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?

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.

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.

Black Magic in the Bedroom

August 20th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (3 Comments)

Oh, I am definitely tempted. Black walls in the bedroom. Dark, moody, intense. My bedroom is quite spacious with a sloping ceiling on two sides which will remain white, so I’m thinking I can get away with it.

Bella Notte Linens

Look how that white bedding pops against a black backdrop.


I must admit it looks good with white painted floorboards and I, unfortunately have carpet but I’m still tempted. I love the idea of black and white photographs and art too.

Olie & Sebs Haus

I think it’s the balance of black and white thats the secret. And abundant light.

Am I brave enough?

Images: 1|2|3

The corner sofa. I’m a recent convert. In my old house we had two equal sized sofas facing each other. It was what the space dictated. They were comfortable and stylish and perfect when we had guests. Conversation could take place over the central coffee table and four to six people could sit comfortably and all see each other. (Although in design school they always said that three-seater sofas were never a good idea because no one ever wanted to sit in the middle) but I digress.

corner sofa via Real Simple

Now however I have a corner sofa. And I love it. Again, it was what the space dictated but there is nothing nicer than snuggling up with a loved one for an evening watching TV or stealing a cuddle from the kids when reading a book. And it is sociable when guests are over.  It’s more casual. You don’t have to talk across the room. You can pass the crisps without getting up!

corner sofa via Houzz

But there are even more advantages than that. A corner sofa can help to define a space, especially in open plan spaces. Put a rug under it, a coffee table in front of it and you have an instant sitting zone, distinctly separate from the dining or kitchen areas.

corner sofa via Est magazine

They also tend to take up less space than two normal sized sofas so are convenient for smaller spaces too. Tuck one in the corner and you can comfortably seat four or five people. Five if they are very good friends. An additional armchair will complete the room and add balance as in the images above.

corner sofa via Design Sponge

And imagine a room with a view? A corner sofa means that absolutely no one has their back to it!

Images: 1 2 3 4

Otago – Out of East Africa

August 13th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

I have a real soft spot for some of the crafts that come out of Africa. Especially when combined with modern design. So I was delighted to discover Otago.

Founded by design duo Anna Rose and Eddie Sercombe in 2013, the company collaborates with artisans from marginalised communities to create collections of fine objects for the contemporary interior. By incorporating local artisanal skill with cutting edge design, they create exceptional and elegant pieces for the home.

The debut collection primarily features pieces made by artisans in East Africa.

Otago Collection [1]

KIKIPU platters,  SHANGA YA NGOZI bottles and  gold plated sand cast brass animals

Otago Collection [2]

NDEFU YA SHABA glasses, KIKAPU platters, NGOZI hand blown glass bottle with a leather collar, PEMBE cow horn dish and ZEBRAG hand embroidered linen cushions.

Otago Collection [3]

SHANGA hand beaded jars, KUBA hand embroidered linen cushions, PEMBE horn vessels and KIKAPU vases.

Already the flowers in my little garden are starting to look a tad tired. It never fails to amaze me that as soon as August arrives, the mornings have a definite chill and the nights start creeping in. One day I will have year round displays of flowers for cutting and bringing in, but for now I will have to start thinking outside of the box when I feel the urge to decorate the house.

Because it’s the transitional displays that bring energy and life to decorating schemes. They don’t have to cost much, and they shouldn’t take too much effort. To do so will destroy the spontaneity of the arrangement.

houseenvy_75444449382174 (2)

A row of pots on the windowsill containing succulents and cacti look simple and effective. The uniform height of each pot and the similar geometric shapes suggest that the display is intentional rather than a happy accident.


Herbs drying on a metal rack will not only look good but will be fragrant too. A perfect arrangement for a kitchen and suggestive of a home where cooking is an important part of everyday family life.


A couple of eucalyptus branches on a copper tray will look perfect on a coffee table. Just add a candle for after dark.


Personal collections displayed in baskets or even in open drawers are always a great source of inspiration. Remember to remove and add items regularly to keep the displays fresh and interesting.


And when the nights really start to draw in there is nothing better than a row of candles or lanterns. Differing heights add to the interest and glass domes and objects help to reflect the rosy glow.

All images and products from House Envy.

I have really fond memories of my grandmother’s kitchen. The scrubbed pine table, the old gas cooker, and the smell of apple tart baking in the oven. I also loved the row of geraniums sitting on the windowsill on saucers. Even now, the smell of geraniums takes me back to afternoons sitting at her flour covered table watching her slice apples.

But you don’t have to have a country cottage to enjoys plants in the kitchen. I’m not just talking about a sad, unwatered basil from that dinner party last week either. There’s nothing nicer than the sight of abundant green growth on the countertop, on the table or at the window. So here’s a light-hearted look at kitchen styles and the plants I might use to make them greener.

Plants in the Kitchen via Dear Designer's Blog

The walnut finish of these kitchen units gives them a hint of eastern style. I’d choose plants that are from that part of the world also. Palms and a dragon-tree to give a hint of the tropics and phalaenopsis to add a bit of sophisticated glamour. The assorted cacti would look great on the windowsill or down the middle of the table as an alternative centerpiece.

Plants in the Kitchen via Dear Designer's Blog [2]

A more countrified kitchen would be the perfect excuse for a row of those fragrant geraniums but I would add other types of green foliage and perhaps a fig tree too. It’s the kind of kitchen where you would expect to find an abundant supply of potted herbs too so I’d definitely add those.

Plants in the Kitchen via Dear Designer's Blog [3]

My favourite kind of kitchen. The restrained aesthetics of a painted shaker style. I’d fill it with potted citrus plants, succulents and kalanchoes. As unfussy as the kitchen itself.

What do you have growing in your kitchen.

All of the kitchens shown are from Betta Living.

Plants from a selection at Homebase and Ikea.


Interior Designer Kelly Wearstler is renowned for her fiercely glamorous design style and her work can be seen in many high profile homes and hotels around the world.  Perhaps not as well known in the UK as elsewhere,her aesthetic is bold, boundary-pushing and has been described by the NY Times as ‘Retro-Theatrical’.

LuxDeco however, have launched a small exclusive collection of her products. So if you have a penchant for sculptural statement pieces mixing luxurious materials, industrial counterparts, minerals, gems and geometrics, now you know where to look.

Kelly Wearstler at Luxe Deco [9]

Kelly Wearstler at Luxe Deco [8]

Kelly Wearstler at Luxe Deco [10]


Now this is one micro-trend I can absolutely buy into.

I’m in no way green-fingered but I love to have plants in a room. Terrariums are like little mini garden eco-systems. Lush and verdant and now, so totally on trend. And they don’t take up as much room as a collection of normal sized plant pots either but look just, if not, even more effective. In fact, I’d like a few hanging from the ceiling in front of a window. How nice would that look?

Trendy Terrariums - Dear Designer's Blog [1]

Trendy Terrariums - Dear Designer's Blog [2]


For instructions on how to create your own I found these handy instructions over on West Elm.


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