Here I’ve curated an edit of new season designs from different names that you should invest in to give your home an instant spring refresh – all for under £100. Setting up my new online store – Design Storey – I’ve done the hard work for you and scoured the collections of hundreds of homewares retailers big and small, navigating both gigantuan websites – to highlight the hidden designs that lurk there – and also championing smaller brands who are doing great things, but that you might not have heard of…yet.
My mission is to make shopping fun again by editing the internet into collections of the 50 best of each product to shorten your search. In addition each item comes with a short description telling you why it’s worth buying and how to style it in your own space. Design Storey is where you will find the hidden gems buried among the thousands of products on any one site. It is the best of the high street with new businesses for you to discover and some advice to help you work out how to make the best of your own spaces. Knowing what you are buying and how you can use it will help you decide if it’s worth the investment and, crucially, help you to buy once and buy right rather than throwing money at something because you can’t face scrolling any further and then realising it wasn’t right after all.
Dry January has left the building so we can celebrate with this set of beautifully fluted wine glasses. Fluted glass is a huge trend this season and if you can’t replace your kitchen doors then this is an affordable way into a trend.
More than just ferrying things from room to room trays are brilliant styling accessories. Put one on the coffee table and add a candlestick, vase of flowers and a pile of pretty coasters, or use it for breakfast in bed if you no longer have to rush out of the door to catch a train to the office.
The Spring flowers are here and it’s time to shake off the winter gloom with some colourful blooms. If you don’t want flowers, then an arrangement of sculptural branches looks equally good and studies have found that just looking at plants makes you feel better – so add some to your Zoom background.
Small Wooden Stool Stools are THE most useful pieces of furniture you can buy. Not just for extra seating, but as side tables or to raise a lamp that isn’t quite tall enough. Use to keep a plant away from a pet or as a resting place for a pile of books or magazines that you are looking forward to reading when you get that precious me-time moment. Or just to stand on when you need to reach for something from a tall cupboard.
I have been meaning to buy one of these jugs from Oliver Bonas for ages. The traditional design, in the form of a koi carp, makes a glugging noise when you pour water from its mouth. The sage green glaze finish is soothing so have it out on the side at all times as a sculptural piece, or use it in the kitchen as a utensil jar.
Forget leopard print – tortoise shell is much prettier. This is an unexpected statement dinnerware piece from Made that looks way more expensive than it actually is. Use on the dining table as a stand-alone objet or place near a window to really make this piece shine as a focal point. Or you could do what it’s designed to do and use it as a serving dish or fruit bowl.
New bedding is always a treat and this season it’s all about layering print and pattern. Mix this with a sharp contrasting stripe and some tonal plain pillowcases for a modern rustic look that’s both seasonal and inviting.
One of the easiest ways to change the appearance of an ugly fitted wardrobe or kitchen (especially if you rent and bigger structural changes are forbidden) is to change the handles These green marble knobs will bring a natural texture and the colour of nature into your home.
If lockdown one was about jigsaw puzzles, this time round it’s 3D. This intricate Lego set of flowers includes elements made from plant-based plastic, produced using sustainably sourced sugar cane. Give yourself (or your kids a screenbreak) and make some everlasting flowers for the table. These come in and out of stock but are very collectable so grab them when you see them
With restaurants out of bounds, you need to do what you can to elevate the in-house dining experience. Planning menus will save you money and writing them on the board can bring the eating out feeling in.
Kate’s upcoming book – Mad About The House Planner: Your Home, Your Story by Kate Watson-Smyth will be published by Pavilion on 4 March 2021