All posts filed under: furniture

Menu furniture - Tailor sofa - minimal design - scandinavian interiors

Minimal designs from Menu’s SS17 collection

Expanding on their ‘Modernism Reimagined’ range from last year, Scandinavian design brand MENU has added new products to its collection for Spring/Summer 2017. Appealing to the minimalists among us, these carefully-considered, beautifully simple pieces are functional and designed to last. More and more I’m wanting to embrace the pared-back, minimal interior, living with less, and investing in well-designed objects that live beyond trends and fashions. It might mean a well-loved chair you pass from generation to generation or a set of glasses you always get out at special family occasions. I was once talking to a Danish sofa manufacturer and he said that in Scandinavia even sofas are often passed down over the years, and because they’re so well made, they may only need a little bit of reupholstering every generation. MENU’s new products, here, all show an almost obsessive attention to detail and an exploration of material and memory. There’s the beautifully crafted Tailor sofa inspired by the designer’s memories of his grandfather, a mirror that explores the history of our relationship with reflections, …

The making of Alvar Aalto's famous vase

Your Home Needs This: Alvar Aalto vase

My series ‘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. And this one is the perfect example – the Alvar Aalto vase, produced by Finnish glass manufacturer Iittala. If I had to name my favourite piece of design, ever, this would be it. It’s by my favourite architect and designer, Alvar Aalto, and it’s my favourite object at home. I love its soft, sinuous form that makes it truly unique – there’s nothing quite like filling it with flowers and enjoying its sculptural shape day after day. The Aalto vase has become a true classic in Scandinavian design, found in the homes of every Finn and in museum collections across the world. Compared to the highly decorative objects being made at the time the vase was first created, the organic shape of the vase was a revolutionary statement. Inspired by waves in water (Aalto means ‘wave’ in Finnish), it’s a simple design whose tactility appeals to the senses. It’s lost none of its allure …

Tidying those wires and creating an uncluttered home with Calligaris

Tidying those wires and creating an uncluttered home with Calligaris

With a fresh new month and new year, January is all about new beginnings, getting organised and rejuvenating your life and home. Just like with a Spring clean, it’s a great time of year to declutter, have a clear-out and re-evaluate the things you really need and can’t live without. I took the time between Christmas and New Year – days usually lost to lazy mornings, binge watching box sets and copious amounts of leftovers and chocolate – to get ahead with a bit of DIY. We’re so nearly there with the renovations. The floors in the living room and kitchen have been painted white (we got the walls done before Christmas), and after all the dust and builders it’s beginning to look fresh, bright and like somewhere you could actually live! The best bit about starting this new year is that we now have this lovely blank canvas to make our own. A clean, bare room. We can start afresh and take our time filling the space with our belongings, only adding the things we really need or love, …

Belgian design: the furniture of Ethnicraft

Belgian design: solid wood furniture from Ethnicraft

I don’t often feature Belgian design – those Scandinavians are always stealing the limelight in these parts – but there’s one furniture brand that I think should be on your radar. Introduced to me while on the Function & Form bloggers tour in Antwerp, Ethnicraft produces simple, functional furniture with a focus on timeless, contemporary design.  Established more than 20 years ago, Ethnicraft is based in the Belgian town of Boom, with workshops in Indonesia, Vietnam and Serbia. Popular across the world, their sustainable designs, from extendable oak tables through versatile walnut benches to vintage-looking teak sideboards, are sold in more than 50 countries. They like to call their furniture ‘Emorational’ – a word combining both the ’emotional’ and the ‘rational’. Made predominantly of ethically sourced wood, their simple designs aim to evoke a sense of emotion, through the warmth and tactility of solid wood. As they say: ‘We always work from what we firmly believe is the essence of good design: authenticity, simplicity and impeccable craftsmanship to create sustainable pieces full of character, made from …

Loyly, Helsinki by Joanna Laajisto

Designer focus: Joanna Laajisto Creative Studio, Helsinki

While I was trawling the Internet, namely Pinterest, for some of the best designed places to visit in Helsinki for my visit in December, I kept coming across the name of interior architect and designer Joanna Laajisto. Literally every cool little bar or contemporary restaurant I found had her name attached to it, so I was intrigued to find out more about her creative studio, and more importantly hop on to her projects, stat. I recognised some of her interiors from across social media and various blogs, but didn’t realise she had designed quite so many beautiful design spots in Helsinki. Laajisto began her career in the West Coast of the United States. She worked for international architecture practice Gensler in Los Angeles designing large-scale commercial projects, and even travelled the world as a professional snowboarder, before settling back down in her native Finland and setting up Joanne Laajisto Creative Studio. Her work is characterised by a focus on functionality and aesthetics, elegantly combining a neutral palette of tactile, natural materials – lots of wood, …

Norm Architects new bathroom collection for Inbani

Norm Architects’ new bathroom collection for Inbani

Copenhagen-based Norm Architects has designed a new bathroom suite for Spanish brand Inbani, and it’s everything you would expect from the multidisciplinary design studio celebrated for its clean, pared-back, minimal designs. With a focus on quality, durability and timelessness, Norm Architects’ work draws inspiration from traditions and norms that have been refined for centuries within the fields of design, architecture and aesthetics. This new range, entitled ‘Prime’, is no exception (or should I say a prime example – get it?). Minimal and simple in form, the two white bathtubs and sink that comprise the collection are contemporary interpretations of the traditional antique roll-top baths that have become the centrepiece of the smart, stylish bathroom. The soft, rounded shape of the pieces is inspired by the way the pressure of water shapes and expands an elastic material, like filling a water balloon. They say: ‘This natural and recognisable shape of the designs along with the soft rolled edge makes the pieces extraordinarily appealing to the human eye, as well as inviting, familiar and modern at the …

St Vincents concept store, Antwerp

Travel: st. vincents concept store, Antwerp

So earlier in the month I shared the first instalment on the bloggers tour I attended with Function & Form in Antwerp (you can see it here if you missed it). Masterminded by fellow bloggers – interior stylist Tiffany Grant-Riley and graphic designer Annie Kruse – we spent a lovely weekend in October exploring all things design in the Belgian city. A slightly under-the-radar European city in terms of design, Antwerp has a bounty of boutique concept stores, beautifully curated design shops and independent coffee shops waiting to be discovered. One such gem is the concept store st. vincents, which we were all cooing over. And if it hadn’t been for the fact it was our last day and we all had trains and planes to catch I think we would have moved in. It has something for everyone, whether you’re an interior and antiques magpie, a fashion lover, or whether you simply want to while away an hour or two over a good coffee or tea in this beautiful, raw but contemporary setting. Visitors are actively encouraged to linger and enjoy …

+Halle by Form Us With Love

On my radar: new furniture finds for November

Hello… I’m back from three weeks in Australia! And the blog now deserves a little love. I tried to make a conscious effort to disconnect from the web (bar the odd instagram post of course…) and not check my emails everyday. I hadn’t had a proper holiday in ages, and with all the stresses of the renovation, I really needed a break. We’re all constantly sharing and connected that sometimes it’s good to take a step back, take stock and revaluate what it is we’re doing. I hope I can now come back to the blog refreshed, ready to give you some lovely, fresh content. It’s also meant that on my return there was lots of new design and furniture finds sitting in my inbox waiting to be shared with you! So, I thought I’d share one of my ‘On the Radar’ posts with four new minimal product launches to watch out for. Enjoy… Dowel Jones Dowel Jones is a young design studio set up in 2013 by Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch in Melbourne, Australia. Funny that …

Muller van Severen lamps - Galerie Valerie Traan

valerie_objects / Gallery Valerie Traan, Antwerp

If you’ve been following me on social media at all you might have seen that I went on a Bloggers Tour of Antwerp with Function & Form and eight lovely blogger pals. Set up by fellow bloggers – interior stylist Tiffany Grant-Riley and graphic designer Annie Kruse – Function & Form is a community of like-minded individuals who all share a love for interiors and handcrafted design. This was the first outing abroad to explore all things design, meeting designers and delving deeper into their process, touring furniture factories and getting a peek behind the scenes, and visiting design-led concept stores and galleries. One of the highlights of the tour was Gallery Valerie Traan, an art gallery founded by Veerle Wenes. The modern, white interior, designed by Belgian practice LENS°ASS architecten, is split onto different levels and connected by a wide, black staircase. The light space looks onto two courtyards and connects fluidly to Wenes own home, housed in an adjacent old convent. In fact, you don’t know where art gallery stops and home begins, both …

vipp-artdirector-dinningroom03

On my radar: new finds for the home

This week’s ‘On my radar’ home inspiration post combines eye-catching marbled wallpaper, sleek minimalist dining tables and simple, soft minimal home accessories. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re daring with your pattern, love a classic, timeless design or simply have an unhealthy appetite for buying ceramics (like me!)… Marbled wallpaper by Murals Wallpaper I’m not usually one for pattern or colour but these softly hued marbled wallpapers have caught my eye. Paper marbling dates back to the twelfth century, when artisans used absorbent papers and ink to recreate the finely veined patterns of smooth marble and stone. Designed and sold by Murals Wallpaper, these intricate, hypnotising designs use photography and modern digital printing to blow up the paint effects of marbling onto wallpaper. Use as a feature wall to add instant impact to a room, or wrap around a whole space if you’re brave enough… All prints are custom-sized, made-to-order and priced at £25.00 per square metre. Vipp dining table in two sizes Available in two sizes, Vipp’s new minimalist dining table is designed to withstand …