Category Archives: upholstery

Design of the Day – Exquisite taste at London Design Festival

This design is something I know all the ladies will just want to sink their teeth into let alone their derrière! The Muffin Pouffe is designed by Director and Founder of Design Ltd, Matteo Bianchi who likes to mix traditional Italian style with a London “edge.”

The pouffe can be made solid or to have hidden storage in the base, which is perfect because you can’t have enough places to hide things! It’s cheeky, fun, made from luxurious fabrics and in comes a variety of tastes. I’ll have mine hot out of the oven with extra chocolate please!

Matteo is exhibiting his collection of fine treats at this years Tent event as part of  London Design Festival 2011 if you want to see more. It runs from 22nd September – 25th September in the Old Truman Brewery, London.

 

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Filed under Design of the day, Home Acessories, Living room Interiors, London Design Festival, Muffin Pouffe, Quirky, Soft Furnishings, upholstery

Design of the Day – Cosy accessories for your home

As it’s Monday, the doom and gloom day of the week, I thought I’d bring a bit of colour into your day with this super cosy, multi-coloured knitted lamp by Melanie Porter.

This piece is certainly fashion forward and the perfect Autumn/Winter accessory for the home. You may be thinking WINTER – ALREADY? Well, yes I am and we all need to get prepared because the leaves are starting to fall and the summer nights are slowly fading away. Harrods even has christmas decorations up – so I’ve heard!

That aside, this whopper of a lamp is hand woven by the Knitwear Designer herself and each piece is bespoke. The design comes in a range of colours with one named “Freya”, which has a white base and coloured flowers made from felted material around the shade. Simply gorgeous!

If you want to get your hands on one of Melanie’s lamps, prices range from £400 – £550 and are available from MyDeco or direct from her website.

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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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New Designers 2011 Gallery

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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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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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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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Blog diary: I’ll be a soft furnishings ninja in no time!

I’m getting rather into a few small hobbies at the moment with the aim to widen my intelligence spectrum, this includes; attempting to cook, making vintage cake stands and other general crafty things. One huge desire which I’ve always had, is to be able to sew, not only that but to make cushions, curtains and clothes.

Today I made the first steps to becoming a nibbled fingered sewing machine, with colleague Tracey, who once ran her own soft furnishings business, kindly giving up her lunch hour to give me my first lesson.

Now I’m a visual learner so having her there to show me what to do was fab! First I tackled the “slip” stitch, which was a little tricky to begin with, Tracey said I was being over critical, “calm yourself down, it’s only your first stitch!”. Noted.

I then moved on to the “ladder” stitch which was a little easier and my favorite. According to Tracey, it’s also her favorite stitch even though, ” it sounds a little sad having a favorite stitch, but we can now both talk about loving the “ladder” stitch and being sad together”. Im feel like I’m finally apart of the curtain gang!

I think this hobby will turn out to be a great success and I’m super excited to find out what I’ll be learning next – watch this space!

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Get ready for Interior Design Festival of Britain fever

By NDA Interior Design Tutor Vicky Arbuthnot

2011 is a great year to celebrate all things British.  The Royal wedding aside, vintage Britannia interior accessories are fast becoming the statement style of the year.  However, there is much more to this trend than meets the eye.

From April 2011 on the Southbank in London, the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain will be celebrated with a series of special events to mark the occasion.  From Tracey Emin’s first major survey show in London (Hayward Gallery, 18th May to 29th August), to celebrations of ‘National Treasures’ and ‘Great Thinkers’ including the likes of Heston Blumenthal, Roy Walker and Paul Daniels, the four-month event commends the best of British culture and creativity. Continue reading

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Design of the Day – Bahia Chair

Today’s Design of the Day is a show stopper! I’m just head over heals with the Bahia Chair designed by London based design studio, 20age. This beautiful and vibrant chair has been re-upholstered in yellow velvet cord and green checked cotton by British and Brazilian duo Emma Phelps and Mauricio Varlotta.

Not only do the yellow and green fabrics sit perfectly together, they’re surrounded by a sea of 5000 coloured ribbons stitched on the back and sides.

The ribbons are seen as a lucky charm in Brazil and are tied around the wrist with three knots, each representing a wish and when the band falls off the wishes come true . What an uplifting concept and harmonious combination of English and Brazilian heritage.

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