Tag Archives: kitchen

Wish List: chic preserving jars

I’m a big fan of the French Le Parfait preserving jars for storing dry food, but I think my collection of clear jars will soon be joined by a colourful interloper from America:

This blue Ball ‘Perfect Mason’ jar is a faithful reproduction of the Balls brothers’ original blue preserving jar. Relaunched this year to celebrate the jar’s centenary (they were first produced in 1913) the jar hasn’t been available in this chic blue shade since 1937. Readers in the US can shop the jars directly from Ball, the manufacturer; sadly they don’t ship outside of the US so in Europe, try Labour & Wait.

Light Source: Holloways of Ludlow launch their new collection

Holloways of Ludlow launched their latest lighting collection at the recent Clerkenwell Design Week and the mix on display encapsulated the wonderful, colourful, stylish choice of lighting we have at our beck and call just now to illuminate our homes.

They’ll be stocking more from France’s Jielde brand, which makes cast-metal floor, wall and desk lamps as well as these new pendants in their rainbow shades: it seems a shame to just choose one….:

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[Jielde Augustin pendant from Holloways of Ludlow]

Holloway’s of Ludlow’s own collection includes pendants with British spun-steel shades: I love this zingy yellow: ideal for adding that splash of hot colour into our all-white (or is it grey?) kitchens of 2013….

Yellow Spun Pendant £85.00

[Spun shade, from the Old School Electric collection by Holloways of Ludlow]

Another favourite  (again from Holloways own line), are these simple glass pendants; they come in several shapes and the elegant design ensures the light would work perfectly in kitchens and hallways; the metalwork can be ordered in several different finishes from antique brass to polished nickel, which is helpful if your decor leans more towards either contemporary or traditional:

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[Glass pendant, from Old School Electric collection, Holloways of Ludlow

And created with sound environmental ideals by New Zealand-based designer David Trubridge is the delicate spherical Coral Light, below. Inspired by his time spent diving, the lights are made from either bamboo plywood or aluminium, and come in several sizes and colours.

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[Coral pendant by David Trubridge from Holloways of Ludlow

As well as lighting, Holloways of Ludlow’s extensive collection includes ironmongery, from small pieces such as hooks and locks, door furniture and door handles, knobs and pulls, through to attractive light switches, as well as complete kitchens and bathrooms. See more here.

Geometric, graphic, colourful: Mid Century patterns, at home

Archives: reading press releases for fabric collections that include what are described as ‘archival prints’ prompts me to think about these fascinating hunting grounds for inspiration. How lucky we are (both textile designers and us ‘civilians’? ‘non-designers’? or the more prosaic ‘shoppers’?) that these historical resources are kept for us, ready to be viewed should we decide to take an interest in their subject.

The Victoria & Albert Museum has several archives which are open to the public on request, including one relating to furnishing textiles within in the Art & Design Archive. Here you’ll find records of popular fabrics sold in department stores such as Heals from the 1920s onwards:

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[Image: page from a sample album, Heals, 1922, V&A Archives]

…plus the archives of individual designers including two of my favourites, Lucienne Day and Jaqueline Groag. The current passion for Mid Century design means that 1950s fabric and wallpaper designs by luminaries such as Lucienne Day and Jacqueline Groag and their contemporary Robert Stewart are a talking point once again. The typical ’50’s design includes geometry, inventive colour contrasts and graphic, repetitive patterns: perfect for today’s decorative schemes.

Take a look at these images, reproduced from the V&A archives:

Mainly blues; some pictorial; others graphic:

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And there are patterns in pastel shades:

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Plus ones in those sludgy hues, typical of the 1950’s:

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And some fresh white/green combinations which make me think of stereotypical ’50s housewives with their aprons and Formica-topped tables:

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[image Picture Post/Getty, via The Guardian online] 

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[All print images, Memory Prints]

Whilst some 1950s fabric designs can be bought by the metre: try Glasgow’s Classic Textiles for a collection of original Lucienne Day and Robert Stewart designs  (recreated with the consent of the designers and/or their estate) sadly not all are currently in production.

But if you like any of these patterns above, it’s possible to order a paper print: the V&A’s prints are available online through Memory Prints, who reproduce these (and many more) onto high quality paper, ready for framing;  a simple way to bring a colourful, patterned piece of Mid Century artwork into your home.

To visit the V&A’s archive click here for more information.

To be square, or not to be square? Creating pattern with tiles

All these posts about pattern have got me thinking about new tiles, especially for the kitchen splashback, which is currently fashioned from emerald green tiles (surprisingly, the Colour for 2013 according to Pantone), including some embossed with herbs and vegetables…..

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Fired Earth are the go-to place for decorative tiles that look fresh and modern, yet would also suit a rural kitchen:

I’m thinking of creating pattern in this space by choosing plain tiles with unusual shapes, such as these Marrakech Bahia tiles. Their muted, cool tones also appeal:

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Above: Marrakech Bahia tiles, suitable for both walls and floors, Fired Earth

Or these fan shaped Paris Cabaret tiles, in this mix of blues, make for a fabulous wall pattern:

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Above: handmade and hand decorated terracotta Paris Cabaret tiles, suitable for both walls and floors, Fired Earth

For traditional square tiles, this sophisticated blue and white Marrakech design comes in a choice of subtle patterns which look great mixed and matched: a fab way to introduce pattern without looking too unconventional….

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Above: Marrakech hand-decorated tiles, Fired Earth

Whilst these highly patterned Andalucia tiles will transport any bathroom wall to sunny Spain….

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Andalucian tiles in Jerez, Fired Earth 

The other tile shop that’s a must-visit is The Reclaimed Tile Company, who source reclaimed vintage tiles and antique terracotta from across Europe. Their beautiful, colourful ‘Tapas’ tile combinations are perfect for those of us who can’t decide on one pattern. A bathroom or sun room floor would look heavenly tiled in one of their mixes:

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For those who prefer a more organised approach to tiling, they have hundreds of reclaimed patterned tiles to choose from.

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All tiles above from The Reclaimed Tile Company

And of course, there’s always scope for simple, chic white, as seen in these Fired Earth washrooms….

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Which do you prefer? Let me know….