All posts filed under: top posts

John Pawson's Life House for Living Architecture - a holiday home designed for moments of calm and reflection

Travel: John Pawson’s Life House for Living Architecture

Back at the beginning of August, we escaped for three nights of peace and relaxation to the Life House – a simple, contemporary holiday home designed by the architect John Pawson for Living Architecture. It was unlike anywhere I had stayed before, a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, from which to rest, reinvigorate and restore, all in the stunning, picturesque setting of the Welsh countryside. Set up to promote modern architecture, Living Architecture commissions some of the best architects to design houses in some of the most beautiful locations in Britain, a winning formula right? You might have seen Grayson Perry and FAT’s jolly A House for Essex, or the precariously cantilevered Balancing Barn in Suffolk by MVRDV, or wondered what that peculiar looking boat is doing perched on top of the Southbank Centre. They’re all available to rent, making the perfect getaway whether you have an interest in architecture and an appreciation for meticulous design, would like to experience what it’s like to live, eat and sleep in a space designed by a top architectural practice …

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 …

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 …

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. …

Hans J. Wegner's original Wishbone chair, CH24, expertly crafted in Denmark by Carl Hansen & Søns

Your Home Needs This: Hans J. Wegner’s Wishbone Chair

This is one of those series I had good intentions for but that kinda fell by the wayside over the Spring and Summer. Well, not anymore! It’s back – ‘Your Home Needs This’ is all about profiling beautiful design objects and pieces of furniture that I feel everyone should have in their home. From Vitra’s handy toolbox and Alvar Aalto’s stackable stool to Saarinen’s tulip table and Thonet’s bentwood chairs, I want to look back at classics that are timeless regardless of passing trends. You know, those designs that are built to last, that you’ll pass down from generation to generation. And as with a lot of classics, they’ve been copied to death over the years, so I want to bring the focus back on the designer and give you a little back story about how they were created. This time it’s the turn of Hans J. Wegner’s CH24, otherwise known as the Wishbone Chair. Created for Carl Hansen & Son in 1950, the Wishbone Chair has a lovely, sculptural silhouette, with a sweeping, rounded …

A light, summer workspace with Design Letters

A light summer workspace with Design Letters & Friends

One of the good things I’ve found about moving is it allows you get a little bit organised with all the ‘stuff’ in your home – declutter, reflect and start afresh. We’ve been packing boxes and the place is an absolute tip, but it meant that I could throw away all the piles of papers and rubbish in my home office; pens which weren’t haven’t worked for years, magazines I’ve never read and keep the things I really want. I’ve still had to work in all this chaos, so when Copenhagen-based Design Letters & Friends approached me to style a summer workspace, I knew it was the perfect breath of fresh air I needed to still keep a bit of sanity and beauty around the place! Founded in 2009 by former journalist Mette Thomsen, Design Letters & Friends is well known for its bold, minimal collection of objects, many based around typography hand drawn in 1937 by the famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen. Having studied architecture, I’m a huge fan of the modernist Jacobsen – he’s up there with my ultimate faves along with Alvar …

catesthill - Lisbon travel guide

Travel Guide: a cultural weekend in Lisbon

Set over seven rolling hills with vast picturesque vistas, Lisbon is a truly beautiful city. Yellow trams chug up cobbled streets to lofty viewpoints or miradouros, ramshackle orange-roofed houses are painted in perfect pastel shades and clad in ornate patterned azulejo tiles, while sun-drenched terraces provide a welcome resting point along the way. Meandering through back alleys you’ll come across tiny wine bars playing local fado music, historic patisseries and boutiques with wood-panelled cabinets that have remained unchanged for a 100 years, next to shabby-chic shops and bold, colourful graffitied walls. Lisbon’s a bit rough around the edges, but it is charmingly so. I had never been to Portugal but Lisbon had long been on my wishlist to visit. So, when my boyfriend turned the big 3-0 and I wanted to whisk him off for his birthday weekend to somewhere sunny and warm, but not too far away, it seemed like the perfect place to explore, enjoy and indulge ourselves. We’d had quite a stressful few weeks so a couple of days email-free in a pretty city with nothing to do but let …

Better Sleep with a Leesa mattress

Better Sleep with a Leesa mattress

I’ve written about my quest for a good night’s sleep before but I’ve always focused on the routine of bedtime – meditation techniques, relaxing scents and calming baths, I’ve tried it all – not the actual apparatus. With deadlines, juggling too many things at once and being constantly switched on, I’ve become used to the occasional, horrible sleepless night with a mind endlessly whirring. So, in search of the perfect night’s sleep, I’m willing to give anything a go, and where better to start than with what you sleep on. If you get the foundations right, the rest will follow right? That’s where Leesa, a US mattress brand recently expanded to the UK, steps in. On a mission to help people sleep better, Leesa creates foam mattresses that can be bought online and delivered straight to your door in one compact box, without you having to move a muscle (except maybe a few clicks of a button). Set up by David Wolfe after years of trouble sleeping and awkward experiences in mattress showrooms, Leesa offers a very different kind of …

Home is better with U, making a house a home with Urbanara

Home is better with U, with Urbanara

What makes a house a home? I’ve often found myself wondering over this question during the course of writing my blog. For me, an interior is more than just a statement or pretty display frozen in time, they’re places that should be designed around how we live not just how we want it to look. In my mind, to make a house a home you need to concentrate on how a space feels to be in. A home is a space full of life in all its mess, full of things that tell your story and people to share it with. I recently saw an exhibition on the American designer Alexander Girard at the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, he designed interiors as stage sets for everyday living; he saw them as constantly changing works in progress that could adapt and grow over time. Unusually for a designer, he would keep in touch with clients for 10, 20, 30 years after a project, advising them on small changes and even helping to swap round the colour of the cushions every season. …

Finding the perfect rug

Finding the perfect rug

I’ve talked about my new found love of dark colours and moving away from my safe space of white walls (here and here) but we’re moving house soon, so as much as I’d like to get my hands on a new decorating project, I’ll just have to wait. That hasn’t stopped me putting a little TLC into our home and ‘nesting’ as I like to call it; creating a warm, cosy space until we find a new place to live and I can get out the paint brushes. I’m also making small, little changes to tidy up our home and make it more inviting to potential buyers. So welcome to my new addition, this dreamy, deep, dark grey and navy blue rug by Esprit from Modern Rugs. It’s my nod to the trend at the moment for dark walls and moody colours. It somehow grounds the sofa area, picking up on the dark shades of the cushions and the dusky blue of the art print, to create a cosy nook of thick textures. From the soft linen of the …