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Farrow & Ball wallpaper

September 12, 2016

September is always an exciting month if you design and specify interiors. We have a wave of trade shows about to start and lots of brand new fixtures, fittings and finishes are arriving at our design studio daily. Wallpapers from Farrow & Ball are one of the first products to land on my desk this month and rather super they are too. Farrow & Ball was founded in the 1940s and this year is celebrating its 70th year, the new collection features three wallpapers all inspired by this decade.

Arcade features a soft scallop design and has been inspired by the art decor movement. Shown below in a strong green colourway the wallpapers are block printed using real paints to produce a wallpaper with depth and definition. Metallics remain a big trend at the moment and this design includes lovely metallic accents – perfect if you want to introduce some brass back into your interior.

Farrow & Ball - Arcade

If your wallpaper style is more subtle Arcade is also available in several muted colourways. This one gets shade of grey and would serve as a good neutral base to add your own individual touches. It also works well with strong colours and is shown here with Farrow & Ball Studio Green.

Farrow & Ball - Arcade

Featuring a rural scene of ploughed fields, picket fences and farmyard animals Gable reminds you of simpler times. There are layers of detail in this wallpaper that only become apparent on closer inspection, I love the playful dog teasing the tethered horse. As with the other papers this one is available in seven colourways.

Farrow & Ball - Gable

Given my love of geometric design I was immediately drawn to the final new wallpaper, Enigma. This paper is named after the encoding machine deciphered by the amazing British mathematician Alan Turing during World War II. Featuring interlocking rectangles it does remind me of the Enigma machine – and if you haven’t visited Bletchley Park to see a replica it is well worth a trip. It is shown here in one of the more subtle colourways.


Personally though I prefer Engima in one of the bolder colourways – definitely my favourite of all the new design and colourways . Blues have returned to favour and this year feature as the Dulux Colour of the Year – more on this later in the week. In addition to this colourway there is another one featuring strong blue and those golden metallic elements I mentioned above – I can’t wait to specify that one for a project.

Farrow & Ball - Engima

Over the last few years wallpaper has had a big revival and can be used in a variety of ways. Some people say the feature wall is dead, personally I disagree – and anyway, rules are made to be broken! If you want a feature wall go for it, and often a feature wall allows you to use a luxury finish in your room that wouldn’t be affordable if you were going to do the whole room. Alternatively by papering the whole room you often add a warmth that a paint finish doesn’t provide – I love to specify fully wallpapered hallways, they are so welcoming when you come home.

However you decide to decorate you will find all the details of the new wallpapers over on the Farrow & Ball website.

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 Design and Build services can be found on our website.

Plumen 003

September 9, 2016

LED bulbs eh? We all know they make sense on many counts but so often in the past as a light source they’ve been disappointing. Lighting is such an important element of interior design that the most beautifully designed room will be ruined by the wrong lighting. Thankfully Plumen have been leading the way in LED lighting and have just launched the Plumen 003 – so now try to tell me you don’t like LED lighting?

Plumen 003

Plumen believes that this is the most beautiful light bulb ever created – and I think they might be right. The light bulb consists of two different elements to create a unique and very warming light source. A downward spotlight creates a task light source, casting a pool of light for reading, working or eating. This is then complemented by a soft golden ambient lighting from the multi faceted gold element. The dual elements of the bulb would make it ideal as a feature installation over your dining table – you can still see what you are eating while you and your guests look amazing.

The central gold element was designed by a jeweller. The engineering team at Plumen have developed a principle to cast the light exactly where needed, so the LED light is warmed by this gold element to create a soft glow. At the same time the structure has been designed to draw away the heat from the LED – so it not only looks beautiful but equally important it is efficient.

Plumen 003

Plumen 003

Plumen recognises that many people still don’t like LED lighting. Nicolas Roope, the Co-founder and Creative Director of Plumen says “To persuade all those who still haven’t moved to low energy lighting, we knew we needed something really special to tempt them in. Something beautiful, beguiling, compelling. We needed some seductive sustainability. So for the past five years we’ve been designing and developing the Plumen 003. Here it is.” Five years well spent I’d say, and I can’t wait to see the bulb when it is available from next month.

Plumen 003

With a bulb lifespan of 10,000 hours it is definitely worth making an investment in the new Plumen 003. Head over to their website now to place your order, and be among the first to enhance your home with this amazing light bulb.

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 Design and Build services can be found on our website.

Broste Copenhagen

March 15, 2016

So I have this secret obsession with crockery. For me having lots of options when serving food for both casual suppers during the week and also for weekend entertaining makes me deliriously happy – it’s sad but true. So it’s looks like I’ll be adding the latest collections from Broste Copenhagen to my shopping list very soon.

Embracing typical Scandinavian style the new ranges will help you recreate the simple Nordic look in your own home. The region is famous for the ‘Hygge’ they create, there isn’t really a literal translation but it means the warm and cosy atmosphere found in Scandinavian homes.

The Nordic Sea and Nordic Sand crockery range is my favourite. With colours of the North Sea and the sand found in the Nordic region they have a simple elegance and a soft colour palette. I love the uniqueness of each piece, who wants to be matchy matchy perfect anyway?

Broste Copenhagen

The Modern range has been a Broste favourite for a while and now we’ve got some new pastel colours to choose from. This is the perfect range to use as we head to summer entertaining – well at least if we have the right crockery it’s a start, I can’t promise the good weather though!

Broste Copenhagen

Another collection from Broste Copenhagen that I love is Esrum, which offer a more structured collection than the organic style of Nordic Sea and Nordic Sand. I really love the strong base colours that feature in this range. The pieces give you a good opportunity to combine them with other colours and finishes to create an interesting dining table.

Broste Copenhagen

Take a look online at the full Broste Copenhagen collection, I’m off to find out what my kitchen cupboards want … or should that be need?

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 Design and Build services can be found on our website.

Clarissa Hulse bed linen

February 3, 2016

Colour, colour and more colour everyone says these days. With neutral interiors out of favour with the trend setters (whoever they are?) we are always told these days we have to have lots of colour on our walls and in our interior. But what if you don’t want to go with dark blue walls, and the thought of painting your room in a bright bold colour scares you – well that is where colourful accessories come in.

Clarissa Hulse

The latest bed linen collection just launched from Clarissa Hulse will certainly help you to add the colour quota to your bedroom. The Clover Stripe design features hydrangea and clover detailing on a base of strong blues with hints of sulphur. If you are feeling braver with your choice the Watercolour Patchwork range adds a multitude of colours to your room. Featuring the details of Greek muscari and English grass motifs and a patchwork of tangerine, kingfisher and magenta this would certainly wake you up with a smile.

Clarissa Hulse

If you want to take a more subtle route with your bed linen, take a look at the Boston Ivy range. Shown below in the Sulphur colourway it adds pattern, and a small amount of colour, to your interior. As we struggle through the cold winter months I love the colours in this range and it makes me think that the summer sunshine will soon be here.

Clarissa Hulse

You can find the extensive range of bed linen and many other products on the Clarissa Hulse website. Alternatively if you are in North London pop along to their shop in Islington – it’s great to know the fabrics are designed and screen printed onsite.

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 Design and Build services can be found on our website.

Farrow & Ball launch 9 new colours

February 1, 2016

Just when you’ve got to grips with Down Pipe, Hague Blue and Elephant’s Breath the team at Farrow & Ball now have 9 more amazing colours for you to choose when decorating your home. Launching today Inchyra Blue, Worsted, Drop Cloth and 6 other stunning colours will be the names you are asking your interior designer for in 2016.

Farrow and Ball

Over the last couple of years we have seen blue shades return to favour. Beige is considered boring, many people are now tired of the grey shades (though personally I still love them!) and they want something explore different tones. One of the new colours launched today Inchyra Blue would make a very striking addition to any home. With a history of originating in Inchyra House  in Perthshire this colour can be seen there on the impressive byre in the grounds. Shown below the colour is teamed with Worsted to create a contrasting interior style.

Farrow & Ball - Inchyra Blue

As I said I’m still a huge fan of grey shades, especially if chosen carefully so your home doesn’t look like the interior of a battleship! Two of the new colours Peignoir and Worsted are shown below in a classic interior. With Peignoir on the walls and ceiling it creates a good framework for adding other shades and tones to your interior. This new colour is a grey with a good mix of pink that provides warmth and romantic appeal to a room. Marry this shade with some of the stronger colours from the Farrow & Ball range and you’ll have a look at home in both classic and contemporary interiors.

Farrow & Ball - Peignoir

Soon to be giving Elephant’s Breath and Dove Tail a run for their money Drop Cloth is another new colour launching today. I love this as a strong base colour for an interior when going lighter would be just too safe and predictable. Combining this colour with strong yellows and oranges as demonstrated below for a really colourful interior.

Farrow & Ball - Drop Cloth

You can find all the new colours above on the Farrow & Ball website and more information on the colours not featured, if you are a huge fan of greens do have a look at Yeabridge Green. For the next 9 weeks you have a chance to win 5l of paint from Farrow & Ball by sharing your favourite new colour on social media using the hashtag #myfavouritenewcolour. Head over to their website to find out more information and then start sharing online.

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 Design and Build services can be found on our website.

Project Complete: Islington N1

July 9, 2015

Today we are featuring a project we completed in Islington recently to replace the current kitchen and extend the property with a rear glass box extension. From a short ‘we have a baby coming in 6 months and are looking to renovate our kitchen’ email received late one December evening the project grew to include a full refurbishment of the lower ground floor of the Islington terrace.

The original layout on the lower ground floor had three small rooms and felt very closed in and dark (see before pictures at the end of this post). An internal hallway used too much space on an already restricted footprint. and the existing kitchen was poorly planned – one of the horrors was a small round sink hidden away in a corner, with an expanding family the kitchen no longer served the needs of the owner.

After structural calculations and building regulations consultation we installed two large structural steels to allow us to remove all the internal walls downstairs and create a new, much larger, kitchen and dining space. At the same time we submitted a planning application to add a glass box extension to the exterior to provide a new living space off the kitchen.

Going against our recent trend of specifying handleless kitchens we changed the design on this project as the property, and the owners, appreciated a more traditional style. At the same time however we also wanted a design that wouldn’t look dated before it was even finished so a mixture of traditional and contemporary elements were specified. We agreed on a painted style kitchen, which featured three different shades of grey. The handle detail adds a contemporary element, we chose a simple cylinder bar finished in nickel which complements the large Rangemaster range installed. We teamed the grey units with limestone tiles on the floor which added a traditional element to the room – this limestone continued into the new extension.

The island of this kitchen is 2.8m long and has now become a central hub for the home. We finished the island with a white Hanex worktop to keep the overall feeling very light and spacious. The island has a large seating area on one side which features under counter storage for kitchen items infrequently used. The industrial style stools specified were designed to provide an unexpected element against the slick worktop and painted units. In a design scheme it is always good to provide a contrast between the finishes – this also helps to avoid the ‘this is an unloved show home’ look to your interior.

For the pendant lights above the island I was looking for something subtle, but also wanted to try to add some colour – you can actually have too much grey in an interior. We sourced simple ceramic lights from Folklore in Islington, but I then had our electrician recable them with a bright red cord. He didn’t thank me (a rather complicated task) – but the subtle touch of colour suits the interior better than the black and white cables supplied with the fittings.

The details on this project are the things that have given it the wow factor. On one end of the island we installed a book case to allow the client to keep the current cookbooks they are using. This selection is rotated from the larger selection on the unit in the dining area of the room. When it came to specifying the splashback we wanted a metro type tile, but the standard gloss tiles didn’t work with the style of the kitchen. Instead we sourced a matt finish tile, which due to the subtle colouring blended into the kitchen without creating too much contrast – both stylish, and also practical.

Due to the time in Planning the glass box extension was actually the final element to be installed on this project. With careful preparation we were able to prepare the site, finish the internal kitchen installation and then drop the glass in at the last minute. The extension has transformed an underused area of the garden and created an additional living room – it’s proving to be the perfect space for the new little addition to the client’s family.

This Islington terrace has now been updated from its tired look and style to provide a large entertaining space for a modern family. With good solid appliances the kitchen will also serve the family as they expand and grow.

The final picture below shows the internal layout at the start of the project (just after the kitchen had been ripped out) and also the exterior space we included in the house with the glass extension. As you can see the interior was tired and dated, the one larger room with its open plan layout is more sociable than the three small rooms we started with.

The project was a total dream working for a client who appreciated our experience and design expertise – as she said we delivered her the ‘kitchen she has always wanted’ – and the good news is we managed to get them back home and settled before the baby arrived!

Before and After

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 Design and Build services can be found on our website.

CP Hart bathrooms

April 12, 2015

One thing guaranteed to help a project succeed? – good suppliers! Recently we’ve changed our bathroom supplier in our design practice and now use CP Hart to supply all our bathroom fittings. We have already completed projects in Highgate and Whitstable and have been very pleased with both the service in the showrooms and their after sales services.

To see more of their products CP Hart invited me to stay in a hotel where they had recently designed all the bathrooms. So around 2 weeks ago we spent a delightful weekend at The Wheatsheaf Inn in the Cotswolds – and roadtested more of the CP Hart range. The bathrooms certainly lived up to our expectations and are beautiful designed, combining the modern fittings with some interesting features – just one example are the mirrors made from old distressed window frames.


The Wheatsheaf Inn in Northleach is a former coaching house that was once a stop off point for coachmen and travellers passing through the area. It was also a drinking haunt of highwayman so the walls could tell many tales of eventful evenings!

These days the Inn has been been recently renovated and now provides 14 bedrooms to stay in and enjoy the local area – including the excellent onsite restaurant. We stayed in an ‘Excellent’ room which completely lived up to it’s name – especially with a most excellent bathroom designed by CP Hart which featured a huge free-standing bath tub and a separate luxurious shower.

The look of the bathroom demonstrates how well contemporary fittings can work in any style of interior. The hotel is, by it’s nature and history, traditional in some aspects but the bathrooms are very modern and luxurious. The quality of the products is obvious – and the bathroom has been designed to include some super luxurious fittings.

After a day stomping around the villages and fields of the Cotswolds the oversized shower cubicle was wonderful for refreshing our spirits before dinner in the Wheatsheaf. The minimal frameless style of the shower cubicle perfectly suited the bathroom design and the huge shower head ensured a top quality body reviving shower!

Finally, just so you know that huge bath is heavenly – if you want something similar for your own home you can find the full range of CP Hart baths online. The morning after the night before it was the perfect place to gently wake up before another day in the Cotswolds. If you choose the Lincoln bath from the CP Hart range the outside is primed for you to choose any colour for the outside – this is a great way to add individuality to your own bathroom.

Do head over to the CP Hart website to check out their full range of products. They have a number of showrooms in London – but if you can, make a trip down to Waterloo to see their flagship store where all their products are on show, the recently expanded showroom covers every budget, style, look and idea you could possibly have for your bathroom.

This post was produced in collaboration with CP Hart who covered our accommodation and meals – all views posted are my own though, and I really want a bath like this now!