as a city dweller living in rented accommodation space is not something i have an abundance of in my home, so i’m also excited to see new collections emerge which strive to make living easier through space-busting clever designs that tackle everyday storage and logistical nightmares in the home.
the new ambrose collection from heal’s, which previewed during last week’s design festival, is full of intelligently designed furniture and essential products for all areas of the home, especially where space is at a premium. ambrose aim to distance themselves from disposable culture and challenge the notion that quality product and design comes at a premium price and have enlisted the help of some designers and brands i’ve long admired, including hartô, skagerak and colonel, to meet this challenge.
the collection is fittingly named after amrose heal, a design pioneer whose work married the philosophical aims and practical intentions of the arts & crafts movement to create simple, well-designed and lasting pieces of furniture and strove to make them available to a broader audience, typified by his work for the hampstead and letchworth garden city projects in the early 20th century.
my favourite piece from the new collection is probably the re-imagined flat-pack shelving unit designed by matthew elton; an a-frame collection which slots together with no fixings and comes apart just as easily – perfect for people regularly on the move! modular and adaptable, the shelving system can also become a room divider in a studio flat, or incorporate a hanging rail or laptop desk so you can really make the piece work for you, whatever you space.
one of my must-see’s during ldf each year is 100% norway. the exhibition at tent london seeks to bring the best of norwegian furniture and product design to london each year and 2014’s selection most certainly does not disappoint!
trying to pinpoint my six favourite designs from the presentation was no easy feat, especially as this year’s appointment of the bergen academy of art & design as show curators has expanded the exhibition parameters to include students work at bachelor’s and master’s level, alongside experienced designers already well known on the international scene.
andreas engesvik co-founded design company norway says in 2002 and launched a solo studio in 2009, garnering a wealth of design accolades and awards as well as producing pieces for some of my favourite nordic brands including iittala, muuto and asplund, so it stands to reason that his bunad blankets inspired by norway’s traditional dress immediately jumped out at me. dating from the 18th century, bunad is one of the most visible aspects of norway’s cultural heritage, and engesvik’s blankets transfer the colours and composition into textile form, taking the essence of norwegian folk costume into interiors. perfect for a coastal nordic cabin, don’t you agree?
another fabulous london design festival done-and-dusted; plenty of wonderful new design brands discovered along with great offerings from old favourites. there is always a huge comedown following ten days of getting lost in design (usually accompanied by the onset of a post ldf lurgy – this year is no exception, grrr) but i couldn’t let another day go past without sharing with you some of the new products i’m now lusting after!
the london design festival starts tomorrow, bringing with it 10 days full of design shows, curated collections, pop-up shops, talks and seminars (over 300 of them in fact!) that hold the very real promise that you will “lose yourself in design.”
i’m all for getting swept up in the joys of the festival, but as my wonderful friend katie puts it so eloquently, “to help make sure that you do that metaphorically, but not literally” i would thoroughly advise reviewing her incredibly well-thought out and meticulously timetabled day-to-day guide to the festival. to add my own two cents into the mix: be sure to carry a bottle of water with you at all times, remember to fully charge your oyster card and don’t even think about putting anything on your feet but comfortable flats!
oh, and if you do find yourself in need of a little “time out” from the frantic pace of the festival then be sure to check out the temporary reading rooms at another country, where cereal magazine will be launching their first printed guide book (london edition, obviously), as well as exhibiting a collection of limited edition art prints.
hope to see you guys out & about, and please do keep an eye on my instagram for all my design/event recommendations over the coming days!
i’ve been all about new season launches this past week but i simply can’t help it, given all the lovely new imagery that’s been crossing my desk and popping up in my instagram and pinterest feeds. i may be in full-on ldf prep mode for next week now – both at work and for the blog – but that doesn’t mean that i don’t have one eye on things going on across the channel at maison & objet, especially where my fave design brands are concerned.
right now i’m lusting after the fabulous new collection from finnish brand muuto, whose stand is always one of the first i seek out at design fairs. showcasing beautiful everyday items from up-and-coming scandinavian designers, they always have products that are totally “spot-on” in my book, and this year is no different – just how luscious is the push coffee maker by mette duedahl? i’m totally drawn by the soft tactile shape of the stoneware vessel, plus it would pair beautifully with the italian cookware from toast that i was coveting a few days ago…
every year, as soon as september rolls around i find myself wishing the summer days away, eager for the chill in the air to turn a little faster. the sun may still be beating down a welcome warmth outside, but i’ve already turned my mind to pumpkin spice lattes (homemade, natch), the cosiness of a cashmere pullover and the heady scent of a hearty stew cooking atop the stove.
of course, it helps when these images of autumnal deliciousness are very handily pinged into your cybersphere by the lovely folk over at toast. it’s become a tad bit predictable that i’m going to fawn over the new season lookbook from these purveyors of simple modern living (which they know all too well, eh?) but what can i say, toast really is my bread and butter (groan) when it comes to lustful imagery!
john lewis’ copenhagen aw14 home design trend trend – which launched in store last monday – caught my eye for its warm textured approach to clean, minimal scandi style. drawing upon the wealth of danish design history, the new collection has a core monochromatic palette with accents of neon (still a fave of mine, despite being en trend for many years now!) and linear layerings of pattern to build a contemporary look heavily inspired by modern architectural forms.
which key pieces are catching your eye, friends?
this week i’m coveting: 1. mira sideboard 2. aztec terrarium 3. woven felt laundry basket 4. siirtolapuutarha plate 5. reflection trees cushion 6. finn side table 7. njord bedding 8. stripe throw (all available from john lewis)
have you spotted the white company have just launched a new general store?
a celebration of timeless favourites from their 20 year heritage, the pieces are as useful and stylish now as they were when the store began, back when nineties minimalism was the height of popularity. the specially curated edit includes the whitest bed linen (which have been my go-to for years), sumptuously fluffy egyptian cotton towels, and the simplest of white taper candles for creating a tranquil, calming atmosphere in your home.
the perfectly simple pieces are designed to be used in every home, adding a touch of luxury that promises to last. indeed, i’ve had my white bed linen set for many years and it still washes wonderfully and offers the perfect foil to my seasonal bedding buys in transitory patterns or colours.
there’s nothing like having a sleek modern bathroom with a giant tub and rainfall shower to encourage a bit of relaxation at the end of the day. sadly, very few of us have the space (or the budget!) for such luxury, and my tiny bathroom in my rented victorian mansion flat is sorely lacking in a bathtub one is capable of lying in, or the correct water pressure to induce tropical wanderlust (london drizzle is about all it can muster…)
so we make do in any way we can, and my solution to enhancing my bathing experience is to add as many considered colour pops and quality bath products as possible. i’ve just pimped my bathroom with some gorgeous new towels from urbanara‘s kotra collection – a cotton & linen waffle design that has a soft crinkly finish – and accessorised with thick cotton terry towels in lush rainforest green. my go-to “me-time” products recently have been vanilla & honey bath bubbles and an orange & geranium salt scrub, and i like to fill the room with the sweet figgy scent of serax no.7 fragrance.