Wednesday, 12 May 2010

July Newsletter

With apologies for missing the June blog I'm just able to squeeze in a post before the end of July. Here's hoping you're enjoying the good summer weather and this month I'm looking at a couple of decorating ideas for kids rooms, super stylish taps, lighting and prototype designs for eco and space saving kitchen gadgets,

Kids' Storage
Firstly a cute idea for storage for kids' rooms. These personalised shelving units are available to order through Sez it All. The letters come in various colours so you can match them to the colour of your child's room and spell any name using up to 10 letters.
Find them at

Paper Boy Wallpaper

Still thinking about decorating kids' room there's a company called Paper Boy Wallpaper that specliases in, yes you guessed it, wallpaper for boys. Playing on the typical interests of young boys the designs feature dinasours and animals together with a paper showing you how to create shadow shapes.

Here's the witty 'Dya-think-e-saurus' design showing how to make friends and have fun with a dinasour.

And for those budding vets, the Animal Magic design shows pets' skeletons.

And 'Hand-Made' is bound to keep them entertained for hours.

Bathroom Taps

A few months ago I looked at bathroom fittings and included coloured taps showing that taps don't have to be boring or of an expected design so don't you just love this range of aviation inspired taps from the Bel Air range by Lefroy Brooks.

Holloways of Ludlow

I've recently been working on the refurbishment of a house built in 1911 and have been on the look out for modern day replacements for things like light switches, door handles and finger plates and have found that Holloways of Ludlow has usually come up trumps. They have a range of jelly mould bakelite light switches ready for wiring up for today's electrics

And old-style bell pushes

With shops in south London, Surrey and of course Ludlow you can order everything from the Holloways website if you can't make it to one of the stores.

There's a great selection of contemporary and classic lighting and here are just a few fittings that caught my eye on a recent visit to

This lovely sculptural pendant light has hand crafted porcelain overlapping 'leaves' available in four sizes with the Extra Large measuring in at an impressive 2.4 metres.

This modern chandelier by uber-fashionable designer Ross Lovegrove is called Mercury and is a ceiling fixture that places a floating group of his signature pebbles below a simple aluminium disc. The pebbles in turn reflect light off each other and bounce light between their surfaces and reflect the environment around them.

It's not all contemporary fittings at Holloways and if you're looking for more traditional designs you're likely to find them at this really useful site as well. I like this hand thrown rise and fall light from France.

Here's a classic art deco wall light ideal for use in bathrooms styled in black and white translucent glass, it's IP44 rated meaning it's suitable for zones 2 & 3 in the bathroom.

Kitchen Equipment Designs

Most dishwasher are the size of a washing machine and take up as much space. If there are just two of you or you're single then a regular sized dishwasher is just too big for 2 plates, a couple of glasses and dishes. The answer could be this table-top dishwasher that integrates into your kitchen work top. A sliding top reveals a pull-up basket and is sited next to the sink for easy plumbing and waste. It's a design by Robert Lange and is developed with the help of Bosch.

Electrolux Design Lab

Last month I reported on the upcoming launch of Electrolux's Renew steamer to refresh clothes. The Renew was a finalist in the annual Electrolux Design Lab competition and to see 2010's finalists have a look at this video on YouTube for a glimpse of what gadgets we might be using in our kitchens in the next few years

Here are my three favourites of this years finalists:

The Eco Cleaner by Ahi Andy Mohsen from Iran.

This is a portable and compact dishwasher. You can even take it out on a picnic with you.

The Dismount Washer by Lichen Guo from China,

A wall mounted washing machine with a container that you remove to insert and remove your clothes. The washing mechanism and pipes are installed into the wall meaning this is a truly space saving appliance.

The Snail, Peter Alwin, India – Micro Induction Heating

I really like this product. It's an induction heating device that you simply attach to the outside of a cup or cooking pot and the device generates heat within the vessel meaning you can use it anywhere and are not limited to standing over the stove.

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The winners will be judged at this years 100% Design exhibition.

100% Design is a favourite exhibition of mine and if you're interested in design I urge you to make a trip to Earls Court in September. It's a trade exhibition where you can see the latest and best in product design but the public are welcome to attend on the final day.

For more information and to register for a ticket go to

And finally a couple of brilliant yet odd designs to look out for

Do you live in a crowded house and suffer from lack of privacy while working? Sophie Kirkpatrick has the perfect solution for your plight; The Duplex Workspace Desk is a desk with a hood. Pull it up when you want to shut out the world and concentrate on the task in hand; pull it down when you are ready to mingle. At the moment it's still a prototype but Sophie is looking into developing the concept and is currently on the lookout for the funding and facilities to do so.

Egg Shower

The proteins in an egg can do wonders for your skin, but how about taking a shower in one? Here's the egg-shaped shaped Cocoon Shower Stall that literally cocoons you once you shut all the glass slides. The usual spa features such as a shower, bathtub, hydro massage (Jacuzzi) & mood lighting are here. It's designed by Arina Komarova

I'll be back in August with more design updates, I wish you a good few weeks in the meantime.

Best wishes and thanks for reading,