Come Shopping With Me

It’s been a while since we had a shopping post and given that my house is full of dust and I don’t really need any new furniture (plus the design decision fatigue is real) I thought a little virtual wander round the corridors of the internet to see what’s about might be just the thing.

So let’s start with the floor (a very good place to start) and this checked rug is a great find. Checks, in case you hadn’t noticed, are very much of the moment and this light green and ivory wool/recycled cotton blend would work in any room of the house. It would work on dark floorboards or parquet or terracotta tiles as well as natural sisal and dark green painted boards – or painted almost any colour you like come to that. It’s from H&M and costs £349 for 2m x 3m. If that’s too big there is a smaller one that is 80cm x 140cm. Don’t be worried by the green either – it’s light enough to act as the perfect neutral. And, in another flag up for an emerging trend – blue and green is a combination that is gathering pace.

But we’ll stay with green for now as I have found this armchair at Dunelm. The Darwin chair comes in several colours and fabrics but this one is made from 100 per cent recycled materials. The wooden feet and solid wooden frame are recyclable and the filling is 50 per cent recycled plastic from The Plastic Bank. The velvet option is also made from recycled materials. The Edited Life is Dunelm’s responsible range. There is an emphasis on natural materials some of which might be biodegradable or organic or recycled. As always you will have to apply your own standards to what is on offer but the other idea behind the range is that the pieces are classic rather than trend led so you will keep them for longer.

Now you’re sitting comfortably on your chair on your rug, you’re going to need a table or some storage and this, from Zara, is very good. Made from ply with a mid-century feel it’s on wheels so you can move it to where you need it. It’s 68cm deep and 83cm wide – if you’re looking at alcoves don’t forget the skirting boards when you measure. It’s the details on this one that are what makes it stand out – the cut out handles for moving it, the shorter doors creating a shadow gap at the top and the visible layers of ply. It’s £399 but looks much more.

Now for some lighting with this pair from fair trade brand Nkuku, via Rose & Grey. They are sold separately but I love a mismatched pair so if that’s your vibe buy one of each. You can then have the same lampshades (I would) or have different but toning ones. As we’re nodding to trends as we go along then buy a pair of plain cream paper shades and use up leftover tester pots by painting patterns on them à la Charleston House. Or you can buy them ready painted from Hum.

Sometimes in small spaces you haven’t got room for floor lamps and if your side tables are small then you may be struggling for room for a table light as well. Enter the wall light. The design of these has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and there’s a lot more choice of plug-in ones too which is good news for renters or those who don’t want to have to chase in wires and plaster over the top. This arch light picks up the black base of the table lamps above and the metallic disc shade will reflect the light back into the room. We’ve moved on from the naked industrial bulb now to a more elevated softer look which you can achieve with a pearlised bulb. This would work well by a chair or at the end of sofa if space is tight and also brings some much needed height to a room. It’s from Houseof and costs £329.

Finally a cushion and this is in needlecord (another material that is becoming increasingly fashionable) by Projektityyny at Anthropologie but if you don’t want to buy into the whole trend then a cushion can be a good way to go. The frill brings a little more interest to a plain chair as well as a change of texture. If you are more tonal you could go green to match the chair with a burst of pink flower or reverse it. If you like the mustard and lilac colour way that would work as a great disrupter element if you were sitting this green chair on that green rug. But remember a disrupter only works if you have a tonal colour scheme. If you have lots of different colours then you will need to make sure they are repeated throughout the room or it can just look like a jumble of colours. So choose a more multi-coloured rug with lots of shades to use. Or add a vase that echoes some of the other colours.

I may not be shopping for my own house but I slightly wish I could find space for some of these things right now.

Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.

1 Comment

  1. ooh I always love a good shopping post. Heading over to design storey now in the hopes that there will be more new goodies on there too!

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