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Posts Tagged ‘accessories’

We’re always looking for creative ways to add interest into an interior, especially by using new and different design techniques. There are plenty of ways to add depth and texture to your interior, and one creative way to is to use carved and decorated pieces of furniture and accessories; from wood to metal. They are a popular style at the moment, with the patterns that these techniques create adding personality and texture into a room. I’ve picked some of my favourite pieces to share with you and give you an idea of how you could use the style in your home.

Starcarved Nightstand by Anthropologie

This simply shaped beside table from Anthropologie has been given a charming front design in a handcrafted star motif. If you don’t want your bedroom to be too busy; adding a smaller detailed aspect like this nightstand is a great way to insert some personality without being too distracting. The drawer and open shelf also give you lots of options for storage so that the top doesn’t get too cluttered.

Another beautiful piece of carved furniture is this sideboard from Loaf; the hexagon carved detailing at the front is an unusual style, making the piece feeling unique. If we were to think of carving details on furniture we might be tempted to think of rather traditional ornate designs, or the sometimes overdone oriental style, but these contemporary versions are a really fresh take on the technique. This piece would look elegant in a hallway or a modern dining space for storage.

Grand Orinoco from Loaf

Carved details are also fun to add to your accessories, like this wooden frame mirror from H&M Home. The white lines would really stand out on a dark painted wall; giving a contemporary look with a touch of bohemian style.

Mirror with a Wooden Frame from H&M Home

This etched detailed tray by the House Doctor, available at Amara, is a really subtle way to add in the carved style into your home. The brass tray is given an antiqued look from the etching; it would make a lovely feature on a dining of coffee table.

Carved Tray by House Doctor from Amara

A more natural interpretation of the grooved look is this driftwood headboard from Tikamoon. The uneven pieces are placed together to create a calming, relaxed design that still makes a strong statement. This piece would look lovely against a neutrally decorated room with a few extra textural details on the bed to make a soft bohemian style atmosphere.

River Driftwood Headboard from Tikamoon

This ceramic vase from H&M Home is a simple, contemporary way to include a carving detail into your interior. The asymmetrical top is an interesting element, making it a feature in a room even when empty.

Ceramic Vase from H&M Home

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, a pair of this wooden spoons would make a lovely addition to the table as salad servers. The wings have a great flair of personality and as well a playful sense.

Hand Carved Wooden Spoon from Rockett St George

Seville Sideboard from Swoon Editions

Moving back to furniture, this sideboard has a fantastic two-toned pattern, creating a really graphic, retro effect. The groove detail is the perfect design to catch your eye whilst still working harmoniously amongst the rest of your belongings.

Carved Black Resin Box from Graham & Green

This box’s pattern gives it a real sense of style, and makes it the perfect focal point at a dressing table. A great place to keep jewellery or those little bits and bobs you can never seem to find a place for.

This plant pot is a lovely balance between a simple and intricate design; the stretched diamond shapes are a lovely feature; this would make a great piece for a little bit of decking or on a balcony of an apartment.

Round Diamond Embossed Plant Pot and Tray from Graham & Green

Carvings, grooves and etchings are a great way to add in some details and textures into an interior, giving it more character and personality without being too over the top. Whether you want to go big or small, it’s a chance to get creative and play around with different techniques.

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At the moment in interior design we’re seeing a lot more of raw or organic shapes and materials being used. This is a great trend for those who love contemporary and diverse looks in their home, and want to experiment with different types of material; from metal, stone, wood, cork and concrete to natural forms. Take a look at some of these design to see if you might want to add some rough edges to your interiors.

This natural, pebble shaped mirror from Oliver Bonas takes the luxurious of the rose gold frame and plays it down with the relaxed shape, which is an interesting alternative to a formal rectangular mirror; making it a great buy if you want to soften a glam setting.

Full Length Rose Gold Pebble Mirror from Oliver Bonas

Break up a seating area with this raw shape petrified wood coffee table from Houseology. It appears like a slice straight from the trunk of a tree, but with a beautiful finish. It’ll add a diversity in texture and break up the space, as well as adding a natural element but in a formal and luxurious way.

Eichholtz Barrymore Coffee Table from Houseology

Offset the wooden coffee table with this agate top side table from Andrew Martin. The roughness of the agate edge contrasted against the angular brass legs give the side table a dynamic look that’ll add some unexpected glamour to a room.

Rosalie Side Table from Andrew Martin

If you want to add some natural motifs to your interiors in a larger way, there are a whole range of interesting wallpapers you could look at. This cement brick wallpaper adds a touch of industrial charm; it could look great in a sitting room with an added a cosy element like some textural sheepskin cushions completing the look.

Atlantis Cement Wallpaper from Andrew Martin

These pendants by Tom Dixon at Amara are perfect if you’re looking for something with an organic shape but still has a really glamorous touch. The finishes feel like precious metals and look like they’re melting, malleable to the touch. They would add a really vibrant edge to a room, over a dining table or hanging in a stairwell.

Melt Copper Pendant Light by Tom Dixon from Amara

Alternatively, finding products that used raw materials but take a contemporary shape can be a great way to give a room more texture when combined with other materials like velvets, paint or linen. This light made from concrete has a modern, simple shape, allowing the material to be the focal point of the design.

Dutch Bone Cradle Concrete Pendant Lamp from Cuckooland

Insert some a natural component and a little fun into your interior with this cork stool from Heal’s; it’s a playful when to add in some composition to a room, as well as having some back up seating when needed.

Cork Stool Model A from Heal’s

This could be contrasted nicely against this dark concrete mirror from Cult Furniture. It’s smart enough to be worked into a formal setting, but the added interested of the concrete means it can be toned down too.

Abra Modern Round Wall Mirror from Cult Furniture

This garden stool from Made is made from beautifully smooth concrete; it would look lovely in a juxtaposition against the green grass or on a minimalist desking. It could also be work inside the home as well; just add a little softness with a throw of cushion nearby.

Edison Garden Stool from Made

For a clean, strong look in the bathroom, using raw materials can create a dynamic look that plays to both masculine and feminine themes. This caddy from Next is made from a grey stone, and would look great added into a contemporary bathroom setting.

Pale Grey Stone Toothbrush Caddy from Next

For a larger touch of marble effect, this electric marble wallpaper is a giant textural feature. The orange tones against the dark bark almost glisten, making this wallpaper perfect if you want to create drama in say a dining room.

NLXL Piet Heim Eek Blakc Metallic Marble from IWOOT

From big drama to little drama, this pendant has a traditional style but made with a contemporary metal, to give it a stunning contrast. Two of these over a long dining table or as bedside lights would be the perfect finishing touch to a contemporary glamorous look.

Light & Living Alarice Pendant Light from Houseology

Whether you’re interested by raw forms or raw materials given an elegant finish, both are great ways to add texture and further depth to your interiors, so get out there and see how you can customise your own space.

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Just like any other room in a house, creating the perfect kitchen is all about making sure that the final details are in place to make it feel like home and full of style. A few final kitchen accessories that are both pretty and practical, and will help give your kitchen that individuality it may be missing, giving your kitchen that all important character.

Tansui Glass Bottles from Nkuku

These beautifully shaped glass bottles from Nkuku are perfect for storing your olive oil or balsamic vinegar and they make a lovely companion for a rustic or country style kitchen.

I came across these ceramic spice spoons and instantly fell in love, what sweet little designs! Hang them in a row above you cooker, so that they’re in a handy spot but also become an interesting but simple design feature.

Ceramic Spice Spoons from The Future Kept

If you want to give your spices and herbs even more individuality, empty them from the store jars and into some fun like a vintage jar; there are loads of Etsy, both in sets and single items. I love this emerald green pot, which would like great on the counter, and could be even be used for other kinds of storage.

Vintage Poole Pottery Spice Jar from Annascupoftea on Etsy

To accompany your jars, a handy utensils pot won’t go amiss, this one from Garden Trading is made from raw marble and looks fantastic; a great option if you want a minimal look. Your utensil holder will be the perfect place to store these beautiful gold serving spoons, they’ll look good on the table and in the kitchen when not in use.

Utensil Holder from Garden Trading

Brushed Gold Serving Spoons from Not on the High Street

I love this silky looking sugar bowl from Holly’s House, the pearl-like coating and cute gold button handle make it great for everyday use and pretty enough for those special occasions. It also has a matching pot and milk jug if you want to complete the look.

Powder Sugar Bowl from Holly’s House

Who could resist this little dotted pepper grinder from Anthropologie, the gold dots give it a playful nature against the cool marble.

Gold Dotted Marble Pepper Grinder from Anthropologie

Tea towels are made for practical reasons, but sometimes you just need a very pretty one to look at, like this adorably designed Clarke dish towel from Anthropologie.

Clarke Dish Towel from Anthropologie

Finally, for when you need to keep your cool whilst trying out a new recipe, or preparing a meal with all your family surrounding you, keep your cookbook firm in place with this gold wire stand from Rockett St George.

Gold Wire Cookbook Stand from Rockett St George

From big decisions to small accessories, making your kitchen special is all about finding its personality and presenting it to the world and yourself; as well as making it a fun, stylish place to be in.

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If you are after a lush piece of Mid Century furniture for your home, can I point you in the direction of Publik i based in their very lovely and recently transformed store in Beckenham, although of course they are online too. Publik i owner and founder Gary Dennie is about as passionate about great design as it is possible to be, and what I particularly liked is the way he mixes a love of the character and heritage of a vintage piece with a resolve to bring it up to date enough to make it look great in today’s interiors. Several of the upholstered pieces he had in his studio had been transformed by his fabric choices (it helps he has a great eye for colour) and he works with really good craftsmen to restore the furniture – they were there when I visited so I know!

 

There are a number of items on the website but if you are on the look out for something in particular, give Gary a ring as he can source items. Better still, drop into the shop the next time you are in the area – there is a lot of stock in the shop and it is an ever changing feast. www.publiki.co.uk 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inviting to look at and still room to sit comfortably. Chair, cushion and delectable fabrics all from Vanessa Arbuthnott.

There is a battle raging in our households and it concerns the quite intense emotions elicited by the humble cushion. Many sane, sensible and fair minded couples that I visit in my capacity as their interior designer can quickly lapse into not only passionate opinions but also surprisingly petty bickering when the subject of cushions is mentioned. I am going to horribly generalise now so please forgive me if you don’t fit into my unsubstantiated gender stereotyping, but seems to me that it tends to be us girls that love cushions and it’s the boys who really don’t.

My investigations into anti-cushion behaviour have found some recurrent themes. The first and most virulent relates mainly to cushions on the bed. “Where do they go at night?” the boys cry “we have to throw them on the floor”. Ok, I understand, they need a place to go when they are taken off the bed and the floor is not it. A simple solution would be a chair, window seat or ottoman at the end of the bed that they could reside on over-night.

The second complaint is normally about the number of cushions on the sofa. “We can’t even sit down without taking some of them off and throwing them on the floor” (are you seeing the ‘throwing them on the floor’ pattern emerging?). It’s a valid point, you need to be able to sit on your sofa, but this very rarely means you can’t have any cushions on it at all. Really, have you felt the comfort a cushion offers?!

Even I have to admit (and on a personal level you may have guessed that I am an extreme cushion lover) that the purpose of cushions in adornment. Some comfort for sure but primarily adornment and is there anything wrong with that? The key really, as with all things interior related, is the balance of style and functionality. A contemporary muted minimalist space will be spoilt by brightly coloured highly patterned cushions but will be enhanced by a limited number of plain cushions adding a layer of texture and comfort. Similarly a room that is verging on the bland can be hugely improved with a burst of colour, pattern, texture and a visual hit of inviting comfort.

Cushions do have an advantage that they are easier and cheaper to purchase than larger items such as a sofa or carpet. However, this does not mean that you should not take the time and effort in choosing your cushions, or that you should opt for cheap if you are not sure. A ‘make-do’ cushion is a waste of money as it is highly likely that you will want to replace it almost as soon as you get it home. If you buy a cushion you really love you may well have it for life so it represents much better value for money whatever it costs.

Contemporary cushions from Andrew Martin bring colour and comfort to a grey scheme.

Fortunately, there is now a very good selection of ready-made cushions available on the market. One tip I would give you when looking for off the shelf cushions is to find a fabric or accessories company that you really like and see what cushions they have on offer. I find that high street store cushions are often incredibly middle of the road and quite depressing because of it, whereas a company that isn’t trying to offer all styles to all people can be a lot more inventive. For example, Chelsea Textiles (www.chelseatextiles.com) have a wonderful range of cushions for those of a more traditional bent and Andrew Martin (www.andrewmartin.co.uk) have lush designs on offer for those of a more contemporary sensitivity.

If you do go down the route of having cushions made (and I warn you now, it is an additive business), you have a world of opportunity at your fingertips. Key decisions include size and shape, fabric obviously but you might want to use a couple of different fabrics, say one on the back and a different one on the front, or a different fabric as a side or decorative panel, and then of course there are trimmings. Trimmings are the interior addicts’ sweeties and are a joyful business to pick and often are what makes the cushion special. The key with having cushions made (and actually any bespoke item) is to find the right craftsperson and make good friends with them. As with many needlework tasks, cushion making sounds very simple but to get it right is always more complicated that you think. You need to find a soft furnishings maker who knows what they are doing, will listen to what you want and has a good level of patience. Thinking through the design before starting is vital and no detail should be overlooked, as cushion disappointment is not pretty.

As I write, I suspect that those amongst us who have yet to realise the true worth of the cushion may be feeling slightly light-headed, if not enraged, by my encouragement for spending hard earned cash on the decorative end of the soft furnishings palette. I would say sorry but I wouldn’t mean it so what I will do is to send a grovelling apology to any man who really does appreciate a cushion. That said, I do believe it is thanks to the female of the species that the cushion thrives. Without us the boys would all be sitting slightly uncomfortably on their sofas wondering why their rooms look just a tiny bit bland.

This article first appeared in Cambridge Magazine, April 2017

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I attended a wonderful brunch event at Catesbys (Green Street, opposite Bills) this morning and the company, the breakfast but most importantly, their current stock, was all a delicious delight. I highly recommend a visit for a browse at their home furnishings and accessories followed up by a restorative visit to their first floor café. Thank you Neil and Jonathan, look forward to seeing you soon. X

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We have a few of these bowls in the office – very handy for sweeties

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I didn’t know before this morning how much I want a pair of sleeping lions

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Stylish dishes

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…and more stylish dishes

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When decorating, and filling our homes with wonderful things, it seems that we tend to lean towards using lighter colours, but I believe that there is an argument to be made from using darker shades, especially black. There’s something intriguingly stylish and timeless about the colour black, and using it within a room helps to frame and sharpen the overall look of a room. Whether you want to go hard and heavy or just have a little play around with the idea, here are some absolutely brilliant black accessories and furniture pieces to be thinking about.

‘Round Copper Art Deco Shelf’

The black metal frame that circulates this shelving unit creates a wonderful contemporary look, especially combined with the copper effect of the shelves. It’s a simple yet intriguing piece that would look stunning as a feature on any wall and is a lovely way to use a small amount of black within your home.

‘Ronde Pendant’ from Gubi

This matte black pendant from Gubi has a certain sleekness that is hard to replicate in another colour. It breathes cool, and is the perfect piece to use in a modern designed kitchen, perhaps using a few in a row for a truly sophisticated look.

‘Black Oak Parquet’ from Kardean

If using black interiors has really taken you fancy, go all out with a bold statement under your feet. A black flooring system really creates a modern, urban feel and will serve as a brilliant blank canvas if you want to add some depth to your scheme with a few colourful or contrasting rugs.

For example, a beautiful black patterned rug, this Paul Smith designed stunner is just the right amount of contrast to make the black on black work together making a powerful yet understated visual look.

‘Arrows’ by Paul Smith from The Rug Company

If you’re not quite ready to take the big plunge into the world of black interiors, a few simple accessories that follow the black motif are a great way to test the waters. This marble clock from Houseology is a worthy investment. Its timeless style means it’ll be well suited to many styles and will be adaptable as you move homes or change your interiors.

‘Marble Wall Clock’ from Houseology

This lamp base from Pooky combines black with pinch of cuteness, especially when you can mix and match with their wonderful patterned lampshades, which will add a bit of fun and playfulness into an interior.

‘Verona Table Lamp’ from Pooky

Another charming home accessory that will appeal to your softer side is this lovely black heart light. It’ll be super effective if you want to warm up a look of a room or space in your home.

‘Small Black Heart Light’ from Graham and Green

The award winning Philippe Starck has designed this stunning dining room chair, available via Houseology. Its sleek design is every contemporary lover’s dream, and would look amazing paired with a glass or white table. If you’re not sure about getting a whole set, then just purchasing two for the heads of the table will also make a wonderful feature piece.

‘Kartell Masters Dining Chair’ from Houseology

The canton collection from Lombok has a particularly elegant look, I especially love this four poster bed from the collection. It’s a simple and classic design, and accompanied by some beautiful bedding will really be the icing on the cake.

‘Canton Four Poster Bed’ from Lombok

Lastly, I had to squeeze in this little marvel from the ever brilliant Julian Chichester. For show stopping pieces Julian Chichester is a must, and this piece is no different. The gilded metal legs give the piece a lighter feel as though it is floating meaning that despite its black lacquer finish, it doesn’t appear heavy or bulky.

‘Twister Cabinet’ from Julian Chichester

If you’re brave enough to go in full throttle, or just want to have a little dabble, there is so much fun to be had and you may find your perfect little black piece of furniture.

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