Tag Archives: summer

Wish list: Japanese ceramics in pastel shades

New for summer 2014 is this elegantly understated china by Japanese brand Kinto. Each piece starts life as clear white porcelain, which is then glazed in one of several soft pastel shades creating a surface that’s washed with translucent colour: Kinto Atelier Tete Dune porcelain via findthedetails.com Choose from three sizes of plates, plus a deep plate/bowl that’s perfect for pasta and salads, and two further bowls, one large, and one small: Kinto Atelier Tete porcelain via findthedetails.com Kinto Atelier Tete Dune Porcelain Tableware Range via findthedetails.com

Kinto Atelier Tete Dune Porcelain Tableware via findthedetails.com[all images, courtesy 95%

Part of Kinto’s Atelier Tete collection, shop for Dune porcelain in the UK at 95%: this must-visit online shop is fiilled with covetable, design-led products for every room in the home: filing your shopping basket is more than easy! Enjoy the weekend, Jx

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Sneak peak: John Lewis Spring/Summer 2014

Take a break from silver, glitter and sparkles this pre-Christmas week and mellow out with a sneak look at the beautiful press shots from John Lewis’s spring summer collection for 2014. There are two key trends; Expressions, which combines materials (wood, upholstery fabrics, wallpapers) in warm, detailed and textured neutral shades with others (glass, metallics, soft furnishings) chosen in flashes of contrasting brights: orange-hued copper (copper is definitely having its moment), citrus yellow; warm rose; rich purples and blues:
01 John Lewis Heming Sofa, Expressions Cushions (1)

The Brushstrokes wallpaper is a particular favourite; new for this season; shown here in Smoke colourway, the pattern is also available as an upholstery/drape fabric. The painterly Expressions framed prints are part of the new range; styled here alongside Content by Conran side tables (they come as a nest of three for £199), and a Heming sofa in Porto Grey.

05 Why Wood Dining Table, and Chairs

Why Wood circular table, £399; dining chairs, £125 each

02 Expressions Tall Vase, Hurricane Lamp

Accessories include: Rose gold hurricane lamp, £12; pink hydrangea stems £30 for 3; purple and blue tall glass vase, £35; copper bowl, £5, all John Lewis

Also new in store this spring is the Croft collection: think upmarket utilitarian; traditional crafts; nostalgia (but without any twee-ness…) in a 21st-century-pleasing palette of soft neutrals, blues and greys:

17 John Lewis Croft Cushions, and Throws

Tiny check stripe cushions £20 each; basket weave throw, £70; reversible cashmere throw, £110; natural ribbed knit throw, £80; all from the Croft collection by John Lewis

16 John Lewis Perth Chair, Sparrows Cushion

Perth armchair, £900; Sparrows cushion, £28; cream bottle vase, £35; Charm Lily rug, £125, all John Lewis

12 John Lewis Croft Tableware

Croft tableware: jug, £22; tumblers, £4.50 each; dinner plates, £10 each, ceramic ivory cutlery, from £3.50 a piece, all John Lewis

14 John Lewis Croft Utility-1

And there are plenty of products to make your utility area scrub up nicely: whitewash wooden crate, £35; dustpan and brush set, £29; platters, from £15; storage jars, from £6; dolly pegs, glass brushes, glass cloths and jug, all from John Lewis

18 John Lewis Joanie Butterfly Bedlinen, Basket Weave Throw

Natural Joanie butterfly double duvet cover, £80; tiny check striped cushions, £20; light grey basket weave throw, £70, all John Lewis.  

All photographs, John Lewis

The products will be in store in the New Year; till then Happy Holidays, Jx

Architecture News: Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2013: launch week

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, an annual temporary structure in the heart of central London, draws architecture experts and lovers from around the world during its brief life in Kensington Gardens. The temporary nature of the building is key: its impermanence allows its architects to create awe-inspiring spaces that challenge our perception of what, in fact, makes a building.

This year the architect in question is internationally highly-respected Sou Fujimoto, and he has chosen to create a mysterious, airy, confusing, awe-inspiring space made from thousands of latticed thin steel poles: 

Serpentine-SFA-3023 01A_serpentinegallery 01B_serpentinegallery Serpentine SFA 2773 Press page Serpentine-SFA-2740 Serpentine-SFA-2773

[Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2013, designed by Sou Fujimoto, Image credit Iwan Bann

These poles give the pavilion an ethereal semi-trasnparent appearance both on approach and within: it was important to his design that the pavilion is set within the leafy surroundings of Kensington Gardens. Fujimoto, describing his design work: ‘A new form of environment will be created, where the natural and man-made merge…. not soley architectural nor solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two’.

Visit the pavilion until 20 October, for more information about The Serpentine Gallery click here. 

High summer colour trends: pink and other brights

With May underway, the garden is finally filled with colour and  I’m discovering what has been planted here by previous, green-fingered owners; right now, the space is filled with pink-toned flowers: some are blowsy, dramatic and exotic – not the colours typically associated with a cottage garden – as huge rhododendron bushes are produce dramatic, fuschia-coloured spears; whilst the apple trees are covered with blossom in more delicate tones:
apple blossom rhododendrons 1 camellia

And, online and in the shops, nature’s brights are in vogue once again to brighten up our homes in time for summer sunshine. I’ve been inspired by this heavenly Designers Guild living room: Savine, the tie dye linen shown here as curtains, is my current favourite fabric:  it comes in several shades including blues, orange and green as well as this stunning fuschia pink:

designers guild savine pink

[image, Designers Guild

Another company well known for its clever use of bright tones is Denmark’s Rice: their High Summer 2013 range has just launched and with it these covetable pieces of tableware:

rice summer tableware

Rice collage of tableware

skåle_forside

[All images, Rice

There are jugs; coloured glassware; ceramic and melamine plates; bowls in intricate patterns and bold plains, and all the wonderful patterns and colourways just invite you to mix and match, so creating your own unique collection of summery pieces for dining and picnic tables.

Rice is stocked online and in shops throughout the UK, click here to find the store nearest to you.

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:

Gone Rural - Bonakele block weave - lifestyle - Portrait Gone Rural - Block weave open baskets - lifestyle - Portrait Gone Rural - Bonakele lifeline baskets - lifestyle - Portrait (2)

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:

John Lewis Spring Summer 2013

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:

ETNA_HABITAT_SS13

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:

laura ashley baskets

Here’s to summer!

Just in: Chic, easy-to-live-with homewares at Loaf

Just in time to catch the first tempting rays of spring sunshine (at least round these parts, the sun is trying to make an appearance after months lost….) is the new collection from Loaf.

From sturdy painted kitchen tables to soft rugs and covetable, squishy cushions, materials are natural (wood, metal, linen) and colours span a gentle palette from subtle neutrals (greys, creams, off-whites) to modern pastels.

Here’s my pick of the best:

Loaf - Bobbin bed is priced from £645 for a double low-res

Loaf - Scrunch cushions £55  low-res

A modern take on a traditional bedframe above; whilst textiles are textured; colours soft: love both the bedroom rug and generously sized feather-filled linen cushions…

Loaf - Dolly storage trolley £295 low-res Loaf - High Wire storage unit £155 and Geronimo chair £145 low-res

Bathroom pieces include metal trolleys and locker-room storage: a gentle interpretation of the currently on-trend industrial, utilitarian look

Loaf - Pantry kitchen table priced from £495 low-res

There are plenty of dining tables, plus mixable dining chairs…

Loaf - Snow Compact kitchen table is priced at £395, Geronimo metal chair is priced at £145, Cafe au Lait chair £115 low-res

Loaf - Splay kitchen table priced from £895 low-res

This delicately decorated bedlinen below is a favourite: slightly folksy, slightly Scandi, but yet (phew!) not twee: the design successfully captures the look of vintage linen:

Loaf - Saint Irene bed linen priced from £15 low-res.2

All images from Loaf

Predominantly an online business, Loaf started out in 2008 with a capsule collection of well made, well priced, chic beds and have taken it from there. Take some time out to browse their site for the full range and let me know what you think; some pieces are already there whilst others will be in stock shortly.

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