Designer Desire: John and Sylvia Reid

Mosaic of John and Sylvia Reid designs | H is for Home

This week, we feature a British, mid-century modern design duo – John and Sylvia Reid. Architects/designers who produced furniture for Stag Furniture and lighting for Rotaflex. They’ve also been involved in designs for the Boys Club, Stamford Hill, Hackney; Piazza Coffee Bar, Marylebone High Street, London and the Wheatsheaf Pub, Cumberland Road, Camberley.

The couple’s son, Dominic Reid, is reproducing some of the designs from their archive. He’s collaborated with Nicholas Radford, the Managing Director of Nathan Furniture (which is produced here in little old Todmorden!) and son of the original manufacturer. They’re reissuing a capsule collection from the S-Range which initially launched in 1960 and ended production a mere 3 years later.

The collection will be launched at Clerkenwell Design Week next month (22-24 May 2018). Said Radford:

Dominic and I are very excited about the re-issue of the S-Range, as it represents not only one of the very best examples of British mid-century design, but has a great collaborative heritage behind it which we are both very proud to be a part of. We hope the design community attending Clerkenwell will love what we have to show them.”

Portrait of John and Sylvia Reidcredit

Additional image credits:

1st Dibs | Artnet | Artsy | Pinterest

Copper highlights and finishing touches

Our bedroom showing copper highlights with bedside lamps switched on | H is for Home

We’ve been adding some finishing touches to our top floor ‘bedroom-cum-lounge’ area. It’s a room that we spend lots of time in during the winter. Well, that’s an understatement really – we almost hibernate up there! It feels like our cosy den. There’s computer access, Sonos music system, big TV, comfy places to sit (or sleep) – and a wood-burning stove. We gravitate up there from September onwards as the days shorten and weather worsens.

New copper coloured glass bedside lamp | H is for Home

Re-decoration of the space has been a gradual process over the last year or so. We wanted an enclosed, warm and cosy feel. Lots of dark grey and black, with natural wood shades and metallic highlights. This pair of copper coloured, glass bedside lamps was our most recent purchase. We thought they were just perfect, especially considering that they came complete with the ideal shades. They’re from Wayfair, £54.99 each.

New copper coloured glass bedside lamp | H is for Home

We bought a box of LED filament bulbs for them which we thought would be prettier than plain white ones. The lamps are quite magical when lit, lifting and transforming the room with their warm, copper glow.

New copper coloured glass bedside lamp | H is for Home

This is no ‘minimalist look’ space and we add ornament quite freely – particularly antique mirrors, drawers, display cases, candle holders – and objects of interest. We love the ‘collectors’ look’ – so their are lots of fossils, feathers, skulls, pebbles and shells dotted around the room.

You might have noticed that expanse of furry loveliness across the bed – another recently purchased finishing touch.

Detail from our new faux chinchilla throw | H is for Home

It’s a very good quality, imitation chinchilla fur bedspread. The subtle colour tones of cream, brown and grey work wonderfully. It’s very tactile and super warm too.

Large antique copper bin being used as a planter | H is for Home

We’d been looking for a large container for an equally large plant. This fabulous copper log bin arrived in our local antiques centre one day, so it was a ‘must buy’. We love the reflective surface and aged patina of the metal.

Detail from a large antique copper bin being used as a planter | H is for Home

A bottom up blind for this room had also been on our shopping list for some time. We already have one fitted in the ground floor lounge. It lets daylight in whilst adding privacy at street level. Also, the view at the front of our house is much nicer at higher levels. Lower down it’s a bit grubby and industrial, further up is a lovely hillside with trees, shrubs and climbers clinging to the steep valley sides.

Dark grey bottom-up roller blind | H is for Home Dark grey bottom-up roller blind | H is for Home

The blind downstairs is a sandy, cream colour. However, for this room we went for a charcoal grey to match the curtains and compliment the overall scheme. We’re very happy indeed with the results. The view from the bed is much improved now – and we get a glimpse of a passing fox or the occasional deer nibbling at the vegetation opposite. Bliss!

Antique glass bauble | H is for Home

So, that’s the room re-decoration completed in the main. We have the option of picking up interesting objects and nature finds as we come across them. It can just evolve subtly over time. We hope you like the results so far!

Price Points: Kids’ night lights

Three kids' night lights | H is for Home

I’m not ashamed to admit it; I may be 50 years old, but I’m still a teensy bit afraid of the dark. Especially if I’ve just watched a scary film!

Night lights may primarily be for children but I think people of any age can benefit. For instance, getting out of bed on dark mornings and stumbling around getting ready for work. Perhaps you have overnight visitors who don’t know their way around your house very well. A night light would be a welcome way marker to the bathroom

  1. Personalised white cloud night light: £16, My First Years
  2. Multicolour silicone colour-changing mushroom LED nursery night lamp with remote control: £18.99, Amazon
  3. Zazu Lou owl night light: £35, JoJo Maman Bébé

shop kids' night lights

Zazu Lou owl night light
Zazu Lou owl night light
£35
Colour-changing mushroom LED nursery night lamp
Colour-changing mushroom LED nursery night lamp
£18.99
Personalised white cloud night light
Personalised white cloud night light
£16
Zazu Lou owl night light
Zazu Lou owl night light
£35
Colour-changing mushroom LED nursery night lamp
Colour-changing mushroom LED nursery night lamp
£18.99
Personalised white cloud night light
Personalised white cloud night light
£16
Zazu Lou owl night light
Zazu Lou owl night light
£35
Colour-changing mushroom LED nursery night lamp
Colour-changing mushroom LED nursery night lamp
£18.99
Personalised white cloud night light
Personalised white cloud night light
£16

Price Points: LED floor lamps

LED floor lamps | H is for Home

Do you remember when it was reported in the news that the manufacture of ‘normal’ incandescent bulbs was to be terminated? There was a stampede of frenzied shoppers at DIY outlets stockpiling 60 & 100 watters as if Armageddon had arrived!

LED (or light-emitting diode) lighting was declared the future and few wanted to be part of it. Well, the panic has died down and future is here. LED bulbs may be more expensive than the old fashioned ones, but they have a much longer lifespan, use 90% less energy, are more compact and ‘have fewer environmental concerns linked to their disposal’. Well worth the initial outlay.

There’s an ever-growing range of attractive LED floor lamps available on the market – perfect for armchair reading or a spot of knitting, crochet or – in my case – button replacement. Here are three of our favourites that we’ve found.

  1. Nexus 142cm floor lamp
  2. LED arc lamp Florestan with built-in dimmer
  3. Flos Captain Flint LED floor lamp, brass

shop LED floor lamps

Nexus 142cm floor lamp
Nexus 142cm floor lamp
£96.99
LED arc lamp Florestan with built-in dimmer
LED arc lamp Florestan with built-in dimmer
£149.90
Flos Captain Flint LED floor lamp, brass
Flos Captain Flint LED floor lamp, brass
£1,027.00
Nexus 142cm floor lamp
Nexus 142cm floor lamp
£96.99
LED arc lamp Florestan with built-in dimmer
LED arc lamp Florestan with built-in dimmer
£149.90
Flos Captain Flint LED floor lamp, brass
Flos Captain Flint LED floor lamp, brass
£1,027.00
Nexus 142cm floor lamp
Nexus 142cm floor lamp
£96.99
LED arc lamp Florestan with built-in dimmer
LED arc lamp Florestan with built-in dimmer
£149.90
Flos Captain Flint LED floor lamp, brass
Flos Captain Flint LED floor lamp, brass
£1,027.00

Price Points: Statement pendant lights

Three statement pendant lights | H is for Home

We love our characterful 19th century mill-worker’s cottage but we wish our ceilings were a bit higher. Not because we need to stoop to get around (we don’t) but because we wish we could illuminate the rooms with statement pendant lights.

In our kitchen, we have a group of recessed LED down-lighters which are practical and unobtrusive. However, we’d love to be able to have attention-grabbing lighting hanging from the ceilings of our sitting room and bedroom. Maybe in our future house!

  1. KNAPPA pendant lamp: £18, IKEA
  2. Saloon Flowers 5 designer pendant lamp: £112.90, lights.com
  3. Ballroom glass lights by Grattify: £220 each, Notonthehighstreet

Do you need a light like Needlite?

Needlite ™ daylight desk lamp | H is for Home

The clocks go back at midnight on Sunday, heralding the start of daylight saving time and winter. Justin doesn’t mind it, but it’s not a time of year that I look forward to – the long nights get me down-in-the-dumps. I find it hard to wake up and get going in the morning. It used to be much more of a struggle back when I commuted every day – waking up in the dark, coming home in the dark and spending those few precious daylight hours cooped up indoors. Does your mood change when the clocks go back in the autumn?

Boxed Needlite ™ daylight desk lamps | H is for Home

Needlite ™ has recently sent us a pair of their daylight desk lamps to try out and review. They’re LED lights which emit a similar spectrum of light that you get from sunshine. They help alleviate negative mood changes and depression from the lack of natural light; and in so doing, can help improve work performance, productivity and creativity.

Needlite ™ daylight desk lamp | H is for Home

They’ve been set up, at the advised 45º angle, either side of a large table which we use for both office and craft activities – a simple, two-minute job. They’re sleek and minimalist – and look really great.

Needlite ™ iPhone app screenshots | H is for Home

You can operate the lights manually by finger touch control – or alternatively, you have the option of downloading an app for your smartphone (another 2-minute job) and controlling them that way. You can alter the brightness/dimness and even give yourself a little daylight boost if necessary.  You can also use the app to programme them to switch off at a particular time – a great way of letting you know that your working day is over!

Needlite ™ daylight desk lamps | H is for Home

I could feel the positive effects immediately – my mood lifting on the dark, drizzly day that we took these photos. Our work room faces almost east, therefore loses direct sunlight pretty early on in the day. With our new Needlite lamps, it will make it feel like it’s south facing!

I think they’re going to be a godsend this winter and they come highly recommended for fellow Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers.

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Pretty Green Mathmos lava lamp collab

Pretty Green x Mathmos lava lamp | H is for Home

We’ve never actually owned a lava lamp – so were very happy to receive one of the new, limited-edition versions produced by the original manufacturers Mathmos in collaboration with Liam Gallagher’s men’s fashion company, Pretty Green.

Box containing a Pretty Green x Mathmos lava lamp | H is for Home

The Astro lava lamp is such a design classic – the idea of Edward Craven-Walker who founded the Mathmos company. The name ‘Mathmos’ actually comes from the French comic strip, Barbarella (later made into the cult classic film starring Jane Fonda). Mathmos is the bubble liquid force under the city – the choice of name becomes obvious when you see them in action. Introduced in 1963, it was an instant success, an icon of sixties and seventies interior décor. Their appeal has really stood the test of time. There have been all kinds of innovations and special editions, however the basic principal remains the same – and Mathmos is still going strong over 50 years later.

Recently switched on Pretty Green x Mathmos lava lamp | H is for Home Warmed up Pretty Green x Mathmos lava lamp | H is for Home

We opted to receive the pink and orange colourway for our Astro lamp. The lovely warm glow filled the room from the moment of plug in. As the lamp heats, the contents come to life. Initially stalagmite-like shapes form – then the classic globules develop. These globules gently rise, split apart and fall back down. Then they do it all over again, with slight variations to the movements and shapes formed each time. Edward Craven-Walker likened it to a repeating life cycle.

Pretty Green x Mathmos lava lamp on a vintage Ladderax shelving system | H is for Home

The atmosphere and warmth that they give to a space is quite unique – and they’re mesmeric to watch of course. If you’re in the mood to relax, there’s a little 2 minute clip below – just long enough to fall under its spell! (P.S. If you hear heavy breathing in the background, that’s Fudge our dog, not Justin falling asleep whilst holding the camera).

When it comes to lava lamps, don’t be tempted by lesser imitations. The brand authenticity, quality of materials, colour intensity and lifespan are all important factors that make the classic Mathmos the only real choice. In fact replacement bottles, bulbs and bases mean that your Mathmos lava lamp should last a lifetime.

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