Winter whites and a touch of glamour

Our Kings Road showroom plays host to a regularly changing display of modern art, beautifully curated by our friends over at Tag Fine Arts.  One particular piece, ‘Balloon’ by Dede Johnston, is over a meter wide and one of five signed editions.  It’s from a series entitled ‘The New Wilderness’ and is a C-type print of a scene from Courcheval, France.  It’s wonderfully ethereal piece and captures the perfect stillness that a fall of snow always brings.  Look carefully and you’ll see a tiny hot air balloon floating above the clouds, creating a complete sense of awe at the scale and beauty of our natural world.

Balloon by Dede Johnston

We always associate white with winter, whether it snows or not (increasingly not in London).  It’s a colour that provides a sense of calm and order, and it’s beautifully versatile.  It’s obviously used a lot in Scandi interior design, paired with natural woods and neutral shades to create a stylish, laid back look.  We love it and it’s perfect for that minimalist, contemporary look.

Bonaldo’s award-winning Octa extending dining table (below) is a magnificent piece of design by Bartoli Design for the stylish Italian brand. The table base is made from eight, white metal legs, like the old-fashioned game of pick-up-sticks.  They look incredibly light in appearance but, and as you would expect, are actually very strong and stable.

Bonaldo Octa extending dining table

The Octa also comes in four sizes and the table top can be finished in white acid treated glass, as seen here, or ceramic. The steel legs as mentioned have been lacquered in white here but you can choose from lots of other colours including anthracite grey, bordeaux, chromed or black nickel. The stylist has used Bonaldo’s My Time dining chairs, upholstered in a white Skay ecoleather, which is a high quality faux leather. The overall look, set on a deep pile grey carpet and using over-sized white lampshades, ticks all our winter wonderland boxes.

Decoflame Ascot bioethanol fire

The colder winter days also mean turning the heating up/on, and a real fire, we have to confess, cannot be beaten.  But we think our bioethanol fires come pretty close to the real thing – without all the hard work of buying/collecting firewood and cleaning up the ashes the next day. They also spring to life at the touch of a button and are pleasingly eco-friendly.

Bioethanol fires use high grade liquid bioethanol, a green fuel, which doesn’t generate any harmful gases, sparks or soot.  They are very simple to install (hurray!) and you don’t need to have a chimney, flue or gas supply to use them. They have a superb heat output too, as well as long burning times – up to eight hours – which should keep you toasty all evening.  We have a wide range of designs, including those from Danish Decoflame and Spanish brand Cocoon.  As the temperature tumbles we use a couple in our own showroom; one suspended from a pole in the window, which can be angled to heat the front part of the showroom and which invariably gets lots of attention, and one down in our office area to keep us nice and cosy.

The  Ascot Lux bioethanol fire (above) from Decoflame is a fully portable, freestanding fire, designed to sit in an existing fireplace or it can even be used as a freestanding piece. It’s available in three sizes, with three different burners depending on the amount of heat you like and your available space. The burn time for this one is around six hours. The Ascot design also includes toughened glass screens to shield the front or back of the fire.

Miniforms Soko sideboard

There’s nothing like white for adding a touch of glamour. Minforms  Soko sideboard (above) is a great addition to their new collection and we’ve picked out the white lacquered finish here to fit our theme, but it comes in bolder versions such as Veronese green, Intense blue, or Masala red.  To add to the glamour, the Soko doors feature laser cut decoration and, for additional luxury, bright copper handles. There are two different sizes to choose from and the internal shelves are lacquered wood or glass. Optional extras include an internal air filter and an integrated vase.

Tonelli Design City Life mirror

Over-size mirrors are used by stylists and interior designers the world over as a great way of introducing extra light into a dark winter room.  Italian glass wizards Tonellli Design have produced a truly impressive new mirror this year called City Life.  Designed by Francesca Arrighi, the City Life mirror is an impressive 120cm or 180cm in diameter.  A fantastic statement piece, its scale is hard to admire from the image alone (check out the corner left of the image above, where you can just about see an armchair and then really appreciate how large this mirror is).  The edge and the centre of the mirror feature intricate geometrical  patterns – small rhombus crowns – and the various layers of the design are created using a water-cutting process.  We’ve used a picture of the smoked version here but it’s also available in very striking bronze and gold finishes.

Cinquenta Sotto fitted wardrobe

Creating a sense of space is always something that we are all constantly trying to improve on and storage is a large part of this quest.  The Sotto design (above) is our idea of how to get it right and how to keep it stylish.  Finished in off-white and styled with a pale grey floor and rug, plus natural wood accessories, the design has used that awkward under stairs space very efficiently, with doors tailored to fit with the slope of the stairs.  We have fitted something very similar in the Go Modern office and it looks soooooo smart!

Running off the wardrobe space are a series of built in shelves of different shapes, heights and sizes.  It’s incredibly practical, with lots of internal accessories, and very pleasing on the eye.  The Sotto collection can be installed as a built-in design or made totally free standing.  You tell us what you want and our team of designers will measure up and work it out for you. We’ve also got a first-rate team of installers to complete whatever project you have in mind. The design uses a high quality melamine and there are two categories available for the finish.  Colour samples can be seen in our showroom or on the website.

If you’re sad that the garden is becoming increasingly out of bounds as the nights get longer and the winter chill gets sharper, don’t forget our amazing range of high tech outdoor furniture.  Many pieces can be left out all year round and are specially made to withstand the harsh weather of our northern climate. We have some great outdoor lighting too.

Contardi is a brand we have long admired and their lighting ranges are very impressive.  They can supply schemes for whole room lighting through to small accessories that will certainly lift the winter gloom.

Contardi Muse outdoor lamp

Created especially for the garden, the pretty Muse outdoor lamp  will look fabulous anywhere – on a garden table, on the terrace, or placed simply on the ground.  It was designed by Tristan Auer and  comes in two sizes.  The design also has a plaited leather, waterproof handle, making it easy to move around. You can choose from versions in white pearl or matt black, which both have a satin acrylic shade, or bronze which has a smoked plexi-glass shade with a brown leather handle.

So create your own winter wonderland this year with stylish designs that will add a little glamour and carry you through the dark days of winter and beyond.

We’ve also currently got our winter sale… 15% off all purchases over £1,000 – just use the coupon code WINTER.

Zigzag motifs, Italian style, Missoni Home

Zigzag motifs are apparently ‘in’!  Well, they’ve never been ‘out’ to be honest.

We’ve had a long love-affair with the incredible fabrics and clothes produced by the Italian design-house Missoni, and in 2016 we were lucky enough to begin working with one of the company’s sub-brands Missoni Home.  We’d always loved the crazy chevron or zigzag  pattern the company is famous for, and Missoni’s clever and imaginative use of this ancient pattern works beautifully across their furniture and home accessories.

But a room full of zigzags may, some might say, be a little too much.  It’s a bold design, as is anything geometric.  Throw into the mix bright and clashing colours and if you’re not careful you’re creating a 70’s psychedelia throwback nightmare.  With the current trend for dark walls and heritage colours however (thanks Farrow & Ball), we’re constantly advised by interior designers to use pops of colour to bring a room alive.  Enter stage right: Missoni Home.

And it’s not just brightly coloured zigzags.  Add to the mix bold stripes and some near hallucinogenic florals and you have a smorgasbord of colour and pattern to pick and choose from.

Missoni Home Navaleno Rug
Missoni Home Navaleno Rug

The Missoni Home Navaleno rug above demonstrates the Missoni chevron pattern at its best.  Depending on which camp you’re in (‘throw caution to the wind, mix and match, yolo’… or ‘love each piece individually but… together?’) this particular styling is either heaven or will make you want to lie down for awhile in a room with dark walls. Personally we love it! The stylist has placed the rug with a Missoni Home pouf which, as you can see, has both the famous zigzags and the company’s bold, beautiful florals.

All of Missoni Home’s designs are manufactured in Italy and anyone who is lucky enough to own a piece of clothing, an accessory or furniture will know how high the quality is.  The Navalino rug is a pure wool and cotton blend and incredibly soft but hard-wearing. The sheer number of colours used is awe inspiring but not one of them seems to dominate the entire colour palette.  Which in our book is very clever.

We love poufs (or any piece of furniture that legitimately insists you put your feet up).  You couldn’t say no really. Missoni has created some of the most comfortable and fun poufs we’ve come across. Each pouf  is firm, filled with polystyrene beads that permit just the correct angle for lounging, and the fabric covers are fully removable.

Missoni Home Pallina Pouf
Missoni Home Pallina Pouf

The Missoni Pallina pouf above is simply stunning.  The fabric used here is called Passifora and it’s just one of so many beautiful floral fabrics on offer.  Think passion flowers, sunflowers, lilies… It’s probably one of Missoni’s most famous floral designs, originally seen on the catwalk printed on their silk dresses, skirts and scarves.

We have a huge choice of Missoni fabrics to chose from so if there’s a particular colour scheme you have in mind, a favourite flower, or a mixture of the two, we’d put money on being able to come up with a design to fall in love with. Pop into Go Modern’s Kings Road showroom to have a look at fabric samples or give us a ring to find out more.  UK fire regulations are quite rightly very stringent, and some Missoni fabrics are not available here but are available overseas. Again, come in and chat to us, as there is an option to have some of the unavailable fabrics specially treated so that they do comply with UK fire law.

Missoni Home Innitil three seat sofa
Missoni Home Innitil three seat sofa

However, it’s not just about the fabrics.

Home is one of the great passions of Rosita Missoni, the Missoni ‘matriarch’, who oversees the Missoni Home line.  Born into a family of textile industrialists who produced shawls and embroidered fabrics, she married Ottavio Missoni in 1953 and together they launched and developed a knitwear business in a small workshop in Gallarate, Italy. The couple later moved to the company’s current headquarters in Sumirago, Varese, where Rosita created the lines of clothing while Ottavio designed the fabrics. By the 1960s Missoni was at the cutting edge of Italian fashion.

Rosita is quoted as saying, “… the house is alive, it always moves, it’s never over …”. And her personal philosophy and design vision for furnishings is expressed through Missoni Home.  Pieces are innovative with a linear form and easy to introduce into existing areas. Using Missoni’s fabrics the brand aims to play a game of indoors/outdoors bringing the ‘magical atmosphere’ of nature inside.  The look is both ‘formal and informal’, ‘artful but light’, with ‘forms which separate and unite’.  The overall philosophy: simply to create pieces that will help make ‘a versatile and welcoming place for family and friends’.

The striking Innitil sofa does just that. It’s a roomy three seater with a linear back and armrest.  The solid wood frame is covered in a multi-density, crush proof polyurethane foam and the covers are removable.  The fabric used for the styling here is Pasadena, inspired by a Californian west coast vibe, using a hypnotic geometric jacquard pattern.

Then just when you think your eyeballs wont take anymore colour, comes the monochrome… and a brand new piece of design.

Missoni Home Miss upholstered dining chairs
Missoni Home Miss upholstered dining chairs

The Miss dining chairs are beautifully upholstered, with slim legs, arms and backs and a  robust steel frame giving just the right strength and stability expected of a dining chair. The expanded polyurethane cushions have variable densities for maximum comfort, perfect for long, relaxed dinners. There’s a freshness about the design of these new chairs that we just love, and the black and white ‘zebra’ print fabric used here is Neuss linen with a macro-flame pattern.  Simply stunning, like a huge photo blow up of the original chevron pattern. The Miss range also has a dining armchair too – the same style but with wonderfully exaggerated vertical arms that look like wings, which might just whisk you off after one glass of Chianti too many.

And if Missoni plays the game of indoors/outdoors with their fabrics, their stunning outdoor furniture collection is a game we could play for ever. Lots to choose from including chaise longues, garden sofas, armchairs and this amazing leather coffee table that exudes Italian style.

Missoni Home Cordula garden coffee table
Missoni Home Cordula garden coffee table

The  elegant Cordula coffee table has an extra-clear glass table top and the solid steel frame below is wrapped in a beautiful leather weave.  There’s also a matching armchair  to complete the look.  Beautiful design with Missoni’s usual attention to detail and innovative use of materials.

So, as we always say, hop over to the Go Modern site and take a look at all of our great Missoni Home furniture designs and share our love of this wonderful Italian brand’s heritage and style.

Top Tips: Interior Trends for 2019

Sometimes it’s difficult to get a handle on emerging trends…are metallics STILL with us, will taupe ever go away? But this season we’ve had no problems spotting what’s going to be BIG in the world of interiors next year.  Think COLOUR.

Beautiful jewel tones: sapphire blues and yellows, garnet reds, emerald greens, aqua marine… wonderfully rich colours that will breathe life into a room, complement  existing schemes or add a striking pop of colour to a room (for those of us still in love with our Down Pipe Grey walls – you know who you are).

Bonaldo Panorama Collection
Bonaldo Panorama Collection

Bonaldo’s new Panorama collection, designed by Fabrice Berrux, is a great example. The modular design has a wealth of beautiful fabrics to choose from and the covers are all fully removable. You can also mix and match different fabrics and colours, as Bonaldo boldly demonstrates here, and the sofa pleasingly comes in three different sizes. The armchair is also cleverly designed to slot together with the sofa and pouf to create a larger seating area.

Saba Italia's Geo Collection
Saba Italia’s Geo Collection

Saba Italia’s new Geo Collection has also wowed us lately with the vast range of luxe fabrics on offer, including plush velvets (a trend that is definitely hanging around for 2019).

Both Saba and Bonaldo have also embraced a move towards more organic shapes. The Geo, designed by Paolo Grasselli, has deep proportions, gently curved arms and backrests, and is designed to ‘hug’ the body. And lets face it who doesn’t love a hug. And in answer to the question, “are metallics STILL with us?”.  Yep.  Note the copper and satin brass finishes offered with the leg design of the Geo.  We’re still in love with metals – and the Geo range shows us why. It’s simply one of the best ways of injecting glamour and sophistication into a design.

Mogg Madama Pendant Lighting Collection
Mogg Madama Pendant Lighting Collection

Always ahead of the curve, innovative Como based design-house Mogg  produced an earlier collection of lights that tap into another of 2019’s hotly tipped trends: fringes and tassels.

The Madama pendant light collection was designed by the incredible Cristina Celestino  (confession: ‘girl crush’ – we have Celestino’s amazing glass dressing table, Opalina, in our Kings Road showroom at the moment and it is THE most beautiful piece of design – if you haven’t seen it, please, please pop in to drool over it with us). The design of the Madama lamps was apparently inspired by the stiff petticoats used in the nineteenth century to make dresses and skirts more voluminous. They’re fun, sumptuous, colourful and fascinating, adorned with luxurious fringes and ribbons. We’re not sure that we’d welcome the ‘voluminous look’ back to the fashion catwalk but these lights are definitely a winner.

Mogg also got the trend for botanicals far earlier than anyone else and that trend is destined to keep on blooming.

Mogg Amazzonio Floor Lamp
Mogg Amazzonio Floor Lamp

We’ve always loved pot plants in our houses but boy haven’t they taken off in the last couple of years. And for those of us who can kill anything green by just looking at it, it’s officially no longer naff to have artificial or faux house plants. In fact they’ve become a trend in their own right, helped by the amazing number of real-looking fake plants on the market now, from palms to succulents to entire trees. Look out for botanical wallpapers, botanical fabrics… just anything botanical.  Mogg’s Amazzonio lights, as pendants or brand new for this year, a floor lamp, are by designer Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba for  this great little company. They were showcased in Milan earlier in the year where they picked up countless fans, us amongst them. The evergreen design is created by layering variously sized plastified ‘leaves’ and, as the name suggests, the look is meant to conjure up the Amazon rain forest.

When it comes to entertaining, ‘staying in’, we’re told, ‘is the new going out’. Lots of designers are now producing cool accessories for mixing your own cocktails or decanting drinks into smart looking carafes. Is this another 70’s revival along with vinyl records and record players, raided from dusty lofts, or simply nostalgic purchases.  Or do we all secretly just love hunkering down with a good box set and a tipple?  Entertaining at home is always fun, and providing guests with an array of fancy drinks even more fun.

Lema Winston Drinks Cabinet/Bar
Lema Winston Drinks Cabinet/Bar

The Lema Winston Drinks Cabinet/Bar is a true box of wonders. The interior of the cabinet is incredibly well equipped with drawers, bottle holders, removable compartments and subtle lighting. Designed by Christophe Pillet, the Winston has echoes of traditional Chinese cabinets. It’s a very stylish piece of furniture that offers up no clues as to what the interior might hold. Pillet used beautiful solid Canaletto walnut for the exterior frame and the interior is lacquered in ombra with leather inserts, while the base is made from bronzed metal. So, forget the drinks; this is surely a piece of design that you should invite friends round to simply ogle – then you can step in with your ‘shaken but not stirred’ routine.

For everyone who has loved the industrial look that’s been around awhile, you’re also in luck. It’s here to stay. Luxury brand Vibieffe’s new Ribbon table is a striking piece of design that will fit any industrial vibe you’re trying to create.

Vibieffe Ribbon Dining Table
Vibieffe Ribbon Dining Table

Designed by Gianluigi Landoni, the table frame is in solid steel and the legs have a burnished finish. The table top adds to the over all industrial feel with a concrete-effect material, that not only looks superb but is also totally stain-proof.  It comes in two sizes, either 210 cm or 250cm wide.

Tonelli Design have also recently produced a stunning industrial feel dining table in the form of the T5  (which we mentioned in our ‘family friendly dining tables piece last month).  Designer Giulio Mancini tops his new design with a beautiful marble-look ceramic glass and then given it a seriously impressive lacquered, solid metal central base, which can be chosen in graphite black, matt or white brushed bronze.  So, if  you’re looking for ‘industrial meets luxury’ this table will certainly do it for you.

Tonelli Design T5 Dining Table
Tonelli Design T5 Dining Table

There you have it: jut some of our latest products that fit very nicely into 2019’s ‘trend spotting game’.  And even if you are totally not into ‘trends’ we hope you’ll agree that there are some seriously impressive pieces of design in this line-up – whatever your 2019 style might be. Check out our full line up on the Go Modern site 

Stylish, family-friendly dining tables

The organised amongst us (quick straw poll in the office: five out of eleven) have already made plans for Christmas. And it seems that we’re all the same – it’s the perennial problem of space that gets thrown into the mix at this time of year.  Particularly extra space at the table for larger gatherings of family and friends.  So we get lots of enquiries around now for ‘large family friendly dining tables’ and our conclusion is that most of us are looking for something similar.  That is, a table that looks uber stylish, works on a day to day basis with family life (i.e. needs to be near bomb proof) and is also clever enough to accommodate 12-16 people at anyone sitting when you need it to.  It’s the reliable work horse of the kitchen/dining room (unless of course you thought that was you!).

So from this year’s new launches we were particularly pleased to spot some fantastic designs with incredibly hard-wearing tabletop surfaces in a variety of sizes and some that also have extending versions. Who needs three wise men bearing gifts… we’ll settle for one of these new tables!

A major key to choosing a dining table with those indestructible qualities suitable for family breakfasts through to grown-up dinner parties, is in the table top material used. Many of the latest table designs offer up to fifteen different finishes, including new hard-wearing ceramics, which have the beauty of marble without any of the high maintenance (try taking red wine or even a lemon anywhere near marble…).

Ceramic tabletops are made from extremely durable, inorganic clay. Flexible and soft in its natural state, the clay becomes rock-hard after the firing process. This creates a material that is far less prone to scratches and stains than a natural stone, such as marble. Which makes it perfect for messy kids or ‘plate draggers’, alongside those adult wine drinkers who spill more than they drink! And the good news is that a minimalist approach is best when it comes to cleaning. A damp cloth or sponge plus a mild detergent will keep a ceramic table top sparkling clean and looking brand new every time.

Bonaldo Tangle Dining Table
Bonaldo Tangle Dining Table

Bonaldo’s new Tangle dining table is designed by Dondoli e Pocci.  It’s top of our list for illustrating that you can have style and a table that will survive family life! A ‘tangle’ of trunks and branches was the inspiration for the ‘haphazard’ look of the base, which is made from structural steel and is both bold and graphic.  It’s also available in a selection of colours including white and copper. The family-friendly design has tops in over fifteen different materials including three hard-wearing, family-proof ceramics: Calacatta ceramic, Gold Onice ceramic and, brand new for this year, Ardesia grey ceramic – with a matt finish that is beautifully soft and warm to the touch.

Bonaldo Tangle Dining Table with the new Ardesia Grey Ceramic table top
Bonaldo Tangle Dining Table with the new Ardesia Grey Ceramic table top

Other table-top finishes for the Tangle table include veneers (which are 30mm thick), solid woods, marbles and glass.  The Tangle table comes in various family friendly sizes too, the largest from 300cm wide down to the smallest at 180cm.

Bonaldo Art Dining Table
Bonaldo Art Dining Table

A design that is definitely not ‘art for art’s sake’, is Bonaldo’s Art dining table by Gino Carollo.  It has a striking, geometric shape with a metal trapezium base positioned diagonally under the table, optimising the space and allowing plenty of leg room for larger gatherings (getting stuck withe a table leg is definitely the short straw as a diner). It’s also available in three extending sizes and three fixed sizes. Again, there are fifteen different table top materials to choose from including a hard-wearing glossy Calacatta ceramic and the brand new Ardesia matt grey ceramic, which we are really very taken with (in case you hadn’t noticed).  The steel base trapezium frame can also be finished in colours and materials such as matt painted dove grey, wood and copper.

Tonelli Design T5 Ceramic Dining Table
Tonelli Design T5 Ceramic Dining Table

Tonelli Design are best known for their beautiful glass furniture designs.  The company was established in the 1980s and they are considered one of Italy’s finest makers of glass furniture, always at the forefront of new technology and innovation.  So it’s no surprise that they have taken their hard-earned expertise to combine ceramic with glass for their new range of stylish, family-friendly dining tables.

The T5 ceramic dining table by Giulio Mancini for Tonelli features a table top in the company’s new extremely hard-wearing marble-look ceramic glass. The innovative material comes in a variety of matt and polished finishes including polished Orobic Grey (image above) and matt Noir Desir (below).

Tonelli Design T5 Ceramic Dining Table
Tonelli Design T5 Ceramic Dining Table

Also from Tonelli is the Can Can dining table designed by Mario Milana. The uber stylish Can Can also features the new marble-look, ceramic glass top with six different ceramics to choose from: matt or polished Noir Desir, matt or polished Emperador, polished Orobic Grey or polished Arabesque Calacatta.

Tonelli Design Can Can Ceramic Dining Table
Tonelli Design Can Can Ceramic Dining Table

The unusual angled table legs of the Can Can are available in 40mm thick glass as shown above, or Canaletto Walnut (below) with metal joints in stainless steel, brass or copper and it’s also available in four great sizes from 200cm to 260cm long.

Tonelli Design Can Can Ceramic Dining Table
Tonelli Design Can Can Ceramic Dining Table

New from Porada, a company that has a passion for beautiful wood is the Quadrifoglio, designed by C. Ballabio.  It’s a rectangular table with round, solid, recessed legs and a stunning frame in ash, which is also offered with a range of stains from moka to wengé, or matt lacquered with an open pore finish in interesting colours such as Aviation Blue, Pistachio Green, Garnet Red or simply Natural.

Porada Quadrifoglio Dining Table
Porada Quadrifoglio Dining Table

What gives it its family-friendly credential is the table top ‘insert’ which is also offered in a new ‘rock’ material, including Calacatta, Emperador or matt Oxide Black.  ‘Rock’ is a marble composite which is extremely hard-wearing and non-porous – perfect for large gatherings and festive fun!  And to maintain the luxurious Porada look all the Quadrifoglio tables are finished with stylish, brushed brass feet.

As mentioned, one of the things that’s always at the top of the wish list when choosing a new dining table is how many family and friends you’ll be able to accommodate over normal, every day family meals. Tables obviously take up lots of room, which is fine if you’ve got it but a bit inconvenient, or even impossible, if you haven’t. So extending  tables are the answer.  And they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  And to prove that you really don’t have to compromise on contemporary style some of the newest designs are also offered in an exciting variety of materials and shapes.

Bonaldo Prora Extening Dining Table
Bonaldo Prora Extening Dining Table

Bonaldo’s award-winning Prora dining table is part of a range that is instantly recognisable.  Designed by Mauro Lipparini, the Prora’s legs are shaped to echo the iconic form of a ship’s bow. This latest addition to the collection, and what entitles it to sit within our family-friendly selection, is a new extending glass topped version, beautifully velvety to the touch and, although not 100% scratch-proof, is much, much more forgiving than standard glass. The other big plus is, and unusually, the extensions are also available in the same acid-treated black or white glass as the main body of the table, which means that none of the core style is lost.

So there you have it, highlights from our latest collection of family friendly dining tables for fabulously festive family fun.  All you need now is the time to shop for all that food!

Design Junction x greening up the urban jungle

So, the end of another fabulous and very busy London Design Festival.  Whichever venue we visited the buzz and creativity just blew us away!  Our own little creative spot was down on the South Bank behind the OXO Tower, where Design Junction  had taken over some space.  Doing their utmost to green up our urban jungle was the amazing Urban Roof Gardens, a dynamic London company that aims to blur the boundaries between people and plants and create a little bit of roof art along the way.  Urban Roof Gardens borrowed some of our outdoor furniture to complete their installation and we were pleased as punch to be involved in our own small way.

Urban Roof Garden, South Bank, London Design Festival
Urban Roof Garden, South Bank, London Design Festival

Employing their architectural and design techniques, the company use urban space to create fuzzy lines between the built and natural environment.  And, a new one on us, we also heard the word ‘biophilia’ for the first time (ok – so we had to look it up!) which suggests that ‘humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life’; in this case plants.  We all know trees and plants are great for the environment –  they produce oxygen and remove carbon dioxide and contaminants from the air – and even the introduction of a spider plant into the office can raise a smile.  But Urban Roof Gardens take this idea to a whole other level – literally.

Their simple philosophy is that by ‘greening the urban jungle’ they are helping to create a better world for both the urban dweller and their urban environment (that’ll be most of us then!).

Tribu Tosca garden Chairs
Tribu Tosca Garden Chairs

They are passionate about it and have created the world’s leading green wall system.  And it really is beautiful to see. We’re normally quite an energetic lot (well some of us) but you instantly feel quite chilled surrounded by greenery. Urban Roof Garden’s innovative LiveProduct range includes the LiveWall, LiveRoof and LivePicture.

Urban Roof Garden Live Picture
Urban Roof Garden Live Picture

We were really taken with the LivePicture.  This one had been installed above the outdoor kitchen area and, well, was good enough to eat, filled with a mixture of plants and herbs. What a great idea, mixing eating with art!  The Live range is modular so if you find that one night you eat your way through all of the basil, it’s easy enough to slot in a replacement module.  The other thing we really liked is that you don’t need to worry about watering.  Having had our own ‘green wall’ in the Kings Road show room a couple of years ago that sadly didn’t survive too well (we either killed it with kindness or forgot to water it enough – we’ll never know!) Urban Garden’s clever automatic watering system takes the stress out of remembering to get the watering can out.

Urban Roof gardens LiveWall
Urban Roof Gardens LiveWall, Tribu Nodi chairs in the foreground and Tosca chairs at the back

It’s a very urban spot tucked behind the OXO Tower, which is basically a space between a modern building with small, independent shops and workshops overlooking the Thames, and an old warehouse.  The introduction of ‘green walls’ or a ‘living wall of plants’ transformed the area. The walls create a stunning backdrop that can either mask a view, frame it, or simply create a great backdrop. The walls have pre-planted cassettes which, as the URG team showed us, take seconds to change – so you can even reflect the seasons if you’re a green fashionista. They’ll also cool buildings in the summer heat and keep in the warmth during the winter.

Manutti Zendo Modular Outdoor Sofa
Manutti Zendo Modular Outdoor Sofa & Tribu Tosca Chairs

The weather was definitely a bit mixed over the weekend (vertical rain through to 25 degrees sunshine anyone?!) but our furniture did us proud and withstood the elements, as we knew it would.  The Manutti Zendo sofa proved very popular – you can see the side of it in the image above.  It normally lives on our first floor terrace where we have the corner version.  The beauty of the design is that being modular you can configure it as you want.  URG used just a centre piece here and it fitted perfectly. The quick-dry cushions Manutti use, along with robust outdoor fabrics, earned themselves gold stars over the weekend. We think the Zendo probably dried out quicker than the team did!

Manutti are world specialists in outdoor furniture and materials.  They offer a wide range of fabrics including Batyline®, which is a UV-resistant, mass-coloured PVC fibre. It doesn’t fade in light or sunshine and it’s water-repellent, both swimming pool and sea water. It can also withstand extreme temperatures: -30°C (-22°F) to +70°C (158°F), and is super easy to clean and maintain.  Environmentally it’s great too – no toxins, and 100% recyclable. Batyline is available in Mocca, Pearl White, White, Granite Grey, Bronze, Black, Flax and Linen colours.

Lotus is another Manutti fabric and is a perfect balance between ecology (100% recyclable), innovation (a new polyolefin thread) and performance (twice as resistant as an acrylic thread). Lotus is used for fabrics with mixed colours: White Blue and White Sand

Then there’s their All Weather Fabrics which have been specifically developed for outdoor use. The fabric performs exactly the same as Batyline and Lotus. Inside there is a Quick Dry Foam which has a special structure that ensures that the water runs through three times faster, so it also dries three times faster than high resilience foam. Manutti use two different types of All Weather Fabrics: all weather basic (100% polypropylene) and Sunbrella® (100% acrylic).

They also have a range of Nautic Fabrics and Nautic Leather.  Nautic Leather is imitation leather based on PVC, specifically developed for outdoor use (such as the ‘leather’ you see on boats). Nautic Fabric is 100% olefin fabric and totally watertight. So as you can see – a huge choice!

Urban Roof Gardens also chose a couple of our beautiful Tosca armchchairs to complete the look.  Tosca is designed by Monica Armani for Tribu.  They are amazingly comfortable and have a real wow factor. The design features soft, oversized braiding wrapped around a powder-coated stainless steel frame.  The braiding is then filled with a new foam mouse which is then wrapped in a seamless sheath of knitted textilene and polyolefine for extra weather resistance.

Tribu Nodi Garden Armchairs
Tribu Nodi Garden Armchairs

And didn’t our Nodi chairs look good! They’re designed by the highly regarded Canadian creatives, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg for Tribu.

Light and extremely comfortable, the Nodi has a seat and back hand-woven in stain repellent, frost, UV and mould resistant CanaxÆ rope which is stretched across a powder-coated stainless steel frame. The slim profile of the arm is angled slightly inwards as if it’s welcoming you to sit down. Made from PVC and hemp, the woven CanaxÆ crosses in vertical and horizontal lines, providing a great shape and structure. It’s very strong and durable and the pretty rope work is also gently forgiving when you lean against it.

Urban Roof Gardens
Urban Roof Gardens

If you missed the Festival there’s still time to check out our garden furniture.  Pop along to our Kings Road showroom or browse the garden section of the Go Modern site. And if you fancy creating your own ‘green dream’ in the centre of the city go and talk to the great team at Urban Roof Gardens and share some of their green passion.

Go Modern’s outdoor furniture X Urban Roof Gardens

Some late summer outdoor furniture news from us (yes folks… summer’s not over yet!).

We are delighted to be helping the talented crew over at Urban Roof Gardens, Europe’s leading roof terrace designers, with their forthcoming show garden at Design Junction 2018. 

Design Junction is a curated exhibition of the latest cutting-edge design. The event is part of the London Design Festival and takes place across three venues on the South Bank.  We absolutely love the South Bank – it’s a fabulous part of our exciting city, with hundreds of international brands, boutique shops, tons of outdoor installations, as well as delicious pop-up eateries and bars – and it’s got one of the best views up and down the River Thames that you’ll find anywhere in this part of town. There’s also the Globe Theatre within spitting distance, along with Tate Modern and, just over the Millennium Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s definitely a place where you feel history is slap bang up against modern, urban living.

Urban Roof Gardens approached us a few weeks ago about using some of our outdoor furniture as part of their Design Junction project.  The team felt it would fit perfectly with their contemporary designs, which will showcase a series of their modern roof terrace gardens.

The URG roof gardens will be arranged across a series of hexagon shapes, with each space demonstrating different combinations of flooring, furniture and fittings, plus the company’s unique LiveProduct range – a ‘best-in-class’ collection of LiveWall, LiveRoof and LivePicture.

Urban Roof Gardens Plan
Urban Roof Gardens Plan

We obviously don’t have any images yet (watch this space) but the plan above gives you an idea of what to expect.  There will be spaces for ‘Urban Greening’, a ‘Creative’ space, a space for ‘Cooking and Eating’ and an intriguingly entitled ‘Tropical Bubble’. Hawaiian shirts not compulsory!

The installation will be located in the Coin Street Builders Court Yard behind the South Bank’s famous OXO Tower.  For those of you who don’t know it, this great building has been a riverside landmark since the 1930s, obviously owned in its prime by the makers of OXO, but its uses have been quite varied since then. It was majorly done up in the 1990s and is now home to a great mixture of flats, design studios, galleries, specialist shops, restaurants cafes and bars. Well worth a visit at any time of year just to mooch around the shops or simply soak up the fantastic atmosphere.

Go Modern’s outdoor furniture includes pieces from internationally renowned outdoor furniture designers Manutti and Tribu, two of our go-to specialists in some of the world’s best outdoor design. Many of their designs are made for super-yachts and top hotels as well as gardens and terraces around the world.

Tribu Nodi Outdoor Chairs
Tribu Nodi Outdoor Chairs

Look out for some of their incredible designs including:

The Nodi garden armchair, designed by the highly regarded Canadian creatives, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, for leading Belgian outdoor specialists Tribu.

The Nodi chairs are supremely light and comfortable with seats and backrests in hand-woven, stain-repellent, frost, UV and mould resistant CanaxÆ rope, which is stretched across a powder-coated stainless steel frame. The slim profile of the chair’s arm is angled slightly inward as the designers wanted to create a design with a ‘welcoming gesture’.

From our other Belgian specialists Manutti, the elegant Napoli garden bar table will be put to good use.  It’s sturdy enough for commercial and domestic use, and comes in two sizes with a wide range of finishes for both the top and the base, including a wonderful, hard-wearing, scratch-proof ceramic.  And if a round rathre than square top is what you’re looking for it comes in that too.

Manutti Napoli Bar Table
Manutti Napoli Bar Table

Look out too for the Tosca garden dining chairs,  designed by the hugely talented Monica Armani for Tribu.  The Tosca chairs feature super soft but firm over-sized braiding that wraps around the powder-coated stainless steel frame. It’s an eye-catching look and for those interested in the techy stuff, that clever shape is achieved by using a new foam mousse, contained in a seamless sheath of knitted textilene and polyolefine for greater weather resistance. The cushions can be covered in a variety of water and stain repellent fabrics, which now includes garden suitable velvet.

Tribu Tosca outdoor dining chairs
Tribu Tosca outdoor dining chairs

Also look out for Tribu’s Branch round bistro dining table, designed by Altherr Lievore Molina.  The shape was inspired by the form of tree branches, beautifully fluid and organic, created to reflect our natural environment. But behind the elegant and simple table is a complex combination of materials: The frame is made from die cast aluminium, powder-coated twice to create a scratch and UV resistant finish. Aluminium is a superb material for outdoor designs; easy to clean and weather resistant.  The Branch design also comes in three colours: white, linen, or wenge.

Tribu Branch round bistro table
Tribu Branch round bistro table

For the Branch table top you can choose from a variety of weather resistant garden suitable materials including Aluminium, A-grade Teak, or Granite, and there are three different sizes available.

Also, and on it’s second ‘designer project’ outing of the year, is our Manutti Zendo modular corner sofa.  This is one of Go modern’s most popular outdoor designs because it’s just so versatile, easy on the eye and incredibly hard-wearing.  We have one on Go Modern’s small outdoor terrace at the Kings Road showroom and we find that once a customer sits down on it, they tend to stay for a while!

Manutti Zendo modular outdoor corner sofa
Manutti Zendo modular outdoor corner sofa

So do pop along to the show.  It’s on from the 20th to the 23rd September.  Architects, designers and product specialists from Urban Roof Gardens will be on hand to answer any questions – and maybe this will be the start of your own urban ‘green space in the sky’ dream!

You can register to attend here (simply because the URG crew would quite like to know who they might meet and when!) :

https://www.thedesignjunction.co.uk/en/tickets.html

Or just pop along… the show garden is in a public open space.  One of the Go Modern team will also be on hand some of the time too and happy to answer any questions you might have about outdoor furniture (or you could try them on other topics… they’re a super friendly bunch!).  Happy green dreaming!

If our customers are happy – so are we!

It kind of goes without saying doesn’t it (but we will): If our customers are happy – so are we! And we really love to get feedback… but then to receive photographs of furniture in its new home is the icing on the cake.

So we were delighted when clients from Sevenoaks in Kent contacted us to say how pleased they were with their recent purchases.  So pleased that they wanted to share the results! So we thought we’d share them with you too… and we think you’ll agree the results are just fab.  But, no more from us… here’s what they had to say (and we’ll sit here quietly blushing):

“We were looking for some statement pieces to use in our home, as we’d just undertaken a huge re-refurbishment. We’d waited many years for the moment when we could finally buy some beautiful furniture! We luckily came across Go Modern and were immediately struck by the stunning designs and large range of choice – many unique pieces caught our attention.

We knew from the outset that we were going to use large format tiles as the canvas for the room, and we needed furniture that was going to work with that style and our kitchen.  We chose some beautiful, large limestone effect porcelain tiles, Orion, from The Little Tile Company which look fabulous and were used throughout the whole area.

Our first search was for a dining table, and we absolutely loved Go Modern’s Bonaldo Big Table. Not only is it topped by a gorgeous, heavy piece of oak, but the legs and overall design are beautiful – it’s the real talking point of the whole dining area.

Bonaldo Big Table
Bonaldo Big Table

Then there was the sideboard.  When we saw the Jesse Plateau sideboard we knew it would work perfectly. It’s a large piece but has a great sleek look, and the internal red detailing is something you just don’t find ordinarily.

Jesse Plateau Sideboard
Jesse Plateau Sideboard
Jesse Plateau sideboard
Jesse Plateau sideboard

We also wanted to have a TV in the room, but not all the horrible hardware that goes with it, and we spotted the Avante TV unit.  Perfect. Stylish, sleek but practical too – it neatly hides all the cables, has small glass legs, a push-open door and high gloss finish.  It really becomes a part of the design, whereas most cabinets of this type are normally just practical and that wasn’t enough for us.

Avante TV Unit
Avante TV Unit

We finished with some great bar stools, the Bontempi Nata. We wanted stools that were stylish, luxurious and yet comfortable, that our family could sit around on for hours and these fitted the design perfectly, especially with the high backs.

Bontempi Nata Bar Stools
Bontempi Nata Bar Stools

We initially saw the Go Modern furniture online but also visited the London showroom. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful and took their time with us during the whole process.”

How fantastic.  Thank you. We are really chuffed to get such great feedback and, although we love what we do, it made our day to get such praise.

And if anyone else would like to share their happy purchases we’d love to show them off for you. Hop over to the Go Modern site now (and we’ve also got a Summer Sale!).

An Award winning, record breaking summer!

Wow – what a summer! According to the Met Office, summer 2018 could rank as one of the 10 hottest summers on record.  We can believe that!

Our pretty roof terrace at the Kings Road showroom is home to Manutti’s Zendo corner garden sofa  – and it’s been receiving plenty of visits! We lost it for a few days however as the garden design team behind a Show Garden at the recent RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show asked if they could borrow it.  We were delighted and, guess what, the garden won a Gold Award!

Breckland Beauty Garden RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Breckland Beauty Garden
RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

The prestigious show is held in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace every year and, if you’ve never been, make a note in next year’s diary. If you have visited – lucky you!

Breckland Beauty Garden was designed and built by Jody Lidgard, Nicholas Fryer and Tim Lidgard at Bespoke Outdoor Spaces. And it really was a beauty. Breckland is an area in Norfolk and the garden was designed to capture a snapshot in time of the interchangeable Norfolk landscape.  It also included a pretty pond, inspired by a ‘Pingo’s’ post-glaciation kettle pond, one of many found in this area of Norfolk and home to lots of native wildlife. ‘Pingo’ (in case you’re wondering) is apparently an Eskimo word for hill.  We’re not sure how this ties in with ponds… or how Eskimos got involved, but these ponds are quite rare – created at the end of the last ice-age and, in this part of the world, largely left untouched since then.

Inspired by one of the many 'Pingo's' post-glaciation kettle ponds found in this area of Norfolk
Inspired by one of the many ‘Pingo’s’ post-glaciation kettle ponds found in this area of Norfolk

The team set the garden within the grounds of an ‘old farmhouse on the edge of a village’,  surrounded by scrubby, sparse woodland. It was incredibly tranquil with lots of stunning planting, including aromatics, with contrasting textures and forms. To find out more about the garden you can check it out here.

As for our Manutti Zendo corner sofa – it looked just fab.

Manutti Zendo corner garden sofa
Manutti Zendo corner garden sofa

We think this shows just how versatile the Zendo is.  Perfectly at home in a Norfolk ‘wildlife garden’ in a rustic farmhouse, or sitting on the terrace of a Chelsea townhouse.  With credentials to suit both: completely modular (create your own shape to fit the space you have) weather-proof and covered in the same high tech fabric as used on smart yachts, with quick-dry, fast-draining cushions. And as comfortable as any indoor sofa we know of.

Manutti Zendo garden sofa
Manutti Zendo garden sofa

Manutti are world experts in the design of outdoor furniture and they use only materials that are built to last… for years; seams that are welded as well as sewn for extra durability; cushions that are specially designed so that any water will simply drain straight through.

Manutti's Zendo modular garden sofa
Manutti’s Zendo modular garden sofa

Another of our outdoor sofas also went out to the team over at Romo Fabrics for a shoot earlier in the year.

Point Weave Garden Sofa
Point Weave Garden Sofa

They chose the new Weave Sofa by our Spanish manufacturer Point for a shoot for their summer 2018 catalogue. Weave, which romantically takes its name from the Baya Weaver birds who build their nests by precise weaving and knotting, was designed by Vicent Martinez, and the look was part of a big trend this year for hand-woven designs. It has a rust proof aluminium frame and is woven with a strong 8mm thick polyester rope which is sunlight and weather resistant, as well as being colour fast.

Romo’s imaginative location for their shoot was a disused swimming pool and they covered the Weave sofa with one of their new outdoor fabrics called Pergola, in teal.  As well as being incredibly practical and durable, the fabric range has a mix of  geometrics, plain and semi-plain weaves.  You can see some of the colours and patterns on offer with the scatter cushions used to style the sofa – beautiful peridot yellows and azure blues. And a testament to how soft the material is – it can be used indoors and out. Check out the full Point Weave range here.

So, what a summer.  Long may it last… and if you nip over to our site now you can take advantage of our 15% off summer sale, including all garden ranges.

Outdoor garden furniture for summer 2018

Easter has been and gone… is summer on its way?  We hope so. It’s definitely the time to think about outdoor furniture and making the most of the warmer, lighter days. Our contemporary garden furniture is hand-chosen by us and made in Europe.  We work with the very best names in the business; family run companies who have been making garden furniture for a long time.  Their designs are created by named and award-winning designers, with an expert knowledge about construction and materials that can’t be beaten.

Manuti and Tribù are based in Belgium, Point and Calma in Spain, Smania hails from Italy and specialist parasol makers Sywawa are also from Belgium.  Between them we are confident they offer the very best designs on the market today.

How To Choose? Outdoor furniture obviously needs to be incredibly robust, using the highest quality materials; cheap designs may seem a bargain but simply wont last and will look sad and worn before the season is out. Along with choosing a style that will complement your indoor look, there is also a decision on what kind of material to choose.

Teak is ideal for outdoor use, hard-wearing and natural.  It’s a tropical hard-wood, sourced from managed plantations, and contains lots of natural oils making it durable enough to remain outdoors all year round. It will also weather beautifully with age.

Manutti Chairs & Torsa Dining table
Manutti Chairs & Torsa Dining table

The beautiful new Solid chairs by Lionel Doyen for Manutti are hand-carved in natural or brushed nero teak. Manutti’s Torsa table has a sleek ceramic table top and a smooth, curved teak base with adjustable feet.

Woven material is a very big trend this year with most specialists including it in their summer 2018 collections.

Point Weave outdoor collection
Point Weave outdoor collection

The Weave garden range by Vicent MartÌnez for Point, specialists in fibre woven-material.  Their contemporary outdoor designs are amongst some of the finest in the world. This beautiful new range is woven with 8mm polyester rope, and is sunlight and weather resistant as well as being completely colour fast.

Below is the new CTR  range from Tribù designed by Piergiorgio Cazzaniga. The weave  used here wraps around the seat back and is made from plaited Tricord (a polyolefin material) which is weather and mould proof and can be chosen in linen or wenge colours.

Tribu CTR Collection
Tribu CTR Collection

Rattan was traditionally made from woven palm, but is now created from synthetic material that has exactly the same look but is much, much more durable. Synthetic rattan will withstand the harshest of weather and it’s definitely moved away from the ‘echos of the 70s’ feel it’s long been associated with, now being used across some fabulous contemporary designs.

Ceramic is a wonderful material for outdoor tables. The Tosca dining table from Tribù is designed by the talented Monica Armani and its ceramic tabletop is completely scratch-proof, stain-proof, UV, water and weather-proof.

Tribu Tosca dining table
Tribu Tosca dining table

The ceramic is laminated on glass which is then water jetted into an oval shape and CNC-milled (‘computer aided milling’). The subtle cloudy pattern created is perfect for gardens and can be chosen in a linen or piombo colour as seen above.

Metal garden furniture and outdoor accessories are usually made from incredibly strong but lightweight aluminium which is then powder-coated for extra weather-proofing. Treated in this way it’s guaranteed to never rust, fade or rot.  It’s also scratch resistant and requires very little maintenance.

Smania Ios Garden Planters
Smania Ios Garden Planters

The magnificent Ios  garden planters above are part of an exclusive garden furniture collection from Italian manufacturer Smania. Their impressive heights (three sizes: 50cm, 76cm and 120cm high) will create a beautifully elegant statement piece that will probably outlast your plants!

To see all of our new garden furniture collections click here.  Happy summer dreaming!

Storage – some well ordered ideas!

As you may have noticed, we’re very big on storage ideas at Go Modern. And the trickier the space presented to us the more we love it.  There is a great feature in the March 2018 issue of Essential Kitchen Bathroom and Bedroom Magazine about this very thing… featuring a Q&A with … US! So here are a few tips and ideas below based on what we shared with EKBB (although do go out and buy the magazine – it’s always a very good read!).

Getting the right balance between storage and space in a bedroom is crucial. We often find clients need more storage than they have space for so we play around with ideas, trying to incorporate storage wherever we can.  Building wardrobes right up to the ceiling, using storage beds and tall chests of drawers in smaller spaces. We combine this sometimes with decorative hanging shelves or slimmer wall units.  A bridged wardrobe around the head of a bed can also be a great use of space.  The result should always work aesthetically as well as leaving you with plenty of space to move around.

Jesse Plana Wardrobe M05
Jesse Plana Wardrobe M05

If a client is thinking of a fitted wardrobe system, we start with the doors; hanging door wardrobes have smaller cabinets which can also be divided inside, so if a client has a lot of different storage needs we would normally recommend those. Sliding doors on the other hand have a cleaner look for small spaces but are actually less flexible in terms of their inside storage.

Novamobili Bronze Wardrobe
Novamobili Bronze Wardrobe

Smaller accessories such as dressing tables are really important.  You can also get creative with a hanging desk with a fold down-top and interior LED lit mirror, or a small wall-hung shelving unit.  Remember to look at the space between wardrobe cabinets too, as this can often accommodate a table as well as shelves, cupboards and a small chest of drawers, with fitted doors to hide things away when they’re not in use.

Praga tall Chest of Drawers
Praga Tall Chest of Drawers
Schoenbuch Collect Dressing Table
Schoenbuch Collect Dressing Table

Our brands are a great and equal measure of aesthetics and practicality.  The days of having to completely sacrifice style to get the best fitted storage are well and truly over.  It’s often more economical to invest in beautiful semi-fitted designer storage than it is to get alternatives.  And there are so many gorgeous designs to choose from – we are seeing everything including textured doors with leather, gloss or matt finises, or a mixture of the two, and lots of unique finishing touches such as statement handles.

Take a look around our site or pop into our Kings Road showroom and have a chat – you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what we can offer.