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.

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.

Bio Ethanol Fires – Our Winter Heros!

Is it too early to start thinking about winter fires? Not for us..we like to plan well ahead & so are currently updating our Bioethanol fires section on the website, adding new fires from Cocoon fires, Decoflame & Ecosmart fire.

Go Modern has been selling liquid bio ethanol fires (then known as flueless fires) since 2007 (I think we were the first, but can’t be sure) because as a London based company we would LOVE to have an open fire but know we can’t (it’s not allowed in London) & these really are the next best thing. It’s difficult to explain but the heat is different from central heating or gas fire heat, it spreads throughout the room & is ultra cosy. Simon calls it ‘Ski Chalet’ heat & we now use bio ethanol fires as our sole source of heating at our showroom in winter. Which is pretty cool considering our contemporary showroom is set over three floors & we have large glass skylights in the largest part.

And the fact that these fires are super green is an added bonus. No one wants to add to the load on our poor planet & bioethanol is green both to produce (from sugar beet) & to burn.  They are also clean, there is NO soot, & they don’t throw any sparks out. The liquid fuel is an awful lot like meths, we have split ours all over the surrounds & floors of various places (our own fault for not using the special pumps we have) with no ill effects, there are no residual stains (theres no grease or colour in it) & no smell other than a rather pleasant methys ish smell when you first light them.

So if you like the idea of an open fire but never though you could have one why not visit our bioethanol fires section? They are in the ‘Complements’ section at the top of the page.

Cube Bio Ethanol Fire From Ecosmart Fire
Cube Bio Ethanol Fire From Ecosmart Fire

To see our new collection of bioethanol fires from Cocoon Fires click here, to see our fires from Decoflame click here & to see our collection of fires from Ecosmart Fire click here.