Everyone who reads my Blog, follows me on Twitter, likes me on Facebook or even ACTUALLY knows me in real life, knows I love what I do. I have a garage full of vintage furniture, a sketchbook full of interior drawings, a camera full of inspiring images and a brain full of creative ideas.
This is enough to produce the most desired home and commercial interiors, this is enough to please even the most ‘difficult’ of customers, so when was it decided that actually what was needed was to be a computer ‘whizz’ ! I have not seen one advertisement for an in-house interior designer this year that did not require one or all of these computer programmes to be part of your skills base : Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino or AutoCAD, SketchUp, Computer Rendering (3D Studio Max, Artlantis, V-ray, and/or etc). WHY?
If you can pick up a pencil, if you have paper, you can do this… and you can probably do it better then a computer. Don’t get me wrong, as I stated at the beginning of the post, I love my technology, I love social media, I love learning new things, but I do not get the same satisfaction sitting down with my IPad placing computer generated furniture into positions within a computer generated rooms – Give me pencils, pens and paper and I will be in interior design heaven!
I am not saying you shouldn’t have the skills, that you can’t have the skills or that computers can’t be your preference, but I am saying you shouldn’t HAVE to have them! It is my belief companies are missing out on the opportunity to work with some greats artists in the field of interior design because of the HAVE to attitude on knowledge of certain computer programmes.
It is a fact that pencil on paper fashion drawing is making a huge comeback in 2015 let’s do the same for interior design drawing!
Popsicle Interiors is coming up to its first birthday and as with any anniversary there is a tendency to reassess and reconsider. So of course the question; “Is Popsicle Interiors something that I should continue with”? and the doubt that comes with this question appears in to my mind.
When I think about what I do, when I consider whether I am in the right ‘business’ and whether I am willing to commit time and energy to ‘this’, what comes in to my head is a quote from Letters To A Young Poet by Reilke, which also happened to be used in Sister Act 2; “When you wake up in the morning and you can think of nothing else but writing then you’re a writer”.
When I wake up in the morning I think of Popsicle Interiors, I think about what I have achieved so far with the brand and what the business is going to evolve in to. I live and breathe interiors and style; I am constantly researching designers and products from the mid-century, looking for companies who salvage, upcycle, recycle, looking for people who share the same ideologies as me.
Then I know that I am an interior designer… just not an average one!
There are alternatives to buying new, to throwing away the old, to waste within the world of interiors. There is an ever increasing amount of designers who use ecologically friendly materials and manufacturing to produce items, there are companies who mass produces ecologically friendly paint and wallpaper, there are salvage yards, second hand shops, vintage fairs where you can find the key pieces to place within a clients’ home/office/commercial space.
Designers are looked up to as leaders; we should be responsible for what we promote to those who ‘follow’ us. The only future we have is a sustainable one so be mindful of this… always.
Popsicle Interiors is evolving past its first anniversary into something I am very proud of, so to my supporters, from the bottom of my heart,
Rachelle at Popsicle Interiors
It is our first vintage fair on Sunday (as a seller, we have of course been to many of the things spending money!) and we are having a meeting about how to make Popsicle Interiors a success on the day at Lou Lous Vintage Fair. The mind mapping here in the Popsicle Interiors office soon found the answer… the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach!
So to entice the crowds in to our stall we have on our possibility list of offerings for the day : The classic McVities Digestive, Custard Creams, Bourbons, Jammy Dodgers, Fig Rolls and last but no means least The Wagon Wheel. We also have a sweet list (yes we do take these things seriously!) : Aniseed Balls and Twists, BonBons, Catherine Wheels, Chewing Nuts, DipDap, Rhubarb and Custards, Pear Drops, Jelly Beans and Sherbet Fountains. In regards to the Sherbet Fountains though, all we have been able to find in the shops recently are the plastic wrapped ones and what we really want are the kind made of paper that dissolve and go soggy before you get to eat all the sherbet; the plastics one just too clean and not enough fun!
Please do join us on Sunday 2nd November at the Corn Exchange in Brighton and there may be some sweets left for you, there may not be of course, but there will definitely have some fine vintage furniture for you anyway!
I have been speaking with Hidde and Lo the ‘adventurers’ behind The Upcycle in the Netherlands, they are lovely people ; friendly, welcoming and professional to the very end. Hidde and Lo started the business with the realisation that in their native Netherlands there are more bikes then people (yes that is a real fact!) and that every year approximately 40,000 of these bikes are sent to the scrap heap when SO much more could be done with them.
These lights are Popsicle Interiors favourite piece that Upcycle sell under the heading ‘Family Products’ along with rubber tyre belts, bike chain bracelets, business card holders made from tyres and saddles and a foot stool made from inner tubes… Genius!
We are hoping to stock The Upcycles products in the very near future but until then visit their online shop to get your hands on their goods.
On a boiling hot Sunday in September I visited the new style ‘Open Market’ on Brightons’ London Road. The sign at the door suggested that today the market may have a few more exciting finds then the usual inside!
Judys Vintage Fair were visiting and how did I not know this! I have been a fan of this travelling vintage fair for a few years now and am no stranger to having to go to great lengths to visit it! For those of you who are not educated on all things vintage, Judy’s is in its 9th year now and as far as my eye can see it is going from strength to strength and literally popping up everywhere! And all this from one woman’s frustration of having ‘nothing to wear’… Her words not ours!
The swinging tones of ‘The Wind Ups’ were also in attendance with Judy’s. They had prime spot at the entrance to the market, enabling their swinging tunes to be heard and enjoyed across the whole event.
What’s that you say? Vintage scarves at a bargain price. Don’t mind if I do… I shall have 10, maybe another 10, maybe I should leave before I am spent!
Another favourite stall of mine was the jelly bag stall. The stall took me right back to my childhood, one of my first memories is of my neighbour who was a few years older then me so ‘cool’ by age, who stored her wool in a light blue one! So I had, I repeat HAD, to pick up a few!
If you like your bargains vintage, I would definitely recommend this fair. The only negative point about the whole event was the size… I always want my vintage fairs to be bigger!
Aaron Whiteside is a Blackpool home-owner completely dedicated to his style choices.
Have a look at the photos and video of his 1930’s home makeover feature on Yahoo today (12/03/14).
Whilst I am a fan of using vintage, second hand and upcycled pieces in your home not only because they look good but also because it is a far ‘greener’ way to furnish your home. The style though is not for everyone, but this does not mean your home interior cannot go ‘green’.
Sustainably designed products use renewable resources, have a reduced carbon footprint and are manufactured in an environmentally conscious way. The intention of sustainable design is to make sure there are no negative impacts on the environment by using sensitive, skilful design. This means not using any non-renewable resources, impacting on the environment minimally, and connecting people with the natural environment.
A key example of a sustainably designed home product is the Dirk Vander Kooij’s Chubby Chair. The chubby chair is made from recycled refrigerators and e-waste and created by a repurposed and reprogrammed industrial robot producing precise 3D models whilst generating very little waste.
Some examples of household products not only made sustainably, but also for the purpose of creating a ‘greener’ home are:
The ‘Nest’ learning thermostat. Simply this thermostat learns your households’ behaviour and adjusts all temperature settings to your usage pattern.
‘Replenish’ cleaning product. The bottle is reused and you just by filling up with water and a ‘pod’ of concentrate is replaced on the bottom of the bottle. This keeps billions of pounds worth of waste out of the environment.
The ‘Luci’ light was designed by MPowered to tackle what they perceive as “light poverty”. The light is a solar-powered and rechargeable LED lantern, which is inflated like a balloon to use and folded into a handkerchief when not needed. If the lights solar cells are exposed to the suns’ rays for 8 hours it powers the light for 12 and unlike its kerosene counterparts produces no harmful emissions.
Although not technically a household product ‘Levis’ have launched type 511; a cycle commuter range of jeans. I like the 511 a lot and believe we can get away with including them in this list because of the encouragement it gives to commuters to travel in a ‘greener’ way from HOME to office! Features of the range include a strap for the cycle lock, a nano sphere protective coating that repels water and dirt, interior cuffs and reflective strips.
Whatever your thoughts on recycled design or sustainable design the belief held by many, including me is that the future has to be sustainable if there is to be any future at all.
The night is finally upon us… It is the final of The Great Interior Design Challenge! For this audacious occasion I had all the obligatory celebratory snacks – popcorn, double decker and of course to wash all this down a much needed full-fat coke!
For this final challenge the two contestants; Sarah and #TeamJordon, were in grand Liverpool Georgian homes and had the momentous task of redesigning a hallway, front room, guest room and a child’s room. At least the budget had gone up to £4400 and they had the help of a chosen friend, two builders and a decorator.
Again I think Jordon had the easiest of the houses to make over. His clients had a blank white box and were easy with his suggestions, having no style choices of their own that they wanted reflected in their makeover. Sarah’s clients had a strong sense of what they wanted from the makeover but also already had a well presented house with their personality reflected in it.
#TeamJordons makeover was, like all his past ones, well thought and executed. For this challenge though he had such strong unique ideas that outshone his past makeovers. The room of his that I favoured out of the four was the child’s bedroom he made over, this was simply a perfect girl’s bedroom, in my mind!
Unfortunately though #TeamJordon was outshone by Sarah and she was ultimately chosen as the winner by Sophie and Daniel.
Sarah’s makeover which included placing an old church statue of Mary in the hallway, a pool table in the family room, a car chute in the child’s room and an ingenious peg and shelf system round the entirety of the guest room was a deserved winner.
Goodbye The Great Interior Design Challenge – hopefully see you in 2015!
2014 is being reported as the year of the flat pack home! The UK already has the smallest new build homes in Western Europe. In fact since the 1960s our kitchen size here in the UK has shrunk by a third. The small space is gaining popularity following on from the huge success of George Clarkes Amazing Spaces programme and Kevin McClouds Man Made Home. As well as more affordable these small spaces are also, generally, more ecologically friendly.
Featured in the news recently are two small space home ideas which are essentially purchased by the consumer as a flat pack kit.
The first is Mark Burtons ‘Tiny House Kit’. This kit costs around £6500 to buy from the tiny house website and comes complete with all normal domestic appliances, but not glass for the windows! But when the glass is fitted they are very warm benefitting from full insulation.
The second of the small homes was designed by Dr Mike Page, a lecturer from the University of Hertfordshire. His QB2 or ‘cube house’ kits costs around £10,000 to purchase and it four hours to construct. The 3m x 4m box is split into four areas; a lounge, kitchen, bathroom and a bedroom. It even comes complete with a spiral staircase!
The flat pack home is by no means a new concept though; 140 years ago a flat pack 9 bedroom mansion was shipped from Norway to North Tawton, Devon. Fondly known in the local community as ‘Old Norse Lodge’ the Grade II listed home is worth an estimated £500,000 and features hand painted art nouveau decoration, fretted ceiling roses and cornices and a sweeping staircase.
I think it is time I marked out a patch in the garden for my Amazing Small Space!
Happy New Year from Popsicle Interiors!
Whilst you have been enjoying a well-deserved break we have been scouring the internet to find new trends industry experts have picked to be big in 2014.
1 2014 will be the year of the strong colour. Apparently we will all be leaving the beiges and greys behind in 2013 in favour of deep colours like Navy and Plum. Navy is destined to be the new neutral colour on the block able to be placed with any colour. Popsicle Interiors suggest that if you are too scared to do big blocks of navy on your walls then start with a key piece of furniture.
2 Personal eclecticism will be the room theme or non-room theme as it were! Moving away from strong room categories like ‘urban’ and ‘rustic’ and having nic-nacs for the sake of having nic-nacs. We will all have rooms that speak to us as individuals and the only nic-nacs we have will be our meaningful pieces from our own collections and photo’s.
3 Keeping with the theme of moving away from ‘matchy matchy’ rooms we will have fresh lively rooms. Accents of colour will bring a monotone room to life in 2014! Place bright chromatic splashes over unsaturated tones to create yourself a lively room that will perk you up every day you enter it.
4 Wooden furniture in 2014 will be light wood with honey tones, moving us all away from the dark woods like mahogany and cherry. The light woods will have the ability to blend in to any rooms’ colour scheme and will seem unfussy and light compared to their dark wood counterparts.
5 Floral prints are still in vogue and the thought is that they will continue to be so for a long time to come yet. In 2014 we will all have to be brave with our floral prints and mix colours and design to create the modern look.
6 Natural elements will be incorporated in to fabrics and furnishings. Cowhide, in particular, is set to be big! Variations of it in all colours and applications will be making appearances everywhere.
7 Pineapples have been seen on the catwalk, at design exhibitions and on prints. This fruity shape is predicted to be all over our homes in 2014.
8 If 2014 is the year you will be starting or extending your art collection the advice is to move away from the average framed print and choose sculptural wall pieces that will add texture and dimension to your walls.
9 At the window we will be putting up sheers; transparent, fresh, bright and light they will create mood without sacrificing privacy or light. The expert’s material of choice for their window sheers would be wool or linen.
10 2014 looks set to be the year of the man. The home will reflect the male members that reside inside it this year with man caves being moved from the basement or garage to a multi-functioning high tech space inside the home. The urinal will also be making an appearance in the home bathroom this year, although Popsicle Interiors is not quite convinced of this!
Whatever you do to your home this year, enjoy it!