Simply Black and White

July 28th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Photographers - (0 Comments)

Browsing at the weekend I came across the website of photographer Alice Johnsson and was struck by this series of photographs.

The room is beautiful of course. The restrained palette of black and white with just the pale parquet flooring and brass light fitting to break up the monochrome scheme is calm and restful. I love the casual grouping of the artwork on the wall and the unframed prints hung from bulldog clips make it casual and formal all at the same time.

But it’s the photography and styling that really gives this room life.

Simply Black and White - Photographed by Alice Johnson [2]

The artfully draped scarf, the open book and the single green stem in an oversized jar. Just beautiful.

Simply Black and White - Photographed by Alice Johnson [4]

The black bentwood chairs are like a piece of sculpture against all of the pale colours and they echo the black of the photograph frames giving balance and framework to the composition.

Simply Black and White - Photographed by Alice Johnsson [1]

I wish, I wish, I could group objects like this!

Simply Black and White - Photographed by Alice Johnsson [3]

Simply stunning.

This post is dedicated to all those of you who are not going on holiday very soon. Or like me, going away later in the year. Avoiding the mad rush to the beach has its advantages but it sure feels like I’m missing out somehow. So here are some images from the latest Toast lookbook to make us all feel relaxed and remind us that we could always recreate that holiday vibe at home.

Toast 2014 cushion, rug, bedspread

Toast 2014 kitchenware, linen, stools

Toast 2014 kitchenware, linens

Toast 2014 bedspreads

Even if it’s only for the weekend.

Have a good one!

My Ideal Garden Style

July 24th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Gardens - (2 Comments)

I have a hankering after an old fashioned type of garden. I’m not talking about picket fences and benches made from fallen branches (although they can also be lovely in the right setting), I’m talking about naturally aged wood fences, recycled apple crates, brick, and old metal.

Garden Trading Aldsworth potting table £240, Wooden sign £12, Colworth herb box £22, Wooden seed tray £10, Large and small seed box in clay £6 - £10 mailable

Aldsworth potting table £240, Wooden sign £12, Colworth herb box £22, Wooden seed tray £10, Large and small seed box in clay £6 – £10

It’s the kind of look that does lend itself to a country garden admittedly, but I think it can also work in the city, in suburbia and even on a balcony. It’s more of a way of life than a style statement. It’s about cherishing those tools so that they last for years, recycling and reusing pots and taking cuttings from friends instead of running off to the garden centre every time a bare patch appears in the flower bed.

Garden Trading Florist vase, large £18 medium £15 and small £12 mailable

Florist vase, large £18 medium £15 and small £12

It does take time to create this kind of garden and that’s the only downside.  Not just in the hours you have to dedicate to its welfare but also in the number of years it will take to mature. But in my dream of dreams I have the time to do this. I will put aside time to tend my little plot. I’ve already started off a tray or two of cuttings and time will tell if they will root and grow.

Garden Trading - Garden Essentials

Bonfire fork, £35, hanging sign, £4.50, wooden rake, £16, tool hook rail, £24, thermometer, £20, string jar and jute string, £12, set of 6 herb garden markers in slate £9.50

I’m collecting tins to use as planters and wooden crates to use as shelves, tables and well, just crates. I’m going to banish plastic, clean up my tools and sort out a corner of the garage where everything will have its place.

I’ll be growing veggies next!

All items shown available from the Garden Trading.

Stay One Step Ahead

July 23rd, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

If you thought all carpet was beige, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact I wish someone had told that fact to the developers of my new house! Just as fabrics,wallpapers and paint colours follow trends, so does carpet. Trends might be slower to catch on – carpet and flooring after all is a relatively expensive outlay – but believe me, the circle of life moves on.

Carpetright, Champion (four colours) £2.99m2

Champion (four colours) £2.99m2

For autumn/winter the clever peeps at Carpetright are predicting four easy to follow trends that are all achievable at surprisingly affordable prices - English Eccentric, Refined Monochrome, Tales of the Orient and Meadow Breeze.

Carpetright, Paris Rug Collection from £99

Paris Rug Collection from £99

English Eccentric – is about being adventurous with colour, texture and pattern. A bohemian look can be created using inexpensive carpet tiles laid as geometric patterns, or by using three complementary shades of carpet on alternating stairs for a truly bespoke look.  If carpet is not for you, why not place a selection of rugs, all with different patterns on your floor, adding warmth in the colder winter months but easily removed for summer. It’s about mixing the unexpected in a fresh and bold way.

Carpetright, Ashby Anthracite Carpet £5.99m2

Ashby Anthracite Carpet £5.99m2

Refined Monochrome - is a cool and sophisticated trend that has an elegant and timeless look that never dates.  Black and white flooring will provide the perfect backdrop for glamorous and classic furniture. Capture the new refined monochrome look with velvet upholstery and shiny glass and metallics. It’s best to keep accessories to a minimum but ensure each piece makes a statement.

Carpetright, Carousel Twist Turquoise Carpet £13.99m2

Carousel Twist Turquoise Carpet £13.99m2

Tales of the Orient – is all about injecting bold colour and pattern into your home, creating a vibrant scheme packed full of opulence.   Juxtapose Chinese and Japanese design with strong geometric lines and add an exotic touch with Oriental inspired wallcoverings.  Mix spicy shades with jewel blues and offset with black for a dramatic contrast. Yum. 

Carpetright, Virgo Pink Carpet £7.99m2

Virgo Pink Carpet £7.99m2

Meadow Breeze – is a feel good colour palette.  The upbeat colours will give your home some summer sunshine all year round.  It’s best to choose your flooring first to provide an essential base colour.  If you opt for a boldly coloured carpet, balance it with lots of white furniture and accessories.  

Which trend would you go for?

All images are taken from the Carpetright lookbook.

Tine K Home’s Beautiful Home

July 22nd, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Houses - (1 Comments)

“It is the contrast between light and dark which creates the style and atmosphere. Often, the dark colors come from old objects, furniture and carpets from the East. I like pieces that have history, that are handmade and different, and that I can’t usually find in Denmark.”

Tine Kjeldsen, Tine K Home

Tine K Home's beautiful home [1]

While I was researching yesterdays post I stumbled across the latest press images for Tine K Home and I was reminded once again how much I love and admire everything about this Danish brand. The image above is from the Tine K Home website but I found the following pictures of Tine’s own home in a 2012 issue of Est magazine. It may have changed a lot since then, but I have a feeling it will still exude that cool Scandinavian vibe. If I could fill my home with her products, believe me I would.

Tine K Home's beautiful home [2]

Tine K Home's beautiful home [4]

Tine K Home's beautiful home [5]

Tine K Home's beautiful home [3]

Photographs by Jacob Gils

Dreaming of Moody Hues

July 21st, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (1 Comments)

I’m not sure how much longer I can go on without getting the paintbrush out my lovelies. I know I’m supposed to wait a year before putting paint and paper on the walls of a new house but it’s so BORING! There’s only so much planning I can do before I actually start doing, and the longer I wait the more times I change my mind. Do I want paper? Do I want paint? Do I want to cover the walls with art (might be a tad expensive even with Ikea frames) or do I want to make a statement in other ways.

This weekend in was all about mulling over paint colours. I did have a brief flirtation with Farrow and Ball’s Downpipe in the old house and I loved it. It got mixed reactions as you’d expect but I loved the drama of it. I’m just not sure I want a whole house of it.

Walls of Green

1 2 3 4

I still want drama and so I’m loving this saturated emerald-green. It still makes a statement but it’s so uplifting. Personally I would keep everything else neutral with shots of black and white, grey, natural wood and my gorgeous Moroccan rug.

Walls of Navy

1 2 3 4

Or what about navy? It’s much more sophisticated especially with white. And doesn’t it look great with wood?

Walls of Grey

1 2 3 4

And then of course, there is still the deep, deep grey. A safer option but my, does it divide opinion.

What do you think?

Do you ever have a yearning to relive childhood fantasies and drift away into a whimsical wonderland? Yes? Well you should definitely check out ‘A Curious Kingdom’ which is the debut collection from Sky Siouki.


Mythical creatures, oversized foliage, dreamlike landscapes and frolicking wildlife, all combine to create an enchanting essence of nostalgia. 

SkySiouki_cushions [1]

Each design features intricate hand-drawn illustrations digitally printed onto luxurious fabrics. Unique and bold, these cushions are perfect for those who dare to be different. Everything is made in the UK.

SkySiouki_cushions [2]

 The range includes cotton velvet and silk dupion cushions, lavender bags, linen notebooks and unique greetings cards all available to buy online.

Let your imagination run away with you!

Every so often I come across a new (or new to me) website that I just have to share. Today it is the online shop of Blue Isle Interiors and their range of beautiful furniture and home accessories.

Blue Isle sofas and furniture [1]

All of the items on the website are unique to Blue Isle and they try their very best to make them affordable. They are undoubtedly passionate about design and their style is classic, with either a hint of French decoration, or plainer, solid English Weathered Oak reminiscent of the 1930’s, or a ‘metal and salvaged’ look, inspired by loft-living.

Their craftsmen use solid oaks,  salvaged woods, and crisp linens in a subtle palette of colours, and each piece is handcrafted .  The range is aimed at people who love good design, both the individual homeowner, and the interior designer  who wants to find unusual and  unique pieces for clients.  

Blue Isle elm desk

Blue Isle 4 poster

Blue Isle table lamps

I could certainly find a home for a few pieces :-)

Did you have a good weekend my lovelies? I had a relaxing time with the BF and a couple of very old friends, catching up, eating good food, and exploring our new rural neighbourhood.

Saturday night we had supper at home and I had the perfect excuse for getting out my new charcoal grey tablecloth that I thought looked pretty damn good with plain white china, silverware, and a bowl of sunflowers.

Dear Designer's Blog - Table with Sunflowers [2]

I usually keep the table quite simple and I love this new (for me) combination of grey, yellow and green. The napkins are Victorian and they have been washed so many times they are super soft.

Dear Designer's Blog - Table with Sunflowers [1]

I tied them with string and added a simple flower that repeats the green of the bowl.

Dear Designer's Blog - Table with Sunflowers [3]

A few other white accessories and a couple of tall white candles created more of a sense of occasion.

Dear Designer's Blog - Table with Sunflowers [4]

Dinner wasn’t bad either :-)

The July issue is now out my lovelies.

Heart Home magazine July 2014 cover photograph by Paul Craig

I’m particularly fond of this cover. It’s a detail that we took in the home of Craig Masson and I’m kinda fond of skulls but instead of looking macabre these ones just looked pretty, especially with that gorgeous mirror as a backdrop. The rest of Craig’s home is just as inspirational. Full of collections and retro finds but you’ll have to read the issue to see more.

Oh go on then, just one more teaser.

Heart Home magazine July 2014 - Home of Craig Masson photograph by Paul Craig

We also have our first ever garden makeover feature. It’s full of ingenious ideas for re-cycling everyday objects to make the most of our outside spaces. Stylist Joanna Thornhill demonstrates how to glam up the garden in fact, in her very own little oasis.

Heart Home magazine July 2014 - Garden Feature styled by Joanna Thornhill, photographed by Rita Platts

And of course it’s full of all the usual interviews, hotel recommendations and shopping news including this one that I’m very drawn to.

Heart Home magazine July 2014 - A touch of moroccan magic shopping feature


Heart Home magazine.

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