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The hottest interior design ideas, fab finds for the home and the latest in interiors trends. We're always looking for new finds, designers to feature or anything else lovely for the home, so if you've seen something gorgeous and would like it featured in our interior design magazine, please get in touch!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
We caught up with Sean Dare, designer at Dare Studios, to find out what's in store.
Furnish.co.uk recently spoke to award winning designer Sean Dare, the man behind Dare Studios, to find out more about the brand and what we can expect to see in the future. Dare Studios produces innovative, contemporary furniture, combining specialist techniques and materials, and championing the skills of local craftsmen.
How would you describe Dare Studios in three words?
Contemporary, classic, future heirlooms…that’s four, sorry!
Do you have an all time favourite designer or design?
I think that would be Vladimir Kagan.
Dare Studios was established in 2009, was it difficult to get your products noticed in such a difficult economic climate?
Surprisingly not! I think we came out with the right designs at the right time.
What do you think contributed to the success of the brand, leading your products to be stocked at iconic stores such as Liberty and the Conran Shop?
The contemporary market is notoriously fickle so we tried to produce contemporary classics. Our designs aren’t youthful as such. They are quite reminiscent of old designs but with a distinctly contemporary function.
What is the most ambitious bespoke project you have undertaken so far?
Probably the time we were commissioned to make some rosewood cabinets for a private client in Dulwich. We’d never used rosewood in the studio before and so we weren’t aware that certain batches of rosewood timber could cause allergies…until it brought down three of our workshop staff with allergic reactions!
What has been the bestselling piece at Dare Studios, and why do you think this is?
Definitely our Katakana Writing/Laptop desk. I think it’s partly because it is designed to be such a contemporary classic, but also because so many people are working from home these days so are more willing to invest in a good design. Again we seemed to hit upon the right design at the right time!
What can we expect to see from Dare Studios in the near future?
We’re very busy at the moment preparing for the launch of our new designs this coming September. Look out for our take on upholstery and the addition of dining tables and dining chairs to the range.
Stylish and funky, create instant impact in your home with a colourful bar stool
Break the mould within your home with one of these ultra chic bar stools. Perfect for creating an eating area within your kitchen or as a quick fix style update for your bar, these quirky stools will add an instant splash of colour to your space.
Whether you’re looking to splash out in red retro funkiness or make a statement with modern elegance, they’re sure to impress. Who says they only needn’t belong in a cocktail bar?
(Clockwise from left) Aly Alluminium Adjustable Bar Stool, £159, from Love Your Home For Less, BE362 Bar Stool, £87, from The Pole House, KNOLL Bertoia Bar Stool With Seat & Back Pad, from Utility, Arper Babar Stool With Backrest, £438, from A White Room, Stokey Walnut Bar Stool, £145, from Alexander & Pearl, Lucido Bar Stool Range, £375, from Heal’s.
Delight your little ones and make bedtime more fun with one of these playful beds
Keep your child’s bedroom fun and carefree with an adorably cute bed. Whether your little one is a girly princess or a Thomas The Tank lover, we have lots of lovely beds, which are full of fun.
Practical solutions include the White Childs Truckle bed from Sweetpea and Willow which is perfect for a sleepover, while the Vista Bunk Bed will have little ones debating who gets the top bunk.
Whatever you choose you can guarantee bedtime stories will be all the more fun.
(Clockwise from left) Vista Bunk Bed – Pink or Blue, £431.10, from The Great Little Trading Company, Hideout Children’s Bed, £339.99, from Love Furniture, Fire Engine Toddler Bed, £108.00, from The Great Little Trading Company, Little Tikes Thomas The Tank Engine Bed, £279.95, from John Lewis, Nordic Style High Sleeper Bed Whitewash, £702.00, from The Great Litter Trading Company, White Childs Truckle Bed, £625.00, from Sweetpea and Willow
Find the latest bargains with our Pick Of The Sales, bringing you some of our most fabulous items now for less
Everyone knows times are tough but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a a beautiful home. So forget scrabbling around in the high street sales and do some home shopping instead. With our guide to the sales on Furnish, there’s no need to even get changed out of your jim jams.
Deco Light, Was £277, Now £249.30, from Decolight
If you want to bring a touch of glamour to your home, then look no further. Straight from the golden age of glamour and opulence, this spectacular clear glass droplet light from Deco Light is fabulous and guaranteed to bring a touch of that Ritz sparkle to your room.
Try using it in hallway to create a grand entrance or a bedroom to add a touch of glamour.
Appliqué Leaves Cushion, Was £30, Now £14-£15, from John Lewis
Cushions are a easy an affordable update and even more affordable when they’re half price. Our pick comes courtesy of this Appliqué Leaves Cushion from John Lewis. It offers the perfect way to tap into the craft trend which is so popular at the moment and is ideal for cosying up a sofa, chair or bed. Even better is that at this price, you can afford to buy more than one.
The Storage Solution
Lacquer Boxes Rectangular Set Of 3, Was £95, Now £57, from OKA
Storage boxes are a godsend if you’re a hoarder and a necessity if you’re a neat freak but who wants boring, brown boxes when you can have something as stylish as these Lacquer Boxes from OKA?
Three differently sized boxes mean you can stash away everything from out of season clothes to magazines and paperwork plus the red will bring a splash of colour to your space. What’s more at nearly half price, you can afford to splash out on more than one set which means your clutter can be sorted in every room.
Something For The Kids
White Eden Play Table, Was £195, Now £175.50, from Great Little Trading Company
With the summer holidays in full swing, you’ll need to ways to keep your little ones entertained. Here at Furnish we believe that furniture should not only look good, but be functional, quirky and above all fun too.
The White Eden play table provides fantastic play and storage solution for your little ones, with fabulous oversized drawers ideal for toys and a large table top for painting, drawing and crafting. Suitable for tots or juniors, it gives you piece of mind that’s it’s totally durable and safe against any spills and mess.
The Coffee Maker
Stelton Press Coffee Maker, Was £39.95, Now £35.96, from Utility
If you can’t get going in the morning before you’ve had a cup of Java, we’ve found a great way to make coffee all the more stylish. The Stelton Press Coffee Maker from Utility is ultra cool and comes in three colours; red, black and white.
And with just over four quid off, you can still afford a latte on the go.
Say no to a cluttered bathroom by keeping your toiletries at bay with a neat and stylish bathroom cabinet
Sometimes it can be hard finding an easy way to store all your knick knacks floating about the bathroom I, myself can very much vouch for this. So the simple solution? Choosing a neat and bang on trend cabinet. In an array of sizes and styles, there’s something to suit everyone.
To ensure maximum space, opt for something sleek and compact for that neat and seamless look. This will help to keep your bathroom light and fresh all year round.
(Clockwise from left) Inside-out Bathroom Cabinet, £375, from Lifestyle Bazaar, Chrome Dardo Corner Bathroom Cabinet, £176, from Heal’s, Retro Medicine Cabinet, £35, from Rose & Grey, Arden Double Bathroom Cabinet, £119, from John Lewis, Pinnacle Double Door Bathroom Cabinet, £399, from John Lewis, Brighton Mirror Cabinet, £135, from The White Company.
Bring a touch of ambience to your room with a quirky and stylish floor lamp
Whether it’s extra warmth in the winter or vibrancy in the summer, the right floor lamp provides an excellent focal point for your room. Ranging from ultra cool to understated and subtly stylish, make sure you bring light into your life and most importantly, your interior.
To create a dramatic and striking feel, go for something bold to illuminate and impress or subtle to create a welcoming glow.
(Clockwise from left) Eichholtz Shipper Floor Lamp, £840, from Occa Home, King Floor Lamp, £750, from Utility, Tom Dixon Mirror Ball Floor Lamp, £127.50, from Utility, Bamboo Floor Lamp, £135, from Puji, Moooi Emperor Floor Lamp, £1,051, from Occa Home, Loco Clear Glass Drop Floor Lamp, £269.50, from Heal’s.
Give your dining area a makeover with a range of stylish dining chairs
You can’t rely on the English weather this summer to dine alfresco, so make sure you dine in style with our most elegant and luxurious dining chairs.
The best part? If you don’t fancy having a complete makeover, changing your dining chairs provides a quick, cost effective solution to update any dining table and is a must for impressing guests! So make sure you indulge this summer for your ultimate dining experience.
(Clockwise from left) Sophie Pink Leather Dining Chair, £130, from Love Your Home For Less, Purple Velvet Medan Dining Chair, £180, from The Pole House, Marcel Dining Chair, £63, from Habitat, Zach Dining Chair, £136, from Habitat, Calligaris Easy Leather Dining Chair, £183, from Heal’s, Belgravia Silver Dining Chair, £195, from Sweetpea and Willow
This week Furnish.co.uk goes international with a visit to the Danish Design Centre to soak up some Scandinavian inspiration.
In a rather inconspicuous location on Hans Christian Andersens Boulevard in Copenhagen is a tribute to the wonderful, and occasionally weird, designs that have come out of Denmark in the last six decades. Famous for its Danish Design School, Copenhagen has been something of a design hub for decades, and the exhibitions at the Danish Design Centre give some clues as to why.
Running until 2013, ‘Denmark by Design’ shows the development of Danish design from 1945 until 2010, illustrating the focus of design decade by decade. The exhibition looks at the prevailing trends throughout the decades and their impact on designers’ solutions and expressions, as well as questioning what constitutes Danish design and examining how it has become an integrated part of our everyday lives and our mindset.
On display are some icons of Scandinavian design, such as mid-century chairs like Hans J. Wegner’s ‘The Chair’. These designs are instantly recognisable in their original forms but also in their significant influence upon the designs and tastes of the 21st Century.
If all that timeless design wasn’t enough, there are two other exhibitions running that examine human interaction with design. Until February 2012, you can find ‘Challenge Society – designing the simple solutions to a complex future’ on the ground floor of the Design Centre.
After stopping for a coffee and cinnamon pastry (a must!) we headed to the upper floor of the Design Centre, which is housing ‘Challenge Waste – RE_ACT RE_IMAGINE RE_DESIGN’, an exhibition about waste until the end of August 2011. Full of rather shocking and harrowing infographics, the exhibition looks at the problem, and contributing human behaviours, of waste and the effect they are having upon the earth and oceans.
Whilst the exhibition showcases the challenges of handling waste, and potential design solutions to future waste problems; we came away feeling even more passionately that thoughtfully designed and quality products are a worthwhile investment, both financially and environmentally. To help you on your way, we’ve selected a few of the best Scandinavian inspired products to be found on Furnish.co.uk.
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Keep your bedroom clutter free with one of our favourite wardrobes.
Wardrobes tend to be overlooked as furniture that’s more functional than beautiful. But with one of these gorgeous designs, this timeless, storage unit will become a centre piece in a bedroom. Whether it is used to hang fancy frocks or somewhere to store your treasured shoes, a wardrobe is essential bedroom kit. So why not experiment with something far more exquisite than your standard cupboard and make your entrance to Narnia that little more exciting!
(Clockwise from top) Provencal 2-door mirrored Armoire from The French Bedroom Company, £1,095, Georgian 3 door Wardrobe from Sweetpea and Willow, £1,015, Avignon Double Armoire from Sweetpea and Willow, £1,425, Cleopatra Mirrored Wardrobe from Lover’s Lounge, £630, Ming Oriental Large Black Lacquered Wardrobe from Alexander and Pear, £995, Coast Wardrobe Oak by Samuel Chan from Heal’s, £1,995.
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Enhance the entrance to your home by making a statement in your hallway with an elegant console table
Hallways are often an overlooked area of the home but as it’s the first space guests will see it’s important to create a good first impression. Whether your style is classic and cosy or modern and sleek, Console tables provide necessary storage to keep your hallway clutter free and looking it’s best.
Adding an oversized mirror is a great finishing touch, not only can you check yourself out before you leave the house and it will instantly make a small hallway feel larger and brighter.
Keep your keys safe with this Yale Key Rack from Graham & Green. £19.95
Whether you live with someone who can never find their keys or you are the key-loser yourself, we think you’ll agree there’s little more frustrating that a lost set.
It always seems to happen just as you’re leaving home, and despite hunting high and low and tearing your rooms apart one by one, you’ll swear blind that when you find them that’s “definitely” not where you left them.
Well, now that can be a thing of the past thanks to this rather nifty Yale Key Rack from Graham & Green.
An exact replica, albeit a bigger one, of a Yale door key, this rack will make sure people safely deposit their keys on arrival.
Of course we can’t promise you no more lost keys but it might help.
Here’s our pick of the blogs that have had us hooked this week.
Whilst not strictly about interiors, Junkaholique is treasure trove of inspiration and it’s all too easy to find that a whole hour has past whilst you’ve been absorbed in this lovely blog.
Artemis and Nao are jewellery designers living in London with a love for flea markets and car boot fairs. Reinventing ‘junk’, they are testament to the DIY spirit and every nook and cranny of both their home and studio appears to have a thoughtful and very personal touch.
Manhattan Nest documents the numerous DIY projects undertaken by blogger Daniel Kanter whilst setting up his new apartment in New York. Check out Daniel’s bedstead, self-upholstered with an army surplus blanket for a stylish utility look. Accompanying the numerous envy-inducing photos is Daniel’s delightfully witty and deft writing.
Not only does Daniel have fabulous taste but he also has a keen eye for a bargain, so Manhattan Nest is a great blog to visit when you need practical information for stylish design on a budget.
The charming blog, French by Design, is written by Si, who describes herself as ‘a French girl’ with ‘a passion for Scandinavian design and industrial era vintage finds’. However even if you’re not a huge Scandi-industrial fan, this blog has something for everyone.
Si offers beautiful themed moodboards curated from across the web, trend alerts, house tours - oh and the occasional droll quote to help get you through the week!
As always, get in touch if you want us to feature your blog next time round.
Furnish visits the London Glassworks for tea with Rothschild & Bickers
On an unassuming industrial estate in North London something quite magical is afoot. Unit 15 houses one of the last glassworks in the UK, and is home to Rothschild & Bickers. Known for their sophisticated and opulent glass lighting, Victoria Rothschild and Mark Bickers invited us in for mug of tea and a snoop around. After sharing a studio at the Royal College of Art and working together on bespoke commissions, the pair decided to create their own range of signature pieces. Produced in batches, each shade is skilfully free blown and hand-finished. ‘Everything we do is hand-made’, says Vicki. Moulds are used to shape the surface of the molten glass, which is then blown out and modelled to create the form. The process is almost hypnotic to watch, and Mark underlines the level of concentration needed to get it right: ‘you have to keep focussed, and you can’t just stop half-way through; because the glass won’t’.
A lot of experimentation goes into the design process and a love of making as well as a respect for their material shines through on our visit. ‘We could never be paper-based designers’, says Mark: ‘it’s not that we render something on the computer and send it off to be made into a mould; we tweak, we edit as we go along.’ ‘We blow something we like the shape of’, says Vicki, ‘and then we’ll re-make it and change it a little bit. That’s what I love about the hand-made part of it. Being able to have the thing in front of you and knock another one out if you don’t like the first.’ Once the final form is decided, ‘you’ve then got the challenge of being able to reproduce it in batches by hand’.
Many of the designs are worked up with a particular interior in mind. The clean lines of the architectural Tiered Light would complement an elegant Art Deco style interior for example. Yet, while the lights often reference historical styles – the Tassel Light evoking Victorian grandeur or the Arts & Crafts style Flora Pendant – they’re never slavish imitations. ‘We’re always quite subtle about how we take elements from the past, whether it’s the fringing or the metalwork, they’re always touches’, says Mark. Likewise, while they might be designed towards a particular style of interior, the lights stand alone as decorative objects and could be put almost anywhere, says Mark, ‘either complementing or contrasting with what else is going on’. It’s the effect of the material as much as the form that contributes to the lights’ decorative appeal. ‘A lot of ours cast either colour or pattern’, says Mark, ‘so the effect is much bigger than the pendant itself’.
The heritage of glassblowing in England and the traditional skills involved in handmade glass production are central to Rothschild & Bickers’ work. ‘We’re using skills that might otherwise be lost’ says Vicki. ‘We did a lot of research on different shapes and forms and how people made things’. The moulds used for the different surface finishes and the techniques of blowing and finishing would have been the same in Victorian factories. It’s looking back at these older manufacturing methods that contributes to Rothschild & Bickers distinctive style and that Vicki sees as helping to set their work apart from modern mass-produced glassware. It’s a labour intensive process that results in astonishingly beautiful pieces with all the natural variation that marks them as handmade.
Rothschild & Bickers will be showcasing some new pieces at 100% Design in September and a bigger website is due to be launched within the next year. To find out more and order online, visit rothschildbickers.com. And if you fancy having a go at glassblowing, the London Glassworks offers one-day courses.
A rich history and unisex appeal; this week we focus on paisley.
There’s something about paisley; that botanical teardrop-shaped design is instantly recognisable. The whole pattern is infused with a rich history, from ancient Persia to dapper British gents, lending it a familiar yet mysterious appeal. Whilst it is often found on silk scarves and ties, don’t let paisley be confined to attire. This classic print is popping up everywhere and makes a pretty addition to any home.
Paisley can be found in both woven and printed forms, so there is plenty of choice when it comes to fabric. Liberty has a fantastic collection of paisley fabrics to choose from, such as the more traditional, archive Bourton print, which was produced on dress fabrics in the 1960s. Alternatively try Liberty’s Mark print, a vibrant contemporary take on paisley, which is perfect for introducing the pattern into a relaxed living room or children’s bedroom.
OKA stocks a range of products in a beautiful Indian-inspired wool paisley fabric available in Peacock Blue and Rust Red. The subtler blue version is available as an elegant set of cotton-lined curtains, making it super simple to bring a hint paisley into a drawing room or bedroom. For a flexible, folky take on the pattern, throw OKA’s Reversible Paisley Throw over a solid coloured sofa or armchair.
Paisley risks looking a little too psychedelic on large pieces of furniture, so take inspiration from this stunning Horchow Paisley Settee and have a loveseat or armchair upholstered in a bold paisley print for a contemporary interpretation of the paisley pattern.
The historical characteristics of paisley are offset by clean, modern lines in this one-off Paisley Armchair from Lockwood Design. Upholstered with glamorous woven gold paisley fabric on tubular steel legs, it would look fantastic in a contemporary bedroom.
Avoid the hotel lobby feel by steering clear of paisley patterned carpets, instead try layering pre-existing neutral carpets or floorboards with a contemporary paisley rug. We love the bold colours of this Paul Smith Paisley Aubergine Rug, which is made to order.
For a softer mix of colour, try this Brink and Campman Kodari Paisley Rug. Hand knotted in Nepal it is available in 5 rectangular sizes or alternatively can be created to a custom size, making it ideal for awkward sized spaces.
Like most bold patterns, paisley wallcoverings are best confined to smaller spaces such as alcoves or feature walls. However we love the unexpected visual impact of ceilings wallpapered with paisley. Whilst it’s a bold move, this is a great way to introduce pattern to wall space and perfect for achieving more proportion in high ceilinged rooms. Just ensure you choose wall paper with a pale coloured base to avoid making your space feel heavy.
We love the use of paisley in the Off the Wall Paisley Flower vase and bowl collection from Designed in England. Making a refreshing change from polka dotted or striped tableware, the collection was designed to celebrate the wallcoverings of Cole & Son and the use of oranges and browns gives the whole collection a delightful retro appeal. Shortlisted for the Homes and Gardens award, each piece is part of a limited collection of just 250 units per style – so be quick!
Sofas and beds look fantastic scattered with a coordinating mixture of solid coloured and paisley cushions; we love this Cream & Taupe Paisley Cushion from Primrose & Plum. Embroidered with taupe stitching and silver beading with a fluffy feather pad, this cushion is a luxurious take on paisley.
These cute set of 4 Fairtrade Paisley Boxes from Plumo are perfect as gift boxes or to store knick knacks and jewellery. With embroidered lids and opulent jewel colours they lend an exotic, well-travelled look to your dressing table.
So whether you want traditional and masculine or opulent and exotic, paisley could be just the thing.
Achieve modern opulence with our guide to making damask work in your home
Damask fabric was named after Syria’s capital, Damascus, where it originated in the early middle ages. However by the fourteenth century damask had spread across Western Europe and became synonymous with luxury though its popularity in the royal courts of Europe. Since then damask has been reinterpreted into all kinds of linens, furniture and even wallpaper, making it an easy way to bring a touch of opulence to your home.
Traditionally a woven fabric, it’s not hard to find damask fabrics in all incarnations around the home. John Lewis stocks a beautifully tactile Veneto Damask Fabric that is suitable for curtains, bedcovers and upholstery. Available in a range of colours, we think the Citrine option is perfect to lend a zesty and modern twist to traditional damask.
Alternatively, try transforming your bedroom with a damask duvet cover. This Damask Jacquard bed linen from John Lewis features a weave of leaves, scrolls and flowers in muted brown tones making it a tranquil and understated option. Better still the cotton is fully organic and certified in accordance with international Fairtrade standards, so you can rest even easier.
Furniture upholstered with damask fabrics offers a very regal feel to the room, but can sometimes feel a bit formal. Avoid this by introducing one bold damask upholstered piece alongside plainer, solid colours. Make an impact in an otherwise pared down room with this Gold Gilt Damask Nursing Armchair from The Orchard. Offset the opulent greens and golds with muted neutrals for a more contemporary feel in a living room or bedroom.
Alternatively this Versailles Foot End from The French Bedroom Company, upholstered in a French silk damask, is an elegant yet useful piece. Try positioning it at the foot of the bed or under a window as somewhere stylish to sit when dressing in the morning.
The floor is the perfect place to start when introducing damask to your home. Try a doormat rejuvenated in a bold damask prints such as this coconut fibre Black & White damask Print Doormat from Mollie & Fred.
For greater impact, a large damask print rug looks striking against plain wood floorboards. The rich plum colours of this large, wool rich Damask Rug from Habitat would lend an opulent feel to any living space.
There are a whole host of options when it comes to damask wallpaper but some designs can sometimes feel a little imposing and formal. Instead try a contemporary twist on the traditional for a fresh and quirky appeal. The Barneby Gates Deer Damask Wallpaper from Rockett St George, blends a vibrant duck egg blue background with an antique gold stag skull and thistle damask style pattern.
For a smaller wall space, such as an alcove or chimney breast try this Ribbon Damask Paper Lace-Embossed Vinyl Wallcovering from Occa Home. Created in collaboration with Timorous Beasties, the wallcovering is inspired by vintage 1920’s cotton lace fabric, combining two patterns in one.
For an opulent finishing touch in your home, or just a simple way to introduce the pattern try adding some damask accessories. The Dizzy Lamp Damask from Decolight features a modern trumpet shaped lamp base with a hand-made black silk damask shade. For an even more contemporary take on the damask pattern, try the inntermost acid damask shade from A White Room. Designed by Timorous Beasties, the shade features a pink/red interior, meaning the white cotton outer diffuses the damask print giving it a thoroughly fresh appeal. The lampshade is also highly versatile as the three available sizes can be hung as a pendant or mounted on lamp bases.
Table linens are true to the roots of damask fabric as a luxurious weave and are certain to add glamour to any place setting. The Deco Damask Napkin from John Lewis feature a classic damask design and are a perfect accompaniment to crisp linens and sparkling tableware. Soft furnishings are also a fantastic way to introduce the pattern. Add a little luxury and colour to the bathroom with the Lime/Steel Monaco Damask Towels from John Lewis. Alternatively scatter the sofa with damask cushions, such as the Osborne & Little Radnor Damask Cushion from Heal’s, which is made from pure silk in a vibrant purple pattern.
Damask patterns needn’t be limited to their traditional capacity; they can provide a sumptuous feel to just about any contemporary space. What’s more there so many ways to introduce damask, whether wallpapering a feature wall or opting for something less permanent, such as bed linen, there is an option for just about all tastes and budgets. So, don’t be afraid to bring this beautiful pattern into your home!
Keep your kitchen clutter free with our pick of the best storage jars around
Everyone knows it’s important to be tidy in the kitchen; whether you’re a semi-pro cook or just someone who needs to keep their tea and coffee in check, we’ve put together our pick of the best storage jars.
From classic white and vintage polka dots to retro patterns guaranteed to give your kitchen a touch of swinging 60s style, there really is something for everyone.
Use them to store everything from tea and coffee to flour and pasta to make sure your kitchen remains clutter free and everything is close at hand.
From top: Alessi Gianni Storage Jar, £10.50, Utility; Retro Storage Container, £12.50, Soulful Toaster; Cammeo Jar, from £15, 95% Danish; Ceramic Round Storage Jar, £10, Occa Home; Small Domestic Goddess Storage Jar, £14.95; Orla Kiely Multi Stem Small Storage Jar, £20, Utility