Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Author Archives: littlebigbell

About littlebigbell

Hello! I am Geraldine and welcome to my design and lifestyle blog – Little Big Bell. I am a doctor by day and blogger by night. Here is where I explore and curate a collection of new talents and trends in the world of design and decor. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and I'm always happy to hear from my readers. You can contact me on littlebigbell@gmail.com

I’ve just returned from an amazing trip to the imm Cologne 2020 furniture trade fair, with the Association of German Furniture industry.

This is a post of what I’ve spotted that I liked and what I see as potential NEW trends for 2020 and beyond.

Trends are trends, they can be a passing fancy. Hence I thought I’d show you what my favourite finds were first.

These are the things that I would buy and want to have in my home. ( Whether I can afford them, is a total different story. But one can dream right?)

FOR MY HOME. I think I’ve gone to pastel heaven here. This Vlinder sofa  designed by Helle Jongerius for vitra is just so me. I absolutely adore it. The overlay has been masterfully weaved in the prettiest of pastel hues and patterns. It’s super soft and comfortable too.

The beautiful workmanship explains the hefty price at nearly £7000. Totally out of my reach, but you never know, maybe one day. imm cologne 2020 schonbuch I’m not one for large heavy furniture. I want beautiful portable design that can be multifunctional.

This year, I’m planning on re-doing my daughter’s bedroom, and this minty green table and bench look perfect for the small dressing table that I have been seeking for her space.

It could be a little study desk too.

It’s by one of my favourite German furniture brands, Schönbuch. How cute is this little kitchen designed and decorated by Mut design, a Spanish design studio founded by the amazing designers, Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón.

What I particularly had my eye on was that dustpan and broom called ‘Cane’ by Northern, and designed by Gridy.

I love how it’s one unit together. No more hunting for that dustpan and picking up that broom that keeps falling over. imm cologne 2020 normann copenhagen wooden puffins Those who follow me over on Instagram, must know that I’m rather partial to home decor accessories.

Of course, not just any accessories. They have to be cute, timeless and a potential design classic.

What do you think of this wooden puffin designed by Sigurjón Pálsson for Normann Copenhagen?

I actually spotted real life puffins when I was out whale watching in Tofino, Canada during my last Summer holiday. They are so cute. Talking about whale watching, I absolutely love this wooden whale from vitra. It matches the puffin well, don’t you think? imm cologne 2020 salt and pepper lamps tobias grau You can never have too much mood lighting at home right?

These salt and pepper lamps by Tobias Grau provide such comfort lighting. From comfort lighting, to something more glamorous, I was absolutely transfixed by these stellar grape lights designed by Sebastian Herkner for Pulpo. Here’s a closer up view. Whilst we are on the topic of Pulpo products, I wouldn’t mind having this trio of glass coffee tables in my home.

They are called aspa tables and are designed for Pulpo by mut design. Here they are at the Das Haus exhibition at imm Cologne. Now, for a bit of practical, functional design.

I’ve been searching high and low for stylish shoe storage for my home.

Alas, I found something suitable, in this shoe cabinet by Tojo, a German furniture brand with expertise in storage solutions that can be multi-functional. Here’s a little taster of what Tojo is all about.

If you turned that rocking chair on the left over, it becomes a side table, and on another side it’s a child’s desk.

Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my favourite finds. Now for the spotted trends at imm Cologne 2020.

THE NEW COLOURS – Mint, Pinks, Peach, Terracota, Rust and Browns. Pinks in dusky and peachy hues were prominent, as were soft brown shades and rusty terracota hues.

These wall storage units are by Schonbuch. Mint green is big news. Since it’s one of my favourite colours, it hasn’t ever gone out of fashion as far as I am concerned. These beautiful rattan chairs from Thonet sum up the pastel hues we will be seeing more of this season. Berry was also evident, although not really a colour to my liking. This Normann Copenhagen lounge illustrates the new rusty terracota brown colours of this season. I think mustard will be going out of trend, being replaced by these new shades.

After looking at all these colours, I’m going to go one step ahead to predict that peach and perhaps a light turquoise may be on the horizon in 2021.

COMFORT imm cologne 2020 No longer is it just design that is important, the discerning buyer want comfort. I often use the analogy to shoes – if you are going to pay for a Laboutin, it might as well be comfortable.

These chairs with removable washable covers are super comfortable and are by the German brand bruehl. imm cologne 2020 vitra sofa Which brings me back to this sofa by vitra. The price befits its comfort factor.

INTERACTION and DIGITAL DETOX It’s not untrue to say that our mobile phones have nowadays become an appendage of our arm.  Everywhere you look, people are staring at their screens, me included.

I’ve noticed a design movement to disrupt that habitual cycle. It’s all about rediscovering interaction and to talk to each other.

This Hemicycle range of sofa,by Phillipe Nigro for Ligne Roset, aims to encourage conversation. This is the Paradise bird chair by Wittmann. The designer, Luca Nichetto wanted the revolving chair to be a simple gesture for turning around to communicate with one another.

MIDCENTURY MODERN Although I’m only showing you one example here, there were many examples of midcentury modern furniture adaptations at the fair. I loved these chairs by Stouby.

UPCYCLED and SUSTAINABILITY imm cologne 2020 Perhaps this is not a new trend, but certainly an important one with all that climate change going on globally, so I’ll mention it in this post.

These wooden wall hooks are by Ton, an affiliated brand to Thonet. They are the offcuts from the furniture manufacturing processes. Such a clever idea to reuse and repurpose.

CRAFTSMANSHIP. Craftsmanship is so important in design. A beautifully made piece of furniture with more behind it. The carvings of this Mati chair by Herkner for Zanat, were inspired by the microscopic view of the cellular structure of wood.

Again, this makes an important point about sustainability. Another beautiful piece is this walnut veneer cabinet of drawers designed to celebrate Kettnaker’s 150th anniversary, using a combination of traditional craft and modern 3D laser technology.

MIRRORS imm cologne 2020 trends predictions I noticed at the fair that mirrors were taking a more flamboyant stance this year.

This yellow 3 dimensional mirror is by Shoenbuch. imm cologne 2020 ferm living Rather than a perfect circle, for example, there is a little assymetry, such as this mirror spotted at Ferm Living.

MODULAR and CUSTOMISABLE imm cologne 2020 interlubke shelving With urbanisation and space shortage, customisable modular furniture is becoming increasingly important to accommodate our changing living needs.

This elegant modular shelving is from Interlübke.

ZUHAUSESEIN imm cologne 2020 I thought I’d show you the winning photo entries being exhibited at imm cologne, of which I was one of the judges.

You can read more about them here.

Finally, I do hope you’ve enjoyed this trends post at imm Cologne 2020. I had so much fun spotting all the new furniture and designs that will soon be hitting our high streets. If you are interested in seeing the stands we visited on the Design tour, do take a look at this video. It also gives you a flavour of what imm Cologne looks like.

Have a lovely week.

( All photos are by Little Big Bell. This is a pais partnership post with the association of German furniture industry for imm Cologne 2020.).

laundry efficiently AD. How do I do laundry efficiently? I’ve been grappling with this problem for quite a while.

It seems to be an endless task in our home.

Every time I think I have conquered it, the clothing mountain grows again.

Does this strike a chord with you too?

When I say clothing mountain, I mean the piles of clothing before and after the wash.

This problem is compounded by the task of going up and down 5 floors between my laundry room in the basement and our shower room on the top floor, where laundry is constantly being generated.

I had one of those fabric laundry bags that would topple over when filled with clothes, and hence made my bathroom look messy.

I would lug that bag downstairs for the wash. If I forget to take it back up, then a new mountain of clothes would start to grow on the bathroom floor. Imagine the mess! The struggle is real.

After the wash, I would fold or iron the clothes downstairs in the laundry room and then carry separate piles up to the different rooms.

Although this is great exercise, it’s not what I want to do after a tiring 8 hour shift working at the hospital and definitely not doing the laundry efficiently. laundry efficiently I needed to be more efficient, and thanks to Curver and their Infinity Recycled laundry range, I now have a better system in place.

I’ve had the Infinity storage boxes, baskets and hampers for a few months. I wanted to test them out before writing about my experience.

Doing laundry is now so much more a pleasure.

I have 2 laundry baskets and 2 hampers. I tend to rotate the hampers.

When a wash is in, I would bring the filled hamper downstairs to queue for the next wash, and take the second empty one back up. laundry efficiently The baskets have been wonderful too. I would place my folded clothes into two baskets. There are two bedrooms on each floor, so I’ve allocated one basket for each floor.

No longer is there the chaotic running of up and down the stairs with different piles of clothes.

The baskets have amazing capacity too, and can house at least 3 full loads of folded laundry.

I’ve also used the infinity range storage boxes to organise smaller items of laundry such as small hand towels or folded pillow cases in my laundry cupboard. Last but not least, The Curver Infinity Recycled laundry range is made with 100% Recycled plastic.

Curver is one of the industry leaders in using recycled materials, and are aiming to further increase their use of such materials to 80%.

Their plastic products are designed for longevity, so no throwaway culture of single use plastic. So, what do you think? It’s wonderful how this range has helped me with my busy lifestyle.  I’m definitely doing my laundry in a more ordered fashion now.

How do you do your laundry efficiently? Do you have a system in place? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s to 2020 being a year of organisation and calm.

(paid partnership with Curver)

light cordless vacuum If you have lots of stairs at home, then I’m sure an ultra light upright cordless vacuum cleaner would come in handy, right?

We have 5 flights of stairs at home, so it’s often a struggle to lug a heavy vacuum cleaner up and down.

I have tried a few cordless options, some good, but not all perfect, hence I’ve always gone back to my old cord vacuum cleaner.

Here are some of my wish list for a perfect cordless vacuum cleaner :

1.It has to be light and easy to carry.

2.Doesn’t blow out gusts of air at my face as I vacuum.

3.Can be switched on and off easily without having to control a manual trigger.

4.Long lasting battery and easy to charge.

5.Suctions well without having to continuously vacuum the same area.

6.Has good capacity, so no need to keep emptying.

7. Beautiful design.

8.Has a stand to hold it upright. light cordless vacuum Introducing you to Halo’s capsule, an ultra light cordless vacuum cleaner.

One thing for certain, this is definitely the lightest cordless vacuum cleaner I have experienced.

How is that possible you might ask?

Well its body is made of ultra light carbon fibre. At just 2.6kg, it has made going up and down the stairs a breeze.

You can also remove the long metal tubing and attach the head to the main body for vacuuming the stairs. So, even lighter. light cordless vacuum I’m pleased to say that the Halo Capsule cordless vacuum cleaner doesn’t blow gusts of air out at my face as I vacuum, compared to other models that I’ve tried.

I’m also pleased to report that it can be kept switched on without the need to continuously press a manual trigger, so less hand strain. Charging my Capsule vacuum cleaner is easy and the charge has managed to last for a whole house vacuum.

One of the reasons why I have gone back previously to using my old cord vacuum cleaner is because the upright cordless ones don’t seem to have the same impressive suction power.

I think cordless uprights will never always have that sustained suctioning as with a cord version, but I must say I’ve been so far impressed with the Halo Capsule.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well it suctioned the dirt and dust from the floor.

Later on, I discovered you could increase the suction power further by activating its rotating brush system, but I think that feature is better for carpets ( and definitely don’t place your hands there to test when the brush is activated). As you can see, the Halo Capsule cordless vacuum is light enough even for my son to manoeuvre. No excuses for not helping with the household chores now right?

There is an excellent 1.6 litres capacity which means there’s no need to keep emptying in between vacuums. Emptying is also easy and less messy with its bag system.

Last but not least, it has a beautiful compact design that is elegant but not overly conspicuous. It would fit in nicely with any home style decor.

If I had to say a con, it would be that there is no stand to keep the vacuum upright but I’m sure that can be fixed in the future.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I wanted to give an as honest opinion as possible. I will be feeding back in 6 month’s time on this post. If you don’t hear, please do message me in a comment on this blog post.

Last but not least, if you fancy winning a Halo Capsule vacuum cleaner then keep an eye out for the giveaway on my Instagram @littlebigbell on Wednesday January 8th 2020.

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan. Although this is a sponsored post, my opinions are my own).

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