Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shanghai Unexpected

One of the most current design trends is 'made in China'!

Although I have read steadily over the last few years regarding Axil Vervoort and the trend of 'Les Belg' , Joni of Cote de Texas did a fabulous post last year and of course Gret from Belgian Pearls and Brooke from Velvet and Linen have all helped expose design blog readers to the style. I did not however; expect to run smack dab into it at a dinner table in Shanghai. I should have know Mary Ching had clever tricks up her sleeve!

Seated to my left was Luay Al Rawi a Dutchman who loves old wood in just about any form. Here is a man who has become the 'father' of recycling in design in China. As the country rushes forward to catch up to some of the Western ideals it is a perfect place to discover and recycle wood and iron into fabulous new contemporary design. Luay is one of Restoration Hardware's
featured artisians and where you all are probably most familiar with many of his designs.

CEO and creative director of Kenas Luay founded the company just 15 years ago although he has been exporting various products from China for decades. Kenas now ships over 4000 containers of furniture all over the world every year. Kenas employs over 2500 people in their manufacturing facility outside of Shanghai.

Just last September they opened a retail outlet at 133 in Shanghai, finally at 'home' where the next main market is.


The Shiny Pebble said...

Wow, what an amazing perspective you are sharing here. It is to be expected that so much of the newest trends are 'made in china', after all isn't everything?

The mentioned look is one of my least favorite fads in the past few years. I am afraid, however, that because of its message (reuse, repurpose, recycle), it is here to either stay or enjoy a long visit.

One of the designers in my challenge, Leigha Oaks from elle oh, did a fantastic interpretation of my dining room inspired by the look. It took my breath away. She added some luxurious touches of shimery textures, which made it quite palatable, to say the least.

It still stands however, that the general aesthetics and functionality is cold, depressing, and oh so uncomfortable for the american standards.

Thank you so much for visiting The Shiny Pebble. I hope you come back to check out the living room edition.

Concrete Jungle said...

I have The Shiny Pebble on my google reader so I'm now there for each post. Thank you so much for such a comprehensive comment. It really is interesting to hear your opinion. I will check out the dining room you mention from Elle Oh.