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Design Classics

Design Classics

Design Classics #29: Tupperware

10th July 2012
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Its very name is synonymous with the product. Say “Tupperware” and everyone knows what you mean. They know about the parties, too. But do you know anyone who has actually been to one? Or who has any? You may not be aware, as you shop online and in those giant retail warehouses, that those parties…

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Design Classics

Design Classics #28: Kenwood Chef

3rd July 2012
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 In 1948, Kenneth Wood gathered together £800 of capital and 20 members of staff and moved into a factory in Woking where he set up a manufacturing company. Two years later he launched the Kenwood Chef (A700 model) at the Ideal Homes Exhibition and began a new era of easy to use, labour saving devices…

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Design Classics

Design Classics #27: Arco Light

26th June 2012
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It was, in the end, perhaps the Lamp wot won it. Following the revelation that Samantha Cameron had bought a fake Arco for her new kitchen at No 10, Michelle Ogundehin, the editor of Elle Decoration, was outraged. Writing on her blog, Ogundehin called Cameron  “cheap, hypocritical and fake”  adding: “That’s all we need, the endorsement…

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Design Classics

Design Classics #26: Bakelite Telephone

19th June 2012
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  In 1951, the question “Are you on the phone?” meant did you own a telephone, not were you busy nattering, texting or tweeting on it. In those days a mere 1.5 million households could answer in the affirmative. By the end of the decade, half of the UK was connected – in contrast with…

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Design Classics

Design Classics #25: FAB Smeg Fridge

13th June 2012
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Wallace and Gromit have a SMUG fridge in their kitchen. There’s also one in EastEnders, a show not usually noted for interior design. But despite the gentle ribbing, the Smeg fridge is still an object of desire for many and is, without a doubt, a modern design classic. So widely recognised is it that it…

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Design Classics

Design Classics #24: Lucienne Day’s Calyx Fabric

30th May 2012
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  As we enter the week of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Mad About The House launches a week dedicated to the Best of British Design. We begin with Lucienne Day who, along with her husband Robin, transformed British design in the post war era. He made furniture, she created stunning abstract designs for wallpapers and…

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Design Classics

Design Classics #23: The Bestlite by Robert Dudley Best

23rd May 2012
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Designed in 1930, this classic desk lamp counts Winston Churchill among its famous users. His stood on his desk in his air-raid shelter beneath Whitehall and was presumably witness to many conversations about strategy while the sirens wailed outside. The Bestlite was created by Robert Dudley Best, heir to the largest lighting factory in the…

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Design Classics

Design Classics #22: The Dualit Toaster

16th May 2012
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Toasting bread began back in Roman times mainly as a way of prolonging its life, but it was to be hundreds of years before anyone came up with a machine that could do the job efficiently. The first electric toaster was invented in Great Britain in 1893, according to Mary Bellis, author of the About.com…

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Design Classics

Design Classics #21: The Russell Hobbs K2 Kettle

9th May 2012
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Think of a kettle and the chances are that something chrome and curved springs to mind. Probably with a red button sticking out of its black plastic handle. This is the Russell Hobbs K2. The world’s second (the first was their K1) fully automatic kettle. A item which has achieved iconic design status and which…

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Design Classics

Design Classics #20: The Chesterfield Sofa

2nd May 2012
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There’s no doubt the Chesterfield sofa is a classic. No-one would dispute that it has earned its place as a design icon. But there is some confusion in how it came to be so named and why that has come to be a shorthand way of describing a deep-buttoned, leather-covered sofa. Paul Fleming, the fourth…

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