Saturday, 26 March 2011

It's Not Retro, It's Right Now

Clever old me predicted the 50’s come-back way before Madmen decided to send the interiors world into a pea green and ochre frenzy, but even I didn’t realize what an impact  it was going to have – everyone’s at it

Heal ( have just re-launched their Lucienne Day designs on pretty much everything they can squeeze it on to from china and cushions to condiment sets and canvasses (evidently if it starts with a C then it’s in with more of a chance)
TwentyTwentyOne ( have always specialized in this kind of look, but I’m imagining their order books are swelling right now.

Likewise Original BTC, with their stunning range of lighting.

But is there a connection between National economics and Retro Style?
(That came out a bit Carrie Bradshaw)

Possibly there is.

During these times of empty coffers, the New Retro style is an exercise in restraint and economy of line, and we’re collectively after the same thing: style on a shoe string; it almost sums up the 50’s when our National Economy was stunted as we paid off our astronomical war debt.

Maybe we revert to a more frugal design when there isn’t so much cash.
It’s an interesting thought.

Anyway, whatever the reason, go get some Retro in your life: it’s big, it’s back and it’s here to stay (well, until the economy is sorted out in any case).

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Are You Sitting Down?

If you thought that traditional skills had fallen by the wayside in recent years you might be right, but there are a lot of small manufacturers that are still making beautiful pieces of furniture that are available to everyone - we just don't know about them because they don't have the funds to sponsor, say, Coronation Street.

Anyway, my job is to find these people and products so you don't have to. have a variety of traditional and contemporary furniture that have two thing in common - craftsmanship and quality.

Y'know when you watch Antiques Roadshow and they say quality will always out? well, these are the kind of thing they're talking about - beautiful, desirable and (still) affordable.....

It might be the best way for you to get onto The Antiques Roadshow in a few years to some....

Spring Bulbs

In these times when we all have to do our bit to help mend the world we inhabit, I know it’s a terrible thing to admit to, but I really do dislike low energy light bulbs – I think the light they omit is dull (until they warm up, which means leaving them on for longer), and they are often too big for most light fittings, making them look a bit, well, ugly.
Having said all that, I was at ‘Interiors’ in Birmingham recently (you should go to the next one if you get time) and saw these 'Plumen 001' by Hulger (

How sexy are these?!

Good looking light bulbs that are (almost) good enough to have without shades!

I’m now going to change all mine.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Are You Feeling It Too?

I now know it's Spring.
Well besides the fact that everything seems more positive and the fact that it is officially Spring, my personal barometer is the pages of classic cars for sale in's Spring when the pages of convertible cars for sale start to expand.
This week they've doubled, so now it's official.

We undergo a subtle mental shift at this time of year that makes us feel that life's good, and it's time to do something, like pretty much all living things, we feel it's time to do something
Like plants, we know it's time.
My theory is to follow nature and try to do a little bit everyday so I'm in in full bloom in Summer, when it counts (I've made that sound a bit camp, but you know what I mean).
Start small - even if it's just opening a window and getting rid of some of the cobwebs (literally and metaphorically) and you'll be surprised that instead of sipping your morning coffee wistfully looking into the middle distance, you'll feel like something needs to be done - that's Spring my friends!
Now's the time to start doing your tear sheets for your home... get out all your magazines and tear out everything you like, a file for each room, and start the process of growth for this year. 
Don't worry about whether or not you can afford it all because it's an exercise in design growth not spending money; you're preparing a goal, something to aim for. Whether you get it done this year, next year, it doesn't matter. Think of it as preparing to bloom, remember that some of the most beautiful flowers explode into flower every other year....

Spring is a positive emotion, like happy. We should be able to say 'I'm Spring today' or 'You make me Spring'.

So check your local car sales to see if it's Spring in your area too, open a window and start feeling SPRING!!

The Scent of Spring

One of the nicest things about this time of year is having a bowl of Hyacinth indoors – I know it sounds a bit old fashioned and a bit ‘country’, but with the right approach they look so damn stylish it’s painful.
Whether you have an Uber Modern loft apartment or an Olde Worlde classic cottage, whether they’re in a wicker basket or a glass bowl, I really don’t think you can go wrong.
Get some Spring in your step, shell out maybe a fiver and Hyacinth your house up!