• Japanese design

    by  • Monday, August 3, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Japanese design has always been an inspirational source within interiors but it’s the uncomplicated style that highlights traditional craft, natural materials and solutions to everyday life that is starting to make waves in the mainstream. As well as inspiring ideas for lighting, ceramics and utility pieces, brands are featuring and collaborating with Japanese designers.



    Forward thinking: Marks & Spencer picked up on this trend for summer, focusing on wood finishes, simple silhouettes and hand-painted ceramics

    Nayoko desk, £549; Nayoko dining chair, £199, Marks & Spencer

    The Japanese design philosophy is a way of life; it’s the pared back and uncomplicated forms, also mirrored in Scandinavian style, that has had such a big influence in emerging trends over the last few years.

    An obvious place to start and a familiar highstreet brand is Muji. The basic packaging design, works with the idea of ‘su’ meaning plain or unadorned but the luxury comes in the visual simplicity. You just have to take a look at their stationary to see it in action.


    A few favourite finds by Japanese designers & influenced by the style:



    1. Uka stripe cup, £6.95, Nkuku; 2. Double oven glove, £28, The Organic Company range, Liv; 3. Brass trivet, £65, Oji Masanori range, Native & Co; 4. Koichi bowl, £19, Toast; 5. Flow chair, Tomoko Azumi range, Ercol; 6. Plisse lampshade, £30, Habitat.


    John Lewis’ AW15 trend report highlights the timeless appeal of functionality, simplicity and quality inspiring furniture makers like Another Country, all key features of Japanese style. For A/W 2015  Ercol have collaborated with Tomoko Azumi to create the Flow chair, launching in September (see above).

    At Pulse design show earlier this year we spotted Danish textile brand The Organic Company, their 100% organic cotton kitchen, bedroom and bathroom textiles reflect that uncomplicated, practical but beautiful design ethic. Their latest release is The Cloth, which is based on traditional Japanese wrapping cloth, which can made into a re-usable bag, a tea towel, table cloth, to wrap presents…the list goes on.




    Design utility-ware shops Objects of Use and Native & Co stock a plethora of Japanese utility pieces, including Japanese designer Oji Masanori’s brass accessories (see favourite finds above). British- Japanese ceramic designer Reiko Kaneko combines the influence of her early years growing up in Japan within the forms of her tableware (see below).





    (On ladder) Linen Tea Towels; £12 each (On top shelf) Copper Kettle, £220; Japanese Wooden Bath Bowl, £85; Brushes from £8.00 – £155.00, Native & Co.



    1. Wakayama brushes from £8.50, Objects of Use; 2. Sumac wax candles, £28; Native & Co; 3. Mashiko pestle and mortar, £25, Reiko Kaneko; 4. Copper oroshiki graters, from £35, Objects of Use.


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    Fresh for summer ’15: don’t miss the new season collection from St Jude’s

    by  • Friday, July 31, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Renowned for putting a modern twist on traditional, nature-inspired motifs, St Jude’s Fabrics & Prints has established itself in the hearts of print-lovers thanks to its distinctive style, bold use of colour and flowing illustrations.Birch-Tree-Sun

    This summer, the brand is launching Birch Tree Sun (above), a new fabric and wallpaper from designer Angie Lewin. Inspired by her 2006 wood engraving Five Trees and her 2010 screen print Winter Birches, the design features an interwoven series of cascading rivers, sun-like orbs and clusters of cross-hatched trees. Available in five colourways, pick your favourite from mustard and sea blue, coral and sage green, teal and slate, terracotta and grey, and a moody ink and turquoise option, all at £54 per m.


    The brand has also relaunched the fish-adorned Deep Sea fabric (above). Created by Emily Sutton, it follows her enchanting Curiosity Shop design, and comes in three beautiful colourways. Choose from pops of Coral in a stormy blue scene, enlivening aqua and cool grey, or a palette of lively blues over fresh white. Inspired by enchanting relics from bygone eras and afternoons spent in Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood, her intricate prints look beautiful as both curtains and accessories alike, and cost £54 per m.


    For a taste of these designs on a smaller scale, printmaker and St Jude’s co-founder Angie is also selling a selection of limited-edition prints. Produced as linocuts, wood engravings, lithographs and screen prints, her unique pieces are reminiscent of plants set against the roaring sea and sky of North Norfolk and the Scottish Highlands. post-460

    Perfect for nature-lovers, these woodland-inspired artworks are available online, and will also be shown at The Bankside Gallery in November. For a pretty illustrative piece, check out the tranquil The Honesty Blue screenprint (above), which was commissioned by the V&A.


    Credits: Birch Tree Sun will be available soon; Angie Lewin, photographed by Alun Callender; Honesty Blue screenprint (unframed), £295, V&A


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    House plants, house plants, house plants!

    by  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015 • 1 Comment

    I have a slight obsession with house plants, I know they’ve always been there, but suddenly they are everywhere! My wilting windowsill of plants are a sorry sight, whilst I was browsing for some creative inspiration at The Room Edit the lush green displays put my attempts to shame! It has, however, given me some ideas for more than average planting ideas…what do you think?







    The terrariums can arrive fully assembled so there’s no excuse for not having green fingers! Jewel terrarium, £54.95, Penta terrarium £59.95, The Urban Botanist. See the full image at The Room Edit.





    Off set succulents and cacti with rustic and colourful glazed earthenware containers. Tenderling pots, £3, Anthropologie. See the full image at The Room Edit.




    Brighten up a corner with layers of lush greenery. Bittergurka hanging planter, £8 per section, Ikea; Wrapped navy hanging planter, £30, Urban Outfitters. See the full image at The Room Edit.




    Ok, strictly speaking not house plants but it’s still a stunning way to get some greenery into the room. Retro glass bottles, from £28, Nordic House. See the full image at The Room Edit.





    Metal planters add that element of utility style, perfect for bathrooms and kitchens. Graslock plant pot, £16, Ikea; Metal plant pot, £6.99, H&M. See the full image at The Room Edit.

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    Sneak Peek: House of Fraser to launch brand new Home and Fashion collection for Autumn 2015

    by  • Thursday, July 23, 2015 • 0 Comments

    It may not be launching online and in store until the end of August but we’re so excited about the new Gray & Willow collection from House of Fraser, that we couldn’t keep it to ourselves!


    3 seater sofa £1,899, side table £259, cushions from £45, basket knit throw £100 and grey etched textured vase £35 all from Gray & Willow.

    Designed and curated in-house at House of Fraser, the gorgeous new collection explores a ‘Scandi inspired approach to interiors that demonstrates relaxed versatility within a sanctuary of modern style’

    Featuring a palette of soft greys, putties, oatmeals and dusty lilacs, it captures a mood of a relaxed and rustic lifestyle.


    Wooden bench £499, marble vase £30, large marble frame £30, slate frame £20, cream etched vase £25, grey etched vase £35, candle holder £18 and basket knit throw, £100 all Gray & Willow.

    Heralding traditional making methods and natural material and taking a relaxed approach to cooking, dining and entertaining, the kitchen collection combines acacia wood boards, utensils and lidded glass jars with light and dark marble serveware, and organically shaped, glazed dinnerware.

    We love the simple, understated feel of the striped linens and brushed steel cutlery, both of which would work well with existing crockery and glassware.


    Acacia round board £45, dark marble placemat £30, acacia utensils £12 each, rectangular roasting dishes from £30, round roasters from £32, striped napkins, £16 for 4, all Gray & Willow.



    Elska dinnerware from £6 and striped napkins £16 for 4 both Gray & Willow.

    Moving through to the bedroom, the collection continues the relaxed, laid-back living feel, which through extensive customer research was identified by the buying team, as a key essential thus achieving daily calm and more time for rest and relaxation. Something we can all relate to!


    Double bedstead £999, Tromso flannel stripe double duvet cover £80, Stonewashed bedspread £150 all Gray & Willow.

    With such pretty bedding of timeless washed slub cotton yarns and linen fibres with brushed flannel for an organic quality it creates a lovingly laid-back feel that just makes us want to curl up among it with a cup of tea and a good book!


    Pillowcases from £25 for a pair, Gray & Willow.

    If like us you love this look for your home, then you’ll be pleased to hear the Gray & Willow collection extends to fashion too so look out for this launching at the end of August too. We’ve already got our eye on several lovely pieces!


    Gray & Willow at House of Fraser,

    launching online and in store

    from the end of August 2015.

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    Irresistible new trend for AW15: create easy style with unrefined luxe

    by  • Monday, July 20, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Tougher than glamour but more refined than vintage, the new trend for undone luxe is definitely one to watch for A/W 2015. Effortlessly fusing copper and gold with clay, marble and wood, it’s a tactile trend inspired by raw materials, muted colours and toughened-up textures. Look out for clean lines and modest, utility-inspired shapes, brought to life with exposed finishes and hints of metallic for an opulent twist on simple designs.


    Adept in the art of putting a luxurious spin on simple homeware is Rowen & Wren. Its statement copper mugs are available in either a shiny or matt finish, whilst the hand-made nature endows each piece with its own distinct character. Give the copper an unrefined feel by teaming it with cool concrete or marble, for a look that’s both effortless and artisan.

    For a slightly more utilitarian take on the trend, try this striking range from John Lewis. Reminiscent of the pared-back aesthetic of Japanese style, it’s a sturdy, tactile collection in a thunderous palette of inky black. Simply team it with stormy greys and sprigs of foliage to let this beautiful raw material sing.


    Add a vintage spin with this charming set from Marks & Spencer. Industrial metal cutlery is given a softer edge with aged handles; just pair with rough hessian or soft linen for easy, undone luxe.

    West Elm

    Lastly, take a look at this trio of textured vases from West Elm. Style the mattified metallic finishes with exposed concrete and a moody palette for instant understated luxury.


    From top: Moscow mugs, £18 each, Rowen & Wren; beaker, £15; mini jug, £18; 25cm serving bowl, £55; dinner plate, £28; all Dove Street Pottery by David Worsley range, John Lewis (coming soon); Ornate cutlery, £75 for a 16-piece set, Marks & Spencer; textured vases, from £29 each, West Elm (coming soon)

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