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Inside Out There

  • Black Friday 2014 - A Sneaky Peek

     

    Black Friday 2014 - Sale Announcement Black Friday 2014 - Sale Announcement

    We’re taking part in Black Friday for the FIRST TIME this year.  Don’t you just love us!   Our Black Friday offers go live on midnight on Thursday and here is a sneak peak of a couple of the items that will be going in. Do note though there is limited availability on certain items – so please don’t wait and think maybe I should… Hope to see you all on Friday .

    black-friday-banner-#2 Black Friday 2014 Bargains
  • A City Of Succulents

    I have very different taste to my parents when it comes to interiors, but the one thing they did pass on was a love of house plants. Growing up we were always surrounded by lush, 70's greenery and this early introduction (combined with Igor Josif's gorgeous #urbanjunglebloggers)  is no doubt responsible for my current obsession with succulents.

    So when the time came to tell the press about how much we have grown recently here at Out There Interiors, I couldn't think of a more fitting gift. So on Tuesday Lee (Our new PR Manager), Richard and I delivered 50 of these gloriously retro, fleshy little plants to our key media contacts in the city.

    lots of succulents on the office table waiting to be repotted Lovely fresh succulents

    I heart these weird little plants so much! (I even talked to them on the way home. Ssshhhh). Here they are waiting to be potted.

    succulents in 'Bloom and Grow' pots Holes drilled and re-potted

    I fell in love with these contemporary 'Bloom and Grow' pots. (The excess stock will be put on the site this week so look out for them. The perfect Christmas present for the green fingered in your family)! Succulents need drainage and unfortunately most of the plastic plant pots did not fit inside the ceramic ones. I therefore spent a fun Sunday evening drilling drainage holes into the ceramic pots (I was doing it in my sleep by the end).

    Potted succulents with sparklers and branded lolly sticks Accessorised with sparklers and branded markers

    We accessorised the succulents with indoor sparklers and branded wooden markers.  Sadly the party shop only had 17 hot pink sparklers left so the other 33 got silver. (Although Mark insisted the silver ones were more sophisticated).

    Completed plant gifts in clear plastic tubes Finished and ready to go

    This ingenious but infuriating packaging gave us so much joy! Lids and bases popped all over the place and all 50 gifts were subjected to some serious early morning Sellotape-age.

    PR Manager Lee with a trolley of plant gifts Trolley dolly Lee

    The pièce de résistance was our transportation method. I found this 1950s hostess trolley on a French flea market in October. Having no room for it in my flat I buried it at the back of OTI warehouse 3 (where my 'future house' treasures are kept) expecting not to see it for some time. Just a few weeks later however it was back on its wheels in central London loaded up and pushed along by 'trolley dolly' Lee.

    (Meanwhile, I took pictures and Richard dodged traffic wardens).

    Jenny at the bar after a long day Red wine time!

    Much as I loved the succulents I think I'll opt for something slightly less labour intensive in the future.  Sourcing the plants, the pots, the wooden markers, the indoor sparklers, the brochures, the letters, the stickers and the packaging was hard enough, not to mention the drilling of pot holes, re-potting, dressing, route planning, driving and delivering. It was a huge job. At the end of the 13 hour delivery day Lee went home to her little boy, Richard made bedtime with the twins, and me? I headed straight to the bar :)

    Oh by the way, we still have a few left to give out...

  • 5 Quirky Lamps To Chase Away The Dark

    It happens every year without fail and yet somehow the darkness of November always takes me by surprise. Suddenly it's pitch black at 5pm and I exclaim "Wow, look how dark it is" - as though it's happened for the first time.

    Much as I prefer long, light evenings there is definitely pleasure to be had hunkering down in a snug room as the darkness creeps in, and it's often at this time of year that we begin looking for ways to make our homes cosier.

    When it comes to creating coziness lighting is the second most important element after warmth, so (in true Out There Interiors style) here are 5 quirky lamps which can be quickly and easily added to a space for instant atmosphere.

    DONELLA : The Arrow Lamp

    arrow lamp on mantel piece

    We asked Lucie from LucieLoves.co.uk to style this lamp for us last year, and I've been in love with it ever since seeing her pictures. It's a fun, inexpensive, battery powered lamp which can be placed anywhere and everywhere. No wires or plugs needed. I has a raw, beaten up appearance perfect for loft style living.

    NEOLANA : The Bottle Lamp

    5 top lights 9

    Photographer Lisa Petrole has captured this lamp so beautifully. The warm glow of our violet and amber (pictured) bottle lamps are perfect for chilly winter evenings. The neon coil suspended inside gives off a brilliant bright light which is contained and warmed by the coloured glass. Instant atmosphere... in a bottle.

    ALFALA : The Vegaz Lights

    hollywood style lights

    Hollywood style bulbs encased around metal forming every letter of the alphabet; these statement lamps are still high up on my 'want' list.  You can stand them on the floor, on shelves or mount them easily on walls adding immediate sparkle to your interior.

    BONNIBEL : Light Boxes

    a person changing perspex fronts on lightboxes

    We're in love with these quirky light boxes which are brand new for Autumn / Winter 2014. Choose from three different shapes and four different perspex fronts depending upon your mood. One of them is left blank for you to customise! We' are definitely getting them for the office.

    ILLUMINA : Neon Phrases

    neon lights spelling 'alright treacle'

    The neon lighting craze is still in full swing and understandably so. They add light, warmth and personality to your space, along with a touch of metropolitan cool. Choose a ready made phrase or go bespoke with individual letters. We love the Qbic Hotel's 'Alright Treacle?' !

  • 5 mistakes people make with home décor Christmas presents

    Is it me or is autumn disappearing at lightning speed? Only yesterday (or so it feels) I was scouring a brocante in northern France smothered in factor 50, and suddenly I’m thinking about Christmas presents. Indeed the ‘magic and sparkle’ will be cascading over everything before we know it, and in this relative calm before the storm I thought I’d put together the top 5 mistakes people make with home decor Christmas gifts.

    1. They miss the hints

    Does he want to store his bike in the hallway? Does he want to store his bike in the hallway?

    Mark makes the mistake every year of failing to tune into my desires in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It’s a general mistake really, but it certainly applies in the home décor arena. Several years ago we decided to let creativity rule and spend a maximum of £25 on each other at Christmas. During the weeks leading up to the big day I casually introduced him to hundreds of things he could have bought me for £25; candles, throws, cushions, prints, plants, even jewellery and shoes. What did I get on Christmas day? A Bluetooth speaker. (Granted the speaker has proved remarkably useful but was certainly a disappointment on the day). Avoid this mistake by listening to your partner on the run up to Christmas. Has she mentioned how nice it would be to have a dressing table area in the bedroom? Has he hinted about wanting to store his bike in the hallway? Have you been out somewhere where he/she admired something which was too much of an extravagance to purchase on a whim? Did they recently show you something attractive in a magazine? Listening out for these (often innocent) signals makes your partner happy and your gift buying easier.

    2. They don’t think outside the box (yes, I hate this expression too, but hear me out).

    Beautiful bedside lamps might be possible Beautiful bedside lamps might be possible

    EXAMPLE: John knows very well that his partner Michelle is obsessing over a particular pair of bedside lamps for their newly decorated bedroom. He’d love to buy them for her but they’re expensive (£350 for the pair) and John can’t spend that kind of money on a present for wife - especially when he factors in the kids, his siblings, work colleagues and all the extended family.
    What John doesn’t realise is that his parents, Michelle’s parents and her two younger brothers have no idea what to buy Michelle for Christmas and would love someone to take the task off their hands. He misses the opportunity to work together with them to buy her the lamps and ultimately Michelle ends up with lots of unwanted items which collectively cost more than £350.
    Clubbing together with family members and friends is a great way to get the expensive thing you know the recipient will appreciate. I arrange this almost every year with my siblings and together we have sent my parents on mini-breaks, up in hot air balloons and to Michelin star restaurants. You can do it with a dressing table, a chair or a chandelier.

    3. They do the novelty thing

    blue moose head I love our blue moose head but I don't recommend him as a Christmas gift

    Unless you’re absolutely sure your recipient will appreciate the item steer well clear of anything novelty when it comes to home décor. Glow in the dark alarm clocks, wine glasses with comic sans slogans and that hilarious hook that looks like a cats arse are all no-go areas.

    Not only will the recipient be disappointed, they’ll also (if they’re anything like me) feel the need to put said item on display whenever you come to visit keeping the horror alive for several more years.

    Although I have included our blue moose head as an example of a novelty gift I have to admit that I absolutely love him. Just don't buy him for your mother-in-law, she won't appreciate it.

     

    4. They assume their taste is king

    upside down white plant holder Stay neutral with white skyplanters

    Trying to force your taste onto others (I like floral prints so you should too) or assuming you know what the other person likes is a very bad move. The first never works and the second very rarely works because taste is very difficult to pin down.

    For example, I collect vintage china and my mother who shares my passion for flea markets has spent many a year rummaging through old boxes of crockery with me. She still suggests many pieces that I reject and I can’t explain why. On the flip side I find it near on impossible to select a lantern for her collection. I can’t tell whether it’s bang on the money or totally wrong. Taste is a very particular thing.
    So if you’re buying a surprise home décor gift there is only one thing to remember: stay neutral. Throws, bookends, frames, candles, planters, vases, hooks, fruit bowls, clocks - they’re all good ideas, but don’t get clever. Stay neutral and your gift has the best chance of being a success.

    5. They don’t act quickly enough

    coloured lightboxes Lightbboxes imported from Italy

    Probably the worst mistake of the bunch.

    Things move slower in the furniture/home décor world than they do in giftware retail. Here at Out There Interiors we hold about 20% of our products in stock. The rest are made to order, or ordered in for you from various European wholesalers. This is the way the majority of furniture and interiors retailers work, and the process naturally increases the delivery time.

    Also, many pieces of furniture and home décor have to be delivered by specialist carriers to ensure they arrive in good condition. So if you’ve got the perfect home décor gift idea don’t leave it to the last minute.

     

  • Autumn & Winter 2014

    Fireworks: Light Up The Dark

    Early last week Mark decided almost on a whim to dismantle our downstairs display area and redecorate. A most uncharacteristic move on his part and although I have bitten a painful, simmering slice off my tongue over the accuracy of his cutting-in I do appreciate his choice of shade: a dark and decadent midnight turquoise.

    This sudden swing to the dark side no doubt has something to do with the myriad of moody splodges that have appeared on the walls of our 'white box' flat over the past few months as I gear up to go all out dark.

    My recent obsession with dark hues is echoed in our autumn / winter collection "Light Up The Dark" which was inspired by this season's forthcoming fireworks.

    corner of bright striped chest with oranges

    The best thing about going dark is the freedom it gives you when it comes to furniture choices. Colour pops, metallics shine and imperfections are allowed. Everything looks dramatic and special. (I have taken the plunge and ordered two huge tins of luxe black emulsion for my living room. Can't wait to show you the results).

    Golden Leaves: Awesome Autumn Metallics

    If you haven't yet incorporated copper into your interior autumn is the perfect time to indulge. Not only is it a fitting tribute to the season: echoed in the swirling brown and red leaves outside, it adds warmth and regality to your space as the colder weather sets in.

    gold chair and sideboard against mint green wall

    Our 'Golden Leaves' shot is my favourite of our Autumn / Winter collections, incorporating what is (in my opinion) the most beautiful sideboard of all time. Copper, gold leaf and mint green: what a magic combination!

    Grown Up Gothic Glam

    Our final collection we termed "Grown Up Gothic Glam". Inspired by Halloween I wanted to show the versatility of contemporary mirrored furniture by demonstrating how it can by juxtaposed with baroque pieces for dramatic effect.

    Mirrored bedside table and grey ghost chair

    Ridiculous as it may seem for such a statement finish, contemporary mirrored furniture is, in my opinion, the ultimate 'fail safe' furniture choice. It's colourless and impossible to clash. The clean lines of chests provide good storage. The reflective finish works in small spaces and 'lifts' dark areas. The style is neutral allowing you to indulge in colour or flamboyant/risky touches elsewhere. I could go on! Mirrored furniture is the new oak for those with an eye for interiors and it's a sure fire winner for autumn, winter and beyond.

  • Trend Watch: Copper

    I have been a fan of copper for years. Ever since a bar (which has now sadly closed down) opened in my home town sporting a huge copper plated bar.  I obsessed (and leaned) over it for years, declaring that as soon as I had the cash to create something similar in my kitchen I would.  Now it's all the rage I fear I may be accused of being a fashion victim, but it doesn't matter because I still don't have the cash.

    You don't need a copper kitchen to indulge in the copper trend though.  Here are my top 5 pieces in this magnificent finish from £27 - £945.

     

    copper mug with brass handle copper mug with brass handle

    These copper mugs with brass handles are arriving in October and I literally cannot wait to get my hands on them. I will be slurping my coffee in this for the next year or two for sure. You can order here.

    Copper and wood table lamp Copper and wood table lamp

    We supply a lot of copper lamps but this one is my favourite. Hailing from Denmark it combines copper with Scandinavian cool.  The braided wire is the perfect piece of detail. What's more, it's currently on sale at £135.

     

    Copper Pedestal Copper Pedestal

    I impulse bought this copper pedestal as soon as I saw it. Everything about it is a dream: the hexagonal shape (cue another trend watch) the understated design, the imperfect finish... it's a keeper. Buy your own here.

     

    copper wire chair copper wire chair

    Without doubt my favourite chair on the site at the moment. Penda isn't cheap but she really is something. Hundreds of copper rods are arranged to support the seat and back. She's a little bit retro, a little bit Art Deco and a little bit totally fabulous. Indulge here.

     

    copper tolix style chair copper Tolix style chair

    From an expensive chair to one a little more affordable. Our ever popular Tolix style cafe chair gets a trendy makeover in fabulous shiny copper. She adds instant pizzazz wherever she is placed. Only £160 here.

    copper french bedside copper French bedside

    Just when you thought it was all paired-back modernist stuff! Nope, this fabulous bedside table is part of our exclusive French furniture range. She features an elaborate copper motif offset against a lilac/grey base. Brass handles and gold trim make her ostentatious in the most appealing way. A stunner and a firm favourite. Here she is.

    Hope you've enjoyed this trip though copper land. These are my favourites but we have LOADS more. Check out the On Trend category, or Search by Colour and select Gold.

  • 10 Best Bits Of The Summer


    This summer has been a bit of a whirlwind. At the start of the year I had so many plans about what to do with the Summer months, and a lot of them didn’t happen. The company rebrand and website took up almost every waking hour and there wasn’t much room left in my head for anything else.

    yellow van surrounded by flowers The Centrepiece of Grown London

    Now the mayhem of those days is becoming a near distant memory, I wanted look back at some of the things I DID do this summer, most of which I didn’t write about.

    1. Open Garden Squares

    I just loved the idea of this event where all of London’s private and secret gardens are opened up to the public for one weekend. I heard about it in January and was determined to go, however it coincided with a friend’s big birthday night out. Despite being completely hungover I managed to haul myself around six London gardens on the Sunday. I had a posh Belgravia breakfast, discovered the music of Sam Hardy bought a cactus and stroked some goats. Success.

    open garden squares The British Medical Association secret garden in Russell Square, and a domed green house on Freightliners Farm.

    2. Emily Quinton’s Makelight Workshop

    I left Emily’s photography workshop full of creative inspiration and a determination to get to know my camera again. I learnt a huge amount and met some really lovely people. Unsurprisingly the website took a big fat dump on my plans to photograph flowers pre 10am, but I've saved the course notes and intend to put my dormant new skills to use in the coming months. I can’t recommend this course highly enough to anyone looking to improve their photography skills in a relaxed environment. Emily is fab (and she brings cake).

    emily quinton photography course Playing around with the rule of thirds at Emily Quinton's Makelight Workshop

    3. The Seven Minute Showcase

    I belong to Sister Snog which is "a remarkable club for successful business women". They organise lavish events and connect amazing women who share similar passions. I love the Sister Snog girls, but I’ll admit to panicking somewhat (ok a lot) when asked to present Out There Interiors to them at an event called Seven Minute Showcase. This was held at Lumiere London which deserves a mention for its fabulous interior (below right) I told the story of how the company began and gave away a mannequin as a prize. Surprisingly fun!

    lumiere london and breakfast Blogging over breakfast in Belgravia and the wonderful Lumiere London.

    4. The May Design Series Chairs

    At May Design Series I entered a Silent Auction for some chairs which had been upcycled by three of my favourite journalists (Carole King, Arianna Trapani and Kate Watson-Smythe) with the help of one of my favourite furniture companies, Out Of The Dark. I couldn’t believe it when I had a call from the organiser in June to say that I had won Carole and Arianna’s creations! The chairs and Out Of The Dark deserve a post of their own, so I’ll be putting that together shortly.

    may design series silent auction The May Design Series Silent Auction, and an amazing chair by Out Of The Dark.

    5. Grow London

    I went to the all-new modern garden show Grow London, based on Hampstead Heath. This was probably the best day of the summer. Not only did I meet some brilliant customers (I was giving out #footballfreefun discount codes) I stroked countless silly dogs, bought a pair of amazing vintage goblets and sat in the baking hot sun drinking kir royals until the early evening. We then got a drunken Mexican on the way home. Perfection.

    out there customers at grow london Hugh from John Cullen Gardens and Francesca and Alan playing discount code lucky dip at Grow London

    6. Sunset In The Garden

    I can’t divulge much about this event as it was a private affair organised by Décor Café Founder Debbie Blott. It was ‘just’ a garden party but also the most MINDBLOWING event I attended this summer. Want to know more? Get involved with the Décor Café. It’s brilliant.

    7. The Fiera Launch

    Fiera is the brainchild of Katie Treggiden (Confessions Of A Design Geek) and Jeremy Leslie (Mag Culture). It’s a brand new biannual design magazine showcasing new talent at the world’s design fairs. The launch party was held at The New Craftsmen – a Mayfair boutique showcasing the very best of British Design. This night meant tasty wine, inspiring people and the chance to contribute to an exciting new publication. Fiera met their funding target and are set to take the industry by storm.

    fiera launch The New Craftsmen and The Super Hero Rabbit Screen Print by HAM

    8. Cosmo Super Blogger Event

    As we collaborate with bloggers more and more I love finding out about the industry. I think I was the only ‘brand person’ in the audience at this event and it reminded me a bit of a pop concert. I refrained from dive-bombing the stage to have my photograph taken with Fleur De Force and Kat (Rock and Roll bride) but I have huge admiration for what they have created and gained some valuable insights from what they had to say.

    cosmo blogger event Cosmo's Super Blogger Event

    9. The House Boat

    We were invited to a friend of a friend’s house which happened to be a huge boat moored on the Thames by Chiswick Eyot.  Not only did it have a mature garden hidden behind an adorable gate on Chiswick Mall. It had original portholes, a huge deck and a library built into the bow. This was the most inspiring living space I have seen this year and has had me day dreaming about living on the river ever since.

     

    The house boat we visited and a pretty Hampstead restaurant The house boat we visited and a pretty Hampstead restaurant

    10. The Press Shoot

    Finally, last week we had a very long overdue press shoot for Out There Interiors. Although staff were plagued with sickness and the light wasn’t right to do what I had planned, Lucy from My Heart Skipped made the whole thing an absolute breeze. I received the raw shots back on Friday and spent Saturday afternoon laughing at my computer screen like an idiot. Lucy has a talent for making you completely relax in front of the camera, which combined with her photography skills produces great pictures. Can’t wait to show you them.

  • Welcome to the all new Out There Interiors!

    happy place cushionWell, I am delighted to welcome you to the All New Out There Interiors.

    Our makeover is long overdue. From choosing a design and development company, to negotiating pricing, agreeing functionality, doing photo shoots, re-categorising the product range and actually building the thing, the work has taken almost two years to complete. (Meanwhile I saw a KFC round the corner go up in under a week).

    Continue reading

  • Tuesday Night Recommendations

    portrait of jenny hurren

    I became aware of the Decor Cafe (an interiors members club) at the beginning of the year when founders Debbie Blott and Emma Mitchell launched Decor Fest. Decor Fest is the Decor Cafe's brand new intimate retail/trade show hosted in a historic school house in Wimbledon. It attracted lots of wonderful creative / crafty types, hosted talks by industry experts and served coffee and cake (so basically a brilliant thing to do on a Sunday).

    When I discovered that my friend and super talented wallpaper designer Laura Felicity was due to talk at a Decor Cafe event earlier this month I jumped at the chance to attend. What I didn't realise until the day was that the talk was to be held in a stunning converted town house. What a bonus!

    photograph of putney town house taken by paul craig Photograph by Paul Craig.

     

    The townhouse had been completely renovated by architect Silvia Alcantara who designed it from scratch and I really do mean scratch (the 'Before' pictures were just unbelievable). It was four floors of contemporary white heaven. Every fixture and fitting had been carefully considered and could be described by Silvia in amazing detail. I love snooping around the pokiest of homes so this Putney palace (currently on the market with Warren) was a real unexpected treat.

    Laura's talk was also a treat. I know she creates fabulous bespoke wallpaper but you rarely get an insight into the hard work which goes on behind the scenes of a small creative business. Laura showed us not only her finished products but also the tools and materials she uses, and broke down the process to give an overview of the effort and skill which goes into each commission.

    Here are some of Laura's lovely products:

    lampshades, wallpaper and cushions

    So I have four big recommendations for you this Tuesday!

    • For exquisite, luxury wallpaper, cushions and lampshades take a look at Laura. It's a cliche, but her products really are made with love.
    • If like me you appreciate interiors, crafts and beautiful properties you will love the Decor Cafe, go check them out.
    • If you are ever in need of a world class architect, Sylvia is your lady.
    • Finally. Paul Craig's pictures will make your place look like a palace, even if it isn't.

    Till next time!

  • Football Free Fun: WIN! At Home & Garden Events in June and July

    portrait of jenny hurren

    As the World Cup loomed I started thinking about how I could capitalise on the big event. The World Cup’s a big deal right? The whole country will be gripped with football fever for two months and I thought it’d be stupid not to jump on the bandwagon. I considered a press release featuring flood-light style floor lamps and personalised red and white shelving units. I thought about changing the site banners, emailing the database and running a ‘Win a World-Cup-Style-Urn!’ competition. I thought about it all. But then I thought, “nah”.

    I'm not going to jump on the back of the World Cup in order to promote Out There Interiors. It feels cheap, and I don’t believe for a second that our customers will rush to buy a lamp just because it looks like a floodlight.

    No matter how fabulous the lamp is our customers care too much about their homes to do this on a whim, and let’s be honest, football has nothing to do with creating a nice home. It’s all big screen TVs, tacky looking flags and sitting in beer gardens whilst your pot plants get neglected. There’s no link. So I’m not going to pretend there is one.

    Grow London Flyer Looking forward to Grow London

    Instead, for the next two months I’m going to skip the football and spend my time doing lovely home and garden related things.

    I’m going to go to all sorts of industry events, fairs and shows, and I’m going to encourage you to do the same by giving away vouchers for Out There Interiors.com at each event I attend.

    All you have to do is find me (I have bright pink hair, it won’t be difficult) and say hello. Once I’ve congratulated you on being totally brilliant, I’ll hand you a lucky dip of voucher codes. Some will give you £20 off. Others will give you £50. One will give you £500! (You’ll have to go home and get on the website to find out what yours does).

    harrogate home and gift banner Harrogate Home and Gift 13th - 16th July.

    I’ll be shouting about the events I'm going to attend over the next few weeks (a couple are pictured above) so do keep an eye on our social channels. And I'll be writing about each event and publicising the winners (if you're happy of course) so watch this space for that.

    I'm looking forward to seeing attractive things, meeting lovely people and having loads of #footballfreefun :)

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