Country Rustic Style at Next

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the newest Next Superstore in Hedge End, Hampshire. It stands at 60,000 square feet over two floors with a breath-taking atrium to welcome visitors. I could have spent days in the garden shop but there was also a tempting bed shop, lingerie room, shoe room and a welcome Costa Coffee too. Of course I didn’t come away with just a pair of boots! I also came away inspired by one of the themes running through the home and furniture departments. Rustic country. Nothing can be more apt for this time of year. Lots of chunky knits, russet colours and raw materials.

Next Home - Country Rustic - AW14 - [1]

Next Home - Country Rustic - AW14 - [2]

And that crystal drop chandelier is a good reason to visit again soon.

All items from the Autumn/Winter collections at Next.

The White Company General Store

August 29th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Shopping - (0 Comments)

I’ve long been a fan of  The White Company, so when I heard that they were launching a range of timeless classics my heart went pitter patter. You can find them in a new section of the website titled ‘General Store‘ and I think you’ll love them as much as I do. The perfectly simple pieces, from the company’s 20 year heritage, are designed to be used in every room of the home, adding a little touch of luxury that will never date.

The White Company General Store [1]

The White Company General Store [3]

The White Company General Store [2]

And of course you can find them in store too.

Don’t you just love them?

Are you ready for the change in seasons my lovelies? Much as I love summer, I also love the coming of Autumn and all that it brings. The crisp sunny morning air, the turning of the leaves, comfort food and the excuse to make the house all cosy for the winter months ahead.

Oka - Leflaive glass table lamps

I know I shouldn’t but as soon as dusk descends I’m usually running round the house lighting lamps to make every corner warm and inviting. I do use energy saving bulbs before you tell me off so I think it’s not so bad and the feel-good factor is worth it.

Oka - Bronze Elephant desk lamp

Lamps and especially table lamps are my favourite form of lighting and I do admit to a tiny obsession with them. The light they generate is soft and gentle unlike the ugly glare of overhead lights, and they provide atmosphere and task lighting exactly where you need it.

Oka - Siam table lamp

A lamp on a side table next to the sofa or beside a chair provides a gentle pool of light that is not overpowering and yet gives enough light to read a book or do some crafting. A bedside lamp is a must in any house. I don’t know how anyone can live without one. Imagine having to get out of bed to turn off the light when ready for sleep?

Oka - metal silhouette urn table lamp

I also like to have a lamp or lamps in the entrance hall to greet visitors and create a rosy welcoming glow from outside. Much nicer than walking into a house that is neon lit with harsh pendants.

Oka - Iznik table lamp and shades

And of course we all love a desk lamp. Task lighting at its most effective. It almost makes working late bearable if you can do it in your own pool of cosiness, slippers on and with a nice cup of tea.

So you see you really cannot have enough lamps.

All table lamps shown are from Oka Direct who sell bases and shades separately so that you can mix and match to your hearts content.

A Parisian Apartment

August 27th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Houses - (2 Comments)

When I dream of living in Paris (which I do quite often I might add), I dream of high ceilings, period features, parquet flooring and inter-connecting rooms. This apartment has all of those things and more. It even has my dream kitchen. Black and white tiles, rich wood tones, stainless steel and lights to die for. I could move in right now!

It’s actually the home of interior designer Sandra Behaumou and although it’s full of designer pieces and art it is still a warm family home.

The Parisian Apartment of Interior Designer Sandra Behaumou Via Elle Deco Spain [3]

The white walls act as the perfect foil for the hanging art, the velvet sofa and the piles of books. The room is full of things I wish I could walk up to and examine and that’s exactly as it should be. Nothing too matching and each piece is given room to breathe.

The Parisian Apartment of Interior Designer Sandra Behaumou Via Elle Deco Spain [1]

And yes, my favourite room. The pendants are Tom Dixon. Maybe hanging a little too much to the right but now I’m just being picky. Love the way the graphic black and white of the tiles is echoed in the wall cabinets.

The Parisian Apartment of Interior Designer Sandra Behaumou Via Elle Deco Spain [2]

And I love the way the white metro tiles are carried into the breakfast area. What a nice way to add art too. A picture shelf running across the centre of the wall is perfect for smaller pieces if you don’t want to bang lots of nails in creating a more conventional wall of art.

The Parisian Apartment of Interior Designer Sandra Behaumou Via Elle Deco Spain [4]

The dining room is maybe not my favourite. I love the cornicing and the furniture but I would have warmed it up with a brighter rug. But that’s just me.

The Parisian Apartment of Interior Designer Sandra Behaumou Via Elle Deco Spain [5]

And in the bedroom I’m in love again. The casualness of the curtains and the black and white photographic art both make my heart sing.

Do you like it?

Via Elle Deco Spain.

For those cosy autumnal evenings in front of the fire. All that needs to be added is a cushion, a throw to ward off any chills, a good lamp, a table for the all important cup of tea and the latest bestseller.

Homebase Woodland Wing Chair and accessories = woodland cosy

To create a classic gentlemen’s club come country estate vibe, leather must be your first choice for the winged chair. This one has a very on-trend stag print fabric for the seat and back cushion which makes it extra comfortable. Stick to modern shapes for the furniture like this oak side table so that the entire scheme is more contemporary and add lots of texture with knitted cushions and throws. Some coloured glass adds an all-important pop of colour while still keeping to the woodland theme.

Homebase - Floral Wing Chair and accessories = French Romantic

For you romantics out there, you can’t beat a nostalgic floral print for the armchair. It pairs perfectly with French inspired furniture and a pretty pastel colour scheme. It you would rather avoid the obvious shabby-chic look choose accessories that are quirky rather than twee.

Homebase Wingchair and Accessories = Modern Country

Wing chairs can look at home in modern settings and the secret is to keep to a monochrome colours scheme and choose eclectic furnishings and accessories. Here, an industrial style floor lamp and curvy side table combine with a woollen cushion and throw to create a scheme that would look at home in a loft or cottage.

All armchairs and accessories from Homebase.

Following fourteen successful years collaborating with Debenhams, John Rocha is launching his first furniture collections this autumn. Called Elements and Eclipse, the collections are exclusive to the store and reflect the well-loved fashion and homewares designer’s relaxed and contemporary signature style.

A very handsome collection it is too. The seating features a soft linen blend fabric with deep inviting seats and wide arms for the ultimate in comfort. While the walnut (shown here) veneers have been lightly lacquered to retain the natural texture of the grain. Perfectly at home in a modern or traditional setting and beautifully complimented here by John Rocha accessories of course.

John Rocha for Debenhams [1]

Coffee table, £480. Rug, £200. Champagne wire bowl, £28. Glass hurricane lamp, £22. Cylindrical vase, £14. Hammered votive, £6 – £12. Tealight holders, £7 – £18. Cushions, £25 – £35. Chunky knit throw, £100. Scratch silver lamp, £68.

John Rocha for Debenhams [2]

Bedside table, £330. Vase, £16. Double duvet cover, £63. Pillowcases, £22. Cushions, £28 – £30. Faux fur throw, £120. Rug, £200.

John Rocha for Debenhams [3]

Sofa, £1600. Coffee table, £350. Cushions, from £32. Candle holder, £13.

Exclusive to Debenhams.

Sasha Tugolukova is a London-based illustrator with a love of fine design and high quality product. Originally from Russia, Sasha started her creative journey learning the traditional drawing technique of khokhloma as a child.

Sasha Tugolukova Mask Collection - Bill


The ‘Mask’ collection (shown here) was inspired by the complexity and ambiguity of the natural world.  All of the designs emerge from creative exploration through pencil illustrations and then individually drawn floral motifs are combined into multi-faceted ‘masks’. Each one draws you in to explore the intricate patterns and de-construct the different elements.

Sasha Tugolukova Mask Collection - Harry


The collection was initially designed as a set of three, but continues to evolve making it a lasting piece of art to collect and cherish.

Sasha Tugolukova Mask Collection - Philip


All of the collectables are crafted and hand decorated by artisans in Stoke-on-Trent in the North of England.

I think my favourite is Philip.

There are some product brochures that are as eagerly awaited as a favourite magazine. Loaf is one of them. I’m always eager to see what lovely new things they have. What things I would add to my wish list. And then what things I will share with you all my lovelies.

Here’s my current picks of the very nice bunch.


The tulip kitchen table. A Scandinavian design classic that’s been given a makeover in gun-metal and weathered timber. Perfect for contemporary and traditional kitchens alike. And especially my kitchen. Paired with gun-metal chairs that are comfy but super cool. The table is £495 and the chairs, £290 per pair.


The Super Sucre sideboard is apparently a larder. And a very fine one too. But for me – who’s always working at the kitchen table – it would be a godsend for stashing all those papers, files and pens when it’s time to start the dinner. Priced at £995.

Loaf_autumn 2014

Hiccup cushions, £35. Pootle Storage, £225. Harley pouffe, £175. Tweedy rug, £165. Birdie shelf, £295.


And last but not least the lovely leaning Tiger shelves in bleached timber. Priced at £225.

Black Magic in the Bedroom

August 20th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (3 Comments)

Oh, I am definitely tempted. Black walls in the bedroom. Dark, moody, intense. My bedroom is quite spacious with a sloping ceiling on two sides which will remain white, so I’m thinking I can get away with it.

Bella Notte Linens

Look how that white bedding pops against a black backdrop.


I must admit it looks good with white painted floorboards and I, unfortunately have carpet but I’m still tempted. I love the idea of black and white photographs and art too.

Olie & Sebs Haus

I think it’s the balance of black and white thats the secret. And abundant light.

Am I brave enough?

Images: 1|2|3

The corner sofa. I’m a recent convert. In my old house we had two equal sized sofas facing each other. It was what the space dictated. They were comfortable and stylish and perfect when we had guests. Conversation could take place over the central coffee table and four to six people could sit comfortably and all see each other. (Although in design school they always said that three-seater sofas were never a good idea because no one ever wanted to sit in the middle) but I digress.

corner sofa via Real Simple

Now however I have a corner sofa. And I love it. Again, it was what the space dictated but there is nothing nicer than snuggling up with a loved one for an evening watching TV or stealing a cuddle from the kids when reading a book. And it is sociable when guests are over.  It’s more casual. You don’t have to talk across the room. You can pass the crisps without getting up!

corner sofa via Houzz

But there are even more advantages than that. A corner sofa can help to define a space, especially in open plan spaces. Put a rug under it, a coffee table in front of it and you have an instant sitting zone, distinctly separate from the dining or kitchen areas.

corner sofa via Est magazine

They also tend to take up less space than two normal sized sofas so are convenient for smaller spaces too. Tuck one in the corner and you can comfortably seat four or five people. Five if they are very good friends. An additional armchair will complete the room and add balance as in the images above.

corner sofa via Design Sponge

And imagine a room with a view? A corner sofa means that absolutely no one has their back to it!

Images: 1 2 3 4

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