John Lewis Spring Summer 2014

John Lewis Surface View Wall Mural £300 Ravenscroft Desk £499 Anglepoise Type 75 £170 Genoa Office Chair £199
made to order wall mural for £300

It’s fair to say that a lot of catalogues thud onto the doormat every week and that, if I’m honest, I don’t always open them. But the new (massive) tome from John Lewis turned up at the weekend and, aside from the fact that it could be used for weight-training, it’s rather a treat.

JL Normann Copenhagen Dropit hooks £22.50,Hay gym hook from £24, Donato wall box £199, Vitra Eames DSR side chair £223, Northgate bench £249
Dropit Wall hooks by Normann Copenhagen £22.50 each

The company has made a real effort in recent years to stock small designers that might not otherwise find a high street outlet not to mention gain a wider audience with an increasingly design-literate clientele.

JL Airframe desk £275,Viola table lamp £30,Jasper dining chair £39,Mix duvet set £40,Ollie bedstead £175,Sapiens bookcase £175-all House by JL
Duvet set £40

in addition to seeking out fresh design, they also stock some of the better-known cool brands such as Normann Copenhagen, whose hooks are pictured on the blue wall above. I think I spotted them, or something very similar in an episode of The Great Interior Design Challenge, where they were used to support fabric cables for lights. A grand idea and one I fully intend to rip off at some point. I mean, be inspired by.

JL La Boutique de Fleurs Storage Jars £15, Culinary Concepts Cotes de Provence Water Pitcher £117
Cotes de Provence Water Pitcher £117

And let’s not forget the store’s Scandi-inspired House collection, full of simple shapes and clean lines that perfectly fit the current interiors trends.

JL Louise Body Foxglove Cushion £65, Blinds and cushion in JL Yolo Stripe Red Fabric £15 per m
Louise Body Foxglove Cushion £65,

Anyway, here are some of my favourite pieces and images from the new catalogue. Did you know, by the way, that John Lewis celebrates 150 years this year? Yes 150 years since Mr Lewis opened his first drapers’s store on Oxford Street.

John Lewis Wood Grain  £15roll, Oak Ladder £99, Waffle Terry Linen fm £3.50, Stripe Linen fm £2.50 Cecile Dining Chair £75
John Lewis Wood Grain wallpaper £15 aroll

For some reason the catalogue is based around 116 ideas to “enhance your interiors”. I know, I’m completely baffled. Why make such a big deal of it being 150 years old and then stop at 116? Did they run out of ideas. Was the concept of 150 ideas for 150 years too basic? Too pedestrian? Is it a clue to their future as a concept store rather than a high street one?

use a plant hanging overhead instead of alight for a dramatic addition to the table
use a plant hanging overhead instead of alight for a dramatic addition to the table

I have asked …

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. Over the last three years we’ve been reclaiming our family house for our own use – what a lovely phase of life this is – we have now collected considerable amounts of EPs (existing possessions) that I’ve not wanted to rid myself of, too many memories and classic pieces. We have obviously bought some new things and have been really amazed at how great John Lewis ranges have been. So much of their stuff just fits in with our mish mash of items adding a contemporary stylish aspect to our ‘new but not new’ home.

    It’s really worth looking hard at the pieces outside the room sets in the shops.

    I think my two favourite purchases have been the Bethan Gray standard lamp and my Ercol Chiltern Love seat, both results of John Lewis’ collaboration with British designers and manufacturers.

    Highly recommended and great to see you feature them here Kate!

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