Time for this week’s newest additions to Design Storey Shop and this week there’s a slight emphasis on outdoor living with a very comfortable chair and a pretty watering can but some good finds for indoors as well.
First up: the chair:
Shona chair, Made
The key to garden furniture is making sure it’s as comfortable as your indoor furniture – otherwise you won’t sit out there and there’s nothing like an early evening drink in the garden as opposed to the sitting room to make you feel like you’re on holiday even if you aren’t. This black chair is perfect and made from polyrattan which means it can happily live outside all year round (apart from the cushion but that should be easier to store than a whole chair). If black feels a bit too dour for the garden (although it loves a vibrant green plant) you can always change the cushion for a different one.
Metal watering can, Toast
I’m slightly obsessed with watering cans, I’ve no idea why. Maybe because I always fall in love with ridiculously over-designed ones that cost a fortune. This, however, doesn’t. It’s £16 and has a pleasing long spout so you can poke it in amongst the foliage to reach the earth rather than it sliding down the leaves and onto your feet. And it’s a pleasing shade of green.
Elizabeth sofa, Love Your Home
I haven’t traditionally been a fan of the armless sofa but rebrand it as a daybed, take it out of the sitting room and I’m in. If you have a large kitchen with room for a sofa (the oft-stated goal of the extension) then putting one of these in still gives you a comfy spot for a morning coffee and a chat but also means you will still use the more traditional sofa in the sitting room in the evenings. I know so many people who extend their kitchens to allow for a sofa and then abandon their perfectly nice sitting rooms. The candy stripe fabric is perfect too.
Benlo concrete and glaze bench, Made
Every now and then you find one of those pieces that will cause jaws to drop when you tell people where it’s from. This grey concrete and blue glaze bench is one of those pieces. This could easily be a £900 piece from one of the snazzy garden companies. The sculptural legs will add interest to your view for the eight months of the year when you barely open the back door and you can decorate with planters as well as bottoms depending on how you use your outdoor space.
Tom Dixon cork dining table, Amara
Am currently slightly obsessed with the idea of a pedestal dining table – as Eero Saarinen pointed out – that avoids the slum of legs when you have lots of chairs. Pedestal tables are also good if you have banquette seating as it’s easier to slide in and out and, given that for most of us, our houses are not getting bigger then the space saving properties of built-in seating are a good idea. The aforementioned Saarinen Tulip table is wonderful – and a wonderful price – so I have been scouting for alternatives. This, by Tom Dixon, is eco-friendly cork and in lovely dark chocolate rather than the customary orange version.
Wooden vertical mirror, Zara Home
Mirrors can be insanely expensive and long mirrors even more so. This tall and, crucially, narrow one, doesn’t need a lot of wall and, like most of Zara’s clever home collection, is minimally styled so it will work in both a pared back comporary interior or provide a moment of calm in a riot of texture and pattern. It will also never go out of style so buy it now and keep it forever.
Alessio metal bedside table, La Redoute
Bedside tables are notoriously tricky to get right – the default style seems to be shabby chic and that just ain’t for all of us. This sleek metal version, in on trend terracotta or classic black, is both sculptural and has good storage. It’s also reversible – in that, you can choose which way faces out so you have books at the front and a secret shelf at the back or vice versa. And there’s no need to confine it to the bedroom either. Would work well at the end of the sofa with all those remote controls tucked away out of sight (and possibly mind).
Six cups candle holder, Amara
A riff on the design classic this will always look stylish and makes a great centrepiece for the table even if it’s only two of you and a bowl of pasta – especially if it’s two of you and a bowl of pasta as that’s probably the only time you’ll have room for it. Once you have four or more then by the time you’ve added the cutlery, plates and glasses there’s precious little space left for the food never mind the decor. That said, this will look pretty on the side too. White candles are a classic but look for black or chocolate for more of a statement.
Bubbles wine glass, Zara Home
There’s something quite satisfying about drinking out of a goblet not to mention that it’s much more practical when dining outside as they’re harder to knock over and less likely to blow over. Not just for wine, these will work just as well for juice or cocktails and, of course, they’re good for inside as well. Bit of an all-rounder really and who doesn’t need that?
Boster table lamp, Pooky
This has the look of something vintage – that you could have picked up while strolling around a French brocante on holiday. It also loves that raffia shade and while raffia is a massive trend at the moment there is a tendency to stick in on everything and it doesn’t always work. This does. As does green in almost any colour scheme whether it’s playing a tonal role or disrupting things a little.