Month: February 2017

cate st hill IKEA kitchen makeover before and after

My IKEA kitchen makeover – the transformation

It’s a very exciting day, for I can finally reveal my kitchen makeover! It’s been a huge transformation and I’ve been beavering away behind the scenes, bringing it to life with IKEA. When we moved into our new house and found ourselves with this terribly vibrant, yellow kitchen, which was dark, dingy and unwelcoming to be in, I knew straight away that I wanted the complete opposite – a light, airy room that would be the sociable heart of the house. At the same time, IKEA were promoting the idea that ‘when we cook together, we make more than just food’. The concept that the kitchen is not just a purely functional space for feeding ourselves, but a space for ‘happy household togetherness’, whether it’s gathering your nearest and dearest and using every spare chair available, celebrating those wonderful everyday moments or connecting over long, lazy lunches. It’s a philosophy which really chimes with my own, and having had an IKEA kitchen before and been really happy with it, there was only one brand I wanted to turn …

Fredericia's new rooftop showroom in Copenhagen - light spaces - minimal design - mid-century furniture design - loft-style living

Fredericia’s new rooftop showroom in Copenhagen

The other week, following a trip to Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, I also headed to Copenhagen for a quick, whistle-stop stay. I’d already seen the new launches and furniture designs of Danish company Fredericia in Stockholm, but I was keen to check out its brand new rooftop showroom in the heart of central Copenhagen. Housed at the top of the historic Royal Mail House, a stone’s throw from the city’s famous Rundetaarn, the 1,100 sq m space spreads out across two spacious floors. It’s open from Monday to Friday and by appointment. The vast, loft-style space doubles up as a place to portray the brand’s story and a working office for the company’s growing team. It is a living showroom, with creative workspaces, a gallery for changing exhibitions and space for events. Fredericia was established in 1911 as Fredericia Stolefabrik (Fredericia Chair Factory) by entrepreneur N. P. Ravnsø. The company was named after the small Danish town of Fredericia, on the eastern edge of the Jutland peninsula, which played host to the Nordic International Furniture Exhibition from 1910 to the Eighties. Employing the most skilled craftsmen, …

Wooden window shutters from Hillarys - light living room inspiration - window treatments - scandi-style interiors

#cshhouserefurb: wooden window shutters from Hillarys

Bay windows are possibly the most difficult of windows to dress. Curtains never quite hang right, bunching up in the two corners where the window panes meet (not to mention the dilemma of short or long), blinds can look a little messy and often block off much of the top window, while translucent films can bubble and start to peel away at the corners. Window shutters might be just the answer – made to measure, they fit neatly into almost any size window, no matter how old and crooked, and offer flexibility in terms of light and privacy. If you saw my living room makeover in my previous post (here) you may have noticed that we didn’t have anything on the windows to begin with. On visits to Scandinavia I’ve been amazed how few homes have curtains, blinds or shutters – they think it’s mad that you would want to cover a window and prevent what little light there is coming in. Great for those who love to peer into peoples homes when they walk past …

New Sabi Leaves print by Norm Architects for Paper Collective - art prints - minimal design - monochrome art prints

New Sabi Leaves print series by Norm Architects

For a while now I’ve been looking for beautiful, minimal art prints to fill my bare walls and I think I might have found just the right thing. This new ‘Sabi Leaves’ series by Copenhagen-based practice Norm Architects for Paper Collective focuses in on the delicate detail of gently decaying leaves. Inspired by the beauty that can be found in nature’s little imperfections, the four prints highlight the leaf’s complex structure and it’s network of veined lines in minute detail. Rendered in a soft grey colour, the fragile leaves give the prints a sense of calm and tranquility. If it looks a little like zooming down a microscope, that’s because they were shot with the impressive, new XF 100 Phase One Camera, using a glass sheets to highlight the incredible amount of detail. Although they were captured on a solid surface, they suggest movement and grace, a moment captured in time before the leaf crumples and disintegrates. Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, partner at Norm Architects, explains the thoughts behind the prints series by rewording a paragraph from the book Wabi Sabi for …

minimal lighting - hallway ideas

Why we should all be switching over to LED lighting

I have always thought of LED lighting as those colourful, sticky strips of light that can be tacked under shelves or up stairs. That is until I was searching for lighting for my new kitchen. I wanted something minimal and bright to light up the units and worktop for cooking, and I assumed halogen spotlights were the way to go. But after a little bit of research I soon discovered that you could get the same effect with LEDs – bright, focused light with a warm and inviting colour in a multitude of shapes and designs. At first I was a little confused why you couldn’t change the built-in bulbs in the lighting track I had chosen – when I had halogen lights I was changing the bulbs every few months. Then I learnt, why would you need to change them, when they can last 20,000 hours, some 50,000 hours. That’s 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs and around 8 times longer than halogen. LEDs can last years, never mind months. Not only that, they’re far more energy efficient …

New minimal objects from Kristina Krogh - minimal design - art prints

New objects from Danish designer Kristina Krogh

Kristina Krogh is a hugely talented Danish designer and artist based in Copenhagen who creates minimal objects and prints for the home. Her work is characterised by graphic shapes, aesthetic lines, clean patterns and distinctly different textures. She has a fascination with the interaction between light and dark, colour and contrast, and the juxtaposition of materials. Artwork You might recognise some of Kristina’s gold foil calendars, but it is her art prints that caught my eye. Most of her limited-edition prints are printed on luxurious, heavy fine art paper using mineral-based archive inks. They have a lovely textured feel, with metallic foils catching the light. Ellipse, below, is made from a drawing Keogh made of thousands of little dots. It is inspired by the natural phenomenon ‘Sort sol’ or ‘Black sun’ that takes place on the marshlands of southwest Jutland in Denmark. Migrational starlings gather there in Spring and Autumn when they move between their winter grounds in southern Europe and other countries near the Baltic Sea. Sort sol takes place just after sunset when the birds fly …

Home tour - I wish I lived in this monochrome Swedish home

I wish I lived here: a monochrome Swedish home

I do love a home tour and good nosy in someone’s home. This monochrome Swedish home caught my eye on Pinterest for that beautiful dining table shot, with the painted white floors, striking Flos pendant light and Fritz Hansen Ant chairs. I love how dynamic the combination is, it’s almost as if the lights are having a little conversation with the chairs, they both have such character. The light grey walls and light floorboards are a little like what I’ve tried to create in my own living room. How I would love to cover my sofa in a soft, linen cover, I’ve seen this design everywhere and think it’s having something of a moment! For the moment, until I can afford a new cover, or even better a new sofa, I have a handful of linen cushions to try and recreate the look. The bedroom is kept beautifully calm with light grey walls and no artwork. A wire mesh pendant light makes a statement. It looks like a lovely, reflective space, with that big window letting in soft light. …