Category: Furniture

Design Hero x

 

A hero: Admired for their courage, their stance against the odds, outstanding achievements and noble qualities; victor, winner, conqueror and lion heart.

We now live in a disposable culture where things are cheaper to replace than mend.  Except there are a few companies who still regard service as part of their service…

 

Meet Dualit, a company started in the 1940s in a factory in Camberwell, London. It’s ethos is no frills, no gimmicks, no compromise and with it’s roots in commercial restaurants and hotels means you can add reliability and integrity to its list of credentials.

And the sleek retro looks with shiny chrome means aesthetics are another easy box to tick.


(All pics Dualit and Pinterest)

 

But it’s the simple, practical fact that all the parts of a Dualit toaster can be replaced that is the real clincher and thrill of this praise party: Buy once, buy well.

 

Sometimes the old ones are the best.

Laters, Kate x

Midsummer x

 

Midsummer’s day on Friday and the weather finely got the message, though looking out of the window now, the air is thick enough to slice and grey storm clouds are gathering.  Which probably explains the English fascination with tents and gazebos: a place to escape from life and rain, somewhere full of hope and nostalgia that remains a little bit of summer no matter what.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

These are all from the Raj Tent Club – the creme de la creme of canopies, but I’ve always had the urge to create my own…

 

Laters, Kate x

Silver Lining x

 

I remember at Christmas being drawn to coloured fairy lights over the classic, style leading, Scandi simplistic white and that pull to colour is still strong:  In the opening episode of Tales of the City on Netflix, there’s an outdoor party in San Fransisco festooned with every kind of light, shape, size and colour and it was an eclectic, mad, happy joy to see.  When the weather is grey, the politics greyer and the country feels like it’s going to the dogs, we need colour….and the bigger, the brighter, the more ebullient, the better.

(All pics Pinterest)

Simple pleasures.

Laters, Kate x

Smile Plastics!

Hats in the air to Waitrose starting a ‘bring your own containers’ trial to Oxford.  Plastic packaging for a range of products like pasta, cereals, rice, coffee, wine and frozen fruit will be removed and replaced with a refill your own station.  About bloody time one of the big supermarkets did this.  When they roll it out across all stores (fingers crossed) maybe they’ll use Smile Plastics in their design..

Smile Plastics is a material, design and manufacturing house making desirable hand crafted panels from waste material.  Their vision is to change people’s perceptions around waste via innovation – to use art and technology to unlock the hidden potential in recycling and open peoples eyes to the unexpected beauty of scrap.  In doing so they hope to inspire more people about sustainability and recycling.

(All pics Pinterest)

Transformative.

Laters, Kate x

Update x

The crochet is going great guns, particularly as we’ve come up with the perfect project to encourage repetition, practise and ideal tension: We’re making what can only be called ‘little socks’ for my dining rooms chairs to replace those sticky pads that only work to gather dog hair.

We did experiment with a garden string and twine, but for ease of make we’re going with a thick grey wool, though we’re both anxious about longevity – time will tell.

It also helps that the six chairs round the table are back with their newly woven seating, looking enticing.

So that’s only seven chairs and twenty eight more socks to go..

Laters, Kate x

575 Wandsworth Road

 

It won’t be this year I get to see this house – visits are limited in numbers and duration and this years slots are already full – but it’s on the bucket list.

 

The house is the work of Khdambi Asalache, a poet and writer of Kenyan descent who also worked for the BBC and the Treasury.  He started making fretwork to cover up the damp coming from the next door launderette, beginning a project that would last another twenty years. He would use abandoned wood, doors and boxes first cut to size then carved using a single knife.

 


(More details from National Trust and pics from Pinterest)

An extraordinary testament to patience, human endeavour, love and creativity.

Laters, Kate x

Project x

We spent last week in the far north of Finland, 120 miles within the arctic circle: A fab and magical holiday – proper photos to follow – but it blew my mind to be miles away from anywhere, in a winter wonderland deep with thick, pure white snow,  and  somebody  still  had  the  guts,  gall,  initiative  to guerrilla  yarn  bomb…that’s not a tree with a strange disease in the picture.

I’m loving the way this Street Art is developing, mutating different yarn crafts, particularly the use of embroidery.

But not only is it a new take on embroidery, it’s the re-imagining of the holding structure: Anything with a grid is fair game.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

It’s a new way of looking at our black and white world…and seeing potential.

Laters, Kate x

Shadows too x

Seeing the beauty of Kumi Yamashita’s art made me wonder whether there were any practical applications of shadows for every day. I came across these pictures – but have yet to find a seller or manufacturer, though I suspect a blacksmith could be commissioned to make one…and how cool would it be to have a door number lit at night with a solar powered light? one plus the other could equal pure genius..

And then there are the bigger projects…transposable into garden art?

(All pics Pinterest)

As ever, the only limitations are the imagination..

Laters, Kate x

Design Hero 1

Those true, authentic, all singing, all dancing design heroes – the things that not only work well, look good, but also punch high above their weight in terms of financial outlay and usability.  And for us, this £12 Nisse Ikea chair has to be up there at the top…we bought 6 of them for the garden four years ago, more as a stop-gap than anything else, but they’ve proved their weight in gold: They spend their lives outside, except when we have dinner parties or Christmas or birthday, then they get wiped down and in they come, still looking as good as the day we bought them. They’re light, flexible, sturdy and generally a brucie bargain – it helps that their light is shining more brightly at the moment as our ‘proper’ dining room chairs have gone to be re-woven, re-caned, re-woke…

(This is a pic of one of the less trashed seats…one was so bad it could be used as a commode.  That’s baaaaaad.)

But you’d never know these were the ugly sister.

(All pics Ikea)

 

Tres chic and tres cheap.

Laters, Kate x

Bella’s Room x

The makeover of Bella’s bedroom is limping to it’s conclusion – there’s stuff to be hung on the walls and I still haven’t ordered the blinds, but most stuff is out of boxes. We’re also waiting for a delivery of this sofabed from Made – such a relief not to be blowing up airbeds any more.  At £299 in green velvet with its midcentury styling it feels a bit of a bargain..

Of course there was the usual disagreement on colour – Bella wanted yellow.  I put my foot down and said she’d thank me in five years time.

I also have my eye on this bed in a box for Charlie’s room because that would mean no more airbeds. Ever.

Surprisingly it’s more expensive at £399 so it’s going to have to wait.

Laters, Kate x