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Spring is just around the corner and you may be thinking about giving the kitchen a bit of an update. It might be needing a complete overhaul, a smart new lick of paint or just a few new accessories to ring some changes. Once again, its the high street that is offering some fresh new products for the new season at very reasonable prices. Here’s a few trends that have caught my eye lately.

Leica S

I’m liking the vintage look at House of Fraser. Dark acacia wood, recycled glass and ombre pottery results in a modern country ambiance that perfectly suits shaker style cupboards, old brass-ware and linen tea-towels. A hint of metallic lifts the scheme.

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There’s also a hint of vintage over at Marks and Spencer but this time interpreted in a much more contemporary way.

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The Conran kitchen collection offers smart storage solutions and a beautiful pairing of white porcelain and wood. The zinc topped butchers block has to be one of my favourite pieces this season.

marksandspencer kitchen new ss15

But if it’s bright and cheerful you are after, head over to George Home.

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The sunny retro inspired tableware and kitchen accessories will brighten up breakfast-time for sure.

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Bathroom Updates Fresh from the High Street.

I Spy – Anna Jacobs

January 15th, 2015 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (2 Comments)

Spied earlier this week in the New Talent section of Home London. I say spied, but I was actually stopped in my tracks by the very first collection of homewares by new designer Anna Jacobs.

Anna Jacobs Sipping Nectar lampshade

Her collection includes lampshades, cushions, greetings cards and silk scarves but it was the table lamps that made the biggest impression on me. Her original paintings applied to drum shades are gorgeous and perfectly set off with plain glass bases and vibrant coloured flexes. They would make stunning accents in any room.

Anna Jacobs Autumn Sedum 20cm lampshade

Anna Jacobs Seeing in B&W 20cm lampshade

Anna has previously worked in music, theatre and in the City but a career change sees her now as a very talented artist, interior designer and tutor at Chelsea Collage of Arts. She launched her new business only last year and chatting to her she confessed that she already has enough material for several collections to come.

Anna Jacobs Welsh Reflection and Seeing in B&W lampshades

I think we’ll hear a lot more about Anna Jacobs.

Forgot to mention, Anna also sells her paintings as limited edition prints and believe me they are beautiful.

There’s some lovely new bathroom accessories about to hit the shops this spring. So if the bathroom is in need of a facelift look no further than the high street.

BHS Bathrooms SS15

BHS have taken inspiration from the Greek islands with their new Santorini collection. The gorgeous tile print towels and bathmat look like designer items and coordinate well with plain blues. Add some white washed wood, some pretty lace and some flowers and you could be on your holidays.

BHS Bathrooms - details SS15

Tesco Direct have gone down the bright and breezy path too. Their geometric and stripped towels in cheery colours will have you humming in the shower.

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I’d add their bright yellow metal chair for even more sunshine.

tescodirect bathroom details ss15

And blue crops up again at Sainsburys Home in a deeper hue.

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The fish motif bath mat will make you smile.

sainsburyshome bathrooms details ss15

Keep all other accessories in plainer block colours and white and the look will still be on the right side of grownup.

Which one is your style?

If only I had a wardrobe of clothes consisting of a carefully curated collection of designer items. A selection of covet-able outfits with a limited colour palette to make coordinating a breeze in the mornings. Less choice would bring freedom I feel. If only.

And if I did, I’d have this Lume Coat Rack from BEdesign.

BEdesign - Lume Coat Rack - 1

BEdesign is a young and innovative company founded in 2012 by sisters Bette and Cilla Eklund. Their collection is quintessentially Finnish, using only the highest quality materials and putting equal emphasis on aesthetics and functionality. Both sisters are passionate about and inspired by nature – having grown up on a farm, they spent their childhood surrounded by animals and outdoor life.

BEdesign - Lume Coat Rack - 2

And if only I had a small collection of first editions to display on this Deer Shelf.

BEdesign -Deer Shelf 1

This impressive bookshelf is made in the shape of a wild deer. Its large, open shelves make it a lightweight piece, despite being built from solid oak. The various shapes and sizes of shelf make it perfect for storing books and magazines, or it would work equally well as a piece of art.

BEdesign - Deer Shelf 2

BEdesign is available from Clippings.

Jungle Drums are Beating

January 6th, 2015 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

Something tells me 2015 is going to be a hot and steamy one.

There is such an abundance of animal prints, palm motifs, exotic birds and African exotica coming our way that we should all don our khakis and pour a large gin and tonic.*

Jungle Fever via Dear Designer's Blog

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*Best thing for beating malaria I’m told.

Just a small round-up to suit all budgets for our green fingered friends.

Gifts for the Gardener

Where to buy: 1. The Royal Bouquet Gardeners Set, £8.50, House of Fraser 2. Rusty Bird String and Scissors, £16, John Lewis, 3. Tool Trug, £28.50, Garden Trading 4. Filled Terrarium, £75, The Balcony Gardener 5. Rusty Star, £50, Cox and Cox 6, Wooden Herb Tray, £16, Bloomsbury Store 7. Tall Topiary Tree Pot Plants, £45, John Lewis 8. Rustic Plant Stand, £75, An Angel at my Table 9. Tool Set, £12, Tesco Direct 10. White Flowering Garden Planter, £30, Marks and Spencer.

This Christmas will be our first in the new house and I’ve been giving a lot of thought this weekend about how to decorate for the festive season. Downsizing has thrown up lot’s of limitations, not least of which is where to put the blinking Christmas tree!  On top of which, I no longer have a mantelpiece, a large hall or a separate dining room. So we’ll be eating in the kitchen and I’ve decided to keep things casual with some carefully chosen products from the Heart of House range available at Argos that has more than 1100 practical and stylish home products.

Festive Table Styling via Dear Designer's Blog [8]

As a departure from the usual red, gold and greens I’ve taken inspiration from the dried hydrangea heads that I cut and brought in from the garden at the end of the summer. I love the soft purple and brown colours with just a tint of pink. I’d also collected some pine cones earlier this year and together they formed the basis of a soft organic scheme.

Festive Table Styling via Dear Designer's Blog [5]

Piled into a large glass hurricane lamp with some fairy lights they make a lovely table centre. The kitchen is flooded with light from the french windows, but no doubt by the end of the meal it will be dark and the lights will twinkle more. To add even more atmosphere I’ve included two large pillar candlesticks of different heights.

Festive Table Styling via Dear Designer's Blog [7]

You can’t go wrong with a crisp white tablecloth and I’ve chosen plates with a lovely earthy taupe glaze. They have a turned up lip revealing the white undersides and I think they look really effective with the white cloth and grey slate tablemats. The crackers and scattered gold stars provide just enough festive decoration to remind us that it’s not just any old lunch.

Festive Table Styling via Dear Designer's Blog [6]

As do the reindeer napkin rings. Aren’t they cute? I love the cut-thread edging on the napkins too.

Festive Table Styling via Dear Designer's Blog [9]

All that was left to add was silver edged wine glasses and silver cutlery.

Used: White tablecloth and napkins, slate placemats, 12 piece dinner set in neutral, Savoy wineglasses, Stella cutlery, Clara carved candlesticks.

All from the Heart of House range at Argos.

The Lust List – Rose & Grey

September 30th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

I love compiling imaginary shopping lists. Doesn’t everyone? I could never afford to buy everything I lust after but it’s always fun to imagine you could. I even go so far sometimes of putting them in the shopping basket before coming to my senses and exiting the website pronto. It must drive shop owners mad!

What I can do however is share here. And it’s a tangible moodboard/filing system for my likes and aesthetics, and occasionally I do use my own search box to find something I saw in the past and now have a genuine need for. So you see, all that surfing is not a waste of time it’s necessary!

Rose and Grey - High_res_Italian_Tan_Leather_Chesterfield

Rose and Grey is a favourite place to ‘window shop’.  This classically-styled Italian leather chesterfield in tan is simply stunning. It will never go out of fashion, and will just get better with age. The ultimate in statement seating for your home at £2,750.​

Rose and Grey - High_res_Organize_Storage_Box_on_Wheels

And I guarantee I will always find a use for more storage. This handy and chic box on wheels will banish the clutter, whether storing magazines or keeping paperwork neat and tidy in between uses. I’m more and more working from the sofa (not good I know) and it would be great to have one of these to drop things into for a quick tidy up. £55.

Rose and Grey High_res_Cirque_Side_Table

And I love this very simply styled and understated side table with the look of classic Danish furniture, the Cirque Side Table, £95, would be a great addition in the living room to hold a stylish lamp or a cup of tea.

Rose and Grey

And you can never have too many accessories!  The charming metal-framed mirror is a perfect heart-shape with rusting looking hanging rope. Choose from either small (£50) or large (£65). The Moosehead bottle opener (£14.95), tall stemmed shot glasses (£26.50 for the set), and the retro Peacock mug (£7.50) would all make good gifts too.

Rose and Grey

It’s never hard to choose things from the Rowen and Wren website and this autumn is no exception.

Rowen_and_Wren_Bromley_Wing_Back_Chair

These beautiful upholstered chairs for instance. Elegant and timeless in the softest brushed cotton, just waiting for me to curl up with my favourite read and a cup of tea. I may even have a space for one of these in the corner of my bedroom. Now that would be the ultimate indulgence. Priced at £554.

Rowen_and_Wren_Henry_Wall_Mounted_Coat_Stand

And I’m very taken with this traditional looking coat stand in elegant tarnished silver. It’s very practical too – only taking up half the space of a conventional stand and wall mounted to avoid any toppling over. Beautiful and practical at £294.

Rowen_and_Wren_AW14

But it’s the smaller items that always get me drooling. Not only do I want them all for myself but I’m already mentally preparing my Christmas lists. The wire cloches start from £22 (perfect for the garden design I’m working on), the metal hanging mirror is £186, the sweet rustic candle holders are only £9 and the wire baskets are £22.

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.

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