Nicola Holden Designs – Contemporary Interior Designer, London.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, so I thought I would spend some time on today’s blog post looking at the affect that our homes can have on our mental health.  With humans increasingly spending up to 90% of their lives indoors, there is a growing body of scientific evidence showing that how we design our spaces has a direct impact on us psychologically and physically, and therefore on our overall health, happiness and well-being.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in awareness of how our well-being is inherently linked to many aspects of the world around us – what we eat, how much we exercise, how we factor relaxation into our daily routines, and how much sleep we get.  Yet, if you visit your GP / psychologist / therapist, how often do they talk to you about your home or work environment?

In my view, there are four main ways that we can change our homes to improve our state of wellbeing.

  1. Eliminate Clutter

Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up has climbed bestseller lists all over the world as people have embraced the awareness that clutter has a negative effect on our state of mind.  In fact, I have heard it said that being surrounded by clutter is as stressful to us as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!  So, it goes without saying that the first thing we should do, when it comes to making improvements to our homes, is to de-clutter. 

One way to help achieve this is to have adequate storage for the possessions that we chose to hold on to.  Storage is the one thing that my clients consistently ask for as it is often distinctly lacking in homes, both new and old.  Storage ranges from having a stylish box on your coffee table to hide those ugly TV remotes, to a large bank of built-in cupboards, and everything in between!

  1. Introduce Elements of Nature

I have talked before about the importance of using biophilic design in our homes as a connection with nature has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being and speed up healing.

  1. Use Colour

Colour is an incredibly powerful tool to use in our homes.  As Karen Haller, author of The Little Book of Colour says, colour “… communicates feeling, creates a mood, affects our energy, our appetites, our sleep, and has a profound effect on our emotional wellbeing and on the behaviours of everyone we live with.”  

Colour has the power to positively support us emotionally, yet so often we chose to decorate with so called ‘neutral’ colours on behalf of the future buyer of our home, or because of what our friends and family will think if we don’t.  This results in us living in places we don’t really like, in the hope that others will.

However, it’s important to note that when choosing our colours, we need to be mindful to choose the right colour for how we want the space to feel, as well as picking the right shade for our own personalities. 

For example, red invokes a physical response – energy, excitement and passion.  Therefore you might want to use it (sparingly) in an adult’s bedroom, but not so much in a child’s bedroom or in a meditation space.  Yellow stimulates an emotional response – happiness, optimism and confidence, however too much yellow, or using the wrong tone, will lead to us feeling irritable and anxious.  Yellow should be avoided in bedrooms, but is great for hallways where it will inject a burst of sunshine and warmth.  And the so called neutral beige and grey that so many of us surround ourselves with – well, it can become heavy and draining, and make you feel stuck, non-committal and sluggish!

  1. Add Personality

This is the final item that really turns a house into a home.  Stamping our own mark on our space restores our equilibrium in this world, reminds us of our journey through life, and inspires us.

Bringing personality into our homes involves layering in pattern and texture, adding in sparkle with metallic objects, and displaying art, decorative items and collections.  It is about choosing furnishings that play with scale or proportion, and adding in items with quirky, offbeat designs.  It’s the little things that make you smile.

Your home should always tell your unique story.

With these four tips, you can transform you space into one that nurtures you psychologically and physically, contributing to your overall health, happiness and well-being.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
Maya Angelou



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Colour is a major element when it comes to designing our homes for well-being.  Colour imbues a space with energy, and the more energy we have, the more we are able to create, to be productive, and to engage with the world around us.  Think about the sort of things that make you smile.  That makes you pick up your camera and take a picture.  For me it is definitely brightly coloured objects – flowers, food, candy coloured houses and spectacular sunsets.  Colour literally pulls joy to the surface.

As Ingrid Lee Fettell says in her book Joyful, “Bright colour operates like a stimulant, a shot of caffeine for the eyes.  It stirs us out of complacency.”

According to Lee Fettell, in 1810 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote that “savage nations, uneducated people, and children have a great predilection for vivid colours,” but that “people of refinement … seem inclined to banish them altogether from their presence.”  This mind-set has led us to believe that colour is a bad thing!  How sad is that?  When all around us, we’re surrounded by the vivid colours that nature paints, and yet too afraid to bring it into our homes.

I have previously blogged about getting colour inspirations from nature, and so this week I was delighted to receive Farrow & Ball’s new colour card – a collection of 16 colours in collaboration with the Natural History Museum.

Image © Farrow & Ball

Around 200 years ago, in the days before photography existed, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours was published.  This book recorded in painstaking detail the exact hues and corresponding parts of animals, vegetables and minerals from across the natural world.  It became a treasured resource for scientists and artists alike, and was an indispensable tool for Charles Darwin, as he recorded his findings from the 1831–36 voyage of HMS Beagle.

Emerald Green

Working with the Natural History Museum, where a copy of this rare book sits, Farrow & Ball have developed their 16 new colours.

Broccoli Brown

For example, Broccoli Brown is the head of a Black-headed Gull and the mineral Zircon.  Ultramarine Blue is the upper side of the wings of the small blue Heath butterfly, the plant Borrage and the mineral Lapis Lazuli.  Emerald green is the beauty spot on the wing of a Teal Drake and also the colour of the mineral Emerald.

Ultramarine Blue

And of course, being a lover of nature, it’s good to know that all Farrow & Ball’s paints are eco-friendly water based paints, which was also a paramount factor for the Natural History museum entering into this collaboration

You can see the full collection of colours here.  Let me know what your favourite colour is from the collection?

“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.”
Wassily Kandinsky

Biophilic design is increasingly becoming the buzz word of the moment, but what exactly is it?  The term Biophilia refers to our innate biological connection with nature.  It helps explain why crackling fires and crashing waves captivate us; why a garden view can enhance our creativity; why shadows instil fascination and fear; and why animal companionship has restorative, healing effects.

But why is this important?  The answer to that question is because humans are now spending around 90% of our time indoors.  And as we become more urbanised and depend more on technology, we are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature.  We exist in highly controlled spaces, with even lighting, a constant temperature, and straight lines everywhere.  But if you think about it, this is not how nature operates.  In the natural world, the light levels change throughout the day.  Shadows move around.  There are breezes, and birdsong, and not a straight line in sight! 

Biophilic design has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being and speed up healing.  And it is essential for providing people with healthy places in which to live and work. 

So how can we bring nature into our spaces?  And is there more to biophilic design than simply adding pot plants to your home?

One of the strongest aspects of biophilic design is having a visual connection with nature.  And yes, pot plants or a green wall are a part of this, but so is a water feature / aquarium, artwork depicting nature scenes, and ensuring that your furniture is laid out so as not to impede visual access to nature through the window.

Two other important aspects of biophilic design are those of Prospect and Refuge.  Prospect ensures that we have an unimpeded view over a distance, for surveillance and planning, while Refuge gives us a place for withdrawal from the environmental conditions and offers us protection.  Think of a cave man standing at the entrance to his cave, or Refuge, and surveying the surrounding countryside, or Prospect.  Our homes should include open plan layouts, balconies and landings where we can stand and survey or using transparent materials so as not to close off our views.  But these should also be balanced with intimate refuge spaces – a snug, or a window seat – where we go to relax or meditate, to read or to think.

Other ways of bringing nature into our spaces include:

  • Air movements, nature sounds and scents;
  • A combination of highly textured, diffused and natural (leather, stone, bronze, wood, etc) materials;
  • Using lighting to create pools of light, shadows and dappled light all of which can be changed throughout the day;
  • Architectural, furniture and furnishings detailing with forms and patterns suggestive in shape of a living organism;
  • A combination of complexity and order to create spaces that are engaging and information-rich – a balance between boring and overwhelming;
  • Adding a sense of mystery that entices people into our spaces.

As our world becomes ever more urbanised, the need for our designs to reconnect people to an experience of nature becomes ever more important.  For our health and well-being, biophilic design is not a luxury, it is a necessity.  If we want to create homes that are inspirational, restorative and healthy, this needs to be considered during the planning stages of building or renovating our homes, not as an added after thought once everything is complete.

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Chromophobia n. an abnormal fear of colours

Last night I was honoured to attend the launch party for the latest gem to hit the bookstores – Karen Haller’s The Little Book of Colour – How to use the Psychology of Colour to Transform your Life.  It’s about time that we all started to learn more about colour, and the effect that it has on our lives.

© Karen Haller

There is nowhere that colour doesn’t exist.  We are constantly influenced by it, from the moment we open our eyes in the morning to when we go to bed at night.  Although we see colour with our eyes, each different wavelength of coloured light stimulates a distinct part of our physical being, evoking a specific physiological response, which in turn produces a psychological reaction.

On top of that, we don’t just respond to specific, individual colours, but to all the colours present in our field of vision.  That is why it is important to achieve balance of colour within a scheme – cool and warm, contraction and expansion, sedation and stimulus, yin and yang.  A home without balance can appear wonderful but, for some reason that you can’t put your finger on, it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right, and so does not support happiness and harmony.

But there is more to colour than merely hue (the attribute of colour which enables us to classify it as red, blue, etc).  Our colour personalities echo the patterns and natural order of the seasons, and so it is important to choose colours that match your own tonal family – spring, summer, autumn or winter.  Surrounding yourself with colours at odds with your own natural pattern is, in the long run, stressful.

I know that there has been a recent swing away from grey, and towards more colour in interiors, but often I find that clients don’t quite know what to do with colour.  They’re scared that they will get it wrong, chromophobia creeps in, and so they tend to avoid it all together and play it ‘safe’ with shades of grey or beige.

But these neutral colour schemes seldom bring us joy – that feeling of great pleasure and happiness!  And without joy, we may be surviving, but we are not thriving. If our surroundings lack energy and harmony, then no matter how beautiful our homes might be, they will not make us feel truly alive. The drive toward joy is synonymous with the drive for life.

It is vital that we understand our individual colour preferences to enable us to create homes with balance and harmony, and to design more happiness into our world.

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A new year is often the start of new beginnings and so making small changes to your life that will improve your happiness are really important. I am not big on making new year’s resolutions, but I do have a few intentions for 2019.

2018 was a good year, but it did also have its fair share of challenges for me.  But, as with the Christmas decorations, it is time to put 2018 behind me, and to look forward to what 2019 has to offer.

I started new year’s day this year with a walk around my local common, and then had a look through my Pinterest board of inspiring words and quotes that I keep, and the one quote that jumped out at me to be my motto for this year is “Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh crap, she’s up!””  I think that sums up all of the other quotes about hard times and difficult roads, and being brave, and finding joy.

So, how do I see 2019 panning out in order to achieve this:

  1. To Finish Decorating my House

For the past few years I have slowly been working on my own house renovations, and I have been doing the majority of this work myself.  My wonderful husband is not at all DIY minded, so he keeps me fed and watered – which is a very important job!  But, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel of all of this hard work, and then I will get the house photographed so that you can all have a nose around.

  1. Nurture my Creativity

I plan to spend more time this year nurturing my creativity.  It is very easy, when I’m so busy with other things (ie. working on the house), to neglect this activity.  However, my holiday to India towards the end of last year reinforced just how rejuvenating I find surrounding myself with art and design. 

  1. Find More Joy

I have recently bought the book ‘Joyful’ by Ingrid Fetell Lee – having been inspired by watching a TED talk she did.  I plan to read this book, and to increase the joy aspect of my life and my home.  And then apply this to my client work too.  I’m sure most of could do with a little more happiness in our lives!

  1. Look After my Wellbeing

I am going to continue on the path that I started last year of improving my health through eating better, exercising more and maybe even learning how to relax!  Although that last word will be a lot easier to achieve once the first of these four intentions have been accomplished!!

  1. Reignite a Passion

Last year the work that I do as a trustee for Makomborero, a charity that supports Zimbabwean children through their A-levels and beyond, took a bit of a back seat as I struggled to juggle everything else happening in my life.  This year I would like to find renewed energy for the amazing work that this charity is doing in transforming lives and bringing hope to some of Zimbabwe’s poorest children.

I also plan to get back to being more active on this blog, so if there is anything you’d like advice or information on, please do let me know.  I am still working on the plans for this blog, so I will try to slot your requests in where I can.

So that’s me in a nutshell!  What resolutions / intentions do you have for 2019?  I’d love to hear from you.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
Elon Musk

Before I talk about colour inspirations from nature, I just wanted to quickly inform you of the updates we’ve made to our data policy. On 25th May 25 2018 the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation went into effect, and we are taking this opportunity to inform you of how we use your data. If you are reading this blog as a newsletter, then this is something which you have signed up to. We do not share your contact information with any third parties. If you would like to continue receiving Nicola Holden Designs newsletter, you don’t need to do anything. You will continue to be subscribed to our newsletter, and we will store your email address on file. If you do not want to remain a subscriber, please click to unsubscribe below.

Now, onto the subject of this newsletter! I was recently interviewed by SW Resident magazine, and one question that the journalist asked me is ‘where do I get my inspiration from’? I happened to mention that I am an avid birdwatcher, and I love taking note of the colour combinations of birds’ feathers. So, I thought I’d share with you here some of those colour combinations from trips to Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica that I went on a few years ago. The colours seem particularly suitable in light of the tropical weather we’re currently having in London at the moment!

First up is this Blue-grey Tanager. At first sight this colour combination is fairly monochromatic, but on closer inspection there are accents of violet and a bright cyan blue that lift the otherwise cool, calming colours of this scheme.

Next up is this rather cool Keel-billed Toucan. Its body is predominately quite a severe black and yellow, but its bill is a rather colourful combination of lime green, petrol blue, burnt orange and a deep plum! It is these added colours that bring a playful element to this otherwise very stark colour scheme.

At first glance this Scarlet Macaw is a blend of four simple primary colours – red, yellow, blue and green. However, on closer inspection there are different hues of these colours in the feathers, adding depth to this colour combination.

And finally, this stunning little Rufous-tailed Jacamar! This is a pretty good example of a split-complimentary colour scheme, combining the harmonious effect of adjacent colours on the colour wheel (blues and greens) with the contrasting effect of the browny-orange colours situated on the opposite side. The white on the throat of the bird adds an unexpected punch into the mix!

Would you use any of these colour schemes in your home? And if yes, which room would you put it in? I love to hear your thoughts!

“There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.”
Edouard Manet

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I know, I know, it is a VERY long time since my last blog post. Let’s just say that 2017 was not my best year ever, and leave it at that. Because 2018 is here, and even though we’re fast approaching half way through this year, it is proving to be a good year – especially now that the UK seems to have finally shaken off winter, and the days are warming.

I had such fun yesterday visiting the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead. I was there with clients, but I always come away from art exhibitions feeling so inspired by all of the creativity I see at these shows! I dream of turning my home into an art gallery, and surrounding myself with beautiful pieces! Sadly, my budget doesn’t quite stretch to that currently!! So instead I satisfy myself with looking…

So without further ado, here are my fifteen favourite pieces from the day:

Did you visit the show? What was your favourite piece?

“Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”
Claude Monet

100% Design tends to be where the larger companies hang out, and there are light switches, staircases and pocket doors, surface finishes and office furniture on offer. However, it is still worth a visit as you never know what you might find nestled in amongst these stands.

Ethnicraft furniture is all about functionality, simplicity and quality. Wood is infinitely renewable, and Ethnicraft consider the consequences of their designs on the environment. I love the contemporary timelessness of their designs.

Ethnicraft

I have been keeping an eye out for flooring for my new living room, and was drawn to these metallic-effect tiles from Porcelain Tiles. They come in three colours and various sizes, including large format (1.5x3m), and the overall effect is simply beautiful!

Porcelain Tiles

Keeping to the theme of tiles, Antolini had the most spectacular stand at the show with these gorgeous marble tiles inlaid with brass strips – beautiful!

Antolini

If the beautifully decorated basins I spied at Decorex are not your cup of tea, you might prefer these concrete basins from Kast Concrete Basins. Kast have developed a wide range with customisable options for size, colour and shape.

Kast Concrete Basins

Industville offer a fantastic range of vintage retro antique industrial lighting and furniture, and I am currently specifying several of their lights for a commercial project that I am working on.

Industville

Light switches don’t have to be boring white. They don’t even have to be chrome. Look at these little beauties from Focus SB! It’s these sorts of details that can make or break an interior design project. Mind you, I’m glad I’m not the decorator or electrician when it comes to these sort of switches!

Focus SB

I spotted quite a lot of South African design as I walked around the show, although most of it was gathered together on the South Africa stand. A couple of the exhibitors there included Studio 19, which had some interesting lighting and home décor pieces, and Aboda, whose gilded tableware and unique porcelain items caught my eye.

South Africa Pavilion

Another South African product that caught my eye were the handwoven rugs from Coral & Hive. Their range of rugs includes cotton, mohair and karakul wool.

Coral & Hive

Andrew Dominic is originally from Devon, but now creates simple yet beautiful pieces of furniture from his workshop in Cape Town – lucky him! I love the design of this server that features a playful mosaic of opposing angles that toy with light and shadows.

Andrew Dominic

How about these giant ceramic and brass insects by Mambo Unlimited Ideas? Their collection includes ants, beetles, praying mantis, rhinoceros beetles and crickets. One of these is definitely on my wishlist!

Mambo Unlimited Ideas

Next door to 100% Design was a new show, LuxuryMade – a collection of exhibitors all trying to answer the question of ‘What is luxury’. Held in Olympia’s Pillar Halls, many of the exhibitors were companies that I am already familiar with, but some did stand out from the crowd.

So, whilst we’ve got our quirky hats on, how about Emma J Shipley’s cushions? Inspired by the South African plains, her cushions are printed on a cotton and silk blend, and are perfect for adding some jungle exoticism to your home!

Emma J Shipley

But, possibly the best discovery of all at Luxury Made is that this beautiful wallpaper from Calico is now available in the UK! Hip hip horrah!

Calico

Well, that’s it from me for the London Design Festival. Now just to put all these brochures into my product library and tidy up my office. I promise not to bombard you all with such regular posts for a while, and hope to get back to my usual schedule of one or two posts a month. Until then…

Image credits from respective companies.

Also part of the London Design Festival this year were Design Junction, at its new home in Kings Cross, and The London Design Fair, on the other side of town at the Old Truman Brewery. My day started early, with a breakfast reception at Design Junction. It was a beautiful, crisp, sunny day as I walked from Kings Cross station.

Design Junction was made up of two main sections, Cubitt House, with its spectacular facade designed by architectural firm Satellite Architects alongside Icons of Denmark, and The Canopy. Cubitt House was the place to be for cutting-edge furniture, lighting and accessories, whist The Canopy was a pop-up venue for 70 luxury retail brands selling everything from fashion accessories to technology, textiles and stationery to ceramics.

Kicking off my highlights from Design Junction is well-lit, a new brand of LED lighting that promises no compromises to the quality of light and ambiance in your home. In fact, they are so confident about their products that they give you an entire year to change your mind and get your money back!

well-lit

Still on the subject of lighting, I came across these outdoor oil lamps from Norwegian company, Northern Lighting. Inspired by a field of tall these lamps are available as a table lamp, a floor lamp or a lawn light. So, for those who appreciate ‘living light’, this is a good and flexible solution.

Northern Lighting

Bethan Grey was exhibiting a stunning now collaboration with Mohamad Reza Shamsian, an Iranian artist renowned for merging traditional craft with modern, elegant and contemporary design to create a truly unique and timeless aesthetic. The result is truly beautiful – solid brass and paua shell inlays into coloured solid wood and maple veneers.

Bethan Grey x Shamsian

I was drawn to the texture and patterns in Cavalcanti’s range of contemporary woven rugs, made by hand using pure New Zealand wool. These flatweaves are very hardwearing and can withstand heavy traffic areas such as corridors and staircases, as well as making great loose lay rugs.

Cavalcanti

Floor_Story were exhibiting these stunning rugs made in Pakistan. The rugs are all hand woven in cotton and wool before being washed, dried and then embroidered with around half a million stitches.

Floor_Story

My magpie eye picked up on the exquisite trays from Notre Monde! Their trays, mirrors and furniture have all been made using a mix of traditional techniques and global ideas, and each piece is one-of-a-kind.

Notre Monde

Then, after a relaxed lunch enjoying the sunshine by the canal, it was off to The London Design Fair, featuring Tent, Superbrands and the British Craft Pavilion. This rabbit warren of a venue features a treasure trove of international exhibitors, designers and brands, and is always worth a look.

Kicking off on the international front I came across Canadian company Norquay Co. whose northern heritage and canoeist lifestyle has inspired their collection of artisan painted canoe paddles. These would be a fun piece of art to add to your walls.

Norquay

Staying on the other side of the Atlantic is Bend Goods, a Los Angeles based design and manufacturing company. Bend make a range of products that are functional yet sculptural and playful.

Bend Goods

Heading west from LA is Australian brand Totem Road, a sustainable furniture company, dedicated to bringing you on-trend, timeless pieces without any hidden costs to the environment. Their solid oak furniture combines contemporary mid-century design with Scandinavian influences to create pieces that are designed to last a lifetime.

Totem Road

Next up is Indian brand Syzygy, who were exhibiting their debut collection of solid brass & copper accessories. I love the contemporary form on these pieces!

Syzygy

I was particularly drawn to the colourful stand by Taxi Fabric, which started out as a project to turn Mumbai taxi seat covers into canvases, creating an outlet for artists to channel their talent as well as enhancing the everyday travel experience of thousands of people in that crowded city. I love the playful designs and bright colours of these fabrics!

Taxi Fabric

3rd Culture’s stand also caught my eye for its colourful products. This Istanbul-based store showcases a collection of unique furniture, photography that is “Inspired by the World, Created in Istanbul”.

3rd Culture

And finally, we’re back in the UK with these beautiful vessels from Forest + Found. This sustainable craft and design partnership places an emphasis on material and process, working with traditional craft methods to produce contemporary wooden objects and hand stitched textiles. From sourcing wood and dye plants in the forest, to each mark of the hand on an object, their work endeavours to tell a story.

Forest + Found

So there you have it – my highlights from Design Junction and The London Design Fair. Does anything here catch your eye? I’d love to hear from you.

Image credits from respective companies.

The end of last month saw a frantic week of activity surrounding the London Design Festival. Usually the important trade shows at this time of the year take place over two weeks, but for some reason this year everything happened during the course of one week! It was a busy week!!

So, before time runs away with me too much, I thought I would give you all a quick run through of my highlights from that week, starting off with Decorex. This is my all time favourite show for the quality of the products on display. It is held at Syon Park, and seems to be getting bigger and bigger each year.

So, without further ado, here are my highlights from this year’s show…

I have been a huge fan of A Rum Fellow ever since I first came across their work in the damp surrounds of the House of Detention during Clerkenwell Design Week a few years ago. The duo, Caroline Lindsell and Dylan O’Shea , were awarded the much coveted prize for best new product launch at this year’s show. Caroline and Dylan travel the globe in search of the wonderful and unique, introducing collections inspired by an explored country, taking in that region’s finest traditional design and translating it into their own uncommon style. They have a firm belief that beautiful design can be a force for positive change by working direct and with weaving cooperatives and social enterprises.

A Rum Fellow

Naomi Paul’s beautifully crocheted lampshades caught my eye. Her designs are born out of childhood on a farm in Sussex surrounded by nature and craftsmen. All her pendants are handcrafted in their studio in East London.

Naomi Paul

The unusual finishes on Tamsin van Essen’s porcelain caught my eye. Her designs involve embedding and partially obscuring baroque decorative elements within Parian porcelain.

Tamsin van Essen

Carola van Dyke’s textile taxidermy has caught my attention before, but this year she has launch an African collection for Decorex. Carola is an artist with experience in illustration, fashion, art and design, and her work draws on her passion for textures, mismatches and the contrasts of colours, textures and layers, creating works that are quirky, intricate, and with a sense of humour!

Carola van Dyke

Whilst on the subject of taxidermy, I was captivated by French company Design et Nature who sell real taxidermy, made from zoo animals that have died, or butterflies that are bred specifically. They had some ethereal displays of dyed pigeons that Damien Hirst I’m sure would admire!

Design et Nature

Seeking out beautiful things at the show, I couldn’t help but be drawn in by The London Basin Company’s stunning designs! Founded by mother and daughter, Anna & Nathalie, they have created a collection of beautifully decorated basins that would transform your bathroom from bland to spectacular.

London Basin Co

I was totally blown away by the light installation at Tangent designed by Hideki Yoshimoto and Yoshinaka Ono. Inaho is inspired by golden ears of rice swaying in the wind. Light from LEDs is cast in dots, reminiscent of paddy rice, through perforated tubes attached to narrow stems. Human-detection sensors, embedded in the base of the installation, cause the stems to sway as a person passes by. Wow!

Tangent

I always love products with a good story, and that is certainly what is behind the Newton Paisley wallpaper and fabric designs. Founder Susy Paisley is a conservation biologist, artist and textile designer. Her designs tell stories of neglected and endangered species, and contribute towards the preservation of critical wild habitat. Collaborating with the World Land Trust, for every metre of fabric sold, 100 m2 of wild habitat will be preserved.

Newton Paisley

The new Bolle lamp, designed by the Anglo-Italian team Giopato & Coombes, and made from hand blown glass, is inspired by the lightness of soap bubbles. And that is exactly what it does look like!

Giopato & Coombes

The picture of this coffee table by Method fails to convey the intricacy of the carving on it, and the difference between the textures of the frogs and the water lilies. This particular piece took Method’s creative director and co-founder, Callum Robinson, a month to create, and it is a truly beautiful and unique piece!

Method

I have blogged about Kaia’s beautiful lighting before, but this year they excelled themselves with their new Ora collection. I can see this beautifully sculptural piece hanging above a dining table, and I want one!

Kaia

And finally, something for outdoors. A Place In The Garden was exhibiting this contemporary water feature. It is completely self-contained, so does not require a water supply to the feature. I only wish that I had discovered this water feature before installing the pond in my own garden!

A Place in the Garden

Well, that’s it for Decorex 2016. I’ll be back with another post soon.

Image credits from respective companies. The Method table © Graeme Hunter Pictures.