Month: September 2016

Skagerak's new collection is joined by a strong belief in design that endures both functionally and aesthetically, achieved through responsible and good craftsmanship

New designs from Skagerak

When Danish brand Skagerak’s new collection popped into my inbox, I just knew I had to share their beautiful, soft imagery on here. Released for September, the new collection brings together a range of pieces created in collaboration with a group of designers who all share a common vision and similar values. Chiming with Skagerak’s core values, they each have a strong belief in design that endures both functionally and aesthetically, through good and honest craftsmanship. Endures in all sorts of settings and preserves its look, function and relevance, regardless of fashions and tastes. It’s an ethos I can certainly identify with. Each piece tells a story. There’s wooden tables that can be turned into trays, mirrors inspired by the shape of water droplets, a day bed that can be adapted for a variety of uses, and even a lounge chair named after a dialect used in the deep woods of Nicaragua. Turn Bench, Stool and Mirrors Created by Danish designer Line Depping, who believes design should be simple and without any feeling of self-exaltation, Turn is characterised by its round …

La Petite Papeterie Française

Slow Office – La Petite Papeterie Française

I briefly introduced this lovely French brand in my round-up of finds from the northmodern furniture fair in Copenhagen. And couldn’t wait to dedicate a whole post to their stunning imagery. As some of you may know, I’m a bit of a francophile as well as a scandiphile (no idea if that’s a word, but it should be?) so as soon as I saw their beautifully curated stationery embossed with little French words, AND simply styled, I fell a little bit in love. La Petite Papeterie Française (which translates as The Little French Stationer’s) was founded by Sylvie Bétard, a lover of all things paper, in 2012. She creates beautiful objects produced in France that also respect the environment – most of the items are made from recyclable materials and use solvent-free glues. Who knew you could make pages out of recycled almonds and olives? Following a successful collection designed by illustrator Anaïs Génot for the home, La Petite Papeterie Française has now released a collection for the office created by Elsa Le Saux, as seen in the images here. The …

#thesimpleeveryday - a new hashtag on instagram started by @catesthill

#thesimpleeveryday a round-up – September 2016

It’s been a month now since I started #thesimpleeveryday hashtag on Instagram, I’ve loved seeing you share your everyday calm, minimal moments, so I thought I’d do a little round-up of my favourite images that have been shared so far. As a reminder, #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. It’s finding a way to uplift our daily lives, whether it’s focusing more intently on everyday rituals, savouring a little quiet time to ourselves in a busy day, or simply being more aware of the spaces we’re inhabiting. Really, it’s about simply celebrating the everyday but also to trying to find simplicity every day. I’ve certainly found it’s helped me focus everyday, to clear some of the clutter in my brain and be more conscious of what I buy, where I go and what I do. For example, it’s trying not to flick through my phone when I’m having a cup of coffee but actually …

Louis Poulsen PH5 lamp - a design classic

Your Home Needs This: Louis Poulsen PH5 light

This week I’m turning the focus of ‘Your Home Need This’ to lighting – and in particular, Louis Poulsen’s PH5 light, a mid-century-style pendant with a striking, curved silhouette. In case you forgot, Your Home Needs This is all about profiling beautiful design classics and timeless pieces of furniture that I feel everyone should have in their home. I want to bring the focus back on the designer and give you a little back story about how they were created. So here we go… The PH5 was designed by Danish designer Poul Henningsen in 1958. He began collaborating with Louis Poulsen in 1925 and continued to work with them up until his death in 1967, creating designs that are still famous today. Henningsen studied architecture at the Danish College of Technology in Copenhagen and started designing his own lighting after he found traditional lights to be incompatible with his smart modern interiors. He never actually graduated as an architect though, and became more known for his lighting as well as his work as a journalist, critic and author. He once said how he was …

The beautiful Frama store in Copenhagen, housed in the former home of the St. Pauls Pharmacy. Image: cate st hill

Frama store Copenhagen

I first heard about Frama store in Copenhagen when I saw the most beautifully calm, minimal images on my friend’s blog Hannah in the House. I just knew I had to pay a visit when I headed to Copenhagen for the northmodern furniture fair. So, Hannah and I popped into Frama for an evening of drinks at the store to showcase the work of Copenhagen-based Plethora magazine. Eager to have a proper nosy around, I returned the next day to wander around the fascinating space and take a few snaps. Housed in a former home of St. Pauls Pharmacy in central Copenhagen, Frama is an architectural gem of a store, where old meets new. The building has been remarkably restored, with all the original dark woodwork, decorative ceiling motifs and even the little drawers where all manner of pharmaceutical paraphernalia would have been kept. Floorboards have been sanded back, while the back rooms have been left fairly minimal with white and soft grey walls. They describe the store as a ‘work in progress’, serving as a both a retail space and a platform to …

London Design Festival guide

Top 12 things to see at London Design Festival 2016

It’s that time of the year again – London Design Festival. From 17 to 25 September the capital transforms into a hive of creative activity, from large-scale urban installation and inventions, through pop-up exhibitions and design destinations, to open studios, design tours and trails. There’s A LOT to see and get your head around, so here I’ve done the hard work for you and picked my must-see highlights for London Design Festival 2016. designjunction, King’s Cross, 22 – 25 September Now in its sixth year, designjunction returns to vast new home in my old haunt, King’s Cross. The theme this time is Immersed in Design. Across four main sites, there will be 200 international brands exhibiting, hundreds of new products launches, plus pop-up shops and street food vans to fuel up on as part of the inaugural King’s Cross Creative Quarter (KXCQ). Monopoly-style houses will be descending on Granary Square, while Satellite Architects has designed a spectacular scaffold-like facade structure to conceal designjunction’s temporary two-storey pavilion. Made of 4,000 lightweight modular components, the structure will …

My top picks from northmodern: Mater

My top picks from northmodern 2016 – part 2

I’m back with the second part of my northmodern review (did you see part one here?). I scoured the Copenhagen furniture and lifestyle show, held at the light and airy Bella Center, for the best Scandinavian design and the most exciting, up-and-coming designers to watch out for. Here, we’ve got beautifully simple ceramics, timeless furniture with fine detailing and charming home accessories to uplift your everyday. Scroll on and enjoy… 1. Mette Duedahl Designer Mette Duedahl was already on my radar, she designed this coffee pot for Muuto, but at northmodern she also shared some lovely, elegant ceramics. She graduated in 2011 from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Center for Glass and Ceramics, Bornholm and through her work aims to combine high use-value with a simple, aesthetic and timeless design.    2. Mater Mater was one of the more established Danish brands at the show. Founded in 2006 by Henrik Marstrand in 2006, Mater creates timeless and beautiful designs based on an ethical business strategy that supports people, local craft traditions and the environment. They collaborate with established and fresh design talent …

Farrow & Ball new wallpapers

Farrow & Ball new wallpapers + factory tour

We all know and love Farrow & Ball’s paint, but did you know they also do beautiful handcrafted wallpaper too? They’ve been creating their signature paint colours in Dorset since 1946, but it was only in the 1990s that they started to introduce wallpaper. Using traditional trough and block printing methods, and of course their own paint, they’ve built up a portfolio of charming designs, from contemporary stripes and bold botanical shapes to pretty florals and more traditional paisley patterns. This week I was very lucky to get invited down to the international launch of 3 new designs at their headquarters in Dorset with the Amara blog awards. In celebration of Farrow & Ball’s 70th anniversary, they’ve been reflecting back on their early origins and have taken inspiration from the 1940s for the new collection. Each design – the retro scallops of ‘Arcade’, the quaint countryside scenes of ‘Gable’ and the dazzling geometrics of ‘Enigma – embrace the paradoxical feel of the post-war period, says Farrow & Ball, when people were simultaneously ‘looking forward while …

Make an entrance: improving your home's kerb appeal

Make an entrance: improving your home’s kerb appeal AFTER

Sometimes DIY projects take longer than you think, sometimes you have to go back for an extra pot of paint or spare paint brush, the right drill bit, but it feels so good when you get a job done. Bank holidays provide a great opportunity to get stuck in and make a few small changes, so I’m excited to finally be able to reveal the results of my ‘Make an entrance’ door makeover with B&Q! With a smart new door, fresh lick of paint, sparkling door furniture and a couple of plants, we’ve transformed it I think literally from drab to fab. Previously tired and run-down, our entrance is now smart and refreshed. There’s still a few little finishing touches to complete, such as removing the old porch door and installing a new piece of glass above the front door with a number on it, but it’s looking oh so much better already. And finally in that shade of colour I love so much – grey! Do you remember the before? It was a pretty uninspiring …

Travel Guide: A design-packed weekend in Copenhagen

Travel Guide: A design-packed weekend in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is certainly one of the most stylish of the Scandinavian cities but it’s not bragging about it or singing it’s own praises. It’s a relaxed, down-to-earth place, with effortlessly well-dressed Danes casually cycling past, bustling cafes spilling out onto the tranquil waterfronts and smart design shops waiting to be explored. Copenhagen ranks high in surveys of quality of life, and it’s not hard to see why the Danes have it so good – that magic formula of good city planning, lively culture, tasty cuisine and a strong emphasis on community. It may have been because it was the summer when I visited in August, but people weren’t rushing about like in London; everyone seemed to be in a calm, quietly content mood, slowly going about their business. The sun was shining and Copenhagen was soaking it up. Copenhagen is a city built on decades of design heritage and culture – from mid-century icons such as Finn Juhl and Arne Jacobsen paving the way, to young contemporary designers like Muuto and Ferm Living making their mark on the city, and indeed the design world, today. …