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.

2016 colours: Rose Quartz and Cherished Gold

We’re tickled pink (ahem) that the main Pantone Colour of 2016 is… Rose Quartz.  So, basically pink… but there are so many variations on this shade that it’s easy to get it seriously wrong in an interior.

Rose Quartz, according to the experts over at colour specialists Pantone, is “a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Like a serene sunset, flushed cheek or budding flower, Rose Quartz reminds us to reflect on our surroundings during the busy but lighthearted spring and summer months”.  So, there you have it. Hard to imagine the spring/summer months with our rotten weather at the moment but hopefully they’re just round the corner.

We love the way our Italian friends over at Bonaldo have used this colour on one of their newest bed designs, Picabia. The bed frame and three of the main headboard cushions are in shades of dusky pink, with other cushions plus the bed throw and wall colours, in complementing linens, wenge and greys. Beautiful!

Bonaldo Picabia bed
Bonaldo Picabia bed

Picabia is a really unusual bed design with five individual cushions that make-up the headboard, all of which can be upholstered in matching or contrasting patterns and textures, a nice alternative to opting for just one overall colour.

Bonaldo have also used shades of pink on their new Blazer armchair by Mauro Lipparini.

Bonaldo Blazer armchair
Bonaldo Blazer armchair

We love this design which Lipparini has had great fun with, creating a design silhouette that, he tells us, is similar to that of a jacket draped over the back of a chair. In this image, Bonaldo have used a great combination of materials, with a dusky pink fabric for the main seating and soft grey leather for the backing.  Those colour pairings never seem to fail. And the grey geometric wallpaper in the background gives it all a very grown up look.

A little closer to home, Dulux the paint people have chosen Cherished Gold as their 2016 colour. They’re also “celebrating the beauty of contrast, whether that’s the difference between pale and dark, or organisation and chaos”. We’re not sure on a personal level we ‘celebrate’ the contrast between organisation and chaos – just achieving a little more organisation would be welcome!

Novamobili’s contemporary Clio cupboard is available in a beautiful ochre finish (similar to Cherished Gold) along with four other finishes, and what we love about the styling here is the contrast between the striking deep yellow/gold of the cupboard set against the deep blue/grey of the wall. Two combinations that are complete show stealers, with the earthy gold adding a touch of glamour in an unshowy way.

Novamobili Clio cupboard
Novamobili Clio cupboard

As with any colours, lighting is incredibly important – a colour that might look great in daylight in a north facing room (low light) might look totally washed out under electric light.  Our neighbours, John Cullen, just along the Kings Road are the experts to talk to if you’re looking for some advice on how to cleverly light a room.

And some brand new and very stylish pendant lights here from Italian specialists Contardi Lighting, who have also used shades of gold, along with accents of blue, white and yellow in a fabulous new collection called Calypso.

Contard Calypso pendant lights
Contard Calypso pendant lights

Designers Servomuto have taken shapes from 1940s South America and added frosted glass diffusers to create a slightly industrial feel, with ceiling roses in satin brass.

So, whether it’s Rose Quartz or Cherished Gold – be inspired, be brave!  We have so many different fabrics to choose from at Go Modern it can sometimes be quite daunting – but isn’t it great to have left the acres of beige and taupe behind at last!

Lighting up time …

It’s nearly time for that annual ritual in the UK, and some countries around the world, of ‘changing the clocks’.  We confess to vaguely knowing which months this happens in, followed by then trying to remember which way the clocks should go.  ‘Spring Forward‘ and ‘Fall Back’ is the old adage so it shouldn’t be too hard to remember.  We also confess to feeling a little euphoric when it’s the ‘Fall Back’ one … as it means an extra hour in bed (unless you have babies/young children/animals… in which case the whole thing is meaningless anyway!).

So, from this weekend it’s going to be a little darker in the morning folks and a little lighter for longer in the evenings .. is that right?  Anyway and either way… stylish lighting, of which we have many pieces, is the way to cope with it.

Mogg TRI.BE.CA floor lamps
Mogg TRI.BE.CA floor lamps

Our newest lamps (& we’ll have one in the showroom fairly soon) are the stunning TRI.BE.CA. floor lamps, created for Italian design house Mogg by Marzia & Leonardo Dainelli.  We think they are just stunning and love the evocation of the New York area they’re named after, with its iconic iron fire-escape tenement buildings that are the defining aesthetic.  And another superb little design touch – the lamps have a USB dock built into the bottom shelf.  So cool.

Mogg Piantama floor lamps
Mogg Piantama floor lamps

Also from Mogg and, we rarely use the words ‘unique’ and ‘innovative’ but these certainly deserve the accolade, the Piantama floor lamps.  Hewn from logs and standing around a metre high, each Piantama lamp is a one-off with the wood left in its natural state, which will darken and mature beautifully with age.  Designed by Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba, the adjustable lamps are available in black or white, and they’re finished with a long, red fabric flex.

Contardi Cornelia pendant lights
Contardi Cornelia pendant lights

Dubbed the ‘couture’ of lighting design houses, Milan based Contardi Lighting is recognised as the pinnacle of sophistication.  Elegant, stylish and exclusive … with over 30 years of experience in the business, they are the go-to company for really special lighting or bespoke ideas.   These Cornelia pendant lights,  above, have diffused shades in bronze or chrome glass, black fabric cords and, it’s a little hard to get the perspective from the image, the dimensions for each one are 20cm x 35cm high. Bellissimo.

Bonaldo XXL floor lamp
Bonaldo XXL floor lamp

We love everything Bonaldo does and their XXL lamp is no exception.  It’s very typical of their output – interesting, funky, and a great piece of practical design.  Designed by D’Urbino and Lomazzi for Bonaldo, we have one of them in our Kings Road showroom and it always receives a lot of high-praise.

Lots more beautiful and contemporary lighting ideas to choose from here.  Don’t forget to adjust those clocks (the right way!).