Saturday, 7 December 2013

Make a Wish...

We don't know about you but we are pretty unorganised when it comes to Christmas. Maybe it's something to do with the fact that we just don't feel Christmassy until at least the 15th December, despite all the tinsel and tunes going into overdrive as soon as the first door opens on the advent calendar!

With that said, we want to make sure you are all sorted with an almost last minute Christmas wish list, of some of our favourite pieces ready and waiting to be gift wrapped just for you…

We can exclusively launch a new collection from the very talented Nicola Reed, who being one of our original graduate designers, returns as a Look Like Love alumni with her latest collection.
Her signature look, using vintage pieces and felt mixed with precious stones and silver makes this latest offering something special to adorn at the Christmas dinner table and beyond…

A limited edition print is always a firm favourite when it comes to stocking fillers, so Kayleigh Hadley's individually hand-drawn illustrations and quotes will definitely work their magic…

There's always room for a little more colour, so why not start January with one, two or a few of these African print cushions from House of Arike to brighten up those long, grey Winter days…

A New year beckons, so clear the decks and start those to-do lists, it's time to get organised with the help of Clea Jentsch's desk tidy collection…

As well as these talented new designers, there's plenty more to see in our shop, and don't forget to enter discount code XMASTREAT at the check-out for 10% off all orders*

Have an amazing Christmas, love from Kate & Eden xx

*Discount valid until 19th December at 6.00pm

Sunday, 3 November 2013

And the Nominees Are...

At this Summer's New Designers event we came across a great range of talent, and ear-marked a few designers to get in touch with. One of which, some of you may remember that caught our eye was Clea Jentsch from Kingston University, with her simple, clean lines and pastel shades of her Desk Tidy series.

We just had to sign her up for our online shop, and a month or so later, after catching up with Clea in Shoreditch, we launched her limited edition collection.

Sitting pride of place on our home page, the pieces showcase the simplicity and creativity of working with honest materials and we are pleased to be representing Clea and her collection as she forges her path as a new designer.

Last week we heard from Clea to let us know that she has been shortlisted for the New Design Britain Awards which run in conjunction with INTERIORS UK.

The judges revealed which entrants have made it through to the final, and will be displaying their designs at the UK's definitive trade interiors event where the winners will be announced.

Now in its 10th year, the New Design Britain awards celebrate young design talent, uniquely giving them a platform to industry, like no other trade show. The awards are judged according to four categories: Furniture, Furnishing Accessories, Fabrics and Surfaces. Shortlisted from 150 entries, a list of all the finalists including Clea can be found here.

On the INTERIORS UK facebook page you can vote by liking your favourite designer. You can vote for any of the nominees but of course we would love your support for Clea! Vote here.

And not to give a sales pitch, you can find Clea's shortlisted collection online to buy now, a design classic in the making, we think so!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

It started with...

Nine months ago in our daily search for new and interesting design talent, we came across furniture designer and up-cycler Yinka Ilori. His approach to recycled design was something a bit different, and not your average shabby chic styling.

As a relatively new designer, (he graduated in 2008) he has been slowly building a following and portfolio of work. His strong design ethos of incorporating story-telling or Nigerian parables from his childhood gave a fresh perspective on furniture design, and the use of unloved pieces as a starting point added that extra depth to each piece.

We met Yinka in the depths of Winter with the intention of presenting his work through our on-line shop, when he pitched the idea of wanting to have his first solo show, and would we be interested in helping him achieve his goal...

Fast-forward to the evening of Thursday 12th September, and The Old Shoreditch Station on Kingsland Road in London is bustling with friends, family and press to celebrate the launch of 'It Started With A Parable' Yinka Ilori's first solo show, and a chance to celebrate our collaboration, and more importantly to showcase Yinka's unique furniture designs.

Set against the back-drop of the ultimate recycled building, The Old Shoreditch Station was brought back to life by its owners JaguarShoes Collective using a mish-mash of re-used furniture and fittings, and is now a thriving bar, cafe and shop in the heart of East London. 

Yinka's pieces now adorn the windows, ceilings and walls in an explosion of colour and sculptural shapes.

Staying true to our company ethos of supporting, promoting and nurturing new designers, we feel we have achieved our goal, and in his speech on Thursday evening, Yinka feels he has achieved his too, our job here is done!

'It Started With A Parable' runs from 12th September to 24th November 
at The Old Shoreditch Station, 1 Kingsland Rd  London, E2 8AA

See the full photo album via our Facebook Page

All pieces are available to buy from 
The Old Shoreditch Station now
and via Look Like Love in the next few weeks...

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Look Like Love collaborates with designer Yinka Ilori...

'It Started With A Parable' A solo installation 
at The Old Shoreditch Station

12th September to 24th November 2013

During the 6-week exhibition, coinciding with London Design Festival and in his first presentation of new work since Milan Design Week, Yinka Ilori adds pieces to his collection by using a combination of vintage modernist furniture and traditional stories from his childhood, creating one-off pieces inspired by traditional Nigerian parables and story-telling, creating meaningful yet humorous furniture designs.
Yinka will be at The Old Shoreditch Station for live up-cycling sessions, using pieces donated by Jaguar Shoes and vintage modernist furniture from across East London, working in all three spaces, the building itself having been renovated and up-cycled by its owners JaguarShoes Collective.

“This is a pivotal moment for Yinka who is stepping out of the guise of graduate designer to become an emerging talent. He has already showcased his work at the ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in New York, and was selected to exhibit at Talents at Ambiente in Frankfurt, so the opportunity to feature alongside some of the world’s finest designers as part of London Design Festival adds to the excitement, and we are honoured to be collaborating with him on his first solo outing.” - Look Like Love

'It Started With A Parable' runs from 12th September to 24th November at Old Shoreditch Station, 1 Kingsland Rd  London, E2 8AA

Look Like Love - Set up by Kate Brewer and Eden Asfaha in 2011 to support, promote and showcase new designers, Look Like Love have extended their reach beyond their blog and on-line shop, to work with designers on an individual basis to co-curate, in Ilori’s case, his first solo exhibition.
Yinka Ilori - Product & furniture designer with the future in mind, Yinka Ilori up-cycles and re-works old, unloved furniture to produce brand new interpretations. Yinka Ilori aims to challenge perceptions of waste through the regeneration and revitalisation of every-day furniture, where every piece deserves the chance to be loved again. Yinka Ilori has benefited hugely from the Prince’s Trust who supported him when he graduated, and without their assistance, he would not be the successful designer he is today.
JAGUARSHOES COLLECTIVE - constitutes a group of creatively motivated businesses and individuals working in art, film, fashion, music, publishing and design. We provide many platforms for creative talent; from exhibitions and events, to collaborative products and retail opportunities. We believe in, and aim to motivate positive change through creative output.

Our launch will take place on Thursday 12th September from 7pm and we'd love to see you there...

Sunday, 28 July 2013

New Designers, Then & Now...

We wanted to do a double introduction to two new designers, one we met last year, and the other just a few weeks ago, who will soon both be featuring in our shop...

Last year was a busy year for us, and New Designers 2012 brought us our second year of amazingly talented graduates. One in particular that caught our eye was Mairi Burrow.

Mairi's stunning jewellery was one of the highlights as part of the Duncan of Jordanstone stand with her fragile interpretations of Alzheimer's through her work. Poignant and refreshing that such a condition could be the inspiration for her graduate collection.

Having the chance to meet her in person at the time, and arrange to stay in touch, her busy Summer of moving and getting married took precedence. A month into 2013, we met again, and Mairi has been working continuously on a new collection and commissions at her new home in London.

Her new work, which we received a few weeks ago, continues to feature the same intricacy and fragility that we loved last year, and are pleased to be showcasing her work over the coming weeks.

In stark contrast, as New Designers 2013 drew to a close last month, we sent out our emails to a few of our favourites, one being product designer Clea Jentsch.

Although a fresh face to the industry, Clea has already forged links with some of UK's most prominent design stores with her simple yet useful approach to product design. And as a graduate from Kingston, will also be featuring her work during London Design Festival in the Kingston showcase exhibition, Nous.

So of course we are excited to be able to launch her graduate collection of stationary and desk tidying paraphernalia in a limited, hand-made run so soon. The simple, folded steel pieces, powdered-coated in striking minty green will organise the most messy with its minimal lines and playful individuality.

For us, working with new designers whether a few weeks, or a year after making that discovery doesn't hinder the excitement or stunt our enthusiasm, these things can take time, but the time is always right, whenever, wherever it may happen...

Mairi and Clea's work will be available to buy via Look Like Love very soon...

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Walk Out On The Beach With Me...

Last weekend we took a trip down to Brighton, the sun was shining, it was jacket-free weather with the seafront bustling with people, local and from further a field soaking up the sea air, and to-date a rare glimpse of Summer.

A great weekend on its own, but we were there to support some close friends who were raising money for their beautiful daughter Rosa who was born with Cerebral Palsy just over two years ago.
The aim was to be able to take her to the private clinic in London, The Bobath Centre. The centre specialises in working with children with various degrees of the illness and works with one-on-one therapy focusing on mobility and speech.

We were honoured to be be part of their fundraiser entitled 'Walk out on the beach with me', and with the generosity of our designers, CM Carter, Jessie G, Roisin Connolly and Natalie Hough, we had some amazing donations too.

The evening was a combination of a silent auction, live auction and raffle, with some incredible pieces on offer from artists including Tom Hammick and Dom McGill, as well as local contributions from Karen Potter and Ta King.

And what a response, from the top floor of The Mesmerist Bar in the heart of Brighton, the crowd did not disappoint with bids coming thick and fast for all the pieces on offer. The buzz from the auction certainly didn't stop there with the silent auction equally as competitive. Bids and counter-bids were placed up until the last minute, with eager bidders lingering around the works they really wanted, to stop anyone from putting in a cheeky offer in the final seconds!

Any disappointment was short-lived as the raffle had plenty of amazing pieces up for grabs, from the classic bottle of champagne and spa treatments to autographed cards from One Direction!

The final figure raised on the night is still being totalled up, but early predictions show they have doubled the original figure they were hoping for.

It was an emotional and overwhelming evening for Rosa's parents Alice and Will, and a fantastic show of kindness and generosity from friends and family who came from near and far to show their love and support for their little girl...

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Designed for Living...

Vibrancy comes in many forms; personality, style, creative expression, the list goes on, but this was the one word that came to mind when we were introduced to the House of Arike.

Creative Director Arike was born in Nigeria and raised in London, so the fusion of both African and Western cultures was something that came naturally. Combined with a love for interior design, it wasn't long before the House of Arike was founded, specialising in creating avant-garde, luxury, African print home accessories.

We have always loved the incredible colours and patterns created in African fabrics, so taking these cultural representations, and being able to see them in a domestic setting is very exciting.

We now have the pleasure of working with House of Arike on bringing you their first collection, and as their mission statement so concisely sums up, '...Inspired by Africa, Designed for Living...'

Click here to see the full collection...

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Off Life...

Creativity comes in many forms, last week we were at the Vogue Festival, negotiating our way through bloggers, photographers and passionate followers, (and leaders), showcasing their creativity through fashion. This week, we step off the commercially fuelled treadmill and turn our attention to what was at one time a childhood favourite, the comic book.

No longer a medium that simply interests children or sci-fi enthusiasts, the Beano annual collector that has nostalgia oozing from its chronologically ordered hardbacks, or a weekly pilgrimage to Forbidden Planet, the humble comic has in some ways grown up with its readers.

The popularity of graphic novels has had some part to play, but today, comics themselves have a dedicated and sophisticated audience, and an appreciation for this expressive story-telling is evident in the pick-up publication OFF LIFE.

The beauty in what OFF LIFE brings to modern-day comics is the collaborative approach it has. The idea of bringing together new, emerging and exciting storytellers and illustrators, with well-known comic artists is an exciting mix, and none more so than the new talent that gets chosen. The opportunity to sit alongside their own idols is an appeal that adds an interesting mix of styles and collected contributions.

Like us, they are equally passionate about supporting and promoting emerging talent,

"...we hope that OFF LIFE will be a stepping stone to all works of genius that exist out there in four colour print because bold voices in every art form deserves a place to shine. Yes, even comic slingers..."

Originally brought to our attention by one of our designers, CM Carter, (who features in Issue 4), we had to go and find ourselves a copy. The lovely thing about this is it's available in a variety of different places, from the grungy pubs of East London to The Old Vic in Bristol, opening up its reach to a whole new audience of appreciators...We'll certainly be swapping the fashion mags for a different take on escapism for a while...

Company Car by CM Carter

Monday, 29 April 2013

Vogue Festival...

We always try and find inspiration wherever we go, so this weekend we headed to the rather glam Vogue Festival, this year hosted at the Southbank Centre in London. Our intention, to hear from one of the best designers from our very own shores, Paul Smith.

Not adversed to public speaking, the talk itself began with a snippet of creative advice, as many of the audience members were students. He spoke enthusiastically about inspiration, and how it can be found in anything and everything if you, '...look and see...'

Such simple advice, but with the sheer bombardment of images, sounds, sights and smells we are exposed to on a daily basis, it's easy to forget to take that important step back, edit, appreciate and feel genuinely inspired.

Picture Credit: Darren Gerrish

In conversation with Paul Smith was fashion favourite, Vogue contributing editor, (and cover girl) Alexa Chung. The chit-chat was light-hearted rather than a fact-finding interview, but the content was no less interesting for it. In fact their genuine rapport just added to the relaxed feel and flow as they conversed.

With a career that has spanned over 30 years, Paul Smith shows no sign of slowing down, as the passion for his craft still sees him at his desk at 6am everyday after an early morning swim. And he likes to keep things simple, no computer and no email, ('...just 145 assistants!') to keep him informed of what he needs to know.

Picture Credit: Darren Gerrish

A life-long photographer, it was amazing to discover he shoots all his own campaigns to this day. He could be perceived as a control freak with such a contribution, but he genuinely doesn't come across that way at all, it's all down to the love of it, the passion, and the fact that anything less than 100% just isn't enough. He also spoke candidly about the fact there are far too many designers out there these days, and it's about finding that point of difference, and striving to be at least one step ahead.

We left feeling that little bit more motivated, and more positive that as long as you have passion at the heart of your creative endeavours, anything is possible...

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Milan via Africa...

Milan 2013 is upon us, the annual descent on the Italian city is in full swing, and as one of the most exciting showcases in the design calendar, we wanted to find out what first-time exhibitors thought about taking part, and the prospect of sitting alongside some of the world's biggest design hitters...

Set to take over flagship store La Rinascente, Afrofuture is a showcase of how Africa, the world's second largest continent, is exploring new frontiers through media, events and performance.

'Afrofuture shines a modern, pan-African light on what can, is and could happen in design in and beyond Africa...and to think big about how the rapidly emerging future will see mould-breaking designers coming from radical underground to the global mainstream.' says showcase developer and writer, Nana Ocran.

Yinka Illori is a relatively new furniture designer, but since graduating his feet haven't really touched the ground. We have known Yinka for about six months now, and in that time he has shown his work in New York, London and Frankfurt, but Milan is set to be a real highlight, and he's starting to feel the pressure being under such an international spotlight.

During the week-long programme of events, on Wednesday 10th April, Yinka will be presenting, 'The Art of Storytelling' a live up-cycling session using vintage European furniture, and upholstering the pieces in Nigerian fabrics, a signature of his, and an appropriate clash of cultures for the exhibition itself. We caught up with him about his imminent trip...

How did you get selected as an exhibitor?

"Being part of Afrofuture at the the La Rinascente all came about when Beatrice Galilee, the curator, contacted me via email. She came across my work on-line with an interview that I did with writer Stephanie Baptist a few months ago on the blog Another Africa.
I invited Beatrice and her assistant to my studio, and she really liked my previous work, and workshop proposal for Afrofuture. The invitation to be part of the exhibition came soon after. It was unbelievable, I never thought that this opportunity would happen so soon! I am really excited, and at the same time nervous...more excited now it's so soon though..."

What are you most looking forward to?

"I am really looking forward to my's the first time for doing a workshop, let alone in Milan! It's a great opportunity for me to push myself and try something totally different. If it's successful, maybe it will be something I will consider doing in the future. It would a good opportunity to give people an insight into my thoughts when up-cycling, and how I use Nigerian parables to tell meaningful stories through my work..."

"...All the action of the workshop will be curated with a special Nigerian playlist I created, including legendary artists like Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade. I grew up listening to this music, my parents always played it in the house...all of their music told stories and changed lives, and that's something that I've always wanted to emulate in my work. Being able to bring these two powerful elements together is going to be a phenomenal experience!"

Have you got any plans to visit any other shows?

"I will be there for three days so I will be trying my hardest to check out a lot of the designers and their shows/installations. I am most excited about seeing The Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop, a studio established in Teshie, Ghana in the 1950s. It is known for its design coffins that became symbolic of African artistic creativity. It's also showcasing as part of Afrofuture, so something I am really looking forward to seeing..."

"...I also want to check out Lee Broom's crystal bulbs, I think they are amazing! And also many exciting things to see, you should see my list, it's crazy!"

Friday, 22 March 2013

Blog it, buy it...

Blog & Buy Sale is a company with an ethos very much like our own. They offer a platform to support and promote independent designer/makers from all over the world, picking pieces and products that wouldn't necessarily be seen, and bringing them to the fore, in an on-line curated gallery of hand-made delicacies.

We have been following Blog & Buy Sale pretty much since we set-up, and they have been great supporters of ours over the past two years, so it seems only fitting to return the favour and highlight them, and the talented designers they support.

It may not feel very Spring-like right now, but on Sunday 17th March, Blog & Buy Sale launched their 'Spring Wish List' A showcase of hand-picked pieces made from submissions received over the last month or so. Along with many other talented designers, we are privileged to have pieces from our very own designers selected, namely Kayleigh Hadley, Natalie Hough and Ben Phe, and from the huge array of prints, gifts and home-ware, we thought we'd pick some of our favourites too...

Our favourite cards...

Our favourites for children...

Our favourites for men...

Our favourites for the home...

Our favourite gifts...

And finally...our favourite prints...

The Spring Wish List runs from 17th March to 5th May...

Saturday, 9 February 2013

In London with Love...

With Cupid primed to shoot his arrow next week, we look ahead to the launch of the Valentine's pop-up, Love.Make Designs at Craft Central's Corner Shop in Farringdon, London.

Running from 11th-17th February Love.Make Designs is showcasing four fine independent designer/makers based in the U.K who are working together to turn the Corner Shop into a Valentine's inspired treasure trove, guaranteed to melt the coldest of hearts!

Dual Nation Jewellery, one of our very own featured new designers Zoe Richardson, will have a mix of handcrafted jewellery inspired by her British and Australian heritage, which has a vintage quality and bold narrative that translates effortlessly from day to night...

Designer Rebecca Desnos launched her eco-conscious business just under 12 months ago after failing to seek out eco-friendly accessories with a luxury appeal. Each of her pieces is hand-made in London using Fair Trade organic cotton, and with a touch of love and respect, each accessory is a beautiful one-off investment piece...

Boodi Blu was set-up a few years ago by Sarah Marafie after spotting pieces of broken ceramic whilst taking her dog for a walk. After gathering quite a collection, she decided to turn these unique shards into beautiful one-off pieces of jewellery. Sarah combines the china with metals, gemstones and freshwater pearls to create jewellery that could definitely tell a story...

London's first ethical underwear brand Iris 'encapsulates beauty, elegance and femininity...' They feel strongly about keeping things local, with every piece designed and made in their London studio. Iris also take sustainability very seriously, with there repeat fabrics all from factory waste supplies. They merge classic craftsmanship, and an understanding of the female form to create luxurious lingerie for fashion-forward women...

We are very excited to see these amazing, unique offerings from four truly talented creative, independent designer/makers next week, it's time to celebrate the best of new British design for 2013...

For more details visit: