Tag Archives: dining

White goodness: stunning handmade ceramics by Emma Alington

Browsing the many inspirational stands at Design Junction a few days back, I spotted Emma Alington and spoke to her about her latest collection of handmade ceramics.

After graduating in 2013 with a first-class honours degree in Ceramic Design from Central St Martins, Emma took the brave step of setting up her own business. Now working from her studio in Berkshire, England, Emma designs and creates her own ceramics collections.

Beautifully crafted, each piece is tactile and functional. Choose from cups and mugs in three sizes (tiny espresso, medium cup and larger mug) plus several sizes of carefully crafted bowls, and plates and a jug.

The china comes either in white or decorated with a shimmering gold rim, and finished with a simple black heraldic motif:

 

How to choose? I’d opt for the upmarket gold rimmed designs for celebration china (they would make ideal wedding gifts) whilst the microwave and dishwasher-proof white design is a treat to use every day.

Shop directly through Emma’s website or search for stockists; you can also contact Emma for bespoke commissions: www.emmaalington.co.uk .

 

 

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Sit in colour: the best kitchen chairs

All-white (walls, storage, work surfaces, and sometimes even floors too) as the backdrop to our kitchens currently appeals to many of us right now. Perhaps it’s because we crave calm and peace at home once we close the doors on the world outside? Or maybe it’s because white is simply a great canvas on which we can build up layers of colour, creating a unique space.

The trend for accenting kitchens with coloured chairs is gaining pace: whether the chairs are covetable originals (vintage Tolix or Eames are the most-desired)…

skona hem image, credited on findthedetails.com

sot sur via jan pinterest

Or, more easily obtained, and with their own charm, are traditional kitchen chairs, painted in shades either to coordinate or contrast, with the room’s decor:

livs lyst

blog skonahem

[Images Skona Hem, Livs Lyst, Pinterest] 

My dining chairs are simple, folding white wood and metal bistro chairs from Habitat: I started off with a pair for my first flat (they doubled up as garden seating) and I’ve never replaced them: just added to the collection as the numbers of people needing regular seats in my house has increased. As you know from previous posts, my current kitchen is a long way away from being entirely white…but here they are in my previous kitchen (aka playroom; office; dining room…):

048

Now I rather hanker after French company Fermob’s bistro chairs: these all-metal equivalents cone in a rainbow of zingy shades:

Fermob bistro chairs via findthedetails.com

Whilst Ikea’s folding dining chair comes in this season’s must-have ’80s shades of grey, coral and a minty-green:
ikea chairs

amb-chA-align

Tolix’s Model A chair is also from France, and a design classic: created in 1934, this metal chair is hugely popular right now. If you can’t source vintage ones like the lucky owners in the top image, then Graham & Green sell new models in a choice of colourways:

tolix_colours_group graham and green

Chairs with traditional shapes but in fashionable cool colourways also appeal: new for Spring Summer 2013 are the Talia wooden chairs from Habitat, in red or yellow:

MILNER_HABITAT_SS13

BHS Brighton chair -ú80, Hove coffee table -ú129, Reno pendant -ú35

… and let’s not forget the stylish Brighton chair by BHS, also new for spring/summer 2013 (mentioned before here, but deserving of another peek!).

Which designs would you buy? Let me know…

Live, eat, entertain: 6 of the best large dining tables

New year, new dining:

Whilst few of us have any space or even desire for a designated dining room any more, a  roomy table around which to eat, work, and entertain usually forms the focal point of our living spaces.  A chat with my sister-in-law over Christmas lead to some thoughts about large dining tables, further inspired by stumbling upon this chic, relaxed dining space in a historical house in Antwerp, Belgium.

cote maison table 2

cote maison table 1

(images courtesy of Cote Maison)

I love the table in this shot as although it is large, it’s narrow enough for guests seated opposite to chat in comfort. The table doesn’t dominate or crowd the narrow dining space, and the trestle legs keep the look informal.

I’ve talked about my hotch-potch table arrangements before (here) when feeding a crowd together, and really my budget-conscious Ikea table suits our hectic lifestyle perfectly. For a similar one try this: (although, as mine is a kitchen table, I prefer an unfinished wood surface, as it can be scrubbed clean: super-practical…)

ikea

ikea trestle

You can’t beat Ikea for a bargain; the bottom trestle desk/table is only £35.

At the other end of the financial scale, try Skandium:

skandium bermuda-table-003

sandra

The trestle-style Bermuda table by Asplund is currently on sale, so head to Skandium quickly for the discount; whilst the Sandra table, the second image above, was designed in 2003 by Thomas Sandell for Asplund, and is also from Skandium, though not currently discounted, sadly…

And at the mid-range price levels, Maison du Monde‘s trestle would be a great substitute for the table in the original image:

maison du monde table

And don’t miss this Ercol dining table, exclusive to John Lewis: the streamlined shape is contemporary, yet simultaneously acknowledges Ercol’s design history.

john lewis ercol