Gift Guide: Top 5 Scandi Stocking Fillers

Monday, 7 December 2015

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Without tooting my own horn, I'd say I'm a pretty good gift giver and this year I've been super organised and my Christmas shopping is complete! Not only have I bought presents for my loved ones, but I've treated myself to the odd early present here and there. I just couldn't resist!

I've pulled together my top five gifts, all with an understated stamp of Scandi charm.

First up, I've featured Berlin based brand, Bonanza Coffee (yes I know not technically Scandi but too good not to feature!). More like a product of design than something to consume, the packaging is spot on. The coffee is said to be pretty spectacular as well and combines old and new techniques to get the absolute best out of the coffee. Referred to as 'Retro Innovation', Bonanza Coffee is continually looking for the best production methods, nurturing the flavour and taking as much care of the coffee as possible.

Trend: Hardware in the Home

Monday, 9 November 2015

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I'm quite surprised, but I've recently adopted a liking for good looking plug sockets. Ranging from the perfectly designed for a minimal luxury interior, to camouflaged marble outlets - these plug sockets have become something of a discreet design feature. And it doesn't stop there. Silky brass and stainless steel offer a great polished finish to other 'hardwares' of the home such as door handles, pegs and light switches (It's all very exciting over here on Dursk).

Perhaps it's the fact that our stationery, our workspaces and just our homes in general are becoming more metallic, more masculine; nevertheless we've gone full circle and this utilitarian style has reached the everyday functioning details of our homes. Those finishing touches that always lie silent and have an everlasting presence. We're more obsessed than ever with items being handcrafted or made to measure, perhaps this is the reason for this sudden influx of metalwork and hardware, which ironically at the end of the day, offers a basic, uniformed style.

Getting Ready for Winter with Magisso

Monday, 12 October 2015

Last weekend my housemate brought the last of Summer indoors, when she spotted some lonely blooms at our local grocery. Quite ironically, as she walked through the door, I was preparing to shoot my 'Intro to Autumn' post. I was trying out the latest smart designs by Finnish brand, Magisso; the chalkboard cooling tumbler and clever tea-cup are my new A/W necessities. Aiding early mornings and dark, cosy evenings, these accessories are ideal for the Summer to Autumn crossover.

Trend: Framed Botanica

Monday, 14 September 2015

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Forget displaying your flowers in a vase. Instead pull apart, press and transform them into a two dimensional wall feature. I've seen this trend emerge this Summer with beautiful wild flowers and botanical leaves being encased within glass clasped frames. Set to flourish into Autumn Winter, this trend will encapsulate Summer as we (I hate to say) enter those colder months. A lamination of arranged petals and leaves - basically your very own 2D bouquet.

I'm so glad this trend is making a comeback. Pressing flowers is a pastime I used to love with my Grandma, and she had such a knack at turning her flowers into a hillside scene or some sort of floral print (so retro). This once upon a time traditional decorative style is now entering the Scandi-thrifter's home and is less 'seventies brown', but rather, 'wild meadow'.

Trend: The Minimal Kitchen

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


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The kitchen is an indoor shed of cooking tools, and the industrialised look has definitely made a comeback, seeing appliances and accessories become stripped back to their basic form. Just as aesthetically pleasing (if not more beautiful), it's time to go back to basics with a more utilitarian approach. I've collated my favourite kitchen products that all have that easy living vibe. 

Brand Watch: Feeling Green with Yard Etc

Saturday, 5 September 2015

In the past few years there's been a gradual increase of wholesome and organic beauty brands gracing the market. More and more experimental scents and flavours continue to emerge, consisting of completely natural extracts and ingredients. The ever growing conscious consumer seeks household products that not only naturally enrich us cosmetically, but also give back to the land.

YARD ETC exaggerates this connection to nature by directing its products to the guerrilla gardener. For someone who doesn't mind getting their hands a little dirty, YARD ETC nurtures your skin just as you nurtured your greenery. Nourishing your skin with natural ingredients, that originated from a lovingly cared for garden  -

'your love for nature coming right back to you'.

- Monica Kylen, YARD ETC.

Back to School: Stationery Top 5

Thursday, 20 August 2015


I’ve got a confession to make - since the age of two, I’ve been obsessed with scissors. I was either born a Creative or I’m just really weird (probs both). But since I was reminded of my scissor-mania in the office the other day, I’ve rekindled my love for scissors and all things stationery. I’ve been on a bit of a buying spree recently, so I thought I’d share my back to school must haves (for those who aren’t going back to school at all, but just love stationery).

Trend: 20 Essentials by Simon Freund

Sunday, 16 August 2015

For those who know me, you'll know that I love a real photograph, a tangible memory that I can hold and keep in a safe place. But we now live in an age where sentiment is becoming less of a commodity. Our homes are becoming smaller, yet our phones are getting bigger. We live in clouds and photo-streams and never get to hold a real photograph anymore. Even objects in the home, other than hand me downs, is there anything we actually feel emotionally attached to anymore? I'm a big believer that we shouldn't lose touch with what's real, which is why I love the work of independent designer, Simon Freund. He has carefully designed and crafted the ultimate twenty essential items; the basic (and beautiful) necessities for German living that will last a lifetime.

Travel: 10 day guide for Lisbon to Lagos

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Earlier this Summer I visited Lisbon & Lagos and it's taken a loooonng time, but finally I've managed to narrow down my detailed guide for a 10 day city to beach break. It's hard to think back to a favourite past trip and re-place the exact feelings of contentment that made that holiday your best. I say this because I've been to some of the most iconic cities and beaches of Europe but I stand firm by my decision that Lisbon has to be my favourite place ever. One of the most cultural destinations I've ever had the pleasure of visiting, and I hope that I can continue to remember these feelings of sheer fulfilment. Hopefully this post will take me back, whenever, wherever.  

New Designers: Brushes by Ellie Birkhead

Sunday, 12 July 2015

[Photography by Emily Nicholson, Dursk]

Last week I attended Part 2 of New Designers on behalf of Trend Bible and was blown away by such innovative concepts across furniture and product design. One collection that caught my eye in particular was the Brush collection by Ellie Birkhead of Brighton University. From in-depth research, Ellie realised that there is currently only one company in the UK that handcrafts brushes using traditional methods. This inspired Ellie to embrace self taught crafting techniques in order to create traditionally made brushes, but with a modern design.

Brand Watch: Handmade rag rugs by Makana Home

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Earlier this month myself and Nik spent just over 10 days in Portugal (mega blog post to follow) for our Summer holiday. Having never been before, we wanted to get the best of both worlds with a capital city break, finished with a relaxing getaway to the beautiful beaches of the Algarve. Our time in Lisbon was an eye-opener to such a vibrant history communicated through original details and breathtaking features around every corner. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this authenticity of Portugal continued into our Lagos trip, all thanks to Makana Home.

Trend: Summer Cool

Saturday, 6 June 2015

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Monochrome and stone inspire this cold Summer trend. That and the fact that there's still no sign of sun here up North. Since attending Chelsea Flower Show last month on behalf of Trend Bible, I've opened my eyes to more indoor-out styles that signify how items of the home are now being taken outdoors for a modern update of the garden. The black and white Pot Cradles by South Korean design studio HEAN are soft hanging pouches and offer a minimal alternative to plant cluttered shelves and deskspace in the home, but could also be used as a decorative garden feature, for vertical plantations.

News: Design for Me

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

We all turn to Pinterest and our favourite blogs when planning to decorate or redesign, but imagine an online platform that instead of providing inspiration, goes straight to the source, the designer.

Design For Me is an online service that allows the client to be in control of all of the decisions. Launched as a beta version last year, it matches and connects homeowners with residential architects, interior and garden designers, that the home-owner can then shortlist for their home transformation. Created by Emily Barnes, the site now has over 700 subscribers, a number that continues to grow. This social approach to bespoke design provides a direct service for the customer, and acts as an ever-growing online portfolio for the designer, what could be better?

Tulight by Puik Art

Monday, 4 May 2015

Dutch designer Ernst Koning of Ilias Ernst has recently designed the Tulight - the latest product to be released for design collective, Puik Art. Inspired by everyday life, these no fuss fixtures come with all the necessary parts and can be assembled instantly. Available in black, white, red and mint-green, the silicone up-turned tulips are a great way to break up bellowing ceiling space, with four metre long free flowing lines and a pop of graphic colour.

Ernst Koning talks of his latest designs for Puik Art on Vimeo.

A Taste of Summer

Saturday, 25 April 2015

All photography by Emily Nicholson (Dursk) 

I've been in my new house in Newcastle for nearly 2 months now and as a welcome gift/summer BBQ essential, the lovely lot at Out There Interiors have sent me this stunning Jennabelle drinks dispenser by Nordal. It's taken pride of place on the kitchen side-board, and already looks so at home. It couldn't have arrived at a better time as this past week we've seen Spring temporarily transform into Summer, which has meant lots of evenings spent on the decking, kicking back to chilled sounds and getting lost in conversation all the way through till dusk.

Spring Wishlist 2015

Sunday, 5 April 2015

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Spring is my favourite time of year; we get those summer vibes with occasional bursts of sun, wild flowers begin to bloom and it's that time to re-jig the home - out with the old and in with the new. My Scandi Spring Wishlist includes my must haves for SS15 and some items that I've already invested in.

AkzoNobel: Colour Futures 2015

Friday, 27 March 2015

I was recently approached by leading colour experts AkzoNobel and as I’ve newly become acquainted with their 2015 Colour Futures lookbook at work, I was itching to talk about their latest trends. Headquartered in Amsterdam, they own big name brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, Interpon and Eka, and are the driving innovators when it comes to sustainable colour.

When I first saw the imagery and colour combinations featured in their Colour Futures forecast I was blown away. Targeted towards architects, designers (or just any old colour addict like moi), this publication is an essential creative tool if you want to get ahead of the game. Stemming from emerging social, economic and design trends, the AkzoNobel senior colour experts engage in trend workshops in order to forecast a precise future of colour. 

I talk about my two favourite trends from their 2015 forecast: Layer + Layer & Unseen Spaces. 

Trend: Wood Substitute

Sunday, 15 March 2015

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I've recently noticed that everything has been replaced with the material of wood. With its raw, unadorned grained finish, this textural alternative is becoming the 'new marble' with decorative accessories, utensils and even bath tubs receiving a material revamp.

News: Trend Bible

Monday, 9 March 2015

Imagery sourced from Trend Bible 

So you may have noticed that my presence on Dursk has been a bit non-existent recently. It's all because I have just started my dream job as a Junior Trends Researcher at interiors trend forecasting agency, Trend Bible. Based in Newcastle, it all feels meant to be as I'd previously been crashing at my parents' (who have recently moved to Berwick-upon-Tweed), so it's turned out to be a perfect coincidence, being just down the road in Newcastle.

Trend Bible specialises in predicting trends across home, interiors and kids' lifestyle, with the finished outcome being digitised reports and trend books, which condenses valuable macro and consumer research into interiors direction for the home. Consisting of colour research, fabric swatches and the final trends for the coming season, these 'bibles' are an essential tool for big name brands and retailers. I also really love the Trend Bible blog, which includes features on innovative concepts and relevant news about current reports or workshops they have underway.

My first two weeks have FLOWN BY, and I'm already getting stuck into major consultancy projects and contributing my ideas. With this new job, it's also meant another move, and thankfully I've found the perfect house share. Stay tuned for a house tour post; I've gone crazy buying unnecessary things and already it's starting to look like the perfect Dursk home. The next chapter starts here!

Trend: The Make-Shift Work Space

Thursday, 19 February 2015

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Think outside the box. Or should I say think outside the papertray, and embrace the new 'unorganised' look to your workspace. Where papers and clutter are transformed into a beautiful mess. Clippers, compartments and peg-boards combine to transform those stray away papers & prints into a DIY feature wall. This moodboard-esqe look has transcended into the mainstream and become so popular, that the likes of HAY and other big names have created designer office essentials to inspire new realms of organised creativity. These golden clippers (and spoon) featured on the blog of Alejandrina Bessoberto prove how this trend has evolved from utilising a practical tool, to now being a decorative accessory of paper.

Let the office be your oyster.

Travel: Stockholm

Friday, 13 February 2015

Earlier this month my Scandinavian love affair officially began; it's no secret that I recently visited Stockholm (as I've literally not stopped banging on about it), and it really is as magical as I imagined it to be, especially in the snow. It was my first time in Stockholm and it's safe to say that it won't be the last. I've never found it so hard to narrow it down to just a handful of images; so many beautiful photos, so many beautiful memories.

Trend: Ethnic Nordic

Friday, 30 January 2015

Zig-Zag Formations 

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Over the past few years, the increase of Ethnic inspired pattern, colour and craft has crept into the minimalist Nordic interior. With floors being transformed with decadent Kilim rugs, rich colour has been welcomed ever so slightly, marking the start of newfangled decorative styles. Embroidered zig zag pattern, woven brights, linen stripes and intricate graphic weaves are all micro-trends that have settled into the Scandi home but with a multicultural edge.

Mood: January White

Friday, 23 January 2015

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The Snowdrops have just pushed through the thin layer of snow in our garden, and with it being a New Year/fresh start (yadda yadda) I thought I would put together a little mood inspo for the current popular colour choice of, white. Such a basic, plain colour, but one that can be instantly transformed. Whether it be dulled down with raw textures, or accented with bold accessories; white isn't just white, it's the starting point.

Fluffy woven Berber rugs are one of my favourite Moroccan inspired homewares, and what better way to feature them than in a Winter white post. Similarly, Kilim rugs and soft accessories have influenced the new 'Nordic Ethnic' interior style, and have contributed to new design approaches such as these Kilim cushions by Ferm Living. The woven patterns represent traditional crafted techniques but are updated with a monochrome, blocky design.

One home accessory to encourage your 'fresh start' is the recycled Le Sac En Papier. This trendy storage alternative resembles a 3 dimensional poster - just a white paper sack and simplistic typography, it's all perfect. I also like the idea of using it as a planter; contrasted against deep leafy greens, the combination works brilliantly. I've been having a lot of cold beach days at the minute (but to be honest they always are in Berwick) so coming home to a thick woven throw and a roaring fire is a January necessity. Another essential is the  Kiyoko lip balm, it is 100% natural and organic, and beautifully simple in it's branded design. Just what you need for January's chapped lips.

I've featured Studio Esinam before and I'm going to do it again: the delicate black and white architectural interpretations of some of the most unique cities in the world, is all you need in a complete white interior. No colour, just plain white and Esinam lines. Yes please.

Whatever your white, it's a 2015 favourite and for me, I like it at it's rawest; textured accessories, complimented with grey/concrete tones for an overall cold, grungy white. A lot like January really.

Trend: Brush Strokes

Friday, 16 January 2015

Brush Strokes are a contrasting effect for feature walls, ceramics and even designer foods. Here are my favourite brushed trends including smokey applications, watercolour washes, grainy strokes and an insight into cake boutique, Nectar & Stone.

Home London 2015: highlights

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


[Alfred & Wilde, Alicja Patanowska]
Last weekend I embarked on the epic journey from Berwick-upon-Tweed to London for the opening of Home & Top Drawer 2015. Whilst I am usually attending tradeshows on a freelance basis, it was nice to visit on behalf of Dursk just as little old me. I began at the Spotted corner where new talent is showcased; Alfred & Wilde were an obvious favourite of the fair with gold geometric printed mugs and textiles, and Alicja Patanowska wowed with her avant-garde collection of vases and vessels, a conceptual combination of glass and ceramic.

Wilder California X Dursk: Wilder Winter Collection

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

All imagery courtesy of Jane Wilder, Wilder California 

My first post of 2015 is one I've been saving especially - Introducing the latest work of Wilder California: Wilder Winter is the newest collection of photography prints by Jane Wilder, featuring botanical themes with a cold aesthetic. Not so long ago I featured Wilder's work on Dursk (view past post here) and was hypnotised by such a dominant pastel colour palette and her eye for capturing natural plant-life in a contemporary way. By applying additional tonal effects and adapting her imagery into an artographic form, Jane's work encourages the eye to focus upon the intricate details of the natural world that might usually go unnoticed.

Wilder Winter is Jane's second collection due to be sold on her Wilder California Etsy shop, with it's release being launched here on Dursk. Despite the distance, myself and Jane wanted to convey winter photography that encompassed our similar tastes and I'm so happy to have been a small part of this creative process. I supplied Jane with a colour palette that channeled her pastel signature style, but was altered slightly with dulled down shades for the winter months.

With the influence of the colour palette, Jane has captured the changing colours of the current Northern California winter storms and the result is a cool adaptation of on-trend botanical prints, but with a refreshing colour scheme that redefines winter greens.

The Wilder Winter Collection goes on sale today on her Etsy shop (here) and until February 1st customers can get an extra 15% off, using code word DURSK - Happy January! X

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