Feb 112014

Hot Pink Its Hot and Its Pink

Hot pink isn’t for everyone and despite loving this collection, it’s not for me, but some folk can’t get enough of it (naming no names. You know who you are) and I’m pleased they’re here. Colour is a cheery friend and in dark wintery times it is most definitely good for the soul. Here are the best of the hot pinks on the UK homes market today.

1.) Cornell desk in ‘Flamingo Pink’, £279, Made.com 2.) pink pallet pendant shade by Christopher Berry, £39.99, Factory Twenty One 3.) Designers Guild’s Saraille in ‘fuchsia’ digitally-printed wallpaper, £185, John Lewis 4.) Tub table lamp in ‘pink’, £35, Habitat 5.) Hay’s Colour Block duvet cover & pillowcase in ‘pink’, £72- £108, Nest 6.) porcelain tea light holder in ‘neon pink, £7, Future and Found 7.) Deep Dream sofa in ‘raspberry’ velvet, From £1,995, Graham and Green 8.) Leather (191) emulsion paint, £41.50 for 2.5lts, Little Greene 9.) Applicata Tulip dinner candle holder by Anders Norgaad, £46, Heal’s

Feb 072014

tumblr n08bxlkTY01s77ri8o1 1280 The Dot City Limits

OH, HELLO! Gosh, these make me very happy. Clean lines, nice colours, geometric shapes, a variety of styles, shot nicely, fresh-looking, neat and tidy, crafty…I could go on. Moseying around the internet I happened upon these whilst looking for something quite, quite different, but this ceramic tangent was very welcome and it had my synapses flashing and firing. A good place to be in a dark and rainy February. Ann Mercer, the potter behind these delightful vessels is a recent graduate of Central St. Martins and works from a studio in south London. This particular range can be seen and bought (highly recommended especially at £40 a pop) at a shop called Triangle which can be found on Chatsworth Road in Clapton, London (not far from where I grew up). It’s an limited edition so haste is advised.

Ann Mercer can be found at: 14, Bermondsey Exchange, 179 -181 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UW

Triangle can be found at: 92a, Chatsworth Road, Clapton, London E5 0LS

Jan 312014

BRAKIG The Jester of the Day

To be honest, I’m rarely at the front of the Ikea fan club queue on a personal what-I’m-prepared-to-have-in-my-own-home basis, but I’d be the first to say that they do do prints very well and this series is no exception. Tomorrow sees the launch of one of Ikea’s latest print ranges, Brakig, and it’s a corker. Brakig comprises of 30 pieces and is the result of a year long collaboration with Danish creative supergroup, ArtRebels. It sees the introduction of a charming array of murky pastel colours which are being celebrated throughout the media, employed in strong geometric shapes (among them the harlequin), to create of-the-moment style. It’s been applied extensively on textiles, furniture, kitchenware and wallpaper, on both new and old designs (such as the instantly recognisable Frosta stool), bringing them in line with the rest of the range. It’s a limited edition so if you want it, you best go and get it fast. I can’t imagine it’ll hang around for long.

BRÅKIG, available from Ikea from the 1st of February.

Jan 162014

EQUUS 7 Watch how the Pretty Horses Go


I am, by no means, a girl with a horsey inclination. This should not be taken as no love or admiration for the magnificent beasts, for I do, think they are entirely marvellous, just, the whole jodhpurs thing ain’t never gonna happen. Should you have chosen to describe this new range from Royal Crown Derby, I probably would have wrinkled my nose and politely declined, but they arrived in my inbox in full brand-spanking fresh and cheeringly contemporary horsey-glory and I was a goner. Big, bold and magnificent. So, if like me you prefer your horses in manageable sizes, whilst wearing dignified clothing, I recommend you get yourself down to see them in their finery. The ‘Equus’ range (designed by Carmen Roome) is being launched on Monday the 20th of January at Harrods in London as part of series of window displays celebrating ’2014: Year of the Horse”.

Dec 032013

SebastianBergneNativity A Simple Tale

As seasonal commissions go, this is a pretty good one. The Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich have commissioned object and furniture designer, Sebastian Bergne, to fill their neoclassical interior with a bold, bright, pared-back ultra-contemporary take on a world-famous classic scene, the Nativity. Bergne’s ‘Colour Nativity’ won’t please everyone, I’m sure, but I think it’s excellent. It’s neat and tidy, bright and brave. To imagine those shapes made large, filling a space that’s used to frill and fancy, with a design-ethic so far from its own, fills me with delight and wonder. A move that, I can only congratulate the folk at St. Peter and St. Paul’s on, for being ‘of the time’ and potentially opening their target audience to those who might ordinarily be beyond their reach. I, for one, am not a church-goer, though I most definitely appreciate and am in awe of the grace and power of those buildings that have peppered our landscape for so many centuries. The extra large ‘Colour Nativity’ is unveiled tonight and will be available to see for the festive period. If you like it A LOT, then you can buy one for yourself in a more domestic-residence-sympathetic size here.

Chapel of St Peter and St Paul, Old Royal Naval College, 2 Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, London SE10 9NN

Aug 222013

Philips Hue Ones Own Light
I’m pretty excited about this latest light bulb innovation from Philips. And if you’re not, then you’ve obviously not read the small print. This ray of light, or rather to be precise, 16 million different coloured rays of light, is quite possibly the beginnings of a new colourful future. As one of the judges on Dulux’s ‘Let’s Colour Awards’, I first came across this at the rear end of last year, as it was one of the contestants up for the technology award. Much debate and conversation, it instigated but unfortunately, as we didn’t have one to test, its case wasn’t strong enough to win. However, since then, I’ve been rather keen to get my grubby little mitts on one.

‘Hue” looks like an ordinary bulb, no bigger, no smaller and with no fancy-pants fastening, the only difference is that in order to make this bulb do its magic, you’ll need a smart phone or tablet so you can download their app. The app communicates with a small hub, called the ‘hue bridge; which you plug into your internet. Beyond that I have no idea. Not only can you play around with a colour picker option, you can also upload your favourite photos to colour-select from. This really is personal lighting. Good fun and very, very clever. I’m super impressed. Currently, they’re a teensy-weensy bit more expensive than your average LED bulb, but with its capabilities, it’s one to keep your eye on for a future treat.


Philips’ ‘Hue’, available from a range of different retailers, currently only available in screw type fixture.


Aug 132013

Emily Chess June130716 All In The Game

Emily Chess June130687 All In The Game

Chess Test Diagonal 01 All In The Game

Emily Chess June130725 All In The Game

My latest test shoot (a play-time project, if you will) with photographer, Iwan Essery, takes a dramatic and fresh (Prince) take on the classic monochrome of the famous game of chess. Channeling the popular 80s American sit-com, the pieces, spray-painted in bright neon pink and orange, make delightfully heady colour-pops against the black and white checks. The glossy surface of the beautiful ‘Kula’ glass tiles give another dimension with a reflection so clear and strong, they could be mirrored. A happy nod to past trends, revisiting, in a contemporary manner.  I hope you like them.

Kula glass tiles in Liquorice Gloss, 10x10cm, £3.29, Topps Tiles

With many thanks to Topps Tiles and In The White Room for loaning the tiles.

Aug 012013

QueensWalk A Garden in Town

Strolling down the side of the Thames in the centre of London, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the last thing you’d come across are community allotments, but that’s the beautiful thing about London; always expect the unexpected. The garden installation spans the front of the Southbank Centre, a small area of London that has gone from strength to strength over the years, and increasingly sees a delightful imaginative approach to shows and activities for people of all ages. The Queen’s Walk Window Gardens is no different. Built by Wayward Plants, a collective of designers and artists working on urban growing, their group of allotments are made from reclaimed windows which are not only painted in a mixture of shades of two of my current favourite colours (grey and yellow) but instantly create a perfect structure for plants and people alike. There are signs telling you about the plants, floral and vegetable, and there are seats so you can sit amongst them. A genuinely lovely idea which makes me very proud of London. It appears that Wayward Plants’s website is currently down, but do check out their other projects when it’s back up, as they are truly fantastic and all for the people.

Open until the 8th of September 2013, Queen’s Walk, Southbank, London.

Jun 242013

On Departure from Eoin Duffy on Vimeo.

A very nice illustrated video for you today. Beautifully simple shape and colour play, telling a story devoid of words. Blocks of colours, shapes, lines and movement build up the picture to form recognisable items in an otherwise abstract-looking frame. A very clever use of a limited colour palette keeps the look clean, tidy and graphic only serves to impress further. Circles, lines, squares and rectangles, all of the things we learn at a young age, used in a way that creatively, feels beyond my comprehension. There are no fancy tricks or disco spangles to impress the viewer, just simplicity and imagination. My favourite combination. I love the moment with the bird, the sad eyes as he watches the bird fly off, I also really liked the use of lighter shades to suggest water. A rather melancholic tale of airport departure, with a rather surprising end.

Directed by: Eoin Duffy
Produced by – Alan Doherty
Music – Stephen Rennicks
Editing – Rory Gavin
Sound Design – James Daly
Post Production – Reel Good
Country – Ireland

Jun 192013

Dulux 8 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions

Dulux 9 straight cherries  DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions

Dulux 24 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions

Dulux 86 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions

Dulux 78 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions

DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Part 2 (Collective Passions): The only way to find out if something’s going to work is by getting on and giving it a go. I had no idea if it was going to work, other than the logical side of my brain saying, ‘it’s water-based paint and water freezes.’ but it doesn’t stop the fear of failure and the abrupt conclusion of what could be a wicked photoshoot. I decided to start small and manageable, and what’s more small and manageable than ice cubes in an ice cube tray? In they went. Success!
Success meant stage 2. A detailed sketching out of shot-list ideas and colour choosing. My success at freezing ice cubes meant that my imagination went wild as to what else I might manage to persuade the paint to do. I figured that if it was happy to be an ice cube, it’d be happy to be a lolly, even a rocket shaped lolly, right? In they went. Getting them out was a little bit more tricky than the ice cubes, but with a little water application management they eventually surrendered their cocoon. But there was one shot that was really worrying me. The shot that the entire project was based on: ice-cream. Ice-cream in its purest form: thick frozen cream of the ice-cream-van wafer-cone variety. It was the one that I wanted to work the most, so of course it was the one that I put off experimenting with until the last. Having learnt to make edible ice-cream (all in the name of research), I just applied the same logic and method to the paint. If I hand-churned it often enough, there was no reason for the broken-up frozen particles not to remain supple and flexible enough for it to resemble the edible treat. After a nerve-wrecking 3 hours, it did. Based on my colour choices, Dulux suggested two of their 2013 colour schemes, Timeless Classics and Collective Passions. I divvied up the drawings between the two schemes, got them all okayed and started planning the props.
The shoot took place over two days and Dulux filmed it as we prepped and prepared the paint and the sets. It was messy work and a little manic at times, but at the end of the two days we had completed our shot list with a unexpected degree of success. All that was left to be done was the retouching and the waiting for the release date to come round. Here we are and now the long journey’s results can be seen throughout the UK’s online and printed media. Hurray!

DuluxLab ‘Collective Passions’ ice-cream shoot, styling: Emily Blunden, photography: Simon Bevan

(at the time of writing it can currently be seen on Livingetc’s blog, Life.Style.etc, July’s edition of Beautiful Kitchens and of course on Dulux’s Facebook)

pixel DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions
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