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We catch up with the lovely Architect and Presenter George Clarke

In between getting ready for the début of his new show “Empty Homes” , filming the next two series of “Restoration Man” and launching his new business George Clarke + Partners,  he managed to squeeze half an hour out of his day today to speak to The Design Hub’s Editor and PR Executive for the National Design Academy, Kellie Hill!

Discover George’s top tips and advice when re-vamping your home, his golden rules for life and what qualities he looks for in an interview. Continue reading

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Filed under George Clarke, Grand Designs Live, Interviews, News

Design of the Day – Cheeky 50’s pin-up cushions from Crumpet and Skirt

I just adore these retro pin-up girl cushions created by Crumpet & Skirt designer Elizabeth Pinnock. Based in London, Elizabeth turned to creating high quality vintage products after her dreams of becoming a Hollywood actress didn’t take off. I think her saucy designs have definitely taken off in my books!

The naughty expressions of the models and 1950’s style would add a cheeky lift  to any chic pad and certainly catch a guests attention. She’s also designed a range of mugs, greeting cards, tea towels and seduced Gok Wan who used her cushions for his Clothes Road Show program earlier this year.

Crumpet & Skirt designs are available in many shops and online so you won’t have a problem trying to snatch a few. You can buy the cushions for around £37 on Brighton POD who are amazing.

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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, chic, Crumpet & Skirt, Home Acessories, Living room Interiors, News, Quirky, Soft Furnishings, upholstery

Design of the Day – Inject some life into a room with these funky 3D cushions

Rebecca Barton’s cushions instantly caught my eye with their bright array of colours and 3D like designs. What’s even more attractive about Rebecca’s pieces is they’re all bespoke and made to order from a small studio in Kent, using fabrics based in England and based on a strong ethical ethos.You can even specify colours, size and delivery time if you wish!

All the cushions are made from quality natural materials such as linen, silk, wool felt and cotton. There are different styles that you can choose from (which would look fab in any room),  from contemporary and floral, to plain and wood grain, you’re spoiled for choice.

As a mum of three I don’t know how she fits in the time to create such wonderful cushions. If you’re as much in love with Rebecca’s designs as I am, you can order from her website www.cushlab.co.uk or through Brighton POD, (which I’m addicted too!)

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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, Cushlab, Home Acessories, homeware, News, Quirky, Soft Furnishings, upholstery

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

Design of the Day – The extraordinary Suitcase Chair

Interior Designers across the world are now firmly on the eco-friendly bandwagon and pushing their designs to new environmentally savvy heights. One designer from South Africa has demonstrated how old vintage suitcases can be transformed into chairs! Katie Thompson graduated from Design Time School of Interior Design in Cape Town with the aim to make the ordinary rather extraordinary.

The “Suitcase Chair” is my favorite of Katie’s designs, I just adore it’s quirkyness and the white linen set against the pale blue case gives this piece a beautiful and delicate personality. Also, the clever recycling of what can be seen as “junk” is a fantastic example to their designers wanting to be more forward thinking.

The chair has a steel reinforced internal structure with the body is covered in 100% white linen, with the buttons draped in floral Liberty fabric. I’m not sure how much this piece is, but going by her other designs which sell from £600 upwards, my guess is that it’s not going to be cheap, but neither is quality.

 

Image source: interiordesignsense.com

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Filed under Katie Thompson, News, Quirky, Soft Furnishings, Suitcase Chair, sustainable interiors, Up-cycling, upholstery

Update!

Hello folks, I hope your weekend was lush! Just a quick note, I’m currently editing a micro documentary so am rather intensely trying to get it looking great so I can return back to blogging. I appreciate your patience and there is a wealth of articles video’s, event reviews and loads more to keep you occupied.

Kellie Hill

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Design of the Day – Exposed industrial coat rack

A website called Brighton POD was brought to my attention by a colleague today and what a whimsical site it is! Full of eclectic and individually handmade pieces from up and coming designers. What I like about this site is how it acts as a propeller for new designers to showcase their work and also how buyers can contact the seller direct through the website which saves you trawling the internet for their email. To top that, buyers get a 14 day money back guarantee if they’re not happy with a purchase!

Inspired by the exposed piping in industrial buildings, Nick Fraser has created a coat rack which is made from copper pipes and brass fittings that are powder coated in bright colours. This design looks striking on the white wall and almost appears to be  part of a whole system hidden behind the wall. I love the impact this coat rack creates, it’s an instant eye-catcher.

You can buy this or any other of Nick Fraser’s coat racks from Brighton POD, this one will cost you £78 which I think is a bargain for such an origional piece.

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Filed under Art, modern design, News, Quirky, sustainable interiors

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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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, Coleen and Eric, Hold on Tight shelf, Kitchen Interiors, Living room Interiors, modern design, Quirky

Design of the day – 1940’s kitsch from 27Palm

After the glorious second long weekend we’ve had, I can feel the mood is rather low, so to cheer you up here’s a quirky and delightful Design of the Day. Designed by 27Palm, these fabulous retro pillow cases are kitsch, camp and colourful!

You can choose from different styles; rock n’ roll, cowboy, cow girl, lumber jack, fireman and more to spruce up your pad. Made of 100 % cotton front plain black backing, the cases fit a standard pillow 30cm x 30cm and are available from lifestylebazaar for £19.95.

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Filed under 27Palm, Bedroom Interiors, Kitsch pillowcases, Quirky, Soft Furnishings

Design of the Day – KOKET Mandi stool

 

Juan di Santo commented on a recent post and brought the KOKET brand to my attention. I just love the elegance and simplicity of the designs, it’s right up my street!  The brand was created by New York born Creative Director Janet Morais, who wanted to inspire designers and push their creativity. She manages a team of super skilled artisans and jewellers who’s skills are impeccable. The pieces are manufactured in Portugal and available to buy through Interior Designers.

I’ve chosen KOKETS’  “Mandi Demi-Lune” stool simply for its beauty and striking gold turrets. This piece is designed to connote a cuff  that a  women would wear as a piece of jewellery around her wrist. 

The base is made from stainless steel and the turrets from brass, the seat itself is low pile black velvet.  The stool is 45 cm high and 53 cm wide and comes in black and gold or black and silver. Thank you Juan for telling me about KOKET their designs are exquisite.

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Filed under KOKET, Mandi Demi Lune stool, News