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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...

Toiles de Mayenne

Prêt à Vivre has teamed up with the French company Toiles de Mayenne and their beautiful fabrics are now available in the UK.  Toiles de Mayenne was founded in 1806, and (still independent) is one of the last remaining French weavers. The company offers a wide range of luxury fabrics in a varied palette of colours and textures, and is known particularly for its beautiful stripes.

Prêt à Vivre are offering a large part of Toiles de Mayenne’s current range of stripes and patterns plus their Trevira range. Any of the fabrics can be bought by the metre or made up into curtains and blinds.

Toiles de Mayenne striped fabrics

Toiles de Mayenne striped fabrics

Toiles de Mayenne


Toiles de Mayenne

See the Toiles de Mayenne fabrics in all the London Prêt à Vivre showrooms (Fulham, Islington & Notting Hill).  You can pick up samples of fabric from both the Toiles de Mayenne and Prêt à Vivre ranges, and get quotes for made to measure blinds and curtains.

Leather-clad balustrade by Topp & Co.

Bespoke architectural metalworkers Topp & Co. have recently completed this stunning 30 metre leather-clad balustrade for a house in Hampstead, North London.

Leather handrail by Topp & Co

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Kitchen chic with Waterworks

Waterworks – the luxury bathroom brand from the USA – is launching its kitchen brand with over 200 pieces that give customers unrivalled choice. Selected products are available from the King’s Road London showroom in advance of the retail space’s official opening in early autumn.

Waterworks kitchen

Henry high profile one-hole bar faucet with cross handle, £1,481
Kerr custom stainless steel farmhouse apron sink, £2,363
Keystone 3cm Danby honed raw slab, £912.88
District Modulus field tile, £485.

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Ochre’s new leather furniture

Ochre designs are born through intensive experimentation and research, but above all are guided by an instinctive love of material and a fascination with form. We prize a subtle glamour that emanates from innovative techniques, visceral patinas and handcrafted detail. It is with great pleasure that we introduce our 2015 collection.’

 Arctic Pear lamp by Ochre

Ochre‘s new Willow dining table is an oval interpretation of their Whippet table.  It has granite grey steel legs and a polished plaster top, and looks beautiful with their Sable dining chairs in hand-dyed leather and the Arctic Pear single wave chandelier.

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Skinflint’s vintage asylum lights

Among Skinflint Design‘s latest reclaimed and salvaged lighting are some intriguingly named ‘Asylum lights’. It turns out that they actually were used in a Victorian lunatic asylum in the Midlands, c1950…

If you had walked into a hospital ward sixty years ago you might well have seen lights like these  mounted above the beds. They are pictured here in the infamous derelict Cane Hill Lunatic Asylum poised over the beds or bent and broken hanging down the flaking paint of the water damaged walls.

Installed in the late 1950s their clean lines and elegant shape mean that they are now considered a classic of mid-century design, from a practical point of view the articulation of the arm and head enabled the bed and patient to be easily illuminated by the resident medical staff. Unfortunately many of these elegant lights were lost during 1980s refurbishment programs, simply discarded as being ‘old fashioned’ and ‘out of date’. They are now highly sought-after stylish collectors items, and make for beautiful wall mounted bedside lamps with a rather unusual history.

vintage asylum lights from Skinflint

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Tiny Houses

The theme of this year’s architectural salvage and reclaimed materials Salvo Fair is Tiny Salvaged Spaces, an exhibition of shepherd’s huts, summerhouses, reclaimed sheds and livings wagons. A fantastic display of various small buildings which could be used as garden offices, sleepover cabins, festival accommodation or places for relaxing will make a grand entrance to this year’s Salvo Fair.

Salvo Fair

This is the tin tabernacle which will be brought along by LASSCO Three Pigeons. Teaming up with Love Lane Caravans, they recreate these semi-permanent structures that were popular in Victorian Britain. With a steeply pitched roof, pierced carved gable ends above the rectangular hut, a central door to one long side, the interiors are often decorated with vintage wallpaper and can be fitted with beds, kitchens and a small dining area. The fittings and fixtures are created from salvaged sources. As it’s on wheels it it doesn’t require planning consent and you could move it to a new position every weekend!

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Bert’s Barges

Bert & May, known for their distinctive reclaimed and new tiles, have just launched Bert & May Spaces,  and Phase 1 is ‘Bert’s Barges’, in urban and country versions. This one, unveiled at the recent Clerkenwell Design Week, is their City Barge: the ultimate bachelor/bachelorette pad, providing the city dweller with a one bedroom luxury floating suite. With its matt black exterior and its Scandinavian style interior, the city barge creates the perfect blend of sophistication and simplicity. Made to order, it comes  complete with a hidden foldaway double bed for guest stays, and a spacious rooftop terrace for entertaining.

Bert & May barge

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An interview with John Stefanidis

John Stefanidis established his design practice in Chelsea in 1967, attracting a discerning international clientele with his carefully considered, vibrant and beautiful transformation of homes worldwide. He currently works on a consultancy basis and is passionate about cultivating his design blog, ‘The Developed Eye’. We were delighted to catch up with the peripatetic Stefanidis in his London home.

John Stefanidis

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Loaf’s SS15 collection

Loaf started off selling beds in 2008, soon added sofas to their range, and now supply ‘comfy, laid-back furniture and squishy stuff for the whole home’. Their catalogue now also features bedside tables, wardrobes, chests of drawers, kitchen and dining room furniture, even lighting. Here are some of our favourite items from their new SS15 collection…

Loaf Pudding sofa

‘Pudding’ sofa in Burnt Orange Plush Velvet, from £1195

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Shed Decor

Small space, big ideas: Shed Decor by Sally Coulthard is dedicated to decorating and equipping your shed space for relaxing, working and playing. There are hundreds of ideas for transforming your unpromising potting shed or tired old summerhouse into a rustic hideaway or urban den in ways above and beyond the constraints of your own home.

Shed Decor

This cosy, welcoming sleep space has the ideal blend of a light, bright colour scheme and layers of comfortable duvets, throws and blankets. (photo: Mikkel Vang / taverne agency)

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