Natural, Environmentally Friendly Luxury

With summer blazing over a thawed out England it’s time to take to the pool. Where better to swim than an innovative, maintained and luxurious reserve of water, which compliments the home and creates a grand swimming experience?


Of course there are many designs found in the best hotels and most magnificent of houses. Finely tiled, salt watered pools with all the trimmings – including the chemicals.

This article wishes to explain the beauty and benefits of a ‘natural swimming pool’. These German designs seek to create a clean and eco friendly pool that can be made to match the décor of nature itself.


So what is a Natural Swimming Pool?


Although a natural body of water may be one of the earth’s oldest of occurrences its place within home and garden design is relatively new. Natural swimming pools were developed in Germany and Austria 25 years ago and have now embedded themselves in gardens all over Canada and the US as well as UK, the Czech Republic and other European countries.


There are two sections to the natural swimming pool: the swimming area and the regeneration zone. What the regeneration provides is an ecosystem for aquatic plants that will filter nutrients out of the water in the swimming area by using a simple mechanical pump. This natural recycling method will cause the water to have a natural green tinge due to the small presence of algae and sediment in the pool.


What is created is a personal, self-maintained living body of water that is both clean and clear of any harmful chemicals. The water is pumped between the two sections filtering and purifying it.





Beautiful Design

A natural pool has the added advantage of being part of your garden’s surroundings. This makes the pool exudes the beauty of nature itself as the regeneration zone will flow into the outdoor aesthetic whilst cleansing the water in the swimming area.


There is a wide scope of design, as the pool becomes simply a natural body of water. But one may choose a fusion of modern pool design too – perhaps tiling or submerged walls connected to a regeneration zone.


Due to the two-part structure of a natural swimming pool a large area is needed for construction and often the more natural foliage the more attractive design possibilities.


Whatever the design may be the water will still be naturally clean and the aesthetically beautiful.


Eco Friendly


This particular pool design is most popular for eco-conscious homeowners. They are highly energy efficient providing habitat restoration whilst promoting biodiversity. They create a habitat for aquatic flora and wildlife alike such as dragonflies, pond skippers, which in turn attract birds to bathe in the water.


Natural swimming pools do not require as much water as regular pools, which use roughly 80 million liters of water per year in the UK – simply for refilling purposes alone. A natural pool will only have to be filled once as the regeneration zone tackles the filtering and purification function.


And rather than wasting time and material almost any swimming pool can be converted into a stunning natural pool.

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Rainy Day, Dream Away

We’re well into Autumn now, beautiful autumn leaves, soup, nights closing in, daily doses of rain.. Yeah, we’re fed up with the rain too, but luckily there are a million and one places to visit in London on a rainy weekend. This weekend we paid a visit to the V&A Museum, South Kensington, and then braved the rain for a mammoth walk right up through Knightsbridge & Mayfair into Covent Garden at dusk. The city lights reflecting in the rain made London twice as bright and gave us an excuse to take some snaps.

The Victoria & Albert Museum – Nearest Tube: South Kensington

For an up to date and comprehensive list of free art and attractions in London, visit the Time Out website.

st pancras

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Music & Art: Barney Kessel – LP Artwork

Acclaimed Jazz guitarist Barney Kessel has some fantastic record covers – notably the Breakfast At Tiffanys tissue paper collage below. Check out the album on Spotify, link included below text.



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Glass trends in Interior design

Glass trends in Interior design

When it comes to designing your home or work space, the initial idea is to create a retreat to relax in but also provide a place to feel productive and the interior design should reflect this. One of the main points that is considered when designing an interior space is lighting and spacial awareness and glass can be an excellent material to highlight this. Glass is often used for different purposes, whether for architecture or decoration due to its simple but sophisticated appearance. It can be used practically for the structure of a place but can be seen as a design feature too. The transparency of glass offers the solution to receive more light, allowing natural light to shine through and brighten up any room that may have a dark and gloomy interior. It could also be a focal decoration from the floors to the furniture of a room.

There are many ways that glass can be incorporated with interior design;

Glass walls can be used to give the illusion that the room is larger and lets in a lot of light for illumination. They can be large scale windows to a partition within a room. With the large scale windows, it can create the emphasis of bringing the outdoors scenery indoors. However the downside of this is that it doesn’t allow much privacy as its transparent and there could be the fear of actually running into it but there are ways to prevent this such as adding colour or frosting to the glass to create a focus but also adding design details.

Glass Floors are an amazing effect to create a dramatic look indoors. They work best under a sky lit roof to allow more light to enter through and can be seen as a decorative feature in a place. It will certainly draw attention to the structure of a building and could transform what might otherwise be a confined space. The glass tends to be relatively thick and toughened in order to support sufficient weight.

Glass staircases can be a show-stopping focal point in a place. It creates an airy and spacious feel and offers a creative solution to maximise natural light to the surroundings. Structural glass staircases are incorporated with toughened glass and can be shaped differently such as spiral staircases to form an interesting and elegant design in the building.

Glass bathrooms can be a questionable trend due to its privacy issues but it can still make a great impact to a room. However, it’s not just the walls of the bathroom that can be a glass feature, there are other areas such as the shower wall panels or glass sink countertops in the bathroom that can still add that open feel to the room and also add that touch of design. The open plan bathroom layout can benefit to make a room seem vast and enhance a modern look.

With all these glass trends in mind, there are endless ways to be creative with interior design. The transparent material becomes a functional focal point and an alternative to other materials to convey a contemporary look.

Written on behalf of GH Interior Glass

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Kudos CUSTOM blog post image


















If you have ever watched Cribs on MTV you will have heard the various cars, sofas, swimming pools and what not being referred to as ‘custom’. But what is ‘custom’ and why do they insist on telling me that everything in their house is ‘custom’? Well, it is better known as custom made, bespoke, tailor made, etc. Without being rude, I doubt that many of the air-headed celebrities on reality TV shows have an appreciation of a bespoke item. One of the main reasons they are so desperate for custom goods is the exclusivity of it. Anything that is made according to your personal specifications comes with a lot of exclusivity, and that exclusivity also usually comes with an exclusive price! However, there are a number of reasons – apart from some vain sense of exclusiveness as to why bespoke goods are worth shelling out for. Bespoke goods cover a whole range of industries, from the world famous tailored suits of Savile Row, to the more relaxed surfboard shaper in Bali. Whatever you are having built will be according to your own personal measurements and specifications. This is the allure associated with bespoke items. You may not have the skill to tailor the finest Italian cotton and make sure it fits just right – but you know what you want. As such, you do not have to settle for the 38 regular option that is a little tight in your local store, but instead your suit comes under the category of “it fits me perfectly right from the start”. It is this specificity that makes these items worth the money because you can be assured that no suit, shoe, surfboard or golf clubs bought from a normal shop will fit you as well as something made bespoke. You do not need to make adjustments because it wasn’t made to fit hundreds or thousands of people, instead it was made to fit 1…you. In addition to this, it is also possible to make additions or changes in design. Have you ever seen something in a shop, loved it, but when you picked it up it had some design feature that you wished wasn’t there? Well with bespoke goods you can make sure that feature is not there. You design it the way you want – not how some anonymous designer for a brand label wanted it. One of the main reasons as to why bespoke items are of such value is that traditionally those who made these types of items were the very best. It takes a certain amount of skill to be able to make adjustments to a design according to someone’s wishes or measurements. As such, when you buy something that is made bespoke for you, it is usually of a higher quality than something bought in a shop. They use better materials and much of it is handmade. There is soon to be a website available in the UK called Bespokee, which aims to bring together all the best makers of custom-made goods in the UK, which should help to make the make bespoke more accessible to all of us. All of these factors add up to something that fits perfectly, is how you envisaged it and will last longer than your standard item.

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Quality over price equals?

Always buy quality when you can. That is something that I have really come to live by in recent years and is the message that I will now try to convey to you. If you can afford a quality piece of whatever you might be buying then get it! It is so so rare that a cheap alternative is better than the proven company that produces expensive products. The reason those companies can charge their prices is because that price is held up by the quality of their products. This goes for most things in life – not least when buying for your home. The unfortunate truth is that quality goods can be expensive, but just remember that if you buy cheap, you buy twice.

I have a constant reminder of this rule lying on the floor at the end of my bed. A cheap rug that no matter how many times I furiously hoover it, the damned thing somehow manages to carry on producing fluff. This fluff then subsequently attaches itself to all my clothing. Hooray for me! I then go to my friends place where he has a designer rug lying in HIS lounge. Now the pessimist in me simply points out the it cost more than my IKEA monstrosity, but then everything else about it is better than my molting creature. His rug is soft, intricate and most importantly does not leave evidence of its existence all over the house. This dichotomy between the two products is something that I attempt to recall anytime I am trying to decide between two pieces. Especially when it comes down to things like rugs. They are designed to last YEARS. If you buy the tesco brand chocolate you might only be dissatisfied with the end result for a few minutes. With durable goods like rugs this dissatisfaction can fester for years as a constant reminder….eventually turning into hatred and the final throwing out of said curse!

Designer Rugs
Another horrible reminder of cheap alternatives gone wrong is my washing machine. I went for the cheapest of the three machines that I was considering and how I have been reminded of this mistake every time I do a wash. Now there is no getting around the fact that washing machines are loud – but there is a distinct difference between the moderate humming of a top of the range HotPoint to the noise that my cheap alternative makes. Try watching TV when in the next room it sounds like a Boeing 747 at full throttle on the runway. Again, I could remind myself that the top of the range HotPoint costs more, but then I just think of the amount of clothes that my current machine has destroyed.

Finally, the likelihood is that the products that cost more have had more design input. As a general rule they will look better (and function better) than the cheaper alternatives. This is due to the fact that not many are willing to pay more money for something that looks worse! Design is an important aspect for consumer behaviour and so quality products are usually of higher design quality as well. For instance with the rugs, you not only get something soft underfoot but also something that can be considered a piece of art in its own right. So rant over, all I can say is that for now I am still stuck with my IKEA rug and crap washing machine compared to the top of the range HotPoint washing machine and Bazaar Velvet rug that are contributing to my friends happiness at home rather than taking it away every time he wants to wash some clothes.

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