Category: design scrapbook

Time out

I know I have not been the most productive blogger of late, and it is because I have been somewhat tied up with my new street food project, converting and setting up a vintage dumpling and salad truck.

The van, a 1948 Ford pickup, is almost finished, and we will trade in weekdays on Leather Lane in London in a couple of weeks.

All of which means that for about a month I will not be posting on nestify while I get things up and running. I will miss spending my days poring over cushions and lanterns and sharing what I find, but duty calls. I will however be blogging about the highs and the lows of van life, and all the experiences the summer brings, on our new website,

See you soon.

The Blackout Studio

My friend Emma’s brother Tom Lakeman, who aptly writes a blog called EMMASBROTHER and runs conceptual still life platform The Blackout Studio, creates breathtaking art from small, humble and inspired beginnings: the good old fashioned gobstopper. I always thought they were pretty cool as sweets go, but I never knew they could look so good:


As grey skies hang horribly low, and summer seems a world away, we could all do with a happy hit of colour while we wind our way through February – and this hits the spot perfectly.

In an inspired move, he has also branched into ribbons and the results are equally as beautiful:

I would love to be able to tell you a little more about him, but he is a mysterious character, whose About section says only this:





As for the rest: you will have to find out yourselves.


Outline Editions Christmas extravaganza

Kristjana S Williams

From November 26th to December 24th, graphic print hub extraordinaire Outline Editions will be selling some of their funnest and finest prints by an eclectic range of artists in a pop-up shop on Berwick Street. With works by Anthony Burrill, Noma Bar, Kate Moross, James Joyce, Klaus Haapaniemi and Patrick Thomas,  and prices ranging from as little as £15 to £300, there is truly something for everybody.

Here is a little taster:

Klaus Haapaniemi

Anthony Burrill

Patrick Thomas

Kristjana S Williams

Noma Bar

Noma Bar is also running a free Cut It Out workshop there this Saturday where you can make your own Noma-inspired creation. (Overt sexual references optional).

For more details visit

How To Spend It: on reclaimed furniture and ethical homewares

My two latest posts have gone up on’s Haute Seat. The first is about ethically aware e-commerce interiors sites, including and Jali designs, where you can buy artisanal goods witha clean and happy conscience.

The second highlights my top reclaimed furniture retailers in the UK and beyond – bold, industrial statement pieces that bring salvaged homewares and materials to the design fore.

I hope you enjoy them.

A nice idea

I saw this on holiday in Italy and thought it was a lovely, simple idea – as the best things often are.


Handmade in Britain 2011

On the weekend I went along to the 2011 Handmade in Britain expo at London’s Chelsea Town Hall. I am ashamed to have only written it up now but time seems to have slipped away.

Organised by fashion and home accessories designer Piyush Suri, the fair started in 2007 with the aim of bringing together and promoting craftsmen from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There was a wonderful variety of crafts to explore including jewellery, ceramics, textiles, glassware, and paper sculptures – and the workmanship was second to none. With our purse strings firmly tightened, the only purchases made were from the lovely Namiko Murakoshi of NamNam ceramics, who I met at Artsmart and whose stall was irresistible with all its little faces:



Other designers that caught my eye:

Deryn Relph


Norman Yap Ceramics (also pictured at top)

Noa Ceramics


Lettie Belle


Rachel’s Wool


Original finds from Original House

German industrial trolleys, £210

Last week I went for supper at my friends’ house where I spotted a beautiful, robust and wonderfully worn out coffee table which was in fact just an old crate on wheels. But it was so solid and old and weathered, I couldn’t stop looking at it. I wondered all the way through supper how such a stylish number had ended up nestled between sound systems and granny’s cushions in their cosy, hotchpotch and rather boyish living room.

The answer: Original House, a furniture store founded in 2008 by Archie and Caddie Mackie which specialises original reclaimed pieces. Describing their style as “relaxed yet exciting” – as all good things should be – they scour Britian and beyond for one off pre-loved items and sell them online and through their showroom at Northleach, in the Cotswolds. Environmentally aware and disdainful of mass production, they know what they are doing and their pieces show it. Here are my current favourites:

1950s Tulip table by Eero Saarinen, from the QE2, £540

Portugese factory toolboxes, £110

Vintage Eastern European gym horses, £1200

Dutch enamelled industrial tables, £135

See more at

Blue animals by Bitossi

As former director of iconic ceramcicists Bitossi, Aldo Londi designed these lovable Rimini Blu animals in the 1950s. They caught my eye the other day and my heart skipped a beat for each and every one – and there are over a dozen. With their dreamy blue hues and intricate textures they are hard not to love, nestled somewhere between cute Scandi folklore and high-end ceramic artefact. Prices range from £24.80 to £150, depending on your chosen animal, and they’re availabe to buy from


Guest post: Zoe rounds up the best little vases from the Origin craft fair

Design-fan-about-town Zoe extols the wistful virtues of a teeny tiny vase for autumn.

Shan Annabelle Valla

Two weekends ago, enjoyng the last of the summer, I visited the contemporary craft fair Origin in London’s Spitilfields market.

I was delighted, more than anything, by some little vases made especially for single flowers. Out of nowhere I was struck by the romantic image of picking wild flowers in the countryside and returning to a beauty table with a clothes brush, and a jewelry holder, and a tissue box, and other pretty little trinkets to rearrange. It struck me as something of a sadness that the days of the dressing table and all its feminine little treats are long gone – and summer maybe over but daydreams in the sunshine are not. So why not keep a little flower alive in its own delicate vase and brighten up days of cold and grey skies.

The vases which aided my imagination include: the beautifully paterned ceramic bud vases by Cynthia Vardhan; the elegant and minimalist Kishu vase by Maya Selway, who – by using cooper and silver – has appeared to create just the outline of a vase; the neat and geometrical metal vases from Niklas Ejve; and more porcelain delights from Shan Annabelle Valla.

Cynthia Varden

Maya Selway

Niklas Evje

Then I came across this image by Petra Collins from her album the female gaze, which reminded me of an eerie version of the look I had in mind.

Still – one of Cyhthia Vardhan or Shan Annabelle Valla’s vases wouldn’t go amiss.


Autumn at Burford

Last week I passed by Burford garden centre in Oxfordshire and couldn’t resist stopping for a quick coffee and retail runaround. I have only ever been there briefly, running in and out on busy Saturday mornings for compost with my sister who lives nearby, so I relished the chance to wander round in peace and quiet and check out their autumnal offering. With beautiful floral displays and endless, thoughtful ways to accessorise and personalise your home and garden / allotment / window boxes etc, it is the place to go if you need a hit of colour and inspiration.

My favourite find was a lovely range of furniture made from reclaimed Indonesian fishing boats, reincarnating weathered wood and bright pastel colours into simple yet beautiful tables, benches and cabinets.

There is also a lovely selection of colourful Persian kilim furniture – a jumble of wild and eccentric tapestries, chairs and sofas that plunge you into a colourful, chaotic bazaar.

I also spotted some little wooden teepees for kids which look very cute, as well as a ready-to-go shepherd’s hut (for just over £12k) complete with lighting, electrics and bright floral interior.


But I myself was frugal and only bought some tumbling ivy to fill my long-empty hanging pots.

For more information and their online store visit