Orior Spreads Its Wings in Soho, and Other News

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Orior’s new showroom in Soho, New York. Photography by Simon Watson

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Orior Spreads Its Wings in Soho

Over the past few years, Orior has become well-known as a go-to purveyor of expertly crafted furniture that lends a contemporary sheen to classic silhouettes—think curvaceous ‘70s-inflected sofas upholstered in louche velvets and Irish marble credenzas equipped with olive-colored suede doors. The Irish brand initially settled into a sleek showroom in Tribeca, but sought more spacious environs that would afford the burgeoning business even more room to grow—especially as it looked toward expanding its lineup with new furniture and accessories in the coming months.

Creative director Ciaran McGuigan found that in a raw space in Soho, which he describes as a natural fit that will usher in a new era for the 40-year-old brand. Inside, find Orior’s Spring ‘22 Collection, which consists of a credenza, dining table, and two side tables, all unified with bronze accents. They’re illuminated by Bocci lights and backdropped by four dramatic arches finished with a custom oak trim handmade in Ireland. “This showroom gives us the opportunity to communicate our vision through a unique space that embodies everything about our brand, which is firmly rooted in co-creation,” he says. To wit, the showroom also houses a boutique shop-in-shop of lush homewares, wallpaper, and rugs by Irish designer Katie Ann McGuigan, daughter of Orior founders Rosie and Brian, marking her first foray into the U.S. market. —Ryan Waddoups

@sohoplace in London’s West End

London’s West End welcomes @sohoplace, its first purpose-built theater in 50 years.

“A major new West End theater is to open this autumn, designed to give audiences an alternative to the restricted legroom, poor sightlines and iffy acoustics—not to mention stuffy heat—of some of London’s older playhouses. On a tour of the venue, which has been named @sohoplace, its owner Nica Burns explained that the building’s proximity to the redeveloped Tottenham Court Road station brought another set of challenges, namely noise and vibrations. Architect Simon Allford, engineers Arup and construction company Laing O’Rourke have collaborated on the building whose heart is a curved, air-conditioned, surprisingly intimate auditorium with 602 blue seats (and generous legroom).” [H/T The Guardian]

The Art Institute of Chicago’s beloved bronze lions return after a month at the spa.

“After one month at the spa, the Art Institute of Chicago’s beloved bronze lions have returned to their plinths at the front entrance of the museum. Staff members in hardhats watched as the harnessed south lion was the first to be hoisted back onto its pedestal, with the north lion following close behind. It was clear the absence of the statues, these past few weeks, was profoundly felt by the local community. Chicago native Howard von Nichols told the Chicago Sun Times that the building looked “naked” without the pair. But to the lions’ credit, they made sure to keep their fans updated on their spa hiatus happenings with humorous updates from their Twitter account.” [H/T The Architect’s Newspaper]

Squarespace radically overhauls its web design tools to include full-bleed content.

“Squarespace has made a name for itself by helping people build their own websites. Now, almost 20 years after it launched, it’s unlocking the template that made it famous, giving users unprecedented control over the entire screen. The company has just launched Fluid Engine, a website design platform with radically improved drag-and-drop technology: think fully customizable grids, full-bleed content, and a separate view that allows you to build a custom look for your mobile website. Fluid Engine is the first radical update to the company’s website builder in 10 years.” [H/T Fast Company]

Image courtesy of Hästens

Hästens threatens to sue a mom-and-pop shop over its use of a blue check pattern.

“Late last year, Swedish bedding brand Hästens threatened to sue a small Texas design shop for a peculiar reason. The store, Coco & Dash, was selling a single sofa upholstered in a large-scale blue gingham check, and Hästens—which manufactures mattresses in a similar pattern—claimed the product infringed on its intellectual property. Never mind that the item in question was a sofa, not a mattress, or that hundreds of other retailers sell soft goods in a similar blue check pattern. And never mind that blue checks predate Hästens by at least a century. The brand, the official bedding supplier to Sweden’s royal court, had managed to obtain a trademark in the U.S. for the pattern, and it was suggesting that a case might lead to $2 million in damages over Coco & Dash’s sofa.” [H/T Business of Home]

Ford plans to cut 8,000 jobs to help fund investment into electric vehicle production.

“Ford Motor Co. is preparing to cut as many as 8,000 jobs in the coming weeks as the automaker tries to boost profits to fund its push into the electric-vehicle market, according to people familiar with the plan. The eliminations will come in the newly created Ford Blue unit responsible for producing internal combustion engine vehicles, as well as other salaried operations throughout the company, said the people, who asked not to be identified. The plan has not yet been finalized and details could still change.” [H/T Bloomberg]

Kyiv’s PinchukArtCentre is reopening with a photography show about the cost of war.

“The PinchukArtCentre, one of the most significant art spaces in Kyiv, opened to visitors this week for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine with a show of works created by Ukrainian artists documenting the human cost of the war. The private museum, founded and owned by the steel billionaire Victor Pinchuk, was forced to close for 143 days while the Ukrainian people fought for their country after Russian forces invaded on 24 February. Now, in a show of confidence by the Ukrainian people in the ongoing conflict against Russian forces, the art center has reopened with a new show titled ‘When Faith Moves Mountains.’” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

Happy Cow conceptual sex toys by Ece Tan. Photography by Maël Hénaff

Today’s attractive distractions:

These bovine sex toys are meant to make farming practices more pleasurable.

A weed influencer derailed a scientist’s research into a rare puking condition.

Despite their bad reputation, yachts remain popular among the ultra-wealthy.

This newly discovered bivalved arthropod resembles a floppy-eared hound.

All Stories