Designer Desire: Alvar Aalto

Mosaic of Alvar Aalto designs | H is for Home

We think this might be the first time we’ve featured a designer who is also an accomplished architect. Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was a Finnish product designer who worked in furniture, textiles, glass and lighting.

He designed many buildings that are located all over the world  and include churches, museums, hospitals, private homes, a sanatorium, a library and an event venue.

Many of his products are still in production today. We’ve linked to a couple of the places you can find them below.

Alvar Aaltocredit

Image credits:

Aram | Arch Daily | Finnish Design Shop

Designer Desire: Ettore Sottsass

Mosaic of Ettore Sottsass product designs | H is for Home

One of the things near the top of my wish list is a cherry red vintage Valentine typewriter designed by Ettore Sottsass for Olivetti in 1968. The ones in good condition and complete with their carry cases sell for over a hundred pounds on eBay.

We love lots of his product and furniture designs, although much of his output from the Memphis Group period isn’t our cup of tea – perhaps it’s because we were both hip & trendy young adults in the 80s and we don’t need reminding of the time! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ettore Sottsass

Image credits:

NY Times | 1st Dibs | MOMA | V&A | eBay | Utility Design | Amazon

10 decades of iconic interior design

Recently, Hillary’s Blinds contacted us asking us to chose what we thought was an iconic interior design item from the past century. We found it really hard to narrow it down!

What era should we choose from, what type of item? We eventually decided upon Robin Day’s Polo chair designed in 1975. It’s British, has been produced in the millions (and still counting!) and has been exported all over the world. Chances are most of our behinds have graced a Polo at one time or another!

Other bloggers and design experts such as Walnut Grey, Confessions of a Design Geek and Little Green Shed have also chosen their favourites. See the full listing below. What’s your iconic interior design item?

10 decades of iconic interior design
10 decades of iconic interior design – Hillarys

Cona coffee maker

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Vintage Cona Rex coffee maker with vintage yellow cup & saucer

 

We recently acquired this gorgeous vintage coffee percolator.

detail showing Cona branding | H is for Home

It’s the Cona Model Rex – a design classic by the renowned artist Abram Games.

vintage Cona coffee maker | H is for Home

Not only is the appearance striking, but it works really well and the build quality is excellent. It’s got quite an industrial or science lab look to it.

detail showing vintage Cona coffee maker's wick | H is for Home

We love the little details like the drip catcher and this hinged wick cover.

vintage Cona coffee maker dismantled | H is for Home

A number of institutions, such as the British Museum and the Science Museum, have examples of this model of percolator in their collections. Here’s a video demonstration of how the Cona coffee maker works…

Form & function meeting perfectly!

Another angle

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Classic vintage black 1227 Anglepoise lamp

Our last post featured an interesting ‘industrial design’ coffee pot / percolator. It’s still unidentified!

original vintage 1950s black 1227 Anglepoise lamp

Here’s another great example of industrial design… bought at auction last week. Unlike the coffee pot, we know a lot about this item.

detail from original vintage 1950s Anglepoise 1227 lamp detail from original vintage 1950s Anglepoise 1227 lamp

It’s a classic Anglepoise lamp designed by George Carwardine. This is the ‘1227’ model licensed to Herbert Terry & Sons – the ‘2-tiered base’ version produced from 1938 until 1969.
detail of base of original vintage 1950s Anglepoise 1227 lamp

This is a fantastic early example with original paint finish, wiring and Bakelite switch. In superb condition and still fully working.

manufacturer detail from original vintage 1950s Anglepoise 1227 lamp

A design classic indeed – here’s a more detailed history from the Design Museum. and a newspaper article from 2009 about its reissue.

Designed by?

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vintage stainless steel coffee percolator

We need a little help – who designed this?

detail from vintage industrial designed steel coffee percolator

We bought this really interesting vintage coffee percolator at a market last week.

detail from vintage industrial designed steel coffee percolator

We think it’s a very good example of domestic industrial design.

detail from vintage industrial designed steel coffee percolator

It probably dates from between the 1920s and the 1940s…

detail from vintage industrial designed steel coffee percolator

detail from vintage industrial designed steel coffee percolator

It’s made from steel with Bakelite finials.

detail from vintage industrial designed steel coffee percolator

It gives us a few clues – such as registered design marks – and the number ’37’ to the base.

detail from vintage industrial designed steel coffee percolator

It’s very reminiscent of Naum Slutky and Bauhaus design… have you got any thoughts?