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Dolls houses designed by the world's leading architects

November 08, 2013

By Emma Gaffney

Twenty unique dolls’ houses, designed and built by some of the world’s best architects and designers, such as Zaha Hadid, FAT and dRMM, will be auctioned at Bonhams’ new showroom in London on Monday November 11 after a public exhibition on November 10, 11am-3pm.

The project, curated by Cathedral Group in aid of the disabled children's charity KIDS, was inspired by the dolls’ house that Edwin Lutyens designed for The British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1922 – using a very traditional children’s toy to display the very best of modern architecture, craftsmanship, art and interior design.

We take a look at some of the unique doll house designs.

To see all the dolls houses and to make a bid, visit


Make Architects




Coffey Architecture




Zaha Hadid Architects

To see all the dolls houses and to make a bid, visit

Autumn/winter 2013 interiors trends at Laura Ashley

By Emma Gaffney

The clean and simple Scandinavian style has been inhabiting more and more homes in recent seasons, but Laura Ashley are welcoming back all things feminine and coral in their current autumn/winter 2013 range.


Velvet, tactile upholstery and rose gold mirrored furniture are used to create a luxe feel to the collection, which features the Scalcott chair (above right), £800, and the Gladioli Coral Wallpaper (above right), £38.00 per roll.


This season is the first time Laura Ashely have featured animal prints on wallpaper and fabrics. The Zebra-inspired Aberdare Wallpaper is £38 a roll (fabric also available for £45 a meter).


For those who want a less feminine style then the eclectic and retro inspired Leaf range features botanical motifs, including the Wykeham Cushion, £48; and Wykeham Olive fabric (used for the curtains pictured).

For more on the latest Laura Ashley homeware range, visit

Fearne Cotton launches debut interiors collection for

June 27, 2013

By Emma Gaffney

Fearne Cotton launched her range at London private members club Home House
Fearne Cotton’s first interiors collection has launched today on with a selection of affordable pieces inspired by her eclectic style.

The television and radio presenter, who has previously designed 10 fashion collections with the online shop, created her range with both furniture and pink-and-black accessories featuring oriental prints. Her cat Rudi has even featured in the line, as a print on one of the cushions and as an inspiration for a cat-shaped lamp with black fringing.

“I’m extremely excited to be creating a range for the home with,” said Fearne, who designed the collection while she was pregnant with her new son Rex. "I have designed a collection that incorporates my own style by mixing prints with vintage designs. I wanted to create interior pieces that are versatile enough to work well in any space and, most importantly, I would love to have in my own home.”

The collection transfers from the bedroom through to the living room with opulent four-poster beds, oriental bed linen, a pink three-seater sofa and floral print cushions.

Pink button-backed sofa, £899; oriental print seat, £599; floral print rug, from £89; decorative mirror, £199; vintage floor lamp, £149

Fearne_bedroom(Above left) Cat table lamp, £59; marne bedside cabinet (just seen), £149; (Above right) Four-poster bed, £499; marne printed duvet and pillow set, from £29; vintage table lamp, £69

Accessories in the range start from £18 and large furniture pieces, such as beds and sofas, start from £499.

The Fearne Cotton HOME collection can be found on

Clerkenwell Design Week walking tours

May 20, 2013

By Emma Gaffney

After being such a huge success at last year’s Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW), Jane Young’s walking tours are returning in for 2013 festival.

Historian and designer Jane Young, who is one half of textile and interior products company London Kills Me, will be giving free guided tours around Clerkenwell and revealing the area’s colourful past and present.

Tours in the 2013 programme include The Gin Lanes of Clerkenwell, which gives a glimpse into the area’s gin distilling past; Clerkenwell’s Coffee House Culture, which explores the area’s love for coffee and its history; and a look at Charterhouse Square’s interesting past.

Discover all the highlights of CDW 2013 in our guide to the festival.


Tour dates and meeting points

The Gin Lanes of Clerkenwell
The perfect precursor to a drink in the Secret Gin Garden in Lansons’ Courtyard, this tour gives a tantalising glimpse into the area’s gin distilling past.

Tue 21 May, 1pm – 45min tour, free, no booking required.
Meeting point: in front of Lansons’ Courtyard, 24a St John Street, EC1M 4AY

Clerkenwell’s Coffee House Culture
EC1 may now be home to London’s best cafes, but the area’s love affair with coffee goes way, way back.

Wed 22 May, 1pm – 45min tour, free, no booking required.
Meeting point: in front of Craft Central, 33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS

Charterhouse Square
Poirot, the Great Plague and CDW’s new surfaces pavilion — Charterhouse Square is full of stories.

Wed 22 May, 4pm – 45min tour, free, no booking required.
Meeting point: Charterhouse Square, in front of the new covered pavilion

Unfortunately this year’s Clerkenwell Architecture Walking and Drawing Tour has been cancelled. The tour will be rescheduled for a date after CDW2013 (TBC).

D*Haus: mathematically-inspired design

April 11, 2013

By Emma Gaffney

British design studio D*Haus ( have invited the public to get involved in helping to get their unique designs into shops through their Kickstarter campaign ( 

Design duo David Ben-Grünberg and Daniel Woolfson designed their striking D*Table based on the 100 year-old mathematical theory by Henry Ernest Dudeney. The amateur mathematician worked out how to turn a perfect square into a perfect equilateral triangle by dissecting it into four distinct shapes, and now D*Haus have taken this theory and applied it to their stylish and incredibly versatile table (pictured below) which opens up and can be arranged in a multitude of configurations.


As well as tables, Ben-Grünberg and Woolfson have also applied the theory to architecture in their D*Dynamic house (below). The ambitious house is made of four sections which sit on customised tracks allowing it to move. The design studio is hoping to build the first of these dynamic houses in Surrey.


Through Kickstarter, D*Haus aims to raise enough money to get the D*Table into shops and any money raised beyond that will go towards building the world’s first dynamic house. People can donate anything from a pound upwards and in return may receive  a D*Haus book, prints, coasters and even a session to design something with the studio. Donors will also be named in a time capsule that will be buried under the studio’s house. The campaign is also the first opportunity for the public to order the D*Table.

For more details and to donate, visit the

Kaffe Fassett - A Life in Colour at the Fashion and Textile Museum

March 22, 2013

By Emma Gaffeny

Until 29 June, Fashion and Textile Museum, Bermondsey Street, SE1,, tickets are £8 for adults and £5.50 for students and concessions.


A new colourful exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum ( in Bermondsey Street, SE1 is celebrating the work of Boston born textile artist Kaffe Fassett.

Fassett, who started hiscareer as a painter and later as a knitwear and textile designer in London during the 1960s, is renowned for blending bright patterns, textures and colours in his work. It’s the first time that the Fassett’s textiles have been showcased in London since his record-breaking show at the V&A in 1988, the same year that he designed a gold medal winning garden for the Chelsea Flower Show.


Inspiring works on display include an extravagant 9ft-wide knitted shawl, colourful throws, coats, patchwork fabrics, quilts and cushions. There’s also a ‘feeling’ wall that allows visitors to touch and better understand the textiles on display and their construction.

The exhibition will also be celebrating Fassett’s long-association with internationally-renowned handknitting company Rowan, with a specially selected range of kits, fabric, yarn and other materials, books and magazines to inspire visitors to create their own works of art.


Interiors trends: Stockholm Design Week 2013

February 08, 2013

By Emma Gaffney

Scandinavia’s furniture and lighting designers have been out in force this week at 2013’s Stockholm Design Week. The event has seen the launch of some eye-catching new homeware accessories for the home.

We’ve put together some of our favourite new Scandinavian designs:

Scandinavia is known for being environmentally conscious and the green theme runs in many designer’s pieces including Swedish designers Claesson Koivisto Rune ( These colourful pendant lamps are made from recycled aluminium and fitted with halogen reflector bulbs. The lights will be sold by Swedish lighting brand Wästberg (


Swedish company Skultuna specialise in producing quality brass and sterling silver objects. This year the 400 year-old company launched three new products including a series of flower pots, which resemble the classic terracotta pot (pictured), a series of wall hangers in solid brass and a striking geometric book end.


Stockholm studio Form Us With Love ( launched this tiered metal lamp for Finnish brand One Nordic ( They come in three different colours: white, grey and copper.


Oslo designers StokkeAustad and Andreas Engesvik launched their Northern Lights inspired glass-blown trees. The trees come in various colours - from greens, pinks, greys and oranges - that represent the colours of the northern hemisphere’s natural lightshow.

Tom dixon