What is science? I’d say it’s the process of discovery, of finding out how things work. It involves predicting, experimenting, analysing and theorizing, all in the pursuit of knowledge.
As an ex-biologist, I instinctively scoff at the suggestion that home design is a science. Yet here I am on a visual voyage of discovery, learning how we can use spaces, light, objects, textures and shapes to nurture our nests. And let’s face it, homebuilding is one of the most fundamental, core characteristics of human kind. It’s part of our biology.
The Science of Spaces
This leads me to introduce you to another of our amazing retailers, Houseology. It’s this recognition of homebuilding as a science that sets Houseology apart and makes it a brand after my own heart. At its core is an expert team of home scientists from architects through to designers that aim to give Houseology customers the knowledge they need to confidently experiment with their spaces.
Houseology was founded by Kate Mooney who formerly worked in the hotel business, where she glammed up some of the world’s most prestigious residences. It was through this that she uncovered people’s lack of confidence in home design, and their desire to track-down the different. And so Kate sought to showcase a little hotel luxury to homeowners, bringing that sumptuous bed linen or those meticulously curved knives and forks you could only find in the Hilton, to our homes.
Since its 2003 birth, the company has swollen to fulfil its dream (and ours) of turning the homeowner into the designer. Formerly known as Occa Home, it rebranded itself to Houseology earlier this year reflecting its desire to massage customers’ confidence and empower us to experiment, concoct and create the spaces we dream of. It offers home design masterclasses, buying guides, decorating ideas and advice. A great place to begin if (like me) you sometimes find this home design business a tad mystifying.
What does it stock?
Perhaps this should say “what doesn’t it stock”. Houseology showcases an absolutely vast array of brands from the likes of Sophie Conran and Nina Campbell through to Miranda Kerr’s Royal Albert collection and Jean Paul Gaultier’s luxurious cushions and throws. Whether you’re after rustic and old, quirky and contemporary, modern and minimalist, or Scandinavian chic, there’s something for everyone. The joy for me is that there are many I’ve never heard of, so there’s much to explore.
Yet such huge choice can be overwhelming and it’s tough to know where to start. To help you along, I’ve pulled together a list of a few of my favourite brands on Houseology, and why I love them. For more of my favourite picks click here to read my interview on the Houseology blog.
This brand produces classically elegant and luxurious bed linen at great prices. I love their colour palette of pretty, fresh neutrals in dusky pinks, silvers and shades of white and cream.
Brilliantly, wonderfully British. Quite frankly, there’s not a Newgate Clocks design I don’t love here. Newgate clocks look great in any home, on any wall. They ooze style, character, flair and grace, cleverly merging old with new. (click here to read my interview with Newgate)
It’s tough to find unusual mirrors that aren’t pure showpieces, but Adonis Pauli’s collection is both eye-catching as well as stylish and graceful. Understated, yet striking.
The vibrant, beautiful colours and stunning floral designs of bluebellgray products makes them eye-catching, striking and unique pieces. A bluebellgray duvet cover, cushion or throw will instantly add a gorgeous colour-pop to your home and breathe fresh life into tired spaces.
My set of Falcon enamelware dishes are my go-to when I need to stick anything in the oven. They’re all in classic white with a coloured trim (royal blue is their signature). These are sturdy buys that will never go out of fashion. You can literally drop them on the floor and they won’t break.
New England Furniture
I absolutely adore the relaxed elegance of New England interiors, and as the name suggests, this brand exemplifies it. Think gorgeous wooden furniture licked in neutral shades of paint. Effortless elegance.
You know those giant wooden chopping boards you see in stylish homes and hotels? I never knew they were called Boos Blocks. I’ve always loved them and I think I need one. These aren’t just for chopping – they also make great cheeseboards and presentation boards (I tend to serve-up cookies and cake on a chopping board, so one of these would massively bolster my presentation).
You can’t go wrong with classic silver cutlery and as you literally use it every single day of your entire life, you may aswell invest in a decent and long-lasting set. Sambonet supply some of the world’s most luxurious hotels – think Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and the Hilton. You know you’re getting the best and they’re actually not as pricey as you’d expect.
I love that this brand is 100% British and from Wiltshire (a really beautiful part of our country). True Grace makes gorgeous diffusers and candles from a blend of 100% wax. Every home needs to be filled with stunning aromas and fragrances.
Life of Riley
This is one for all you leather-lovers out there. Life of Riley crafts luxurious buffalo leather items from storage baskets and boxes to wine coolers, desk accessories and umbrella stands.
This Belgian brand artfully merges old with new to create timeless homeware with a contemporary twist. I love their use of knits and wicker.
I’m a sucker for a handy gadget and Lekue has a fair few. If you’re after efficient, time-saving kitchen gadgets and gizmos, this is your place. Think microwaveable omelettes and pasta. I know.
Shop the look from the photos here