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This week saw the return of BBC Three’s take on interior design programming, Mad About the House, with DJ Adam attempting to transform the bland home he shares with girlfriend Hannah (above). If you’re familiar with the channel’s youth-targeted output – and especially with Don’t Tell the Bride – then you’ll recognise the format.

The premise is this: TV researchers find a young couple fresh from their first step onto the property ladder, give them £10,000 to spend on their home’s interior, banish the lady of the household for three weeks, and then rub their hands with glee as the poor young men hammer and drill their way through various disasters and pratfalls.

Meanwhile, under the guidance of a professional interior designer, the girls create their own visions of the space in a carefully mocked up replica of the couple’s home. Will she return to find her interior design dreams realised? Well no, of course not. Where would the fun be in that? Read the rest of this entry »


Myself and Jennifer style assistant went to the Established & Sons London Design Festival shindig last night at the company’s HQ in east London. Many brilliant cocktails and, of course, many brilliant things. We love Jaime Hayon’s Tudor cabinet and we love the WrongWoods series (look out for the new rug). After the swish drinks, the party decamped over the road to The Wenlock Arms (old man’s boozer dressed up with Established & Sons’ furniture for LDF), where pints were served by nearly familiar characters from Albert Square.

The very lovely Pat Butcher…

Mo, deputy chief sub-editor

Went to see new film ‘Chanel and Igor’ at the weekend which I’m giving 7/10 for pacing but 10/10 for interior inspiration . The sets depicting Coco Chanel’s villa reveal how she translated her effortlessly contemporary take on modern clothing into modern interiors. Now, there was a lady who knew how to work a monochrome scheme!  – Bethan, news ed

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Photo by Piotr Redlinski © 2008, Property of Sony Pictures Classics

Anyone who combines their love of film with an eagle eye for good design will revel in Please Give currently screening at the BFI Southbank. It’s the story of a New York couple who run a mid-century modern furniture store, scooping up their booty by doing the NY equivalent of house clearances. The furniture alone deserves an Oscar for best supporting role – when not indulging in a game of Spot the Design Classic, with everything from Poulsen lamps to a very handsome Knoll table upstaging the leads, you can take inspiration on how to work vintage into your world. It’s a witty, wise film about lust (whether for an Ercol sofa chair or an too-tanned twentysomething), guilt and what ultimately gives our lives meaning. Uplifting and funny – you’ll have to be quick to catch it as it’s only on till Wednesday. If you miss it at the BFI, reserve it on Lovefilm now.  Jo – sub-editor

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There are some very exciting things tucked behind the facade of this smart townhouse on Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London…

Revered architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837) was a man who knew about displaying collections. He built his impressive townhouse as both a home and a museum so that, upon his death, his vast array of  antiquities and art could be accessed, gratis, by architecture students and Joe public alike. And it is spectacular – where else can you see an Egyptian sarcophagus and Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress under one roof?

Can you imagine being Mrs Soane? ‘Yes dear, that plaster cast of a Greek column is thrilling, almost as thrilling as the other 480…’ But, she had rooms to play in, too, such as the exquisite drawing room in Turner’s yellow,

Martin Charles

and the breakfast room, with fabulous dinky convex mirrors (it seems ‘bouncing light around’ is not a Livingetc invention after all).

Sir John Soane – passionate collector, stylish hoarder and certainly comparable to those 21st century eclectic movers and shakers.

ps. Livingetc loves this wordy explanation, carefully executed in stained glass…

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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.

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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,