I have a confession to make, and I can’t quite believe that I’m writing this but…. I’ve never been a big fan of house plants. Okay, before you throw your hands up in horror, I’m blaming my childhood for this (of course). Growing up, our home was filled with plants. We had macrame hanging baskets with plants. Spider plants everywhere. And mother-in-law’s tongues looking spiky and defiant alongside the fireplace. I grew up surrounded by plants, and rather than making me appreciate and enjoy all this natural greenery, as soon as I had my own place I made sure that it was a plant-free zone. Too busy, too leafy, too spiky, too green. There was no space in my home for plants.
I’ve been an admirer of Dowsing & Reynolds for some time – we’ve used their matt black switches and sockets at home, and their Trikonasana pendant light hangs in my yoga space, glowing with their beautiful squirrel cage filament bulbs. (And could there be a better-named light for a yoga space!) Deciding to use matt black for the hardware also fitted in with a wider aesthetic: when redesigning the kitchen and shower room – a long term plan once the budget allows – I’m planning to use black taps in both, and a black shower. All with a lovely matt finish, of course, as looks aside, that tactile quality makes these everyday pieces a real pleasure to use.
One of the good things about compiling the weekly Interior News page for Scotland on Sunday is hearing about interesting new product ranges, as well as designers I haven’t come across before, and sometimes a collection arrives in my inbox that I know will work for the blog too. The new Wharf Lighting collection by the London-based design studio Harris & Harris was one of those emails. This range of lighting combines British craftsmanship with a thoughtful combination of materials – reeded glass, ash, brushed brass and blackened steel.
Founded in 2014 by husband and wife design duo Alexander and Sharon Harris, the Harris & Harris team creates innovative interior and product designs for clients across the residential, hospitality and commercial sectors, as well as a growing product collection, and the products are made in the UK by a network of artisans, workshops and factories.
The Barcelona-based designer Jordi Canudas is described as ‘an alchemist of light’ and his latest design in collaboration with Marset is the simple, beautiful and dramatic Dipping Light. The project to develop this design started in 2014 and today’s collection – which is available from Nest.co.uk – features lamps in two sizes, Marset Dipping Table Lamp Large and Marset Dipping Table Lamp Small, and in six colours: green, amber, pink, white, black and blue.
As Marset writes: ‘Beyond its function as a lamp, the Dipping Light seeks to excite. When it’s turned on, its different shades of paint sift the light, creating a magical ambient effect. When it’s off, its colored glass sphere is an object charged with beauty, and an eye-catching design piece for a shelf, bedside, or table.’
Every so often when searching for new products for the weekly Interior News page I compile for a newspaper, I come across something that I know will work here too. Discovering Undercover was one of those moments. Born from founder Miriam Tyrangiel’s desire to find really good quality bed linen that combined a strong design aesthetic with environmental credentials, Undercover’s collections are designed in London and produced by a family-owned factory in Portugal – a factory that’s been crafting high quality bed linen for 70 years.
I must admit, up until recently I wouldn’t have looked on cork as a must-have material from a design perspective. But then I started coming across cork used by designers as an alternative to leather (something I’m always interested in) as with the Canadian brand Matt & Natt, who fashion cork into bags and clutches as part of their fantastic vegan collection, and most recently with the Australian brand Herzog whose very cool cork collars are on my wishlist for Harris.
And now there’s a new cork product range to add to the interiors wishlist. The Cork Collection is the first range to be launched by the new British lighting brand NOVE. NOVE was founded by the interior stylist and designer Kirsty Saxon, who has combined cork with solid brass elements to form a beautifully refined and elegant collection that includes The Marbled Wall Light, The Marbled Pendant, and The Marbled Light.