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The Highlights of London Design Fair 2018

Last Sunday was the final day of London Design Festival. The major events across London included Decorex International, Design Junction, Focus at Chelsea Harbour, London Design Fair as well as multiple design events and installations hosted by museums, galleries and shops. With so much going on and so little time it’s very hard to choose. My choice was limited by the fact that I only had one free day available – 23rd September, the last chance before the festival came to an end. This year I opted to visit Shoreditch district and went to check out London Design Fair.

With 36 countries participating in the fair, there was loads to see but I quickly realised that most of my favourite products fell into a couple of categories. I really like discovering artisan made individual and natural products, and there were quite a few ceramics manufacturers whose work attracted my attention. Have a look at these.

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Camilla Webb Carter produces her work in a workshop in London. I particularly liked her decorative hexagonal tiles that can be arranged into a wall composition.

 

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Dor & Tan studio in St. Ives – minimal, natural and with Eastern influences.

 

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Ceramics by Louise Madzia made in Amersham and Stoke-on-Trent – love the chunkiness of shape and illustrations.

 

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I love these delicate bowls, found on a stand representing a group of Spanish ceramicists. These were made by Fani Sanchez Barreiro Ceramica.

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Talking about natural and handmade, Maria Sigma is an award winning London based textile brand specialising in “zero waste” ethical hand-woven textiles. Their home textiles – floor cushions, rugs, throws have great texture and pattern – traditional with a contemporary feel.

I have also noticed quite a few really interesting and useful products for kids.

Korean lifestyle brand Kom til mig was showcasing whimsical soft toys, textiles and stationary. They are yet to find a stockist in Britain but I am sure they will have no problem.

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Recycled plastic was a big theme of the fair and Ecobirdy brand from Belgium came up with an imaginative idea to make children’s furniture out of old plastic toys. On their website you can learn more about the journey plastic makes to the finished product and they even created a children’s story book about it!

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I love metal locker style storage for kids room, but apart from a couple of brands there isn’t a lot of choice out there. Mustard is the company that makes two options, a short one that can be used as a bedside table and a slim and tall one that can be mixed and matched to create a wardrobe with hangers and shelves. The lockers come in six beautiful contemporary colours that would even look good combined together like shown below.

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A stand by Japanese Haru Stuck-on Design introduced me to the marvels of washi tape and showed me multiple ways of how it could be used as wall art for kids room or as a crafts tool to unleash kids creativity onto their space without lasting damage. Tape comes in a variety of patterns and colours so creative possibilities are endless. You can see collages on the wall that were made by kids – creative and mess free as far as I can tell.

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Another brand that I was drawn to was Darkroom who exhibited their concrete planters in signature pattern.

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And finally, the most impressive stand of the fair for me has got be Danish design stand!

Really liked the brands represented there as well, Dottir  for ceramics, M&R – love their simple round wooden mirror, Noorstad for wooden furniture.

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As I was in the area I also popped to Redchurch st. where Superfront joined forces with Original BTC to open a pop up show room. I am a big fan of Superfront and have a Besta sideboard with their fronts, as well as some handles on my wardrobes, I also plan to add another piece of furniture for my living room at some point, so it was very interesting to see some of their furniture combinations and available colours close up. They also, as you can see, do bathroom vanity units with golden basins – and I do need a new bathroom!

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And finally, after a busy day in Shoreditch, my secret place to relax, away from the busy cafes – something I discovered when we stayed in the area for the night – is Citizen M hotel, just around the corner. They have a large beautifully decorated lounge on the first floor where you can have a drink and some simple food or a cake away from the crowds and if you need to work on your computer, they have plenty of space for it too. And this is what I found at the entrance – part of the design festival!

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Designers Guild Warehouse Sale!

Passing information about this warehouse sale to anyone who might be interested. What a shame I won’t be able to go! I hope you will pick up some good bargains!

Enjoy up to 75% OFF Fabric, Wallpaper, Bed & Bath and Home Accessories

Friday 21st September 10.00 – 18.00
Saturday 22nd September 09.00 – 16.00
Sunday 23rd September 10.00 – 14.00

FREE PARKING – Postcode for car park – NW10 7PS

Designers Guild, Unit 10, Matrix Park,
900 Coronation Road, London NW10 7PH
02078937400

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Trend Report: Fringe Light

Fringe lights are one of the biggest trends this season, but I first fell in love with them a few years ago when I discovered the original 1960-s fringe chandeliers by Hans-Agne Jakobsson.

Hans-Agne Jakobsson designs can be found for example on 1stdibs.com where they go for about £4,000 and more.

Another one I have later discovered that just took my breath away, is this one by Dimore Studio. This one is truly amazing, but judging by the picture at the top of the post, not only my budget would never stretch to it, my house would not be big enough either.

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A few years ago before fringe became big again I also came across Curiousa & Curiousa. They specialise in handmade glass blown lamp shades in multiple colours – beautiful designs. And they have a model with a very long fringe – a statement light.

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These are gorgeous lights, but how about something more affordable?

Not to worry, at the moment there are plenty of choice that can suit different budgets. I have researched the market and here is my extensive selection of what’s currently available. I hope you will be able to find the one for you.

Items clockwise:

Anthropologie Fela Tasseled Chandelier £228.00 | Anthropologie Fringed Chandelier £398.00 | Anthropologie Fela Tasseled Chandelier £228.00

 

Items clockwise:

Rockett St George All Over Velvet Table Lamp With Fringe £120.00 |Lampe de table Table lamp – / Fringed fabric – Bloomingville £99 | Oliver Bonas Nappa Fringed Table Lamp £115 | Nunido Pascha Pendant Lamp £115.00 |Rockett St. George Three-Tier Fringe Chandelier £165.00 |Wink Pendant – / Fringes – L 60 cm – Houtique £495.00

 

Anna Hayman Designs DecoFabulous Gold & Black Bibana Lamp Shade £295

 

Items clockwise:

House of Hackney MEY MEH ‘Tilia’ Blush Lampshade with Flamingo Lampstand £375.00 | Urban Outfitters Large Blue Bird Fringe Pendant Light Shade 85.00€ | Rothschild & Bickers Vintage Light £485.00 RRP

4 Unmissable Shops to Visit in Hastings

I can’t believe summer is over and kids are back to school. Apparently this is the hottest summer on record and somehow we managed to take the last week of August off to have our family holiday together – probably the only week when we didn’t have beach weather. But the first days of September weren’t that bad actually and in the attempt to prolong summer we went to the nearest to us seaside town – Hastings.

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We’ve been visiting Hastings quite a lot in the past few years. Before I’ve been there I was sceptical but it pleasantly surprised me. It does have an underbelly like most seaside towns, but the town is definitely on the up and has a great vibe. I heard people likening it to Brighton at the start of its popularity. I don’t go to Brighton much these days because I actually find it less interesting, overtaken by high street shops and too crowded. Hastings is my new place to go – it’s got a nice mixture of unique individual shops, interesting restaurants, Jerwood gallery, a good mixture of family activities and the beach – all ingredients needed for a perfect day out.

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As we usually go there with the family I get a very limited amount of time to browse the shops.  But by now I have already worked out what shops are of most interest to me so I rush straight there. Here are my favourite places.

The Clockwork Crow, 68 George Street

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The shop offers an eclectic mix of antiques, textiles, homewares, pots, plants, rugs, lighting and furniture.

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At the back there is also a tiny intimate cafe that specialises in several varieties of filter coffee and serves giant portions of cake.

Butler’s Emporium, 70 George Street

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The shop occupies an old and beautifully preserved building furnished with vintage haberdashery display cabinets. It stocks an ever changing mixture of clothes, homewares and skincare.

Reste, 3 George Street

Just opposite from Butler’s Emporium is this tiny shop that specialises in artisanal and handcrafted homewares – ceramics, planters, prints and more.

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There is a bike shop right next to it. I am not a cyclist at all but looking at these, I think I might just about force myself to take up cycling!

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A G Hendy & Co, 36 High Street

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I love this shop so much I decided I am going to do a separate post on it. It is truly unique and every time I am in Hastings I make sure I pop by. Visit their website to explore everything they’ve got to offer, they are more than just a shop.

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This time I couldn’t resist buying some vintage plates and an incredibly beautiful ostrich duster. Always wanted one of those but theirs was of a particularly good quality.

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Not far from it you can find antique and brick-a-brack places to browse. This is still a place where you can buy something for a pound and find an abundance of up-cycling projects.

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I got away with a few purchases that you can see on a photo below.

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Face pot with cactus – Clockwork Crow

Door tassels – Clockwork Crow

Parkminster Products candle – Butler’s emporium

Vintage saucers – A G Hendy & Co

If you have time for more exploring to do, a short stroll away along the sea front is St. Leonards with its own selection of individual homeware and antique shops.

Have a great day out!

Anya xx

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Theo’s Room Makeover

Nearly three years ago we bought our three bedroom semi-detached 1930s house in a complete state of disrepair. And so the exciting project of turning an old ruin into a family home and my design dream (two things that quite often clash) began. However, because for me completing the look of each space is quite a long process I still feel that most of the rooms in my house, although going in the right direction, as not quite ready to be shown on this blog. I will start with the newest addition to the house and will save the rest for later.

We have recently completed a loft conversion project in our house. As we were quickly running out of space and lacked room to accommodate both children, grandmother and a study the only option was to build upwards, and after a few months of living on the building sight finally I was able to get on with the exciting part – decoration. Our son Theo was to move into one of the two newly created rooms.

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The room is a relatively good size as kids rooms go but not huge – around 11 sq. meters. The greatest challenge in a kids room is to position furniture ergonomically and cram in as much storage as possible because a child needs to fit their whole life into one room.

My vision for his room was custom made built in furniture that would include  a long desk in front of the window spanning the length of the whole wall, a book case and a wardrobe. I really liked the look of birch ply wood. It also looks great when laminated which can be done in a variety of colours. Unfortunately when I received the quote I realised we need plan B. So we went to Ikea!

After playing around with different layouts we managed to come up with the solution which allowed us to fit as much storage as possible across one of the walls, including a chest of drawers, two wardrobes and a bookcase, which gave him more storage space than initially hoped. We used Stuva range, which originally came with plastic door knobs with coloured stickers. I replaced them with leather handles which created a much more sophisticated look. Luckily they are also available in Ikea.

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As we weren’t able to create a custom made desk we had to look at ready made options. We turned to Ikea once again and I really like the desk we found there in dark blue called Alex. It has an in built cable tidy which is very handy and two drawers – the more storage the better!

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Another storage opportunity was to place an Ikea (yet again!) metal sideboard next to his bed replacing his small bedside table he had in his old room. As well as storage it also provides useful work top space for books and other bits and pieces.

The map wallpaper you see on the wall was originally chosen for his old bedroom but it proved such a popular and useful feature that we had to get exactly the same one for his new bedroom. I looked at different options available on the market and went for exactly the same one again. It is a very good size and covers most of the wall. The level of detail is quite good for a child and it also has current political layout, not a vintage one. Since we got it we’ve been practicing learning about new countries, cities, islands and rivers and so it turned out to be quite a useful and fun learning tool too. We bought it on Ebay and it was actually one of the cheaper options.

 

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On the walls we went for Pavilion grey, F&B, paint. In his previous room we used Modernist Grey by Fired Earth which I found a bit flat, so in this new space I was looking for a more complex tone but still keeping it quite light. A friend confidently recommended Pavilion Grey as the colour to use and trusting her opinion I just went for it. And I have to say I am very pleased with it. It is always scary painting over white undercoat as at first colour usually looks a few tones darker than it really is, but now I look at it and it definitely shouldn’t be any lighter.

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The wolf print you see on the wall above the bed is from FY. I don’t normally buy a piece of art to fit a space, rather fall in love with it and then work out where it could go in my home. But here in a boy’s room I felt quite restricted by a boyish theme, colour scheme as I didn’t want it to clash with wallpaper, I didn’t want it to be too childish so it would last a long time and after choosing a few options we eventually settled on this picture of a wolf together with my son. I made sure that he participated and felt involved and loved the look of his room.

I have to admit though that I don’t give a full freedom of choice! For example, I don’t open a colour swatch book and ask him to choose a wall colour because he will probably go for bright green. I am not saying this is right, but this way hopefully we all end up with the result we enjoy. What is your opinion on this? 

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The plan is to add some personal touch to  the room by printing out and framing a couple of photos, including this one. Theo created this composition from bits and pieces he found around him on our trip to the seaside. I really liked the result and took a picture. I hope it will look nice on the wall and will be something he made himself.

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The lamp that I am planning to use as his desk lamp is this one from Hay. It should work quite well with the style of his room.

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The loft looks so different compared to the older lower floors of the house. It has a bright airy modern and Scandi feel to it and I quite like the contrast. The main thing is Theo seems to be very happy with the result, we managed to fit everything he needs into his space without making it look crammed and hopefully the style of the room (I deliberately avoided stuff that is too childish) has some longevity and can easily be adapted without too many alterations as he grows older.

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Other details seen in the room:

Bedside lamp – vintage Anglepoise purchased on Ebay

Stripy cushion cover and linen pillow case – H&M Home

Desk and desk chair and pin board – Ikea

Orange rocking chair – Eames from Aram store, bought quite a few years ago. A great sales deal bought half price. Didn’t even have children then, but looks great in our son’s room bringing this very bright splash of colour.

Metal Arrow light – made.com

What other things a boy might need in his room that we might have missed? 

Anya xx

Best Reusable Coffee Cup That Also Looks Good

I have finally come across a reusable coffee cup that is as eco friendly as it’s beautiful!

The disposable mugs we get with our take away coffee are non-recyclable, something I didn’t realise until recently. For a while now I have been meaning to be more organised about remembering to take one of the reusable mugs we keep at home but it rarely happens. A couple of days ago I had an e-mail from Waitrose in my inbox informing that they are starting to faze out their disposable coffee cups we get with free coffee. We will still be able to get free coffee, but will need to have our own cup with us. I totally agree with this new policy as I am sure it will bring much more positive results than just relying on voluntary choice.

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Unfortunately the majority of reusable cups I have come across just don’t look good. But on the same day I heard the news from Waitrose, I read about the Australian “Huskeecup”, one of the most eco friendly and sustainable coffee cups made out of byproduct of coffee production industry – a discarded coffee husk. But not only that, they also managed to come up with a sophisticated and elegant design.

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The Huskeecup that has only recently come to the market has already won a Good Design Award. Among its unique features are thermal properties that will keep your coffee hotter for longer. Its slim and grip-able form is not just a design feature – they protect your hands from heat. Huskeecup is durable and designed to last for years, and best of all – it’s dishwasher safe. It’s also BPA free which is a must for me and it’s stackable.

 

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The cup ticks all the boxes and I was just about to order it when I realised that it is not available for international customers just yet. You can register your interest on their website though and they will get in touch when international delivery becomes available. Let’s hope we won’t have to wait long!

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Incredible Retail Spaces: Aesop Shops

The iconic Australian brand is world famous for its natural skincare products and instantly recognisable beautiful dark brown bottles with minimalist labels that grace pretty much every design conscious bathroom.

Their retail spaces are anything but plain though and do not share any common brand identity. With just over 100 stores across the world each branch is a uniquely designed space. Many of their stores are a result of collaboration with renowned and often local architects and interior designers.

Their Saint-Sulpice and Milan stores, were created in collaboration with Italian architects Dimore Studio. Both stores are in keeping with the culture of the neighbourhoods and are a mixture of classic and contemporary styles, something that Dimore studio can do so well.

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Aesop Saint-Sulpice Paris

 

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Aesop Milan

Miami Wynwood and Chicago West Loop stores were created in partnership with Mexico based architect Frida Escobedo, who has designed this year’s Serpentine Pavilion.

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Aesop Wynwood Miami

 

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Aesop West Loop Chicago

 

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The Serpentine Pavilion 2018 in London’s Kensington Gardens, designed by architect Frida Escobedo

The branches are always designed with the consideration for the heritage and history of the location. On Aesop website you can read a few interesting facts about inspiration behind some of their most interesting projects.

For example in its largest store in Downtown Los Angeles the walls are lined with reclaimed cardboard tubing from fabric rolls discarded by the nearby fashion district.

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Aesop Downtown LA

Aesop Petite Bourgogne, created in collaboration with Quebecois architect Alain Carle,  is inspired by the bygone jazz clubs that used to populate the neighbourhood.

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Aesop Petite Bourgogne

Aesop Bondi Beach captures the distinctive spirit of an iconic location; its weathered textures, abundant light and simple, practical materials recalling that most quintessential of Australian imaginaries – the beach house. Designed by Cibi, the sun-drenched space was inspired by the wholesome sense of relaxation that characterises childhood seaside holidays.

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Aesop Bondi Beach Australia

Nodding to the area’s Cuban and Spanish influence, Aesop Oxford Exchange in Tampa features a handcrafted Terracotta trough sink by Florida-based ceramic artist John Byrd.

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Aesop Oxford Exchange Tampa.

I remember how I went to see their Covent Garden branch for the first time and I was so amazed by the interior – a combination of smooth creamy plaster and grass green moroccan tiles. By the way, I later found out that these tiles were supplied by Marrakech Design – the website you must check out if you are considering tiles for your interior, as their tiles are all amazing and you can get a lot of inspiration from there.

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Aesop Covent Garden

In an interview with Wallpaper magazine Aesop’s creative director, Marsha Meredith explains their unconventional approach: “Our desire to create uncluttered, harmonious environments is driven from architectural sensibilities, and a notion that rejects the sameness of globalisation and retail norms. This work speaks for us, and perhaps could be considered a form of advertising. Our clients respect us for rejecting more commercial avenues.”

I would think at some point Aesop will publish an interior design book of their spaces. In the meantime I have made this compilation of their most interesting interiors.

Their Instagram feed is also a great source of inspiration.

Which one is your favourite?

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Aesop Duke of York Square

 

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Aesop Emporium Australia

 

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Aesop Lille

 

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Aesop Berlin-Mitte

 

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Aesop Bauernmarkt Vienna

 

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Aesop Lausanne

 

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Aesop Ion Singapore

 

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Aesop Samcheong Seoul

 

Going Shopping: 6 Cutest Flower Pots With Faces

I have been a fan of pots with faces for quite a while. There is no better way to effortlessly add individuality, quirkiness, character and a bit of fun to your home. Over the years I have seen some really interesting examples and today I have decided to present to you my favourites. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Flower Me Happy Pot

These bursting with character pots are creations of Meyer-Lavigne (Kristine Meyer and Sabine Lavigne) – a Danish design duo based in Copenhagen. They are known for their love of storytelling, humour and uniqueness.

Every pot has a name and a unique character! For example, the pot on the top left is Vera. Vera is always positive and likes a good giggle.

I can’t wait to find a place on my window sill for one of these ladies and I think I set my heart on Alba who is thoughtful and kind.

Alba Flower Me Happy Pot

In the UK they can also be purchased through Unique & Unity online shop.

Atelier Stella

Established in 2012, Atelier Stella is an ever changing collection of unique ceramics designed and made by Stella Baggott in Brighton, England.

All pots are all hand built, sculpted from slabs and pinch pots to create unique pieces. She is influenced by Cornish, Italian and Swedish potters from the 50’s and 60’s, mixing the rustic use of patterns with the frivolity of character.

I have been a big fan of Stella’s little creatures and hope to be a proud owner of one soon.

Anthropology – Kinska Face Pots

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This collection is an artist collaboration between Anthropology and a London based Argentinian self-taught ceramic artist. Everything she makes has a face which she thinks might be due to her pareidolic illusions.

I am about to start redecorating my daughter’s room and I think a group of these dolls would add an element of fun to a little girl’s room. They are also quite well priced!

Group Partner 

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Group Partner has become a little bit of an internet star for its cheeky and magnificently charming aesthetic. Based in Brooklyn and run by Isaac Nichols, the studio makes ceramic pots with butts and boobs and bikinis and speedos decorated with cute patterns. The pots have a curiously joyful character and, when finished with a handsome plant, will make a happy addition to a room. Each pot is made by hand.

In the UK you can buy them in Liberty where I spotted them on my recent trip to the store.

Alex Sickling Artist Pot

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Alex Sickling is an illustrator and ceramicist based in Newcastle, UK.

She explores the process of image making through ceramic objects, creating both functional and decorative pieces.

You can buy pots from this little collection of four celebrated artists as well as many of her other works through her Etsy shop.

Vanessa Bean 

Vanessa is an Australian based graphic designer by profession and a maker of things by nature. The name Vanessa Bean is a combination of her given name (Vanessa) and childhood nickname (Bean). Vanessa loves the discipline of design and the freedom of craft and both sides influence her approach to a project.

Her work can be purchased through her Etsy shop and shipped worldwide. But be warned! Her pretty flower pots are incredibly popular and gets sold out within minutes. But if you are determined to secure one of her creations she gives detailed instructions for successful purchasing on her website.

So, here are the cutest faces I have discovered during my quest. Which one is your favourite?

Anya xx

10 Most Inspirational Instagram Accounts

As this is one of the first blogs I am posting on this website I thought I’d share Instagram accounts that really inspire me for one or another reason to give an idea about styles I love and what makes me tick in the design world. There is a lot of inspiration out there and this list is by no means complete. I am listing them here in no particular order of importance as they are so different and there are various reasons why I have chosen them. I hope you will find this post fun!

 

Dimoregallery

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If you were to ask me about my number one favourite designer this would be the first name that would spring to mind and that’s probably why I instinctively put them at the top of this list.

When I came across the work of Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran – the duo behind Milan based design studio for the first time a few years ago and saw images of their gallery on Pinterest I thought I’d gone to heaven! Their style is just so out of this world. The way they mix reclaimed pieces with custom made furniture and lighting, the way they use unexpected colours and patterns without following any design trends is a work of genius.

Their website states: “DIMORESTUDIO interprets memories and creates dreams. DIMORESTUDIO crosses the boundaries between art and design, fashion and architecture” – this sums it up so well. So understandably every image they post on their feed is a feast for the eyes. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. If you like what you see, check out also Fendi Palazzo Prive on Pinterest.

 

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Superfront is Swedish brand that produces fronts, tops, handles and legs for Ikea Besta and Method ranges. The selection of colours, patterns and finishes is extensive and allows you to create a designer looking piece of furniture on a budget. I myself have bought from them a couple of times: to create a sideboard for my bedroom with the Besta base unit and I also bought copper handles for my built in wardrobes. Their metals are really good as with age they develop a nice patina rather than remaining shiny like cheaper finishes do.

Unlike other favourite brands that I’ve included into this post that are totally aspirational and I would unlikely be able to afford any time soon, this is something for a mass market yet with so many options to mix and match everyone should be able to create an individual piece. Their feed gives lots of ideas of what’s possible.

I am planning to order from them again in the near future as I need a unit for my living room. I will do a post later to show you the pieces I’ve got in my home and to tell more about this cool brand.

 

gubiofficial

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As one of my favourite brands this Danish design company can do no wrong in my eyes, that is why following their Instagram feed is always a pleasure. Unfortunately they still remain out of my price range but one can live in hope. Their whole collection can go onto my wish list.

Their Instagram account states: “Design company dedicated to celebrating the luxury of living life. Designs that combine the past and the present to evolve” – that is truly so. Their designs effortlessly combine simplicity, usability and beauty which makes them timeless.

 

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Yet another exciting Milan based design duo Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto. I am a bit obsessed with blush, nude and rose tones in interiors at the moment and they are abundant in their work right now.

Their Instagram feed is full of not just images of their designs, but also sculpture, interesting shots of architecture, old photos and oddities which all makes for entertaining viewing.

 

apparatusstudio

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The studio founded by Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson in 2012  is among my all time favourites. Their lighting and objects designs are incredible and are bound to become design classics.

Their Instagram account showcases beautiful photos of their work on their own and in situ, as well as some unrelated to work lifestyle shots which give a glimpse of creative minds of the designers.

 

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As you might have noticed most of my favourite feeds belong to brands or designers, because I like their specific style. Following feeds of a major design magazine gives a chance to be exposed to a variety of styles, subjects and eras. Apart from being fun I also find it quite educational.

 

studioolivergustav

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I have discovered this name relatively recently, actually when I came across his Instagram account and it immediately attracted my attention.

As you might have noticed the style is different from what I normally go for but I love drawing inspiration from different sources.

I found his photos of interiors as well as architecture and nature with their muted and moody palette so incredibly timeless, calming, peaceful and yet quite dramatic.  A visit to the gallery is on my to do list next time I go to Copenhagen.

 

elledecorationuk

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I subscribe to two magazines – Living Etc, which was the first one, and Elle Decoration. Over time I think my taste has been evolving and I think now Elle is closer to me in style, although I still like both.

Do you subscribe to any magazines? Or is it all digital for you now?

 

emilianosalci

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This is an Instagram account of Emiliano Salci – one half of duo behind Studio Dimore. These are more personal photos. Most of them are not a thing of beauty but rather a collection of weird, curious, vintage and sometimes somewhat disturbing images. I admire what these designers do professionally and therefore their thoughts, imagery and inspirations behind their creative minds is fascinating to uncover.

 

abigailahern

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Abigail Ahern is an advocate of her very distinctive style of dark and moody interiors. A few years ago I did her Interior Design course that she runs from her East London house and had the pleasure of seeing the interiors that feature in all her photos with my own eyes. This inspired me to paint my own bedroom F&B Downpipe grey which I am sure is not dark enough for Abigail but my husband was shocked when he first saw it and demanded an immediate makeover. He did get used to it eventually and seems quite happy with it now. I will do a separate post on my bedroom a little later, it still needs a few tweaks.

Anyway, now, whenever I need my fix of interior darkness I turn to Abigail Ahern. 

 

So, this is all for now. I have many more Instagram accounts that I follow and enjoy but these are the ones that I find really special right now. I am sure the list can grow or change even daily depending on the mood of the moment. 

What are your favourite Instagram accounts? What do you enjoy looking at and get inspired by? Maybe there is something I haven’t yet discovered and you could share with me?

Anya xx

Featured image: Dimore Gallery, Milan, featured in AD Magazine, France

 

 

5 Best West End Shops to Visit During Sales

The sales are nearing the end by now, so I’ve made a trip into London to have a quick look around my favourite shops in the West End to see if there are still bargains to be made.

I usually try to get to the sales twice – right at the beginning in the hope that the item I really wanted or needed is on sale and still available. It makes sense (if you can wait) to save buying bigger furniture pieces or lighting for the sales as most shops have special offers on their permanent collections. And I also always try to have one last look right at the end of the sales when everything had been marked down for the last time and you can discover some unexpected finds. Smaller items, accessories are the ones to look out for.

However, I always try to remind myself, no matter how tempted I am, never to buy stuff just because it’s cheap. I always try to make sure that all items I place in my home are carefully curated and normally avoid spur of the moment purchases. So even for the sales I have a list of things I need and try to stick to it avoiding buying things I already have and that would create clutter. The phrase I read a while ago on the internet is my motto while shopping the sales: “You could save up to as much as 100% if you don’t buy it”.

H&M Home

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Most budget friendly out of the list the brand presents extensive, affordable and on trend collection of home accessories. What I like about the brand is a very good use of contemporary colours. I particularly like their velvet cushion covers made out of 100% cotton. I have bought a few. I recently bought a new sofa and initially planned to save up and buy Hay velvet cushions like these:

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Buy I looked at my existing ones and realised that with two small kids in the house I should stick to H&M and at £ 6.99 I can easily replace them and not worry about stains.

So, luckily for me some velvet cushion covers in just the right colours were available on sale! I bought a couple and also bought this cute little tray made out of real leather. It is not on sale but I needed it for a window sill in the hallway to store stuff like keys.

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Generally, when shopping budget brands I tend to stick to natural materials and simple basics rather then centrepieces. Fortunately, H&M seems to use quite a few natural materials, like this real leather piece, straw, velvet, pure linen for table cloths and bed sheets (bought before and happy with them). I did not buy the bronze pot in the photo as this is one those items I think might give away its’ price tag.

 

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As you can see, it also has quite a few summery items on sale, like seat cushions in tropical colours below and picnic wear – something worth buying for the next year as well as the rest of this season. I have bought these cushions before but in simple colours and I think they are a really good, neat shape compared to other choices I’ve seen on the market.

Liberty

I have worked out the most efficient plan to visit all five of my shops making my way back to Charing Cross station and my next destination was the opposite end of the spectrum – Liberty. This is one of my favourite shops in the world and a complete feast for the eyes. Surprisingly though, in the past during sales season you can find real bargains here from high quality expensive brands.

My eye was drawn to this set of bronze trays. It looks different from the bronze finish you usually see among budget products, with bronze being so popular at the moment, and I would expect them to acquire beautiful patination as they age.

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Also, Liberty fabrics were discounted and you could get a really good price on meter pieces, as well as fabrics in rolls. Small prints are having a big come back at the moment as seen in Kettner’s Townhouse by Soho house.

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I was most attracted to this colour and pattern though. Just need to decide where I could use it.

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Anthropologie

A short walk from Liberty was my next stop – Anthropologie. Whenever I am in town I make sure to come and browse this shop, known for its’ colourful collections and beautifully arranged displays.

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The flagship store in Regent street is by far the largest and has a good permanent sales section. At the moment the choice of sales items on offer are much broader of course. They usually do quite good sales and there is always something interesting to discover. Another bonus is that they often have 20% off on top of the sales prices.

I would have a closer look at their dinnerware and kitchenware as they always have a good selection as well as a nice selection of cushions.

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Arket

Arket has two shops in London – one in Regent street, opposite Liberty and one in Covent Garden. For some reason I am more used to the one in Covent Garden, perhaps because it’s quieter there and I prefer the layout. So that’s where I headed after Anthropologie – a short and pleasant walk through Soho.

Usually, when I am in Soho, I make sure to stop off for a quick lunch or coffee in one of my favourite cafes Princi in Wardour street. Their display of deserts is amazing.

Arket has opened relatively recently and has immediately become one of my “go to” places. Primarily a clothes shop, it has a really nicely curated minimalist Scandi selection of homeware.

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It currently has a small selection of sales items. The items I particularly like and looked at before they went on sale are this large dark blue dish and a simple white vase.

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Petersham Nurseries

From Arket it’s a one minute walk to Petersham Nurseries – another recent addition to Covent Garden. I have known and loved Petersham nurseries for quite a few years now and visited their Richmond location whenever could. Now it’s much easier to come and enjoy their new shop in Central London, however their Richmond branch is still quite special and is worth a trip.

This is an amazing shop and the one I love to browse in search of inspiration. It is probably one of the most photographed shops I have ever seen.

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I was surprised to see that they didn’t really have a sale as such apart from a couple of items. Nevertheless I still decided to keep it in my list as the photos are worth showing. Also, their products range from really expensive items like Astier De Villate tableware which I love but probably would never be able to afford and antique furniture to very affordable ones, including very reasonably priced glassware and plant pots.

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So, to summarise my experience, I can say as always it has been a pleasure to have a browse in my favourite shops. With regards to the sales, I have to be honest, I found selections a bit limited, maybe because sales are coming to an end and maybe because summer sales are not as much a big deal. Looking forward to discovering new collections now.

Did you manage to find any good bargains in this sales? What did you get?

Anya xx

All words and opinions in this post are mine and have not been sponsored by any of the brands mentioned in the post.