Saturday, 30 July 2011


At Icon Interiors, we often use contemporary chandeliers as a focal point in our lighting schemes. The chandeliers can define a particular area, such as a dining table or as a centrepiece in a bedroom. This contemporary range of bedroom furniture, called Snooze is also designed by Ochre, and is another example of their pared down style.

Ochre creates objects of style and beauty which are both timeless and contemporary. The collection consists of furniture, lighting and accessories for the interior, the emphasis being on the use of very high quality materials and flawless British craftsmanship. The simplicity and honesty of form and proportion, together with the luxurious materials result in an understated elegance, which
has become the signature for Ochre.

Elle Decoration describes them as: 'Design outfit Ochre is low key, but its work is incredibly sexy and influential. Flawless British craftsmanship is combined with only the best (often overlooked) materials, such as horn, horsehair, chain mail and coconut shell...creating pared down collections of furniture and accessories that are always ahead of the game' - see for further details.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

F for Ferdinand...

This beautifully designed hook is from the Essey range of products, and continues their quirky design ethos of symbolic functionalism, with products often based on stories and fables.

Ferdinand the bull is a quiet, peace loving young bull who only wants to spend his time under a cork tree smelling the flowers. But, when a bee stings him, the townspeople believe he is ferocious and take him to the bullring! He refuses to fight and is taken back to the cork tree to once again smell the flowers. Ferdinand teaches us to appreciate the simple things in life and to be ourselves.

The Ferdinand design is a simple continuous line from one horn, through the eye, round the nose ring and back again to the other horn creating a functional double coat hook for hanging clothes. One line – one soul. The Ferdinand story is based on a 1938 classic story by Munro Leaf & Robert Lawson.

E for Essential...

At Icon Interiors, we are always looking for edgy design products, and recently discovered the quirky home wares supplier called Essey. Essey (derived from essential) is about Symbolic Functionalism, and was founded around the concept of using symbolism or metaphors to promote a given function or the inner nature of an object. It is about giving objects a soul, an identity and letting them communicate this - ie Let the products speak for themselves.

This concept is embodied in the Illusion range of tables, which are simple and functional. Based on observing an outdoor cafe with draped table cloths, the designers then sought a way of producing the essence of drapery with modern materials. The result is a true representation of Symbolic Functionalism. See for further information.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Portfolio - A Somerset Home

We are indulging in a little nostalgia today, as we revisit our very first project for a photo shoot. The interior design scheme for this project is now over 8 years old, and we organised the photo shoot to prove the point that good design lasts, and never goes out of style.

The drawing room walls are rendered with ebony and ivory marmorino (polished plaster). This is a mixture of
marble dust and lime mortar, with an amazing lacquer style finish.

The John Cullen Lighting system is designed to create a soft glow of ambient light, with gentle scallops of light highlighting artwork, soft furnishings and sculpture. The decorative lighting by Baker furniture frames the sofas covered in ivory merino wool.

Monday, 4 July 2011

A Quirky Vintage 40 Winks...

I came across this wonderful home/hotel recently, which is beautifully designed by David Carter - it is truly a design classic and would appeal to clients who are inspired by the quirky vintage trend
4 0 W i N K S offers a smart and whimsically glamorous alternative to visitors in the creative and fashion industries who are bored with the bland impersonality of most hotel chains.

It is also perfect for models who want something a bit different from the typical agency flat when they are in London for castings or jobs. 4 0 W i N K S is special. It’s just like staying in a boutique hotel, but without the staff, uniforms and room service (or the hefty price tag...).

The images speak for themselves, with a classic/contemporary twist of iconic images and mix of sleek modern finishes with traditional furniture, linked together with quirky artworks.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Charles Lutyens - Outraged Christ Sculpture

At Icon Interiors, we are constantly looking at the art world for inspiration, and this powerful installation by Charles Lutyens at St Paul's Church Bow Common in London is an inspiring piece of work.

Named the “Outraged Christ”, this wooden sculpture of Christ crucified stands 15ft tall and is made of soft and hard ‘found’ wood beams and planks, split by axe and intuitively applied to the body of the sculpture by drilling and dowelling, using a construction adhesive and shaped largely by chainsaw and broad chisel.

Lutyens created the head 30 years ago and held its image and intent in his mind for most of this time. 5 years ago he began to explore the sculpture further.

More generally Crucifixions depict suffering, wounded or dead, ‘sleeping’, sweet and beautiful or apparently forgiving Christs. However, in the course of work Lutyens’ sculpture has grown into an “Outraged Christ”. For him this interpretation is significant and relevant for our present times, and resonates particularly with the question “what are we doing”?

Charles Lutyens - - is an artist working with various media, including painting, sculpture and mosaics.

Exhibition of work by Charles Lutyens - 25th June to 23rd July 2011 St. Paul’s Church, Bow Common, Burdett Road, Bow, London E3. Open Wednesdays - Saturdays 11am to 7pm

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Yastik is a new boutique selling exclusively luxury cushions has just opened off Kensington High Street, London. A contemporary display of over 150 cushions with over 100 designs takes you into a world of riotous patterns and colour.

Yastik (which means cushion in Turkish), was created in Turkey five years ago from the collaboration between Rifat Ozbek and Erdal Karaman. The collection is designed with exotic and beautiful fabrics that Ozbek has collected over the years from his travels around the world. Each design is produced as a limited edition and each season brings a new collection.

The collection includes a mix of cotton and silk fabrics and velvets. The designs include vintage, new and custom-made mainly from Central Asia. They are all hand died, hand loomed and hand printed. The hand-embroidered Suzani fabrics are made to Ozbek’s selection of old Ottoman patterns. The cushions are truly bespoke and sizes follow the patterns which means that the range includes over 15 sizes of squares and rectangles.

Shop details:
8 Holland Street, London W8 4LT
Monday to Saturday – 10am until 6pm
Tel: 020 3538 7981

Friday, 10 June 2011

Iconic Design at Harrods

Christopher Guy's iconic designs can now be found in a spectacular new showroom at Harrods. These overscale designs are perfect for the proportions of Victorian and Georgian Houses, and give a quirky twist to any interior design scheme.

At Icon Interiors, we have used this tall chairs in a dramatic hallway, teamed with italian chandeliers and bespoke rugs.
Composition is key when arranging furniture, and we often use this 'pyramid' formation of two tall chairs, with a central console and large mirror or painting to bring the whole composition together.

We like to view each room elevation as a separate view, and consider balance and proportion for each wall. This furniture has an Alice in Wonderland quality because of its huge proportions, and is an iconic statement for any interior design project.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Voyage Enfants

We were recently contacted by a client to check if we could decorate a young teenager's bedroom. The client had become frustrated at limited options offered in the high street, and her daughter had outgrown the ubiquitous princess themed bedrooms.

We suggested the Voyage Enfants range of fabrics, which contain appliqued fabrics with fashion motifs in muted peacock blues and fuchsia.

To work with the craftwork/vintage trend, there are also hotpotch style fabrics with patchwork flowers and florals. We suggest keeping the walls in simple neutral colours such as Farrow and Ball All White, and using the soft furnishings to add splashes of colour.

For older teenagers, other fabric ranges by Voyage Boutique may also appeal, as they have an artisitic/painterly quality to them, continuing the vintage style theme with Baboushka motifs. Additional colour can be added by high gloss lacquer painted furniture.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Voyage Fabrics

At Icon Interiors, we are always looking for new fabrics which are not available on the high street, and we have recently become suppliers of a range of fabrics by Voyage Decoration. The styles range from simple, muted greys to painterly, rich colours.

The Couture collection takes inspiration from the
catwalk, with embellished silks and linens, finished with swarovski crystals. The soft voiles are textured like origami, and fabrics are embossed to create texture.

The Lorient Studio Line collection takes inspiration from impressionist
paintings, with splashes of bold colour, floral motifs and botanical prints.

We are often asked if we have a signature style, and we encourage clients to understand that we aim to access the client's personal style by spending time with them in their home.

Good design takes into account the architecture of the building, family lifestyle, as well as aesthetic considerations. So we are delighted to offer a wide range of products to suit all client styles.

An Aga Saga...

One of the interesting parts of our interior design business at Icon Interiors, is working with clients to design a bespoke kitchen. Our painted kitchens can be styled with contemporary stainless steel fittings or be transformed into a country style kitchen by including traditional items such as an Aga or a Rayburn.

These traditional ovens can be fuelled by a variety of sources, such as gas, oil and wood burning - they can also be converted to electrical supply, which can be an attractive option given recent oil price rises. It also is possible to re-engineer solid fuel cookers to run on oil or gas, and vice versa. It is also possible to switch between fuel types. Lately, there has been an increasing demand for electric AGA cookers running off a simple 13 amp circuit. AGA Twyford in conjunction with AGA Rangemaster Ltd., are in the forefront of this technology and can offer fully authorized on site conversions as
well as detailed factory changeovers together with complete or partial renovations.It is important to find a reputable supplier and conversion company for all of these products as there are many considerations to be taken into account, ie ventilation, placement, and maintenance.

AGA Twyford Limited (formerly Twyford Cookers) was started by Ian & Rose Norman in 1990 and is the only Aga cooker renovating company authorized by AGA Rangemaster Ltd. to carry out the worldwide professional restoration of AGA cookers. See their website for further details.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

A Quintessentially English Velvet Rose...

In a quaint Hampshire village, the quintessentially English quirky designs by Marsha Swanzy have developed a cult local following. Based on treasured finds at auctions, flea markets and car boot sales, Marsha transforms antique furniture with vintage fabrics. The upholstered furniture is now transformed into an heirloom piece to be handed down through generations.

Marsha's background in fashion design, combined with experience as an upholsterer, ensures her shop, Velvet Rose, is fully stocked with bespoke vintage clothing, furniture and jewellery.

At Icon Interiors, we could use Marsha's designs for commercial projects, such as gastro pubs and boutique hotels, or for holiday cottages for our London clients. Velvet Rose is based in Whitchurch, Hampshire and for further details see the website

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Interpreting the Cult of Beauty...

We continue our theme of the Cult of Beauty, and how this aesthetic
movement can be interpreted using modern suppliers. The essence of the aesthetic movement encapsulates the theory of Art for Art's Sake, and these beautiful hand painted wallpapers by De Gournay are both wall covering and artwork.

The floral motif designs are drawn from the naturalistic style of this movement, whilst embracing influences from chinese and japanese design. The bespoke quality of these papers allow our clients to have panels created exactly to suit a particular room.

Design schemes can be created in subtle, muted/neutral tones to suit a minimalist interior, or with vibrant yellows with bold chrysanthemum motifs to suit a classical interior.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


The world of interiors is currently inspired by The Cult of Beauty Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2 April to 17 July 2011).

The Cult of Beauty is the first major exhibition to capture the essence of Aestheticism, exploring an artistic movement which sought to escape the ugliness and materialism of the Victorian era by creating a new kind of art and beauty. This artistic movement encompassed artists, designers and poets, and explores how they promoted the idea of ‘art for art’s sake. This myriad of artistic influences would greatly affect how domestic interior design evolved for the middle class home, with the notion of ‘The House Beautiful’ as an embodiment of cultured living.

The collaboration between artists and designers continues today, and in the UK, we are fortunate enough to have our own quiet design revolution adhering to the principles of the Cult of Beauty. Hence, it is possible to recapture the essence of Aestheticism, yet reinterpret the original design ideas for contemporary living.

Influenced by natural motifs, classical art, Japanese and Indian design, Cole and Son have been manufacturing wallpaper since 1875. The Cole & Sonarchive consists of approximately 1,800 block print designs, 350 screenprint designs and a huge quantity of original drawings and wallpapers, representing all the styles from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Amongst these are some of the most important historic wallpaper designs in the world.

The large scale floral motif of this ‘magnolia’ design, with its simple background, has a contemporary edge and would work well as a feature wall. For a bolder design statement, the ‘woods’ design works beautifully in a long hallway or garden room. For smaller rooms, the classical landscapes from the Fornasetti collection are an intriguing design feature.

Demonstrating that the collaboration between art and design has never been more intertwined, Benchmark Furniture produces contemporary furniture in a sustainable way that will last several lifetimes. As well as championing up and coming designers, world renowned names such as Terence Conran and Thomas Heatherwick are also part of the design team.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Pantone Colour of 2011

We are often asked by our clients to help with colour choices and combinations of colours. Our clients are often afraid of using colour, resorting to standard neutral schemes, rather than exploring more vivid options. We work with our clients to guide them through the options available with a few simple rules to using colour.

It is important to understand how to communicate colour choices effectively, and Pantone is known worldwide as the standard language for accurate color communication across a variety of industries. Their website - - gives a wealth of advice on using colour, and each year they identify one particular colour which encompass the status quo.

For 2011, the colour is Honeysuckle! Which is NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S PINK!

This is not the shy pink of dawn, the sleepy pink of summer lemonade, or the tidy pink of gingham curtains. This is pink with attitude. A bold, intense, don't-ignore-me color. Honeysuckle 18-2120, the PANTONE Color of the Year for 2011, is a confidant, assertive shade of lusciously saturated pink that fuels our desire for change and ignites our spirit, to help us meet the challenges of everyday life. It commands our attention and rewards us with a good dose of confidence and energy. Showing up just about everywhere from men's and women's apparel and accessories to footwear, cosmetics and furnishings for the home, Honeysuckle has become a global call for positive thinking and concerted action.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Sculpted Walls...

For clients looking for a luxury finish, which works well in both traditional buildings and modern interiors, we often specify polished plaster. The smooth polished finish is similar to the marmorino stucco, used extensively in northern Italy during the Renaissance period as a wall finish and a background for the ornate frescoes.

It is this combination of material and technique that is now widely regarded as Venetian plaster. The final appearance of this finish is very dependent on the hand of the individual applicator, making it possible to achieve anything from a plain, lightly polished surface to a more highly burred and marbleised effect.

Armourcoat are a leading international brand for a variety of specialist finishes, with products ranging from traditional techniques to modern sculptural pieces. Armourcoat Sculptural is a range of seamless sculptural wall surface designs. The technique combines traditional hand sculpting with CAD to create designs that fit together with total accuracy yet retain the essence of being hand crafted.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Sculpted Leather

At Icon Interiors, we spend much of our time sourcing inspirational products and finishes for our clients, and it is very rare that we find something truly original. These sculpted leather and fabric designs by Helen Amy Murray have won worldwide recognition, and this designer has collaborated with leading international luxury brands.

The technique involves sculpting leather or fabric, and can be applied to a variety of objects, such as feature walls, upholstered furniture, lighting and artworks. The technique is hugely versatile, and translates extremely well from natural motifs to geometric designs.

Inspired by relief carvings in India, this technique can be adapted to suit many locations as every project is bespoke. This product is the haute couture of the interior design sector, and clients can be inspired by existing designs or choose their own commission.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Decayed Silver...

At Icon interiors, we are often asked to provide stunning decorative lighting and chandeliers for our clients, particularly in antique homes. The key to decorating any antique home is to respect the architectural heritage of the building, without adding faux period details, thus avoiding
a pastiche of a particular style.

Adding contemporary lighting, and using contemporary materials, such as acrylic, can ensure the design respectfully embraces the period style with a modern twist.

Porta Romana's range of decayed silver lighting embraces this classic/contemporary ethos, and their products work particularly well in traditional interiors. The range of furniture, including sofas and console tables continue within the same theme, with pared down styles based on classical shapes.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Contemporary Oriental

At Icon Interiors, we often blend classic and contemporary styles to create modern interiors with classical elements. We can also create this juxtaposition with oriental styles, and layering eastern and western influences to create an eclectic interior design scheme.

One of our great passions is Japanese furniture, and we are always seeking suppliers who can provide authentic pieces. Biden Designs presents rare and stunningly beautiful interior products from Japan, and supplies lacquered furniture, kimono screens, light sculptures, calligraphy works, woven wood wall coverings and block printed paper. All products are made with exquisite traditional artisanship and carefully chosen to suit today’s interiors.

The key to achieving this look is balance. Use contemporary wallpapers such as woven grasspapers with geometric designs. The traditional elements can be introduced in the form of antique tansu cabinetry, and decorative artwork, such as calligraphy or screens. Another contemporary twist can be introduced by choosing organic, modern lighting sculptures.