15 posts categorized "Tuesday tales with Dream"

Stars of the sale!

Cassina-chairs-dream

At the last DREAM warehouse sale I managed to snag some amazing deals.. namely these Cappellini BAC chairs which fit right in in my home. Of course there were other great things on sale (up to 70% off the original prices so you can imagine what a great time to shop it was.. "now or never" kinda situation) and also because I arrived early I got to have my pick of the lot. As it is with all sales, things were on a first come first serve basis and if I learned anything from the phrase "early bird gets the worm".. haha!

If you like the sound of a designer furniture sale, I'll let you in on a little secret, there's one coming up real soon. And if you're lucky you can get first dibs on an amazing collection DREAM will be curating at their showroom.

To make the whole sale a little more festive, DREAM invited us to co-organize what we are calling 'Stock Up! Christmas Market'! So if you drop by you'll be able to enjoy the deals on the designer furniture, stock up on Christmas gifts as well as fill your belly with lots of festive treats!

You can look forward to many more details about the event right here..

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Meeting Anna Lenti

Pl1

It was such an honour for Bloesem to have the opportunity to interview and meet co-founder of Paola Lenti, Anna Lenti, last week in the DREAM showroom. Sitting on a Paola Lenti piece and being surrounded by many other designs in their collection, it was too surreal. We did have to pinch ourselves to believe it. If you have ever visited the DREAM showroom along River Valley road, you might have noticed the room to the right where the high ceiling and large windows let all the sunlight in. It was the perfect setting to be sitting on outdoor furniture and talking to the one of the founders of the company that created them.

Having been fans of the brand for years, Bloesem last featured Paola Lenti during their exhibition at the 2012 Milan Fair, little did we know that 3 years later, we would be sitting on the same couch as Anna Lenti. We took the opportunity to talk to her about how the company has changed over the years and what sets them apart from their competition.

Bloesem: As a relatively young company, it's impressive what Paola Lenti has achieved. What did you and your sister foresee at the start of the company and did you imagine achieving this much in such a short period of time?

Anna Lenti: Probably not at the beginning. But since the beginning I think we had a very clear idea on what we would like to do, and especially how we would like to do. We have always tried to do something that doesn't exist in the market and that's why we really started doing the outdoor collection...

The interview continues after the cut..

Pl3

A: .. And I think it's really the outdoor collection that gave a push to the company because when we started in 2001, there didn't exist anything like our outdoor [collection]. These things take a little bit of time to be recognised in the market, because the market was not ready at that moment. That makes the company really, really grow. What is important is that since the beginning we knew how we would like to do things. We were always keeping to this direction, we have never changed our mind, we have never changed our way to see things. That I think is very important.

B: Could you tell us more about the dreams, passions and vision for the future for Paola Lenti?

A: I think that's a bit difficult [laughs] What we really wanted to see for the future is that the way that we have started. Not to work on a single concept or a single product but to work on more of a lifestyle. We have started with the outdoor, where we have introduced the Cabanne system. Not only what's inside but also the container for the product. Then we have again introduced with the indoors, where we started with the rugs but we are also looking indoors. So maybe next step would be Paola Lenti Complete Home. [laughs]

Pl2

B: Where do you and your sister find inspiration for new collections?

A: You can find from everything. You can find from nature and outdoor. Any original piece object. You can find it in everyday life. A lot from tradition, history, old Italian art - this is a great inspiration.

B: Since you do all these furniture, how is your own homes, the outdoor spaces, how does it look like?

A: I don't have an outdoor space, because Paola and I, we live in an apartment. So we don't have an outdoor space.

B: That's interesting!

A: Our house is very simple. Of course we have some of our products but for the moment not an outdoor space.

B: Soon, hopefully. [laughs]

A: In my home for example, I love living on the rug - sit on the rug, using the poof as a little table.

B: If you can use three words to sum up Paola Lenti's designs, what would you use?

A: I say simple, colours, and tradition.

Pl4

Paola Lenti swatches at the DREAM showroom.

B: What are some of the most memorable projects for you in the history of Paola Lenti? And maybe a project that really pushed you guys into the limelight?

A: I think the first outdoor of the Island Collection that we have introduced. It is something that we will always remember because it was the line that really pushed us to grow. And then probably when we have introduced a few years ago, the concept of In The Key of Colour,
because in the beginning we were very limited in the number of colour selections. But with this idea we have started mixing the colours of our materials together so we have introduced a range of 200 different colours. This was another big step of the company. And of course, I think 2 years ago, when we started with this thing called the Simply Indoors, when we started producing fabric for the indoors.

B: So what would you say makes Paola Lenti pieces stand out from other outdoor pieces?

A: First of all, I think it's the quality. To do outdoor pieces is not easy. Now I think almost all the companies is coming to the outdoor. But to produce outdoor pieces, it's not easy. For us, it took 3 years to arrive at the proper materials. We did a lot of research to get to there with the supplier that produce the fibres and we always aim to improve the materials. So this is one thing. It's easy to say this is for outdoor, but sometimes it's not really for outdoors. 

And the other thing is that we were the first to introduce the outdoor pieces that really had the same concept and construction as the indoor pieces. So comfort, and style, same materials so that there are no borders between the indoor and the outdoor. So I think it's plus this factor. Nobody has the combination of material and colour that we have, due to the fact that we produce the colours. So we produce the furniture, but we also produce the fabrics of the furniture. This is something very difficult, because we always say that we are two companies - one produces fabric and one produces furniture. So I think it makes a big difference.

Pl6

B: What does 'Made in Italy' mean to you?

A: I think Italy has a long tradition of manufacturing, and all the different aspects. So for us it's very very important to keep the production in Italy for many reasons. Firstly, we like to maintain this tradition. For example, the weaving, all the kind of weaving you see are produced in Italy. This tradition is very old, but it started not to be very exploited anymore because most of the brand are going to produce in Asia cause it's cheaper. So we are proud to say that we are now creating again this culture and work flow because our supplier is starting to get young people to teach them the way of weaving so this I think this is something we want to do. 

Another thing that is very important to keep the production in Italy is that in today's world, we have to try to be ecological. So the system, to send back and forth the materials, the transportation, for us is something not very ethical. So we are trying to avoid it as much as possible.

B: I think that's things people don't really take into consideration when you test a piece and you need to send it back.

A: Yeah. In Italy there's the tradition of doing this kind of craftsmanship. So it's good that we keep these in Italy. Our aim is also to create a school, to teach young people to do these. Something in the future we would love to do.

B: So with the humidity in Singapore, is there an emphasis in the materials like through research and development, do how do you focus on the materials to make sure that it's suitable for a lot of different climates?

A: We have to take into consideration all of the aspect of the outdoors. One of course is the sun. We have to test the material to make sure that it doesn't change in the sunlight. In the same time you have to take into account the humidity. So the test we do on the material, we develop together with the lamps because there is no real specification for outdoor. We have always set to combine humidity with sunlight with salt water because we work a lot with the sea and the yacht, with the chlorine water for swimming. So you have to take into account all these single aspect. The fibre we choose is very durable in the point of view of humidity so it really doesn't absorb the humidity very much.

B: Do you believe that the people in Asia are able to enjoy the designs similar to people in Europe? We think in Singapore, it's not so common for people to go outside and sit in the sun for a long time because you'll start to perspire.

A: But I think why not, really? We also work with other countries that are very hot, very humid like the Central America, South America, Middle East also, maybe it's not so humid but it's very hot there. If you look at the fashion in Asia, you have such a nice and beautiful taste so I see a lot of things in common with the taste also.. it's universal.

Pl5

Anna lenti and Gian Rizzi (Export Manager) at the DREAM showroom.

Anna was so down to earth and sweet, we are so glad to have gotten the chance to meet her. A big thanks to the DREAM team for this wonderful opportunity!

Image credits: Paola Lenti (top 3 images)

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Dear Santa..

Dream-wish-list

{ Shop Autoban, Matthew HiltonPorro, Knoll

Have you already started crafting your list for Santa? No? Well we have some pieces to start you off. We were just perusing the gorgeous DREAM showroom along River Valley road yesterday (we were interviewing Anna Lenti co-founder of Paola Lenti!) and these caught our eyes so before we forget to jot them down, we thought we'd whip up a little gift guide of sorts. The first of many gift guides to come for the holiday season. Guard your wrapping stations!

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Designer Profile: Charlotte Perriand

Bloesem living | Dream designer profile: Charlotte Perriand

Cassina: Rio table

In the last few weeks we've submerged ourselves in the world of furniture and design with our collaboration with DREAM interiors. Being surrounded by beautiful pieces of design and seeing them in pictures makes you wonder about the designer behind them and the influences that led them to create. This week, we shine the light on Charlotte Perriand, french architect and designer, well known for her designs for Cassina, who at just twenty-four years old, started a decade-long collaboration with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, at the famous design studios at 35, rue de Sèvres in Paris.

Charlotte Perriand’s contribution on interior composition played a part in the avant-garde cultural movement beginning in the early 1900s, which largely influenced the contemporary lifestyle we know today.

At the beginning of her professional career she was acclaimed by critics for her Bar under the roof exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in 1927 and constructed entirely in nickel-plated copper and anodized aluminium, and soon after began working with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. As her presence in their studio adds a distinct and clearly visible dimension of humaneness to the often cold rationalism of Le Corbusier, she quickly became a cornerstone in their projects.

Bloesem living | Dream designer profile: Charlotte Perriand

Cassina: Nuage Bibliothèque Murale

A 7-year stay in Japan followed, revealing her artistic talent to the fullest, through a reinterpretation of the reality of life to echo both tradition and modernity. After her work as a professional, she concentrated on a series of original and balanced productions, commissioned by top-level authorities and leading companies of the calibre of Air France, among others.

Bloesem living | Dream designer profile: Charlotte Perriand

Charlotte Perriand

The distinguishing factor of Charlotte Perriand’s personality is a sincere loyalty to the principles of humane and innovative rationalism, preserved intact in her projects, on which she worked with such passion, also in readiness for their revival in the “Cassina I Maestri” collection.

Bloesem living | Dream designer profile: Charlotte Perriand

Cassina: Ombra Tokyo

Bloesem living | Dream designer profile: Charlotte Perriand

Cassina: LC7 

Bloesem living | Dream designer profile: Charlotte Perriand

Cassina: LC9

Bloesem living | Dream designer profile: Charlotte Perriand

Cassina: LC9

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Interviewing Rafa Garcia

Bloesem Living | Sancal's Majestic collection | Interview with designer Rafa Garcia

Not everyday do we get the honour of speaking to the designer behind our favourite pieces of furniture.. but luckily for us, last wednesday, DREAM invited us to the launch of Sancal's Majestic Collection where we interviewed Rafa Garcia, the chief designer behind the collection. 

Prior to the interview, we had already read and watched so much about the collection and the designers behind it and we had so many questions we just wanted to pick Rafa Garcia's brain about. He had been on a mini tour of sorts, to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra for the launch of the collection and the last spot on his journey was sunny Singapore where he had underestimated the distance from his hotel to the DREAM showroom and made the mistake of walking under the hot sun for too long.. at least it will be a funny memory of his trip right?

Rafa is such a down to earth person and it was such a pleasure to interview him.. his answers were so heartfelt and honest it was like speaking to a friend. We talked to him about the collection, his plans for the future and growth as a designer among other things..

Bloesem: We just want to start with some interview questions about yourself. Of course the internet has told us many things about you, but I think some things are just better when it comes straight from the designer themself. Your work is described as 'Purified Shapes with Identity', 'Formas Depuradas Con Identidas', does that describe you as a person or your work, or both, and can you tell us why?

Rafa Garcia: It defines more of my work. I'm bigger than that, l like many more things. I like that when I design a piece, it can transmit many meanings with minimum forms in design. I follow the designer Dieter Rams and his philosophy of 'less is more'.

Bloesem Living | Sancal's Majestic collection | Interview with designer Rafa Garcia

Bloesem: So can you just share with us what is your design process like, and where do you gain inspiration from?

Rafa Garcia: When I try to design something I first look for images. Sometimes it's nature, so I look for images of nature for some inspiration. And sometimes by looking at those images, I find one that starts creating, the process, and everything starts developing in my mind.

Bloesem: Tell us more about your home. Since you're a designer of amazing pieces of furniture, we're sure it looks fabulous. How have you decorated it?

Rafa Garcia: My wife is kind of the decorator. [laughs] But I take care of the pieces that we put inside the house. All my furniture is from Sancal. To give you an idea, I have 4 sofas.

Bloesem: Of your own designs?

Rafa Garcia: All my designs.

Bloesem: That's cool, sitting on your own designs.

Rafa Garcia: When somebody walks into my house, they say it's like a museum - but a museum of myself because all the pieces are my pieces. [laughs] For example my neighbour, he's an architect and we moved flats. Three years ago we met and we both moved to a new place, and one year later he said "Oh, I just discovered who you are," So now he's so interested to come to my house and see all the products. It was really funny. [laughs]

Bloesem: It's a nice conversation starter isn't it?

Rafa Garcia: It is. So from then on we speak very often.

Bloesem Living | Sancal's Majestic collection | Interview with designer Rafa Garcia

Bloesem: As the "creative heart" of Sancal, how do you ensure that your ideas about designs influence the direction that they go towards?

Rafa Garcia: I design but-- sometimes we have pieces from other designers, so we have a team, a creative team, and each one contributes a different perspective. Sometimes when I work with many designers, my approach is more to look for solutions in different pieces, to be able to produce them with our own methods and techniques.

Bloesem: Ah. That's what I was wondering when we were looking at the different pieces, and the different designers -- how do they come together seamlessly as a whole collection?

Rafa Garcia: We look for a theme before the collection. We work with a briefing, and distribute it to the different designers. For example, this year we were looking for a product that was more of a luxury item perhaps. So every year, the collection has a different theme, and now, for example, we are already working on a theme for the next collection.

This year, the Majestic Collection is like a luxurious collection, and though the pieces maybe different, at the end we create a catalogue with the different images involving everything and the graphic design also helps because just one piece alone cannot transmit to you the whole theme. But with all the photos together, and the setting around them, they tell a story together.

Bloesem: Your designs are very timeless and very recognisable. Is that consistency in design very important to you?

Rafa Garcia: Yes, because I don't want my products to be fashionable items that will go out of style, they should be for all times. So I create simple products with a minimalist approach so my products will be timeless.

Bloesem: How has your design evolved through the years? If you look back on your first pieces that you started with.

Rafa Garcia: Now I really appreciate the finishing of materials. In the beginning, I was more interested in the form of products, and now I have discovered that with one same line, giving that finishing touch to the material, you can achieve a very different product. I want to look for that difference because we are working in a global market, so it is important to have the specifications that competitors may not be able to copy.

Bloesem Living | Sancal's Majestic collection | Interview with designer Rafa Garcia

Bloesem: About the Majestic Collection, we love the copper legs of the TipToe couch and we don't think we have seen it in any of your other designs. So we just like to know is that a part of an evolution as a designer yourself?

Rafa Garcia: I want to think yes. For TipToe Sofa, I had already made the design of the piece but I didn't feel that the sofa was really finished well. When it was already about to be produced for the Milan fair, I told my boss I did not like the design. [laugh] So he gave me one more month to redesign. So I removed that base and I found a design that I was really looking for in the beginning. 

So this time I became more obsessive until I found what I'm looking for. I'm not just happy with the first design, I keep on going and I try to evolve my designs to continue to develop.

I have a drawer where I keep my designs in and look back at them at a later time, this gives me some time to think about it and see if I still like it when I look back.

Bloesem: So talking about materials and designs, what is your favourite material to work with and why?

Rafa Garcia: Wood. It allows you to create many types of different shapes and at the same time it has the aspect of nature. And also because at Sancal, we can make 19 different types of wood, with different colour, we have the standard finishing but we also have blue and purple, pink, white, yellow, mango [laughs].. the list goes on.

Bloesem: Did you face any difficulties during your design process for this collection?

Rafa Garcia: Above all, to be able to finish on time. And also in this collection, the cover of the Vichy table, the tabletop. To help the designers with what they wanted to bring across, at the same time keeping in mind what we were able to produce. So that's what makes it a bit more complicated.

Bloesem: Is this your first time in Singapore? How do you like it so far?

Rafa Garcia: I'm falling in love. Today we (Rafa and Sancal sales representative for South East Asia) woke up late this morning because of the jet lag, and decided to walk here from the hotel. When they arrived here we had to take a shower.

Bloesem: Yeah! No walking! In Singapore you have to take a cab everywhere [laughs]

Rafa Garcia: So we went back and shower. The thing is it's very impressive for someone like us, from Spain, when you visit first time in Singapore. You fall in love because it's Asian, yet you are reminded of something Western like in Europe. A beautiful mix where I feel at home, and at the same time I feel excited because I'm discovering something that is totally different than what I'm used to.

Bloesem: Do you think that Asia itself is ready for your designs?

Rafa Garcia: I think so. Because I don't design just thinking of a specific place. Perhaps some designs may not be understood as much as others, because it's inspired by certain things foreign to some cultures. But my designs are very minimalist and that can be adapted anywhere. 
This sofa [referring to the Duo Sofa], our bestseller in Singapore, is in fact not our bestseller in Europe.

Bloesem: Oh! That's interesting.

Rafa Garcia: Any worker of Sancal, when you want to buy a first sofa, they usually buy this one. My cousin who also works at Sancal also has this sofa. When somebody wants to buy a first sofa it's this one [referring to Duo Sofa].

Bloesem: That's nice, everyone's supporting you! Are you inspired by Singapore, or perhaps after this trip you might be?

Rafa Garcia: I think so. Because you see many things that you're not used to seeing. This morning for example they pass by a small alteration and upholstery shop in the middle of the street. When I design I really just look for images that will serve me as inspiration. Clearly the trip that we have made will give me lots of inspiration.

Sancal's South Asian Sales Representative: So once he made a trip to the South of Spain, he saw a chair there, and he took inspiration from there to design one of his chairs.

Bloesem: Are there any other things you would like to share with our readers?

Rafa Garcia: For the next year, I would like to design a sofa. A higher sofa to be able to support your head also, very different from everything I've designed so far.

They always say that to design a sofa is one of the biggest challenge you can encounter. To design a sofa is really difficult, because the world is full of sofas. And to achieve a piece that is really different, and to be able to be different from any other piece that is sold to the market, it really takes me days without sleep. We will wait for you in Milan to see the new designs!

Bloesem: We look forward to that!

Bloesem Living | Sancal's Majestic collection | Interview with designer Rafa Garcia

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You're invited to the launch!

Bloesem living | You're invited to The Launch of the Majestic Collection by Sancal

Yes you! On behalf of DREAM, we are inviting all Bloesem readers to the Launch of Sancal's Majestic Collection taking place at the DREAM showroom tomorrow, 7 October.

The Bloesem Team can't wait to meet Sancal's chief designer Rafa Garcia who'll be present at the event to introduce us to the new collection and talk us through a few pieces he has designed for past Sancal collections. It's such a treat to get to meet one of the creative brains behind the label we have adored for years. 

If that wasn't already a great draw for you to come on down, there will also be good food, drinks, beautiful furniture as far as the eye can see, a special performance (wonder what it is!) and a lucky draw giveaway (remember to bring your name cards along to enter).

Details:
Date: 7 Oct, Weds, 
Time: 7-9pm 
Location: DREAM, 456 River Valley Road. 
RSVP to the Launch of The Majestic Collection

The images from the collection look exquisite! We can't wait to see them in person.. See you all there!

Bloesem living | You're invited to The Launch of the Majestic Collection by Sancal

Bloesem living | You're invited to The Launch of the Majestic Collection by Sancal

Bloesem living | You're invited to The Launch of the Majestic Collection by Sancal

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.. RSVP to the Launch of The Majestic Collection
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