So much to love in M&S this spring.


Team green walls with a metal console table, a nature inspired table lamp and black framed prints for a very smart and welcoming hall. Add books and lots of house plants to bring it all alive. I love the vase full of leaves instead of flowers. Simple, yet so effective.


Team blue walls with a white glossy floor and understated furniture and accessories. Warm it up with a textured rug and soft upholstered furniture. It’s an uncomplicated but sophisticated look.


Team yellow walls this time with a geometric print and interestingly shaped pedestal tables. The splashes of white in the lampshade, vase and armchair print keep the look contemporary and young. The textured rug adds yet more interest.


I love the shape of this bookcase and the way the red pendants pop against the white walls. An office or workspace decorated in this way would be uplifting and wouldn’t be distracting.

All items from the M&S Spring, Summer ranges.


Live Like Dwell

April 3rd, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (1 Comments)

I’ve been taking a close look at the spring/summer collection over at Dwell and I’m really liking what I see.

There has always been a fun, playful element to the collections previously, and that still is apparent, but so is a more mature approach that can be seen creeping in. There are lots of natural elements – wood, leather, solid marble, as well as some bold colour-blocking and some reinvented classics too.

But the products just speak for themselves.

Dwell Spring, Summer 2014, Colour

 This colourful selection is just perfect for injecting a bit of life and spring colour into a room. The mustard yellow sideboard has more than a hint of retro styling and the green gloss lacquer patch sideboard would also provide a home for all manner of paraphernalia. You can never have too much storage! And Dwell has always provided lots of storage options throughout their collections.

Dwell Spring, Summer 2014, Leather Dining Chairs

I particularly love these leather dining chairs. They take just enough inspiration from a classic design and turn it into a comfy option for long leisurely lunches and dinners. They would make good office chairs too.

Dwell Spring, Summer 2014, Natural

But these are the natural products that really get my juices flowing. One or two of them, might in fact be coming home. Especially the woven basket and the moroccan tea light holders. Just my thing.

Dwell Spring, Summer 2014, Cushions

All products are available now or very soon from Dwell.

Can’t get enough of this trend. Untreated wood, metal and rivets. And trust Made.com to get it so spot on.

Inspired by vintage designs they have a new collection that would fit right in with that ‘loft living’ look.

Made.com Rankin Desk

The Rankin Desk in black metal is £299. The typical high street price is £525.

Made.com Caddy Drinks Storage

The Caddy Drinks Storage in natural mango wood and metal is £399. The typical high street price is £599.

Made.com Broadway Lamp

The Broadway Floor Lamp is £129. Typical high street price is £330.

Made.com ABC Storage Unit

The ABC Storage Unit, a bold apothecary style sideboard in natural mango wood is £399. Typical high street price is £800.

Unbeatable style at unbeatable prices.

Wouldn’t it be satisfying to sit every day at an antique desk? One that has been carved out of solid wood with all of its chunky imperfections and scars? To use things that have been pre-loved in another existence, and just to get daily pleasure out of the natural materials around us?

Design Vintage SS14 - Antique elm desk

It would be even nicer to step away from the electronic organisers and the computer screen once in a while and maybe pick up a stick of chalk? Sharpen the pencils maybe? Jot things down in a notebook? Do you recognise that handwriting? Its been a long time.

Design Vintage SS14 - Blackboard Organiser

And how nice would it be to ditch the plastic and embrace the basketwork, the wire and the paper?

It would be so nice.

Design Vintage SS14

And can someone please give me a reason to justify the £299 price tag on this undeniably beautiful handcrafted stool.

sheepskin stool from limelace

Sources: The Baa stool from Limelace, all other products from Design Vintage.

Of course I can’t move into a new house without creating new schemes! I’ve been toying with moodboards for the sitting room as it’s the room most in need of a re-think. I have some existing items that I do want to keep and I have plans for the tv wall that will have to wait for now as it will involve bespoke shelving. So, my shopping list at the moment is for a window treatment, new sofa, new rug, new coffee table and a pendant light. Oh, and I will have an existing armchair recovered in a gorgeous warm yellow. Not too extravagant I think.

Sitting Room Moodboard 1 - Dear Designers BlogSitting Room Moodboard 2 - Dear Designers BlogWest Elm coffee table - Dear Designers Blog

What do you think?

Not too sure about the wallpaper.

Sources: Next sofa. B & Q pendant light. Kelly Hoppen wallpaper via Graham & Brown. Etsy yellow cushion. Framed black and white photographs from Made.com. Karndean aged oak flooring. Plantation shutters from Stylish Shutters. Tray table from Wayfair. BHS chevron lampshade. Souk wool rug from Westelm. Cushion stack and black and white cushion from Niki Jones. Silver pedestal table from Chandeliers and Mirrors. Black Kartell lamp from John Lewis. Coffee table from West Elm.

Habitat Lighting at Argos

February 7th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

I write so many posts about lighting that you must think I’m obsessed. Maybe I am, but I do think that it’s one of the most important considerations when decorating a room. It really can make or break a scheme.
It’s not just the appearance of the light itself that is important either. Admittedly, it has to fit the overall look of the room and be appropriate for its place, but it’s also the effect that lights give that is so crucial to the mood and feel of a home.

Habitat Table Lamps from Argos 1
I’m not a big fan of central ceiling pendants, but now I’ve moved into a home with an abundance of them I’m going to have to look a lot closer at what’s on offer. I’m going to treat them as just decorative on the whole, except in the places (the stairs for instance) where light is important for safety. The budget won’t stretch to anything too expensive at the moment (moving house is so expensive just in itself!) so I’m looking for the largest shades I can find that will hide bulbs. And of course I will be changing the rose and flex for something more fitting to the shade itself.

Habitat Pendant Lights from Argos
The kitchen and bathrooms are of course all fitted out with downlighters but every other room will be getting lamps, lamps, lamps. I love them. The more the better. They make a home feel cosy and warm and can be decorative in their own right.

Habitat Table Lamps from Argos 2
All Habitat lighting available here.

In association with Argos.

Bloomingville Spring 2014

January 27th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

I have a new shop crush. Bloomingville have long been on my radar but at the Home Show in London a couple of weeks ago it was the one stand that I kept gravitating back to. I like their aesthetic so much it hurts. I want to fill my new home with all of this Danish loveliness. The cool, pastel colours, the blond wood, the furs, the copper touches. It’s just so damn cool.

Bloomingville SS 14 [4]

Bloomingville SS 14 [5]

Bloomingville SS 14 [1]

Bloomingville SS 14 [3]

Bloomingville A/S was founded in Denmark in 2000. It began with only 2 employ­ees it has developed into a thriving business with a team of 40 employees and 40 agents in Europe. It’s very proud of its focus on excellent quality, reasonable prices and the high­est level of service. Initially, the product line consisted of items sourced from European producers as well as a small variety of pieces designed by the com­pany’s founder, Betina Stampe, but over time that focus shifted, and today the vast majority of the products are designed in-house, supplemented by special vintage items sourced directly from se­lected suppliers in Southeast Asia and Africa. The unique Bloomingville style is a mixture of raw products with a nostalgic Scandinavian twist and reproductions of fantastic pieces from times past inspired by French brocante.

UK stockists.

West Elm UK is Now Online

January 16th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

You may remember my post about the launch of the West Elm Tottenham Court Road store a few weeks ago?

Well, the UK website is now live. Anything in the store can be bought online too. Pour yourself a drink and put your shopping feet up now!

west elm online 3

west elm online 2

west elm online 1

west elm online 4

west elm online 5

West Elm UK.

I’m fast beginning to realise that buying a new home from a developer comes with lots of limitations design wise. But, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, so I will just have to get on with it and get more creative. Living in a magnolia box is not an option.

One of the things I will have to live with however, is the positioning of the lighting in the house. It comes fully wired with the usual downlighters in the kitchens and bathrooms and a central pendant fitting in all of the other rooms. My pet hate usually, but I am going to get my thinking cap on and find the best options. I’m pretty much in the same position as a renter really. I can’t move them and start channelling in new lights just yet and I can’t afford to buy nine new designer pendants all at once.

So, I’m going to shop at some of my favourite high street stores and here’s a few for starters.

Next Home Easy Fit Pendant Lamps

Next Home

That familiar looking black number from Next Home is looking very tempting for the hall and stairs. I need three in total and at £38 each I don’t see how I can refuse.

BHS Easy Fit Pendant Lamps


The cluster lights from BHS would also make a good option above the dining table where a single pendant can sometimes look a bit insignificant.

Habitat Easy Fit Pendant Lamps


And the black drum shade from Habitat is a good option when ceilings are not exactly high. The gold lining will cast a very warm light too.

My advice for anyone in the same position would be to go for the largest fitting available as there is nothing worse than a single tiny central light. And of course to add plenty of table lamps, floor standing lamps, fairy lights, rope lights and candles. In fact the more light sources the better.

Do you have a favourite above?

I love these lamps.

Alexandra Raben Design - Intricate Lamps [1]

The Intricate Lamp series by Danish designer Alexandra Raben Design is a juxtaposition of the delicate and textural with the hard and industrial. The semi transparent shades create playful and beautiful shadows. Feminine yet understated with a raw edge.

Alexandra Raben Design - Intricate Lamps [2]

The series includes different shapes, colours and sizes; pendants, table lamps and floor lamps. They are made of a steel frame, cotton and linen yarn.

Alexandra Raben Design - Intricate Lamps [4]

Given these raw ingredients I don’t think I’d be able to create something this beautiful.

Do you?

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