Tag Archives: chairs

A top drawer Sunday

25 Jan

So I think I might have discovered my new dream job: owning a home decor/gifts/ jewellery shop. I accept it’s probably as cut throat and tricky to get into as journalism, but going on the upbeat nature of the independent retailers picking and choosing which of the latest products to stock in their shops, at the 2011 Top Drawer trade fair (on a Sunday!), it looks like a lot of fun.

(Logo credit: Clarion Events)

The three day exhibition, which ran from 16th-18th of this month, is in part (and that’s a large part going on the fact we didn’t see her for quite a few weeks beforehand!) organised by my good friend Julia. As such I got a VIP pass to play shop for a day, ambling up and down the temporary aisles in Earls Court (in which I’m more used to manically sprinting along to try to find a decent news story for The London Book Fair Dailies we produce at The Bookseller) imagining which new designs would make the cut for “Decorate with Davies” or “Hannah’s Homewares”. Hmm, the name might need some work.

It also was a chance for me to work as a proper interior design journalist: swatting up on the S/S 11 trends and spotting some innovative (and just plain pretty) products to feature on my blog. At almost every stand there was something to add to my Consumer Cravings wish list as—perhaps fortunately— mere mortals (sans swanky shop) weren’t allowed to buy anything. Sigh.

Anyway, below are the four key trends, identified by the helpful ladies at Trend Bible, who are partners for the show that you (if you’re as obsessed with trinkets as me) will be buying into this season. Sorry the photography is a bit shoddy; I had to be a bit surreptitious as I wasn’t 100% sure I was allowed to take photos and didn’t want to embarrass Julia by being frogmarched out of the show. Turns out there were so many cheeky journos taking snaps, they had to relax their original no pics rule!

Vintage Vacation

Winter White



Vintage Vacation
: Get all nostalgic with everything from knitting and embroidery to tea parties and baking.

Winter White: Think ethereal soft whites, greys and oyster pink, but with plenty of contrasting textures:  matt and shine; rough and smooth.

Shelter: It’s ski lodge central from moose motifs to fair-isle blankets, and lots of rustic wood

Spectacle: It’s all about the weird and wonderful, inspired by folk and fairy tales, and including: birds (I believe I might have already spotted this trend), globes (yes, got one of those!) and antique lanterns.

And, here’s my pick of the designers and products I loved at the exhibition and would sell in my imaginary shop. Some tie-in to these key looks and others don’t (possibly proving I’m not as on trend as I thought!). Happy browsing…

(Image credits: retailers/designers' websites)

  1. Bag, Drift – contact for price and stockists
  2. Cushion, Anorak – £36
  3. Leather Diary, Undercover – £21.50
  4. Makeup Bag, Lisa Stickley, £18.00
  5. Silver Lantern, Lisbeth Dahl via House to Home, £49.99
  6. Scrabble Mug, Wild and Wolf via Amazon – £6.85
  7. Desk Globe, Authentics -£58.22
  8. Throw, 95% Danish via Furnish -£89
  9. Pendant, Kate Rodgers via Ella Georgia Jewellery – £75
  10. Chair, Oficina Kreativa, 349 EUR
  11. Lampshade, Lush Designs – £48
  12. Placemat, Marimekko via Heals – £16



Take a seat…it’s time to talk chairs

1 Nov

I’m trying to be good and avoid the temptations of Vogue’s Fashion Night In, so I thought I’d write my first post on interiors.

Over the last year, I have slowly but surely been developing an obsession with chairs. It is perhaps the surest sign I’m starting to get old—well that and the rapid growth of grey hairs, of course. It all began when I moved into a new pad with my boyfriend Steve last October. Our plan is to stay in the flat for quite a few years (we have a pretty nice landlord), so decking it out with new furniture and knick-knacks was all we could think about—hmm, perhaps I mean it was all I could think about. When I wasn’t sending Steve links to pictures of Orla Kiely cushions that I needed permission to spend silly amounts of £s on, I was trawling Ebay for a special chair to squeeze into the corner of our little abode.

During a trip to the very lovely, but rather pricey Les Puces market in Porte de Clignancourt, Paris, where we had to persuade ourselves not to get carried away with splashing our non-existent cash on a gorgeous vintage brown leather armchair (much like the one below), we were rather taken by the slightly more affordable Charles Eames-inspired rockers, which could be found at almost every stall (nothing like following the pack).

On the wish list: distressed vintage armchair, Gorgeous Interiors and Gardens—£495

(Photo credit: Gorgeous Interiors and Gardens)

After much price comparison, one Ebay order from Vertigo Interiors, and two days working from home later (don’t get me started on the delivery company debacle),
our lime green RAR rocker arrived. It is seen here with the aforementioned Orla Kiely cushion (which is actually an Ebay knock-off—it’s all about compromising, right?).

Eames-inspired RAR rocker chair, Vertigo Interiors—£65

Alas, my chair cravings have not been sated. It doesn’t help that I work right next door to a great furniture store, Molteni & C Dada—impressively laid out to prompt all sorts of consumer cravings (see pics below). On my wish list right now are the cream dining room chairs they have on display. They’d go perfectly with the glass table in my flat. Can’t imagine the price tag though—I have to admit I haven’t even dared go in the store.

Something else that’s caught my eye in the window is quite probably the most pointless, but adorable chair I’ve ever seen. If you thought chairs were for sitting on, think again (well unless you are the size of a doll). Check out this miniature Le Corbusier chaise longue below. I just did a quick google search to find out the price on minaturechairs.com with the idea that if I can’t have my dream chairs I can at least give a teddy bear a glamorous home. Hmm, at $444, that’s a plan I’ve quickly shelved.

Molteni & C Dada showroom, Shaftesbury Avenue

Minature magic: Le Corbusier chaise longue

Showroom style/The Bookseller's Books Editor's pet peeve: books displayed spine in!

Last up in my chair-craving post, I’d like to draw your attention to a really unusual piece—the Mariposa chair—which was designed by a friend Kate Rider, during her studies at the Edinburgh College of Art. It’s probably a bit big for my home, so I will have to keep it on the shopping list for the day I convert an old warehouse (long-term plan!).

The Kate Rider Mariposa Chair

(Photo credit: contemporist.com)

And that’s it for this bumper entry. Fashion purchases have been avoided, and now it’s time for bed.