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Christmas comes to John Lewis

October 1, 2014

It’s that time of the year again, Christmas is appearing in the shops. If you don’t want to be festive yet you can easily ignore it – but it you love Christmas like me you probably can’t wait to see this year’s decorations.

Today the Christmas shop in John Lewis Oxford Street opened and we are featuring some of the six different themes today. The Croft range is a favourite of mine, it fits in perfectly with my own festive decorating scheme. Featuring lots of silver and white decorations this is the choice for creating your own traditional White Christmas.

With my fondness of and frequent visits to Scandinavia I am obviously in love with the Copenhagen range. With its pared down simplicity this is a perfect collection for urban apartments where you want to keep your decorating to a minimum. The decorations are based around a red, white and silver theme with some black accents. Personally I just love the cake tin – I think my Christmas cake may be going in that this year.

Finally, for your softer side, the Festive Friends collection is the last of my featured themes. Designed with children in mind the range includes lots of colourful tactile decorations, and also a few furry characters to dress your tree. I’m rather fond of the Polar Bear stocking, the perfect place for Father Christmas to leave your presents?

Head over to the Christmas section of the John Lewis website to find out more. There are three other Christmas themes so whatever your decorating style there is bound to be something to suit you!

Room of the Week

September 29, 2014

Today’s Room of the Week is a Venetian style bedroom which is richly decorated and furnished in a luxuriously opulent style. Some of the most luxurious hotels in Venice were occupied last weekend for the wedding of George Clooney and we can only imagine the decoration of these rooms. In your own home your bedroom should always be decorated in the best style you can afford, this is one room where I always suggest to clients that it’s worth splurging on.

The simplicity of this bedroom sold it to me. Many people try to include too many ‘things’ in their bedroom. Pare it down to what you need, your bedroom should be a restful place – and this shouldn’t include a television! Get your storage organised first. This will involve working out how much clothes storage you need and planning accordingly.

After deciding on your storage you then need to find a suitable bed. Choosing a large striking statement bed is always a great way to stamp your design style onto your own special space. Recently launched by Zoe Brewer and Out of the Dark this bed is from the new collection called The Flower Project.

Out of the Dark is a charity that was founded in 2010 and creates unique furniture from pieces that have been discarded by others. During the recycling and refurbishment process the founders Jay and Jade Blades also educate young people from disadvantaged background and provide them with employment. This collaboration with Zoe builds on her love of flowers – their aim is to get people to be inspired to think beyond what they usually expect from upholstered furniture. Each piece is unique and commissioned to your own requirements. The full range includes dining chairs, a sofa and the cure little Betty Boo chair below. Find out more about the range on Zoe’s blog.

This week’s Room of the Week was originally featured in the extensive galleries of House to Home. Take a look over at their website for room inspiration, and be sure to check back here every week to find which one of the rooms has been showcased.

Eley Kishimoto

September 26, 2014

Walking around trade shows isn’t as glamorous as it sounds and it gets very tiring after a while! The key to success if you are exhibiting is to have an eye catching display, and on this count Eley Kishimoto hit it out of the park this week at Decorex. Showing their first wallpaper collection at the show, it was a big hit with many designers visiting Decorex and the riot of colour drew people to their stand.

Eley Kishimoto was started in 1992 and have expanded their range to include fashion and interiors with numerous collaborations over the years. This first wallpaper collection builds on their reputation as ‘the Patron Saints of Print’. Their entire stand at Decorex was clad in the gorgeous La La Lyon wallpaper above in this vibrant blue.

The new collection of wallpapers are screen printed to order at their studio in Brixton. There are 12 designs in the range which includes some great geometric designs. I really like the subtlety of the Sun Loving Bollards design below. Head over to their website to see the full range, I’m already thinking about which projects I can use this gorgeous wallpaper on!

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Decorex discoveries

September 24, 2014

Luxury – what defines it? Many people have different views but in the Interiors world everything that is luxurious can be found at Decorex this week. I visited yesterday and am sharing some of my product discoveries today.

After passing through the sensational entrance to the show the first exhibitor that grabbed my attention was Zoffany. We often use their textural wallpapers for clients and I love the new Prism collection. Although often the choice for a feature wall I prefer to use these wallpapers in a small room and cover every wall. It really raises the luxe factor and makes a beautiful room.

Bert & May is the stand to head to if you are in the market for antique tiles or reclaimed wood. They also have a great range of tiles designed in their studio. Both of the tiles shown here have been reclaimed from Spain. In a world where so many interior finishes are replaced after just a few years it’s good to be able to reuse materials. Even better that the geometric style of these tiles is current very much on trend.

Over on the Samuel Heath stand I found some great brassware with a new non lacquered brass finish. Designed to age over time and generally darken I think this will be a good alternative to my general preference of chrome. This finish would look really smart if you have a country bathroom, or just fancy a change from polished chrome. It works perfectly with the metallic style tiles featured below.

Samuel Heath

The folks at Timorous Beasties always manage to produce new designs that totally amaze me. While some of their designs call for a brave client, many of them easily work in any residential interior. I have a soft spot for flock wallpaper so was drawn to the Devil Damask Flock. Shown here with contemporary styling this would be a great wallpaper for a dining room, the atmosphere created when lit by candlelight would be fantastic.

This is just a small selection of my discoveries at the show. If you are a designer specifying interiors Decorex is a great show to visit, both for products and inspiration – you can find the full list of exhibitors online.

Finally I loved the new location in Syon Park and I can’t wait to return in 2015! well done Decorex on another great show.

Room of the Week

September 22, 2014

After a break over Summer our blog returns today and we are featuring a luxury bathroom as our Room of the Week. We are currently in the design show season in London and yesterday the trade show Decorex opened, where you will find luxury products in abundance! I’m heading there tomorrow and will report my new discoveries later in the week.

Back in our design and build practice I’m currently designing a signature bathroom for a property in Highgate. The bathroom is large and has room for a standalone bath and a large walk in shower. The bath featured in our Room of the Week is from Catchpole and Rye and I’ve specified a similar one for this project. With design origins from France their Le Grand Bateau below is the perfect item for a luxury bathroom. I love this polished finish and it is also available in a colour of your choice. Deep and wide this would be a great bath for soaking away your worries!

Catchpole and Rye

The wall of our Room of the Week features a beautiful mosaic from Surface View. They will be exhibiting at Decorex this year so I can’t wait to see their stand. As one of the first companies to manufacture large scale murals it’s great to see what can now be achieved. I love their range of ceramic tile murals that allow you to create beautiful feature walls that are suitable for wet environments – although I do wonder how amazed Seurat would be to see his beautiful painting on ceramic tiles. It’s also good to know that Surface View have their workshop in Reading so all of their products are made in Britain.

Surface View

This room was originally featured in the extensive galleries of House to Home. Take a look over at their website for room inspiration, and be sure to check back here every week to find which one of the rooms has been showcased.

Fancy a Zinc top table?

July 31, 2014

One of the advantages of running a design and build business like APD Interiors is having a great build team in house. It makes renovation work on my own home easier and we always have someone who can get things done!

We’ve recently created an ‘outdoors room’ in the garden of our London home. It’s an area that’s aims to create a more intimate space for entertaining and give us some privacy from the neighbours – well as much as you can in an urban London garden. Having completed the hard landscaping and planting I needed a garden table. I really wanted a zinc top table but the options available to buy were generally more country than town, with wrought iron legs and lots of twirly bits. Really not the style I was trying to achieve. So working together with our carpenter we designed and specified the table which is now in my garden.

The design brief for the table was to create a piece of outdoor furniture that would blend into the new outdoor space, be made of natural materials and be relatively maintenance free. I wanted the table to be able to seat 6 people comfortably, with maybe 8 at a push. The style needed was contemporary, with no wrought iron and definitely no fancy twirly bits. We also had the plan to market and sell these tables to customers after making the first one for my own garden.

I already knew that I wanted the frame of the table to be made in a beautiful wood. I’m a huge fan of natural products, especially ones that will age over time so oak was a great choice for the frame. With a treatment applied to protect it from the elements the wood will gently age and weather over time. The table can be left outside all year round as although I wanted a beautiful table I, like most city based people,  don’t have time to spend treating the materials on a regular basis.

The desire for a zinc top came after visiting a London cafe where they had installed a huge zinc bar where I sat and enjoyed a flat white coffee. The bar top had a distressed patina representing the many people who had stopped there over the years. Over time my table top will also become more distressed and contain a history of it’s own – creating a last impression of the many happy times we hope to spend around the table with friends and family.  Requiring only a quick wipe with a mild soap solution to keep it clean the zinc top is almost maintenance free.

Now that it is sat underneath my 15 year old Olive tree I think the table has perfectly met the design brief. The recent spell of glorious weather in London means the table has already been used for many lunches and dinners and is working really well. The table is teamed with some simple all weather chairs though I do have my eye on adding some bench seating to one side to increase the seating.

We’ve now offering zinc top tables to customers who also want a bespoke solution for their outdoor furniture. We made the prototype 1m x 1.5m which seats 6 comfortably. The generous width of 1m allows you to dress the table for outdoor entertaining without comprising the space for food. If you wanted a larger table the length could easily be extended, or a smaller 1m square table would be good for 4 people dining.

We can also offer a choice of different woods for the legs and frame if you do have a preference. Personally I love the natural beauty of oak but with a good quality stain the wood could take on a different colour or look. As the table is bespoke the design details and final style will all be agreed before production starts. It’s good to know that the legs will detach from the table top which should get over any access problems, especially for urban gardens.

Do drop us an email if you would like to discuss your own table or look at our Contacts page for other ways to get in touch. I’m looking forward to enjoying my own table this summer – let’s hope the sunny weather continues.

Room of the Week

July 14, 2014

This week’s Room of the Week is a very dark bathroom featuring jet black walls that form a great backdrop for the feature steel bath. Although the trend has been for beige, plain bathrooms we are increasingly seeing rooms where the interior decoration is more evolved and the room then becomes far more interesting. There are many ways to achieve this look by using tiles, wallpaper or paint.

If you don’t feel brave enough to choose a dark tile adding the black edge to your bathroom can still be achieved by using wallpaper. There are now many designs available that are suitable for use in a kitchen or bathroom where the humidity can affect any finish applied to the walls. This dark textured wallpaper is from Graham and Brown. Using a wallpaper to get the look is especially good if you aren’t quite sure of the look as it is much easier to redo than tiles!

Graham and Brown

If you do want to tile in a dark colour the result can be very dramatic and adds a very masculine tone to your bathroom. There are many dark tiles available on the market, I really like the Terranova range from Surface Tiles. Shown here in a 296x595mm size the uniformity of the tiles provide a simple block of darkness behind the chrome finish of the showers. This tile is available in six different sizes and also as a feature mosaic, this would be great to use in a shower cubicle.

This room was originally featured in the extensive galleries of House to Home. Take a look over at their website for room inspiration, and be sure to check back here every week to find which one of the rooms has been showcased.

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