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Mad About . . .

What’s new in interiors this month – including my online course

29th September 2021
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Today’s the day. My first online course teaching you how to be your own interior designer is live and you can buy it right now and do it RIGHT NOW should you fancy. Come with me on a video tour of my house – room by room – and on various gorgeous locations around London including Liberty, The Artist’s Residence Hotel and Anthropologie with a stop at one of my favourite vintage stores Mosey Home and learn how to be your own interior designer.

Living room at madabouttheouse.com image/copyright Mark Anthony Fox

Living room at madabouttheouse.com image/copyright Mark Anthony Fox

I’m so excited for you to visit my house and learn what I did and where I went wrong (you can learn from my mistakes) as well as everything you need to consider to make your home tell your story. You’ve read the blog, bought the books (maybe?) and now’s the time to learn alongside me as I take you right from studying the floor plan to finding your own inspiration and working out how to turn it into reality. It costs £127 and if you buy it before 29 September (2021) you can have a 15 per cent discount. Earlier this month I showed you a 60 second trailer. Here is the full two minutes:

And once more the link – you have expressly said you don’t like scrolling up and down so here it is again!

What else is new? Well it’s been a busy month as the London Design Festival was back after its pandemic hiatus and I am able to share some cool new things with you. First of all I went out out (as they say) to the Carl Hansen showroom where the current CEO (and grandson of the founder) Knud Erik Hansen welcomed my design hero Ilse Crawford to tell us about her reimagining of five of their classic chairs by Hans Wegner.

ilse crawford painted hans wegner chairs for carl hansen and son

ilse crawford painted hans wegner chairs for carl hansen and son

It was, as she said. “petrifying” to be asked to put colours onto a Wegner chair but this was no mere vanity project. The chairs are made from oak which must be carefully dried to remove the natural acid in the wood. If this is done too fast the wood goes black, or can have black spots on it. For a chair that is made of natural wood, this would naturally spoil the appearance. So a plan was created to save the wood from going to waste.

ilse crawford talking about her painted hans wegner chair for carl hansen and son

ilse crawford talking about her painted hans wegner chair for carl hansen and son

Hansen and Søn already uses much of its offcuts and shavings to heat the factory and around 400 homes nearby but painting the wood means that more chairs can be made and any imperfections won’t show. The paint, by the way, is a water-based, flexible transparent paint which means you can still see the grain. It still looks like a wooden chair says Ilse, whose five colours were chosen to feel Danish but based around natural materials and minerals.

ilse crawford painted hans wegner chair IN FALU for carl hansen and son

ilse crawford painted hans wegner chair IN FALU for carl hansen and son

“We didn’t want trendy colours – a pop [said with disdain] and nor did we want pretty colours. We wanted colours that felt Danish, easy muted colours that fit everywhere.”

And as a self-confessed member of the Wegner fan club (she has 25 of his chairs between her home and studio) Ilse felt that painted chairs are a good thing: “You CAN have too much wood.”

The resulting palette: slate, seaweed, north sea, falu and pewter, is a gorgeous muted range that sits beautifully on these classic chairs. And, before you ask, you can’t buy them for your walls – they are only for these chairs. But similar colours are around if you like the palette.

ilse crawford painted hans wegner chair IN SEAWEED for carl hansen and son

ilse crawford painted hans wegner chair IN SEAWEED for carl hansen and son

Next up is a fabulous collaboration between rug maker extraordinaire Floor Story and designer Henry Holland. The collection is based around the rave culture of the 80s and 90s which may seem scary at first but it’s the shapes that I love. I adore this “melting” runner and think it brings such personality to the space

melting runner by henry holland for floor story from £1,200

melting runner by henry holland for floor story from £1,200

Rugs have basically been rectangle, square or round for so long that it’s incredibly refreshing to see someone breaking the boundaries and having fun with the shapes while still keeping them practical. You know what would be fantastic for this? A stair runnner coming all the way down in stripes and melting over the bottom step and into the hall at the bottom.

melting runner by henry holland for floor story from £1,200

melted smiley rug henry holland for floor story

It comes in blue, black and cream as well as red and blue and there are other shapes and designs in the collection including this one above.

rug by henry holland for floor story

Next I went to the VitrA store in Clerkenwell where the designer Tom Dixon (he of the famous beat lights) has created a bathroom range. It’s ALL about the collaborations at the moment and (gentle teaser I will be sharing my own collaboration next month – think eco, sustainable and comfortable…) and this bathroom range was fabulous.

Tom Dixon's Liquid range for VitrA

Tom Dixon’s Liquid range for VitrA

Tom said he has wanted to do a bathroom range for ages but was determined to only work with a company that would allow him to do taps, loos, basins and tiles – in other words – a one stop shop for the bathroom. This is a great idea as anyone who has ever redone their bathroom will know you have to go to about six different places for all the components so this is much easier.

Tom Dixon's Liquid range for VitrA

Tom Dixon’s Liquid range for VitrA

VitrA, for their part, said only that Tom had pushed their designers to desperation but that the result was truly rewarding. The result, as Tom said, is FAT. Only he wasn’t allowed to call it that so it’s Liquid, fitting for a bathroom but the curves are also evocative of the way water falls and splashes and flows.

“It’s a pop aesthetic,” he said. “Almost like a child’s drawing of a bathroom.”

Tom Dixon's Liquid range for VitrA

Tom Dixon’s Liquid range for VitrA

And, crucially, curves are much easier to clean than straight lines and corners with all their nooks and crannies. The taps come in gloss black and there are clever touches such as the way the shower handle attaches to the main shower head with a magnet rather than you needing to fix another hook which clutters up the look. There’s also a fabulous urinal (and that’s not a sentence I ever thought I would type) but Tom has apparently put one in his showroom with taps over so you can use it as a basin.

If I was doing a bathroom….

Liberty and Farrow & Ball have collaborated

Liberty and Farrow & Ball have collaborated

Now in news that might interest you. Tonight Liberty and Farrow & Ball are announcing their collaboration (told you it was all about partnerships at the moment). The paint company has taken some of its colours out of the archive and paired them with Liberty’s fabric and wallpaper collection and it’s a very joyous marriage let me tell you. I have no pictures yet but keep an eye out for that Potted Shrimp paint, which, of course, now comes in a very pretty Liberty Print paint tin. That’s one for the kitchen utensils when empty…

Liberty and Farrow & Ball have collaborated

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Comments

  • Reply Jane 1st October 2021 at 5:47 am

    Can I just say Kate, how fabulous your hair looks in your trailer for your online course! You have inspired me to chop mine off and let the emerging silver free. The course looks sensational as well…we’re in a flurry of selling a house and buying another but when we have that sorted I will be signing up. Thanks for another week of brilliant content too.

  • Reply Valerie Belcher 29th September 2021 at 6:19 pm

    The tiles look beautiful. I’ve noticed textured tiles are becoming all the rage. However, I suspect they are a choice I would come to regret. A flat surface tile is easy to clean but consider scrubbing soap and toothpaste from a textured tile. I doubt it would be fun!

  • Reply Catherine 29th September 2021 at 10:09 am

    Good luck with the launch of your course Kate! As a person who reads your blogs, listens to the podcast and has all your books, I really want to sign up. However, I have still got to finish a course with your podcast collaborator (don’t tell her I’ve not finished it yet!). Although I haven’t finished it, I was really impressed and energised by it, so I am sure yours will be brilliant! Online is actually a really effective format, esp for those of us who can’t get to London easily.

  • Reply Birdie Simmons 29th September 2021 at 9:39 am

    I am sorry but I would have to say a big NO to a urinal! And why would anyone want to wash their hands in one?!! Brush their teeth?!!

  • Reply Elaine Fraser 29th September 2021 at 9:35 am

    Love the video Kate

    Love the Farrow and Ball collaboration with Liberty – especially like the paint on wall taken over the end of the mantelpiece and why do I never think of doing things like that?

    Not a fan of the Tom Dixon Bathroom – very small impractical sinks unless its just me who splashes all over the place when washing hands?

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