Occasions 2014

Hübsch Occasions. Have you heard of them? There have been earlier “occasions” before this latest one in 2014. My friend first heard of them in 2012 and introduced me to them. It’s difficult not to just trot out the company’s own blurb because it is not only modest and non-sensational, it’s true. Simply stated, Hübsch, a leading interior design firm, give their customers a unique experience in terms of service, quality and (of course) design. They are not sloppy or shoddy; they pay attention to details. And the details are what make their designs eye-catching, if not breath-taking.
The Occasions 2014 range will hit shops in August/September. The new collection takes inspiration from Native American Indian Navajo patterns and colour combinations. These are particularly evident in their woven baskets and their rustic pillows. Geometric influences abound, particularly the diamond shape, which can be seen in the vases, the lampshades, the quilting on cushions and on the textiles. It’s not all about soft furnishings- they have a penchant for brass on metallic surfaces. The skill of styling is in the fact that the items are functional and the designs simple yet striking. I mentioned brass. A metal finish much-underused these days. It looks great when mixed with black.
When it comes to storage solutions, Hübsch use oak wood to produce simple but effective and stylish ways of storing items. The company design their products in Denmark, but the production of their goods takes place all over the world, but primarily the Far East.
The system used to present their new designs is as follows: Tendencies- a collection full of new products for spring and summer, and occasions, usually introduced in August for the end summer and autumn time.
One thing is for certain, the fresh Scandinavian style is as unusual as it is simple and straightforward. With woven baskets, wooden tables you can create a distinct and inviting aura for your home, with each piece capturing the balance between a plain yet contemporary style.
It’s not only interior design; the company offer a wide range of products for the garden as well as the home. In fact some furniture works well indoors, outdoors, or in a conservatory extension. It’s difficult to describe accurately the style of the Hübsch designs. Mix a little Native American Indian with a large dollop of Bohemian extravagance using raw materials and subtle stains and colours. It has been described by some style commentator as collection that could create for you the most sought-after end-of-garden shed! Not a shed with garden tools, spiders’ webs, and rotting timbers, but a light summerhouse type of affair, stocked with comfortable and pleasing-to-the-eye wood and fabric creations. In fact once you’ve bought your first item from their catalogue, it’s difficult to not then want to add more to extend the look. You could indeed be in danger of creating a whole household full of Hübsch furniture and furnishings. Bit I for one wouldn’t see that as a problem. Go for it!

Leather Sofas: A Classic Piece for any Home

What’s the centre of your home? Some would argue that the kitchen is the heart of the home; that’s where you prepare food and drink, not only essential for survival, but essential for entertaining friends and family. Others would argue that a family that dines together stays together. Many families like to have at least one day a week where everyone sits down in the dining room, or at least at the dining table. No TV dinners or trays on laps- a touch of formality is good for family cohesion (and perhaps discipline?!). That would put the dining table at the top of the most important room league. Few would argue that because you spend a third of your life sleeping, the bedroom is king (or queen) of your home. It is also your (and perhaps your partner’s) place of personal quietude, a shelter from the rigours of the day and the rest of the family.
But my guess is that most people would say that the centre of their home is the place where most people come to relax, chat, watch TV, listen to music… the sitting room otherwise known as the lounge or in old fashioned terms “the front room” because it is/was normally located at the front of the house. Now let’s go one stage further. If we assume that the lounge is the centre of the house, what is the centre or rather the centre-piece of the lounge? Please don’t say the plasma screen! I would suggest it is the sofa. Whether two seat, three seat, larger, longer L-shaped or accompanied with flanking armchairs, surely it is the place where you and others will gravitate when you want to relax, unwind, whatever. Every home no matter how large or small, whether a large light modern home, a bijou flat or a rustic cottage, you need a comfortable signature centrepiece sofa for your lounge or living room.
As we have identified, sofas can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and include options such as sectionals for basements or smaller rooms, sofas with attached chez lounges or with pull-out beds for visitors. It also comes in a variety of materials. I would argue that leather sofas are the best, the epitome of luxury, warm in winter, cool in summer, and just so inviting.
sofa.com leather sofas offer one of the best options for both durability and appearance, and are second to none when it comes to quality and comfort. Hand crafted leather sofas are available from many shops and online retailers and help bring an air of warmth and life to any living space. They don’t have to be classic dark brown or black these days (although both those colours are very classic and stylish). You can have bright red or orange, lime green or off-white. So your sofa can fit into whatever colours you are using in your room.
A leather sofa can also stand up to levels of use that many cloth and fibre sofas cannot, and with proper care and treatment can last for decades. One of the best benefits of leather sofas is that time only helps bring out their character; rather than making it look worn, creases, folds and distress add to the character. Just like Levi jeans used to sell more second-hand after they had been well worn-in and virtually distressed. A worn-in leather sofa is something to be embraced and admired. Get your leather sofa now and start wearing it in!

How to Style your Sofa

Sofas (sometimes also known as settees) are not something that you buy for a season, or even a year, and the discard to buy a new one. Not only would that mean that you have money to burn, but it would also mean that a sofa that you carefully selected, and have grown accustomed to will be gone- and you would have to “break-in” a new one!
There is a solution- to refurbish your sofa. Give it a makeover. A style refresh if you will. It needn’t cost you much and it will be a lot cheaper than a new one. Here are some ways to do this; most of these ideas can be combined too, they are not alternatives to one another.
A common and cheap way is to add or replace (or re-cover) cushions. If you have a plainish sofa, then contrasting high pattern cushions can be effective such as floral designs or modernistic zig-zags. Conversely, a “busy” sofa can benefit from plain fairly neutral coloured cushions. Cushions can come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so don’t feel constrained to have to have exactly the same size and shape as you had before. Try large triangular cushions with a completely different type of material to the sofa… perhaps leather or corduroy.
These days it is quite ok to be a bit edgy with your cushion-sofa combinations, but there are limits. A throw may transform your sofa, but it may also hide the shape of it, and make it rather lacklustre and indistinct. Also, I don’t know about you, but I hate it when you find yourself having to re-throw a throw every time somebody gets up from the sofa because it’s been pulled out of shape!
But as easy as these throw/cushion makeovers can be, you should also set the scene around your sofa. It is not set in splendid isolation in an empty sea of carpet and plain walls is it? If you have a plain sofa and plain floors (either carpet or wooden) you can do the equivalent of a floor-throw…More commonly known as a rug! That can act as a stylish door-step to your sofa.
Then there’s lighting. Not boring old overhead lighting, but concealed lighting behind the sofa, LED strips along a skirting board, a spotlight accenting a corner of the sofa, or a table lamp with an interesting shade throwing different colours and shapes onto the sofa.
You can also use wall hangings or artwork behind the sofa to draw people towards it and set it off. And please don’t forget to plump up the sofa cushions and turn them over. There are few sofas that are so comfortable yet so resistant to eight hours of people sitting on them that they don’t need a little TLC at the end of each day, or before they are going to be used. It not only makes it nicer when you and your guests sit down on the sofa, it shows that you care about them and your surroundings!

Trends vs. Traditions

Home design, soft furnishing, fashion clothing, and even cars, are all susceptible to trends, grooves, approaching and receding waves of popularity and what is “in” and what is not. While there can be startling new designs that are totally out there, you tend to find that things tend to go in cycles. A move back towards more traditional designs, nodding back to old styles and trends, and then a move forward again to contemporary and cutting edge designs. Some of the best designs combine both- an eclectic mix of the old and the new.
Of course, fashion and trends are designed to make you want to buy new items every season. Surely you don’t want to be seen walking down the High Street that is “last season dahling”! But when you are ready to redesign or redecorate a room there’s every reason to buy the style magazines and see what seems to be new for the year. You won’t be wanting to redecorate every year of course, so the trick is to see furniture, lighting and appliances that will be as close to “timeless” as you can. Something chic, stylish, new, but that will not be so trendy or gimmicky that within a season you’ll be rueing the day you bought it all.
Sadly, due to the economy and more, we really don’t have the budgets to be choosey. As much as we’d like to go a little crazy with a credit card in a department store, it’s time to seriously pull back and consider whether it might be better to embrace a more timeless style that will see our home through years rather than months.
For kitchens, for example, there are often trends that go back to traditional kitchen designs… like a country kitchen look with an Aga. The wood for the cabinets, drawers and work surfaces will tend to be of natural-looking darker wood. That style will last for a long time, possibly forever because it is so well-established. It is traditional and timeless. However kitchens on the 1980s really had not a great deal to recommend them. It was the decade of MFI and cheap and cheap-looking kitchens with poor veneers and colours that faded or peeled. While you may want to dip back into nostalgia for some aspects of your new kitchen, the 80’s look should be avoided.
In your living room, then old traditional furniture styles whether reproduction or genuine and re-conditioned, can look great when offset with a more modern look. Combining the old and the new is tricky because you don’t want your antique sideboard of dark walnut to stick out like a fish out of water against an ultra-modern room with a minimalist stainless steel and glass coffee table and a bright red futon in corduroy!
You have to furnish your home with what you like and what suits you- don’t be a slave to fashion. But if there is something that you really like, be it a traditional piece for your modern room, or vice-versa, then go for it. You just may need to sit and have a little think about what adjustments may need to be made to integrate it into your room set-up. This might be some lighting, or a different colour paint in the corner where it will sit… Ask a friend what they think- sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can be the best to give you advice!