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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.

APD Interiors turns 10 years old

June 11, 2014

Today we are celebrating APD Interiors turning 10 years old. From humble beginnings back in 2004 we have grown over the last 10 years to become a successful design and build company who operates internationally. It’s been a rocky road at times, especially through the recent economic crisis when no-one was spending money on their interiors – so we are pleased to be celebrating 10 years in business today. To celebrate I wanted to take a look back over the past 10 years at some of my favourite projects and explain how the business started.

In 2001 I had just purchased by first home with my partner in Islington and I was working in the City in private equity. In the evening I studied at The Interior Design School to learn more about the design process to help plan the major renovation work on the wreck of a house we had purchased. Then just as we’d started our project I was made redundant! I immediately saw this as an opportunity to escape the City, follow my dreams and finally work in interiors.

6 months later our new home was finished and was everything we wanted it to be. I’d spent my time learning about sourcing products, building contacts and also visiting the site to learn from our build team. Nothing prepares you for working in the Interiors industry like good experience onsite. Under the gentle supervision of our architect I ran our project day to day and when it was finished I knew interior design was my future.

After a brief stint working as an intern for another designer I quickly decided I’d only be happy running my own practice so on 11 June 2004 APD Interiors was born and I started my business from an office at home. I quickly picked up small projects through recommendations from our architect, worked on his projects and was also featured in the Evening Standard. One of my first large projects was the complete renovation of a mansion block apartment in Maida Vale. Designed for ‘a country lad who lived in town’ the style reflected his personal taste with painted kitchen cabinets and granite worktops.

Over the next few years my business steadily grew. My partner was still working as a senior Director in the corporate world but then in 2010 following his own redundancy we decided it  was time to work together and grow the brand I’d been nurturing. Our clients increasingly wanted a company that dealt with everything for them – they are busy people and want one company to provide a turnkey service from start to finish. We therefore launched our Design and Build service, providing the one stop shop our clients asked for.

One of the first projects of our new enlarged business was the extension of a Grade II listed property in Islington. This was our first experience of working on a listed building, understanding not only the complexities of a building dating back to 1860 – but also the needs of the Conservation departments. From start to finish the project took nearly two years but the new glass infill brought light and openness to the property. Islington Council now feature this project on their Planning Documentation as the perfect example of a lightweight glass extension.

Since completing this project we have had a further two glass extensions approved by Islington Council which are both about to enter the build stage. We also have one in planning with Camden Council which is 4 floors up on an ex diamond warehouse in Hatton Garden. With the technical advances in glass manufacturing the possibilities are endless. The glass on the extension shown is so strong you could apparently sit a mini car on the top of it!

Over the years our skill set has increased to allow our clients to carry on their lives while we build the home for them to live in and enjoy. The majority of our work is now completed within Conservation areas of London and we have also worked on more Listed buildings. Understanding the processes and workings of the regulatory bodies is an essential part of a successful building project and is a skill set we have in abundance.

In the last few years we have also worked on a  number of full house renovations in London. An example is shown below. This project involved the complete design and specification, project management and build for the whole property, which included three bedroom, two bathrooms and opening up the lower ground floor to create a new open plan entertaining room. As the ‘before and after’ images show an outdated small extension was removed to allow for a much larger extension with new bifold doors to open onto the garden.

Morton Road

Recent projects we have completed include a number of bespoke handleless kitchens for clients. The lack of handles allow the kitchen to blend seamlessly into a large open plan space. We now use solid surface worktops as standard to ensure our clients have a good quality surface that will provide years of service in their home.

A recent bathroom we did called on all our skills of sourcing to design and build a bathroom that was 3m x 4m for a very tight budget. Large bathrooms usually require large budgets due to the size of the room. With the design scheme agreed we sourced all the tiles for the room from Topps Tiles and they gave the perfect style the client wanted. The contemporary mosaics used in the shower were a very reasonable £50 m2., a great price for mosaic tiles!

Bathroom 5

Having reached our tenth birthday we are now looking forward to the future and exploring new markets and new ways to connect with our clients. We intend to grow our commercial arm over the next year, working with established professions in this field. We are also intending to fine tune our Facebook page and our Twitter page to connect with new clients. Our Houzz page features all of latest projects and later this year our website will be relaunched to reflect our new business services and feature more recent projects.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us to grow our business, whether you are a client, a supplier or someone who has just helped us along the ways – here’s to another 10 years!

Room of the Week

June 9, 2014

We are starting this week in a smart nautical themed dining room. Today’s Room of the Week features a neutral interior which is supplemented with the additional of furnishings in primary colours. The result is a bright space that would be a joy to dine in – an especially colourful way to start your day!


A bright white interior can serve as a good base for adding blocks of colour to liven it up. I particularly like this style of interior as it allows you to quickly update the look through the seasons. This is a good way to keep your interior fresh and vibrant, if you are rotating your furnishings over the year you also never tire of them.

Adding colour into your interior though doesn’t need to be expensive if you shop cleverly. Head to ikea and take a look at the latest PS 2014 range. This very colourful storage table is £50 and would look excellent against a white interior. The range also includes colourful cushions and furniture.

Ikea storage table

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.

June 5, 2014

In our design practice we often use when we are designing and specifying an interior for a homeowner. Also given the highly competitive prices it is a great source of furniture and accessories when we are working on a rental flat for a landlord. I love that their range is really affordable so your purchases don’t all have to be investments for the future. On you will find furniture, sofas, beds, lighting, art, rugs – indeed everything you need to make your house a home.

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A couple of weeks ago they asked me to review one of their lighting products in my own home. We’ve not specified their lighting for our projects so I jumped at the chance and after consulting with my partner we opted for the Alfred tripod floor lamp. Standing an impressive 165cm high it looked like the perfect signature lamp that we had been looking for.

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After living with the lamp for the last month we absolutely love it. It certainly sets a mood in our living room and brings a bit of Hollywood glamour into our home every evening. The adjustable grate on the lamp will allow you to modify the amount of light depending on your mood – maximise the light for those runway evenings, or dim it right down if you need to relax and chill. We have the chrome and black version that works well with our grey toned interior, you can also get the lamp in a natural wood and white finish.

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Head over to the website to see their full range of lighting. With light fittings ranging from just £25 up to £189 it is all both incredibly well priced and also unquestionably stylish. We are so pleased with our lamp and it is the perfect fitting to add drama and atmosphere to our home.

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If you have enjoyed this post why don’t you head over to our page on Facebook, or follow me for my regular updates on twitter. Full details of all our Interior Design and Build services can be found on our website – Bonjour Blighty

June 4, 2014

Finding the perfect dining table isn’t always as easy as you think it should be. You have to find the right style for your interior,  the right finish and then the right size. I’m currently styling an interior with an industrial look and we are struggling to find the perfect table. Thankfully this week the latest additions from dropped on my desk and I think we’ve found our table.

The Scrumpy table is part of the new Bonjour Blighty range from that has just been launched and is available next month. The table and bench seating are very stylish but also give the casual look we are aiming for. The steel legs will also give the industrial style our client wants.

The Scrumpy table top is made from solid recycled fir reclaimed from old buildings so it already comes with a history and the finish on each one is unique. Using furniture from reclaimed timber is a good way to ensure your purchase is from sustainable source. This table is available in either 165cm or 180cm lengths, both are great sizes for tables to use for entertaining.

Another new addition to the Bonjour Blighty range is the very smart wall organiser which includes a drop down desk. Made from a very on trend steel wire frame I see this as great buy for the corner of any kitchen.

Head over to the website to look at all the products in the Bonjour Blighty range. The range includes beds and bedroom furniture, sofa and living room furniture and lighting so your whole home can have a new look for summer!


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