HOT BRANDS COOL PLACES FASHION CULTURE LIFESTYLE
The Home Issue
EDITOR’S LETTER Welcome to our latest online magazine; this month’s Home issue is packed full with fabulous ideas from our wonderful Directory Listed companies. In this issue we also have exciting news from LINLEY about their latest brand development. We hear how Lavazza has collaborated with 12 world-class photographers to celebrate the twentieth Lavazza Calendar. We also have interviews with three wonderfully inspiring entrepreneurs, Vanessa Streeton, Founder and MD of CocoonU, Charlie Marshall, Founder of The Sleep Room and Eifion Griffiths, Partner in Melin Tregwynt. Now that we are spending more of our evenings curled up inside we also have reviews of some wonderful books to browse, and to inspire you. Finally, we want to thank each and every one of you who forwarded, or retweeted the link to our last Breast Cancer Awareness magazine. The response was amazing, as well as your very kind and thoughtful comments, it was obviously a cause close to many people’s hearts. As we go into November, we would also like to remind people that November is also known as Movember http://www.uk.movember.com/. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. Please support this important cause. Until the next time, thank you for all your kind wishes and ongoing support. Kaye, Louise and the whole Hot Brands Cool Places team www.hotbrandscoolplaces.com Picture Credits: Front Cover image courtesy of LINLEY www.davidlinley.com
Images throughout the magazine supplied by the various companies, or publishers featured.
Please Note All information about products and services are supplied to us by the individual organizations, or agencies acting on their behalf. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that all information is accurate, it may be subject to change. Please check with individual organizations for the latest information about all events, products, or news items.Inclusion in this magazine does not imply endorsement by Hot Brands Cool Places. Hot Brands Cool Places does not accept responsibility for the content of any external site. The views and opinions expressed by interviewees and other contributors are theirs alone and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Hot Brands Cool Places. 2
DESIGNERS GUILD Designers Guild new autumn collections are inspired by the grandeur of the days of the Raj. Discover stunning florals, cool geometrics and a fabulous colour palette - from cobalt and indigo to deep magenta, moss, violet and classic black and white. Visit the flagship showrooms on the Kings Road and Marylebone High Street in London, concession in Selfridges or shop the complete, stylish lifestyle at www.designersguild.com/uk-shop-online/shop-home
Hot Brands Cool Places spoke with Charlie Marshall, Founder of The Sleep Room for an exclusive interview You have started two successful businesses; some people struggle to come up with one good idea, what do you think is the secret to finding a good business idea? Ask yourself if people really want what you’re offering. And be prepared to say “no” to almost every idea. I thought of a new business this morning specialising in food for space travel. But by the time I got to work I already knew why this was a non-starter! Persuading people to buy online can be a challenge, what does The Sleep Room try to do to make the experience special? Reduce, reduce, reduce! Good ideas are ones that look simple (even though they may not be behind the scenes). So we keep our offering and brand promise as simple as possible. And then we try to treat people as we’d like to be treated ourselves. An old-fashioned concept, but I think being disarmingly normal in our manner and in the way we present ourselves is something people can identify with. What advice do you have for people when buying a bed? The best way to sell a bed is to talk about anything else other than the bed as it’s a very intimate business. People are often made and born in a bed as well as sleep in one, so I find you have to get people to like and trust you before dishing out tips. The only real advice I then ever give is to go for the largest one your room can take. Other than that, I kind of hope that the fact that I have been to over 200 mattress and bed factories around the world (and distilled our offering to what we think is the very best) will allow our customers just to choose whatever they think looks and feels nice. Very unscientific. But it works. You have some beautiful beds, where do you get your inspiration for new beds? Travelling to our suppliers all over the world, particularly India, always gets the creative juices flowing. And then summers in Ibiza are an exciting time to talk to individuals who are far more talented than I’ll ever be (a nice excuse, I know!). I always pick up a copy of Spanish Architectural Digest which is the Holy Grail of interiors glossies and a source of mouth-watering ideas. And then there are my sisters’ houses which they have all managed to fill with beautiful, effortless style. Our Bella bedside table is a reworked version of a table in my sister Bella’s bedroom! 5
What makes a perfect day at work for you? I’m not sure I have ever had such a thing as each day is so insanely varied. Obviously it’s exciting when the tills are ringing and you see how much people appreciate our products enough to part with their hard-earned cash. But it’s the creative process of designing furniture, making it, photographing it and getting it onto our site which I adore. I used to own a soup factory and thought I was passionate about food. But it’s nothing compared to my obsession with good furniture design. I won’t sleep until we get a design right. And it’s an obsession which is incredibly rewarding. I’m very lucky to have found it. When you get time to relax what do you enjoy doing? Chasing my young son, Horace, around the place is not exactly relaxing, but nothing beats being with him, my wife Missa and our tiny daughter Minna. I play tennis three times a week when my back’s not giving me jip. My charging around a court after a yellow ball may look like World War One, but it’s my own form of yoga which helps me sift through my thoughts. I love it! www.thesleeproom.com
FEW AND FAR Few and Far has been created by Priscilla Carluccio as a very carefully curated collection of beautifully made clothes- contemporary furniture, table top, jewellery and toys. Vintage and antique objects complete a seasonally changing shop that believes in excellent customer service and inspiring display. www.fewandfar.net
SUMMERILL AND BISHOP Add style and charm to your home this Autumn/Winter with Summerill and Bishopâ€™s new collection of decorative accessories, tableware and glassware. Made by artisans from across France, Italy and the Middle East, you can enjoy 15% OFF our eclectic and unique range by entering HOTBRANDS15 at the checkout page. Offer ends 13/11/11, valid online only. www.summerillandbishop.com
ROBERT WELCH For over 50 years, Robert Welch Designs has been synonymous with award-winning products â€“ all designed at our studio in the Cotswolds and manufactured to the highest standards. The full range includes cutlery, other tableware, lighting, glassware, bathroom accessories, a selection of unusual candlesticks and kitchenware. www.robertwelch.com
Woven in Wales
Hot Brands Cool Places spoke with Eifion Griffiths, Partner in Melin Tregwynt for an exclusive interview Where did you get the inspiration for setting up your company? Melin Tregwynt is a longstanding family business founded by my grandfather in 1912, although the mill itself has been in continuous production since the 17th century. The mill is in a small remote valley in Pembrokeshire near the coast. It was originally built here because of the presence of water and there were various small mills in the valley. Apparently it was originally a corn mill and was part of the local Tregwynt estate. It was originally called Dyffryn Mill but there were a lot of mills with this name in Wales so when my grandfather bought the mill in 1912 he changed the name to Tregwynt, the same name as the estate. I trained as an architect and practised for a number of years before making the decision to return to the family business. I was the only son so I thought I should give it a go before it was too late. Once I started I realised that working in the business would help develop both my design and marketing skills and provide me with a very fulfilling job that I love. When I joined the family business in the 80’s, my training as an architect drew me to the repetition, structure and rhythm of pattern. Producing soft, slightly felted blankets for The Shaker Shop in the late 80’s and Designers Guild in the early 1990’s enabled the company to retain and reinvigorate the Welsh double cloth tradition. What emerged were geometric fabrics that photographed well and looked good on the printed page – this pared down approach helped define the brand. Today our unique range of blankets, throws and cushions can be found worldwide; from hip hotels to design led-stores and on film and TV. They have even made an appearance on Dr. Who. How have you managed to maintain the local Welsh traditions while at the same time creating modern design? ‘Welsh Tapestry’; a heavy, densely woven double cloth was unique to Wales and used to make bedspreads, blankets and garments. Stiff A-line capes and culottes bearing the large, geometric, contrasting patterns popular in the 60’s are a vivid childhood memory for many visitors to Wales. Eventually Welsh tapestry almost died out – every mill in Wales had made it and by undercutting rivals eventually priced themselves out of the market. We thought it was time to bring it back and give it a new identity so we combined the tradition of the Welsh doublecloth and ‘carthenni’, blanket with beautiful colour and innovative modern design. We work in lighter weight Lambswool but try to keep the essential qualities of this cloth and love the fact that is has great appeal to a contemporary audience. You Tube video footage can be found on http://youtu.be/sY1lwZaUwSQ And http://youtu.be/Xyp4v23CCHw
We love your latest range what makes it special for you? Our new Tote design is a development of one of our existing loom settings; it was created out of a work placement with design student Liz Turton who worked with us here at the Mill. I love the way she responded to the brief of sticking a complex machine thread up but creating something fresh and new out of incredibly tight constraints. How do you see the Melin Tregwynt brand developing during 2012? We have our own mail order catalogue and a shop & cafe at our mill so visitors to Pembrokeshire can come and see our products actually being woven, We are stocked in other stores and design led retailers like Conran, SCP & John Lewis. we also make bespoke & custom blankets throws & cushions for Hotels and designers like Margaret Howell. We attend trade fairs in London, Paris, New York & Tokyo and have stores and customers around the world It would be great to become a global brand but recognised for our intrinsic Welshness and originality. What have been the company highlights during 2011? Just about to open our first on line shop, being launched into 9 John Lewis stores, working with designer of the year Donna Wilson on her doublecloth weaves for SCP, introducing brilliant new accessories and bags for A/W 12, AND starting to plan for out centenary next year You pursue a number of different interests, how do you find time for relaxation? Pembrokeshire is where we live and work and it’s absolutely beautiful – our best holiday is to be at home! I like to cycle everyday to work. I’ll often cycle the 5 miles to work without seeing a car or another human being but I will see a buzzard, some rabbits, the occasional fox or badger, and lots and lots of sheep. Walking our three Labradors on nearby Strumble Head, going out sea rowing with mates or relaxing with my wife in our (very low maintenance!) garden. www.melintregwynt.co.uk
COGNOSCENTI Cognoscenti livingâ€™s online boutique is full of unique, individual, artisan products to fill your life with beauty, style and great taste. Thatâ€™s why we hand select products to sell from local and international artisans. www.cognoscentiliving.com
Hot Brands Cool Places spoke with Vanessa Streeton, CocoonuU Founder & MD for an exclusive interview What inspired you to start CocoonU? Travelling to the Far and Middle East and seeing the beautiful and exceptional quality of materials, fabrics and colours available in these fascinating regions became my first source of inspiration. CocoonU began by sourcing beautiful cashmere from Outer Mongolia. I am proud to bring beautiful products from this fascinating landscape to the UK market. We have now developed our collections and offer niche ranges from designers mostly based in Yorkshire or the North of England, who are both incredibly talented and passionate about their work. Everything we offer is made with natural materials that are sourced with principles. Nothing is mass produced and everything is finished to the highest standards. We search hard to seek out talented, creative designers and love working with the history, stories, skill, passion and individuality that produce such remarkable pieces. Our range now includes hand finished Italian leather handbags, the purest UK made organic bath and body ranges and unique, fashionable accessories including stunning hats and headwear â€“ lovingly made in Yorkshire with exquisite attention to detail and unique, beautiful and chic jewellery â€“ also designed and handmade for CocoonU in Yorkshire. Four years on and throughout an extremely difficult economic climate we have stuck by our values with some doors opening and some closing. Times are slowly changing and more and more consumers want to know about the origins of their purchases and buy something that will bring years of pleasure. The whole process takes time but is extremely rewarding. What have been your highlights in the last four years? I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing and fascinating people. Attending London fashion week and meeting Harold Tillman who was inspirational and supportive of my ideas and remains in touch, was an outstanding highlight. Our recent collaboration with a major international brand like George Smith and their belief in us has been fantastic and the designers we work with who have so much talent and love for what they do are a constant source of inspiration. When I see CocoonU in the media whether luxury coffee table publications such as Quintessentially Living on a page next to top international designers,or seeing our products in regional and national magazines, I still have to pinch myself - it is a little surreal!
What have been the challenges? A major challenge is educating the current market to understand that buying quantity not quality is not an effective way to purchase and that a high price point offers value for money with payback over time. A luxury product offers an investment or a little goes a long way in the case of our Organic range. Becoming known as a luxury, quality, brand takes a long time and patience is essential. Business is constantly changing and evolving and anticipating where to focus - whether how to develop our internet presence, where and when to open a Boutique and deciding to participate in a collaboration - is a constant challenge. What are your hopes and ambitions for the future of the brand? I would like to see the CocoonU brand in franchises or concessions worldwide and make a positive contribution to the economy through employment and sound sourcing principles. I would love to work with a creative business mentor who can see my vision and help move the business forward. What advice do you have for someone thinking about starting their own business? If you believe in and are passionate about your idea, see a gap in the market, have done research and received positive feedback on the potential - then go for it. Receiving knocks does not mean you have failed and donâ€™t take anything personally. Do not become complacent and be open to suggestions from others. What do you do to relax? The birth of my little girl 3 weeks ago is keeping my spare time occupied at the moment, but walking my dog Jake across rough and muddy fields in ancient wellies is my idea of heaven! Cooking for family and friends is also something I enjoy. www.cocoonu.com
IN THE LINEN CUPBOARD “Treat yourself to pure luxury and indulgence” The majority of products at In The Linen Cupboard are made from the finest pure percale Egyptian cotton, 570-thread count, double twisted, combed and mercerised with a soft satin finish, which looks, feels and is luxurious. www.inthelinencupboard.co.uk
Hot Brands Cool Places spoke to LINLEY about their exciting News - The Redevelopment of the Brand LINLEY - THE PAST British design company LINLEY was founded by David Linley in 1985. David’s creative ability was nurtured by his parents from an early age. His father, Lord Snowdon, both eminent photographer and architect, was particularly influential encouraging David to explore construction and design. David’s mother, the late Princess Margaret, also encouraged his creativity with her passion and talent for music and art. As a boy, David developed an avid interest in wood-working, later honing his professional skills at the Parnham House School for Craftsmen in Wood. His genuine passion and skill for cabinetmaking led him to found David Linley & Co, a company specialising in the creation of unique, bespoke pieces of furniture. The abiding philosophy and brand ethos was – and remains – superlative craftsmanship, distinctive design and exemplary service. These elements form the building blocks of the brand’s DNA and heritage. The first collection David Linley & Co launched commercially was unveiled in 1985 at Christie’s, King Street. Retail premises were then opened on the New Kings Road and in 1993 the shop moved to Belgravia’s Pimlico Road, where the flagship store remains to this day. LINLEY – THE PRESENT Some 26 years on, the now well established British design company LINLEY enjoys prominence as both a retail and bespoke business specializing in the design and production of furniture, upholstery and interior schemes as well as gifts and home accessories of a superlative quality. The company has built up both a national and international presence with a quarter of its customer base from overseas. Bespoke commissions and projects have ranged from individual domestic pieces such as dining tables, games tables and jewellery boxes to entire interior design projects - both exclusive privates residences and commercial ventures such as Claridge’s and the Kempinski Baltschug in Moscow. LINLEY has also made furniture for yachts, private jets and corporate projects, working with leading designers such as Andrew Winch, Bannenberg, Peter Marino and Ralph Lauren to name a few.
There are currently two LINLEY shops – LINLEY Belgravia (60 Pimlico Road, SW1) and LINLEY Mayfair (46 Albemarle St, W1). In 2010 a concession was opened at Harrods London. The brand also has a strong and growing e-commerce business selling gifts and accessories around the world. LINLEY - THE FUTURE As 2012 approaches, LINLEY is moving into the next exciting stage of brand development and strategic expansion under the new leadership of Jamie Edmiston. As a shareholder of Linley, Jamie Edmiston will work closely with Chairman David Linley to take the LINLEY brand into the international arena. The essence and values of the brand will remain consistent, drawing on Linley’s expertise and skills of craftsmanship and design. Strategic initiatives in the first stages of restructuring will include: * Redeveloped brand identity reflecting the bold, contemporary direction the company is now taking * Refurbishment and relaunch of the LINLEY flagship store on Pimlico Road, Belgravia * The launch of the LINLEY Bentley collaboration - a limited edition of 10 Continental Flying Spurs. * Unveiling of a business plan outlining strategic initiatives, global expansion plan and product development focus Jamie Edmiston quotes: “LINLEY craftsmanship and the quality of work is without question world class – the attention to detail and the passion that goes into each product is a clear differentiator, and the passion that David has for design and craftsmanship still rings clearly throughout the company. This quality of workmanship, combined with the provenance of the LINLEY name has ensured that the brand is extremely well respected and recognised – there is no doubt that LINLEY is one of the great British brands – however, I firmly believe there is enormous potential to grow the brand both in the UK and internationally. I have huge respect and admiration for brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes, and my clear aim is to ensure that the LINLEY brand is recognised in the same vein as these within the next five years. I am of course realistic and don’t expect this to happen overnight, however, I am a firm believer that we should aim high”. www.davidlinley.com
BELLE & BOO Belle and Boo is a wonderful world of childhood innocence full of whimsy and delight. From homewares to stationery this delightful pair, along with a few of their friends, will transform any nursery or playroom into a childhood wonderland. www.belleandboo.com
DOTTY BROWN Dotty Brown is a delightful collection of vintage inspired fabrics, oilcloth, home furnishings and gifts, all designed to coordinate in a shaby chic style with a twist on English country themes allowing you to create your own unique look. www.dottybrown.com
ELLA JAMES LIVING Ella James have added an extensive Christmas range to their online offer including embroidered santa sacks , vintage advent calenders , silver pinecone wreaths and lucky barn stars . New for 2011 is the Ribbons and Wrap section which has printed christmas packing tape , personalised tags and unusual woven ribbons for homespun gifts. www.ellajamesliving.co.uk
The Lavazzers - Lavazza collaborates with 12 world-class photographers to celebrate the twentieth Lavazza Calendar Lavazza has united 12 masters of photography to celebrate the twentieth edition of its calendar which, this year, is entitled ‘The Lavazzers’. The 12 contributors are: Annie Leibovitz, Miles Aldridge, David LaChapelle, Mark Seliger, Elliott Erwitt, Finlay MacKay, Ellen von Unwerth Erwin Olaf, Thierry Le Gouès, Marino Parisotto, Eugenio Recuenco, and Albert Watson. Led by the Armando Testa agency, the photographers were briefed to demonstrate their love of Lavazza coffee through self-portraits. The photographers took this forward to interpret themselves in innovative, unusual and imaginative shots. The final result is a gallery of powerfully suggestive images, combining humorous and enigmatic photographs with refined sculptural images and icons. The beauty of this project lies in its diversity; the introspective, surreal approach of each artist contributes to a one-of-a-kind work uniting traditional photography, sophisticated personal techniques and, in some cases, digital art. “Every year the Lavazza Calendar experiments with new artistic trends and different themes interpreted by an international artist,” tells Francesca Lavazza, Corporate Image Director of the Group. “In an edition which is so important and significant for our communications, we wanted to turn the tables and ask the great photographers to create self portraits inspired by our espresso: the result is truly exciting.” Since we are so used to imagining them behind the lens, seeing these photographers as the protagonist in front of the camera is a brand new experience. David LaChapelle, the king of the jungle in a shot entitled An ordinary morning turns into Paradise, recounts how coffee is “a tool to push my mind into gear”. Fellow photographer Erwin Olaf in his shot My thoughts flying away, points out how, “While drinking Lavazza coffee naturally the human body is on my mind”. “It was incredible to work with these great talents, managing to capture the relationship between their personalities and coffee in each photograph,” emphasised Michele Mariani, Executive Creative Director, Armando Testa Agency.
“It was almost like a return home, or even better, a new interpretation of Espress Yourself, so close to the heart of Lavazza.” Mark Seliger describes his portrait:
In my stairwell Deep “A patinated 150 year old wall, top lit, an emptied elevator shaft, which now serves as a stairwell. Perhaps an unlikely destination for a photographic series of artists—yet at some point it became a familiar common denominator – almost a stage – not only for my subjects, but also for my work” The icon and driving force behind the 2012 Calendar and the entire project connected to the celebration of the twentieth anniversary will be Valerie van der Graaf. The young Dutch model, protagonist of the photographs by Ellen von Unwerth, will be on the cover of the 2012 Calendar as she blows out the candles. This is a symbolic birthday with dual meanings: it is the 20th edition of the Lavazza Calendar, and Valerie is also 20 years old — there could not be a better spokesperson for the years to come. Much like Ellen von Unwerth’s 1995 Lavazza Calendar, which featured Amber Smith in front of an enormous birthday cake to mark 100 years of the Turin-based company, Valerie is featured in front of 20 lit birthday candles. This and the self-portrait in the 2012 Calendar is not the first time Ellen has been called upon to celebrate a special occasion with Lavazza. “Everyone knows that I’m a photographer,” Ellen explains “What they may not know is that I’m often involved with birthday cakes, especially when I’m working with Lavazza. Once, to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the brand and now, because it’s the twentieth birthday of the Lavazza Calendar. So you see, we can always find an excuse for a celebration. And if there’s a party, you can be sure I won’t miss it.” Picture Credit- Mark Seliger Model: Misty Copeland Picture Credit Ellen von Unwerth Model: Valerie van der Graaf
THE NATURAL RUG COMPANY The Natural Rug Company, a specialist retailer in bordered natural rugs available in a variety of products such as Coir, Sisal, Seagrass and luxury Wools. Check out our website for more details and by quoting HotbrandsCoolPlaces we will give you 12% discount on any bordered rug ordered before 10th November. www.thenaturalrugcompany.com
BOOKS Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic Inspirations & Beautiful Spaces by Rachel Ashwell Synopsis: Welcome to Rachel Ashwell’s world: as beautiful as it is comfortable, as inspiring and spontaneous as it is practical and personal. Here Rachel shares her inspirations and her humour, celebrates the charm of the old and demonstrates how interiors touched with her magic transcend fashionable trends. Rachel takes us to homes in the US – from a shabby shack on Malibu’s oceanfront to a ranch on the wide, open spaces of Texas, to the wooded hills of the Catskills and to Sharon Osbourne’s Hollywood home – and in the UK – from a houseboat and a city townhouse to a centuries old manor house deep in the country, and her own London flat. All the houses, regardless of size or location, embody Rachel’s ethos and share the same qualities: a respect for beautiful objects from the past, an extravagant sense of comfort and an eye for the unexpected. All are inviting, artistic, soulful, beautiful and perfectly imperfect. http://www.cicobooks.com/books/bookdetails.php?isbn=9781907563591 Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict We loved Rachel’s previous Shabby Chic books and this book is another delightful collection. Her style is instantly recognizable and her unique approach to blending beautiful objects and words makes all her books an absolute joy. As she says, ‘Each and every room in this book is like a visual poem to me. Some of the poetry is woven from the design of the homes, some from the artisans’ creations and some from the stated values of home and family’. With specially commissioned photography by Gisela Torres, this is a book to treasure, it’s absolutely beautiful, with inspiration on every single page. We loved it! Highly Recommended! Romantic English Homes by Robert O’Byrne Photography by Simon Brown Synopsis: Ever since the English aristocracy first embarked on Grand Tours in the seventeenth century, the passion for developing collections has been a national trait of England. As a result, the country’s aristocratic palaces became repositories of treasure gathered from around the globe. But so too, thanks to the spread of an Empire providing goods from across the globe, did almost every residence in England. Romantic English Homes features 14 such houses, the majority never before photographed. Large or small, old or new, they all convey an impression of objects intentionally mingling styles and tastes, the classical placed next to the gothic, tartan competing with floral. Decorated with defiant eclecticism, the buildings chosen here by Robert O’Byrne indicate that although the Empire may have gone, the English love of collecting remains as strong as ever.
Crossing the country from Dorset, Devon and Cornwall to East Anglia and Suffolk, and from London to Shropshire, it is both the romantic timelessness of these properties and their manylayered appearance that makes them so alluring. http://www.cicobooks.com/books/bookdetails.php?isbn=9781907563294 Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict This is a sumptuous book, richly photographed by Simon Brown, of wonderfully romantic houses divided into Family Houses, Manor Houses and Country Houses, there are beautiful examples from Cornwall to Northumberland. With inviting sitting and drawing rooms, grand halls, inspiring libraries, deep and luxurious baths and beautiful bedrooms to dream in, this book is a wonderful celebration of English Homes. Highly Recommended! Patch - Cath Kidston The latest addition to Cath Kidston’s best-selling range of craft titles is Patch! This book presents Cath’s new and innovative take on traditional patchwork, which combines established techniques with a more contemporary approach. Mixing her own distinctive prints with vintage fabrics, Cath has designed 30 original and irresistible projects including not just the pieced quilts that you might expect but also numerous accessories and home furnishings – bags, cushions, pillowcases, even a toddler’s toy ball and a dog bed. Patchwork, also known as pieced work, simply involves sewing together cut pieces of material to create a larger design, and Cath has broadened the boundaries of conventional patchwork to create projects from vintage embroidered traycloths, striped linen tea towels, and shirting, returning to its origins as a craft born out of thrift at a time when new fabrics were scarce. Many of the projects in this book can be made out of the scraps and leftovers that crafters accumulate, thereby putting all those odds and ends to perfect use. There is a wide range of techniques from simple machine piecing to more complex crazy patchwork, which makes this is a wonderful book not only for beginners but also for advanced sewers who want to tackle more challenging patch projects. To get you started, the book includes pieces of seven different printed fabrics and instructions to create either a calico bag or cushion. With the clearly written instructions accompanied by explanatory diagrams, and each project shown in detail in colour photographs, Patch! is the worthy successor to the best-selling Make!, Sew! and Stitch. Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict If you are looking for something to totally absorb you this autumn/winter, look no further. Patch! is the perfect solution, not only is it packed full with wonderful and charming designs, it also comes with the materials to start you on your very own project. With the growth of interest in traditional crafts, this book has some wonderful ideas to get you started, the introduction is impressive, full of hints and tips to prepare you for the projects, followed by a delightful collection of cushions, bags, cushions, pillowcases, bedcovers and curtains. An absolute delight, we loved it! Highly Recommended! http://www.amazon.co.uk/
Cutest Ever Baby Knits Val Pierce Synopsis: A completely irresistible collection of utterly cute baby clothes, these patterns will give great delight both to the knitter and to all who see the results on tiny new babies. There are bootees that look like little strawberries, a baby bonnet in the shape of a crinoline skirt, a bumblebee set of hat and mitts and a cozy cot blanket that looks like a field of daisies. Hats, bootees, mitts, little coats and dresses: none of the patterns are complicated and many are suitable for complete beginners. Created with adorable newborns in mind many of the projects can also be made to fit babies from 3 to 9 months. Knitting and crochet have been a lifelong passion for Val Pierce, her father having taught her to knit at the tender age of five. Having worked for many major yarn companies and various well-known designers, she decided it was time to branch out and begin making her own designs. She is the author of the forthcoming Love... Knitting to be published by New Holland and her work is published regularly in knitting magazines. She also teaches knitting and crochet to adults and children. http://www.newhollandpublishers.com/ Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict If you are looking for something little and cute to start knitting, here are some wonderful designs, from a teddy bear hat, to a flowers and squares blanket, to our favourite the strawberry shoes, there is something for everyone here. If you need to brush up you knitting skills there is help here too with an introduction to the basics. There are just two words to sum up this collection, absolutely adorable! We loved it, Highly Recommended! The Complete Countryman: A User’s Guide to Traditional Skills and Lost Crafts by Alan Titchmarsh Synopsis: In this comprehensive and practical guide to the countryside, passionate and hugely knowledgeable countryman Alan Titchmarsh explores the heritage of rural Britain, its landscapes and wildlife, its traditions, customs and crafts. He’ll look at the beauty of chalk downland, offer a checklist of British butterflies and where to find them and show how to make moth traps and wildlife ponds. He’ll identify the best breeds of cattle for meat and milk, explain how best to look after a pig and the secrets of a successful small holding. From keeping chickens to dressing a stick, from dry-stone walling to creating a wild flower meadow, the essence of country life and the best places to encounter it will be identified in this celebration of the British countryside and its delights, skills and treasures. http://www.amazon.co.uk/ Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict This latest book by Alan Titchmarsh is an absolute joy, chapters include Country Ways, Working the Land, The Country Home and Garden, The Wild Garden, Country Arts and Crafts, and Go Wild in the Country, as well as comprehensive references and further information. We loved the Country Home and Garden chapter with the delicious recipes, and the way that Alan has captured the spirit of the countryside throughout the book with the charming illustrations and the fascinating traditions of our country heritage. As ever his passion for the outdoors shines through, full of fascinating information and beautifully illustrated, it really is a delightful A-Z of all things country. Highly Recommended!
IDYLL HOME At Idyll Home we love to find new and unique products from around the world. We sell an eclectic and stylish mix of furniture, home and garden accessories and where we can try to find recycled and reclaimed products. www.idyllhome.co.uk
DUSK LIGHTS Dusk Lights is a UK online lighting superstore that not only sells an eclectic range of contemporary and traditional lights at great value but also offers a free professional telephone support service offering advice and technical help on all lighting matters. www.dusklights.co.uk
FOUND HOME STORE At Found we aim to bring you something different by offering an unrivalled selection of stylish products with character and soul, not always available on the high street. Let us help brighten up your home for the coming winter... www.foundhomestore.co.uk
FURNITURE DIVAS Furniture Divas design and make one-off and unique pieces of furniture. You can choose from a range of funky, stylish and often quirky pieces or create your own! Visit our online boutique at www.furnituredivas.co.uk
AMODE Launched in 2007, Amode was born to bring high quality, affordable contemporary European furniture to the UK. Amodeâ€™s contemporary style is synonymous with high end Italian living, but at prices that are affordable and accessible. Amode has a sophisticated collection of modern furniture for the bedroom, living room and dining room. www.amode.co.uk
BALINEUM Balineum - The perfect pit-stop for a bathroom make-over, and their range of gorgeous things just keeps growing. Balineum also have a collection of bathroom counter-top accessories and some fabulous baskets and storage solutions. Who knew the place to put your toothpaste or loo rolls could be so stylish. www.balineum.co.uk
Welcome to our latest online magazine; this month’s Home issue is packed full with fabulous ideas from our wonderful Directory Listed compan...