X

modern

Colour, Living, Sofas
Real Leather: How to Care for your Real Leather Sofa
February 2, 2018 at 11:51 am 0
Ellis 3 seater Sofa and Armchair

Ellis 3 Seater Sofa and Ellis Armchair

As any interior designer or furniture specialist will tell you, a sofa is one piece of furniture that you should really invest in. This means choosing a sofa that is built to last, that performs well over time and that can stand up to daily use in a busy home. Real Leather ticks all of these boxes, which is exactly why real leather is such a popular choice for a sofa; it is undoubtedly the most durable material available. You can’t beat it for long-term performance, durability, ease of maintenance and of course… Modern Style!   Leather Swatch

Luxe Sofa Range Swatch

 

What Makes Real Leather So Durable?

The leather we use for our range of sofas is extremely thick and falls into the Top Grain Leather category. Top Grain leather goes through a considerable process to remove any marks and blemishes on the hide to create its uniform appearance and makes it more desirable for home furnishings. Our pigmented Top Grain Leather has been dyed and treated with a protected surface. This offers great colour uniformity and maximum resistance to spills and stains, while it's thickness also increases its strength and durability. All together you end up with a high-quality leather that looks great but also is very fit for purpose. Thinner, lower quality ‘Split’ leather is commonly used in cheaper sofas but will not offer the same durability. It will wear quicker and be more susceptible to rips and tears, meaning you'll be replacing your furniture much sooner than anticipated.   Top Tip: Aniline Leather, often cited as the most premium type of leather, actually has little to no treatment to protect it. So whilst it is a premium material, it may not be the most practical for a modern sofa. This type of leather is used when people want to build a worn look, or patina, but it doesn't give a clean, uniformed look.   Ice Grey Leather Detail

Top Leather Grain Detail

 

Top Grain vs. Split Leather

Top Grain - The top layer of the hide usually the thickest layer when the hide is separated. Top grain is the highest quality, thickest part of the hide and such requires less processing resulting in a softer feel. Split Leather - This is the thinner part of the hide and as such often needs a protective synthetic top treatment. The result is a lower quality more rigid leather.  

One Leather Doesn’t Fit all...

The term ‘leather sofa’ is used very broadly, so it’s easy to forget that the leather itself comes in a whole variety of styles and, more importantly, standards. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most popular choices for a leather sofa:   Dillon 2 Seater Leather Sofa

Dillon Real Leather 2 Seater Sofa

 

High Protection Leather

  • Pigmented Leather - A top grain leather that's had dye and protection applied to the surface. As a result, this offers protection from marks and stains and evens out surface appearance. Features of Pigmented leather are great durability, very even colour and grain and a soft feel.
 
  • Bi-Cast Leather - A split leather with a thick synthetic layer placed over the leather which is embossed with a look-alike grain. The features of Bi-Cast leather are a stiff texture (more suited to contract settings), consistent grain and easy cleaning.
 

Medium Protection Leather

  • Waxed Leather - The surface of the leather is buffed, then waxed and has a smooth, very shiny appearance with almost no grain which can be wiped clean. Waxed leather will show scratches but can be re-waxed although has a stiffer feel and can be prone to cracking.
 
  • Semi-Aniline - A top grain leather that is pigment dyed and treated with a very light protective treatment. It has some of the features of aniline leather but with a harder feel and increased durability.
 

Low Protection Leather

  • Aniline Leather - A top grain leather dyed with aniline dyes but with no protective treatment applied. Features of aniline leather are that it is very soft and luxurious in feel and will show natural blemishes, scratches and scars found in the hide. Aniline leather also has variation in colour consistency.  People often see Aniline leather as the best in class but it doesn't have the protection that other leathers have.
 
  • Nubuck - a top grain leather which has been treated so the natural fibres produce a velvet-like surface. Soft to the touch it has an almost fabric-like look and feel but has no protection at all from marks or spills.
 
  • Vintage Leather - Leather that has been double-dyed and purposefully buffed in areas to give an aged look. A feature of aged leather is that the uneven surface can be quite forgiving but it has very little ongoing protection.
  Pure White Real Leather Swatch

White Real Leather Swatch

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Real leather

Because leather sofas are so durable, it makes them even easier to care for. Marks and spills from food and drink are easy to remove compared to marks on a fabric sofa. However, stick to our do’s and don'ts of cleaning to make sure you keep your real leather looking its best:     DO use an absorbent cloth or sponge to wipe the affected areas as soon as the spill occurs. Lukewarm water or diluted mild detergent should do the trick! DO be sure to dry your leather furniture after cleaning with a clean, soft cloth rather than leaving your leather furniture to air dry. DO check the label before using any product to check that it’s not too drying on leather. If you’re not sure, spot test an inconspicuous area first! DO invest in a leather maintenance kit. Find one which will look after the leather before, during and after cleaning to make sure your leather furniture lasts for years to come.      BE AWARE that keeping your real leather sofa in direct sunlight can cause some fading and deterioration over time. Sunlight will have the same effect on fabrics so just give it some thought when you consider the placement. BE AWARE that brand new clothes, especially jeans, can mark upholstery. To clean marks left by clothing, use something such as a magic sponge immediately for the best results.   Luxe Leather Sofa in Heather

Luxe 3 Seater Sofa in Heather

 

Give Your Real Leather Furniture Some TLC

Real leather is strong and very durable, however, you still need to give it some TLC to keep it looking its best for longer! With this in mind…
  • Don’t drag your sofa when putting it in position, but rather lift it to manoeuvre it in your space.
  • Sofas can be very heavy, so it’s important to protect your flooring. Many sofas will come with floor protectors but make sure there’s some kind of protection on the feet, especially if you're placing the sofa on wooden or hard flooring.
  • As tempting as it may be, try not to sit on the arms of the sofa. This will not only weaken the structure of the sofa over time, but it will also pull on the upholstery.
  • When cleaning, don’t forget to get in-between all the small nooks and crannies of the sofa cushions. Vacuum regularly to keep your sofa spick and span.
  • Do not use chemical-based cleaners on real leather. Spot clean with warm, soapy water, and invest in a high-quality Leather care kit. 
  • If the cushions on your sofa can be moved, it's a good idea to rotate them regularly, giving them a good shake and plump up.
  • Give your sofa a quick but regular clean to stop marks from building up over time. Just be sure to wring out your cloth thoroughly and dry as soon as you've finished.
  • Everyone has their favourite spot, but it’s best to use your sofa evenly. This will stop some parts becoming more used and worn than others.
  Have we convinced you that a leather sofa is definitely a smart choice for your home? Be sure to let us know in the comments! :)
CONTINUE READING ...
General News, Ideas and Inspiration
Danetti At Home: Festive Edition
December 7, 2016 at 3:46 pm 0

danetti at home festive edition

It’s Competition Time! Fancy Your Chance to Win £300 of Danetti Vouchers?

  To get us all in the festive spirit, we want you to share a Christmasy image of your Danetti furniture on our Facebook page. If you don’t own anything Danetti yet, you can still enter by letting us know what you would like to spend the prize of  £300 of Danetti Vouchers on if you won. Make sure to leave your comment on our festive competition Facebook post. Alternatively, you can share an image on Instagram, using the hashtag #danettiatchristmas. To find the winner, we will choose our favourite 5 photos, and then 5 comments will be selected at random. One of the ten finalists will be selected at random to win. Whether you enter by photo or comment, all participants will receive a one-time code for FREE DELIVERY. To receive your free delivery code, make sure you send us a private message on Facebook with your email. We will send you your unique code once the competition has ended.   Our Christmas competition will close midnight 3rd January 2017 so make sure you share a picture or comment soon so you don’t miss out!   Good luck! And Merry Christmas :)  

Festive Christmas Competition T&C’s:

  • To enter, you’ll need to share a photo of your Danetti furniture on our Facebook page, or comment on the competition post with the pieces you like best.
  • You can also enter by sharing an image on Instagram, using the hashtag #danettiatchristmas.
  • We will select 5 photos and 5 comments at random which will make up the 10 finalists. Out of this 10, one winner will be chosen at random.
  • The competition will run from the 7th December 2016 to 3rd of January 2017. Unfortunately, after this time entries will not be counted.
  • Make sure you send us a private message on Facebook with the email address you'd like us to contact you on. We can only send you the code if we have a valid email.
  • You cannot use this free delivery promo in line with any other promotions.
  • The free delivery offered is free standard delivery which is worth £19.99 and is only redeemable on orders over £200.
  • You cannot exchange the prize for money or any other product or service.
  • No purchase necessary.
  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanettiFurniture/?fref=ts Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danetti_com/ Website: https://www.danetti.com/
CONTINUE READING ...
Ideas and Inspiration, Product Reviews
Danetti’s Top 6 Must Have Interior Design Apps
May 12, 2016 at 2:55 pm 0
Blog post Test Interior design apps are fast becoming the go-to gadget when it comes to home renovations. Searching through the various app stores, there’s a decorating app for almost anything; from selecting which furniture pieces you want in your kitchen to what colours would look best on your bedroom walls. We’re not exaggerating when we say there’s a lot out there, that’s why we’ve edited down the top picks to provide you with a manageable and little less scary list. Ideal for amateur interior designers and proud homeowners, this selection of decorating apps for android and IOS will make it easier than ever for you to gather interior design inspiration, learn loads of interior design tips and gain plenty of modern interior design ideas.  

Houzz

Houzz App Icon

App Name: Houzz Price: Free Use it to: Gather inspiration and bookmark ideas

If you are looking to renovate or redesign any aspect of your home, the Houzz app is a great place to start. With features that make it a wonderful blend of other sites like Pinterest and Facebook, Houzz will become your go to design app when it comes to anything interiors. You can comment and share your ideas while also being able to save products to your own idea books. All of your idea books are saved on your profile for quick and easy access. Houzz is well known for its wealth of brand professionals using the site, meaning you can directly ask both brands and designers the questions you want answers to (you can view our Houzz profile here). With over 10 million photos and 35 million users, you really will have the world of interiors at your fingertips.    

Easily find brands, designers and professionals through the Houzz app. Read all the gossip, blogs and latest trend news. You can also join in discussions and get advice on what to do with your space!

   
Houzz-app-merge-2

The Houzz app lets you search by space, style or product. Narrow down your categories and search terms to find relevant pieces. 

MyPantone

My-Pantone-App-Image App Name: MyPantone Price: £7.99 Use it to: Find colours for your space Being the authority figure of the colour world, Pantone really does have the final say when it comes to disputes over whether it’s green or blue, pink or purple, turquoise or teal… The MyPantone app allows you to take pictures and match all of the colours in the image to the 1,000’s of Pantone shades. You can also find the RGB of colours. This is incredibly useful if you are doing anything on photoshop or online, as you can get an exact colour match. Being big fans of colour here at Danetti, we had a go at testing the app on the Pantone swatches we have in our office. Although the app did have some trouble finding an exact colour match to its own colour swatch, we can see its potential. Our design team said that they would probably use it for capturing colours on the go and making mental notes of colour references. We use Pantone as a colour reference for a range of our products, so this app is great for matching up some Danetti pieces! There are so many colours in this app, so if you are a fan of colour it’s not one to be missed.

Take your image and hover over your chosen colour to see Pantone's matches. Scroll through the variety of fanned decks to browse for a shade you like or to match up coordinating colours.

 

ColorSmart by BEHR®

Colour-smart-behr App Name: ColorSmart by BEHR® Price: Free Use it to: Find colours and see how they would look in a space If you don’t want to pay for the Pantone app, ColorSmart by BEHR® is a handy (and free) alternative. I wasn’t sure whether to include it on this list purely because you can’t buy their paint in the UK. However, the features in the app still make it incredibly worthwhile. Like the MyPantone app, you can take a photo and get a colour match to any of the shades in the image. The ‘explore colour’ tab gives you a whole variety of colours to choose from. It's also a great place to start when deciding what colour you want in your space. I really like how this decorating app suggests what colours will go with your selected shade. It also gives the palette a title which is so useful when you are trying to focus in on what look you want to go for. Seeing what colours coordinate best is also really handy when choosing furniture pieces such as occasional chairs or dining chairs, as you can get a rough idea of how the colours will work together in your space. From the selection of palettes, I opted for ‘cool tones’. Using the stock images provided, I was able to paint the colour onto the wall. Although this isn’t my room, I got a much better feel of what the colour would look like in a real space. This colour app is great for anyone who’s much more in the seeing is believing mindset,  as it gives a much clearer idea of how colours can look in a real space and setting.
BEHR image merge 1

Start your colour selection in the ‘explore colour’ tab. Once you’ve found your shade, browse the suggested coordinated palettes to see which selection would work best in your space.

Behr3

Now you’ve got your palette, choose a room and try out the different colours on the walls. You’ll be surprised how much this makes a difference to how you see the colour and how it looks in the space!

HomeStyler

HomeStylerApp Name: HomeStyler Price: Free Use it to: See how your space will look I really enjoyed using the HomeStyer decorating app. It’s simple and easy to use while also being quite fun to just play around with. Firstly, you choose your space. This can be done either by taking a picture of your own room or selecting one of the stock images. You can then scroll through a whole variety of products, dragging and dropping the product where you think it looks best. You can select furniture by room or by brand. This is a great feature if you have a particular piece in mind and want a clear visual of how it could look in your space. The backgrounds that you use are flat images so there are no 3D room views in this app. I also had some trouble putting pieces at certain angles in front of particular backgrounds. However, this interior app is ideal if you want a quick and simple way of viewing products in your setting.
Pretty-Dining-Room-Contemporary-design-ideas-for-Dining-Table-Chairs-Decorating-Ideas

Select, resize and angle your selected products in the space you’ve chosen.

Home Styler 2

Once placed in your room setting, choose the location to see how the product will look. Each product links to a profile. This means you can go on to purchase the exact item when you find the perfect piece!

 

Planner 5D

5d-planner-icon App Name: Planner 5D Price: Free (with in-app purchases) Use it to: Create 3D models and floor plans of your home. The best way to describe this app is that it’s like a handheld version of Google SketchUp for interior layouts. With both 2D and 3D modes, you can create your floor plan and place in different furniture pieces. By switching to the 3D view you get an even more in-depth look at your creation. Using the app is pretty straightforward. It’s just as case of using your fingers to click, drag and drop the various items. You can add measurements and keep your furniture to scale if you want a more realistic idea of how the pieces will not only look but also fit in your space. There are lots of product categories in this app, from windows and doors to tables and chairs, not forgetting your garden as there’s also trees, garages and even pools to choose from. The only ‘catch’ is that not all the items are free. If you want access to all the products in the app, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid version. However, if you’re committed to creating your ideal home in 3D model form, we definitely think it’s worth it. If not, there are plenty of free pieces to use and play around with to help you get a general idea of how the space will look.
Planner 5D

Choose what shape you want your space to be to get started. The app lets you create a space with rooms, doors and furniture, with both wall decor and flooring.

I’d like to say I created this but sadly not, it’s one of the room demos that Planner 5D provides. It’s a good idea to have a look at the demos. That way you can really get a feel for the app's design potential!

 

BrightNest

BrightNest-app-icon App Name: BrightNest Price: Free Use it to: Manage your project BrightNest is a great port of call for project management of both tasks and renovations. If you’re a little (...very) forgetful like me, this app allows you to create schedules and to-do lists to make sure you get things done. You can also use the app as a handheld notepad, jotting down the name of furniture pieces or wall decor you'd like to purchase. It’s great for keeping track of all the smaller things you are likely to miss when you renovate or move house such as cleaning the gutters and changing the batteries in your smoke detector. There's also loads of information for general home maintenance. You'll also be asked questions about your home. This allows the app to provide you with posts that are interesting and relevant to you.
BrightNest Merge

Choose the most relevant categories to get the most out of this app. BrightNest will ask questions to keep your content relevant and up to date. This is great because if you don’t have anything to do with ceiling fans, you don’t need to read about them! The various posts and mini style blogs offer pocket-sized information on a range of interior topics.

The Design Apps  You Don't Want To Miss...

Have we inspired you to give some of these apps a try? Maybe you’re using them already or we’ve missed your favourite one off of the list… Let us know in the comments! :) 
CONTINUE READING ...
Dining, Styling Tips
How to Mix and Match Your Dining Room Furniture: The Mismatched Look
April 21, 2016 at 4:20 pm 0
Mix and match dining setting At a first glance mix and match furniture may look like a totally random selection. However, it’s actually a much more considered design set up than just throwing any old pieces together. After all, you don’t want your dining space looking like your old student digs or your first flat, where non-matching furniture was more of a necessity than a lifestyle choice! When done correctly, mixing your dining chairs is a great way to create a unique look in your dining area. We’ve put together our own definitive guide to offer you style tips for pulling off a mix and match dining set. We also have tons of dining room decorating ideas, so you'll be creating this very on-trend mix and match look in no time!  

Same Colour Dining Chair, Different Design:

By keeping the colour of your dining chairs the same, you are able to keep the coordination. You're also able to have some fun with the shape, style and size of the chairs you choose.  

Mix and Match Same Design Dining Chair, Different Colour:

One of the easiest mixed dining chairs design ideas is having the same shape and style of dining chair but in a variety of complementary colours. This is because there is still consistency from the design of the chairs, but you can really get creative with which colour combinations you choose. Opt for two tones or a neutral palette for a more subtle take on this look.
Mix and match dining set: Arc Oak and White Gloss and Senn Colourful Dining Set Danetti

Mixing bold chair colours against tactile wooden and gloss surfaces is a fun take on the mix and match look. Not to mention the gorgeous look of the close up and detailing.

 

Same Material Dining Chair, Different Design:

This look is ideal if you have a particular material choice in mind but still want mix things up. The key to pulling off this mismatched dining setting is to stick with just one material finish but in different chair styles. We’ve opted for real leather but you can choose any material that best suits your space. It’s a good idea to stick to one colour when opting for this mismatched look. This is so that there aren't too many points of difference. All of our leather chairs come in the same palette creating plenty of potential to coordinate different designs of chair.   

Play With The Height Of Chairs and Bar Stools:

Okay, so a bar stool isn’t technically a dining chair but we had to include this mix and match dining setting. Having different heights in your dining space, such as bar stools at a breakfast bar, will help to create a nice visual balance in the space. We’ve kept elements the same such as the wire leg frame of both the Eames chairs and of the Anzio bar stools, as it is a contemporary coordinating feature that helps to tie the whole look together. If you want to have an even more coordinated look throughout your space, you might want to consider something like an Eames Style Bar Stool, as they have similar styling on the base and the seat mirrors the continuous curve of the Eames chair.
Anzio Modern Gas Lift Bar Stool Danetti

You can also mix the colours of the bar stool seats, like we've styled here with the Anzio Modern Gas Lift Bar Stools in mulberry purple, white and black £132

Mixing The Traditional With Modern:

When mixing traditional with modern pieces, less really is more. Try not to have too many different styles of chair as this can make the space look jumbled rather than styled. We’ve selected a seat similar to the Eames Dining Armchair, called the Finn Dining Armchair, as its iconic design means it will always look on trend and up to date. To add a traditional spin, we’ve chosen the tactile oak frame finish of the Scandi style Senn Oak and White Dining Chair, which also helps to add a touch a warmth. The white finish of both of the seats helps to tie the whole look together. When selecting a table for this look, we’d suggest something with glass and chrome accents, like the Tiva Small Glass Dining Table or Naro Round Glass 4 Seater Table. The transparency of the glass would let the chairs be the ‘star of the show’ while the chrome accents would give the set a truly modern edge. If you’re really inspired by this timeless look, we definitely recommend taking a look at our “How to Add a Modern Edge to a Traditional Home” blog post (after you’ve finished reading this one of course), which offers an array of style inspiration for creating this look throughout your home.    

Different Details:

Mix and match furniture can create a very impactful setting. However, there are ways around this if you’d like to have a more subtle take on this statement look but still with some level of variation. Changing just one element or detail of your chair selection keeps the coordination but breaks up the palette for a mini mixed look.

Tactile Textures:

When mixing textures, we suggest keeping the shape and style of your dining chairs as similar as you can. This is so all the style impact from this look comes from your choice of mixed of materials. Whether it’s wood with chrome or fabric and faux leather, like we’ve opted for with our Riva and Tori chairs, having a mix of textures in your dining area will create a tactile and very contemporary vibe, with the added benefit of getting to have such a range of gorgeous material finishes in your home! Both of our Tori and Riva chairs are stackable seats, so they are great space savers. This makes the chairs ideal for storing away and then getting out again when you have guests round for dinner.    

Same Style Dining Chair Different Design:

This dining room design is another subtle take on the mix and match look. By keeping the style the same but having a slightly different design of chair, you are able to mix things up just enough so there is a stylish visual impact, without the look becoming too overpowering in your dining space. A great way to do this is to place dining armchairs at the each end of the table. This not only mixes things up a bit, but it creates a really neat and uniform modern dining room. There's also two extra comfy seats at the end of the table for your favourite people. This style of chair is definitely something to consider if you want to comfortably sit around your table chatting, long after the dinner plates have been cleared away! Have we inspired you to give the mix and match look a try in your dining area? Let us know your favourite style in the comments, alongside any stylish set ups you already have in your home! :)
CONTINUE READING ...
Ideas and Inspiration
Modern Contemporary or Soft Sculptural? Which Style are You?
February 12, 2016 at 1:43 pm 0
On our most recent shoot created two similar looks, each with a different feels. We took two of our new dining sets and shot them in the same room set. However, but by styling them slightly differently we can show you just how versatile our furniture can be. One look is sharper, more of a cool city style. While the other is a gentle, curvaceous tactile look, but still with a modern edge.  Our dining sets are always effortlessly stylish and modern but sometimes it can be hard to visualise how they will work in your space. Here we show you how easy it is to create a look you want. By adding a few different twists, the furniture can sit happily in any home with existing accessories. Or, if you are in a mood for change, why not copy our room set style! 

Look 1: Modern Contemporary

If you are looking for a more urban style with a modern contemporary feel why not recreate this look. The gorgeous glass Tiva table is ideal for creating a feeling of space. With the reflective chrome legs it looks stunning, especially when paired with cool grey Elise chairs. The chrome chair legs enhance the look perfectly and add to the overall elegance of this uber stylish set.   Set in a monochrome room with touches of colour, this is a look for those who want a bit more out of minimalism. By just choosing elements that make a style statement so here are some tips to follow when trying out this look at home:
  • Stick to a monochrome scheme overall.
  • Inject some colour with well chosen accessories. But remember- less is more.
  • For a modern urban feel choose chrome, glass or brushed steel.
  • Don’t be afraid to ‘fluff’ it up a bit with some soft textures like sheepskin, which work in contrast to the cool metals.
  • Greenery or something floral will bring life to the scheme. Even a bunch of plain foliage or twigs is enough to get the look.
  What we used: Tiva Glass and Elise large Dining Set £539Canio Leather Occasional Armchair £499, Reflect White Gloss and Chrome sideboard £499.  

Look 2: Soft and Sculptural

If you are looking for something a bit softer visually you might like the tactile curves of the new white gloss Eva table and the gentle shape of the Santos chairs. This is a really stunning combination with a sculptural feel that is easy on the eye and looks contemporary but classical. The white gloss is a striking finish. Whilst the chairs that are wrapped from top to toe in faux leather are beautifully curved and stackable too! What really makes this look is the absence of a metal finish which makes it all about the silhouette. Once again set in a monochrome room, this look works well but appears softer and more feminine than our previous look. If you are after a gentle version of cool style then this is the look for you. If you want to get this look at home, try these tips:
  • Use soft modern pastels like mint to accentuate the monochrome backdrop.
  • Add stylish texture and pattern with cushions and other soft furnishings like rugs etc.
  • This look works with tactile textures like leather and white gloss. Don't be afraid to mix textures. Gloss, matte and leather will all blend really well in a mix of monochrome tones. 
  • Accessorise this look with stylish bold pieces - a dash of clutter but not too much! Here we went for fewer bolder pieces. A great interior designer tip is to go for oversized props. Choosing props that are larger will automatically give a more dramatic impactful look. 
  • Choose sculptural leaves and plants, with strong large blooms for a graphic feel. Shop around, there are some amazing faux versions available. 
 
Danetti 260116_07

Styling our Canio Chair £499, Grey Gloss Side Tables £119 and Eva and Santo Dining Set £615 together for a clean and contemporary look.

What we used: Eva white gloss and Santo stackable 6 seater dining set £615, Canio Leather Occasional Armchair £499, Reflect White Gloss and Chrome sideboard £649.  
CONTINUE READING ...
Ideas and Inspiration, Interviews
Q & A – A word with Illustrator and PR Director Liz Owen
January 6, 2016 at 11:53 am 0

Mel&Liz Profile- orignial size Liz Owen is a 40 something, early 90’s ex fashion student, mother of two, with a strong love for a beautiful pair of impractical shoes! Liz fell into Public Relations by chance after a realisation that this type of work was going to probably pay a little quicker than a design job, of which there were slim pickings during the recession in 1992!

New-Laura-Ashley-2015-Fall-Winter-CatalogueCan you tell us how you started out in PR?

I approached a local wax jacket firm called John Partridge back in 1993, presenting them with an illustrated collection of men’s sporting jackets, even walking into their cutting room and taking samples of fabric for swatches. Sadly there were no design jobs at the time, but they did have a PA/ Public Relations role to the CEO who admired my audacity. I was hired on the spot – this job led me to all sorts of hunting, shooting, fishing, sailing and historic car racing events- it was enormous fun! From there, a few hit and miss attempts at other PR/ Marketing roles within dot.com start-ups back in the late 90’s, agency work and finally landing a fab role at Laura Ashley back in 2004 until 2010, where I felt it would be time to start my own micro company here in Marlow. I looked after ACHICA.com, the Indian Ocean Outdoor Company, Lisa Stickley, V V Rouleaux and Home Barn, all of whom I still have a great relationship with. Then late last year, I decided to persuade a fellow creative friend, who is an awesome graphic designer and photographer, with a love of fonts and creating beautiful websites, and with my illustration and PR skills, we decided to start a company for other little brands who are starting out, and called ourselves Little Shop of Brands.

Yoga3For those who aren’t familiar with the PR world - Can you tell us about a normal work day for you?

We are a brand new company, so we do have to work around the children – my day starts with either  bootcamp 3 days a week first thing and yoga 2 days, then the morning madness kicks in with organising the girls and somehow feeding them and taking them to school fully dressed! Then its either straight off to meetings with clients or back to our office at the end of the garden until 3pm. During this time we’re pulling plans together, writing releases, creating, illustrating, designing, making calls, emailing frantically…! Then the school pick-up deadline beckons, and it’s back to the gate to pick up the little ones, feed, force homework, wash and bed – 5 until my own bedtime varies pending on how much we have on – at the moment, it’s quite full on!

What do you love most about your job?

The people, the variety of the work – rather than just doing PR, I now have a hand at creating something for small businesses that make a difference; drawing one day, meeting clients and press another, attending shows, helping Mel create a concept for a brand. The beauty of PR is that I can use this skill to help the brands we work with get off the ground. It’s also a useful skill to have in terms of confidence and lifestyle trends, knowing what will work and how it will be perceived. I also have a lovely network of great friends who I have known for years in the business, journalists, stylists, retailers and PR’s – all of whom I feel blessed to be able to turn to when I’m unsure about anything, or just need someone to catch up with who knows my world!

Did you have to do a course or are you self taught? How did you start off on the PR ladder?

Hmmm – I admire those who do courses in PR, but I never did one – I enjoyed my fashion course instead which took up enough of my late teens and early 20’s – I’m sure there are some amazing courses out there. I could never claim to be self taught either. I worked for those who were slightly nuts, who taught me that being unique in this industry is a blessing, not a curse. Wallflowers rarely make it in the world of PR, and I was a wallflower at the beginning, but I was also personable and passionate, so once the confidence kicked in, and the experience was more familiar, all of it became second nature. I’m still a little nervous at picking up the phone sometimes, but I love nothing more than having a good chat with my contacts – it doesn’t feel like work until I have to write the report and invoice my clients!

What area do you specialise in?

Homes, interiors and lifestyle

LFWWhere do you find your inspiration for campaigns?

Attending London Fashion Week, London Design Festival, New York Fashion Week, Galleries, travelling, reading and film – Social Media has had me gripped since 2009, (I’m a part time blogger!)  and it’s a lot easier to see the direction trends are taking via all the usual platforms, namely the most powerful of all…Instagram!!

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

It didn’t seem like advice at the time, but I once threw a press release after the fourth attempt at my boss’s head out of utter rage – he merely told me to pick it up and walked out of the room. It made me realise that no matter how hard you seem to work, always respect people who are trying to teach you something until you get it right – it makes you a better person in the end!

40's austenWhat is your favourite style?

I’m a huge fan of the 40’s – I don’t fully wear from that decade apart from indulging at my wedding – my engagement ring is from that era, so I went to town with the accessories and had a rural country wedding on the farm I grew up on – My father and me drove to the church in an old Austin car, my sister wore a 40’s skull cap from Steinberg and Tolkien from the Kings Road, and jewellery from the vintage part of Butler & Wilson. I’m also a huge fan of Vivienne Westwood, and have a few pieces of hers – I want a whole wardrobe of her pieces, it’s just all gorgeous!

How would you describe your home?

Very Home Barn…no seriously, everything’s from Home Barn – ‘vintage modern’ if that’s a style?! I have an eclectic mix of homely pieces in warm tones – I love my copper Original BTC lamps with an old kitchen table surrounded by Ercol chairs, a cow hide rug with a Chesterfield style sofa in ticking.

What is your favourite Danetti product and why?

Clearly the Eames style chairs – they’re classics and Danetti do the most gorgeous colours – actually I have a few pieces in mind like the simple but shapely new Eva table - perfect with the Eames Style Chairs!

imageWhat is your favourite shop?

Oh don’t do this to me….can I merge my 4 favourites as one – Liberty/Selfridges/Henry Bendel NY/Merci Paris –they have THE best interiors, THE best candles, ALL the perfumes, ALL the fashion, ALL the beauty, ALL the quirky bits and pieces you’d never find anywhere else …STATIONARY …ALL the STATIONARY – love them!

vivienne westwoodWho is your favourite designer - dead or alive.

Vivienne Westwood…full stop!

The Quick Fire Round:

What is your favourite colour?

Teal

Favourite film?

Elf – I could watch it all year round!

 elfWhat’s in your bag?

Notepad, purse, a million pens, sunglasses, Laura Mercier lipgloss, diary, mobile phone – oh and reading glasses now, I’m going blind!

 the toolsWhat is your favourite book?

The Tools by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels

Where is your favourite holiday spot?

Sablet in South of France

  What is your idea of the perfect weekend?

Socialising with friends, and Sundays usually kept exclusively to my amazing hubby and my sometimes well behaved girls – at the moment it’s all about family movies on the sofa with a roast later

Manor HouseFavourite paint colour?

Manor House Grey by Farrow & Ball – seriously, is there nothing this colour doesn’t work with?

CONTINUE READING ...
Ideas and Inspiration, Interviews
Q&A with Interior Designer and Presenter Julia Kendell
November 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm 0
Following the recent launch of our new  ‘Exclusively Danetti with Julia Kendell’ range, we managed to catch up with Julia during the recent shoot for the launch of our collection. We had a chat with her to find out what she thought about the collaboration and the individual products.

Why did you choose to work with Danetti?

When I am designing an interior for a client I will only specify furniture from a supplier I can trust and who I know will be reliable. The furniture also has to be aesthetically beautiful, fit the brief and it’s also got to be good value. I have to be absolutely sure that it's going to arrive on time, in good order and should anything go wrong, I have to know that the company will be on it straight away. Danetti satisfies all those criteria so I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to collaborate on a furniture collection with them.

What elements of your personal design ethos have you incorporated into this range?

My personal ethos is all about creating an emotional connection both between the interior and the inhabitants who will be using that space. The reason that’s important is because in this day and age we're all so busy and we need a home that we can retreat to at the end of the day. Somewhere you feel safe, that's also energising. So for me creating this range of furniture, creates a perfect backdrop for home life that has a sense of energy about it. And that has been really important.

How would you sum up the range?

I’d sum up the range as being a fresh and robust collection combining organic materials and glossy surfaces. I've created something that’s really energising and is just a really fabulous collection for contemporary family living.

The Peacock blue is a beautiful accent - is it a bit of a signature colour of yours?

I really enjoy designing with blue. It’s a very calming colour and because of this and because it’s very easy on the eye. It means you can use quite punchy shades to create impact and depth in a scheme without it unbalancing the whole look of the scheme and without it drawing too much attention. So yes, it's just a fabulous colour. I love it!

What elements of the process of design do you enjoy the most?

I love the entire experience of designing and putting this collection together. It has been hugely exciting for me. Of course I suppose nothing beats the moment when you’ve done all the concept drawings, you’ve had all the meetings and then suddenly the pieces arrive and you can unwrap them and see them in the flesh. It's just so exciting.

How important was it to you that these products were affordable?

Affordable design has always been at the heart of my work. When I first started out in the industry a very long time ago it was very much an elitist sport. Only the very wealthy could afford to have really beautifully designed pieces of furniture and interiors and of course there's no reason why everybody shouldn’t have a beautiful home. So throughout my career, I’ve always championed really good quality design at good value.

What does good design mean to you?

Good design to me is creating a balance between something being aesthetically very pleasing (so it's satisfying all the senses I suppose, something that feels good, that’s tactile, that looks great, sometimes that smells great too) and also being functional and practical. You want something that makes you feel a whole emotional connection. 

How do you see these products integrating with the modern family?

I think that the dining table and the space around it is really underestimated. In this day and age when families are so busy and when the illuminated screen is such a draw - we need to be able to have family time around the dining table. It’s one of those moments when we can really connect as a family. It’s the place where you have Xmas lunches and birthday dinners. You can sort out problems and share experiences. Frankly, it is where memories are made, family memories and that is so, so important.

What do you think of the bar stools?

I am particularly thrilled with the bar stools. It’s really difficult actually to find the perfect bar stool. One that you can move easily, is comfortable, looks great, but these bar stools I think are spot on. They’re very easy to move around. Plus, they’re light as anything but they are very robust and you know they are going to last and they look fantastic. Even just the tiniest detail like the beautiful stitching around the seat. They’re absolutely stunning -I'm so so pleased with them!

How about the sideboards:

The sideboards have been designed with detail in mind and they will satisfy even the most discerning client. The chamfered detail throughout the whole piece is just beautiful. Whats more the 'soft close' mechanism and the super smooth sliding door are great too. It’s just so lovely to use. I love the combination of the materials as well. The gloss, and the matt and the timber I think just works so beautifully together. And of course there are a lot of surprising little details as well like the mirrored backs on some of the pieces - just beautiful…

What do you like best about the table selection? 

For the cost of the Arc round table, the price I think is quite amazing. I haven’t seen such beautiful veneer detailing on a table at that price - ever! So just how lovely to be able to have such a stunning piece in your kitchen or dining room. The Zen table is a contemporary spin on the classic trestle table it is the perfect size for a family or a group of friends. I wanted to keep the lines nice and simple and straightforward - it’s just perfect.

The chairs are so elegant, how do you feel about the results?

Comfort is so important when it comes to sitting at a dining table. The design of the Form Dining chair really focus's on this. It's available with and without arms and the detailing again is really really superior. Particularly the way the frame follows the curvature around the back, it’s just the most beautiful chair. Definitely designed with comfort very much in mind. We all like to spend time at the dinner table, nobody wants their friends or family to feel uncomfortable. Therefore the design makes you feel like you want to spend hours at the dining table. So there you have it! Our Exclusively Danetti range with TV Interior Designer and Presenter Julia Kendell in all it's glory. If you want to see more, head over to Danetti.com for more.
CONTINUE READING ...
Living Inspiration, Styling Tips
One Sideboard, 3 Looks With Julia Kendell
November 18, 2015 at 5:18 pm 0
Featured Image Revised Take inspiration from our stunning new ‘Exclusively Danetti with Julia Kendell’ range of sideboards and see how versatile the collection is. We worked with Julia to create three very different looks using the same sideboard. It’s so important to us that this range is versatile so we wanted to show you how it’s done. See how these looks can be achieved easily and used to enhance a variety of styles. Think outside the box and let your imagination do the styling!  

 

Look One: Naturally Organic Sideboard

Julia wanted to show the sideboard looking feminine and tactile, so opted for calming colours and natural textures. Choose your accessories carefully for this look. Julia selected pieces in soft pastels, twigs, interesting sculptural shaped flowers. A delicate framed butterfly print combined to give the look a slightly botanical feel with elegant style. Neutral Revised Naturally Organic: Glide sideboard in white gloss with grey and oak, £499

How to get this look at home:

  1. Use a few bold shaped items but in pale colours.
  2. Look for dried flower heads; hydrangeas and cow parsley work well.
  3. Twigs or something with height will add impact and substance to the look. You don’t have to buy them though, we just picked ours from the woods!
  4. Layering up a few different clear glass pieces will add interest without being intrusive.
  5. A simple framed print in soft colours will give the sideboard a focal point. For this look Julia opted for purposeful central placement.

This combination of organic elements and simple, elegant pieces creates a soft, welcoming look that sits well in most contemporary environments. Keep the look ‘clean’ and defined allowing the twigs and flowers to add the unconstrained movement in the display.” Julia Kendell

 

Look Two: Gorgeous Global Sideboard

The eclectic traveller look is a favourite style for Julia. Having been lucky enough to travel to amazing places as an Interior Designer, she’s picked up some interesting authentic pieces along the way. As a palette, classic monochrome works well for this look. Julia felt that black and white would give the sideboard style definition. A fascinating selection of accessories and curiosities add interest and create a well travelled antiquitous feel. Therefore blending in effortlessly with the contemporary sideboard. It’s easy to create with a selection of much loved treasured possessions and a few simple quick tricks.   Monochrome Revised Gorgeous Global: Glide sideboard in white gloss with grey and oak £499

How to get this look at home:

  1. Decide on the look you are going for, Julia went for ‘tribal global traveller’ - but it would work well with a different theme such as Mediterranean, Indian etc
  2. Cloches are a great way to showcase something simple and unusual - Julia used an old camera and a plant; even the simplest object is elevated to something special under a cloche.Man From Kathmandu
  3. One striking piece will give your collection a focal point, Julia’s wooden statue from Kathmandu was her choice for this ensemble.
  4. The contemporary zig zag vase helps set the scene and Julia then used touches of black and white throughout the selection to tie them all together. The ceramic we chose has a vaguely tribal feel, perfect for this look.
  5. Use something living like an orchid or a leafy fern to breathe life into the look and stop your arrangement from appearing dusty or antiquated.
  6. Authentic artefacts aren’t essential to this look. The best thing is to use something that means something to you, a piece that you love. But failing that you can get some amazing ‘global chic’ items in charity shops or on the highstreet. One of our go-to places for inexpensive but great quality props is Homesense.

“Its lovely to have a place to assemble your treasured memories of trips and adventures, family heirlooms and quirky finds. Collecting these together in one place has more impact than dotting around the house and has a wonderful sense of energy and history” Julia Kendell

Look Three: Playful Retro Sideboard

Although this might not be the most obvious look for this fabulous collection as it has a contemporary retro feel to it. It feels playful, fresh and bright and would be at home in any family living space. Julia managed to bring something new to the retro look with some lovely styling ideas. There is a fine line between stylish and kitsch with retro styling. Remember you want it to be more Conran less Austin Powers so get the balance between retro and contemporary right.  

How to get this look at home:

  1. Choose a few pre-loved or nostalgic accessories in bright colours to kick start your look. We used the bullseye telephone and the ochre coloured pot filled with bull rushes give the sideboard enough of a nod to the retro, without looking too themed.
  2. Add a few more sharp, contemporary products that will give it a really updated feel. The juxtaposition between the new and the old will give a designer styling look.
  3. Introduce something individual and cool. Julia used string, mini clothes pegs and a selection of Penguin Classic book cover postcards to create wall art. Childrens drawings of fun photographs would look great as well.
  4. A pendant light hanging over the sideboard is a great idea and can be themed to match the scheme - this globe style light is typical of the 60’s era.

“Retro is all about having fun, adding pops of colour and creating a space where people want to stop and look and leave with a smile. Have confidence in your choices, not mixing too many styles or colours, and leave plenty of space around groups of items to avoid the car-boot look!” Julia Kendell

To see these looks come to life, check out the video and comment telling us which you like the best.

 

The product that we used in this shoot was the The Exclusively Danetti with Julia Kendell Glide Sideboard in White gloss, Grey gloss and Oak, £499, www.danetti.com

CONTINUE READING ...