WATERFALL SILK
FEBRUARY 27TH 2014
Waterfall Silk is James Hare’s newest collection of luxurious semi-plains.  Glamorous and contemporary, it brings a subtle shimmer and tweed-like texture to curtains, blinds, bedheads and other light upholstery. 
 
Waterfall’s enticing palette of 17 colourways covers a spectrum from minimalist whites and creams through to today’s high fashion greys and rich jewel tones.   
NEW MARBLE REFECTORY TABLE
FEBRUARY 25TH 2014
Handmade in Yorkshire, Lapicida’s Marble Refectory Table brings new sophistication to ‘country industrial’.

In authentic structural style, the strong lines of the weathered English Oak base emphasise a robust construction. Set against this, the white Italian Carrara marble top is a sleekly modern statement. Hand rounded edges on the 30mm thick marble slab unite the two elements.

The Marble Refectory Table comes in three sizes: 1.8 metres, 2.4 metres (shown here) and 3 metres. All three sizes are 1 metre wide.    

The luxury stone specialists Lapicida offer a complete range of bespoke services and the Refectory Table is also available sized to order with a wide choice of stone and marble tops.
A FRESH TAKE ON STRIPES
FEBRUARY 11TH 2014
Stripes are always in fashion and now James Hare introduces Minstrel Stripe, a modern take on this perennial favourite.   Multi-coloured ribbon style stripes are woven in relief on neutral backgrounds for a breezy, easy-to-use look perfect for curtains, blinds, cushions and bedheads. 
 
Available in 5 colourways, Minstrel Stripe is part of James Hare’s Oriel Silks collection which includes matching and co-ordinating  decoratives and plains.
PRINCE OF WALES VISITS RESTORED GOTHICK CHURCH
FEBRUARY 10TH 2014
St John the Evangelist Church in Shobdon, Herefordshire is an extremely important work of Georgian architecture with a beautifully intact interior and matching furniture - an outstanding example of the ‘Strawberry Hill Gothick’ style.  
 
Sadly, the church was in urgent need of repairs when HRH The Prince of Wales visited ten years ago.  Although fundraising was underway the Prince saw for himself that the building required significantly more work than the congregation were able to raise funds for. Prince Charles kindly donated a significant sum to boost the fund raising efforts.  
 
This much needed contribution from HRH plus the involvement of The World Monuments Fund and English Heritage meant the work could proceed. Edward Bulmer, architectural historian, interior designer and natural paint expert (founder of Pots of Paint) was involved with the restoration of the interior from the outset.  
 
Last week the Prince was able to visit the church again and see for himself the major structural work completed and the fully restored and redecorated interior.  Edward was pleased to meet the Prince of Wales during his visit and discuss with him the history of the interior decoration and completion of the project.
 
Edward explained to Prince Charles that he had undertaken in-depth paint analysis of Shobdon Church and found that the church was only ever decorated using four pigments: white, black, yellow ochre and Prussian blue.  The first scheme used a stone colour throughout, but in the 19th century blues and greys were introduced leading to the most recent scheme of stony whites picked out with pale blue.  
 
Edward Bulmer recreated this beautiful scheme using colours based on Portland, Silver White and Sky Blue from his all-natural ‘Pots of Paint’ collection whose traditional formulations use only sustainably produced raw materials such as beeswax, milk casein and linseed oil. The Pots of Paint formulations allow breathability in the walls which is what this precious historic building requires to ensure that trapped moisture will not destroy interior plaster and stonework in the future.  
NEW: THE COPPER TAY
FEBRUARY 5TH 2014
The Tay, one of Drummonds’ best loved cast iron baths, is a generous double-ended design with a sweeping oval plinth. The ultimate luxury for one (or two!) bathers, it can now be ordered in Drummonds’ spectacular copper cladding…   

Skillfully applied by hand, the sheet copper is polished to a rich patina (shown here) or given an antique verdigris effect.  It’s an impressive look, combining the warmth of a classic copper bath with the durability and solidity of cast iron.  

Available to order, copper cladding is one of Drummonds’ many bespoke finishes including polished metals, handpainting and special effects.  They are perfect matches for Drummonds’ freestanding cast iron baths, each one of which takes several weeks to make using the traditional casting, shot-blasting and enamelling processes.   
ZEN AND THE ART OF BATHING
JANUARY 30TH 2014
Today’s best-looking bathrooms are very carefully planned. Asymmetric modular furniture provides architectural good looks and dedicated storage… for a Zen-like order and calm.  

Alternative Bathrooms are masters of the art, providing both the products and the expertise needed to achieve this supremely refined and elegant style.

Shown below are furniture and accessories from the Byte 2.0 Collection at Alternative Bathrooms. Simplicity of line is offset by texture; floating wooden storage units in white ash and matt lacquer finishes are contrasted with high gloss metal wall storage. Dark grey walls and a wooden floor ‘anchor’ the furniture within the space. The pure white bath and basin are both made in smooth, high-tech materials, highlighting the minimalist, modern aesthetic.
THE MARBLE FERRARI
JANUARY 28TH 2014
The luxury stone specialist Lapicida would like to propose the ultimate boy’s toy… A scale replica of your car carved from a single block of stone by the most advanced CNC machine in the world. 

A unique work of art, it represents an absolute state-of-the-art process which begins with 3D modelling of the original vehicle, be it a vintage beauty or the latest supercar.  

The 3D model is interpreted through a series of advanced software programmes: These allow the image to be fine-tuned in three dimensions and digitally sets up the CNC with the diamond drills which will carve the final piece in its every detail.   

Producing specialist works in stone for interior designers and architects worldwide, Lapicida’s North Yorkshire workshops  operate one of only three ‘Breton NC1600’ CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machines in the world. This colossal 5-axis ‘shape mill’ can accommodate blocks of stone weighing up to 25 tonnes. Linked to sophisticated imaging software, it can be programmed to carve virtually any 3D object in stone, from a cherished automobile to a facsimile of a priceless antique statue. 

Lapicida works in a wide variety of stones, marbles and semi-precious materials such as rock crystal. Typically a scaled car in marble takes in the region of 100 hours of machine time to perfect, running at a spindle speed of around 7,000 RPM. The final stage of the commission then involves several days of hand-finishing by Lapicida’s craftsmen; joining their traditional skills with the world-leading technology of the giant CNC machine… to create the ultimate model car.
 
Images show Lapicida’s 1:36 scale model of a 250 GTO Ferrari on display at Lapicida’s Kings Road showroom. Carved from a single block of Italian Arabescato marble, it measures 1.2 metres in length.  
DRUMMONDS OPEN SECOND LONDON SHOWROOM
JANUARY 22ND 2014
Luxury bathroom makers Drummonds have opened a second London showroom, taking their classic English style across town from Chelsea to Notting Hill, in the heart of the rapidly-growing design district around Westbourne Grove.
 
As part of a new creative collaboration with Drummonds, award-winning designer Christopher Jenner has created a spectacular showroom environment. An "elemental narrative” of layered forms showcases both the manufacturing heritage and the organic materials used, from cast iron to china clay, marble and glass. It’s a wholly immersive setting for a carefully curated selection of Drummonds’ showers, baths, basins, taps and accessories. Jenner is also designing Drummond’s new flagship London showroom on Kings Road, set to open in Spring 2014.
 
Drummonds’ distinctive style is refined and luxurious. Rich with white enamel, marble, polished metal and mirror glass, it is perfect for both contemporary and period settings. Drummonds manufacture all of their own products using traditional manufacturing techniques to offer bathrooms with a solidity and integrity rarely seen nowadays.   

The new Drummonds showroom is at 27 Chepstow Corner, Chepstow Place, London W2 4XE.  Open Monday to Saturday.

See the complete collection on line at the newly re-launched website.
TRUE BLUE
JANUARY 21ST 2014
From marble to mosaic, limestone to lapis lazuli, the luxury stone specialists Lapicida make swimming pools fabulous. Working with leading indoor and outdoor pool manufacturers all over the world, they offer a wholly bespoke service. 

Stone and water are natural companions and the decorative options are endless: Intricate mosaics can be made in custom designs, perfect for lining pools and for cladding areas such as hot tubs, steam rooms and waterfalls.  Floors can be an expanse of a single stone or a combination of materials laid in geometric designs. Textured stone brings dramatic interest to walls, whilst architectural features such as stone columns, fountains and balustrading are the perfect way to surround an outdoor pool or to carry a look  from an indoor pool area straight out into the garden.  

Lapicida offer a full design and manufacturing service. Their Harrogate workshops combine state of the art processes with traditional stonemasonry skills, allowing them to create virtually anything to order.   
AWASH WITH COLOUR
JANUARY 17TH 2014
Sophie Conran’s new paint collection for Drummonds baths takes inspiration from her childhood memories and summer beach holidays with wonderfully evocative colours such as Beach Hut, Candyfloss and Helter Skelter.

Arranged as four co-ordinating colour groups, all with seaside themes, the shade card ranges from vivid brights to gentle neutrals.  Fresh and contemporary, they make perfect partners for Drummonds’ splendid freestanding cast iron baths, which are works of art in their own right.  Each bath is individually made using traditional casting and enamelling processes before being finished entirely to the customer’s specification.     

From Seaweed and Queen Coral to South Sea and Clown Fish, Sophie Conran’s new colours bring endless sunny shades to the bathroom.  Shown here Drummonds’ Tay bath is handpainted in Beach Hut.    Drummonds baths are from £3210.
CUE FROM THE CATWALK: LUSCIOUS LACE
JANUARY 15TH 2014
Lace goes from strength to strength. Both on the catwalk and in interiors, it’s one of today’s strongest fashion trends.   
 
James Hare’s new Cosmos Lace is irresistible. Geometric lace panels are embroidered onto a solid back, creating a decorative fabric which is perfect for curtains, cushions, blinds and other stylish embellishments. 
 
Part of James Hare’s co-ordinating Prism Silks collection, Cosmos Lace comes in three subtle colourways; Frost, Plover and Slate. 137cm wide. 43%linen, 32% viscose, 15% poly, 8%cotton, 2% silk.  
EDWARD BULMER ADVISES ON KENWOOD HOUSE RESTORATION
JANUARY 13TH 2014
Kenwood House has re-opened after 18 months of work to repair the fabric of the building and refresh the interiors. Working with English Heritage’s Curators, the architectural historian, interior designer and natural paint expert Edward Bulmer was asked to advise on updating the presentation of the Iveagh Bequest.
 
The brief was to bring new life to the display of the important collection of pictures given to the nation with Kenwood and its grounds by the 1st Earl of Iveagh, Edward Cecil Guinness.  Iveagh himself asked for the collection to be seen in the context of an 18th Century gentleman’s home. Edward well understood what this meant in terms of the pictures, having been involved with numerous picture hanging commissions in great houses all over the country. Equally, his experience in the furnishing of such houses was invaluable in working with the Curators to create a scheme which both evokes a Georgian home and shows pieces of Iveagh’s own furniture for the first time. It also introduces rugs, curtains and furniture for the public to actually use while visiting the house.
 
The Adam Stair Hall, Ante Room and Library have been meticulous exercises in state of the art paint analysis to establish the earliest colour schemes and have been repainted using modern paints. But what to do about the walls of the South Front Rooms to best show Iveagh’s cream of British portraiture - from Gainsborough to Romney? Research carried out by English Heritage showed that the rooms created by Robert Adam were generally given the best paint treatment for the period…  "…done 5 times in Oil colour…dead..”
 
Oil paint was used as it could be applied quite thinly, so it did not clog up the intricate plaster mouldings. At the same time it produced a durable, but still breathable, finish with the depth of colour that you get from five semi-translucent layers. ‘Dead’ meant that the final layer was applied heavily diluted with turpentine so that the sheen of the oil paint was deadened – this was sometimes called ‘flatted’.
 
Some years ago, when wanting to use paints which were both natural in their formulation and which offered a palette of historic and contemporary colours, Edward Bulmer set up Pots of Paint, his own specialist paint company.  Pots of Paint still uses the traditional linseed oil to bind its oil paints,  so for the Kenwood project it seemed an obvious step for Edward not just to recreate C18th colours, but to use the same paint mediums. He stopped short of using lead white (historic, but dangerous and now rightly outlawed) but mixed up the colours with natural pigments and applied them with a final flatting coat. This is so thin that it needs to be stippled or feathered to produce an even surface – the result is beautiful. The surface is flat but has exceptional depth and life from not having been applied as a single pre-mixed paint. 
RUNNERS FROM FELT
JANUARY 8TH 2014
Whether bringing light to a dark passageway or filling an awkward space, runners are endlessly useful, hardworking and decorative - none more so than Felt’s Shyrdak runners. For over two and a half thousand years, the nomadic peoples of the remote Tien Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan have created their dazzling felt rugs. Known as Shyrdaks, these hardwearing wool rugs have a tough flattened felt base handsewn with geometric patterns in contrasting felts. Felt is the first company to import these vibrant works of art direct from their makers in Kyrgyzstan to Britain, under a Fair Trade agreement.

Colours range from the dazzlingly bright to cool and subtly muted neutrals, offering a wide range of decorative possibilities for both modern and period interiors. Shyrdak dimensions vary from large room size rugs down to small rugs and runners in many sizes. 
NEW MORAR BATH
DECEMBER 12TH 2013
The Morar is a charming new addition to Drummonds’ extensive collection of freestanding cast iron baths. 

A re-working of the classic ‘slipper bath’ styled with a contemporary plinth, this compact double-ended design is the perfect way to bring glamour to smaller bathrooms.  

Designed for Drummonds by Victoria Richmond of KLC School of Design, as part of a student challenge, Morar offers a luxurious bathing experience. It’s made all the more pleasurable by the choice of bespoke finishes; from the polished and lacquered metal  shown here to metal cladding in copper or brass, hand painting and specialist finishes including gold metal leaf.
NEW: CHESSLETON TAPS
DECEMBER 11TH 2013
Drummonds’ classic Chessleton lever taps have had a sleek re-design, simplifying their shapes and offering the new option of white china handles.  

The new design emphasises Chessleton’s streamlined art deco look. Refined and elegant, these taps are the natural partner to gleaming white enamel baths and basins. Precision cast in solid brass using the traditional lost wax process, they are available as bath taps, basin taps and as a 3-hole basin mixer (shown above.)

Shown here mirror-finished in chrome, Chessleton taps are also available in nickel and polished brass. Handles are in polished hardwood or white china. 
RICH BERRY COLOURS FROM FELT
DECEMBER 2ND 2013
Rich reds and berry colours are one of the hottest new decorating trends, with designers using them as the perfect foil to today’s neutral palette. 

Amongst its wide selection of shyrdaks, Felt always stocks a glowing selection of brilliant reds and pinks in a wide range of sizes and patterns, from runners to room-size rugs.

Every one of Felt’s shrydaks tells a unique story; motifs are chosen to bestow blessings or describe the nomads’ life in the mountains. Each rug is a vibrant work of art, as practical and hardwearing as it is decorative.
THE SPACE AGE SPOUTNIK MICROWAVE
NOVEMBER 28TH 2013
Laurence Pidgeon has always specialised in finding fresh design concepts, introducing important new kitchen and bathroom designers to the UK. His latest find is Fagor UK’s futuristic Spoutnik microwave.

Named after the first ever satellite launched into orbit, the Spoutnik’s space age look is supported by 21st century technologies. The 700W microwave has an innovative domed design, giving a 360° view of what’s cooking on the illuminated turntable. 

Spoutnik’s compact design incorporates a surprisingly spacious interior and allows easy access for cleaning. With soft touch controls and an intuitive digital display, the microwave is available in three vivid colours: Ultra Violet, Blue Odyssey and Green Flash.
LAPICIDA: DOUBLE WINNERS AT NORTHERN DESIGN AWARDS
NOVEMBER 25TH 2013
Lapicida, the luxury stone specialist has won two categories in the prestigious Northern Design Awards.

Furniture Design Category: The Herringbone Table 
Lapicida’s Herringbone Table comes from an ongoing collaboration with celebrated product designer Bethan Gray. A virtuoso piece, it combines state-of-the-art manufacture with intensely skilled hand finishing. The distinctive zig-zag pattern unites white Carrara and black Nero Marquina marble so closely that the two colours meld into a single surface. The two slabs of contrasting marble are cut using advanced water jet technology, shaping them so precisely that they can then be connected as perfect positive and negative. Natural grain patterns are matched across the whole tabletop, underlining the astonishing craftsmanship involved in producing this design. 

Best Flooring Collection Category:  Reclaimed Geometrics
Inspired by classical and 18th Century designs, Lapicida’s new Reclaimed Geometrics Collection uses reclaimed stones to create complex new floors with a unique patina. From antique limestones to marbles, countless different materials are used depending on the colour and complexity of the designs. Each individual element is hand sorted before being precision-cut to shape and then hand pieced into the overall design. Custom-made in the Harrogate workshops, patterns can be taken from Lapicida’s library of classical references or completely one-off designs can be made to order. 

Lapicida’s 20,000 sq ft Head Office in Harrogate combines extensive displays with state of the art workshops housing both artisanal stoneworkers and technicians operating some of the world’s most advanced automated stone-working equipment. With a flagship showroom in London and outlets in other European locations, Lapicida works with leading architects, designers and private clients all over the world. 
FULL METAL JACKETS
NOVEMBER 11TH 2013
Drummonds is extending its range of metal claddings, creating sleek new looks for its splendid cast iron baths.

Shown below is the Usk bath in two very different guises…
  
Top: The Usk has been clad in brass, hand-polished to a deep, mirror shine and then finished with lacquer. 
Bottom: The Usk has been clad in copper and (bottom right) hand-burnished to a rich, antique finish.
 
Metal cladding is one of many specialist finishes available across Drummonds’ extensive collection of freestanding cast iron baths.  It takes Drummonds several weeks to make each bath; a traditional process involving casting the raw metal, shot-blasting and enamelling with the lengthy dry-frit process which gives a snow white, incredibly durable enamel surface.
KITCHEN STORAGE SOLUTIONS
OCTOBER 24TH 2013
The best kitchens are fully functional as well as beautifully designed. Richard Moore, design director at Martin Moore, notes that "At Martin Moore we always start from a visual perspective when designing a kitchen and build from there. First and foremost we want to create a beautiful piece of furniture that suits the room and the space and then behind the façade we can create storage solutions specifically tailored to meet our clients’ needs.”

Appliance cupboards are a smart way of creating integrated storage whilst keeping your appliances hidden and preserving the architecture of the room, creating a clean, uncluttered look. Martin Moore kitchen designs often incorporate bi-fold doors, a clever feature that works well for something like an appliance cupboard which houses crockery and appliances. When open, the doors fold right away, giving access to the cupboard across its full width.
NEW NEUTRALS
OCTOBER 23RD 2013
Alongside its vibrant colourways, Felt also offers a pleasing collection of neutrals, made using only the naturally occurring colours in sheep’s wool, with no dyes or treatments. These can provide a subtle backdrop to contemporary or traditional interiors, and are perennial fashion favourites. 

Suitable for walls or floors, these hardwearing rugs are one off works of art and can be made to special commission. There is a wide range of patterns and sizes available, from runners to room size rugs, to suit any space. 

BATHROOM BLUE
OCTOBER 10TH 2013
A natural for bathrooms, the Tender Collection from Alternative Bathrooms is beautiful in blue... offering its clever modular fittings in a palette of calming sea-inspired colours. Matt, pearlised and gloss elements introduce a range of textures, which can be contrasted with natural wood in dark or pale driftwood tones. The collection, with co-ordinating basins, loos and baths, is designed to mix and match across the wide range of cabinetry and finish options… creating bespoke bathrooms on any scale from a compact cloakroom to a master suite. 
NEW: THE SWALE BATH
OCTOBER 9TH 2013
The Swale is the newest addition to Drummonds’ extensive collection of freestanding cast iron baths. Double-ended (perfect for sharing!) it offers all the comforts of Drummonds’ larger baths, but with the compact dimensions ideal for smaller bathrooms.  

The Swale’s narrow rim gives an especially elegant profile and it comes with the scroll feet shown here, for a modernist look, or with ball and claw feet. The exterior too, is finished to order with options ranging from polished and lacquered metal to cladding in brass or copper, hand painting or specialist hand finishes including gold metal leaf.    

It takes Drummonds several weeks to make a single bath; a traditional process involving casting the raw metal, shot-blasting and enamelling with the lengthy dry-frit process which gives a snow white, incredibly durable enamel surface. Their brassware too, is precision made, using the lost wax process. The result is classic bathroomware which will withstand the test of time.

The Swale bath measures L: 1700mm x H: 630mm x W: 750mm. 
RECLAIMED GEOMETRICS
OCTOBER 3RD 2013
Decorative stone floors originated in the classical world and 18th Century neo-classical architects elevated them to new heights, creating astonishing trompe l’oeil designs for important buildings.  Then, and now, the defining reference is a book titled ‘Various Kinds of Floor Decorations’ compiled in 1739 by the architectural engraver John Carwitham.

Inspired by Carwitham’s illustrations, Lapicida have now reinvented this art form, utilising reclaimed stones to create complex new floors with a unique patina. From antique limestones to marbles, countless different materials are used depending on the colour and complexity of the designs. Each individual element is painstakingly sorted before being precision-cut to shape and then hand pieced into the overall design. Patterns can be taken from Lapicida’s library of classical references or completely one-off designs can be made to order.
NEW: ORIEL SILKS
OCTOBER 3RD 2013
Inspired by the soaring Renaissance architecture of Oxford’s Oriel College Chapel, this richly coloured and textured collection matches embellished florals and stripes with coordinating plains.
 
Oriel:  Sumptuous large scale florals
A fresh and contemporary view on florals, Oriel features lush silk embroidery and velvet appliqué in 3 luxurious colourways. Suitable for light upholstery as well as curtains and cushions. 140cm wide:  40% linen, 30% cotton, 30% viscose.
 
Minstrel Stripe: Ribbed and braided stripes
Brightly multi-coloured stripes are woven in relief on neutral backgrounds. Easy and versatile, Minstrel Stripe comes in 5 colourways and is perfect for curtains, blinds, cushions and bedheads. 140cm wide:  56% cotton, 32% linen, 12% silk. 
 
Parterre: Large scale tonal embroidery
Geometric swirls are densely embroidered onto a neutral background. 5 tonal colourways make this characterful fabric perfect for curtains, cushions, blinds and other focus elements in both modern and traditional settings. 140cm wide: 88% linen, 12% silk. 
 
Richmond Velvet: Hardwearing plain velvets
Super soft and luxurious, yet extremely hardwearing, Richmond Velvet comes in three plain colours to coordinate across the Oriel Silks collection. Suitable for upholstery as well as curtains and cushions. 140cm wide:  40% viscose, 25% poly, 18% cotton, 10% linen 7% silk. 
 
Linenfold: Coordinating plains
Linenfold is a subtly textured plain. Available in 2 colours, it provides a stylish backdrop for the decorative fabrics in the Oriel Silks collection. Suitable for light upholstery as well as curtains and cushions. 140cm wide:  60% linen, 40% cotton. 

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