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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

Sources

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

Sources

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.

ikea

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.

If there’s one thing I love to do on the blog, it’s to demonstrate that you don’t  need oodles of money to create a stylish home. Yes, we all like to splash out once in a while and sometimes that expensive chandelier or that designer sofa is the only one that will do. And that’s ok. But most of us can only afford to do that occasionally, and in the meantime the high street is a goldmine if you choose carefully.

This sophisticated living space is the work of  Robson Rak Architects but it’s very easy to emulate if you stick to a few rules.

High Style on the High Street

1. Stick to a restrained colour palette. Grey always looks smart and the black touches help to frame the room effectively and give some contrast. The accents of yellow only make up about 10% of the colour in the room and the yellow used is a very soft shade instead of acid yellow.

2. Keep pattern to a minimum or avoid it altogether. The colour blocked curtains add enough visual interest here and you are less likely to tire of them in a couple of seasons.

3. Remember to add texture and touches of luxury. Rugs are a really good way of adding texture but don’t forget soft velvet cushions always look and feel luxurious, and a woollen throw is an added layer of comfort.

4. Don’t be tempted to add too many accessories. A few books, a vase of flowers and a couple of mementoes are all you really need in this sitting room. Any more would add clutter and detract from the overall sophistication of the scheme.

High Street sources: Curtain Pole, John Lewis. Hanging Lantern, Next Home. Metal Tablelamp, Habitat. Designers Guild Throw, Amara. Coffee Table, Nest. Sofa, Heal’s. Textured Rug, Westelm. Cushion, Oka Direct.

Beautiful British Beds

April 29th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (1 Comments)

If there’s one room in the house that deserves a little luxury, it would have to be the bedroom. Handcrafted beds and furniture, mattresses made with the finest fillings, crisp linens and soft furnishing fabrics; it’s what we all dream of.

kingston four poster bed

Which is why I’m glad I came across TurnPost today.  This company was launched by an experienced design and manufacturing team, out of a desire to create unique luxury beds to fulfill the increasing demand for British design and craftsmanship.

york four poster bed

The brand name of course, reflects the beds at the very heart of the company; made from sustainable solid Ash, each ‘Turn post’ is created by hand. Beautiful finishes further enhance the textures and grain of this wonderful hardwood.

calverley four poster bed

There is also a stylish selection of upholstered beds covered in the finest British made wools. Each bed is made to order and they also provide a bespoke design and manufacture service.

Turnpost.co.uk - beautiful beds including the bainbridge

It might also interest you to know that the TurnPost mattresses have been specially developed to fit within the bedsteads and to ensure the most wonderful night’s sleep. Each mattress is made using traditional skills, filled with the finest natural materials and finished with hand stitching and hand tufting. The mattress is covered in a supremely soft linen blend ticking and is available in different tensions.

turnpost.co.uk

The website also features an elegant range of chairs, tables, lighting, rugs and soft furnishings, to help complete the perfect bedroom.

You are so worth it!

So much to love in M&S this spring.

marksandspencer_982011463522609

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.

marksandspencer_9820158341786

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.

marksandspencer_9820118382761081

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.

marksandspencer_98201532329896

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.

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