Tag Archives: London

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

Hampton Court Palace looks utterly beautiful in spring

This was my first ever visit to Henry’s Hampton Court Palace and I was taken back by firstly the sheer scale of the place – 7 acres of roof tiling! Then the magnificent architecture and masonry and finally the beauty of the interiors, especially the Great Hall – wow!

We were fortunate enough that the rain held off which meant we could fully enjoy actors playing Henry VIII and his wife Anne Boleyn, addressing visitors in the courtyard and generally causing havoc! I even got the chance to have a quick snap with one of the gate keeper guards who addressed me as “mi lady”!

The Great Hall was simply breathtaking and of course that was its role, to impress and wow guests who arrived at the palace and knew that King Henry meant business! The tapestries on the wall were made from the finest silks and luxury materials which depicted the King as an important religious figure as he’d formed his own church.

Everything was decorated to the extreme from walls painted head to toe, lavish beds and huge great hallways, Henry VIII kitted out his palace in style! Hampton court is designed around the enfilade style which was used to establish people’s social status. The corridors are long and run the length of the building, numerous doors split the corridor to make rooms and the more doors a person gained access to, the more important they were. The aim was to get to the Cabinet at the end of the building.

Below is the great fire the cooking staff used to roast animals. The picture to the right is the ceiling in one of the main halls which has a huge chandelier suspended from the roof. My neck started to ache from staring up for so long, it was fascinating.

The room below was another of my favorite in the palace because of the gold ceiling and the powerful paintings which stretched the whole width of the room. This room I believe was a place of worship and reflection and had a compact secret door in the left corner which was very intriguing! Hampton Court Palace is a must for everyone and this wont be my last visit, I intend to return with a picnic basket in one hand and a fork in the other!

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Filed under Art, History, News, Places to visit

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

Design of the Day – Striking prints from Laura Olivia

Good morning folks! I hope your weekend was fabulous and you got up all sorts of design delights! Today’s Design of the Day is from freelance textile and surface designer Laura Olivia. A colleague passed her brochure onto me and I was amazed with her brightly coloured designs and feminine prints. These pieces would really lift the mood of a room and add a tranquil and soothing atmosphere, especially in the bathroom or bedroom.

A former tutor at the National Design Academy in Nottingham, Laura now works for herself and supplies these beautiful bespoke designs internationally as well as a personal service in the UK. Her home range includes striking lampshades, wallpaper, cushions made from luxury fabrics and art work. Laura has also been chosen by Jethro Macy to exhibit at this years “One Year on” event at the New Designers Show in July.

Each piece of wallpaper is digitally printed on pearlescent paper and will cost you £179. Cushions and lampshades start from £65 and fabrics £50. Check Laura’s whole collection online and visit www.lauraolivia.com

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We’re ready so let the Royal celebrations begin!

It’s fantastic to see the whole team at The National Design Academy scuttling in this morning with bags full of treats and party food for todays Royal Fuddle. I’ve felt a little over whelmed by the Royal Wedding hype, but I must say I was up at the crack of dawn making ham and cucumber sandwiches excited for the celebrations.

The bunting is out, table-cloth laid and of course a Kate and William Union Jack flag spread across the back wall. I’m sat here writing this post with a huge urge to raid the fridge, especially the trifle which look simply divine! I even made another cake stand from my grandmothers vintage plates, crystal glass and a candle stick holder to add to the effect. Continue reading

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Filed under News, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Design of the Day – The world’s first designer energy saving light bulb

I first came across this design at this years Birmingham Interiors Show, in the Designers Block section and since then it’s popularity has rocketed. It was displayed in George Clarke’s revamped eco-friendly house at last months Ideal Home Show event at London’s Earl Court.

Designed by Sam Wilkinson, this Plumen light bulb is the worlds first designer energy-saving bulb which takes on a snake-like shape and looks amazing set in the dark glass shade. (Above) It lasts 8x longer and uses 80% les energy than incandescent bulbs, saving you on your electric bill as well as looking hot!

The name Plumen came from “plume” which is a birds decorative feather, used to attract attention and this certainly does that! The great news is that the bulb doesn’t cost a fortune and a nightmare to get hold of, in fact you can lay your hand on one of these delights for only £19.95 from B&Q! Hurry before they’re sold out!

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, Birmingham Interiors Show 2011, Eco-friendly, George Clarke, Home Acessories, Ideal Home Show 2011, lighting, News, Plumen, Quirky, Sam Wilkinson, The Designers Block

WIN a pair of Grand Designs Live tickets with The Design Hub!

The Design Hub have teamed up with Grand Designs Live to give you the chance to WIN a FREE PAIR of TICKETS to the show! Based on the aspirational channel 4 series Grand Designs, presented by Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs Live is the perfect place to be for design junkies.

Held at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands, from the 30th April – 8th May, the award-winning event has everything you could possibly want from home-ware and gardens, kitchen and bathrooms, to innovation and design.

You’ll be spoilt for choice with over 500 exhibitors, a spectacular Grand Village of show homes, Grand Build sponsored by VELUX, Grand technology and much more! So if your mouth is watering and your desperate to get your hands on a pair of tickets, just simply answer the following question:

Q: How many sections does the show have?

 

Email your answer, name and address and a contact number to competition@nda.ac.uk

The competition closes at midnight on Thursday 14th April and the winners announced on Friday 15th April.

You only have a couple of weeks to get your entry in and be in with a chance of winning so hurry and GOOD LUCK! Continue reading

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Filed under Competitions, Grand Designs Live, News

The National Design Academy release cutting edge magazine

 

VISION

Check out the spring VISION Profile Edition and get your design fix. This edition explores how designers’ image changes over time and how they market themselves to the public. You’ll find articles about Kelly Hoppen, Jonathan Ive and Australian designer Joanna Ford.

Created bimonthly by tutors at The National Design Academy, an institution who specialise in Interior Design courses, VISION is eclectic and cutting edge.

As well as gripping articles you’ll also find us in here too! So don’t waste anymore time, download the mag and get inspired.  CLICK the VISION tab above.

Photography by Liam Kerrigan

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Filed under Adult learner's week, Art, BA in Interior Design, diploma, distance learning, higher education, home study, modern design, News, photography, Quirky, Style, Success Stories, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Hurry! Get free Grand Designs Live tickets

There are 10,000 free Grand Designs Live tickets up for grabs, simply enter code FTGDL11 at the Grand Designs Live online booking page. Select when you want to go, how many tickets (max two) and the tickets will be sent to your email for you to print.

There are 500 available for the April/ May bank holiday(Sat 30th April – 2nd May) and the remaining 9,500 for Tues 3 May – Fri 6 May. Weekend tickets usually cost £14 but are £18 on the door, and weekday tickets £11 and £15 on the door.

The tickets are valid from Sat 30 Apr – Fri 6 May 2011, you can book online with discount code FTGDL11. The offer expires  Tuesday 31 Mar or when 10,000 tickets have gone. Maximum 2 tickets per household.

Thank you to Money Saving Expert for the heads up!

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, Grand Designs Live, Home Acessories, Kitchen Interiors, lighting, Living room Interiors, modern design