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Design Hunter

Stylish kitchen solutions from Brabantia

Helen Powell

Brabantia kitchen styling by Design Hunter

Stylish storage solutions aren't just for treasured possessions and objects we keep long term - there's an abundance of them available for more transient everyday things like food and waste too. As an interiors obsessive I pay a lot of attention to the design details in our home right down to even the most basic and functional of products. Kitchen items like bins may not seem particularly glamorous, but products that both do the job effectively and look good can make household chores just that little bit easier. It's all about managing 'stuff' as it comes into and then goes out of our lives.

I've always really liked the style and quality of Brabantia products - I've used their bins for years - and today I wanted to share a few items from their current range that I've recently incorporated into our kitchen. 

Kitchen Shelves
Brabantia kitchen styling by Design Hunter

The first product I chose was this elegant white touch bin. It's a stylish and unobtrusive design that will fit easily into clean, minimal interiors. Brabantia make bins in a wide range of different colour options so you can choose one to colour co-ordinate with your home, which in my case of course means black and white! (It was a tough call to pass up on this lovely clay pink version though.) I love the contrast of the black 'piping' detail around the rim and the lid opens and closes with a lovely soft touch mechanism that is satisfying slow and silent - I can obsess about little things like that. Please tell me I'm not the only one!

It's really easy to fill, empty and clean and you can fix the liners neatly out of sight so that they don't spill out over the edge of the bin. Brabantia bin liners are great quality so if you hate struggling with cheap bags that have a tendency to split these are definitely worth paying a little more for. They fit perfectly and have an integrated tie tape, so it's easy to lift them out out and tie them up when you need to carry them outside.

Kitchen shelves | Design Hunter

I also chose a bread bin in the same white finish. It has a drop front which makes opening and closing it really quick and easy and the flat top effectively creates a shelf that you can use for storage jars or other kitchen items. I've discovered that it's also the perfect size for using as a cookbook rest if you want to keep your favourite cookbook open at a recipe while preparing food.

It's fair to say that when it comes to colour in the home I'm probably more restrained than most. This is particularly true in the kitchen where I'm mostly drawn to black and white. I've tried to break out of monochrome mode and introduce a few hints of colour though - just the tiniest touch of pink here and there and a splash of blue in the form of this compact and easily portable recycling bin for compostable waste. You don't always have to paint an entire wall to introduce colour into a space - a few accents here and there can be very satisfying. I've taken lots of inspiration from the gorgeous colour palettes and interior styling in the latest Brabantia lookbook which is full of beautiful images, many of which have already found their way onto my Pinterest boards, and you can view the Brabantia #LoveColour range here.

Brabantia recycling bin
The Kinfolk Table
Brabantia styling by Design Hunter

Styling & photography by Design Hunter in collaboration with Brabantia.

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Ding | A beautifully simple smart doorbell

Helen Powell

Ding Smart Doorbell | Design Hunter

Here's an interesting new design concept from husband and wife team John Nussey and Avril O'Neil. They recently got in touch to tell me about their new smart home product Ding which launches today on Kickstarter and I immediately thought it sounded like a really useful and seemingly simple idea that so many of us could benefit from.

Essentially it's a clever little doorbell, chime and app combo that turns your phone into an intercom wherever you are, ensuring that you never miss answering your front door again. It's made up of three key elements - a minimally styled doorbell button, a chime that sits within your home and a free smartphone app. When someone presses the doorbell the chime dings and also places a voice call through the Ding smartphone app, allowing you to talk to the person at the door from anywhere.

I can think of multiple reasons why this might be really useful. I receive lots of deliveries at home and it can be frustrating to have to wait in for them if I don't know what time they'll be arriving. It would be great to know that I could speak to the delivery driver and ask them to leave parcels in a safe place or with a neighbour if I've had to nip out on an errand as chasing up missed packages can be quite time consuming.

If you often spend time in the garden you could use the app to ensure that you don't miss any visitors who happen to pop round, and for those with young children I imagine it would be really useful to know that you can turn the doorbell chime off and choose to receive quieter alerts on your phone instead, ensuring that you are available to answer the door without having to worry about waking up sleeping little ones.

Designed to fit harmoniously into the home the chime is finished in a high quality fabric and can either be wall mounted or placed on any flat surface. The product is initially being offered in charcoal grey but Kickstarter backers can also vote on a limited edition colour option of teal, cobalt or salmon.

John and Avril are currently seeking backers to take Ding into production and you can view their Kickstarter campaign here.

Ding Smart Doorbell
Ding Smart Doorbell
Ding Smart Doorbell

Posted in collaboration with Ding

Function + Form at the Dean Street Café

Helen Powell

Dean Street Cafe | Nina and Co

A few weeks ago I joined a group of design bloggers and Instagram friends at the new Dean Street café in Soho for an inspiring gathering organised by We are Function and FormIt's a lovely space, nestled inside a building first designed in 1686 by Sir Christopher Wren and it's also where the homelessness charity Centrepoint first began its work 50 years ago.

Over a delicious breakfast we enjoyed an uplifting talk from the project's interior designer Nina Woodcroft and learned how she designed this flexible space to accommodate the charity's weekday functions and to neatly transform into a café on Saturdays and Sundays, allowing maximum use of this historic building. Sustainable materials have been used where possible - the joinery is reclaimed English oak or birch ply from sustainably managed forests - and the overall effect is light and soothing. I loved the pale aquamarine pegboard walls and the fun neons, and the sweet little terrace at the back is an oasis of calm in the heart of Soho.

The social café will provide training and experience for young people supported by Centrepoint, enabling them to gain skills that will help them into employment. Meanwhile Nina is currently working on another social enterprise project - the Luminary Bakery, a bakery and café project in Stoke Newington that will offer opportunities for vulnerable women to build a future for themselves and their families through baking. She also recently launched her debut tableware collection. The Breakfast Collection is available at Nina and Co and a beautiful special edition mug is available exclusively at At the Table.

Huge thanks to Annie and Tiffany for organising the event and to Centrepoint for hosting us.

Dean Street Cafe | Nina and Co
Dean Street Café | Nina and Co
Dean Street Café | Nina and Co
Dean Street Cafe | Nina and Co
Dean Street Café | Nina and Co
Dean Street Cafe | Nina and Co
Nina + Co | Dean Street Café

The Dean Street Café is open on Saturdays and Sundays at 54 Dean Street, London, W1D 6AE. The space is also available for event bookings. 

Photography © Anna Stathaki

Show and Tell | September

Helen Powell

Kensington & Chelsea magazien feature | Design Hunter

As we head further into autumn here's a quick look back at September and a round up of a few of the things I've been doing, enjoying and discovering over the past few weeks.


At home

Garmence Wine Studio

I love discovering and drinking good wine at home, but unless you are a real wine buff it's not always easy to know what to buy. I was recently introduced to Garmence Wine Studio, a new online store founded by father and daughter team Charlotte and Benoit Calvet that brings fine wine from Europe's small producers to the UK. Their first collection of just twelve limited edition wines is both crafted and curated in close partnership with local producers. Each one comes with a beautifully designed label and the company delivers direct to your home with stylish and secure packaging at your chosen hourly time slot.


In the kitchen

De Longhi Avvolta kettle

This sculptural kettle from the new Avvolta collection by De'Longhi has been making a statement in my kitchen this month. Featuring asymmetric horizontal layered bands the design takes its style cues from the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The collection also includes a futuristic toaster with chrome accents.


Out & About

Image courtesy of Petersham Nurseries

Image courtesy of Petersham Nurseries

I enjoyed a delightful evening at Petersham Nurseries last week for a preview of their new Christmas collections. This was the magical table setting we sat down to for a dinner by chef Damian Clisby and Culinary Director Lucy Boyd. Their 2016 Christmas collections will be available from the end of October.



Kensington and Chelsea magazine feature | Design Hunter

Vuelio got in touch to let me know that Design Hunter has again been featured in the latest update of their influential Top 10 UK Interiors Bloggers list (yay! thank you all for reading), and I was thrilled to be interviewed for a feature in the October edition of Kensington and Chelsea magazine alongside three amazing women who I really admire in the interiors world - Sophie Robinson, Abigail Ahern and Niki Brantmark of My Scandinavian Home. The interview is also online at Luxury London if you fancy a read.


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blanket  |  bed linen  |  wine*  |  wine glasses  |  kettle*  |  cupsmall ceramic bowl

*sample sent for review


London Design Festival 2016 | designjunction highlights

Helen Powell

Life Space UX by Sony at designjunction 2016

I've been attending London Design Festival for a number of years now, and as it grows bigger and bigger each year the question on everyone's lips is always 'what are this year's must see designs and events'?

There are maps and apps to help, and instagrammers and editorials to point the way, but phew... sometimes it can all get a bit overwhelming. Rather than attempting to see everything, which inevitably leads to a feeling of design-junkie overload, Graham and I prefer to focus on a different area each year. That way we get to slow everything down a bit and can really enjoy discovering selected designs and soaking up everything a specific district has to offer.

This year we focused on the Kings Cross Creative Quarter. Still relatively new to the LDF scene, it's an area that's been experiencing significant redevelopment over the past few years. When we arrived at Granary Square for the opening day of designjunction last week the whole area was busy with a youthful creative buzz. Surrounding the canal waterways and public fountains were room-sized monopoly style pop-ups, alongside mobile eateries and coffee shops and accompanying musical performances.

Deadgood sofa upholstered in 'Window' by Kirkby Design

Central Saint Martin's cavernous Granary Building provided the backdrop for some great installations, including beautiful lighting by Blackbody and the Kirkby Design stand featuring this striking monochrome Deadgood sofa which proved very popular with Instagrammers seeking a photo opportunity.

Cubitt House | designjunction 2016

Then it was over to Cubitt House, a temporary exhibition space with an impressive façade of hundreds of black and white grid modules enclosing tall trees, and a great range of design to discover inside.

Verena Hennig rope light and Roll chair

We loved Verena Hennig's Roll furniture, which she was presenting alongside her new debut lighting product, the ethereal rope light. The Roll chairs and benches feature rotating aluminium rods that massage you as you slide from left to right. Aside from being great fun this also apparently helps to improve blood circulation by activating muscle groups and relieving tension in the body. These were featured in the VIP room alongside designs from ByAlex, who I've written about previously here.

Sony's Life Space UX stand (styled by The Conran Shop and also pictured in the top image) seemed to be attracting a lot of attention. We chatted to Sony's chief creative art director and other members of the team about the company's latest design and lifestyle offerings which are geared towards creating moments of ambience in the home. They include the seriously sleek 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector for the ultimate living room experience and the smaller Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector - a beautiful, clever and highly covetable design that offers flexibility, fun, information and entertainment. You can see more of how this works in my designjunction highlights video at the end of this post.

Sony also presented their new illuminated Glass Sound Speaker, which delivers ambient lighting alongside crystal clear sound that evokes the sensation of music played live in the room. I'll be sharing my impressions of this in a separate post as they've very kindly sent one over for me to try out.

Technology can sometimes be very obsessed with function, but with these new designs Sony have proved that emotion and style are just as important.

The range is currently available at The Conran Shop and also at Harrods.

Black styling for String at designjuction

Other designs that caught my attention were String's ever stylish modular shelving and storage displays styled by Lotta Agaton and the super-comfy Basset lounge chair from Icons of Denmark, that would be just perfect to curl up in on a dark winter's night.

Basset lounge chair by Icons of Denmark

After all that design at Cubitt House we needed to refuel, so it was a quick lunch at Grain Store (yum) before heading over to the other side of the Granary Building for a good look around the Brain Waves exhibition - a feast of thought provoking conceptual design from their students at Central Saint Martins.

Then it was a quick look around the designjunction marketplace which offered everything from flowers to furniture, lighting and stationery before returning to the square for a well earned sit down to enjoy a live musical performance from the Tapestry string quartet as part of the Dornbracht water experience - the perfect way to end the day.

I thought it would be fun to share a few of our favourite moments from the day in this short film if you'd like to see what else we got up to.

This post is supported by Sony. All views and opinions my own.