Category Archives: Kitchen Interiors

The download from Decorex 2011

This years Decorex event was again spectacular. Set in the grounds of the picturesque Royal Chelsea Hospital and housing some of the globe’s most exquisite interiors, luxury fabric stalls and future trend setters.

The marquee was bustling with designers, suppliers and business folk perusing each stand for something to take their fancy.

One area that certainly took the biscuit was the entrance. Designed by legendary British Interior Designer Nicky Haslam, the space was made to resemble a serene underwater bedroom and study.

Nicky Haslam

Dainty 3D flowers lined the walls, silver silk and velvet fabrics draped over the bed which was set inside a giant oyster shell, positioned in between two large statues. The floors were scattered with sea shells and a vintage film was projected behind the desk accompanied by soft Jazz music.

As a Decorex Blogger runner up, I was invited by Decorex to be involved in a special tweet-up gathering at the event where I met fellow bloggers from the design world and those involved in Blogtour2011 who had travelled over from America.

Just before the tweet-up was about to start, all the bloggers had the rare opportunity to meet Nicky Haslam himself in the Press Room and engage in a short question and answer session.

He sat with everyone for around half an hour sharing his experiences, design tips and advice. The group were hooked and I could see the severe disappointment in their faces when the time came for him to go. But not before a few pictures of course!

Then it was up and onwards to the tweet-up which was a huge success. It was fantastic to converse with other bloggers and be able to exchange tips and experiences. Although, I did have an embarrassing moment when I was asked what my “Twitter handle” was and I replied with, “sorry what’s that?”. So, I’m not as techi savvy as I thought, but on the upside I’ve learned a number of new tricks and terms from the bloggers across the pond. Thank you guys!

Among the top designs of the day for me, were a collection of stunning circle lights made by French company Le Deun Luminaires. The thin handmade lights are made from energy efficient LED’s which last for over 800,000 hours and don’t get hot whilst turned on. Believe me I tested them!

Another great find I know will be popular with the boys, is Billiard Room Ltd. They had two rather exciting tables on show at the event. One which looked like it had been beamed down from space, with it’s hollow centre, sleek white outer shell and bright orange felt lining. The other, lay on top of a metal grille base with neon blue lights fitted underneath and a steel brushed border along the table top. I hear footballers running!

There are of course many more exciting designs that I’d love to include but would simply spoil it for those who will be trotting along later this week. And for those keen bloggers out there look out for Decor8′s Holly Becker today, she’ll be giving a seminar called “Blogging your way for Designers”, I’m deeply upset that I can’t make it to see her but if anyone can fill me in please

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Wilkinsons comission rising textile design star

She’s fast becoming the hottest textile designer currently on the design scene. Laura Olivia’s vibrant colour palette and feminine prints have caught the eye of Guru’s such as Jethro Macey and now retail giants Wilkinson’s.Laura was spotted by Wilkinson’s at the popular New Designers event in London earlier this year, where she was chosen to feature in the “One Year On” exhibition. The brand was so impressed with her work, they asked Laura to cook up some fresh designs for new a stationary range.

Laura told The Design Hub, “they were clearly impressed with my work and we had a conversation about future opportunities. A while after the show they asked for some examples of work to figure out which projects they would like to work with me on and then came back to me with a brief to submit some initial ideas. They really liked my artwork and so I secured this amazing project!”

Orchid - Laura Olivia New Collection

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NDA National Design Award shortlist – Karen Lane

 

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, Kitchen Interiors, Living room Interiors, NDA National Design Award 2011, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

NDA National Design Award shortlist – Julian Potts

 

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, Kitchen Interiors, Living room Interiors, NDA National Design Award 2011, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

A treasure trove of design gems at New Designers 2011

Well I’ve made it back from the New Designers Show 2011 part 2 which is being held in London’s Business  Design Centre, feeling shattered after two whole days of intense interviews and general press duties – but well worth it! I’ve come away totally inspired and have huge admiration for design students everywhere.

The level of work was exceptional, from furniture to textiles and product designs to Interiors, if I was a robot I’d definitely have a design overload!

Firstly I’d like to say CONGRATULATIONS to all the New Designers 2011 winners, they’ve worked so hard to gain recognition from the UK’s freshest student design event and of course their peers.

Here are some of my favourites and the names of the other winners can be found on the New Designers Website.

Luke Diaz Habitat Innovation Winner - Bucks New University

Judges thoughts: “We admired his innovative construction and use of material. We enjoyed his overall charm, warmth and character. The low storage with woven sliding doors is a product with soul.”

Oksana Akishyna - Interior Design Association Winner AIU London

Judges thoughts: “Oksana’s portfolio showed refreshing clarity and at times mesmerising presentation that was refined and at a professional standard.”

Northumbria University - Best Stand Award

Judges thoughts: “Northumbria have a huge variety of inspirational products on display. The graduates have made clever use of recycled materials-creating a highly polished and professional presentation.”

Brinley Clark - Business Designer of the Year winner University of Hertfordshire

Judges thoughts: “Brinley has got design in his bones. Passionate, inspiring and intelligent, with a wicked  streak of humour. His pigeon project is ‘shit’ – go and find out more!”

The event was split into three floors and then sub divided into specific design sections so it was easy to make your way around. Although, it wasn’t easy walking around each section without stopping to look every few steps and swooning over another fantastic design.

The One Year On section, curated by award winning designer Jethro Macey, showcased 50 specially selected designers who’ve set up a business in the last 12 months. In this wonderful room, I came across Imogen Heath who launched her first ever collection at the show. Her mid-century patterned wallpaper and fabrics instantly dragged me in. Imogen was just as colourful and sweet as her designs which are inspired by her love of geometric composition, art deco and contemporary art.

If you’re just as head over heals in love with Imogen’s designs as I am, you can bag a cushion from £48 – £55 and wallpaper for £100

As I  was interviewing Imogen, just opposite us a group of talented artists and illustrators under the name of Secret Wars, were doing a live graffiti demonstration on their white stand. Their creative flair attracted the attention of lots of visitors who stared in amazement at how effortlessly they drew – I couldn’t take my eyes off them!

After, finally pulling myself away from the One Year On section, I had a good gander on the first floor and came across a product which The Design Hub had already featured as a Design of the Day – the Tweetingseat. Created by Product Designer Chris McNicholl, who’s recently graduated from the University of Dundee in Product Design, the Tweetingseat has caused a huge stir.

The seat takes reality and combines it with the virtual world by taking pictures of anyone sat on the seat and uploading the image to a live Twitter feed. This is done by one camera in the shape of the blue Twitter bird which can be mounted above the seat and another camera inside the seat that takes an image of anyone standing in front. So in the end you get two images uploaded to Twitter – genius!

Chris McNicholl speaking to Kellie Hill

As well as the tweeting seat causing a buzz with social media lovers, some feel this idea of sharing images on Twitter of people unaware they have been papped is unethical. When asked, Chris told me he welcomes the debate and encourages it. Listen to Chris’ interview!

Innovative furniture makers

The level of talent and skill shown by the students at New Designers was breathtaking and one designer rom Plymouth University certainly took the biscuit. Michael Carroll had created a chair without using glue or nails.

Named “Tankard“, this chair is held together with…. well you’ll have to watch his interview to find out!

The young furniture maker also made a table using metal bars which resemble the shape of a mouse trap.

Another talented chap, Luke Diaz from Bucks New University, won the New Designers 2011 Habitat Innovation Award for his Eco cabinet that he bound together with hemp twine. Like Micheal Carroll above,  he didn’t use a single nail or drop of glue. I see a trend developing here!

Diaz taught himself how to weave the twine and create the doors of the cabinet, which I think make it look beautifully organic and earthly. He also designed two stools, a smaller cabinet and hanging stand to complete his sustainable furniture range.

Interiors

We’ve all had to live in a boxy apartment or a ground floor flat that resembles a dungeon (like myself) when starting out on the career ladder.  Having to cook, sleep and shower in the same room is something which the majority of yuppie’s (young professionals) put up with until the day comes and a promotion lands on the table.

And if you’re like me and LOVE to decorate but also rent, it’s fair to say that the landlord wouldn’t be too happy at the next inspection to find two walls knocked out and the living room changed into a bedroom. Renting makes it near impossible to flex those creative fingers.

Well, I met young innovative Interior Designer, Henry Parker at New Designers 2011 and he has come to the rescue with a city apartment perfect for the hard-working yuppie’s, that want to make their flat into a home.

Adaptaflat is an apartment which is flexible, moveable and totally brilliant! These living spaces are the same size as a two bedroom flat but have maneuverable walls. Yes, you heard right, you can move the walls  in the apartment to suit your needs, lifestyle or make space for Saturday night’s party. Somebody PLEASE commission this!

How does it work? There are a series of custom made tracks on the ceiling of the apartment which the walls are connected to and this allows them to be moved in the desired place and clamped down when positioned. Want one? Then listen to Henry Parker’s interview with The Design Hub and learn more about this clever design or click HERE to go to his website.

 
 
 
 
 
Images: New Designers 2011, Imogen Heath, Kellie Hill

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Filed under Chris McNicholl, courses, distance learning, Eco-friendly, higher education, Home Acessories, Interviews, Kitchen Interiors, lighting, Living room Interiors, modern design, new career, New Designers 2011, News, Quirky, sustainable interiors, upholstery

Dear Interior Designer can you design the perfect home for me – I have Dementia?

Over 750,000 people in the UK suffer from Dementia and that figure is estimated to rocket to 1.5 million by 2051. The majority of people who are diagnosed with this horrific disease are over the age of 65, but there are around 16,000 under the age of 65 who have also developed Dementia.

This is ofcourse not taking into account friends and family who are left with the devasting effects of the disease, many of which struggle to cope with their loved ones changing behaviour.

Simple tasks like going to the toilet, cooking, cleaning and walking down the stairs can become a huge problem for Dementia sufferers and the place they call home is no longer a safe haven. As a result, we need to be more aware of how to create a safe and homely environment for a sufferers that will meet their every need. One problem… in the UK there are no formal courses where people can train and gain qualifications for designing for Dementia, in comparison to the US who have already pulled their finger out and got a head start.

Alesha Churba from Idaho, USA,  is a Certified Aging Place Specialist (CAPS) and Interior Designer,  she has a wealth of knowledge in this field and helps others to understand the importance of knowing how to design for people who have specific needs, like Dementia. The Design Hub are delighted to have Alesha share her expertise with us and we know you will too. Continue reading

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What trend is sweeping the interior design world and getting everyone shouting?

It’s fantastic to see interior designers from all corners of the industry really thinking about sustainable design and showing people how they can re-use materials to create not only eclectic pieces to put inside a home or building, but taking a serious approach to their own carbon footprint. Pressure groups and political parties have shouted about eco-friendly living for years, so this new “eco-chic” or “up-cycling” trend which has swept the design world hasn’t just popped onto the scene from nowhere.  Bearing this in mind, I ask, why has it taken us so long to finally care about our surroundings and start to change our habits?

I’m sure some boffins out there have an intricate explanation, but from my point of view, attending shows such as Birmingham Interiors, Ideal Home Show and keeping track of what other bloggers, designers and tweeps are discussing, reveals one major point, people have far less to spend so are forced to make-do and mend.

I know many people and designers, who’ve jumped on the band wagon, using old wood from skips, battered doors, unwanted plastic bottles and vintage suitcases to re-create various pieces of furniture which look immense. Eco designer Sarah Turner, who I met at this years Birmingham Interiors Show, creates lights from used plastic bottles and Hendzel & Hunt who are behind the label “Made in Peckham”, also showcased at BIS, create wonderful rustic tables and chairs from wood and pallets discarded on the streets of Peckham. Watch the video below to see their designs!

Hendzel & Hunt

Sarah Turner

Sarah’s designs also featured in some of the show homes at this years Ideal Home Show at Earls court in London and it’s great to see young fresh talent really pushing through on the eco front, basing their designs around sustainability and setting a positive example.

This years Ideal Home Show followed suit and was heavily based around sustainable living from George Clarke’s Coronation Street eco-refit, that demonstrated how energy inefficient many of the UK’s homes are and how they can be improved, to Linda Barker’s eco-chic styling seminars. As well as interior design celebrities endorsing green living, other areas of the show also showed their support for green living. The stand for the Help for Heroes campaign at the event was kitted out with furniture made from various soldiers uniforms, buttons and hats which I thought was a lovely gesture.

The impact these shows have on people is huge, in one of her eco-chic seminars, Linder Barker showed spectators how to make a cake stand from old plates and glasses. I thought this was a fantastic idea and decided to make one myself and write a guide for others to do the same. To this day, one of the most popular searches I find on The Design Hub, is how to create a vintage cake stand! Okay it’s not on the same scale as investing in under floor heating or compressed insulation, but it’s still making a difference and tackling the “throw-away” culture which we’ve all been caught up in – thank you Linda!

Even Robin, the Finance Director at the National Design Academy, had a go at up-cycling and created a magnificent cupboard from bits of scrap. It didn’t cost him a penny and give him great satisfaction I’m sure, to know that he’d created something from nothing. Interior Designer Karen Lane, who’s based in the East Midlands, often gets old worn furniture from charity shops and restore’s them to sell on – check out her guide!

Which brings me to another important point, all this restoring and up-cycling is really benefitting our charity shops. I think my local one is sick of the sight of me, but I get a lot of pleasure making use of unwanted items and helping others at the same time, so it’s worth having a look to see what you can find.

Like South African designer Katie Thompson say’s, “make something ordinary, extraordinary”. (check out her Suitcase Chair’s they’re a great example of up-cycling)

In these hard economic times, people seem to be more open to all ideas thrown out there that can save money which could be the reason “eco-chic” and “up-cycling” and has taken off.  Those who have redecorated their home on a shoe string are leading the way with chic, rustic, recycled designs that all the home magazines have jumped on. If you want to achieve this look, it’s cheap and easy, just use your imagination and make use of interior design blogs/sites/forums to get inspiration, because they’re all shouting about it in one form or another.

Back to the point, this years biggest trend is sustainable living which like all trends has levels of expense, if you can afford a £2000 chair made from old t-shirts, great, it’s still an appreciation of the eco concept and keeping that designer in business, but if your more towards the make-do and mend end of the spectrum, you have a wealth of exciting and creative eco-friendly options to try. Whatever level, whatever design keep thinking green and you’re already bang on trend.

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, Birmingham Interiors Show 2011, Eco-friendly, George Clarke, Ideal Home Show 2011, Kitchen Interiors, lighting, Living room Interiors, News, Periord Ideas, Quirky, Sarah Turner, sustainable interiors, The Designers Block, Up-cycling, www.nda.ac.uk

Freelance textile designer Laura Olivia is making waves with her striking prints!

Laura Olivia, never dreamt that one day she’d be supplying her designs to manufacturers all over the world, as well as being selected by Jethro Macey for this years New Designers “One Year On” event in London.

Her colourful designs started off as watercolours, sketches and photographic images inspired by nature. Laura combines digital technology and embroidery to create bright, colourful designs, perfect to lift any mood. In an interview with The Design Hub, Laura talks about her journey from being a textile design student to now owning her own brand and how other people can go about starting their own business. Continue reading

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Design of the Day – The perfect bookself

Brooklyn designers Coleen and Eric, met whilst studying industrial design at Pratt Institute, New York and have created this fantastically simple yet brilliant book shelf. Fully customisable, the “Hold on Tight” shelf has an integrated book stopper which runs through the middle of the base and can be tightened to stay in place – genius!

You can even choose to have a beach, walnut or oak shelf as well as the colour of your block. The shelf is 41 inches long, 11 inches high and 8 inches deep.

All these years we’ve bought shoddy book ends which have little impact in stopping books flying off the end of the shelf (especially if your collection is rather vast) and we could have solved this problem with a simple design.

If your desperate to get you mitts on Coleen and Eric’s ingenious creation you can email colleen.whiteley@gmail.com for a price.

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Modern mid-century summer trend alert

Take note of the colour palettes below because these are the hottest new colours flying around the Interior Design world. A modern take on the Mid-century look is hot this summer with Farrow & Ball, Dulux , Graham & Brown, Little Greene and Lulu Guinness showcasing stunning interiors based on this style.

Image sources: Zoey Murphy, Joel Lee, Illustrated Living

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