French Connection Home has matured. The autumn, winter collection is full of sophisticated furniture, lighting and accessories that wouldn’t look out-of-place in a high-end loft apartment. It’s what they call ‘soft industrial’ and is made up of fuss free silhouettes and pared back colours and lots of vintage appeal.

French Connection AW 14 [1]

But it’s not all hard-edged even if there are some very nice concrete lamp bases. There are some lovely textures too in the rugs, cushions and throws and lots of reflective metallic touches in the zinc topped tables and the industrial looking pendant lights and table lamps.

French Connection AW 14 [2]

It’s urban and gutsy but with touches of mid-century style too in the dining chairs and occasional furniture.

French Connection AW 14 [3]

And I rather like it.

Studio Ditte is a Netherlands based design studio, with a fantastic range of wallpapers designed to look like trompe l’oeil, and with an almost 3D effect, your guests will be tempted to touch the walls just to make sure…

Studio_Ditte_Flowers,_Butterflies_&_Beetles_Wallpaper from Pierrot et Coco

My favourite is this Flowers, Butterflies and Beetles design. So pretty for a little girls bedroom. I’ll bet she’ll sit for hours weaving stories around the fantasy unfolding on her walls. It’s washable too so very practical.

Studio_Ditte_Buttons_Wallpaper from Pierrot et Coco

Buttons would be my choice for a craft/work room. The pattern is made up of all the old buttons Studio Ditte found in boxes in attics, in tins and drawers and forgotten sewing boxes. If you didn’t want to paper an entire room it would look perfect as a backdrop to shelves.

Vintage_teaspoons_Wallpaper from Pierrot et Coco

This Vintage Teaspoons wallpaper has a pattern that tells a tale of elegant spoons, forks for posh cakes and old keys of forgotten rooms. A collection made up of charming finds, perfect for giving your wall a big dose of personality.

Available from Pierrot et Coco

A Swedish Home with Global Influences

September 2nd, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Houses - (1 Comments)

I love to see a home that is a combination of different looks and influences and still manages to look coherent and stylish.

This home is actually in Sweden although from the outside it looks like a typical New England ranch. Well, it is in fact a horse ranch so maybe that isn’t so surprising. But what is surprising is the wealth of souvenirs and accessories inside that originate from Thailand.

And yet it all works!

A Swedish Home with Global Influences via Skona Hem [1]

It helps of course that the walls have been left pale and that the same rich brown wood flooring runs throughout. And if helps that the owners have also kept pattern and colour to a minimum elsewhere too.

A Swedish Home with Global Influences via Skona Hem [2]

And yet it’s all still so interesting. Jewelled cushions, shell lanterns, animal skins and bleached wood sculptures combine to create a welcoming and warm interior that could be anywhere in the world and still retains a certain Scandinavian quality.

A Swedish Home with Global Influences via Skona Hem [3]

Traditional style as in the kitchen and modern sofas in the living room also manage to look at home together because the colour palette unites everything.

A Swedish Home with Global Influences via Skona Hem [4]

And outside white clapboard and rattan loungers surround the swimming pool (in Sweden! Are they mad?) and you might be forgiven for thinking you’re in the Hamptons.

Until you see the hammocks that is.

A Swedish Home with Global Influences via Skona Hem [5]

I love it.

Via Skona Hem.

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.

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