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

Mamas and Papas Hilston nursing rocking chair and stool.

Do you spot something new in my living room? I guess there are a couple of new things, but what I want to show you is my new rocking chair.

When I was on holiday in Canada, I came across a store selling rocking chairs. They were so comfortable to sit in. I nearly had a nap in one. Unfortunately they only shipped to the States and Canada.

However, my dampened spirits were soon lifted, when I received an email from Mamas & Papas with a preview of their new Hilston nursing rocking chair. Yes indeed, I have a nursing rocking chair in my living room. Before you jump to conclusions, the answer is no. No, I am not expecting nor have I had a baby.

You see, not only is the Mamas & Papas Hilston nursing chair comfortable, it looks so good too. So, you don’t need to be pregnant or nursing to own one.

In fact, I remember the days when I was pregnant, many many years ago, nursing chairs, although comfortable, were pretty ugly to look at.

Nowadays, sustainable design is so high on the agenda. No longer do we condone the throw away culture of yesteryears.

This Hilston nursing chair is perfect, because not only is it functional for those who are nursing, but they look super stylish too. There will therefore be no mad rush to get rid of it. Hilston nursing rocking chair My Hilston nursing rocking chair is in a silver fabric, but you can order it in a variety of colours, from pink to minty greens and more.

It is so comfortable to sit on, with its ergonomic shape designed to support.

As you can see, the chair comes with a matching foot stool too, perfect for resting those tired legs. Hilston nursing rocking chair I hope that you’ll agree that this is simply the best looking nursing rocking chair that you have seen? Furthermore, it is so comfortable to sit on too.

I shall look forward to sitting there after a busy day of work at the hospital and even rock myself to sleep.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Have a lovely day.

(All photography and styling are by me. The chair was a gift.)

This week marks the start of a much anticipated event for me, the London Design Festival 2019.

Back in May, Sir John Sorrell, the Chairman of London Design Festival, invited 10 of Europe’s most exciting designers to create a ‘legacy’ piece of design, in collaboration with London’s top cultural leaders.

Most noteworthy, all 10 of the designers used American red oak, a sustainable wood source for their projects.

All the pieces will most certainly be on display for public viewing during London Design Festival 2019.

9 of them will be on show in the Sculpture Gallery of the Victoria & Albert Museum, and one will be outside the Natural History Museum from 14-22 September 2019.

Below are the 10 exciting collaborations : This is Tomoko Azumi of TNA Design Studio.

Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE, the Artistic Director of the Young Vic asked her to make him something that he could also pass on to his grandson.

He wanted something for his garden, inspired by the slave ships that brought his ancestors from Africa to the Caribbean. London Design Festival 2019 Legacy In response, Azumi created Au.

She used thin slats of American red oak, steam-bent into shape, to create a boat structure.

I love its simplicity and symmetry.  It would be a wonderful space to sit with the family, and perhaps read a book together. Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group, commissioned Marlène Huissoud (above) to create a beehive for the Science Museum. Subsequently, with the help of the craftspeople at Benchmark, ‘Beehave’ was handcrafted, and blackened using a scorching technique.

Huissoud and her team spent over 100 hours in Paris adding the tactile engraving details to the surface of this beehive using a pyrograph. Alex Beard CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House collaborated with designer Terence Woodgate to create two sofas, named Duo. London Design Festival 2019 Here is Duo.

Doesn’t it just look so elegant?

I love it for its contemporary clean lines, and similarly for its serenity. Tristram Hunt, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, was paired with the Jasper Morrison Studio.

He commissioned Morrison to create a set of two chairs and a table. Here it is and it’s called Fugu.

Aren’t those edges so smooth and perfectly sculpted?

These pieces are definitely in line with the current trend of circles and curves in furniture design.

I do love how that red oak grain is coming through too. Martino Gamper (above) was paired with Tamara Rojo, artistic director of the English National ballet.

Rojo wanted a piece that reflected her lifelong love of music, and would house her extensive vinyl collection. Here’s the musical shelf created for Rojo’s living room.

Gamper used a combination of fumed red oak to create the horizontal shelves and a lighter veneer on the upright components to create an angled grain direction.

It’s absolutely stunning. Above all, a future design classic.

I wouldn’t mind having it as a shelf for my hardback Design book collection. Here’s Jack Mama and Nina Tolstrup of Studiomama. I’ve previously met Nina, when she created the Built by All project for MINI Living.

They worked with Hans Ulrich Obrist, the artistic director of the Serpentine gallery on this project.

Obrist believes in the important role of postcards and likewise the revival of penmanship in the digital age. Studiomama created these gorgeous post boxes from the red oak as part of their brief.

The large post box will be located outside the gallery’s front door and the smaller one in the book shop.

I can’t wait to see them up close. This is Juliet Quintero.

Sir Johnn Sorrell, Chairman of London design Festival, commissioned her to create a lookout seat for the garden of his country home. London Design Festival 2019 The seat is shaped like a bird’s nest and will be placed next to a pond, for sunset viewing and contemplation. The red oak planks were thermally modified, therefore making them more durable for outdoor use.

Wish I could sit here and view the sky. Designer Max Lamb was commissioned by Dr Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate, to create a multifunctional dressing screen. London Design Festival 2019 So, here is what Max came up with and it’s called Valet.

It’s a free standing screen that incorporates a mirror and storage space.

He exploited the porosity of the red oak by pushing teal blue dye into its surface. It looks so effective doesn’t it? Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, commissioned Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay of Raw Edges to create a bookstand.

Books were of great importance to Blazwick,and similarly to the Whitechapel gallery. London Design Festival 2019 The bookshelf, named Wooden Hinge, will be used to award the gallery’s annual Richard Schlagman Art Book Awards and house new library catalogues.

The bookstand folds on red oak, rather than metal hinges.

Wooden Hinge will live in the Whitechapel Gallery’s bookshop. London Design Festival 2019 Sebastian Cox, above, was commissioned by Amanda Nevill CBE, CEO of the British Film Institute to create a pen holder, a desk and a chair.

Nevill wanted a piece that represented her love of writing and moreover storytelling. London Design Festival 2019 Therefore, Cox created Writer’s Collection, with angled curves matching the perspective lines on the BFI mezzanine, where it will be located.

Underneath the leather panels is a special compartment for the pen case and a paper scroll.

Aren’t these 10 pieces of design so inspirational? I certainly love them.

In short, I’m looking forward to seeing them at London Design Festival 2019, and after that, at their designated public locations.

Have a lovely day.

( photography provided by friends and co)

A trip to Devon staying at Kentisbury Grange.

Happy September.

I’ve just returned from a wonderful break with the family in Devon.

We were kindly invited to stay at Kentisbury Grange, a luxury hotel at the edge of Exmoor National Park in North Devon. Kentisbury Grange is located in an idyllic English countryside location, within a short driving distance of some of Devon’s most beautiful beaches.

This is the hotel’s main house, with its beautiful stone walls. The main house was built in 1894 by Lancashire cotton merchant Oliver Openshaw.  Its architecture combined a mix of understated Regency and Victorian Gothic. Behind the main building was the Coach house, a renowned restaurant by top Michelin starred chef Michael Caines.

We were very fortunate to have been able to sample the food there. 

The dishes served up were both a visual feast and treat to the palette.

We ate from the set à la carte menu, and here are a few of what we loved: For starters we tried the Cured Mackerel with fennel, dill, avocado and lime.

It was delicious and almost too pretty to eat. For the main course, I had this pan fried bream with caramelised cauliflower, raisin and a split chicken jus.

I loved the contrast of textures between the fish and its crisp fried skin. This Beetroot risotto was as tasty as it was vibrant . Dessert was also a triumph, with this light and fluffy Banana soufflé and Black Forest treat. Michael Caines also offers a 6 course tasting menu for dinner at his restaurant.

This Exmoor beef fillet, watercress , ox cheek with beef red wine sauce was one of my favourites from the tasting menu.  

The beef was melt in your mouth tender and delicious.  We got to stay at one of the newly built Cottage suites at Kentisbury Grange. The bedroom had been beautifully decorated by local interior designer, Karen Grey. The style of the bedroom was contemporary, and the bathroom was luxurious, with its own walk in shower and roll top bath. There was so much to explore locally. 

On the first day, we visited Woolacombe beach. It was a beautiful sandy beach, with rolling waves that were perfect for surfing. On our second day, we stopped over at the coastal town of Lynton, where we also had some amazing fish and chips.

We later burned off those calories with a scenic creekside walk at Watersmeet.

All in all, it was a wonderful end of Summer holiday break for the whole family. 

We had a brilliant time exploring Devon, and enjoyed our stay at Kentisbury Grange.

( all my own photography. Our stay at Kentisbury grange was complimentary but all opinions here are my own).

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