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Features: Living

This week's pick of the interiors blogs - 2 July 2012

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Heather Young deals with hallway clutter on Growing Spaces

It's that time again as we take a trip around the blogsphere.

The weather may be changeable, a Brit may or may not make it past the fourth round and David Cameron may change his mind about something else AGAIN but what we can guarantee is that we’ll keep you up to date with the goings on from our favourite interiors blogs.

This week has a kids theme as we head over to two of the finest parenting interior blogs around.

For anyone who thinks having small children means you can’t still have a stylish home, think again, as these two blog authors show us that there’s no need to compromise on style just because someone calls you Mummy or Daddy.

First up is the world of Growing Spaces, the handy work of talented journalist and mother to twins, Heather Young.

Growing Spaces was born when Heather left London and headed for the Home Counties and follows her on her journey to make a house a home.

A fascinating insight into decorating for a family, Growing Spaces is full of top tips, fabulous buys and guides. Anyone who’s ever faced the clutter-filled hallway will appreciate one of Heather’s latest postings which is all about how to create a stylish and orderly entrance to your home.

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Rabbit prints from Supafrank via Baby Style File

Next up is a trip to Baby Style File, a fabulous shopping blog with advice, tips and buys for the little ones in your life.

The work of stylist Poppy Norton, Mum to a little boy, Baby Style File helps you decorate your kiddies’ rooms without a hint of Disney or the latest fad in sight.

We love the carefully chosen shopping buys from storage ideas and traditional wooden toys to play tents and the loveliest of prints.

Concise, clear and a jolly good read, Poppy takes the hassle out of trawling the internet and high street.

Our favourite recent posting was these super cute rabbit prints from Supafrank. They would look fabulous in any playroom or nursery, and framed would make the perfect christening gift too.

Shop the Trend: Union Jacks

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Our pick of the best Union Jack pieces for your home

Give your home a truly British feel with some of our best Union Jack buys.

While the Diamond Jubilee celebrations may have been and gone, the eyes of the world will continue to gaze upon our humble shores this summer. This gives you the perfect excuse to do a bit more flag waving and inject some Union Jack style into your home.

To celebrate in style, why not deck out your home in this fabulous vintage style Union Jack Bunting from Great Little Trading Company. And no dining room will be complete this summer without the Boutique Union Jack Dining Chair from Alexander and Pearl.

As for where to store all your flag waving paraphernalia? Well, in this set of Union Jack Trunks from John Lewis of course.

(Clockwise from top) Boutique Union Jack Dining Chair from Alexander and Pearl, £150, Union Jack Trunks from John Lewis, £99, Vintage Union Jack cushion cover from Lover’s lounge, £12.99, Union Jack Bunting from Great Little Trading Company, £28, Jan Constantine Union Jack Large Jug from Heal’s, £31, Lounge Lizard Union Jack 4 Drawer Chest of Drawers from The Pole House, £275.

Quick Shop: Floral Cushions

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Our selection of bright and beautiful floral cushions.

Follow the floral fashion trend with our selection of bright and beautiful cushions.

The main fashion trend this spring has undoubtedly been floral prints, and they have been impossible to miss all over the catwalk and throughout the high street.

Floral styles work equally well in the home, adding both colour and vibrancy to your interior, and cushions are an easy way to incorporate this look into your living room.

Furnish has a multitude of styles to choose from. If you are looking for something funky and bright, the Klippan Flower Power Cushion from Interior Addict is spot on. Or, for something a little more elegant, the Floral Mimosa Cushion from Puji is just perfect.

(Clockwise from top) Floral Print Cushion from Dwell, £34.95, Floral Mimosa Cushion from Puji, £29, Green Flowers Cushion from Caroline McGrath, £17.50, Klippan Flower Power Cushion from Interior Addict, £23.99, Pip Studio Birds in Paradise Blue Round Cushion from Heal’s, £25, Designers Guild Sagrada Cushion from John Lewis, £35.

Quick Shop: Magazine Racks

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Our pick of the best magazine racks.

Say Hello! to our pick of the best magazine racks.

No matter what it is you’re into, whether it’s home interiors, cars, fashion, celebrity gossip or something a tad more obscure, there are magazines to satisfy your interest.

And, if you’re anything like me, they will be scattered all round your home.

Here at Furnish we have a wide selection of stylish magazine racks, all ideal for keeping your mags under control and allowing you to wave goodbye to clutter. These include the curvy Legnoart Ebony Wood Magazine Holder from Gifts with Style or, for something a bit quirkier, the Cowhide Magazine Holder from London Cows.

(Clockwise from top) Cowhide Magazine Holder – Mag 01 from London Cows, £79, Wirehouse Magazine Rack from Lifestyle Bazaar, £39.95, Legnoart Ebony Wood Magazine Holder from Gifts with Style, £84.95, Driade Omero Magazine Holder from A White Room, £223, News Magazine Rack from Dutch by Design, £12.50, Panama Folding Magazine Rack from Alexander and Pearl, £150.

Colour Fix: Yellow

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Our pick of yellow accessories.

Bring some spring sunshine into your home with our pick of yellow furnishings.

Give your home a touch of mellow yellow with these gorgeous accessories which are perfect for bringing spring inside.

The Small Glass Vase in Yellow from The Contemporary Home is a great accessory for any room in the house and will look fab holding daffodils and contrasting tulips. While the Guzzini Yellow Bread Bin from Gifts With Style will bring a zing of bright, lemon yellow to your kitchen.

(Clockwise from top) Small Glass Vase in Yellow from The Contemporary Home, £6.99, Yellow Round Sea Tray from Caroline Mcgrath, £29.95, Guzzini Yellow Bread Bin from Gifts With Style, £37.95, Ferm Living Bird Leaves Printed Silk Cushion Yellow from Heal’s, £84, Retro Yellow Armchair from Lover’s lounge, £399.99, Orla Kiely Small Salad Bowl from Graham & Green, £25.

Quick Shop: Lampshades

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Our selection of stylish Lampshades

Add that wow factor to your home with a stylish lampshade

Trying to perfect lighting in a room can be tedious. But if you’re looking for that finishing touch to add some style to your home then investing in a trendy lampshade can be a great solution.
Ranging from beautifully intricate to cool and ecletic, you are sure to find the right style for you.

Why not opt for the gorgeous Traditional Lampshade Cluster Light from Rockett St George?
Colourful and stylish, it’s sure to be the talking point of any room. Or add a touch of romance to your bedroom with the White Leafy Pendant Lampshade from The Contemporary Home. Whatever you choose, you can guarantee your lighting will be far from dull.

Sillhouette Chandelier Lampshade (black), £45, from Duffy London, Orla Kiely Tulip Print Drum Lampshade Olive, £88, from Heal’s, Innermost Marble Felt Pendant Shade, £175, from Found Home Store, Moooi Random Black Pendant Lampshade, £432, from Occa Home, White Leafy Pendant Lampshade, £23.99, from The Contemporary Home, Traditional Lampshade Cluster Light – 9 Lamp Shades, £275, from Rockett St George.

Quick Shop: Coloured Furniture

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Our pick of coloured furniture.

Brighten up your home with some coloured furniture.

Why restrict colour in your home to accessories when you can experiment with colourful furniture? Here at Furnish, we’ve picked the best, brightly coloured furniture that is sure to make a bold impression in your home.

The Gaga Pink Console Table from The French Bedroom Company, is great for injecting some feminine fun into any room. Or maybe you fancy a pop of colour in your living room, with this 2010 Flow Sofa by Kay + Stemmer from Heal’s. Whatever you choose, your home is sure to be bright and welcoming with these vivid furnishings.

(Clockwise from top) 2010 Flow sofa by Kay + Stemmer, from Heal’s £2595, Georgia yellow cardboard sideboard, from Fashion for Home £149, Eames style daw chair, green, from Zazous £79.99, Toddler bedside table – jolly red, from Great Little Trading Company £36, Armstrong sofa, from Lockwood Design £1900, Gaga pink console table, from The French Bedroom Company £445-£495.

French Bulldog Cushion from The French Bedroom Company

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French Bulldog Cushion, £70, from The French Bedroom Company

Add some canine chic to your scheme with this French Bulldog Cushion from The French Bedroom Company. £70

I am the first to admit that my dog obssesion is getting out of hand. I mean, if I see a dog when I am out and about, I can’t resist giving it a smile, a pat and cooing at it like it’s a new born baby.

In fact, I’m more interested in dogs than new born babies.

If I happen to go past Battersea Dogs Home at exercise time, I come over all giddy and during a bus journey the other day shared with a Burmese Mountain puppy I was beside myself with excitement.

Sadly, getting a dog is off the cards (landlord is mean, I am away too much, the other half works long hours – the list goes on) but that doesn’t mean I can’t look!

As such, I’m also obsessed with dog-inspired interiors which is why I love this French Bulldog Cushion from The French Bedroom Company.

The front shows the gorgeous portrait of a French Bulldog while the back shows the rear view. I love that they’ve chosen to use a houndstooth check and the background too.

Perfect for livening up a plain sofa, it makes the perfect gift for a dog lover like me!

Quick Shop: Chaise Longue

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Our selection of chic and contemporary Chaise Longue

Luxuriate and relax in style this winter with a sleek and trendy Chaise Longue

As the winter is approaching in all its cold misery, we all look for home comforts to get cosy and relax in and what better way then to indulge this season in a luxuriously comforting Chaise Longue.

Cosy up in the lavishly chic Deauville Velvet Silver Chaise Longue, with its soft velvet texture, it will make the coldest of homes toasty. Or if your looking for a real style statement to brighten up your home, opt for the gorgeously contemporary Lime/Pink Stripe Chaise, with its unusual curvaceous shape and rich tonal stripes it’s guaranteed to bring effortless style to your home.

Ritz Lime/Pink Stripe Chaise, £1,404, from The Pole House, Deauville Velvet Silver Chaise Lounge, £425, from The Lover’s Lounge, Eichholtz Chaise Lounge Grey Linen, £1,140.50, from Occa Home, Carmen White Chaise Lounge, £1,959, from Fashion For Home, Corbusier Cow Hide Chaise Lounge, £1,215, from The Pole House, Stone Striped Chaise Lounge, £1,103, from Sweetpea and Willow.

Shop The Trend: Animal Prints

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Our range of sassy animal prints

Take a walk on the wild side this season with the sassy trend of Animal Print

Ranging from leopard print footstools to cow hide magazine racks, the ever-growing stylish trend of animal print is guaranteed to bring a splash of glamour and animalistic playfulness to the most polished of homes.

This sassy trend work well by adding small key pieces into a space to allow a great mix of texture and warmth. The Union Jack Square Leopard Print Cushion proves a perfect statement piece and will add a splash of classy glamour to any home. Or if your looking to fully embrace the saucy trend, opting for large oversized pieces such as the Tricolour Cowhide rug will work perfectly on any flooring, to create depth and warmth within your home.

Leopard Print Footstool, £445, from London Cows, Zebra Throw, £185.50, from Occa Home, Jan Constantine Union Jack Square Leopard Print, £82, from Occa Home, Tricolour Cowhide, £295, from The French Bedroom Company, Cowhide Magazine Holder, £79, from London Cows, Flora Cow Skin Coffee Table, £395, from Graham & Green.

Quick Shop: Umbrella Stands

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Eye catching and chic, our range of Umbrella Stands

Store your umbrella in style this autumn in a trendy, chic umbrella stand

With the temperamental weather upon us, there is an easy solution to store your umbrellas and keep the entrance to your house looking proud, welcoming and most vitally – de cluttered!
Using an umbrella stand is a wonderfully stylish way to free up space and can make for a great style piece within your home. Whether your look is daring and bold or clean and simple, there are many styles to suit all homes and to suit a whole host of umbrellas!

Magis Goccia Umbrella Stand, £82.80, from A White Room, Ratton Square Umbrella Stand, £70, from The Holding Company, Kartell Gino Umbrella Stand Transparent Red, £84, from Heal’s, Lack Atico Umbrella Stand, £125, from John Lewis, Union Jack Umbrella Stand, £69, from Sweetpea and Willow, Classico Umbrella Stand, £64, from Metal Design Furniture.

Designers Saturday, Oslo

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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.

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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

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Marimekko collection love seat, from Heal's, £2040

Get ready for the most important month in the design calendar with part 2 of 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.

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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.

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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

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'Through the Keyhole' Fornasetti vase collection, from Milk.

Get ready for the most important month in the design calendar with part 1 of 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.

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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.

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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.

Pick Of The Sales

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A selection of some of latest bargains

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.

The Light

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.

The Cushion

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.

Quick Shop: Floor Lamps

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Our range of quirky and cool floor lamps

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.

Quick Shop: Wardrobes

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Our pick of wardrobes.

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.

Quick Shop: Console Tables

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Our selection of Console Tables

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.

Shop the look...

Tom Schneider Wave Console table by Tom Schneider
From £1290 £1011.50

Tea and a chat with Rothschild & Bickers

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Mark in action in the workshop

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’.

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The delicate Flora Pendant in steel

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’.

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The opulent Tassel Light in grey

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.

Quick Shop: Bookcases

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Have a look at our pick of the best bookcases

Take a look at our library of the best bookcases

I can’t think of anything in the home that gives away the owner’s personality quite as much as their book collection. It’s certainly the first thing my eyes drift to when I’m at a friend’s house - but then I am a self confessed bibliophile. So as well as agonising about what your books are saying about you, make an equally good impression with a well-considered bookcase.

Alongside storing, organising and displaying your tomes and curios, many bookcases are even more multipurpose - try one that is accessible from both sides for a perfect room divider to break up open plan spaces.

Clockwise from left: Missouri Low Shelving Unit, £439, from fashion4home, Reedy Bookcase, £2,262, from Utility, Henry Low Bookcase, £495, from Puji, Edith Shelving Unit by Kay + Stemmer, £320-£400, from Heal’s, Kartell Modular Bookshelf, £864, from A White Room, Bric A Brac Oak Shelving Unit, £1,295, from Heal’s, Hinged Low Shelving Unit by Leonhard Pfeifer, £495, from Heal’s, Chateau Small Open Bookcase, £230, from The Orchard, Shoreditch Industrial Narrow Bookcase on Wheels, £495, from Alexander and Pearl.