• Things we’ve learnt from London Design Week 2015

    by  • Tuesday, October 6, 2015 • 0 Comments

    I’ve finally managed to sit down and re-assess the wonder and endless visual treat that was London Design Week to share with you. There were many events and amazing sights, but I’ve settled on an attempt to sum up at least some of what we saw at Tent and Design Junction; where Holly and I spent the day gawping at everything that caught our eye and snapping away.  With so many new, as well as established designers and brands, this post will be a sort of ordered visual stream of consciousness, but I’ve attempted to make some sense of it and bring you our trend based musings so here are:


    It may seem a basic summary, but we couldn’t get away from natural materials and textures on many of the stands and over all it was WOOD at every corner. If it wasn’t an object or piece of furniture, it was part of the display. There was a lot of natural form vs polished finish;  there were smooth, pale wood, exposed grain, furniture in plywood and oak and walnut.



    (Top) Part of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland showcase Ó by Steven McNamara of Roji; (bottom) Part of the Contemporary Polish Ceramic Design display


    Display by Yask


    (top) Lighting Channels; (bottom) Andreas Bergsaker


    (top)Furniture and brushes, Fimbul; (bottom) Boards from Trefjola


    Natural vs polished (Top) cupboard units Angelo Cavallaro Ebanisteria; (bottom) tables Marzoarreda

     wood-wall(Top) Dome Studio; (Bottom) Evan James Design


    (top) geometric pots Another Studio; (bottom) tables Jiyun Kim


    (top) planter Primary Grey, (bottom) side table Lycan Design


    (top) bench and desk Ted Wood in collaboration with Mylands; (bottom) stacking stools Jeddediah Presland

    Next up is FRAGMENTED STONE, we’ve seen marble, precious minerals and stones influence pattern and design for some time, but this fragmented effect either in fabric design, man made materials or crafted objects seemed to be cropping up all over the shop.


    (top and bottom) rug and textiles Kangan Arora


    (top) Smile Plastics, the plastic sheets are amazingly made from yoghurt pots, foil flecks still included! (bottom) Nest stand in collaboration with 2 Lovely Gays


    (top) tables Olivia Aspinall; (bottom) bowls Sevak Zargarian

    Three of the trends we gathered are closely intertwined, WOOD, LEATHER (coming next) and ARTISAN CRAFT, all appreciating the beauty of natural materials and the new luxury that is artisan-craft made items.

    We saw a lot of nude, buff and caramel coloured LEATHER. It’s been on the horizon for some time, however we saw more designers than ever exploring this tactile material using it in less structured forms; by treating it as a fabric, the leather is woven, or used as belts held together with simple fixtures and fittings


    (top and bottom) Chairs by Gemla


    (top) chair We Do Wood; (middle) containers Daniela Chodilova with Astera part of the Glassmania Bohemian Glass Masters exhibition; (bottom) ladder shelf Jessica Nebel


    (top) From the Tartu At College stand; (bottom) Tom Faulkner


    artist pouches Miolos Design

    The backlash to a throw away society, has given rise in the value of traditional craftsmanship and ARTISAN CRAFT, creating new designs whilst using expertise and traditional materials to create the latest luxury; something unique, unprocessed and sustainable. In the past we’ve seen a particular focus in lighting, but we saw the hand crafter, maker’s mark on everything from furniture to ceramics and textiles. It even extends to the luxury of grinding your own beans and creating the perfect cup of coffee.


    (top) the Goat Story stand;  (bottom) coffee grinder, Nick Munro


    (top)teapot and cups Sue Pryke; (bottom) plates Karina Marusinska


    (top) lighting Janie Knitted Textile; (bottom) stools Boboboom


    (top) cushions Waffle Design; (bottom) blankets Melin Trewynt


    Ó’ marks the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

    A couple of micro-trends popped up too, a criss cross STRING effect and often bungee rope featured more than a couple of times…


    (top) tables Juwon Seo; (bottom) chair Ptolemy Mann


    (both) bench and shelf Mr. & Mr.


    (top) La Chance (not strictly string but it does create that effect!); (bottom) design installation at Design in South Italy stand

    Ok, ok, nothing new about INDOOR PLANTS, but we’re still loving them and the new ways we found to display them:


    (top) wooden wall planters Tanti; (bottom) printed planters Laura Slater


    (top) Concrete Jungle; (bottom) Casa Matera

    Final one I promise! I’m not quite sure what to call this one, ‘things within lights’ doesn’t seem particularly catchy, ENCASED LIGHTING perhaps. Some of the lights take on other worldly, deep sea personalities such as the gravity defying display from By Luum that floated up throughout the centre of stairs, the jelly fish like Speckled Grey pendants and the ceramic microscopic beings within the lamp from Vezzini & Chen.


    (top) EOQ, (middle) Speckled Grey and Vezzini & Chen; (bottom) By Luum

    Congratulations for making it to the end of this long but hopefully inspiring roll of design! We will share more of what we loved next time Things we loved…

    Read more →

    Happy Sunday shopping! Check out our weekend wish list…

    by  • Sunday, October 4, 2015 • 0 Comments

    There’s nothing quite like a lazy Sunday for a spot of spontaneous splurging, so here are 6 things I’m lusting after this weekend. Whilst they’re not exactly can’t-live-without must-haves, they’re all things that would make me feel a little happier every time I used them! So with that in mind, why not indulge in a little luxury this Sunday? Happy shopping!

    1. I adore this set of pretty cheese knives from Anthropologie. Ornate, indulgent and supremely pretty, they’ll be sure to pop a smile on your face every time you use them.

    Tracery cheese knives, £34, Anthropologie

    2. With no particular rhyme or reason, this adorable object is top of my lust list. Stand on a desk for an uplifting little message!

    Hello word object, £24, West Elm

    3. As if we need any encouragement, this beautiful poster is the perfect excuse for a weekend tipple. Flamingo straw, anyone?

    Let’s Do Cocktails poster, £24.50, Heyla

    4. This statement board is too pretty to use! Well, almost…

    Green marble chopping board, £40.95, MiaFleur

    5. Add a simple pop of style with this pretty two-tone piece – just fill with fresh flowers and enjoy.

    Dipped concrete vase in Blush, £14.50, Cox & Cox

    6. As the leaves begin to turn, what better way to capture the best of the changing season than with this eye-popping lomo camera?

    Lomography Diana F+ instant camera in blue, £119, Amara

    7. I love the Scandi-meets-industrial vibe of this understated cushion from French Connection. Pop it on plain white linen bedding for easy, pared-back style.

    Told You So cushion, £45, French Connection


    Read more →

    This gorgeous new collaboration from bluebellgray is truly a family affair

    by  • Friday, October 2, 2015 • 0 Comments

    If like us, you can’t get enough of the stunning, floral and watercolour designs from Glaswegian design house bluebellgray, then you’ll be pleased to know their latest collection is just as gorgeous but with a slightly more subtle palette for autumn.


    To date, each original bluebellgray design has been created by designer and founder of the company, Fi Douglas,  hand painted in the bluebellgray studio in Glasgow, Scotland. However this latest collection brings about a special collaboration created with her brother, Calum Douglas. Following in his sister’s footsteps, Calum graduated from the prestigious Glasgow School of Art earlier this year and took inspiration for the collection from the colours and landscapes of Iceland.


    From the collection, ‘Dalvik’ and ‘Impressionist Teal’ are both born from Calum’s intuitive pencil marks, with splashes of subtle watercolour- staying true to the bluebellgray style. Both brother and sister find themselves drawn to turquoise colour palettes and these evocative scribble sketches are captured perfectly by state of the art digital printing.

    BBG031. Impressionist Teal Landscape, £150, 120cm x 45xm; 2. Dalvik Piper, £75, 45cm x 45cm; 3. Impressionist Teal Piper, £70, 45cm x 45cm all from the Calum Colloboration at bluebellgray.


    Dalvik fabric and Impressionist Teal fabric both available by the metre at £60 per m, bluebellgray.

    For Fi, the collaboration with her brother couldn’t have come soon enough.

    “To collaborate with Calum is dream come true for me- I have watched his creative side flourish through the years and he really has his own unique way of interpreting his surroundings. It’s so wonderful to be able to add this new and fresh dimension to the bluebellgray collections whilst keeping it in the family!”


    Aside from the collection with her brother, Fi also has a new range ready for autumn/winter in the form of her new super chunky, hand knitted, Merino wool Sanday throws.


    Left: Sanday Ecru throw, £225; Right: Sanday Cerise throw, £225 both bluebellgray.

    Available in 2 colour ways, the natural ecru offers a luxe neutral option whilst the signature bluebellgray cerise option is the showstopper piece. Ready for the colder months ahead, the throws will add a real style statement to your home and are an easy way to update a room during the changing seasons.

    For more information and to shop the entire collection visit www.bluebellgray.com 


    Read more →

    Ideal V Great deal: This week’s top three

    by  • Sunday, September 27, 2015 • 0 Comments

    For some, this weekend has brought pay weekend so credit cards will have been flying and cash splashed, but for the rest of us, it still another week away (or for me another 9 days!!!) Whatever your cash flow, it’s always good to find lovely products that are available in both price ranges, so you can get the look whatever your budget.

    Here are my top 3 Ideal V Great deal buys for this week.ideal01

    Ideal: A sturdy, solid-fir design from Made.com. Buckley dining table (H79cm x W90cm x L180cm), Made.com.  Great Deal: This table is made from solid acacia wood. Skogsta dining table (H73cm x W100cm x L240cm), Ikea.


    Ideal: Viners rose gold titanium 16-piece cutlery set, £99, Very. Great deal: 16 piece copper cutlery set, £32, Next.


    Ideal: Knightsbridge clock (diameter 50cm), Newgate Clocks. Great deal: Fairfield Paris clock (diameter 59cm), One World Trading.


    Read more →

    Design an item you can’t live without: Made.com’s award winner 2015!

    by  • Friday, September 25, 2015 • 2 Comments

    Whilst well-established brands are brilliant for go-to buys, there’s something about unearthing new talent that makes unheard-of designers feel like special little secrets. Which is why Made.com‘s third annual Emerging Talent Award is the perfect occasion for a high-street favourite to usher an undiscovered gem onto the scene. On Tuesday, Made.com hosted a glamorous gathering to unveil 2015’s winner, so off we scooted to find out more about this year’s rising stars. The brief was deceptively simple: to create something every home must have. Over 1,000 designs were submitted, narrowed down to 22 for public vote. Here’s a little bit about the final five and, of course, the winner!


    First up are these Tattoo pendants from Baschera Alessio, Brigolin Fabio and Matteo Mocchi, a.k.a. BBMDS (above). Originally from Milan and Venezia, the designers’ concept was: “Light is necessary! So why not do something desirable and functional?”. The end result is a family of lights inspired by cage-blown glass, for a practical, simple and stylish trio of pendants in cool earthy colours.Hook-bookshelf

    Next up is the Hook bookshelf from Valeria Milan and Stefano Tolomio (above). Inspired by a belief that the “spaces we inhabit are alive and changing, just like us. We like to move objects and create small changes in our environments… ‘Hook’ represents the sense of life, with its lightness and playfulness.” This simple to use and highly versatile piece allows the user to chop and change the bookshelf’s format at whim – no tools required! Genius.


    One of my must-have picks was the super-stylish Portobello storage system from Alvaro Alvarez and Maria Lopez (above). Use it as a bedside table, or flip it for a small suspended shelf. Combining form and function with adaptability, this versatile design instantly stood out as an object of desire. Love it!


    The only textile piece was the Volcano rug from Conelius Comanns (above). Inspired by the effect of shining two lights onto a three-dimensional polygonal surface, it’s a prismatic geometric print in a spectrum of earthy hues. I could imagine it being teamed with a navy corner sofa for a brilliant modern update.


    And finally, the winner! This Overlap Storage system from Ivana Mannavola and Nicola Lattanzi (above). The doors on the units are partly lacquered in an open-pore material, to create a translucent overlap between each layer and the wood of the unit behind it. Aiming to marry the necessity of storage with a desire for personality by merging coloured lacquer with wooden textures, its a functional collection with distinctive character. Congratulations to the team!


    I was also really excited to spy the Grid System Desk (above) taking centre stage in Made.com’s showroom. Thought up by last year’s winner Ying Chang, it’s a modular masterpiece, designed to maximise space with its mutli-platform design and customisable elements. The best bit? It’s available right now for £599 at Made.com!


    Read more →