Interior design magazine

Features: October '10

Set of 3 Russian Doll Glasses from Rockett St George

by Alexandra Thomas on October 30, 2010  |  0 comments
glassware range

Add some charm to your table with this super cute set of Russian doll glasses from Rockett St George. £14

Being a fairly clumsy person (I'm not ashamed and don't mind admitting it) I don't really allow myself to buy posh or decorative glasses, There's little point as I seem to be able to go through a box of wine glasses as quickly as some people do a box of tissues.

It all started when |I broke every one of my parent's champagne glasses which were a wedding present - needless to say that didn't go down well, in fact Mum still mentions it from time to time...

However, I am going to make an exception and treat myself to these set of three Russian doll glasses from Rockett St George.

Being fairly obsessed with Russian dolls, I absolutely adore these glasses - each of them features a different doll and the cleverest thing of all, and what really sold them to me, is they stack inside each other, mimicking traditional nesting Russian dolls.

Metal Buckhead from Lemonlu London

by Alexandra Thomas on October 28, 2010  |  0 comments

Add some animal charm to your home with these metal buckheads from Lemonlu London. £66.95

Animal heads are big business in the world of interiors at the moment, not real ones of course, that would be plain cruel but you can't move for stag-head inspired home wares.

From clocks to wall stickers, fake heads to cushions it seems the interior design glitterati has gone mad for Bambi's Dad.

Which is why I thought |'d share these rather striking Metal Buckheads from Lemonlu London.


Designed in South Africa, these stylish metal heads are available in Black, White and Red. I think they're simply divine and a good alternative to all the other animal heads around at the moment.

I deal for brightening up a plain wall or creating a real statement in a hallway, I'm going to hang all three in a row in my living room for maximum impact.

Where will you hang yours?


Home Sweet Home picture from Copperdot

by Alexandra Thomas on October 31, 2010  |  0 comments

See Scrabble in a different light with these wordy “prints” from Copperdot. £49

I’ve written before about how much I love Scrabble and now it seems I’m not the only one, as it’s fair to say the bods at Copperdot are obsessed with it too! They take humble Scrabble tiles and transform them into stylish 3D framed, “prints” for the home.

What a truly genius idea and one of the best I’ve seen for a long time.

My favourite is this Home Sweet Home design although there are tonnes of amusing sayings to choose from, all cleverly arranged to look like a group of people are in the middle of a game. And rather excitingly, Copperdot also allow you design your own, so you can create a special message for a loved one or perhaps one of your favourite phrases.

Being half-Italian, I’m going to put a Mediterranean twist on mine and have Casa Dolce Casa, now all that’s left to do is work out if that will work...

See this product at Copperdot...

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Square mugs from Tom Butcher Ceramics

by Alexandra Thomas on October 29, 2010  |  0 comments

Take a fresh look at the humble mug with these square designs from Tom Butcher Ceramics. £10 each or £55 for a set of six

Every now and again, you stumble across really unique and truly gorgeous products, and that's just how I felt when I came across Tom Butcher Ceramics.

Tom works out of his studio on the shores of Loch Long (the lucky thing - seriously, Google it and you'll know what I mean) where he creates a whole host of ceramic pieces. Tom's collection includes bowls and sculptural pieces as well as a rather natty tableware collection.

I love it all but especially the square stoneware mugs, which are available separately or as a set of six which neatly fit together to create a pleasing rectangle of loveliness.

So, if you're bored of round mugs or just want something handmade rather than mass produced, these are the mugs for you.

See this product at Tom Butcher Ceramics...

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History maps wallpaper from Gina Pierce Design

by Alexandra Thomas on October 27, 2010  |  0 comments

Find your way around with this History Map wallpaper from Gina Pierce. £129 per 10m roll

We all know wallpaper is well and truly back, in fact it has been for sometime but if you’re bored with florals, stripes and even animals – where do you go?

I found myself pondering this last Saturday while researching things to show you (it’s a hard life I tell you looking at all that gorgeousness, with my virtual back account being frittered away but hey ho, someone has to do it) and stumbled across Gina Pierce.

Gina has some truly wonderful wallpaper designs on offer but what I really adore is the History maps collection.


Depicting old maps of London town, the wallpaper is available in three colour ways, pink, grey and parchment.

Perfect for creating a feature wall or using to line a bookcase, this wallpaper will work well in any room whether your style is contemporary or classic.

And if you don’t fancy a whole wall of maps, Gina has created some gorgeous panels too.

See this product at Gina Pierce Design...

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My Home Is My Castle wall sticker from Leonora Hammond

by Alexandra Thomas on October 26, 2010  |  0 comments
wall sticker

Tell it like it is with this territorial wall sticker from Leonora Hammond. £40

It’s fair to say I am obsessed with typography which no doubt comes from having a background in the media and the fact my Dad was a print manager.

However, surveying my home the other day, I realised I don’t have one single piece of type displayed in the home.

That’s all about to change though, because I have found this gorgeous My Home Is My Castle wall sticker from Leonora Hammond.

Perfect for stamping your authority on your own “castle”, this wall sticker is available in an array of colours from a sunny yellow to dramatic black and virtually everything in between. And if you don’t want to be quite so authoritative, then don’t despair as there are a wide range of saying s available as well as famous quotes. And for fussy types, those clever bods at Leonora Hammond will even let you devise your own saying.

So, as they say, with these wall stickers, the writing is most definitely on the wall.

See this product at Leonora Hammond...

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John Lewis of Hungerford opens 11th showroom in Blackheath

by Alexandra Thomas on October 24, 2010  |  0 comments

The creators of some of the most stylish kitchens around have just opened a new showroom in Blackheath

When I'm a grown up and need to buy a kitchen, my first stop will be John Lewis of Hungerford.

I've always adored their designs from the deliciously retro Creme de la Creme kitchens which are available in a range of ice cream colours such as Vanilla, Strawberry and Mint to the ultra chic Shaker designs, they are the perfect place for a beautiful kitchen.

My personal favourite has always been the Cool Kitchen collection.

And now it's good news for those living south of the river in London as John Lewis of Hungerford has opened its 11th showroom in leafy Blackheath.

Jon Rosby, Managing Director of John Lewis of Hungerford, comments: “We are very proud and excited to be opening our 11th showroom in Blackheath. It is the perfect launch pad for our new designs and fresh colour options. Our in-house design team are second to none and we are really looking forward to becoming an integral part of the local community.”

Great kitchens and a great company mentality, what more could you want?

For more information log onto their website.

Paris skyline cushion from Megan Quinton

by Alexandra Thomas on October 25, 2010  |  0 comments

Add some ooh la la to your interiors with this Paris skyline cushion from Megan Quinton. £35

Being utterly obsessed with cushions means I never tire of seeing new ones or coming across new designers who share my passion.

Megan Quinton is clearly just as fanatical about them as me, as her gorgeous collection proves.

Megan's bright and cheery cushions are available in a wide range of designs but my favourite is this Paris skyline one.

Made from felt, the design has been finished with hand embroidery detailing and is truly exquisite.

And if you're feeling patriotic rather than Franco-phile, the Tower Bridge design is rather natty too.

How to... create the perfect dining room

by Alexandra Thomas on October 25, 2010  |  0 comments
dining table
Lombok Malang dark teak extending dining table from Lombok £995

Get ready for Christmas with our guide on how to create the perfect dining room

With Christmas just around the corner (just over eight weeks to go) it’s essential you get your dining room sorted in preparation for entertaining guests. Perhaps this is your first time hosting the main event or you just want to give your dining room a makeover. Whatever your budget, style and reason, our guide shows you how to create the perfect dining room for the festive period and all year round.

The Table

The dining table is an essential bit of kit. A good option is to choose one that’s extendable, that way you’re always have room for the extra guest who just happens to turn up unannounced. The Malang Dark Teak Extending Dining Table will add a touch of oriental –chic to your scheme while the refectory-style Ash Extending Dining Table from Sweetpea & Willow is perfect for those that want something a little simpler. If you don’t have room for an extending design, opt for a round one, which is much more sociable and guaranteed to get even guests who don’t know each other chatting.

Tolix A Chair from The Lollipop Shoppe £176

The Chairs

The days of having to match chairs to your table are long gone. Of course, if you want to match your chairs to your table then there are plenty of options. However, mixing and matching chairs is a great way to give your dining room a unique look. Brightly coloured chairs such as the Tolix A Chair from The Lollipop Shoppe work well with a plain, wooden table. Comfort as well as style is important when it comes to dining chairs, make sure you opt for ones that your guests will want to stay in long after pudding rather than running for the hills before the starter has arrived. If you’re going to use benches instead of chairs, make sure there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre them and add some colourful cushions for extra comfort.

Art of Entertaining - Three Piece Collection from Designed in England £30

The Lighting

Lighting, as in every room, plays an important part in the dining room. Firstly, it’s important to choose a central light to create drama and atmosphere. A pendant light such as the Clarence Pendant Shade from Heal’s is a good choice. Make sure it’s connected to a dimmer switch so you can alter the mood of the room accordingly. Candle light is a must for any dining room, whether you opt for a dramatic candelabra such as the Medium Abbey 5 Arm Candelabra from Alexander and Pearl or subtle tea light holders (Also Home has a good choice), they’re a sure fire way to add some atmosphere to any scheme.

The Tableware

Choosing your tableware is as important as the food you serve on it. White is best, it looks classic, is timeless and means should things get a little out of hand or the washing up chaotic, pieces can be easily replaced. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, decorative plates such as the Art of Entertaining collection by Andrew Tanner from Designed in England look fabulous with plain white china.

Follow these simple tips and you’re ready to entertain, now all you need is to get cooking...

Shop the look...

Interview: Aiveen Daly

by Emma Foale on October 26, 2010  |  0 comments
Moneypenny chair and Giselle lamp, prices on application, Aiveen Daly.

We interview furniture designer Aiveen Daly

Inspired by haute couture gowns, Aiveen Daly’s collection boasts hand-upholstered designs with intricate detail and a gorgeous chic look.

Read on to find out more about Aiveen Daly’s style and inspiration...

If you had 3 words to describe your collection what would they be?

Luxurious, contemporary, different.

What inspired you to get into the world of interior design?

I love colour and textiles and wanted to spend my life doing something more creative.

Your collection is hand upholstered, how do you feel that this enhances the quality and aesthetics of the designs?

My team are meticulous to the point of obsession. We work on fabrics that come from all over the world sometimes they have been specially produced at hundreds of pounds a metre so we can’t make any mistakes! Doing things by hand allows for more creative fluidity. It makes each piece totally unique compared with mass production where a lot is done by computer and huge machines.

Love Love Sofa, £3975 plus fabric, Aiveen Daly.

You have a selection of beautiful vintage pieces, how do you think vintage-inspired furniture will continue to add personality and character to both modern and traditional interiors?

We love to revive old pieces and dress them in something contemporary. Old furniture is often magnificently built and so literally lasts hundreds of years. BBC Homes & Antiques magazine suggested the Aiveen Daly collection would be the antiques of the future. We really build our pieces to last.

Your designs are inspired by haute couture gowns and Saville Row tailoring, which are your favourite pieces and why?

My favourite Stiletto chair is the Love Knot as it is simple and classic like your favourite piece of clothing or jewellery that never goes out of style.

What is the key link between fashion and design for you, and how do you think 2011 fashion trends will influence interior design?

Fashion for me has always been more experimental and quirky than furniture design. Tailoring is big again with very classic cuts – simplicity with attention to detail will be important. I think a new minimalism will emerge that is much warmer than the last wave.

Mirror Mirror, price on application, Aiveen Daly.

All of your work is manufactured in Britain, how important do you believe it is for interior design to become more eco-friendly and to help build the British economy?

I think it is so important to keep traditional trades alive. Britain has always been renowned for high end craftsmanship. I think it should be more clearly labelled on furniture where it has been manufactured as it definitely influences customers. It is much more sensible to invest in something that you will keep for years and pass down to your children than to buy cheap imports that you have to replace every time you move.

What is the most recent design product that you have bought for your home?

My new Aphrodite lampshades in pale grey silk with hand braiding.

Where do you like to shop for quirky furniture pieces for your own home?

Merchant Archive and Retrouvius.

Do you have any new collections on the horizon?

We have just made a magnificent 4 poster bed called Arabian Nights with hand beading and stud work. We will be doing a lot more with embellishment in the near future.

Woodsman Axe Console Table from Duffy London

by Alexandra Thomas on October 21, 2010  |  0 comments
console table

Inject some fun into your interiors with this Woodsman Axe Console Table from Duffy London. £495

While I am deadly serious about furniture, I like to have some fun with it too.

Which is why I just adore the Woodsman Axe Table Console Table from Duffy London.

Made from walnut or oak veneer, the table's legs are shaped to resemble axes.

Both humorous and practical, this console table is what your hallway has been crying out for.

And if you like the idea of having axes in your home (in a non-violent way of course) then there's a coffee table and dining table too.

Bath Button Back 2 Seater Sofa from Graham & Green

by Alexandra Thomas on October 22, 2010  |  0 comments

Add a touch of elegance with this Bath Button Back 2 Seater Sofa from Graham & Green. £1,250

When I live in my Georgian town house (and believe me I will), I will of course need a suitably elegant sofa to match the property.

I always thought I would go for something really modern, a striking juxtaposition against all the period detailing.

However, having found this Bath Button Back sofa from Graham & Green, I have totally changed my mind.


I mean, what's not to love about this truly gorgeous sofa? First off, I adore the shape; elegant and masculine all at the same time, it's simply divine. Secondly, not only does it have a button back (a design passion of mine) but it also has a button seat. And last but definitely not least, I love, love, love the colour of the fabric.

The Georgian town house might be a way off but this sofa definitely isn't - I just need to start saving my pennies!


Cars range from Ella Doran

by Alexandra Thomas on October 20, 2010  |  0 comments

Embrace a passion for cars with this super cool Cars range from Ella Doran. From £7

Despite not being able to drive (grew up in London and never saw the need) I am obsessed with cars. My first choice would be a vintage Saab 900, followed by a 1960s Mercedes bright red sports car and in third a very unfeminine Lotus Elise.

However, it seems a little ridiculous to buy all these cars (yeah right, like I could even afford them!) when I can't drive.

So I'll just have to fulfil my dreams with the Cars range from Ella Doran.


Available as coasters and a mug, this design is classic Doran. Lots of bright colours and a fun idea but this time nature has been replaced by something man-made.

I love them and think the coasters are just the thing to add a splash of colour to my coffee table. And with Christmas round the corner (there I said it!) they're the perfect present for any car nut.

Interview: Emily Bond

by Emma Foale on October 23, 2010  |  0 comments
Red Dachshund cushion, £49, Emily Bond.

We interview British fabric designer Emily Bond

British fabric designer Emily Bond designs beautiful fabrics inspired by animals and the countryside.

We find out more about Emily, her inspiration and her style...

If you had 3 words to describe your style what would they be?

Eclectic, country, fresh

Where does your inspiration come from?

My life, my childhood and all people and animals in it.

What is it that you endears you so much to British countryside?

There is nothing quite like an Autumn day walking with the dogs through the country side, there Is nowhere I’d rather be.

tea towel
Dairy cow tea towel,£12, Emily Bond.

Why do you choose to feature animals in your designs and what do you feel they bring to a variety of home interiors?

I love animals on fabric it brings an element of fun into your interiors, but the way I put them together and the colours and fabrics I use it makes them sophisticated and classic at the same time.

What’s your ‘hero’ product and why?

My blue dachshund tea towel is started the business, people love dachshunds!

How important is pattern and repetition to your designs, and how do you think pattern will continue to keep interior design fresh and exciting?

It’s very important and each design is very repetitious which is what I love about my designs. I like simply fresh designs.

What’s your favourite material to work with and why?

I love linen because it so natural.

tea cosy
Jack Russell tea cosy, £29, Emily Bond.

What is the most recent design product that you have bought for your home?

The last product I bought for my home was an Anta foot stool, I love their checks in my home and they complement with my fabrics beautifully.

Where do you like to shop for quirky furniture pieces for your own home?

Reclamation yards.

How important do you think it is for interior design to become more eco-friendly?

I think it’s a difficult one, as I agree we must be as eco as possible, I love old things, antiques quirky finds in reclamation yards which are not made in an eco way! So I think if we can bring it into interior design somewhere along the line that can only be a good thing.

What advice would you give to aspiring interior designers?

Go and look for things different and look for small little company like me because we are individual, unique and fresh.

What new projects do you have on the horizon?

A children’s collection, which I’m really looking forward to designing.

Ethanol Hurricane Fire from Found Home Store

by Alexandra Thomas on October 19, 2010  |  0 comments
outdoor lighting

Add the wow factor to autumn dinner parties with one of these Ethanol Hurricane Fires from Found Home Store. £110

When it comes to dressing your table for a dinner party, forget candelabras and tea light holders, what you really need is one of these Ethanol Hurricane Fires from Found Home Store.

Made from metal and glass and available in black, white and chrome, they stand 28cm tall and are the perfect centrepiece for any table.

For maximum impact, try using several along a rectangular table or use in a empty fire place to create a subtle and warming effect.

CH109 Cowhide rug from London Cows

by Alexandra Thomas on October 17, 2010  |  0 comments

Instantly cosy up your floors with this Cowhide rug from London Cows £185

Now it's a bit chillier, the wooden floors in my flat that were so deliciously cool during the balmy summer are now a little cold underfoot, which means it's time to invest in a new rug.

My bedroom floor in particular is crying out for something hardwearing, sumptuous and chic and I think I've found the perfect thing.

London Cows has lots of beautiful cowhide rugs but my favourite is this CH109 design. Hailing all the way for Colombia, this rug is a gorgeous brown and white, which will add pattern and texture to the coldest of rooms.

Interview: Tracy Kendall

by Emma Foale on October 18, 2010  |  0 comments
'Stripe' wallpaper, price on request, Tracy Kendall

Tangible yet beautiful wallpapers: Tracy Kendall designs something a little bit different for your walls.

London based wallpaper designer, Tracy Kendall offers a beautiful collection of contemporary wallpapers and just recently exhibited at Decorex and won an award for her stunning Sequin design.

We caught up with Tracy to find out what inspires her to keep creating and designing...

If you had 3 words to describe your collection what would they be?

Simple, original, touchable.

You recently exhibited at Decorex and won an award for your stunning ‘Sequin’ wallpaper. What does this mean to you and what do you hope that your wallpapers bring to home interiors?

It means a great deal to me to have such a prestigious award given to me. I work in such a bubble sometimes, I don't design for anyone other than myself and all the collection are my designs so to have such a great recognition of what I do is really special to me. I hope that it can inspire people to take risk but with products that they fall in love with, to have in their home items which have won their heads, rather than their heads all the time, i.e., not the safe option.

Since starting the production of your hand-produced graphic range in 1996, how have you developed and experimented with different designs and scales?

I've moved into more textural work, adding different textures as I find different manufacturing partners along the way. Sometimes the designs can only be made in house, such as the sequins, but with others I have been able to use external specialized manufacturers for which is great.

What inspires you to keep designing and creating?

Curiosity; I love to challenge myself both visually and technically with my work.

'Spot Sequin' wallpaper, made to order and price on request, Tracy Kendall

You have taken 3-D wallcoverings in a new and exciting direction. So, what are your favourite materials to work with and why do they work so well?

Paper is still my favourite material; having studied fine art printmaking I am always struck by how much paper can do or be made to do.

Your wallpapers could be described as tangible, and I particularly like love the sequins and also the stitched text. Why do you think that wallpaper should be something that will create an impact and evoke a reaction when people see it?

I don't think that is limited to wallpaper, chair or cup can give the same reaction but my chosen medium is wallpaper and by hopefully creating a wallpaper that gives people more than one option of sense in which to view the paper helps to make them fall in love with it.

What is your best selling design from your collection and why?

It’s probably still the fork design, the first but it is so simple, so easy to use in the home or commercial spaces, it is big but not over powering, it makes a statement but doesn't yell for attention all the time, it just works very well, thank goodness.

'Eat' wallpaper, price on request, Tracy Kendall

How do you feel that patterned wallpaper will develop, and what direction do you hope it will go in the future in order to keep interior design fresh and exciting?

There are so many new and exciting wallpapers coming out, I hope that they continue to have a aspect of respect for the environments they are going into and don't try to over whelm them, its wallpaper, it is meant to have mirrors and pictures on top of it and chair in front of and your back to it as well!!

How important do you think it is for interior design to become more eco-friendly?

Very, not always in such obvious "what materials" do we use way, it's more about how much we change interiors rather than grow them and how much material we waste as a part of the manufacturing process. as I make to order, I have very little waste, all my waste then goes into sampling for sending out which works very well for me.

What is the most recent design product that you have bought for your home?

Nothing new, brought some amazing brass table legs to make a table up with and then had a friend make the table top for me, a lovely mix of old and new.

What advice would you give to aspiring interior designers?

Have passion, lots of passion.

Is there anyone that you would like to collaborate with in the future and if so why?

I never plan who I am going to work for or with, I love not knowing what or which client will ask me to make whatever for them next, the element of surprise helps to keep everything fresher and better for the client as well.

What are you working on now or do you have anything in the pipeline?

I’ve just finished a new design to be launched at Maison and Object in Jan 2011 and I’m also working on another to launch there as well and doing lots of projects for mainly domestic clients at the moment but have a restaurant in London that I am also working closely with and a shop opening in Vancouver which will stock my work which is exciting as well.

House magazine rack from Rockett St George

by Alexandra Thomas on October 15, 2010  |  0 comments
magazine rack

Keep your magazines in check with this super cool magazine rack from Rockett St George. £32

I've been after a magazine rack since my old one collapsed under the sheer weight of back issues of interiors mags a few months ago.

Despite trawling various online boutiques and vintage shops, I couldn't quite find one I liked enough, that was until now.

I have fallen hook, line and sinker for this metal House magazine rack from Rockett St George.

Made from steel, this nifty rack is designed to look like, yes you've guessed it, a house.

Complete with a chimney, the rack is neatly divided into sections so you can store and protect your mags.

House numbers from Tillie Mint

by Alexandra Thomas on October 18, 2010  |  0 comments

Add some pattern and colour to your front door with these patterned door numbers from Tillie Mint. £22

Living in a flat means I sometimes have issues being found. Despite the fact by door is clearly marked 18A, postmen, delivery men and takeaway drivers all have “issues” with finding me.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to run down the drive, screaming "it’s me" after the peeps at 18 have explained that they haven’t ordered an Indian takeaway or a new pair of boots. To say it’s tiresome is an understatement.


However, this will soon be a thing of the past thanks to these fabulous door numbers from Tillie Mint.

Made from weatherproof wood, these little squares have been given the pattern treatment and are the perfect way to add colour to your front door.

I like the Black/Grey design but if you want something a little more colourful then the floral designs are just the ticket.


And I am more than confident that with this on my front door, no longer will there be a queue of confused delivery people scratching their heads wondering where 18A is...

See this product at Tillie Mint...

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Homemaker bookcase from Liam Treanor

by Alexandra Thomas on October 16, 2010  |  0 comments

Keep your books in check with this simple yet oh-so-stylish Homemaker bookcase from Liam Treanor. £350

Sometimes I go to people's houses and I am shocked to not see any books on display. Do they not read? I think to myself. Where is their collection?

It's probably because I am fiercely proud of my (ok and the boy's) collection. It fills every imaginable space in our dining room and I love it.

Having said that, we're fast running out of space and seeing though I've never been one who can bear to throw away books (for me this is total sacrilege) I have been on the look out for a freestanding bookcase to take some of the pressure off the bulging shelves.

Thankfully, I think I have found just the thing.

The Homemaker bookcase by Liam Treanor may seem simple to some but I love the elegant shape and no-fuss style of this design.

It reminds me of school libraries which is where I assume my love affair with seeing books neatly in a row began.

Plus, this brilliant lime green is guaranteed to add a pop of colour to any room and if green aint your thing, then I am reliably informed by Liam himself that the bookcase is available in lots of of colours.

See this product at Liam Treanor...

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