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A mix of fun, outdoor, practicality and vintage for you on this week’s Design Storey drop. I hope you like this edition of the edited internet.

Tortoiseshell table lamp, Urban Outfitters

This was one of the hot pieces of the season and was hard to get but now the fuss has died down a bit and it’s on sale. It’s made from glass and it’s very pretty. The others look like they’re trying (and failing) to be Murano whereas this is clearly not tortoiseshell but has simply borrowed that design from nature. It’s a classic and you will always find a place for it. Or two. I’d buy two to be honest.

Poolside wine glasses, Anthropologie

I’m guessing the majority of us won’t be using these poolside but they’re pretty good in the garden where at least if they are knocked over they won’t break as they are plastic. The colours are gorgeous too – one to bring out year after year.

Urban renewal vintage 19th Century flame mahogany chair, Urban Outfitters

So Urban Outfitters appears to have gone into vintage which is a clever idea. This is from the 19th century and is sold as seen. I’ve seen it and I like it. Obviously, the numbers are limited and it’s a first come first served. It’s a good idea and I wonder if it will take off. There’s quite a good selection although you might, of course, find similar things more cheaply through your usual vintage channels but as a way to introduce a new audience to the joy of vintage, it’s inspired.

Shiloh rattan pendant, Graham & Green

The key to a good ceiling light is that it must look just as good when off as on as it probably spends more time turned off. So its job is twofold – it must be decorative as well as practical. This answers that brief. The curving shape is pleasing and will act – as someone once said – as earrings on the outfit, aka the finishing touch to the room, and when on it will cast pleasing shadows around the room.

Set of three vintage style numbered tables, Rockett St George

Made from metal and covered with a high gloss lacquer these are a fun design but the fact that they nest means they are also space-saving. Table nests were regarded as very old fashioned for a while – spindly antique leggy tables that wobbled (or perhaps those were just the ones that belong to my grandmother) but this is a modern version that will sit in any interior whether restrained minimalism or riotous maximalism and isn’t it always useful to have a spare table or two?

Willow serving bowl, Anthropologie

I’m not saying Jamie and Nigella aren’t great cooks but there’s definitely something to be said for getting the serving dishes right. Even the most humble bowl of pasta looks more exciting on a good platter. So this is expensive – for a dish for salad but it will look great on a shelf, filled with fruit or arriving at the table on a summer evening. You will never not use it. And – do you want a practical point? It’s smooth on the inside and those blessed cabbage plates (of which I have several) are not and are real sauce stealers. So there’s that.

Set of two smoked glass storage jars, Rockett St George

It’s a small thing but sometimes that small thing makes all the difference. I have found the perfect dosing spoon for my morning coffee but when the jar is full of coffee the spoon doesn’t fit. And then it gets lost. And I have to use another and the coffee (the first one of which, I think you will agree, is crucial) isn’t right. So a set of jars with dedicated spoons and places to keep them is perfect. I’m in. You can buy them singly too.

Set of two fish tins, Graham & Green

Sure it’s lovely to use genuine old tins for your wooden spoons or desktop stuff but they’re not always quite as nice as you want them to be. These are under a tenner for the pair and look just real enough. They would also look good on the garden table filled with cutlery as the outdoor dining season gets underway. There is also a set of leopard tins if that is more your style.

Dance dimmable light bulb, Rockett St George

This would make a really good present. Neon has been huge for ages and is, perhaps, sliding into cliché – unless you can think of something clever and interesting to say – or at the very least something that really means something to the person who is buying it – but to add it to a light bulb where it will just flash up every now and then is a clever reworking of the idea. I like these, they’re fun. And your home should have fun things in it.

Lexi ivory boucle sofa, Graham & Green

Yes you’ve got to be brave to tangle with a cream sofa but if you have no cats and your children have reached the age where they only come into the sitting room to ask for your Amazon password then you might be at the point of considering this. It’s a very pretty shape – curves are in but this shape started in the art deco movement of the 1920s so it’s hardly a fad and the cushion – if that helps is removeable and washable. You might have to introduce a “no jeans” policy however.


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Maria Masri

The author Maria Masri


  1. REX LONDON website selling same tins cheaper. Fab sale on at mo.
    RE-FOUND OBJECTS website/outlet in Northumberland have a wonderful selection of mini spoons/ measures/ vintage homeware/kitchenware / decos etc, at lower prices than most high street suppliers.

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