British Design classics: Robin Day centenary Armchair re-launch

September 28th, 2016

Exclusive re-launch of the original Robin Day armchair

In 1963, Robin Day famously designed the world’s first polypropylene chair for British furniture company, Hille.

The design heralded a breakthrough in furniture technology – the chair was strong, affordable and looked good too – and led to the sale of millions of chairs worldwide.

To celebrate the centenary of British designer, Robin Day, two of his original chairs – the Armchair and Polyside side chair – have been exclusively re-launched at John Lewis. They’re available in their original colours of flame (orange), charcoal (dark grey) and light grey and are being made in Britain by the Hille factory in South Wales.

The chairs are still very much renowned for their quality and workmanship and come with a 10 year guarantee. Buy your piece of British design history from John Lewis.

Kitchen space savers: Affordable ceramic stacking mug sets

September 26th, 2016

Tidy up your cupboards and save room, with these space saving stacking ceramics

Stuck with a small kitchen or a lack of storage space? Why not opt for sets of mugs that are designed to be stacked together.

The space-saving ceramic designs either come as sets that neatly stack together in your cupboard, or on specially designed stands that can be left out on your worktop or used in a cupboard.

They’ll look way more slimline and organised than standard stacked ceramics, which often don’t sit neatly inside one another, and hopefully free up some much needed space in your cupboard.

Here are six affordable stacking mug sets that we’ve spotted:

Short on storage space in your kitchen cupboards? Opt for a space saving stacking mug set

1. Loft set of four stacker floral mugs – £15 – from M&S

2. Set of four espresso cups and saucers in stand – £15 from M&S

3. Geo Skandi set of four stacking mugs – £9.99 from Dunelm

4. Set of five debossed stacker mugs – £16 from Next

5. Set of four medium woodland animal stacking mugs in stand – £12 from Next

6. Loft set of four stackable geometric textured mugs – £15 from M&S


British design classics: The wonderful world of Liberty print

September 22nd, 2016

Gorgeous Liberty prints from the Liberty London classics collection

(Prints from the Liberty London Classics collection)

Founded in 1875, Liberty of London has been a part of the London shopping scene for over 140 years.

Set up by Arthur Lasenby Liberty using money borrowed from his future father in law, it was inspired by Eastern bazaars and was designed to offer a completely new homeware and fashion shopping experience.

Arthur had judged his market well, and his collection of ornaments and fabrics were popular amongst a clientele discovering Eastern travel and Japanese and Chinese influences.  Celebrity clients included Oscar Wilde, who was responsible for introducing the brand to the American market.

Liberty’s always prided itself on doing things a little differently, and when a new building was required in 1924 architects built the new premises from the timbers of two ships, HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan.

The building incorporated a number of small rooms to encourage the feeling of being in a multi-faceted market. Some of the rooms had fireplaces, to create the impression that customers were seeing the goods in a domestic environment. The business blossomed, and Arthur began to champion British designers, developing his own lines.

Always known for its individual prints, in 1939, they started to prove so popular that a separate wholesale company was formed, Liberty of London Prints. Individual, hand printed block designs were made into everything from silk scarves to furnishing fabric. Particularly popular were Liberty’s take on William Morris’ classic designs, were are still popular today.

In 1970, Liberty sold its printworks, meaning that Liberty fabrics can now be printed by other British companies as well as in the Far East.

How to get the Liberty look in your home

Liberty print fabrics tend to be eye-catching, vibrant and richly coloured with an emphasis on floral, paisley, graphic and patterned designs. It’s sometimes possible to buy original Liberty fabric on online auction sites and in vintage shops. The bold designs from the 1950s and 1960s work well as cushions, and sometimes, if you only find a small fragment of material, it looks lovely framed.

Liberty’s themselves still sell many of their ‘archive’ fabrics and other stockists nationwide sell the current range. Liberty prints were so popular that a whole range of fabrics were inspired by them. To create your own ‘Liberty-inspired’ soft furnishings, look for busy prints teamed with strong, contrasting colours.

Liberty blind, Direct Blinds

Stunning Liberty print design roller blind from Direct Blinds

Brighten up your kitchen with this Liberty-inspired blind in azalea. Bold and colourful, it will lift your spirits on the dullest of days. Prices start at £35.15 from Direct Blinds.

Liberty flag garland, Sisters Guild


Decorative Liberty print garland

Add colour to a neutral background with this small garland, featuring flag pennants decorated with classic Liberty floral patterns suspended on shimmering metallic thread. The pack contains one 10 ‘ garland with 30 pennants. £9, available from Sisters Guild.

Liberty Betsy pinwheel decorations, Berry Red

Bring some classic Liberty prints into your home, in the form of these Betsy pinwheel decorations

This boxed set of six individual pinwheel decorations are in a mixture of iconic Liberty Betsy print and plain white with a neon orange scalloped edge. Ideal for adding a little pizzazz to summer parties and weddings, they’d look lovely hanging from the branches of a tree – on a dry night! £11, available from Berry Red.

Liberty cupcake cases, Cake & Candle Ltd


Dress your cupcakes in style, in Liberty print cupcake cases


Bake in style with these cupcake cases,decorated with an assortment of classic Liberty floral patterns. These will add a bit of classic flair to the simplest cupcakes. £5.99 for 100 from Cake & Candle. 

Liberty print basket, At Number 67

Gorgeous basket with a Liberty print edging

A gorgeous basket with Liberty fabric edge and leather handles, this is ideal for those morning trips to the market in the spring, a picnic or a trip to the beach in the summer – or even a spot of light gardening. When not in use, hang it in the hallway with your straw hat and a scarf to add a note of colour. Was £34.90, now £24.90 from At Number 67.

Fresh Design Finds: Affordable geometric designs at Matalan

September 16th, 2016

Gorgeous new geometric design cushions, pouffes and storage stools, all at affordable prices

If you love geometric designs, then head over to Matalan and take a look at their new range. Amongst the new offerings in their living department are some fab new pieces all featuring on trend geometric designs in appealing colours.

The cushions are great value at only £6 each and the pouffes look more expensive than they are. If it’s lounging around you like, then check out the large floor cushions. The storage stool combines style with practicality and there are similar products available to match it.

These are the pieces that grabbed our attention:

a) Handloom pouffe in navy (also available in grey) – £50

b) Triangle floor cushion in grey – £30

c) Geo jacquard cushion in orange – £6

d) Geo jacquard cushion in cream – £6

e) Trellis floor cushion in orange (also available in blue) – £30

f) Geometric print storage stool in black - £25


Copper craze: Nine ways to use copper around your home

September 13th, 2016

Accessorize your home with copper

Copper is such a warm and inviting metal, so it’s perfect to use in home interiors. With our love of all things copper continuing, here’s a look at nine easy ways to incorporate copper in different rooms of your home.

1. Living room

Perch coffee on a stunning  copper wire side table – then lift the top off to use it as a tray. From MiaFleur.

2. Bedroom

Hang your clothes on a copper pipe clothing rail, from Little Deer.

3. Kitchen

Keep track of time whilst you cook with a round metallic copper wall clock from ByShop.

4. Study

Add a touch of luxe copper to your study or home office, with a gorgeous copper desk lamp. From Marquis and Dawe.

5. Dining room

Glam up the look of your dining table with Nordal copper cutlery. Available from Bell & Blue.

6. Hallway

Add a feature to your hall with a Minehead hand rolled and riveted copper wall lamp. From Tugboat Steampunk.

7. Conservatory

Elevate your favourite plants by hanging them in a geometric copper planter. Available from London Garden Trading

8. Bathroom

Display towels in your bathroom on a stylish copper pipe towel rail from Little Deer.

9. Guest room

Hang a hexagonal copper mirror in a guest room. Available from Posh Totty Designs Interiors.

Thomas Edison style Steampunk table lamp from Iconic Lights

September 12th, 2016

Done shaped exposed bulb table lamp in steampunk style

If you love all things steampunk style, then here’s a lamp that could provide the perfect finishing touch to your interior decor scheme.

The Thomas Edison style steampunk table lamp is sold by Iconic Lights. The light itself is simple and elegant in its design. The aged brass base and lamp fitting is accompanied by a plain glass dome that is placed over the top of the base.

But what helps transform this seemingly simple piece into an attractive and eye-catching light is the use of a well chosen bulb. In keeping with the theme, and paying tribute to Edison’s love of the incandescent light bulb, it make sense to choose an exposed bulb to go inside the dome. You get to see the intricacies of the light flowing through the bulb and the different patterns within the bulb design.

Elegant antique brass Thomas Edison steampunk table lamp. Great used in an industrial design room.

We tried it with a Squirrel light bulb (available from Iconic Lights) and the effect was lovely. It transforms what would be a rather ordinary and unexciting lamp into something special. As it’s encased in a pure glass dome, it does produce a bright light, so you probably wouldn’t want it too close to you (we had thought it might look nice on a desk, for example), but it’s excellent for bringing light into a dark corner.

With the evenings drawing in and darker autumn nights around the corner, this is a lovely lamp to lighten up dark evenings as the seasons change.

With a price tag of £30 from Iconic Lights, it’s very good value for money and an affordable way to have a feature light to use exposed bulbs with.  It definitely looks more expensive than it actually is.

If you’re looking for ideas on how you could create a steampunk look in your home, Iconic Lights have a great Steampunk Collection Pinterest board that’s full of inspiration.

(Disclosure: We were sent a lamp to review, but all views and opinions are our own)

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