Friday, 28 May 2010

Eclectic Vintage...

At Icon Interiors we spend much of our time sourcing one off items for our clients, to create bespoke and eclectic interiors. We were introduced to Vivid & Punch by a previous client, and this company creates these beautifully crafted bespoke pieces, using vintage fabrics. The fabrics are often personal items belonging to the client who commissioned the piece, and although they can be traditional, they are being used in contemporary ways. The layering of pattern and colour ensures this look is on trend yet timeless.

As working artists the designers are inspired by their own experiences, and the stories that lie behind the textiles. Their philosophy is to restore, using vintage panels, once treasured needlepoint's, personal items and heirlooms. Vivd & Punch aim to utilise and recycle furniture of different eras, and in doing so create a passionate fusion of innovative and romantic pieces of art. For further information, see

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Entrance Halls

Spending time and effort on presenting your entrance hall is worth the investment, as this is the first 'room' to welcome people into your home space or business. It should also set the scene for the coherent style you have chosen for the rest of the space. Having the luxury of a large entrance hall allows you to place furniture and rugs as centre pieces for display. These bespoke pieces are by Top Floor Rugs, and can be woven in a combination of wool and silk, and your colour palette of choice.

Think of each wall elevation as a composition in itself, and use console tables, mirrors and lamps to create this composition. These lamps and console tables are by Porta Romana, and can be ordered in a variety of finishes. Artwork should be in groups, rather than dotted randomly around the walls, and these statement chandeliers by Brand Egmond can be used to add further detail.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Hand painted wallpapers

For a truly bespoke finish, at the highest end of the interiors market, hand painted wallpapers provide a unique way of decorating a space.

de Gournay has traditionally specialised in 18th century Chinoiserie and 19th century French designs, and specilaises in reinterpreting these designs and colours to suit contemporary interior design schemes. These wallpapers work particularly well with simple soft furnishings, artworks and furniture.

These large motifs can also be used as artwork in their own right, and teamed with stark white furniture, and can be the major focal point in a space. See for further details. Not to be confused with many of the high street copies, de Gournay's designs are unique, and are formed with close discussion with the client and their interior design professional.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Contemporary Chandeliers

Our clients often ask us to source contemporary lighting which is large scale and dramatic, without being the usual traditional tiered chandelier. These products are from Tigermoth Lighting, who produce modern pieces made from silver chains and suspended crystals in shades of amber and amethyst.

Both of these pieces work well in hallways and stairwells, and create drama and a focal point above a dining table. We often surround these signature pieces with a circle of inset directional down lighters to add another layer of light.

The Jeremy Cole Blossom light is a current design classic, which is available in a range of colours from gold to black. This iconic range also includes beautiful submerged orchid lights, which would suit any eclectic interior design scheme.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Bespoke Furniture

Despite the predominance of mass market furniture, the bespoke furniture market continues to flourish, especially when clients demand pieces that cannot be found on the high street. Designed by the Edward Barnsley Workshops and made by Simon Owen, this games table has beautiful inlaid veneers, and is hand finished - see - for further details . Simon is also taking individual commissions from clients.

For handcrafted contemporary furniture, see - based in Berkshire, this specialist company supplies both the domestic and commercial market. Benchmark has particularly strong values, being committed to excellence in design, materials and craftsmanship, and all furniture is produced in a sustainable way. The collection is exclusive to Benchmark and includes designs from well known names such as Terence Conran, Thomas Heatherwick and Russell Pinch as well as pieces from up-and-coming young designers.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Contemporary Japanese...

Continuing our theme of following boutique hotel styling around the world, the Screen Hotel in Kyoto, Japan is reinventing the traditional japanese ryokan (inn) style. The hotel calls itself a Personalized Boutique Hotel, with 13 rooms created by 13 different designers, allowing guests to choose the decor which suits their current mood.

The hotel combines history, tradition and modern art to create fusion of modern styling with traditional values - see for further details.
It will be interesting to see how these design trends filter towards the west, and how we re-interpret this style. The current design trend in UK boutique hotels remains firmly metro-country house style with wonderfully contemporary country designs being created by Kit Kemp for the hotel industry. We predict this style will be pared down, without becoming sterile, with the use of shoji style screens, painted screens, and contemporary oriental motifs.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

A talented local artist...

We are often asked by our clients to specify original artworks for particular spaces, and rather than sourcing works from expensive galleries, we love to promote local artists' work when they offer something particularly special. Lizzie MacKellar is a Winchester based artist, and takes her inspiration from the beautiful hampshire countryside. We call her work abstract naturalism, and any of these works would be wonderful in any classic or contemporary interior.
Lizzie's work is full of movement and emotion, and many of her works are experimental using light and luminosity to illustrate her vision. Working alongside a collection of other artists, Lizzie is inspired to create original artworks, which are much sought after in the local area.

Our clients are invited to 'try' Lizzie's artwork in their homes to ensure that it suits their taste and works in the space.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Boutique Hotel Design Influences

Boutique hotel design has been a strong influence on residential interiors for the last decade or so, and the style filters down to the high street in the same way as haute couture fashion detailing reaches the mass market. The ubiquitous 'neutral' interior design schemes which have dominated our interiors are becoming over-used and interiors are becoming over-neutralised.

Leading the way again, boutique hotels are offering an eclectic mix of styles to suit all tastes, but the key to any contemporary scheme is that in any minimalist interior, every product has vital importance, and the finish or design must be exquisite. The above images are from the trend defining Missoni Hotel, Edinburgh - where fresh colours and pattern are used to create a striking interior.

The merging of fashion design and interiors continues, with the opening of Maison Moschino, which offers an intriguing assault on the senses, playing with scale and proportion to challenge and surprise its guests. Usng an elegant take on the Alice in Wonderland theme, the design balances the fairytale style with a trendy modern twist. See for further details.

The recent opening of the Armani Hotel in Dubai shows how to work with a restricted colour palette of greys and browns, when sumputuous fabrics and exquisite cabinetry are used. The signature elegant Armani style is effortless and translates well on the international hotel scene.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Getting all visual...

Communicating a design to a client can be one of the most challenging aspects of the interior design process, and using floor plans and sketches can only communicate a certain amount of information. When specific and scaled detail is required, we can provide photo realistic drawings of how a room or space will look before the design is signed off and implemented.
The top left hand drawing is of the honeymoon suite at Wasing Park, and was shown to clients as a marketing tool whilst the wedding and conference venue was being renovated to ensure the venue was pre-booked for months in advance prior to the launch date.
The second drawing is by Jarvis Design, and is a beautiful, yet functional rendering of an apartment. Using visuals with this level of detail allows the client and designer to discuss how the space is divided and ensure 'flow' between each room. It is much cheaper to change the design at this stage, rather than during the build stage, and expensive mistakes can be avoided.
Using this level of detail also allows interior design issues to be dealt with, in terms of furniture placement, lighting plans, anticipating delivery problems, natural light in each room, and so on. The apartment can also be seen as a coherent entity, and the design can be considered for the whole space rather than individual rooms.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Sourcing in Marrakech

Inspired by our recent sourcing trip to Marrakech, these beautiful ochre and saffron colours are an uplifting option for clients who are reluctant to step away from the neutral schemes which still seem to be ubiquitous at the moment. At Icon Interiors, we spend time sourcing different products from around the world, to add value to our clients. In Marrakech in particular, their specialist crafts of wooden marquetry accessories and passmenterie are amazing value, as well as metalwork, such as lanterns and leather accessories.
A good interior designer will give clients access to a whole new world of sourcing ideas and resources, and should always add value to the design process in terms of showing clients different products which are not available in the high street. At Icon Interiors, we try to offer our clients economic value also, and can manage to reduce margins by sourcing these products directly.