The Perfect Pendants

Pendant lights add atmosphere and create a focal point within a space. Here a few of our favourite ways to work with them…

Hanging pendants low over a dining table creates atmosphere. However a top tip is to hang the light lower than you think (the ideal height from the table is 70 to 80cm) don’t worry no one will bump their heads as it hangs over the centre of the table where no one sits.

A great way to illuminate the space and bring in some height to your kitchen is hanging a row of pendants above your countertop or island unit. It’s also great for adding a pop of colour or a different texture, the grain pendant or E27 pendant for example offer a nice rubbery texture again more classic kitchen surfaces.

Grouping pendants together gives you the opportunity to play with shape and scale. It’s also a fairly non-expensive way to get a statement light fixture into your room. You can play around with heights and different cords, to create something completely personal and customised to your room.

Come Dine With Me

The reality of urban living for most of us means a lack of space… we struggle for every square foot we can utilise so need to be smart on maximising space and not getting over crowded. An ideal solution is to combine a dining space into your kitchen so you can avoid having to eat off your lap in the living room.

Here are a couple of tips we use on interior design projects as well as in our own homes…

Size matters – If you’re tight on space make sure you choose chairs that tuck neatly under the tabletop or even a bench which can be pushed against a wall. The Hay Copenhague Table comes in a narrower width at 75cm making it ideal for smaller spaces.

Atmosphere – no matter how small a nook you’re dining in, think about the lighting and general atmosphere to make sure it’s actually a nice place to enjoy a meal. Hanging a pendant light low over the table is a top tip.

Colour block – we tend to keep colour simple on the tabletop but you can be playful by mixing up chairs. Use a few old ones mixed with new to add character.

We’ve shown a few of our favourite images for reference. To see more check out our Pinterest board

 

 

 

Top tips for hanging a gallery wall at home

  1. Try to stick to odd numbers of prints, they always sit better on the eye grouped and styled.
  2. Keep at least one consistent vertical or horizontal line. You can have frames poking out in all directions, but if you keep a line running through your display, it grounds the wall and stops it looking too random.
  3. Either mix and match your frames by using different sizes and thicknesses or stick to one simple frame across all prints.
  4. Be mindful of your prints and what style you’re going for.
  5. Map out your layout first using some newspaper. It’s much easier to play around with scale and placement in paper rather than with nails in your wall.

However if you love moving around things in your home as much as we do… then a great way to keep maximum flexibility with your wall art is to mount some super simple picture shelves up and then you can simply lean prints on these, being able to move them around to your hearts content!

Shop from our collection of graphic prints now to build up in preparation for your very own gallery wall….

 

We’re just back from Copenhagen

Last week we popped over to Copenhagen for a whistle stop tour… we went for the amazing Muuto annual event and to meet other suppliers and generally get inspired. Here are our five favourite things from the trip…

1. The Muuto Showroom which is packed full of gorgeous product and impeccable visual merchandising. Plus we got to work with their fantastic team on the new seasons collection and generally have a lovely time hanging out there.

2. Visiting the studio of designer Thomas Bentzen which was such an inspiring space. Thomas designs many of the Muuto pieces including our Around Tables and Cover Chair so it was great to find out more about how he approaches designing his pieces.

3. Pink perfection at the Normann Copenhagen concept store which is in an old theatre building…

4. Popping to see our friends at the perfect little Playtype store, makers of our best selling Beat Mugs and Attitude Mugs plus a selection of our posters.

5. The best hotel breakfast ever at SP34 entered by their gorgeous greenhouse covered staircase

We’re already looking forward to our next trip to Copenhagen!

 

Concrete Can Be Cosy

Concrete has come a long way since its traditional council estate beginnings.

Concrete-can-be-cosy

 

Growing in popularity with homeowners and architects alike, the material is finding its place within modern interiors. It’s come a long way since its cheap raw beginnings. Used primarily for its semi-liquid state, and its ability to create smooth edges and shapes hard to achieve with other building materials. Quickly becoming the material of choice for most architects. It has since crossed the bridge into the world of design, with a new light thrown upon it. Being cost effect and having many finishes have helped in its rise in popularity. The stuff can be: acid-etched, jack hammered, or grit blasted, tinted, mottled, matt or glazed.

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Concrete is in our Future and Found DNA, it’s safe to say we love the grey stuff. Making its appearance on our new shop floor, lighting and finishes. It is a good example of how you can add in the raw material, even if the idea of pouring concrete into your floor and re-modelling your homes walls is out budget let alone out of the question. Our Nod concrete pendants are taking front and centre stage in our shop window, with a smaller cluster of Nud concrete pendants towards the back. They both help to add contrasting textures and a modern shape. Something you can bring very easily into your own home.

Here are a few of our concrete favourites from the Autumn collection…

Concrete-Can-Be-Cosy-Product

 

Meet the Makers… Karolina from Bobbin & Bow

This month we launched a brand new programme of design workshops all run from our Tufnell Park store and studio space. Our very first was Pajaki Chandelier Making with Karolina, the lovely owner of Bobbin & Bow

Karolina-making

Karolina Merska is a jewellery designer and founder of Bobbin & Bow living in London. As if that wasn’t enough she also makes beautiful pajaki’s. Pajaki (pah-yonk-ee) literally translates as spiders of straw in Polish. We know, the word spider creeped us out as well, but we promise there’s nothing creepy about them!

Pajaki are traditional Polish chandeliers made from rye straw and paper. They symbolise health and happiness and date back to the 18th century when they were made in the countryside by women as decorations for their homes. Pajaki were especially popular at Christmas and Easter and at weddings.

Today the tradition is practised less and less but Karolina keeps the tradition alive. We asked her some questions about these Polish chandeliers as we enjoyed the workshop so much.

pajaki-making

When did your interest for pajaki start?

It was love from the first sight. I remember I was stunned by their delicate structures and colourful paper flowers. I knew I have to make some for myself. About two years ago I have started working on my pajaki and this is how it started.

How did you discover them?

It was in a museum in Lublin, my hometown where I saw them for the first time. Later when I moved to Krakow to study History of Art I discovered more of them. Their history dates back to the 18th century and they are very important part of Polish folk culture.

Which materials can you use to make one?

Traditionally, they are made of rye straw and paper.

Where do you get inspiration from?

I am inspired by tradition but I don’t only want to copy old designs. I want to give them my own touch and contemporary feel. I find inspiration in fashion, architecture. I am working on a new geometric piece at the moment which will be made with a new material.

Where do you like to put them as decoration?

Anywhere! Really, they look amazing in a living room, kitchen or a bedroom. Symbolically, they supposed to bring you a good luck and happiness.

Can you hang them outside as well?

Yes but only if you make one using waterproof materials. I designed a giant waterproof pajaki for the London Design Festival last year. Instead of rye I used plastic drinking straws and I made pom poms of colourful florist foil.

Is it possible to do one with your kids?

Definitely, kids can help threading straw and paper discs. They love them as they are so colourful and spin around.

How many pajaki’s do you have at home?

Only one at the moment. My home used to look like a folk museum but since I moved to a bigger studio I took all pajaki with me. My studio is open for visitors so everyone is welcome to come over and see the pajaki.

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Karolina will be running another workshop with us in October so get in touch if you’d like to sign up. We cannot wait!

 

A chat with Lucio Longoni

Our upcoming workshop Taking Home & Lifestyle Product to Market on Tuesday the 11th of July will be hosted by Lucio Longoni along with our owner Andrea Bates.

Lucio has over 15 years of business experience in retailing, buying, developing and selling in the UK and European markets. In early 2016 he set up his own consultancy to focus on giving business advice and coaching to a wide range of brands as well as trend reporting and product development. Focusing on interior and lifestyles,

Lucio’s specialty is finding the perfect balance between trends, aesthetics, and desirability along with commercialism, business acumen, and strategic planning. Recognised in the press from publications such as The Sunday Times Home, The Telegraph, Homes and Gardens Magazine and The Economist. His experience in buying and retailing comes from a multitude of brands including some of the UK’s leading design stores such as Skandium and Heals.

Lucio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a little chat with Lucio and asked him a couple of questions…

How did you get into the business?

When I left school I studied interior design and started working in retail part time. My love of both interiors and retailing grew which left me looking for a career which would combine both. Buying home and lifestyle goods seemed like the perfect fit, so off I went to Heals to do an internship in their buying office.

What inspires you?

Colourful prints, spacious environments, nature and travel.

Describe your style in 3 words?

Eclectic, modern and colorful.

Who’s your favorite designer?

Its so hard to pick one, but Michael Anastassiades has been producing beautiful work in the last few years.

How much does your personal taste influence your work?

It depends, if I am supporting a client with overall focus and branding my taste will no doubt influence, however when it comes to products I buy or develop is completely based on what is right for the brand and customer.

What’s your favourite trend at the moment?

I love modernity and simplicity, however I am enjoying the move in recent years towards crafted products which seem to have soul and quality.

Do you have any advice for someone who is considering a career in this field?

Do your research early on to really see what the practical elements of the industry are. Its certainly not shopping all day, but there are creative aspects which are very rewarding.

So if you’re a budding brand or designer, sign up now and get some top tips from Lucio and Andrea at this exciting workshop…

 

Plywood Porn

We LOVE plywood. Not only is it one of the humblest of building materials, it can also transform a space, soften any hard edge and translate into so many different spaces… making them feel modern light and unpretentious. What could be better?!

Plywood-Graphics

If you’re in need of practical storage, it can look very clean and simple and looks great as open shelving so you can see the layers.

Also being relatively inexpensive and easy to source, plywood lends itself for easy updates to your interiors from kitchen shelving to making room dividers.

plywood 17 rounded corners

We aren’t the only ones who have established a love for plywood. Recently our architect friend Simon Astridge has found ways to use this simple and modern material among other designers.

plywood-rounded-corners

And just to add to our excitement levels… the V&A’s upcoming exhibition: “Plywood: Material of the Modern World” is all about this light, strong and versatile material. We will definitely go and check it out!

It’s a Jungle In Here

We all want to bring a little outdoor in with us. Natures footprint is expanding into our urban lifestyles more than ever, and we’re all for embracing the green stuff. Here’s a few of our top tips to use when picking your plants…

Keep them relevant to your room

Herbs in your kitchen are a great example of how adding greenery to your kitchen can double up as handy herbs for cooking. Equally, an aloe vera plant in your bathroom not only looks great but has all number of healing properties for your skin.

Concrete-Pot-Plant-Box-Styled-1

Mix and match your planters

Grouping different pots and planters creates a relaxed and modern feel without feeling over styled. Mix up materials such as concrete and ceramic, plain and patterned. Break all the rules and don’t worry about leaving some pots unplanted in the arrangement.

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Play with scale

If you have the space, larger plants or a larger planter are a great way to add character to a room or to create a relaxed room divide. Open plan living rooms, in particular, can benefit massively from this.

Plant-Box-Light-Grey-Room-Shot

Keep them green

If you’re not particularly green fingered, stick to low maintenance plant families such as succulents and cacti which are particularly low maintenance. Then they’ll stay looking fresh, lush and stylish.

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