Good Morning and Happy Tuesday to you all. If you’re stuck at home with no way of getting to work thanks to train and tube strikes then perhaps you can distract yourself with the latest products to drop at Design Storey:

Woven teak bench, Zara Home

There are some pieces of furniture that once bought you know you will always use wherever you live. A simple bench like this is one such piece. In a wide hallway with shoes under and small bottoms sitting on it to put them on, at the end of the bed for last night’s or tomorrow’s clothes, as a footstool in the sitting room or a place to gather some magazines and a plant. It’s 107cm wide and 45cm deep so you can tuck it in a small space and use it forever.

Wall-mounted ladder drying rack,Not on the High Street

I have a very unattractive small metal one of these fixed to the shelf between my boiler and washing machine and it’s completely invaluable. It’s used not only for drying things in winter but for keeping damp tea towels out of the way and even pulled out as a shelf for the clean folded laundry to sit on. It comes in two sizes and there is a choice of natural wood or white painted. If you’re trying not to use your tumble drier as much then you need one of these. 

Fortuna metal floor lamp, Oka

One of the keys to getting the décor right is the lighting and one of the ways to get the lighting right is to layer it – that means you need several sources at different heights. Here’s your floor lamp. The small base means you can tuck it next to a chair or at the end of a sofa and it won’t take up much space at floor level. The shade is big but the room is emptier up there so you have more room to fill. The colour – dark grey – is classic and will always be friends with all the other colours in the room. Change the shade to refresh the décor. And if you have a small desk (or a desk in the corner of another room) then a floor lamp, instead of a task light will give you more working space.

Two Bergen dining chairs, Cox & Cox

Chairs are expensive – they are hard to make after all – as the famous mid-century designer Mies Van Der Rohe said – a skyscraper is almost easier. With that in mind it makes sense to invest in something you are going to love for a long time which is one of the many reasons I don’t have upholstered dining chairs as eventually they will become threadbare and stained. Better to buy quality wood in a classic style that you can always paint another colour if you fancy a change. These are oak so perhaps you shouldn’t but you can always strip them back again if you do. 

Velvet oversized ceiling lampshade, Marks & Spencer

Changing lampshades is one of the easiest ways to give a room a new look without much effort. This one costs £30 and comes in 15 different colours. For real drama chose a colour that’s a darker or paler version of the colour of your walls rather than picking out a cushion – which also works if your walls are white – although there is a white velvet version which is always quite luxe. If that is your look then consider changing the white plastic flex to something that is more of a statement – this is the point to look at the cushions for inspiration. 

Adelita oak dining table, La Redoute

The size of your dining table tends to vary according to the size of the room it is to go in but if you buy a classic style that seats four comfortably then you will always find a use for it as it can become a desk or a crafting table in different homes in different rooms. This has two extensions which means it can seat up to eight people and is made from FSC-certified oak so it’s a classic that will last. 

Gallery Direct Eaton side table, John Lewis

Sometimes switching the materials from the classic and expected can make all the difference to a room scheme. This iron table from John Lewis (in on trend paprika or classic grey) is great if you have a wooden floor and a wooden coffee table and feel it’s all getting too much. But the handle also means you can move it easily from room to room (and outdoors) as well as bringing a sculptural dimension to the space. It’s a useful piece that will stand the test of time. 

Madotto Rug, La Redoute

Checks are very definitely the shape of the moment but they are also a classic so whether you buy now because it’s fashionable or because you have always loved them, you will never go wrong with this rug (which is also in the colour of the moment – terracotta, red ochre or paprika depending on what you read). I have it under my kitchen table and it pops up on Instagram regularly. It’s made from recycled polyester and, as such, is fine for outside as well. 

Petite Bobbin chair, John Lewis

Small accent chairs are incredibly useful as they don’t take up much room in a corner so you can use them in bedrooms as chairdrobes, on landings or tucking into the sitting room for occasional seating – admittedly you might not want to sit on one like this with no arms for an entire evening of TV. Bobbin woodwork is currently fashionable but, again, it’s a classic so this chair will be around long after the fashion wagon has moved on and you can, of course, always change the cushions to suit your décor. 

Metal armchair, Zara Home

This is one of those useful pieces that works in any room of the house as well as the garden if you need extra seating – it’s weather-resistant but it won’t want to live outside year round. The classic black iron shape means it will never go out of fashion, but you can change the cushions as often as you fancy. It doesn’t come with these ones pictured so you will have to make do with what you have or buy some new ones. If you look closely at this you will see the cushions come with little ribbons so you can tie them to the frame and they, and by extension, you won’t slip off. If you are using your own cushions, then if you have a bit of leftover ribbon (and I’m always keeping it and never knowing what to use it for) then you can sew your own. 


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Maria Masri

The author Maria Masri


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