Set in a four acre plot of farmland on the edge of North Berwick in East Lothian, Williamstone Farm Steadings might appear traditional from the outside with the combination of rustic stone walls and red pantile roofs, but once inside these grade B listed buildings – The Barn, The Byre and The Bothy – you can expect pared back and contemporary living spaces. Think flowing open plan interiors with wide plank Kährs oak flooring (and underfloor heating) and RAIS woodburning stoves, and with sleek Poggenpohl kitchens and bathrooms featuring fittings by Duravit and Porcelanosa. Think gorgeously mellow colour palettes by Farrow & Ball that shift in the ever-changing light from the large windows punched into the old stonework, and exposed roof beams with vintage style lighting. Each of the three properties has its own character and style, yet each shares the same aesthetic language of quiet and understated elegance.
This year, as we’ve been looking at moving, every property we’ve seriously considered has sent me into redesign mode. Kitchens, bathrooms, flooring… my head has been full of ideas for different types of spaces, and one of the design features I’ve kept coming back to again and again is geometric tiling.
So this new collaboration between Bert & May and The Conran Shop was bound to catch my eye. Designed by The Conran Shop and created by Bert & May’s skilled makers, the collection – which is currently showcased at Bert & May’s east London showroom on Vyner Street during London Design Festival (until 24th September) – features six designs in three complementary colourways.
“Geometric patterns can be bold and playful creating a fun update to a room that’s neither masculine or feminine,” Jenny Wingfield reflects. “But they can also be very restful; elegantly simple geometric forms and repeating lines have a rhythm that it is satisfying and soothing to the eye.”
Jenny is the Creative Director of Flock, a London-based design company that works with an eclectic mix of artists, designers and recent graduates to create a bold and beautiful collection of textiles – and now also wallcoverings – for interiors. When I came across Flock I was immediately drawn by the dynamic aesthetic of these designs and also by the ethos behind the company. As it says on the website: ‘Flock aims to create a unique pathway for new designers and represents some of the UK’s most exciting emerging British talent.’
I realise it’s still summer, and I probably should still be thinking about summer light and summer palettes, but I feel like I’m being drawn to the dark side at the moment. I’ve been helping my Mum with her new kitchen and bathroom redesign, and it’s all dark: riven slate-effect cladding on the bathroom walls and off-black kitchen cabinetry. Even the appliances are black, as is the kitchen tap. I think my head has been so full of this colour palette that I’m being drawn to certain finishes as a result.
Which brings me to this gorgeous Nero Marquina collection of tiles from Original Style – a matt-finish porcelain that looks like marble.
Up until a few years ago, I was one of those people who always said I couldn’t live in a place without a bath. I needed my end-of-the-day bathing fix to unwind – and sleep. But now, the last thing I do at night before going to bed is take Harris and Bracken out for a walk, and by the time I get home it’s close to midnight and I’m too tired. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate a bath purely for its aesthetics! Which explains why the new Uno freestanding bath from Clearwater caught my eye.