the right thing.’”JANUARY 18, 2013
We find a place for Sam Anderson and his Estate Map in Country Life magazine.
DECEMBER 22, 2012
Delighted to see TMO and Helena Barrowcliff featured in a four page article in the Saturday Telegraph magazine, featuring Helena's own house and interior dressed for Christmas.
Thrilled to find Lapaloosa featured in and item called 'Things We love' in the German magazine Myself.
Our fabulous Yorkshire-based furniture maker Sam Anderson is described in Living North Magazine to be as talented as another great Yorkshireman, Chippendale...
OCTOBER 27, 2012
Lovely piece in the Financial Times' How To Spend It pages by top interior design writer Charlotte Abrahams: She wrote a piece on 'raw' furniture and featured Martha Freud's wonderful nest table and lights. These are her 'raw-inspiring' words:
Where high-end hotels lead, fashion-forward domestic spaces often follow, and so we find the trend for nature-inspired luxury locations, such as the Earth Lodge at South African game reserve Sabi Sabi, is now making its way into private homes. The Earth Lodge was refurbished last year by Johannesburg-based interior designer Stephen Rich, in collaboration with Sabi Sabi’s co-owner and creative director Jacqui Loon. Designed as a celebration of the landscape in which it sits, the interior walls are rough hewn and veined with natural traces of bronze, copper, gold and silver, while most of the furniture is formed from wood left as close to its original state as possible. The focal point of the Amber Presidential Suite is an 885-year-old leadwood tree which looks as if it is growing right through the room. (The tree was felled in a flood, then carved into a show-stopping “Burning Bush” headboard by South African artist Geoffrey Armstrong.)
This kind of decorative theatre is generally the preserve of commercial interiors (after all, few private homes have space inside for an entire tree), but the natural-wood aesthetic is being enthusiastically adopted by international designers working on a more domestic scale, such as Martha Freud, who creates one-off pieces of lighting, furniture and tableware which are informed by an organic sensibility. Freud’s latest work includes pendant lights and illuminated tables made from clusters of branches gathered from a wood in Norfolk. These branches are washed, stripped of their bark, treated with a flame retardant and an environmentally friendly solution for woodworm, and then arranged in clusters around metal structures which house the bulbs, such as her Nest Light (£2,800) and Circular Underlit Table (£11,800), both to order from Lapaloosa. “I find working with raw branches particularly appealing,” she says, “because I like inviting people to appreciate the beauty in an object that is seen with such frequency but is often overlooked.”
OCTOBER 22, 2012
Lapaloosa is long listed for the Good Web Guide Website Of The Year 2012 awards. We are thrilled as there was some stiff competition from some amazing brands. Earlier that month they had asked Melanie to list her favourite apps.
Lovely review for Lapaloosa in Deco Mag, the online magazine which is for people who love their homes, care about the environment, and so want their interiors to be eco chic as well as eco friendly. Love it!
FEBRUARY 14, 2012
Makers Piers Ostroumoff and Corita Rose were highlighted in the website Country Calling's 'We're Loving That' Valentine's Day section.
If you’re keener to stay in and hunker down – breathe some fire back into your love life with this funky fire blower. Made of brushed steel and hand forged by West country genius master craftsman Piers Ostroumoff, these make a pretty different Valentines present. You can even emboss them with dates or words of lurve and they look beautiful as well. From £90 these are available from great new West Country website, Lapaloosa, which sells hand made items from top British designers.
If you’re sloshing back the champagne by the fire, we’d like pretty much any of these cushions from Corita Rose for a Valentines present. But the “hoop and bird” or the “love kisses” do it for us. From this talented textile design company, based in Dorset, they use bright, bold colours which make you dream of South America and will cheer up any date. Amor, salut y dinero as they say – all sounds good with us. Prices start from £90.
FEBRUARY 24, 2012
Lapaloosa was discovered on the 'Discoveredd', the web community for the creatively inclined. Photographs of Corita Rose's Grand Duke chair and Hendzel + Hunt's Hinckley Table were posted up as lusted after goods. Not suprised!
MARCH 5, 2012
Joan Hecktermann, the lovely interiors guru and promotional and art director of World Of Interiors magazine has high praise for Lapaloosa:
"A GENIUS IDEA!
I spent far too long meandering through the site marvelling at all the lovely things."
MARCH 11, 2012
Our maker Felicia Fletcher found in a fan for her garden sculptures and seats in the website Country Calling:
And yes we know it’s a little pricey but we fell in love with these sculpted garden seats or “pods” from Somerset artist Felicia Fletcher. Made from the same resin used to construct boats they are also incredibly light and easy to move around. Designed as a set of 3 to look like flower petals, they also look great on their own. £6,000 for all 3 or £2,500 each and the perfect chill out seat to have in the garden of our current Living the Dream Property. Available through Melanie Cable-Alexander’s great West Country website Lapasloosa which sells beautiful bespoke and handmade pieces from British designers.
APRIL 16, 2012
Lapaloosa won praise from top interiors journalist Annabel Freyburg:
"I love Lapaloosa and am impressed by the website."
We achieved an outstanding review in the Good Web Guide:
Amazing review from The Good Web Guide, the bible for website surfing....
Looking to extend your vocabulary? Well here's one for your thesaurus - Lapaloosa; a beautiful object that goes far beyond the realms of the status quo. Lapaloosa is also the name sake of one of our favourite new sites; a luxe furniture and homewares emporium that delivers an eclectic mix of top British design right to your door…
For those of you who love browsing the interiors pages of magazines and are hooked on How To Spend It - look no further, because at Lapaloosa you'll find a range hand picked by the elegant hands of journalist Melanie Cable-Alexander, former features editor at Country Life and freelance writer for the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, The Evening Standard and many more national publications.
Comes right from Melanie's passion for bespoke British design. The style guru has made it her mission to make her incredible taste and cutting edge aesthetic available to the general public - and boy are we happy about it.
Is made to order and designed by some pretty weighty UK designer makers. In a Jubilee and Olympic Year what's not to love about this homage to some of our greatest British talents?
Is slickly designed to maintain the brand's ethos: Where furniture is not just functional, it's art. The products can be selected by type, room or designer via an easy to navigate interface. Check out the comprehensive range of lighting, vibrant velvets and traditionally-upholstered sofas. For something a little different in the kids' bedroom Paper Boy specializes in comical children's wallpaper, such as its Revolutionary X-Ray Detector Machine to spy into the ancient secrets of animal locomotion.
Was inspired by a highly successful series of articles on beautiful houses and the items that furnished them. The series became a book, the book became an exhibition (on Bond Street no less) and the r est is history…
BUT THAT'S NOT ALL
Slow Food has in recent years been added to our vocabulary but what about Slow Furniture? During her many years at Country Life, Melanie discovered that British design had lost it's mojo. She wanted to put up a revolt against "fast food" flat-pack furniture and endorse products that take time and TLC to produce. The end result? A stunning object with several lifetimes of use and enjoyment.
ITEMS WE CRAVE
Don't miss Louise Greenfield's Target creations - they are sheer and utter wall art that are the talk of the interior-artti. All in all Melanie's site is just a treasure trove of high spec quality design with that modern funky edge that we adore. Lapaloosa we salute you!
Mulvany and Rogers’ Gothic style miniature house is a celebration of the hand-made: painted brick and slate roof details, crocketed finials and crenellations, ogival gothic arched windows and door and internal plasterwork details. As a miniature house it is as compelling and complete as a piece of sculpture - and clients can commission bespoke interiors. For me, this work of art immediately prompted a series of meditations on the idea of beauty in architecture and the sheer aesthetic fun of ‘Gothick’ as a style."
(Jeremy Musson is author of ‘English Country House Interiors’ and ‘How to Read a Country House’ and presenter of BBC2’s ‘Curious House Guest’.)JUNE 6, 2012
In 1986, the Slow Food Movement launched in Italy as a way of connecting what we eat with issues such as the environment, our health, and the preservation of local communities and skills. Since then, the organisation has expanded globally and the message - to buy locally and sustainably for a better future - is more powerful and relevant than ever. But why shouldn’t this message apply to design?
Best known as a journalist, Melanie Cable-Alexander has recently put down her pen to launch a Slow Furniture Movement alongside Lapaloosa, a brand new website selling hand-made and bespoke British furniture and design. A long-time supporter of the Slow Food Movement, her idea is to apply the messages of Slow Food to a design context and, in doing so, raise awareness of British skills and crafts.
The concept came about back when Melanie was features editor at Country Life magazine and running the hugely successful series Living National Treasures. This looked at the people crafting items for some of the grandest houses in the UK and went on to become a book and exhibition. “At the time, I realised how many British skills were dying out, which I found distressing,” explains Melanie. “I’d sometimes be interviewing the last maker of their kind in a family where generations had been practising these skills. This is my way of trying to ensure that the country maintains its history of incredible craftsmanship.”
Sourcing designer/makers to feature on Lapaloosa has been “the fun bit” of setting up the site, says Melanie, and she has applied her hack’s nose for a story in tracking down artisans such as Thomas Greenaway, who practises the art of pietradura, an ancient form of mosaic work using semi-precious stones. “He was a recommendation from a maker,” says Melanie. “I discovered the textile artist Corita Rose simply by talking to a stranger on a train, and I came across Suzy Barbor’s decoupage mats in a friend’s house. I try to look for people who are relatively unknown and produce well-made, classic designs with a contemporary twist, such as the upholsterers Hossack&Gray, whom I came across in an antique showroom in Wiltshire.”
With the easy availability of cheap, flat-packed furniture, which - Melanie freely admits - “has given thousands of people the chance to enjoy a style that was once only for the very few,” it is easy to forget that such skilled craftspeople still exist in the UK. But exist they do and, if we don’t support and nurture them, says Melanie, they will struggle to carry on. “We are not as good as other countries at supporting our own people,” she explains. “An Italian would buy an Italian car, Italian food and choose Italian architects and makers without even thinking about it, whereas we tend to be much more eclectic in our choices and not necessarily consider the implications for British industry. The result is that, if we are not careful, our manufacturing industry will die out and we’ll all be sitting on sofas made in China.”
With the journalism on hold, Melanie hopes to grow Lapaloosa and its “more altruistic sister,” Slow Furniture, into a true celebration of British culture while reminding people of how things are made and the skills required to make them. As she says, “It is about choosing how to spend your money carefully and for the right thing.” 20 years after the Slow Food Movement launched and most are prepared to pay more for a properly reared chicken. In 20 years’ time, will we extend the same consideration to a properly made table? For the sake of Britain’s most skilled craftspeople and artisans – not to mention the environment and the heritage of future generations – I sincerely hope so.
JUNE 13, 2012
Great to see Country Life magazine picked out Martha Freud's pendant light in its interiors column.