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Shower Yourself with Luxury

September 23rd, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

We all want to recreate a little hotel luxury in our homes these days, and in particular we would all love our bathrooms to be a little more spa-like and indulgent. With a little planning this is not too difficult to do and so, here’s just a few little design tricks that will make the morning shower ritual just a little more relaxed.

Bathroom Shower via Living etc

Incorporate a walk-in shower if you have the space. Not only does it look better from a design point of view to have the shower the full width of the room, it also gives much more room to move around and alleviates the need for inconvenient doors. In the image above the soap shelf and heated towel rail are conveniently within reach yet out of the water stream. I always find too, that it’s better to dry off before leaving the shower so that you don’t leave a puddle of water to clear up after.

Minimal Shower enclosure via Living etc

Always plan for a recess or shelf for shampoo bottles. There really is nothing worse, or less relaxing than grappling round on the floor with soapy eyes looking for the shower gel. It’s always best to have them at the correct height to start with. The image above also has a lovely minimalist shower enclosure that makes the room look more spacious and this is emphasised by having the wall tiles continue around the room too.

Bathroom wet room via Living etc

You can always opt for a wet room for the ultimate spacious showering experience. It works particularly well in this traditional bathroom with its roll top bath and large chrome showerhead. This is a job for the experts though so always get professional help and under-floor heating is a must to keep the room dry and damp free.

Shower idea via Living etc

If you like the idea of a wetroom but are not sure about having water splashing everywhere there are compromises to be had. The bathroom above has solved this problem by having a narrow glass screen between the shower and the basin, and by continuing the shelf across both areas there is a handy shower seat and also visual continuity. I love this bathroom.

quadrant shower via Living etc

If space is an issue and you really do favour a shower enclosure, a quadrant shower is often a good choice. It takes up less space and there are no sharp corners to bump into. They are deceptively spacious inside too.

Over bath Shower via Living etc

And finally if you have no choice but to put the shower over the bath, choose one with a wider end. The glass screen looks quite unobtrusive and allows the light to flow freely.

What’s your idea of showering luxury?

All images via House to Home.

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.

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

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

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.

Trendenser

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

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