Blog, Press Show Picks

TOM DIXON A/W 2019

The designer Tom Dixon is based in a fabulous old building called The Coal Office

in Kings Cross. He has his headquarters, studio, and shop there. He also owns the adjoining restaurant/cafe , which uses many of his products. I was there last week with other journalists to view his new products, mainly his new fragrances that come in the form of candles, room diffusers, soaps and hand lotions. There were also a couple of new  drink ware ranges  for hot and cold drinks and some very nice coat hooks and other artifacts called Swirl. Whilst I was there I took the opportunity to view his furniture, textile and lighting ranges that he sells in his shop. everything is thoughtfully designed and very beautifully presented.

            Tom Dixon started his recent adventures into the peculiar world of fragrance a few years ago with his Eclectic collection that was structured around the exotic smells of London, Royalty and Orientalist.

This year he has refreshed the vessel form that hold the candles, with an elegant, new slim waisted metal container and added two more refined perfumes to the collection – Underground and Alchemy.

Underground is described thus, ”In the dark subterranean, hidden below the surface, rhizomes secretly grow and slowly develop the fresh, sharp intense fragrance of ginger. This is combined with woody Haitian cardamom to make the unique scent of Underground.

Alchemy is influenced by the endless search to transform basic materials into a valuable substance, sharp black pepper, woody cypress, eucalyptus, exotic patchouli and smoky guaiac wood combine to create the precious perfume of Alchemy.

The London fragrance captures the smell of red brick and London parks with crocuse and nettles, and the salty smell of Thames at Dagenham. Encased in a copper vessel with marble lid.

Orientalist is inspired by the faint memory of an Indian wedding with rose petal garlands, giant cinnamon sticks on beach stalls and the musky smells of the Chinese herbal market. Encased in a brass vessel with marble lid.

Royalty is a reminiscence of tea time with a pot of Earl Grey, scones, strawberry jam and the drive home in a ‘52 Bentley with tatty leather seats. Encased in a nickel-plated brass vessel, with a marble lid.

Tom Dixon has also created travelers gift set with a  trio of mini scented candles contained within a hand-spun vessel formed of copper, nickel and brass. The scents are created to capture the essence of travelling, trading, and the nostalgic past within the future of British life.

Swirl is a mysterious new material that resembles 3D marbled paper yet has the weight of stone. Tom Dixon has designed some new Swirl hooks that celebrate the little details that are often missed, the hidden bits of functionality that are often the first touch point in a space yet go unnoticed. A series of small and large hooks made from powdered residue from the marble industry, mixed with pigment and resin to create a variety of surprising colour combinations.

Brew kettle and filter set recognizes coffee making as a form of art and coffee drinking as one of our few remaining contemporary rituals. In response to consumers now being more educated and curious about coffee, Tom Dixon have introduced the Kettle and Filter set to the Brew family to encompass the different ways to create a good cup of coffee.

The Kettle and Filter set allows you to prepare and serve coffee simply and quickly, whilst still retaining the flavour and quality. The unusual thin and elongated shape of the kettle spout is essential for precise pouring and taste.

Tank is characterised by a hand painted copper band, Tank takes its sculptural cue from the functional shapes and volumes of scientific glassware. Minimal yet decorative for a multiplicity of purposes of drinking, pouring, storing and displaying drinks, the new Tank copper gift sets recognise our love for drinking stories.

Blog, Exhibitions

New Interior Trends For 2019

This feature first appeared on the blogazine www.magpieonline.co.uk

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Creativecolour.org’s Juliet Bawden has been to the design shows in London and Paris and has come back with what’s hot to trot for the coming months in interior design.

Want to be the first to know next year’s trends? Well you have come to the right place. I bring you news of all that is new and desirable from Paris Design week and the enormous trade fair known as Maison et Object and London Design week including Decorex,  Design Junction and 100% Design.

When 100% design started in 1995 it was the first organisation to promote design throughout London. It lost its way for a while and became too big and unwieldy, there was a changeof venue and ownership and now it is back on course and this year has exceeded expectations with the promotion of new young talent and innovative design. For the first time the design team have the input of Barbara Chandler the Design Editor of Homes and Property in London’s Evening Standard. She has always championed new designers as well as being a great photographer in her own right. She has curated 100% Forward. This section of the show that spotlights seven emerging design talents each of whom has been chosen by an established designer who launched their own career during the first decade of 100% Design.

The designers are Simon Pengelly a furniture designer who has nominated Daniel Schofield, industrial and product designer. Michael Marriot furniture and product designer has nominated a furniture designing team Dominic Postlethwaite and Will Dyer. Chris Eckersley a furniture designer has nominated weaver Majeda Clarke and they have collaborated on some projects together. Philip Watts interior designer and designer maker has nominated Light Up North, makers of creative neon. Ella Doran surface print designer has nominated Kyla McCallum whose work Foldability + Northern is beautiful and intricate. Jocelyn Warner who launched her own wallpapers at 100% design haschampioned Stoff Studios who design furniture and textiles .Samuel Chan furniture designer has nominated Moe Redish a multidisciplinary designer currently creating glass ware made by blowing into a wooden mould.

Here are the key trends for 2019.

Dulux colour of the year for 2019 is Spiced Honey and it is a warm comforting tone that will go with most of the key looks for next year, but it is the colour green that is very much in evidence everywhere. As a colour and as a life style concept of bringing the outside in itis a very strong trend. Sometimes it is shown as a flat colour at other times it is mixed with foliage and flowers.

Lighting has been influenced by the popularity of steam bent wood and laser cutting. There are many lightshade made using both these techniques and the result is fabulous patterns on the walls when the lights are on. Laser cut screens and wall treatments are being used on exteriors of buildings on balconies and fences. They are used as indoors as room dividers and screens.

Awareness of the environment, means that designers are finding new ways of using up waste, and recycling materials such as coffee grounds, paper and cardboard. IKEA have made some elegant dining chairs from that come in both black and white and are made from recycled plastic. As we are using less and less plastic bags we need replacements. Baskets are still popular either in natural straw and hemp weaves or in bright woven plastics. Stretchy string bags in a variety of colours are popular too. Bamboo, a fast growing sustainable wood is very much in evidence used in a variety of ways from flooring to fabrics and bowls.

The craze for wall papers that look as though they are made from something else be it aged wood or three dimensional ceramic tiles doesn’t look as if it’s going away any time soon. Florals and bright colours including fluorescents are still popular. Using a multi mix of patterns with one another is a trend in soft furnishings that echoes that of the fashion industry. Rough textures on surfaces such as walls, interesting finishes and weaves on fabrics and anything ‘natural’ or ‘eco’ friendly is going to be everywhere over the coming year. Felt is a very strong look in interiors. Concrete is being used more and more unusual and innovative ways.

Nineteen fifties or Mid Century Modern furniture and accessories are hugely popular, as in the original or as inspired by. The Vintage furniture pop store took place in Galerie Joseph. Paris had a pop up selling original furnishings and accessories from the nineteen fifties and early 1960’s. Baskets are very popular still and stretchy string bags. If you are considering building a house or replacing your front door you could do no better than looking at the work of Urban Front who design and make the most desirable enormous steel reinforced hardwood doors.

Another section of the show is 100% Futures a feature that shines a light on the most cutting edge designs and innovations under the theme ‘designing for cities’. Design Fresh showcases the talent of the very best designers who graduated this summer. Here are links tosome of their web sites:

www.phoebedeeprose.co.uk -textile designer printer and illustrator

www.lucygrainge.com – image maker/designer
www.giggyandbab.co.uk – designer who has re-designed the fold up kitchen stool
www.lizziehillierstudio.com – artist and designer, surface designer
www.niaristprints.com – surface designer

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Frida Kahlo inspired floral headdress

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The much anticipated ‘Frida Kahlo Making Herself Up‘ exhibition is starting  at the V&A in three days time. Here I show how to make a floral head dress in fifteen to twenty minutes. This headdress is constructed on a bought head band but if a more angelic look is your style you could add flowers to a wire halo. The first headdress is in Kahlo colours, rich and bold.

Step1

You will need

Flowers in lots of different colours and sizes

Florists wire

Headband

Florists tape

Scissors

Instructions

Using the florists tape pull it tight and bind it round the headband until all but the ends are covered.

Step2

Choose the flowers you are going to add, and cut them with a 7-8cm stem. Start with the larger flowers in the center and work outwards so the smaller flowers are on the sides  creating  a tiara effect. Starting in the center of the headband, wind florists wire round a stem and attach the flower to the band. Add the next flower in the same way covering the previous stem as you work outwards towards the edge of the band. Step3

Finish by covering the last pieces of wire and the ends of the headband with more florists tape.

Step4

The  21st of June it is the Swedish Midsummer, when the Swedes really celebrate. Traditionally it was considered to be a time of magic, and anything to do with nature was thought to have a special power. Gathering flowers to weave into wreaths and crowns was a way to harness nature’s magic to ensure good health throughout the year. Even though most people these days probably are unaware of the magical origins of the tradition, weaving crowns of flowers is still a major part of any Midsummer observance.

The headdress below has been inspired by those soft pastel hues so beloved by  Swedes.

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My daughter’s beau recently showed me a book on wreath making called Wreaths by Katie Smyth and Terri Chandler who together make up Worm London and so with flowers in mind, I shall be reviewing it soon on the blog.

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5 Key looks from ARGOS for Autumn Winter 2017

The Homeware team at Argos have really come up with some nice looking furniture and accessories for this autumn and winter.  I have issues with Argos stores and their queuing system and I haven’t always liked the quality of their goods, but not this time. There are five ranges that fit in with today’s trends and lifestyles.

INHABIT

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The pace of modern culture has fueled a desire and appreciation for relaxed living and understated design. Inhabit is a minimal trend that celebrates a new pace of home life by creating a comforting and calming space that encourages restoration. A pared-back colour palette of soothing neutral and green tones is combined with tactile surfaces, subtle weaves, printed leaf patterns and simple geometric prints.

Furniture designs show a nod to Danish influences with clean lines, minimal shapes and blonde woods.

Products within the Inhabit trend have a simple aesthetic for a softened minimal look in the home.

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NATIVE EARTH

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Inspired by the arid beauty of New Mexico and South America, the fashion-forward Native Earth trend offers a warm and rustic feel with tribal-inspired designs.

The colour palette celebrates Autumn with rich clay red and burnt orange hues paired with charcoal tones, blue accents and dark woods.

Metallic home accessories and woven materials add a rugged finish to the look, whilst bold tribal textiles and intricately embossed ceramics create a strong visual impact.

Native Earth offers a modern take on the iconic wilderness trend and creates a sense of warmth this Winter with earthy textural tones.

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DARK POETRY

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Dark Poetry is a stylistic approach to interiors with a focus on filling your home with products that are both functional and visually striking. With a fusion of elegant design and decadent materials, Dark Poetry creates a sense of luxurious living. Touches of gold, brushed brass and jewel tones add a feeling of warmth for the Winter season.

The collection of furniture and home accessories allude to architectural forms with structured shapes and designs, whilst velvet textiles and soft upholstery add elegance to the room.

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FOREST FROST

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Inspired by hazy Winter mornings, Forest Frost introduces a soothing and tranquil look to the home. Forest Frost exudes elegance with a soft blue palette balanced with pastel pink hues. Textiles are adorned with watercolour florals, nature-inspired details and diluted ombre ink washes to achieve a serene setting in the home. Furniture and home accessories are delicately rounded in a painted chalk finish. Velvet and fur textiles ensure this trend feels cosy throughout the cooler months.

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HYGENA

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Hygena provides contemporary and versatile designs for the modern home. Every piece in the range is designed to perfectly complement one another, offering ready-made design solutions which are easy to incorporate into the home. Accents of ochre brighten a sleek colour palette of monochrome and midnight blue hues, whilst geometric details offer a bold contemporary look. With urban living in mind, Hygena offers space- saving solutions and clever designs at attainable prices.

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