Pendant Lights

Chandeliers are a wonderful way to light up a room, but I have to admit that my heart really skips a beat for  beautiful pendant lights - or even a set of them! Pendants are very much on trend for 2016, but frankly, I think it's hard to go wrong with them any time. To celebrate these lovely lighting systems, here are a few of our favourite statement pendants.

In terms of plastics, the FL/Y pendant is one of my favourites. It comes in a range of colors and is big enough to stand on its own, or make an eye catching display. Clustering pendants, or arranging them in a row, gives you an alternative to a traditional chandelier, while still offering  as much or as little light as you require.

Beautiful statement pendant lights are on trend for 2016 - but also have a classic appeal.

Tom Dixon's Melt/Copper is a stunning line of glass pendants that have the look of melting, hot blown glass.

 

Beautiful statement pendant lights are on trend for 2016 - but also have a classic appeal.

Zenza sports a whole line of nickel plated brass pendants in a variety of shapes and sizes. The punched metal gives an amazing effect when lit.

Beautiful statement pendant lights are on trend for 2016 - but also have a classic appeal.

Industrial style pendants come in a wide range of styles, colors and shapes. You can get replicas of these at most hardware stores, or you can go vintage hunting as we did. Steve and I picked up three vintage white industrial lights at an antiques market in Italy last spring. There was no shortage of sellers there with a drool-worthy supply of amazing lighting, from the very old to the recently old. It's always worth digging around a bit to see if you can find something locally to you as well - though they may require a touch up or a bit of rewiring.  I love this mint shade from Barn Light Electric. 

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I know we tend to think of glass and metal when considering lighting, but concrete can be beautiful too, as these modern and pretty Finn pendants from Milk and Sugar show.

Beautiful statement pendant lights are on trend for 2016 - but also have a classic appeal.

And finally, let's not forget the possibility of ceramic pendant lights. These fantastic ceramic shades are made in England by Lyngard Ceramics.

 

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Tile Trends

Tiles aren't just for floors these days, though there's nothing wrong with that idea. The current trend for bold tiles, in color and pattern means there are plenty of options for you to choose from that look nothing like the neutral, quiet tiles that sit under rugs and go unnoticed. Using a bold tile or tile pattern offers a focal point or area of interest, while also giving you a durable and functional surface. Tiles are a great option for your kitchen backsplash, and you are limited only by your creativity.

Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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The classic black and white tiled bathroom floor always creates a wonderful backdrop on which many colors or styles can be played out.

Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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But tile is also a great way to direct the color scheme of your space, either through a main color...

Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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....or by adding highlights with splashes of color.

Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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Small spaces are a great place to play with bolder colors or patterns that you may be uncomfortable putting on a larger area. Think of powder rooms or bar kitchens...

Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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...or, entryways.

Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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But if you love color, you can always commit to it. A stunning floor like this is given all the attention by keeping the rest of the space white and muted.

Bold colors and patterns in your tiles offer an instant splash of style on the floor, wall, entry, backsplashes or even a tabletop!

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Kakelugn: The Swedish Ceramic Wood Stove

Necessity is supposedly the mother of invention, and this was true for the Swedes back in the 18th century. A critical shortage of firewood led to the development of a more efficient type of wood stove - the kakelugn. I'll show you the inner workings of one later in this post, but for now, lets just marvel at the fact in designing something so needed, they also created something so beautiful. Created in a range of colors, shapes and styles, these stoves burn hotter than the average wood stove, but use very little wood. They were designed with vents and channels to allow for a controlled burn that radiates heat day and night (see the illustration at the bottom). But enough about their inner workings, let's ogle some gorgeous stoves. Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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Swedish ceramic wood stove - an amazing design for efficiency and beautiful to look at. You can find them in a variety of shapes, color and sizes.

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And for those who like to see the innards:

Swedish Tile Stove inside

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Adding texture to a room.

We've all been there. You finish decorating your living room but it still seems...flat. If your room has a case of meh, the culprit may often be texture, or rather, a lack of texture. Luckily, this is not a hard interior design problem to fix, and crucially, it's an element that when done right, often leads you very correctly down the path to making your space really speak about you. I've said it before...you don't live in a hotel so why would you want your home to look like one?

Let's take a look at three examples of texture really completing the decor of a room, and adding personality at the same time.

In this first example, we have a wonderful textured rug, some metals with different sheen, velvet and even the ceramic lamp is doing its job. And let's not overlook the little cactus, doing his prickly best.

 

 

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The room below has many of the elements of the above room, but they've used textiles and wood directly on the wall as decor. A great idea! They've also got a gorgeous brass lamp that I want to rub, and some impressive greenery peeking in from the side.

 

 

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This room really went for it. Even the chandelier chain has texture. They've used faux greenery around the space, textured decor like baskets, and a rug you can practically feel under your feet by just looking at the picture.

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Each of these rooms may not be to your taste (they are not all to my taste!) but that's beside the point. They are each using a mix of rugs, cushions, textiles, metals and decor items to bring texture in to the space, while at the same time, giving each space the distinct feel of its creator. So next time you're looking at your room and thinking "wow, blah..." don't despair. Here's a quick list to ensure the interior design of your room is using texture for the best results:

  • Varied textiles - velvets, wools, knits, satins. Think of the effect you want (comfy? sexy? comfexy?) and incorporate into throws, cushions, drapery etc.
  • Rugs - if yours seems boring, replace it, or better yet, layer it with another rug of a contrasting color/texture.
  • Greenery - real or faux, though if you opt for fake, buy the best you can afford.
  • Metals - think past shiny chrome into brass, copper and pewter. Try different shapes, surfaces and sheen.
  • Skins and furs - faux furs and skins are perfectly acceptable. And for the hamburger eaters among us, cow skins and sheepskins are also widely available.

Now get out there and start purposefully fondling soft, cushy, rough or shiny items at your local vintage or decor shops. Just don't tell them I sent you.