Monthly Archives: April 2013

Archive Colours: new from Fired Earth

It’s Fired Earth’s 30th birthday and to celebrate they’ve launched Archive Colours, a new capsule paint chart inspired by their huge library of paint shades. Each Archive colour packs a visual punch: from deep blue to warm terracotta, these paint shades are perfect for making a design statement on your walls. FEPCPLATESRS1LR

They’ve given each shade an imaginative, quirky name: choose your favourite, from the wonderfully deep blue Jazz Cafe (background above and wall colour below) to the fashionable emerald green Mad King George:
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Darker, warm shades include Terracotta Warrior, a homage to the company’s name:

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Whilst this warm, corally pink (it looks more fuschia here than it does on the paint chart) is named after Eton Mess, the pudding made with meringues, cream and strawberries:

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Another warm shade is Delias Secret: this sandy yellow was named after their favourite spices such as turmeric, cumin and saffron.

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For lovers of paler hues, Hansel and Gretel, below, is a soft blush pink: with its gentle, soothing tones, it reminds me of English country cottages and faded, sprigged cotton curtains.

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[All images, Fired Earth

Which is your favourite? Let me know…

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On trend for summer 2013: coloured weaves

Just posting these pictures puts a spring in my step, as this summer’s emerging trend for colourful weaves gathers pace. First up are the wonderful baskets by Swaziland’s Gone Rural; set up by Philippa Thorne over 20 years ago, Gone Rural now supplies grass and textile woven products created by women in Swaziland to many hundreds of retailers all over the world. With many shapes and sizes to choose from, each basket will bring welcome pattern and colour:

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Click Gone Rural to read more; to shop for their products try Shake The Dust, a new ethical design brand (shipping currently within the UK only).

On the high street, John Lewis‘s blue toned Navajo armchair and footstool (or side table) are perfect for a sunny afternoon:

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And Habitat‘s spring/summer range includes more than a nod to this trend.  If you’re quick you can still catch their Interwoven exhibition which celebrates the art of weaving for interiors, including vessels and baskets by Gone Rural alongside work by recent graduates from Central St Martins College of Art & Design. (Interwoven runs until 28 April at Habitat’s King’s Road showroom, London SW3). And in addition, Habitat’s Summer 2013 collection includes their own designs of woven furniture, baskets and vases:

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Shades of a rag rug: I love the multi-coloured woven surface of this day bed…

Whilst the Ormond hurricane lanterns and tea light holders are decorated with lacquered metal ribbons, woven and wrapped around glass.

And there are plenty of baskets in shades of fuschia, cherry and lime green for a splash of bright colour….

At Laura Ashley, the colours stay neutral, but these simple seagrass storage baskets with their fashionable dip dye look are perfect for muted, country schemes:

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Here’s to summer!

Park Life: searching for urban fun

Photographer Manuel Alvarez Diestro has travelled the world to capture images of urban playgrounds in different contexts.

The juxtaposition of the equipment within its environment is worth a look; and if you’ve ever arrived in a strange city with your children and thought ‘where’s the park?’, then these shots are for you…

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I love the scale of this shot of a playground in Hong Kong (above)

This ubiquitous Spanish playground equipment is erected on hundreds of beaches around Spain’s coast (Benidorm, below):

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Whilst in mountainous Reinosa in Cantabria, Spain, the snow creates a different environment for children to play (above).

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In New York, the lines of the playground imitate the drama of the Manhattan Bridge above….

And on a more prosaic note, the tower block; train line; wire fence and determinedly cheerful colours of the rocket all say to me: think of time spent in London as a child then a parent, getting some ‘fresh’ air…..

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Images courtesy of Designboom

See more of Manuel Alvarez Diestro’s work here

Let the sun shine: Spring 2013 trends at Marimekko

Happy post-Easter week to you all, and on this, another, grey grey Friday I’ve decided to go hunting for Spring, as it looks as though it won’t find me this year. For sunny, cheerful fabrics that make you and your rooms smile, Marimekko is hard to beat, and so if you’re as fed up with grey skies as I am then dive into their new Spring 2013 collection.

With a global fanbase that’s been increasing since the 1960s, Finland’s iconic Marimekko has done it again this year; their new fabric and home decor collection zings with colour and bold pattern. I’ve taken a shine to their cheerful fruit-filled Kompotti fabric; you also find elements of this design on a new tableware collection:

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And everyone’s favourite floral, Unikko (originally designed in 1964 and still one of their best-selling fabrics for both homewares and accessories), is now available in this welcome mix of blues, soft sage green and white:

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Other fabrics in the new collection feature painterly techniques that create vibrant patterns for this summer:

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When it comes to clothes, their fashion is not for the colour-shy, but will any sneaker-lover be able to resist Marimekko’s new collection for Converse?

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Converse’s classic high top and a new, more feminine platform sneaker get the Marimekko treatment, with designs in several of their classic patterns available through Converse and at some Marimekko stores from this spring,

Shop for Marimekko fabrics and home decor at their standalone shops or concessions: check their website for suppliers close to you (currently there are no online sales through their website).

Let’s hope the sun shines soon, and happy weekends to you all.