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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

How to Style- Statement Colour

Following on from last week’s blog, this week we are looking at how to add a statement pop of colour into our interiors. Using one bold colour is a great way to add interest and character into a space, and by sticking to just one colour, it adds to a room without making it look too OTT. We explore some great ways to add in crazy colours and still get the perfect, stylish interiors.

If you can find a colour that you really like, then try out a few pieces that match up well to add some colour in. I can appreciate that committing to a colourful carpet is a little bit crazy and probably won’t give you the look you’re after, but a runner carpet on the stairs may just work. Team it with some small accessories such as lamps, pots or vases and you have a wonderfully harmonious entrance room with a splash of colour to welcome your quests into your home. As long as you keep the rest of the space relatively neutral you can’t really go wrong. You could even add in a small printed rug to jazz it up a little bit more.

I am always up for a little DIY project and if you are too then whip out your paint brush and some bright paint and get creative! Painting small elements in your home can add a unique and interesting look and the more colourful the paint, the more eye-catching these elements will be. Try painting the risers on steps, maybe not a whole staircase but if you have 2 or 3 steps or a raised platform in your home then give this a go. Other great things to try painting are the insides of your bookcases, shelves, door frames or even radiators. And the best thing about trying this out is, if you don’t like it simply paint over it and its gone. Easy peasy.

Now I mention this in a lot of my blogs, but throws, cushions and artwork really are great ways to add colour into your spaces without spending too much and they are super easy to swap and change as your tastes and the trends change. If you want your bedroom or living room to be mainly neutral then get yourself some throw cushions in your favourite colour and you have easy, instant brightness. If you can’t afford to splash out on posh art, look online for colourful prints or even reach for the paint and have a go at creating something yourself. This is a great way to add colour and interest and brighten up your bare walls, and frames or art can be hung in any and every room in the house.

Another easy way you can add in that little pop of colour is to modify small parts of your furniture. Dipped furniture is a trend that seems to be cropping up all over the place recently. Take legs of chairs or even tables that are a neutral or plain colour and ‘dip’ them into colourful paint to create a unique, funky look. I’m sure people don’t really dip their furniture into big pots of paint and instead measure out where they want to paint so it’s symmetrical on each side, but you never know. If you’re not feeling brave enough to throw your furniture into a pot of paint then why not try coloured tape? It gives the same look and effect but without the commitment. If you don’t like it, you change your mind, or you maybe just want to try a new colour, taking off tape is a lot easier than trying to remove paint.

If you can pick a colour that you know you love and won’t get sick of, then why not go big and splash out on a colourful, statement furniture piece. If you keep the rest of your palette neutral, then you’re not limited to what colour you can try out. A colourful piece of furniture is sure to make a statement and be a conversation starter when you have guests visiting. You can then even team it with small accessories in the same colour to bring the whole look together so that the bold colour doesn’t look too out of place. And, if the colour is one that you love then you can rest assured that you’ll love it for years to come.

Again, if you don’t want to go big on new pieces or start painting your expensive furniture, there are lots of other ways to add in some colour. Wall art is always a striking way to add some interest into a space. Whether you want to do a whole mural or even just some small subtle touches there are loads of things you can do. You can drip paint, splash it, use tape to create lines, use stencils and spray paint, anything goes. Design is very expressive, so go bold and do what you think looks good and if you use your favourite colours you’re sure to love it. If you don’t? Just paint over it and have another go!

Why not give a colourful area rug a go? More affordable than new furniture and they usually take up a larger space too to spread a beautiful, bright colour out. Rugs are a must in an interior, as I’m sure we all know, so why not go big and choose one in a bold colour to mix in with a neutral interior. Fabrics are a great way to add in colour and the more vibrant the better in my opinion!

I’m hoping that you’re all going to go away now and add some wonderful statement colours into your homes. And as ever, I hope I have given you the inspiration to do so.

Until next time!

Neutrals Don’t Have to be Boring

A lot of people are under the impression that neutral colours are boring. From clothing to furniture, a lot of us shy away from those neutrals because of a fear of looking too dull. But neutrals don’t have to be boring and they can actually be a great way to decorate your home easily be able to change with the seasons and trends.

Texture is a very important thing when it comes to decorating with neutral shades. Using a range of different textures adds a lot of interest where you may be lacking in colour. Easy tricks like adding in rugs, throws and textured cushions are a simple way of adding instant texture to any space. Wicker baskets and smaller accessories are also a quick and easy way to add in texture and bring the whole look of the space together.

Now if you’re not big on colour but still feel like you need a little added something in your space, pastels are a great solution. They can add in more interest without totally standing out against the neutral tones of your colour scheme. They blend in nicely and there are lots of ways to showcase pastel colours. From bedsheets and cushions to art work, there are some really great choices in the pastel colour palette to give you the perfect accent in your neutral rooms.

There are so many so-called neutral shades that it can be hard to know which one to choose. So why not go with a variety? No room sticks to one single shade so experiment with neutral tones in your space. Start with a white canvas and play with shades of grey mixed with tan tones to achieve a more well rounded look. These colours can really complement each other well if you get them just right, so try them out and see what you can create.

Metallic gold accessories can really top off a neutral interior space. It brings with it a little added extra luxury and, combined with luxurious fabrics, can really inject a touch a glamour into your home. Look for lamps and side tables to try out this look, or even smaller items such as vases, trinkets and trays can work really well to add a subtle touch of gold. If you really like the metallic look, maybe even splash out on some beaded cushions to add to your sofas or beds!

Wood accessories are a great way to wrap up a neutral colour palette. Go for a brown wood that is on the same spectrum as your neutral colours and you’re onto a winner with this one. It gives the illusion of adding colour without actually straying away from your initial colour palette. Even using different shades of wood can add depth and dimension without adding in any actual colour. Grab yourself a wooden side table and a fabulous potted plant and you’ve instantly added a little extra something to your otherwise conventional interior space.

Black and white is an age-old trend, and using it in an interior works just as well to create a beautiful monochrome space. Done well, it can create a wonderful, minimalistic, scandi style interior. Starting with a bright base is important as it keeps the room open and ready to contrast any black/dark accessories. Just because you are using black, doesn’t mean the space has to be dark and moody. Opt for light rugs, soft furnishings and accessories to place on or next to your black surfaces to bring the whole look together. When looking for black furniture, go minimal. Tables with thin legs, narrow framed mirrors and picture frames and shelving that isn’t too heavy. This will again create this look without making it far too dark!

And that’s it; how to make sure that your neutral spaces aren’t boring. There are so many small changes that really make all the difference and bring your space into a whole new look.

Until next time.

How to Create the Ideal Playroom

Hi Everyone!

Recently, we were set the challenge by a new client to create a nursery and playroom and it got us thinking. Instead of just making this a beautiful room for them to play and grow in, why don’t we make sure that these soon-to-be parents are able to give their precious little bundle the best learning experience and opportunities.

All babies are born ready, able and eager to learn! However, their development isn’t an automatic process, so it’s up to us grown-ups to help them to start their own journey. It is vital for us all to remember that all children, even siblings, will grow and develop at their own rate and pace. This obviously makes it tricky for us to know where to start.

In the UK, we have non-statutory guidance material called ETFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). This is aimed mostly at those who work with young children and helps them to monitor and asses their progress. So, what a great place for us parents to look for help and inspiration. This material goes into to an amazing amount of detail and not all of it is applicable to what we are currently working on but if you want to check it out you can find it here.

So, what we did was to take from this document and adapt it to suit the needs of the client and their home environment. We found that designing the playroom to have separate ‘zones’ with age appropriate activities in each was a great place to start. This was the best way to provide these little ones with everything they needed.

The first element of the playroom should include a space for youngsters to read. This zone could house a book stand with a range of exciting and engaging books at a range of different stages to accommodate for your child’s reading level. This space could also be teamed with a comfortable area for them to sit, lay or lounge whilst they enjoy a good read. Make the space exciting and colourful to encourage them to visit that zone often.

Now onto the play zone! The most important thing to start with is a great storage area for all your little ones’ toys. There is nothing worse for us parents than having a messy cluttered play space, so storage is very important. Separate toys into boxes which are clearly labelled to make the process of tidying up that little bit easier. You may also want to include some kind of ‘play station’. This could be a playhouse, toy kitchen or work bench where your little one can have fun and play for hours.

It is also very important to include a small table and chairs in its own little zone. This means you have a great space to be used for snack times, arts and crafts or even just to sit and play. It also offers parents that space to be able to sit down with their children to work or play.

It’s handy to have a separate storage area, stored away from children’s reach where arts and crafts materials can be stored. This helps to keep everything in order and helps make sure you’re fully stocked up on everything you need for your little ones to get creative. Most importantly, it helps prevent little hands getting a hold of things that can cause huge messes when unsupervised.

As we were set the task to create a playroom by our client, we have used this knowledge to our advantage and created a great space perfect for a child that we wanted to share with you. The floor plan shows all the key zones needed for the ideal playroom layout which I have explained and makes the most of the space we were working with. If you want to see the progress of this project, you can follow our social media accounts to see concepts, mood boards and much more over the next few weeks.

Thank you for reading and I hope this blog has made you as excited for this new project as we are!

Interior Design Trends for 2017- Part 2

Last week we brought you the first part of ‘Interior Design Trends for 2017’ and now, we bring you even more great trends for this year. There’s definitely something for everyone so if you didn’t fancy any of the trends in the last blog, you’re sure to find some in this one!

Deconstructed Luxe

The clue is in the name for this one. Using natural materials to create an amazing, on-trend look. This includes the increasing popular exposed brick look along with plaster and concrete finishes on walls and floors, metals, cork, woods and clay. Combining a few of these raw materials can create a great rustic/industrial look which is very popular right now. A lot of restaurants and bars have started to incorporate these trends into their interiors but these looks are starting to show up in homes also which I think is great.

Marvellous Marble

Marble has been seen all over the place for many years. But, now it is becoming increasing popular. From the classic marble floor tile, to marble faux wall finishes, it has become a very diverse material for interiors. Explore marble wall murals, colourful marble and, if you search it on Pinterest, marble pretty much everything! I’m definitely a lover of marble and if you don’t fancy tiling your entire kitchen in marble, why not try out some accessories? Every market seems to be untouched by the trend right now, you can even get marble look carpets! Maybe you fancy that maybe you don’t, all I know is that we’ll be seeing lots of this trend in 2017.

Multi-Functional Furniture

Now if you’re tight for space, or you like furniture to tuck out of the way when you’re not using it, then you’ll love this one. Multi-functional furniture is becoming increasingly popular and with more and more new innovative ideas coming out all the time, I can see why. Fold-out tables that turn into mirror or picture frames, sofas that turn into chairs and then back again, the classic extendable table and even height adjustable tables are just a few great examples of this up and coming trend. Whether you want a piece which works as more than one thing, or something that folds away completely (like the classic old Murphy Bed) you’re guaranteed to find something to suit your needs.

Blue Hues

Blue is for sure my absolute favourite colour, so this trend really excites me. This year navy is the new black and French blue is making an appearance too. The great thing about blue is that it can be very versatile, it goes well with most colour schemes so it’s easy to add a hit of blue into any space. And why not go big and rework the whole colour scheme to match your new bold, blue walls! As mentioned in part 1 of this blog, velvet is a big trend for this year and blue is a colour which looks amazing in velvet. Try blue accessories and furniture or even blue artwork to try out this trend if you’re not keen on the idea of painting your walls with such a bold colour. Also blue is great as it lends to a space without making it feels small!

Techie Furniture

In the past few years, and this year especially, we have been seeing LOADS of new technology cropping up all over the place. Personally, I’m not massively into gadgets and tech accessories but some of what I have seen in the past few months has been pretty impressive. One great new product are the new voice-activated home assistants, like Google Home. These are great and not only are they super helpful, but they look great too and come in a whole range of different colours. Another popular trend is tech that is integrated into furniture. This can range from phone chargers built into bedside tables or light stands, to upholstered speakers like the classic Linn speaker upholstered in Timorous Beasties fabric (shown above). This trend is very exciting and I’m certain we will be seeing a lot more of this over the next few years.

Bring the Outdoors in

If you read my blog ‘How to Decorate with Florals’ then you’ll know that I love having fresh flowers in my home. But it doesn’t stop there. Indoor plants are another great way to bring the outdoors in and bring a little life into your home. You might opt for a huge potted plant if you’re feeling adventurous or maybe you go for a tiny terrarium, either way it’s sure to add some more character into your space. With green being all the range this year this is a great way to incorporate two trends in one and explore natures colour palette. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with beautiful surrounding views you can even put in a large window to incorporate the outside colours into your space. I suppose if you don’t feel like doing major construction work on your property you could always just grab yourself a cute little cactus and stick it on your desk instead.

I hope this has inspired you all and helped you explore the interior design trend for this year. As always, please feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think or if you’ve tried any of these trends out yourselves tell us how they worked for you!

Until next time!

Interior Design Trends for 2017- Part 1

With 2017 now fully underway, we are starting to see more trends appear and those trends that were forecast for the year are starting to crop up in the design world. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you all what’s hot right now and how to make your interiors on-trend for this year.

Plush Textiles

Velvet has been a trend emerging for the past few years and has spread to everything, from fashion to interior design. But, we are now seeing more natural/organic fabrics such as linen being introduced and ethereal fabrics being used for bedding or drapes. These fabrics are also being folded, pleated, gathered and manipulated in different ways to introduce added texture to upholstered furniture, soft furnishings and textile pieces.

Brass is the New Copper

Copper was a big hit last year, unavoidable wherever you looked it seemed. No more is the high shine, pink tinted metal. Instead, now, brass is making an appearance and what a welcome reception it has received. Whether or not it is because we are all fed up of seeing copper EVERYTHING, I don’t know. But I’m certainly pleased about the change. Swap out your copper accessories with brass or gold ones and why not even go bigger than that and include a larger piece. Brass showers or exposed pipes are a great way to incorporate this into a space. Team this with tapestry tilling (also very on-trend this year) for the perfect shower space.

Upholstered Headboards

Upholstered headboards are also becoming more popular this year. If you want to add a little bit of drama and an added ‘wow’ factor to your bedrooms, this is the way to go. From big to small and from square to spectacular, there is something for everyone with this new trend. Some are very high and others are extremely wide. But, whichever style you may opt for these headboards are sure to add texture, colour and charm to your space.

Barely There

This trend is definitely one of my favourites and a very clever one also. By choosing furniture pieces which are either clear acrylic or completely mirrored, you can create the illusion of more space. Transparent acrylic furniture and accessories can appear to be almost invisible and this allows you to take a piece which may be too bulky or unpleasing to the eye and swap it with something that is barely there. On the other hand, mirrored furniture will reflect the space around it (just as a normal mirror would) and this makes the room look larger and again the piece almost disappears into its surroundings.

Art Deco Makes a Comeback

Now for probably my favourite of them all. Art Deco is such a classic and recognised trend worldwide that the thought of putting a modern twist on it and injecting it into our homes really gets me excited. Expect loads of and lots of bling! Look out for bold geometric wall coverings and tiles (also big trends for this year) and amazing statement lighting. A brilliant way to try out this look is with small upholstered furniture. Try a velvet chair or ottoman in a blush pink or mint green to add in a small glimpse of Art Deco style in your interiors. Team these elements with gold/mirrored furniture and you’re onto an Art Deco winner!

Go Bold or Go Home

Now, this trend certainly won’t be for everyone. But, if you like to be adventurous or you’re feeling brave then this is a great trend to try out. Statement walls have definitely been an in and out trend for the past few years, but now they are back with a vengeance and bolder than ever. Think neon colours, geometrics, tropical prints and botanicals. Splash these across your walls and team them with simple, wooden furniture and you can achieve this look brilliantly. And if you don’t feel like going so big and bold, try wall hangings or art work to achieve this style without changing the whole look of your interior.

Jewel Tones

More colour inspiration for this year. We all know that Greenery was the colour of the year from Pantone and has been a massive hit so far. But, there are also lots of jewel toned colours appearing and looking to be popular for this year. From vibrant greens and teals to purples and ruby reds, there is certainly a beautiful array of colours to choose from. Combine these into upholstered furnishings or soft furnishings and accessories to explore this trend. Or even take it a step further and try a dark, moody colour on your walls and combine with others of this year’s trends to create the ultimate look for 2017!

I hope this blog has given you some inspiration for your interiors this year and has inspired you to incorporate these trends into your homes. Part 2 will be coming soon also so watch out for that one.

Until next time!

How to Style- Statement Furniture

Recently, I’ve been seeing lots of interiors which are neutral toned and very ‘safe’ in terms of design. I think it’s a shame that people aren’t more adventurous with their interiors. If you like it, then buy it! Don’t shy away from bold, exciting pieces- use them in your spaces and embrace them. So, here are a few ideas of how to incorporate statement pieces into your interior spaces.

Luxury furniture and fabrics.

Clan Milano- Cortes

Why not start off small? Go for a small side table or a stool just to add a small accent to your space. Go for something bright, in a luxurious fabric, and even experiment with a bold pattern. These stools and side tables from Clan Milano are a perfect idea if you want to add a little injection of interest to your space. The side tables may be a small addition but with their shiny brass components and coloured marble tops, they certainly do stand out.

Boca do Lobo- Venice Mirror

If you don’t fancy splashing out on statement furniture, why not opt for a simpler option like a mirror. Mirrors make a great addition to any room and are perfect for reflecting other elements in your rooms. I think the bigger the better when it comes to mirrors. Go for something that stands out; mirrors with detailing or interesting borders are great for any space. The Venice Mirror from Boca do Lobo is a great example of this. It’s big and bold, but is entirely made from glass so it is a great way to make a statement without messing with the colour scheme.

Cappellini- Embryo Chair

I have always been a lover of bright colours. So, when it comes to choosing furniture, colourful, quirky pieces like these really excite me. I love the thought of having a piece in my home that has that real ‘wow’ factor when people see it. That’s what statement furniture means to me- pieces that people ask you about when they see them, things that are interesting to the eye and those elements that really bag a great response. These chairs from Cappellini are no exception. The perfect way to add some interest to your living area and have your visitors saying ‘wow’.

Splinter Works- Hammock Bath

No need to leave the bathroom out; take your statement pieces to any room you want to. This Hammock Bath is the perfect way to change things up in your bathroom and add a bit of glamour. Instead of having a clinical looking bathroom, bring in some excitement with interesting tilling and lighting as well. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, Splinter Works also make the Hammock Bath gilded in 24 Carat Gold! Now that’s what I call making a statement.

Jimmie Martin- Never Sleep Alone

Maybe you don’t feel like going bold in your shared spaces, but that shouldn’t stop you transforming your bedroom. Try an interesting head board for your bed or some bright furniture choices to really bring your bedroom alive. Brighten up the space with bold, bright colours to contrast an otherwise neutral room. A piece like the one pictured above is a great example of this, it is harmonious with the look of the room but definitely draws the eye. I am all for adding a key piece of interest to a space and this is a brilliant, quirky way to do it for sure.

Serip- CT3368/70

If you’re feeling adventurous, then you can go really big. Lighting is a fabulous way to create interest. Halls and entryways are a brilliant place to really showcase some amazing lighting solutions. These spaces are the first thing people will see when they enter your home so why not make a great first impression. A chandelier is a great way to add a bit of glitz and glamour to any space. Why not try and extended chandelier or pendant light hanging through a spiral staircase. Not only does it provide lighting for your hallway and upstairs landing, but it creates a beautiful, eye-catching feature when using your stairs. This one from Serip is truly spectacular and really plays on the traditional chandelier to create something completely different. The perfect lighting statement.

Verner Panton- Living Tower

Now, the design world comes out with some pretty fantastic things and it certainly doesn’t stop when it comes to furniture. With so many fun, quirky and downright mad things on the market these days, why would you want to go for something plain? From bright colours you wouldn’t think of displaying in your home, to pieces that you can’t even believe are meant to be furniture, there is so much out there. The Living Tower by Verner Panton showcases exactly this. An ideal statement that not only serves as a piece of furniture but as a piece of art in itself also.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to add fantastic statement pieces in your homes and add a little more interest. After all, we all want that ‘wow’ moment when people come to visit us don’t we?

Until next time!

Creating The Perfect Mood Board

Being a creative thinker/processor, I thought the topic of the blog today might be visually yummy & a guide for you budding Interior designers on the purpose of a mood board: which are used in a variety of design disciplines and how it can help you confidently create a space that works in terms of colour & styles.

A mood board is a collection of images which reflect the style, feel and look of an interior. This is the first stage of the design process, defining our ideas about the space, and later working as a guide for design development. Below are a collection of mood boards which represent various kinds of styles:

An analogous palette of colours that harmonize and sit beautifully together in any interior.

A feminine palette creating a visual language which translates vintage peach with a monochromatic and natural base.

    Gorgeous naturals and textures sit beautifully together.

Fun and pops of colour work fabulous together as all have the same tone of white added to the pure hue.

Vintage pastels which tonally compliment as illustrated in this vintage board.

A masculine palette, illustrating the smoky and woody tones for a space.

The elements that can be explored in the mood board include inspirational images, colour palettes, furniture, textures, and the overall look and feel of the interior.

A mood board is extremely useful for establishing the aesthetic feel before going into more detail with material sourcing or even furniture sourcing, as we don’t want to waste valuable time putting finishes and furniture together when the aesthetics are disjointed. It’s a fun stage yet crucial to ‘get it right’ as the elements put on the board do show how the space will feel once you get to that stage.

 My advice is, research thoroughly and enjoy yourself as this will shine through in your interior space.

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!

Luxury Home Accessories Wishlist

 

Tom Dixon- Eclectic Candles & Room Diffusers

The Eclectic room diffusers and candles by Tom Dixon are a happy addition to any space. Not only are there 3 beautiful scents but they come in the most beautiful chrome containers with marble lids, to add a little metallic addition to your room. Each scent in inspired by its own name. So, Royalty is reflective of Early Grey and the tatty leather seats of an old Bentley. London, captures the smell of London parks and the salty Thames River. And finally, Orientalist, which embodies the memory of an Indian wedding combined with the musky smell of a Chinese herbal market. I think these candles and diffusers are not only a stylish accessory to incorporate but I also think the interesting and unique fragrances will add interest and character to your home.

Ottiu- Andy Stool

I can’t get enough of these adorable stools from Ottiu. If you want a great statement piece, the Andy stool is the piece for you. With a choice of colours for the fluffy sheepskin seat and selection of chrome base finishes, you can make this little stool truly unique. Why not place it in a cosy corner of your living area or use it as a glamourous seat for your make-up vanity. Ottiu describe the stool as a fashion icon, and I couldn’t agree more.

BoConcept- Neat Rug

The BoConcept Neat Rug is the perfect long haired rug for your living space. It comes in two different sizes and a range of different colours so you can find the perfect one to incorporate into your home. Soft throw rugs add warmth and comfort to a room and can soften the look of any hard wood floors. I like how textured this rug is and how it can appear to have different colours running through it depending on the direction of the pile. You can even try it in the bedroom, after all there is nothing better than feeling a wonderfully soft rug under foot in the mornings.

Ginger & Jagger- Vine Mirror

This Ginger & Jagger Vine Mirror is a beautiful statement piece. The mirror is handmade from vine branches and moulded in brass casting and it makes for an outstanding addition to any interior space. Whether it’s in the bedroom, living room, or hallway, hang it on a large wall over a dresser or console table. With its delicate intertwined vines and interesting shaped glass, it will add glamour and sophistication to a space and make sure it reflects something beautiful like a chandelier or piece of art.

LuxDeco- Luxury Cushions

I just can’t get enough of these amazing luxury cushions from LuxDeco. Whether you want silk, velvet or faux fur they have something for every need. They offer a combination of neutral and bright colours and a selection of some pretty eye-catching patterned designs. Not only that but they come in a range of different shapes and sizes so you can deck out your bed and sofa with all different sizes and beautiful fabrics. But it doesn’t stop there. When you’ve finished browsing through the stunning cushion designs why not look at their gorgeous throws to pair with those cushions you’ll just have to buy.

The French Bedroom Company- Transparent Treasure Trunk

I absolutely love this transparent trunk! Fill it with your favourite shoes, soft furnishings, books, clothing, magazines, anything; the possibilities are endless with this piece. Just by changing the contents of the trunk you can change the whole look of it totally. Filling it with colourful textiles is a great way to add a pop of colour into an otherwise neutral room. Or, why not stack it up neatly with all your favourite books and magazines and use it as a contemporary coffee table.

The White Company- Mercury Bottle Lamp

This The White Company table lamp is a real statement piece for your home. Whether it’s in the living room or hallway this lamp is sure to be an eye-catching feature with its antique silver finish. The thing I love most about it is the size. I really like oversized lamps right now so this piece is perfect for me, not only that but it has an element of glamour about it with its glass silver base and large white linen shade.

Sofa.com- The Georgette Stool

This footstool is a lovely little addition to any bedroom or living space. Don’t like the colour or fabric? Doesn’t matter, they’re bespoke made with a choice of LOADS of fabrics so you can choose the exact one you want to suit your room. Use it for extra seating in your living area and it can be tucked neatly away when it isn’t needed. Or use it as a feature; stack books and magazines on top, place a tray on the top and use it for drinks or a vase with fresh flowers. Or simply use it to put your feet up at the end of a long day!

I hope these accessories have given you a little bit of inspiration for styling your homes with that little touch of luxury.

Until next time.