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Psst! Want to stay ahead of the curve?

As the interior design world returns to a period of relative calm after the hustle and bustle of the September shows, it’s the perfect time for in.Design magazine to ask a selection of experts, including Brian, to look back and share their impressions and personal highlights of the season.

Brian was busy throughout September, keeping an eye on new directions and products at three shows: 100% Design, Focus and Decorex. His favourite, however, was 100% Design, thanks to its fabulous visitor-friendly design. Dividing the areas up – kitchen and bathroom products in one area, lighting in another, fabrics in a third – made it quick and easy for visitors to find the specialists they were looking for.

Highlights for Brian were Dune’s amazing wall tiles at 100% Design, which include circular shapes in the most wonderful colour ranges and chic mirror tiles. In Brian's words, ‘They’re a cut above anything I’ve seen for ages. To find something special and of such good quality is not always easy.’

Another find was Bauman’s incredibly innovative fabric collections at the Focus show, where the Swiss company launched their electrically lit voile fabric with tiny twinkling lights – a must-have for those extra special areas in your apartment or house!

And, at the Decorex show, Brian bookmarked Jacaranda carpets for future reference. Their new collections offer thick pile, a beautifully lush silky look and a great colour spectrum.

Read Brian’s impressions in full.


Brian's not-so-secret Valentine

Just in time for Valentine's Day, the popular in.Design magazine is running a feature on who, or what, some of its favourite designers are currently smitten with. Unsurprisingly, Brian was one of those picked and, perhaps equally unsurprisingly, his choice was the stunning wallpaper from Cole & Son's Fornasetti collection.

Brian's a big fan of using wallpaper as a feature to give your home that Wow! factor, and the Fornasetti designs certainly do that. The amazing choice of colour and perspective, consisting of 14 designs selected from the incredibly beautiful drawings in the Piero Fornasetti archive, are capable of instantly clearing away the day's stresses and taking you into their gorgeous world of fairy tale and make believe. As Brian says:

In the month of Valentine their ‘Novelette’ engraved clouds drift into the ultimate biedermeier theatre set, feeling like a modern-day inspiration of Hogarth taking you away into another spectrum.



Giving curtains some extra finesse

English Home, the best-selling magazine that combines celebrating English design with insights from world-acclaimed architects and experts, recently called on Brian to share his tips on how to make the most of windows.

Some pointers on using curtains to create style and mood – without forgetting practicality – include:

  • Use voile layered over curtains to create a sumptuous mood and soften the feel of your room.
  • Silk hangs beautifully, but eventually it begins to fade and fray at the edges. Give silk curtains a new lease of life by banding over the edges in coloured velvet.
  • Sew large buttons along the top or sides of curtains to add texture. Embellishments allow your creativity free rein and give curtains a personal touch.
  • If curtains don’t suit your room’s design, etched glass panels can be a wonderful alternative to complement the architecture.

Read the full article


Rising to the challenges of public sector design

When we hear the words 'interior design', the image that springs to mind is often one of our dream home - stylish enough to appear on the pages of a glossy magazine. However, Brian's contribution to a panel of experts interviewed in in.Design Magazine (p.22 - 30), about the difference between designing for the public sector and private clients, is a reminder that designers' skills are probably even more important in the public realm.

Creating someone's dream home may appear to be a challenge but, as Brian and the other experts discuss, it can pale in comparison with working in the public sector where designers need to juggle sustainability targets, awareness of the latest product legislation and Health & Safety directives, and the use to which the space will be put. There's still room to make sure it looks good though, as Brian reveals ...

Photo courtesy of InDesign magazine



A cosy house is not just for Christmas!

In December, Brian’s knowledge was called on for a Metro feature on how best to give your house a warm and welcoming glow at Christmas. However, the tips he offered are just as useful post-Christmas, when most of us struggle even more with the dark, chilly nights.

Brian’s top tips are:

  • Stick to rich, dark colours such as dark reds, purples or browns. Don’t panic if your walls are neutral-coloured – coloured throws and cushions can be used as effectively.
  • Candlelight creates soft radiance – play with the effects further by using gold lanterns to create a flickering glow, or glass holders to bounce light around the room.
  • The smell of good food, hot chocolate or mulled wine is always welcoming. But, if you feel you’ve earned a rest from cooking, use your favourite scented candles instead to create a relaxed atmosphere.

The full article appeared in the Metro, 20th December 2012