Month: March 2015

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Vipp's plug & play getaway

Wouldn’t it be nice just to getaway, escape the hum-drum of daily life and the rat-race of urban life? Well, Danish design company Vipp has done just that: they’ve created this sexy ‘plug & play’ 55 sq m prefabricated shelter. And they’ve thought of every little detail, from lighting to linen, from table to toilet brush, and from shelves to self dispenser. All you have to do is decide where to put it, if you have €485,000 to spare… Prefabricated north of Copenhagen, the simple steel grid supports a two-level space with a compact bathroom, sleek, dark-toned kitchen and living space as well as a cosy bed loft. Taking 6 months to produce but just 3-5 days to install, Vipp’s CEO Kasper Egelund describes it as ‘a battery-charging stations for humans’. The starting point for the designers was going back to basics; the landscape is purposely framed by two large sliding window frames and an all-black interior lets the outside do the talking. Chief designer Morton Bo Jensen says: ‘Vipp is rooted in the manufacture …

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Urban Jungle Bloggers: Easter

The theme this month for Urban Jungle Bloggers – the monthly series hosted by two bloggers, Igor Happy Interior Blog and Judith JOELIX.com, that aims to bring some greenery into our homes  – is Easter. As Spring is definitely in the air, I wanted to style an Easter table dotted with some of the lovely, scented blooms that have been blossoming on my small urban balcony. I’m not very religious but Easter for me is a time for new life and fresh beginnings. It’s been so satisfying to see hyacinth, crocus and daffodil bulbs transform from tiny green peaks to beautiful flowers; it also seemed a shame to keep them on the balcony, where their scent can’t be appreciated and where I hardly get to enjoy them after long work days. As they’ve been slowly springing up, I’ve been snipping stems or taking whole bulbs out of their tubs to scatter around the house in glass jars or bottles (although keeping them attached to their bulb does make them last longer) – it’s lovely having a hint of Spring in the house, even when the skies …

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Bringing the outdoors in with rattan chairs

Living in the centre of London, like a lot of other city-dwellers, I don’t have a garden. But boy do I wish I had one – in my dreams I would have deck chairs in the summer, overgrowing herbaceous borders and a sunny patio for alfresco dinners. Instead I have a small balcony jam-packed with herbs and at the moment, spring blooms – it’s my little urban oasis – but there’s no where to sit. We have two large doors that open onto the balcony from the living room and when the sun is shining through it is almost like we’re not in a city at all and there’s a sprawling garden just beyond the soft linen curtains. I’m constantly trying to find ways to bring the outdoors in, from plants to translucent blinds and curtains, but when Out There Interiors offered me the chance to review their Finleigh chair, part of their vast collection of garden and conservatory furniture, I jumped at the chance. Suitable for both inside and out, here the saucer-shaped Finleigh slots in perfectly next to an alcove …

Toast and Botany

Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this week

I’ve been lagging behind on the Stop, Look, Listen posts (no excuse, smack on the wrist…), but here’s a cracker for this week: an unmissable pop-up between Toast and east London plant and lifestyle store Botany, an exhibition all about how fashion change and flourished during the war, and a show of photographs taking a behind-the-scenes look at Alexander McQueen’s work. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and that the sun comes out to shine! STOP What: Toast and Botany pop-up Where: TOAST, 191 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London, W11 2S When: for 6 weeks from 21 March One of my favourite clothing and homeware brands Toast is teaming up for a pop-up with independent plant and lifestyle store Botany. If you haven’t visited Botany before, it’s definitely worth a trip east to Chatsworth Road. Nestled in the heart of Hackney’s creative community, Botany houses a carefully curated selection of ethically sourced hand-crafted products, organic skincare and paper goods, alongside an abundance of indoor plant life – from unusual succulents, cacti and house plants. And for six weeks, a little of this urban …

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I wish I lived here: monochrome living with kids

This home in Gothenburg is to die for: lovely white walls, grey Scandinavian furniture and black accessories. I love the soft white and grey marble table and how the even the kids bedrooms tie in with the monochrome theme – I want some of that furniture for myself! I partly wanted to feature this home because of the lovely MENU teapot (above) designed by NORM Architects. I’ve been lusting after it for ages, then couldn’t believe my luck when I snapped it up 50% off in UK concept store Figure 8’s recent sale (a lovely shop by the way). The glass kettle fuses ‘Asian Zen-philosophy and modern Scandinavian architecture’ say the designers Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen and Kasper Rønn: ‘Tea is so much more than just a cup of hot water, and we felt that all the healthy benefits – and the sky high “cosy factor” of tea, deserved a new teapot. One where you can actually see the brewing.’ A stainless steel tea egg sits in the middle of the pot attached to a silicone string to pull …

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Do South shop styling

I love exploring the different neighbourhoods or mini villages in London, discovering independent shops, seeking out good coffee and just soaking up the atmosphere. One such place is Crystal Palace, a forty minute overground ride for me from King’s Cross. I don’t often venture south of the river, but about a year ago I was tempted out of my north London cocoon with the promise of vintage and antique shops, and it didn’t disappoint: there’s four-storey antique emporiums, retro clothes shops, homeware stores, food markets on Saturdays and stunning views right down the hill to the City. So when Do South shop, a treasure trove of vintage finds, handmade goods and modern design products, asked me along for a sunny Sunday morning of styling with three other bloggers I couldn’t say no. Do South, set up in 2011 by the lovely Freddie Oke, is situated right in the heart of Crystal Palace’s shops, on the corner of Westow Street and Central Hill. It sells a real variety of goods, from design-led, modern furniture and accessories from the likes …

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Eley Kishimoto x Roam

As part of its Autumn/Winter 2015 fashion collection, entitled A Wallflower’s House Party, pattern expert Eley Kishimoto has collaborated with Scottish knitwear company ROAM on a selection of cosy lambswool blankets. Based in the heart of the Scottish Borders, ROAM was set up in 2007 by Sonia Ambrosano and Lachlan Munro. They have a studio and micro factory in Galashiels where they dream, craft and create the softest knitted products from a handful of natural and sustainable materials. Their vision is simple: ‘to create warm, soulful products that express our collective imagination, inspiring and evoking wonderful thoughts of travel and distant places’. For this collection, the patterns, which range from bold, psychedelic swirls to muted, architectural brick-like shapes, have been taken from Kishimoto’s wallpaper collection, originally inspired by the studio’s fashion archives of over 22 years. The studio sees no distinction between garment, wall surface or home decoration, all can be adorned with the same pattern under their lovely motto “Print the World”. The blankets, for example, are designed to be both draped over a sofa or over your own shoulders; I don’t know about …

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I wish I lived here: all white in Gothenburg

Over the last couple of days the light has been flooding into the flat – it makes such a difference, everything looks just a little bit happier and brighter, instead of dark and dingy. I’ve even been opening the balcony doors a fraction during the day and having lunch on the cusp of alfresco (not quite when I still have woolly socks and a jumper on…)! When we first decorated our flat we painted all the walls white, more for ease and laziness than anything else, but they do bounce the light around wonderfully, even when there aren’t any blue skies outside – a bit like this home in Gothenburg. They’ve gone one step closer and painted the floorboards white as well. It’s a lovely bright and airy space, emphasised by the white wire furniture (that plant stand below is amazing!), white light fittings and white framed posters. I love how the dark, vintage furniture stands out against the white and the smatterings of greenery that bring the place to life. All images: Stadshem

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Elkebana botanical wall trophy

Antique animal horns and wall trophies have been popular in homes and design magazines for a while now, but if you don’t like the thought of having a dead animal in your house, or if you want something a little bit different, these botanical wall trophies may be for you. Called Elkebana, and available on Crowdy House, these playful, horn-like, wall-mounted objects were designed by Fabio Milito and developed by Paula Studio, who both wanted to create a personalised wall arrangement for nature lovers. The design and name is inspired by “ikebana”, the ancient Japanese art of harmonious floral compositions, says Milito: ‘Elkebana is the first trophy for plant lovers. You just need flowers and imagination.’ Each Elkebana is handmade in Italy. Made of birch plywood, solid walnut, solid oak or cork shield, the wall mounts hold the botanical arrangements in two test-tube-like handblown glass vases, allowing the user to constantly change their arrangements. I love the idea of creating a new commitment-free floral display every so often depending on your mood, don’t you?

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Made by Hand

I love sharing new design discoveries. Made By Hand is a Danish design brand that I discovered at Stockholm Furniture Fair in February. Set up in 2013, it has a passion for craftsmanship and timeless, refined products that offer ‘a sense of harmony and comfort to everyday life’. Inspired by Scandinavian traditions and styles, all the products are made – (by hand) – by local craftspeople in Denmark and abroad. I love their ethos: At Made By Hand our design perspective is shaped by our Danish heritage blended with modern interpretations of design with a straightforward function. The Made By Hand project is our simple manifesto for selecting the right design direction, the right designers, and the right design idea – making sure every new Made bBy Hand product lives up to our design values. We represent a straightforward design approach with an appreciation of all the small details, the finesse and the quality work that goes into a design made by hand. One of Made by Hand’s first products was the Workshop Lamp (first image) designed by A. …