spring 2018 Put eco at the heart of your interior design
A great Brtish eco story
The super sixties
The Deco Shop We launch our own emporium
Bonnie Salandâ€™s The Sea Ranch hideaway
Limited edition photographic prints from the decade weâ€™re still crazy about
Charlie Luxton on the joys of low-energy homes
Shop by your eco values
Pentatonic: Getting creative with trash
Contents 3. News
5. Jen Leem Bruggen An artist to watch
A warm welcome to our spring issue, our first print style mag of the year. And we’re excited to announce that we’re dipping our toe into the world of retail with our own Deco shop. An emporium of good things for your home, we’re going for things you can’t find easily on the high street.
06. The Waste of Inspiration Introducing Pentatonic, a new design brand that makes its products from waste materials
We take a tour of California artist and textile designer Bonnie Saland’s out of town retreat at The Sea Ranch. Bonnie’s company, Philomela Textiles, is based in San Francisco but she and her family love to head north to their Pacific retreat to get away from it all. We look at the work of a new design studio, Pentatonic, which makes all of its furniture and accessories from post consumer waste materials. Fresh, modern, useful, it’s great to see tableware made from mobile phone glass, PET plastic cushions and jewellery made from cigarette butts. Yes, the future is rubbish. Find out how to create a wildlife friendly garden, get tips on energy efficient building from Charlie Luxton and meet the duo behind Wearth, a sustainable online department store. If you’d like a printed issue of this magazine - and it’s always nice to have a hard copy - we can sort that out for you, so email us at email@example.com. With best wishes, Abby xx COVER: Photograph courtesy of Christine Van der Hurd PUBLISHER ABD Associates, London N4, UK t +44 (0)20 7561 0675 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter@deco_mag CONTENT TEAM Editor: Abby Trow Deputy editor: Kay Hill Advertising manager: Ajay Duggal Photographer: Mike Trow
See deco online: www.decomag.co.uk
8. Wild about Wildlife Make your outside space an eco haven 10. At Home By The Sea Ranch Seaside live/work house for designer Bonnie Saland of Philomela Textiles 16. Antennae Retail therapy and design inspiration 18. The Deco Shop Find out what’s in it! 20. The Super Sixties Photographs of ‘60s photographer Nigel Trow 25. Snug as a Bug In A Hug Rug Yorkshire based Hug Rugs makes gorgeous eco friendly barrier mats. 28. What’s It Wearth? We talk to the two founders of sustainable online shop Wearth London 32. Low Energy Homes Charlie Luxton shares his tips on how to achieve a low energy home that’s a joy to live in 35. The Islands And The Whales A new film about life in the Faroe Islands
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News & Events
Recycled plastic packaging for Bio-D
Lawn School with David Hedges Gower
Love your lawn is the message David Hedges Gower wants to spread to gardeners. He’s one of Britain’s leading authorities on lawns and lawn care and he will be sharing his expertise at his first one-day Lawn School, taking place on 5 May at Hadlow College near Tonbrigde in Kent. Tickets cost £65. So if you’re thinking that the grass will be greener if you ditch the lawn in favour of astroturf...it won’t be. Because you’ll be walking on un-ecofriendly plastic. Many of us give up on lawns because we feel we can’t achieve that manicured smoothness we see in the grounds of stately homes or posh golf courses. But ask people what makes for a beautiful garden and most of us will cite a lush green lawn for starters. Lawns support biodiversity, stresses Hedges-Gower and he wants us to stop taking the expedient option of putting down astroturf, decking or paving stones. None of these bring the joy of real grass which is vital for a healthy natural environment. He says it’s not difficult to learn how to maintain a healthy and happy lawn and he wants to dispel the myth that the only lawn worth having is a perfectly manicured one. Lawns serve different purposes.. and our garden lawns don’t have to be picture book perfect at all.
British eco cleaning brand Bio-D is introducing new packaging for its liquid products made from 100 per cent UK postconsumer waste. With growing global concern over contamination from plastic packaging, the Yorkshire-based company – which produces more than 20 products including washing up liquid, hand sanitiser and floor cleaner - hopes its decision will encourage other brands to follow its lead. At present although much of the plastic packaging used for household products is recyclable, it’s still made from a large amount of newly-produced ‘virgin’ plastic, polymers derived from fossil fuels. By contrast, new packaging already being used by Bio-D is made from recycled plastic only. The more companies switch to recycled plastic, so landfill waste and quantities of ocean plastic will reduce. The new recycled plastic packaging is being introduced across the majority of Bio-D products and should be rolled out fully across all products by the end of this year.
Upcycling Outdoors with Max McMurdo Max McMurdo - a designer who has no truck with waste - shows us in his new book how to transform out gardens, patios, decks or any patches of outside space we may happen to own using waste materials. So before you take those old interior doors to the dump, stop and think because they can be made into a bijou garden potting shed, which you can see on the cover of Upcycling Outdoors. It costs £20, and is out in April.
Rise in sales of bamboo coffee cups The prospect of a ‘latte levy’ on disposable drinks cups is leading more of us to carry our own re-useable cup with us for those visits to coffee shops. Most disposable cups aren’t recyclable because of the way plastic is bonded to them, so carrying a light weight bio-degradable bamboo fibre cup is way to cut plastic waste. More coffee chains are starting to offer discounts on drinks to those who bring their own cup - Pret a Manger offers 50 pence off the price of a cappuccino, for example.
Ceramic Art London One of the UK’s premier ceramics events runs from 23-25 March at Central St Martin’s Kings Cross. Organised by the Craft Potters Association, visitors can see the work of more than 80 top ceramicists. Deco mag 03
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Handmade in Britain
For eco-friendly living. www.wearthlondon.com
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Jen Leem Bruggen We’re art mad at decomag and we’re very taken with the work of London artist and illustrator Jen Leem Bruggen. Her background is in traditional printmaking with a focus on monoprinting and she uses digital and analogue techniques to capture joyful moments in life.
Swimmers. Prints £25, limited edition of 40, signed by Jen.
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Far left and left: now not many people can see much good coming out of for fag butts - but Pentatonic have found a way to turn them into into rings Below: cushion covers are made from recycled PET plastic bottles
Pentatonic doesnâ€™t believe in waste. Discarded materials can be repurposed with ideas, research and tech know-how
Below: Bonotto edition PET cushion covers come in a host of colourful designs woven by Italian textile company Bonotto, 50x50cm cover ÂŁ50. Bottom right: table mats are made from PET plastic too. All products are manufactured in Berlin
Pictured above and below: take rice husks and unwanted DVDs and voila, Husky, hard wearing, textured mobile phone protectors
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The waste of inspiration New Berlin and London-based design/tech studio Pentatonic is an extraordinary company that’s out to show us there’s no such thing as waste. Just recycling and repurposing Right and below: mobile phone screen glass is melted down and turned into vases and glasses Left: PET plastic wallets
When you look at the work of companies such as Pentatonic, you wonder why we let anything go to landfill. Here’s a new design studio that turns fag butts into jewellery for goodness sake. Pentatonic launched last autumn, a start-up with a simple but ambitious mission – to lead the world into the circular economy. With offices in Berlin and London, Pentatonic is a furniture and lifestyle products company with a difference. The materials it uses aren’t virgin, they’re made from waste. Pentatonic products are recycling, upcycling, repurposing, choose your favoured term, in action. The team started by looking at waste and realised waste isn’t waste at all. Plastics, metal, textiles, packaging, phones, clothes...we do still live in the age of hyper consumption and as everything becomes faster and cheaper, so we buy more and throw more away. Throw away good stuff that has no place in landfill and certainly no place in the
oceans. We have a planet full of waste and that waste should and must be reused. In 2016 an estimated 20 milion metric tons of plastic found its way into the seas from land and by 2021 environmental experts predict we’ll be buying more than half a trillion single use plastic bottles full of one liquid or another. Think of the waste. And that’s without plastics from phones, computers, household goods, applicances. And food waste in European alone reached nealy a billion tons last year. So what makes Pentatonic very special is that its business model is to make all of its products from postconsumer waste. Aluminium, glass, food, plastics..and of course those fag butts. It also has a buy-back system which is quite possibly unique. The company offers a guarantee that it will buy back the product when the customers wants to part with it. ‘Our non negotiable commitment to the consumer is that we make our products
‘The future really is rubbish’ Pentatonic
using single materials,’ says CEO and co-founder Johann Boedecker. ‘This means no toxic additives or hybridized materials that would prohibit recycling. ‘As such this represents a radical departure from the traditional design, manufacture and consumer service models in the furniture industry. This enables us to recycle our products easily at the end of their life into new products and so brings our customers into our supply chain. This inclusivity and incentivising will deliver an almost zero waste of our products post consumer.’
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wildlife friendly gardens
A wildlife-friendly garden doesn’t have to be wildly overgrown. Wildlife can live happily in well-tended gardens - as long as we make a few provisions for our dear little bird, bee and insect friends. And red squirrels.
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Wildlife Habitats Even the smallest garden can provide a valuable habitat for wildlife to thrive, and if you have the space, it’s good to create different habitat zones in your garden to cater for birds, butterflies, bees and small mammals. This could be an area of long grass, a boggy corner for amphibians and a mini wild meadow area. Don’t go overboard but remember different types of wildlife like different types of environment. Microhabitats provide a diverse range of homes for insects, invertebrates and animals to shelter and find food. For example lawns, especially with areas that are left to grow a little, are perfect for insects as well as feasting ground for birds that eat them.
It’s easy to encourage wildlife - put out some water, leave a few areas to grow a bit wild and plant nectar rich flowers and plants to encourage bees and butterflies
Plant borders and bushes planted with native flowers and shrubs provide a rich source of food for butterflies and bees as well as seeds, berries and shelter for small mammals and birds. Trees and hedges also offer shelter and cover for mammals and are good nesting sites for birds to raise their young. Water features and ponds provide habitat for wildlife from amphibians to dragonflies and water-
boatmen, as well as a place for birds to bathe and drink. Foraging and feeding The wildlife-friendly garden needs to offer a variety of places for different animals and insects to forage for food. We can either put out food for them, particularly in the winter months, or let nature supply the food - and that means thinking carefully about plants. Native flowers and berry bushes that flower and seed at different times of the year are important, as they’ll supply food for animals and insects that forage at different periods. A variety of colourful nectar-rich flowers and plants will attract bees, butterflies and other insects to your garden, such as lavender, delphiniums and calendula. And if your lawn gets a covering of daisies, dandelions and clover, leave it for a while as it’ll be providing nutrition for wildlife. Provide clean, safe water this can range from a big pond to a small dish you replenish daily. Water is as important as food during winter as well as summer. Breeding space and shelter Wildlife needs a safe area to breed and shelter. Bird and
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wildlife friendly gardens
Wild about wildlife
No matter how small our gardens or outside spaces, we can make them hospitable places for our tiny friends It doesn’t take a huge amount of effort to have a garden that works for you andfor wildlife, says the team at Oeco Garden Rooms, who’ve been looking into the steps we can all take to make our outside spaces bird, bee, butterfly and beetle-friendly.
bat boxes, hedgehog houses and insect houses are great ways of introducing artificial shelters into the garden, although natural shelter is the best in terms of conservation. This means trees, bushes and hedges, since birds, insects and small mammals can secrete themselves away from predators. And letting a small part of the garden overgrow will create natural shelter for small creatures. If you’re looking to cut back overgrown areas of the garden, wait until early spring; this will give any wildlife sheltering from the cold a chance to leave when the weather gets warmer. Think sustainably! There’s been a big push to
get us all to think about the environment and sustainability, and protecting wildlife is something we should all get involved in. So think too about materials before using them in the garden. Try to avoid materials that result from depleting natural resources. That means using timber from managed forests, avoiding tropical hardwoods, and avoiding plastics which might contain chemicals that leach into the soil. If you’re buying compost make sure it’s peat-free, since the peat bogs of the UK are under serious threat.
tiny invertebrates and fungi, which in turn attracts birds and small mammals.
If you have a pond or water feature, don’t use the garden hose to fill it up. Instead use rainwater collected in water butts and barrels, as pond life prefer this.
Seedball sells inexpensive tins of wildflower seedballs you just scatter around the garden or in your containers
And it hardly needs saying but avoid using pesticides in the garden.
Oeco Garden Rooms
Meadowmat 1m squares of ready planted turf offers a quick way to allow part of your garden to become a natural wild flower meadow.
Better that we make our own compost using vegetable peelings, food waste and natural garden waste as it helps to encourage a healthy diversity of wildlife. Compost improves soil structure and is a great breeding ground for
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the sea ranch, california
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At Home By The Sea Ranch The open place sitting/living areas are bisected by an open tread metal staircase. The interior design is eclectic, colourful, homely, and a little bit bohemian - albeit bohemian achieved by a very talented professional textile designer who has an inherent understanding of colour
Photograhy: Diana Koenigsberg Text: Abby Trow
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the sea ranch, california
Bonnie Saland, the designer behind San Francisco-based Philomela Textiles, wanted a seaside getaway made from timber and full of colour and comfort. The Sea Ranch provided the perfect house in the pefect place.
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the sea ranch
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Suspended: Meri Meri hanging Reindeer and Mushroom wood/ wool garland with gold bells £20 at Painter & Tailor Top right: recycled ribbed antiqued glass tealight holders, £12 for 3 at Home Sanctuary Below: beautiful Citrus & Spice wreath made from real foliage, herbs and dried oranges, £85 at The Real Flower Company Bottom left: fair trade giant recycled paper snowflake, £4.50 at Ian Snow
‘The natural environment dominates and it dictated particular colour choices,’ Bonnie Saland
The Sea Ranch is an area of exceptional natural beauty in northern California and as such development in it is, rightly, tightly controlled. So if you’re fortunate enough to buy a house here, you aren’t going to be overlooked by the neighbours. Textile designer, artist and psychotherapist Bonnie Saland, who runs Philomela, and her husband Mark Beck are city folks who wanted a place by the sea where they could retreat not only to relax but to work. Their search yielded a spacious, low-height modern redwood timber house that offered plenty of scope for them to refurbish it to their taste; and they asked designer Peter Jenny - who’s an expert on The Sea Ranch area - to remodel it.
Saland was excited by the venture, which took 10 months to complete: ‘To me, this was a dream opportunity to create a home/ studio installation by the sea. ‘I tend to approach an interior environment like a collage, layering in an organic unfolding process. The natural environment dominates and it dictated particular colour choices. ‘And given aesthetic vernacular of The Sea Ranch, I was pulled in to adding modern elements to our own eclectic collection of furniture, textiles and art that has moved with us from place to place.’ The house was given a major renovation by Jenny, who
used recyclable and reclaimed materials including steel for the staircase and kitchen, and reclaimed mesquite wood for the ground floor flooring. He installed efficient underfloor heating, new glazing throughout and updated the insulation to cut down on energy useage. The garage was turned into studio space for Saland and walls on the ground floor were taken down to make an open space that was then delineated into different zones. Saland says in the end, a third of the 3,600 sq ft house had become art studio space, but it blends in with the general living
areas so the house doesn’t feel disjointed.
And it feels very personal to the family because most of the colourful and beautiful decorative materials printed linen textiles, wallpaper, ceramic tiles - were designed by Saland, who says she was influenced in
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the sea ranch
her interior decoration by the homes of some pretty illustrious artists of the 20th century: ‘I’m quite drawn to the home installations of artists like the Bloomsbury Group, Frida Kahlo, Ray and Charles Eames,’ she says. ‘For me this was a passion project.’ But she stresses this house the result of everyone putting in their ideas: ‘My husband was kind enough to let me do my thing but this was a collaborative effort. ‘Our daughter, designer Jeorgea Beck, came up with an initial idea to blow out walls and floors creating essentially one large living space. Peter (Jenny) is well-versed in the local design concerns and weather patterns and he insisted on expanding the master bedroom suite to capitalize on the view. We wanted to walk in and feel like we were floating on water...’
of its strength, longevity and recyclability. ‘The steel stairway is really the focal point of the living room - besides the view - being delicate and open, contrasting with the exposed heavy wood framing elsewhere,’ he says. ‘Other metal details are unexpected and special, like the steel balustrade in the second floor study loft. And the kitchen has dramatic custom-made plate steel cabinets.’
Above left: Bonnie at work in her studio Above right: colourful artworks give a vibrancy to the house Right: a long rectangular wooden table can seat everyone for dinner Below: children can run free by the sea
He and Saland praise the work of the man responsible for much of the metalwork, metal artist Alan Sklansky.
Jenny wanted to incorporate steel into the house because
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the sea ranch
Downstairs the flooring was made from reclaimed mesquite wood, while the studio floors were clad with Connecticut blue stone. And the outside space around the house blends seamlessly with the land around it, and that’s thanks to Scott Graff, who specializes in the Sea Ranch native plantings and did all the landscaping. Overall, this was a project that went pretty smoothly - though Jenny says having to comply with low building height restrictions did pose challenges, while Saland found doing a building project miles from the city could pose headaches when things got broken or didn’t work..getting skilled tradesmen to drive up Highway One at short notice isn’t always easy no matter how spectacular the ocean scenery.
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Above: the master bedroom suite was expanded to capitalise on the wonderful views out to sea Below left: the bathroom has Bonnie’s wallpaper, a freestanding bath - and a wood burning stove for cold days
The Sea Ranch is an environmentallyplanned private community. Drive north from San Francisco for 2.5 hours and it stretches for 10 miles along Highway 1 at the northern end of Sonoma county. It’s a place of wild beaches and rugged coastline and is popular with hikers and holidaymakers. Permanent residents number just over 1,300.
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the sea ranch
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Left: the master bedroom has built in wardrobes and behind one door is a tiled unit with a mini kitchenette.. if thatâ€™s not a tautology Above: the ceramic tiles designed by Bonnie. The female form takes shape...
â€˜To me this was a dream opportunity to create a live/work studio installation by the seaâ€™, Bonnie Saland
Above: the low cedar clad house has native plantings in the inner courtyard Right, above: a bedroom on the ground floor comes to life with a large colourful painting Left: a guest bathroom has pale blue brick style tiling and a double width sink www.philomelasweb.com
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Art on the table Artist Andrew Flint’s beautiful flower paintings are available as trivets - perfect for spring For more than 30 years Andrew Flint Shipman has been painting in his studio, showing hiswork at art fairs and galleries in Europe and the USA. Now his vibrant art is accessible to all of us through a new selection of UK-made homewares. And if you’re a lover of all things botantical, his trivets will be of particular interest... Andrew’s series of paintings of lillies, peonies, agapanthus, hibiscus, gerbera and bird of paradise flowers, as well as figs and apples, are printed to the reverse of toughened recycled glass discs.
They cost £40 and can be used as mats, serving plates for cheese or canapés, or as beautiful surface protectors to gaze on. They have slip-resistent feet so won’t slip around and they can cope with hot casserole dishes straight from the oven. Choose from 20 designs, trivets have 30cm dia. Andrew is a self-taught artist who found himself drawn to botanical subjects. His paintings have also been transferred to textiles, stationery and tableware and are available and as giclee prints. www.andrewflintdesign.com
Hand-made cement tiles from La Maison Bahya
La Maison Bahya, a custom hand-made cement tile company based in Paris, has launched its services in the UK. LMB works closely with architects, interior designers and consumers, offering traditional cement floor tiles that you won’t find on the high street. Bahya has a core collection of 20 original patterns, each of which can be customised using its own palette of 72 colours. It also has a bespoke design service for clients who want a design that’s unique to them. All of its tiles are handmade in the company’s studios in Morocco. Owners Audrey & Alexandre Sopocko, say cement tiles are proving hugely popular for their beauty and durability. From £200 m2. www.bahya-deco.com/en deco mag 16
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Fogia focuses on sustainability Swedish contemporary furniture brand Fogia launched its new collections during the recent Stockholm Furniture Fair and announced that it’s been focusing on its manufacturing, so products are made from sustainable, recyclable materials, using the most energy efficient production techniques. Fogia CEO Marcus Huber says the company is
committed to making furniture that will have a long lifespan: ‘We want to create quality design classics that last for generations.’ New additions to the range include the Mame armchair by Italian designer Luca Nichetto. Generously proportioned, it offers great comfort. Nichetto says to him, sustainability is about wanting high quality.
Exquisite glassware by Thomas Petit Glass artist Thomas Petit is winning fans with his Sea Shore vases. The amethyst caught our eye...what with ultra violets and purples being the signature colours of 2018 (at least according to leading paint brands and Pantone). The vases are sandblasted to give a sense of texture, weathering and layers of colour and they’re utterly entrancing. Imagine them full of spring lilac or pink peonies..divine! Thomas’s designs are in blown and hand-formed glass and his studio is in Derbyshire. The vase pictured left is 19cm high and costs £96. (Photo by Simon Bruntnell). www.thomaspetitglass.com
Make it personal The Oak & Rope Company has a fabulous range of oak products that can be personalised for your nearest and dearest. Perfect for wedding or Mother’s Day gifts, products are sustainably made and will last for decades. Pictured right: for Lion King fans..a substanial tray for those weekend breakfasts in bed.
Sostrene Grene storage ideas Danish retailer Sostrene Grene offers modern homewares made from quality materials at affordable prices. It has a range of storage boxes to help with any spring cleaning projects you’ve got coming up - if you don’t want to throw stuff away, at least store it neatly in sturdy cardboard boxes. And boxes don’t have to be dull, such as these Sostrene Grene storage boxes that look like books - and which sit happily on a window ledge. Founded in 1973 by two sisters, the company today has six stores in the UK and Ireland: Nottingham, Chester, Belfast, Newry, Athlone and Cork. www.sostrenegrene.com
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Sue Ure Maison slip cast porcelain ceramics, from £11.98
Go Square cushion covers made from luxury fabrics diverted from landfill. £35 prices from £34.99 Print shop -1960s advertising, documentary and fashion photography by Nigel Trow
Vintage linen sheets from France, from £69
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The Deco emporium Here at decomag we’re delighted to announce the launch of our shop..more of an emporium really, it has limited edition pieces for your home that you generally won’t find on the high street. And our shop offers top quality products at very competitive prices.
In our line of work we come across people who make beautiful things. And we can’t help noticing lovely things on our travels. So we thought it would be a good idea to have a small deco shop where readers can buy homewares and accessories from makers with great eco credentials. As we’re testing the water, so to speak, we don’t have large quantities of things, so you will have to be fairly quick off the mark. And you will need a PayPal account to pay for your goods. So what can we tempt you with? Well, we have some lovely soaps from France: 300g cubes of Savon de Marseille soap for just £5.99 and 500ml bottles of Savon le Naturel for just £9.99. If you’re a brocante fan, we have super heavy linen vintage sheets from £69, as well as hand-made pots from Millau.
Luxury natural soaps from France, from £1.95
Artworks in plaster relief by Littleworks Creative £95
Pottery from Millau, France, £9
Lilipad birch ply device holders by Sealey Furniture, £35
Sue Ure Maison offers contemporary china that makes any mealtime special. Slip cast porcelain, the range includes milk jugs, mugs, sugar bowls and bowls in soft pastel hues. Also don’t miss the Lilipad, a useful birch ply device holder. By Sealey Furniture.
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the super sixties
The super sixties Nigel Trow was a prolific advertising, documentary and fashion photographer in the 1960s. He’s making some of his archive available as limited edition B&W prints, available to buy from the new Deco shop. So if you’re a sixties fan, these pictures bring the decade immediately to life Superb quality limited edition prints and art prints are available in two sizes: 12x10 inches/16x12in
Top left: Rowing On The River, 1967 Above right: Anyone For Croquet? 1968 Above left: Travellers, 1963 Right: West Wittering Beach, 1965 Left: Faroe Isle Grandparents, 1962 Facing page: A shoot for a jeans ad for a women’s magazine taken on Thursley Common in Surrey in 1967. The model, incidentally, went on to marry the Aga Khan
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the super sixties
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Deco shop Limited edition prints (30 of each are available) are sold unframed but mounted. Giclee prints: £34.99 or £39.99; art prints £44.99 or £54.99. Choose from 12x10in or 16x12in print sizes.
Above left: Tall & Short, 1965 Left: Girl In the Window, late ‘60s Right: Iron Bridge, Shropshire, 1964
It is a decade that continues to cast a spell, with all that music and fashion that heralded a relaxed modern secular era. The start of the Sixties may be nearly 60 years ago, but there is a certain timeless charm to this period.
Nigel Trow was a working photographer during these years, running his studio, Gamma, which took commissions from clients including advertising agencies and magazines. The images you see here capture the look
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How to hang prints Prints work well hung together in groups across a portion of a wall. Choose a colour for frames and be consistent with it - obviously black and white photographs suit black frames. Have prints in different sizes with different widths of frame and try not to hang in symmetrical lines. And build up a collection of prints and change them around from time to time. Perhaps some images are more suited to summer, others to winter. By changing whatâ€™s on your walls you can refresh your interiors.
and the spirit of the times - the power of the photograph is its ability to bring its subject back to life and throw memory into sharp focus.
Above right: The Fur Jacket, 1968 Right Smiling In The Factory, early â€˜60s
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Lüks Linen: ethical, natural, affordable luxury Thick fluffy towels are delicious but there are disadvantages to them, the obvious ones being their weight and the time they take to dry. Which is part of the reason why Rachel Ward, founder of Lüks Linen, fell in love with Turkish peshtemal towels. She loved their long history and their practicality: they were woven for use in the hammams and so don’t weigh much and dry very quickly. For frequent travellers, they take up very little space in a suitcase and they can have many identities - they can be towels, throws, blankets, scarves, baby wraps and picnic blankets, while Ward is also offering cushion covers made from peshtemals. Peshtemals have been woven on hand-looms in communities throughout Turkey for generations, explains Ward, using locally-grown cotton. While this cotton hasn’t been certified organic, it is mountain-grown in parts of the country. Lüks Linen works with small family weavers to high ethical
Above: Lüks Linen cotton peshtemals come in a wide range of colours, sizes and weaves
and fair trade standards. Prices for peshtemal products start at £22 for a towel. Look out for the distinctive traditional diamond weave and choose from a variety of colours from subtle neutrals to stunning jewel brights. www.lukslinen.com
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Snug as a bug in a Hug Rug It’s a great eco story, a Made In Britain story, a ‘how have I lived without one?’ story. Let’s hear it for Hug Rug
Barrier mats haven’t traditionally been objects of desire, but Hug Rug have put them on the must-have map thanks to the eco-friendliness and breadth of design of its mats. Pictured above: Zigzag from the Contemporary collection Right: Chickens from the Country range
We’ve all bought things that fairly quickly get consigned to the back of a cupboard because it’s quickly apparent they don’t make life any better. Toasted sandwich makers and window vacuum cleaners spring to mind. That’s definitely not the case with a Hug Rug. Once you’ve got one, you want two. And then three. And one for the kitchen, the bathroom, the garden shed and hell, they’re great on the decking too. Before you know it you’ve become a collector.
Hug Rugs are highly effective barrier mats that help keep your home clean. They come in myriad appealing designs, they’re super soft, they absorb three times their weight in water, the microfibres trap 95 per cent of mud and dirt that passes over them, they’re machine washable and they come with a five-year guarantee.
fully recyclable mats are made at the Hug Rug factory near Huddersfield from recycled cotton T-shirt yarn (the yarn is produced in Italy), with a recycled PET plastic membrane and a real rubber backing which stops them slip sliding all over the place. Things don’t get more circular economy.
And if eco friendliness is top of your list of attributes for the homewares you buy, then you need to know about Hug Rugs. Because these
‘We launched Hug Rug 10 years ago as we wanted to make a useful product from recycled materials,’ says Hug Rug’s Chris Green. ‘Our
Design + eco
starting point was to have a eco friendly and fully recyclable mat. And we’re proud that in 2018 our factory is zero rated for landfill. Yes that means we don’t send any waste to landfill sites.’ And while it’s invariably the look of things that makes us choose one product over another, Hug Rug’s eco story is winning it loyal customers. ‘I think environmental issues are becoming really important to people and if you have the choice of a product that’s made in your country from
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‘We launched Hug Rug...because we wanted to make a useful product from recycled materials’, Chris Green reycled materials, well that’s very persuasive,’ says Green. Wooden floors - don’t fear to tread A point London customer Jill Roberts Caven makes is that Hug Rugs make wooden floors - and the same could apply to more porous stones such as limestone and marble - viable in areas/rooms you might think weren’t suitable. ‘For example, we share an entrance hall with the flat on the ground floor and it was covered with horrible plastic tiles. We finally decided to put down some engineered wood boards and they’ve really transformed the look of what was a depressing space.
everyone will find a design that suits their home. And we have our designer Sophie Brabbins to thank for our great portfolio of designs.’ Brabbins’ designs are digitially-printed onto the tufted cotton using vegetable-based dyes which give Hug Rugs their soft muted colours. ‘We don’t do garish,’ says Green, who adds that Brabbins’ Country Collection featuring beautifully drawn creatures such as pheasants, highland cattles, ducks and dogs is its most popular.
Above: Highland Cattle design from the Country collection, which is the brand’s best selling range Below: Pigs from the Country collection. Hug Rugs are made in Yorkshire from recycled cotton, recycled PET plastic and real rubber. Last year more than 130,000 rugs were sold worldwide
‘We can certainly vouch that Brits love animals,’ says Green.
‘And we don’t have to worry about keeping the wood clean and dry because we’ve put a rectangular mat right by the door, so wet/muddy shoes can be wiped immediately and then we have a runner down the centre, so you don’t actually need to walk on the wood but you see it and enjoy the look.’ The same goes for kitchens where the advice is generally to have ceramic tiles or resilient flooring because of cooking and water spills. But put a pretty barrier mat in front of the cooker and in the sink area and they’ll deal with grease and water. Design choice Green says a big part of Hug Rug’s appeal is the sheer breadth of designs, from plains and stripes to botanicals, animals and birds, all available in different colourways. ‘So the odds are
Facing page, top: Stripe from the contemporary range. Use rugs inside and out..just give them a 30 degree machine wash when they’re dirty Left: Bamboo bathmats are imported from India
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Phoenox Textiles Hug Rug is part of Phoenox Textiles, which was founded in 1954 in Huddersfield as a high volume wall-to-wall carpet manufacturer. Carpet making gave way to manufacturing doormats, which in turn led to the launch of Hug Rugs in 2008, while the other brand in the business is Rug Guru, which imports from India high-end wool and viscose rugs. These are sold through department stores and direct to customers. Also imported from India are bamboo fibre bathmats. Phoenox Textiles employs more than 100 people and is run by brothers Charles and
Adrian Mosley and Adrian’s wife Liz. Phoenox Textiles has ISO 14001 certification for environmental management. The company has recently invested in a water filtration plant so water is re-used and managed in a closed loop system. Last year 130,000 Hug Rugs were sold. Main export markets are the US, France and Spain. Buy online or find Hug Rugs in major garden centres include Dobbie’s, Wyevale and Blue Diamond. Hug Rug mats cost £39.99 and runners £69.99. www.hugrug.com
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What’s it Wearth?
Twentysomethings Imogen Minoli and Edward Davies have launched Wearth London, an online lifestyle store for the eco-friendly, ethical, veganminded, sustainability-mad, plastic-avoiding and of course super-stylish consumer. So that’s you and me.
Imogen and Edward have launched Wearth London, an online homewares shop that puts eco friendliness at its heart. Below: pure and natural beauty products
When they were looking for things for their home, Imogen Minoli and Edward Davies were struck by how untransparent the labelling on goods was, so they didn’t really know how eco-friendly or sustainable something was. And they were incredulous at the amount of plastic packaging that comes with so many purchases. Which got them thinking: wouldn’t it be nice to have a shop to go to where they could be sure everything in it
was genuinely sustainable, made predominantly in the UK and not smothered in plastic. And as they always say, if it doesn’t exist, set it up yourself - so welcome to Wearth London. Though still students, the pair spent the past year researching small companies and designer-makers, mainly British ones, that met their pretty straightforward sustainability criteria and so far 30 have come on board.
Wearth London opened its online doors in October and from sales so far it’s clear the couple aren’t alone in their commitment to eco-friendly shopping. So if you’re looking for recycled silver jewllery, organic cotton babygrows, plant-based skincare that really is free of chemicals or quality British upcycled furniture, well, you know where to come. Imogen and Edward, like many millennials, are fed up with governments around
the world paying lipservice to the need to protect the environment but not really taking on big industry and compelling it to take action that will at least slow down climate change not surprisingly, because their generation is going to be around a lot longer than Donald Trump. ‘We’re not trying to change people and convert them into eco warriors,’ says Edward, ‘but we do want to do our bit and change
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Wearth London is a one-stop eco shop
perceptions about what it means to buy sustainably.’ So by raising awareness of the provenance and ‘ingredients’ of a product, so more of us will get used to scrutinising labels a bit more closely, asking a few more questions about a product and slowly wean ourselves off our addiction to cheap mass-produced products which are often made on the other side of the world in polluting factory by workers paid subsistence wages.
you. This means you can choose to be shown products that are plastic free, biodegradable, made with all natural ingredients, veganfriendly, made by companies that give a percentage of profits to good causes, come in recyclable packaging, are made in the UK, made from sustainable ingredients, are made from recycled materials or handmade. And every product page that opens has a visual tag so you know at a glance its particular eco merits too.
Shop by values
‘We want to make it easy for you to shop according to issues that are important you, so you’re shopping in a conscious way and making informed decisions,’ says
One of the best features of the Wearth London website is that you can shop by values that matter most to
Edward. If this sounds very worthy, well, it isn’t, it’s just being sensible. Because we all need to address the issues of environmental damage caused by consumption of raw materials, and choosing to buy products that aren’t made from finite resources is a win-win for everyone. ‘We’re
not out to fight capitalism but the environment doesn’t really figure prominently enough in our current economic system,’ says Edward. Small is sustainable Imogen and Edward want to promote small niche
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‘Our ethos is to change perceptions about buying sustainably’ Edward Davies
Above: Soap Daze soaps are made by hand in Brighton Top left: Cork Yogis yoga mat - this company will be moving its manufacturing to Portugal and also gives money to Destiny Foundation, a charity in India that supports girls who’ve been victims of human trafficking. Left: ottoman upholstered seat made in Bristol by Made Anew using discarded wine crates from France
Foundation, a charity in India which offers education and training to girls who have been victims of human trafficking.) Pricing
makers and start-up companies because these types of businesses tend to be very eco-conscious. ‘They make in small batches, they can’t afford to be wasteful, they value being ethical, they charge fairly for their work,’ says Edward. ‘Online shopping has made it much easier for people to ind small independent makers and Wearth London is a platform that connects shoppers with the most eco-friendly businesses.’ Made in Britain Not all products sold by Wearth London are made
in Britain but around 80 per cent are, says Edward. ‘We support British manufacturing because we’re British and are selling mainly in the UK. But if we think a product is good and it’s made outside the UK we will consider it. For example we love the cork yoga mats by CorkYogis - they’re based in London but the mats are presently made in China, though manufacturing is moving to Portugal to be close to the raw material. We think that makes sense, to make your product where the material for it grows,’ says Edward. (This brand also contributes money to Destiny
Always a tricky one for small businesses... Wearth London products are selected for their eco merits and quality and Edward and Imogen say they won’t be involved in a pricing race to the bottom because they don’t believe quality products can be ultra low cost. ‘I do think we’re very used to low prices in this country but I would go back to our ethos which is to change perceptions about buying sustinably,’ says Edward. ‘Our products are made to last, they’re excellent quality and we don’t believe in poverty wages. People still have a tendency to think that if something is made from, say, recycled wood, then it should cost virtually nothing. But that’s ridiculous because
so much work has to go into restoring that wood to make it suitable for re-use.’ And Wearth London has lots of products that are terrific value such such as ceramic plant pots from £13, recycled silver rings from £25 and large bars of natural handmade soap from £5.95. Wearth London is a business that taps into virtuous added value. That’s because spending money that goes to a person who’s working hard to make quality products with minimal environmental impact feels much more positive than giving your dosh to a multinational. ‘We’re very confident about the business because we see that young people definitely - and probably older generations too - are looking for social and environmental value,’ says Edward - who adds that an early sign they were onto a good thing was that their friends didn’t glaze over at the words ‘sustainable shopping’. www.wearthlondon.com
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See the light
Tala is a young British lighting brand with impressive environmental credentials
Tala is a British brand of what you could call deluxe LED bulbs and lamps - table and pendant. The bulbs look like incandescent filament bulbs, and they give that warm light we’ve all been lamenting has been lacking from LEDs. Over its lifetime, Tala says using one of its bulbs instead of an incandescent one prevents one tonne of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. And the company also plants 10 trees for every 200 products sold; it’s partnered with the UK’s Heart of England Forest and the National Forest Foundation in the U.S.
Tala was founded by three friends who met at Edinburgh University - Joshua Ward, Maxwell Wood and William Symington. They couldn’t find filament style LED bulbs they liked so they decided to produce ther own. Tala bulbs and fittings contain advanced components and offer a minimalist aesthetic. The team feels the design marries the best of the Edison light bulb features (instant, warm, flicker-free, filament style) with efficient energy performance. Indeed a Tala bulb should give 30,000 hours of light - that could last between 12-16 years based on 5 hours of use a day. www.talaled.com
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For most people, the driving reason behind building a low energy home is about saving energy and therefore money. Undoubtedly the whole abstract idea of saving the planet comes into it but the reality is that it comes down to low bills. I have no issue with this whatsoever... well almost…. My design work is focused on housing. New builds, extensions, refurbishments all driven by a desire to be as sustainable as client, brief and budget will allow. Through this I’ve come to believe that the reason the take up for sustainable building techniques is so low is precisely because the debate has concentrated on money saving, and of course payback, for too long. I believe this is the wrong issue to focus on. Over the last few years I have evolved my sales pitch so that when I am trying to persuade someone to invest significant amounts of money in air tightness and super high levels of insulation, triple glazing, mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR), I no longer focus on the lower bills but on the quality of space. It is a wonderful by-product that low-energy spaces properly built are far nicer places to live. Still, calm, healthier and quiet, they are almost unnervingly comfortable. Once you’ve experienced low energy housing you will never want to live in a draughty and cold old school home again. More comfortable, better for you, lower bills and doing your bit to conserve a habitable planet, it sounds too good to be true. The only down side is that while cheaper in the medium to long term, low energy construction costs more up
front. It is also fast moving, constantly evolving area with a lot to understand and keep up with. There are, however, some simple principles that guide me through the minefield of sustainable design. 1. SMART DESIGN – one of the best things to come out of the whole sector is thermal modelling. This is the ability to use computer programmes to test the energy, thermal and water performance of a design as it evolves. This allows designers to optimise a buildings shape, orientation, windows and insulation to passively use the sun to do as much heating and lighting as possible. It goes hand in hand with a fabric first approach, reducing heat loss through insulation, good windows and airtightness rather than focusing, as many do, on how to heat the house through low carbon technologies; Heat Pumps, Photo Voltaic panels or
Bio-mass boilers. I would never design a new house without using thermal modelling to inform the process. 2. BEWARE OVER HEATING – all these large south-facing windows and lots of insulation are wonderful, but many new builds are suffering for being over heated. With our climate set to warm considerably over the next 50 years, this is only going to get worse. One of the main reasons for thermal modelling is to test for possible overheating and design it out at an early stage. 3. SIZE – we calculate energy consumption through kW/m2/ annum. The bigger the house the bigger the bills, so try to make space work harder for you rather than just making more space. Small can be beautiful and allows you to spend more money per m2 to get better quality.
4. INSULATION - It certainly isn’t sexy but to make super-comfortable low energy homes, insulation is your biggest asset. Critically, we aren’t talking about a few tatty layers of fibreglass in your loft, we are talking a minimum of 300mm up there, properly installed. It is a case of insulating as much as possible...and then some more! 5. NO COLD BRIDGES – the key to insulation is just lots of it but it must also have totally continuity. Any gaps or bits of structure; lintels, masonry, timber that bridge the insulation layer not only lose heat but moisture condensates on the resultant cold spots. This often lead is to mould forming, a big health risk; so you have to be very careful your insulation layer is carefully designed. 6. WINDOWS - windows are important to get right,
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Low energy homes - top tips from Charlie Luxton Charlie Luxton, architectural designer and television presenter, is pressing for new buildings to be designed to be low energy. If you're thinking of a self-build, you're commissioning an architect to design you a house, or you're doing a major refurb of your property, he has some wise words for you. particularly as they are replaced so infrequently. A house will usually go through multiple boilers before the windows are replaced, and windows should be triple glazed for new builds and at least double-glazed for existing homes. It’s not just the quality of the windows, how they are fitted is equally important. Air leakage is a big problem and using the right foams, tapes and fixings is critical. 7. AIR TIGHTNESS - after insulation airtightness is vital. This means sealing up all the gaps and holes in your buildings. Drafts and air movement within a dwelling have a huge impact on the comfort of a home. 19C is the perfect internal temperature for most people in a well-sealed free house but if there are draughts 21.C is required. This seemingly small rise in temperature will have a big impact on your comfort and energy bills. 8. MECHANICAL VENTILATION HEAT RECOVERY (MVHR) - once you’ve highly insulated and sealed a house, the biggest source of heat loss is ventilation. People need lots of fresh air to be healthy and to provide this and maintain airtightness you need MVHR. This is a system that extracts warm moist air from bathrooms, kitchens, utilities and passing it through a heat
exchanger to pre-heat fresh air form the outside which is pumped into the bedrooms, sitting rooms etc. It provides around four times the ventilation rates in a normal home and filters air for dust, pollen and pollutants. In a well-insulated, airtight house it will halve energy consumption and give fresh warmed clean air. I think it is one of the best bits of technology to come into the low energy sector. 9. INTERNAL AIR QUALITY – in terms of creating lowenergy comfortable but also healthy homes, making good internal air quality is central. MVHR helps by upping the ventilation rates, reducing moisture and filtering air that comes into the house. I am always very careful to try and specify low toxicity and low off-gassing materials. My rule of thumb is that if I would eat my dinner off it, I will put it in a house! Think about reducing the use of MDF, particleboard and petroleumbased products. 10. DON’T LOSE THE JOY – it’s easy with the additional complexity of all these issues to lose sight of the fact that your house should be joyful and inspiring. Sometimes low-energy architecture can become a little too worthy and rational. You need a bit of magic and spark in a project, don’t let low energy concerns kill that.
Whether refurbished or new builds, low energy homes aren’t easy to achieve, but once you do, you’ll never go back. £50K kitchens and surround sound AV rooms may be the luxuries of today, but low energy homes are the luxury of tomorrow.
Facing page: Charlie Luxton says people are wise to put their money into energy efficiency when spending on property Above: this new build British house meets stringent energy standards- and is very comfortable as a result, as well as cheaper to heat than older properties. Photograph courtesy of the Wood Awards.
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The Islands and the Whales The arguments between a community, environmentalists, medics and animal rights protesters are explored in a new documentary film by Mike Day about the Faroe Islands, where whaling remains a way of The Faroe Islands is a self-governing archipelago, part of the kingdom of Denmark. It comprises 18 rocky, volcanic islands between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic, connected by road tunnels, ferries, causeways and bridges. Hikers and bird-watchers are drawn to the islands’ mountains, valleys, grassy heathland, and steep coastal cliffs that harbor thousands of seabirds.
Above: beautiful in fine weather but life in the Faroe Islands is hard and whaling remains the livelihood of its people, who say they need whale meat for food and to make things they need. However, recent research shows whale meat is contaminated with mercury, so is dangerous to health, while animal rights protesters say the slaughter of pilot whales is cruel and unnecessary.
to be contaminated with mercury, making it unfit for human consumption, while the seabird populations have been collapsing. The film shows that the Faroese are among the first to feel the effects of our ever more polluted oceans. They’ve discovered that whales are toxic, contaminated not by them but by the outside world. Hence what once secured their survival now endangers their children and so they are having to confront the choice between health and tradition.
And the Faroes are also communities that say they depend on non endangered pilot whales for their food and to make many of the things they need. Mike Day’s new film documents the life of the pilot whale hunters who are at odds with the wider world that objects to their whaling. And it shows that the life of the Faroese is set to change in large part because of marine pollution: whale blubber has been found
‘This film took five years to make and I’m excited to bring it to the big screen. The majestic landscapes and sounds of the Faroe Islands deserve the full cinema experience, and the story the islanders and the whales have to tell us is strikingly relevant and vital.’ Director Mike Day.
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