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The Blog - What's New

New products and services, interesting shops, ideas for your garden, our pick from the design fairs, and other things we like...

OKA’s Battersea Power Station apartment

After lying derelict for thirty years, the landmark 42 acre site of Battersea Power Station is being brought back to life with architecture from Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners, and landscape architecture from James Corner. Furniture and accessories company OKA were given the opportunity to create a design scheme for the first apartment at the brand new development. Director Sue Jones rose to the challenge and in just three days created an inviting scheme which combines different periods and influences and which she felt would be more soothing (and immune to the passage of time) than a top-to-toe modern look. Open-plan homes often pose the design challenge of how to create distinct living, dining and sleeping areas, but the chosen decor demarcates the space perfectly.

Battersea Power Station redevelopment

OKA Battersea Power Station apartment, living room

For the living room of this Battersea Power Station apartment, a utilitarian colour palette of smoky charcoal – a nod to the building’s industrial heritage – combined with polished chrome accents, cleverly blends old and new. L-shaped sofas work particularly well in an open-plan living room to create a sociable and extremely comfortable seating area.

OKA Battersea Power Station apartment, entrance hall

A large entrance hall can also function as additional dining space with the right furniture. This combination of a square table and upholstered benches is ideal: when not in use, the benches can be pushed up against the wall for somewhere to sit or deposit shopping bags, and the table provides an ample surface on which to display a welcoming arrangement of flowers.

OKA Battersea Power Station apartment, bedroom

Living in a central London location, the inhabitants of this Battersea apartment are bound to have their fair share of guests who need a bed for the night. This south-facing guest bedroom boasts plenty of natural light, further enhanced by a carefully placed mirror (used here as a headboard) and metallic accessories.

OKA Battersea Power Station apartment, terrace

Any outdoor space in the city is a blessing, especially one with amazing riverside views. By day, a double sunbed topped with a big pile of cushions is the ideal spot to soak up the sun. Come sundown, a large outdoor table and chairs on the terrace provides a secret rooftop haven for entertaining.

All the furniture and accessories in these images are from OKA. Shop the look and explore their interactive catalogue at:

For more information on the redevelopment of one of Central London’s most iconic buildings, go to: 

And there are some striking images of Battersea Power Station in its crumbling state on the BBC’s website:

Bisca’s staircases: before & after

Bespoke staircase specialists Bisca have recently completed three projects where they have dramatically transformed the whole appearance and atmosphere of a house by replacing the staircase. Take a look at these dramatic before and after shots…

Harrogate staircase project by Bisca

Bisca was asked to re-design this awkward, angular concrete staircase for a prestigious new build in Harrogate. The staircase not only looked too mean and small for the space but had been cast so that it clipped the door entry. It was uncomfortable to use and any attempt to clad the bare concrete on the landings would have made both non compliant with building regulations. Bisca replaced it with an elegant semi-helix of English oak and hand forged, formed and textured steel that have added gravitas in keeping with the status of the building.

Gloucestershire staircase - Bisca

Bisca’s brief was to design a light and modern staircase to maximise the use of space in a farmhouse refurbishment in Gloucestershire. They were asked to include a galleried landing area and library as well as to replace an existing doorway with a feature window. The solution was a slim, elegant and visually lightweight staircase structure supporting oiled English oak treads. Glass balustrades are structurally rebated into the treads with a continuous oak handrail rising from ground floor and along the gallery. The structure itself is subtly conventional in appearance, whilst the glass balustrade is in keeping with the large window (also installed by Bisca) and retains the illusion of space.

Tyneside staircase by Bisca

Here, the brief was to design a staircase to open up the entrance area of a listed clock tower in Tyneside to form a more functional and useful access and replace the dated angular timber staircase. The solution was a slim, elegant and visually lightweight structure finished with a glass balustrade and a hand carved oak handrail. The structure suits the existing style of the property and the glass balustrade maximises light transfer from first floor down to ground floor giving an illusion of greater space.

Prices for Bisca staircases start at £22,000.
Sawmill Lane, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5DQ Tel: 00 44 (0)1439 771 702.

Black fireplaces

Black is back in the fireplace world. “There’s a definite boom in black fireplaces right now. We’re seeing an increase in both high-end crafted reproductions and restored originals”, says Owen Pacey of Renaissance London. “ Many black fireplaces were painted over and when stripped back you expose a striking black surround. The other reason is that a black fireplace makes a statement and works well in most rooms, adapting well to both contemporary and period design projects. Karen Millen asked me to put in a back fireplace a few years ago and since then I’ve really seen a growing trend.”

Black Fireplace from Renaissance London

Early Victorian black and white marble column surround £5,400.

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Roger Oates launches bed linen range

As part of the new Lifestyle collection Roger Oates has launched a range of bed linen. Troy, a simple woven stripe design in tonal bands, is inspired by his popular Venetian Flatweave of the same name. The high-quality, 100% cotton is soft and smooth to touch. Smart, timeless and understated, the bedlinen is perfect for both contemporary and traditional bedrooms. Available in 3 colours with button detailing.

Troy bedlinen Azure from Roger Oates

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deVOL Kitchens’ new Clerkenwell showroom

deVOL Kitchens have just opened a smart London showroom in Clerkenwell showing their lovely Shaker Range, a beautiful big Prep Table from their Classic English Range, and their new tongue and groove panelling.

deVOL-Clerkenwell Showroom

The glazed counter top cupboards. These beautifully-proportioned glazed cabinets are perfect for storing and displaying crockery, cook books, linen or stacks of jars and glasses.

deVOL-Clerkenwell Showroom

The sink run, with a luxurious Carrara marble worktop and a lovely double sink. The combination of the ‘Pantry Blue’ paint, crisp white walls and the ‘Bella Brass’ cup handles and catches creates a simple, contemporary look.

deVOL-Clerkenwell Showroom

The cabinets from deVOL‘s Real Shaker Range take up most of the showroom but they have also included one beautiful big piece from their Classic English Range. The practical Classic English Prep Table creates a central point to the room, and has lots of storage.  The Rustic Oak worktop was handmade at the company’s Cotes Mill workshops and complements the table’s ‘Damask’ paint colour. Hanging above the Prep Table is a deVOL Laundry Maid.

deVOL-Clerkenwell Showroom

The gleaming white (and cosy) Esse Range cooker looks very smart next to the dark woodwork. The handy peg rail shelves span the whole length of the cooker run.

deVOL-Clerkenwell Showroom

The vintage kitchenalia dotted around the showroom, such as the copper pans, chopping boards and ceramic pots are all for sale too.

deVOL-Clerkenwell Showroom

deVOL’s new showroom is located in the eclectic and design-driven area of Clerkenwell, just across the road from Exmouth Market.  Downstairs houses their design and photography studio as well as their PR & marketing office.
2 Tysoe Street, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 4RQ 0203 8375 900,

Bert & May’s first glazed tile collection

Bert & May, London-based designers and specialists in reclamation and reproduction, have launched their first glazed tile collection. Highly suited to wet rooms and walls, and perfect for kitchen splashbacks or bathroom tiles, the glazed tiles come in a range of geometric designs. They are available in a smooth or rustic finish, hand-cut and screen-printed, and cost £324 per square metre. Interesting effects can be achieved by mixing and experimenting with these three variables: clay, glazes and underglazes.

Bert & May Glazed Churriana tiles

Glazed Churriana tile

Alalpardo tiles from Bert & May

Above and below: glazed Alalpardo tile

Bert & May -Glazed Alalpardo tiles

See the full range at

Bert & May‘ s London warehouse is at 67 Vyner Street, London, E2 9DQ, tel: 00 44 (0) 20 36 73 4264

Modern Country

Containing rarely seen images from the Côté Maison magazines, Modern Country – Inspirational interiors for Contemporary Country Living  by Caroline Clifton-Mogg,  brings together relaxed, informal homes that reflect the gentler pace of life in the country while being resoundingly modern.

The house we’ve chosen to feature here is a very modern house on the island of Ibiza, built by the Spanish architectural practice Andrés Jacque. It feels like a tree house (in fact three pine trees and two palms push up through the roof) and is built on a series of concrete piles that make up the different levels of the sloping land. The sheet metal used inside, and the blues, greens and fluorescent colours used on the surfaces, add to the playhouse feel. The bed cabin with the porthole window is reached by a bridge-like walkway from the main building.

Ibiza house exterior, Modern Country

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New design clinics at

New for 2015, are introducing a free interior design service in their Chelsea showroom in collaboration with Mark Walters and Martin Holland, recent winners of the BBC’s The Great Interior Design Challenge. The design duo behind MartinMark Design will  host free design clinics, offering their expert advice and answering your design dilemmas in one-to-one consultations on selected dates in January and February. More details below, and some of‘s lovely new designs (beautifully photographed) to get you inspired…

Mark Walters & Martin Holland

Martin Holland & Mark Walters

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Martin Moore’s new Notting Hill showroom

Martin Moore were one of the very first handmade kitchen companies, and (still family-run), are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2015. Their new London flagship showroom in Notting Hill has four of their kitchen collections on show, all custom-designed, custom-made and custom-finished. The kitchens combine fitted and free-standing pieces, in different materials and finishes, and are all beautifully-crafted, with exceptional attention to detail and clever use of space.

Martin Moore kitchen

The bright blue interior of this cupboard gives a  ‘pop of colour’ in an otherwise calm, neutral kitchen.

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Thames – a panorama of London

For its eighth collection of wallpapers, Little Greene has once again turned to the archives.  ‘Painted Papers’ is a comprehensive compendium of striped wallpapers, produced using traditional printing methods. Also included in the collection is this historical panorama of London, THAMES. Faithfully reproduced, but increased in scale, from an eye-catching piece in the English Heritage archive, it was originally published by London Illustrated News in 1851. The hand-drawn, hand-painted scene depicts the buildings and landscape along the river Thames at that time: it has subsequently been re-mastered to include a repeating section, meaning it can be now hung as a continuing frieze. The original would have been shown at cornice height, but for rooms of a more ‘conventional’ scale, it has been created to sit comfortably at dado or skirting height as well. It’s available in colour as well as in black & white.

Thames wallpaper by Little Greene

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