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NYCxDesign took the city by storm this past week, and Artek was at the center of the action. Couldn't stop by to see us? Take a virtual tour through the stand. 

 

Presented in celebration of the design's new availability in North America, the Rival chair by Konstantin Grcic delighted visitors to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). A cafe-style display showcased various editions, in high and low back versions, and highlighted the boldest of the available colors.

 

Also on display were designs from the Artek vault by Alvar Aalto, re-introduced in honor of Artek's 80th anniversary this year. Above, the wall drawer and birch framed mirrors create a peaceful corner for a rest from the fair's activity.

 

Seen here with designs by Vitra, the shape of the iconic "Beehive" lamp, also by Alvar Aalto, is intensified in repetition.

 

A classic way to add interest and detail to any room, an arrangement of natural birch Aalto shelves accentuate the organic form of Vitra's Panton chairs in green.

 What's your favorite design from ICFF? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

May 21
Artek at ICFF

 

 

Great design isn't just for inside the home. As the weather warms up and the days grow longer, the simple pleasure of picnicking in your favorite park or own backyard can be even more fun with the right accessories. Check out our selection of picnic essentials from the classically contemporary abc Collection, and look forward to some rest and relaxation al fresco. 

 

1. Siena Blanket

The Siena pattern was designed by Alvar Aalto, inspired by his favorite vacation spot: Italy. What could be better to spread on the grass for your own afternoon getaway?

 

2. Paper Napkins and Tea Towels

Keep things tidy with pretty paper napkins or reusable tea towels in cheerful colors. 

 

3. Tote Bag

Carry your lunch and picnic supplies in one of Artek's roomy cotton canvas totes, featuring the H55 and Siena patterns. 

 

4. Tool Box

Beyond storing household items, the multi-compartmented Vitra tool box is perfect for displaying and organizing napkins, cutlery, straws, snacks, and other picnic essentials. 

 

5. Siena Tray

Swap out paper plates for these festive reusable trays. Especially pretty with fruit and cheese!

 

6. Pillow

Make lounging outdoors more comfortable with the H55 pillow in canvas cotton. A removable cover makes for easy cleaning, too!

 

Be sure to share your pictures of an abc Collection picnic or Artek in the great outdoors with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram - like this photo from @finnstyle!

 

 

 

Beloved and recognized as one of Alvar Aalto's most iconic products, the Tea Trolley 900 and 901 editions have delighted admirers over the years through their versatility, unique geometry, and extraordinary usefulness as an everyday object.

Tea Trolley 901 at Villa Mairea

The very first edition, Tea Trolley 901, was created in 1936 to debut at the Milan Triennale as part of an exhibit on the modern Finnish Interior. Made from the designer's hallmark blond birch, its rattan basket and ceramic tiles indicate the different cultural influences in the design.

   

Alvar and Aino Aalto were great admirers of tea culture, inspired both by their travels in Great Britain and their friendship with the Japanese Ambassador to Finland at that time and his wife, Hakotaro and Kayako Ichika. The basket also emphasizes the design's intent as a versatile object for display and storage.

The second edition of the design, Tea Trolley 900, was created a year later for the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris. This version eschewed the rattan basket and tiles in favor of two tiered linoleum shelves. This maintained the usefulness of the object while highlighting its structural beauty in a slightly more contemporary fashion. 

Tea Trolley 900, interpreted by Hella Jongerius

This year, Dutch designer and color specialist Hella Jongerius reinterpreted the well-loved Tea Trolley 900 into two new editions- one light, one dark. Lacquered birch is paired with an eggshell hued linoleum upper tray and contrasting white lower tray. This lighter version seamlessly integrates into existing home concepts, while elevating the items that surround it. The black laquered birch features aubergine accents for a more graphic effect. In both editions, the contrasting lower tray reflects light into the area cast in shadow by the upper tray, a clever element that maximizes the trolley's aesthetics. 

Equal to the Tea Trolley's beauty is its exceptional versatility. When employed as a bar, side table, desk, or toy chest, the large, contrasting wheels mobilize the structure and help it to transcend ordinarily static pieces of furniture. Good design becomes essential, and it is clear that the Tea Trolley was designed for daily use.  It is an item whose great beauty does not detract whatsoever from its functionality. 

Do you use a Tea Trolley in your home?

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