The Source

Lampshade love @servomuto

Over the years my interest in interior design has grown from helping friends to pick out cushions to designing a commercial space for a hair salon. So, after recently being made redundant from my role as a lifestyle content writer I decided that now was the perfect time to formalise my knowledge and sign up for an interior design course.

I was always the friend that people would turn to help find the perfect mirror, side table, grand piano (!) and I could reel off a list of stores, but while working on my course assignments I’m coming across so many amazing suppliers and artisans. This year I made a resolution to create a lifestyle blog, but while I update my Instagram daily, I admit that my focus on this site has been severely lacklustre. However I hope in wanting to share information about these great companies with a circle wider than just my friends will inspire a new commitment.

So first up is the Italian Servomuto Design, established in 2007 by graphic designer Alessandro Poli and architect Francesca De Giorgi. The duo specialise in creating lampshades and are inspired by vintage styles, trimmings, fabrics and forms. The shades are hand-curved and the finishes are hand-stitched to Florentine tradition.

ServomutoMeringa Ø35 shades #2, #3 & #5

Richard Nicoll – in remembrance

Pantone together with the friends and family of designer Richard Nicoll have created a shade of blue to honour the late designer who used  blue throughout his collections.

This cool shade can add a touch of elegance to interiors and below are a few homeware items of similar colour.

London Fashion Week  will honour the designer who passed away at the age of 39 last year with a minute silence during the show on Friday. nicholbluexcf.jpg

Heal’s Bellagio 4-seater sofa; Aerin tapered vase; Da Terra cereal bowl; Farrow & Ball St. Antoine wallpaper; Bert Frank Kernal table lamp;

Travel: New beginings

London’s latest hotel openings

It seems that every time I turn a corner in London a new building has spring up, leaving behind only snatches of memories of what once was and will no longer be. The capital’s skyline is dwarfed by cranes busily laying the foundations for a new London with the promise of tomorrow waiting expectantly on the horizon.

In this rash of progress, a slew of hotels are scheduled to open their doors in 2017. So while I may reminisce about old haunts and the late night fun of evenings past, I look forward to creating new memories and finding new favourites among the company of friends.

Four Seasons Trinity Square
10 Trinity Square, Clerkenwell, EC3P 3AX

Synonymous with luxury hospitality, guests to the Four Seasons’ latest outpost can expect views of the Thames, a restaurant from famed three-Michelin starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic and a private members’ club formed in partnership with  Chateau Latour. Alongside 100 rooms, the Beaux-Arts style building also incorporate 41 private residences

Design highlight:
 Restored ornate original plasterwork

The Ned
27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ

Named after Sir Edwin Lutyens, the designer of the Grade I listed former Midland Bank building, this 252-room hotel from the Soho House group will feature a members bar, roof top swimming pool, Cowshed spa and eight restaurants within the former grand banking hall.

Design highlight:
A hamam built with pink limestone from Devon

Nobu Hotel Shoreditch
10-50 Willow Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4BH

I’m hoping this opening means sightings of Nobu Hospitality group founder Robert De Niro become a regular occurrence in the city, but if not the hotel’s planned stylish bar and restaurant will offer much comfort. The industrial styled architecture and interior promises to reflect the dynamism of the city together with a balance of east meets west philosophies.

Design highlight:  Printed, layered glass façade which balances privacy and exposure

Hôtel Costes Sloane Square
One Sloane Gardens

The rue Saint-Honoré comes to Chelsea in what will  undoubtedly be the chicest opening of the year. Hotelier Jean-Louis Costes has earmarked One Sloane Gardens, a 19th Century red-brick mansion as the home of his first bijou bolthole outside of Paris.  Start calling in favours now for a reservation at the restaurant and bar.

Design highlight: Boudoir-chic styling

Light Bites

Healthy meal ideas

With the start of every new year we’re expected to launch ourselves into a pious month of healthy eating and exercise. But after 31 straight days of eating and drinking all in the name of Christmas, a sudden switch to amaranth, spelt and whatever new supper food is doing the rounds always proves just too great a shock to my system.

However, as my family try to wrestle the last remaining cheese board selections and Ferrero Rochers from my grip there are some lighter meal ideas I will concede to in the spirit of healthy living, a healthy body, yadda yadda yaddah.

One such bite are fish tacos. Spiked with so much flavour and texture, my stomach and brain are almost fooled into thinking I’m eating something naughty. So, if  like me you find eating healthily a chore here are some of the best fish taco recipes to tempt you you onto the right path.

Jamie Oliver: Easy to prepare with a kick
Epicurious:  A fresh sautéed version
Half Baked Harvest: South American flavour with a killer dressing
Nigella Lawson/BBC: Garlicky roasted goodness from the domestic goddess

Steal vs splurge

Accent trays

Are you being served?

When looking at an article layout of fashion or homeware items my eyes seems to always alight upon the higher priced products, before even referring to the listed details! But having Champagne taste on a Crémant budget means I developed the keen ability to source wallet-friendly buys that look anything but.

Both in fashion and interiors its worth splashing out on items that will build a long-term foundation to your look, e.g. shoes, coat and handbag or a sofa, lamp and curtains. But if you are decorating on a budget, you can refresh and update your home by spending less on accessories and accent pieces. A new throw, cushion or vase can add a totally different feel to a space without the need for a second mortgage.

One of my favourite ways to style a vanity or coffee table is by adding a tray to create a focal point. So whether you’re currently cash-strapped or feeling flush, here are some of great buys:

From top left to bottom right:
John LewisLacquer Rectangle Tray, £35
Notonthehighstreet, NOM LIVING Lacquer Xl Square Ottoman Tray, £85
India Jane, Al Fresco Tray – Majolica Tiles, £21
HouseologyLene Bjerre Abella Tray, £16
HarrodsAERIN Ikat Lacquer Tray, £520
The Conran Shop, Flavia Del Pra Pedestal Tile Tray, £250

Trends: Blushing velvet

Six of the best pink velvet armchairs

Blush velvet armchairs

Bring together two of the biggest design trends in one with a pink velvet upholstered armchair. Creating a softening touch to darker interiors and a pop of colour to white-washed rooms these armchairs will create a luxe accent statement. These are six I’m currently lusting after:

West Elm, Metal Frame Upholstered Chair £699 | Made, Frame Armchair £599 | Jonathan Adler, Bacharach Swivel Chair £2,750 | Swoon Editions, Ritz Armchair £549 | LuxDeco, Munna Lipstick Chair £1,795 | Beaumont & FletcherFielding Chair (POA).