The Serengetti

The Serengeti is home to an eco-system so beautiful it has inspired works of art, literature and scientific research alike. So, it’s only natural that Art of the Loom has a collection inspired by this incredible landscape.

Art of the loom, Exodus

Art of the loom, Exodus

We love this gorgeous fabric which is almost like the story of Noah’s Ark on fabric!

Maasai, Art of the Loom

Maasai, Art of the Loom

This gorgeous, strong and beautifully African fabric, would work well in a smart neutral room to finish it off or a room with a lot of traditional dark furniture, to help bring out the colour of the wood.

Belle, Art of the Loom

Belle, Art of the Loom

Although from a different collection called Belle, this great fabric really does mix the traditional and modern together well- the design can be traced back for centuries, but the muted colours give it a modern twist.

For more information, click here.

Furniture and accessories from Sottini

Bathrooms have the opportunity to be havens from our hectic lives and look beautiful and calming enough for us to want to stay in them. Sottini are masters in bathroom art (as it were….)

Gravina washstand £276, Gravina basin £456

Gravina washstand £276, Gravina basin £456

The bathroom furniture at Sottini is really good value for elegant and well-made goods.

Simeto Uno double vanity basin £594, Simeto wall mounted basin unit £960, Simeto full column unit £636, Simeto mirror from £348

Simeto Uno double vanity basin £594, Simeto wall mounted basin unit £960, Simeto full column unit £636, Simeto mirror from £348

They don’t just provide toilets and sinks either. Mirrors and cupboards are also part of their product list.

Ippari console, two base units, a side unit and 2 worktops £2,038.80, Isorno vessel basin £252, Valsura tall basin mixer £489, Magra mirror from £295,

Ippari console, two base units, a side unit and 2 worktops £2,038.80, Isorno vessel basin £252, Valsura tall basin mixer £489, Magra mirror from £295

We love this off-centred and almost sculpted architectural piece- although not quite sure it would fit into our mini (read absolutely tiny bathroom.)

 

Cycle Revolution at the Design Museum

Take this chance to see one of the last full blown exhibitions in the Design Museum at Shad Thames, before they head over to their brand spanking new space in Kensington. design museum, cycle revolution

Be inspired to keep your New Year’s resolution and be inspired by cycling at Cycle Revolution. The last decade has seen a revolution in cycling, on a scale not witnessed in the UK since the Second World War. Cycle Revolution celebrates the diversity of contemporary cycling in Britain from every day commuting to Olympic level competition.

design museum

The exhibition looks at cycling subcultures through four ‘tribes’ – the High Performers who reach Olympic speeds, the Thrill Seekers who take on all terrains, the Urban Riders who pedal our cities mile by mile, and the Cargo Bikers who work on two wheels.

design museum

More and more people are using this method of transport to get to work and its especially useful in big cities where cars just aren’t practical. But some people go crazy and spend thousands- how has this happened and what is the future of the bike?

design museum

Us Brits really are the leaders in cycling- sure to win at this year’s Olympics in Rio as well as leading the way in bike development and merchandise. The exhibition brings together bicycles, clothing, accessories, equipment, film and photography to explain where cycling is now and where it might take us in the future.

Read more here.

The Federation of British Artists

January seems to be the season for new gallery exhibitions to welcome us into the new year and Mall Galleries have FBA Futures 2016.

Christopher Gray, Gold on Blue

Christopher Gray, Gold on Blue

Showcasing the outstanding art graduates of 2015, selected from across the country by members of the Federation of British Artists (FBA). The exhibition is a great chance to have a look and invest in the best new artists- hopefully before they become totally unaffordable!

Emma Burns, best of British 1,  £700

Emma Burns, best of British 1, £700

Presenting work from sixteen emerging artists, the exhibition will be an exciting mix of degree show and newly made painting, sculpture and original prints, all exploring contemporary figuration and ideas of representation and draughtsmanship.

Joshua Hulin, Sundered

Joshua Hulin, Sundered, £800

The exhibition really is a great chance to see some of the best and most talented up and coming artists and sculptors of many disciplines and runs from 19 January 2016 to 30 January 2016.

For more information click here.

BIS Publishers

We have discovered BIS Publishers, an Amsterdam- based publishing house who have a great online shop. Below are a few little inspiring reads and ideas.

create with artists, bookThe programme ‘Create with Artists’ offers the most inspiring workshops the Stedelijk Museum of contemporary art in Amsterdam has organized for young people over the past decade. Now you can get inspired and boost your creativity with tips from some of the world’s top artists and designers like Viktor&Rolf, Marlene Dumas, Rop van Mierlo, and Rineke Dijkstra.

seema sharma,Seema Sharma’s notebook and sketchbook “Write Nothing in Here’, is full of prompts, assignments, fun facts and quotes from the world of science, arts and philosophy to get you creative and thinking about your own unique ideas and creations. You’ll find out once you get the hang of it, that focusing on nothing really helps to create new ideas.

van boven

This food notebook has handy information on measures and conversions, food names in different languages, a seasonal calendar, and more. However, most pages only feature light illustrations so that you can fill them with your recipes, lists, tips, and memories- makes it so much more personal and a real heirloom.

Click here for more information and inspiration.

Champagne Life

To mark its 30th anniversary, the Saatchi Gallery will open Champagne Life, the Gallery’s first all-women exhibition on 13th January 2016.

Julia Wachtel, saatchi gallery

Julia Wachtel
Champagne Life
2014

It’s set to be one of the most exciting exhibitions for 2016, and a major event on London’s cultural calendar. Above you can see American artist Wachtel’s painting Champagne Life which will be on show and has also given the show its title. How often we have wished that Kim and Kanye could be turned on their heads!

Stephanie Quayle, saatchi gallery

Stephanie Quayle
Two Cows
2013

Perhaps most excitingly, the exhibition is showcasing new and arresting work by 14 emerging, international female artists, reflecting on what it means to be a female artist working today – it is also the Gallery’s first all-women exhibition.

Alice Anderson, saatchi gallery

Alice Anderson
Bound
2011

UK artist Alice Anderson will have her incredible Bound on show. Visitors can walk around the thread and reel which is 3.5 m high.

Soheila Sokhanvari, saatchi gallery

Soheila Sokhanvari
Moje Sabz
2011

Iranian-born Sokhanvari creates taxidermied sculptures, which appeal to the literary genre of magic realism, in which ‘reality’ is punctured with fantastical events, revealing meanings more profound that naturalism could hope to do- we also like how fun they are!

The artists taking part are: Mequitta Ahuja (USA) | Alice Anderson (UK) | Maria Angeletti (France) | Jelena Bulajic (Serbia) | Julia Dault (Canada) | Mia Feuer (Canada) |Sigrid Holmwood (Australia) | Virgile Ittah (Paris) | Maha Malluh (Saudi Arabia) | Suzanne McClelland (USA) | Seung Ah Paik (Korea) | Stephanie Quayle (UK) |Soheila Sokhanvari (Iran) | Julia Wachtel (USA)

For more information, click here.

Tate Modern

A new development project to the south of the existing building which will transform Tate Modern.

tate modern, new building

Tate Modern was designed for an annual audience of 2 million visitors. It now receives around 5 million visitors each year. This success has put pressure on their existing facilities and programmes, calling for this extension.

tate modern, herzog and de meuron

The design will be executed by renowned and celebrated architects Herzog and de Meuron and will rise from behind the power station as a new iconic addition to the London skyline. The façade will use brick to match the surface of the existing structure, while creating something radically new – a perforated brick lattice through which the interior lights will glow in the evening. Windows and the terrace will appear as cuts in the brick surface. The building will rise 64.5 metres above ground in 11 levels, its height responding to the iconic chimney of Giles Gilbert Scott’s power station.

tate modern, herzog and de meuron

Beautiful new galleries displaying the Collection will have a greater variation of sizes and shapes than the original museum, and there will be a larger space for temporary exhibitions. Tate Exchange will enable groups to exchange skills and ideas, there will be new seminar spaces, and a cutting-edge Media Lab. Social spaces will include a new Members Room, a Level 10 restaurant, and a public terrace on Level 11 all with outstanding views across the capital.

For more information on the project, click here.

Utility Design Inspiration

We are in love with Utility Design. With 3 stores in Liverpool and one in King’s Cross, London, the online offering has some great brands and some equally great deals. Here we have picked some of their fab sale offers.

bertoia, utlity design

It may still be £907 (gag) but this Knoll Berotia side chair has 15% off and that makes it slightly less appalling. But what a glorious piece of furniture it is. Where’s that chair fund got to?

osjo, light

These Osjo Vinge lamps are down to £462.40 which again is a little much to stomach- but so sweet!

artemide, light

Now this Artemide Dalu lamp is fun, colourful and affordable and down to £61.20- yes please!

kartell

A great tip is to head to the outlet area of the site where the deals are even better. This Kartell Ghost stool has 26% off taking it down to a very reasonable £75.

kartell

This gorgeous Kartell Componobiliis is only £72 down from £100- yahooo!

To find out more about utility and peruse its loveliness click here.

 

Kirath Ghundoo

Wallpaper wasn’t so fashionable, then it was…..then paint was huge but only with grey undertones…..then Victoriana wallpaper with a big emphasis on William Morris and flowers arrived…..and then, thank God, brands like All the Fruits and Kirath Ghundoo finally came to the fore.

kirath ghundoo, wallpaper

JAZZ TARTAN – KG Basics 2016

Here are just a few shots from Ghundoo’s 2016 range. The pastel colours work and the dramatic geometric shapes, make for a paper that could work in nearly any environment.

 

kirath ghundoo, wallpaper

MOUNTAIN BLUE – KG Basics 2016

The shade of this blue and the simple repeated pattern make the above a tranquil offering that would work well in a home office space. The range also comes in green.

kirath ghundoo, wallpaper

THE HAMPTON – KG Basics 2016

Called Hampton for a clear reason, anyone who takes this wallpaper on, needs to be very sure of their interior style- and that there isn’t a history of migraines in the family. We love it at Despoke, but could only use this if we had a very large room dedicated to sailing. And we don’t.

kirath ghundoo, wallpaper

SPARKLE – KG Basics 2016

We can only assume this one is called Sparkle because it really does. All of these retail at £95 for a 10m role which is just brilliantly affordable- they only need to be used on one feature wall.

kirath ghundoo, wallpaper

Tropic – Mix ‘n’ Match 15 Collection

Even though this is one season old- it’s perhaps our favourite Ghundoo design. Perfectly mismatched meaning you could put it up yourself and not worry about matching patterns, we remember seeing this at 100% design a few years ago and feeling instantly lifted. if it’s good enough for Susie Bubble…..

Fore more information, click here.

 

North Modern

January is the month for trade fairs it would appear, with Scandinavia’s North Modern opening its doors from 13-15 January.

north modern

The  show is divided into a number of areas, presenting a lively mix of high-end brands, upcoming designers, new talents, galleries, showrooms, special projects and creative spaces within furniture, lighting, design, art and architecture.

qq design

These stunning opaque vessels are by QQ Design– an agency that represents a number of different creatives.

lange

Lange Designs celebrate 10 years on the scene and will showcase their new ranges- tables and chairs to coffee tables and a bar cart. The new designs are a mix of Horst Brüning and Jørgen Kastholm’s designs from the 1960’s and Christian Haack’s designs from 2015.

Hornbak & Co

The Copenhagen-based furniture agency Hornbak & Co will bring the four brands: arper, Zeitraum, Offecct and Kasthall to northmodern in January.

For more information on North Modern and to visit their not-particularly-easy-to-navigate website, click here.

Dowse studio

Brighton-based design shop Dowse have some great products- perfect for the home and for presents.

mimo, dowse

This hand-stitched print retails at £70 and was  inspired by a trip to Miami. Taking influence from the graffiti and street art as much as the art deco & modern architecture there.

dowse

We love this gorgeous layered shard necklace that takes inspiration from the trend for many pieces on one necklace.

dowse design

We are obsessed with organising our home office space, especially given the new year and the chance to get everything ship-shape- this  wire mesh memo-board should help.

dowse design

How about these metallic herb planters to blow your mind? Living in cities usually means tiny kitchens and no greenery- not here!

For more info on Dowse, click here.

England’s Post War Listed Buildings

A month or so ago we received a veritable tome of a book in the post. The stunning England’s Post War Listed Buildings By Elain Harwood & James O. Davies, is a comprehensive and stylish guide to over 650 of most exceptional buildings, monuments and landscapes listed for protection. Post War architecture really has divided people, with some seeing it as an absolute abomination. We don’t think so- although there are some intriguing buildings in the book!

post war listed

Severals, Runcton Lane, Runcton

Humble prefabs, high-rise flats and telephone boxes rub shoulders with cathedrals, concert halls, and even country houses. The book shows how dynamic English architecture was in the years after 1945, when new thinking on architecture and social welfare transformed cities and countryside.

church post war

Since the first edition of Harwood’s Guide to Post-War Listed Buildings in 2000 the number of entries has doubled, and 200 more buildings have been added since the second edition. All the entries have been fully revised and James O. Davies has visited every building, and the book features his stunning new photography.

St Paul’s Church, Lorrimore Square

St Paul’s Church, Lorrimore Square

Throughout the era, some architects remained true to classical traditions, but many more explored the exciting possibilities of steel and concrete, creating ‘op’ icons as Centre Point or dramatic examples of Brutalism like Preston Bus Station. New entries range from the Casbah Club, home of the early Beatles, to Richard Rogers’s Lloyd’s Building in London, all arranged by region and within that by date.

22 Parkside, Wimbledon, Richard & Su Rogers

22 Parkside, Wimbledon, Richard & Su Rogers

We have to admit this colourful house by famed architect Richard Rogers who still lives there by all accounts, is one of our favourites from the book.

Maison et Objet

On January 22 until the 26th, one of Europe’s key interior trend shows opens its doors. Maison et Object features objects across a number of halls in Paris- bathrooms, office, home, lighting and more are all catered for and the show is a good indicator of what’s to come in the year ahead. See some top picks below. 

spoons, plates, painted

Baan

Baan has painted plates, spoons and other decorative goods- all made from natural materials. We like the neon yellow edging shown above.

green, leather, sofa

Pols Potten

Although we aren’t mad keen on sitting on leather (it doesn’t scream relaxing we don’t think) we are very keen on this gorgeous green sofa by Dutch studio Pols Potten. Please remove the pineapple before we sit down though Pols.

lights. ebb and flow

Glow in a Dome and Speak Up! Ebb and Flow

We rather like this Victoriana, terrarium-inspired light range from Ebb and Flow. We love their other pieces and this would certainly bring a bit of fun to any interior.

Bloom chair

Kenneth Cobonpue, Bloom

There’s something very appealing about this chair by Kenneth Cobonpue. Not least that anyone who sits in it will probably look a bit of a lemon. But also because it looks very inviting.

Mullan Lighting

Mullan Lighting

Old favourites Mullan Lighting also make an appearance with their Sergeant Pepper Table Lamp above. Inspired by the psychedelic 60’s the red cord gives an added twist.

For more about Maison et Objet and to peruse their website, click here.

Design Shanghai returns

Media 10’s Design Shanghai 2016 (09-12 March 2016) will be returning to the stunning Shanghai Exhibition Centre and will see top names such as Cassina, Vitra, Moroso, Magis, HAY, Seletti, Villeroy & Boch, Miele, Bang & Olufsen, Serip.

Design Shanghai 2015 - Shanghai Exhibition Center

Swarovski will bring a bespoke version of Zotem, a dynamic installation designed by Kim Thorne and originally exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum during the London Design Festival 2015.

zotem, ldf

Kim Thome – For Swarovski – Photographed at his London Studio – 2015

Design Shanghai is simultaneously a celebration and a reflection of the thriving creative industries market that has been emerging in China in recent years. The pace and scale of China’s economic transformation has in fact provided the perfect environment for the rapid growth of the country’s creative sectors, allowing enterprise, creativity and innovation to flourish.

Design Shanghai 2015

Recent figures show that the number of interior designers in Mainland China has increased to 600,000, while the number of creative studios, including architecture practices, interior design companies and property development firms, has risen to 200,000. The total number of practitioners stands at over 10 million.

image006

The Classic Design Hall will feature an outstanding selection of products by leading names, including those returning to Design Shanghai following last year’s successful edition. Brands that have reconfirmed their participation include Cole & Son – presented by Wallvision – Parker & Farr, John Myland, PY Design and Miele China. In addition Nur Collection by MOHEBBAN will feature.

For more information click here.

 

Heal’s Modern Craft Club

Now in its third year, Heal’s Modern Craft Market returns bigger and better than ever to the Tottenham Court Road store with an extended run from 7 March to 23 April 2016. Celebrating the best in contemporary crafts, the event provides a platform for the artisans of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, an extension of the Great Heal’s Bodging Race, plus live workshops, demos and talks showcasing materials from leather to stone. Here are a few of the crafters involved.

yuta_01

We were transfixed by Yuta Segawa’s pieces at LDF where he presented his tiny pots in a spectrum of colours- we even bought a few! He was born in Japan and now makes in Lewisham, London. His miniature pots retail for £15 or £20. Each piece is unique and handmade in London.

Carmel_Wilkinson_CSWA_AW_TRIO_1

Carmel Wilkinson-Ayre is a multidiscipline designer, maker and ceramicist based in Edinburgh. Having recently graduated from Robert Gordon University, she was spotted at the New Designers fair in June 2015 in which she exhibited a range of playful, colourful ceramics and fabrics for the home._Andrew_Ludick_Jug_Beakers

Andrew Ludick’s work has slowly evolved towards forms that illustrate the natural properties of clay and the processes he uses to create them. The building of these forms involves coiling and pinching the clay to create vases, bowls and various other shapes.  After the form is built it is decorated with complementary shapes and patterns, before being covered in a clear transparent glaze that serves to deepen the colours and to seal the clay for functionality.

For more information on the craft market click here.