Star Wars furniture sends your living room to a galaxy far, far away – CNN International

There’s been no shortage of crazy Star Wars merchandise over the years, including Wookie Crocs, R2-D2 aquariums and Millennium Falcon guitars. But a new line from acclaimed Filipino industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue fills a very specific gap in the market: stylish Star Wars-themed furniture and home accessories for affluent grown-ups.After an initial launch in the Philippines, the range is now available in the US and features six items, each inspired by a specific character.”We wanted to incorporate the essence of each Star Wars character into the designs, while staying true to our aesthetic and process of creating by hand … We reimagined the Star Wars universe through the lens of the Filipino craftsman and creative. Finding the balance was a bit of a challenge, but it was also a lot of fun,” Cobonpue said in a statement.There are three armchairs that echo the style of some of Cobonpue’s previous creations, including his signature rattan. Intriguingly, they are also all tied to characters from the dark side of the Force.

The Darth Vader armchair is artfully shaped like the Sith Lord’s mask and features a foldable swivel table and an open weave canopy, to scheme against the Rebel Alliance in full comfort.

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Kenneth Cobonpue

The Sidious chair — inspired by Darth Sidious, also known as Emperor Palpatine, who is poised to make his great comeback in the upcoming film “The Rise of Skywalker” — is perhaps the most understated of all the designs. Its backrest resembles Palpatine’s hood, and the legs curve slightly forward, capturing his frail yet intimidating presence.

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The Sidious chair. Credit: Kenneth Cobonpue

The Imperial Wings chair is arguably the coolest, but also the most difficult to position in a functional living room, because it looks like a TIE fighter — the quick and deadly single-seat spacecraft of the Imperial Fleet. The large “ears” are recreated in hand-woven polyethylene.

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The Imperial Wings chair. Credit: Kenneth Cobonpue

Three accessories complete the lineup. The TIE Fighter tables are meant as a companion to the TIE Fighter chair, and just like it, they come in both black and white.

The Little Jedi lamp — one of only two items referencing the good guys in the story — is a sculptural composition with miniature figures of Jedi Knight fighting with lightsabers, which provide the source of light. The dark side finds its way into this design too, as the red figurines that the Jedi are fighting are, of course, Sith Lords.

The final item is a delightful rocking stool that looks like everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca. Made with brown microfiber, it includes a fabric rendition of Chewie’s iconic bandolier.

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The Sidious chair, the Little Jedi lamp and the Chewie rocking stool. Credit: Kenneth Cobonpue

Because this is designer furniture, it comes at designer furniture prices: the range goes from $655 for the tables all the way up to $4,350 for the Vader chair.But being able to channel your inner Admiral Ackbar by declaring “It’s a lamp!” and yelling “Chewie, we’re home” in the general direction of your furry stool? Priceless.


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Cosentino Group Study Finds Functionality, Social Networks Are Driving Kitchen Design

What’s in store for the future of kitchen design? Cosentino Group’s soon-to-be-released Global Kitchen Study hints at what we can expect—namely functionality, storage, and the growing impact of social media. The international research initiative—first developed by Silestone Institute in 2016 and driven by Cosentino—explores the evolution of the kitchen and its influence in the realms of architecture, technology, and health and wellness.  Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20

Findings from the latest study, Global Kitchen: The Kitchen, the Heart of the Home, will be presented tonight during an event at the Manhattan City Center Showroom. The report marks the second in the Global Kitchen project, building on the original study, The Domestic Kitchen in the Era of Globalization. Research points to the kitchen’s regained position as an inviting, communal space that influences design choices throughout the home. 

“As the central core of the home, the kitchen is also the space that most explicitly reflects the changes and social transformations we are experiencing: It is an everyday indicator that projects our lifestyles, who we are, how we behave and how we evolve,” notes Francisco Martínez-Cosentino Justo, president of Cosentino Group, in the study’s introduction.

Countertop surface preferences vary, depending on the country surveyed. Photography courtesy of Cosentino Group.

To create the study, researchers examined survey responses from 4,500 people in eight countries plus the Scandinavian region, as well as questionnaire responses from Cosentino’s Facebook community. To further contextualize the data, 23 distinguished experts drew on their respective disciplines to offer input, ranging from architects and interior designers to internationally renowned chefs and food historians. Countries and areas surveyed include: Australia, Canada, Italy, the region of Scandinavia, Singapore, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

While significant technological changes in the kitchen are still to come—respondents do not utilize smart-home technology widely yet—social media is making an impact in terms of the way people eat and design their homes. The study also notes a push toward kitchens designed to optimize function and comfort with sustainability and health and wellness in mind.

Here are some highlights from the study that illustrate how the kitchen reflects social changes and transformations:

—62.5 percent of respondents named functionality as the priority when renovating or redesigning their kitchen—surpassing other considerations such as cost savings, quality, or durability of materials, and design aesthetic.

—More than half of respondents—54.5 percent—use social networks for design inspiration when renovating or redecorating.

—Storage spaces and countertops are highly-valued elements in kitchen design. In terms of countertop composition, in the UAE and Spain, natural stone countertops are more common, while in the UK and Scandinavian countries, laminate countertops are more prevalent. Design choices also are heavily impacted by installations, such as those involving vents, water, and sanitation elements, as well as the spatial triangle between the stove, sink, and fridge. 

—The smart-home trend is not widely implemented yet, as 45.3 percent of respondents surveyed said they do not interact with any devices in their house using their mobile phones. Among users who do use their phones to interact with devices, television tops the list, followed by alarms and security cameras. Smart-technology has yet to majorly impact the kitchen.

—Sustainability is a mounting concern and the kitchen is a space that shows the breadth of efforts put in place to curb consumption. According to the survey, 35.4 percent of respondents said they recycle, by separating waste, followed by 21.6 percent who attempt to use fewer plastics, and smaller groups who noted commitments to reduce energy and water consumption.

“The modern house is constantly changing because our way of life is also being altered,” note architects and founders of the Sol89 studio, María González and Juanjo López de la Cruz, who were among the 23 industry experts offering input to the study. “These transformations can be caused by our changing schedules and customs or the price of housing, which determine the need to make the most out of the spaces in an efficient way. The kitchen’s design must be versatile in relation to the rest of the house and practical in its specific functions.”

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