Friday, 26 March 2010

Collecting New Ideas

Having been focusing on our commercial portfolio for much of the last few months, with the exciting launch of the Halcyon Hotel, we’re now concentrating very much more on the residential side of things again.

We secured a new client in Clifton, Bristol this week, which, like Bath, is known for its regency townhouses. Our exciting new challenge is to provide the interior for a new property, which is going to be built in regency style. So we’ll be aiming to combine the best of both worlds, with a contemporary twist on a classic style. We are still at the exciting stage of discussing with the owner exactly which direction she’d like to take so we’ve got lots of ideas buzzing around.

One place we’ll be looking for inspiration is the Collect Art Fair. On in May at the Saatchi Gallery in London, Collect is the Craft Council’s showcase of the best in contemporary crafts and artisan work. It’s a wonderland of the creativity and we can’t wait to go and take a look.

Friday, 19 March 2010

What to do on a rainy day...

Rain is forecast for this weekend so we know where we’ll be heading:! It’s a week’s entertainment in itself just getting around all eight shows from interiors to food, garden and gadgets. The show is over 100 years old and is set to change venue after 2012, so we wouldn’t miss it.

We’ll be hoping the weather improves next week as work continues on our projects in the Cotswolds, Surrey, Bath and Gloucestershire. We’ve a lot on at the moment, from listed Georgian buildings to modern windmill interiors, so we are having to keep thinking creatively about the right style for each property. One size very much does not suit all, so it’s important to us to listen to our clients and interpret their brief correctly. Running up sketches and sample boards is one of the many tools we use to make sure we’re on the right track. Take a look at some of the sketches we’re working to at the moment:

We’re particularly excited about one of the homes we’ve been working on, which is set to appear in an interiors magazine (all a bit hush-hush at this stage so we can’t say which one). They need good weather for the shoot, especially as they’ll want to do some exterior as well as interior shots. Fingers crossed it all happens – we’ll let you know when the magazine comes out!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

New projects on the table

Following the successful launch of the Halcyon Hotel last month, we’ve been asked to quote for some work on another local Bath hotel, which is about to undergo a major refurbishment. An 18th century mansion set in 20 acres of gardens, this would be a project on a whole different scale to the Halcyon, which was all about contemporary, budget luxury for the weekend tourist.

But it’s not all about hotels! Our residential portfolio is fit to bursting at the moment. The ink has just dried on the confirmation of an exciting job in the Cotswolds, near Stow-on-the-Wold. It’s a converted windmill, so will need interesting design ideas to fit its curved walls. Huge windows and a walnut floor are crying out for a contemporary makeover, so we will be styling along modern lines, with cool creams, warm wood, leather upholstery and iridescent splashes of green and petrol blue.

We’ve also just finished a more classic design for a Georgian house in Bath, where you’ll see the influence of French interior design legend, Christian Liaigre, in the neutral colours and elegant shapes.

And we’re busy in Bristol, where we’re in talks about designing the interior of a Clifton townhouse, which is being built from scratch, albeit in the prevailing London Regency style.

This weekend we’ll be visiting the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea to look for inspiration. There are always untold gems to be discovered there, and it’s good to see the Rostra and Rooksmoor and Bo-Lee galleries from Bath exhibiting alongside their London contemporaries. See you there!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The opening of the Halcyon!

February saw a lot of love coming our way. We don’t mean Valentine’s Day, but the opening of the Halcyon Hotel, the new boutique hotel in Bath we’ve been working on these last six months, which has received some glowing reviews.

Featured in the Independent and the Guardian newspapers – and shortly to appear in Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, the Halcyon is setting a new trend in hotel accommodation in Bath: it’s luxury on a budget. Reviewers loved our choice of colour schemes, sumptuous bedding and wet-room ensuites. Take a look at the pics and check out here what the Guardian and Independent had to say about the Halcyon Hotel.

It’s been a challenge to work on a project of this size, but a rewarding one, and it was with a view to doing more work on this scale that we visited Hotelympia at the ExCel exhibition space in London at the end of February to see who’s moving and shaking in the world of hotel interior design.

Working on the Halcyon meant we had the luxury of being just a five minute walk from the site. Now we’re working on projects from a new-build in Hertfordshire to a windmill in the Cotswolds as well as projects from as far afield as Gloucestershire to Surrey.

It’s a particularly busy time for us at the moment, which is why we’re pleased to have Sarah Payne, an interior design student from Bournemouth University, lending a hand. Welcome, Sarah!

Friday, 29 January 2010

New mood for 2010...

January’s upon us and we’re looking ahead to some new projects for the New Year and investigating some international design shows to see what is influencing the early trends of 2010.

At Maison Objet, (Jan 22-26, Paris), it’s all about blurring boundaries. Whether it’s the effects of the recession, or an ever-growing awareness of our environment, the major themes here were how to reconcile different generations, cultures and environments to achieve harmony in our surroundings.

We’ve taken that on board in our approach to a new project we’ve taken on in Surrey. We’ve going back to basics and internally remodelling this period country house.

By layering different colours and fabrics and mixing bespoke with recycled, we’re aiming for the ultimate in retro chic. Baileys is always an excellent choice for old-fashioned homewares, whose vintage charm lends a warm feel to any interior. We love their range – check it out on their website:

Next up, we’re heading up to London for the Listed Property Show (Feb 20-21, Olympia). This attracts everyone from architectural salvage experts to roof thatching specialists. Everyone who wants to meet and network with owners of period properties will be there and, with our portfolio of work in Bath, Somerset and Gloucestershire, it seems like a natural fit for us. Maybe see you there!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Autumn tales...

So, summer finally did arrive and with it a flurry of work!

Two of the main things that have been keeping us occupied since the balmy days of August are pictured below. Firstly, the complete redesign of a house and grade II listed barn conversion on an estate in Gloucestershire. This fabulous house with its amazing views came to us in a dilapidated state and we spent a year on the design and construction of an elegant country interior with a modern twist.

With this residential project wrapped and appearing in an upmarket interior design magazine near you in 2010, we bent our brains to commercial property: The Halcyon a contemporary hotel right in the centre of Bath. The former Georges Hotel on South Parade is to reopen in just a few short weeks’ time, so it’s all hands to the pumps to finish its transformation into ‘21 serviced luxury rooms, all on the swanky side of cool’. Here is our sketch of the bar area, in which we are using dark wood minimalism offset with framed Hermes scarves against a palette of burnt orange, chocolate and creams to create a classic, cosy space. Perfect for that early evening cocktail or three…

Due to launch in February, we’re told the hotel is already fully-booked and will be featured in the Sunday Times soon…

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Dreaming of summer...

Summer seems to be taking its time to arrive this year, so in the meantime we're simply imagining the picnics, sunshine and warm evenings. Here are some things we've been daydreaming about...

This perfect summer scene includes a cotton parasol and cushions by Clarissa Hulse at Heals

These wonderful woven seats from Outer Eden add the wow factor to any outdoor space

Languish in this idyllic Cocoon hammock from Henry Hall Designs

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

New challenges

Our latest project sees the conversion of a large barn in deepest Gloucestershire. The brief brings about familiar challenges; designing around irregular ceiling pitches, planning layouts around supporting beams and of course retaining the authenticity of the original building whilst introducing a contemporary feel. Here are some of our inspiration images....

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Garden Design

Inspired by a recent visit to the Chelsea Flower show we have been looking at garden design and wanted to share with you this garden belonging to one of our clients.
Designed by Character Landscapes there are some great designer pieces such as the glass tree featured at the end of the lower level. Designed by Wilkin and Wilkin and known as 'The Raindrop Tree' it catches the light beautifully.
The plant pots are by Sven Bayer and Felicity Ayeliff.

The wooden benches are by Alison Crowther. Below is a close up image of the benches featured in this particular garden.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Getting ready for Ascot

The arrival of Ascot week got us thinking about hats to die for. We love these creations by Philip Treacy. His couture is the expression of his skill and vivid imagination and proves that he brings something uniquely beautiful to the world.

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