How to Make the Most of Your Spare Room

Are you looking for ways to make the most of your spare room? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here you can learn how to utilise your space and transform what is currently used as a dumping ground into a multi-functional room.

A photo posted by @designideainspo on

Invest in a Desk 

A desk is a particularly practical way to make the most of your spare room. Whether you work from home on a permanent basis or bring the office home with you from time to time, you’ll always have a dedicated place to type away. 
While it’s all very well setting up your laptop on the dining table downstairs or creating a work station somewhere in the lounge, you’re certain to get distracted. Invest in a desk and you’ll have a peaceful spot to knuckle down to work when you need to.
If you don’t want a desk to take up too much of the room, a wall-mounted desk is ideal. This space-saving solution will provide you with a place to work without compromising on space.

A photo posted by Oscar Pomar (@oscarpomar) on

Buy a Clothes Rail

If your bedroom wardrobe is brimming with outfits, you’re better off finding another place to store your collection of clothes. Rather than buying an additional wardrobe, get your hands on a clothes rail.
Not only is this a cheap way to store your clothes, it’ll give your spare room a bit of character. In fact, when you enter the room and see your gorgeous garments hanging from the rail, you’ll almost feel like you have a walk-in wardrobe in your home. Carrie Bradshaw, eat your heart out.

Set up a Gym Corner

Do you ever fancy doing a quick workout but don’t have time to get to the gym? Well, if you store equipment in your spare room, you can squeeze in a routine whenever you like!
You don’t have to buy especially expensive equipment; pick up some dumbbells, a Swiss exercise ball and a yoga mat and you’ll be good to go!

Say Hello to a Sofa Bed

A sofa bed is the perfect way to introduce a stylish statement into your spare room. This practical piece of furniture can be accessorised with cushions and throws in order to create a chic and cosy place to lounge in peace.

Better again, you can offer your guests a comfortable night’s sleep when they come to stay. Forget putting them on a blow up bed for the night; transform your sofa bed into a comfy sleeping spot in seconds.

About the Author – Joy Richards is the sleep and wellness specialist at Happy Beds, the UK’s fastest-growing bed store. At Happy Beds, Joy blogs about sleep science, shares her trusty tips and inspires with her stylish bedroom design ideas.

Floristry Now - From the Garden

Extract from Floristry Now by Paula Pryke, published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

Garden flowers, seasonally arranged, are always in vogue. The heritage of the quintessential English garden means that our flower-arranging tradition is rich with plant material. It is no coincidence that British gardens look their best at the end of May when the Royal Horticultural Society holds the famous annual Chelsea Flower Show in London. It is one of my favourite times of the year, as late spring collides with early summer.

Garden roses have been one of the areas that has seen an enormous change in the last decade. Originally garden roses were hard to get out of season but over time countries such as Kenya in Africa and Colombia in South America have invested in a lot of garden rose production. Many are the famous roses of the breeder David Austin, and the company have also invested more recently in cut-flower production alongside their plant-growing activities.

photo credit to Tim Winter

photo credit to Tim Winter

A pastel watering can is crammed with a selection of spring flowers, including arching Solomon’s seal, magnolia buds, lilac, ‘Antique’carnations, eryngium, rosebuds and Viburnum opulus.

Photo credit to Rachel Whiting

Photo credit to Rachel Whiting

This fine-looking Stachys byzantina is tied to a metal basket with raffia. Floral foam holds ‘Miss Delilah’ phlox, ‘Figaro Lavender’ stocks and purple summer asters. Stems of handsome leafless Solomon’s seal are then drawn across the design to show off their creamy white bells to maximum effect.

photo credit to Rachel Whiting

photo credit to Rachel Whiting

It is very fashionable to have collections of vases together, with small arrangements or even single stems in each. This makes the maximum impact out of the fewest flowers, so is perfect for making the most of garden pickings. Sprigs of flowering currant, forsythia, viburnum blossom, primroses, hellebores and dicentra sit in tiny irregular vases.

Photo credit to Polly Wreford

Photo credit to Polly Wreford

I love the shape of this enamel jug which, when filled, has a wide enough mouth to create a good spread of flowers. Here it holds Alchemilla mollis, Consolida ajacis, rose-coloured eustoma, two-tone antirrhinum and the wonderful scented garden rose Evelyn.

Floristry Now by Paula Pryke.

Published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

Out now

Wedgwood By Lee Broom

Award-winning British product designer Lee Broom has teamed up with iconic British luxury brand Wedgwood, to create a capsule collection of limited-edition vases and bowls, inspired by Wedgwood’s 250-year design heritage. The collection will launch exclusively at Harrods in April 2017 and will be included in their Art Partners celebration. 

The Wedgwood by Lee Broom collection is a true showcase of craftsmanship and design ‘Made in Britain’. The collaboration celebrates the values of design, British craftsmanship and innovation by using the famous Jasperware, taking cues from iconic historical pieces. Broom looked to the Wedgwood archive and archetypal designs to produce thoroughly cutting-edge versions of timeless classics.

Being respectful to the classic and iconic Jasperware designs which he grew up with, Broom has taken several classic Wedgwood silhouettes from different periods and stripped back their ornate details to create a collection of strikingly modern designs. Attracted initially to the timeless black and white stripes of the Panther Vase for its sense of modernity, Broom used this as a starting point for the collection, combining the graphic stripe with postmodern elements, introducing vibrant colours and glossy lacquered textures which starkly juxtapose the very matte finish of the traditional Jasperware.

Broom’s designs are a beautiful nod to the past, being handcrafted using Wedgwood’s traditional techniques of throwing, engine turning and ornamentation applied in the Wedgwood factory in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, UK today.

Lee Broom comments on the partnership: “I am delighted to be working with Wedgwood whose craftsmanship, innovation and heritage is so well aligned with everything we represent as a British design brand. It has been a fascinating process delving in to the Wedgwood archives and their rich history to find inspiration to reimagine their iconic Jasperware designs and create a collection I hope will become collector’s items of the future.”

The Wedgwood by Lee Broom collection is available exclusively at Harrods, London in numbers of 15 per piece, as part of the launch of Harrods’ Art Partners initiative in April 2017. 

Recipe of the Week - Tricked-up Tabouli

Extract from The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters - blender recipes to boost immunity and detox the body for a vibrant and healthy life.

With cauliflower rice stepping in for cracked wheat, the classic Middle Eastern salad goes raw and grain-free. Loaded with hydrating, alkaline ingredients, this version is a cleansing superstar.

Its aromatic elements – herbs, allspice and lemon zest – enliven the sweet fruits and vegetables. The pickles come in with crunch, tanginess and probiotics; the chilli flakes stimulate digestion and help flush your system. For the most balanced flavour profile, consume the tabouli as soon as it’s dressed. If you’re not serving it right away, chill the salad and the dressing separately, and combine just when you’re ready to serve.

Serves 6–8; dressing makes 180 ml (6 fl oz)


  • 1⁄2 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

  • 200 g (7 oz) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (about 4 large bunches)

  • 340 g (12 oz) tomato, deseeded and diced

  • 300 g (101⁄2 oz) English cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced 140 g (5 oz) red pepper, deseeded and diced

  • 80 g (3 oz) salad onion, finely chopped (white and green parts)

  • 75 g (23⁄4 oz) red onion, diced

  • 20 g (3⁄4 oz) finely chopped mint

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill

  • 70 g (21⁄2 oz) shelled hemp seeds

  • 1 tsp natural salt, plus extra to taste

  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to taste dressing

  • 80 ml (23⁄4 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

  • 1⁄4 tsp finely grated lemon zest

  • 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus extra to taste

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)

  • 3⁄4 tsp ground allspice, plus extra to taste

Optional boosters

  • 270 g (91⁄2 oz) cooked chickpeas or 1 (425 g/15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 80 g (3 oz) gherkins, diced

  • 1⁄8 tsp chilli flakes, plus extra to taste


Put the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse a few times, until the cauliflower has the texture of couscous. You should have about 390 g (133⁄4 oz) of cauliflower ‘rice’.

Transfer the ‘rice’ to a large mixing bowl and combine well with the parsley, tomato, cucumber, pepper, onions, mint, dill and hemp seeds. Add the chickpea and gherkin boosters.

To make the dressing

Throw the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, allspice and the red chilli flake booster into your blender and blast on high for about 30 seconds until the dressing is emulsified and the garlic has been completely pulverized. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to evenly combine. Add the salt and pepper and tweak the lemon juice, allspice, chilli flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately for the best flavour.

The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters

Jacqui Small Publishing, an imprint of The Quarto Group

Out now.

NEW Ella Doran Wallpapers

Ella Doran has just launched three new wallpaper designs, TapiasCamouflage & Surreal Succulents. We couldn't help, but share them with you. As always, with all of Ella's work, they are just gorgeous. Here is a look at the collections...


This particular design creates an energetic wave through the mark making of grey slip paint against a darker grey background, in part echoing the expressive mark makings of Spanish artist Antoni Tapies.


Camouflage is inspired by the Plain trees of London Fields, Ella’s local park. She has deliberately used a soft focus photographic effect and enlarged the scale of the bark to allow the design to be integrated into a multitude of interior settings

Surreal Succulents

The Surreal Succulents wallpaper has a palette of varying shades of green succulent plants that populate a dark, rich canvas. The soft pink and white accents of some of the leaves add contrast and balance to the overall design.

Sold as double width wallpapers in 5 metre rolls, it's printed digitally and made to order in the UK on a wonderful high quality wallpaper that is FSC credited.

Website of the Week - be&liv

We were captivated at first glance by the gorgeous products on the be&liv website. Established in Helsinki in 2012 the company's objective was to bring the poetry back to everyday life with beautifully designed objects.

The organic signature style at be&liv is created by using the most precise manufacturing techniques and modern, high quality materials. Stainless steel and sheets of brass are plied, etched, and plated in copper, black, white or even 24k gold to create stunning and unusual objects that are not only beautiful but useful too.

The Lily cake stand adds elegance to any party. Fill it with treats and use it as a centrepiece. Better still it's perfect for displaying cupcakes in the kitchen, or (as we much prefer) jewellery in the bedroom.

Designed by Ilkka Suppanen, the beautiful One Flower Vase is made from laser-cut steel and is designed to complement the beauty of a single flower. Suppanen says, "sometimes a single flower says so much more than a big bouquet."

The Halo is a three-dimensional shelf just made for displaying small items. Designer Janne Uusi-Autti:“Driving force was to create an item with unique delicate structure and yet with minimal waste. Parts are packed inside one another and assembled only with light bending.”

Each item is beautifully flat-packed, arriving as several parts in order to be environmentally friendly as flat packages take less room to store and transport. We're told the items are extremely easy to assemble yourself at home.

All be&liv products are available from their website, and can be shipped to anywhere in the UK.

Jean Paul Gaultier For Lelievre Wallpaper Collection 2017

Lelievre and Jean Paul Gaultier have collaborated since the signing of a licence agreement between the two brands in 2012. So far there have been 4 collections of fabrics and accessories developed through the craftsmanship of Lelievre and the talent of fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier.

The inspirations, Oxydation, Azulejos, Botanique, the celebrated marinière stripe and the spirit of Paris are all recognisable areas of expression used by Jean Paul Gaultier and played out in the motifs of the fabrics and accessories.

The year 2017 will mark a turning point in the historyof Lelievre with the launch of the first wallpapercollection under the name ‘Jean Paul Gaultier by Lelievre’

The collection shows Jean Paul Gaultier’s most iconic designs and the wallpapers are produced by European manufacturers using the latest printing technology. 

The wallpapers include a brazen flock stripe, QUIBERON, the romantic soaring swallows of HIRONDELLES and full-blown roses of FLAMBOYANT.

PORTO is a tribute to hand painted tiles and VERT DE GRIS is a masterpiece of oxidised raw metal decay.  There are graphic checks and stripes for BASQUE and a shadowy landscape with silhouetted trees for BRUME.    ENLACES and RECREATION explore toiles de Jouy style with elegance and a background of sprinkled stars.

HORIMONO uses pen and ink tattoo style drawing as does IRESUMI but with the addition of brilliant colour; ERNEST showcases graffiti tags with flock highlights; while CARAMBOLAGE and CESAR show the classic Gaultier design of crushed metal in colour and monochrome metallic.  There is also a plain leather effect wallpaper, EMBOSSE,  which works with all the other designs.

In total there are 15 designs and 42 colors for this remarkable first wallpaper collection.

The Jean Paul Gaultier by Lelievre wallpaper collection will be distributed exclusively by Lelievre from January 2017.

Recipe of the Week - Classic Cheesecake

Extract from The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters - blender recipes to boost immunity and detox the body for a vibrant and healthy life.

Blend, freeze, slice and eat voraciously. That’s how easy this cake is! Once you have your cashews soaked (essential for a righteously creamy consistency), this decadent dessert takes less than 15 minutes to put together.

It looks and tastes just like dairy-drenched cheesecake, but my family and friends tell me they crave this more than the conventional kind. Add the lemon and poppy seeds for an awesome twist and a drizzle of strawberry sauce to up the indulgence.

Makes 10 slices

(c) Anson Smart

(c) Anson Smart


  • 160 g (51⁄2 oz) raw whole almonds

  • 170 g (6 oz) pitted dates, chopped, plus extra as needed


  • 180 ml (6 fl oz) coconut oil (in liquid form)

  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) full-fat canned coconut milk (shake, then pour)

  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) fresh lemon juice

  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) pure maple syrup

  • 420 g (15 oz) raw unsalted cashews, soaked

  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract

  • Pinch of natural salt

  • Coconut Cream, to serve (optional)

Optional boosters

  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest, plus extra to taste and decorate

  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds

  • Sweet Strawberry Sauce, to serve


To make the crust, grease a 23 or 25 cm (9 or 10 in) springform tin with coconut oil.
Process the almonds and dates in a food processor until the mixture is well combined and clumps together. Form the mixture into a ball; if it doesn’t hold together, you may need to add a bit more chopped date and process again. Press the mixture into the base of the prepared tin and set aside.

To make the filling, throw all of the ingredients into your blender in the order listed, including the lemon zest booster, and blend for about 1 minute until rich and creamy. To achieve the smoothest filling, stop the machine periodically and scrape down the sides of the container. Add the poppy seed booster once the filling is completely blended, then blast for just a few seconds to combine. Pour the filling into the crust. Cover the tin with foil and freeze the cheesecake for 6–8 hours until solidified.

To serve, transfer the tin from the freezer to the fridge and defrost for about 30 minutes. Gently release and remove the sides of the springform tin, then cut the cheesecake into 10 even slices with a very sharp knife. Keeping the slices together on the springform tin base, return the cheesecake to the fridge to continue defrosting for a further 30 minutes before serving.

Serve the slices plain or drizzle each one with 2 tablespoons of the Sweet Strawberry Sauce booster and top with a dollop of the Coconut Cream.

Pass the remaining strawberry sauce and coconut cream around the table.

Coconut cream

Makes 330 g (11 ¾ oz)

  • 240 ml (81⁄2 fl oz) full-fat canned coconut milk (shake, then pour)

  • 180 g (6 oz) young coconut meat

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form)

  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup, plus extra to taste

  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract, plus extra to taste

  • Pinch of natural salt

Optional boosters

  • 1⁄2 tsp finely grated lemon zest, plus extra to taste

  • 1⁄2 tsp fresh lemon juice, plus extra to taste

  • 1⁄8 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to taste

Pour all of the ingredients, including the boosters, into your blender and blast on high for 30–60 seconds until smooth and creamy. Tweak the vanilla, lemon and cinnamon to taste.

Use immediately, or chill in the fridge.

Sweet strawberry sauce

Makes 480 ml (17 fl oz)

  • 4 tbsp raw coconut water or filtered water

  • 85 g (3 oz) pitted dates, soaked

  • 300 g (101⁄2 oz) hulled and halved fresh strawberries

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus extra to taste

  • Pinch of natural salt

Optional boosters

  • 1 tsp grand marnier

  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger, plus extra to taste

  • 1⁄4 tsp natural vanilla extract

Throw everything into your blender, including any of the boosters, and blast on high for 30–60 seconds until smooth. Tweak the dates, lemon juice and ginger to taste.

This sauce will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

Note: Because of the coconut oil, this filling will melt if left out at room temperature.

The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters

Jacqui Small Publishing, an imprint of The Quarto Group

Out now.

Valentine's Afternoon Tea & Treats At Bea's Of Bloomsbury

Bea’s of Bloomsbury are delighted to announce the return of their famous Valentine’s Afternoon Tea and treats. What makes this year extra special is the addition of brand new homemade treats from Bea’s onsite kitchens. 

Founded in 2008, Bea's of Bloomsbury are a modern bakery, serving inspired treats, afternoon teas, traditional breakfasts and lunches, with a twist, together with a fine array of beverages, using only the finest ingredients, at great locations, around London.

For their many fans, Bea’s famous Valentine’s Afternoon Tea is back for one day only on 14th February.

Included in the afternoon tea will be amazing new Heart Macaroons with raspberry & rose filling and Bea’s brilliant Brownies, made into a heart shapes, just for the occasion. The Marylebone, St Paul’s, and Bloomsbury locations will all be open until 9pm, and priced at just £50 for 2 people, It’s the perfect way to treat your special someone to a really enjoyable experience, complimented by great service.

Bea’s offer a take away service at all locations, and if you would rather enjoy your Valentine treats at home, this year there are boxes of 6 romance inspired cupcakes, and Triple Chocolate Cake, for serious chocolate lovers – perfect for sharing. Starting from £1.85, Valentine’s with Bea’s is truly an affordable luxury.

Valentine’s treats start from just £1.80 and the afternoon tea is £50 for two.

Back to School with the New Mini Moderns Graph Wallpaper

Homework is the third wallpaper design to launch from the forthcoming Mini Moderns
collection, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning. Inspired by their teenage years, growing up in the north during the 1980's, this graphic design revisits the cultural influences that shaped their design aesthetic back then.

Keith from Mini Moderns reminisces: “My friend Pauline had red graph wallpaper in her
parent’s dining room and, back in the 80's, I thought it was the height of sophistication - it felt both aspirational and very modern at the same time. To be honest, I still think it does

Mark adds: “When it came to choosing colourways for the print we realised just how versatile
graph paper is. The Pale Verdigris version recreates the iconic science book graph paper we
used at school. Then there’s a crisp black and white variant. For a warmer look, we created a
third colourway with the graph reversed out of our popular concrete colour

Well they were the best days of our lives!

Homework is available in 3 colourways: Pale Verdigris, Concrete and Snow.

£65 per roll from Mini Moderns.

Add Individuality with Hand Painted Tiles

Based in the stunning Chilterns countryside, Decorum has been creating and supplying high-quality, hand painted tiles to its customers for over 25 years.

The exceptional workmanship and bespoke nature of the product means that Decorum regularly works with quality-conscious customers to supply tiles that will add individuality to renovations and home makeovers. The company also supplies hand-painted tiles to a number of high-street shops throughout the UK.

Works of Art

Skilled artists work in the tile studio where they hand-paint a range of traditional and modern designs that can be used in bathrooms or kitchens. The tiles are individually painted, so each one is unique. All Decorum’s tiles are finished and fired onsite, which ensures a truly artisan – and quintessentially British – product.

Country Brick Calligraphy

These beautiful Country Brick tiles are particularly well suited to the addition of hand-painted calligraphy text. You can choose your own word or short phrase to be added to the tiles, which means you can add individuality to your kitchen or bathroom walls with meaningful notes, thoughts or inspirational quotes. The tiles are available in a matt or gloss finish for greater versatility and there’s no minimum order, so you can add as many or as few calligraphy tiles to your wall design as you like.

Sorrento Botanical

The Sorrento Botanical range of nature-inspired tiles adds beautiful accent features to a traditional or country-style kitchen for a truly individual look. The exquisite detailing can only be achieved by hand-painting the tiles and each plant and insect has its Latin name included beneath the painting. The white and beige porcelain blend results in a natural-looking colour scheme, while the shabby chic glaze finish gives the impression of centuries-old botanical drawings.

Bees and butterflies sit on single tiles, while plants and flowers fill two-tile panels, so you can mix and match to create your own design for a feature splashback or alcove in the kitchen or utility. With inspiration for the paintings coming from the stunning countryside surrounding the studio, these tiles are a genuine product of their environment.

Dotty Mixtures

These hand-painted, Dotty Mixtures brick tiles will add a flash of colour and a large helping of individuality to any kitchen makeover. You can choose from dragged monobloc tiles in colours such as Chervil, Caraway, Elder and Bilberry or select from the range of polka dot designs that feature white spots on the coloured tiles. There is also a neutral and complementary colour palette of Oxford Cream, Linen and White bricks.

The choice of finishes means you can create your own unique wall design by mixing solid colours with feature spotty tiles – or blend backgrounds to work with your kitchen colour scheme.

Decorum prides itself on supplying bespoke products at affordable prices so that everyone can include hand painted tiles in their bathroom or kitchen to create an individual design. The company also sources high-quality wall, floor and mosaic tiles from top Italian manufacturers so you can match your hand painted tiles with complementary ranges. 

Visit to find out more and discover their other hand-painted ranges.

In The Diary: Balenciaga Shaping Fashion At The V&A

‘Haute Couture is like an orchestra whose conductor is Balenciaga. We other couturiers are the musicians and we follow the direction he gives.’ Christian Dior.

This May, the V&A will open the first ever UK exhibition exploring the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga and his continuing influence on modern fashion. It will be the first of its kind to look at his unique approach to making and will showcase pieces by his protégés and contemporary designers working in the same innovative way today. The exhibition marks the centenary of the opening of Balenciaga’s first fashion house in San Sebastian and the 80th anniversary of the opening of his famous fashion house in Paris.

Alberta Tiburzi in 'envelope' dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Harper's Bazaar, June 1967 © Hiro 1967

Alberta Tiburzi in 'envelope' dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Harper's Bazaar, June 1967 © Hiro 1967

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will focus on the latter part of Balenciaga’s long career in the 1950s and 1960s, arguably one of his most creative periods. It was during these years that he not only dressed some of the most renowned women of the time, but also introduced revolutionary shapes including the tunic, the sack, ‘baby doll’ and shift dress – all of which remain style staples today. Highlights will include ensembles made by Balenciaga for Hollywood actress Ava Gardner, dresses and hats belonging to socialite and 1960s fashion icon Gloria Guinness, and pieces worn by one of the world’s wealthiest women, Mona von Bismarck, who commissioned everything from ball-gowns to gardening shorts from the couturier. 

On display will be over 100 garments and 20 hats, many of which have never been on public display before. These will be accompanied by archive sketches, patterns, photographs, fabric samples and catwalk footage revealing Balenciaga’s uncompromising creativity. In addition x-rays, animated patterns and short films on couture-making processes will uncover the hidden details that made his work so exceptional. The exhibition will draw mostly on the V&A’s fashion holdings – the largest collection of Balenciaga in the UK. The collection was initiated for the Museum by Cecil Beaton in the 1970s.

Dovima with Sacha, cloche and suit by Balenciaga, Café des Deux Magots, Paris, 1955. Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Dovima with Sacha, cloche and suit by Balenciaga, Café des Deux Magots, Paris, 1955. Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Cassie Davies-Strodder, V&A exhibition curator, said: “Cristóbal Balenciaga was one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century. Revered by his contemporaries, including Coco Chanel and Hubert de Givenchy, his exquisite craftsmanship, pioneering use of fabric and innovative cutting set the tone for the modernity of the late 20th century fashion. The exhibition will show his lasting impact on fashion through the work of those who trained with him and through recent garments by designers including Molly Goddard, Demna Gvasalia and J.W. Anderson who reflect the legacy of his vision today.”

Elise Daniels with street performers, suit by Balenciaga, Le Marais, Paris, 1948. Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Elise Daniels with street performers, suit by Balenciaga, Le Marais, Paris, 1948. Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation

For the first time the V&A has used x-ray technology to take a forensic look at the hidden details inside Cristóbal Balenciaga’s garments. These images, made with x-ray artist Nick Veasey, show structures invisible to the naked eye, including dress weights strategically placed to determine the exact hang of the skirt in one of Balenciaga’s most minimal designs, and boning in dress bodices, dispelling the myth that he did not use such structures. In partnership with the London College of Fashion, pattern cutting students have taken patterns from some of the most iconic Balenciaga garments in the V&A’s collection. These have been digitised and animated to show how these building blocks come together to form the finished piece. In a number of cases, the patterns reveal that the main body of the garment has been crafted from one single piece of fabric, demonstrating Balenciaga’s mastery of materials. Three of these animations will be displayed alongside Balenciaga’s original garments to give a deeper understanding of each. 

Cristóbal Balenciaga at work, Paris, 1968. Photograph Henri Cartier-Bresson © Henri Cartier-Bresson, Magnum Photos

Cristóbal Balenciaga at work, Paris, 1968. Photograph Henri Cartier-Bresson © Henri Cartier-Bresson, Magnum Photos

The exhibition will be organised around three main sections: ‘Front of House’, including Balenciaga’s salons, behind the scenes in Balenciaga’s ‘Workrooms’ and the lasting impact of ‘Balenciaga’s Legacy’. The Balenciaga brand still references its founder today, yet his influence spreads far wider. The ‘Legacy’ section will feature the work of over 30 designers of the last 50 years tracing the influence of this most revered figure in fashion right up to the present day. Themes include an exploration of his minimalist aesthetic reflected in the work of his former apprentices André Courrèges and Emanuel Ungaro, and more recently revived by designers such as Phoebe Philo for Celine and in the strong lines of J.W. Anderson. Balenciaga’s perfectionism and attention to detail are reflected in the work of Hubert de Givenchy and Erdem. His pattern cutting and explorations of volume can be seen in the work of Molly Goddard and Demna Gvasalia, while his creative use of new materials is referenced in the work of former Balenciaga creative director Nicolas Ghesquière.

Evening dress, silk taffeta, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Evening dress, silk taffeta, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion opens on 27 May 2017 and will be accompanied by a new V&A publication and a series of related events, courses and creative workshops.

The Pilgrm - A Pioneering Hotel Concept Coming to London

The Pilgrm (yes, without an 'i') is a 73-bedroom hotel that will open in Paddington’s Norfolk Square this summer, and is a considered reinterpretation of the traditional hotel. This new hotel will make booking and arriving a seamless experience where guests will check in online prior to arrival, and removing the need for a reception desk and a traditional hotel lobby. Sounds good to us, especially when prices are pitched at an accessible starting price of just £99 per room per night. It will also feature a ground floor neighbourhood café that will also serve as the welcome area for guests, giving a distinctly local coffee house feel. Upstairs there will be a lounge bar and dining room.

The design philosophy behind this new brand is a celebration of craftsmanship, provenance and community. The bedrooms will feature reclaimed and restored furnishings from 200-year-old mahogany parquet floors to original cast iron radiators, offset by a striking signature Tom Dixon ‘cloud carpet’. In addition the bedrooms include organic mattresses handmade in Devon, 100% Egyptian cotton sheets as well as Marshall speakers. Bathed in natural daylight, each of the bedrooms are pared back, having removed items that over the years have become unnecessary to the traveller, enabling the hotel experience to be more streamlined.

The Pilgrm represents the journey of a collective of individuals I've enjoyed knowing over the years. Together we present a new luxury to today's traveller, often from unexpected places. We will combine the finest guest experience of today, with the finest British craftsmanship of yesterday.”
Jason Catifeoglou, CEO and Founder, The PIlgrm

The Pilgrm, opening Summer 2017.

A pioneering hotel concept from long time collaborators Jason Catifeoglou (myhotels group, IHG, The Zetter, Grain Store & The Zetter Townhouses), Andreas Thrasyvoulou (myhotels group) and Steph Thrasyvoulou.

Luxury Blanket Launch By Tamasyn Gambell

With a new year comes a brand new range of blankets from London based print designer Tamasyn Gambell. Known for her graphic prints and bold colours Tamasyn has adapted one of her most timeless prints, to create her first collection of exquisite wool blankets.

Using a fresh colour palette the blankets come in three diverse colour ways, 'Lichen', 'Blush' and 'Navy', sure to appeal to a wide variety of customer. The blanket dimensions are 190cm X 140cm, perfect for use and a bed runner or living room throw.

Designed in London by Tamasyn and woven on the banks of the River Loosie, Scotland by the prestigious mill, Johnstons of Elgin, using only the finest lambs wool, these blankets epitomise British luxury and craft.

Tamasyn is planning a Spring time pop-up event in London where the blankets will be on show alongside her screen-printed homewares, accessories and reupholstered, midcentury furniture. We will keep you updated and look forward to inviting you formally to what is sure to be one of London's most exciting pop-up events this year.

Blanket RRP £259

Blanket RRP £259

A Studio for Sketching

Extract from She Sheds: A Room of Your Own by Erika Kotite. Published by Cool Springs Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

Ken Smith designed a more steeply pitched roof and included a small oval window and French doors. Two custom-made barn lights in deep cobalt blue complete the facade.

Ken Smith designed a more steeply pitched roof and included a small oval window and French doors. Two custom-made barn lights in deep cobalt blue complete the facade.

There are times when a she shed doesn’t start out that way. Susan Mintun, a noted former horticulturist and now a botanical illustrator, knew her tools were losing the battle for garage space with her husband’s many automobiles. Nevertheless, she wanted something pretty that reflected the French architecture of her Main Line, Pennsylvania, home.

A moveable ladder provides easy access to the loft storage area.

A moveable ladder provides easy access to the loft storage area.

Mintun contacted Ken Smith of Garden Sheds Inc. and asked if he could modify the company’s colonial style shed to meet her needs. The result is both restrained and stylized. “I wanted the ‘presence’ of a functional structure as part of my garden’s design,” Mintun recalls.
What she didn’t expect was how much she would enjoy being in her new shed. Mintun began using it as a satellite studio to work on her illustrations. She uses an old butcherblock table and sketches away with a view to the flowers in her garden. “If I had known how much I would love this shed, I would have included a sink and maybe insulation so that I could use it year round,” Mintun says.

The interior is unfinished, featuring an unpainted cedar floor and one bracketed shelf where Mintun has her collection of birdhouses.

The interior is unfinished, featuring an unpainted cedar floor and one bracketed shelf where Mintun has her collection of birdhouses.

Her favourite things:

  • French Accents: Mintun loves the light that streams in through the French doors, four matching windows, and oval window overhead.
  • Copper roof finial, custom made for her shed.
  • Fresh wood smell.
Mintun curated plant collections and taught horticulture in St Louis before retiring and moving to Pennsylvania.

Mintun curated plant collections and taught horticulture in St Louis before retiring and moving to Pennsylvania.

Photography: Susan Mintun

Cox & Cox Launch Upholstery Range

Cox & Cox has introduced upholstery into its ever-growing handpicked collection of homeware products.

The new upholstery range has launched with two collections, Timsbury and Westbury. Starting at £550.00, the sofa and chair collections create the ultimate in lounging luxury. All pieces are handmade in the UK, crafted with high quality materials and come with a 10 year manufacturer warranty (frame).


With a beautiful full shape and stylish fluted back, the Westbury Velvet Chair adds luxe to any living space.

Made from 100% cotton velvet fabric, the smooth cover shimmers gently when it catches the light. The tapered legs are crafted from solid oak and the solid hardwood frame is padded with high resilience foam, interwoven with elasticated webbing for comfort and durability.

The Westbury Velvet Chair is £550.00 and available in Desert Rose, Light Grey, Mustard, Navy and Forest Green


The Timsbury collection features two sofas that are both constructed with a solid birch and beech hardwood frame and four slender solid oak legs. The first sofa is finished with a soft grey flat weave cotton, while the other features a luxurious Italian grey velvet finish.

Simple in shape with a fixed cosy seat cushion, sprung back and cushioned armrests, each piece is padded with high density foam, which has been interwoven by hand with a feather wrap and elasticated webbing.

Walk Down Memory Lane with a Dan Savage Wall Mural

Dan Savage is an award winning artist and illustrator whose designs are used extensively in health care interiors, providing nostalgic and uplifting scenes drawn from nature, landscapes and village life. And we can see why.

High Street

High Street

He has now created a series of 5 wall murals entitled 'Down Memory Lane' which are charming illustrations of urban and rural scenes that will tug at heart strings. 

High Street Options

High Street Options

Each design is made up of 10 individual "panels" which panels can be printed up to 2 metres wide and 3 metres tall and which can be shuffled to create any sequence - whether as a feature wall or a non-repeating mural - the options are endless and designs can also be custom coloured to suit.





Country Lane

Country Lane



Absolutely perfect for offices and public spaces but we think they could work just as well in the home too.

Created exclusively for Tektura.

Spring Whites From Atkin & Thyme

Time to banish the Winter blues and start dreaming of Spring. We know it may be a little early, but here at Heart Home HQ we couldn't contain our excitement when we saw the latest pieces from Atkin & Thyme. Crisp and calming, white storage is the perfect antidote to the 'noise' of clutter and mess, making the Atika collection by Atkin & Thyme just the thing for a Spring clean.

The carved botanical design makes a striking statement, and the bedside table, chest of drawers and dressing table with matching stool, make ideal storage for clothing, cosmetics, books and more.

The handcrafted Atika collection is manufactured from mango wood, painted white and then lightly sanded to reveal the striking wood grain. Finished with cut glass handles, these beautiful pieces blend the ever-popular shabby chic style with an elegant and contemporary finish.

The Atika collection also includes a large wall mirror (£169) and console table (£299), as well as the bedside table and chest of drawers in soft grey.

To see the full collection visit Atkin & Thyme.

The Valentines Day Shop at Heart Home

Yes we know Christmas hasn't long gone, but 'be prepared' is our motto at Heart Home. With that in mind we've put together a collection of Valentines Day gifts and cards from our favourite suppliers. Just for you. So whether you like to take a laid back approach to this all important day (14th February, in case you've forgotten), or whether you like to make a big splash, we should have just the thing you're looking for. Personally we just like a nice card and a big bunch of flowers. Just sayin' in case you're thinking of sending something.

And if you don't find what you're looking for below, there's much more in the main shop, including some things still in the sale. Just hit the 'shop' tab at the top of the page.

Win A Beautiful Helen Moore Faux Fur Scarf & Matching Huff

Wrap up in style this with winter with some designer faux fur courtesy of Packhouse, it’s giving away a Helen Moore Ermine asymmetric scarf and matching Huff worth £65. Helen Moore is the leading luxury faux fur brand in the UK. This family-run British business has a reputation for creating quality pieces with a unique fashion edge. Its pieces are designed so you can stay warm, and look fabulous!

Packhouse is an ever-changing interior and lifestyle store, full of handpicked items to give your space some soul. Set within the Surrey hills between Guildford and Farnham, its 400-year-old Grade II-listed building sells a huge variety of vintage, antique and one-off buys from furniture and interior finishing touches to gifts and fashion accessories. You won’t find a more diverse mix anywhere else.

Next door is super-stylish restaurant Bears, offering a locally sourced menu from coffee and breakfast to evening meals and everything in between.

Parking is free and it also runs craft workshops and events throughout the year. It's the ideal place to come for a browse, a catch up with friends, or some serious shopping. Stock changes every single day, so there’s always something new to see. If you haven't discovered it yet, come and find out why it's one of Surrey's best-kept secrets.

Terms and conditions: The prize draw is open to individuals in the UK residents aged 18 or over. Any person or persons connected with Heart Home magazine or Packhouse, without limit, their families, agents, or anyone else involved in the administration of this offer are not eligible to enter. All entries must be received by 06:00 8th March 2017. By entering this competition you consent to share your email, name and postcode with Heart Home magazine or Packhouse who may wish to send you mailings in the future. There will be one winner who will receive the prize above. The prize must be accepted as offered (there are no cash alternatives) and they are non-transferable and non-refundable. The winners will be chosen from the list, at random, on 9th March 2017 and the winners will be notified by email or post within 7 days. No correspondence will be entered into. Unclaimed prizes will be redrawn after 28 days of the original draw. Heart Home magazine reserves the right to replace the prize with a product of equal value, if necessary. The winners will be asked to confirm their postal address before the prize is awarded. Details of the winners may be posted on the Heart Home magazine website and Facebook page. By entering this competition, you automatically agree to the terms and conditions above. Promoter: Heart Home magazine, 4 Oak Crescent, Wickford, Essex, SS11 7FF.