Sunday, 22 August 2010

Amethyst Crystal

At Icon Interiors, we are often asked by clients to specify lighting which is glamorous, yet contemporary, and with the option to add bespoke elements such as coloured crystal to work with the rest of the interior design scheme. These beautiful murano glass chandeliers from Italy tick all the boxes, and we are currently specifying two of this chandeliers for a dining room, and aim to team it with silver silk wallpaper, and amethyst silk curtains.
In modern interiors, the ubiquitous use of down lighters often means that decorative lights are forgotten, and yet the judicious use of statement pieces can give a design key focal points, and define areas for different uses.

Using large, decorative pieces in stairwells works particularly well, and these dramatic suspended crystal installations are key talking points, and evoke a sense of expectation for more beautiful things to come.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Contemporary Colonial...

For a current Icon Interiors' project, we are specifying these beautiful colonial style chandeliers, which are formed by successive tiers of ceramic 'ostrich eggs'. This kind of style works beautifully in an orangery or large conservatory, surrounded by ivory linen sofas and driftwood tables.

The 'antler horns' are actually made of resin, and mimic the horns of the kudu and other species of the gazelle family. These products are sourced from Bobby Breen in Cape Town, and his website shows many other examples of this african style.

The style is very much classic colonial, yet the simplicity of the design brings this look up to date, echoing styles of african and asian boutique hotels. We often team this look with woven grass papers on the walls, natural silk scatter cushions, and contemporary artwork. Mohair blankets are another export of South Africa, and work well draped over the linen sofas.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Natural Willow...

These beautiful curved willow structures created by Judith Needham - - work really well as focal points in a garden, and can be adapted as playhouses for children. Willow is a material which is annually renewable and which will gradually degrade over about 5 years, and as a renewable source of material, it is eco-friendly.

The Dreaming Spires Willow Playhouse is designed to meet the child's need for imaginative play whilst being an attractive feature in the garden in its own right. The curvy lines and arched windows give the house a fairy tale quality. The twin spires and forked flags swinging gently in the breeze put one in mind of a knight's encampment. Its ambiguous form transforms effortlessly from cottage to castle, wigwam to igloo.

At the end of its life, rather than needing to go into landfill, it can simply be recycled in your own garden. You could use the willow as kindling if you have a fire; you could put it in the compost bin or you could shred it and use it as garden mulch.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

It's all in the detail...

Continuing our theme of Bespoke Kitchens, we had such a great response from our previous article, and our clients and contacts asked for more details of our beautiful kitchen cabinetry. Our recent installation in Amersham has a tailor made larder, with walnut veneer shelves, bread and snack compartments. Our client runs a busy household, with two active, sports-mad boys, and the brief for the kitchen was practical but elegant.

This tall double larder opens out to allow all food stocks to be visible, and baking goods, spices and cereals are neatly arranged. This means everything is organised and accessible. The special compartments for bread and snacks are hand carved, and of course the drawers can be initialled with any name or quote.
We also like to add curves to our kitchens, which work particularly well on large islands, and this helps to soften the whole look, giving a hand made feel to the design.