Month: August 2016

Autumn Fair: the season's No.1 gift and home wholesale trade show for the retail industry

Autumn Fair gift & home trade show

Autumn Fair is a gift and home trade show that takes place every year at Birmingham NEC. Launched in September 1990, it focuses on contemporary and traditional products from both independent talents, big-name brands and online retailers. Whether its hunting out new products and innovations, networking, meeting like-minded design-obsessed individuals or hearing from experts in a line-up of seminars, it’s an event that should certainly be on your radar. With 12 different show sectors, ranging from Contemporary Gift & Living to The Light Show focusing on lighting, there’s over 1,400 exhibitors to look out for across the four-day show. There’ll be design-led gifts and gadgets, art and wall decor, textiles and furniture, plus personalised products and stationery supplies. Highlights include understated craft-inspired furniture and accessories from Dutch brand Kaemingk and new launches from Danish company Hubsch. Le Creuset will launch its new ‘Moorland Mist’ collection, while Suck UK will be selling gifts exclusively at Autumn Fair. I’ve also already spied Villeroy & Boch, By Boo, Nordlux and VITA Copenhagen (who will be incorporating interactive and submersive lighting experiences in …

My top picks from northmodern copenhagen

My top picks from northmodern 2016 – part 1

northmodern is a furniture and lifestyle trade show that takes place once a year in Copenhagen. Showcasing the most exciting international talents and the very best of Scandinavian design heritage, it’s a must for any design lover, no matter if you’re a buyer or press. I headed there for the August edition, which had a focus on holistic, sustainable contemporary living. Housed in the airy halls of the Bella Center, a conference centre just ten minutes from the heart of the city, the show was a lively mix of the latest contemporary design, reissued classics, hand-crafted pieces and sustainable products. I had previously been to Stockholm Furniture Fair and this in comparison was a much more relaxed affair – considerably smaller and fairly intimate. The atmosphere was chilled, designers approachable, gentle music playing and plenty of places to pause and rest weary feet. There was a wealth of young, emerging talent that I had never even heard of before under the glass roof of the Crystal Hall, while it was a pleasure to meet some of the more established brands such as Ferm Living …

#thesimpleeveryday

New Instagram hashtag – #thesimpleeveryday

I’ve been wanting to start a new hashtag on Instagram for ages, but could never think of the right one. But, then you know when you have those brilliant ideas in the shower? Well, I’ve come up with one which I think everyone can relate to. Let me introduce you to #thesimpleeveryday. It’s what I’ve been striving for and moving further towards both on my blog and on Instagram (find me here) – finding a way to uplift and celebrate the everyday. #thesimpleeveryday is all about seeking a moment of calm in the mundane of the everyday – to take a moment out of our busy schedules to simply slow down and appreciate the little things, whether it’s a quiet coffee in the morning (one of my favourite times of the day), or the light streaming through the window in the evening, reading the papers on a Sunday morning or appreciating a fresh vase of blooms that make you smile. It might be a beautiful, minimal design object sitting on a nice clean shelf, fresh crisp …

A week on my feet

A week on my feet

If you’re on Instagram I’m sure you’re all aware of the patterned wonders of instagram account @ihavethisthingwithfloors, ‘where feet meet nice floors’. Inspired by this trend for the ‘selfeet’ or ‘shoefie’, Luxury Flooring got in touch and challenged me to look down and tell the story of my own week through the floors, patterns and textures I might encounter on the ground. It was a great week to get snapping, documenting everything from sunny park trips and early morning coffees to a visit to one of my favourite cities, Copenhagen. All in all, I walked nearly 90km across the whole week – across London pavements, along train stations, through airports, around furniture fairs, up spiral staircases and rooftops, into Copenhagen coffee shops and through flower markets. So let’s see what I got up to… Monday It’s a busy day in the Blueprint office for my day job as an architecture and design journalist. My beni ourain Moroccan rug is probably the prettiest thing I’m going to see under my feet today. Time for a quick coffee before it’s out the door and on to the train into central London… …

Ferm Living Autumn/Winter 2016 collection

Ferm Living Autumn/Winter 2016 collection

Just a quick blog post today, I’m off to Copenhagen for the northmodern furniture fair! What better way to get into the mood for Scandinavian design than a look at Ferm Living’s new Autumn/Winter 2016 collection. Entitled ‘Subtle Dwelling’, the collection has a strong minimalist aesthetic and an artisan approach, focusing on simple shapes, textural surfaces and contrasting finishes. The colour palette is deep and dark, with vibrant hues next to dusty, earthy tones and monochrome colourways. New furniture designs have streamlined silhouettes, while a new lighting series has interchangeable forms for endless combinations. Ferm Living says of the collection: ‘Subtle designs evoking a quiet moment for rest and contemplation, dwelling into a personal space of shape, colour and texture – telling stores of lingering Sundays.’ There’s something about the shots that brings to mind MENU’s Modernism Reimagined images from the Spring (see them here), with their dark, moody atmosphere and autumnal tones. Perhaps these Scandinavian brands are simply growing up and coming of age, favouring craftsmanship and an honest expression over particular trends or …

Image courtesy: by Lassen

Your Home Needs This: by Lassen’s Kubus 4 candleholder

For this week’s ‘Your Home Needs This’, I’m looking at by Lassen’s Kubus 4 candleholder – a classic design you’ll have seen over and over again in beautifully styled Scandinavian homes. Designed by Danish architect Mogens Lassen, a pioneer of Danish Functionalism, the Kubus 4, as the name suggests, is a minimal cube-shaped frame topped with four slender cylinders for candles. Like many designs it took a while to come into fruition, finally taking the shape we know and love in 1962. But, good things come to those who wait. It may have been created over 50 years ago, but the Kubus 4 shows no sign of going out of fashion or losing its allure – for me, it’s a truly timeless design that would not look out of place in the portfolios of many young contemporary designers making waves out there today. Lassen designed the Kubus 4 as a reaction against the overtly decorative and elaborative candleholders found in homes of the time. Inspired by the Bauhaus and its geometric shapes, he believed good …

Flower design with M&S

Beautiful blooms with M&S

For me, there is nothing better than a big vase of fresh flowers in the house. I love picking up a bunch with the sunday papers and kicking back to admire them with the feeling that the house, like me after a weekend, is once again revived. I love the fragrant smell they carry, the element of nature they bring inside, and the way they make a house feel like a home. Definitely for me, a home is not complete without a bunch of flowers, they’re as comforting as a warm cup of tea or a burning fire, as indulgent as a favourite magazine or good bar of chocolate to curl up with, as beautiful as any piece of wall art or styled display of objects. As Claude Monet once said, ‘I must have flowers, always and always’. A little while ago I spent a lovely evening flower arranging with Marks and Spencer in a lofty warehouse-like events space in Stoke Newington, north London. Certainly not a bad way to while away an evening, chatting away to other like-minded bloggers and playing around until our hearts content …

Jardan furniture

On my radar #03

I’m back with the third of my regular ‘On my radar’ posts. Here, I share my latest favourite furniture finds that have popped into my inbox or I’ve discovered while out and about. This week I have four fab discoveries for you – Vipp unveils its first lighting collection, a new Swedish brand Maze launches, DesignByThem releases a new desk, and I discover the beautifully crafted designs of family owned Aussie brand Jardan. Scroll on for your design fix… Lamp series by Vipp Danish brand Vipp, best known for their sleek, monochrome kitchen- and bathroom-ware, have just announced their first lighting collection. True to the Vipp philosophy, the lamp series is based on the idea of rejecting disposable culture by introducing products made to last. The five lamps, for table, floor, wall and ceiling, are all made from powder-coated aluminium and fitted with a replaceable LED bulb. A perforated shade provides a soft diffusion of light, while stainless steel fastenings allow the lamps to tilt and bend for focused task lighting. Says Morten Bo Jensen, …

Soak&Sleep - Cranbrook plain wood bed from £525, 600TC Egyptian Cotton bed linen from £20.90

Soak&Sleep A/W 2016 collection

Last week I got a sneak peek of Soak&Sleep’s new Autumn/Winter 2016 collection. With the slogan ‘Rediscover Every Night’, their aim is to provide all the ingredients for the ultimate good night’s sleep, each night, every night. From the softest French linen and the most luxurious Egyptian cotton to the fluffiest towels and the sweetest smelling candles to drift you off into relaxation, Soak&Sleep believe that going to bed shouldn’t just be a habit or a necessity at the end of the day, but something to look forward to and be celebrated. I’m all for uplifting those everyday moments, and if it means I can sneak in a little nap in the middle of the day and not feel guilty, I’m in! Soak&Sleep have curated a new collection that aims to suit all manner of tastes and needs, whether you want to bring a touch of hotel elegance at home or simply want to update your bedroom with a new throw or blanket. A good night’s sleep isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula, and nor does everyone …

Best of portable speakers: six stylish speakers that will fit right into your home

Best of… Portable speakers

Today I’m going all techy on you and talking about portable speakers. Gone are the days when you might buy a hefty, ugly sound system that would take up a corner of the living room and never move. Today, consumers want to be able to play music that seamlessly moves from room to room and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. And for most of us, ideally without splurging out on a high-tech surround sound system and breaking the bank. That’s where portable speakers come in: they’re neat, compact and stylish, without compromising on style or sound. In our house, I listen to a lot of Classic FM (yep, I’m 28, no sniggers please) as I work in the spare room or go about my morning routine, while my boyfriend Olivier might want to play something on Spotify in the kitchen or living room. We have a UE Boom bluetooth speaker, which is so light and easy to carry around up and down the stairs, and produces sound at the click of a button. We’ve taken it away with …