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Such & Such

March 20, 2015

As I’m often telling clients lighting is such an important element of interior design and decoration for your home. It can really make the difference between a bland interior and achieving that ‘wow’ look everyone wants. After planning the position of your lights early in your renovation you then need to choose fittings – and thankfully we’ve now moved on from ceilings full of downlights.

Such & Such stock a cool selection of lighting on their website to allow you to ensure the lighting on your home isn’t boring. Many of the fittings include new on trend materials such as concrete and brass. I also love how the company seeks out well designed and original pieces and is very supportive of the makers of the products they sell.

Such & Such : Concrete & Bamboo pendant

The Concrete and Brass pendant is a contrast of looks with the harsh qualities of concrete softened by the additional of bamboo. The pendant has been designed by Bentu Design who are an emerging brand and experimental design institute based in China. With concrete featuring heavily in kitchen design and specification these pendants would be perfect over a kitchen island with the concrete worktop you really want.

Such & Such : Cage Light

With the trend for industrial style continuing cage lights are still very popular and this version is both very stylish and at only £49 also very affordable. Manufactured by the Electrical Shop it is also good to know you are buying a product designed and manufactured in the UK. One of the great things about this light is the flexibility – do you want it stood on your desk, hung from a hook on the wall, laid on its side – the option is yours. This version also brings colour into your interior with the bright yellow cord, if you prefer a more subtle look it is also available with an elephant grey cord.

Such & Such : Ding

My favourite product from the Such & Such lighting range is the pendant called Ding. Made from porcelain and named after the sound of bells ringing this fitting has the simple style of a bell found in temples. It was designed by Singapore based designer company Latitude 22n and is available in 2 sizes. The large fitting is an impressive 60cm tall including the rope handle. I really love both the simplicity of the shade but also the detail on the handle and cord. This features hand-woven details and a splash of red. Hang this pendant over your kitchen table and you’d have a real talking point!

Such & Such : Ding

You can find all the details about Such & Such lighting on their website. There are many more styles of lighting and they also feature homewares, furniture, art – well actually anything you need to make your house a home.

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.

Zinc Textile new collection

March 18, 2015

Last week was Design Week at Chelsea Harbour in London when many of the major design houses launch their latest fabric collections. I always enjoy visiting Zinc Textile, their fabric ranges hit the perfect combination of great quality, stylish design and affordability. We often specify fabric from Zinc, or the other Romo companies, for interior design projects in our practice.

Zinc Textile : Nightclubbing

The new collection from Zinc includes a collection called Nightclubbing that celebrates many of the world’s great nightclubs where the elite partied. This is the company’s first stand-alone print collection and features 11 unique designs on printed velvets and faux silk. The fabrics have a neutral palette with colour pops of deep purple and electric blue. The Bilbo fabrics have a marble like appearance, perfect for colourful seat covers as shown below.

Zinc Textile : Nightclubbing

Another part of the new collection celebrates 1973 – a year of great achievement architecturally despite the global oil crisis. The Sydney Opera house was completed in this year as was New York’s World Trade Center. In the world of design B&B Italia was born and Cassina’s Maralunga chair was designed. Although many people would like to forget the 70s I think the new collection shows there is much to be celebrated.

Zinc Textile : 1973

The 1973 collection features 17 designs in the classic Zinc Textiles monochromatic neutral palette with deep purples and charcoals added. The fabrics are named after prominent figures and historical moments. I love the richness of the Schiaparelli fabric above, it would be perfect for a signature chair for a home.

You can find our more about the new collections on the Zinc Textiles website or if you are in London visit their Chelsea showroom to see the whole collection. I’m not sure we will be return to the fashion of the 70’s, but these fabrics inspired by the period are sure to be winners.

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.

Room of the Week

March 16, 2015

This week’s Room of the Week is a modern dining room featuring a bright yellow feature wall. This style reminds me of the interiors you often see out in Palm Springs, California where I spent 4 relaxing days last October before joining the Modenus BlogTourCali roadtrip through California.

Many people are scared of using yellow in their own home but it can have great results if you are willing to be brave. You would never have a bad morning if you started your day in this dining room would you?

This wall has a painted finish but if you want to add your own touch of yellow through wallpaper there are many options available. Miss Print have a number of designs available in a yellow and my favourite is Cotton Tree in Buttercup Yellow. All Miss Print wallpapers are PEFC certified and printed in the UK so you are both supporting our economy and buying from sustainable sources.

Miss Print : Saplings

For a slightly more diffused yellow look Mini Moderns have recently launched the P.L.U.T.O. collection of wallpaper. It is available in 4 colours, we are featuring the mustard version here. This new range of wallpapers is named after The Pipe Line Under The Ocean, a little known fuel line that runs under the English Channel from Dungeness and Greatstone to the French Coast. This pipeline was constructed to supply fuel to the allied D-Day invasion army during the Second World War. As designers we all draw inspiration from so many different sources. After learning about the military history around Dungeness when researching their Hinterland collection the Mini Modern guys were inspired to create this colourful new collection.

Mini Moderns : P.L.U.T.O.

If you do want to go for a yellow paint I can suggest Little Greene’s Trumpet. Fantastic colour, fantastic name! We used this colour for a charity project and it really created a buzz in the safe house we designed for the charity. You can either use it for a full wall, or play it safe and use it as an accent colour as shown here. The splash of yellow is really effective against the monochrome palette used on this interior. Yellow also works so well against grey so if you are starting to tire of your ‘on trend’ grey interior splash some yellow into the mix.

Little Greene : Trumpet

If however all this yellow seems too much to live with in your home you can still enjoy the colour by taking it outside. Launching for the warmer season from Broste Copenhagen this table and chair will ensure a colourful summer in your garden. With the table selling for £130 and the chair for £87 it’s a very stylish and affordable option for allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space this year. Breakfast around this yellow table would always be a great start to your day!

Broste Copenhagen

Hopefully these products have inspired you to go seek out your own dash of yellow for your own home. It really doesn’t need to be a different colour to use, go bright, go muted – just go Yellow. You won’t regret the happiness it will bring to your home.

Our 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.

Channels

March 13, 2015

As a North London boy I’m usually specifying for projects in trade showrooms around Islington and Clerkenwell but occasionally I’ll head down to the design shops of Chelsea. For as long as I can remember at the far end of the Kings Road, just as it becomes the New King’s Road, there has been the gorgeous furniture showroom Channels. With my love of all things natural I am always drawn to the beautiful wooden furniture in their window – although usually from the car, catching a quick glance before the traffic moves on!

Channels : Kerning

Channels at 3 New Kings Road opened in early 1995 so they are celebrating 20 years in the showroom this year. And what better way to celebrate than the recent award Samuel Chan, the founder of Channels, won at the Homes & Gardens designer awards last month. The award for Best Furniture Designer was for the Kerning collection, and in particular the Kerning sideboard. This piece strips back the design to basic principles and shows the American white oak in its simplest form.

Channels : Kerning

Throughout the Kerning collection the principle that defines the collection is the importance of ‘light and shade’ – this is demonstrated by the gap detail around the doors. On the cabinets this 15mm gap allows you to open the doors but more importantly frames the furniture. Samuel Chan says “With this collection I wanted to create furniture pieces that look utterly simple but that have an immediate perceptible depth and quality”. Well in my opinion you can almost taste the quality of these pieces – simple indeed, but also incredibly beautiful.

Channels : Kerning

You can find full details of the Kerning collection on the Channels website where you will also find their entire range of furniture – do check out the Hume Book Towers, if you fancy a library at home but lack room these could be the answer.

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.

Mockbee & Co

March 11, 2015

Although not always possible I really have a strong urge to specify home-made products on our interior design projects. Too often people think they have to run off to European suppliers to achieve the most stylish interiors when the reality is we have some much amazing talent here at home.

I recently discovered Mockbee & Co and am really pleased to hear that the founders, Jessica and Lorenzo Lozano share my love of British design. With a history of working in interior design and for design houses they bring more than 25 years of industry experience to their new company.

Mockbee & Co

Mockbee & Co feature a range of products for interiors in their collection including furniture, lighting and rugs – it is their wallpaper range which really excites me though. I love the Sea Lace design which features a hand drawn illustration that shows the amazing natural world under the sea.

Mockbee & Co : Sea Lace

The inspiration for this design comes from giant underwater forests where seaweeds become entwined and encapsulated. I can almost see movement in the illustration, the gentle waves caressing the seaweeds.

The Sea Lace collection has been designed exclusively for Mockbee & Co by Sara Phillips and is available in 6 colours with 2 metallic options.

Mockbee & Co

Recently added to the Sea Lace collection are lampshades in the design. These would be suitable for pendant or lamp bases installation and come in two different sizes. My favourite is the Charcoal and Gold metallic colour with the copper lining. The lining creates a soft glow to the room when lit.

The founders Jessica and Lorenzo source their new products by building relationships with new designers. They regularly scour designer shows and exhibitions to find new emerging talent, and Jessica lectures to students at UK universities helping them to enter the interiors industry. Head over to their website now and find out more about their collection – I’m just working out which project I can use this wallpaper on!

Room of the Week

March 9, 2015

This week’s Room of the Week is a smart bedroom which features a modern panelled wall. Traditional style panelling has been given a contemporary look by finishing it in a dark grey. The monochrome scheme dominates the room but it is softened by adding bright orange furniture.

A monochrome decorating style is easy to pull together but you need to add some details to make it a successful scheme. Pattern and texture are key to doing this. Try to ensure you have a mixture of textures in your room, this room features stripes and patterned fabric – and textures in the dark bedspread and leather chair.

One of my favourite darks is Lamp Black from Little Greene. I’m not a fan of really dark greys that are almost black for walls, they are too dull and dead for my interiors. I prefer to lighten it up a few shades but still be firmly on the dark side. Lamp Black meets my criteria, it’s perfect if you want to go dark in style – I’ve just specified this colour for a master bedroom project.

Little Greene : Lamp Black

Adding other colour to a monochrome room by the use of furniture adds another level of detail to the room. It is also provide you with another aspect of your decoration scheme to pick up. The new cube range from Kelly Hoppen is available in a range of sizes and styles, and over 10 colours. If you’ve chosen a grey scheme the orange or pink cubes would be perfect for adding a pop of colour.

Remember to plan your own monochrome room carefully to ensure it is a success. Try to include different textures and some pattern – add a splash of extra colour – and your room will be a winner!

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.

Maggie’s – helping cancer patients through good design

March 6, 2015

Great design isn’t just about making things pretty and creating that ‘wow’ factor everyone wants. Through well executed design you can actually enhance people’s lives and help them through troubled times. This has been demonstrated in the centres of Maggie’s, a charity which offers free support to people with cancer and their friends and family.

My own battle against cancer started when I was diagnosed with cancer in my knee bone when I was just 18. I endured many months of chemotherapy and life changing surgery but 27 years later I’m a proud survivor. Back in the 1980’s, although I cannot fault the treatment and care I received, the concept of using great design in health centres didn’t exist. It was therefore really interesting to visit Maggie’s West London centre recently to see how times have changed.

Maggie's West London

Maggie’s was founded in 1995 by Maggie Keswick Jencks and her husband Charles Jencks who is a landscape architect. Maggie lived with advanced cancer for 2 years and was determined that people with cancer should not ‘lose the joy of living in the fear of dying’. The first centre opened in November 1996 and there are currently 18 centres around the country. The charity is now run by Laura Lee who was Maggie’s Oncology Nurse.

Maggie's West London

Every Maggie’s centre follows the blueprint for a different type of cancer care as laid down by Maggie. At the heart of each centre there is a large kitchen table where people can gather and just talk, laugh, cry – while enjoying tea and biscuits! I know from my own experience that talking to others going through the same process is a great help.

Maggie's West London

Another principle is that there is no reception desk in the centre, any time it is open you can walk in and someone will greet you. Within the open space of the centre you will also find many more intimate areas that can be used for informal meetings or some time for personal reflection. One of my favourite places is a small space at the end of a corridor where you will find one chair in a quiet area with views over the courtyard – a perfect space to sit and contemplate.

The charity’s centre in West London was the sixth Maggie’s built when it opened in April 2008. Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners the centre sits quietly in a corner of the grounds of the Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith. The design was awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize & Award for London 2009, and after just a few minutes in the centre you can appreciate how well designed it is. Although located on the busy Fulham Place Road the world outside is forgotten due to the peaceful calming nature of the centre.

Maggie's West London

You soon realise how many trends of today appear in the centre. There is extensive use of concrete in the centre – this is now very fashionable to use in residential interiors. I also found a Scandinavian influence in some of the rooms which feature Secto Design lamps with wooden strip shades. And with interiors becoming more colourful you can’t miss the bold orange used on the exterior of the building.

Maggie's West London

The centre includes three courtyard gardens to allow visitors to get outdoors when the weather allows. Dan Pearson Studio was responsible for the landscape architecture of the centre which features evergreen bamboos, lush grasses and much more! Throughout the year the centre’s horticulturist works with visitors to maintain the gardens, a very therapeutic activity. You immediately get a sense of activity (participation is voluntary!) at the centre – on the day we visited a men’s group was meeting for the weekly group session which includes time in the gym and a communal lunch. The internal configuration of the rooms allows for a flexible layout so on another day two rooms are combined to create space for a Tai Chi class.

Maggie's West London

Maggie’s West London Centre is many things to many people. You don’t need an appointment, you just drop in and someone will be there for you. Maybe you need to learn more about your cancer, or are helping a family member on their own battle. You might call in the centre for support from health professionals   or you just fancy a cup of tea and biscuit at the kitchen table and a moan to people who will understand you.

You can find more information at Maggie’s website about the work. Surprisingly only 10% of the UK population know about Maggie’s centres so please help spread the word by sharing this post – and remember when you need them they will be there for you, just walk in.

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