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

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)

It’s hard finding a gift for everyone right? I’ve thought long and hard, and have come up with 10 Christmas gifts for those who are hard to buy for.

I’m hoping this list would cover everyone in the family, so the whole age spectrum. That would be a major feat if it works.

Some of the items in these photos have previously been mentioned in another post and the list is here.

1.CUSTOM MADE WORD SIGN IN ANY DESIGN OR COLOUR

First up, is that cute pink “Sweetie Pie’ sign from Sign Hive. It was custom made for me, hand painted on aluminium and gilded with gold leaf.

Melissa, the owner of Sign Hive can make the signs in any variety of colours, fonts and designs for you.

It’s therefore a universal gift right? It can be custom made to suit someone’s taste.

2.A GIFT FOR COFFEE LOVERS

I don’t know what the proportion of coffee lovers are in the world, but I would anticipate that it is at least a third of the population right? ( Wild guess here, so don’t quote me).

Since the reach of coffee is so high, surely a coffee related gift may be the way forward, short of giving someone just coffee ( which is boring).

This coffee lover must have a sense of humour, and you’ll know what I mean if you direct your eyes to that black and white typography print about coffee from Cloud 2 print.

3.A personalised mug from Emma Bridgewater.

Spot my personalised mug? Yes it’s the LBB one.

Emma Bridgewater has an amazing collection of mug designs this festive season, guaranteed to suit all tastes and they can personalise them too.

They usually charge £1 per letter, but the great news is that between Wednesday 4th December to 11th December 2019, they can hand paint up to 10 letters for free. That’s £10 worth of letters!

4.Cool gifts for Hipsters.

Where do you go in London to find Hipsters? Yes, East London is the place. I absolutely love the series of books published by Hoxton Mini Press.

One of my favourites, is East London Homes by Sarah Bagner, featuring the super stylish, eclectic and very individual homes of 29 residents across East London. Here’s a sneak peek of one of the homes in the book. These opinionated guide books are a wonderful curation of amazing places to eat vegan food in London, and a general guide of the cool spots in East London.

These books cut away all that busy noise in London, and hone in on the hippest places to visit. Here’s a peek of what’s in the Vegan London book. 5.Personalised art prints

Katie, from Little Florence Art make unique personalised art of the family. I got her to make 2 prints of my children from photos I sent her, that capture their personalities.

You can see the prints she made me in that yellow shelf. They would be great gifts for grandparents, or family members or friends with kids, but also wonderful to have at home for yourself.

6.Unisex scent from Acqua di Parma.

I’ve always loved Acqua di Parma, especially their Colonia fragrance, which is so fresh and vibrant with citrus notes. It was featured in my gift guide last year.

This year the Colonia bottle has been designed by talented papercut artist Gio Pastori, who I had the pleasure of meeting recently at an event. 7.The travel lover.

Have you heard of Weekend Journals? They publish the most beautifully photographed and curated collection of travel guides, featuring boutique hotels, independent galleries, restaurants and shops. The Cornwall weekend journal was their first publication, and it has been a huge success and sold out. The great news is that they have now just published the 3rd edition, an updated version.

In this edition, there are exclusive interviews with Chefs and owners of some of the amazing curated hotels and eateries in Cornwall too.

I was lucky to get a copy of their Provence weekend journal too, as we have plans to visit Provence this Summer. Here’s what it looks like inside the Cornwall Weekend Journals book. 8. The Luxury lover.

You may have spotted on my desk this beautiful pink candle. It’s Jaipur Jewel by Matthew Williamson, the fashion designer famed for his colourful and creative designs that have adorned the rich and famous.

Doesn’t that ikat pattern jar with the pineapple peacock feather gold label look divine?

The scent is fabulous too, with vibrant notes of incense, spices, with hints of Juniper and Cinnamon. It totally transports me to a mystical land in Asia. 9.The Gin Lover.

I’ve totally fallen in love with Gin, especially flavoured Gin. Pinkster Gin is one of the original flavoured Gin brands. It’s triple distilled Gin with a smooth finish of raspberries.

You can now also purchase The Pinkster miniature gift set in the form of a Christmas cracker. Inside you’ll find a miniature bottle of Pinkster Gin and Gin Jam. All I can say is Cheers! 10. The baby of the family.

Last but not least, the baby of the family. To be honest, it’s not difficult finding gifts for babies is it? After all, they tend to be the least fussy ones when it comes to gifts. In fact, I think babies would be just as happy playing with a TV remote control.

Anyway, how about a stylish ‘peachy baby’ art print for the nursery or play room? I’ve actually kept it in my workspace. The peachy print is by Wonder and rah.

So, that concludes my gift guide.

Have I covered all the Christmas gifts for those who are hard to buy for? I hope so. If not, let me know.

Have a wonderful day all. I will be back soon with more festive posts.

( Some of the mentioned gifts were gifts, but there is no sponsored payment here. I’ve only featured gifts I like, that I would buy for myself).

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