This weekend, I went along to Somerset House to explore Pick Me Up, the graphic arts festival. Showcasing the talents of up-and-coming illustrators and graphic artists, this event also featured lots of have-a-go spaces to try your hand at creative processes such as screen printing or paper craft. Many of the featured artists have turned their hand to producing wallpapers, rugs, ceramics and other homewares, and in particular, I loved the work of Brighton-based Emily Dupen aka Dupenny. Her range of fun and quirky boutique wallpaper celebrating all things pin-up and a little bit cheeky would certainly create a talking point in any room.
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.
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.
Whenever I’m in Chiswick, I always make a beeline for The Old Cinema on the High Road. It’s a treasure trove of antiques, modern collectibles, upcycled homewares and utilitarian objects based in a refurbished 1890s cinema. The prices can be a little eye watering, but I don’t let that put me off having a lengthy browse and finding ideas. With ever changing stock and concession spaces given to designers and suppliers such as Ines Cole, Lucy Turner and BIRD, The Old Cinema is a constant source of inspiration, and I always enjoy the chance to be up close to good quality, original design from my favourite periods such as arts and crafts, art deco and mid-century modern.
So often when you’re decorating a room you think about the big things – a new piece of furniture, the wallpaper, a new rug – but there are small and easy changes that can have a big impact. I love these painted ceramic door knobs from Knobbles and Bobbles which I’ve fitted to my bathroom door to give it a quirky, vintage look. I’m slowly working my way through the house swapping the standard brass fittings for different handles to create more character. For my lounge door, I have my eye on these beautiful doorknobs from Anthropologie, or this charming hand painted fitting from Black Country Metalworks.