Spend the night with your favourite designer!

Debenhams’ love of creating beautiful spaces within the home has now extended to the hospitality arena, with their designer takeover of luxury London five star apartment hotel Cheval Three Quays!

In an exciting move for the British high street retailer, Debenhams has launched its designer open plan apartment in a year-long partnership.

The takeover kicked-off with much-loved Designer at Debenhams; Ben de Lisi in March, to be followed by Matthew Williamson in June and Abigail Ahern in September. All designers will exclusively dress the apartment in their own inimitable style and showcase their current designer homeware collections for Debenhams.

The open plan room boasts dramatic floor to ceiling windows with unrivalled views across the River Thames, Tower Bridge, The Shard and City Hall. Every detail of the room, curated by the designers, has been carefully considered to effortlessly mix luxury with their own personal style.

Bringing a brand new travel experience to the public, Ben de Lisi’s apartment showcases his SS16 collection for Debenhams. Offering adventure and exploration, the room is brought to life with a lively combination of hand drawn graphics, soft geometrics, quirky objects and multi coloured stripes.

I was lucky enough to catch Ben de Lisi at the launch, he spoke with passion about his involvement in the project; “I am thrilled to be part of such an innovative collaboration with Designers at Debenhams. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for loyal customers to experience my new collection in the luxury environment of Cheval Three Quays, and for guests to live the designer lifestyle”.

What’s more, each guest will receive a luxury food hamper on arrival and gift on departure, plus exclusive luxury beauty treats from Benefit and restaurant vouchers from Chi Kitchen to be redeemed in the Debenhams Oxford Street Store.

The room costs £295 per night, to book check out the website – ChevalResidences.com/DebenhamsDesignerApartment

Can’t wait to see what Matthew Williamson does with the place!

 

 

I went to Paris, I fell in love.

But it’s not what you think. A tall, gorgeous French man with impeccable style and flowing locks didn’t sweep me off my feet. But a whole mix of European and international interiors brands certainly did. Not bad for 48 hours in Paris.

Here’s what I loved at Maison & Objet 2014.

It’s fair to say, 2015 will be packed with bright and bold fabrics and prints. Leading the way for me was digital god; Zuzunaga, whose work is dedicated to the pixel and inspired by super modern architecture and global megacities. Cristian Zuzunaga’s designs create a space for human vitality within a digital world. Oh and right now, he is up for an Elle Decoration Design Award with innovative British Carpet Manufacturer; Brintons – I have already voted here.

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For all the ‘bright’ reasons, I also adored Australian brand KAS – the geometric patterns and bright bold prints were to die for. I took a couple of snaps and just love this Thunderbird pic from their website – try not to fall in love too. Oh and PS. KAS if you are reading, come to the UK immediately…please!

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There are two trends that I am completely obsessed with at the moment, ‘Copper’ and ‘Ombre.’ I am ecstatic to report that my research suggests that both trends are here to stay for SS15. My copper hero (a Brit and ‘Designer of the Year’ no less); Tom Dixon actually went into my dreams and designed this look just for me *he possibly didn’t actually do this.* …His acccessories, such as this Hex bowl and Champagne bucket were also extraordinary and made to be treasured.

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Speaking of ombre – Déchelette Malleval has this trend covered, such pretty hues…plus anything that reminds me of my travels is way up there for me.

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In design, the juxtaposition of handmade/ manmade craftsmanship with objects from nature fascinates me, Danish brand www.muubs.com have this at their heart. Made from raw, recycled materials, such as warm teak, recycled glass and cool concrete; Muubs design furniture with innovative contrasts and a Nordic feel. I love that the table you are eating your breakfast from was once a boat or an old wine bottle is now your statement lighting piece. The below are my favourite pieces from the show.

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Another collection that left me inspired was by Italian brand IVV952, called Sedimenti by Ilaria Marelli. Beautiful, individual branches are collected from the Tuscany countryside and interpreted by the designer before a master glass-worker delicately blows a mass of glass at high temperature on them, resulting in a vase that is unique in the most extreme sense of the word and beautiful, whilst still maintaining its functional element.

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Sometimes at these shows, after 8 hours on your feet carrying a hefty bag full of brochures, you have a moment that takes your breath away. When I walked into hall 5B at the end of a very long first day I was taken aback at the pure level of peace and tranquillity on show by Portuguese brand; InterDesign. The colours, textures and curves shown below are a melting pot of the serene and beautiful. There is no question mark here for me, I love it! Available in the UK via Adore My Home, (366-368 King’s Road).

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For me, a little bit of luxury, a tranquil design and a splash of innovation go a long way and it looks like the Portuguese brands were coming off on top in France. I am already a huge fan of Ginger and Jagger and they did not disappoint at all.

Their creative process is based on nature and the origins of the world, character and quality. To say I am completely obsessed with the neon ‘breathe’ sign is an understatement. It is not available in the UK yet. But I am working on it.

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King of luxury and super yacht design; Roberto Cavalli’s unseen decadent table linen, crockery and lizard gold cutlery was a joy to be seen and adored, I would go as far as saying it was the most beautiful table display I have seen of his ever. Coming soon.

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Sometimes, just sometimes I have to write about a piece because not only does it catch my eye as something functional yet beautiful, but the people behind the brand are just so god-damn nice! With French outdoor brand, Belanka and Designer Daniel Le Normand it was one of those times. The new Transamac outdoor bed has a unique swaying movement, giving a feeling of weightlessness and a real feeling of relaxation. Tried and tested by yours truly.

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And last, but by no means least I was super impressed by Seletti this year, I love a neon sign and fairground letters are so on trend right now. Although these were my faves, they were just a fraction of what they had to offer as far as lighting goes, so watch this space. On the subject of space, I also loved their upcoming collaboration with Diesel Home ‘Cosmic Diner’ which showed the entire solar system in exquisite detail. Too good to eat off? Probably.

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What were your favourites?

Lisa x

Easy envelope cushion covers with no sewing machine!

It’s not that I can’t use a sewing machine, I studied fashion at college, so I can whip up a mini skirt in 60 seconds flat. It’s just that a lot of us don’t have access to one and don’t realise just what we can achieve without expensive tools and equipment.

That’s why I wanted to show you how to make really easy cushion covers with just a piece of fabric and some fabric glue!

The glue cost me about £3.50 from a really cute shop in Chalk Farm called ‘Slanchogled’, the fabric was scrap and the old cushions on their way out.

Step 1 – Using an old cushion that you want to recover, measure the size and cut your first piece of fabric one inch bigger all round. This cushion is 15×15 inches, so I cut a piece of fabric 16×16 inches, this will be the front piece so place the pattern how you would like it to be seen. Cut two more pieces of fabric, both 16×11 inches for the back ‘envelope’. The height of these pieces should be the same as your first piece, the widths should be half the width of the cushion plus three inches each, this bit creates the overlapping envelope.

Step two – Practice overlapping the two smaller pieces face up, so you can see how the back will look, ‘hem’ both middle overlapping edges separately with a thin layer of glue along the edges and fold them back. Apply pressure.

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Step 3 – Lay the front piece face up, lay on the first piece of smaller fabric with patterns touching. Apply a thin layer of glue to both pieces of the fabrics three outer edges, stick together. Lay the second smaller piece of fabric over the bigger piece and overlapping the first smaller piece. Glue as before, leaving the envelope flaps open. Then I like to hand-stitch along the overlap and sometimes the corners, just to add a bit more security.

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Step 4 – Leave to dry for at least half an hour, then iron to strengthen. Finally turn your cushion inside out (which will now reveal the pattern), iron again. Your envelope cushion is now complete!

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How easy was that?

Have fun!

Lisa.

Design Footnotes on… Oliver Bonas!

This time last week, I was invited to toast 21 years of Oliver Bonas, meet the founder and preview the AW14 home and fashion collections. Being a design lover and fan of all things bright and lovely, this was an offer I was not about to refuse.

HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY OLIVER BONAS!

Talking to Olly and his team, I got a real understanding for what the future holds for the brand and just like the new collections; with all the hot pinks, bright blues, sunshine yellows, and neon oranges – it’s looking bright!

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Olly started out his career selling watches, bags and items from his travels to his friends and family, he now has over 40 stores (with 5 more opening this side of Christmas) – this really is a brand to know. Now.

He explained; ‘We’re here to take fun seriously’ and urges his colleagues and indeed customers to ‘Just be cool’.

He admitted that when he first started out on his buying trips, there were many ‘What were you thinking Olly?’ moments, but I can see that for every moment of madness, there was equally a moment of pure genius – and what is a world without risk? One without fun and such eclectic design reward I’d say.

Oliver Bonus press day.15 Bateman Street, London. 03/07/2014

If you’ve noted a change in the last year, it may just be the new product designer, moving things forward to such an extent that almost 80% of the products you now see in store and online are designed in-house and are exclusive to Oliver Bonas, a fact that the whole team take great pride in. The remaining product is sourced from buying trips to places such as India and China.

Having spent January in India myself, this stunning, vivid influence is very clear in the product range.

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Another thing I love about the brand is that they refuse to follow trends and seasons as predictably as other brands, but pick items for their individuality, design and their quirks. The love of design and passion for seeking out the unusual remain at the heart of the business. You can tell that the entire team love every single thing that they produce.

Check out my snaps of some of the things you have to expect from Oliver Bonas over the coming months. I happen to adore the drinks trolly that is already in store now! Made even more special by the fact that I now know it was discovered by the founder, who happens to be very proud of it. A genuine steal at only £195.

Oliver Bonus press day. 15 Bateman Street, London.  03/07/2014

Let me know what you think,

Lisa.

This Week I Love – The Bert & May and The Conran Shop Tile Collaboration Inspired by the Cote d’Azur.

Last week, the rumour mill was stirring that The Conran Shop had a stunning new Summer window display, so I popped down to one of my favourite shops in London. Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed, not only do I want one of everything in the entire shop at the moment, but I wanted two, or five of everything in the new window!

The thing that made the windows for me was the tile collaboration with Bert & May, who are reclaimed and reproduction tile experts. After digging a little deeper I found that these 2,500 tiles form part of their brand new Azure collection – three mesmerising new geometric tile designs, alongside four newly developed blues. The three Bert & May tiles include; Lapis, Churriana and Majadas, based on antique Bert & May tile designs.

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Meanwhile, the new blues include an iconic blue developed exclusively with The Conran Shop, known as Azure Blue. This colour, plus three other blues inspired by the water; Navy, Sea and Lake were developed using traditional techniques, sourcing the perfect combination of pigments to achieve the distinct aged patina of all Bert & May tiles.

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Speaking with Bert & May’s Co-Founder Harriet Roberts, she said; ‘For this project, we took inspiration from images of repeated geometric pattern and summer terraces in southern France bathed in Mediterranean sun and decorated with beautiful homeware and furnishings. We then also took inspiration specifically from a number of places; the blue of the sea of the Cote d’Azur; the glistening nature of the summer sun on water; the work of artist Sonia Delaunay, with her strong colours and geometric shapes, as well as knowledge of the different effects you can achieve with repeated geometric design that we see in many of our tile designs’. Harriet Roberts, Co-Founder, Bert & May. http://www.BertandMay.com


This collaboration makes me want to head to the South of France immediately! Any takers?

Matisse, Mourlot and Me…

From cherished childhood memories of school art lessons, cutting and sticking bits of blue paper to a blank canvas, to this medium subconsciously entering my illustration projects at university – throughout my life, my love of the great Matisse has been firmly cemented.

So, I was thrilled to find out that this summer The Tate have curated an exhibition dedicated entirely to his famous cut-outs – the art medium he notably pioneered after a bout of sickness prevented him from painting. This exhibition is open from now until September, so you have plenty of time to get down there – I will of course let you know my highlights soon, see you there!

As an obvious lover of art and a fan of how it can transform a room and become a focal point, I love the website Art.co.uk, which is the world’s biggest supplier of art online and is full of handy hints and inspiring insiders to help you make the right choice. While browsing their Matisse prints, I stumbled across this rare collection of original prints created for the Parisian print shop Mourlot, which established itself as the largest printer of artistic posters in Paris by 1937.

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If you didn’t already know, the shop gained prestige and notoriety for working with Matisse and for direct collaborations with artists such as Picasso, Miró and Chagall too, who all worked directly on lithographic stone tablets later used by master printers. Image Image Image

I love this fascinating collection of unique works of art from the Mourlot archives, including out-of-print and hard to find gems, original exhibition prints and limited editions. Many in Mint condition! Who knew I’d be able to actually own a Matisse original! Above are a few of my favourites from the collection.

Happy bank holiday all, let me know if you get to the Tate!

Lisa.

Les Lithographies de L’Atelier Mourlot Collectable Print by Henri Matisse £164.99, Palais de la Méditerranée collectable print by Raoul Dufy £204.99, Picasso. 172 Dessins Recents Collectable Print by Pablo Picasso £364.99, Ambassadeurs Aristide Bruant in his Cabaret, Collectable Print by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec £204.99, La Baie de Anges Collectable Print by Marc Chagall £ 279.99, Le Violon, 1987 Collectable Print by Raoul Dufy £324.99 all www.Art.co.uk

Music photography and Oasis fans – go to this today, or look back in anger…

If you are lucky enough to have an extra day tagged onto the end of your bank holiday, or can get over to East London before 7pm tonight, go to this exhibition of rare and unseen Oasis photographs from the early years. Or you’ll definitely regret it, no maybes.

http://londonewcastle.com/arts-programme/events/2014-04-11/chasing-the-sun-oasis-1993-1997/

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You can even recreate the iconic Definitely Maybe album cover. That’s me with the guitar.

Londonewcastle Project Space28 Redchurch Street Shoreditch London E2 7DP

12-7pm today.

This week I love… The new Timorous Beasties carpets by Brintons.

Timorous Beasties, the award winning and creative force in design excellence, launch a beautiful and dramatic range of broadloom carpets with pioneering carpet manufacturers Brintons.

The surreal and provocative designs challenge traditional conventions with their use of heavily illustrative insects, plants, birds and butterflies, wood grain and leaves. Inspired by popular Timorous Beasties designs, the collection is a mixture of large scale elegant designs, produced using Brintons pioneering High Definition Weave technology.

The carpets work with a larger scale and the avoidance of symmetry, favouring balance through composition to create a more individual interior. From the dense use of solid geometric texture and floral shapes of Linen Damask to the gentle meandering sprawl of the Ruskin Butterfly, with its delicate organic background texture.

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The Grain du Bois creates a free flowing weighted pattern, developed from drawings of wood grains, where the colours can blend or contrast with each other depending on where your view point is in the room. Botanical plays with large scale floral motifs broken up by a look of transparency, a layered effect derived from ways of over printing with hand screens to build up a more complex image from a simple design. Atholl Gardens, is the combining of birds perching on a garden gate, where nature blends with ornate man-made, creating a more interesting silhouette.

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Having had the pleasure of meeting Alistair McAuley, one half of the Timorous Beasties design duo, I was inspired by their ability to look at the current market and do the opposite or the overlooked and forgotten, which begs the question, if a carpet is as technologically brilliant and aesthetically unique and beautiful as this, why shouldn’t it be the focal point of your room?

Timorous Beasties by Brintons, Yellow Ruskin Butterfly, Linen Damask, Parchment Grain du Bois, Botanical, Gold Atholl Gardens all £95.00 per sq m. http://www.Brintons.co.uk/ 0800 505055.

North London Trash – Painting Chairs – The Dip Dye Trend

If we’ve hung out in the last week, the chances are I will have bored thrilled you with my ‘I’m painting a chair’ chat. For those of you on the edge of your seats (pun intended) – here is my first creation! Plus my very easy tips on how to paint your own understated masterpiece or two.

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Having found this chair, crying out for a new home on the streets of Camden, this is my first ‘North London Trash’ experiment. Let me know what you think!

Step 1 – Clean chair to remove any dust, grease or dirt and give it a light sanding, this way the paint has an ideal surface to adhere too. If you are thinking of painting multiple chairs, I’d opt to use a paint such as Annie Sloan chalk paints, which promise to adhere to any surface effectively with little or no preparation. I love Paris Grey, Barcelona Orange and Antoinette. £18.95 for 1L.

Step 2 – Lay down an old sheet to protect surfaces and over a few days, apply two matt white base coats. I used Dulux Pure Brilliant White Matt that I had in my cupboard, I’d recommend popping to your local DIY store for this, they often have paints perfect for this purpose, some second hand at really good prices and you never need as much as you think. Allow 24 hours in between each coat to dry.

ImageStep 3 – Using my ‘Painted Chairs’ Pinterest board and my favourite interiors magazines as inspiration, I chose to paint my first chair using the dip dye trend in vintage pastels. I used eicó Helmatt paints in Surf and Socialite, I can’t recommend eicó paints enough – perfect for any project striving for greater green credentials and a premium, odourless finish. £14.50 for 1L.

I painted the bulk of the chair in Surf, leaving the bottom of the leg free for the Socialite, the next day I turned the chair upside down and painted the Socialite portion. Repeat this process with a top coat.

Step 4 – You can then apply a clear matt top coat for protection (of the chair and your clothes). I have opted not to do this as yet, as I am confident in my eicó paints! Voilà, the chair is done. Tweet me your creations! @designfootnotes

ImageNow for my next ‘North London Trash’ project! …I wonder what it will entail x

This week I love… Sofa Workshop’s Miss Behaving Sofa in new Romo Pleasure Gardens.

Ahead of the trend and refusing to conform, Sofa Workshop’s classic Miss Behaving sofa is the perfect partner to the brand new Romo digital print on velvet by British contemporary artist Jessica Zoob. Adapted from a painting of lotus flowers and inspired by her travels through Asia, this Black Edition fabric collection is the latest in design inspiration from internationally recognised upholstery leaders Romo.

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