Features: September '11

Tent London Preview

by Meg Lucas on September 21, 2011
rug
Festival Rug, £495, from Mini Moderns

We preview Tent London, one of the most diverse events of the London Design Festival

Now in its fifth year in the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, Tent London is most diverse and must-see event of the London Design Festival. ?Visit London’s ground-breaking design show and see over 200 companies, manufacturers, designers and design collectives from more than 18 countries; presenting the cutting-edge contemporary interiors products and digital installations.
This year Tent will expand, with four new venues outside of the main building – including a paper installation by paper manufacturer Arjowiggins and an installation by the Slovenian Embassy, Presented by the Museum of Architecture and Design called Silent Revolutions, looking at a set of innovations and designs from the country.

Exhibiting at Tent London this year is a cross section of all that is great and good about international design. Alongside classic brands, such as Ercol, is the cutting edge of new design talent. Kingston University’s faculty of Art, Design & Architecture will be displaying the work of this year’s MA graduates.

We’ve picked out a few brands we think are must-sees at Tent London this year.

shelf
Sea Defence Shelves from Andy Murray Design

Mini Moderns

Exciting Furnish.co.uk featured brand Mini Moderns will be displaying their wares at Tent London this year. A range of interiors products designed and produced by London based design and branding agency, Absolute Zero Degrees, Mini Moderns is a print driven collection that includes wallpaper, textiles and home accessories for ‘kids (and kidults!) and design conscious families’. Their influences range from 1950’s textile designs to vintage toys and games. The brand operate a predominantly ‘Made in the UK’ policy, supporting both the environment, through a reduction of carbon emissions, and local businesses. We love their ‘Festival’ porcelain tableware, the perfect souvenir from the London Design Festival!

Stand No F15 Hall T1

Andy Murray Design

Andy Murray hails from Scotland…and no, he doesn’t play tennis. He is, in fact, an award-winning product and furniture designer.

We love the concept of his Sea Defence collection, which ‘brings together the sculptural, strong and iconic nature of sea defences, creating elegant, usable functional pieces of furniture.’ The free standing Sea Defence Shelves are hand crafted in Scotland from layered birch, which is pressed into the sculptural shape and finished by hand.

Stand No E17 Hall T1

vases and bowl
Rabbit vases from furnish

furnish

This namesake brand will be exhibiting at Tent London all the way from Japan. Formed in 2005, furnish is a Tokyo-based designer unit consisting of Satoshi Yoshikawa, Bungo Komuro and Marie Hontoku. The designers aim to take an ordinary item and transform it into something that is not only practical, but also fun to use. All products produced by furnish are made in Japan utilizing traditional local manufacturers in the Adachi-ward suburbs where furnish are based.

Stand No F24 Hall T1

We hope we’ve convinced you to visit the London Design Festival this year, and do let us know if you uncover any upcoming design gems!

22 September – 25 September
Opening times: Thurs: 10am-8pm, Fri: 10am-7pm, Sat: 10am-8pm, Sun: 11am-6pm
Tickets: £10/£8 (Adult), £5 (Child 5-16)

Cosy Up For Autumn

by Meg Lucas on September 19, 2011
furnish
A cosy home from Country Homes

We’ve put together some ideas to make your autumn extra cosy

The subtle chill in the air may not be a cause for celebration for those who like to hang on to the last rays of summer, but autumn is the perfect excuse to think about making your home cosier. Whether you’re returning rosy cheeked from a brisk walk in russet-leafed countryside or bedraggled from an impromptu monsoon on the way home from work, it’s always nice to return to a home that feels warm and welcoming. But with the ever-increasing cost of energy bills, we aren’t suggesting you turn the heating up to full whack!

Whilst autumnal browns and oranges are an obvious choice to create a feeling of warmth in your space, you needn’t change your existing colour scheme. Instead try layering textures that match your existing colour scheme to add depth and warmth to your home without overhauling your décor. Opt for chunky knits, rugged tweeds and opulent velvets; use in combination, scattering sofas and beds with a selection of cushions, throws and bedspreads.

sofa
Nusa Square Two Seater Sofa, £1895, from Lombok

Whilst wooden floors are always appealing, autumn is the perfect time to invest in a rug to take the chill of bare floors. Look for deep pile rugs, which will add comfort and warmth even on top of carpeted floors. A small bedside rug makes a welcoming landing spot for cold toes on chilly mornings and rugs with bright accents are a perfect way to add colour to drab autumn days.
Deep cushioned armchairs and sofas are the perfect place to curl up with a hot drink and a book when the nights start drawing in. Feather wrapped foam cushions, such as the Windsor Armchair from Graham and Green, make for an extra cosy seat.

Swapping existing voile curtains for heavier fabrics is also a great way to add a feeling of cosiness to your home, as well as helping to trap heat when drawn.

bed
Canton Black Laquer Four Poster Bed, £1,295, from Lombok

Finally, why not invest in some new mugs to help fight the impending winter blues. We love the chirpy classic print of this Orla Kiely Red Abacus Flower Mug from Heal’s and the iconic bright designs of these Classic Penguin Story Mugs. Don’t forget to make sure your teapot stays toasty this autumn too with a retro tea cosy, such as this super quirky Blackberry Tea Cosy from Hunkydory Home or this Union Jack design from The Orchard.

Designers Saturday, Oslo

by Aimie Longhorn on September 17, 2011
furnish
Overlooking Designers Saturday

Furnish.co.uk's Aimie goes on tour to the design capital Oslo for Designers Saturday. Read on to see what we found.

In the heart of one of the most awe inspiring cities Oslo, the infamous Designers Saturday marked its 25th anniversary delivering an unforgettable and inspirational show. Norway, renowned for its cutting edge Scandinavian design, displayed the latest on-trend products ranging from contemporary high-end furniture to quaint and nostalgic textiles. In addition to this, some of the best up and coming designers and architects given recognition in the ‘Saturday Awards’ showcased some truly inspiring interiors and furniture.

Its safe to say that this event was by no means your average conventional interiors show. The term traditional exhibition was truly broken by 37 unique showrooms all exhibiting within different parts of the city. With free bus rides (only in Norway!) I went around various locations, soaking up all the Scandinavian magnificence on my way, on board with the help and company of my Norwegian friend and of course, translator.

sideboards and display cabinet
Made from raw materials, the Norwegian's showcase their natural and recycled materials

One particular design that caught my eye was the latest collection from Bruhl. ‘Love and good design’ is their motto and this was truly reflected. Their latest furniture collection based upon the design of flowers, ‘Morning Dew’ originally inspired by the ‘Light in filigree daintiness’, it defines the ultimate romance between green living and floral elegance. Each chair is complimented in pastel colours and are each beautiful unique pieces of art work. Inspired by nature was a theme consistently throughout many of the designs, especially within the furniture. Gently woven into the curvature shapes, the Scandinavian designers really showed how form definitely meets function.

After slowly winding my way around the city centre I came to a showroom exhibiting carpets called Interfaceflor. A truly alternative and unconventional exhibition, which involved people dressed up in traditional folk fairy tale garb with an accordion player to help set the scene! The collection drew upon various fairy tales, with each one telling a story and setting a rather unique assortment of the carpets within the collection.

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Bruhl's Beautiful 'Morning Dew' design

As predicted at the event, the furniture design did not disappoint. Leading edge and so typically Scandinavian, they are set to become the latest trend setters. The soft furnishings and textiles were surprisingly traditional in comparison. Natural and mostly made from raw or recycled materials, the Norwegian brand Pa Fjellet pride themselves on exactly this and delivered an outstanding array of beautifully nostalgic hand woven pieces.

It seemed that the Norwegians know how to impress with both the latest cutting edge designs and also the nationalistic pride and heritage which was greatly felt throughout the entirety of Designers Saturday.

Preview of London Design Festival – Part Two

by Sarah Green on September 12, 2011
sofa
Marimekko collection love seat, from Heal's, £2040

Get ready for the most important month in the design calendar with our guide to what’s hot at London Design Festival.

London Design Festival means only one thing; hundreds of fabulous and anticipated events all squeezed into nine days celebrating the wonder of design and contemporary treats. So before you start pounding the streets of the capital, make sure you’ve read our guide to the must-see events.

Heal’s celebrates 60 years of Marimekko

To celebrate Scandinavian design, Heal’s are opening a pop-up shop housing everything Marimekko. Featuring limited edition Heal’s furniture upholstered in Marimekko fabrics, you’ll find out just why Scandinavian design continues to be the envy of the world.

There will also be an in-store talk by Henrietta Thompson entitled, ‘Why blondes have more fun: 60 years of Scandinavian Design.’ This is a ticket only event so make sure you grab one sooner rather than later.

Heal’s, 1st floor 196 Tottenham Court Road W1, Until 25th September.

New cutlery launch and exhibition – David Mellor Design

If you’re interested in how designers develop their products, take a look at the David Mellor cutlery launch. This offers a chance to see exactly what design processes, drawings and elements go into the development of a new range of product design from this great British designer.

David Mellor, 4 Sloane Square SW1, Until 25th September.

cutlery
City Stainless Steel 44 piece canteen, David Mellor Cutlery, £929.80

Faye Toogood Assemblage 3: Delicate Interference

One of the most important names in interiors today, Faye Toogood launches her third furniture collection this year during London Design Festival exclusively with Phillips De Pury. Her collection includes all her work from previous launches and is all available to buy from the store. We recommend taking your credit card and having your bank manager on speed dial so you can bag a future classic.

Phillips De Pury & Company at Claridge’s 45-47 Brook Street W1, Until 4th October

Case Furniture

One of the most important furniture design companies in the world, Case display their new range of furniture in their Clapham-based showroom.

It will feature pieces from their designers Knole and Sissinghurst, Matthew Hilton and Marks Barfield Architects. So charge your Oyster card, head south and soak up some innovative design.

Case Furniture showroom, 189 Stonhouse Street SW, Until 25th September.

sideboards and display cabinet
Cross sideboard by Matthew Hilton, from Case Furniture, from £1198

Dedar new showroom

Dedar is opening a brand new showroom at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre.
It will include a presentation of all the Dedar fabrics and wallpapers, as well as an exclusive look at the first collection of Hermes fabrics and wallpapers so it’s well worth a look for key inspiration for colour and warm textiles. Plus you’ll get to hobnob with ladies who lunch and the Chelsea elite, if that’s your thing.

Dedar UK LD, The Chambers Unit C7 Ground Floor Chelsea Harbour SW, Until 28th September.

Beau McClellan Design

If lighting’s your thing then make sure you head along to Beau McClellan Design. They’ll be exhibiting their latest collection alongside a large-scale, breath-taking chandelier that reacts magically to movement and sound!
Their collection of high-end lighting products which uses LED in an innovative way will all be unveiled at the exhibit.

Beau McClellan Design, Victoria House Basement 37-63 Southampton Row WC, Until 25th September.

And if you’re not totally exhausted after all that, remember there’s 100% Design and TENT London to enjoy. We’d love to hear what’s exciting you about LDF 2011 so make sure you drop us a line and let us know.

Preview of London Design Festival – Part One

by Sarah Green on September 11, 2011
vases and bowl
'Through the Keyhole' Fornasetti vase collection, from Milk.

Get ready for the most important month in the design calendar with our guide to what’s hot at London Design Festival.

London Design Festival means only one thing; hundreds of fabulous and anticipated events all squeezed into nine days celebrating the wonder of design and contemporary treats. So before you start pounding the streets of the capital, make sure you’ve read our guide to the must-see events.

Through the keyhole at Milk – Fornasetti vase collection 2011

Milk invites anybody with a taste for style to their journey through the timeless and quirky work of Fornasetti. The new launch of limited edition vases by Barnada Fornasetti are an array of textures and feature the distinctive imagery of Fornasetti, If you’re expecting traditional vases, think again – these pieces are works of art in their own right.

Milk Concept Boutique, The Clerk’s House 118 ½ Shoreditch High Street E1, until 25th September.

British-ish

Explore the work of Giles Deacon and work from upcoming future designers as recent graduates from the University of the Arts London showcase their distinctive designs. This is what’s great about British design today so make sure you pay a visit to show your support.

The V&A, Galleries 118-125 British Galleries level 4 Cromwell Road SW7, Until 25th September.

furnish
City Park in Dark Chocolate, from Flavor Paper, £94 a roll.

Habitat

One of the most iconic home furnishing companies, Habitat has been supplying the demand for a stylish home since 1964, when the godfather of design, Sir Terence Conran started showing us Brits how to be stylish in the home. Habitat will be displaying their Best of British designs within their iconic Tottenham Court Road store.

Habitat, 196-199 Tottenham Court Road W1T, Until 25th September.

“Love’in” stitch workshop with Fine Cell Work

Fine Cell Work show that needlework isn’t just for the over 80’s with their edgy Love, Hate, Life collection of embroidery made by UK prisoners.

Have a go at your own piece of work by making a ‘love’ inspired pin cushion, whilst being mentored by an ex offender demonstrating the intricate skill of embroidery.

Tom Dixon Shop, Wharf Building Portobello Dock 344 Ladbroke Grove W10, Until 25th September.

cushion
Karen Nicol 'Love Tattoo' cushion, from Fine Cell Work, £125.

Crest Living Mad Hatters tea party

Crest will be showcasing new, exciting and thought-provoking designs from Thonet including pieces by designer Claudio Bellini. Crest will also be featuring a few surprise products from top manufacturers, so keep your eyes peeled and make sure you see them first. Even if you can’t attend the tea party, pop in to the Crest Living store as they’re open 7 days a week.

Crest Living, Downstairs at Few and Fair 242 Brompton Road SW3, Until 20th September.

Flavor Paper

TENT London is one of the hottest events in the calendar. If you’re looking for a variety of wallpaper ideas to decorate your home, Flavor Paper are displaying plenty of hand screened and digital wallpapers in their Flavor booth for the first time ever in the UK so take a look for some creative ideas.

Flavor Paper, Tent London Old Truman Brewery Brick Lane E1, Until 25th September.

How to create the perfect home office

by Sarah Green on September 09, 2011
furnish
Our pick of home office essentials.

keep your home office professional yet fun with our pick of office essentials

With more of us achieving the luxury of being able to work from home, your office should be somewhere stylish and practical to conduct your hard grafting. Keeping a professional feel to the room will allow you to stay motivated when the deadlines loom.

However, making your own office attractive and comfortable will make that Monday morning wake-up call a little less daunting.

The Desk

Undoubtedly the most important component of a study is the desk. With so much choice, it can be difficult to find one right for your needs. However you can’t go wrong with a desk that has plenty of storage space such as the Opus Large Desk from Love Furniture. With a spacious top, drawers and a cupboard to fit any large folders, it’s perfect choice for anyone working from home.

The Chair

A good chair is important too and when you’re sitting for what seems hours at a time, choosing a comfy one is essential. Colour-wise, you can’t go wrong with black; it oozes style and sophistication and is perfect for any home office. Add a leather finish and you’re on to a winning seat, such as the Eames EA119 high back ribbed office chair, from Lover’s Lounge. The comfortable, high back is definitely a powerful feature, keeping you inspired on even the most miserable of days, plus it’s fully adjustable so will help keep back pain at bay.

desk
Odyssey writing desk, from Graham & Green £595

The Storage

Creating attractive, storage space in an office is relatively easy if you have the right furnishings. If you want to include a feature of the industrial office inside at home, one option is the 6 Door industrial locker unit from Rose & Grey. With its eye-catching design and edgy, metal finish, it’s fabulous for creating interest in the office, and perfect for stashing away all your clutter.

For a personal touch, how about pinning pictures of your loved ones inside the doors for a real back to school, vintage look.

The Decor

The office may be a place of work, but that doesn’t mean it has to be lifeless. Keeping your office colour scheme relaxed is key for a tranquil place to work and getting things done, so neutral tones jazzed up with some feature wallpaper is a good idea.

Forget the typical, dreary office colours like scuffed white and mucky grey and go green with the Sunlight Through Leaves wallpaper from Ella Doran. Combined with a grassy green rug such as the Sethos Green Rug from Fashion4Home, you’ll feel a little closer to nature and less restricted by those four walls.

office chair
Eames aluminium mesh office chair, from Lover's Lounge £350

Lighting

The lighting in your office is certainly something to ponder about. Dim lighting will only make your day seem far longer, plus you might have to pull out the reading glasses. While bright, call-centre style lighting will make you feel stuck in a box. So meeting in the middle with some warm, soft lighting will make you feel at ease in your surroundings along with any tasks that lay ahead of you.

The Wild Horn lamp, from Sweetpea and Willow had a neutral, rustic shade that will expel calm lighting and with its unique design of animal horns, will make a bold statement in any office.
Finish your main light off with a cool designed shade, like the Satellight World lampshade, from Duffy London, to keep you inspired.

Accessories

Pen/pencil holders are great placed on the desk to ensure you’ll never been digging in the bottom of the drawer again. The Pencil Sharpener Desk Tidy from Utility keeps your stationary super safe.

Another useful accessory to have is a calendar to keep you informed of any important business meetings. If you fancy something a little more permanent, the Appointment Perpetual Calendar by Philippi from Pelican Pear is a good choice.

Organisation is paramount to a tidy office, so having somewhere to stash all your important paperwork is certainly useful. The Metal Desk Tidy from Graham & Green will keep all your bills and statements ordered.

So, now you’ve sorted all that out, it’s time for the hard graft to begin. Good luck!