Monthly Archives: January 2013

Patterns spring 2013, OKA china

It seems we are going mad for patterns this spring, and OKA’s folksy, decorative, colourful Florya china range, part of their new Spring 2013 collection, is right on trend.

Say goodbye to boring white, and embrace these vibrant plates, bowls and mugs….

oka close up jpeg

With several patterns and colours to choose from, I love the fact the china is sold individually, rather than as a set: leaving us to buy the pieces we wish for, in the patterns and colours that coordinate with what’s already in our kitchen cupboards.

Press Shot3 OKA

Florya tableware range, from £7.50 for a sideplate, all available from OKA (0844 815 7380) 

Furniture with a hint of summer, from our friends in Australia


Researching for a feature on garden furniture for a June issue (this is why I can never remember what month it is) I stumbled across a new brand called Bowerhouse: Australian-based, I love the quirky yet covetable rattan furniture, delicate tableware and colourful, patterned, eclectic cushions…

Bowerhouse-blacktrolley

cushions tabletop

Looking closely at the credits, I discovered the images were styled by an old friend and colleague, Jo Carmichael. I got in touch: we both started out together shooting features on (long gone) BBC’s Changing Rooms with designers Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Linda Barker, amongst others….

Now based in Australia, talented Jo has set up a styling agency, working with clients such as Bowerhouse to bring her signature fresh, relaxed look to the products she’s working with. You can find out more about her work here.

Bowerhouse-hero

These drum rattan stools are some of the nicest of the many I’ve seen recently: am I the only one to notice stools and poufs are everywhere right now?

I’m a newcomer to Pinterest but I have plans to create a board devoted to low stools and comfy poufs there, alongside posting here too. 

Bowerhouse mainly ships within Australia to Australian addresses but they can ship some of their products internationally: they’re happy to chat so do get in touch.

All images courtesy of Bowerhouse; styling Jo Carmichael, photography Jody D’Arcy 

Indigo; blue and white patterns, part II

Hot on the heels of Friday’s post about Indigo / Blue and White, comes a brand new fabric and wallpaper launch from Scion.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts on Scion’s first Melinki collection of fabrics and wallpapers, and their subsequent rug designs, then you’ll know I’m a fan of this new British brand, with its great colour combinations and fresh patterns.  

Now Scion‘s second collection has been launched; named Wabi Sabi, the fabrics and wallpapers are inspired by traditional dyeing / production methods including block printing, batik, ikat, and tie-dye. The result: a collection that features a mix of patterns from abstract and geometric to floral, all with a relaxed, informal feel.

Whilst, of course, each design comes in many different colourways, it’s these blue and white ones, with their inky, indigo tones (and, for those who prefer a lighter blue, tones of turquoise and aqua) that caught my eye:

Scion_WabiSabi_04_LR

I Iove the simple spot motif of the Isamu fabric, layered underneath the more angular geometric Loop design (don’t miss the subtle Loop wallpaper on the walls)…

Scion_WabiSabi_06_LR

This group shot shows the new fabrics together…

Scion_WabiSabi_10_LR

…. Whilst the tie-dye effect print of the Shoji fabric below appeals to my (currently repressed) Boho tendencies (curtain on right): surely the sun would always shine through a window hung with these curtains?

Scion_WabiSabi_11_LR

… and the wallpapers are just as vibrant:

Scion_WabiSabi_13_LR

Working with bold patterns doesn’t have to be overwhelming: here the Shibori wallpaper flatters and emphasises the architectural lines of the stairwell:

Scion_WabiSabi_12_LR

Wabi Sabi printed fabrics are from £26 a metre; wallpapers are £32 a roll, all available in the UK and internationally from March 2013 from Scion.

Indigo; blue and white patterns, part I

Maybe because my grandmother was an avid collector of Willow pattern china (she was constantly searching antiques shops for details such as Willow pattern mustard pots), I’ve always had a fondness for blue and white as a colour combination.

This spring, Indigo as a decorating colour is everywhere, which is fab news for me: I keep on finding more and more wonderful products in a mix of indigo, or deep and royal blue shades. And instead of dull plains, everything is covered with bold and/or intricate patterns: a great trend. 

First up is this Sardine Run china, with its streamlined fish motif: inspired by Vietnamese antiques and made by the talented team at Jersey Pottery, it’s stocked at Liberty.

Jersey Pottery,Sardine_Run Jersey Pottery, Sardine Run Charger Plate, £29.95 from Liberty Jersey Pottery, Sardine Run, Ceral Bowl, £14.95 from Liberty Jersey pottery, Sardine Run, Pitcher £39.95

All items are available at Liberty (do check out their exciting homes department: you’ll find many interesting, quirky brands, of which more in future posts)…..

Emerging Textile Designers, Sofa.com

Whether you are personally involved with textile design or simply shopping for curtain fabric in John Lewis, there’s no escaping how many fabrics there are in existence.

The constant challenge facing designers, from textile students to global companies, is to create new, original fabrics. Whilst fabric house archives are fantastic for initial inspiration, the new design must push boundaries, whether those are of colour combinations, pattern intricacy or behind-the-scenes production methods, whilst simultaneously remaining a design that we’re going to want to live alongside.

So Sofa.com‘s latest competition is great news: they’re celebrating the best emerging textile designers with their current competition to choose a fabric design that will become one of the latest upholstery fabric options for their sofas, chairs, beds and footstools.

Alongside the main judging panel, there’s also People’s Vote for shortlisted nominees, giving us the chance to vote for our favourite fabric from their final selection of 15 (plus there’s a chance to win £1000 to spend at Sofa.com)

I’ve narrowed mine down to a shortlist of four, see below…

isabel crossman

Isabel Crossman (above) was inspired by Slim Aarons’s images of the 1960s jet-set…

Natalie Raines (below) also looked to the 1960s, siting the bold yet simple Swedish designs from this period as her inspiration:

natalie raines

Sarah Victoria Roberts (below) coral-inspired fabric is a repeat pattern in easy-to-live-with modern neutral tones

sarah roberts jpeg

Emily Thompson (below) mixes the bold colours of Morocco with motifs sourced the Arts & Crafts and Art Deco movements.

emily thompson

Which ones do you prefer? You can see all the nominees and vote for your favourite directly on the Sofa.com website here

The art of display; David Gentleman

A quick post as this wonderful display of wood blocks by the artist David Gentleman caught my eye today on The Bible of British Taste.

David Gentleman wood blocks

… in a corner of his London home, a medium for creating art becomes art in itself….

Read more about David Gentleman’s work here

The colours and lines of these stylish Concordes designed for the Post Office in 1969 are some of my favourites….

concorde stamps

And see more fascinating pictures of his house here

Images courtesy of The Bible of British Taste

Spring 2013 trends at House Doctor

With snow outside and piles of paper scattered over the floor as I perform a frantic and (let’s be honest) futile search for aged bank statements so I can complete last year’s tax return, my house couldn’t look more different from these cool, calm and collected shots from Danish company House Doctor‘s new Spring 2013 catalogue.

They have a staggering quantity of beautiful, simple, desirable homewares…

house dr rugs

Rugs with subtle patterns and muted colourways….. and don’t miss the wooden storage boxes…

House doctor bottle

Oversize glass jars, vases and bottles alongside streamlined ceramics

house doctor 3

house doctor sitting room

Furniture with contemporary lines …

house doctor hallway

house doctor stationery

Chic, colourful, patterned stationery boxes – maybe if I had a set of these, I’d be encourage to file away those bank statements….

house doctor

These metal framed-glass storage boxes are so simple, yet the display is so effective….

house doctor kitchen

Super-calm looks for the kitchen….

house doctor vases2

And this shot is a reminder that spring will come, one day….

A selection of House Doctor products are available in the UK via canny gift shops and websites such as Cox & Cox and Rockett St George : click here  for further info.

Now… back to my filing….

Dulux Let’s Colour Awards

Dulux have launched their nominations for their new Let’s Colour Awards 2013: here’s the pick of my favourites:

Lindsey Lang mixes great colour palettes and geometric patterns on her fresh, contemporary homewares: even the humble trivet doesn’t escape her attention…

Designers Guild Designers Guild paved the way years ago with Tricia Guild spearheading the colour movement: there will be no rooms filled with bland neutrals or dull bieges when she’s around… Their fabulous digitally printed dip-dye effect wallpaper Seraille is up for an award….
Conran for Marks & SpencerTwo of the UK’s most established brands, Conran and Marks & Spencer joined forces to create a new home collection, on sale via M&S stores. Injections of colour and quirky design details not normally seen on the high street ensured this range looks as good in most homes as it did on the shop floor.

Present and Correct

Present and Correct are THE retailers of stationery (and more) of the moment. Do click through to see their website if you don’t know them already: they make me want to sweep my entire desk contents into the bin, and re-stock with their products: I’m sure I’d be more productive…..

They were nominated for their Organise collection, see above for a selection of products.

And finally, a nomination for the wonderful Melinki collection by Scion:

398032_437485252989181_1476149104_n

I’ve included their rugs before when they were launched, and now Scion‘s already-award-winning Melinki collection is up for another, well deserved tribute. The fabric designs are innovative, versatile, and importantly, easy to live with.

You can see Dulux’s nominees for interiors, as well as fashion and more via my link on the Find the Details facebook page. Let me know which you’d vote for….

Re-home: vintage, antique and retro shopping

A couple of indulgent hours yesterday, wandering the stalls at Ardingly antiques fair in West Sussex: amazed at the curios; vintage, retro and upcycled pieces; classic well-cared-for antiques, and weird ‘rather your house than mine’ items for sale.

From indoor stands to outdoor stalls, I found French linens and 19th century spice jars (covetable, see first image); topless mannequins (less covetable for me, but possibly someone else’s cup of tea); vintage buttons, glistening silver knifes, forks and spoons; work-worn garden rakes and hoes alongside tiny glass vials; thumbed-through paperbacks and decorative, detailed metal wall lights….

french spice jarsbuttons royal china buckets

italian glass bottlesglass bottlesrulers

cropped railings wooden deer IMAG0754 IMAG0753tea chest

cropped mannequins

blue china

linen napkins

indigo throws crop

From the metre rules to the Charles & Di mugs (..who knew there were Fergie & Andrew teacups still in circulation?!), there was something for everyone….

….and it made me conscious of just how much STUFF there is out there.

I’m constantly aware of how huge the interiors industry is via my day job, and on these pages I hope simply to flag up a few gems I’ve discovered along the way: but sometimes, a trip to a fair such as Ardingly is a great way to remind ourselves that really, everything we need (and much we do not) is already in existence, ready to be re-used and re-loved.

So thumbs up to all those stallholders, who braved the mud and the January chill, driving from as far afield as Wales and France, to rig up their stands and display their finds: I’m looking forward to the next fair already….

You can find out more about the next fairs at Ardingly and at other venues around the UK here

Coincidentally, BBC’s Bargain Hunt was filming:

bargain hunt indoors

cropped bargain hunt2cropped bargain hunt

…which added a little frisson of excitement to the morning, for everyone…. who knows what they discovered?

Baskets and Bowls; rural Japanese kitchen

This image, from The Selby‘s recent feature on Nancy Singleton‘s Japanese farm included this inspirational image….

41788_6_11_HachisuEggFarm11722

Reassuring for those of us who think we have too much kitcheware! I want to reach out, touch and steady the stacks of bowls, baskets and steamers, all jostling for space on the floor as the cabinet behind bursts with more. And a ready-made colour palette for spring 2013 too: think of all those blues/greens/aquas combined with the warm neutral woods and bamboo.