Summer’s preferred mode of transportation just got a whole lot cooler. Next week, Rob Forbes, the trendsetting founder of Design Within Reach, is launching Public Bikes. The collection is inspired by the classic city bikes popular in Europe, but with a hot new look, updated technology and modern materials. The bikes will be offered in four fashionable colours, from lady-like pale blue to look-at-me lime green, and each style will come with a chain guard, fenders, kickstand and reflective stripes on the tires.
Here’s the bad news: Public, which is based out of San Francisco, won’t be shipping to Canada right away. But the design’s high chic factor got me thinking about bikes as objets.
In just the right spot, their unmistakable shape stands in for art, and brings interiors to life by suggesting a life lived beyond the confines of home. Stacked on a wall, for instance, two stripped-down styles make a handsome collection.
New York brand consultant Cindy Gallop cheekily keeps her haute Gucci cycle in her bathroom (see the first pic in this post). Behind a glass railing in a narrow hallway, above, a high tech version functions as contemporary art.
In Toronto, Umbra design director Matt Carr’s crisp black and white cycle mirrors his kitchen’s checkerboard floor.
So, if you have to bring your bike inside, don’t worry about it being an eyesore. Leave it by the front door, prop it against some shelves, hang it in the hallway. Then fill the front basket with blooms and call it a beautiful day.
1. Cindy Gallop’s New York City home, The Selby
2-3. Public Bikes
5. From Condos SIP 2008 issue of House & Home, photography by Ted Yarwood
6. From January 2010 issue of House & Home, photography by Per Kristiansen
7. From October 2008 issue of House & Home, photography by Kim Christie