Category Archives: Bathroom Interiors

Our Panasonic experience at Pinewood Studios

As the economy seems to falling back into decline and markets all over the world severely suffering, there is one sector which is lucky enough to have been given a recession-free pass. The technology industry is growing at a fast rate especially in parts of Asia and one brand, Panasonic has taken this opportunity to expand its “techi savvy” product range and sprinkle the UK with a bit of Japanese living star dust.

Based at the bustling Pinewood Studios in London, the Panasonic Experience Studio was set up 8 weeks ago to give businesses and people the chance to sample their latest range of retail screens, 3D televisions, interactive plasma’s and 2012 Olympics range.

The National Design Academy tutor team, Directors, NDA Private Clients Manager and of course myself (not wanting to miss out on anything exciting) made the trip to Panasonic’s studio to see first hand what all the fuss was about and how this latest technology would be stitched into the Interior Design industry.

As we made our way up to the studio, my camera was out and ready to get snappy happy and the group were becoming extremely excited to see what was in store. As soon as we stepped into the hallway before entering the studio, gasps and oooo’s were exhaled and a rush of bodies proceeded to the corner.

A brilliant sales tool on Panasonic’s part, they had cleverly placed a tall interactive screen in the corner of the room (above) that allowed a person to manoeuvre and manipulate what showed on screen – it reminded me of something from CSI Miami! In fact, this screen is similar to those which will be distributed around London during the 2012 Olympic games as information guides. Everyone was hooked by this point.

We were then ushered into the main studio which was nearly pitch black, except for spots of bright flickering screens lining the edges of the room. I was rather impressed with the trio of towering screens lacing the back wall, with what appeared to be the angels from the Lynx adverts trying to smash their way out of the screens.

The group were shown an rather impressive 103 inch plasma screen, fully interactive and used by Sky Sports presenters in the studio. This big boy has up to 6 points of contact, can use live feeds and uses infrared technology to follow contact, which means you don’t even have to touch the screen to use it! For roughly £50,000 smackers you could have one of these all to yourself!

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, James Pilling, Living room Interiors, modern design, News, Outdoor Living, Technology, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

NDA National Design Award shortlist – Katherine Charles

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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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Grace Moulder – NDA National Design Award 2011 winning submission

 

 

 

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

New Designers 2011 Gallery

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Filed under Art, BA in Interior Design, Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, higher education, homeware, lighting, modern design, new career, New Designers 2011, Quirky, Soft Furnishings, upholstery

Dragon’s Den survivor preaches the eco design gospel

After stumbling across “Annie” the shopping trolley chair, by contemporary Eco designer Max McMurdo, I just HAD to get in contact with his company reestore and find out more. Max’s approach to sustainable interiors is refreshing and oozes style. But it’s not only The Design Hub who’ve been wowed with his creations, he’s been nominated to be a judge for this years Observer newspaper Ethical Awards and attracted the interest of two business big shots… Continue reading

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, lighting, Max McCurdo, modern design, News, Quirky, Success Stories

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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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, Education, help & support, Kitchen Interiors, Living room Interiors

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 – Rectangular leaf light by Aline Johnson

Aline Johnson’s serene lighting designs have taken my breath away. Specialising in exclusive kilnformed glass vessels and platters, Aline also works with architects and interior designers making site specific lighting designs that have been commissioned for Dune, Covent Garden and the Foreign Office for the British Embassy in Doha, Qatar.

Born and bred by the sea, I just adore how Aline translates her rural roots of Dorset and seaside inspired palette into these beautiful and delicate designs. I’m instantly drawn to the “Rectangular Leaf” light which boast so much colour and positive energy.

If you want to catch a glimpse of Aline’s work , she will be showing off her fabulous designs at this years Tent Show in London – don’t miss it!

Image source: http://www.alinejohnson.co.uk

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Filed under Aline Johnson, Art, Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, lighting, Living room Interiors, Rectangular Leaf light