Pinch Me I’m Dreaming

July 29th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

Pinch Design is a collaboration between husband and wife team Russell Pinch and Oona Bannon and is run from a studio and showroom in Clapham, London. Started in 2004, the award-winning practice continues to design and make furniture and lighting that celebrates simplicity of form, the purity of a good shape and an emotional connection with the materials around us.

Quite simply, it’s without doubt the most beautiful furniture to behold.

Pinch Design [1]

Pinch Design [2]

 “We believe in poetic design, making beautiful things, pieces that endure, inspire and aspire to be inherited. We refine and refine our designs until we feel we have arrived at our idea of perfection, but we seek to leave them with a lightness of touch. The manner in which the pieces are produced is as important to us as the designs themselves and we manufacture with a serious commitment to quality, and attention to detail and finish.”

Pinch Design

Do you ever have a yearning to relive childhood fantasies and drift away into a whimsical wonderland? Yes? Well you should definitely check out ‘A Curious Kingdom’ which is the debut collection from Sky Siouki.


Mythical creatures, oversized foliage, dreamlike landscapes and frolicking wildlife, all combine to create an enchanting essence of nostalgia. 

SkySiouki_cushions [1]

Each design features intricate hand-drawn illustrations digitally printed onto luxurious fabrics. Unique and bold, these cushions are perfect for those who dare to be different. Everything is made in the UK.

SkySiouki_cushions [2]

 The range includes cotton velvet and silk dupion cushions, lavender bags, linen notebooks and unique greetings cards all available to buy online.

Let your imagination run away with you!

Every so often I come across a new (or new to me) website that I just have to share. Today it is the online shop of Blue Isle Interiors and their range of beautiful furniture and home accessories.

Blue Isle sofas and furniture [1]

All of the items on the website are unique to Blue Isle and they try their very best to make them affordable. They are undoubtedly passionate about design and their style is classic, with either a hint of French decoration, or plainer, solid English Weathered Oak reminiscent of the 1930’s, or a ‘metal and salvaged’ look, inspired by loft-living.

Their craftsmen use solid oaks,  salvaged woods, and crisp linens in a subtle palette of colours, and each piece is handcrafted .  The range is aimed at people who love good design, both the individual homeowner, and the interior designer  who wants to find unusual and  unique pieces for clients.  

Blue Isle elm desk

Blue Isle 4 poster

Blue Isle table lamps

I could certainly find a home for a few pieces :-)

How cute is this Bird on a Wire wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct? It is simple and effective in this entrance hall scheme and although its pretty it’s definitely not cute. Put that down to the wood furniture, utilitarian table lamp and organic accessories. And of course the uncontrived flower arrangement in a plain glass jar.

wallpaperdirect_bird on a wire

Wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct. £69 per roll.

Want to create this look at home?

Here’s a few suggestions from me.

wallpaperdirect_bird on a wire with accessories

Where to buy: 1 Round mirror from Heals. 2 Bird bookends from Marks and Spencer. 3 Stool from Design Vintage. 4 Anglepoise lamp from B & Q. 5 Apothecary chest from Asda Direct. 6 Artificial flowers from John Lewis. 7 Umbrella stand from Oka Direct.

A Home from Home

June 5th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

I can’t believe that I have been working from home now for almost a year. And almost half of that time in a new home too. Last summer was a dream come true. I set up office in the conservatory and even if I wasn’t enjoying the garden outside much, at least I could see it. I knew when the sun was shining and I could nip out with a cup of tea every so often. Winter wasn’t too bad either. The novelty of the new house and my new spacious office hasn’t worn off yet and the countryside is just a short stroll away if I ever feel the need for fresh air.

But, and there is a but, I do miss the company of others. Just a bit. So every so often Arianna and I have a conversation about setting up a Heart Home office. Do we need one? Where would it be? What would it look like? Hell, we could even hire some staff!

Industrial Style Office Space 1


There is no shortage of serviced offices around in London and there are some great work spaces to choose from. From my own selfish point of view I would love to work in a Docklands office like one of these. The Docklands area is on the right side of town for my commute and there are currently available some tempting former warehouses overlooking the Limehouse Cut Canal. (There’s nothing nicer than somewhere to walk at lunchtime and enjoy a sandwich is there?) Great big open spaces with soaring ceilings and large windows that wouldn’t look too much like an office once we’d restored the original flooring and re-painted the walls white.

Industrial Style Office Space 2


It would be part office, part meeting place, part photographic studio. It could even be a great party place. We’d use giant screens to hide all the boring essential stuff and keep the space open, light and free of clutter. This is fantasy land after all and we don’t have to think about cables and filing. Essential office furniture would include lots of aged wood, metal light fittings, a huge conference table, a sofa, and the walls would be hung with art and inspiring moodboards. I’d definitely keep an industrial feel in keeping with the history of the building but updated with lots of white too.


via Ikea

And to keep everyone happy there would be lots of plants and flowers because didn’t I read somewhere once that offices with real plants have happier workers?

Not so much an office as a home from home.

French Connection Home is fast becoming my go-to place for well designed, unfussy, good-looking homewares. I’ve just had a little peek at their newest arrivals and I’ve fallen in love with not just the furniture and lighting, but the whole natural, chunky, pared back coolness of it all. It’s loft living but in a French way.

French Connection Home [4]

The circular rug is new, as is the metal floor lamp. And I can totally go for tie-dye cushions.

French Connection Home [1]

The brass pendant light and the trestle style desk are also on my never-ending wish list.

French Connection Home [3]

And so is the leather chair.

French Connection Home [2]

I could go on and on.

A friend of mine was so impressed by my bedroom mini-makeover last week she asked me to help her come up with a scheme for her own, as yet, undecorated bedroom. Her white walls were looking a bit too stark and she was keen to inject some old-fashioned femininity into the room. She’s a bachelorette so we had free reign to go overboard with flowers and pretty pink which according to the Homebase paint guide is one of the best colours for helping you go to bed relaxed and wake up refreshed each morning.

A Feminine Bedroom Scheme from Homebase

We started off with a delightfully nostalgic looking rambling rose wallpaper which will go on the wall behind the bed (I couldn’t quite persuade her to do four walls). Then to prevent the room looking too grannyish we added sheets and pillowcases in a coordinating green and a bold pink which will be mixed and matched. Next step was to add some pretty floral cushions and a cotton fringed white throw to finish off the bed.

Every romantic bedroom needs a crystal chandelier and a lamp to create a lovely glow. And finally we scouted around for some pretty glass and silver accessories for the dressing table.

As soon as funds allow, new bedroom furniture, a white sheepskin rug and white linen curtains will be added, but for now she’s very happy with her new things.

All products shown are from Homebase.

Last weekend it was the bedroom. This weekend it was the hall. Although I hesitate to call it that. It’s tiny. So tiny, I was in despair of ever finding a console table to fit it. That is, until I saw this one from Dwell. It fits perfectly, and it’s not too deep, so although it fills the space between the front door and the stairs it doesn’t block movement.

Entrance Hall Mini Makeover 002 - Dear Designers Blotg

In all honesty the console will probably have a mirror above it for those last minute hair and makeup checks but I was in too much of a hurry to style it to wait. It will also have some wallpaper some day but for now I’m quite happy with my mix of old art and new furniture and accessories.

Entrance Hall Mini Makeover 013 - Dear Designers Blog

The cactus vase and moroccan tea light holders (they come in a set of four) were also from Dwell and I love them.

Entrance Hall Mini Makeover 018 - Dear Designers Blog

And while I was on the website there were a few other things I decided I couldn’t live without, although they don’t have a permanent home yet…

Entrance Hall Mini Makeover 020 - Dear Designers Blog

Like this Abaca woven basket, goatskin cushion and lace cushion.

Entrance Hall Mini Makeover 026 - Dear Designers Blog

And this round stoneware bowl.

Which room will be next?

The bedroom in the new house has been the subject of a lot of pondering. It’s twice as big as my old bedroom and although I love all of my existing furniture, without interesting wallpaper or coloured walls it’s looking more than a little bland. Beige, cream and magnolia do not an interesting combination make. One day it will get the DD makeover but I decided at the weekend that it needed a bit of a mini-makeover. It was time to take my own advice and buy one or two inexpensive items and mix them up with things I already have.

Dear Designer's Blog - Something Old, Something New

I’ve always been a white sheets girl but for once I decided that colour and pattern were needed and this duvet cover set with bang on trend painterly roses was just the thing to lift the room and bring in a bit of femininity

Dear Designer's Blog - Master Bedroom Mini Makeover

One plain, one textured, and one pretty rose cushion added just the right amount of interest on the bed and I scoured the house for some pink and white items to co-ordinate on the bedside tables.

Dear Designer's Blog - Master Bedroom Mini Makeover 2

I love the subtle mint green of the duvet set and the different pinks around the room prevent it all from looking too sugary. As do the aluminum tables and ikea lamps that I already had.

Dear Designer's Blog - Master Bedroom Mini Makeover 3

I also love the fact that I’ve used some things that had been languishing in the loft at the old place. It’s nice sometimes to look at things with fresh eyes don’t you think?

New purchases:

Henley floral double duvet set, velvet cushion in pearl, multi-rose cushion, decorative lidded glass jar with candle, baroque photo frame, all  from the Couture range at Tesco Direct

Large silk rose, mercuried glass vase, both House of Fraser.

Creating a living room scheme that will stand the test of time is not as difficult as you think. It’s just a question of investing in good quality basic items that will last for years and then adding a few ‘fashionable’ or seasonal accessories. These can be the home decor equivalent of costume jewellery. You’re not going to keep them forever so don’t spend a fortune on them and it won’t matter if you take them to the charity shop six months later.

Timeless. Simple, fresh and bright living room scheme via Dear Designer's Blog

1. It’s always worth investing in a good quality rug. If you choose a patterned one, I would always advise keeping the rest of the scheme quite plan and let the rug be the star of the show.

2. Invest also, in the sofa and armchairs. If you choose a classic design that will not date it will last forever. I would never, ever advise buying a patterned sofa. You will get fed up with it very quickly and it will soon go out of fashion.

3. Mix up the styles and era’s of the furniture you choose. That way it will never look stuck in a time warp.

4. Swap your cushions with the seasons. The room will always look fresh.

5. Have just enough accessories on show. They don’t have to all be on display at the same time. Keep some in the cupboard and occasionally change them around.

6. Display seasonal flowers. Even if you like the silk variety (the ones above are artificial) put them away once they are out of season and use something else instead.

Sources: Main Image, NB Design Group. Cushion, The Starling Store. Armchair, John Lewis. Silk Flowers in Vase, Bloom. Coffee Table, Marks and Spencer.  Side Table, Heals. Rug, Marks and Spencer.

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