Design Classics: Retro chairs

My absolute favourite chair of the 20th century, has to be the Tolix. The industrial style shines through in the huge variety of colours it’s currently available in and I can really see how it became so popular – and remains so. It first came on the market in 1934 when practicality, easy maintenance and value for money were all of great importance. It’s lightness and the ability to be stacked means it was used across the world in schools, offices, factories and cafes. One day, I’d love a large dining table with a set of these chairs surrounding it, all in different colours. Find out where to get yours here.

Tolix Chair

Toilx Chair

Kartell is another iconic brand that I’d love to have in my home one day. After 60 years on the market, they’ve really developed their unique style with a number of easily recognisable pieces. The Phillippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair, which again is available in a variety of colours is another item on my ever-growing wishlist. Although transparent, the touch of colour would be a great way to add some subtle variance in tone to any scheme. Made out of polycarbonate in a single mold, it’s a great contemporary take on the classic Louis XV style. Visit the website here.

Kartell Louis Ghost

Kartell Louis Ghost

Charles and Ray Eames are one of the biggest design couples of the 20th century, known for their contributions to art, architecture, furniture design, graphic design, manufacturing and photography. They’ve amassed a huge range of chair designs over the years however my favourite has to be the rocking chair below, available at The Conran Shop.

Eames Rocking Chair

Eames Rocking Chair

The Panton Chair was conceived by Verner Panton in 1960 and was the first chair to be completely manufactured from one single piece of plastic. It’s adapted well over the years and due to it’s easily recognisable shape has become an iconic design of the last century, making it’s large pricetag something of non importance to any design fanatic.

Classic Panton Chair

Classic Panton Chair

I couldn’t do a piece on classic chairs without including the Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen. There have been many varieties and copy cat versions of this over the years, but here’s a glimpse of the original. With a hefty pricetag it really suits the big office exec I imagine would be using this behind an equally as grand desk. See your nearest store here.

Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair

Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair

Last but not least, how about the Tulip Chair by Eero Saarinen. In his effort to simplify existing designs, the architect-designer said he wanted to ‘get rid of the slum of legs’. He certainly acheived this and the outcome was a sleek, effortless design oozing style and comfort.

Eero Saarinen Tulip Chair

Eero Saarinen Tulip Chair

There are a certainly plenty more classic designs still on the market today, which at some point I will look into further. Watch this space!

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Beautiful Bedrooms – My Essentials

Getting the design of your bedroom right is key to a happy home. It’s one of the most personal rooms in the house, which guests will rarely venture into unless invited. A good night’s sleep is vital to a healthy life so making sure your room is comfortable, cosy, stress-free and exactly as you want it surely has to be a priority when designing your home! Here are the key things that are important to me in my own bedroom:

White bedroom

White bedroom

1. Keeping it clutter free. I adore the basic design here. Don’t get me wrong, realistically I couldn’t actually live like this. Where would I put all my shoes? When I have that luxury dressing room however, maybe I’ll be able to get away with only a bed in the bedroom!

bright and breezy bedroom

Bright and breezy

2. Colour – Personally, I like to keep the main colours fairly neutral so that it can then be jazzed up with some good bedding and then restyled with every sheet wash. If you do want to add more colour, keep it simple. Avoid having too much going on; clutter free room = clutter free mind.

Clever floor

Clever floor

3. Keep things off the floor. To help with the clutter free aesthetic, keep things off the floor – especially if you’ve got a bedroom floor to die for! I love the hanging vase here – it adds detail to the room without taking up valuable floor space, leaving you less inclined to keep things in their places!

Bedroom storage

Bedroom storage

4. Make space for storage. If you’re unable to lead a clutter free life like me, then at least own up to this and give yourself enough storage. If it’s well designed and catered for, then you can disguise the amount you really have and continue to live in denial! I love this storage wall – there really is so much stuff within these shelves but having it all in one place as one part of the room really helps to make it appear smaller and keeps it from imposing.

Symmetrical bedroom

Centred bedroom

5. Keep the room symmetrical. Not necessarily all of it, but for me the bed has to be centred along a wall with two identical bedside tables either side to make any kind of sense.

Bedroom rug

Bedroom rug

6. Pay attention to the floor. I prefer carpet in a bedroom for a warm, cosy feeling. If that’s not possible however, just adding a rug will add almost as much. It’ll help to centre the bed and make it the key feature. It can also be a way to add some subtle pattern or colour.

Bedroom headboard

Bedroom headboard

Interesting Headboard

Interesting headboard

7. Add some headboard interest. This doesn’t have to be an actual headboard – it could be a collection of frames above the bed, an interesting piece of abstract art or some fun wallpaper. I think it just helps to define the purpose of the room and draws attention to the most important piece of furniture.

Bedroom storae

Bedroom storage

8. Storage. Lastly, making sure everything has a place (and putting it there) is the last necessity to a stress free sleep. Whilst I can admit that I’m not always the tidiest, I still spend hours making sure everything I own has a home and trying to work out the best way of storing all of the ‘essentials’. Take a look at this guide from Better Homes and Gardens for some handy hints and tips.

 

One can never have too many pairs of shoes..

So the dream is to one day have a whole room dedicated to shoes – a bit like Mariah Carey’s shoe storage below. Failing that, a walk in wardrobe would do just fine. Unfortunately small space living means I can’t quite justify that use of space just yet and finding the perfect solution to my never ending collection is proving a constant battle.

Shoe Storage

Mariah Carey Shoe Closet

I love the idea of having my shoes on display, but finding a way to do this without making the room seem cluttered always seems to be my main challenge. I also need them to be accessible – a bad habit of mine is leaving an ever-growing pile of flats by the front door. I automatically take my shoes off as soon as I get in, but then the effort of taking an extra trip upstairs to put them in their place just doesn’t happen as much as it should. I therefore need something small and practical by the front door and something a bit more substantial to house the rest of the family upstairs. Here are a few of my favourites below, ranging from mini DIY projects to ready made bits of practical furniture.

DIY shoe storage

DIY shoe storage

 

Contemporary Shoe Storage

Contemporary Shoe Storage

DIY shoe storage

DIY shoe storage

Ottoman shoe storage

Ottoman shoe storage

STÄLL Ikea shoe storage

STÄLL shoe storage cabinet

TRONES shoe storage Ikea

TRONES shoe storage

Drawer shoe storage

Drawer shoe storage

Hanging shoe storage

Hanging Shoe Storage

Closet Shoe Storage

Closet Shoe Storage

Hanging shoe storage

Hanging shoe storage

Under the bed shoe storage

Under the bed shoe storage

1. Subtle and simple DIY entryway shoe organiser by Emily Henderson

2. Contemporary shoe storage found on Houzz.

3. DIY shoe storage from not martha. Almost like a full blown shelf but saves a bit of space and is a little bit clever.

4. Why not combine a bench with some storage? It’s a great way to keep your shoes accessible but hidden and out of the way. Find this at Skymail.

5.  Ikea have a great few nifty shoe storage solutions for small spaces. Although they’re actual bits of furniture, they’re still narrow so wouldn’t be too imposing and could also be used as great console/entrance tables. Check out the STÄLL and TRONES ranges from Ikea.

6.  I found this image on Houzz. If you’ve got spare drawer then it’s a fab way to keep them out of the way.

7. Another space saving trick is to use the back of your doors. There’s a million different varieties of this classic hanging shoe storage, but you can find this one at Ikea.

8. If space is really tight, then make sure you incorporate essential storage into every piece of storage you have. Take this hanging rail from Habitat for example – the shelves are a great way to use otherwise empty space and keep your essentials off the ground.

9. Again, if you do already have the hanging space then these widely available fabric hanging shoe storage are a fab way to make the most of it.

10. Lastly, make use of the space underneath your bed. When I first went bed shopping, I found it infuriating how hard it was to find a decently priced bed with adequate space to put my own drawers underneath. I find this my most useful storage – whilst it may have become my go-to home for anything that doesn’t really have it’s own place, it’s great because it all remains hidden. I like to keep as much of my wardrobe hanging as possible, as choosing an outfit is way easier when it’s all in front of me (and I hate folding). The drawers under the bed therefore remain free for my shoes – until I have that dream dressing room that is!

 

 

 

 

 

London’s calling

I rarely set out to buy ‘art’, but I find I usually end up buying pieces on my travels. After spending a couple of years in Australia, I realised recently that my house is starting to seem a bit like a shrine to the places down under! I’ve therefore been on the lookout for a good London print to really represent who I am and help balance it out a little. I need a little bit of help deciding though!

Michael Tompsett - London Street Map

Michael Tompsett – London Street Map

Bronagh Kennedy

Bronagh Kennedy – London Eye

Dutches

Dutches

Lucy Loves This - London Print

Lucy Loves This – London

Emma Hardicker

Emma Hardicker

Senecio - Iconic London

Senecio – Iconic London

Sarah Copson - London Transport

Sarah Copson – London Transport

Brough and Ready - London for Lovers

Brough and Ready – London for Lovers

London Skyline

London Skyline

 

London Typographic Print

London Typographic Print

London Underground Retro

London Underground Retro

John Lewis Interiors

After my the popularity of my recent post on Ikea: Investment vs Statement recently, I thought it was time to look at another popular highstreet store and what it has to offer. Being it’s 150th birthday John Lewis was the lucky culprit. For me, John Lewis isn’t necessarily the first thing I place I’d go when looking for original, quirky, designer items but it is often associated with quality, practical and trustworthy design. I have a thing against matching furniture (especially solid wood) so I set out on a mission to create 3 different living room moodboards that I’d be happy to live in – avoiding anything too matching and too many things that have been seen before.

Johnlewismoodboard1

I’m in love with this wallpaper – it’s so detailed yet subtle due to the simple one colour. You could use it in a range of colour schemes but I’ve chosen to stick with the pastels here. I’ve mixed it with some gorgeous round tables and a bookshelf and console which are part of the Mira collection. The sofa is made to measure; you can select from a large range of shapes and then specify your fabric – amazing!

Johnlewismoodboard2

I’ve kept this design fairly basic, bring colour into the room with this Pashmina rug and Turner print. Artwork is a great way to bring personality and colour into a room and can also be an inspiring starting point for your ideas.

Johnlewismoodboard3

For my last design, I went for a more masculine feel. If you’ve ready any other posts of mine, you’ll see that I also have a bit of an obsession with grey – hence the choice in sofa. I’ve also featured this chevron wallpaper on a previous wallpaper post and again, can’t get enough of it!