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In Store: Marble Duvet by Safe House USA


American company Safe House USA has produced a series of stylish home furnishing and apparel. The bedding collection features a ‘Marble Duvet Set’ available in white or black ideal to set off a minimal interior. Shipping to the UK. Price $325.

Book: DIY Furniture 2 by Christopher Stuart


Do you enjoy DIY? Need some inspiration? Look no further than DIY Furniture 2 by American designer/maker Christopher Stuart launching in May. It is set to build on the international success of his previous title DIY Furniture: A Step-by-Step Guide.  No.2 features 30 new modern designs and conceptual objects by leading designer-makers from around the world. Design devotees looking for a modern home project will not be disappointed.  Continue Reading…

3 X Minimal Bathrooms


Not a vintage claw foot bath to be seen, just three minimal bathrooms, with perfect proportions. Each design floods the room in light using extra large windows. This elongated bathroom by Ian Shaw is enclosed within with a vast glass wall, which ingeniously partitions the room. The bathroom is exposed for all to see. Take note, it may not be suitable for shy design folk. The oversized skylight mirrors the exact dimensions of the floor space to balance the design. For similar bathroom wares and tiles see Fired Earth.

Via / Image

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Retail Styling: Inspiration


Retail Styling: Line up  / Colour board* / Houseplant* / Blonde floorboards






7: Window Seats


Detail: protruding window seat

Do you have anywhere to sit to unwind in peace? No? How about making the most of the usable space by adding a window seat to frame your view. Firstly, decide upon the look. Seats come in all shapes, sizes and materials.  It may sound obvious, but the design needs to reflect the style of your property. Minimal or not you decide. Next, it would be a good idea to add a lid or hidden door, if  you want to store as well as to lounge nonchalantly. Finally, a seat will enhance your property, as long as it is styled well. Have a look at this fine selection to inspire you.    


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Diary: Design Shanghai


Above: Hay

HayMagisFlosFritz HansenAlessiBoss Design and Tom Dixon. What do the companies have in common? This week they head to China for the launch of  Design Shanghai. The event will be held at Shanghai Exhibition Centre from 27 February to 2 March. More than 150 world-renowned design brands will be presented to the Chinese audience, 90% of which have never been seen before in China

Mr. Gu, General Manager of Shanghai Art Fair Ltd. co-organised  Design Shanghai with Media 10, the show is also backed by Media 10’s leading international shows, including 100% Design London, Clerkenwell Design Week and Ideal Home Show. Steeped in credibility Media 10 continue to push boundaries in design. Having firmly established itself as an industry leader in producing contemporary design events in the UK,  they aim to replicate its success - both in content and design - in China. Continue Reading…

Retail Styling: Edward Enninful for Prada


W Magazine’s Fashion and Style Director Edward Enninful reimagined the Prada stores in Milan for The Iconoclast Series, a project where stylists create a look for the store. Shoe lined up in rows, evoking a stripe effect. Simple, striking and effective. It is reminicent of Song Dong’s Waste Not exhibition that if you have not seen, it is one that you should. Continue Reading…

Bathroom: Axor & Front


Design company Front turned the shower world upside down and shook it around when they built the exemplary WaterDream Shower using traditional piping with modern designer attachments.  Instead of sending the pipes to the background as per usual in bathroom design, they are brought to the forefront, and composed in a spectacular fashion.  Unsurprisingly the design has scooped awards left, right and centre. Continue Reading…

Book: In the City by Nigel Peake

Nigel Peake 4

Are you a fan of all things geometric, in any context? If you answered yes, the book In the City by Irish Illustrator Nigel Peake will appeal. Following on from the success of his last book In The Wilds, his much-loved illustrated ode to rural life: Peake swaps the bucolic Irish countryside where he grew up for the bustling sidewalks of the city. This collection of new drawings and paintings by Nigel Peake explores what makes a city. A multitude of urban landscapes drawn from his travels to places such as London, New York and Shanghai are visualised in Nigel’s signature style. Close ups of buildings are precisely depicted to form all over patterns. Peake afforded time to document things that are seen, heard, experienced and remembered, including grids, surfaces, places, etc., they fill the pages. All compiled as he wandered the streets without a map, or sat in a cafe while waiting for a train. Lucky man. Great book.  Continue Reading…

Diary: Living Spaces / Makkink & Bey


One hundred years of textiles in Dutch interiors are celebrated in the exhibition Living Spaces at the TextielMuseum. The central question throughout is, ‘What role does textile play in the interior?’ Seven concept rooms display interiors from seven distinctive periods: Dutch Art Nouveau, 1930s’ modernism, the post-war period, the alternative 1970s, postmodernism and recent Dutch Design.  Each space is based on the ideal image of a particular design movement or a specific trend; such as the sunken seating area of the 1970s. Clearly visible is the mix of old and new throughout.

The ideal home that architects and designers visualise is one that few people can afford. Class division is illustrated via film fragments shown in each room. Comparisons are made between the comfortable middle-class living room and images of working-class families living in poverty in dark, dank, single-room dwellings.

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Weekend Discovery: Stendig Calendar


Regular readers may know, I am a big fan of  Massimo Vignelli’s iconic Stendig calendar published by the Cromwell Company in 1966. What a surprise to stumble across the wall of Agnetha’s dessing room wallpapered with the pages. Do you think it is a shame to throw them away once out of date? I do. This seems a great solution  to the issue. Happy papering.

Look Inside: Mini Moderns Dungeness home

situ copy

Dungeness is becoming something of a showcase for contemporary architecture and design. Designers Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire from Mini Moderns, the London based interiors brand, threw caution to the wind and sea, quite literally,  converting one of the many Victorian railway carriages dragged on to the shingle a century ago. The carriages are protected, but the designers wanted to start from scratch. Frankly, they stated “we neither had the budget nor the stomach for a full rebuild.” Despite aesthetics, the building was essentially sound so they set about reconfiguring the layout by swapping round the rooms’ usages to create a more open, bright feel.


Above: Keith and Mark

“We have been visiting Dungeness, on the South Kent coastline, for nearly 20 years and have always loved the landscape, the atmosphere and big skies. The designers told Despoke. “We were amazed to discover a house for sale on the Dungeness estate - because the dwellings are so rare that they are usually snapped up as soon as they come up for sale.”


Above: the relaxing bedroom featuring their signature Whitby print with traditional copper lighting and detail.

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Nendo “Paper-Brick” for Pen magazine


Above:  The Paper brick components by Nendo

Nendo prove their worth yet again, with the new paper brick designed as an insert in Japanese lifestyle magazine Pen. Here is another design set to appeal to the design community. The element of surprise underpins Nendo’s products, and they can be certain they will not disappoint their legion of fans this time. Readers have the opportunity to create a pseudo-3D object by stacking tricolor blocks that seem three-dimensional.

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Editor’s Pick: Modern Craft Market at Heal’s





Above: Soderlund Davidson / conveyor belt


Above: Crowded launch party at Heal’s

Did your one-hour journey take twice as long? Sound familiar? Travelling across London last week on the day of the Tube strike was challenging. Had I lost my mind to make the deliberate choice to undertake such a journey? Yes, however, it was worth it. And so will your trip. The pain etched across my face disappeared instantly upon arrival at my destination Heal’s for the launch of The Modern Craft Market. Design and craft devotees arrived en masse to fill the ground floor. What a result for Heal’s and the exhibitor’s against all the odds.  Perusing the show was no mean feat. In order to view the work design folk squeezed past the fragile products on display. They were not to be disappointed.

The annual event DISCOVER features some of the most exciting homegrown talent at work in modern craft today. Independent designers and a collective of RCA graduates (the WORKS collective), as well as a carefully chosen group of makers and artisans recognised by Crafts Council and Contemporary Applied Arts present potential homeware heirlooms to the public. Everything is for sale so to buy a considered piece of design head to Heal’s on Tottenham Court Road. The show ends on the 16th February 2014.

Here are my picks from the show:


Above: Works / Patina Candlesticks by Lola Lely

Lola Lely reaffirms her status as one to watch with a new collection of Patina Candlesticks developed in collaboration with Derek Bayley from Bronze Age foundry.

Detail: Hand crafted, irregular, geometric, mixed materials.

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Portfolio Alert: Mette Creates

Outcrop Mette

Above: Project 1 ‘Outcrop’ tile for Urban Kitchen Life Project

Portfolio Alert is a new feature at Despoke. We will be taking you on a whistlestop tour of the portfolios we recommend you see. Second in the line up is Mette Creates, the multidisciplinary creative duo creating concepts for products and environments, with a particular focus on the foodie. We love the Outcrop tile currently in development. With home-growing and food provenance key to a sustainable, healthy lifestyle, the tile, inspired by plant growth and survival in cliff sides and craggy landscapes, explores the use of vertical space in compact urban kitchens. With a nod to nature’s resilience in the city by slipping between standard Metro tiles, it introduces an occasional burst of life, through rockface-inspired geometric pockets of herbs, leaves and cress.
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