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“I don’t like our throwaway culture” – designer Orla Keily speaks out

Designer Orla Kiely is most recognised for her simple and repetitive floral print which has adorned the likes of tote bags, clothing, and home furnishings for around the last 15 years. 

Dublin born Orla began her career designing hats, which after branching out to bags and accessories also lead her into the world of interior design.  Her retro designs lend themselves perfectly to the Scandinavian style which is hugely popular today.

“Modernism had a huge impact on Kiely, 52. “Growing up in the late 60s and 70s I was very aware of modernism. And as a student in the 80s (in Dublin and London) I was always hunting out modernist vintage, and of course the Scandinavian look.” Rosie Millard from the Radio Times.

Orla KielyImage: Radio Times 

Orla Kiely expressed that although her designs are featured on numerous products, she hopes people who buy her items will keep them forever.  This philosophy of keeping and looking after the things we buy is something that resonates with Orla “I don’t like our throwaway culture. It’s very sad when you see sofas chucked out on the front doorstep. I love things that last. My mother would have re-covered a sofa. When I grew up, it was always about giving things a new lift. I like that.” . 

This way of thinking is one that we hope will catch on soon, as the latest figures show that around 672,000 tonnes of furniture is thrown away each year, with currently only 17% being recycled.  These figures seem even more shocking when we take into consideration the amount of CO2 needed to produce new pieces of furniture and thus the increasing strain on the planet. (See our infographic for more information)

It’s great to hear people of the design industry with the same philosophy as ours and we are lucky enough to even have one of Orla Kiely’s designs in our Prestige Collection.  Our Amari fabric shown below in Graphite colourway can be made into loose covers or used to reupholster a tired piece of furniture.

AMI GPH P1

If you would like to give a beloved item of furniture a new lease of life then why not speak to one of expert Home Consultants by contacting us today  for a FREE no obligation quotation.

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How Well Do You Know Your TV Sofas? Find Out By Taking The Quiz!

Producing a hit television show is about more than just casting a bunch of great actors to read from a knock-out script. What’s equally important is creating a set and building a unique surrounding that will make a lasting, memorable impression on the viewer. This includes everything from how a mirror should hang, how many chairs are placed around a kitchen table, and of course, the strategic placement of the all important centre of the home – the sofa!

Did you know that, in the Will and Grace apartment, set designers were so committed to creating authenticity that the pieces of mail that sat on the coffee table would be addressed to the characters who lived in that apartment!? It’s a prime example of how crucial set design can be to the making, and success, of a TV sitcom – and the sofa, of course, is no exception.

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Pantone Colour of the Year 2016

Every year Pantone will release what they believe to be the colour that will best represent the world for the upcoming 12 months. For 2016, Pantone have done something different; they have selected two official colours.

Their chosen colours are Rose Quartz & Serenity and are designed to be used together to create a balance and a soft and tranquil tone.

Here is how Pantone describe these colours:

“Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

Pantone Swatches 

How to use these colours in the home

These pastel shades feel fresh and uplifting compared to 2015’s colour of the year – Marsala, which was an earthy wine tone.

Rose Quartz and Serenity work well in the home, especially when used in accessories or accents.  As these colours are designed to balance each other we suggest trying to use equal amounts of each.  Too much pink and the overall look may be too sickly sweet; too much blue may be too cool. 

Pantone Phone

Image courtesy of Pantone Instagram

These colours when combined together create a soft retro feel, which would work particularly well with Scandinavian style furniture.

Rose Quartz and Serenity will not be for everyone but will definitely add some fun and freshness to a colour scheme.  What do you think of these colours?  Comment below and tell us whether you’ll be incorporating these colours into your home this year… 

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5 ways to make your house smell like Christmas!

One of the most memorable things about this time of year is the smells we associate with it. Whether that be fresh pine, cinnamon, clementine or vanilla, you can be sure that when that familiar smell is around it will take you straight back to your childhood and your favourite festive memories. Here are a few ways to induce those much-loved yuletide aromas!

1. Festive Simmer Pots

Simmer pots are simple to make and will create a warming welcome for guests over the festive period.  This pot from Half Baked Harvest uses spices, tangerines, and cranberries; you can tailor your pots with your favourite ingredients and scents.

Simmer Pot 

2. Roasted Chestnuts

So good even Nat King Cole couldn’t help singing about them! The smell of roasting chestnuts is sure to get your guests’ taste buds tingling so it may be worth buying a few extra as I’m sure these will be in high demand.  We love this simple recipe from The Framed Table.

 Chestnuts

3. Mulled Wine

Nothing quite says Christmas like a warming cup of mulled wine.  Most fruits are perfect for adding to mulled wine so you can be as inventive as you like with the recipe (although this one from the Taste Food Blog is particularly good).  If wines not your thing, why not try spiced apple juice or cider?

Glogg Wine 

4. Homemade Orange Candles

This idea is slightly trickier than the others and will take a little bit of practice to perfect, but once you do theses cute little candles are really effective for creating both a lovely ambience and a gorgeous smell.  For any that fail along the way, simply follow Delia Creates advice and add a tea light to the centre instead to create a similar effect!

 Orange Candle

5. Homemade Garlands

This is a great activity to do on a cold winter’s day and even better if you have children around to keep entertained.  This tutorial from 5 Orange Potatoes uses cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg to create these pomanders as well as some sweet little ‘acorns’ to hang on the tree.

 Acorn Pomander 3

Every family has their own traditions at Christmas and trying some of these ideas could be a great way to start some new ones!  If you have any great ideas on how to make your home smell like Christmas please share with us in a comment below… 

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