Sunday, 29 September 2013

A new Line in home accessories!

When I started this blog, almost a year ago, my intention was to share the work of independent designers and other interior design related novelties that caught my attention.
What I wasn't quite prepared for was the overwhelming tidal wave of inspiration that washed over me as I discovered one talented indy after another. Feeling massive disillusion in my day job, I ventured down to Cass Art and bought some shiny new Stabilo pens and drawing inks and started doodling again.  

After completing a short evening course at Central St Martins my creative juices were well and truly flowing.  I've long been a believer of the mantra 'I tried and failed but at least I tried'  and I knew that this was something I had to at least try.  As I've mentioned in a previous post, I'm not big on self-confidence and, coupled with an inherent meticulousness, my designs have been a long six months (particularly for Mr VKH!) in the making.

Spurred on by an incredibly supportive network on Twitter and my amazing hubby (he won't like me saying that but it's true), I'm delighted to declare Piccadelhi officially open!

I launched my Etsy shop last week and already have one bricks and mortar stockist under my belt.  This time next year, Rodders...

I hope you like it!

Piccadelhi tea towels

Piccadelhi display

Logo close up

henna heart design

Photography by Yeshen Venema

Piccadelhi is stocked in Search and Rescue, 121 Stoke Newington Church Street, London

Follow us on Twitter, @PiccadelhiUK
and on Facebook,

Monday, 23 September 2013

Tent London Review

So another London Design Festival has drawn to a close.
I've been a little preoccupied with my own design project over the last few weeks so I only had a few hours to visit one show.  Fortunately for me, one of the finest showcases for contemporary design was happening a hop, skip and a ten minute overground ride away at the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch.  

The Tent London / Superbrands London show has become one of the leading design destinations at the festival and is a must-see for anyone wanting to discover the latest in furniture, lighting and interiors products.

Held over four days and spread across two floors, the eleven-acre site is host to two hundred and forty companies, plus forty global 'super brands'.  There is also a program of inspiring talks and, for the first time at the London Design Festival, a graduate show: Brink.

The standard of exhibitors was extremely high so it was difficult to select my favourites out of the established brands, independent designers and new talent but below are a few of those that caught my eye.  


As aesthetically pleasing as some technological products can be (and I'm really only talking about Apple here), mostly they are just highly impersonal, clunky bits of metal.  Creative technology entrepreneur  and award-winning product designer Franck Fontana noticed this too - et voilà! - Orée was born.  

Orée wireless keyboards
Wireless keyboards, €150 - Orée

Working with a team of talented artisans from their workshop in Castelnaudary, southern France, they produce elegant yet durable high performance technology objects using the finest natural materials. The range currently comprises these incredibly tactile wireless keyboards (available in maple or walnut) , a matching touch slab (trackpad), leather pouches and the 'power pebble' - a wireless charging pad made with marble.  Everything is made to order and engineered so as to minimise material waste.  In an age where technology is advancing at break-neck speeds, there is a graceful timelessness about Orée's products.  How very French.

Curiousa & Curiousa

Founded by Esther Patterson, Curiousa & Curiousa launched at Tent London in 2010 gaining the prestigious Elle Decoration Approval award in the process.  Fast forward three years and she's back in East London, this time with a British Design Award nomination and an impressive client list that includes the Royal Albert Hall and Harvey Nichols.

Curiousa & Curiousa
'Triptych' Stacks, £2600 each - Curiousa & Curiousa

The exquisite hand-blown glass pendants that Esther designs are made by highly skilled UK based crafts-people, something to which the company is strongly committed.
Along with ceiling pendants, there are also wall lights and table lamps in the collection, each radiating a kind of ethereal beauty.   Make your mouth water by visiting the website here.

Parris Wakefield Additions

I first came across design duo Sarah Parris and Howard Wakefield's colourful patterned textiles earlier this year when their 'Garden' cushions were featured on a shoot for KBB magazine.  Launched only last year, the initial collection was well received at Tent then and the studio has since gone from strength to strength.  This year they were back to introduce the new 'Zig Zag' collection, the inspiration for which comes from mountain peaks.  Sarah explained that studying the way that light changes throughout the day and at different times of the year influenced the interesting colour palette. 

Parris Wakefield Additions
Zig Zag fabric, Parris Wakefield Additions

Their graphic design background is evident in the Additions range (they also run a successful graphic design agency, Design Dialogue) and patterns are produced digitally from start to finish with no sketching involved.  The result is a distinct kaleidoscope effect that is then transferred on to cushions, lampshades, fabric and wallpaper.  There is also a rug collection made in collaboration with Knots Rugs.  To see more of the collections, visit the Parris Wakefield website here.

Zoe Murphy

Before I go I must give a special mention to the queen of up-cycling, Zoe Murphy, whose stand was easily my favourite at the show.
Margate-based Zoe draws much of her inspiration from the seaside town, the sad neglect of many of it's landmark sites reflect her core values: that with little love and attention - and, of course, good design - things can be brought back to be something that is desired and respected.

Zoe Murphy's stand at Tent

I was particularly drawn to the colour scheme: the pinks and oranges reminded me of the fruit salad penny chews (showing my age now!) and sticks of rock.  
Since graduating from Loughborough university in 2008 with a first class degree in Printed Textiles, Zoe has firmly established herself as one of the UK's most talented young designers and sells work through Liberty London and Osborne and Little as well as direct through her website.  Last year she featured on Kirstie's Vintage Home for Channel Four.

For Zoe, it seems the only way is Up(cycling)! 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Flora + Fauna

The eleventh London Design Festival is underway and this year, among the high end and established brands, the indies are making a stand. Or rather, a pop-up.

The lovely people behind Designers Makers, the agency bringing independent designers to market, has launched Flora + Fauna, a bricks and mortar outlet for forty carefully selected members to exhibit their work throughout the month of September.  Although the shop opened it's doors at the beginning of the month, last week was the official press launch to coincide with the beginning of the Festival. I went along to see what's in store...

The shop itself, at 136 Columbia Road (formerly The Powder Room), is a delight to the eye and brimming with expertly crafted products from all areas of design including jewellery, furniture, ceramics and print.  Nestled comfortably among the permanent stores it has been a labour of love for D/M director Sophie Rees and her small team but the hard work has paid off and it's sure to give the other proprietors a run for their money.  

The flora and fauna theme is hugely popular at the moment but the beautifully curated interior offers a few surprises on the subject away from the usual flowers and woodland animals.

Flora + Fauna interior

Flora + Fauna interior
(image courtesy of Designers Makers)

Flora + Fauna interior
(image courtesy of Designers Makers)

Goodie Bag!
Some of the chosen designers I had come across before and some were pleasing new discoveries but all deserve their place among the UK's finest.
If you're visiting the London Design Festival this month it's definitely worth the 15 minutes walk from the Old Truman Brewery to explore this delightful little haven of handmade goodness.

Flora + Fauna is open 11am - 6pm, Wednesday to Sunday until 30th September.

You can read more about the Designers Makers monthly market here.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Testing Testing 1,2,3

When I decide to re-decorate a room I end up spending a small fortune on tester pots before finding the right colour, resulting in a wall of patchwork.  Even though I try to use at least a 30cm square for each colour, there is always a fair bit left in the pot and it seems such a shame to waste it. 

After trying, and failing, to find the perfect blue when re-painting my bedroom (if only Farrow & Ball had invented Stiffkey Blue two years ago!) I now have a mini paint store in my shed.  So I decided to put the leftovers to use...

Painted boxes

These wine crates, which I have in my living room, are painted in three different shades. Clockwise from left: Larder Blue (Fired Earth), Lulworth Blue and Cook's Blue (both Farrow & Ball).  All are £3.95 for a sample pot.

The paint-dipped look is bang on trend this year and a simple yet elegant way to bring it in to your home is to create these pretty bud vases using old bottles or jars:

Paint dipped bottles

The left over paint is simply poured in to the vessel and swirled gently around.

Decorative bottle

Adding ribbon around the neck is a nice finishing touch and also can disguise any drips.
They make lovely decorative accessories or could even be an inexpensive gift.