If you eat a kilo of tomatoes a day you’ll shine like the sun and other food truisms. What are the real health benefits of a varied diet of fresh ingredients?
What’s happening indoors? What are the interior design trends this winter? A look at three romantic comebacks.
Wallpaper is back in! Though, to be honest, back is probably not quite the right word. Wallpaper has become popular again after a decade-long domination of white plastered walls. For centuries, we covered our walls with rich prints and enticing colours until the postmodernism of the mid-20th century suddenly ushered in a preference for white walls. Until now, that is. Now white is increasingly being replaced by rich mood colours: dark blue, deep green, rusty red… While the colour palette remains the same, this winter we are abandoning plain walls in favour of prints. We’ve taken our cue from the Victorians, who filled their homes with floral prints and ornate patterns, but we’ve done it on a larger scale. Rather than lots of little flowers, we have a large, luxuriant forest against a dark background, with colours reminiscent of Johannes Vermeer’s and his Girl with a Pearl Earring. We’re also influenced by the Chinese, who in the 18th century inspired the new style of Chinoiserie throughout Europe and North America. This winter we have infused the romantic decorative lines of Chinoiserie with metallic details. Lastly, we’ve included Flora and Fauna: brightly coloured birds, elegant, decorative larger-than-life swans, jungle greenery, exotic monkeys – all to go on the wall. Want some examples? Check out the scenic Sauvages de la Mer du Pacifique, created by artist Jean-Gabriel Charvet for a French customer in the 18th century. It’s the largest hand-painted panoramic wallpaper of its time. Fortunately, the spectacular piece can still be seen in all its glory at the Mathias Ham House museum in Massachusetts.
Where to buy Cole & Son has a fantastic assortment, from enlarged animals, large bouquets and chinoiserie to a tropical forest of green.
Palm tree lamps
Maison Jansen is number 23 in a little street on the Left Bank in Paris. You could easily walk right past it without ever knowing that it played an important part in Dutch design history. The interior design agency founded in 1880 by Dutch-born Jan Hendrik Jansen was the first international interior design firm, serving clients in Europe and the Middle East, and even counted the Kennedys and Belgian royalty among its customers. From the 1950s to the 1970s Jansen held the royal warrant for the famous palm tree lamps. If you spot one at a flea market, be sure to take it home with you, because palm tree lamps are making a big comeback this season. They were popular during the Art Deco period of the 1920s and several designers did them in the 1960s, but a Jansen palm tree lamp is the holy grail. Don’t worry if you can’t get your hands on one. The palm tree continues to inspire many designers and interior brands, so there are plenty to choose from. Whichever one you go for, make sure it’s heavy metal with a brown or gold finish. And don’t shy away from the larger ones – winter is the perfect time to install a wonderfully majestic palm tree in your home. It doesn’t require any watering and thrives in soft warm light.
We can look forward to another velvet winter this year. Napoleon Bonaparte once said, ‘A throne is only a bench covered with velvet.’ He meant a throne was just a chair, but it says something about the power of velvet. In fact, cover something with velvet and it immediately becomes regal. Earlier in the year, we saw the soft luxurious fabric in lots of soft pastels, with the pink velvet bucket seats at the restaurant Sketch in London being the undoubted highlight. But we’ll be spending the cold days of winter curled up on warm jewel-coloured velvet: think emerald green, deep red, sapphire blue and ochre yellow. It now means that you can celebrate the end-of-year festivities in style, playing Black Velvet by Alannah Myles and not minding too much if the red wine gets spilled during the dancing. Good to know: velvet is actually a weave, and not a fibre. So it can be made of silk, cotton, linen, polyester, nylon and other types of thread. The qualities of the fabric differ depending on the type of thread. Silk velvet is the softest, but it is also very expensive. Nylon velvet doesn’t have the same heavy feel, but it’s easier to clean and more durable. Cotton velvet is more likely to stain but is more breathable. Good quality velvet can be made from any type of thread. To check the quality of your velvet, run an iron over it. A good velvet won’t have any bald patches or multi-directional pile.
Where to buy Made.com has no stores, no warehouse, and produces only once a week, allowing it to put more money and energy into curating a good design offer – with a lot of velvet.