stepping inside the world of Charles and Ray Eames

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I managed to get along to the Barbican’s exhibition celebrating the work of the influential American design duo, Charles and Ray Eames. Perfecting the pioneering use of moulded plywood, they created some of the most important examples of 20th century furniture. Their leather lounge chair and ottoman created in 1956 is truly iconic.

But what I didn’t know and learnt whilst exploring the two floors devoted to their creative pursuits, is firstly that they were husband and wife and secondly, that their body of work also encompassed film, photography and architecture as well as graphic, textile and product design.

The exhibition showcases the Eames’ philosophy of design not as the pursuit of originality for its own sake, but as the process of thinking about problems and their connection to surrounding historical, social and technological conditions.

It was interesting to see how ahead of their time they were, and how much of their ideas and concepts are still very much on trend today.

What finally matters is that your house works the way you want it to. And that it is a pleasant place to be in. Ray Eames 1959

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stylish ideas to show off your record collection

If you celebrated Record Store Day on Saturday you may now be wondering where you’re going to put all your new purchases. My husband and I are self-confessed audiophiles,  and finding a storage solution for our ever expanding vinyl collection was a priority when we first moved into our London flat nearly four years ago.

By chance, we discovered that the alcoves in our lounge were the right depth and height for fitted shelves to house our music library. The carpenter gave assurances that they would be strong enough for the job, doing chin-ups on them by way of demonstration! and they have indeed stood the test of time.  Looking almost like wallpaper, the practical display has added a certain wow factor to our lounge and we no longer have to root around in boxes to find our favourite LPs.

Vinyl sales have hit a twenty-year high as a new generation are discovering that there is more to music than sound and in response interior designers and furniture makers are tapping into this resurgence by finding clever and creative ways to store and showcase these treasured artefacts in style. Here are a few of my favourites.