celebrating a little design classic

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Duralex Glasses

Synonymous with school dinner halls and work cafeterias of yesteryear, the iconic Duralex glass is making a comeback.

Made in France, the fluted-edge Picardie and straighter-sided Gigogne tumblers (pronounced je-go-ne) date from the late 1920s. I love their stylish, yet functional hard-wearing style. The original publicity for the glasses claimed that they could be “used as hammers”.

Though I haven’t yet tried to knock in a nail with my set, they are indeed practical for many other uses. The 9cl Picardie glass measures out the perfect shot of espresso for my Sunday morning latte, and the 22cl Gigogne glass is great for serving wine when eating al-fresco with the piece-of-mind that they are shatter-proof.

They are sure to bring a little bit of vintage charm to any table.

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favourite shops. #2 Oliver Bonas

Every time I pass one of Oliver Bonas’ boutique shops, I just have to pop in. Enticed by the array of bright and quirky homewares and fashion at affordable prices. Founded 21 years ago, the stores still adhere to founder Olly Tress’ vision and passion for seeking out the unusual and his love of good, individual design.

I don’t leave without picking up one of their gorgeous smelling scented candles or a couple of their fun greetings cards. Their bestsellers are the Malibu drinks trolley and tub chairs designed exclusively in-house and in the UK, and available in an assortment of vibrant colours in Designers Guild cotton.

Most recently, I purchased a few of their ceramic alphabet hooks which I’d been coveting for a while.  They remind me of the keys on an old typewriter my parents used to have and I had an idea for using them for a home crafting project (more on that to follow).

having a nosey inside other people’s houses

Last Friday I helped out as a volunteer for Living Etc magazine’s House Tours. If you’ve ever wondered what some of London’s grandest houses might look like behind their elegant façades, then this annual event offers you exclusive access to step inside and have a peek.

In the morning I helped look after a five bedroom family home in Bayswater. Five floors of light filled, pared back, clean lines designed by architect Michela Bertolini. I did my best to answer some of the questions from visitors. I had learned that the flooring was Dinesen oak with a lime wash and most of the large format photography in the house was by French artist Noemie Goudal.

In the afternoon I went off to see the rest of the curated tour of beautifully decorated and renovated homes. From a house filled with a riot of colour and pattern, to another with a calm country cottage feel. All tastes catered for and a great opportunity to find ideas for styling your own home, and indeed, feeling inspired I went straight home and rearranged the ornaments and furniture in my lounge.

 

happiness is a cup of tea brewed in a beautiful teapot

According to a recent study, Brits are making their tea “wrong”. The new research claims we’re not letting our tea brew for long enough and to release its true flavour, we should leave it to infuse for five minutes. For an even more perfect cuppa, why not use a gorgeous teapot. Since the ancient Chinese first developed a vessel for brewing and serving tea, their timeless and classic form has been interpreted in myriad ways. I think they’re beautiful objects in their own right. I’ve started a bit of a collection and love the traditional styles from the English heritage potteries such as Denby, Poole, Hornsea and Burleigh.

These contemporary Scandinavian designs based on retro styling are also on my wish list. This cheerful yellow teapot by Anouk Jansen for Dutch company Jansen+Co, or this Japanese-inspired teapot by Sami Ruotsalainen with the signature Finnish Marimekko flower, or this stoneware teapot from Sagaform in Sweden will certainly bring a little charm to the daily tea ritual.