A Parisian Apartment

August 27th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Houses - (1 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

It’s actually a conservatory in a 250-year-old farmhouse in the Overberg region of South Africa and now called the ‘Plantation Room’. A lush mural on three walls creates a perfect backdrop for exotic taxidermy and the owners eclectic collections. I love it all.

Plantation style house in SA via Elle Decoration. Photographs by Inge Prins

The backdrop effectively creates a three-dimensional aspect to the room that no amount of layering could do. You feel as if you could walk out into that verdant forest and can almost hear the birds calling. I bet in a hot country this is more potent than any air conditioning.

Plantation style house in SA via Elle Decoration. Photographs by Inge Prins [1]

The high polish of the dark wood elements also evoke an atmosphere of tropical climes and this is continued on the floor and ceiling encompassing the room with a moody vibe.

Plantation style house in SA via Elle Decoration. Photographs by Inge Prins [3]

Stacks of old books, shells, cones and all manner of ephemera combine to make it interesting for the visitor and probably an endless delight for the owner too. The kind of room you could get lost in for hours.

Plantation style house in SA via Elle Decoration. Photographs by Inge Prins [2]

This fabulous room originally appeared in the September 2011 edition of Elle Decoration, South Africa.

Photographs by Inge Prins

Lunch with Tiffany

August 15th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

Last weekend I was invited along to the newly-opened and rather fabulous Another Country store in Marylebone for a style session with fellow blogger Tiffany Grant-Riley from Curate & Display blog. The store is running a series of these sessions as part of their #anothersummer campaign and we were free to do whatever we wanted!

So we had lunch.

Lunch with Tiffany at Another Country

I have long been a fan of Another Country so picking products for our lunch setting was an easy task. We chose a handsome solid oak dining table and benches in a corner of the shop and set about creating our perfect summer feast.

The terracotta pitcher is my all time favourite and was the perfect centrepiece holding a couple of olive branches that we foraged from one of the trees in the street (shhhh, don’t tell anyone!).

Lunch with Tiffany at Another Country [2]

The olive bread, figs, cheese and chutney were all bought in nearby Marylebone High Street and looked mouth-wateringly perfect on the glazed pottery plates and the  terracotta platter.

Lunch with Tiffany at Another Country [4]

And the black handled Provencal cutlery and grey pinch pots (for the chutney) added yet more French flavour to this simple rustic meal.

Lunch with Tiffany at Another Country [3]

Photographs by Tiffany Grant-Riley

Otago – Out of East Africa

August 13th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

I have a real soft spot for some of the crafts that come out of Africa. Especially when combined with modern design. So I was delighted to discover Otago.

Founded by design duo Anna Rose and Eddie Sercombe in 2013, the company collaborates with artisans from marginalised communities to create collections of fine objects for the contemporary interior. By incorporating local artisanal skill with cutting edge design, they create exceptional and elegant pieces for the home.

The debut collection primarily features pieces made by artisans in East Africa.

Otago Collection [1]

KIKIPU platters,  SHANGA YA NGOZI bottles and  gold plated sand cast brass animals

Otago Collection [2]

NDEFU YA SHABA glasses, KIKAPU platters, NGOZI hand blown glass bottle with a leather collar, PEMBE cow horn dish and ZEBRAG hand embroidered linen cushions.

Otago Collection [3]

SHANGA hand beaded jars, KUBA hand embroidered linen cushions, PEMBE horn vessels and KIKAPU vases.

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