From My Radar to Yours: What’s new in interiors

I have been meaning to start a regular news page for ages. In the absence of time to create a proper newsletter, I thought I would start a monthly round up here which will be mostly press releases and information that you might find useful – you can bookmark these pages – but also interesting features that have caught my eye. So here, in no particular order, are nine things I think you might like to know about.

In response to, well, you know, all this, the British manufacturing firm Bisley has just launched a new range of desks which have gone from in-house design to production in Wales in just six months in response to the lockdown. The Belong range includes the outline desk (pictured) which starts at £179 and you can build up with other pieces and a box desk that you fix to the wall and can fold up when not needed.

the belong desk by bisley is made in wales
the belong desk by bisley is made in wales

2 This might be useful to know; Ikea is launching a buy back scheme and will offer vouchers worth up to 50 per cent of the original price to be spent at its stores (depending on the condition of the returned item.The scheme will launch to coincide with Black Friday on 27 November. “By making sustainable living more simple and accessible, Ikea hopes that the initiative will help its customers take a stand against excessive consumption this Black Friday and in the years to come,” said a spokesperson for the company. You can return pieces fully assembled. As new will get 50 per cent, good condition with minor scratches 40 per cent and well-used 30 per cent. 

3 Paint news now and first up Ca Pietra, creators of some of the most gorgeous tiles, have launched a paint range. Proper Good Paint is non toxic and eco-friendly and has 35 colours which are proper lovely actually, including this soft yellow as well as muted greens, pink and burgundys and soft blues and greys.

Harper's Sunshine Proper Good Paint from Ca Pietra
Harper’s Sunshine Proper Good Paint from Ca Pietra

4 Staying with paint and eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that last week I mentioned the new All Surfaces Primer by Little Greene and not to be outdone, their sister company The Paint & Paper Library has launched Architects’ ASP, and specifically included plastics on the surfaces it will adhere to, as well as Architect’s Satinwood. It was so new at the time of writing that it wasn’t on the site but it is due to launch this week so keep an eye out. Below is an image from the new satinwood range.

Paint & Paper Library Satinwood_03_HR
Paint & Paper Library Satinwood new finish

Now I have found this fascinating: Kemi of CottageNoir on instagram has been running a series on African interior design on Instagram as part of black history month. She calls it a History of Black Interior Design from 3,000 BC to tomorrow and all the stories and pictures are saved in her highlights. In a post introducing the idea she said:  “I decided to do this after happening upon a huuugggge volume called ‘The History of Interior Design’ at the in-laws. I was shocked that, in this book on the history of global interiors from 25,000BC to date, there was nothing on Black Africa and on black people… So I’m curating these stories – the ones so far are all saved on my highlights and I will continue to save them there. We have had homes from Lenny Kravitz to Madame CJ Walker.” Kemi also runs a lifestyle store called The Cornrow.

black history month interior design via cottage noir
black history month interior design via @cottagenoir

6 Russell Pinch and his wife Oona Bannon, have been creating beautifully understated furniture since 2004. Every Pinch Design piece celebrates craftsmanship and style and, in their words, aspires to be inherited. Their latest is the Pendel sofa which is compact (perfect for small spaces or a sitting area in a small office) and has a pocket sprung seat, which is designed to last – no sagging here. Prices start at £2,800.

the pendel sofa by pinch design
the pendel sofa by pinch design 

7 Talking of sofas takes me to cushions and I want to introduce you to Osime Home by June Ileomoh who
has a passion for textiles, colour and patterns. And if you don’t need any cushions then her colourful face masks are just the thing for a dreary lockdown winter.

colourful cushions from Osime Home
colourful cushions from Osime Home 

Rolling on with the tenuous links and Pooky Lighting (one of the first to sign our Design for Diversity pledge by the way) have launched a new chandelier and a collection of lampshades with the designer Matthew Williamson (whose newly decorated London flat will soon be making an appearance on the podcast so look out for that.

Melvillous chandelier from Pooky
Melvillous chandelier from Pooky

9 Finally clever interiors blogger and DIY genius, Melanie Lissack, whose gorgeous house has featured on these pages before, created a brilliantly topical pumpkin display on her doorstep for Halloween. Do read her blog it’s a mine of information and ideas.

SOCIALLY DISTANCED PUMPKINS by Melanie Lissack Interiors
socially distanced pumpkins by Melanie Lissack Interiors

Was that useful? Let me know and I’ll start gathering information for the next one in a month.


Tags : interior featuresinterior newsinterior round up
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. Love this Kate, thank you for the new contact Ca Pietra beautiful tiles are just what I am looking for.

  2. Definitely useful … I just love to read information that adds value. I am inundated with info from morning to night and it takes time to filter out what’s not worth consuming. So, yes Kate, more good stuff please!

  3. Super useful and interesting – well done IKEA many will have a bit of IKEA that perhaps we grow out of but could take back so our adult kids can buy a new piece they need in their own homes or student halls . Love the paints , the pumpkins actually loved it all and great for as you say bookmarking.

  4. Well that was a surprise! I didn’t expect my pumpkins at the end! Amazing! Thank you Kate! I love the Bisley desks and I didn’t know about the new paints so I’m going to be looking into those today!

  5. Really interesting reading…thank you. Loved the osime cushions, the painted pumpkins and the IKEA incentive.

  6. Really interesting reading …loved the pumpkins…I’m getting my tester pots out! And kemi’s gorgeous fabrics. Great news about IKEA. I’ve never been a big fan of the shop …far too big for my shopping patience! Thank you!

  7. It’s a hit from me! Particularly loved Kemi’s feature. I have been following her stories with fascination…ive added the Sudanese pyramids to my holiday list ….you know…when we can. My son learnt about ancient Egyptians in Y3 so with my daughter soon to be in Y3 I might well mention it to the teachers to look at their curriculum bias.
    Loved the desks designed and built in my childhood home; Wales (I see Christmas present ideas there – we are still short of desk space!) and IKEA (I love a bit of IKEA) and I’m thrilled with the idea this initiative.
    They were my top 3 but it was all great. Thanks Kate

  8. Love this idea Kate. You’ve done all the hard work for me and gathered all the gems in one place! Thank you.

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