Cushions

Interview : Textile Designer Helen Baker

Helen Baker Home Blue cushion & lampshade designs

When I first found out I was pregnant back in 2013, I couldn’t wait to decorate our baby’s new bedroom. However, I needed to go gender neutral as my husband and I didn’t want to find out what gender our baby was until arrival day. I was almost certain we were having a boy but we decided a gender neutral theme would be the sensible option. (Good job too as we had a girl!) Coming up with a gender neutral design wasn’t as easy as I had initially thought. We ended up going for green and incorporated a woodland animal theme which is really lovely. You can read about our nursery project here.

It’s not all that easy to find gender neutral products for use in a children’s room that look nice, can grow with them and are great quality. This was a problem that textile designer Helen Baker also had. But rather than compromise she decided to fill this gap in the market by designing her own collection of fabrics, cushions and lampshades. The Cornish-inspired collection is right up my street, being from the neighbouring county myself. I love the graphic elements and if I were to redecorate our girls’ room I would definitely consider incorporating Helen’s designs. But for now, let’s find out a little bit more about Helen and her designs.

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Interview : Textile Designer Niki Jones

Contemporary Scandinavian bedroom with dark walls and geometric grey bedding by designer Niki JonesHi everyone! How are you all today? I hope you’ve enjoyed the long Bank Holiday weekend if you live in the UK. Traditionally, this is a time when lots of us take part in DIY and try to get our homes ready for the greatly anticipated summer season. I’m happy to say that I actually haven’t been doing any DIY at all this weekend. That’s because my kitchen makeover, which has been in progress for a year, is finally finished. I can’t tell you what a relief that is. So this weekend we have been mostly enjoying our new space. I will be sharing a progress post with you guys shortly and then the final reveal will follow once I’ve had the time (and good light) to photograph it. So that’s all very exciting!

Something else exciting however, is that I am hosting a fantastic giveaway today, which I am sure you’ll love. A few weeks ago, I received an email from Niki Jones, a fantastic designer who wanted to introduce me to her work. I have no idea how I hadn’t come across her before if I’m honest and that’s why I really love it when people reach out to me. Once I had checked out Niki’s website, I knew she would be a perfect candidate to feature on The Design Sheppard so I immediately responded and asked if I could interview her so I could give you guys a more in-depth insight into her work. Luckily, she agreed to make time for us. So here it is: Read More…

Creating a Cosy Winter Home with Cox & Cox

Create a cosy winter home with the AW16 Sage Velvet & Linen Kingsized Quilt from Cox & Cox

Velvet & Linen Kingsize Quilt

So this past weekend was bonfire night and I have to say it really feels like winter now. There is such a chill in the air and our central heating has certainly been working overtime. A few weeks ago we changed the duvet on the bed for the big 15 tog one and we are slowly starting to prepare our home for the winter months ahead. So today I wanted to share some tips with you on how you can successfully transition your home for the colder season. At the same time, I wanted to introduce you to some wonderful new products from the AW16 Collection at Cox & Cox that will help you to create a cosy winter home that will keep you feeling all snug and comfy in the coming months.

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Roald Dahl Curtains & Cushions from Curtains.com

roald dahl matilda curtains from curtains.com

2016 marks 100 years since the birth of much-loved children’s author Roald Dahl and to mark the centenary of the occasion, online retailer Curtains.com has launched a collection of curtains and cushions that feature illustrations from the books that have been entertaining children the world over for decades now. Roald Dahl was born on September 13th, which has been designated as the official Roald Dahl day so it seems very fitting that Curtains.com should launch this new collection at this time of year. I have such fond memories of reading Roald Dahl’s books as a child and so many of my summer holidays were spent with my nose in his books. I think this was probably my first experience of reading a book that I could not put down until the final page had been turned. I would have loved to have been able to decorate my childhood bedroom with items inspired by the books, especially if they featured the beautiful illustrations of Quentin Blake. And now as an adult, with a family of my own, I can’t wait to start reading Roald Dahl books to my children. My daughter Matylda already has a box set and unsurprisingly her favourite book is Matilda. When she’s old enough to actually read the stories, I’m sure she’ll enjoy them just as much as I did. And maybe she’d like to decorate her room with Roald Dahl curtains and cushions. Read More…

Interview : Bert Fowler of Bert & Buoy

BERT&BUOY_Nautical inspired Devon Cushions

As you may or may not know, I’m not actually based in London like many other interiors bloggers. I live right down here on the gorgeous South Devon Coast in a quaint little town called Dartmouth. I’d always planned to live in London though and it wasn’t until my third year at University, which I spent living in Paris, that I realised that city living just isn’t for me. So instead of heading for the bright lights of the Big Smoke after graduation, I packed up all my things and headed straight back down to Devon with a renewed appreciation for everything that the laid back, charming, rural lifestyle that this part of the country has to offer. Don’t get me wrong though, being based in Devon certainly has its drawbacks when it comes to blogging. All the big events and trade shows take place in London so I don’t get to attend that many of them as it’s quite an expensive trip once you’ve budgeted for travel and accommodation. This has always lead to me feeling a little bit isolated and pretty held back when it comes to blogging. I’ve never really felt the buzz and energy that you get from the design scene in London down here in Devon. Although I have to say, I feel like something is changing. I’ve discovered a lot of great design that is coming out of Devon at the moment. I’ve read articles about the fact that London is currently experiencing a creative exodus so maybe that partly explains it. Maybe the creative community is leaving London or not heading there in the first place. Who knows? But what I do know is that it is very exciting to see some fantastic new design talent right here in Devon. Over the next few weeks I will be featuring just a few of the fantastic companies I have discovered recently, right here on my doorstep.  The first is a wonderful new start-up that launched in August at Dartmouth Regatta. Bert & Buoy is a home and lifestyle brand pioneered by British designer and illustrator Bert Fowler. In his words: “It captures the quintessential charm of a life lived and loved on the Devon coast.” I fell in love with the products as soon as I saw them and I’m sure you will too. So let’s find out more about Bert and his lovely new brand. Read More…

Experiments in Styling with Tesco

Tesco SS14 Collection Monochrome Bedroom

As you all know, nobody loves well designed, unique products for the home more than me. Only problem is that they don’t come cheap, and nor should they when you consider all the hard work, creativity and years of experience that go into making them. But when money is tight, like it is for me right now, (having just bought our first flat at the end of last year and then with the arrival of our gorgeous little angel Matylda) these designer goods can become somewhat out of reach and we are forced to look for cheaper alternatives. Luckily there are some really great homeware ranges coming onto the market right now and from some unlikely players. You might have noticed that I have done a few posts recently about the SS14 collections that have been launched by supermarkets. Back in January I featured both Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s, but it seems that they are not the only supermarkets that have upped their game in the style stakes when it comes to homeware.

I was recently contacted by the team at Tesco asking if I would be interested in receiving a sample of products from their relaunched homeware offering by the new design team under the direction of Steven Rowe, to try out and style up for my blog. I must admit I was a little skeptical at first as Tesco isn’t normally the first place that springs to mind when I think of designer homeware. But having had a good look at the range online, I have to admit I was very pleasantly surprised. The products were grouped into a number of trends, namely couture, monochrome, Moroccan, seaside and sherbet crush. Many of the products were very striking and certainly not something I would expect to see down my local supermarket. And even more surprising was the fact that all these items remained in the price range I would expect from my local supermarket. This filled me with a great sense of optimism knowing that it is possible to get a designer look at affordable high street prices. Read More…

Interview: Surface Pattern Designer Lindsey Lang

  • Designer Lindsey Lang
  • Designer Lindsey Lang has been on my radar for some time but it wasn’t until she recently launched her new range of encaustic floor and wall tiles that I really felt compelled to interview her here on the blog. Granted I loved her colourful, geometric cushions and kitchenware collections but as you all know nothing sends my heart racing quicker than wallcoverings and flooring. I wanted to find out how Lindsey got to where she is today, what inspires her work and what we can expect to see from her next. Here is what she had to say….
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Iittala Expands its Taika Range

Taika series by Iittala

If you are a regular reader of my blog and love design as much as I do, I think it is safe to assume that you have at least heard of Iittala, the Finnish design brand that specializes in interior design objects, tableware and cookware. Founded as a glassworks in 1881, Iittala has strong design roots in glasswares and art glass but over time, it has expanded its range from glass to include other materials, such as ceramics and metal all the while keeping true to its key philosophy of elegant and timeless design.

In 2007, Iittala launched its Taika (‘Magic’ in English) series and this has since become one of the company’s most popular series. This year it has expanded the range to feature a number of new items, including a few home interior design pieces such as a cushion and a throw.

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Experiments in Styling with Next

Next rustic industrial styling

One of the things that I really feel holds me back as a blogger is my complete and utter lack of confidence when it comes to styling and photography. Whilst many of my favourite bloggers take all their own photographs and often style their own shoots, this is not really something I have been comfortable doing as I have never believed I have the skills needed. However, this is an area I would really like to progress into and I guess practice makes perfect right?

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Interview: Richard Frost of Thread & Favour

Richard Frost of Thread & Favour

It was a few months ago when I was first contacted by Richard Frost, the founder of British-made interior accessories brand Thread & Favour. He wanted to let me in on the news that he was just about to launch his new company with a limited edition range of exquisite cushions and throws made from rare and exclusive fabrics from around the world. The Hampstead launch collection pairs Harris Tweed with Suffolk Silk to make wonderfully crafted cushion covers that are fully lined in Thread & Favour’s signature turquoise cotton sateen lining and filled with plump duck feather pads. But the intrigue surrounding Richard’s story for me is not just restricted to the products themselves (and his beautiful branding) but extends also to the manufacturing and production process and the fact that Thread & Favour has a focus on provenance and supporting future weavers of the famous tweed. As soon as Richard told me all about Thread & Favour I couldn’t wait to find out more and dig a little deeper into inner workings of this intriguing company. Luckily Richard agreed to an interview so we could all learn more. Read More…

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