Monthly Archives: December 2011

Ho Ho Ho!

It’s time for us at The Design Hub to go home for the festive season. We will be back early in the New Year with the latest news from the world of interior design and everything in between. So all that’s left to say is:

“We wish a very Merry Christmas to all our followers over the last year and everyone who has re-blogged us, tweeted about us or recommended us with good old fashioned word of mouth.”

 See you in the new year!

 

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The future’s bright

The LED lights hanging around your Christmas tree will be lighting your home this time next year as incandescent bulbs will cease to be sold in shops from September. You might be as surprised that it was back in 2007 that the UK government announced it was phasing out the sale of filament burning bulbs in favour of more energy-efficient technology.

CFL’s have now become the standard replacement bulb over the last four years. The technology behind them has improved in terms of size, shape, colour and brightness, although you still mostly only find three designs in the shops: Radiator, the Ice Cream Whip and the Tungsten-esc types. However thanks to innovative british designers like Simon Wilkinson our options are getting better.

Called Plumen lightbulbs (a combination of a birds fancy plummage and lumens; the measurement of light), they recently won the Brit Insurance Design of the year award. Available through London-based design brand Hulger, you wouldn’t want to hide these under a light shade as you can see from the pictures.

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LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are the new kids on the block. Typically used in electronic equipment as a little red light to tell you when something is switched on, they have advanced significantly over recent years and are now commonly used in torches and bike lights and increasingly, home light fittings.

A recent field trial of LED light fittings in social housing shows the new technology can deliver huge energy savings, reduce costs and makes residents feel safer. The study, carried out by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), measured the performance of more than 4,250 LED light fittings installed at 35 sites.

LED light bulbs with standard fittings are being developed and will soon be available in the shops and it is predicted that the technology could dominate the commercial lighting market by 2015.

One of the other main advantages to LED lighting is that they can easily change colour without the need for filters, opening up a whole range innovative uses  in interior and exterior design projects.  

Next years industry shows such as The Arc Show and Interiors UK will have a heavy focus on LED lighting. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the shows yourself, we’ll be reporting on them here at The Design Hub.

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Riding on the Crest(tron) of a technological wave

Technology is meant to make life easier, it promises us so much but rarely seems to be able to deliver, at least in way a that doesn’t involve swearing at machines that can’t talk back, although rather worryingly, with the new Iphone, they can.

In the average home these days people tend to have a combination of Computer, HD TV, Music Stereo, Surround Sound, Blueray player, Playstation/Xbox, Tablet PC and Smart Phone; most homes also have more than one TV. When designing a new interior how much of this technology is taken into consideration? Perhaps the placing of the flat screen TV’s, but the rest will usually have to fit in around the existing design, which sounds like lots of wires and lots of swearing to me.

Don’t you just wish there was some clever technology that could tidy up all the wires, hide all the black boxes and make every bit of tech in a home work as its supposed to? Then let me introduce you to Crestron *Cue Fanfares*.

If what famous Sci-Fi author, Isaac Asimov, once said is anything to go by, that  “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic“, then Crestron surely are the Wizards of our time. They develop, manufacture and install technological ‘wands’ that can automatically control every aspect of a building.

If you lived in a home where Crestron had done their ‘magic’ you could access all of your music, movies, games, lighting, heating, security cameras and even kettles though one touchscreen device, including your own Ipad or Smart phone. Your ninety year old grand mother would be able to watch her soaps in the lounge with the lights low and the heating high, and your nine year old son could play his video games in his room, while you danced around the kitchen to your favorite music, with no fuss and no wires.

The important thing to remember here is when you are working with a client, ask them about the technology they use, how they use it and how they would like it to work in the new home you are designing. Crestron are there to help Interior Designers to incorporate technology that not only ties current technology together, but also to future proof for how technology might be used down the line.

You can read all about and their products on Crestron’s website. They are a friendly bunch and if you are working with a client and need some advice they are happy to help.

They also have a brand new showroom in Leeds where you can go and see the huge range of possibilities that their technology offers. Our friends at the National Design Academy recently went and you can read all about the visit on their blog.

If you are working in interior design and need some advice about how to integrate audio visual solutions into a project, our friends at RSAV solutions are specialists in the this sort of thing and are more than happy to help. So don’t be shy, they won’t charge you for a chat;  drop Rob a line at rob@rsavsolutions.com

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Dedicated follower of fashion

At The Design Hub we like Sir Paul Smith, and so do it seems, the British Fashion Council who recently  gave him the Outstanding Achievement Award at this years British Fashion Awards.

Sir Paul was honored because of his exceptional impact on global fashion, but his influence goes far beyond clothes. His talent for creating ‘classics with a twist’ (his words) permeates throughout many modern interiors and furniture.  I can think of two examples where his style is used in interior design; The Broadway Cinema in Nottingham has its own screen room designed by Paul Smith, and just around the corner from the National Design Academy are the Riverside Crescent apartments, where one apartment interior is based on Paul Smith’s style.

My point with this post is not to ‘big up’ Sir Mr Smith, rather to highlight that the fashion industry has a direct link to interior design trends.

Interior designer turned fashion designer, Kelly Wearstler, said: “So much of my influence in interior design comes from fashion, and everything relating to fashion, from jewelry, which can be reminiscent of sculpture, to the colors and silhouettes that I find in clothing.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its worth noting that many clothes designers turn to interiors as well, including Sir Paul Smith himself, who now has his own range of furniture and household items.

So it is worth keeping an eye on the latest fashion collections being released because it might just help you keep out in front with what the latest colour combinations, textures and shapes will be for your next ‘fashion conscious’ client.

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