Shades of Autumn
By Linda Parker
There is definitely an autumnal feel in the air, all the stores are full of warm colours and it’s nice to be able to predict with a fair amount of certainty what the weather is going to be like! I’ve rounded up some beautiful seasonal ideas and directional colour schemes for the coming months …
Original Kitchen by Harvey Jones
This gorgeous kitchen is bright, light and airy, yet still has a warm and cosy feel, thanks to the bold aubergine shade used for the island. Try Brinjal or Pelt by Farrow & Ball, or Tyrian Rose or Amethyst by Fired Earth for a similar effect. Kitchens by Harvey Jones are from £18,000. www.harveyjones.com
Dark or bold kitchen cabinetry looks good with pale work surfaces … we’re very impressed by the latest quartz surfaces by Caesarstone. This is the Montblanc quartz – a light grey with unique and natural veining. It’s incredibly hard-wearing, with a 25-year guarantee for domestic use, won’t scratch or stain and needs no complicated polishes or treatments! Well worth the investment we think; and it’s just one of 40 colours available, so there is going to be something for all colour schemes. See the whole range, with the four new colours, here.
This beautiful blue kitchen (in Sapphire, for the island and Georgian Mussel for the surrounding cabinets) is by LochAnna Kitchens. Emphasise the scale and grandeur of a dramatic central island by running a contrasting set of patterned tiles around the edge – a very simple idea, but one which looks impressive and stylish. See the whole LochAnna Kitchens collection here.
Dramatic metallic-look wallpapers are all the rage at the moment; Graham & Brown have some unusual designs that are eminently ‘touchable’ – you have to, just to double check that it is actually wallpaper! Perfect for a feature wall in a kitchen-dining room, or instead of tiles between the work surfaces and kitchen wall tiles (although avoid using wallpaper too near the sink/tap). Shown here; Oxidised Texture in Petrol; Stroma Origami, Oxidised Tile in Rust, all by Graham & Brown.
Kitchen lighting is important, and there’s a lot to consider. Glass fronted cabinets always look a thousand times better with internal lighting. Island units look better with a row of two or three pendants marching down the middle. Wall lights are useful too, try positioning a pair half-way down a kitchen-dining space. The latest offerings from Urban Cottage Industries include some amazing pendants, shown here is a Factorylux industrial shade in Verdigris, and the Green enamel Coolicon shade.
Urban Cottage Industries also supplies quirky Balloon Cage lamps, often seen snaking across the ceilings in bars and restaurants. They’re a good choice if you need to get light into a particular corner, but make sure of course that anyone working on the installation knows all the is appropriately qualified. Using different coloured twisted fabric cables can add a highly individual look too. Pea Green Twisted Fabric cable is just £4.80 per m; all from Urban Cottage Industries, as before.
Indigo, navy, teal and green colours are super-fashionable at the moment, and sit well within most colour schemes. Add a bit of fizz and fun to a traditional scheme by upholstering a retro-style chair in a very modern fabric. This chair is covered in Cyclone linen, in the Ocean Storm colourway, from the Helix collection by Earthed . I’ve mentioned them before, but if you’ve not yet seen the collection, go and have a peep now! Get inspired and enthused by the whole range for any upcoming upholstery projects.
A colourful rug can bridge the gap between kitchen and dining space, and can add a warm and cosy feel – acres of pale cream or grey porcelain tiles project a cool feel in the summer, but most of us like a bit of warmth and comfort underfoot in the autumn and winter. These two rugs are investment purchases by Felt, measuring 1.95m x 2.15 m, £1550. These Shyrdak rugs have a tough, flat felt base that is hand-stitched to create the patterns – which can be made to special commission too. See a selection of the rugs, by appointment at Felt’s London showroom. www.feltrugs.co.uk
Halloween is nearly upon us, and it seems that once we’ve got to grips with the darker evenings, Halloween and Bonfire night, it’s a speedy headlong rush into Christmas. I think this Halloween will warrant a very large pot of butternut squash and pumpkin soup, plus some sparkly table decorations and Halloween party drinks. We’ll be stocking up on glittery pumpkins from the Halloween range by George at Asda; whizzing into Primark to grab some pumpkin lidded glasses (perfect for mulled wine) and will try and make a proper pumpkin pie in the completely fabulous ceramic lidded pumpkin dish from Laura Ashley .
These porcelain floor tiles are in my own kitchen, from Tile Mountain. Having just given them a bit of a clean, I noticed once again the beautiful fossil pattern – see bottom right hand corner. I forget about this detail, and it’s always a joy to see these little fossil trees every now and then, they are scattered randomly throughout the kitchen-dining room, hall and ground floor bathroom. They are Bengal Winter inkjet-printed porcelain tiles, as tough as old boots, withstanding everything this family manages to throw (literally) at them, and available from Tile Mountain, see the range here. Highly recommended!
STOP PRESS … GET CLEAN, STAY CLEAN
I urge everyone reading this to go and have a look at the new cordless Shark vacuum cleaner; see all the details here. I’ve been lucky enough to test out several vacuum cleaners over the last few years and each time I’m astonished by how much better the newest one is … they seem to conjure up dust and grit out of thin air (or my house is unforgivably dirty, which it’s not … because I am nearly always trying out new super-duper new versions!). So, the latest one, which is the Shark Cordless, looks amazing and performs beautifully. It also has an orange colour theme, which matches my kitchen, so that makes me happy. On first use it felt a bit strange as the business end is at the top of the handle, and it felt a bit top-heavy. However, after a quick charge (it has two rechargeable batteries, one to use and one to leave on charge) I did a quick whizz around and managed to practically fill the dust can on the first circuit. It converts to a hand-held, reaches ceilings and light fittings and has excellent suction. Two rollers ensure everything gets caught up or sucked up and it’s great on the stairs too, and I’ve also managed to clean under all the beds without having to get down on my hands and knees! Thanks to all the attachments and extensions there hasn’t been a single spider, moth or daddy-long-legs that has managed to escape the reach of the Shark Cordless Vacuum with DuoClean. Highly recommended, do investigate further!