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Fredericia furniture: The Modern Originals of tomorrow

Fredericia furniture: The Modern Originals of tomorrow

I’ve introduced the Danish design brand Fredericia before on the blog, when I visited their beautiful, light-filled showroom in Copenhagen. Today I am excited to delve a little deeper into their furniture collection and show you some of their designs styled in my own London home. Fredericia was founded in 1911 and named after the small Danish town of Fredericia, on the eastern edge of the Jutland peninsula. It has always been a family owned and managed company, from its modest beginnings as an upholstery workshop to its role in the emergence of Danish modernism led by designer Børge Mogensen in the 1950s. Today, it is a key player in the international design scene, collaborating with a host of respected designers, such as Jasper Morrison, Space Copenhagen, GamFratesi and Geckeler Michels. The brand strives to create what it terms ‘The Modern Originals’ – high quality, timeless pieces of furniture that are built to last and become even more beautiful over time. In-house designer Børge Mogensen had a philosophy for furniture that was ‘unpretentious, pure and honest’, and that message has stuck with Fredericia. Their designs are finely crafted armchairs that …

Muuto 70/70 table in green - modern Scandinavian design dining table - plants in the home

My Muuto 70/70 table – modern Scandinavian design dining table

When I revealed my kitchen makeover, I didn’t say much about my dining table, the focus was much more on the transformation of the space and the design of the kitchen units. But, the table is so beautiful and I’m so pleased with it, I thought it deserved a post of its own. Now many of you who have read this blog a while or even a little, may well know by now how much I like to stay in my familiar comfort zone of white walls and soft, light – mostly grey – colours. It’s an approach I’ve tried and tested and feel the happiest with – using neutral backdrops and adding interest and texture with furniture, rugs, artwork and plants. But, with grey kitchen units, light grey walls and painted white floorboards in the kitchen, I wanted something a little different to my usual choice for my dining table. I didn’t want more grey, or something black and heavy, nor something white that would visually fade away into the space. So I went for green! It’s not …

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 …

before and after living room makeover - light grey walls - painted white floors

My living room makeover – painted white floors and light grey walls

It’s been a long time since I shared the first photos of our new house in south London. It hasn’t been the smoothest of renovations (nightmare builders, endless delays) so I’ve been reluctant to share much of the progress, because for a while there wasn’t any! But, just before Christmas the builders were finally out of our hair and we could get on with the decorating and making it home. I’m so excited then to reveal the first of the spaces to be finished – the living room. After the builders had painted the ceilings and whitewashed the walls, it didn’t take long to put the final coat of paint on and see a real difference. I spent the days in-between Christmas and New Year painting the original floorboards white and after leaving it to dry and cure for a few days, with a new month and new year, we were ready to move our furniture back in and put all the finishing touches in. There’s still a few bits be done, and it’s still a work in progress, but …

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, …

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, …

Travel guide, a design packed weekend in Antwerp

Travel Guide: a design-packed bloggers tour of Antwerp

When you think of the design capitals of Europe, cities such as London, Paris, Milan and Stockholm might spring to mind. But, there’s another city out there that should be on that list, the slightly more under the radar Belgian city of Antwerp – a Flemish jewel with an emerging design scene that’s giving others a run for their money. With a strong artisanal heritage and cultural legacy, from the 17th century paintings of Rubens and Van Dyck, through the thriving, polished world of the diamond industry, to its cult status in the fashion world with Belgian fashion royalty Dries van Noten, the merchant city Antwerp has developed into a super stylish cosmopolitan centre. Today, young, emerging Belgian designers are putting their stamp on the city, while contemporary concept stores and gastronomical delights are attracting visitors from across the world. There’s certainly more to the city than frites and beer, there’s culture galore, art and architecture, and design by the bucket load, untapped and waiting to be discovered. In October I visited the city as part of a …

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 …

#thesimpleeveryday - a hashtag on Instagram

#thesimpleeveryday round-up – October 2016

I’m very excited to say that I’m off to Australia for three weeks for a much-needed holiday and dose of vitamin D! There’ll still be a few posts going live on here while I’m away, but I thought I’d leave you with some of my favourite picks from #thesimpleeveryday hashtag on Instagram. The hashtag has now been going for two months (you can see my favourites from September here) and we’re nearly up to 500 images! I love checking the feed each day, being surprised and inspired by the delights it holds. I’ve discovered new accounts I didn’t follow before, gained new perspectives of everyday moments and got to see a little of the world through other people’s very imaginative eyes. This month, as the days have been getting colder and the evenings darker, there’s definitely been an autumnal feed to the images. Just looking at them makes me want to curl up on a cosy sheepskin rug, put the candles on and sip a steaming mug of hot coffee, gazing out at the wind …