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Clerkenwell 2017- Highlights

Once again Clerkenwell became abuzz with activity as it hosted the annual Clerkenwell Design Week. The area in Central London is known as London’s Creative Heart – hosting more architects and creative businesses per square mile than anywhere else. Each year the event attracts students, designers and manufacturers from all over the UK to its eight exhibition spaces and over a hundred open showrooms scattered across the area. It offers a fantastic opportunity to meet the faces behind the product, and discover the thought process behind creating beautiful pieces of design.

 

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

The event oozes with style and inspiration – and of course Gracious Luxury were there!

Each of the eight exhibition spaces hosted collections of varying themes and focuses – including Design Fields for International contemporary design, Platform for up-and-coming design talent, Additions for small design pieces and accessories, Project for contract furniture, British Collection for home grown talent and finally Detail for luxury design.

The selection this year was as strong as ever, and the exhibitions had a real emphasis on user activity – displays were tactile, installations encouraged participation and the feel was dynamic and energised.

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

Amongst all of this activity, there were some shining stars of the show. Here are my top picks of Clerkenwell 2017:

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

Emma J Shipley

Possibly one of the most visually striking displays (located in Additions) was that of Emma J Shipley – a graphic artist based in London. Emma’s work harnesses the beauty of handcrafted design and each illustration is drawn by hand. The designs are whimsical – from mythological creatures, sea creatures, astrological imagery to special collaborations with Disney. The illustrations are printed onto luxury silk cushions, scarves, prints and accessories.

https://emmajshipley.com/

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

Lozi

Lozi, a London based company creates bespoke, modern furniture. Hosted in British Collection, the elegant woodwork is simple and clean in style. The smooth and beautifully crafted pieces utilise a neutral pallet; with oaks, beech, pine and white. The clean lines focus on wood grain and complex joins, which give texture and detail to every piece. We particularly enjoyed the bespoke kitchen collection and the soft, warm glow cast by the pine-veneered sunset lamp.

https://www.lozidesigns.com/

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

MannMade London

MannMade London is yet another fantastic British company, specialising in handcrafted, made to order pieces inspired by the urban surroundings of its home in Battersea, London. Their exhibition at the British Collection focused on the launch of their new Battersea Collection, featuring their Edna mirrors in silver or a stunning rose gold, the Rozel dressing table and the Northcote shelving unit. Each piece is made from steel, dyed Valchromat and solid Walnut or Ash. The dark colour pallet coupled with crisp lines create a minimal, functional and moody feel with a touch of glamour.

http://www.mannmadelondon.com/

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

Graypants

One of the more unusual objects we saw at Clerkenwell was the flagship piece by Graypants – the Scraplight, at Icon House of Culture. The unusual light shade is full of texture in an earthy tone, and as you get closer to the piece you realise it is made up of laser-cut, recycled corrugated cardboard. Environmentally friendly, the light fittings make a statement and would suit spaces in both bold and neutral colour pallets.

https://www.graypants.com/ 

Photo: Bang & Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen sponsored Icon House of Culture this year, and took full advantage of the atmospheric space with light installations, leading to their BeoSound Shape speaker system. The wall-mounted speakers offer an attractive acoustic solution to any space, and the modular system allows for you to choose exactly how you want it arranged. The wool fabric coated panels are tactile and eye catching, giving you the opportunity to create a focal point in any room – both practical and stylish, with incredible sound.

https://www.bang-olufsen.com/en

Clerkenwell 2017 was a yet again a massive hit and fantastic experience for designers, creatives and those who appreciate the art of interior design. If you were unable to visit this year, I hope you were inspired by our selection of highlights. Don’t forget – Clerkenwell 2018 will soon be around the corner, don’t miss it!

BA Interior Design (Hons)- University of South Wales

https://samueljones.myportfolio.com

Searching For Inspiration- The Herbert Art Gallery

Last week a group of us paid a visit to The Herbert Art Gallery in search of inspiration for some exciting projects we have coming up. Where better to source design inspiration from than an art gallery right? Well, I found the trip very inspirational so I wanted to share with you all my favourite parts from our visit.

Not only does the gallery contain some beautiful pieces, but the building itself is also a work of art. The roof of the building over the main entrance showcases a wonderful geometric pattern which can be seen from the inside and outside of the building. The roof also curves over the top and looks beautiful when it is lit up at night. The roof is one of the things I love most about this building, the clean, bold lines and industrial look are certainly a favourite of mine when it comes to architecture. Along the outside as you walk towards the entrance there are some wonderful, interesting features including more angular wooden beams and metal rectangular fixtures with letters carved into them.

 

One of the first things that really caught my eye was this painting. The wonderful combination of colours was the first thing that drew me in but the longer I looked, the more I could see. I’m a great believer in injecting colour into an interior to give it some added character so this painting is certainly a piece that makes the imagination run wild when relating it to interior design. I also think that hanging art work in a space is really important and keeping it colourful is a great way to go!

This chair designed by Spencer Jenkins is made from steel and woven willow and is said to be a sculpture with a functional purpose. The piece looks at how humans are changing nature to suit their needs. This chair is possibly my favourite piece from our trip. I love how the bright pink contrasts the willow and how the shape of the frame is so interesting with it disappearing into the willow weave. If only we could buy them and put them in our homes.

Now I can be a bit of a magpie at times, so when it comes to anything shiny or sparkly I seem to be instantly drawn to it. That, along with the Gracious Luxury logo being black and gold, drew my attention instantly to this particular installation. As we work with luxury fabrics, finishes and furniture on a daily basis these gorgeous beads are definitely a source of inspiration for us. Shapes, colours and textures are all very important in interior design and mixing them up with luxury finishes are just what we like to see.

These lovely little ceramic pots are another thing that caught my attention on our visit. Beautiful harmonious colours and each one has a completely different, interesting top to it. Each one the same, but with its own unique addition. This principle along with the colour scheme is definitely inspiration in itself. And why not even try showcasing functional ceramics in your home and keep them on display.

Now this installation was another favourite of mine. The fabric bright and colourful, printed with a pattern and then stitched and embroidered to manipulate the shape it appears as. It then appears that the outer shell is broken to uncover the beauty inside. Many of these were installed in a circle, each one completely different from the next. The contrast between the neutral and the bright pop of colour is definitely something we can take from when it comes to interior design.

The final thing that I really loved from the gallery were these gorgeous little lamp shades. I find it unusual to see these shades handing from the ceiling as opposed to being in place on top of standing lamps.  The light also seeps out of the tiny holes made when each segment of the shades were attached which adds a lot of interest to the piece. I love how each of the lamps is unique and different and has different pattern and embellishment from the next. I also really enjoy the way these lights are hung for the installation. They hang at a range of different heights and reflect light off one another, which is definitely something to consider when considering lighting solutions for interior design.

The Herbert Art Gallery has been a great source of inspiration for us with the projects that we have coming up. I personally think that art galleries and installations, right down to street art are wonderful things to look at to be inspired for all forms of design. So I hope that these pieces will inspire you, just as they have inspired me.

Until next time!

Clutter-Free Ideas For The New Year

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Every time a new year rolls around, everyone seems to adopt the ‘New Year, New Me’ attitude and create several resolutions for the new year. For me, when the new year finally comes the first thing I want to do is get organised, and this usually starts at home. My moto is ‘Tidy Life, Tidy Mind’ so keeping things in order is of the upmost importance to me. So here I am to share with you just a few different ways to get your homes in check for 2017 and to inspire you to have a clutter-free year.

We all do a January detox after the busy festive period, so why not detox your wardrobe? I’m pretty strict with myself when it comes to clearing out my wardrobe. If it doesn’t fit or I haven’t worn it in months, it’s going to friends or to charity. Once I’ve cleared out all the things I no longer need or want, it’s down to organising. The best place to start is to make sure all your hangers are the same, or at least the same size, so that everything hangs at the same height. If you want to be extra neat and tidy you might even want to colour coordinate your wardrobe and make sure you hang each of the hangers at equal distances from each other. These things are especially important if you have an open-fronted wardrobe or a clothing rail; having your clothes on show in your bedroom (or dressing room) is a great, easy way to add decoration to your space. So, keep it tidy!

The one room I make sure is always organised is the bathroom and there is nothing worse than an untidy linen cupboard. I don’t know about you but I tend to acquire a LOT of new cosmetic items over Christmas so I like to have a clear out in the new year. Making space for new products takes time sometimes but I like to think out with the old and in with the new and make sure all my favourites are easily within reach. Then there’s the necessities. Why not try baskets and trays or pots and boxes to house those crucial items like soaps, toilet rolls, hair products and creams to make your cupboards a little tidier. Make sure towels and linens are folded neatly and stacked in colour order, even though most of them are tucked away in cupboards it still makes it easier to find exactly what you need at any time.

Since a lot of us go on a health kick in January, it makes sense to get the kitchen in order, doesn’t it? Get rid of all those things you’ve pushed to the back of the cupboards that haven’t been seen in years and get in all your favourite foods and spices and stock the larder up. A great thing to do is to decant everything into glass jars of different sizes so you can see exactly what you’re looking for. You can even label the jars to make life easier. Spices and herbs are a great way to add some colour and character into your kitchen so get creative with a spice tray and let it take pride of place on your kitchen counter.

Now maybe the most important thing to get organised in the new year- your office! Now you may not be able to do all that much to your office at work but if you have a home office you can utilise the space easily. Simple things like keeping books or files on your desk neat and tucked away can make all the difference. Whether your home office is used every day or just occasionally it is important to keep it organised. Keeping a good amount of shelving and drawers is key to make sure things can be filed away properly and are easy to find when you need them, and it keeps clutter off your desk. A wall grid is a great way to add a bit of character to your office. You can clip on pictures or motivational quotes to bring it to life, or even hang pen pots or accessories on it to gain more desk space. Glass jars are a great way to keep your desk organised also. Fill them with pens, pencils, paper clips or sticky notes to find exactly what you need with ease. Add a scented candle for a bit of relaxation and a tiny potted plant and you’ve taken the work vibe out of your home office.

 

I hope these ideas have inspired you to get organised for 2017 and transform your homes into clutter-free sanctuaries.

 

Until next time!

The Key to Progress

Work in the office is all hands on deck recently with the crazy build up to the end of the business year. The Gracious Luxury Team have been incredibly busy with the upcoming launch of our beautiful, brand new website, which oozes style and grace. Busy we are also with preparing to send out a new and improved mailer to all our friends, clients and contacts – again, another mammoth task.

Pitching for projects, meeting clients and ordering beautiful samples for projects – it’s all been go, go, go.

What keeps us going and motivated? Personally motivational thoughts, concepts, an idea, a phrase that inspires a strapline on the website or a window — all these come from constantly staying curious.

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Staying curious is key – always wanting to do things better, always wanting to look for new ideas and research new concepts – things that will benefit the business, set it apart and make it look and feel different.

Having these dreams, ideas and long-term goals simmering away keeps us on our toes and gets us excited every day.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Defining Luxury

‘Luxury’ has become one of the most over-used words in the marketing lexicon. What does it really mean and how is the concept of luxury changing?

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