Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Rose Christmas Fair

We have now been travelling the country selling our wares at various Christmas fairs since early October. You would think therefore, that the meer mention of Christmas would have us hurling our advent calendars across the room in a rage but oh no, the holidays are coming and we can't wait.  

But before we can all relax and down a large glass of Christmas Spirit, there is the dreaded Christmas shopping to do.  But fear not, we at Andara have got this covered- after the success of last year, The Rose Christmas Fair is back.  

Come and join us for an evening of festive fun, stress free shopping and winter warmers. An excellent opportunity to not only spread some Christmas cheer but to finish, or in some cases start, your Christmas shopping.

Come to the Rose Pub in Fulham next Tuesday 13th and you will find wonderfully unique presents for everyone on your list, all done with a drink in your hand and surrounded by friends.

Here is a little taster of what you can expect...

Beautiful home accessories

Tina Sparkle
Wonderful Cashmere shawls and fur

Flora McKillop
Fantastic Handbags and Home Accessories

De Bouverie
Stunning Jewellery

Sir Plus
Mens Wear

Cherry Laundry
Retro printed T-shirts

Rubies in the Rubble
Delicious Home Made Chutneys

Davina Combe
Stunning jewellery

Please note that most of the stall holders will only be accepting cash or cheque so do come prepared!

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Mo Mo Mo

And so it is that we come to the end of a very special month.  Not only is November the month in which I was born, JFK was assassinated and the Russians sent a dog into space but November has now become better known as the month of the facial hair, Movember.

Mo Cushion- well we are meant to be an Interior Design Blog

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.  Those men that take part are not only raising vital funds for charity but are also doing the great public service of putting a smile on all our less fury faces.  The sheer delight it gives me to see a familiar face sprouting not so familiar fluff is worth every penny of sponsorship. 

So goodbye and thank you to the crumb catchers, nose neighbours, lip foliages and flavour savers.  I await your return with impatience.

PS. Get involved next year to take advantage of great deals like these:


 Byron Burger rewards all registered Movember fund-raisers who raise £25 or more with a free hamburger EVERY DAY for one week in November.

For the month of November, any man growing a moustache in support of Movember who purchases a ticket on the day and quotes “Movember” received a free fast track upgrade to jump the queue ahead of the clean shaven public.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


This time I am not writing about anything design related, nor am I going to plug our wonderful Andara products.  Nope, today I wanted to write about my fantastically talented friend, Cosima Crawley aka. COZI.  

I recently went to see her play a very small and intimate gig at The Cellar at The Worlds End Distillery.  It was, quite simply, fantastic.  Cozi co-writes all her songs which all revolve around the intricacies of human relationships.  The lyrics and the meaning behind the words are incredibly important to her and as a result, her songs are hugely witty, steeped in double entendres and brimming with powerful statements.  I encourage you to look her up asap- she is going to be HUGE.

Cozi with her two insanely talented guitarists, Ollie and Johnny

Saturday, 5 November 2011

In Stitches

Wow and Love.  That pretty much sums up my thoughts on these stunning embroidered book covers by Penguin.  I can't believe I have only just come across them, especially as I am a huge fan of the clothbound series which Penguin brought out to celebrate their 75th birthday. 
Penguin Clothbound Classic Series

Known as the Threads (very cool), they have been designed by Jillian Tamaki for Penguin.  A visual delight.  

The Threads are available to buy from Amazon
My creative juices are now in full flow.  I have been thinking about taking up needlepoint this winter to wile away the long, cold evenings and now I have a project- embroidering a cover for our wedding album... or have I gone the wrong side of naff?

Saturday, 22 October 2011


Just to feed my bathroom obsession a little bit more, I have recently come across these beautiful sinks from Linkasink. They are called 'Cloisonné Sinks' and I think they are completely stunning.  Turns out that Cloisonné is an ancient art form that is most commonly used in creating jewellery and small art objects.  This art form – melting various colors of glass within copper wire design compartments – has not changed for 700 years.  Linkasink’s cloisonné sinks are authentically hand crafted at a factory in China that has been creating cloisonné objects since the 14th Century.

Raw copper bowls serve as the structural base for the sink.  Copper ribbons are bent to form the design patterns.  These cloisonné pieces are attached to the copper sink.  The areas formed by the cloisonné wire designs are filled with powdered glass.  The sink is fired in a kiln to melt the glass.  For multi-colored sinks, each color is filled and fired separately.  Each sink is individually polished by machine and by hand to create the smooth finish.

Linkasink have lots of bold colours to chose from but you'll rarely find me straying from neutral tones

Monday, 17 October 2011

Bath Time

I have a problem and it is rather embarrassing.  I can't help it, I go into peoples homes and the temptation just proves too strong to resist.  It seems I am obsessed with other peoples bathrooms (and the odd, occasional downstairs loo).  Well obsessed is rather a big word but I definitely have a stronger interest than would be considered normal.  I'm not looking for hygiene or cleanliness or even loo paper softness. Nope, I am looking at layout, use of space and the type of fittings used.  

I have put my increasingly odd behaviour down to my deep dissatisfaction with the small, cramped and storage lacking bathroom that I have to put up with at home.  Now that Andara have ventured into a bathroom range, things have gone from bad to worse. I need help.  Luckily my very talented friend Izzy Reeves, interior designer extraordinaire and founder of White Designs was willing to talk me through her thoughts on all Bedroom and Bathroom dilemas.
Izzy Reeves
Bathrooms are usually quite simple and practical- what is your one tip to add interest and design to a bathroom?

There is a fashion these days to go for a completely beige and white bathroom. Although this is nice and easy on the eye, I think it is much more fun to make them slightly original; bathrooms are the one room in the house that you can go a bit crazy in as they are the room that you tend to spend the least time in. 

Be bathroom bold
And for a downstairs loo?

For a down-stairs loo I would always go for a fun wallpaper (Timorous Beasties have really quirky wallpapers which provide great reading material for those that like to spend time on the loo!). I also love going for fun tiles- there are some great hand-painted ones you can get which come in a variety of designs. For smaller changes I would always go for fun accessories, like the bon bon jars or the storage pots and candles from Andara.

Timorous Beasties, Napoleon Bee Wallpaper, £103 per roll
Zoffany wallpaper, Rome £48 per roll
Khajana Pots- Set of 2 as seen, Andara, £28

Apart from Andara (obvy) where is your favourite place to shop for bed/ bath accessories and why?

I shouldn’t admit it as it is a high-street brand, but I completely love the White Company for all bedroom and bathroom accessories. I particularly love their Bon Bon jars, which you can then fill with things like shells and cotton wool and they become a bit of a feature. I think it is fine to use high-street brands for the smaller things, as long as you mix it up with more unique items from markets, individual suppliers or smaller unknown companies.

Bon Bon Jars, The White Company, from £45

What is your biggest 'do' and 'don't' for decorating a bedroom?

Personally I would never paint my bedroom in a bright colour. It is great to be bold in your choices but you can easily get bored of something which is too in-your-face. It has also been scientifically proven that people generally don’t sleep well in brightly coloured rooms, and that sleep pattern and dreams can be effected by wall colours. Having said this using a different colour or a fun wallpaper on a feature wall (I know- I hate the term too!) can be fun and can bring a bit more life to the room whilst not being over the top. My number one priority for a bedroom is to make sure that the bed looks (and hopefully is...) unbelievably comfortable. I always have a large white bed spread to cover the bed completely, and then have a big rug or quilt over the top, with a few cushions at the top end. All men will see this as a waste of time and money but it does make a big difference.

A room designed by Izzy for White Designs- Loving the Andara blue floral cushion!

What one item do you think can immediately transform a bedroom?

Any soft furnishings can completely transform a room, so in a bedroom I would use a nice bed throw or some cushions to give the room a new look. I have got one client who likes to change the look of her house according to the seasons and so she has a very neutral finish to all hardware and furniture but then has a winter set of accessories and a summer set of accessories. It is amazing how different the house looks once the little details have been changed. Obviously we aren’t all in a position to do this and so it is sometimes fun to go for items, such as a quilt or cushions, which are reversible. 

Contrasting Reversible Quilt for 2 different looks, Les Indiennes, $622

What inspired you to become an interior designer?

I always loved art but was never good enough to make it as an artist and so Interior Design was a way of making a living out of art. I particularly fell in love with residential interior design as you are creating a home, and no project is ever the same. I knew I had made the right decision the day that I saw my first ever project completed - it was amazing to see something that you created on paper come to life.

What is the strangest design request you have ever had?

I had a bachelor once who had his basement dug out. He wanted to make the front door step (which was right above the sofa) out of toughened glass. He said that it was so he could see who was at the door but I am convinced it was so he could look up the girls skirts!

Izzy Reeves at White Designs

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Tuscan Dreams

Andara have now launched our brand new collection of 'Candles and Scents'.  It has been a long process but we are so pleased with the results.  We have designed each scent ourselves using organic ingredients and have had them created in the UK.  I am so proud of our bottles too! They are all recycled with fantastic metalwork decoration to really make them stand out.

My favourite is our Tuscany Hand Care Set seen above.  We have combined the scents of Ylang Ylang, Bergamot and Mandarin to create the most wonderful smell.  When I first tested it, it reminded my so much of a warm, sunny and fragrance filled evening in Tuscany that we knew instantly what we wanted to call the range.