My Friend’s House are two friends who live and work in South London. We love their blog, which tracks the renovation of their respective homes: design ideas, product choices and DIY trials and tribulations. It’s intriguing reading: both personal and authoritative, and full of lovely pictures. And now they’ve been kind enough to share a little of their extensive experience with us in a special guest post in the Journal about how to bust those final little renovation niggles.
ONE FRIEND SAYS…
They say that when you do up a house the last ten percent of the work just never gets done. The money or the energy runs out and those last little jobs, well, you just live with them. In the spirit of the My Friend’s House Real Reveal, here are the last, loathed jobs that we just can’t get done – and what we would do if only someone else would sort it out for us.
1. PAINT THE WOODWORK
I’ve done the walls. Spent ages deciding on just the right grey, bought posh paint and did a good job. But I just can’t bring myself to do the woodwork. All that sanding. All that dust. All that …
The House Doctor is back. You wanted bookshelves and she’s here to give the people what they want.
Dr Manu had a lot of correspondence to deal with last week – and after looking through your comments and emails, she decided that shelving – bookshelves specifically was an area in which you wanted some home advice. So without further ado, take it away Dr Manu.
Books are always going to be cool. Sorry Kindle, but the shape, colour, texture and pattern of books make them elegant objects, as well as interesting reading material. The Kindle is somewhat…lacking. The more books the better – but how do you organize them? I’ve got a few ideas that will keep your books looking smart (and make you look smart by extension – even if you haven’t read them all).
THE MORE BOOKS THE BETTER – BUT HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE THEM?
1. IT’S A KIND OF MAGIC: CONCEAL SHELF BY UMBRA
Umbra’sconceal shelf is simple but dramatic: a thin metal shelf fixed to the wall which becomes invisible behind a stack of books. Pile them all up and there’s your trick.
And these Umbra conceal shelves are available on LLUSTRE.com now for an
We caught up with Christian Bird – senior designer at international design and branding agency Design Bridge, just round the corner from LLUSTRE HQ in Clerkenwell. He is also the designer behind the fabulous Edge of Belgravia knives – whose design is as sharp as their zircomium oxide (yup, that’s right) ceramic blades.
SO DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WERE GOING TO BE A DESIGNER?
I’ve always loved design, probably before I knew what the word meant. I was always drawing and making things as a kid. If you have strong ideas as your basis for doing something, you can make anything.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH EDGE OF BELGRAVIA?
I met Freddie Ostland through a mutual friend. I was really interested in his idea – to make really striking high quality kitchenware.Freddie had done a lot of research about ceramic blades and he really wanted to do a range of knives. The brief was to design a knife you wouldn’t want to put in a drawer. There are similarities to Alessi there, I suppose – kitchen tools that look so great you’d leave them out on display.
So Freddie and I teamed up. My brother is a chef, …
Laura Seabys prints won’t fail to cheer you up: she incorporates typography, illustrations, and stylised icons to create a collection that is intelligent, fun with just the right degree of nostalgia.
Everything is bright and graphics, not to mention instructive and informative: you can’t argue with a tea towel that tells you to Brew Up, or with prints that offer an A-Z of London’s or New York’s highlights.
We were lucky enough to grab ten minutes with Laura, where she told us a little about her ambitions, canine aspirations and how printing and design are in her blood.
I MAKE In my personal work, illustrations, prints, tea towels. By day I’m a packaging and product designer.
I GREW UP in Swansea in South Wales.
MY WORK IS SPECIAL BECAUSE hmm, really hard to say. One thing I try to do is vary the style of my artwork and try different illustration and print techniques. Laser-cut is next thing I’m keen to try.
I KNEW I WANTED TO DO THIS WHEN I was much younger and started creating things and people around me encouraged me, so I just kept doing it!
When I WORK I usually try and design with …
Graphic designer Pete Richardson designed the Wren bike for his girlfriend, Jenny (Wren, obviously), who was frustrated by unwieldy and oversized city bikes. Launched last year, the Wren bike is a small wheeled bicycle that doesn’t compromise on design or ride quality and is built to last. A new cycling classic.
And Peter is an in-demand sort of chap: the Wren bike has been raved about in Elle Decoration and The New York Times (as well as on the LLUSTRE Journal, of course).
We spent ten minutes with Peter Richardson, to learn a little about his work, inspiration, and Robocop. Yep. This one comes with Robocop.
I MAKE bicycles, lovely bicycles.
I GREW UP: riding bicycles between YHAs in the Lake District
MY WORK IS SPECIAL BECAUSE: it’s well thought out and has the purpose. All my design ideas come from experience rather quick-fire concepts.
When I WORK I: enjoy some peace and quiet. I KNEW I WANTED TO DO THIS WHEN: I couldn’t find a bike for my girlfriend and I knew there were others like her who were experiencing the same issues with bikes that were either too big, fell apart too easily or were a money-pit to …