Category: retro

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

Trend 1 x

We spent a few days in the brilliant city of Bristol over Easter, enjoying the street food and vintage shops.  I was truly surprised by what caught my wandering eye – an electric/purple blue Hawaiian shirt for fifteen squids.  It stopped me in my tracks with visions of pairing it with a loose navy suit with sleeves rolled up eighties style and a loose but narrow pair of 3/4 length trousers.  It was vivid and powerful and sadly not shared by my two children who dragged me away.

(All pics Pinterest)

But I think it has legs.

Laters, Kate x

Winding up x

It’s half term next week which means we’re leaving the darkness of winter and transitioning properly into spring.  We’re going away – everything is booked except where we are actually going – we’ve never left it this last minute before.  It feels decadent.  If we weren’t disappearing I’d be tempted to make one of these lights – such a simple, clever idea.  You take the metal skeleton of one or as many lampshades as you like and wrap them with embroidery yarn…genius..

 

If you prefer to buy your lampshade ready made (and they don’t come cheap) check out Wera Jane and, for inspiration, Ana Kras.

 

I didn’t know you could get embroidery thread in neon pink…

Laters, Kate x

Pot Pickers x

When I was little this was the sort of pottery you’d expect to see in charity shops, the sign of a design aesthetic rejected. How times have changed, the tide, turned.  What was generic is now confident, what was old fashioned is nostalgic and what seemed ugly is now defiant and most importantly, appealing.

There’s a company that’s drawing from this feeling and adding their own signature: Kat Huffer and Roger Less, work partners and life partners based in Northeast Los Angeles make up Kat and Roger.  Their aim is to combine classic shapes and graphic surface patterns with earthy natural clay textures.

These are mugs you want fill with hot tea and hold between two hands on a freezing winters day.

(All pics Kat and Roger and Pinterest, their work can be found in the UK at Alpha Shadows)

These are heart singers and obsession inducers.

Laters, Kate x

Minimoderns x

The driving force of Minimoderns is pattern with a story: The founders, Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire view what they produce as applied pattern across a range of products, including some incredible wallpapers.  It adds a pleasant change, a certain flavour. A different slant.

Their design influences range from mid-century British textiles to vintage toys, literature and even childhood memories.

(Love this for a boys room)

It’s the detail..

Wallpaper, trombone and badger are three words I never expected to use in a sentence.

 

If you want retro nostalgia with design integrity and are not afraid of making a statement, look no further.

 

Laters, Kate x

It’s a wrap..

Who thought granny squares could look so chic? Or the joy of vintage and handmade mashed so beautifully into lustful street style? Bring on the most wanted piece this winter..

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Love, look and laugh. Hopefully coming to a charity shop near you..

Laters, Kate x

Dear Santa..

The great thing about the triumphant march of technology is that it reminds you of the simple pleasures you once took for granted like writing, pens and ink.

Because now a great script stands out instantly.

Even more so if the ink is coloured. I went through years at secondary school writing in either green or purple ink but now that doesn’t only seem a life time ago, it is a lifetime ago. But a fountain pen with green ink is top of my Christmas list this year. A new trend? Probably.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

My ink of choice would be Akkerman, a Dutch company who’ve been making inks for over a hundred years.  Their unique bottle originating from the 1930’s  is poetry in motion – tilt the closed ink bottle and the neck fills itself up with ink.  Placed the bottle on a flat surface again and the marble falls back in the neck to trap the ink creating a perfect reservoir – even when the pot is almost empty.

 

Pure magic.

Laters, Kate x

Josef Frank

As winter creeps closer it seems that colour is saturating the eyeballs like a renaissance of the eighties.  It’s disappearance happened so gradually, a fading out, a dying down that it’s resurgence feels all the more powerful, poignant even.  Not that the cyclical power of trend should come as a surprise – the picture of the wallpaper above was designed by Josef Frank, who emigrated to Sweden in 1933, gaining citizenship in 1939 and became the most prestigious designer in the Stockholm design company Svenskt Tenn. New is never really new..

Whilst his furniture is classic of its time: clean lines, functionality.

It’s his fabrics and textiles that seem so forward thinking, modern and exciting.

(All pics Pinterest)

Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks..

Laters, Kate x

Revamp No.1

Why doesn’t it work? Maybe the photos don’t do it justice, but for a super expensive building this interior comes across as a mash-up between a car sales room and Ikea.  The intention seems to have been to create a distinct feeling between what’s inside and what’s outside, but when that subtle line between nature and manufactured isn’t blurred, the furniture responds by looking brash, staged and disconnected.

Which doesn’t mean reflective surfaces as bad – just that age, colour and natural elements need to have a voice.

Even black works when it’s veined marble.  The chairs, the nod to modernity with the patina of vintage, the table in the middle inviting the voyeur to sit and drink in, be in the room.

Or change it with the presence of wood, natural, warm, characterful.

The pink chairs..the colours.

(All pics Pinterest)

The lighting..

Laters, Kate x