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.

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.

You might not work from home but surely every modern house needs a place to pay the bills, organise the diary and write notes to the teacher? It doesn’t have to have its own dedicated room. It can be a corner of the sitting room or kitchen, under the stairs, or even in the garden shed, but it does need to feel well organised and welcoming.

The home of stylist Emma Persson Lagerberg photographed by Petra Bindel

If you can place the desk in front of the window it’s definitely a bonus but it might be distracting if you really do have to work. Some storage, somewhere to put the pens, a task light and a comfy chair are all you really need.

Norm Architects via Bo Bedre

An inspiration board of some kind helps to make the space attractive as well as functional but the desk itself can be as simple as floorboards laid across brackets as in the image above. Trestles are also another budget option, or a piece of upcycled furniture that you have found or already own.

Home of Emma Reddington via Design Sponge

I love that all of the images here show the individuality of the owner. Don’t you love the pegs on string idea above?

The Veda House via Eva Black Design

A word of warning; don’t let the desk become a dumping ground or you will never use it. You know what they say ‘a tidy desk means a tidy mind.’

Where do you do the household accounts?

Images sources: 1 The home of stylist Emma Persson Lagerberg photographed by Petra Bindel. 2 Norm Architects via Bo Bedre. 3 The home of Emma Reddington via Design Sponge. 4 The Veda House via Eva Black Design.

I dream of an office that is filled with pretty coordinating boxes don’t you?

design vintage

Don’t get me wrong  my little office is not untidy or disorganised (I cannot work in a mess and I have to tidy it at least once a day!) but it does seem to have more than it’s fair share of blue office files.  You know the ones I mean?  The ones with scruffy torn labels and springs that don’t quite work any more?

design vintage 2

I dream of  boxes like these where nothing can get lost and everything has a place.

clipboards via design vintage

And vintage style clipboards for keeping my little scraps of fabrics and tear sheets in order.

storage files via design vintage

And please can everything be as pretty as this.

Doesn’t seem too much to ask.

Oh, one more thing.  Can I have a lamp like this please?

design vintage 3

All products from Design Vintage.

Beauty in the Ordinary

August 22nd, 2013 | Posted by deardesigner in Houses - (0 Comments)

Sometimes the bones of a house are so stunning nothing else is needed.  I was struck by the raw beauty in these photographs.  The untold stories in the chipped paint, the subtle colours in the stripped walls and the warmth that shines from the worn floors.  Who needs to add anything to this?  It would be a shame to replaster and paint so maybe the owners decided that they had stumbled upon something so precious that they would just let it be.

Styled by Tina Hellberg, photo by Petra Bindel 0

Styled by Tina Hellberg, photo by Petra Bindel 1

Styled by Tina Hellberg, photo by Petra Bindel 4

Styled by Tina Hellberg, photo by Petra Bindel 3

Styled by Tina Hellberg, photo by Petra Bindel 2

Of course, in reality this is a location house and the props were brought in for the photoshoot but let’s not spoil the moment shall we?

Styled by Tina Hellberg, photographs by Petra Bindel.

Captivated once again by the images in the portfolio of an interiors and prop stylist.

This time it is Lo Bjurulf via Agent Bauer.

Lo Bjurulf Stylist 1

Totally in love with each and every one of them.

Lo Bjurulf Stylist

And totally mesmerized by the ability to create a mood and tell a story with the artful placement of a few props.  A few flowers…

Lo Bjurulf Stylist 2

…a balloon.  Inside or out….light and airy….

Lo Bjurulf Stylist 3

…or dark and moody…

Lo Bjurulf Stylist 4

Just totally in awe.

Have I ever told you about my guilty pleasure?

No, it’s not eating chocolate in secret(although I do that too), and no, I’m not a secret drinker!  I can hardly bring myself to say it…I am addicted to all kinds of property search programmes on TV.  Location, Location, Location is my favourite, but I also watch Escape to the Country, Sarah Beeny’s Selling Houses, Property Ladder….etc, etc.   If I’m home alone, I can watch them for hours at a time and I’ll even watch the repeats.  Is this an addiction I can get therapy for?

Savills Bath 1

I think it stems from the fact that I have lived in the same house for many years, and although I am constantly redecorating, it’s not the same as starting from scratch somewhere new.  It’s years since I have experienced the thrill of walking into a new place and imagining the possibilities that it presents.

Savills Bath

Designing for clients is different.  You are putting yourself into their shoes and designing for them.  I just love to escape into fantasy and imagine what I would do with that sitting room and how would I re-configure that layout to the best possible solution for my life.

So, just as I am thinking of going cold turkey, I discover a new way of feeding this addiction.  Estate agents websites.

Savills Bath 2

How beautiful is this Georgian terraced house in Bath?  I’m already fantasizing about the life I will lead.  All of that light flooding in is just a dream come true.  That workspace above could be my new office and I would be super productive I’m sure.  And the period features!    Swoon!

Savills Bath 3

And who would complain about living in this neighbourhood?

Currently available for a cool £1.7 million from Savills.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Fiona Barratt interiors was founded in 2006 and designs high-end, international residential and commercial interiors.

Fiona Barratt 1

Her philosophy behind creating fluid and elegant spaces is that they are born of understanding the aspirations of the client, the relevance of the location and maximising the potential of the existing elements of the space.  Then add in imagination and vision and the result is an interior that tells a story in relation to its location, the consideration of the four walls in which it exists, and most importantly reflects in essence the client’s individuality…

Fiona Barratt 2 Fiona Barratt 3 Fiona Barratt 4

A successful interior should enhance, not dictate the way you live“.

Fiona Barratt 7 Fiona Barratt 6 Fiona Barratt 5

 And as if these beautiful interiors don’t keep her busy enough, Fiona is opening her first retail store in London in June on the Pimlico Road called FBC London.

Dutch by Design

January 18th, 2013 | Posted by deardesigner in Celebrity Snoop | Interior Design - (2 Comments)

Do you ever wonder what the homes of the big names in design look like?

Well, this is a glimpse of the home of Casper Vissers and his wife Suzy.  Casper is the co-founder of Dutch company Moooi and the house is in Breda, the Netherlands.

Casper Vissers co founder of Moooi via Elle Decoration 1

I love the quality of light and the view from the dining room window is to die for.  I’m quite partial to some clipped hedges.

Casper Vissers co founder of Moooi via Elle Decoration 3

The house has some wonderful period features and the addition of the more contemporary Moooi designs just seems to highlight the mouldings and the ceiling roses.

Casper Vissers co founder of Moooi via Elle Decoration

Its also a good lesson in the use of a restained colour scheme.

Casper Vissers co founder of Moooi via Elle Decoration 4

The full story can be found on Elle Decoration.


Styled by Tatjana Quax; Photography by Inga Powilleit


What do you think of this nifty little work bureau by Papillon Interiors?

Designed by Michael Hilgers for Muller, it is designed to fit into any home, even the smallest of spaces, as it’s only 12cms deep.

The top section cleverly opens into a generous work surface, with shelving specifically crafted to house your gadgets and essential working tools such as Laptops, tablets computers and telephone.  And it even has a built-in socket to allow easy power access, but once folded away it blends into the background.

I’m rather liking it.

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