You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2011.

Style Director Harriet Paterson says, ‘Lovely’. The first of many, we hope, Gavin. You can buy it here (be quick, this is a limited editon of 50).


We spied Abigail Ryan’s bold dahlia printed cushions in Launchpad at Pulse recently and just love how striking they are. All the designs are based on Abigail’s hand drawings and are made locally to their studio. We also think the colours they’ve chosen to use that sit against the grey are just lovely, too.

The fabulous Hendzel and Hunt strike again showcasing their latest desirable objects at the So Far, The Future Gallery. The duo who are famed for their Made In Peckham approach to design are showcasing their pieces from their first 24 hour design challenge, (which took place earlier this year back in May). The task in hand was to produce five machines inspired by Peckham’s industrial past all of which were amazingly produced without electrical components from found and recycled objects. To see the collection for yourself head down to 44 Emerald STreet, Wc1n 3Lh showing now until 21/06.

Read the rest of this entry »

In Maiden, his shop on London’s Shoreditch High Street, Noah Crutchfield is purveyor of all things fun and lovely. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of everything you’ll want, immediately. The shop’s mantra is, ‘we are serious about not taking ourselves too seriously’ – quite right, too, sir. Read on to meet Noah, and discover in what circumstances the following become relevant – ketchup, Lady Gaga, Peter Andre and the Archbishop of Canterbury… 

Tell us all about your lovely shop. We don’t sell life’s ‘necessities’. We sell things you’ll want to own or give as gifts simply because they are fun and lovely. The shop is great fun, very light hearted and makes people smile. Maiden sells a varied mix of homeware, gifts, lighting, books and toys. I’ve always believed that not every object has to be essential be valid. Tomato ketchup is not an essential but it certainly makes a plate of Iceland curly fries taste better. That’s my mantra for Maiden. We’re the ketchup, the chocolate on the pillow, the cherry on the cake. We don’t stock what you need; we stock what you want (even though you can’t necessarily understand why you want it). Put it this way, it’s much more fun working out how little money you have to survive on till the next pay day with a calculator that looks and smells like a bar of Dairy Milk than some dull functional Casio thing.

Where does the name come from? I wanted something that referred to the shop being my first solo venture. I guess opening my shop was a bit like embarking on a maiden voyage. The name Maiden conjures up the idea of something being new, fresh and untested.

What did your first-ever customer buy? Typically it was pouring with rain on our first day so the first ever customer ran in out of the torrential downpour and bought an umbrella

I recently gave my husband one of your tiger head egg cups for his birthday. As a massive fan of both tigers and boiled eggs, he was over the moon! It was a total success. How do you pick such brilliant stock? Well, I am VERY particular about what we sell at Maiden. I look for products that make me smile, that are well made and that are different. One of the really exciting parts of owning a shop is filling it to the rafters with amazing products. I spend a good proportion of my day glued to my laptop trawling the internet on the lookout for new products. I’m also lucky to have lots of friends who travel and shop a lot. They always send me photos of things they see that they think would be good for the shop. Maiden is also very democratic and interactive. I love to get chatting with customers and ask them what they want to see stocked in shop. Since opening I’ve had so many excellent product suggestions from customers. I think they like the idea of being able to walk into a shop, be served by the owner and also get the opportunity to chip in ideas and give feedback. They get to speak to the organ grinder and not the monkey! The animal egg cups are a perfect Maiden product. They are lovingly designed, beautifully made, they are functional and they are affordable. I’m glad your husband liked his gift!

Read the rest of this entry »

These sculptural fashion accessories are the work of the very talented design duo Liam Motyer and Hope Von Joel, of Eye of the World Designs. We particularly love their AW11 collection for knitwear designer, Brooke Roberts, as the wood they’ve used has been reclaimed from a 1950’s Italian cabinet and, quite frankly, we love anything with a geometric pattern.

Vic Lee has got our wonderful capital down to a tee… “London – a city made of pork scratchings and warm ale. Where city folk mingle with skinny jeaned hombres on fixed wheel beauties. Where ladies sip lattes and bounce mini them on bended knee. Where quiffs and toffs strut and traders sing their wares, two for a pand, two for a pand. A city without walls, but full of pride.”

Every year, more than 200 artists in south east London open their homes and studios to the public. We popped over, armed with coffee, a map and some pocket money to check out what Dulwich had to offer. We came back suitably inspired, so we thought we’d share a few that caught our beady eyes…

 Joseph Scissorhands specialises in paper and disposable ephemera which have been reclaimed and re-ordered to create unique artwork.

 Sixninethree are three designer-makers producing beautifully made contemporary furniture, mostly made from solid wood.

 Sally Nencini makes a variety of textiles and toys but her upholstered furniture really caught our eye. Sally’s husband, Peter (what a talented family) designs the intricate embroidery and while she creates the pieces.

 Julia McKenzie’s work is primarily drawing-based which is then layered up with paper, and collage. Her inspiration comes from lost and forgotten things, man made or natural that she can hold in her hand.

 Bainbridge Studios and Gallery is a collective of contemporary artists also offering studio space and screen printing courses. Just one of the many artists there was Lee Borthwick who’s work explores the boundaries of where architecture and nature meet.

Imagine it hung on a black wall… Hmmmm. Anyway, you can actually buy this art icon’s portrait of a pop icon, at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 29 June. I’m torn between this and the Francis Bacon. Would both be too much?


5ml Design Collective is Ilsa Parry, Michael Cloke and Tom Sutton, and their mission is to promote great designers and craftspeople on international platforms. As practising designers and craftspersons themselves, they appreciated the financial and professional struggle creatives endure to promote their designs within the global market. Theirs is a unique cooperative business model where designers club together to consolidate market demand for new, futuristic, socially responsible, concept-led wares. Once market interest is established, the exhibiting designers can choose to meet demand independently, or, where appropriate, are offered licensing opportunities through the 5ml product realisation partner ReThinkthings Ltd. This is leaving Life.Style.etc feeling very frivolous and shallow (nothing new there, then). Anyway, we’ll be seeing them at Pulse, but until then…

Tell us about your studio. We operate from our own individual studios but Ilsa’s ReThinkthings company studio is our collective base of operations. Housed within a charming renovated mill building on the edge of London’s city centre, this provides a perfect central location and being just a five minute walk from Lime Street Station makes it easily accessible to visiting trade buyers.

And, is there such a thing as your average working day? I think I can speak on behalf of the three of us when I say that any day under twelve hours is a short day and they are few and far between. Alongside building on our growing success with 5ml we are all still working on projects relating to our own individual companies. I’m more than happy to be in my workshop for several hours at a time working on furniture or silverware pieces, if you enjoy what you do and use your time productively then you don’t tend to depend on watching the clock.

Julia Jacob‘s Bauhaus bird feeder

Who or what inspired you to become a designer? Personally, I find inspiration from all areas of life. The natural world never ceases to amaze me, after all, evolution demonstrates the strongest examples of design there are. The technological developments within the man-made world are also inspirational, that being said, the human element sometimes demonstrates that we create before we determine whether we actually need. I am enthusiastic about the numbers of designers and craftspersons that manifest an awareness and consideration towards sustainable practice and many of our selected designers within the 5ml collective demonstrate this effectively.

How do you get from idea in your head to finished piece? Sketch, model, analyse, sketch some more, fabricate and finally evaluate. It’s good to have a gut instinct towards the idea in your head, but you’ve got to put in the leg work and perfect your design. If you just jump in and make it then it can just be an expensive idea with little substance. Innovation should always be complemented by perfection.

Tom Sutton‘s Wall Cells shelving system

What are you most proud of? We have come a long way since we first formed a year ago and showed at Pulse. Within that year we have promoted over twenty designers and their products at major international trade events in Europe and here in Britain. In Paris last September, we secured a major order from prestigious lingerie company Princesse Tam Tam alongside gaining orders from a range of independent design boutiques. I feel our strength and success is owed to the high standard of work that we promote and this was confirmed earlier this year with over 50% of our designers products selected by WGSN for its Trendhouse collection, forecasting the hot items for 2012.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks for that moment of calm, Man Make Home. If only I could live like that, would I really miss all my stuff that much?

As the team behind Livingetc, the UK’s leading magazine for modern interiors, we’re always out and about, scouting for inspiration. And when we see something that makes our design minds flutter with joy, we’ll share it with you here. To purchase the digital version of the magazine, click here.

The latest issue…

The September issue of Livingetc is out, out, out.

Follow us on Twitter

The world according to…

Read interviews with the movers and shakers from the design world, from printmakers and shopkeepers to interior designers and bloggers.

Got a great house?

We’re always looking for inspiring houses, full of clever design tricks, to feature in Livingetc. If you think your home is what we’re after, email pictures to our houses editor,