As much as I love the balmy days of summer, I always get excited when the first hint of autumn appears in the air. There’s something special about the crisp mornings, the golden light, the shifting colours of the trees and fields… And, as the evenings grow darker and colder, I have the perfect excuse to cosy up with candles, blankets and a crackling fire.
Autumn is also a wonderful time of year for relaxed gatherings with family and friends, and I love hosting dinner parties that make the most of all the delicious harvest produce. I always dress the table for the season, and this year I’ve had fun styling our dining room with some of the new autumn arrivals from Rose & Grey. It’s one of my go-to places for stylish homeware and furniture, and its latest range brings together lots of Scandinavian-influenced textures and muted colours that are right up my street.
I always love finding new places where I can indulge in my addiction to Scandinavian design, and my latest discovery is Nordic Kind.
Based in the Swedish city of Malmö, Nordic Kind started life as the Nordic Design Collective, an online marketplace for emerging Scandinavian creatives. It now has a new name and a new website, but the focus remains squarely on showcasing the best of Nordic design to an international audience.
The site is beautifully designed and easy to use, with a carefully selected range that covers everything from photography prints to lighting, tableware to jewellery – all created by small enterprises and chosen because they reflect the Scandinavian ethos of finding beauty in simplicity. But what I like most about Nordic Kind is the way it shares the story behind each piece, with a note about the designer and the techniques they use. There’s something special about knowing the inspiration and background to the things we bring into our homes, and it’s great to be able to appreciate the care and craftsmanship that goes into every item.
Here’s a look at some of the designs which caught my eye…
Today I’m combining my love of travel and design by launching a new series of posts featuring stylish places to stay in some of my favourite destinations. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now: after years working in the travel industry, I’ve come across plenty of good (and not so good!) hotels and apartments, and I’m really excited about sharing the best options for all my fellow minimalists and design addicts.
First up is beautiful, beguiling Lisbon. Tumbling down seven hillsides towards the shimmering River Tagus, it’s a city of paradoxes: charmingly old-fashioned yet innovative and creative, highly ornate yet appealingly shabby. Sleek shops sit next to crumbling mansions, cutting-edge restaurants by tatty neighbourhood cafés, and rickety yellow trams rattle along the cobbled streets much like they have done since the 1900s.
Here are my top picks for where to stay when in town…
The latest new-season collection to grab my attention comes from Danish brand Menu, which works with various international designers to produce uncomplicated yet sophisticated pieces for everyday living. Called ‘Portraits’, its new range blends Scandinavian minimalism with elegant shapes and decadent materials, and it’s one of my favourite autumn-winter 2017 launches so far.
I’ve been sharing some of my favourite new-season collections over the last couple of weeks, and there are still a few more to come. But there have also been plenty of exciting individual product launches during the past month or two, so here’s a round-up of some that have grabbed my attention…
I’m starting the week by sharing another discovery from the recent ‘Sunny Design Days’ tour of Spain, organised by the Spanish Design Association (RED).
For me, one of the highlights of the trip was a visit to Gandia Blasco, a family-run company founded in the small Valencian town of Ontinyent in 1941. Originally a blanket manufacturer, it was reinvented in the 1980s by current president José A. Gandía-Blasco, who launched a new series of rugs under the sub-brand GAN. It expanded again in 2000 when outdoor furniture joined the range, and has since become a market leader in alfresco living and home textiles.
I have another new-season collection to share with you today, and it’s from a Danish designer whose work hasn’t featured on These Four Walls before: Kristina Dam.
Originally a graphic designer and architect, Kristina launched her Copenhagen-based design studio in 2012. Her first collection, a series of limited-edition graphic prints, was an instant hit and she soon branched out into furniture and home accessories, many created in collaboration with up-and-coming and established designers.
Kristina’s products are defined by their sculptural, minimalist qualities, which blur the line between art and design, and the latest collection is no exception. It pairs striking geometric shapes with eye-catching materials such as brass, marble, oak, stone, steel and glass, and there’s a sense of elegance to every piece.
Norwegian paint company Jotun has just released its latest colour collection and the photos instantly caught my eye when they popped into my inbox a few days ago. Entitled ‘Rhythm of Life’, it encompasses 32 beautiful shades for 2018: terracotta pink, pale sage green, deep burgundy, dark petrol blue. They’re certainly bang on trend – in fact many of the new-season homeware ranges (including Ferm Living’s ‘Home Collection’ which I shared last week) feature similar palettes – but there’s a lot more to Jotun’s selection than simply following the latest fashions.
It’s a common dilemma: how to integrate technology into the home without detracting from the interior design. It’s certainly a problem I’ve faced over the years – I love listening to music and watching films, but after spending time creating calm, clutter-free rooms, I don’t want to ruin the look and feel with a tangle of ugly cables, a set of nasty black-plastic speakers or leads trailing across the floor. Luckily, there are some very stylish home-technology products that are ideal for minimalists, design enthusiasts and anyone who wants gadgets that complement their decor rather than dominating it.
Here are a few of my favourites, all of which I’ve tested myself…
We’re getting towards the end of August, which means homeware brands are beginning to release details of their autumn-winter 2017 ranges. I’ll be sharing some of my favourites over the next few weeks, starting with the ‘Home Collection’ from Danish company Ferm Living.
Named after Ferm Living’s new Copenhagen showroom, ‘The Home’, which opened its doors last week, the collection combines clean graphic lines and geometric shapes with striking autumnal shades such as deep forest green, soft pink, earthy terracotta and rust-red. There are touches of decadence, too: brass accessories, marble surfaces, tactile velvet cushions, and even a new series of velour poufs in a range of opulent colours and shapes.