a way of life...

Month: September 2019

Barrows of Booty; FOCUS/19

It made me laugh when I had to use a wheelbarrow to unload the brochures, free magazines and show guides, on returning from my visit to Focus/19 at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour.

In fairness I had stopped off at our local garden centre to pick up some bulb fibre and potting grit in readiness for the planting out of my spring bulbs. (Watch this space).

On arrival at the harbour I was greeted at reception with a cheery message that the first Discovery Tour was about to begin. My timing was perfect as I quickly made my way to the North Dome to pick up the tour.

With a welcoming glass of fizz in one hand and my show guide in the other I enjoyed a whistle stop tour of half a dozen showrooms spread across the North and South Domes, and Design Centre East.

Enthusiasm radiated from the presenters as they introduced their new collections to a captive audience.

Stunning bathrooms, exquisite furnishings, Italian furniture, highly decorative wall coverings, and classic textiles were all on show.

New to Focus/19 was the avenue of pop-up room sets. Ligne Roset, Kit Kemp and Paint & Paper Library were the ones that caught my eye.

After a busy start to the show I took a breath and wandered the Design Centre for an hour or so pausing at the sights that caught my attention. These ranged from stunning window dressings, to pop-up ping-pong, to a live demonstration of a William Morris printing “machine”.

A treasure chest of trimmings was another spectacle that I could not resist…

To calm my senses I had earmarked a couple of events that I wished to attend in the afternoon.

The first was a design workshop hosted by KLC School of Design. Rebecca Weir, creative director of light.iQ, gave an enthralling talk abut illuminating one’s way to a happier and healthier life.

My final destination for the day was to the TALK Lecture Theatre where Ben Spriggs talked with artist and designer Luke Edward Hall. Here we learned about the early life of this young man and how this has led to collaborations with the likes of Habitat and Burberry.

As I left the theatre I couldn’t help be struck by the Pooky pop-up which featured their new lighting collection.

And on that note I made my way home….

Come To Bed

Who doesn’t adore the feeling of snuggling down into freshly laundered bedding?

Now that the nights are drawing in, and the oh so recent sweltering temperatures are being replaced with a distinct autumnal chill, hunkering down in a cosy bed is a real treat.

A recent trip to Ikea had me splashing out on two new sets of bedding just for the pure joy of revamping bedrooms for the new season.

Relatively inexpensive, and failingly good quality, I embraced these two sets with a view to mixing and matching with each other, and with existing sets.

Ikea Bergpalm

The subtle green and white stripes of Bergpalm, (also available in pale pink/white and soft grey/white), is incredibly versatile; a bedroom staple.

In the room below it is layered with a green/cream woollen throw from Habitat, and teamed with a small gingham check green/white LangdonHyde cushion (reversed), and two deep aubergine Next linen cushions (reversed).

The finishing touch, a small aubergine coloured faux Auricula in a terracotta pot, bought in a charity shop for £2.70p!

Bergpalm, green stripe

Ikea Vattenmynta

Less subtle, but no less versatile, this blue/white Vattenmynta bedding set adds a vintage feel to the guest room below.

Again, teamed with scatter cushions and a super-soft Ikea Trattviva bedspread, a cosy, layered, “come to bed” feeling is created.

In this room two cream/duck-egg blue floral cushions, and two blue/cream check cushions from Laura Ashley, and a LangdonHyde “House” cushion, demonstrate how different patterns can be used side by side to great effect.

Vattenmynta, blue/white

As well as good looks, comfort is key to creating the ultimate bedtime experience.

Underpinning these looks are fitted, easy care, white cotton sheets from M&S, and feather and down pillows, also from M&S, along with luxurious mattress toppers from The White Company

To ensure a perfect fit for the Ikea bedding I invested in Grusblad King size duvets (240 x 220 cm) 7.5 tog quilt at a cost of £19 each.

LangdonHyde hacks

  • don’t be afraid to use the reverse side of patterned cushions to tie in with your scheme
  • tumble dry fitted sheets and put onto mattress whilst still warm to smooth out creases

One word of warning – Ikea sizes differ ever so slightly from conventional UK sizing.


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