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You won’t believe where I bought this !

This week I attended a fascinating panel discussion, on the latest trends and interior developments created by the Sainsburys and Argos design team for Autumn Winter 2019 The event was chaired by Kate Watson Smyth, from ‘Mad about the house’

The teams work together but Argos tends to sell more furniture, the smaller accessories are sold in Sainsbury’s.

There are five key trends this season. They reflect the different ways in which we live today: often renting, flexible living, traveling  so we only live in our homes for part of the week. Sometimes letting out our places as Air B&B and often living in quite small places . Some of us have remote working styles, which may mean we work from home.

Trend 1. Japanese inspired, called Kanso Living. This is for a home that is neat and uncluttered. It has a monochrome base.   

Colour Psychologist Karen Haller was on the panel.

‘Black, white and grey are psychologically known to offer protection, safety and a sense of space whilst at the same time being very calming. This minimal pallet lowers the emotional noise”  

Although there is no colour as such, there are many textures and patterns. Included is a ladder shelf unit that looks good, saves space and you can take it with you when you move.

From the head of design  “We did lots of mark making in the studio and then translated those marks  into different kinds of surface design using a range of scales from quite large on bedding to teeny tiny on ceramics.’

Trend 2 Highland Lodge. I would describe this look as modern country with touches of rustic wilderness, such as pale oak furniture and  country touches including images of flowers and animals such as hares on ceramics and textiles. A favourite in this range is light washed oak furniture, including a beautiful four poster bed that retails at just £400

This collection has muted colours that are excellent to use in the UK where they fit in with the prevailing  blue light rather than warm yellow as found in

Mediterranean countries. These blue based tones help us to reconnect with nature and bring the outside in, they fit in well with the grey story that has been popular over the last 5 years Interiors.

Trend 3 . Apartment Apparel This is a very vibrant and exciting collection, it is the Sainsburys Argos take on the centenary of the Bauhaus . There are some exciting juxtapositions of colours, including a much coveted harsh orange velvet sofa which, by the way, is child friendly.

Table-ware is playful and brave with a pallet of mustard and oak that work with a deep navy that runs throughout the collection. The mid century styling helps make small spaces feel bigger.

The pop of colour in this collection attracts the eye and makes the shopper curious about the pieces.  

  • Karen Heller ‘Strong colour creates emotional energy and the volume is  turned up, we see colour before we notice anything else. To work, these colours need a warm yellow base and also need yellow lighting. This is a party place for extroverts.’

Trend 4.  Palm Luxe

With it’s grey soft pale pallet , this look is quite glamorous. There are lots of metallic although mainly silver. Inspired by beautiful hotel lobbies. It is opulent and nods towards preciousness. It is quite a showy look influenced by  old Hollywood glamour. It is aspirational and has the feel of a cocktail party with soft music playing.

 Another expert on the panel pointed out that this is a look that will stand out in the rental market and also appeals to those who love Show Homes. It happens to be a very instagramable look, that is very easy to shoot.

Trend 5. Loft living   This look includes loads of natural wood.

Sainsbury/Argos sponsor new designers exhibition each year and choose a winner from those presenting their work. This collection was designed by a winner and has taken two years to come to fruition.

Designed very much with  the young of today in mind who live much more minimally than their parents did, with far less in the way of possessions. They may be working from home and so the solution is a desk storage bedding collection that is all encompassing and super flexible for easy living. It is a  continuation of the successful industrial modular look with contrasting textures carried over from last season.

Many of the pieces are multi functional such as the desk/ dressing table which is easily packed away if more space is needed.

As well as these key looks there is also a quite sophisticated non gender stereotype children’s range.

 All in all a very impressive range of products.

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Broste Copenhagen A/W collection 2019

If you like Scandinavian design you will love the autumn winter collection from Broste Copenhagen. Throughout the Danish company’s, 60-year old history, design objects, furniture, and modern art have come and gone along with changing trends and tendencies. However a few objects remain as timeless examples of Broste Copenhagen ‘s unique idiom, and have achieved status as modern classics. Some of the basic shapes and functions are unchanged- as is the joy of meeting the designs again when they are launched as Broste Copenhagen

The Broste Copenhagen Autumn winter collection 2019 is a tribute to the simple joys in life- and to all those little gestures of love and consideration we put into seemingly insignificant everyday routines. Home is where the heart is, the old saying goes. Idealized and clichéd this may seem, but there is truth in the notion that home is the one place where love, care and thoughtfulness rule. Between the four walls of home, life happens- everyday! And we had better cherish it.

         With this in mind, Broste Copenhagen have a created a collection that offers new, well-crafted furniture for your hallway, kitchen and living room, as well as a vast number of everyday items – from the vast number of everyday items – from the vase on your window sill to the plates on your table.

Together, like small pieces of a puzzle, they create the perfect home. Or rather, they create a home for lives that are filled with uncertainty of frustration – and at other times…. Just perfect.  

         Autumn ,winter 2019 marks the introduction of a new, flexible sofa, called Ocean, that will fit into almost any space, a dining table and a set of functional chairs to go with it and a continuation of the popular tableware collections, with added items designed to complete the exciting selection. Colours this season are deep, intense and infused with warmth – a classic Etruscan red, a quintessential lichen green, a beautiful , dark Bordeaux. All are carefully chosen to either complement or contrast with one another in new, elegant ways – whether you need a pillowcase to match your favourite  candle holder or a personalized table-setting consisting of different plates, bowls and cups.

         The new season’s colours are designed to fit in with the classic Broste colours of Egret, Rainy day, Simply Taupe, Fungi, Boulder, Indian Tan, Drizzle and Castle Rock.

         Included in the collections are both mirror and wall art. Home décor is never complete with empty walls, which is why Broste Copenhagen have created a range of both.

         There is a magnificent selection of asymmetric rugs. A rug has the power to punch life into a room and to tie all the other interior accessories together. A rug can also be used to delineate space and accentuate the room’s existing colour scheme, and add warmth.

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Home inspirations for Autumn Winter 2019

If you are looking for good design at a low price point then you need look no further than J D Williams autumn winter 2019 ranges. They have produced two very different looks .

Arthouse Tonal Mineral Wallpaper £18

         The first is called Far Away and is my favourite. It takes inspiration from autumn coastal escapes, across rural landscapes and through hardened elements. There is a very strong Scandi feel in both the materials and colours used in this collection. Reflected throughout is a palette of cold, natural aquatic tones-inky blues, deep green hues and teals contrasted with pearly white, terracotta and purple grey.

Eva Smoked glass desk £129, Klara Office chair £69,
Graham & Brown Abstract framed Canvas £129, Set of 4 bamboo baskets £39

Artisan in mood yet sophisticated in design; water colour prints take center stage in dreamy inky hues paying homage to the rolling seas and rugged coastal scenery. Particularly beautiful is the Isla Digital Print bed linen from £25 for a Duvet Set.  There is the glorious Florence bedhead in cotton velvet from £299.

Watercolour lines Cushion £20,Set of 2 rush lined baskets £29,
octopus cushion £22, Navy Boucle Throw £30, Havana Rug from £55, Halo Grey Speckle 2 Piece Mug set £28, angle poise desk lamp£35, Navy Florence Curved Bedstead from £299

         The furniture is modern and clean lined and very good value.

The second collection is called Palace Design. This collection carries on the very strong Luxx trend heading towards Art Deco that has been around for a few seasons. It is a new take on boudoir design.

Gaia Foot stool £299 Blush Glass Vase £16

 The designers say it reflects a contemporary combination of feminine tones with masculine designs creating a truly refined collection. The range includes luxurious materials from brushed brass to soft velvets, softly tinted glass to satin finishes.

Mahogany, Verdigris and smoked gold are lifted with hints of light ecru, palest of pinks and soft yellow tones. Rose velvet beds are dressed with satin sheets embossed with linear floral and intricate geometric designs, whilst rose velvet button-back chairs are styled with the palest pink marble accessories and set against gold angular furniture.

Once again the prices are all very reasonable. I feel this is a look that looks fabulous if well maintained but would be unforgiving and start to look tacky if not kept tidy, polished and super clean. The two pieces of product that stand out are the Gaia Foot Stool £299 and the Blush Glass Vase £16

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Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

Clerkenwell design week is one of the most anticipated design events of the year. It is a bit of a misnomer as ‘the week’ only lasts for three days.

Each year the design practices, interior companies and product designers open their doors for visitors to enjoy what is new and engaging in the design industry. Every year Clerkenwell Design Week presents new design projects and street spectacles, commissioned specially for the festival and featured prominently around Clerkenwell. Inviting some of the leading pioneers in the creative industry, these projects aim to push the boundaries of design, in terms of concepts, process and material capabilities. They are created to challenge visitors’ perception of design application, as well as to inspire and entertain them. Previous participants include Cousins + Cousins architects, Studio Weave, Gruppe, Assemble, Monotype, OKAY Studio, Johnson Tiles, Grimshaw Architects, Sebastian Cox and more.

Once Upon a Time draws on the rich and sometimes dark historical tales of EC1. Working in collaboration with UAL Chelsea College of Arts, BA Graphic Design Communication students, stories from 6 locations were brought to life by a series of graphical installations. Below are three of them.



Passing Alley – By Rory Brown

This modern memorial honours the 66 Martyrs who were burned alive at the stake for having protestant beliefs. Displaying the names of all 66 Martyrs killed in the Smithfield this design echoes the geometric style of the church’s stained glass windows.

St James’s Church Garden – By Alistair Ramage

The House of Detention has a very rich history with tales of failed escapes and destruction. In 1867 an attempted escape went tragically wrong as a bomb ruptured a nearby gas main killing 12 people. Known as the ‘Clerkenwell Outrage’ this design uses geometric illustrations to represent the explosion in a modern way.


 
House of Detention – By Natasha Lopez

The winning concept for St John’s Gate responded to the theme of history and heritage by proposing a new structure that subtly draws on the historic form of the St John’s Gate arch whilst bringing in materials and geometries that reference the design culture of Clerkenwell today.

The concept plays with the idea of space and enclosure, by inserting a densely built timber structure within the void of the archway.  This is then carved away to allow a route through and to frame the historic features of the site.  The timber frame is filled with moments of colour that intensify towards the top of the arch, drawing visitors’ gaze upwards towards the historic architecture.  This colour is created by using recycled materials and fabrics, that reference the design identity of the area.

While on the site, the pavilion highlights details of the archway and draw parallels to the 10 year anniversary of Clerkenwell Design Week.  When moved to a new location, the pavilion will take with it the geometry of the archway to act as a casting of the original site.

Another inventive, and close to my heart, installation was Bottle House. Designed and constructed by WSP Design studio, BottleHouse is made from disregarded plastic bottles and applies skills in architectural design, engineering and construction to transform an empty bottle into a building block-forming a unique shelter.

Herman Millar presented Aeron Hockey – a fun, fast paced sport played on Aeron Chairs. Not sure your boss will be too delighted if you decide to play this in your office.

The House of Detention housed some of the artisan  designer makers and start up companies. These included BLWM by Nia Rist prints, a collection of monochrome hand printed home wares celebrating all things pattern.

A new innovative company is Spitfire they have a range of very nice felt covered lamp shades and furniture.

Turbine
Turbine detail

My conclusion, a great show yet again, and I have only touched on a fraction of what was there. If you missed it this year make sure to put it in your diary for next, it is well worth a visit.

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Top Drawer SS 2019

Top Drawer Spring Summer 2019

Top Drawer is the place where retailers view, inwardly digest, and then order for next season from the wholesalers and small independent companies. Due to its scale—11 curated sectors spreading across the entirety of Olympia London—and mix of brands across the lifestyle spectrum, Top Drawer attracts a range of retailers; from concept stores, museums shops, boutiques and independents to multiple retailers, garden centres and supermarkets.

The show lasts three days and can be exhausting, and just how many scented candles does a woman want?

This season they have called the show ‘Out of the Ordinary’, a great strap line and there is much to be seen that is out of the ordinary.

Talks and trails are included in the show and its diversity is such that I bumped into two friends of mine, the first a retailer on the look out for her shop, and the other a museum shop curator with a different clientele.

Gifts, hospitality, jewellery, accessories, well being, craft, cards food and home accessories are all on show and within these groups are sub sections:

 Mr: is a showcase of accessories, jewellery, design- led life style brands for the modern man.

Robin James founder of Men’s Lifestyle blog ‘ Man for himself’ said

“MR is such a great addition to Top Drawer London. I was really impressed by the brands and think that it can only get bigger and next season.”

Spotted: Is curated by Charlotte Abrahams a freelance writer author and curator specializing in design and applied arts. Think new; think market ready, original, hot talent, across all lifestyle sectors.

One of my favourites spied in ‘Spotted’ is a collection of fun textile products designed by Lorraine Ireland. Her company is called Oh Sew Home. Based around her love of mischievous and cheeky seagulls. www.ohsohome.com

Many companies are homing in on the need to be more sustainable and ethical, whether it is finding replacements for, or the reuse of plastic. The aptly named

Bees Wax Wrap Company have a reusable alternative to cling film. www.beeswaxwraps.co.uk

Another bees wax wrap company, who take their mission so seriously they don’t even produce business cards but put all their details on a chalk board so that you could photo them. www.GoodToBee.co.uk

As the owner Madeleine says

‘With GoodToBee I had the chance to create something from start to finish. Not just the wraps but a commitment to myself, and everyone else. Everything I now do and in every way I can, I will be as sustainable, ethical and low impact as I can be. Our fabric is  Global Organic Textile Standard. The beeswax is sourced from sustainable local hives just a few miles away, and we use only organic jojoba oil. Our packaging is 100% recycled post-consumer waste and my beautiful stamp is made from sustainably managed oak with a sapling being planted for each one the company makes. And we never use plastic in anything we do.

Eliminating plastic can be a daunting prospect but my hope is that family, friends and customers will feel able to make the swap to GoodToBee beeswax wraps and feel empowered that their efforts ‘ are a third Bees Wax wrap company they also sell cushion covers made from luxurious silky feel recycled polyester and organic cotton, all their thread is made from recycled bottles, all cotton is organic, their mailing bags are recyclable, they have a range of reusable products designed to divert waste from landfill or the oceans, their waste is donated to charity and non recyclables put into eco bricks. Their packaging is recyclable and they always try to support local suppliers.

https://www.harrisandhall.com

Bamboo is being used to make many products including fabrics, socks, bowls and cutlery, one of these products is Bamboo Cup designed to reduce the 2.5 billion plastic lined single use cups that go to landfill each year. Made mainly from sustainable, fast growing bamboo fiber and tested to the highest standards by TUV Rheinland, these cups feel lovely to hold. There are over 50 contemporary designs in the collection

www.blueeyedsun.co.uk

Lola and Mawa is décor and lifestyle brand based in the UK selling beautiful products sourced in Africa. The baskets and the indigo fabrics are particularly fine. They also produce a range of baskets made from recycled waste.

They say ‘We value traditional skills and will do everything we can to help artisanal communities to thrive. Every purchase at Lola & Mawu generates meaningful income for the makers and their families. We believe that diversity, the blending of traditions and the partnership between peoples of different cultures is the way to a better world.

Our name is a symbol of that partnership between Lola, the Founder, and Mawu, the African goddess of creation, embodied by the incredibly talented artisans we work with.

Another socially conscious and environmentally aware company is https://paguroupcycle.com/

 Their products are made from recycled materials including leather, inner tubes, wood. As they reclaim, reimagine and reinvent they produce jewelry.

My choices are not all up cycled. There are lots of people with new twists on old techniques or ideas. For example Michelle Harvey from Melbourne creates under the name www.crayonchick.com.au

Crayon Chick has designed and made a range of covetable original products including wall hangings, weave bowls and knot necklaces.

It was nice to see the much loved company Thornback and Peel designers of tea towels, coaster, trays, cosmetic bags and cushion covers. They tend to use one or at most 2 colours and produce very desirable sophisticated designs. www.thornbackandpeel.co.uk

If what you are looking for is a simple natural skincare, bath and beauty range then look no further than the new company Divine and Handmade.

On the food front it was a real treat to find Isle of Wight based company called pinks. Their logo looks like a flying snitch. They make butters, jellies and curds all of which are suitable for vegetarians and are delicious.

www.pinksfoods.co.ukh

With so much interesting design I have only touched on a tiny portion of what is available, but you will see it in the shops and on line in the coming months. Juliet Bawden www.creativecolour.org

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Graham and Green

Below are the Spring Summer 2019 key looks from Interiors company Graham and Green . Many of the key trends seem to be carrying on from recent seasons these include Berber Rugs. Metallics are still around : rose gold and copper being the most popular. Neons and succulents are still with us, as are fifties and sixties inspired cane chairs on spindly legs. Talking of legs, G&G are selling a fine line in patterned and embossed ceramic pots that stand on tiny feet so they are slightly elevated from the surface on which they stand. Velvet in strong acid yellows and rich royal blues are still being used to cover sofas and chairs. There are some metallic mouse lamps – sure they are cute if thats your thing but personally I can’t stand rodents and prefer the birds shown in the image below. To sum up, it is a strong cohesive collection all fabulously styled.

Metallic bird lamps
Velvet covered arm chair

Spatter designed enamelware
Ceramic plant holders with tiny feet

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Dunelm Spring Summer 2019

Dunelm have pulled out all the stops and come up with some lovely home wear product for the end of this year and going into next year. They are even selling artificial cacti, flowers and plants. They had a very personable and enthusiastic Anna from Jar and Fern  running a  terrarium workshop, although she admitted to me this was the first time she had used fake cacti. The results looked pretty impressive.

https://www.jarandfern.co.uk

The Cinnabar collection  includes both soft furnishing and ceramics.

The textures used throughout their range are imaginative and beautiful,  they  include printed , woven and appliqued  textiles.

Love the velvet sofa and button down pouffe.