Design - March 2013
Spice Up Your Spaces
A few years ago, a group of friends in Poland were bemoaning how boring their walls were. It struck them that there could be more exciting things to do with them than simply hanging up predictable posters and paintings. And so the Pixers concept was born.
Now there's an online shop and a catalogue featuring a whopping 20 million images which can be customised as easy-to-install wall décor. Murals, decals, stickers and film can be applied at home as permanent, or temporary, interior decorations. The striking vinyl mural (above), entitled Chillis, measures 300x200cm, costs €190 and adds a splash of colour to spice up a run-of-the-mill kitchen. "Our goal is to transform lifeless, boring spaces into vibrant celebrations of the individual," says Magdalena Zieba of Pixers. "Options are limited only by imagination."
Select colours to match a motif, or personalise images with photos, names or words. Murals can be bespoke and, if desired, Pixers' designers will get in touch to discuss requirements.
La Cucina Italiana
Specialising in kitchen utensils and dining accessories, Italian family firm Alessi has been in existence for almost a century, and is known for its cool, creative take on worktop staples. Working with designers such as Philippe Starck, Richard Sapper and architect Zaha Hadid, Alessi has produced some of the most covetable domestic objects of recent times, from singing kettles to leggy lemon squeezers.
Humour is always a feature of the company's products, as illustrated by this cheerful Banana Band spice holder (below). Designed by Stefano Giovannoni, whose work is held in the collections of the Centre George Pompidou in Paris and New York's MoMA, the set costs €49.
AGA Total Control
The cast-iron AGA cooker is a kitchen classic. Invented in 1922 by Gustav Dalen, the Swedish Nobel Prize-winning physicist, it is renowned for its longevity: many are still in operation after more than 50 years of use. Constructed in England's Coalbrookdale foundry since the 1940s, the AGA range now welcomes a new generation of the legendary heat-storage cooker - the award-winning AGA Total Control.
What's new? The classic Aga relied on a constantly burning source to heat the ovens and hotplates. The new Total Control version comes with a touch-screen panel that allows the user to choose which part of the cooker is on. Heat can be sent to each oven and hotplate independently and, for the first time, the AGA comes with an on/off switch.
Chip off the old block? AGA Total Control boasts the same cast-iron lineage and timeless good looks as its forebears, and offers the cooking performance that has made the brand synonymous with culinary excellence. There are three ovens plus two hotplates. And now, the latest technology has been harnessed to allow responsive programming.
A 21st-century AGA? This is cutting-edge cooking. Chefs can operate the AGA Total Control with the heat radiating throughout, or direct heat to specific areas.
It comes in three-door or five-door models, in a choice of 11 colours - such as the luscious aubergine (left). The AGA iTotal Control also allows control of the cooker by smartphone, tablet computer, or via the web.
Is it eco-sustainable? AGA has worked hard to reduce the energy consumption of its cookers. New models are made out of 70% recycled materials and are 90% recyclable and AGAs can also carry on working for decades. Thanks to its revolutionary off switch, this is the greenest AGA yet.
AGA Total Control, from €13,500. www.agaliving.com