‘Nordic Retreat’ – first look at John Lewis’ Scandi-inspired AW18 range

Scandinavian style isn’t hard to find within the UK – every major furniture store has its own inspired range (and there’s always IKEA). There was something about this one which caught my eye. The palette is quite warm, but also neutral – and then you have some pops of gold. Adding to that are some interesting textures (such as smoked glass and ceramics). Note that the rose gold mirror isn’t a part of the ‘Nordic Retreat’ range, but can be found here instead.

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Grayson Dressing Table, £350, Mosserud Stripe Rug, £475, Artek 60 Stool, £180.40, Design Project by John Lewis No. 045 Floor Lamp, £115, Pols Potten Chic Vases, set of 4, £225
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Ercol for John Lewis Shalstone Dining Table, £899, ercol for John Lewis Shalstone Dining Chair, £229, Vitra Eames DSW Side Chair, £292, Secto Victo Ceiling Light, £585
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Albie Armchair, £499, Mantis Bookcase, £450, Hiko Floor Lamp, £140, Ziggy Table Lamp, £75, Ayla Rug, £380
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Melena Round Side Table, Large, £150, Small, £119, Design Project by John Lewis No. 068 Vase, £20
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Tokyo Large Corner Group Sofa, £3,399, Melena Side Table, Large, £150, Small, £119, west elm Watercolour Trellis Rug, £499, Hiko Floor Lamp, £140, Design Project by John Lewis No. 045 Floor Lamp, £115, Taj Throw, £49, Cushions, from £10, Baskets, from £20

Spotlight: steal this look

January last year I posted a Gothenburg apartment tour with an absolutely beautiful lighting set-up. The cherry on top was an ethereal yet bold overhead light (available in multiple colours) which currently retails at €752. One striking addition to the Nordic Retreat is the ‘Hiko’ lighting collection, with a very similar overhead light retailing at £175.

 

Kent’s Mid-century treasure

Whilst Gerald Beech is best known for the Liverpool house Cedarwood – a prototype for future estates that drew tens of thousands of visitors but never saw mass-production – the architect also built another gem on the other end of the country. Broadstairs, in Kent, is a mid-century time capsule.

Broadstairs, built in the early 60s, was created for a family downsizing from a large and ‘stiff’ 18th century manor. The brief was to create “a more manageable home which still retained a sense of space”. In ‘The Architect & Building News’ journal, a critic wrote of the high central ceiling:

“the extension of part of the living room through two floors has created a strong element of vertical space which is apparent from all parts of the house and, with the stairway and bridge link pass through it, the accommodation on the first floor becomes an entity with the ground floor”

Later the same critic wrote of the way structural elements had been used to frame the divide between different areas:

“Exposed joists and beams have been used, and by giving careful consideration to their positions and direction of run, this structure is dominant in the spatial idea… The provision of such a modular discipline in the structure at an early stage during the building operation did much to encourage exact craftsmanship by the building operatives”

The front exterior is relatively modest and opts more for privacy than anything else. We start with the kitchen and dining area below.

Moving into the central living area we can see the space really does open up.

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Moving upstairs, we note a transition from the main living room to the bedrooms, and here a change of character. The house goes from being quite open downstairs and along the walkway, to more sheltered and snug.

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The gallery wall links the open living area – stretching the theme upstairs.

Image source is The Modern House, Streetview can be found here. I’ve created a map below for reference.

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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 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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An award-winning Victorian conversion from London with a must-see bathroom

From the entrance, this place looks like a typical Victorian house. There’s little you can see from the front, and the ubiquitous London Plane tree (the big one) outside doesn’t point to anything out of the ordinary – houses such as this being a relatively common but well-coveted staple in Britain.

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However, once you go in through the hallway and past the living room you’re greeted by something quite unexpected. A burst of light and open planned space that meets the garden. Click on the images below for a larger size.

This is what makes this house special. Staying on the lower levels, and going back towards the front of the house you’re met by something more traditional.

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You’re then thrust back into the new world, with a trendy study that’s part of the new conversion. This looks like such a perfect spot for concentration, or writing a book. The decoration is fairly minimal and the palette is limited, but there’s also a view of the trees which must be calming.

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You’ll also notice that there’s some light coming from the back, which is a nice touch. 20170406-DSC_5135-web-950x63420170406-DSC_5044-web-950x63420170406-DSC_5037-web-950x63420170406-DSC_5025-web-950x633

The bedrooms are also all lovely, with some nice accents to boot. They’ve all made good use of space, and the mirrors, white walls and bright colours, all liven up the rooms.

The real showstopper in this building though, is what’s at the top of the tower conversion. A magical bathroom (below) with a completely glass roof. I don’t use the word magical with any exaggeration. This bathroom was the cherry on top that made the house received a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Award in 2008. An article in Grand Designs described the bathroom:

Upstairs the bathroom is more than just a room in which to groom. A small-scale bench in the shower room means you can sit while you shower, and on a clear night you can watch the moon traverse the sky through the glazed roof, from the comfort of a hammock.

New-builds always run the risk of being sterile, but this house is the opposite. It’s a place for late-night stargazing and leisurely late-afternoon lunches, with generous amounts of natural light and windows strategically placed to frame the natural surroundings

In the magazine Homebuilding & Renovating, more praise was given:

If there were a prize for best bathroom, [this] home in Hackney would easily win it. It’s rare that one finds a bathroom that multitasks, but Anne Katrine’s not only combines a magnificently stylish bathing area, but also has a space for exercising – complete with dumbbells – and hooks from which she can string a hammock to gaze up at the ever-changing sky through the room’s glazed roof

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Photos were taken, with permission, from The Modern House. This property was on the market at point of publication.

Comments & Curios: I’m feeling rustic

Home Tours

Have you seen this show-stopping loft in central Stockholm? Built in the 1800s, the original flooring and beams are still in, and exposed.

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Nooks-Smala-Grand-3-20Going with the trend, I’ve been looking at rustic and woody homes this week.

First up is this wonderful timber revamp from Western Massachusetts, designed by Ritch Holben. It was made from three old rental cabins that were demolished to make way for the more modern house. I can’t say if it were a good decision to demolish the old buildings, but what’s left is a very bright, open, spacious, and clean design, and the timber frame gives it sterling character! The only issues would be clearing the occasional spider web and changing light bulbs. And there are tools for those tasks.

Second to come is this modern rustic NZ pad, covered in ‘pohutukawa’ trees. More to come is this cosy warehouse conversion in London, and this luxurious converted barn. I feel like this house in the Sonoran desert, that mixes contemporary with rural French style, would go with all of the above as well.

Song for the weekend

Tennesse sounds so positive, it’s my song for the weekend because it talks about a lifestyle that these rustic style houses reflect. Cash actually lived in Tennessee too.

 

Pale green in Stockholm

This feels so calm. I’ve had a busy weekend and it’s nice to sit back on Sunday evening and appreciate something like this. Hope you find this apartment from Nooks peaceful too!

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Those funky boxes hold some Pukka tea. Not much better than your standard herbal tea at a supermarket, but the boxes look nice and they’re exactly the kind of brand I’d expect of the kind of person who’d live here.

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These kind of handles are really in right now. I wonder if this is just a fad or will it last? Either way, cheap to replace.

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Not a great idea to light a candle next to a window. Looks nice though.

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A home isn’t complete without a mood board! (on the left below)

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