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Home Office Design: Choosing office furniture

October 21st, 2014

Working from home is fantastic but your office environment has to be fit for purpose. Home offices tend to be a bit haphazard – mis-matching furniture and recycled chairs or desks are common.

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of bohemian shabby chic. But – and it’s a big one – a home office that’s been thrown together from left over and donated bits of furniture can be a depressing place to work in.

It can be hard enough to motivate yourself each day; you don’t want to make it even more difficult for yourself by creating a work space that you dislike. A home office that has not been thought through is also likely to be uncomfortable with irritating access problems.

How not to create a fresh design home office

How not to do it!

So before you just throw something together spend a few minutes thinking about what you like and what you find energising. It can be hard to know where to start so here are some useful questions:

  • What proportion of desk space to storage space do you need?
  • Can you save space by wall mounting PC’s, screens and cables?
  • Do you need lots of wall space for visual lists and mood boards?

Don’t just hit IKEA. Be prepared to go to a few specialist office furniture shops because they will have a bigger range and are more likely to have some clever bits of kit to help you get more from your space.

They are also more likely to be able to provide expert advice and help you with your planning.

A bit of time invested in planning will pay for itself over and over again because you will be more productive and a lot happier.

How to create the perfect home office working space

Successful home offices

Don’t be too utilitarian (or tight). You should make sure your office is a place you think is attractive and want to spend time in.

  • Do you like dark, book lined spaces or do you like clean uncluttered lines?
  • Do muted colours sooth you during a stressful day or do dashes of vibrant colour keep your mind ticking over?
  • Are there posters or pictures you love and have you considered wall stickers?  Refresh or rotate them to keep it interesting.
Finally dare to be different. It’s your office have fun with it!

 

How about an office bar or a beach inspired office?!

 

Halloween home decor ideas

October 18th, 2014
 Fresh Design blog Halloween home decor ideas
T’is the month for all things spooktacular! If you’re planning on decorating your home for Halloween or are hosting some ghoulish celebrations at home, then here are some ideas for Halloween home decor ideas.

1. Welcome visitors to your home with a Happy Halloween door sign – £10 from The Contemporary Home

2. Serve up spooky treats in these irregular shaped Myndig black bowls – £3 each from Ikea

3. Create atmospheric lighting, with spooky black cat lights – £15 from Lights4fun

4. Hang some colourful decorations, like these fab bright orange honeycomb paper pumpkins – from £3.50 each at Pipii

5. Decorate your home with mini skulls – and get the bonus of eating these ones too! Handmade chocolate skulls, £5 each from The Chocolate Deli

6. Adorn your table with a Halloween themed table runner – £5 for two from Postbox Party

7. Make your own pumpkin shaped cakes or bakes, with this set of six orange silicon pumpkin mould cups – £9.50 from M&S

8. Go batty, with these Halloween bat design wall decorations – £12 from Charlie Boots

Fresh Design finds: Delightful dog mugs by Alpenfraulein

October 15th, 2014

Designer dog mugs by Alpenfraulein reviewed by Fresh Design Blog

Awww, aren’t these dog mugs delightful?

As far as dog designs go, these mugs by Alpenfraulein are beautifully designed and full of character. There are four different mug designs in the collection – Eric the Pug, Johann the Bulldog, Beth the Poodle  and Lionel the Dachshund.

The screen printed black illustrations stand out well on the bone china white mugs, but they each also feature a touch of gold – just enough to set the designs off in style, without being too blingy. There also some extra gold touches to find inside, which is a nice addition to the mugs.

We particularly love the Dachshund design. This cheeky chappy has a sparkle in his eyes, gorgeous stripey effect ears and a very elegant long nose. As you drink your coffee, tea or a beverage of your choice, and the liquid inside goes down, a little golden branch/stick will gradually be revealed:

Fresh design blog reviews Alpenfraulein

The poodle mug has a cute golden collar inside, the bulldog has a golden bone and the pug mug has a (somewhat less alluring) golden pile of poo, with a fly buzzing above.

Alpenfraulein, the company behind the design, are a new brand founded in London by friends and photographer-team Nici and Karin. Nici’s French bulldog Fred is the inspiration behind the bulldog design and their work as a whole offers a modern interpretation of Austrian traditions and multicultural lifestyles.

All the mugs are designed by Nici and Karin and produced on bone china in Stoke-on-Trent. They’re priced at £18 each and can be bought direct from the Alpenfraulein website - www.alpenfraulein.com 

These are definitely a great fresh design find and the perfect way to drink tea or coffee in style! We await with interest to see how their brand and collection develops in the future.

*This post is included in the #loveyourhome linky:

Love Chic Living and Love Your Home

Geometric home triangle trend: Wallpaper and furniture to love

October 13th, 2014

Fresh Design blog loves contemporary geometric triangle designs

 

It’s funny – when you spot one triangle themed design that you like, then you find another!

We discovered the Rebel Walls wallpaper range the other day and love the Quadrangle design, with its colourful design on distinctive wrinkled paper. It’s available in two very nice colourways and costs £33 per m2.

Then we spotted that Marks and Spencer are doing some furniture with similarly gorgeous geometric designs inspired by triangles. The Portia footstool in Opus multi (£279) and the Portia chair in Opus multi (£699) would both look great in a living room.

Whether you use the furniture together with the wallpaper, or separately, they’re both stunning designs that are perfectly suited for a discerning contemporary home. Long live geometrics!

 

Fab Friday Bargains: Homeware and furniture for less

October 10th, 2014

Fresh Design Blog's fab Friday homeware bargains

Bargain hunters ahoy!

If you’re looking for homeware or furniture for your house, or to get some early Christmas shopping in, then there’s good news on the reduction front with plenty of shops having sales in force. Here are our top picks this week:

1. Rhubarb scented candle, reduced to £7.99 (was £17.50) at M&S

2. Peto large triangle patterned wool rug, now £245 (was £350) at Habitat

3. Keep Cool and Sleepwell ikat print bedding set, now from £18.99 at M&S

4. London buses knitted blanket, £11 off, now £64 at Cath Kidston

5. Set of four newsprint napkins, now £12 (was £15) from Cath Kidston

6. Joyce large acacia coffee table with a walnut stain, now £76 at Habitat (was £110)

7. Biba stripe mono vase, reduced to £36 at House of Fraser

Fresh Design finds: Jumbo elephant design cutlery drainer

October 9th, 2014

Fresh design finds: elephant cutlery drainer Elephant design tumbler

Oh wow, what a fab discovery – we love these!

These wonderful Jumbo elephant pots by Peleg Design are designed to be used in your kitchen, to drain off cutlery.

The elephant is a quirky and fun design, but also serves a practical purpose too; any excess water drains back out of the pot, down the elephant’s trunk and back into your sink (if positioned appropriately!).

Jumbo bathroom accessories from Mocha

As well as using Jumbo in your kitchen, it also works well used in a bathroom – it’s perfect for storing toothbrushes and toothpaste in.

With its distinctive design, and characterful looks, Jumbo is available in either grey or white and costs just £13.99 from Mocha. Go on, your kitchen needs one!

 

Fresh Design furniture: Distinctive table designs by Andrew Martin

October 7th, 2014

Andrew Martin table designs

Here at Fresh Design, we’re really fond of the fusion style interior designs by Andrew Martin.

His range of wallpaper is a particular favourite, but recently we’ve also been exploring some of his furniture designs. In this round-up we’re looking at four of his table designs, all of which offer a slightly unusual and eclectic influence.

From an industrial style dining table, to a travel inspired side table, each of these table designs has been intricately produced and constructed and are pieces that deserve to be in pride of place in your home.

1. Industrial style Bingham dining table, with a distinctive mechanical design base – from Occa-Home

2. Da Gama campaign side table, in glossy chrome with brown leather trim evokes memories of travel – from LuxDeco

3. Dillon side table, in black metal and glass with an attractive curved design – from Amara

4. Columbus console table, with an industrial skyline style design – from Occa-Home

Find out more about Andrew Martin and his other distinctive designs at www.andrewmartin.co.uk

Contemporary and practical home storage from Wovenhill

October 6th, 2014

Fresh Design Blog reviews Wovenhill willow storage baskets

Where does clutter come from? As often as we tidy up, it seems to re-accumulate, so we’re always on the lookout for stylish and practical home storage options that could help us combat clutter.

Pair of willow storage baskets from Wovenhill

This set of two large storage baskets are from Wovenhill. The baskets are made of willow and they’re strong and sturdy. In fact, they were a lot sturdier than expected and had bags of space inside. Measuring 35.5cm (W) 35.5cm (D) and 32.5cm (H) each of the baskets provides plenty of room to store a variety of items inside, without things billowing out over the sides.

The handles allow the baskets to be easily moved around (assuming they’re not too heavy with contents inside, of course!) and the woven effect of the willow on the sides of the baskets is a pleasing design.

The baskets fulfil a lot of storage needs across a home and have a heaps of potential.

Stylish storage for children's rooms

For example, they’re a brilliant size and shape to use for tidying up items and getting a child’s room organised. As you can see, just one basket can hold a lot of children’s books, and you could use the other one to store toys in.

They’re a great size for storing magazines and newspapers in too, and are stylish enough to look at home in a contemporary living room. Or you could put them to good use for storing craft materials in, or use them in a spare room to keep a stash of towels and bedding  in ready for any guests that stay overnight.

The pair of willow storage baskets is available to buy from Wovenhill for £32, which seems good value for money given their strong construction and design. As well as the natural shade, they’re also available in grey or white.

If you prefer to hide your clutter as much as possible, then they also stock a range of home storage solutions with lids, that will keep the contents out of sight. These includes lidded boxes, hampers, drawers and trunks made from a variety of woven materials, including rattan and wicker.

(Disclaimer: Wovenhill supplied the baskets for review, but all views and opinions are our own).

Fresh scents review: Home fragrance from Love Aroma

October 2nd, 2014

Fresh Design Blog review of Love Aroma

If you love candles, then you must take a look at Love Aroma.

The specialist home fragrance retailer has established shops in Derby and Leicester, plus a new store opening soon in Leeds, and has recently launched a brand new website. If it’s candles and related products you’re after, then there’s a veritable feast of items to browse.

In fact, Love Aroma stock over 1200 home fragrance products, sourced from 14 brands around the world. There are old favourites, like Yankee Candle and Ashleigh and Burwood, plus other luxury and couture brands you may yet have to discover, like On a Wick & a Prayer, Lampe Berger Paris and Max Benjamin – quite a choice!

The company is backed by a panel of experts – all of whom are home fragrance experts – and all products stocked have been tried, tested and vetted.

Love Aroma kindly sent a selection of products to review. They arrived beautifully packed and individually wrapped in a hamper-style, packed with shredded paper so you had to delve in and discover what was inside. In fact, as soon as the box was opened, we were met with the scent of fragrance.

Love Aroma home fragrance review by Fresh Design Blog

The items included a White Pomegranate scented candle by Max Benjamin, a Black Plum Blossom Yankee Candle jar and a Lotus Flower and Jasmine reed diffuser by Stoneglow Candles.

Candle and room diffuser goodies from Love Aroma

With both of the candles, I loved the fact that they scented a room beautifully before even being lit. The White Pomegranate, in particular, released a very powerful scent when simply placed in a room. As it’s obviously not practical to leave candles burning unattended, a candle that can help scent a room without being lit is, in my mind, a definite bonus.

Fresh Design blog reviews Max Benjamin candle

I’d not come across Max Benjamin products before, so liked the fact that an informative little leaflet was included inside explaining all the details about the brand. The candles are all handmade in County Wicklow, Ireland and use a blend of 100 per cent natural waxes and lead free Italian cotton wicks. The White Pomegrante candle has an air of luxury and decadence to it and I love the stylish white and silver packaging and holder the candle comes in.

They say the candle, “Infuses fresh pomegranate with exotic rosebud, revealing a heart of lily and gardenia. Casiss and vanilla add warmth and sensuality to this romantic and relaxing aroma.”

It certainly is a very fresh and floral scent. I did find it quite strong at first, but then it begins to mellow out and you get the warmth of the undernotes coming through. It’s a lovely scent to add an aroma in your home – perfect for a living room.

Love Aroma Yankee Candle review by Fresh Design Blog

The Black Plum Blossom Yankee Candle is a gorgeous deep purple in colour and the jar format made it ideal for leaving the lid off so the scent could linger before it was lit. This scent is described as, “The deliciously enticing nectar of beautiful black plum blossoms with hints of white musk and vanilla.” The fruity floral scent was evocative of summer and gentle enough to scent the room, without it feeling overpowering.

Review of Love Aroma reed diffusers by Fresh Design Blog

The Stoneglow reed diffuser was a bit of a revelation in terms of scent. The fragrance itself, Lotus Flower and Jasmine, produced a fresh and pleasing scent. Their description sums it up well,  “Fragrant lotus flowers and aromatic jasmine entwined with background notes of crisp, green leaves, soft vanilla, ylang and musk.”

I’ve been using some other reed diffusers recently and had been disappointed about the level of fragrance produced – although they seemed good at first, they quickly wore off and even topping up the fragrance and reeds didn’t seem to have much effect.

So I was very pleasantly surprised with the Stoneglow, which seems much more effective and long-lasting. I’ve come to the conclusion that in this case it definitely is worth paying a bit more for something that will do the job consistently and effectively. Reed diffusers have a lot of uses around the home, especially when you’re not able to burn candles. I love them used in a bathroom or to add a welcoming scent into your hallway.

Overall, I was really impressed with the both the products and service from Love Aroma. It’s definitely a go-to site for all your home fragrance needs and a great source of present ideas.

***Disclaimer: Love Aroma supplied the products for review, but all views and opinions are our own.***

Four fresh bedroom ideas from Made.com

October 1st, 2014

Four ways to freshen up your bedroom

Freshen up your bedroom for Autumn with these four new ideas from Made.com.

1. For your bedside: A practical idea and alternative to the traditional bedside light, the Frosini flexible black wall light is designed in an industrial style – £49

2. For your bed: Nothing beats fresh than new bedding. Try Dipped, a dip-dye style Egyptian cotton bedding set in elephant grey – from £45

3. For your bedroom floor: Step out of bed in the winter onto a warm rug underfoot. The Tekari rug is handmade and has a lovely geometric design. It’s available exclusively at Made – £249

4. For your bedroom wall: A useful additional light and funky wall decoration in one. Broadway musical note design wall light, a limited edition lamp – £99

 
 
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