Hi everyone, I have been neglecting my blog recently due to a constant flow of work…(many thanks to all my new and old clients…) so I have decided to make time as I can’t seem to find extra time to write a few lines
My inspiration to write comes from a great magazine that I love to get in the post each season called ‘Bridge for design’ published by ‘ Martin Trowbridge’ whom also owns the most wonderful gallery available on line at http://www.trowbridgegallery.com if you would like an investment then try their limited additions and vintage ranges, but remember, buy only if you love it ! It’s not just about the money !
The magazine is a great inspiration to all , both client and designer and this season’s edition is no exception …with articles from Sally Chamley director of Black Orchid Interiors and Sarah Cole director of Farrow & Ball, and David Linley and his approach to interior design.. There are also articles on summer trends such as the ‘New England style’ …why not get a copy and indulge yourself with a read that can only inspire you … Enjoy Sara
I hope you are all well and enjoying the first glimmers of summer (in between the rain),this month’s blog is about a fantastic course on Steam-bending organised by Charlie Whinney
Steam Bending 2013 – The 4th Annual Professional Steam Bending Course
Dates – 6th – 8th July 2013
This course is for novice or professional woodworkers, designers and technicians who want to introduce or further develop steam-bending in their work. This is the most comprehensive and advanced steam-bending course available in the world, and is updated every year to include the latest insights and discoveries we have made in our practice.
We will be bending 15+ different species of wood, doing over a dozen different types of bend, talk about the theory, science and practice of steam-bending during two talk/slide shows, make a unique sculptural product and the chair-in-an-afternoon! You will also get to see how to make a very well insulated and robust steam-chamber and also make accurate 3D steam-bending jigs out of steel and/or wood for doing complicated bends – and use our unique woven stainless steel compression straps designed and made in Beck Head!
There is also a bespoke element to this course, as we ask everyone who comes what exactly they want/need to take away from the three days, so we can ensure that is covered. For example in the past we have made a bespoke Windsor-chair bending jig, built a steam-chamber, tested and bent clients own samples of wood and bent some really thick Ash around a small radius.
All food and accommodation is included in the price (including freshly prepared lunches, three course meal at the local gourmet pub, barbecue party), and you will receive an extended 90-page copy of the Steam Bending Handbook written especially to accompany the course so you will not need to take any notes.
Accommodation is now at a B&B in a lovely ancient farmhouse a short walk through the woods from the workshop, all nestled beneath Whit barrow Scar in the Lake District The course is already half full, so if you can make it please do let me know asap. It should be fun and worth it!
3 Day Course 6th – 8th July
Price £800 incl. VAT – includes all materials, food and accommodation for 3 days and you leave with a beautiful usable chair and other sculptural products.
For locals/non-residential price £580 incl. VAT – without evening meals and accommodation (but does include BBQ on the Sunday night!)
They are also doing some less advanced and less expensive day courses the following weekend, so if you just want the basics, or know any wood-enthusiasts who need a day out please find the details on my website http://www.charliewhinney.com/content/courses
1 day ‘Chair in a Day’ 13th July
Price £300 incl. VAT – includes all materials and lunch and you leave with a beautiful usable chair
1 day ‘Introduction to Steam-Bending with Charlie Whinney’ 14th July
Price £250 incl. VAT – includes all materials and lunch.
Well, what a year of grey and cold weather us Brits are having…however, I was listening to the weather forecast this morning and there is a little glimmer of warm weather on the horizon…….Just another week to go??
So, let’s see if I can warm your imaginations up with what has been happening in the Interior design world…unfortunately although I missed ‘London design week’ from the 17th March to the 22nd with the launch of some of the new spring collections ….I can talk you through a review of what’s hot ……
Designer Guild’s new collection’ Seraphina’
“Full of romance and sensual invitations to a rediscovered glory, with accents of inspiration from pre-Raphaelite dress and drapery. Full of intrigue and layering, this exquisite printed collection offers up muted floral arrays for drama, and beautiful hand-woven silks and ornate fresco linens for the refined taste.” (DG website)
The look is fresh adding soft colours with a shot of sharp citrus…fit for most rooms!
Amongst the other collections the mood is bright with clashes of colour and pattern with a hint of Africa and the Orient, as with the Manuel Canovas new collection.
Ariane Dalle design director for Manuel Canovas at Colefax and Fowler says of the season
“For me what makes this trend so special is colour-vivid tones of amethyst, anis green, turquoise, lime green, orange and pink. Colours are life and bring happiness. It’s also about being really audacious, and mixing lots of exotic prints and shades in one room is what the Manuel Canovas collection is all about” (Design Direction, access great design, London design week 2013)
The season is bold and not for the faint hearted for those who want to embrace colour and pattern it’s never been more than here and now.
Trend in lighting and furniture are also moving forward with bold statements …such as the ‘Hyde Park’ chandelier by Bella Figura…
And the console table that will attract the largest of bees with its honeycomb effect legs from ‘Porta Romana
The world of interiors is becoming a must brighter place and takes no prisoners….. So, I suggest that you have fun in your own interiors and start to introduce bold statements (if you already haven’t!) and in so doing paint out the greys, and just looking out of the window now….. I can clarify, that I have had enough of it!! If you like living and are bold on personality you will love what is happening… Alternatively, if you are not ready for the whole look, then accents of bright colours and clashing patterns can look great against the subtle colours we have been used to over the last few years, additions of cushions, a piece of furniture and throws and prints will bring an interior into 2013…
Which brings me on to say I shall be introducing my next monthly design feature with a furniture designer and supplier called ‘Michael Northcroft’ ….keep an eye on the page… his furniture is bold and creative and the new collection has something a little different that should appeal to all..
Hi Guys just been looking for some fabulous dining chairs for a client on the ‘New’ Jan Cavelle website…..and not only does it look great, featuring the Jan Cavelle classics and their latest collection of bespoke furniture for all rooms …. But in the Interiors section we have two photos from us, showing how we have used two of the pieces (side table and console) …..why not have a browse using our links,
Dear All…….wishing you the very best for the New Year ahead and may all you who dare to dream may they come true…especially in the design world.
Following a very busy December and long Christmas holiday and bringing in the New Year with an awful cold, which is still lingering I am sat in my office with my to do list for week with an extra pair of socks, awaiting the flurry of snow this afternoon!!…roll on the spring and longer days!!
My list for my blog is quite extensive as I have been extremely busy with the nicest of clients before Christmas and all my notes have been put on the back burner…but before the news becomes old news, I thought I would make time in my busy schedule to compile a blog which I love to do.
Having missed my slot for the December blog due to four projects running side by side I feel I should contribute much more than usual…but I won’t, as I don’t want your attention to wander!
Last week, a trade magazine called ’Surfacing’ (159 January 2013) was dropped through my letter box. It is full of factual interior design and architectural news. One of the articles captured my attention, ‘trends for 2013’ which I thought those of you who don’t have privy to this journal could take some ideas and use them in your interiors if I include some of these in my blog…..so here we go….
‘ In 2013, the trends we’ll see in interior design and architecture will be some of the most contradictory to date. On one hand, futuristic, cyber influences will inspire strange organic architecture elements, and on the other hand, throwbacks to past times – such as vintage furniture design- will increase in popularity, writes JoBeth Phillip.’
‘Vintage influences will be seen throughout all this year’s trends – and mixing of adventurous colours with time-tested classic prints will prove to be a popular combination’
The article goes on to say that this year we will forget the matt smooth finished surfaces and the producers, architects and designers will use highly tactile bold statement surfaces which will be irresistible to touch. 3D surfaces and intricate shimmering filigree patterns will be found along with the current trend for individualism and great craftsmanship and detail.
There will also be a swing to Moorish design such as shimmering gold’s, glossy silver, and burnish metals, influenced by the demand from Russia, East Europe and Middle Eastern markets.
So all you budding designers and would be’s……. let your imagination go this year and create interiors that have a soul and a reason! Do this by using new, old and recycled and the tactile …the English are known for their eccentric ideas lets show the world we are still creators and not followers ….
If you are in the trade or a student of interiors design and can make room in your busy diaries then ‘The Surface Design Show’ 2013 starts on the 5th February for 2 days only at the ‘Business Design Centre’ in London …go on be inspired!!
Right back to my office….my clients await and my list is growing signing off for now and thank you for reading!
The clocks have been turned back an hour and thus the nights are drawing in, the leaves are beginning to fall off the trees and winter has blown in with its cool winds.
I am, however, tucked up inside in the warmth enjoying the last of the sunshine coming through the glass doors and as the sun goes down I am contemplating on lighting the fire….. Once I have plucked up the courage to go outside and gather the wood in, from our newly built wood store…for which I have to thank my husband Brian.
A couple of weeks ago, I was privileged to receive in the post an invitation to the launch of a new wallpaper collection from the ‘Warner Textile Archives’ by a designer called Wendy Bray .
Wendy Bray has been a print designer for over 60 years and graduated from Croyden art school in 1951, just after the 2nd world war, when life was only just beginning to get back to normality. However, based in London near St Pauls where bombing had been prolific during the war, her first years at Courtauld’s in the city must have been an eye opener, not just for its deprivation but also for the creative optimism of rebuilding the city with the help of architects and the influence from Scandinavia which was all the rage…and not to mention the ‘Festival of Britain’…..she was in the right place at the right time and with talent as she has, she couldn’t fail…only succeed!
Wendy studied at art school at a time when “Art students indulged in colour and playful fantasy and quaint idiom of the Neo-Romantics: John Minton, Paul Nash and John Craxton”, (The World of Interiors, Feb 2012), these artists influenced Wendy’s work greatly. Approximately, 20 years later, during the 70’s, Wendy lived in New York and studied further at ‘The Students League’.
It was these years that cultivated her design style that we are familiar with today.
Photography ‘The world of Interiors 2012
She has carried with her, following various moves throughout her life a portfolio of sketches design and ideas and with its rediscovery, not only in the 70’s but today she has created a wonderful range of wallpaper which I am looking forward to seeing on the ‘8th November 2012 at the Essex launch at the ‘Warner Textile Archives, Silk Way, Braintree, Essex.
She also has another launch on the 19th November in London at the ‘Fine cell Work Showroom’ W1
In the last few years we have had to cut back and re access our expenditure greatly and it is during these times that the British personality comes out at its best. With the influence of the Olympics, the tour de France and many other wins and achievements we have had as a nation this year, it seems that our creativeness grows at its best during a crisis.
If we look at the design that has been influencing our homes during this period, as now, we can see similarities to that of ‘Wendy Bray’s work which was created during a financial hardship and is now again in fashion.
The new collection launched in September by ‘Jane Churchill’ has similarities to her design with ‘Bright wood’ and Songbird ….as other textile companies.
Thus, all you creative students and budding designers this is your time grasp it and create.
Hi Everyone, so sorry it has taken me a long time to compile another paragraph or two for those who like to read my monthly blog (I wish) ….but I have been very busy working on design schemes, drawing furniture layouts and even project managing and meeting the most wonderful people along the way making work a dream and every hour of the day busy! X …and hopefully making people happy along the way with the results!
However, it is Sunday (my day off!) and my sister-in-law, Lynn Martin, a group editor for a local company, has also been extremely busy in and out of her office creating a new magazine along with her team to add to their bow.
It is this, that has caught my eye for this month’s blog, and gives me the great honour to pass the information on to those who like to make their home personal, with crafts just like ‘Kirsty’s homemade home’ programme on channel four (another series needed please!) . Lynn left me a brand new copy on the table at my mother’s…..I love to snuggle down and read a great magazine, whether it is Interiors or fashion, it a real treat and this magazine is no exception.
‘Homemaker’ as it is called, is exactly what it is …it has so much to do in it and this issue even comes with a supplement ‘creative Christmas source book’. Which is full of seasonal ideas, and personally I shall use the Christmas cake recipe by Fiona Cairn…. looks yummy x
The November issue is the first, but certainly won’t be the last, I can see it rushing off the shelves for many years to come.
Several articles really caught my eye, such as; ‘lighten up’…I am always being asked if I know of a company who provides a remake for clients old lamp shades (…well, yes I do, but clients are always surprised how much it is…but then we all have to put food on the table and producing them takes time), however, I digress…. I am pleased to say, that with the help of ‘homemaker’ the article gives you a step by step guide on how to achieve a beautiful result yourself, along with advice on which shape and size….what could be easier and
every time you switch on the lamp you know it’s a product of your very own creativity and no one will have one the same.
Another, article which is inspirational ‘Sideboards make me happy’ is about a young designer called, ‘Lucy Turner’ who creates fantastic results out of dated and forgotten sideboards bringing them into the current day. They are not only individual but a work of art and would make a feature in any room. I would be extremely happy to incorporate any of them into one of my schemes.
Also contributing to the content are such people as Kelly Hopen, Anthea Turner, Eric Lanlard, Wayne Hemmingway and Sophie Conran…….
I could go on and on as there are so many wonderful projects to do and articles to read but, I am not going to divulge any more as I really recommend you to buy it …not because it is a product produced by a family member but because it is a truly great magazine and will inspire young and old to be creative with lots of projects to do…. I think Kirsty would be proud!
Thanks for reading guys and if you do happen to buy it, please let me know how you got on….x
Here we are approaching the end of July and August begins next week…and finally we are all sitting in the sunshine!!!!!…well for another few days here in East Anglia anyway. This blog won’t be posted until next week thus I have named it my August blog.
With the autumn not far away, the season brings with it, new interior design ideas launched by fresh young designers and our established set, showing at some of our favourite venues. We have ‘100% Design’ at Earls Court from the 19th September to the 22nd (public day the latter), showcasing some of the latest products, trends and materials. First established in 1995, it is one of the most high profile events to visit for contemporary Interior design and Architecture. All the designers, new and old are showing us what the future in living in our homes and offices could be like. There are four major titles to the show: – Interiors, Office, Kitchen & Bathroom and Eco design & build, all of great interest….my personal interest will be products designed by Herman Miller for the office, as recently some of their older creations inspired me to design a particular piece of furniture for a client, which I commissioned Stuart Simpson (fabulous Joiner) to make for her.
Following this exhibition we have ‘Decorex’ International from 23rd September until the 26th in the grounds of Royal hospital in Chelsea, but unfortunately only open to the trade. This is an established event, now spanning 35 years. It showcases everything in interiors, backed by some of the best designers in the world. This year the foyer is going to be designed by Vivienne Westwood…although not renowned for her interiors but certainly one of our best fashion designers. Nicola Harding has compiled a blog on the Decorex website (11th July 2012) that will take you through all the events etc, at the show….worth a look.
Running along parallel with this is Focus 2012 held at the ‘Chelsea Harbour Design Centre’, where most of our great designers have their showrooms (500 international brands and 95 showrooms) …unlike Decorex however, the Saturday is open to the public where they can see the launch of the new collections first hand. New collections will also be launched by Designers Guild, and Osborne and Little who can be found in their showrooms on the Kings Road.
If you are mad about your home and design then it is a must to visit.
Hi everyone… I have been so busy I didn’t even have time ‘to make time’ to write a May blog…but I have been determined to add a blog page for June before this month disappears…so he we go…..
Returning to the month of March, I was very lucky to be treated to a ticket to the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts by a dear friend Stephanie and lunch a Carluccio’s restaurant in Covent Garden….all very fab!!!…
However, it is the David Hockney exhibition that I have wanted to share with all of you since this event.
David Hockney’s career has spanned more than 50 years and although through art school, I have been made very aware of his work and consequently his fame, I must confess that before now, it hasn’t really been ‘my cup of tea’; but following various documentary’s of his latest work and articles in the press, I have been attracted to him.
In my own opinion, his previous work, has been produced in a very functional way, all liked by his critics, graphic enough to be sold and made money from, and brilliant enough to make him famous. However, concerning his latest work, I believe he has painted from his heart and so much so he has been lost in a world of colour and exploration, producing painting after painting of what he loves and not for any one else. ….mother nature has inspired him and given him an all time high. When you enter the exhibition you can just feel his energy and passion….the outcome of his work is a private glimpse into his mind and not for the masses…. a true artist.
By David Hockney’s own admission some of his pieces have been trial and error and just sketches …but put all together, what a fantastic inspiration result…
And this is what astonishes me, it is for this, he has been slated by the press, once in an article in the Mail by Emma Reynolds (22nd Jan 2012) by his old teacher Mr Stafford, and in the London Evening Standard by Brian Sewell….. (19th Jan 2012).
My reply to these unkind critics is that this ‘master of arts’ has finally stepped through a door and created something real and I am sure this is the way that David Hockney feels…’a breathe of fresh air’. In which ever media he has worked in, the pictures are huge, but then so is his subjects; tall mighty trees in abundance, rolling hills that go on for ever…and they do. The colours are both vibrant and solemn, showing the changes in each season, cleverly suggesting the magic of light.
I can only say to his critics they need to open their souls and celebrate in what one man can achieve in a life time……it is all very well throwing name after name of famous artists into a newspaper column to back their beliefs and in so to comparing his work to the past, but why compare it…is there a need ….’it is what it is’………Isn’t that why artists are who they are …?
Following a very special birthday and a wonderful surprise from my husband ….a long weekend in ‘Roma’ to celebrate…. then a trip to Germany followed by a horrid cold… I have finally made time to give you my April blog….very late but ‘better late than never’…so they say?
Greatly inspired by the most wonderful architecture in Rome I want to remind everyone how we have been outstandingly influenced by the Roman and Italian architecture over the centuries and how advanced they were.
On one of our days in this most wonderful city we visited the ‘Pantheon’. Yes on the tourist trail…. but a must. Designed by Hadrian and over 1800 years old, it is the most amazing structure.
We were told by an Italian habitant of Rome that when it was built, Hadrian was told it would be impossible to construct such a design and a dome of those proportions would not work. However, according to this gentleman Hadrian’s theory was based around the shell of an egg…. he believed, if you put equal pressure around an egg from equal distance it would with stand amazing weight and pressure (an oculus of almost 9 metres across) …he kept to his beliefs and carried on with the build. Apparently he constructed it by building a dome made from earth and gold coins and then built the structure over the top to support it whilst the engineering followed …Once finished, he then told the local people that there were gold coins inside the dome amongst the earth and ‘ hey presto’ it was cleared within days. The inside is a marvel of interior design with precise mathematical positioned columns and the ceiling was once covered in bronze. The actual interior measures 43.4 metres in both width and height. The only light that feeds through is from an opening at the very top. The floor features a design made up of a series of geometric patterns….
My guide book writes’ The Pantheon’s simple regularity, the beauty of its elements, and it’s splendid materials combine to give the interiors a sublime solemnity’ (Rome and the Vatican, Edizioni Lozzi Roma S.A.S) so, so right
I and hopefully we can now understand how one of our most influential architects and interior designers ‘Robert Adam’ brought home these ideas and designed some of our most fabulous buildings in the British Isles still standing today.
Food for thought and looking forward to next month’s blog when I hope the sun shines