Grand Designs Live
We’ve been regulars at Grand Designs Live since it started over ten years ago. The format of the show hasn’t changed that drastically since its inception, however this year there were some fantastic new additions, talks and room sets – some of which featuring several PR First clients!
Next to the seemingly gargantuan and aesthetically impressive auditorium, Kevin’s Green Heroes showcased the most revolutionary and eco-friendly gadgets and products for the home. These included ‘The Smack’ – an innovative lighting source made from recycled plastic, illustrating the increasing importance of sustainability amongst designers. We also saw ‘Strocks’ (straw and clay bricks) – an insulating and ecologically aware building material, that evokes the wattle and daub used in British buildings for millennia.
Another fantastic installation we saw during the show were the Interior Room Sets & Studio – several different room sets designed by interior designers, such as Finch London and Jade Maria Interiors. We saw lots of different colour and pattern trends at play – pink and green colour combinations remaining a favourite, as well as maximalist living rooms and monochrome bedrooms with flashes of yellow.
Bathroom decoration was on show at the Lavatory Project – where, again, interior designers have been asked to mock-up unique and striking rooms, including products from Pooky as well as Bert and May.
If you missed the show, don’t worry – Grand Designs Live is coming to Birmingham this October, leaving you plenty of time to nab a ticket!
PR First Wins Editors Choice Award at Your Home Awards 2018!
The very first Your Home Awards were announced earlier this month, and we were beyond thrilled to win the ‘Editor’s Choice Award’.
The Your Home Awards celebrate the very best of the homes and interiors industry, covering all aspects of home décor and design: from DIY and decorating to shopping, gardening and home technology. Their expert panel chose ‘the best of the best ‘from 20 categories, and we were lucky enough to walk away with the prestigious Editor’s Choice Award, in recognition of our “excellent PR service” (their words, not ours – we promise!)
It’s a fantastic way to start the year, and needless to say all of us are truly delighted with the award, especially when it’s coming from a publication and team we enjoy so much.
Have a look at the full list of winners on the Your Home website www.yourhomemagazine.co.uk, as well as in their April issue - which goes on sale on 28th February.
Thanks Your Home & HomeStyle!
We round up our top three must-have designer collaborations that you need to be in the know about.
Louis Vuitton & Jeff Koons
The eagerly anticipated Louis Vuitton and Jeff Koons collaboration is hot off the press. The capsule collection features a 51 piece series of leather goods, handbags and accessories modelled after some of the worlds most recognisable paintings like the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. Rumour has it that it will be the first of several future collaborations.
Henry Holland for Habitat
After the first successful collection with Habitat, Henry Holland is back with a second collection. Taking inspiration from the SS17 catwalk ‘Free to Roam’ the range features striking prints spread across a selection of irresistible bedding, rugs and cushions.
Smeg & Dolce & Gabbana
Iconic designer Dolce & Gabbana has once again teamed creative forces with Smeg to extend the Italian inspired hand painted collection from refrigerators now to the small electricals. These funky appliances will certainly add a little zest and interest to any kitchen work surface.
This week we found ourselves feeling ever so slightly jealous that we weren’t at Coachella.
All the fashion, the music, the weather – it’s hard not to wish you were there. Set within the Colorado Desert we can’t help but drool over the picturesque backdrop. While looking through all the beautiful Instagram celeb photos that boast the bright sunshine, palm trees and that all American vibe, we felt inspired to make this dreamy aesthetic a reality with our homewares.
Channel your feminine side with florals, whether that is in a statement piece or smaller homewares.
Embrace the global fusion and bold prints like Jeremy Scott.
Loose fabrics and bright colours are perfect for spring and summer. This can be easily adapted to work in your home.
Spring Inspiration from Top Interior Bloggers
With an abundance of interior design inspiration just a click away, we’ve picked out a few of our favourite blog posts from the month of March. From colourful travel destinations to crafty makes there are so many blogs to choose from, all differing in their unique ways. We’ve rounded up four which hopefully will inspire you to style the season this Easter.
First up is Swoon Worthy by super glam American blogger, Kimberly Duran. One of Kimberly’s recent posts delves into the world of indoor plants and botanical themes. From using different types of greenery and hanging plants to ways of introducing large palms into the home, it’s a great source for those looking to create an urban jungle. We love how elegantly the below plant hangs. Click here to read the full post.
Lobster & Swan, one of the UK’s original lifestyle blogs is written by Jeska from the beautiful Sussex countryside. Jeska has recently showcased how to create a pom pom wall hanging which certainly stood out from the crowd. Wall tapestry’s and tasselled hangings are totally hot right now so if you’re a dab hand at DIY then why not give this pom pom wallcovering a go? A perfect craft update to tackle over the Easter bank holiday. Click here to read the full post.
From the grey of London to the vibrant views of Palm Springs, we’re joining Little Big Bell as she travels to the States. We love UK interiors, however this colourful tour of Palm Springs is a refreshing change and we love the retro architecture. With so much colour, Geraldine’s photos jump out of the screen. With pink palettes huge in fashion and interiors at the moment, the pink buildings complemented with botanical palms are certainly in vogue. Looking to revamp a room? Why not take inspiration from the bold hues seen in Geraldine's images and create a tropical scheme. Click here to read the full post.
With Easter filled with family (and plenty of chocolate, of course), you may be looking to spruce up the guest bedroom. Boo & Maddie has explored versatile living through the introduction of the brand new Westbury modular sofa from Willow & Hall. Available as a 1, 2 or 3 seater sofa or sofa bed with the choice of an ottoman to create a chaise-style, it’s so cosy your guests aren’t going to want to leave! Click here to read the full post.
Will you be tackling Jeska’s pom pom wall hanging this bank holiday? Or perhaps you’ll be going plant shopping? Let us know on Twitter!
Written by Graeme Wood, 12 April 2017
A Trip to the Middle East
When you think of Dubai, you often think of an ultra-modern city, luxurious shopping and flash cars, and not a lot else. My second trip to Dubai, five years later, would take me and my mum away for five days of R&R and possibly some shopping!
A city based on the oil trade, over the last decade it has emerged as a global city, attracting attention for its many innovative large construction projects, such as the Palm and the World, not to mention the Burj Khalifa.
Not everything about Dubai is brand new, with the Old Town still a delightful warren of souks, with everything from gold and textiles to perfumes and fish on offer. The greatest sense overload comes from the Spice Souk which offers plenty of colour and aromas. Arriving to the souk by boat over the Dubai Creek is a lovely way to be transported back to old Dubai.
Dubai is full of lovely restaurants, bars and clubs, with everything from Michelin starred restaurants to Five Guys for the burger lovers! Dubai is certainly diverse and a contrast between old and new but one that works.
Written by Lucy Horton, 03 April 2017
A Look at London Design Week 2017
Described as ‘couture for the home’, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is a design destination renowned for its high quality, trend-led and dynamic interiors. Home to 120 showrooms and over 600 luxury brands, it is the largest of its kind in Europe.
London Design Week (LDW) is an annual event. The week long exhibition (Sunday 12th – Friday 17th March 2017), showcases the new launches, collaborations and the best design has to offer.
With the theme of Science of Design, this year was dedicated to discovering designs DNA. Through the Design Centre’s renowned Conversations in Design including talks and workshops with influential industry leaders such as David Nicholls (House & Garden), Giles Kime (Country Life) and journalist and author, Charlotte Abrahams, LDW dissected the design process.
As well as visiting the showrooms to discover the latest trends, we attended a Discovery Trail with Ben Spriggs, Deputy Editor of Elle Decoration. Led by Ben, the tour showcased the best that the Design Centre has to offer in fabrics, wallcoverings, flooring and furniture.
Here are our highlights and trend predictions for the year ahead...
Flora meets fauna with alchemist, Larry Walshe’s aerial installation inspired by Newton’s investigation into momentum. Merging the law of physics with botany and zoology, the spectacle of five Perspex terrariums were filled with butterflies, flowers, beetles and a skull buried amongst green grasses and eucalyptus. An inspired connection between nature and design.
Salazar the Siberian Tiger
London Design Week had an unexpected guest, Salazar the Siberian Tiger. Taking inspiration from zoology, Salazar was designed, hand painted and flocked by Larry Walshe Floral Design.
Image courtesy of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour
Jelly Bean Lab
London Design Week had something extra sweet this year with the Jelly Bean Lab. This year’s show theme, the Science of Design, was sponsored by Jelly Bean and offered a colourful take on chemistry with vials, beakers and vessels filled with the vibrant sweets.
Image courtesy of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour
Jo Malone London
Visitors were encouraged to relax and discover their bespoke scent with the help of Jo Malone Fragrance Combining. The sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses and induces memory and emotion. Through the use of candles, diffusers and hand creams, Jo Malone demonstrated how important this is in design and retail.
Image courtesy of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour
Inspiration from Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2017, Greenery, was apparent across LDW. From fresh green shades to palm motifs and natural foliage used in both window displays and the Design Centre’s own terrarium installation, the spritely hue created a striking indoor/outdoor feel.
Designers and brands looked to exotic animals for inspiration across wallcoverings, fabric and soft furnishings. Monkey motifs, tiger prints and illustrations depicting jungle scenes were featured across the Design Centre. Orange was the accent colour with splashes of green offering a tropical look, adding to the feeling of safari when walking through the centre’s domes.
Abstract, fragmented geometrics were the pattern of choice. Showrooms demonstrated how to introduce vibrant and bold prints through soft furnishings, wall décor and accessories.
Finally, with spring just around the corner, coastal style is becoming an inspiration for many design houses. Natural materials and Scandinavian colour blends were evident through the use of natural materials such as marble, shells and wicker, and of course classic blue and white colour combinations.
Which of these trends are you looking forward to seeing emerge in the year ahead? Let us know on Twitter!
Written by the PR First team, 29 March 2017
The Best Afternoon Tea for Mother’s Day
Treat mum to an alternative gift and spoil her with some of the best afternoon tea London (and beyond) has to offer. Whether you opt for the traditional selection or choose something a little unusual, you’ll be sure to make mum feel special; because let’s face it, who doesn’t love mini sandwiches and cakes?
Take a look at our favourite spots to decide which is your cup of tea…
Take a trip down the rabbit hole, or in this instance, to the Sanderson Hotel for an Alice in Wonderland inspired magical Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. From sandwich plates decorated with ticking clocks to the Sanderson-exclusive ‘Alice’ tea, this mouth-watering selection won’t disappoint.
Ham Yard Hotel
If your mum likes a traditional spread then delve into the delicious menu at the Ham Yard Hotel. The award winning selection of afternoon tea has something for the whole family, with alternative menus for those who are vegan, gluten free, sugar free or simply want a healthy alternative. Also, check out the fantastic crockery designed by Kit Kemp!
If modern art takes your fancy, then head straight to the Mirror Room at the Rosewood for an artistic take on a traditional afternoon tea. The food looks so good that you won’t want to eat it! When you do decide to stop snapping photos for Instagram then you can tuck into a delicious range of pastries created by Mark Perkin’s and inspired by the likes of Mark Rothko, Damien Hirst and Bansky.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little further afield, we’d recommend Washingborough Hall in Lincoln. After a stroll around the beautiful grounds, take a seat and enjoy soup, sandwiches and sweet treats.
Image courtesy of Washingborough Hall
The Grounds of Alexandria
Now, if you happen to just find yourself in the area and looking for afternoon tea, then The Grounds of Alexandria is fantastic. Yes, it may be half way around the world in Sydney, however if you’re planning a trip then this is one to put on the to-do list. Sit outside among the flowers, bask in the summer sunshine and enjoy high tea finished with colourful macarons and DIY iced tea.
Plenty of food for thought and some hot spots to spoil mum.
Written by Megan Holding, 13 March 2017
Beauty & The Beast
Over 25 years ago, ‘a tale as old as time’ first graced our screens, and on Friday, 17th March returns to cinemas with ‘just a little change, small to say the least’. So, ‘be our guest’ and be inspired by the timeless style of Beauty & the Beast.
Bring the home to life with these pieces that have a touch of magic...
Cuthbert table lamp in antique brass, 35cm Empire shade in raspberry silk £165 from Pooky, Chesterfield chaise from £1,652 from Declor, Chichester 5ft open rack dresser in Blakeney blue £2,500 from Neptune
Written by the PR First team, 15 March 2017
Back to Black
With spring on the horizon, you wouldn’t think black would be the new, well, black. So, in case you haven’t heard, black is coming back.Known in the 13th century to be a symbol of power, luxury and elegance, black is a versatile shade that has been emerging throughout the London Fashion Week 2017 catwalk, from the likes of Julien Mcdonald to up and coming designer Bora Aksu. As well as explosions of colour and beautiful floral motifs that we expect to see in the spring/summer collections, these traditional spring hues were side-lined for dark Victoriana florals and monochrome designs that returned with a ‘gothic novelty’ edge.
Bora Aksu SS17 collection
With so many of us taking inspiration from the catwalk, who says we can’t bring black into our homes? Black is universal and can be combined with many colours to strike the perfect balance. From monochromatic schemes reminiscent of the roaring 20s or paired with bursts of vibrant hues for a modern look, black is a bold harmonious choice and it just, fits.
Here’s our interiors take on this season’s comeback colour.
Written by Grace Bowden, 28 February 2017
Neptune Opens New Home Store in Wimbledon
The award-winning furniture, lighting, and home accessories brand, Neptune, has announced it will be opening its 18th UK store in Wimbledon on Thursday 23rd February 2017. The new store will be its third London-based location and will open its doors in February in the high-street location of The Broadway, within walking distance of Wimbledon’s central railway station and tube line.
Founded in 1996 by friends John Sims-Hilditch and Giles Redman, Neptune is an interiors retailer recognised for its exacting standards, design-led aesthetic and expert craftsmanship. Perhaps most well-known for its kitchens, every Neptune piece is designed for a lifetime of use, with its trademark ‘look’ being rooted in British heritage.
The new Wimbledon store is a conversion of an early 20th-century, three-storey building with original sash windows. The interior designers from Neptune’s Retail Design team will transform the space by reformulating the property’s layout, installing Crittall windows and doors across the entire front face, and bringing Neptune’s timeless aesthetic to the indoors and out. At the rear of the property there will be a courtyard city garden. “It will feel a little townhouse and a little city in terms of style but with the effortless elegance for which Neptune has become known felt in every room,” said Fred Horlock, Retail Design Manager at Neptune.
“We’ve been keeping a close eye on properties in the Wimbledon area for a while now and have been waiting for the right opportunity,” explained Gary Temprell, Director of Retail at Neptune. “The store will be based only 1.6 miles from the iconic Wimbledon Tennis Club with Wimbledon village being just over a five minute walk away too. The interest in Neptune in and around London keeps on increasing and so we wanted to make the in-store experience with us more accessible so residents, and visitors, of Wimbledon can get to know Neptune and our designs properly.”
Neptune Wimbledon will display a large portion of the collections with designs for every room of the home presented within a lifestyle environment. Its four kitchen collections will be showcased along with furniture for the bedroom, living room and dining area. Additionally, visitors to the store will see a design office, large accessories area with a lighting display, and Neptune’s iconic Flower Shop. It will also feature a section dedicated to Neptune Tailored. Here, customers will be able to get up close to its house-blended paints and the extensive selection textiles that make up its fabric library.
Step inside the new Neptune Wimbledon showroom and find design inspiration for the whole home.
Written by David White, 20 February 2017
A Trip Down Under
What’s better than some winter sun? For the first time ever I decided to escape chilly London in favour of Sydney. My first venture down under, Australia was gloriously warm with wonderful beaches and incredible food – just what’s needed to beat those January blues.
A city rich with history, its buildings speak a thousand words. The first British settlers, led by Captain Arthur Phillip, arrived in 1788 and although Sydney’s winter is a much sunnier climate then that of the UK, you can’t help but feel that the city has a distinctly British feel. Although, like most cities, Sydney is now a stark contrast of old meets new, much of the city is inspired by the Georgian style architecture seen here in the UK.
The Rocks, the oldest part of the city, is filled with old brick buildings adorned with factory typography reminiscent of what you see along the Thames. Traditional terrace houses sit quietly below the imposing industrial Harbour Bridge, old Victorian-style pubs nestle between former power station, the Arts Exchange Building, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, an Art Deco building now hosts a contemporary brutalist extension. It’s a diverse clash of design, showcasing all the best bits from decades before.
As you hop on the Manly ferry and watch the city unfurl before you, the star of the show is Sydney Opera House. The 1970s performing arts centre is designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and the shell like roof is one of the most iconic architectural designs in the world. It creates the most interesting skyline, with each design representing a different era, a different slice of Sydney’s heritage and a different story to tell.
Written by David White, 15 February 2017
New Year, New Us
We’ve survived Blue Monday, the Christmas chocolates have finally run out and we have almost made it through January. It’s now time to get organised, say goodbye to clutter and hello to Lagom (said, lar-gom) and sustainability for 2017.
Neptune Arundel four-six Seater table £1,380, Wardley dining chair in natural oak £290, Lamorran serving bowls from £10, Corinium serving platter from £18
The idea that less is more is key for the year ahead, so pull on those rubber gloves and start decluttering and thinking more like the Swedes. Simple changes like beginning to recycle more, sending your unwanted clothes to charity shops, (H&M launched a garment collecting initiative in 2013) and stop being wasteful with food and energy will see us being happier and more successful in the year ahead. Take a look at our favourite pieces to make us more…Lagom.
Written by Lily Bell, 25 January 2017
Pantone colour of the year 2017: Greenery
A fresh and zesty yellow-green shade, Pantone has announced its Colour of the Year for 2017: 15-0343 Greenery. Influenced by the need to return to simplicity and nature, the new shade for 2017 embraces the beauty of the first days of spring. Bring the outside in with the use of botanical prints, zesty shades and accessorise with succulents and ferns to complete the trend for 2017.
Written by Lily Bell, 08 December 2016
SS17 Pantone Colour Palette
Inspired by the new hues for SS17 released by Pantone, here's our interiors take on how to style the season. From leafy Kale and calming blues through to zingy Pink Yarrow and hot Flame, the ten tones are set to be the perfect palette to transition from winter to spring.
Written by David, 25 October 2016
New Designers 2016
We’ve been out and about scouting new talent and trends at New Designers 2016 in Islington. The return of the show saw the best of textiles, fashion, graphic design, furniture, product design, ceramics, glass, jewellery and precious metal work from leading universities and design schools from the UK and Europe.
With the main focus of Part 1 being print design for textiles and fashion, we looked to see what the next big thing is predicted to be from the emerging talent spotted at the show. It looks like palm prints are here to stay, but they’ll be teamed with bamboo designs and tropical wildlife in bright and inspiring palettes.
Another PRF spot from the up and coming designers were intricate and meticulous designs of insects, beetles and other creepy crawlies in dark and moody shades that have made us want to scuttle back for more. We’re mad about Sandrine U.Pilling’s botanical designs which feature big insect motifs on beautiful wallpaper, fabrics, cushions and table top accessories.
Part 2 saw a flair for abstract furniture and product design from the budding designers. Showcasing statement furniture and marbled accessories – a huge trend for this season - we were on the hunt for ‘what’s hot’ and found a focus on sustainable design and the use of recycled or waste materials. The new designer’s innovative ideas did not disappoint…
During our visit we ventured up to the ‘One Year On’ exhibition to take a look at the designer’s progression and met Rachel Howarth an award winner at the 2015 showcase. Rachel established herself as an emerging designer with her signature blue colours and graphic screen printing and this year she returned with an exciting new collection of brushed aluminium digital prints. The combination of digital printing and metallic surfaces is an eye-catching concept and a trend we definitely hope to see more of.
Take a look at our Instagram for the rest of our highlights
Written by Az, Grace, Lily and Mackenzie, 10 July 2016
Steuart Padwick and Amelia Carter join PR First
PR First is delighted to announce the latest additions to its client portfolio, Steuart Padwick and Amelia Carter.
Steuart Padwick is an award winning British designer, specialising in furniture, lighting and product design. With a wealth of knowledge and over 35 years’ experience in the interior and design industry, Steuart has worked with retail giants including The Conran Shop, Benchmark and Heal’s. His designs for made.com continue to be some of the retailer’s best-selling lines.
Established in 2011 by Canadian born Amelia Carter, London based Amelia Carter Interiors offers tailor made services in interior design, interior architecture, home styling and interior consultation. With over 10 years’ experience working alongside leading interior designers including Kelly Hoppen and Katherine Pooley, at the heart of every Amelia Carter commission is the wish to reflect the personality of the client.
Written by David White and Lucy Horton, 30 June 2016
Green is the new grey
Let colour do the talking even in the most neutral of interiors, layer opulent and rich emerald green cushions and throws in tactile and plush fabrics on a neutral grey sofa. Complete the look with natural wood furniture, tonal accessories and potted succulents to breathe life into the room and create a serene and peaceful ambience.
For those of us brave enough to splash colour onto the walls, forest greens, Paint by Conran’s New Sap is great when matched with the on trend shades of mustard and ochre hues to create a mid-century feel. Team with dark woods and brushed metallics for a bold design statement that looks luxurious, opulent and inviting.
Introduce this decadent and rich shade into your home with our round up of the best leafy coloured homewares…
Written by Lily Bell, 23 June 2016
Pantone Autumn Winter 2016 Colour Report
Pantone has unveiled its Autumn Winter 2016 Colour Palette in a report that highlights the 10 key colours set to dominate next season.
Clockwise from top left: Spicy Mustard, Potter's Clay, Aurora Red, Dusty Cedar, Bodacious, Airy Blue, Riverside, Lush Meadow, Warm Taupe, Sharkskin
Inspired by tranquillity and optimism, the Pantone AW16 Colour Palette is led by blue hues of cool and calm Airy Blue and the bolder Riverside.
Complementing these are edgy Sharkskin and comforting Warm Taupe, two very versatile shades.
Giving a nod to Pantone’s Colour of the Year, Rose Quartz, a warmer and dustier pink has emerged in the form of Dusty Cedar, which is joined by another burnt tone, the earthy Potter’s Clay.
Completing the palette, bold Bodacious, vibrant Aurora Red, rich Lush Meadow and exotic Spicy Mustard add a welcome burst of colour and pack a real punch.
Here’s our pick of the best interiors pieces in Pantone’s key colours.
L-R: Pooky Coolie hat pendant in Duck Egg Blue, sofa.com Peggy armchair in Sunshine, Crucial Trading WFN501 Wool Fabulous Narrow in Diamond, Pooky Palmyra lamp base with Ruby Dupion silk shade, Bronte by Moon Doublesquare throw in Liliac
L-R: The Shutter Store four panel shutters, Paint by Conran Terracotta pot emulsion, Christy Supreme towels in Deep Sea, Nina Campbell Ogden chestnut leather wastebin, Willow & Hall The Atworth Armchair in Leather Fudge
Written by Mackenzie Mackie, 09 June 2016
Clerkenwell Design Week 2016
New exhibitions Platform and Project exceeded expectations bringing together international names showcasing the most exciting up-and-coming design talent including Archie Proudfoot, Augusta Akerman and IdeaPaint. Also new for 2016, British Collection put a spotlight on home-grown design talent featuring the very best in furniture, lighting and product design.
We were blown away by the breadth of talent, here are our highlights.
Our favourite designers
The next big thing
We spotted a number of designers combining Jesmonite with traditional woods and metals to create innovative design statements.
Landscape of Oxidation collection by Yen Chen and Ya Wen
Roll on 2017!
Written by Tulsi Patel, 27 May 2016
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
5,500 crocheted poppies laid as a show stopping red carpet leading to the Royal Hospital
As always, the show gardens are the big draw, where natural planting, water features, purple, orange, bronze and a sense of fun abound. Our favourites included the serenity of New Zealand in the Cloudy Bay garden, the Harrods British Eccentrics garden by Diarmuid Gavin came complete with rotating dancing conifers and God's Own County, which showcases scenery, heritage and craftsmen of Yorkshire, and features sandstone paving from Marshalls and cushions & throws by Bronte by Moon. Another highlight was a striking copper band which flows throughout the Winton Beauty of Mathematics garden. Away from the show gardens but no less impressive are 5,000 crocheted poppies laid as a show stopping red carpet leading to the Royal Hospital, home to the Chelsea pensioners.
L-R: Cloudy Bay garden, God's Own County stain glass window, Winton Beauty of Mathematics garden
Inside the Great Pavilion are incredible displays of colour, shape, texture and scent at every turn, from brightly coloured beach huts, torsos adorned with elaborate floral headdresses, floral peacock, a brand new rose from Harkness Roses dedicated to national treasure, Mary Berry and a floral tribute bust of HM The Queen in her 90th year.
All around are stands selling everything from a £3 dibber to a £100,000 outdoor kitchen. The Easigrass stand must be twinned with London zoo and the graffiti apple from Bull & Stein made everyone stop and stare. At every turn there is something to delight.
The first Chelsea Flower Show took place in 1862, 154 years on and it's still going strong.
Viva la flora.
Written by Cliff Harris, 24 May 2016
Grand Designs Live 2016
May took us to Grand Designs Live at the Excel centre for a walk around the various Grand halls and to listen to Julia Begbie, Deputy Director of Studies at KLC, talk us through the secrets of the design process.
Julia highlighted three key areas to consider when decorating a home:
1. Create original colour schemes – think about the feeling you want to convey in your home and the colours you want to use. Next, find an image that conveys these colours; this doesn't necessarily need to be an interiors image. Then use a tool such as Colour Explorer to extract the various colours, this will give you an idea of the different tones you can use to create the desired effect.
2. Arranging objects and spaces – Base the arrangement on the design principles of repetition and focal points. For instance repeat a mirror in your hallway to create a different dimension and make it appear larger. Also, think about what the focal point is in the room, is it the sofa or a painting? This will allow you to work out the layout for the rest of the room.
3. Lighting – the single pendant is the worst possible way to highlight your home. Think about layering the lighting and the key areas of a home that need light. This will enable you to include floor, side, wall and task lighting, creating an interesting dynamic.
We were also inspired by the Grand Interiors hall, which showcased six room sets inspired by “famous places that never existed”; Neverland Study, Grand Budapest Hotel Lobby, Pandora Lounge, Where The Wild Things Are Child’s Bedroom, an Atlantis Bathroom and a Secret Garden Dining Room. Our favourite was the Neverland study with its bright, clashing colours and travel inspired products.
Written by Lucy Horton, 05 May 2016
The Inspirational Power of Pattern
March took us to Design Week at Design Centre Chelsea for a fascinating talk on The Inspirational Power of Pattern. Led by journalist Charlotte Abrahams in conversation with Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham, the duo behind Patternity, we found ourselves leaving inspired by the natural designs we see around us everyday.
Image credit: Patternity
Anna and Grace highlighted the importance of stopping and looking at the world, not through a camera lens for Instagram, but really observing how pattern is everywhere. From Brutalist buildings and rainbow oil spills to fashion and food forms, we’re surrounded and influenced by pattern all the time.
With the Memphis trend prevalent in the design world and bold monochrome geometrics still in vogue, there are pops of colour and pattern everywhere we turn. Here’s our round-up of colourful accessories and finishing touches to liven up the home.
Written by David White, 28 April 2016