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.

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR OUR SPACE-HUNGRY LIVES

There’s something about the post Christmas period and start of a New Year that prompts, in most of us at least (quick straw poll of the Go Modern team), a desperate feeling of needing more space. Or at least a big declutter. Or maybe we should have just got out more over the holiday!

The great thing is that there’s no need to compromise on style to achieve more space. Lots of the brands we work with have used their creative energy to come up with some very clever and stylish products that will maximise your existing space and give you the cool, sleek, uncluttered look you dream of.

To kick-start your search we’ve pulled together just a few ideas that might help…

Mogg DPI wall units
Mogg DPI wall units

Quirky Italian brand Mogg creates lots of great furniture that makes us think differently about conventional design. These fab wall units (above), called DPI, have a slightly industrial look, which we love, and they’re modular/varying sizes.  The styling here shows them used very creatively as a wall hung bedside table and book storage.

Novamobili Wall Unit/Bookcase
Novamobili Wall Unit/Bookcase

And talking of books, we’ve got tons of them (even more since Christmas!).  Like good friends you never want to part with… kind of.  But what to do with them all if you don’t operate the ‘one in/one out’ system?  Novamobili are the people to ask – specialising in wall units (and some great wardrobes) that ooze Italian style.  The Wall Unit/Bookcase 08 (above) has a very ordered, contemporary look with bookshelves split into individual compartments to help with the sorting, along with sleek, complementing drawers. Plus…all your TV cables, DVD systems, audio equipment, the whole lot, can be hidden away neatly in specially created channels and behind panels, so the dreadful electronic spaghetti cable mess need never haunt you again.

Novamobili Wall Unit/Bookcase 04
Novamobili Wall Unit/Bookcase 04

Here’s another smaller version of the Wall Unit/Bookcase above, showing just how versatile this great system is.

And dont under-estimate the amount of storage a good storage bed will give you.

Bonaldo Cuff storage bed
Bonaldo Cuff storage bed

Bonaldo’s Cuff bed (above) is an uber stylish storage bed (with some very neat leather inserts on its headboard) and has what’s called a ‘Comodo’ storage base.  This is where the whole of the top lifts up with the help of gas pistons.  This means that not only will your bed stay made, always a big plus in our book, but you won’t have to shift any bedside furniture around before you can retrieve whatever it is you’ve stored. Anything to make life a tad easier!

Ozzio are a young Italian brand who major in space saving, transformable furniture.  From wall units that hide dining tables for eight (seriously) to cute coffee tables that have hidden storage and transform, like the one below, Bellagio, into a desk or something called a ‘dinette’ table. Great for TV dinners or a bit of sofa home-office working.

Ozzio Bellagio coffee table
Ozzio Bellagio coffee table

So, there you have it.  Five interesting, stylish designs from us that will help with our space-hungry lives – and maybe even restore a bit of sanity, who knows!  Lots more on the Go Modern site so do check them out! www.gomodern.co.uk

PS – We’ve also got a winter sale on at the moment – so hop over and make the most of it!

SCHOENBUCH: PERFECTING THE ART OF HALLWAY FURNITURE

‘Feel welcome’ is Schoenbuch’s guiding principle and this superb, luxury German brand is very welcome as part of the newest line-up at Go Modern. We got to know these masters of hallway furniture earlier in the year on a trip to Cologne and we were instantly blown-away by what they produce.  If you haven’t come across them before, be prepared to be impressed!  The company specialises in uber stylish, modular designs for the hall area, in unique widths and heights, with depths starting from just 20cm, all designed to fit the narrowest of spaces.

Schoenbuch’s designers begin with the knowledge that no two hallways are the same, from city lofts to commercial buildings or the smallest of domestic hallways.  The strive to produce perfect capsule furniture collections to suit individual locations. The result: outstanding hallway clothes storage and system furniture alongside smaller accessories such as clever shoe boxes and unusual mirrors.

And if you’re looking for innovative colours you’ll be spoilt for choice!  Most items are offered in around 26 matt or gloss lacquer colours from the fashionable Dusky Rose (fab against a darker painted wall – try it with Farrow & Ball’s Downpipe or Little Greene’s Royal Navy) and shades such as Steel Blue or the subtle Vanilla to complete the design statement.

SCHOENBUCH HESPERIDE COAT RACK, MIRROR & SHELF
SCHOENBUCH HESPERIDE COAT RACK, MIRROR & SHELF

The beautifully minimalist Hesperide collection (above) is designed by Carsten Gollnick for Schoenbuch, and in this styled set up (dont forget its modular) there’s a five-hook coat rack, tall framed mirror, and two wall mounted shelves, all in an ivory matt lacquer finish. We’re secretly coveting this hallway!

And just to show how versatile this system is, here it is again (below) in a high gloss black lacquer. This combination shows a slimline shoe box with an upholstered seat/lid in leather, and a narrow sideboard.  There’s also another version of the Hesperide mirror, this one has a square frame including oval and round smaller mirrors.

SCHOENBUCH HESPERIDE ENTRANCE HALL COMBINATION 1
SCHOENBUCH HESPERIDE ENTRANCE HALL COMBINATION 1

Confession. We love shoes. And we LOVE this Basic Shoe Cupboard.  It epitomises what Schoenbuch does best – simple, stylish, clever design.  It’s offered with a depth of just 20cm and cupboard doors that open/close using a beautifully smooth, quiet gas-filled spring. Plus, you can customise it by chosing designs such as a tray top or tempered glass. This version, below, in a glamorous high gloss white definitely gets our vote!

SCHOENBUCH BASIC SHOE CUPBOARD / SIDEBOARD
SCHOENBUCH BASIC SHOE CUPBOARD / SIDEBOARD

Confession Two.  Coats and bags.  We also like these (just a bit!) and the Line Coat Rackdesigned by Apartment 8 for Schoenbuch, is another example of a very clever design idea.  And as a system for hanging coats and bags, Line looks, and is, perfect.  It’s got an adjustable fold-out hook for hangers or you could pop your coat straight on.  In the example below, there are three bag hooks in polished chrome. Simple and fabulous, it’s also in a huge variety of coloured lacquers or wood finishes. The citrus yellow next to the pebble and ivory works really well don’t you think.

SCHOENBUCH LINE COAT RACK
SCHOENBUCH LINE COAT RACK

So, if your hallway needs some clever storage input but you don’t want to sacrifice your high design ideals Schoenbuch is the answer.  Take a look at their full collection here.

Parental warning – this furniture might seriously improve your children’s tidiness

So week two of the UK spring/school holidays and we’ve noticed a marked interest in children’s bedroom furniture… with a big emphasis on storage.  There’s nothing like a holiday combined with cold weather to make you realise that your house is pulsating with a lot of small people and just too much stuff!  Well, we can’t offer Narnia but we can solve the problem of where to store everything.

Our Italian partner Battistella has come over all Mary Poppins like and created Nidi, a wonderful new range of children’s bedroom furniture, that includes everything from ‘hidden’ extra beds, to walk-in wardrobes, fitted cupboards, pull-down desks and incredibly neat storage ideas.

Nidi children's bedroom furniture
Nidi children’s bedroom furniture

It’s all completely modular so you can chose as much or as little of it as you want. With modifiable sizes, and tailor-made extras that will be unique to you – so, an extra cupboard, bunk bed steps arranged on the other side, pull-out toy boxes; they’ve thought of everything.  We’ve featured some room set images here to give you an idea of what can be achieved (and they also do rugs and wallpaper too).

Gino bunk bed
Gino bunk bed

The Gino bunk bed (above) has two beds, with a clever pull-out bed below that’s great for extra guests, or you can use the space for storage.  The top bunk can also be chosen as a ‘tipping bunk’ which will fold down neatly when it’s not in use. The wardrobe in this composition has been fitted at the side of the bunk and it’s a ‘walk-in’, with shelves and pull-down rails (so no excuses for a floordrobe!) and optional internal lighting.  And don’t worry about the graffiti – the finish of the wardrobe here is a rewriteable whiteboard surface (and it’s dry wipeable in case the artwork turns out to be a little too inspired!).

Tippy bunk bed
Tippy bunk bed

The Tippy bunk bed and desk is an incredible piece of design which incorporates two beds, storage space and a desk all in one unit. The desk is pulled down (by mechanised gas pump) to reveal the hidden second bed behind the desk. When the desk is needed, it simply pulls up, and the mechanism folds the bed neatly behind it. And, a good one this for teenagers, you don’t even have to move anything off the desk! There are also wheeled storage boxes available which will fit tidily under the second bed/desk.

Woody children's wardrobe & Hug children's storage bed
Woody children’s wardrobe & Hug children’s storage bed

Let’s talk colour – we’ve got a rainbow’s worth of them – from moody mauve to raucous red – with over 15 different lacquers to choose from. The design team at Battistella has also created a superb selection of finishing touches: the wardrobe door knobs come in 14 different colours, four sizes and can be placed in three different positions – so how cool is that. And there are lots of really ‘grown up’ details too – have a closer look at the Hug bed in the shot above and you’ll notice the ultra-stylish blanket stitching around the headboard, which can be done in matching or complementing colours.  And there’s more storage with an optional storage base.

Happy spring holidays!

(N.B. – Parental warning – the child in the above shot is a model and we’re assured that, even with our great Nidi furniture, his room isn’t normally this tidy!).

Clever ideas for transforming small spaces

If you’re craving mores space (and aren’t we all) there are a number of new and very stylish designs around that will change your life – or at least stop you hankering after a bigger pad.

Italian manufacturer Ozzio® is the creative Italian company making exciting and unique transformable furniture.  The clever design team at the Milan based company have re-examined the shape and structure of traditional furniture pieces to create multi-functional products to suit the way we live. Neat coffee tables turn into dining tables, or a work bench/desk with storage; a smart wall unit with a TV screen, cleverly conceals a dining table for six, including fold-away dining chairs. Awesome, smart design ideas for 21st century living.

Smart Living
Smart Living

Ozzio’s Smart Living  is an all-in-one storage system with swivel TV screen. It not only neatly hides messy media cables etc. but has built-in storage for a pull-out, extending dining table (in a lower cupboard) plus space behind the TV screen for storing the dining chairs. Be impressed.  It’s also modular so you can choose to have bookcases/no bookcases or configure it as you like.  Lots of different colours and finishes too.

Newood coffee table/dining table
Newood coffee table/dining table

The Newood (above & below) is a transformable coffee table which turns into a large dining table, and the hidden gas-lifting mechanism won’t leave you feeling as if you’ve done a full work-out before dinner. When it’s fully extended it’s large enough to seat up to ten people – so, start writing those dinner party invitations. Really, no excuse.

Newood as a dining table
Newood as a dining table

The Markus coffee table (below) could give new meaning to ‘working from home’ (or even ‘working from your sofa’!).   Not only is it a really neat coffee table, it lifts and extends to create extra bench seating, with a desk-high table-top including plenty of space for laptops/iPads etc.  There’s even a handy drawer for notebooks and pens.

Markus - coffee table/work bench
Markus – coffee table/work bench

And the beautiful 4×4 table (below) has stolen our hearts.

4 x 4 dining table
4 x 4 dining table

The 4 x 4 starts as a compact dining table, measuring 100cm x 200cm, and ingeniously expands, via a unique geometric opening system, to 138cm x 254cm – providing a beautiful (and rare for a dining table) square shape.  Large enough for an extended family meal – or a small conference!

And here’s a treat for you – watch the fun Ozzio You Tube video showing a bit of geometric magic.  

Bonaldo – fabulous updates for 2015

If you dip into our blog on occasion you’ll know we’re very fond of anything our friends at Bonaldo produce.  This creative Italian company has been in the furniture business since 1936 and we have always championed them right from the beginning of our own business.

We obviously love what they do; their furniture is beautifully made and they’re never afraid to push design boundaries.  The company works with award-winning international designers and if ever you want to spot design tends in the furniture world, Bonaldo is the one to watch, offering colours, shapes and materials that also make you fall in love with them time and time again.

For spring 2015 they’ve just updated their latest collection, using new colours and introducing new finishes and shapes, as well as surprising us with some amazing accessories.  Their popular Hollywood Pouffes have been given a make-over that we think will become a sure-fire box-office hit!

Hollywood Limited Edition Pouffes
Hollywood Limited Edition Pouffes

Designer Gino Carollo has given his Hollywood Pouffes an exotic new look!  Originally offered in plain, bright primary colours or pastel shades, these Limited Edition versions have new covers featuring birds, butterflies and tear-drop motifs and we LOVE them. There’s definitely a touch of Versace about them – bravo Gino, fantastic!

Just when you thought a design couldn’t get any better, the stunning Big Table, by award-winning designer Alain Gilles, is also given a fresh look with tabletops in heat-treated oak and polished natural solid oak, along with new Corten steel legs. Corten steel is a dark, coppery-looking steel which goes beautifully with these new tabletop finishes.  In the picture below the Big Table has been partnered with Bonaldo’s stylish Filly Dining Chairs.

Big Table with Filly Dining Chairs
Big Table with Filly Dining Chairs

Again from Alain Gilles, new finishes for the Gap dining table with its blade-like legs and elegantly slim rectangular tabletop.  Gilles has created a new version in green painted oak with lacquered green metal legs, alongside a natural solid polished oak design using his favoured Corten steel for the legs.

Gap Table with Junan Chairs
Gap Table with Junan Chairs

If bold colour and a show-stopping shape is what you’re after, the April, May, June shelves, appearing like giant silhouette perfume bottles, should do the trick. Gino Carollo’s eye for the unusual, and designs with a strong personality, come into play again here. April, May and June are shelves that could be used anywhere for anything. So clever, so inspiring… and we have a sneaky feeling that the world of shelving has just ‘upped its game’!  Sizzling new colours include turquoise, olive green and and azure blue. Which one’s your favourite?

April May June Shelves
April May June Shelves

And for a touch of absolute luxury you’d have to try hard to find something more deserving of that description than the Alfie Basket Alto bed by Mario Lipparani. This new version has a majestic 1.6 metre high headboard with gentle, wrap-around corners and a softly curved base. You can choose a wealth of different fabrics, or supply your own, for the upholstery. The version below is in a stunning indigo blue velvet and it comes in UK King through to US King sizes and there’s also a storage version.

Basket Bed & Alfie Chair
Basket Bed & Alfie Chair

So, form an orderly queue – 2015 looks like its going to be a very exciting year, and this is just for starters.

Surprising Storage

If there’s one thing that most of us agree on it’s that our homes never have enough space to store everything.  It’s a modern day curse but, as we always try to look for the positive in things, the upside is that contemporary designers produce furniture that creatively uses every last available inch of space, producing designs that, for us, tick all the boxes – beautiful to look at, high quality and very practical too.

So, we’ve pulled together a small selection of some of our latest designs, all of which deserve praise for their quality and creativity – while sharing that great ability to surprise us with their ingenious hidden storage.

Starting with 8emezzo’s Wonder bed – one of our new, luxuriously upholstered beds with a thickly padded, textile covered base and headboard, the Wonder bed has a huge storage base with gas powered lift-up-slats over a sealed area approximately the size of the mattress – and the other surprising bit is it really, really doesn’t look like a bed with a storage base! Great sizes too from Euro King through to Super King with a headboard 83cm high.

Wonder bed
Wonder bed

The Carree coffee table we promise you is just the table you’ve been looking for to help keep your living room tidy. Created with two large storage spaces under the table top and some very practical drawers, you’ll be able to banish clutter in an instant (admittedly this isn’t a long term solution to the clutter problem – but it sure helps!). It’s available in two sizes, and in wood, matt or gloss lacquer, with or without plain or patterned glass, and a wide range of colours.  It’s really such a versatile, attractive coffee table you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

Carree coffee table
Carree coffee table

The glamorous Kaddy coatstand/mirror is designed by the multi-talented Karim Rashid and those Italian masters of glass wizardry, Tonelli. We love this design – a full length mirror, double backed, on a revolving chrome base. Simply swivel it around to reveal an interior cupboard with a high shelf and three hanging hooks.  Great for hiding bulky winter coats and jackets – it makes a superb statement piece and a great storage addition to any room.

Kaddy coatstand
Kaddy coatstand

As you know, one of the latest brands to join our Go Modern family is Mogg.  This young Italian company is full of energy and surprises with lots of quirky and unusual pieces. Mogg’s designers are accomplished artists, designers and architects, and many are award-winning – as is Matteo Ragni (Ragni means ‘spiders’ in Italian by the way… but don’t let that put you off!!) and his very clever Doppia Fila shelves.   Larger than you might think, at a metre wide and 22cm high, the shelves also have ‘hidden’ storage at either end, allowing you to store extra books – or just create a very unusual design statement.  The shelves are sold in pairs, with extra shelves available as single shelves, and they’re made in a lacquered metal with a number of different finishes.

Doppia Fila shelves
Doppia Fila shelves

What to do with cables, power sockets and all your favourite DVD’s?  Ta-dah…we’ve found the answer… Bonaldo’s futuristic looking Vision TV stand.  It’s a circular stand that can incorporate a flat screen up to 102cm wide.  It’s also got a clever little cupboard at the rear for hiding those pesky cables and plugs that always spoil the look of any room. And as for those DVD’s that you cant bear to give away because they’re someone’s favourite movie… well the outer edge of the circular frame has a neat shelf designed to store them all until that rainy Sunday afternoon when you’re searching for something to watch.

Vision TV Stand
Vision TV Stand

So, there you have it.  Just a few of our amazing storage designs.  Lots more on the site… so come on in and take a look…