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Interior Design

  • A touch of ‘glass’

    October 26, 2015 | Posted By: | Architecture · Finishes · Furniture · Interior Design · Trend |

    Uniqueness is a tricky quality to create, but it is what we aspire to have in our homes: that feeling of a truly individual space that reflects our interests and taste. Pinterest boards and stunning interiors on Houzz.co.uk have made us a little spoilt for choice. One material that has infinite possibilities and can be used to create architecturally breathtaking spaces, sculptural and functional elements and also stunning interior features is glass. Architects have been using glass to create ground breaking buildings since Joseph Paxton designed Crystal Palace for the great exhibition of 1851.

    Traditional stained glass processes can be used with a modern twist to create furniture pieces such as this beautiful screen or entrance ways / feature walls.

    Image from Pinterest.com

    Glass can be used to architecturally contrast the old and the new to visually emphasise the difference. It is also very useful where separation is required but the view and space do not need to be contained. This doorway increases light throughout the space, and creates a bold contemporary feel whilst making what could otherwise be a messy looking wall become the star feature that sets the whole tone for this unique space.

    This image is from bloodandchampagne.com

     

    A bespoke glass fronted walk in fridge is a unique piece. It adds an element of luxury to the most mundane of appliances.

    A  large picture window (this one from Robert Dye) is an innovative interpretation of the typical dormer loft extension. It allows more light into the room, and creates an architectural feature for the home.

    Architectural glazing now comes with all sorts of useful characteristics. Heated glasss and glass radiators can be used to provide an invisible or elegant heat source.

    Solar controlled glass such as Pilkington Sun Cool allows light in but reflects heat out. Essential when designing contemporary glass extensions.

    Self cleaning glass has a surface that repels dirt and allows the rain to wash it away. Great for rooflights and glass extensions.

    Optiwhite is extra clear glass that allows more light transmission than standard glass so will bring more natural light into your interior.

    Also switchable smart glass is great for entrance halls and bathrooms: as at the touch of a switch a clear glass wall becomes opaque and your stunning view out by day can turn into an intimate space at night.

    Picture found on Pinterest.com


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    10 Shades of Summer

    July 3, 2015 | Posted By: | Architecture · Colour · Furniture · Interior Design · Trend |

    The world of fashion and ‘trend’  unveiled the new ‘Spring / Summer 2015’ colour palette and where the catwalk leads the world of Interiors follows,  all be it at a slightly more relaxed pace. Pantone has released the ten key colours for Spring / Summer 2015 which are Aquamarine, Scuba Blue, Lucite Green, Classic Blue, Toasted Almond, Strawberry Ice, Tangerine, Marsala and Glacier Grey.

     

    The colours are fairly fresh and vibrant but include options to suite everyone’s style. In the palette there are quite a few blues which work really well to create an Oriental or Mediterranean look. ‘Aquamarine’ makes a great feature colour if paired with a white background and an accent of ‘Classic Blue’ to give the room more depth and sophistication.

     

     

     

    For a really funky feel in a play room or kids bedroom choose ‘Scuba Blue’ which is a really vibrant turquoise. It contrasts brilliantly with ‘Tangerine’ and creates a ‘wow’ room without conforming to the stereotypical primary colours that are so often used for these rooms. Again white ceilings and woodwork can break up the colour a little if it seems a touch overpowering.

     

     

     

     

    In the new palette the colour that the Interior Design world has focused on the most is ‘Marsala’. It doesn’t feel like such a new creation as we have been specifying Farrow and Ball Brinjal, Radicchio and Mahagony for some time, all of which have a similar tone. Yet ‘Marsala’ paired with ‘Toasted Almond’ does allow you to create an earthy feel which can be enlivened with a touch of ’Tangerine’ for a more exotic look.

     

     

     

     

    ‘Strawberry Ice’ isn’t everyone’s idea of an easy or likeable interiors colour but for the more adventurous of us it works brilliantly if toned down with ‘Glacier Grey’ as an accent. Again a white backdrop can help if it is all feeling a bit candy shop.

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘Lucite Green’ and ‘Custard’ are great colours to use if you want to turn some tired old furniture pieces in the kitchen or garden from shabby to chic. They are also great colours to use for a play house, a shed or a garden room in order to add a little colour to the outdoors whilst we wait for the real Spring and Summer blooms to emerge.

     

     

     

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    Sustainable Fun Outdoor Spaces

    June 5, 2015 | Posted By: | Architecture · Furniture · Interior Design · Landscape Gardens |

    As the weather hot’s up for summer my family have just re-discovered our garden and I have realised it could use a little tlc.

    Here are a few ways to jazz up even the smallest outdoor space that are fun and sustainable or recycled.

    Home grown & water harvesting:

    If you are tight on space the best way to grow is upwards. Pick your sunniest wall and purchase a number of  ‘wally one’  wall planters, then decide what you most fancy growing. Fresh herbs are always great to have on hand and another of my favourites is rocket. It is so expensive at the shops, grows really easily and tastes much spicier when picked and eaten straight away.

    These old steel pipes create a really cool border to raised vegetable beds or any planted border and the really beauty is that they age and transform along with the garden.

    Garantia have designed a really good looking rainwater harvester if you have the space. You have a ready supply of water for the garden and they are a whole lot better looking than most of the water butts you can buy.

    Design features and accessorising:

    These floating LED ball lights from smartandgreen are self-charging and add a stunning contemporary look to a water feature. And who could resist the allure of this pink glow as the sun sets!

    Another really useful and age old ‘optical trick’ is to use mirrors in your garden room. Ideally use acrylic mirror as it will not tarnish in the rain, but you can create a lengthening effect that really amplifies the feeling of space and brings extra light into a dark corner.

    Cue & Co of London

    Tall planters with dense foliage and sharp tiling create a contemporary look that is both decorative and practical as an updated hedgerow/screen, especially effective in small gardens or roof top spaces with some special hidden furniture for a wonderfully private escape.

    A simple  al-fresco shower can be built  using solar heated rainwater for sustainable seasonal bathing. This may seem a little optimistic in our climate but is a great way to hose down the kids after a time in the paddling pool, playing on the climbing frame or helping with the gardening!

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    THE NEW TRADITIONAL

    March 20, 2015 | Posted By: | Furniture · Interior Design |

    When referring to ‘traditional’ interiors, it inevitably conjures up images of overly stuffed couches, dark walls, and velvet upholstery with heavy window dressing. This is a far cry from the white minimalism of the ‘contemporary’ interior we have come to accept as being the preferred style choice. Traditional interiors are firmly rooted in the old English countryside, where decorative ceiling details, stone mullion windows and classic seating silhouettes form our understanding of this style.

    Corner view of the Billiard Room at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton, West Midlands

    Corner view of the Billiard Room at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton, West Midlands

    When traveling through the recent professional interior designs events in London this year, there were definitive signs of a return to a more classic interior. With references to the 50’s, 70’s (matching patterned wall paper, upholstery and furnishings are reveling in their revival) and even as far back as the 1890’s with heavy fabrics featuring damask patterns and other classic designs, there was no escaping the fact that a new take on the traditional interior was enjoying a firm hold on the industry this year.

    IMG_4986

    House of Hackney staking their place firmly as the leaders of fashion trends for the home.

     The new traditional is characterised by the following:

    • Classic fabrics, such as crushed velvet, updated with a bright colour
    • Dark wood furniture and joinery with high gloss finishes, with velvet and highly patterned upholstery
    • Bright contemporary colours with classic silhouettes
    • Highly patterned wall coverings
    • Elaborate decorative lighting using the latest contemporary technology
    IMG_4920
    The Caravaggio Triptych from Cox London

    We fell in love with these unique hand blown glass wall lights, that combine LED technology with a beautiful hand crafted finish.

    TIMOROUS BEASTIES

    It may not be to everybody’s liking but the best thing about this design approach is that it incorporates elements of different design influences. Therefore, it is possible to take just one feature element, and still create a look that is up to date, and dare I say, quite uniquely brilliant!

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    BUYING A SOFA | AUTUMN TRENDS 2014

    October 17, 2014 | Posted By: | Furniture · Interior Design · Textile Design |

     

    As the summer months draw to a close, we invariably find ourselves retreating indoors in these increasingly cooler evenings. I found myself once again approaching my slightly battered sofa for a night in front of the TV, and as I recognised a familiar feeling, it occurred to me it might be time to update my rather tired looking furniture.

    But shopping for a Sofa is harder than one might think. With a whole wealth of choices available to suit all budgets, the options seem endless.

    With e-commerce brands leading the way on affordable designer furnishings, there has been an explosion of accessible well designed ‘Lounging’ options, with everything from re-invented armchairs to contemporary sofa beds.

     

     

    houseandgarden.co.uk_interiors_Ditte by FredShard at Anthropologie

    'Ditte' sofa by Fred Shand, from £2,199.95 at Anthropologie

     

     

    Whether you lean towards a retro 50’s inspired curvy shape, or a more traditional Chesterfield, there will most definitely be a style that suits you best.

     

    flights-of-fancy-3seater-hirise-sofa_houseofhackney
    Sofa Flights of Fancy Grey Stripe by House of Hackney, £2,495.00

     

    This Sofa from House of Hackney is a great contemporary twist on a traditional button back Sofa. Use this offset against a neutral background as a fantastic statement piece.

    This clash of contemporary meets traditional has been a key trend across the interior design world this Autumn, with a collaboration between the progressive Scottish textile designers Timorous Beastie and iconic British brand Ercol, resulting in this gorgeous Studio-Couch.

     

    ercol-Studio-Couch-TImorousBeastie2

    Ercol Originals – Blotch Studio Couch by Timorous Beastie's, P.O.A

     

    Whatever the style that best reflects your tastes, the 3 main things we think about when looking at a sofa are Style, Comfort and Cost.

    Size is another vital consideration. Nobody wants to have a beautiful sofa that they have to climb over in order to get out of the room. Always make sure you measure the space into which the furniture will be placed, along with any steps or awkward obstacles that might be tricky when it comes to installation.

     

    The Sofa and Chair_Rothko

    Rothko Sofa, The Sofa & Chair Company, P.O.A.

    For rooms with low ceilings, a Sofa with deep seats and a low back would be best, for narrow spaces I would go for a modular system, and the familiar ‘L-Shaped’ works wonders in an area that has a walkway through the space.

    Next, fabric options. Along with the shape, fabric is the most important influence that determines the look and feel of your space. Sometime all you need is to invest in a new set of covers. Get in touch with a local interior designer for information on bespoke fabric covers for Ikea furniture, incl. discontinued items.

    Do bear in mind that natural materials such as Linen or Leather with wear faster than treated purpose made covers.

    Then last but not least, the squish factor. For a firmer seat, I recommend foam cushion. For larger sofas with deep seats feather filling offers a luxurious feel, but be warned you may never want to get up. Alternatively you can opt for a fiber/feather or fiber/foam mix for a good balance.

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