How to Choose the Correct Kitchen Work Surface

Ohio - kitchen work surface

When we embarked on our kitchen makeover, one of our biggest decisions was what kitchen work surface to have. We didn’t do a complete remodel, we were simply making a few changes to create a space that worked better for us, had more storage and was a lot brighter. One of my biggest bugbears was the dark laminate worktop. It made the whole room a lot darker as it seemed to absorb all available day light in the room. So that had to go. As this wasn’t the kitchen of our dreams and there is a chance we may move house in the coming years, we decided not to splash out on the worktop but to go for something more modest. We ended up choosing a laminate worktop in white with a wood trim and I’m happy to say we love it and it has transformed the look of the whole room. And it was on budget too.

But if you are thinking about installing a whole new kitchen, then the choice of kitchen work surface that is available today can be quite overwhelming. There are just so many materials on the market now, making the decision a lot more difficult. But the kitchen work surface is an integral part of the kitchen so choosing the right one is absolutely essential. In this post I’ll be looking at some of the considerations you need to make before you commit to a new kitchen work surface. Read More…

Peel & Stick +Timber Boards for Walls

+TIMBER peel and stick wooden panels in Cloud Grey

Living somewhere that is packed full of character is perhaps the dream for many of us, but not necessarily the reality. Anyone who lives in a new build will know that the developers don’t go out of their way to incorporate characterful features into the houses that they build. This can also be said for many people who rent and are subjected to large expanses of non-descript magnolia walls. Unable to even hang pictures in some cases, renters are often left living in homes that really lack that personal touch or any kind of statement features.

There has been a large movement in recent years towards trying to help renters personalise their space in a way that is temporary and will not lead to aggravating landlords who don’t want their property changed or damaged in any way. Remember this book by Joanna Thornhill? There are some really great ideas and products out there that allow us to add a unique feel to our homes, but in a less permanent manner. The latest product that I have discovered is +TIMBER, an innovative new peel and stick system that allows you to stick timber boards onto the wall or ceiling.

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Lovely Living with Loaf

Ceramics by Loaf

I was recently sent the new Loaf catalogue and I must say I was bowled over by the beauty that lay inside it. Loaf wasn’t really a company that had been on my radar until now and I think that’s because it was originally launched back in 2008 as The Sleep Room and focused solely on beds. But due to the huge success and rapid growth that the company experienced, it decided to branch out into other rooms in the house. Obviously the name The Sleep Room was no longer appropriate when they would also be selling kitchen tables and sofas, so a new name was needed and in 2012 The Sleep Room became Loaf. For whatever reason, I hadn’t really taken notice of the developments that were occurring and it wasn’t until the catalogue arrived in the post that I sat up and realised exactly how much had changed. Loaf now stocks an array of beautiful products that I couldn’t wait to share with you. Read More…

Currently Coveting: Bird by Splinter Designs

Bird by Splinter Designs

Today will just be a quick post as I am still on holiday in Poland with my husband. I am trying not to work, which is a challenge, but I couldn’t resist sharing this with you. These cute little decorative birds are just adorable and I love the pop of colour that features on the underside of each bird. The are produced by Splinter Designs, a British Design Studio founded in 2005 by designer maker Jacob Pugh. Jacob’s shop stocks a range of beautiful products that combine contemporary design and traditional craft skills, all handmade in the UK. Bird, which is available in sycamore wood or the darker walnut wood, is my favourite product and I think that one of these little fellows would look just perfect on my mantle piece! What about you guys? Would they make it onto your wishlist? Read More…

Globally-Inspired Wallpaper by Andrew Martin

Lumberjack Wallpaper by Andrew Martin

Lumberjack | Image: Andrew Martin International

When I was at Decorex last month, one of the stands that really stood out to me was that of Andrew Martin who had obviously gone to great lengths to create a stand that looked like it had just travelled light years from another galaxy to take part in the show. Stepping through the doors (yes this stand had doors…well sort of) you were immediately transported aboard a vessel similar to the Star Ship Enterprise. It was rather surreal and I’m afraid to say that I was so absorbed in the magnificent stand that I actually came away having no idea what Andrew Martin did. I’m so pleased that I looked into it when I got home though as I have discovered that the company produces the most amazing wallpaper. They are brilliant aren’t they? I love the imitation wood papers and that Regent Oak Wallpaper would look just magnificent in a home library. I’d love to hear what you all think so please do let me know. Which one is your favourite?

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Home Comforts range from John Lewis

Home Comforts range from John Lewis A/W 2012

The John Lewis Home Studio team recently announced three key home furnishing trends for autumn/winter 2012. My favourite of these trends is the Home Comforts range, which sees nostalgic colours and shapes from bygone eras bringing warmth and cheer to home interiors. What makes the range so appealing is that the products feel familiar and cosy due to the materials used and the textures that have been chosen. I rather think they have quite an industrial feel to them maybe combined with a homely Nordic influence.

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Interview: Nico Yektai

Nico Yektai at work

Nico Yektai at work in his studio in the Hamptons

Designer Nico Yektai has been on my radar for a long time now and I really love all the unique and quirky pieces that he makes. His work is unlike anybody else’s I have come across and I have long wanted to find out more about him, his inspiration, design philosophy and manufacturing processes. I had the pleasure of running into him at The Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York as part of BlogTourNYC. Here, I was not only able to meet him in person, but also to get a good look at, and feel of, his beautiful creations. He really was the nicest person and I was in awe of the fantastic skill and craftsmanship that goes into every one of his sculptural pieces. Lucky for us, he agreed to answer some questions for us so we can get a little bit of an insight into the man behind these stunning designs.

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Pinspiration : Delightful Diningroom Inspiration

What was meant to be a regular weekly feature here on the blog, Pinspiration has suffered over the past few weeks due to my extremely busy schedule. But I am making a concerted effort to get back to regular posts. This week I have decided to do a post inspired by my Pinterest album Diningroom Inspiration. I have been collecting these images for a while actually but it was only when looking today that I noticed that there is a pattern to the images I have pinned. The majority of them seem to be rooms that contain a lot of white and a lot of wood.

Follow The Design Sheppard’s board Diningroom Inspiration on Pinterest.

Mansouri Furniture Collection

Greta Ona Table by Elite from the Mansouri Collection

The  Dcube Group of Companies is based in Vancouver/Burnaby, BC, Canada and is overseen by Mehran Mansouri. From its main business of high-end hotel architectural millwork, the company has expanded into the development of furniture and last year presented the Mansouri Collection 2010. 

Boloria Chair from the Mansouri Collection

The idea behind the Mansouri Collection 2010 was a desire to be 100% green. This line of products is therefore made in the most efficient way possible using Mansouri’s engineering skills as a basis. The furniture is made from bamboo and is therefore light, yet sturdy.

Colias Chair from the Mansouri Collection


Hours of calculation have resulted in precisely designed objects with perfect pressure points that stabilize the products. However, the aesthetics have not in any way been compromised and the unique look of the furniture gives it a sculptural, artistic feel, distinguishing it from most other furniture on the market today.


Inachis Chair from the Mansouri Collection


The table is constructed using advanced carpentry, which allows it to be dry-fitted using no glue or nails. Likewise, the chairs are constructed without the need for nails although a little glue is used.

Cynthia Chair from the Mansouri Collection

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