New Ribbon
Slide 1


The Design and Craft Fair, MADE LONDON, returns to One Marylebone 24-26 October to present the very best in contemporary craft and design. Showcasing over 120 READ MORE...
Slide 3


It's called Ripley's Aquarium of Canada (as opposed to Ripley's Aquarium of Toronto which would follow the format for their US locations), which is not helping the general READ MORE...
Slide 3


I'm taking you backstage again! This time at Orlebar Brown's Covent Garden shop where the SS15 collection of tailored beach and resort wear was shown both in in the shop, and to the delight READ MORE...
Slide 3


Each season Showstudio invites their favourite fashion illustrators to create their own unique view of the collections, then they present each series READ MORE...
Slide 1


I opened the cover of a new landscape photography periodical I had just received called Land/Sea and began browsing the photos and words as I walked into my kitchen READ MORE...
Slide 3


Yes, this is a men's fashion post. And it feels right. This season's London Collections: Men was my first ever thanks to an invitation from long-term London Fashion Week sponsor Toni & Guy READ MORE...
Slide 3


One day in Stockholm we took the ferry to the island of Djurgården to visit the Vasa Museum, one of Stockholm's most popular attractions. 'Vasa' refers to the Swedish warship READ MORE...
Example Frame

July 18, 2014

Sibling Gives the Jacob's Tin a Fashion Makeover


Designer collaboration is the way forward for brands who want to inject style into their products, and now baked snack maker Jacob’s has teamed up with British knitwear design trio, SIBLING, to create a limited edition cracker tin that will fit nicely in any fashionista’s kitchen cupboard. (I kind of love the idea of food brands working with high-end designers to bring their packaging into another realm.)

SIBLING, who are well known for their strong use of colour and love of traditional knitting techniques, have used their unique knitwear designs as inspiration for their redesign of the traditional Jacob’s Cream Cracker tin.

Twenty of the limited edition leopard print tins are now on sale on eBay, with all proceeds going to FareShare, the UK’s largest food redistribution charity. 

I had the opportunity to interview SIBLING Joe Bates (wearing the great hat, right) about the project and his own work:

TSL: Sibling is an 'in the know', unique, high fashion brand; not the typical choice for collaboration for such a ubiquitous company such as Jacob's - someone there knows their fashion! When you were first approached with the idea did you see it as an opportunity to introduce Sibling to a wider market?

JB: SIBLING are always keen to reach as broad an audience as possible. We get approached by many companies to collaborate so we have to be very careful who we choose to partner with. Jacobs came with a fun proposal that made us choice made.

TSL: You referenced Jacob's packaging colours for your striking argyle and leopard print tin design - was this combination an obvious choice or did you try other patterns and textures first?

JB: Colour is a fundamental to the SIBLING DNA, we embrace it wholeheartedly so utilising the Jacobs livery was not a challenge we couldn't meet. The patternation was based on our usual play on historical and traditional knitting, then we put that together with a bit of rebel spirit.


TSL: What is it like designing as a trio?

JB: Lovely, it means there's always someone to confer with which makes it great for expanding ideas very quickly. 

TSL: I hear Sibling are big snack fans - what is your favourite Jacob's snack? 

JB: The Cream Cracker of course, the original and the best. 

TSL: Where do you take inspiration from for your designs?

JB: Most often the inspiration will start from a single image. Being very passionate about reportage photography means that it is normally a single photographic portrait that will really fire things off. 

Sibling_finale_ss15TSL: What is your favourite piece you’ve ever created?

JB: The most recent is the finale piece from S/S15 SIBLING menswear catwalk show. It's a giant raffia piece, a real show stopper in red raffia, it was representative of the feeling of being 'cock of the walk' when you're dressed to the nines in your youthful rebellion stage. 

TSL: Who would you most like to wear your clothing?

JB: We have a litany of celebrities who have worn SIBLING, in fact some of our real heroes, Debbie Harry bought a SIBLING dress when she played Manchester, you can't top that in our book. 

TSL: Any words of wisdom to share with aspiring designers?

JB: Work hard and be nice to people. 

What great advice. Thank you, Joe! 

You can buy your own Sibling-designed Jacob's cracker tin here, and keep up with Jacob's at #SnackHappy.

FareShare is a unique charity fighting hunger and its underlying causes by  providing food to more than 1,290 local charities and community organisations across the UK, including homeless shelters, children’s breakfast clubs, women’s refuge centres and luncheon clubs for the elderly, helping to feed 62,200 people every day. 

Transform Your Bathroom With These 3 Simple Ideas


Your bathroom may not be the biggest or the most glamourous room in the house but it is one of the most important to keep up-to-date and fresh. Along with the kitchen, the master bathroom is the most valuable asset, and making sure that it looks good and works well can increase the selling price of your home. 

The bathroom is also a great place to unwind and clear your mind, especially if you're a bath person. So you want the décor and ambience to make it as inviting as it can be. In this guest post we take a look at some of the easiest and most cost effective ways to transform your bathroom to give it that enjoyable and relaxed feel.

Re-Paint Or Tile The Walls    

The simplest and most effective way to make your bathroom look fresh is to update the paint. A new coat, even if it is the same colour, can go a long way to making your bathroom look and feel brand new again. If you want to change the colour, keep it light to make it feel as open and airy as possible. 

Add Ceiling Cladding

Bathroom-ceiling-cladding-dbs-bathroomsOne of the most overlooked areas is the ceiling as it tends to be considered too expensive to change. However, specialist retailers, such as DBS Bathrooms,  are starting to supply new product such as ceiling cladding that can be designed to fit any area while making your bathroom stand out with style.

Ceiling cladding is perfect for the fluxuations in temperature in your bathroom, and unlike paint it won’t suffer from damp in a poorly ventilated area. The cladding is easy to install and with a variety of styles to choose from you can give your bathroom an instant lift. 

Select the Right Lighting

In the majority of bathrooms, the main lighting source will be overhead and usually attached to the ceiling. While this is often the most practical place for the lights, it is not necessarily the best place if you spend a lot of time using the mirror. By adding a lighting source around eye level next to your mirror you will be able to see what you are doing – perfect for applying make-up or shaving, especially if your space is lacking in natural light.


While changing the electrics is better left to a professional, it is still possible to do all the ground work of mounting the light. It’s essential when working with electrics, or indeed any aspect of your bathroom, to have the right tools. Quality is important for effectivness, longevity and safety, so use a specialist retailer like The Big Tools Shop for equipment to help get you on your way to updating your bathroom. By using one or all of these simple and cost effective tips you can keep your bathroom looking fresh and up-to-date without breaking your budget. 

July 09, 2014

Finding the right shower for your home


Our bathroom reno is still a while away, but it's good to start figuring out what you want well before your old one gets ripped out. I recently I visited a showroom and had some looks at options, particuarly showers because we're getting rid of our tub/shower combo, which as previously mentioned, really needs to go. I think there must have been around 75 showers in this place, but rather than be overwhelmed by choice, the perfect shower revealed itself - minimalist and very little hardware so it looks like floating glass panels and nothing else. Finding a shower that is right for your space - and you - depends on several factors. Think about which design, style, and features will give you the best shower possible. 

Coordinate your theme

What kind of feel and style are you looking to create in your bathroom? The small yet significant details such as the design of the tap, shower head and shower tray - or absence of the latter - will help follow through on your theme. 

Take time to figure out the perfect design to complement your theme and look at lots of pictures so you can visualise your ideas in your space. 

Maximise practicality

Determine which type of shower will work best for your situation. If you have children, a shower needs to be easy to get into, simple to use and safely set to the right temperature. A mixer shower will ensure no scolding or freezing for the kids.

Another benefit of a mixer shower is that the flow remains consistently strong regardless of the water pressure. This is particularly helpful if you want to minimise water usage without compromise when many family members are taking showering in the morning.

If you have a second bathroom, you may want to look at vibrant colour schemes to make the dreaded 'getting ready' routine more fun for both adults and kids.

Click here if you want to find out more about mixer showers and how the feature could be perfect for your home.


Glass shower panels help strike a balance in this small bathroom. Source 

Use space efficiently

You should also consider how effectively your bathroom space is being used. If you don’t have children, have a small bathroom, or simply don’t use the tub that much, it might be worth redesigning your space for a shower alone, as we're doing. It frees up space and if you go with a minimalst design will instantly make your bathroom appear lighter and more open. (And I'm hearing that more and more homeowners are opting for this, so selling your home with no tub may not be a problem and shouldn't hinder you doing what's right for you.)

However, if you are still a fan of a relaxing bath, you should find a shower that complements the style of the tub and doesn’t let the water spray out onto the floor. A shower screen will work better than a curtain, and while those bi-fold style panels are meant to keep water from leaking out, be sure you buy something well made or you could be accumulating damage beneath the floor. 

Choose your experience

Finally, it’s important to think about the sensation you want to experience when you shower. Do you want a feeling of total immersion? If so, look for an oversized showerhead or model featuring multiple streams. If you prefer a deep and massaging clean, you may want to invest in a power shower.

Take your time to browse all of your options, and you may even find one or two you'd never considered. The shower is where we begin our day so the time invested will be worth it!


July 07, 2014

LC:M: Backstage at Orlebar Brown with Toni & Guy

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown_2 (1 of 1)

I'm taking you backstage again! This time at Orlebar Brown's Covent Garden shop where the SS15 collection of tailored beach and resort wear was shown both in in the shop, and to the delight of the neighbours, the street. Downstairs, the Toni & Guy session team were busy creating the 'groomed beach chic' look under the guidance of Silje Vincent. Silje explained that working with the models' individual hair texture was the best way to achieve the look. As you can see, the result is a polished style without any fussiness; it makes the guys look like they just have great hair. It worked particularly well on the models who had longer hair to work with, and it would move nicely with a breeze running through it on the beach (not that I'm thinking about it too much or anything).  

Here's how you can get Toni & Guy's groomed beach style, using the label.m Black Tourmaline Dryer and label.m Cutting Comb:

1. Prep hair with label.m Volume Mousse, label.m Blow Our Spray or label.m Sea Salt Spray depending on the hair texture (I have the label.m Sea Salt Spray which is great for adding texture to fine hair and perfect for a 'day at the beach' look)

2. Finger dry hair for tousled separation with label.m Black Tourmaline Dryer

3. Using a label.m Cutting Comb move the hair either off the face or across the forehead, which ever suits the face

4. Finish with label.mSouffle or label.m Power Paste for separation and

Label.m must have products: Volume Mousse, Sea Salt Spray, Blow Out Spray, Souffle, Power Paste.

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown_1 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown-b&w (1 of 1)

Aside from surprise parties, I don't think I've ever seen a room filled with so many excited, smiling people. It's a nice change from the usual 'I'm over it already' attitude you tend to see at the collections. You really know how to make a splash, Orlebar Brown. (You'll see why as you scroll down.)


Dogs! Everyone was happy because people love dogs! A particularly beautiful specimen accompanied each of the tailored beach shorted models, including a massive Great Dane. In case you're wondering, the dog carer/trainer was right there the whole time and gave them water every 15 minutes, then after a while the models were told to put on flip-flops and take the dogs for a walk around Covent Garden to the delight of the neighbours. What a scene that was.

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown-4 (1 of 1)




Theswellelife-orlebar-brown-6 (1 of 1) TheSwelleLife-Orlebar-Brown-15 (1 of 1)

July 04, 2014

Wimbledon Fashion A Slam On and Off the Court

Lacoste-ss14-tennis-skirtLacoste SS14 brings court style to the street; however, 0nly the trim on the sleeves would be allowed at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is all about tradition, from strawberries and cream with a Pimm's chaser to plain-as-possible tennis whites. While the All-England Club isn't forcing anyone to consume red fruits and heritage liqueurs, the esteemed grass court slam remains the only event on the tour to enforce a strict dress code. And until just before this year's Wimbledon, it even extended to spectators in the spectacularly priced debenture section, who were only allowed to enter if wearing a smart jacket and tie and dresses, but can now wear open-neck shirts, trainers (as long as they're not dirty),  jeans (not torn) and shorts (can't be the sporty kind and must be tailored). If you thought this subtle reform signals a more relaxed attitude toward the players' kit, you'd be wrong. In fact, even coloured trim is limited to a meagre 1cm in width, and ladies can forget about finding a loophole up their skirts in coloured knickers - Sharapova's bright orange shorts of last year are now banned - and yes, they are checking. But there's a reason for this heavy-handedness beyond the traditional notions; it keeps Wimbledon free of bold and unsightly sponsor logos - notice there aren't any brands screaming at us from around the court? There are sponsors but they're discreetly placed, and they want that reflected in the players' clothing. 

Caroline-Wozniackis-dress-for-Wimbledon-2013-Adidas-by-Stella-McCartneyLimitations brings challenges, and this can actually be a good thing for fashion as it makes the designers think more creatively. So how do you make all-white tennis outfits exciting, stylish and above all else - covetable? Well, on the women's side, you can use layering, cut-outs, and transparency as seen in the new dresses from Adidas by Stella McCartney (one of my favourites for activewear), worn by Caroline Wozniacki (right). Or you can keep it simple with flattering cuts and textured techno fabrics. There's still something for everyone. As for the men, some of the clothes typically seen are such eyesores with their clashing colours and patterns that a clean slate can come as something of a relief. Roger Federer, the men's most stylish player - Anna Wintour wouldn't be sitting with his camp at his semi-final and final matches if he wasn't - thinks the all-white rules are too strict and hopes they'll relax, but says for now that he 'respects' them. 

Tennis fashion has become so good that there's a demand for the look on the street. Activewear reflects active lives and therefore is becoming more and more a part of our every day wardrobes, with both high-end designers and the high street consistently churning out new interpretations. 

Not into wearing cute ruffle skirts and second-skin, breathable tops? You can still get the Wimbledon look at home, quite literally, with an official Wimbledon bath or beach towel from Christy Towels. And there's always the strawberries and Pimm's. 


Showstudio Illustrates the Men's Collections SS15

Showstudio_john-booth_juun-j-paris-fashion-week-illustrationJohn Booth's collage interpretation of looks at Juun J in Paris

Each season Showstudio invites their favourite fashion illustrators to create their own unique view of the collections, then they present each series on their tumblr. Whereas New York kicks off the women's collections, it's where the men's wraps up, so these are being conjured up right now. So far we've got London, Milan and Paris, interpreted through a variety of media and perpectives. (Just a thought after browing the Showstudio homepage, something I do often - Is there a better site for conveying the visual excitement and energy of fashion? I don't think there could be. If there is, please show it to me!) 

Here are a few that stood out to me, and if you see an illustration you love, you can buy the original from Showstudio's online shop

PARIS by John Booth, London-based illustrator and textile designer: 

Showstudio_john-booth_paris-fashion-week-illustrationDior Homme


Henrik Vibskov


Paul Smith


MILAN by Marie Cunliffe, London-based womenswear designer:


Frankie Morello




Bottega Veneta




LONDON by Eduardo Mata Icaza, Marseilles-based illustrator: 


Alexander McQueen


J.W. Anderson




Jonathan Saunders

A Guide to Choosing Enagement Rings


The summer months mean wedding season; there’s no getting away from it, especially if your social calendar is anything like my friend's (I don't actually have any to go to!), and you seem to be going to a wedding every other weekend in July and August. With all of these weddings come countless tales of proposals: The when? The where? The how much?

Nigel O’Hara have been going through some of the most frequently asked questions from men wishing to buy an engagement ring for their other half, so they've put together this handy little guide to help you out.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

This is most common question from men looking to buy an engagement ring, and fortunately the answer isn’t complicated – it’s up to you. There has been a lot of hype around how much one should spend on a ring. Some will tell you three months’ wages is a good benchmark, while others will say one month’s wages is sufficient, and shockingly, some will even suggest taking out a mortgage in order to pay for the ring. In most cases you will find that the question answers itself once you find the right ring.

What type of diamond should I choose?

With so many different shapes, colours and styles it can often be confusing as to what type of diamond you should select for your ring. The shape of a diamond refers to the outline when it is viewed from above – the most common shape for an engagement ring being a round, brilliant-cut diamond. There are, however, many different shapes available, some with self-explanatory names like oval, pear and heart shaped, while some of the less obvious styles are princess-cut, asscher and cushion. There is no right or wrong answer; it depends on personal taste. 

Tip: It is always a good idea to consider the type of hand that the ring is for – someone with long, slender fingers may not want a big heavy set diamond, but rather something more sleek and delicate.


What types of bands are available?

Another essential consideration is the type of material to choose for the band. Gold, white gold and platinum are three most popular options. But they are not the only ones, so if you want something a little different don’t be afraid to shop around.

Tip: If you an unsure of what to get, have a look at the colours of any jewellery she currently wears, or ask friends and family for advice (if they can keep the secret).

What if I choose the wrong one?    

Most jewellers offer a returns policy in case she doesn’t like the ring or you want to change it, so do check the terms and conditions for any purchase before buying. It can be difficult to get the right size, so resizing requests are common and most jewellers will offer this service free of charge.  

One final thing to consider is that the style of engagement ring will influence the type of wedding ring choices, as traditionally they are worn together. So it’s worth bearing that in mind if wedding ring ideas have already been decided – you will want to find something that matches.

Tip: If the pressure of getting it absolutely right first time becomes too much, you can always go ring shopping together, as more and more couples are doing. Make a day of it and have fun!

Selecting the correct engagement ring can seem like a stressful and daunting situation with endless possibilities, but know that the effort and research you put in will really help make the proposal that much more special.  

5 Fires that Changed the World

Kanto_Hamada WaterNyosen Hamada, Chased by the Fire, Drowned in the Water. Source

From an early age we are taught that fires are one of the biggest dangers to human life. Colourful mascots visit schools educating kids about the dangers of playing with matches and the importance of smoke alarms, while we are all born with an innate fear of fire.

It is arguably the single most important discovery in human history, and yet it has been responsible for some of the most infamous disasters of all time. Read on as fire safety and home security experts Checkfire Group (Fire Seals Direct) and Banham take you through five fires that changed the world.

Rome - 64 A.D.

It is the most enduring image of Emperor Nero, fiddling as Rome burned during the great fire of 64 A.D. There is no actual evidence that this is what happened - the fiddle wasn't even invented in 64 A.D. - yet the fire that gutted the heart of the Roman empire still eventually led to the downfall of the hated leader, when he built one of his grandest palaces atop of the ruins - a show of opulence and lack of compassion that was the final straw for Nero's embittered subjects.

The Great Fire of London - 1666

The Great Fire of London of 1666 was actually at least the sixth time the Capital had burned between 1130 and 1666, however it is the latter incident which is most and, oddly enough, fondly remembered. Despite making thousands of London's citizens homeless, the Great Fire only claimed the lives of six people, while it is also thought that it finally dispensed with the Great Plague that had ravaged the city the previous summer.

The flames destroyed many of the filthy slums that had harboured the disease, effectively sterilising the land and giving the authorities an impetus to rebuild afresh.


Chicago - 1871

Another fire that proved to perhaps be ultimately beneficial (despite claiming the lives of nearly 300 people) was the fire that swept through Chicago in 1871. Over 17,000 buildings were destroyed and 90,000 were left homeless, however its slow spread ensured a limited number of people died.

Much like the Great Fire of London, the Chicago fire allowed for a complete rebuild and improvement of the city, providing the foundations for the city to become one of the USA's great metropolises. The incident also led to fire-fighting reforms that helped the Chicago FD become one of the best in the country and provided a template for other large cities to follow.

Tokyo - 1923

Back in 1923 Tokyo suffered a major disaster which comprised of two devastating elements. The first was a massive earthquake at lunchtime when much of the city was cooking - leading to a number of small fires which swept through the rubble and led to a death toll of around 140,000.

The fire spread so quickly because of high winds from a nearby typhoon off Japan's coast, and what's more, a tsunami created by the quake added to the damage further still. A veritable Dooms Day.

Texas City - 1947

This last incident in our list of history's greatest fires may not have shook the world - but the largest industrial explosion the US has ever seen certainly shook the surrounding area - literally.

A small fire on a docked freighter may not sound like much of a big deal, but when you consider that this freighter was carrying 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate fertiliser (the same material used to carry out the Oklahoma City bombing), you might be able to see the problem.

The blast was so massive that over 1,000 buildings were destroyed and almost 600 people died - including the entirety of the Texas City volunteer fire service who were tackling the blaze. The shock waves were felt 250 miles away in New Orleans, while windows were shattered in Houston 40 miles away. After the explosion the only identifiable part of the ship was the anchor - after it had been thrown a mile through the air.

This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Fire Seals Direct and Banham - home and commercial fire safety equipment specialists.

June 30, 2014

3 Types Of Custom Furniture that Make the Most of Your Space

Modular-bookcase-for-living-room-furnitureModular storage offers ways to use your space more efficiently without compromise; good design can make it look better than ever

Homes are getting smaller. A survey by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) revealed that the average size of a three-bedroom home in the UK is now just 88 sqm – almost half that of homes built in the 1920s & 30s. So while our new-build homes are nicer, more efficient and designed with modern life in mind, we’ve got to get creative with the space we have.

In the RIBA survey, 65% of owners of fully occupied homes said their available space limited furniture choices and layout. However, this can be used an an opportunity to customise your furniture and make the most of the rooms and create a home you love, rather than feel like you’re settling. This guest post runs through three simple and affordable solutions for the home to help transform it into something with a unique yet fantastically functional, interior design.

1. Self-Adjusting ‘Anti-Wobble’ Tables

There’s a new type of technology which utilises hydraulics and automatic locking. FLAT is a company specialising in adapting this technology to eliminate the scourge of wobble tables on uneven surfaces. Whether it’s on grass, paving or sloping surfaces, it can ensure that the table top is always level.

How It Maximises Your Space:

Anti-wobble tables help you make the most of any areas, inside or outside, which you’ve otherwise considered ‘off limits’ for dining or any table top activities. According to Garden Organic, the average UK garden size in 2006 was 90 sqm – and the RIBA survey found that this has changed negligibly since then. Online store Eclipse Furniture are one of the UK’s leading approved distributors of the product which allow you to dine al-fresco, regardless of home much space you have and what surfaces you can use.

 2. Bespoke ‘Angled’ Sofas & Soft Furnishings

Rather than trying to shoehorn that bookcase into a tiny corner, or having to put your new sofa at a weird angle because of a protruding chimney breast, bespoke furniture, while typically more of an investment than ‘off the shelf’ products, is an excellent way to ensure no space is wasted. What was once awkward might now be your favourite feature in the room. 

How It Maximises Your Space:

A good manufacturer can create a design that works with the awkward angles, etc. that present challenges. TailorMade is a Windsor-based company offering bespoke sofas with personalised service - and they will also source fabrics if you have something particular in mind. It's worth a consultation with a reputable company to find out what options you may have - you might be surprised! 

3. Modular Storage & Furniture

Modular design is an increasingly popular option for furnishings and accessories, typically offering several possible combinations and often a more unique presentation. One such system is Opencase which incorporates wooden wall panels with rods at regular intervals. You can then add any number of included components such as shelves, rods, cupboards, racks, boxes and baskets – to create the storage system that works best for your space.  

How It Maximises Your Space:

Modular designs let you 'chop and change' parts which gives you the flexibility to build and modify the unit as your needs change. Depending on design, they can work well in tight or awkward spaces, and when no longer needed there can be recreated to be useful in other rooms. 

This guest post was written by UK blogger Tom McShane, working with renowned custom furniture suppliers Tailor Made Sofas and Eclipse Furniture. The firms work with domestic and commercial customers to provide unique products for specific properties.

June 27, 2014

My Kitchen Remodel and Extension Decorating: Second Look at Floors

Light-oak-plank-floor-white-roomCan't decide between a warm blond plank and a cool white one? Put one on the floor and the other on the ceiling! Photo source

Ok, it's crunch time. The extension, which opens up from the kitchen and therefore will share flooring, is built and it's beautiful - and it's empty! Well, except for a modular sofa still in boxes to protect it - it wasn't supposed to arrive until the end of July after the floors and painting were completed - and a new Magis table that I had to put out because I just wanted to be able to look at it. 

So we have to get moving on finishing the extension so we can use it. There is one major consideration in choosing the flooring: it has to work with underfloor heating which is how we're going to heat the extension. We know people who chose this way over radiators and are glad they did, so let's hope it's the right decision for us. (As a Canadian who is used to huge basement furnaces and floor vents, the rads bother me because they limit your options for placement of furniture and are a bit of a beast if you're trying to create a minimalist decor.)  There are actually very few types of flooring that are all-out bad ideas for underfloor heating, typically the kinds you're not likely to consider anyway, while the rest offer varying degrees of success. Ceramic, limestone and slate tiles are excellent thermal conductors, while vinyl flooring offers very good transfer of heat, and engineered wood is preferable to solid as heating is dependent on width and thickness, as some examples. 

Medium-plank-floor-white-kitchen-open-conceptThis multi-toned floor is probably as warm as you can get while staying on the lighter side of things. Photo source

So do I want a plank or tile? (The next groundbreaking innovation in home design concepts will be to somehow cast an image in your existing kitchen, like a hologram, so we don't have to rely on our wonderful yet wildly inaccurate imaginations.) I love the look of plank, and sometimes tile appeals depending, and I'm drawn toward continuous flooring which usually means poured resin or concrete. But that just feels bigger than me and my god, concrete in the UK? On the coast where it's damp most of the year? Anyway, I'm pretty sure that anything that needs to be poured will not do well with heating coils unless there's some way around drowning them. I think the clear winner is plank. 

As for colour, I'm pretty much decided on light. And then the question is will it have cold or warm undertones, such as what's known as Nordic or Arctic white which can cast a hint of blue, or a light oak with just a touch of brown. What I know I don't want is that chalky, painted, shabby chic look with no tonal variation; for solid colour I'd rather do tile and not cover up the natural gorgeousness of wood grain. And nothing overly lacquered. The extension is going to be cool, with a light, saturated grey on the walls and blinds in a 'Platinum' shade that is just so pure and clean, especially when compared to other greys I was shown which had beige or pink undertones and were not what I think of grey, more a taupe or mushroom which is really another colour altogether in my book. So a cool floor like a whitewash oak would seem the obvious choice, but is that too much coolness? Can you mix warm and cool? Of course! In fact in this case, because it's a space you live in, you need a balance to keep a room from becoming either too stark or too warm, the latter of which tends to not feel very modern. But of course there are other factors to consider, such as natural light - our extension is almost all windows which will warm it up significantly- as well as the colours of your furniture - we have a light grey modular sofa and white dining table - and how you accessorise the room which can be all it takes to set the balance.

Included here are some images I found which show cool rooms - walls, fixtures, furnitures - with both cool and warm, light coloured floors. They all look so great I'm not sure it helps me decide one way or another! (Hence the title of this post being 'second look at floors', not 'final'. But at least I'm closer than I was last time.) 

Scandi_Style_ MacDonald Wright Architects 05-light-wide-plank-floorThe overall effect of these gorgeous, wide planks is more on the cool side, though they do offer just a hint of warmth that can be played up with medium wood chairs, as seen here. Photo source 

White-nordic-plank-floorThis Nordic floor sets a very cool tone in this mostly white room despite the warmth of the table and chairs. This look is more about contrast and playing up the clean whites. 



Cupcake Monday!

Interiors & Exteriors

Floral Friday

London Fashion Week

Fashion Illustrator Series

Artist Series

Paris & Cities

Painted Houses Project

Colour Colour 



  • Creative Commons License
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...