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Cool Places


I S S U E N O. 7 1

Home living...


Welcome to our latest magazine, created during one of the most challenging periods of our time. Our thoughts are with the front line workers and those people who very sadly have lost a family member, or friend during this time. Nothing compares to the sadness of the loss of a loved one, but it is especially hard during this pandemic. At the start of the lockdown, we promised to try and share uplifting and positive moments whenever we can. Through our websites we are sharing ideas for reading, cooking, home and interiors to help you through this difficult time. The companies listed in our directories and in this magazine will all be affected in different ways and will be operating depending on their individual circumstances, please see their websites for more details. In this magazine, we feature an inspiring interview with Maxine Hall and Paula Moss - Designers and Directors of Blackpop about how they have grown their company. We also have features about the following: The Joy of Gardening Working from home – how to create more space Our thoughts are with each and every one of you. Stay safe and well. Cover image courtesy of Go Modern https://www.gomodern.co.uk www.hotbrandscoolplaces.com

Images throughout the magazine supplied by the various companies, or publishers featured.


Kaye Thorne // Editor in Chief

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.

J U S T FA B R I C S Just Fabrics is the Cotswolds' favourite fabric company. One of the largest online fabric retailers with two showrooms in the Cotswolds, Just Fabrics has served customers for over 25 years. Made to measure curtains and blinds are hand finished in their workroom. There is a wide range of designer and clearance fabrics on the website.


GROHE GROHE is a global leader in premium bathroom and kitchen fittings, offering complete bathroom solutions from brassware, ceramics and accessories to some of the most innovative shower and toilet systems, as well as a diverse range of sinks, taps and innovative WaterSystems for the kitchen. Additionally, GROHE also has an expanding portfolio of digital and professional product offerings. All GROHE products are developed with the brand’s core values in mind; innovative technology, sustainable credentials and superior quality and design.


GO MODERN Stylish new designs for spring 2020. We work with Europe’s leading designers and manufacturers to bring you highquality contemporary furniture for every room in the house. Our furniture includes fitted and freestanding wardrobes, wall units, family friendly extending dining tables, sofas, armchairs, and beautiful weather-proof outdoor furniture designed to last.


T R E A S U R E T ROV E The Treasure Trove is an online Shabby Chic and Vintage Furniture Store based in East Sussex. We source our furniture from all over the UK and Europe, searching for time-worn or faded items that need The Treasure Trove’s restoring touch. All our furniture is lovingly hand painted and restored and delivered directly to your door with FREE UK DELIVERY. Why not see what treasures you can find?



What inspired you to create Blackpop? Blackpop was a midlife plunge into the unknown for me. Prior to starting the business, I was a university lecturer in fine art and digital media alongside which I had my own fine art practice using photography and graphics in Photoshop. For a long time I had been looking for surfaces to put my artwork onto. I started out printing it directly on to furniture that had flat surfaces such as coffee tables. It became difficult to sustain this - they were truly stunning but the post production i.e. sourcing suitable pieces where the tops could be taken off and the sanding down, became too labour intensive. Then I came across some digitally printed fabric and I was instantly excited! Manufacturing in this way had only just come on line back in 2012. I eagerly created a few patterns inspired by visits to nearby stately homes such as Chatsworth House and developed an elegantly distressed collection of wallpaper designs. Blackpop’s fabric came on line a couple of years later. My motivation was triggered by my desire to spend my time being innovative, creative and to be a successful business woman. Your designs are exquisite, can you tell us a little about how the process works? We work from a digital palette of photographs that we deconstruct in Photoshop, mixed with scanned in painted artwork and graphics created in Illustrator. For the ‘Tudors Deconstructed’ collection we worked with the National Portrait Gallery’s world renowned collection of Tudor portraits where we were sent high resolution images, some made microscopically and others with state of the art cameras. These became our digital palette. Then I had to think how to deconstruct [that word again] the portraits as I didn’t want to simply replicate them. I made painterly textured backgrounds, embedding graphics of crowns and orbs that I made in Illustrator, then I decided to draw Kandinsky/Miro like shapes and fill them with the pigments/pixels from the portraits. All of these elements sit on different layers, so you have control over each element, which allows you to play around until you think it’s finished.

What was your source of inspiration for your Paradise range? We wanted to design a collection that took its inspiration from something dark and dramatic. We’ve got a very old, battered and beautiful copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost and the plates which are by Doré are gorgeous. Whilst Paradise is a collection which is much more graphic in style than any of our previous ranges, it still has Blackpop’s design DNA running through it. On the whole ‘Paradise’ is more motif than pattern led, created to produce statement wall murals and cultured velvet wall hangings, in addition to rolls of wallpaper, that work for both our commercial and residential clients.

You have had a number of very successful collaborations in the past, do you have a favourite project? Our collaborations have all be such a privilege and each of them quite different form the other, so it would be hard to say. We do though have favourite designs from our collaborations, ones that have really stood the test of time. Oh and we’ve just won the ‘Best Modern Rug Design’ Award at Domotex 2020 for our Fresco Rug made in collaboration with Knots Rugs and Sir John Soanes Museum. We took a trip to Kathmandu to seeing them on the loom being hand made and that was a real highlight!


What exciting new plans do you have for the future? At the moment we are working on some new designs, that’s always really exciting. We have a number of ongoing bespoke projects, for one we are designing a ceiling wallpaper for a wonderful house on the estate where Downton Abbey is filmed, reworking the ‘Paradise Found’ motif into a heavenly fresco! For another we are reupholstering two fantastic wingback chairs, again reworking ‘Paradise Lost’ and ‘Found’ so the chairs will be covered in a narrative rather than a repetitive pattern.

We have also developed new sustainable FR fabrics that will adorn all of our existing designs, to expand our commercial reach. We have plans to work on a couple of Blackpop pop ups in the UK and overseas - so watch this space!

Interview What do you like about being based in Derbyshire and when you are not working, how do you relax? Derbyshire has a long standing tradition of artisan craft making and we are really proud to be part of that. Having recently established our studio and showroom here, we are finding that being in the middle of the UK is really handy for clients who are wanting to visit. We have a great circle of friends here too - something akin to the Bloomsbury set! Wirksworth is a quirky super creative historic market town and there is always something to get involved with. From our 25 year old Contemporary Arts Festival where we get swamped by thousands of visitors every September, to our wonderful independent art house cinema Northern Lights. Being so close to nature is really important to us, Tessi our Welsh Terrier loves to take us on long walks. We have 3 local pubs - the ‘Feather Star’ being conveniently located directly across from our showroom [voted in the top 10 best micro pubs in the country by the Guardian]. We have really missed them since they locked down and are already looking forward to our first pint when they reopen!


JOHN ATKINSON BLANKETS John Atkinson blankets are woven and hand finished in the heart of Yorkshire using the skills, knowledge and craftsmanship that can only be achieved by hundreds of years of passionate and dedicated manufacture. Our blankets dress the homes of Royalty across the globe and are the perfect traditional finishing touch to any home.


N A T U R A L R U G C O M PA N Y The Natural Rug Company is a small family business specialising in the sale of made to measure bordered rugs made from Sisal, Seagrass, Coir and/or Wool. Contact Val for more information or to obtain samples from our free sampling service.


HARTLEY BOTANIC Historic Greenhouse and Glasshouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic has been making its beautiful and elegant handmade, made-to-order horticultural buildings for over 80 years and offers an incomparable range. Founded in 1938, the company is one of Britain’s oldest and most trusted Greenhouse manufacturers and its entire product range is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society. They have recently launched a new stately, bespoke Glasshouse as part of its Modern Horticulture range. The Opus Grand Botanic, which was set to be unveiled at Chelsea this year, will officially join Hartley Botanic’s unrivalled portfolio of beautiful and elegant structures.

The Opus Grand Botanic



The recent period of lockdown has led many of us to really appreciate our own private space. At a time when stepping outside our homes was restricted, our own space, however small, became a precious haven. Also, perhaps for the first time for many years, the realisation that access to open space counts for much more than any of us realized. So if you are in the position of considering moving, space both inside and out will have a much greater importance. This coupled with options about the way we can work, may lead you to exploring more creatively different locations where you can live. For many first time gardeners they suddenly discovered the joy of experimenting with growing things. The gentle and reassuring voice of Monty Don on Gardeners’ World on BBC One became Friday night essential viewing. As restrictions are being lifted on garden centre openings, many will find that they have more choice in what they can grow. Despite the fact that it is later in the season there are still many plants that are available to bring instant colour to your garden, balcony, or courtyard. There is something quite joyous about watching a flower opening, or seeing a container overflowing with flowers. If you are limited with outside space, even one plant such as a climbing, or patio rose can provide you with simple blooms that you can either enjoy in the garden, or cut one or two blooms and place in a small vase as a simple flower arrangement.

One of the most important things about gardening is the impact on our mental health, even the smallest outside space can bring relaxation and an opportunity to grow something. The combination of fresh air and the opportunity to nurture and care for seedlings and small plants can be uplifting. We particularly love the RHS Your Wellbeing Garden published by DK, ÂŁ16.99 (DK.com) written in a very accessible style, and full of the most uplifting and really helpful advice, it is particularly relevant at the moment.

"A connection with nature is vital for good mental health, and even the smallest garden can help calm a stressed mind" This beautifully illustrated book has become a very firm favourite of ours. (For more details see the sources of inspiration at the end of this feature). When you are planting your garden, think about creating different areas that serve different purposes, the more space you have, the more options are available. This can include areas for growing vegetables, choose varieties that you know you enjoy eating and are relatively easy to grow. Think about colour, if you have a favourite colour palette, choose plants and flowers that reflect this, not only will it bring joy in the garden, but also when you cut the flowers for flower arranging, this will lift your mood in your home too. As a photographer, I love the opportunity that even a single bloom can provide, either in the garden, or inside the home, photographing the changing stages of a bloom absorbs me for ages. If you want to experiment with watercolour painting flowers and plants also provide an endless source of inspiration. Scent is also important, there is something quite exquisite about the natural scent of flowers, a delicate rose, the evening scent of flowers like star jasmine, or night scented stock, as well as established favourites such as lavender, or herbs like rosemary. Also include plants and flowers to encourage pollinators, lavender, cosmos, dahlias, and other open sunny flowers in their own right attract bees and other pollinators to your garden. Much of this can also be created in a balcony or courtyard garden, and even on a window sill. Importantly don’t forget your inside space, carefully selected houseplants can equally provide many health benefits, from improving the quality of air, encouraging daily interest, to uplifting your mood. Part of the joy of gardening is to also enjoy it by resting in the garden when you have a chance. It is so easy to spend all your time being busy, but it is so important to stop and rest awhile. If you are a beginner gardener you may also like to visit Grow Your Own in www.peacelily.co.uk which can encourage you to experiment with the first steps into gardening. These are just some of the ways that you can create an uplifting and delightful open space that will make you smile every time you open your door and step outside. Inspiration During the lockdown we have seen the publication of some very helpful books listed below: RHS The Wellbeing Garden - Royal Horticultural Society Grow fruit & vegetables in pots – Aaron Bertelsen Modern container gardening – Isabelle Palmer For full reviews, please visit Beautiful Heirloom Home (www.beautifulheirloomhome.co.uk) and although you may not have been able to visit London during lockdown, the very beautiful London in Bloom by Georgianna Lane is a stunning book full of the most gorgeous images, which are an uplifting inspiration in their own right.


Whilst you are at home over the next few weeks why don't you make something new for your home and create your own miniecosystem in a recycled glass terrarium from ReChic. Designed in collaboration with the Eden Project in Cornwall, and inspired by the indoor rainforest's iconic canopy roof, this beautiful glass dome gives new life to waste materials, made from disused bottles. With infinite possibilities of the plants to choose, from baby cacti, to succulents that look like bunny ears, your indoor garden can be personalised to suit your style. Ideal as a gift for someone with a love of all things sustainable, or an ideal addition to your home, to beautifully bring the outside in. For the full collection of recycled glassware, as well as more fabulous furnishings that are also kind to the planet, visit www.rechic.co.uk.

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LUCY WILLOW At Lucy Willow we provide luxurious, unique and affordable furniture and home accessories. Hand picked with an eye for timeless style, our wide and varied collections will ensure that there is something to suit everyone's discerning taste. Over the years, we have been fortunate to furnish some of the most luxurious properties around the world. Details have always mattered to us and we take pride in ensuring that there is always something to catch your attention whatever your style or budget.





AT T I C U S & G I L DA Atticus & Gilda is a night wear company based in London designing stylish PJ's nighties & travel accessories for boys & girls. Using thoughtfully sourced fabrics all in 100% cotton.

www.atticusandgilda.co.uk ISSUEËš71



BLACKPOP Established in 2013, maverick design label Blackpop create elegantly distressed wallpapers, plush velvet fabrics, furniture and rugs that punk up the rich tapestry of the past. Opulent yet random anarchic patterns on richly figured fabric and wallpaper, create bold designs for statement styling. All Blackpop designs are proudly manufactured in the UK using the latest in digital print technology.





THE FOOTSTOOL WORKSHOP The Footstool Workshop are an experienced team of skilled craftsmen, designers and upholsterers, having been in the furniture business for over 20 years. Whether you want something to sit on, to rest your weary feet on, to stack your magazines on, to use as storage or just to look beautiful to fill a large space, TFW have loads of gorgeous products to choose from..

www.thefootstoolworkshop.co.uk ISSUEËš71



T H E H E A D B OA R D WO R K S H O P The Headboard Workshop's user friendly website makes choosing beautiful headboards easy. They have over 30 years of experience in delivering exceptional craftsmanship, skilfully made products to order and on time, leaving you free to relax along with hundreds of delighted customers nationwide.


www.theheadboardworkshop.co.uk HOT BRANDS 21



As a result of the changes caused by Covid 19 more of us are being offered the opportunity to work from home, but in order to do this you may need to look differently at how you organise your home. If you normally work from home, you will have already have created the area that works best for you, but if this is going to be a new way of working, here are some ideas to consider. 1. Try to create a dedicated work space, with modern technology this space can be relatively compact, but it needs to be organised so that you can maximise the time that you have available. 2. If this way of working is going to be a more permanent arrangement, make sure that you are going to be comfortable, using unsuitable chairs, or tables can cause long-term damage to your body, so you may need to consider buying a chair designed for office use. There are now other colours available rather than black! 3. Think about ways of creating a pleasant place to work, inspirational photographs, notice boards, colourful stationery, plants or flowers can make your workspace more uplifting. 4. Depending on your type of work, you may need additional storage, again think of the functionality and if you are having to use an area that is on view, choose something that allows for items to be cleared away at the end of the day, so you are not reminded of work when you are trying to relax. 5. If you are in the fortunate position of having outbuildings, or the space to create a purpose built office this can help you have the best of both worlds, particularly if you need more space to build a new business. There are many options for creating

this type of dedicated space, but before investing in this think carefully about how much to invest, particularly in the light of the predicted economic climate. However by recycling, or repurposing items, asking friends or family or sourcing vintage materials real savings can be made. Having a completely separate area for your business can mean that you are better able to separate work and home life One of the biggest challenges when working from home is managing the balance between working and housework. It is so easy to see chores that need to be done, which can become a real distraction. Equally there may be times when you find it easier to work which are outside the normal working day. This will be particularly true if you also have children at home with you. 7. Balancing these challenges is important for your well-being. Over time this will become easier, but the key is flexibility, recognising that making the best use of any time that you have available will help you balance the different challenges. Employers are being encouraged to be more flexible and recognising that each employee will have different circumstances. These really are unprecedented times, but it should be possible to find new ways of working. 8. One of the downsides of working in an office was that many people chose to work through their lunch-hour and any time away from the office was often spent on a daily commute. If you have been taking daily exercise during lockdown, this is a good practice to continue, as there are real health benefits from getting outside in the fresh air providing you are able to do this safely and being mindful of social distancing. Not having to travel to and fro from work can also give you more free time at home.

9. It is becoming even more important that we consider the future, and think about everything that we bring into our home and the impact on the environment; but in creating a simpler and more sustainable life, especially if we are spending more time at home, we perhaps need to look more creatively at the space we have available. 10. It is also important to involve everyone in how you consider using the space. Young people traditionally spent long periods of time in their bedrooms, but they also went to school, or college, and for older teenagers, out with friends in the evening. In the ‘new normal’ this has changed, and so providing the whole family with both family space and personal space has increasingly become more important. 11. Creating an area for family play, leaving out jigsaws, games, but also having areas where they can experiment with cooking, crafting, and more messy activities, can help to relieve boredom, and isolation. 12. Throughout the rest of the house think about creating other dedicated areas, a quiet corner with a chair for reading, a workspace where people are able to work from home, investing


in more storage so that things can be stored away out of sight. If most of the family are in the house, more being able to move around easily will be essential for the wellbeing of everyone. Another aspect that you may want to consider if you are working from home is how to create more space through clearing some clutter. Many people have already started this during lockdown, but if you are a reluctant sorter (and many of us are!) and find even the thought of clearing out your spaces overwhelming, or very low on your list of priorities, you may find it easier to spend some time planning where you need to start. Importantly, set yourself realistic targets, with limited time available, tackle the easiest areas first, play music, take regular breaks and build in little rewards as you achieve different stages of decluttering. One way to start is to use the matrix below, and the advantage of this approach is that you can start this planning from the comfort of an armchair!

Essential & Cherished

Not Essential but Cherished

Keep safe & protected

Sort and store safely

Essential but not Cherished

Not Essential and Not Cherished

Find ways of organizing & keeping it easily accessible

Dispose of and find ways of stopping it arriving




As part of the preparation think about additional ways you can store things, in Spark Joy by Marie Kondo, she gives some excellent advice about ways of folding and using small storage boxes for storing smaller items. Having the boxes, folders and anything else you might need ready before you start means that the time you invest in sorting won’t be wasted. Using the matrix to make lists of the items in each category will make your actual sorting time more efficient. Special Note – everyone will have their own definitions of which items fit into which category as it will be personal to each person that uses it, but many will agree on the Not Essential and Not Cherished items, for example junk mail, which is perhaps the easiest place to start. Essential and Cherished This is an important category, these are things that are essential to your daily life and you value them and want to keep them safe. This may be practical things such as your mobile phone, iPad, laptop, and you cherish them because of what they contain e.g. the draft of a novel, photographs, details of your contacts and how you connect with others. Not Essential but Cherished This is the category that may present the most challenges, and may prompt the most debate with your partner, or other family member. Everyone will have their own opinion about what is cherished. It may also mean that you think about where you store these items, because in the event of an emergency e.g. fire or flood, these are the items that you may regret losing the most, particularly if they are irreplaceable. This may result in you deciding to take photographs or copies of these, or storing them somewhere with very quick access, or in a secure place. The safety of yourself and others in an emergency should always be your priority, but if you have a small bag, or other way of securing your most precious items this can bring peace of mind. Don’t feel pressurised to give away something that is important to you. Look at everything objectively and if it is something that you cherish, find ways of storing it, to either protect it, or to display it. The items in this category may change over time, always share this information with other family members before you get rid of something. In our increasingly digital world, tangible family heirlooms become more important.

category. These are items that may not bring you ‘joy’ in the Marie Kondo sense but you may feel they are needed in your day- to-day life. Not Essential, not Cherished This is a really easy category to deal with, if an item is not essential and not cherished, then it should be relatively easy to get rid of it, the only reason when it should prompt any debate, is if there are conflicting views about its merits within your household! Look around the room you are sitting in, what is completely surplus to requirements? Take a kitchen drawer where you store takeaway menus, how many extra copies have accumulated, how many are up to date? Examples in this category are junk mail, out of date information, unwanted clothes, gifts, duplicate items, damaged items, e.g. china, glass, electrical goods that no longer work. Removing it from your home should always be done responsibly, and there are many routes for this, from re-gifting, donations, charity shops once they open again, recycling centres, or selling if it still has value. Also in this category is finding ways of stopping it arriving in the first place. This may mean unsubscribing to sources of junk mail, redirecting unwanted post as soon as it arrives. Recycling more often, gently asking for less gifts, or providing alternative suggestions. Once you reduce your clutter it is important to also create a clean and healthy environment for you, your family and those items that you have chosen to have in your life. We are being encouraged to be more hygienic, to wash our hands and to deep clean our homes. Normal general wear and tear and shredding from pets and airborne dust means that our homes very easily gain a build up of bacteria and general grime. Cleaning carpets and upholstery ideally with a machine that is effective and dries quickly, or once it is safe to do so, using a professional service means that your rooms look and feel fresher. Once you have achieved this, allow yourself time to cherish your home, filled of items that make you smile, bring back happy memories, or are uplifting.

Essential, but not Cherished This will tend to be items that need to be kept for practical reasons, passports, insurance policies, important documents, medical and emergency supplies, basic equipment needed for daily living. It is so easy not to have these items to hand in an emergency. With an increase in extreme weather conditions, and as seen during the pandemic, having an emergency back up supply of essential items becomes more important. Also you may wish to move important items upstairs if you live in a property where this is possible. Again some of these items may need to be stored in a fireproof box, or an easily transportable bag.

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” - William Morris

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L OA F Loaf's NEW SS20 collection has landed! As well as signature squishy sofas, the Brit-brand has also launched three new kitchen table designs. Each topped with the same beautiful solid oak slab the legs of these kitchen tables are available in three irresistible colours, Heritage Blue, Earthy Red and Pale Grey. Simply choose your desired leg style and your favourite colour and you’ve completed the hub of the home. Loaf also launch the Willow wardrobe, chest of drawers and side table, their first ever rattan collection. As well as being great for stashing your clothes, these textured designs will add a retro vibe to the bedroom. All these newbies are available online (loaf.com).

Stockist details: LOAF.COM / 020 3141 8300

DOUGLAS THE BOY WONDER Love dogs. Love design. Love Douglas The Boy Wonder! Douglas is an antique dog discovered in an antique shop in deepest darkest Norfolk. His gift and accessories range is fresh, contemporary and sure to delight any fan of dog inspired design.


ELLA JAMES Shop at www.ellajames.co.uk for pretty gifts and inspiration - a gorgeous selection of delightful gifts and items for your home.



Cool Places ISSUE NoËš71


Profile for Hot Brands Cool Places

Hot Brands Cool Places Home Issue - May 2020  

Welcome to our latest magazine, created during one of the most challenging periods of our time. Our thoughts are with the front line workers...

Hot Brands Cool Places Home Issue - May 2020  

Welcome to our latest magazine, created during one of the most challenging periods of our time. Our thoughts are with the front line workers...

Profile for hotbrands