I love finding quirky products from independent designers and makers. This artist and designer Jo Allen of Rare Radish from the Uk, creates the most amazing digitally printed cushions. Jo’s work is nostalgic, vintage. She says it is ‘a mixture of Downton Abbey, Gothic and Steampunk all rolled in to one.’
After licensing her art for several years she has recently launched her own brand. She says: ‘The name Rare Radish comes from the fact that radishes look pretty and pink but when you take a bite they are hot and peppery. I like using this element of surprise in my work. Rare are the treasures which have often been long forgotten and recently discovered.’
Jo carries a tiny notebook with her all the time and constantly writes down words and ideas that suddenly pop into her head. I meticulously place the treasures upon the surface and photograph them. I love the use of light and shadow and use as little photo manipulation as is possible. All the treasures I use on my designs are real tangible objects which you can touch, feel and hold.
Although there is a story for each design, Jo explains that she loves for the person who buys each piece to weave their story and memories into it.
The Baa Stool is a hand-made, luxury, sheepskin, hardwood footstool, with a removable cover. Michelle, a traditionally trained upholstress, first had the idea for the Baa Stool during a tea break from a particularly challenging chair whilst watching the sheep in the fields surrounding her Denbighshire workshop . She noticed that they looked like little footstools and the idea took hold, so Michelle set to work designing a prototype.
The Baa Stool frames and legs are hand crafted from locally and sustainably grown hardwood. The 7″ or 11″ legs are either turned to resemble sheep’s hooves or – for a more contemporary feel – plain and tapered. The covers are made from premium grade British sheepskin stitched into a sleeve that fits snugly onto the stool but it can be removed for cleaning.
According to Michelle, sheepskin is the perfect choice of cover for a footstool as wool resists spills, dries very quickly and is mildew resistant. It is naturally fire retardant, resists static, dirt and dust, is hypo-allergenic, renewable and sustainable. The stools are available in natural shades of ivory, dark brown, mottled creams and browns and even a special edition pink version.
Michelle says: “My aim with the Baa Stool was to make a quality piece of furniture, that could fit in anywhere but still have a real wow factor. I know that some people have gone as far as naming their Baa Stools, and to know that they have become part of the ‘family’ in that way, really is the ultimate compliment.”
Joseph Dirand, an incredible architect, restored this apartment to its Belle Epoque glory with panelling, ornate mouldings, lots of marble – and more designer fittings than we have fingers to count them on – all in a fresh palette of black, white, grey and gold. An inspiration!
Although quietly set in Shelter Island’s woodsy landscape, the New York home of Barneys’ creative ambassador at large, Simon Doonan, is anything but mute. Filled with vibrant colours, theatrical accents, and of course, many signature designs, this mid-century-modern-inspired home is filled with gusto.
No matter the size or style of your home, the decor you choose determines its atmosphere and reflects your own personality. Updating or changing your decor can give you a sense of pride and satisfaction when completed. Pull together a well-designed home by taking cues from the overall colour palette to add decorative accessories. For example, a jade green vase on the dining room table can play off a bold accent wall in the living room. Or update the look of furniture with a glossy coat of paint. Personalize with family treasures and modern, metallic or glass finishes for an eclectic, yet timeless look….”my personal favourite”. Don’t be afraid to make a statement in your space. Why not play on the high-impact contrast of black and white in a hallway or add an vibrant hit of pink in a master bath? There are no wrong choices, because colour is personal — and doesn’t have to be permanent. I always encourage my clients to start with accessories like a painting, vase, small accent table or pillows. These are easy and inexpensive ways to add some personality to your space, so look for items and styles that most appeal to your inner designer. Remember, you can mix and match solid and patterns in a variety of materials, and you might even buy different accessories for each season. A few bold pieces can go a long way in renewing a room. A refreshed decor doesn’t mean having to invest in a big-ticket item like new furniture. Try these easy and affordable design tips to transform the look of your home. Sandra Decina-Lianos Director of design at Lianos Group