Bernie de Le Cuona is an alchemist. She creates unique new linen but with all the properties of an old much loved and sublimely soft cloth. The secret lies in the finishing after the cloth is woven, which truly brings out the beauty of her fabrics.
In her hands natural materials are full of surprises. She has done her finishing trick with crocodile skin which, while robust is treated to become supple. The crocodile skin becomes soft and like her signature stonewashed linen, the skins are finished to have a relaxed luxury feel.
Combine the exotic elegance of crocodile with the sensual simplicity of cashmere and you get de Le Cuona’s first travel and lifestyle accessory collection.
Crocodile & Cashmere is tailored for travellers yet shaped for sophisticates. Names are evocative to capture the spirit of adventure.
• The Sophisticate day bag
• The Wanderer backpack
• The Stowaway bag
• The Voyager cushion
• The Explorer cushion
• The Traveller throw
Taking a cue from nature, the palette is both cool and classic. The colour groups are heritage brown, charcoal grey, wine berry and vintage black.
Another point is that like her linens, these new accessories are meant to be used. The bags are designed to become your favourite companions and crafted to become heirloom pieces. The older they get, the better they become. These hides are precious yet tough and the real beauty of a crocodile bag is that you can use it everyday and keep it for life. The bags actually do come with a lifelong guarantee!
Alternative Flooring has done it again – it has been voted a CoolBrand for the second year on the trot. Whether you trot or tread softly over its cool carpets, you can begin to see and feel why this is the only exclusively floor related brand to attain this status.
Ashley Hicks recently said ‘I love Alternative's fresh, no-nonsense approach – so different from the usual designer carpet world.’
Only a handful of carpet companies have this spark of curiosity that inspires flooring to be different, yet this award-winning brand embraces a creative spirit and unconventional thinking. It’s changing the way that we think about floors and inspiring us to think how carpets can bring comfort and joy back into our homes. It’s taking the fear out of those patterned wall-to-wall carpets that we associate with our parents’ houses, while at the same time making us remember how rolling around on the carpeted floors of our childhood was actually rather nice. My kids don’t lounge around on my floorboards.
Alternative Flooring has carpets which are classic yet forward-looking. A modern mix of natural and wool carpet, rugs and runners that is big on natural texture and packed with pattern and colour.
But more about this award. What cool means today will always be contentious. Cool is subjective and personal. Voters were asked to bear in mind the following factors, which research has shown are inherent in a CoolBrand: Style, Innovation, Originality Authenticity, Desirability and Uniqueness. The results are published every September.
Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council, said:
‘Alternative Flooring has been selected again as a CoolBrand by leading influencers and the British public, retaining its place among a small but eclectic group of unique and desirable brands. While some brands enjoy a cool image only fleetingly, Alternative Flooring has shown in securing CoolBrand status once again, that it is not a fad. Instead it is a brand that focuses on, nurtures and develops its innovative spirit, original offering, clear style and authentic, passionate approach to the market. These ingredients have helped to fuel Alternative Flooring's reputation and ensured it continues to be the only CoolBrand among its direct competitors.’
If you are looking for something a little more interesting than a standard white spot light then look no further than the Terra Spots designed by the ingenious Hand&Eye Studio where architect-designer Tom Housden has a knack for filling design gaps with creative solutions. I can do decorative but you can’t but help admire the mind of the architect. I have Tom’s beautiful statement hand blown Blow Up glass pendant in my kitchen and only wish his little Terra’s would have seen the light of day earlier.
Tom is the founder of the Hand&Eye studio and has designed three handmade terracotta spots that add a little colour and personality to the ceiling. All three of the Terra Spots are recessed in to the ceiling like conventional spots and can be used with both Halogen and LED lamps.
Another considered light is the new Updown Pendant that combines glazed ceramic and matt opal glass designed to provide a focused down light and an ambient up light from one lamp. The use of hand made ceramic available in three colours ensures this simple lamp also looks great when not illuminated.
London based Hand&Eye Studio designs and produces the work of Tom Housden and his collaborators. Tom, a practicing architect, set up Hand&Eye Studio in 2011 and has since developed a small but carefully crafted range of work. Each item is designed by the studio and then produced in collaboration with small British manufacturers, all of whom are masters of their craft. Hand&Eye’s close involvement in the production process underpins all of its designs. This allows great scope for experimentation in the design process and for a hugely intimate understanding of the objects’ material.
Hand&Eye’s exclusive range is available to view online and buy through the studio. The studio also accepts bespoke commissions.
See the new lights at the Design Junction 18-21 September