• Living

    All the fun of the fair

    by  • March 23, 2016 • Living • 0 Comments

    There are many events that we have come to associate with Easter weekend: the rustle of foil and crack of a chocolate egg at some unmentionable time in the morning, tailbacks down the motorway leading to the nearest IKEA or DIY store, classic Hollywood epics on the TV (that you start watching in daylight, and which finish long after dark!)…

    But our inspiration this week comes from the delight that is the family Easter Fair, which pitches up in a field, park or on village greens up and down the country for the duration of the bank holiday to help sugar-loaded kids burn off some hyperactivity. This collection of pre-loved and retro treasures from FurnitureEtc is a homage to the joys of seasonal childhood outings; the sheer delight stirred up by the dazzling colours, bold patterns, stylised fonts and madcap atmosphere that we can all clearly associate with the fun of the fair.

    Light up the night

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    Pointing the way toward retro style, the distressed red-and-black finish of this arrow light. The cabochon bulbs offer a unique glow that transports you back to the anitcipation felt when visiting the fairground at night. We can virtually smell the popcorn wafting on the spring air.

    Front row seats

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    Don’t underestimate the benefits of this bench seat. We can see ourselves inside a circus tent, mesmerised by crazy clowns whizzing about in tiny cars and acrobats flipping, twirling and spinning around the arena. Or maybe the kids climbing all over it. Either way, a good sturdy buy with a bit of nostalgia attached.

    The Lion’s Share

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    Vintage posters are just the best. The hand-lettered fonts, painted imagery and mineral colours… This one will liven up any wall in the house.

    Making shapes

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    Retro European glassware, like this distinctive collection, has a liveliness that captures the motion of whizzing rollercoasters, dancing dodgems and neon lights and music spiralling throughout the day. Plus, it generally makes for an intriguing display in the home.

    Don’t be shy

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    Something about this attention-grabbing cabinet says – or maybe shouts – ‘Hot dogs!’ ‘Candy floss!’ ‘Popcorn!’ ‘Beer!’ – basically, it’s a cocktail cabinet with a street-food-stall aesthetic. Very much of our time. Pour a drink, settle down, watch the fun unfold.




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    Balancing Act

    by  • February 23, 2016 • Living • 0 Comments

    It may be a good few weeks since Pantone released its pairing of Rose Quartz and Serenity as the Colour(s) of 2016, but this week I’ve been honing in on those tones almost subconsciously. I have no issue with them picking more than one colour (really, why would I?) but now – looking at it properly – I think I ‘get’ it.

    The crisp, warm blue kissed with the optimistic glow of a powdery pink. Together, they’re like a soothing dusk sky. A place of balance between two states. Neither overly sweet/ romantic nor excessively cool and aloof. It’s neutral ground, but without being remotely bland!

    I love colour, am near-obsessed with texture (my Instagram feed bears witness to that) and do think that when it comes to décor a brilliant-white base is ideal. However, all-white rooms are not for me. A home always needs a burst of colour or a zhoozh of pattern to make it less clinical and more personal. With that in mind, I went on a little hunt for Pantone-acceptable homeware.

    Knowing that our friends at Livingetc are always on top of the trends, my first stop was their Edit at Clippings.com, where I happily discovered some beautiful pieces that loosely fit the brief for 2016 (and beyond).

    Painter Pink Navy

    These Painter Cushions by textile designer Kangan Arora have more than perfectly blended colours – their fluid, painterly pattern is infused with movement and energy. Perfect for perking up a living space.



    Admittedly not the most quartz-like of pinks or serene of blues, but the terracotta and grey tones do feature in the swatches of hues that complement the core Pantone colours.  I love the 3-D abstract feel of these Nick Fraser pendants .


    Cobra-Yellow & Light pink (3)

    Like a cross between a flamingo and a cheery duckling, this Cobra chair puts that perfect pink to great use. It’s making you smile, isn’t it?



    Statement flooring like this Jama Khan rug would act as a perfect foil to Serenity-coloured paintwork or soft furnishings. I feel optimistic just looking at it.

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    That Seventies Showcase

    by  • February 16, 2016 • Living • 0 Comments

    The Seventies: when flares had flair, shoes were as stacked as your shelving and no-one was scared of patterns so loud you could virtually hear them before you saw them.

    Like almost every trend going, Seventies style has ridden the rollercoaster downwards, and is now on the up-and-up again. And I, for one, am enjoying this revival.

    I’m not referring to the boho-macrame-peasant-crafts elements, more the glamour at the other end of the scale; the polished metal, wood-clad walls, soft leather and gleaming glass.

    Maybe it’s nostalgia (because I grew up in a Seventies-built house, with all its quirks and never-seen-elsewhere design features), or perhaps it’s the influence of TV shows and vintage magazines. Who knows. But I dare you to tell me that if you put these refurbished or pre-loved pieces from FurnitureEtc into the right space, they wouldn’t look truly incredible. Or, if you want to use Seventies terminology, totally rad.


    Beam me up

    Italian 70s glass chandelier

    This stalactite-esque chandelier with its oblong glass droplets originated in Italy, where style hit its stride in the Seventies. On sale for £875, think of it as a functional sculpture and make it a focal point of your living space.


    Divide and conquer 

    Avalon 1970s teak room divider

    This teak piece – known as the Avalon – is more than your average cabinet. It’s a room divider too. Ideal for the super-social dinner-party era it was constructed in, it should be right up the street of multi-tasking millennials.


    The lap of Luxury

    Mogensen style Danish leather sofa

    Something about this sofa reminds me off a well-worn, favoured leather jacket – it’s seriously comfortable and never goes out of style. It may have something to do with this Morgensen style seating being Danish, the nation that owns the idea of ‘understated luxury’.


    Totally bamboo(zled)

    Maison Bagues brass bamboo-effect tables

    With their smoked glass and bamboo-inspired brasswork (with an aged patina), these French Maison Bagues (attributed) side tables are the furniture equivalent of a pair of Farrah Fawcett’s sunglasses. The finishing touch to an iconic style.


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