20 Apr 2018

Stepping Back to Push Forward

mat buckets in converse one star and universal works indigo trousers and asket sweatshirt and a days march chore jacket
 Revisiting Manchester with a fresh mindset + an eagerness to try new things
mat buckets in converse one star and universal works indigo trousers
mat buckets in converse one star and universal works indigo trousers and asket sweatshirt
mat buckets in converse one star and universal works indigo trousers
mat buckets in coffee shop in manchester
mat buckets in coffee shop in manchester

A Day's March Jacket | Asket Sweatshirt | Paul Smith Tee | Universal Works Trousers c/o Gardrobe | Form&Thread Socks | Converse One Star | Tote Bag c/o Millican | Void Watch

Sometimes it's good to look back at past successes to push forward with new ones. A few weeks ago I headed face-first into a metaphorical creative brick wall it was the first time I'd experienced this feeling since becoming a freelancer. As I reflect on this now I realise there was a number of factors contributing to this slump; crappy weather, becoming irritated with deceptive tactics being used on social media, the lack of paid work coming my way and frustration with my own camera skills.

But, I don't want to dwell on the negatives, that doesn't serve any of us well. In fact, taking the positives from a negative situation has really helped me get "over it". Talking about my feelings helped tenfold, even if it was just to a 4.7 inch iPhone screen via Instagram Stories.

A few people suggested ways to combat a creative dip; step away from the work to clear your head, move on to something completely different, try to figure out the components that you aren't happy with, or my personal favourite go smash some stuff!

I did, however, find a certain solace in looking back at past projects, blog posts + creative work that I've been proud of (and the pieces of content which had that little bit of extra magic). Sometimes it's the natural light doing the hard work, other times it's the styling of an outfit against a certain location that fits perfectly, or maybe it was the photographer who had a super cool idea and things just fell into place. On many occasions inspiration comes from my close friend Jordan Bunker has had a hugely positive effect on my creativity over the past 24 months.

Looking back on past achievements is seldom a waste of time, in fact it seems to be the main driving factor for enabling me to push forward, learn from mistakes and take my work in the direction that feels natural for me.

Photography by Jake Millers. Thank you to Just Between Friends for letting us take over their coffee shop!

15 Apr 2018

A Look Around Our House | My Workspace

anglepoise paul smith type 75 lamp and dan marc writing desk
anglepoise paul smith type 75 lamp
anglepoise paul smith type 75 lamp and dan marc writing desk
anglepoise paul smith type 75 lamp, dan marc writing desk, hay ikea chair
gf smith design book and mat buckets workspace
stone cold steve austin action figure
hey ikea shelving collaboration
simple design magazine rack

It feels like ages since I last did any kind of home / office update, so yesterday morning I took full advantage of the early morning sunshine, and quickly pointed my camera in the direction of some of my favourite details.

My office is where I spend most of my time when I'm working from home, and it's my personal preference to have this space as uplifting and motivating as possible. We turned our tiny box room into my workspace, but it acts more as a place to store some of our favourite possessions and memories that we have picked up on our travels :)

Two of my favourite pieces in here are also two of my most loved possessions: the Dan Marc Writing Desk (worth checking his Instagram account for updates) + the Anglepoise x Paul Smith Type 75 lamp. My personal relationship with British designer Dan Marc (we've been friends for around three years, but within the first few months we spent 10 days travelling around Japan) has cemented my love for this locally designed + produced work of art. The Type 75 Desk Lamp was a very thoughtful gifted from Hollie + my in-laws, for my 30th birthday - it one combines my love for playful colour + progressive design.

Point your eyes towards our shelves and you'll find some of my favourite beer label designs, mementos from holidays + work trips, characters that remind us both of our childhood (I value the journey from childhood to adulthood extremely important) + other bits and bobs that we think look nice together.

Then there's the other corner of the room that doesn't get any camera time, and that's because it's an absolute mess! Let's just call it a work in progress. I hope you've enjoyed this little look around my current workspace set-up.

Also in my office space:

Postcards by my friends Haarkon + It's Nice That
Chair + Shelving by HAY
Skateboard by Penny Skateboards
Toolbox by Vitra via Utility
Magazine Rack by Rockett St George
Stone Cold Steve Austin! 

7 Apr 2018

Campbell Cole x Oliver Hooson "O TOTE"

Campbell Cole x Oliver Hooson "O TOTE"
Campbell Cole x Oliver Hooson "O TOTE"
Campbell Cole x Oliver Hooson "O TOTE"
Campbell Cole x Oliver Hooson "O TOTE"

This one is pretty exciting for me personally, and seeing two collective set of heads that I know personally come together to create a meaningful product gives me a great buzz. Nottingham's design stalwart, Campbell Cole have joined up with our mate Oliver Hooson to produce a brand new product for the brand, the O TOTE.

The collaboration between the design studio + London-based Freelance Photographer and Content Creator has been inspired by Hooson's fast-paced and often one-the-fly lifestyle stemmed from his love of cycling, photography + his ever-growing design obsession.

The unisex O TOTE has been designed to be worn close to the body, made from a durable yet soft cotton canvas and features a CC branded single cross-body wedding strap with ladder lock buckle. Easy access at all times is key, especially when cycling, so there's two dead handy deep pockets on the outside, with enough space for a magazine, water bottle, packable gilet etc. On the inside it's all business, with a small secure compartment, complete with the trademark Campbell Cole paracord zipper, and a large open-style compartment with enough space for the rest of you gear.

This collaboration is a testament to just how far we have come in this new media we call content creation, and I forward to seeing what Oliver does with this next chapter of his career.

The first drop sold out within an hour of it's release, the second batch is due on 7th May in limited quantities.

29 Mar 2018

60th Anniversary of Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair

Arne Jacobsen’s SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen represents one of the designer’s most defining career moments. Jacobsen designed every aspect of the project, from the building and furniture down to the bathroom taps.

It was for this project in 1958 that theGrandfather of modern Danish designcreated the iconic Egg Chair. The roaming contours that make up the classic silhouette were achieved using a hard foam shell covered in upholstery - a technical innovation at the time.

Since the 1950s, the chair has been produced by Danish design brand Republic of Fritz Hansen. Crafted by specialists at their Denmark factory, each leather Egg Chair is stitched by hand, with an impressive 1100 stitches required to add the two large leather hides needed to cover the chair.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of this design classic, Fritz Hansen have released a limited number (1,958 to mark the year of design) of extra special Egg Chairs featuring exclusive materials that enhance the personality of each one from head to toe.

Upholstered in a pure, natural leather and finished with a luxurious 24k gold base, the Limited Edition Fritz Hansen Egg Chair will put you back a cool £9,280. It’s a hefty price but given the history involved and the timeless nature of the Egg Chair design, it’s a price many Arne Jacobsen fans will be only too willing to pay.

If you have that sort of cash laying around you can pre-order the Fritz Hansen Egg Chair here.

You can find Shaun at - Manimalist Blog | Instagram | Twitter  

18 Mar 2018

The Pilgrm Hotel, London

coffee shop at the pilgrm hotel paddington london
The Pilgrm Hotel, Paddington, London
lobby at the pilgrm hotel paddington london
granite at the pilgrm hotel paddington london
restaurant at the pilgrm hotel paddington london
restaurant at the pilgrm hotel paddington london
materials at the pilgrm hotel paddington london
hotel room at at the pilgrm hotel paddington london
hotel rooms at at the pilgrm hotel paddington london
hotel room details at the pilgrm hotel paddington london
marble at the pilgrm hotel paddington london

coffee shop at the pilgrm hotel paddington london
at the pilgrm hotel paddington london review

The first time I was made aware of The Pilgrm hotel at Paddington was when Richard Massey + co's Unseen 24/7 newsletter (which covers everything new in the London food, drink + culture scene) popped into my inbox a few months back. Instantly bookmarked for later.

I was chatting to my friends India + Magnus (of Haarkon) a few weeks ago + they informed me that The Pilgrm had actually been renovated by Sheffield locals, hotel design + development specialists 93ft. Just a week later I found myself stepping foot through the distinct facade of bright blue hand-glazed tiles + original vertical brass door handles, opening up straight into the smell of freshly ground coffee. Sold!

The design of the hotel is a clever solution to an all too common project: a lack of space. The Pilgrm manages to combine the feeling of an old American New York-style hotel, mixed with the grandeur of a traditional Victorian-era estate. I have no idea how these guys have manage to renovate a space which holds not only a coffee shop / lobby, shared workspace, restaurant, unashamedly grand staircases, well considered corridors + communal pantries, but also 73 hotel rooms!

There's a clear focus on the materials, colours and furniture design throughout from the North Atlantic granite surfaces used in the coffee shop, original Victorian oak staircase, mid-century rattan chairs found in the hotel rooms, and bespoke lighting catching you on every turn. Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention, they have an original marble specimen cabinet (now used as a refreshments table) which once call the National History Museum its home.

The rooms themselves are quite snug (I was in a "large"), but it's what you'd expect from a period property of this size. Great for two neat people, or one messy one like me. Nothing over-designed, or added for the sake of it. Consideration to tactile materials is clearly a passion of the design team; narrowed reed glass on the bathroom door, dark wooden floorboards mixed with heavy navy carpets + mini valet-style wardrobe were all things that floated my boat. The only downside of the rooms is the original single glazed Victorian windows - bring some earplugs if you're a light sleeper!

 The Pilgrm, 25 London St, Paddington, London W2 1HH.

I was kindly offered a room for the night by The Pilgrm, but I wasn't asked to review or feature the hotel. I've done this post because I thought it was a genuinely interesting + unique experience.

9 Mar 2018

The Slower Months

Beams Half-Zip Shirt | Folk x MR PORTER Trousers | Card Holder c/o Campbell Cole | Vans Old Skool Anaheim | Moscot Sunglasses | Topman Beanie | Whistles Overshirt
January was a really busy month for me. It felt like the ideal start to the year; freelance projects kept my hands full, a couple of travel opportunities came my way, and I took it upon myself to head down to Manchester most weeks to catch up with friends. Things were pretty sweet.

Then February came around, and it was all change. At the start of the month I found myself writing about how I'd taken too much on at once, and a few weeks later I'm putting together this short post about how I haven't got much work on...That's the reality self-employment; you turn into some sort of human yo-yo.

A yo-yo with anxiety issues, at the best of times. It's all ups and downs. I have always thrived on the freedom of working for myself (and it seems to have worked well for me for the past three years), but I'm in a constant battle with myself to stay proactive, keep on-the-ball creatively, and maybe, most importantly, keep on working towards my next goals and rememeber to set them.

When there's no one to tell you you what to do, it's easy to fall into the role of professional procrastinator. That's just something I haven't managed to conquer as yet but if I'm going to carry on in this somewhat uncertain career path, I need to get myself in gear, especially in those quieter, thumb twiddling months.

Photographs by Jordan Bunker.