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Archive for the ‘Published Articles’ Category

Once upon a time, houses had a wealth of rooms dedicated to particular activities – rooms that rarely appear in our modern homes. We look at how to integrate these useful spaces back into our homes.

(This article first featured in Agenda magazine September 2011)

Fashions for rooms come and go as our society changes and our relationship with our homes develops. The separate dining room, for example, has seen a great demise in recent years as dining tables and sometimes a TV and sofa are incorporated into a modern family kitchen. However our basic daily needs from our home often remain the same even if it is us now using the space rather than the staff!

A butler’s pantry was traditionally a room for plates, glasses and a sink and was evident in most grand historical houses. Whilst this room might seem like an extravagance these days, if you entertain often a modern version of this can be really useful and marking out a section of your kitchen to store glassware and crockery close to a sink or dishwasher is a way of reinstating this practical space. Some modern large houses have even created a 20th century version of this room by installing two kitchens; a residential kitchen for everyday meals and a catering kitchen for entertaining purposes.

A larder or cool room, the cool room or larder is another room that is making a bit of a comeback with more people requesting them in modern homes. Brilliant at freeing up space in a kitchen, an insulated cool room with shelves and a sink reduces the need for lots of cupboards in the main food preparation area and acts as a natural overflow for your fridge. When planning your home it may be worth going for a smaller kitchen that incorporates a decent sized larder.

A boot room may already be a familiar concept if you live in the country and undertake outdoor pursuits. Popular in historical country houses these rooms provide a heated space for wet boots, coats and clothes to dry out. They are usually fitted out with hooks along the walls and low level heating and someone returning home after a long day outdoors can walk straight into this room and remove their wet and muddy boots and clothes before entering the rest of the house. A great idea for any rural home, saving a space for this set-up is worth considering in a modern house.

A flower room is likely to appeal to all you gardeners out there. Traditionally set as the back of the house, near the gardens this room served as a practical room for storing vases and garden tools, with a sink and bench for arranging flowers. Although not many of us would have the space for this in our own home, if you have a utility room you could always set aside some space there with a separate sink for this purpose.

Whilst these rooms all sound appealing, when considering your own home, essentially you need to ask yourself, ‘how do I live in my house?’ and ‘what rooms do I need?’ But be warned, you might be surprised by the answers; I am now desperate to find space for a flower room!

Images: Plain English, The White Company

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articles-angel-and-blume

Read all about it! We have posted four new design articles up on our website this week, so if you missed out on any of our features, don’t worry, you can read them all right here! From Missing rooms, to First impressions, click through to find out more.

 

 

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This month Cate was interviewed by Period Living magazine about how to get a glamorous and luxurious bathroom. What was her advice? It’s all about functionality and the little details. Read Cate’s quote below or see the full article here

 

Everyone needs a little extravagance in their life and where better to satisfy your taste for it than in your own private bathroom?

Luxury means different things to different people and one individual’s indulgence is another’s expected level of comfort so your first step to designing a dream bathroom is to define your terms.

For interior designer Cate Burren of Angel + Blume, look and function are inseparable when it comes to bathroom design – if the room works efficiently, it will probably feel luxurious. ‘Underfloor heating and a well designed layout are absolutely essential,’ she says. ‘Even apparently small elements, like putting the heated towel rail in the correct place, within easy reach of the bath or shower, are important to get right.’ She also believes that, provided a sense of balance is maintained, traditional and contemporary style can marry quite happily, and often selects modern lighting for a period bathroom.

Images: Mark Box

Read the full article here

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One of Angel + Blume’s projects is in 25 Beautiful Homes this month and Gail Abbott and Mark Scott have done a great job with the styling and photography respectively. A huge thank you to Annalise and Justin who allowed their home to be photographed. The project is on our website but here are a few of the images – we hope you like them!

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angel and blume articles

In need of a bit of design inspiration? We’ve updated the articles page of the Angel + Blume website and added even more of our recent press articles to keep you happy. Whether you want to find out how to lighten up your home for summer, get some tips on how to hang art or just want to browse, take a peek at the new, improved page.

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The Interior Design Yearbook 2012 is out now.  Packed full of inspiring case studies, gorgeous images and expert guidance from professional interior designers, it’s a must-read for anyone interested in design.  Writers include Jonanna Wood, Sally Storey, Tara Bernerd and our very own Cate Burren who was asked to pen the chapter on fabrics and textiles, as well as providing a case study.  Cate’s article is featured below and the yearbook is available here.

Trend: Fabrics and Textiles by Cate Burren

Fabric and textiles have always been a core part of an interior designers’ tool basket and fabric houses are quick to pick up on and reflect current tastes and trends. As a result, these textiles can act as a unique barometer of changing fashions and styles within our homes and interior environments, immediately evoking memories of childhood, reminiscences of bygone eras or recollections of people or places.

Fabric by Zimmer and Rohde

What is a trend?

There will always be trends in fabric design; styles and colours come and go in seasonal waves and fabric houses regularly present new collections. However, there are no fixed rules when it comes to following these trends. People often have an immediate reaction to a particular texture or pattern and each client’s choice will be uniquely personal to them. I find that this can play a key part in uncovering a client’s style; the type of fabric that they are instinctively drawn towards will tell me a world of information about their lifestyle and the look that they are after. As such, whilst I am aware of trends I will always consider the client and their needs first when selecting fabrics for them. It is far more important to me to ensure that the client has a finished home which suits their needs and lifestyle than a home which is filled with the most up to date products.

Fabric by Zimmer and Rohde

Current trends

There are lots of great developments in fabric design at the moment. Outdoor fabrics are looking better and better with products that really are weather resistant and there are some great voile fabrics on the market, especially linens that are so versatile and look fantastic. We are also seeing an increasing crossover between fashion and home furnishings, for example the Christian Lacroix collection for Designers Guild and the Oscar de la Renta collection for G P and J Baker. These collaborations are refreshing as they bring new styles and ways of working with fabrics to the interiors market. Colour has been gradually been returning to home fabrics after a prolonged period of beige and this trend keeps growing all the time. Probably as a reaction to our current austere times, consumers are also increasingly choosing the luxury of textured fabrics; tactile velvets, light reflecting sheens and fabrics with a touch of glitter and sparkle, which bring a bit of joy into our cost effective schemes!

Zimmer and Rohde

How to get it right

It is essential to think about quantities; the trouble with mood boards is that fabrics are presented in equal size cuttings but in reality you may use 40m of one for a curtain and 2m of another for a stool and getting the balance of different fabrics right is key to a successful scheme. It sounds obvious, but it is also important to make sure you look at a large piece of each fabric rather than a swatch when choosing. Cuttings are not representative of a whole pattern and a piece of cloth that you love or hate in a small piece will look totally different in bigger meterage and you may not have the same reaction.

Fabric by Zimmer and Rohde

Finally, enjoy the process! Choosing fabric is the fun part of designing a room; selecting the colours patterns and textures that will pull a look together and add the final layer to a scheme is really rewarding. The beauty of fabrics is that they can also be updated relatively easily as opposed to furniture or flooring etc, so have fun and be bold with your choices.

Image credits: Zimmer and Rohde

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Today I am thrilled to introduce  our new column for the brand new Cambridge Evening News Homes and Gardens website. Take a look at the lovely new site here, it’s packed with inspiration for your home and garden, from Craft to DIY to Green living. You can read our new column below and keep your eyes peeled for the next installment.

House of Fraser bedlinen

Flowers, sunshine, Pimms and Alan Titchmarsh. Ah, it can only be The Chelsea Flower Show.  Quintessentially English, this event brings out the best of British and has a fiercely loyal following (tickets to the show are like gold dust). But if you didn’t make it this year, don’t worry, we’ve put together some beautiful floral interiors for you instead. So pour yourself a Pimms and enjoy.

designers guild

This scheme from Designers Guild is so fresh and vibrant, it just oozes summer style. The cheerful pink blooms are perfectly offset by the crisp whites and juicy greens and the bold florals contrast nicely with the simple stripe pattern.

zimmer and rhodes fabric floral chelsea flower show

Inspired by botanical sketches this Zimmer + Rhode design has a delicate, painterly quality but the relatively large scale of the print keeps the design looking modern. This paper would look lovely in a study or library for a feminine twist on traditional style.

Marks and Spencer

The high street is blooming with floral prints this summer so if you’re looking for accessories you’ll be spoilt for choice.  These cushions, above, are all from Marks and Spencer and the Fashion Vintage Floral Rug is a real gem, from only £59.

zimmer and rhodes

If you like your florals bold and dramatic go all out with long and sweeping curtains. I love the way the green silk chair and purple cushion, above, echo the simple colour palette of the fabric without detractracting from it.

deisgners guild

These scheme is a glorious riot of colour and print and I instantly feel happy just looking at it. Using this many patterns can be tricky but if you keep the rest of the room simple it can work without overpowering. Here the white walls and table offer a clean backdrop to the textiles and the block colour of the sofa allows the patterned cushions to shine.

Image credits: House of Fraser, Designers Guild, Zimmer + Rhode, Marks and Spencer

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Our latest design article is now out in Velvet magazine but don’t worry if you missed it, you can read it here!

The clocks have gone forward, the evenings are lightening up and summer is on the horizon. There’s nothing better than shaking off the winter gloom and getting your house ready for the summer months. Victoria Harrison shares some simple tips to make your home lighter and brighter.

1 The White Company 3 The Contemporary Home

Update curtains to let the sunshine in

This is a simple update which makes a huge difference. Heavy drapes are lovely and cosy in the winter but for summer you need light, airy voiles and sheer fabrics to allow the sunshine to pour in. Update yours to make the most of those long summer evenings; if you need a bit more privacy you can always hang a blind behind the voiles. Invite the sunshine in by ensuring your windows are sparkling clean; scrub the frames inside and out to get rid of winter grime and polish the glass with a water and vinegar solution to make them gleam. Finally, declutter window frames to make sure that nothing is blocking the light; move ornaments, vases and photo frames to a shelf and keep windowsills nice and clear.

4 The Contemporary Home 2 Jan Constantine

Switch things around

In the summer you don’t need extra layers under your feet, so store heavy rugs away until autumn. With endless feet traipsing in and out from the garden it’s much more practical to have simple floorboards which can be swept clean. Banish heavy cushions and throws to a cupboard as well and lighten up for the summer months with soft and silky fabrics. Bright cheerful colours will give your house a lift, so indulge your home with zingy fabrics and cheery patterns. Think about reshuffling the furniture in your room to breathe a bit of life and fresh air into the space. In the winter we tend to group chairs close together and huddle around the fireplace or TV but in the summer months it’s nice to rearrange your furniture so you can sit in your favourite chair and look at the view out of the window rather than the TV screen. It’s the perfect time to declutter your living space too; in the winter we tend to gather our belongings around us, but summer is the perfect time to tidy up, store away unused items and make a fresh start.

5 The Contemporary Home 6 The White Company

Reflect the light

Reflect all that lovely summery light around your room with a large sparkling mirror. If you have recessed walls or dark corners a mirror is a great way to bounce light back into the room. Glass vases and candlesticks are good when it comes to adding extra sparkle too. I love mirrored furniture, but if you just want to update a few accessories rather than buy new furniture then mirrored lamp bases and photo frames are a good way of brightening up a scheme. Bunches of fresh cut flowers are the simplest way of bringing the outdoors in and they are a brilliant and inexpensive decorating staple throughout the summer. Even just a couple of blooms in a small votive will cheer up a room and add a layer of summer scent. Finally, small tea lights in mirrored or glass jars will add a cheerful glow to those lovely long summer evenings.

This article first appeared in Velvet magazine – issue 47 – May 2011.

Image credits: The White Company, The Contemporary Home, Jan Constantine, Dunelm Mill

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The scents that fill our homes can be welcoming and evocative; Victoria Harrison of Angel + Blume looks at how to add fragrance to your home to create a unique atmosphere.

Spring Cleaning

Before adding fragrance to your home you need to make sure you start with a clean base. Now that the gloom of January is lifting and Spring is just around the corner it’s the perfect time to scrub up. You can start by simply opening windows and welcoming the fresh air. During the winter when windows remain closed, carpets and textiles can become stale, but a quick steam clean will get rid of odours and freshen them up. A wipe down of all door frames and skirting boards will get rid of accumulated dust and grime and if you’re feeling energetic give the ceiling a clean too as smoke and oils can build up over time. (more…)

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Uncover hidden gems and ensure your home stands out from the crowd. Victoria Harrison of the interior designers Angel + Blume lets you in on some trade secrets.

salvage vintage style salvage vintage style

 

Images: 1 from Decorating with Blue and White by Gail Abbott, photography Mark Scott, 2 Gail Abbott

If you’ve never been to a salvage yard you don’t know what you’re missing. Like a treasure hunt for grown-ups, at a good architectural salvage yard you can uncover all sorts of hidden gems, from Victorian fireplaces and Georgian chandeliers to door handles and stained glass. All these items and many more are out there just waiting for a bit of TLC and a new home. Here’s how to salvage a little bit of history… (more…)

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