The perfect luxury gift guide for those who appreciate the great outdoors.
Sara Miller Flamingo Double Oven Glove and Tea Towel
Enter the enchanting world of Sara Miller London: a luxury brand that celebrates a love of print, pattern and exquisite use of color. With its bold design and confident color, ‘Flamingo’ is a quirky and playful design brimming with personality.
The Sara Miller London Flamingo Double Oven Glove — bringing the wild into your kitchen with beautiful and bright colors. Fully compliant with EU regulations and tested to 250-degrees. Printed on high-quality cotton and presented in a foiled box, this vibrant range will add a splash of color to your home.
Choose from maple leaf pendants, oak leaf pendants, amber jewelry, and dichroic glass jewelry.
These pieces are beautiful, unusual, sleek, stylish and perfect as a gift! Your friends and family will love the authentic charm.
Stylish Notebooks Inspired by the Natural History Museum
These cheerful notebooks are perfect for daily notes with colorful images on the front and gorgeous gold edging. 160 lined pages and you can choose from various designs to find just the right one.
The cover artwork has been adapted from images and objects held within the collections of the Museum.
Bodil Jane Leopard or Lemur Bamboo Bowls and Cups
A tropical bowl made from sustainable bamboo fiber, designed by popular illustrator Bodil Jane. The functional pieces are great for everyday use and the art is cheerful with bright colors that will be an enjoyable addition to any kitchen.
Choose from various leopard gifts inspired by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 55. Although you may want them, choose from leopard-inspired salt and pepper shakers that will give your dining table an added edge and printed socks and scarves to stay warm this spring.
Photos courtesy of the Natural History Museum
Fashion and art lovers will fall in love with these items from textile designer and artist Dianne Erdmanis, who has created wearable art for nature lovers and more.
This artist offers a beautiful perspective that is also fashionable. Erdmanis has captured incredible, dreamy and realistic views of the Earth, as seen from space, on a 100-percent silk scarf. The beauty of the piece lies not just in the way the scarf so perfectly demonstrates a bird’s eye view of the Earth’s unique geography — it’s also hidden in the fact that it’s not a photograph.
Initially sparked by the enormity of uninspiring and mass-produced scarves on the market, Erdmanis wanted to create something unique, sustainable and inspiring. While staring down into the atmosphere of many trips through the clouds on planes, she wondered if there was a way she could capture the true-to-life beauty and geography of the landscape below her.
“I wanted to capture a zoomed-out view of the Earth as seen from a dizzying, almost stratospheric height,” says Erdmanis.
Erdmanis spent countless hours experimenting with paint color, viscosity, flow, and technique. Eventually, she found a truly unique but entirely cohesive method by which to achieve the look of bodies of water “melting” into the land, and vice versa, when viewed from space.
“The altitude had to be just right … so you could see our planet’s oceans, land, and clouds clearly,” she explained.
“The art told me a story,” says Erdmanis. “It made me feel like I was flying, it was beautiful.” The Earth Scarf resembles stunning views of the Earth captured by satellites or space telescopes, watching islands blend into the waters beyond it, depths of the oceans captured by darkening paint, hypnotic swirls of pink, aquamarine, coral and teal, that show how the land bleeds into the water while clouds float overhead.
Her greatest discovery was that her method led to an almost photo-realistic depiction of these aerial shots — except that these could now be printed onto an elegant silk scarf.
Photos courtesy of Pure Huntress
Was there a particular moment when you knew you wanted to be an artist?
I believe I always knew I was an artist and designer — from the time I was a toddler, I was always making something. Making flower necklaces, building dollhouse furniture, making a background painting for my fish tank, making mobiles, etc. I studied architectural drafting in grade school and high school and went on to study art history and fine arts in college. Art has been with me since I was born.
I want to be clear; I’m not a fine artist in the true sense of the word. My art is not solely for art’s sake. I do not make things that are purely for looking at and pleasing the viewer, though that is integral to their success. I design sculptural yet functional gas appliances. I call it “art that works.” Everything I have done in my life for work and pleasure has been to put an idea or feeling into visual form.
My father was a builder and contractor while my mother was a naturalist and placemaker. They both built/created places where people and families could thrive, whether it was building a library, planting a garden, or choosing a comfortable yet beautiful chair to sit and read in. I grew up in a nurturing environment where we were encouraged to create and solve problems. I want my work to create a beautiful place where people gather to commune with each other and fire is the medium — and it’s second to none in that regard.
How would you describe your style?
I hope, at its best, it is a clear abstraction of nature. Because I make a product that is specifically a gas appliance, I am bound by requirements and restrictions that pure fine art is not. The form follows function in my case, so the style has to be clear, pure, and functional.
How has your style changed over the years?
It’s gotten more focused, so I imagine it’s become more minimalist.
If you had to describe your works in three words, what would they be?
Clear, pure, and functional.
How does fire influence your projects?
It is the thing for which I create. My work is essentially a vessel to contain the fire and allow it to burn safely. The shape of the vessel can dictate how the fire moves, or the movement of the fire can dictate the shape of the vessel. The bowl was my first choice to hold fire as it is the simplest shape, and allows the fire to be the star.
How do you begin a project?
With a small quick sketch on paper, then translate it into 3 dimensions with Nic Spitler, our Head of Design. We work in Rhino which is a 3D modeling program and a very lithe program. It allows you to create, change and morph easily as you work out the ideas. I couldn’t do it without Nic — he’s extremely fluid with Rhino and our instincts are similar.
What is your favorite project and why?
The Bethlehem Bridge Project. It was a commission awarded by ArtsQuest and the National Endowment for the Arts in response to an RFQ for the Bethlehem placemaking initiative. And I just feel like I got it right. I am proud of it and it functions for the people of Bethlehem and for visitors from around the world.
What is your dream project?
A large-scale civic project in Manhattan perhaps, and to get further into design for end of life memorials and reliquaries.
Can you tell us what you’re working on right now?
Right now are two big jobs with multiple fireplaces, both interior and exterior, for 2 residences, one in Southampton and one in Greenwich, CT. The Southampton house will have a series of cast bronze pieces I’m really excited about — one has a log cradle made from a singular piece of tree bark we cast in bronze, with an entire driftwood looking surround cast in concrete. It’s an intricate mold process we will be beginning in the new year.
What is the biggest challenge when it comes to sculpting?
Coming up with a good idea and then executing it!
Actually, sometimes it’s just moving these heavy objects around — you tend to forget about that when you’re in the creative process — moving big metal things encompasses a lot of shipping and installation details you have to consider when designing the piece.
Photos courtesy of c/o Firefeatures
With the last few weeks of summer ahead, now is the perfect time in much of the country to embrace the warm summer days and spend time in the sun. A perfect outdoor dining area can allow you to spend more time with family and friends and soak in the sun at the same time. Here are a few tips to design the area that will best work for you and your home:
1. Consider the Colors
It’s always important to take into account the colors of the outdoor area. If the outdoor area is more centered around nature, consider more earthy colors that blend right into the background, creating a soft, calm atmosphere. For a bolder style, however, pick a color that contrasts sharply against the background.
With this area, the lighter pinks and tans behind the dark table and chairs create a beautiful distinction of colors. Whichever your style, make sure to consider various colors in your design process.
2. Working with the Landscape
When working with nature, there are mainly two choices: working with the land or changing the landscape to fit your needs. Keeping the land untouched will allow for a more natural atmosphere, while changing the landscape may be more accessible and practical for an outdoor dining area.
For example, this bench by the pool allows a great lunch or dinner with family and friends. While nature is not emphasized, it creates a sleek, clean design that’s easily accessible to the house and pool, allowing for gathering around the table at any time.
3. Creating Shade
While the idea of an outdoor dining area underneath the bright sun is important, practicality should always be a factor. With the sun out all day, it may get too hot to stay outside and enjoy the summer air. Remember to provide adequate shading, whether that’s with a tree or a canopy, so you and your guests are able to spend as much time outside as you would like.
This outdoor dining area was built with a roof for this exact purpose. Crafted with natural wood, it forms a calm atmosphere blocking the sun but keeping everyone close to the nature that surrounds them.
4. A Style that Fits You
Whatever the design, make sure that it fits your personality and will be used often for gatherings of family and friends.
For the nature lovers and equestrians alike, the iconic N3 Cattle Company — the largest land offering in the state of California — is back on the market. Featured in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and more, the ranch sustains a vital way of life that is disappearing from the California landscape.
The $72 million dollar property has 50,500 completely private acres that have been uniquely preserved over the years. With over 80 square miles of flora, fauna and terrains, the property is a nature lover’s dream. Its location — just south of Livermore, east of Oakland and San Jose, and easily accessible from San Francisco and the East Bay — creates the perfect balance for the owner to enjoy the serene property while also visiting the bustling city life as well.
The Ranch is completely private and uniquely preserved, healthy and wild as it has been for hundreds of years. N3 has been a working cattle ranch for 85 years and offers a rare look at a way of life quickly disappearing.
With four bedrooms in the main home, a one-bedroom annex and four homes for employee housing, one can live comfortably and luxuriously on the thousands of acres around them that are filled with nature and beauty.
Here are some more features of the property:
80 square miles of diverse terrains, flora, fauna, and important watersheds and creeks
200 miles of private roads that are ready for hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and ATVing
Can accommodate 650 cow/calf pairs year-round, 1500 cow/calf pairs seasonally or 3,200 stockers seasonally
14 hunting camps located throughout all with cabins, water, propane, & skinning sheds
Enrolled in Williamson Act and has no conservation easements
Photos courtesy of California Outdoor Properties
Nature has been inspiration to designers and artists since the dawn of design, from floral prints and handcrafted wood pieces to architectural choices meant to showcase natural light. While these pieces aren’t dependent on natural light, their design and function are inspired by nature and its ever-evolving beauty.
Italian artist and designer Oçilunam founded In-es.artdesign in 2003, to achieve their goal of combining art and design is an art in itself. The lamps from the brand’s Out Collection, through a design that encompasses nuances and varied sensations, create the ideal atmosphere for outdoor dinners, or to enjoy relaxation under the sun or starry sky. After dark you will be able to illuminate the garden or the terrace with a variety of shapes and colors, adaptable to any type of space.
Photo courtesy In-es.artdesign.
Photo courtesy HolzDesignPur.
Traditional Danish company LE KLINT is known for its design lamps. Taking into account new trends and technologies, the LE KLINT luminaires are a symbol of modern Danish design, without neglecting the integrity of the company founded in 1943. In addition to folded lampshades made of paper and plastic, LE KLINT’s latest CARRONADE series will also feature aluminum luminaires with wood in elegant industrial design.
The Nordic design luminaires from LE KLINT receive their industrial charm primarily through the mix of natural materials like aluminum and wood: while the lampshades are made of aluminum, the bracket consists of light oak or dark walnut wood. Laterally set discs of gold-colored brass or silver aluminum round off the design of the CARRONADE lights in style.
For the CARRONADE series, the young Danish designer Markus Johansson was inspired by 18th century ship cannons, which is evident both in the form and in the material selection of the luminaries. All CARRONADE luminaires are also individually adjustable and can therefore be easily adapted to the respective room situation.
“I conclude that design, for me, has to be a perfect combination of function and form, which conveys emotions, that subtly affects us as humans, while simultaneously, enhances our daily experiences,” says Johansson.
The combination of the individual CARRONADE luminaires results in modern lighting concepts. While the CARRONADE pendant luminaires in different sizes illuminate, for example, the dining room table, the floor lamps CARRONADE low and high create atmospheric light conditions in the living room.
With Summer now upon us and gardens in bloom, Fritz Fryer offers the Gorsley Pendant light, a copper rose pendant shade handmade exclusively for Fritz Fryer by a local artist and blacksmith.
Using two sheets of copper, the form is made by hand and is then worked on to create the depth of color that copper can achieve, creating the unique, floral design of the Gorsley. It can add a different dimension sitting above a dining table, or over a breakfast bar; it can be clustered, hanging at different drops for impact; or hang it above a bedside table for a feminine touch.
Beautifully organic in shape; the Gorsley is not only a gorgeous looking light but a piece of art in its own right.
Photo courtesy Fritz Fryer Lighting.
Situated between the sea and the mountains in North Chilean Patagonia, this 348,000-acre estate has been recognized as one of the greatest remaining woodlands on earth.
Listed for $150 million by Christie’s International Real Estate with Bórquez & Associates, the one-of-a-kind property — known as Zona de Los Lagos Andinos — boasts unparalleled natural beauty and offers endless possibilities to conserve and develop.
Sited 621 miles south of Santiago and 74 miles from Bariloche, this Chilian paradise has a century-long history, yet it has been left essentially untouched.
“The history of the Hacienda Puchequin is as exciting as its geography,” says María José Bórquez of Bórquez & Asociado.
Spanish soldiers discovered the land in 1558, where they met two indigenous tribes — the Poyas and the Huilliches, who had been living in harmony with the land’s natural habitat for centuries.
From forests, mountains and granite peaks to lakes, waterfalls and beaches, the land invites a range of activities — including skiing, fishing, rafting, hiking, horseback riding, and rock climbing. “The possibilities are endless for a nature lover, and there are very few other places in the world where one can find this level of natural beauty and diversity of landscapes,” says Bórquez.
Although boundless opportunities await, Bórquez notes that “one of the most interesting features of the land is the rock climbing that can be done in the sector known as La Junta.” With around 50 different routes and walls more than a thousand meters high, the destination challenges climbers from across the globe.
A land of this scope will best serve “a lover of nature with a vision of conservation,” according to Bórquez. “[The buyer] would utilize the land in service of others, enhancing the attractions of this property by creating a tourism development plan, without intervening with the natural ecosystems or native forests,” she adds.
Located near the city of Puerto Montt, Chiloe and Puerto Varas in Chile, and Bariloche in Argentina, Hacienda Pucheguin offers a great location for adventurous tourists.
Photos courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate
This story was previously featured in the Winter 2019 edition of Unique Homes Magazine.
Nature in design is a trend that has gained momentum and continued in 2019.
Finding a connection to nature may feel like an impossible task if you’re living in the city or simply lacking the space for a yard. Crowded parks and potted plants may not be the dose of nature that you are seeking. Thankfully, designers and architectures alike are taking the need for nature into consideration and incorporating green into designs and architecture — a trend that is growing in popularity. Blur the line between inside and out with these trends!
Walls of Greenery
The seamless transition between the inside and outside could make the city feel miles away. One way to make that connection is with walls of greenery and other plants, which can freshen and brighten a space. This type of addition can also soften a room that may be surrounded by concrete buildings and bustling sidewalks.
Designated Outdoor Space
City living can create a high demand for outdoor space that is tranquil and also functional. Designers are embracing the idea of green space that is outdoors and accessible. A common space that has a park-like feel has become a popular trend. The addition of natural elements brings a calming quality to an area.
Nature by the Poolside
Pools and spas are not an uncommon amenity for developments and resorts. However, designers and architectures are incorporating nature, such as native plants into luxury pool and spa areas to give them a softer touch. Rather than surrounding the pool with umbrellas and other structures, a few palm trees give a much more relaxed feel.
Glimpse the Outdoors
If you are lucky enough to have your own outdoor space, floor-to-ceiling windows are a way to bring the outside into your living area. Even a distant view of nature can transform the feel of your home. Walls of windows not only reveal the outdoor environment making it feel within reach but it also allows for plenty of natural light to find its way inside.
Explorers looking to stray from the usual sightseeing routes or tropical destinations and go off the beaten path are in luck as high-end travel companies begin to offer more journeys that embrace wildlife and nature.
Enjoying 24 hours of daylight on a cruise through icy waters, standup paddle boarding in the vicinity of pink dolphins and trekking through a national park to appreciate the sight of tigers and elephants are just a few of the many exceptional offerings from luxury travel companies.
“Travelers are now more than ever looking for extraordinary moments filled with authenticity and personal value,” says Sarah Casewit, co-founder of curated experiential travel company Naya Traveler. “It’s no longer enough to check off the must-see list, or come home with a suitcase full of souvenirs. They’re seeking personalized experiences that go beyond the tourist sightseeing route, in favor of opportunities to engage with locals and their traditions.”
When it comes to the exact locations that allow for unique, nature-driven travel, destinations all over the globe have a lot to offer, but Casewit notes that a few particular locations are of high interest lately. “These destinations attract a similar traveler profile due to the adventurous nature of the experiences, complete with adrenaline-filled activities,” Casewit says, noting that clients usually look for rustic chic lodges and a high-end glamping experience that infuses unique cultural elements including music, art or cuisine to complement the journey.
According to luxury travel company Natural World Safaris, one such location is Norway — experience life under the midnight sun with 24 hours of daylight while cruising the icy waters of the Svalbard Archipelago. “Great for those seeking a niche experience with an interest in wildlife, polar regions and conservation efforts,” is NWS’ Polar Bear Explorer trip, starting at $9,305 for 11 days.
Set sail north from Longyearbyen aboard some of the smallest expedition ships to cruise these waters with just 12 passengers for a uniquely intimate voyage. “This small ship expedition isn’t possible to book yourself, plus NWS offers the expertise of specialist leaders including National Geographic photographers,” says Will Bolsover, NWS founder and managing director.
The Polar Bear Explorer journey includes walking and sailing through incredible landscapes, fjords and waterfalls, and searching for colonies of walrus, polar bears and other marine mammals. The small ships are perfect for exploring the icy waters, creating the opportunity to have unrivalled up-close encounters with Arctic wildlife.
For a warmer destination, adventurous families looking for a multi-activity break can venture to Costa Rica for NWS’ 10-day, tailor-made trip, starting at $3,520. The excursion can include activities such as whale-watching, observing turtle nesting on the beaches, learning more about the species found in Costa Rica at butterfly, frog and iguana farms and exploring tropical Tortuguero, home to tapirs, jaguars, monkeys, sloths and more.
The safari is full of adventure, with jungle walks, horseback riding and canoeing, as well as the chance to witness four species of primate in Manuel Antonio National Park. If Bolsover had to pick just one experience that every client or visitor must take advantage of in Costa Rica, he says: “It has to be zip lining through the jungle canopy.”
Marine wildlife and tropical birds abound in Peru, where Naya Traveler offers a three-night journey in Puerto Maldonado combined with three nights aboard River Cruise in Iquitos starting at $900 per person per day. The country has three distinct regions, one of which is the virgin rainforest, which covers about 60 percent of the country and is rich in a biodiversity that is native to the Amazon. Journeying from Iquitos, travelers can explore the rainforest from the river on an intimate cruise, or stay in a missionary-style hacienda on the banks of the river in Madre de Dios.
“Visitors can cruise along the Amazon River and witness the meeting of the waters, standup paddle with pink dolphins surrounding them, and fish for piranhas at night,” says Casewit. She recommends taking a “night safari” through the Amazon rainforest, where travelers can see the animals that come out at night.
Across the South Atlantic Ocean in South India, Naya Traveler’s six-night journey consists of trips to Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Coorg, starting at $600 per person per day. This journey can be curated to include trekking alongside a tribal villager through Periyar National Park, a wildlife sanctuary that is home to some of India’s most majestic creatures including tigers and elephants, riding a skiff through the backwaters of Kerala to see locals living in equilibrium with nature, or spending the night on a traditional houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala.
Cultural diversity and a rich heritage abound all throughout South India, including Kerala, where language, music, art, cuisine and architecture can vary from one state to the next. The region also boasts a varied topography, with rolling hills, winding backwaters and tropical valleys to explore during the trip.
The land throughout the Southernmost continent in the world is barely touched by humans, offering breathtaking scenery and wildlife. Travelers can ride among whales, pinnipeds, albatross and penguins, and take a flight over the Geographical South Pole on a journey through Antarctica with Naya Traveler’s ‘The White Desert by Cruise’ trip.
“Cruise through Drake Passage with Antarctica on the horizon, take a dinghy to walk on Earth’s White Continent, witnessing Emperor Penguins breeding,” Casewit says of the trip, consisting of 10 nights starting at $1,300 per person per day. The excursion can also be altered to travel from South Africa to Antarctica by private jet and stay in luxury pods for eight nights, starting at $80,000 per person.
If you’re looking to explore more than a single continent in one sweeping trip, Natural World Safaris’ 18-day multi-destination experience, starting at $37,391, takes travelers on a journey from the red African deserts to Antarctica’s white landscapes. This safari expedition includes activities such as quad biking across the deserts of the Makgadikgadi Pans, a hot air balloon flight over the sand dunes of Sossuvlei, and discovering the desert-adapted wildlife of the Kalahari.
Each day offers a unique experience, such as flying in by jet to land on an ice-runway in Antarctica, where you can spot penguins and trek on the tundra. Bolsover says, “This is a finely-tuned safari which is coordinated to maximize on time and uses the expertise of the team to ensure the best experiences in each destination.”
No matter what destination your wildlife-oriented journey brings you to, Casewit recommends taking advantage of a travel company to enrich the experience, noting “These trips are designed to provide a unique space for clients to discover a destination through the eyes and knowledge of those who know it best.”
Making an iconic design statement in a minimal aesthetic, the Dawn to Dusk lighting fixture is the newest product released by the award-winning London-based design studio haberdashery that invites you to experience the magic of sunrises and sunsets from right inside your home.
The intricate design was inspired by the “the memory of the sun” and creating a strong connection with this memory, according to Ben Rigby, creative director and co-founder of haberdashery.
“We want to reach beyond the industry’s current expectations for a lighting product and push for a more ambitious blend of quality, creativity and narrative-driven design all wrapped up in an iconic, useful and aesthetically beautiful design statement,” says Rigby.
To do this, Rigby and other designers chose to work with an uncomplicated design to demonstrate the clarity of a rising sun, as well as identified the perfect color range that would create a strong, emotional resonance.
Available as a table and floor-standing lamp, the diffused circular light source explores a palette of warm colour hues during its transit of the vertical stand, delivering these as direct light, or as a flood of light on a wall.
When at the base the sliding light head sits in an off position, and then as it is moved upwards it activates a low intensity red hue, which transitions into orange, then 2700k white light as slid upwards. This custom LED light array, developed by Rigby and his team, replicates the transition of light from the deep, rich red of the late evening to the white light of midday. The light is also capable of rotating 360 degrees around, providing a range of uses from outward facing task light through to a backward-facing ambient light, creating a subtle wash.
Dawn to Dusk is meant to not only showcase a naturally beautiful occurrence but to also utilize this power to support our natural rhythm throughout the day. The high-quality white light helps users to wake up more naturally, while the richer, relaxing red colors help regulate the circadian cycle and prepare for sleep.
“haberdashery believes light is a transformative power in the world; we challenge what is possible with light, and through our products are defining a new category of contemporary lighting,” says Rigby.
All photos & video courtesy haberdashery.