Retro to go: a 60s-styled Dorset beach hut

This small but strategically formed home, forms part of a larger estate with an original architect’s house that was built in 1964. The ‘garden house studio’, as the owners call it, was built more recently – in 2010 – as an outlet for the owner’s creativity and love of design. They are currently renting out the space for holidays. This is a short but sweet tour today, as mid-century styles have been very popular recently. Like this style? Check out this slick mid-century airport lounge, or have a peek at an American Cape Cod retreat.

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A classically styled Stockholm home

I’ve been away in Vienna this week. A friend of mine got a job in the diplomat sphere that goes on there (a lot of international organisations known by their acronyms – (OPEC, IAEA, OSCE …) so we were celebrating. And Vienna’s fun in a calm way; plenty of nice cafes, museums, vintage clothes markets, and so on.

But enough about Austria. This week’s home tour is again in the scandi-style capital of Stockholm. It’s much more classically styled than usual, but isn’t fussy or pastiche. I appreciate the simplicity it’s offering. You can also explore the home’s neighbourhood if you’re interested.

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This Swedish apartment effortlessly nails the millennial pink trend

If you’ve got an Instagram account, you’ve probably seen the hype around this colour. Some people call it ‘rose quartz’ or ‘scandi pink’. Some might say there’s scientific evidence of it having a calming effect. From Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, to high fashion, the soft rosy shade was called the colour of the moment for the Tumblr generation.

I’m back to Scandinavia this week to peek inside this Stockholm flat that takes the trend and puts it in a simple, pared back, domestic setting. No chandeliers or overindulgence. Just a nice looking apartment with a small balcony.

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1950s textiles return to the British high street

In a recent victory for mid-century and retro fans alike, John Lewis has brought out a run of Lucienne Day designed cushions at John Lewis. The reasoning behind this return is twofold. Firstly, John Lewis has something of a history with Day – as she worked as a design consultant with the company for 25 years, ending in 1987. Secondly, it’s the centenary year of Lucienne Day’s birth, and the textiles form part of a retrospective of her life’s work.

 

The designs are original, such as the Calyx cushion (far right, in image below), which features abstracted flowers and was originally created for the Home Entertainment section of the Homes & Gardens Pavilion at the Festival of Britain in 1951.

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There’s already strong demand for this collection, with some items already listed as out of stock. However, at around £50 per cushion, this is a tad more expensive than IKEA or a similar shop. I recently visited Habitat and found quite a few good bargains for cushions with a similar aesthetic. Whilst they’re not on sale right now, it might be a good idea to wait until after Christmas when they’ll inevitably be sales. Last weekend I saw this cushion in a shop for £10, and I’m kicking myself for not buying it there and then.

It’s also worth noting that there’s a 40% sale on at La Redoute, which have some fab looking mid-century style modular furniture.  Use the promo code BIG40 and get 40% off the base price. Again, wait until after Christmas and you’re likely to get better deals.

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Images via John Lewis press office.

A must-see before & after conversion in Wiltshire

This is a really impressive makeover of what seems like an incredibly difficult space to work with. Somehow the architectural designer behind this – Ian Hill – managed to make a studio flat with shop attached and a shower in the hallway, somewhere welcoming and spacious to live in. You can see some original thumbnails from what the house used to look like below, before we move on.

The outside has merely been repainted, but it’s what inside that counts. Something I really appreciated was that there wasn’t any large-scale reworking with the actual structure or features of the building; the designer strategically moved a few things around and used lighter colours to complement what the space already had.

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A Welsh house that flows over the river Ysgir

Surrounded by some of the most spectacular hill landscapes in Britain – the Brecon Beacons – this house fittingly was built as a testament to the surrounding landscape. Ty Hedfan (in Welsh, meaning hovering house) is unique, built on a site that slopes down to the meeting points of two rivers – Ysgir Fach and Ysgir Fawr. The dual design problems of a steeply sloping plot, and a no-build zone within seven metres of the river Ysgir, became an opportunity for the architectural firm Featherstone Young, which is known for having a focus on the context and area that surrounds a development.  The house cantilevers over the river bank and into the canopy of the trees, almost hovering as it does.

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A great concept out of an awkward space

Seeing these photos you might be forgiven for thinking that they are from a high-end luxury spa or hotel. Think again. This is the work of Claesson Koivisto Rune architects, built in the top floor of a historic (1800s) Stockholm building. You can see a video of the space here. I like how it’s decorated, quite simply, but in a contemporary style. This gives the architectural features some space to show off.

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