Vanessa Arbuthnott Launches New Artisan Collection

Vanessa Arbuthnott launches Artisan, a collection of contemporary geometrics inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Shibori.

With an established reputation for her modern country designs, Vanessa Arbuthnott has drawn inspiration from a quite different direction for her latest collection, Artisan. The dictionary defines an ‘artisan’ as someone who does skilled work with their hands, and this simple, stylish collection of printed fabrics and wallcoverings has been inspired by the 8th Century Japanese art of Shibori: her original designs were created by folding, shaping and compressing fabrics by hand, then immersing them in a traditional vat of indigo dye.

Vanessa found this a particularly liberating experience: “I usually hand draw my designs so I really enjoyed this different approach, especially as it was my daughter Flora who taught me the wonderful technique. This ancient craft produces stunningly beautiful results, often with unexpected symmetries. You can never totally control the process so the effect is always unique and the designs are only revealed when the fabric is unwrapped. This is the true joy of Shibori.”

Artisan’s striking motifs include daringly bold colourways and multi-directional, allover prints, another new departure for Vanessa. The collection comprises four 100% linen printed fabrics over 26 colourways, plus three re-coloured versions of an old favourite, Simple Ticking Stripe. The collection is suitable for curtains, blinds, cushions and upholstery, and has a fresh, urban edge whilst still retaining Vanessa’s distinctive style.

Japonica: a large flower head with soft, delicate petals in Vanessa’s new Indigo shade, plus Kale and Saffron colourways.

Origami: the name reflects the way this geometric pattern was originally created, by folding the fabric and then dip-dyeing.

Shibori: a smaller geometric floral print in 11 colourways, from soft Pigeon to striking new Tangerine. On closer inspection it is possible to see a flowerhead and at other times a seed head motif, created by a play between positive and negative images.

Momo: named after one of Vanessa’s favourite Japanese words, meaning ‘Peach’, this is a really useful smaller starlike print in five colourways.

Simple Ticking Stripe: this motif from an earlier collection was initially created by hand-printing, and Vanessa felt it coordinated so perfectly with the Japanese-inspired prints that she added three new colours: Sweet Pea, Kale and Forget-me-not.

Having seen the printed fabrics as meterage, Vanessa decided to be brave and, for the first time, introduce complementary wallcoverings too. “As the patterns were quite striking I could see how well they would work on walls as well as fabrics, so I decided to add new non-woven wallcoverings too: three new designs in some of my most popular colourways, two of which, Shibori & Origami, mirror the fabrics. The third, Spotty Stripe, is almost plain, a dotted stripe printed on a slightly textured non-woven ground, which I introduced to meet my customers’ requests for paint!”

The Artisan collection will be available from early September at Vanessa’s flagship store in Cirencester, online via www.vanessaarbuthnott.co.uk, and through a network of stockists nationally and internationally.

Regeneration - A New Autumn Collection From Dunelm

Science and natural history are big influences of this fabulous new autumn collection from Dunelm. It's a modern mid-century look with textiles inspired by men's tailoring and furniture with a slight industrial feel. Colours are slate grey, eucalyptus green and indigo. It's an urban, rugged trend with accessories straight from the museum - botanical specimens, and x-rays of bugs and butterflies. Brass accents complete the look. We love it.

Trio Tripod Floor Lamp £99.99, Spitalfields 5 Tier Shelving Unit £299.99, Dexter Chair in Heywood Blue £449.99, Darwin Square Cushion £9.99, Wooden Storage Box £7.99- £12.99, Wood and Metal Home Ornament £6.99, Metal Edged Glass Terrarium £22.99, Pebble Rug from £79.99 - £219.99.

Metal Dine Letters £19.99, Wooden Edge Wall Clock £12.99, Maritime Pizza Plate £7.99, Set of 4 Fern Printed Cork Coasters £3.99, Maritime Dipped Mugs £2.49 each, Set of 4 Fern Printed Cork Placemats £6.99, Biscuit Canister £8.99, Tea Canister £5.99, Coffee Canister £5.99.

Hand Towel in Indigo £5.99, Hand Towel in Charcoal £5.99, Metal Shelf Mirror £39.99.

Mason Large Sofa in Charcoal £949.99, Dragonfly Cushion £9.99, Ceramic Phrenology Head £9.99, Harvey Acacia Coffee Table £249.99, Blake Rug from £49.99- £179.99.

Eucalyptus Stem £2.29.

New Updated Artworks Collection From Original Style

The Artworks collection was first created in 1986 and has been one of Original Style's most popular and successful ranges since then. But even cherished brands need regular updates to keep them relevant and up to date with changes in taste and fashion. That's why the company decided to refresh the collection by keeping crucial brand values - quality, tradition and authenticity - and adding new colour ways, along with a contemporary new large brick format, whilst also removing some unpopular colours. The new colour ways include Vintage White, Chancel Grey and Westminster Grey and the size of the new brick format is 228x75mm. As Artworks tiles are meant for walls, Original Style also decided to add agorgeous new octagon & dot blue floor mosaic to complement the range. 

Recipe of the Week - Heavenly Chocolate Cake

Since the whole nation is currently Bake Off obsessed! And because it's National Cake Week soon (3rd – 9th October) we thought we'd share the ultimate chocolate indulgence. Enjoy.


Serves 8

CAKE Ingredients:

  • 300g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 225g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 150ml boiling water

GANACHE Ingredients:

200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
225ml double cream
25g unsalted butter
25g caster sugar

BUTTERCREAM Ingredients:

150g dark chocolate, chopped
200g caster sugar
3 large egg whites
250g unsalted butter, softened and diced
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
  • Cream the butter with both of the sugars until pale and light, this will take 3-4 minutes in a free-standing mixer.
  • Gradually add the eggs, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and pinch of salt into the mixture and mix until almost combined. Add the buttermilk and boiling water and mix until smooth.
  • Divide the cake batter between 3 x 20cm sandwich tins and bake on the middle shelf of your preheated oven for about 25 minutes until well risen, firm and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes in the tins for 2-3 minutes then carefully turn out onto a wire cooling rack leave until cold. Meanwhile, prepare the Ganache and Buttercream (below).

Ganache

  • Put the chocolate into a bowl.
  • Put the cream, butter and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until just boiling.
  • Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and leave for 5 minutes until the chocolate has melted.
  • Stir until smooth then set aside until thick enough to pipe.

Buttercream

  • Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt, either in the microwave on a low setting or over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth and leave to cool slightly.
  • Put the sugar and egg whites into a second heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Using a hand whisk, whisk until the mixture is thick, glossy white, hot to the touch and the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when the whisk is lifted from the bowl. This will take about 3 minutes.
  • Using a spatula, spoon the mixture into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and whisk until the meringue has doubled in volume, cooled and will stand in stiff, glossy peaks – this will take roughly 3 minutes.
  • Gradually add the butter to the cooled meringue mixture, beating constantly until the frosting is smooth. Fold in the vanilla and melted chocolate .

Assemble the cake

  • Place the first cake layer on a serving plate and spread with 2-3 tbs of buttercream.
  • Top with the second cake layer and spread this with ganache. Top with the third cake layer and gently press the layers together.
  • Using a palette knife, spread the sides of the cake in an even layer of ganache.
  • Fit the Silicone Piping Bag with the larger star-shaped nozzle and fill the bag with the buttercream.
  • Pipe buttercream rosettes in a circle around the top, outer edge of the cake. Pipe a second circle of buttercream rosettes 1- 1.5cm inside this, leaving space for a circle of piped ganche. Continue like this until you reach the middle of the cake. Pipe a ring of buttercream rosettes around the base of the cake.
  • Wash and dry the piping bag and fit with the smaller star-shaped nozzle. Fill the bag with the ganache and pipe rosettes between each circle of buttercream so that the top of the cake is completely covered.

Recipe taken from lakeland.co.uk. Lakeland will be exhibiting at the BBC Good Food Show London 11 – 13 November and BBC Good Food Show Birmingham 24 – 27 November and sponsoring the BBC Good Food Stage. Tickets on sale now: bbcgoodfoodshow.com

Save The Date: The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Autumn 2016

Scandi Days and Nordic Nights will be the foyer display theme at the Autumn edition of The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, 27 September to 2 October 2016, held in Battersea Park, London. Showcasing 18th and 19th century styles with chic 20th century design from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, all items will be drawn from exhibitors at the Fair and will be for sale. Two room-sets will capture the moods of dreamy, light-infused Midsummer days, and deep Winter nights glowing with the vivid colours of the aurora borealis.

The Decorative Fair, held three times a year, is renowned for its unparalleled variety of antique painted and decorated furniture. The Autumn foyer will show how classical Gustavian and traditional folk furniture can blend elegantly with the sleek lines of mid- century Scandinavian design to create a thoroughly modern look.

150 exhibitors will participate in this Autumn’s event, from the UK as well as France, Denmark, Spain and The Netherlands. Furniture, design and art for sale at the Fair originates mainly from Great Britain and Continental Europe, especially France, Italy and Scandinavia. Furniture by Brazilian and American post-war designers is now regularly to be found, as is art from Russia, antiques and works of art from the Middle East and Asia, and tribal pieces from far-flung corners of the globe.

An unmissable date for leading decorators and trade buyers who source stand-out pieces for their most important projects, The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair sets the standard in stylish interiors. Visitors may spot David or Victoria Beckham, Eddie Redmayne or Miranda Richardson, Lady Bamford or celebrity decorator Rose Uniacke in attendance. Leading lights of the design and fashion fraternity such as Matthew Williamson, Christopher Bailey of Burberry, Nicole Farhi, Patrick Cox, Sir Terence Conran, Sir Paul Smith, Alex and Olga Polizzi and Kelly Hoppen are regulars, as are buyers from Soho House, Colefax & Fowler, Candy & Candy, Dunhill and Anthropologie. 

The Autumn Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair 27th September to 2nd October 2016.
Tuesday 12pm – 8pm, Wednesday & Thursday 11am – 8pm, Friday & Saturday 11am – 7pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm.

£10.00 on the door, including catalogue which gives re-admission throughout the week, or register at www.decorativefair.com to join the mailing list and receive free tickets to all future Decorative Fairs. Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11.

Perfect Pinks from Little Greene to Mark Breast Cancer Awareness October

Little Greene have launched a delightful capsule collection of pink colours this Autumn, which also celebrates the company’s long-standing support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, held every October. during which 15p from every can of paint and roll of wallpaper sold is donated to a Breast Cancer Charity.

Wall: Dorchester Pink – Mid 286, Door and Woodwork: Dorchester Pink 213

Wall: Dorchester Pink – Mid 286, Door and Woodwork: Dorchester Pink 213

‘Pink’ comprises eight related pink shades, and provides a delicious choice from soft delicate tones associated with femininity and sensitivity to bolder, seductive hues. Designed to work harmoniously together and with other Little Greene shades, these versatile pinks include seven new colours and one from the existing colourcard. 

Brickwork: Confetti 274, Cupboards: Lamp Black 228, Far wall: Salix 99

Brickwork: Confetti 274, Cupboards: Lamp Black 228, Far wall: Salix 99

In keeping with Little Greene’s heritage links, ‘Pink’ has its roots in history. Did you know that during the Renaissance period, pink was used in paintings for the flesh colour of the human body? And whilst pink colours had been used in artists’ work for centuries it was only during the 18th Century that pinks became popular in fashionable clothing and porcelain, with architecture following across Europe soon afterwards?

Wallpaper: Paradise – Pink, Left Wall & Picture Rail: Hortense 266, Upper Skirting: Carmine 189, Lower Skirting: Córdoba 277

Wallpaper: Paradise – Pink, Left Wall & Picture Rail: Hortense 266, Upper Skirting: Carmine 189, Lower Skirting: Córdoba 277

Pink fell out of fashion in the 19th Century and only with the introduction of light-fast chemical dyes in the 20th Century creating bolder, brighter and more powerful pinks was there a resurgence in popularity. It was in the 1940's that pink truly became associated with girls; before that, pink had been for boys too. Bet you didn't know that either?

Wall: Córdoba 277. Inset Shelf: Blush 267. Window Sill: Loft White 222 

Wall: Córdoba 277. Inset Shelf: Blush 267. Window Sill: Loft White 222 

Often used to signify both femininity and sexual empowerment by, and for women, pink demonstrates outer beauty and inner strength: nowadays, pink represents strength within women and, as such, is the colour many breast cancer charities have used to represent their brand. 

We just think it's pretty.
 

Autumn With Plum & Ashby

The transition from Summer to Autumn is never easy. But on a positive note it's always the perfect excuse to spruce up our homes with new collections. From hand-thrown ceramics to luxury scented candles and cosy throws, Plum & Ashby have got lots of lovely new products this Autumn to tempt you. 

Plum & Ashby continues to work on new designs and try to support English manufacturers where they can. It's all about products that have a story behind them. And when they look this good, embracing the new season is not so bad.

Recipe of the Week - Braised Pork Belly

Today's recipe is courtesy of Bright Courtyard Club who's motto is “innovation, style and quality” and this is reflected both in the food it produces and in the restaurant itself. With a fashionable Baker Street location, within walking distance of both Mayfair and Marylebone High Street, Bright Courtyard Club truly has taken the best Chinese cuisine to the very heart of London. Elegantly designed, yet discreet, the restaurant serves delicacies from succulent shellfish to hearty dim sum to enjoy at any time of the day.

Try it, it's yum.

Ingredients:

Pork belly: 500g

Anise: 2 grains

Shredded ginger: 3g

Spring onion: 30g

Dark soy sauce: 5g

Light soy sauce: 5g

Sugar: 30g

Shaohsing Rice Wine: 10g

Water: 1000g

Method:

Cut the pork belly into small cubes.

Stir-fry the anise, shredded ginger and spring onion with a little oil, then add the pork belly cubes into it. Add all of the above flavourings and continue stir-frying until the cubes become red.

Add 1000g of water on a high heat.

After it has boiled, turn the heat down for 45 minutes.

Finally, turn the heat high and stir evenly until all the sauce is absorbed, dish up and serve.

Morelato Furnishes The Blakes Restaurant In London

Morelato, Italian cabinetmakers based in Verona, has furnished the Blakes Restaurant in London, situated in the heart of Kensington, one of the most exclusive districts of the British capital. Recently launched, the restaurant is located inside the Blakes: a luxury boutique hotel worldwide famous for its stunning design, elegance and dedicated service.

The project, designed by Anouska Hempel, is inspired by her vision of a beautiful old fashioned steamer sailing up the Bosphorus, evoking the travelling spirit that she has always had. The elegant, eclectic and ethnic atmosphere of the restaurant is reflected through exclusive furniture as the Morelato products. In fact the Italian company has supplied several customized solutions for the Blakes: tables, chairs, armchairs and stools.

The tables are available in different sizes and the round top has maple and ebonized wood inserts; the base is turned in solid maple wood with handmade clawfoot legs. The chairs and the armchairs are made in solid maple wood with contrast details in black wood.

For the coffee bar area Morelato has designed chairs with upholstered structure and armrests. The legs are in black wood. The stools have a footrest made in solid brass. All of these items give a refined style to the space.

The design of the Blakes Restaurant reflects Morelato’s soul: attention to detail and material research combined with the Italian style. A supply that confirms the company as an icon of excellence in the production of high quality furniture, customizable according to the cabinet-maker tradition.

A Little Something from Nothing

You can create interesting displays in your home for next to nothing with a collection of found treasures, a dose of homemade, a few vintage finds and a little bit of time.

  • Use empty picture frames to create focal points and canvases as backdrops for your displays and have fun styling. Play around with the objects until you find something that works visually for you.
  • Empty picture frames are wonderful to create height to a display, paint them in a sympathetic colour.
  • Use colours in a similar tone to create unity and then add contrasting colours for visual impact.
  • Add shape and colour with flowers with bold sculptural forms.
  • Drop in bold, graphic colour with postcards or small prints.
  • Add an inexpensive new shade to a car boot sale standard lamp base as a unique alternative to buying a brand new version.
  • Old, wooden boxes make fabulous storage for things you want to hide.
  • Plant pots painted with blackboard paint means you can have fun with chalk numbers and messages.
  • Bright, exotic plants like this orchid, cheer up any corner.
  • Evoke a 1950s sculptural artwork feel with geometric objects. Use old balls in white, wood or black from games such as polo, billiards, boules.
  • Mix in other textures like metal, for some contrast and sheen.
  • Silver cotton reels add some shimmer and sparkle to the display and old clock faces gives some graphic shape.
  • An over-sized, spotty bow, tied to the back to the back of a chair adds a bit of fun.
  • Look out for old shop drawer units as they are difficult to find at reasonable prices but are great for storage.
  • Customise an Ikea chair by painting it a colour then add a little fabric skirt. This fabric is by St.Judes.
  • Natural finds like skulls or fallen branches found on walks can make displays more interesting.
  • Pile up old books with the pages facing forward, they give wonderful height and texture to a display.
  • Paint flowers with fluorescent paint to make an unusual centre point.
  • Group objects made from the same materials together, like these glass items.
  • Mix empty, vintage perfume bottles with your modern ones you use every day. Place them all on a tray to group together, like this vintage rose glass tray bought at a car boot sale.
  • Include contemporary glass vases to stop it feeling too old fashioned and pop a beautiful rose in.
  • Hang objects straight on the wall as a decorative detail. I love vintage keys, as you never quite know what they once opened. Most all the items above were discovered at car boot sales and flea markets.
  • Look out for old school chemistry equipment at car boot sales and junk shops to be used as vases.
  • Apothecary jars make interesting displays too; the lettering adds a graphic bold detail.
  • Hyacinth bulbs placed on top of glass vessels, make unusual floral experiments and make a change to the normal bulb vases.

Words and styling by Sania Pell.  Photographs by James Balston.

This article originally appeared Heart Home magazine.

A Soft Vintage Look With The New Sunset Collection By Chivasso

New for Autumn Winter 2016, Chivasso are launching the Sunset collection consisting of three stylish designs printed on the diverse Hot Madison fabric. These original patterns have a slightly worn appearance to create a vintage look, available in a broad range of colours from yellow chartreuse, denim blues and moody greens to faded natural hues.

CH_H16_SUNSET_D1.jpg

Sunset Strip exhibits a simple, wide printed stripe suited to upholstering large pieces of furniture, while Sunset Boulevard is a smaller two tone stripe design that looks effective on soft furnishings. In addition to these linear patterns, Sunset Plaza offers a softer elegance with a distressed ornamental design. These patterned articles are designed to complement the plain fabrics of Hot Madison Reloaded – a cotton-linen fabric collection, now available in 150 colours.

Collection prices from £42.588per metre from JAB Anstoetz, 020 7348 6620, www.jab.de

Books: Decorate for a Party

Extract from Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker & Leslie Shewring.

Forest + Family

This is a gathering of friends and their little ones beneath a canopy of trees to celebrate the pleasure of exploration and the bounty and generosity of nature. This gathering is a portable party that can be packed using only a few large bags. Children can easily entertain themselves for hours if given a spot to explore and the tools to do it, which also makes this a family-friendly afternoon.

© Holly Marder

© Holly Marder

WHAT INSPIRED US. . . torn fabrics; a rustic traditional German beer garden table; a favourite wool blanket; simple brown takeaway boxes; colourful floral fabrics sourced from a shop with a lovely owner who always cuts more than you’ve ordered without adding a penny to the price; specimen kits that we enjoyed as children recreated in a simple way to encourage exploration for our younger guests; the weather and mood of late summer/early autumn weather with its changing leaves and crisp air; teepees; the challenge of creating something special and memorable out of very little; and keeping the overall look inexpensive and relatively simple to prep.

© Holly Marder

© Holly Marder

Our FOREST PARTY is perfect for parents of young children who love to explore nature. Whether you live near a forest or park and have access to public picnic tables, or the party is for a special occasion and you want to venture further and pack a folding table and benches in your car, an outing in the autumn as temperatures start to cool is an idea your friends will love.

© Holly Marder

© Holly Marder

KRAFTY LUNCH

We packed lunch in kraft paper takeaway boxes. To personalize, each was tied with torn fabric strips and presented with a sprig of something green from the forest.

© Leslie Shewring

© Leslie Shewring

FOREST CAKE

A cake is dressed up in a forest theme with mini animals, sprigs of rosemary to create little trees and bunting created using two kebab skewers, string and some strips of washi tape. This is easy to assemble – just bring your supplies and add once you arrive.

 © Holly Marder

 © Holly Marder

FINISHING TOUCHES

Wooden cutlery was given special, albeit simple, custom treatment by painting the tips with white acrylic paint. Leave to dry overnight and tie to a cloth napkin with string.

 © Holly Marder

 © Holly Marder

FRUITY TREATS

Glass fruit-juice bottles can be customized easily (skip plastic, they don’t look as nice). Pour out a little of the juice to make space. Cut up fruits that complement the juice and add to the bottle. Cover the labels with fabric bands using a glue stick and some string. Apply a kraft sticker on the lid to identify the juice.

Decorate for a Party.jpg

Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring, published by Jacqui Small (£20).

Amara Launches Their First Ever Own Label Collection

Amara are thrilled to announce the launch of their eagerly anticipated own label brand The Amara Collection for AW16.  The launch brings together some of the world’s most renowned home accessory brands and manufacturers and combines them with the valuable knowledge of the Amara expert team to create this exciting new brand.

Over the past 11 years Amara have become an authority and an expert on desirable and luxurious interiors. Co-founder Sam Hood has spent considerable time editing and curating a collection of brands which all appeal to the loyal Amara customer. After many years of studying and talking to her customers, Sam has learnt to understand their wants and needs. Sam and her team have taken this valuable customer knowledge and crucial insight and interpreted their ideas to create the first season launch.

Sam Hood said; “My team and I have spent the past 11 years bringing together and successfully selling interior brands which we love and have a passion for. We have the knowledge of the industry and most importantly we know what our customer wants. The beauty of an online business is that we can see, in real time, the success of certain brands and products which has allowed us to react with speed to our customers’ needs. We’ve been able to highlight our customers’ buying trends and personal tastes which has in turn helped us to create a collection we know they will love and want to buy.”

This inaugural collection will bring together pieces sourced from some of the industry’s finest brands and manufacturers such as Johnstons of Elgin and GioBagnara. By sourcing and co-designing pieces with some of the world’s leading craftsmen, each collection will embrace all that the Amara customer associates with the e-tailer; distinctive design, quality, timelessness, attention to detail and the most exceptional customer experience.

Sam Hood added, “It’s been a great experience to work with some of the most talented and experienced people in the industry-I’m so pleased we’ve been able to bring together all of these beautiful pieces to create the new Amara Own Label brand. By combining our own expert knowledge with our chosen brands and manufacturers, my team and I have selected and created the very best pieces we know our customers will love to have in their homes. ”

The Amara Collection will evolve and develop each season with updated trends. Many look to Amara for interior inspiration and an edit of coveted home accessories.  This range will provide customers with pieces to sit beautifully alongside their existing interior and also directional items to create a stylish focal look.  

This season will consist of the following; Fantasy, Heritage, Graphic and Luxe.

Fantasy

By mixing delicate embroidery with gentle grey tones and pretty pastel shades, the modern femininity of ‘Fantasy’ gives this delicate look a contemporary feel.

Heritage

An elegant collection of pieces which evoke a glamorous country home. Rich fabrics and tones will add depth and warmth.

Graphic

This loft living collection mixes sleek architectural designs and patterns with ultra-modern geometrics and cool sleek materials.

Luxe

Inspired by old Hollywood glamour, this decadent collection sees the use of bold tones mixed with materials such as silk and velvet.

The debut collection launches the end of September 2016.

Books: The Creative Home

Extract from The Creative Home by Geraldine James, published by CICO Books

Displaying Collections, Wall Art and Creative Storage

Most of us collect something. This could be very specific or quite random - it all depends on the individual. You may have a passion for photographs and choose to surround yourself with a particular style or period of photography. Or you may be fascinated by something more diverse, such as certain fabrics, shapes, or colours. Whatever you collect, every piece usually has a story to tell, and it is really important to display them  all with care and in a way that will enhance your living space.

A collection of vintage retro china, contemporary candlesticks and candles, and other favoured objects has been given a matte black paint treatment. Set against a white backdrop, they are transformed into a stunning display.

All eyes are on the precious items displayed as the plain floating shelves seem to disappear into the white wall. Carefully arranged by material type, the objects create a soothing and intriguing arrangement.

On top of the recycled, dark-stained sideboard, vintage glass decanters and jars form part of a carefully curated selection of objects collected over the years, complementing the display of personal photographs above.

Tall, short, narrow, and round, bottles in all shapes, sizes, and colours sit on a windowsill in their final incarnation as decorative objects, cheering up an east-facing window. As the sun rises, the light refracts through the glass, showering the kitchen with a myriad rainbow colours.

A rather dark hallway lends itself perfectly to this leaning art. Bespoke open-fronted cupboards, built expressly for collections of magazines, are the perfect platform for leaning pictures in a narrow space. The pictures are easy to move around, simple to clean, and totally interchangeable.

Photography © CICO Books 2016.

Pushka Home New 'Colour The World Fun' Collection

Contemporary homewares brand Pushka Home has come a long way since its incarnation as Pushka Knobs in 2009. Founded and managed by friends Matt and Lucy, the South West London-based brand offers a huge portfolio of gifts for the home, including the signature range of door knobs that launched the brand seven years ago.

Pushka Home is on a mission to “colour the world fun” and the additions to the portfolio for 2016 so far are certainly playing their part.

The new “Feel Good” range of coasters, knobs, hooks and wall prints will challenge you not to be inspired by its vibrant colour pallete.  The exclusive “Face” plant pot trio will cheer up even the gloomiest of gardens and new geometric coaster designs will provide perfect colour accents to any room. New materials also join the mission via the sophisticated “Hammered Copper” range of doorknobs, light pulls and coasters. 

In-house designer Lydia Hargrave says: “This is a really exciting time for Pushka Home. We’re designing more of our own products all the time; it feels like every month we create something else new that people want! We care about our customers’ homes as much as they do so it feels special to contribute those little things that make a house a home.”

For more details on all of the new additions to the Pushka Home family, and to shop the entire cataloguevisit pushkahome.com.

KLC Young Designers Competition

KLC School of Design is launching a young designers competition next week and the Heart Home editors are very proud and excited to be amongst the judges. The competition is part of the ‘Design Changes Lives’ charity initiative and is in conjunction with the start of a new Foundation Degree Interior Design for school leavers. 

Commencing 12th September 2016, the national competition is aimed at 11-18 year olds and will be promoted through senior schools across the country, to encourage creativity and design skills from a young age and champion interior design as a viable career option after sixth form.

Entrants will be asked to design a room for a chosen celebrity across two age categories 11-14 years and 15-18 years, the winning designer in each category will receive a student membership to the Design Museum in London, the world’s leading museum dedicated to contemporary design, and £100 in art vouchers. 

The winners will also be featured on the KLC website with their design created as a 3D virtual room, and they will be invited to spend a day on an interiors shoot with S Magazine and be the subject of a feature on this blog. A runner up from each category will receive a £50 art voucher.

The judging panel will consist of myself and Arianna, and (L-R below) KLC Founder and Principal, Jenny Gibbs, renowned Interior Designer and BIID President Daniel Hopwood, plus another KLC Alumni member, Victoria Gray, Lifestyle Editor at S Magazine.

Closing date for submissions is 7th January 2017, full competition T&Cs can be found on the KLC homepage from 12th September.

Introducing Cloth & Clay

Designed by a passionate team of artists, Cloth & Clay draws upon a wealth of experience to create a striking yet timeless collection of premium bedding and accessories.  Launching in the UK in September, Cloth & Clay will offer two distinctive and stylish ranges; Nordic Nights and Hue. Both ranges are made from the finest materials, including 300 thread count pure cotton and a fine linen cotton mix.  

NORDIC NIGHTS

Inspired by the serenity and beauty of the Nordic landscape, Cloth & Clay Nordic Nights explores mountain ranges, landscape, forestry and geometrics.  Using shades of grey, these elements have been beautifully interpreted into prints and embroidery on four bedding sets. Each 100% cotton, 300 thread count bedding sets comes complete with a duvet cover and pillow case/s, available in Single, Double, King and Super King.

Nordic Nights - Nyoka

Inspired by the poetic beauty of mountain ranges, this photo captured at dawn, evokes a sense of serenity and philosophy. The imagery and subtle use of graduating shades from dark to light enhance both the mystery and beauty. This design is powerful yet presents a tranquil ambience. It will look beautiful in a minimal setting.

Nordic Nights - Haze

This reinterpretation of a check design drifts from traditionally harsh lines as it takes inspiration from the frosted edges of a wintry log cabin window. The blurred lines and flecks of green and grey tones naturalise and rusticate the check making it perfect for either a country or modern home.

Nordic Nights - Niko

A labyrinth of geometry renders this thoughtful pattern. Using a web of fine lines in grey on a white base results in a soft, modern pattern emerging. This design is contemporary and will look great in a modern home.

Nordic Nights - Frey

Using a negative exposure, a pattern depicting a white winter forest is created. The unassuming tones of grey and white make a simple yet impressive print. This design will look beautiful in both modern and traditional settings.

Nordic Nights - Sayen

This elegant design uses intricate stitches to create an imagery of grass after a winter frost. Set on a luxurious dark base, the use of fine stitches in a simple pattern and the graduated colours of the embroidery create a shimmer effect reminiscent of frost.

Available from John Lewis and www.clothnclay.com

Caramel and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Truffles

Who can resist a chocolate truffle? Not us for sure. Which is why we're on a quest to indulge our tastebuds but not completely ruin our diets. These caramel and peanut butter, dark chocolate truffles are the nearest you can get to guilt free indulgence. Oh, go on then.

Makes 36 truffles

Ingredients:

500g pitted dates (we use Iranian juicy dates)

4 TBSP coconut oil

200g peanut butter (we prefer lightly salted peanut butter)

200g dark chocolate, 70%

Method:

1.       Blend the pitted dates with 2 TBSP of melted coconut oil in a food processor, until you get a paste consistency.

2.       Make balls out of the paste, we estimate 36 portions however feel free to make them whatever size you’d like. Press the top of the ball with your thumb to create a little dent. Place the peanut butter in the dent you have created.

3.       Place these balls in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes, or until they firm up.

4.       In the meantime, gently melt the dark chocolate., until you have a nice liquid out of it.

5.       Take your balls out of the freezer, and pour the melted chocolate over them, covering them completely.

6.       Place the chocolate covered truffles in the fridge to set, at least 15 minutes.

7.       Keep truffles stored in the fridge for up to a week. Make sure you serve from cold.

This recipe is courtesy of Mojo Health Bar, Soho, whose aim is to create an “irresistibly healthy” experience for you. Their mission is to find the perfect balance of nutritious yet delicious food.

New In! Eclectic Geometrics Wallpapers

Geometric and eccentric, these effortlessly cool wallpapers make up the Prism Collection by Murals Wallpaper. The exclusive collection takes bright, bold patterns into the realms of large-scale design. 

Geometrics of Grandeur

Focusing on clean lines, flat colours and unique textures, the Prism Collection transforms any interior space into a unique visual feast for the eyes whilst retaining an air of elegance and sophistication.

Featuring on trend shades like Rose Quartz and Ochre, along with dashes of Serenity Blue; the collection is sure to provide any space in the home with some serious style and exclusivity. 

The murals, which are designed and sold by Murals Wallpaper, utilise modern digital printing techniques and capure the high impact effects through HD photography. The prints can then be hung just like normal wallpaper.

Trend Alert - The Humble Cactus

In case you hadn't noticed yet, we're here to tell you that the humble cactus is having a moment. This prickly character is cropping up all over the high street on wallpaper, cushions, blinds, and prints. Not to mention all manner of accessories. So feast your eyes on this little lot and if you dare, add some Californian Cool to your own humble abode.

Hibou Home Cactus and Cowboy Wallpaper, £70, Nubie

Cactus Print, £14.50, Of Life and Lemons

Cactus Window Blinds available through Apollo Blinds’ digital printing service. Digital printing costs £119 pm² plus the price of the roller blind (prices start at £72).

A trio of Cacti from Homesense

Gold Cacti (set Of 2), £22, Mia Fleur

Cactus Cushion, £52, Barnaby & Co

Cactus Bloom. Manipulated Colour Photograph, £150, Artfinder

Cactus Candles, £1.50 each, Primark

Cactus Trinket Dish, £9.50, Oliver Bonas

And if you haven't had enough yet, there's more....