I never thought I’d see the day but I’m warming to the idea of using concrete inside the house.

I won’t be getting out the cement mixer just yet but I can now appreciate the raw beauty of a polished concrete floor. The cool smoothness of anything, in this most utilitarian of  surfaces is beginning to filter into my consciousness. And one day, I will be craving a concrete bathtub or a concrete work surface. One day.

Concrete Kitchen via Elle Deco

Floor, wall, and kitchen island. All in polished concrete. It should look hard and cold but that’s not the case. The use of solid black cupboards, shelves and fridge manage to save it from grey drabness. The coordinating pendant lights and stools take it up a notch too to ultra cool. I like it.

Concrete in the Bathroom via boligliv.dk

Who wouldn’t like a bathroom this cool? The clinical white walls and concrete sink are the epitome of  minimalist living but the basket of towels also make it inviting and comfortable. Note the concrete light fitting too. Is there no end of this materials usefulness?

Concrete shelves via Design Milk

Now you might think that concrete shelves and glass and china is a disaster waiting to happen. It might be the case but it does look amazing. I’d love a kitchen, or better yet a larder, where everything is to hand.

Concrete walls via Architectural Digest

Concrete and wood is a match made in heaven. Eminently suitable as a fire surround, the concrete also looks kind of decorative framed by wood. The extra texture in the chairs and rug also make this room warm to look at and dare I say, even cosy.

Concrete walls in the bedroom via boconcept

Even in the bedroom, an industrial looking wall can be juxtaposed with a leather headboard, a knitted throw and a shaggy rug to look inviting and modern all at the same time.

What do you think of concrete in interiors?


Gift Boxes from Mia Fleur

November 21st, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Christmas - (0 Comments)

I wouldn’t normally even consider buying a gift box for a friend or a family member. They somehow give the impression that you didn’t have enough time to go out and choose something yourself or even worse, couldn’t be bothered.

That is, until I saw the carefully curated gift boxes at Mia Fleur.

Founder Holly, has such impeccable taste and stocks such beautiful things that I think anyone would be happy to be on the receiving end. Even me.

Mia Fleur Gift Boxes - For your loved one.This box contains a personalised handmade linen tea-towel, a set of heart spoons and a stunning cup and saucer. £54.95.

Mia Fleur Gift Boxes - For the gardener

This box contains a pair of handmade linen and leather gardening gloves, a pretty packet of chive seeds and a pot. £49.95.

Mia Fleur Gift Boxes - For the vintage lover

This box contains a bird bud vase, a spray of faux roses and a vintage inspired photo frame. £41.85.

Mia Fleur Gift Boxes - For the super stylish

This one’s mine, and it contains a black and white mug, a set of insect votives and a gorgeous feathers graphic art print. £47.90.

Each collections is packaged in a black box with a grey ribbon.

Available from Mia Fleur.

Tori Murphy in the Kitchen

November 20th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

You already know how much I love rustic elements in the kitchen. Was it only last week I wrote about it? Well, it’s often difficult to find modern accessories that suit this kind of look so I was delighted to see the new range of kitchen textiles from British designer Tori Murphy.

Tori Murphy - Kitchen Textiles 1

The collection consists of a pared-back palette of taupe, soft mushroom and black and looks perfectly at home with worn wood and rustic elements as much as it would look perfectly at home in a contemporary kitchen.

Tori Murphy - Kitchen Textiles

In case you don’t already know, Tori Murphy is an up and coming lifestyle and homeware brand specializing in woven fabric. Tori is dedicated to crafted products with character and integrity and is proud of manufacturing 100% in England.

Tori Murphy - Kitchen Textiles 3

After graduating in 2012 from The Royal College of Arts, Tori worked in Milan designing textiles for a range of clients including DKNY, Fendi, and Christian Dior and it’s here she developed a deep understanding of textile production. Returning home, she began forming a collection inspired by the beautiful fabrics she had been surrounded by in Italy, and today, her textiles speak of an understated luxury.

Tori Murphy - Kitchen Textiles 2

Stockists include Harrods, Selfridges, Heal’s, Daylesford Organic and Lane Crawford.

Unashamedly feminine, these two new prints at Wonderwall can jump into my Christmas stocking right now!

They are the work of Stina Persson who fuses the traditional with a downright edgy look that is appreciated by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Absolut Vodka, Sony Music and Nike among other clients. She also illustrates for Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Elle and her work has been exhibited in several shows in New York, Stockholm and Tokyo.
After 15 years spent in Japan, Italy and New York, she is now happily based in Stockholm, with her three sons, journalist husband and cat.

Stina Persson - LeKid

Le Kid

Stina Persson - YSL-kopia


Stina Persson - Le Kid

Both are 890 SEK (which is about £77) and can be shipped worldwide.

But hurry, they are both limited editions and when they are sold out, they are sold out forever.

Introducing Atkin and Thyme

November 17th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (1 Comments)

New furniture and home accessories brand Atkin and Thyme launched last month with a 120-piece strong collection which features an eclectic mix of both classic and contemporary pieces which will suit both modern and traditional interiors. They are all made in limited, low volume batches and handcrafted by skilled artisans ensuring each piece is exclusive to the collection.

The founders, Nick and Victoria Atkin were inspired by a shared love of travel and by design styles from across the globe. India is a key influencer; many of the designs are based on pieces the couple have seen during trips to the country and reclaimed materials from India such as teak, mango wood and steel, feature in many of the designs.

I think you’ll like them.

Atkin and Thyme Pimlico Armchair in Velvet

Clad in sumptuous jewel-toned medieval blue cotton velvet, the Pimlico armchair (£395) features elegant buttoning and distinguished turned legs for a luxurious and exclusive feel.

Barcelona Dining Table in Grey, Atkin and Thyme

The Barcelona dining table is a concrete moulded table with metal-topped mango wood legs. £498. Shown in grey, it is also available in cream.

Cuboid Bone Inlay Console Table , Atkin and Thyme

The Cuboid Bone Inlay console table (595) has a very smart, monochrome, dog tooth effect inlay which gives a striking three-dimensional look. The black legs look like stockings beneath a business suit. I love this.

Milligan Desk, Atkin and Thyme

The Milligan desk (£379) is hand-crafted from mango and will appeal to all you retro lovers our there.

Didn’t I say you’d like them?

Who wouldn’t like to win £250 to spend at John Lewis?


Well, Dear Designer’s Blog has teamed up with Good to be Home to offer one lucky reader the perfect opportunity to do just that. With Christmas coming up it would certainly be very handy for a few little home updates. I know I have a list already that includes making the guest bedroom look a little more cosy, adding to the festive tableware, buying new decorations that suit the new house and the list just goes on….

Win £250 voucher to spend at John Lewis with Dear Designer's Blog

Just look at some of the shopping you could do in the nation’s favourite store!

All you need to do is simply enter details in the box below and comment with your favourite ‘how to’ (any tips or advice you might have) relating to interior design on this post. You can also raise your chances of winning by tweeting(using #perfecthomeraffle) and following and liking Good To Be Home on Facebook, to gain extra entries! Competition deadline is the 12th December, 11:59PM.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are multiple extras to get you more points, from following @DearDesigners on Twitter, to visiting Good to be Home’s Facebook page. Good luck!


Much as I love a puritanical white kitchen it can look rather clinical at times and just a tad chilly. But, if you add some rustic touches as in the images below, we are talking a whole different ball game. Warm, interesting and full of personality. Every single one of them.

White meets rustic via Remodelista

The addition of a wood island to this predominantly white kitchen makes all the difference. As does the floor. If the floor had been tiled instead the entire room would have felt colder. Colour has been kept to a minimum elsewhere to let the texture of the wood shine out. Putting the island on wheels is another practical idea as it can be moved when necessary. Dancing in the kitchen maybe?

White meets rustic via NY Times

Wood has also been used on the island in this kitchen, which is also used as a table. As it’s a smaller kitchen keeping the island open gives the impression of more space and is a great space for some decoration. I think I may have stopped there and not put shelves above the window however.

White meets rustic via Heart Home magazine

Heart Home photographer Paul Craig has created a stunning kitchen with glossy white units, wooden worktops and a slate backsplash. It’s minimalist without being clinical and I love the addition of some of his own photography to add interest and personality. You can see more of Paul’s kitchen in the current issue of Heart Home magazine.

White meets rustic via the Style Files

Sometimes all you need is a few simple wooden shelves to bring in the rustic element. You could fill them with white crockery as Paul did in the previous image or you could pile on the basketware, decorative pottery and clay bowls. If you keep the colours to the earthy end of the spectrum the rusticity is emphasized.

Do you like this look?

Images 1|2|3|4

There are so many beautiful new collections around at the moment.

These gorgeous new leather rugs from Woven Ground really caught my eye. They have been designed with the contemporary home in mind and combine the beauty of modern Nordic design with traditional craftsmanship. Each rug is individually hand-crafted. The leather is cut by hand, which is an incredibly precise and skillful job and then combined in perfect colour and balance.

WovenGround Jasmine by Linie Design in grey (lifestyle)

Jasmine in grey, 140x200cm £645, 170x240cm £920.

WovenGround Dynasty by Linie Design in grey (lifestyle)

Dynasty in grey, 140x200cm £635, 170x240cm £890.

WovenGround Fade by Linie Design l(ifestyle) - grey

Fade in grey, 140x200cm £450, 170x240cm £645, 200x300cm £1249.

WovenGround Opal by Linie Design in black-grey

Opal in black or grey, 140x200cm £645, 170x240cm £920.

Aren’t they just gorgeous?

Hello my lovelies. Did you have a nice weekend? I spent at least some of it internally debating again the dark grey vs bright green on the living room walls dilemma. Why can’t I make up my mind when it comes to decorating my own house? At the moment I am veering towards my original vision of grey/black/white with one bright yellow velvet chair. A bit like the colour scheme below really. Everything else is in place (well, apart from the yellow chair) it just needs a decision to be made.

Villa Nova_Avebury Collection [1]

These fabrics are from the brand new Avebury Collection by Villa Nova, comprising geometric and organic patterned embroideries made with hand-crafted elements that give them a certain charm. The collection features a screen printed tree motif with hand embroidered highlights, a classic trellis appliqué with hints of embroidery and a trailing embroidered floral. To carry on the handcrafted theme in the collection, a stripe made up of braids with each braid decorated with hand tied French knots completes the collection. This meticulous process makes each knot unique.

Villa Nova_Avebury Collection [2]

I love the soft colour palette of brighter shades teamed with more muted tones to give the collection a calm feel.  Available in six groups, quince (new for 2014), charcoal, lime (new for 2014), petrol/ink, coral and orchid (new for 2014). And at £47.00 – £57.00 per metre it’s actually quite reasonable for a handcrafted product.

Villa Nova_Avebury Collection [4]

Villa Nova is part of The Romo Group and the range is available worldwide through an extensive network of selected interior designers and retail outlets.


The November issue of Heart Home magazine is now out.

Heart Home magazine - November 2014

Don’t you just love this cosy corner on the cover?

It’s in the home of one of our regular photographers, Paul Craig, and we had such a good day poking around his London home while he did all of the hard work taking the photographs. His ground floor is just made for entertaining as it flows from the spacious lounge, through to a mini library, through to the kitchen/diner and finally into the garden.

And he provided cakes!

Heart Home magazine - November 2014 - Home of photograher Paul Craig

And if you love food as much as us you will love the first of our new series featuring restaurants we have tried and recommend, not only for the food but for the design and ambiance. We hope you like it.

Heart Home magazine - November 2014 - Eat Drink Enjoy

And of course we have all of the usual features.

Heart Home magazine - November 2014 - City Slickers Kitchen


Heart Home magazine.

We are always on the lookout for homes to feature in the magazine so if you think you have a home that we will love, email info@hearthomemag.co.uk

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