Pooky Mix and Match Lamps

November 4th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

Pooky is a new lighting brand created by Rohan Blacker, the founder of sofa.com. The table and floor lamps on offer are stylish and affordable which is music to my ears. There are also 90 lamp bases to choose from and 150 shades which you can buy separately so that at last, the customer can have more input into the design choice.

Pooky Lamps - resin range

I’m rather fond of these colourful resin lamp bases and ikat inspired shades.

Pooky Lamps - Trafalgar table lamp in Antique bronze £115, Drum shade in card £48

Trafalgar table lamp in Antique bronze £115, Drum shade in card £48.

Pooky Lamps - Felix Table Lamp in Gold £95, Empire Shade in Red Silk Ikat £56

Felix Table Lamp in Gold £95, Empire Shade in Red Silk Ikat £56.

Pooky Lamps

I’ve always had a fascination for lighting, its impact on any decorative theme is dramatic and immediate. When you walk into a space, whether in a home, restaurant, or a performance space, when the lighting clicks, there is a quiet magic at work. At Pooky we have designed a range of decorative lights, in marble, brass, resin, wood and glass and we’ve also a brilliant website where our customers can try out combinations of bases and lampshades to transform their homes.”  Rohan Blacker

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.

Country Rustic Style at Next

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the newest Next Superstore in Hedge End, Hampshire. It stands at 60,000 square feet over two floors with a breath-taking atrium to welcome visitors. I could have spent days in the garden shop but there was also a tempting bed shop, lingerie room, shoe room and a welcome Costa Coffee too. Of course I didn’t come away with just a pair of boots! I also came away inspired by one of the themes running through the home and furniture departments. Rustic country. Nothing can be more apt for this time of year. Lots of chunky knits, russet colours and raw materials.

Next Home - Country Rustic - AW14 - [1]

Next Home - Country Rustic - AW14 - [2]

And that crystal drop chandelier is a good reason to visit again soon.

All items from the Autumn/Winter collections at Next.

Are you ready for the change in seasons my lovelies? Much as I love summer, I also love the coming of Autumn and all that it brings. The crisp sunny morning air, the turning of the leaves, comfort food and the excuse to make the house all cosy for the winter months ahead.

Oka - Leflaive glass table lamps

I know I shouldn’t but as soon as dusk descends I’m usually running round the house lighting lamps to make every corner warm and inviting. I do use energy saving bulbs before you tell me off so I think it’s not so bad and the feel-good factor is worth it.

Oka - Bronze Elephant desk lamp

Lamps and especially table lamps are my favourite form of lighting and I do admit to a tiny obsession with them. The light they generate is soft and gentle unlike the ugly glare of overhead lights, and they provide atmosphere and task lighting exactly where you need it.

Oka - Siam table lamp

A lamp on a side table next to the sofa or beside a chair provides a gentle pool of light that is not overpowering and yet gives enough light to read a book or do some crafting. A bedside lamp is a must in any house. I don’t know how anyone can live without one. Imagine having to get out of bed to turn off the light when ready for sleep?

Oka - metal silhouette urn table lamp

I also like to have a lamp or lamps in the entrance hall to greet visitors and create a rosy welcoming glow from outside. Much nicer than walking into a house that is neon lit with harsh pendants.

Oka - Iznik table lamp and shades

And of course we all love a desk lamp. Task lighting at its most effective. It almost makes working late bearable if you can do it in your own pool of cosiness, slippers on and with a nice cup of tea.

So you see you really cannot have enough lamps.

All table lamps shown are from Oka Direct who sell bases and shades separately so that you can mix and match to your hearts content.

For those cosy autumnal evenings in front of the fire. All that needs to be added is a cushion, a throw to ward off any chills, a good lamp, a table for the all important cup of tea and the latest bestseller.

Homebase Woodland Wing Chair and accessories = woodland cosy

To create a classic gentlemen’s club come country estate vibe, leather must be your first choice for the winged chair. This one has a very on-trend stag print fabric for the seat and back cushion which makes it extra comfortable. Stick to modern shapes for the furniture like this oak side table so that the entire scheme is more contemporary and add lots of texture with knitted cushions and throws. Some coloured glass adds an all-important pop of colour while still keeping to the woodland theme.

Homebase - Floral Wing Chair and accessories = French Romantic

For you romantics out there, you can’t beat a nostalgic floral print for the armchair. It pairs perfectly with French inspired furniture and a pretty pastel colour scheme. It you would rather avoid the obvious shabby-chic look choose accessories that are quirky rather than twee.

Homebase Wingchair and Accessories = Modern Country

Wing chairs can look at home in modern settings and the secret is to keep to a monochrome colours scheme and choose eclectic furnishings and accessories. Here, an industrial style floor lamp and curvy side table combine with a woollen cushion and throw to create a scheme that would look at home in a loft or cottage.

All armchairs and accessories from Homebase.

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

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 :-)

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.

There’s a different feel about summer candlelight don’t you think? In winter we use candles to give a rosy glow and make us feel cosy and warm. But in summer it’s a whole different story. Candles seem to lengthen the time from sunset to darkness. Those extra minutes when we are loath to turn on the lights lest we lose a moment of the day. Those sultry evenings in the garden when it’s much too nice to go indoors, are made much more magical by a dancing flame. It the flame is casting shadows so much the better. And if the flame is in a hurricane lamp so that the lightest of breezes doesn’t snuff it out, even better still.

So I’ve got my eye on these glass hurricane candle holders which are made of sand-blasted glass and etched with a Susanne Schjerning design of a scene from nature.

Rikki Tikki Susanne Schjerning Glass Hurricanes

Rikki Tikki Susanne Schjerning Set of 2 Glass Hurricanes, £16.95

Aren’t they pretty? There are two large sizes priced at £21.95 and £32.95. The small size comes in a pair and is £16.95 for the two.

I also like these from metal hurricane lamps from the same designer.

Rikki Tikki Susanne Schjerning Hurricane Candle Holders (£16.95)

Priced at £16.95 each.

Rikki Tikki Susanne Schjerning Hurricane Candle Holders £16.95

Both designs are available from Home Arama.

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