Archive for December, 2011

Fresh Design: Top 10 Posts in 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

We’ve written hundreds of blog posts on Fresh Design Blog this year, covering topics such as interior design ideas, bargain buys, designer furniture, home accessories, decorating options, wallpaper and lots of gorgeous pieces you could add to a modern or contemporary home.

As part of our end of year review, here’s a look at our top 10 most popular posts written in 2011!

1. Taking the prime spot, our most popular post this year was the one looking at the Top 10 free online interior design room planning tools.

2. Second in line is the gorgeously colourful funky Marrakech patchwork sofa, designed and sold by Couch GB. What a brilliant design!

3. It’s good to see that so many of your love the bookshelf wallpaper as much as we do. Our piece featuring ideas to help you create a feature wall with bookshelf wallpaper is the third most popular post this year.

4. Wallpaper always features a lot in our top posts – here it is again, in the form of the Mandara contemporary silver tree wallpaper, which is our fourth most popular in 2011.

5. One of our favourite annual gardening events, and a great place to pick up new contemporary garden design ideas, is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Our piece on Diarmuid Gavin’s Irish Sky Garden comes in as the fifth most popular 2011 post.

6. We’ve featured a variety of striking mirror designs this year, and even run a mirror competition. This contemporary handmade rolled art glass mosaic mirror has clearly caught the eye of many of you, as it’s taken the sixth spot.

7. We love quirky home accessories – and clearly so do you – as Morris the memo holder horse and the floppy disc sticky notes, which are both perfect for use in a study on a desk, came in at number seven.

8. Wall art in many forms, including 3D, have been popular in interior design again this year. The colourful gentle roe 3D MDF wall decoration came in at eighth place.

9. Our ninth most popular post was the stunning round driftwood and glass coffee table.

10. And finally, one of the best room dividers we’ve come across, the B&B Italia soft wall room divider, wins the award for our tenth most popular post in 2011.

Free interior design tools: 2011 favourite post

Friday, December 30th, 2011

As we’re coming to the end of 2011, we thought it would be interesting to look back on some of our most popular posts on Fresh Design Blog this year.

At the top of the chart, the post crowned the king of the favourites is our piece on the top 10 free online interior design room planning tools.

It’s been continually popular throughout the year and we hope it’s helped lots of you get to grips with ideas for planning, designing and re-designing rooms in your homes!

Bargain alert: Flux chair reduced at Oliver Bonas

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Flatpack blue Flux chairContemporary flatpack furniture garden chair

Remember the Flux chair we featured earlier in the year? Famed for being fully foldable and portable, the Flux chair comes flatpacked, yet easily forms into a sturdy occasional chair.

If you fancy buying a Flux chair, then head over to Oliver Bonas, as the pale blue and sunny yellow Flux chairs are currently reduced in their sale.

Usually priced at £129, they’re now down to just £69.

Fresh Design Guide: Best of the post Christmas and January sales

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Yes, it’s the return of the Fresh Design Guide to the best of the Christmas and New Year / January online shopping sales!

Lots of retailers have had good sale offers and shopping bargains throughout the Christmas shopping period, but once the full extent of shopping for Christmas presents has gone, the next load of sale clearances start.

Doing your sale shopping online has several major benefits – you don’t have to battle with crowds, stand for ages queuing to pay for your goods, be out in the cold or battle with finding a space in a busy car park.

Even better is that some sales tend to start online before they do in store, so you get the pick of the bargains without leaving the comfort of your own home. Some of these have already kicked off before Christmas, whilst others are due to start just after.

Whether you’ve been waiting to make a special purchase for your home, or want to treat yourself to something new, we’ve got the lowdown on the best of the December 2011 and January 2012 New Year sales.

1. At John Lewis, their ‘biggest every clearance,’ starts online at 5pm on Christmas Eve and in the shops from Tuesday 27th December. An online sale preview is available in advance.

2. At Not On The High Street, the sale starts on Boxing Day.

3. There’s up to 50% off selected items, including china, teapots, coffee makers and gifts, in the Whittard sale.

4. Homebase have up to 60% off a wide range of items, including bathrooms, kitchens, fitted bedrooms, flooring and tiling, plus up to half price on loads of other items.

5. The winter sale is now on at Habitat, with up to 50% off.

6. The sale at Marks and Spencer starts at 5pm on Christmas Eve.

7. The Ikea sale starts on 27th December, with up to 50% off. But if you’re an Ikea Family Member (you can pick up a card in store to join), then you can get early access to the sale preview between 17th and 23rd December.

8. All items are half price or less in the Next end of season sale. Rumour has it that it starts online on Christmas Eve and in store at 6am on 27th December. VIP previews are available earlier.

9. The winter sale has started at Furniture Village, with lots of furniture reduced by up to half price.

10. Debenhams have up to 70% off in their sale. It starts in store on Boxing Day, but online shoppers get an early start now. If you have a Debenhams card, you can get an extra 10% off for one week, if you use your card and the promo code, “VX99”.

11. The up to 50% off sale at Heal’s starts online on Christmas Eve. The in store sale starts on Boxing Day at Tottenham Court Road and Redbrick only and in all other stores from 27th December. The sale can be previewed online now.

12. At Lombok, there’s up to 40% off furniture and home accessories.

13. Harrods have some great reductions on a range of products in their home sale. A sale preview can be viewed online now.

14. The sale at Emma Bridgewater starts at 1pm on Wednesday 28th December. If you’re a member, then a preview event starts at 9am on the 28th.

15. Matalan have up to 75% off homeware and other items in their sale.

16. Graham and Green have up to 30% off all Christmas decorations.

17. The half price sale at Magnet, the kitchen specialist, starts on Boxing Day.

18. The sale at Harveys, the furniture store, gets started on Boxing Day.

19. The end of year clearance and January sale has commenced at Amazon.

20. The sale preview can be viewed online at Monsoon, where there are great reductions on homeware items such as cushions, Christmas decorations, curtains, candles and trinkets.

21. The sale at Designers Guild has up to 50% off a wide range of items, including fabric, bedlinen, towels, cushions, candles, rugs and porcelain. A sale preview is available online now. There’s free delivery on orders over £30.

22. The sale is on at Cargo, with up to 50% off selected furniture, towels, mirrors, bedding and other homeware items.

23. The online sale at Harrods, with up to 50% off, has started.

24. The online sale at Tesco Direct has started, with up to 1/3 off.

25. The BHS sale has kicked off online, with up to 50% off a wide range of products, including lighting, furniture, gifts and homeware. They’re offering free delivery on orders over £30.

26. Urban Outfitters have launched their sale online, with up to 50% off.

27. The sale is now on at H&M, with up to 70% off homeware and other items.

28. The sale is on at Laura Ashley, where you can get up to 50% off wallpaper, sofas and armchairs, plus up to 30% off made-to-measure curtains.

29. The sale at Wilkinson starts on Christmas Eve, but there are some sale bargains to be had on their website already.

30. The Boots 50% off sale is rumoured to start on Boxing Day.

31. The end of year clearance sale at QVC has started.

32. The sale is now on at Comet. Deals include up to £300 off large kitchen appliances, up to 60% off upright and cylinder cleaners, up to 50% off computers, cameras and audio and up to 40% off TVs and home entertainment.

33. The sale is now on at WHSmith, with up to 80% off books, up to 60% off stationery and lots of other great offers.

34. There’s up to 50% off selected homeware in the M&Co sale.

35. The sale is on at Sainsbury’s with up to 60% off a wide range of products, including furniture, cookware and tableware.

36. There’s a sale on at Oliver Bonas, with up to 50% off selected items.

Updates will be added when we receive news of more sales, so check back!

Connect Four mirror by SquarePear Furniture

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
Contemporary handmade designer mirror

Connect Four mirror

The name of this mirror instantly makes you realise what the design reminds you of – the Connect Four game!

The design of this contemporary style handmade mirror is really eye-catching. The five rows of small round mirrors make for interesting reflections and the surface of the mirror is smooth and almost looks like plastic (like a Connect Four game), but isn’t.

The Connect Four mirror is designed and made by Tony Watts, from SquarePear Furniture, and costs £180 from their store on Not On The High Street.

Industrial style ceiling light

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
Fresh Design industrial home ideas

Feature ceiling light

If you’re looking for a feature light to hang low above a dining table, then how about this shiny metal industrial style light?

Based on the design of a traditional industrial light, the ceiling light has a long 1.5m flex and a flat shade, which provides plenty of light. The design makes it perfect for using with a specialist designer light bulb for a stunning lighting effect.

The industrial style ceiling light is available for £99 from Rockett St George.

For more industrial style ideas for your home, check out Fresh Design’s Industrial Chic Guest Picks on Houzz.

Crown Hill Peacock Platter from Watts London

Monday, December 19th, 2011
Bargain Christmas party food platter

24 carat gold platter

This lovely peacock feather design platter would be perfect for serving up some delicious Christmas party canapes on.

The white china porcelain platter features a reproduction of an original peacock feather embroidery design by Keith Murray, a Watts designer. The design is finished off with touches of 24 carat gold.

The Crown Hill Platter is currently reduced – it was £35.95 but is now only £19.18, from the Watts London store on Bouf.

If you like the design, snap it up now, as we understand this particular design may be being discontinued.

Fresh Design Guide: Last online Christmas shopping order dates

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Christmas is only a week away, but if you’re not yet organised, there’s still time to get your last minute Christmas shopping done online, without the stress of having to battle crowds and queues on the high street.

As the last order dates for retailers seem to vary considerably, we’ve put together a guide to the Christmas order deadlines of 20 popular online shops – happy shopping!

1. John Lewis – Order by 3pm on Wednesday 21 December 2011 for Christmas delivery from John Lewis.

2. Amazon –  For large items, the day to order is Monday 19th December. For standard, free first class delivery, get your orders in by Wednesday 21st December. But if you’re lucky enough to have an Amazon Prime account, or want to pay for express delivery, you can order on Friday 23rd December for next day delivery on Christmas Eve.

3. Marks and Spencer – If you’re buying a hamper, the order needs to be placed by Monday 19th December. For flowers, orders need to be in by 6pm on Thursday 22nd December. For gifts, home items, wine, entertainment or clothing purchases, the deadline for last orders at M&S is 6pm on Wednesday 21st December (for standard delivery) or 7pm on Thursday 22nd December (for nominated day delivery).

4. Heal’s – Get your order in at Heal’s by 19th December for delivery in time for Christmas.

5. Debenhams – The last day for free Christmas delivery to UK addresses is 12 noon on Tuesday 20th December.

6. Not On The High Street – Place your orders by 11am on Tuesday 20th December for standard delivery, or by 11am on Thursday 22nd December for express delivery to addresses in the UK.

7. House of Fraser – The last order date for UK standard delivery in time for Christmas is 5pm on Sunday 18th December. For UK nominated day delivery or nominated evening delivery, you can order up to 5pm on Tuesday 20th December. And if you’re pay for UK next day delivery, the last chance to order is 5pm on Wednesday 21st December.

8. Bouf - The last date for most Christmas orders is 11am on Tuesday 20th December (in the case of made-to-order items, the deadline may be earlier).

9. Selfridges – For standard UK delivery, place your order online by 6pm on Monday 19th December. If you’re ordering a hamper, you’ve got until 1pm on Tuesday 20th December. For nominated day or nominated timed day deliveries, the deadline is 12 noon on Thursday 22nd December. And if you’re opting for nominated Saturday deliver, then the last order day is 12noon on Friday 23rd December.

10. Urban Outfitters – The last time to order goods for Christmas from Urban Outfitters is Monday 19th December.

11. Whittard – The deadline for standard UK deliveries is 5pm on Monday 19th December. For UK next day delivery, you can order until 12noon on Wednesday 21st December.

12. Lombok – Place your order by Sunday 18th December in time for Christmas delivery from Lombok.

13. Hotel Chocolat – The last day for standard chocolate delivery is 2.30pm on Tuesday 20th December. If you opt for next day delivery, you’ve got up until 4pm on Thursday 22nd December. Or for Saturday delivery, the final deadline is 4pm on Friday 23rd December.

14. Monsoon – The deadline at Monsoon for orders placed with standard delivery is Monday 19th December. If you’re ordering with a next day delivery option, the deadline is 2pm on Wednesday 21st December.

15. Argos – At Argos, Christmas orders for large items need to be in by Sunday 18th December. For smaller items, the deadline for Christmas posting is 1pm on Thursday 22nd December.

16. BHS - For standard delivery in time for Christmas, order online at BHS by 12noon on Wednesday 21st December. For express delivery, the final deadline is 2pm on Thursday 22nd December.

17. Oliver Bonas – At Oliver Bonas, the last order date for standard delivery is Tuesday 20th December. For express delivery, the final deadline is Thursday 22nd December.

18. Next – At Next, the last order date for pre-Christmas delivery is 9pm on Thursday 22nd December.

19. I Want One Of Those - The deadline for free first class delivery is 12 noon on Monday December 19th. For express next day delivery, the last order date is 2pm on Thursday 22nd December and for Saturday deliver, the deadline is 12noon on Friday 23rd of December.

20. DotComGiftShop – The last posting dates for Christmas delivery for orders made at DotComGiftShop are 2pm on Wednesday 21st December for standard delivery and 12am on Thursday 22nd December for next day delivery.

Barbara Hulanicki Disney Villains wallpaper

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Luxurious black flock gothic wallpaper Disney villians black flock wallpaper

This is not your average wallpaper, but if you love black-on-black wallpaper and fancy something dark and mysterious, then this new collection by designer, Barbara Hulanicki, may appeal.

The Disney Villians wallpaper collection features one of Disney’s most wicked villians – Maleficent, the Mistress of All Evil from Sleeping Beauty, and her pet raven, Diablo.

The wallpaper designs feature black backgrounds with a luxury black flock design on it – the first with a damask style illustration of Maleficient and the second a contemporary take on her raven, Diablo.

Both the Maleficent and Diablo wallpaper are available from Wallpaper Direct and cost £65 each.

What do you think? Would you put these designs on your wall?

Umbra fish hotel fish bowl

Thursday, December 15th, 2011
Designer fish bowl aquarium ideas

A stylish home for fish!

Treat your fish to a new home, with this unusual fish hotel!

Designed by Teddy Luong for Umbra and modelled on a contemporary style home, this modern fish aquarium, with its multiple windows, is a stylish home for your pet fish.

The outside of the FishHotel is made from white plastic, but inside is a glass fish bowl that can easily be removed for cleaning.

Fun and practical, the Fish Hotel has an RRP of £48, but is currently £43.79 at Amazon.

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