Monday, 18 September 2017

LDF New Launches DFS x Joules

London Design Festival is now in its 15th year and while many articles (including two by me) and blog posts will focus on the amazing installations there is so much more to the 10-day programme. Not least the hundreds of new products being launched many of which are aimed at our homes. With trade exhibitions like Decorex, 100% Design, Design Junction and the London Design Fair there will be many brands, independent designers and artisans releasing new collections. Last week I went along to the press event for the launch of Joules first-ever sofa collection with DFS. With over 100 stores across the UK, DFS produces sofas that cater for all budgets and tastes but did you know that they are made in the UK?
Colour and distinctive prints are central to the clothing and home wares range that Joules produces and the new DFS x Joules sofa range is no different. Filled with lots of colour and pattern that feels familiar to the Joules brand coupled with plenty of idiosyncratic details like colour dipped feet and contrast piping. Speaking with DFS' Design Director, Philip Watkin he explained how enjoyable it had been to work on this project with bold colour and interesting details, such as the laser cut joules logo featured on the hand turned legs.
The four ranges Windsor, Burnham, Cambridge and Ilkley, include sofas, chairs and footstools and all looked amazing in the setting created at the Bourne & Hollingsworth building in Clerkenwell for the press event. My personal favourites that I shared on Instagram were the Windsor sofa in a dynamite yellow velvet and the Burnham armchair in a big fat stripe fabric. Mixing coastal and country influences I thought there was plenty of scope for the most ardent urban dweller too. They certainly caught my attention. 

Imagine that yellow sofa with an inky dark wall behind it. It would sparkle like a jewel in the room, a real hero piece. Don’t worry about the velvet and sticky little hands though, as it’s a super resilient velvet which you can get an extra scotch guard protection added to. Or take that gorgeous Cambridge chair, which for its compact footprint is exceptionally comfortable and pair it with a plain textured sofa – a winning combination I think. Plus, it’s size means it would work just as well in a bedroom.
The new range is exclusive to DFS and will be available from November. Now, hands up who wants a yellow velvet sofa?


Images 1 and 2 provided by DFS, all other images Mary Middleton. This is not a sponsored post.
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Saturday, 16 September 2017

London Design Festival spotlight on Decorex

If you haven't yet registered you need to get your skates on as the design show Decorex starts this Sunday 17th September and is the first interiors show in the London Design Festival schedule. This is the 40th year of the show and I'm hoping we're going to see some fairly impressive stuff for this milestone anniversary.
Art Room Wallpaper in Coach Emerald by Mini Moderns
At Decorex the Champagne Bar is a central meeting point and always a draw as each it is designed by a guest designer. This year the Interior Designer, Shalini Misra is responsible for its concept. Shalini has taken inspiration from the Great Exhibition of 1851 and will “create a contemporary interpretation of a glasshouse infused with pattern, luxury detailing and curiosities”. Can't wait to see it, especially if I have a glass of fizz in hand. Another guest designer takes the mantle of designing the House & Garden VIP Lounge this year it is designed by leading Interior Design company, Turner Pocock. 
Arundel Kelim by Margo Selby
As always, there is an extensive programme of talks exploring current trends and exploring topics central to the industry. Highlights include a discussion of the Future of design by acclaimed stylist Emilio Pimentel Reid, Francis Sultana and Kirstie Carey from Cole & Son and an analysis of colour trends with Hannah Malein from ColourHive. It's a real opportunity to hear from some of the industry’s leading experts. 
You'll have seen me here on the blog and over on Instagram showing new products from Decorex and this is the launch pad for many new collections. There will be more than 400 exhibitors, including many who are new to the show including my friend Stuart Rodgers who is launching his new wallpaper collection below.
Carnival Block wallpaper by Stuart Rodgers
Room styled by me for the House that Bloggers Built
If you haven’t already, please register for your ticket here




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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Interiors trends - Are llamas the new unicorns?


It's a question that I'm sure has you awake at nights, you've tossed and turned over the dilemma and debated silently whether to put your thoughts out there or not. But are llamas the new unicorns? Well, are they? I need to know.

Suzy Ultman for Petit Monkey
It might not be life or death stuff but it's important. No, really it is! In the world of interior trends, some things have stuck around for a while, think flamingoes and cacti. But there is always another trend trying to play catch up and that might just be top of the magazine picks for Christmas gift ideas, adorning cushions up and down the country and importantly trending on Pinterest.

Having jogged up and down the aisles of Maison & Objet this weekend it's sometimes instantly clear who got the design trend memo.  Then for other brands and designers, you have to dig a little deeper and see the collective direction or maybe a vague repeating pattern. (On my IGStories you'll have seen that texture was out in force in a slightly rustic way)

If you follow interiors bloggers or read interiors magazines you'll have seen the buzz that happens when Pantone or Dulux announce their colour trends.  It's fascinating, but how did they get there? It doesn't sound so thrilling to say that often it's big data that helps form these opinions. Data from what people are buying, how and what they view online, survey's about how people feel about the world. It often goes hand in hand with trend scouts who are like amazing sponges but can also see through the clutter of content. They consume all kinds of media from magazines, newspapers, tv, cinema, social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, to visiting art galleries, being inspired by music and cultural events. It's part science, part art and I think has a touch of magic thrown in for good measure. They are looking for correlations and patterns, just like an accountant or actuary. Doesn't sound so sexy now.......
John Lewis Llama cushion

I really have noticed that llama's are having a 'moment'. Back in July when I was attending wall to wall Christmas in July events (can you see what they did there?) I noticed that John Lewis were championing the llama. In fact they have a South American influenced range called Lima Llama.

I wonder if like me they follow the antics of the cheery stuffed llama who travels the world. The instagram account of Llama with No Drama is on a mission to spread smiles and happines to everyone who views its grid. I promise it's nearly as good as looking at puppies and baby hedgehogs.

Maybe you'll have llama socks on your feet (available from Fat Face) and be eating llama chocolate  before autumn is over.


I'm also starting to think that peach is the new millenial pink after spotting it filtering through in the trade shows I've been too recently. But the big question is will you be switching to llama's?

Print by Suzy Ultman for Petit Monket available here
John Lewis Llama Cushion here
Santa and llama Christmas decoration here
John Lewis Poncho llama here
Montezuma chocolate available here
Llama enamal pin by Punkypins available via etsy here
Llama and cactus bunting by Heartfelt Handmade here

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