Dangerous Liaisons at M&S

September 18th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Shopping - (0 Comments)

The M&S autumn/winter range has all of the ingredients needed for setting the scene for some seduction in the bedroom. Colours are dramatic, dark and moody with curvaceous furniture shapes and oodles of overblown blooms.

marksandspencer AW14

This is not a half-hearted look. Walls, floors, doors and even ceilings should be from the darker end of the spectrum. Wallpapers are oversized florals or maybe with a hint of metallics to reflect all of that candlelight.

M&S Marcel Mona Dressing Table, Mirror & Stool Set

marksandspencer AW14 [1]

Furniture has more than just a suggestion of French baroque and lampshades are unashamedly black. As are the sheets!

PicMonkey Collage

marksandspencer AW14 [2]

And don’t forget the details. Bird sculptures, intricate photograph frames, chandeliers, candelabras and vases of hothouse blooms.

marksandspencer AW14 [3]

Romance isn’t dead just yet!

All from M&S bedroom collections.

It takes a lot of skill to turn an old warehouse into a family home but the owners of this conversion in Melbourne have done just that. It’s now a contemporary three bedroom abode that retains many of its original features and is flooded with light. A monochromatic scheme is the secret, which acts as the foundation upon which is layered a collection of vintage furniture and a much-loved collection of art works. That and the dark floorboards and white walls which effectively create a backdrop that works with the overall scheme.

A warehouse conversion via Est Mag [5]

You would think that bare brick walls would look cold and uninviting but in this case they actually warm the space. Along with the layers of rugs, worn wood furniture and the eclectic mix of furnishings.

A warehouse conversion via Est Mag [4]

The industrial pendants, metal stools and bottle dryer all remind us that this truly was once a warehouse.

A warehouse conversion via Est Mag [2]

In large open plan spaces using logs as a decoration gives a sense of warmth as well as being a practical storage solution.

A warehouse conversion via Est Mag [3]

The repetition of an accent colour – in this case yellow – all around the house is a great visual trick for creating a cohesive scheme.

A warehouse conversion via Est Mag [1]

A warehouse conversion via Est Mag [6]

This really is a skillful renovation. It’s homely and interesting without being overdone.

Via Est Magazine

Photographs: Tara Pearce. Styling: Stephanie Stamatis


Oh for an Orangery

September 15th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Gardens - (6 Comments)

I’m dreaming of an orangery today. Isn’t that what Monday is all about? Dreaming on a large scale? The weekend was warm and sunny but sadly the days are numbered for this indian summer. What will we do when the rain sets in,the wind starts to bite and the garden starts to wither and die?

That’s where the orangery comes in.

from Tricia Guild's Book

First built in the grounds of fashionable residences from the 17th to the 19th centuries and designed to house citrus trees over winter,  this was not just a greenhouse but a symbol of prestige and wealth and a feature of gardens. Much grander than a humble conservatory these buildings were given a very classical architectural form and would often contain fountains, grottos, and an area in which to entertain in inclement weather.

Orangerie Hotel Belgium

So believe me, these are not just sunrooms with lots of glass and the odd houseplant on the window ledge. They should be tall in stature, with soaring and often arched windows. They should be bursting with large exotic plants rising to the rafters and creating nooks and crannies for lovers trysts, or afternoon tea, or a secret snooze.

Oh, the romance of it.

Orangery via Architectural Digest

I could spend days with my nose in a book lounging on a chaise. Or dabble with some watercolours. Or entertain guests to breakfast using the best silver, or cocktails at sundown. Or I could potter with a trowel in hand, planting bulbs and training the fuchsias. The possibilities are endless!

Axel Vervoordt

But let’s not get too carried away. The pragmatist in me should warn you that this is not a job for a diy’er. Creating your own bespoke orangery requires some specialist knowledge and expertise. And although hardwood is the preferred choice for me personally aluminium orangeries are particularly resilient in British weather.

I still just love the romance of it.

Images 1|2|3|4

The new issue of Heart Home magazine has now hit the virtual shelves my lovelies!

Heart Home magazine - September 2014

We are so proud of this issue which also coincides with our third anniversary. Can you believe that? It’s absolutely packed with everything we love, including a very special peek into the home of Sarah Wilkie who is one of the founders of vintage destination store Home Barn. That’s it there on the cover and also below. Isn’t it lovely?

Heart Home magazine - September 2014 - Sarah Wilkie Home Feature

And yes, we did eat lunch around that table, looking out at rolling fields, and hearing all about the inspiration behind the house and shop. To see more you will have to read the magazine, and by the way Homebarn shop will be featured in our December issue.

We also have an interview with the lovely Gudy Herder, stylist and ceramicist. The photographs of her studio in Barcelona encapsulate the ‘Gudy’ aesthetic beautifully and had us reaching for the white paint. Absolutely stunning.

Heart Home magazine - September 2014 - Gudy Herder - A Creative Life

Of course we have all of the usual shopping features, and interview with Kirstie Allsopp, a piece on Toronto by Emma Reddington, Home Editor of Chatelaine magazine, three different takes on what makes a luxurious hotel and a mouth-watering recipe.

Heart Home magazine - September 2014 - Modern Country Shopping Pages


Soppy for Succulents

September 11th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

Have you noticed how every styled coffee table and sideboard these days has a pot of succulents? They seem to go with every decorating style imaginable, from minimalist Scandinavian to maximalist Bohemian, adding just the right amount of organic green. What’s more, they are easy to keep, require minimal watering and don’t drop leaves. What more could you ask? Well, these gorgeous specimens are faux. Yes, you heard me right. Aren’t they gorgeous and all they need is an occasional swipe with the feather duster.

Faux Succulents from Nordic House [4]

Faux Succulents from Nordic House [1]

Faux Succulents from Nordic House [2]

I’m sold. Put them in my shopping basket now!

Available from Nordic House.

There’s a new company launching next month my lovelies who will be offering high quality and beautifully designed sofas, armchairs, footstools and living room accessories exclusively for sale online. Every Arlo & Jacob sofa is made from start to finish by just one person and then delivered to customers doors with a no questions asked returns policy and a lifetime guarantee on all furniture frames which certainly takes the risks and worry out of ordering without leaving the house.

The Darcy by Arlo & Jacob - www.arloandjacob

The Darcy from £1,295

The Elton by Arlo & Jacob - www.arloandjacob

The Elton from £735

The Knightly by Arlo & Jacob - www.arloandjacob

The Knightly from £930

The Pembroke by Arlo & Jacob - www.arloandjacob

The Pembroke from £895

Nick Wasey, the Managing Director says, “I’m delighted to be previewing these four designs. We’re immensely proud of them and we hope you’ll love them too. Each of the pieces, penned by West Country based designer Ian Archer and crafted in our factory in Long Eaton, is a reinterpretation of our favourite shapes that reflects our ethos: sofas for life that last a lifetime.”

The Darcy has to be my favourite but all four look to be exceptionally well designed and very good value for money. I think they must be on to a winner.

Launching in October 2014.

A Greek Island Guest House

September 9th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Houses - (3 Comments)

Pure escapism today. I admit I am totally obsessed with owning a holiday house on a Greek isle. And this one would be my ideal second home. I love the bare brick walls inside and out, the gorgeous turquoise doors and window frames and the complete absence of frills or clutter. Who wants to spend precious downtime cleaning. This pretty house would be a dream to arrive at. Just drop your bags and head to the beach!

A Greek Island Guesthouse photographed by Carla Coulson [1]

What a welcome. And a tantalising glimpse of white painted floors and simple country furniture inside.

A Greek Island Guesthouse photographed by Carla Coulson [2]

The turquoise is echoed on that old table and with just a simple linen and lace runner, and a single bloom it is a perfect example of less is more. Note too, the modern white sofa. I like simple but I also like comfort and I would have to have a sofa or two.

A Greek Island Guesthouse photographed by Carla Coulson [3]

And who needs a high spec kitchen when most of your food will be prepared and eaten outside? And yet this kitchen has it all including a little bling in the pendant light.

A Greek Island Guesthouse photographed by Carla Coulson [4]

Just a basic iron bed, some more lace and a quilt for cooler nights. Perfect.

A Greek Island Guesthouse photographed by Carla Coulson [5]

A Greek Island Guesthouse photographed by Carla Coulson [6]

The guest house is available to rent from My Greek Island Home.

Photographs by Claire Lloyd.

If there’s one piece of furniture in the house that has to fulfil many functions, it has to be the humble bedside table. I know I deliberated for a long time over what style to choose in my own home. It not only has to fit in with the style of the bedroom and look amazing but it has to hold so many things!

So what style do you choose and what do use your nightstand for?

Kerrisdale Design Inc

If you are the kind of person who likes a tidy house it’s always a good idea to choose furniture with drawers. That way you can tuck out of sight all of the things that you don’t need to see on display. The bedside table above even has a handy shelf to add a basket of magazines which is a fabulous idea and leaves room on the top for the current book, reading lamp, telephone and a pretty vase of flowers. Hanging pictures above the table is also a good way of making a feature of this lovely corner.

Better Homes and Gardens

Sometimes it’s even better to replace the bedside table with a full size chest of drawers especially if your bedroom lacks space. It can then do double duty and there is also so much more room on the top for those things you need by your side during the night. I little trinket tray is a good idea for storing jewellery and rings too.

Little Greene Paint Co

And speaking of double duty. By choosing a table that has room underneath you can easily add a chair and you have an occasional desk too. I like the addition of the candle. So romantic!

Paul Massey

If you know you can stick to a minimalist scheme you have much more choice when it comes to choosing your nightstand. As long as there is room on the surface for the essentials and perhaps a glass of water and a personal memento or two. Of course, the one above could be hiding all manner of things under that wooden top!

House and Garden

So what do you keep on your bedside table?

For a large selection of bedside tables try Furniture UK. Fluted zinc planters that can be used as bedside tables can be found at Cox & Cox. Similar wood and oak swings are available at The Oak & Rope Co.

Image credits: 1|2|3|4|5

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

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