As we celebrate 400 years of French presence in Canada, the influence of settlers who came from Normandy can be seen in La Belle Province's architecture and lifestyle. Norman heritage is also very apparent in Quebec City, where historical buildings mirror century-old originals found in La Manche, a seafaring region dear to my heart.
If you like all things European, consider a trip to Basque Country, a fascinating region for lifestyle and design. Spread across the French-Spanish border and carved by nature, it is a scenic region where rich arts traditions flow into modern inventiveness. Fashion designers Paco Rabanne and Cristóbal Balenciaga are among contemporary Basque celebrities.
In 2014, Denmark is celebrating the birth centennial of two great master designers: Hans J. Wegner, whose chair designs are exhibited at the Designmuseum Denmark in Copenhagen, and Børge Mogensen, whose designs have been presented at a major exhibition at Trapholt museum of modern art and design since January.
In addition to his culinary expertise, passion for food and contagious joie de vivre, chef Mario Batali is famous for grace under pressure. Take his time on Iron Chef America. Even as the clock was ticking, and the other contenders were running frantically around “kitchen stadium,” yelling back and forth, Mario would often share a background story about his dish or whip up some cocktails for the judges.
U.K.-based product and interior designer Lee Broom's first brush with design greatness came at 17, when he won a fashion design competition judged by modern punk icon Vivienne Westwood. But that was just the beginning.
London is arguably the world's most eccentric fashion metropolis. And judging by the rising success of the London Design Festival, it has become the new hub for interior decorating, too. Launched in 2003, the event attracts professionals from all over the world, while revealing the talent of young British creators.
While Japanese design has often been associated with the country’s post-war intense industrialization, decorative arts have been around for much longer. Back in prehistoric times, J?mon hunters and gatherers were among the first nations in the world to create pottery. The first elaborate ceramic decoration can be traced back to 8,000 B.C.