Monthly Archives: July 2011

Quirk & Rescue: Who are Ms Pink & Mr Black?

Quirk and Rescue

Quirk & Rescue AKA Ms Pink & Mr Black take once loved furniture from the last century, furniture that has been ignored and forgotten for far too long.  Then using their creative talents to give these former design classics a new twist and update them – for the 21st century sensibilities of the design aware.

Double Leopardy Quirk & Rescue

DreamwallStyle became curious to find out more about this quirky set up and wanted to discover more about the mysterious Ms Pink and Mr Black with their Quirky & Rescue enterprise so lets find out more….

Ms Pink and Mr Black

Q1. Why Ms. Pink & Mr. Black?

That’s who we are at the core. These are our true personas. We are almost completely opposite in our views on design hence the Pink & Black clash of colours against the grey world. It also gives us a wider range of experience and ideas to call upon. We wanted to show this by giving our individual creative identities names. Also, we like the air of mystery it gives our pieces. We’re trying to bring something enigmatic to our work too. Who are Ms. Pink & Mr. Black? How do they do this? Also, I have had pink hair for the past 25 years and Mr. Black has black hair. It all seemed to fit together rather well.

Double Leopardy Quirk and Rescue











Q2. What do you do?

We find, restore and relove vintage and retro furniture from classic names such as Ercol, G-Plan, Eames, etc… and also pieces that we find from other brands that are less well known such as Beautility. We also keep an eye open for those unusual one off pieces that just jump out at us – almost like they are begging for our attention!

G-Plan Pink Nest

G-Plan Pink Nest

G-Plan Pink Nest

Q3.What do you mean by relove?

A lot of our early pieces were for friends who had family ‘heirloom’ pieces that they found did not fit in with their contemporary surroundings. So we decided that this was something we could solve for them. The results pleased them and others started to ask us to do the same. It was hard at first, we made many mistakes – but that allowed us to perfect our art.

Q4.Why upcycle?

We don’t like the term upcycling as people often assume it means the designer has taken something worthless and just given it a big price tag. That’s not what we do, we take care to find furniture that was expensive at the time it was made and is hard to find now. Also, we know that the furniture that we find has lasted well by modern standards, sometimes up to 80 years and will probably last the same amount of time again.

Retro Stripe

Retro Stripe

Q5. Why do you paint the pieces?

Even though we both love natural wood, at the moment we like the idea of painting pieces completely. It’s an ironic statement. Like the Roman statues at the British Museum – everyone has swallowed the neo-classical view of marble statues, blank eyed, but in reality, in their original time period, they would be gaudily painted – depicting the person or deity of the time as realistically as possible. We’re doing the inverse of that really, but there is a common theme. This doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t include natural wood in later designs, but the piece and design would have to be right.

Q6. Where do you get your pieces?

It’s taken us years to build up enough contacts to source regular supplies of the types of furniture we love. We can’t give names for obvious reasons.

Q7. Why did you go into furniture?

There is something satisfying in taking an ‘old skool’ craftsman’s work that has fallen out of favour with modern tastes and being able to create something new with it. To hold it up to the light and say ‘You missed this!’ and share it with others – like design archaeologists. We want our furniture to feel valuable – because it is, which is why we number all of our pieces. Even though two pieces might have the same design, they will never be exactly alike as we shape our designs to the individual piece. Taking into consideration the piece’s original elements and form – not ignoring them.

Punk '77

Punk '77











Q8. What are your design inspirations?

The things that other people aren’t doing. The designs that other designers might think are passé, we will look at them and try and think of new ways to invigorate them. Or look back and find, once again, the things we think should be brought back into the light. We take a lot of inspiration from music, art, language and nature. We like to be playful, almost humorous, maybe even a little bit teasing. We like to make furniture that a client will not have to talk about because anyone who sees it will want to talk about it.

Q9.How does the bespoke side of the business work? 

It depends on whether the client already has a piece they want us to reawaken or whether they have a particular piece they wish us to track down. We can do either. Then it is just a matter of discussing with the client their vision for the piece. We obviously keep in close contact with the client and discuss design concepts, what is possible (virtually anything!), colour, style, finish etc… This isn’t to say we don’t bring our own vision and ideas to the client, more that the client collaborates with us to create something unique. Mr. Black and I debate every piece, every design until we know that we have the perfect concept for a piece. The process of debate, even argument, is the thing that makes our pieces special.



Q10. How long have you been doing this?

We have been doing this for quite a few years now, but only in the last year and half have we really moved towards doing what we love as a creative business. We think it has worked out better this way as we made all our mistakes on early, personal pieces rather than inflicting them on the client or customer.

Zebra Crossing

 Q11. Is there anything you wouldn’t attempt?

We haven’t found anything yet that we’ve thought ‘That’s impossible!’, but we are always up for a challenge, so we’ll say no.

Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N' Roll











Q12. Who do you see buying your furniture?

Someone who cares about where their furniture comes from and how it is designed and produced. Someone who wants that ‘statement’ piece. Someone who will covet it.

Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N' Roll











Q13. How do you see your furniture fitting into a home?

That depends on on whether we are designing specifically for you, in which case we would say harmoniously – Or if you are buying from our ‘standing’ collection then we would say it’s up to the client how it fits into their home.

Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N' Roll











Q14. What are your future plans?

We would like to move into creating our own pieces from scratch, so we are in the process of prototyping two or three designs and seeing where that leads us. We are also in the process of making whole flock of G-Plan nest of tables with the theme of exotic birds.

Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N' Roll

Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N' Roll



Quirk and Rescue


‘Hopper and Space’ Vintage Furniture With a Passion

Hopper and Space

Dreamwallstyle are delighted to introduce ‘Hopper and Space’

“Vintage furniture is our number one passion. It is our mission to share with you our love of stylish well made mid century designs”

Hopper and Space

Hopper and Space is run by Joe and Ben. Both have a passion for mid century design dating back to  their childhoods , Joe and Ben spent time with their parents collecting items from jumble sales, charity shops and auctions. Both  love designs from the 1950’s right through to the 1980’s and after they first met they  decided to start selling some of their  collections to make space for their ever growing mountain of objects! This soon grew into a business and soon realised that there was a huge demand for vintage furniture based on love of design, nostalgia and a backlash against low quality mass produced items aimed at today’s “throw away society”.

Ben and Joe met at a car boot sale when they  both made a grab for the same 1950’s Italian pottery vase!!  They  set up earlier this year after a lengthy period of time spent collecting, researching and restoring vintage furniture which is the thing they both love the most!

Hopper and Space

Hopper and Space





                                                                                                              Ben loves the homestyle designs of the 1950’s and the post-modernism of the 1980’s and Joe loves the modernism and earthiness of the 1960’s and 1970’s interior styles.

Hopper and Space

Hopper and Space

Joe and Ben’s home is filled with objects from the 1950’s  era and even their fridge is from the 1950’s -they both refused to buy a fridge until they had found the right one and a lot of food went off in the process!! They believe that it is worth waiting for the right pieces for your home and that your home should tell a story about you, and the things you love. Through the  Hopper And Space website they sell re-upholstered and restored pieces from the 1950’s 1960’s and 1970’s. They tend to go for iconic pieces and items with the WOW factor which stand out as timeless and make a unique talking point for peoples homes.

Hopper and Space

With it being the 60th anniversary of the 1951 ‘Festival Of Britain’ the current collection from ‘Hopper and Space’ includes pieces by noted British designers such as Howard Keith and E Gomme (G Plan). Ben and Joe  adore the elegant lines, bright colours and homely feel of pieces from this era as well as the clean modernism of later pieces such as the 1960’s Danish teak armchairs they currently have for sale.


Hopper and Space

Ben and Joe are very much into the idea of reviving quality, well constructed furniture and offering people the chance to own a piece of design history that will hold its ground long after any current interior fashion has passed and offering people something to cherish and pass down to future generations of their family. All Hopper and Space pieces are original vintage items from across the globe reupholstered and restored here in the UK.

To find out more about Hopper and Space click on links below to the website and twitter



‘Hopper and Space” website click here


‘Hopper and Space” Twitter Click here

Be Inspired: It really is “More than Words”

More than Words

More Than Words was launched in 2010 by creative designer Lisa Long. Her lifetime love of interiors and typography, combined with a search to find a piece meaningful and high quality artwork for her own home, led Lisa to design what is now the ‘original Memories canvas’.  She was soon inundated with requests from friends and family to design a piece for them…and from there More Than Words was born.  What started as a job to fit in around two boys under three is now a full-time award winning global business.

Lisa Long with her family

Just over one year later, Lisa’s typographic artwork has been commissioned by customers all over the world. Some of her high profile clients include Dannii Minogue, heads of the BBC and screenwriter and film director Richard Curtis. Lisa artwork has featured on UK TV shows such as Ch5’s Cowboy Builders and ITV1’s 60 Minute Makeover, and she also works closely with interior designers and More Than Words artwork decorates the walls of several well-known corporate businesses, including the headquarters of one of the UK’s leading bridal magazines.

more than words

Lisa was a finalist in the 2010 Mumpreneur UK awards for ‘Most Unique Product’ and is currently shortlisted from thousands of nominated UK businesses in the UK.COM awards as ‘Best Creative Business Idea’, judged by Sarah Beeny and an elite panel of entrepreneurs – due to be announced later this month.

More than words

Artwork for every occasion

More Than Words produces bespoke typographic designs in a range of themes using your words and precise colours.  Lisa also offers a collection of limited and unlimited designs.

more than words

Each unique piece is hand-finished in the UK to fine art standards onto your choice of acrylic, canvas, a beautiful framed print or the signature More Than Words ‘vintage framed canvas’.

more than words

More than Words creations are so varied – from designs to decorate new homes, celebrating the birth of a baby, personalised poetry…birthday presents for that person who has just about everything.  Lisa most recently created a huge Memories canvas as a leaving present for one of the most powerful men in British business!

More than words

DreamwallStyle finds out what inspires Lisa? and her visions for the future.

Q1. What inspires you?

A1. In terms of inspiration for new designs, I love to keep up to date with my favourite interiors blogs such as Bright Bazaar and Design Sponge, and interiors mags such as Elle Decoration, for ideas.
Personally, I am inspired by the many business women/mums out there who are determined to ‘have it all’…it’s a challenge but I’m very proud of how successful the business has become in just over a year.  Many customers think that More Than Words is a much bigger operation that it actually is…but it’s really just me, juggling two young children and More Than Words, with help from my very supportive husband and an amazing artwork production team.
Q2. What are your visions for the future?
 A2. On a daily basis I am approached by new customers who have come across my artwork in a friend’s home.  The fact that More Than Words is growing so organically is amazing and exciting.  I do spend time on PR and marketing but there is nothing quite as powerful as customer recommendations.
For the immediate future I am desperate to grow a little team to cope with demand for the remainder of the year.  Christmas was crazy last year!  The business has grown so much in the last year that I am in the process of hiring our another part time employee, alongside a current freelance designer that I had to bring on board to cope with demand.  There are some very exciting developments in the pipeline which I can’t mention at the moment…watch this space.

More than words

More than words

More than words








































‘More than Words’ website 

‘More than Words’ on Twitter!/morethanwordart 

More than words

More than words

Be Inspired: Kelly Swallow Unique Patchwork Designs

Kelly Swallow

Super gorgeous and quirky chairs, taking bespoke to a whole new level!

 Kelly Swallow’s chairs are individually sourced vintage pieces, each with its own unique charm. The personality of every piece is rediscovered by painstakingly and lovingly choosing an exciting collection of fabrics to create unique pieces with newfound splendour. The fabrics range from vintage to designer including Kenzo, Zoffany, Liberty, Andrew Martin, Designers Guild, Osborne & Little, Lorca, Mulberry – an eclectic mix with exciting and surprising contrasts.

Kelly Swallow Wingback chair


Kelly is originally from Ireland but now lives just outside London. Kelly has always  made things, she started sewing as a child a very distant memory of Kelly’s is seeing a patchwork quilt made by her grandmother, so I guess that’s where her love of patchwork comes from!

Kelly swallow patch work chair

Kelly adores fabrics and get ridiculously excited when sourcing  new fabrics for her collections.  She loves to mix new and vintage, Kelly loves finding a piece of furniture which is the perfect match for a fabric theme she finds this very satisfying!  

Kelly Swallow Patch work design













Kelly can’t bear to be away from here fabrics and sewing machine for very long, and has been known to take one on holiday! Her obsession was fashion design through the 80s and 90s, while also dabbling in upholstery. Kelly always  liked to use ‘unexpected’ fabrics- she remembers crazy coats made from recycled vintage curtains!

Kelly swallow

Kelly worked for Greenpeace for all of the ’90s so craft continued mainly as a hobby. When her son was born she left Greenpeace, and turned to recycle, reuse ethos to furniture. Her passion for fabrics and her huge collection is now used to reninvent beautiful old pieces of furniture, creating a thing of beauty from something that has been passed over and discarded is enormously exciting. Kelly knows it’s now fashionably known as upcycling but it’s just what shes always  done!

Kelly Swallow chair

Kelly Swallow

Kelly Swallow has also just launched some new ranges using stunning, unusual fabrics. From the fabulous button backs telling the story of Art Deco, Hungarian, mangle cloths to chairs and footstools covered in a patchwork of rugby shirts undoubtedly tracing the history of a sports career! Very different sources and types of materials but the results are always exciting, colourful with a story to tell.

Kelly Swallow

Kelly Swallow sells ‘ready to go’ pieces and also takes commissions, allowing customers to be completely involved in creating their own bespoke piece.

Kelly Swallow

Kelly swallow





















Kelly has recently just finished a vintage linen chair. This is a bit different from her vibrant patchwork chairs which you have seen in the above pictures – it’s part of her vintage linen and grain sack ranges which have been very popular. This particular linen is from 1930’s German flour sacks with quite ornate print – this is the first of this style of chair that she has done.

Kelly Swallow Vintage Linen chair

Kelly Swallow

Follow Kelly Swallow on Twitter click here

Kelly Swallow

Be Inspired: From Garden Shed to ‘Giddy Kipper’

Giddy kipper


Formed in a garden shed in 1999 by business partners Heidi Bowman BA Hons and Steve Clawson (formerly called FISH craft and design), Giddy Kipper can now be found in an old malthouse in rural Lincolnshire.

The Malt House


After completing a textile degree and living and working in Manchester for 6 years, Heidi returned to her Lincolnshire base. Steve also returned to Lincolnshire from working in London and the couple, who have been friends for 20 years, set up their own business – combining Heidi’s artistic skills and Steve’s business knowledge.

Heidi Bowman in the workshop

Heidi Bowman in the workshop

Steve soon showed great talent for hitting things with hammers and Heidi who had been ‘colouring-in’ for years (as a freelance designer!), quickly built up their first range – inspired by the sea and family holidays spent on the North Norfolk coast, and began travelling to craft shows to sell their wares.

Heidi in the workshop

Steve in the workshop

They now produce over 100 excellent and original home accessories, small pieces of furniture, decorative items and gifts. All of the items are handmade by the partners and hand painted by Heidi.
Their ranges now cover fun stuff for Kids, the ever-popular seaside and rustic country-style

Kiddy Kipper workshop

Steve in the work shop


Q1. What is it you do and what services do you offer ? 

A. Handmade home accessories, decorative items and personalised gifts all hand painted and hand finished by myself, partner Steve and our small Giddy Kipper crew! Our ranges cover Coast, Country and Kids but our most popular range is definitely our Wedding range!

Giddy Kipper Gone to Beach

Wedding Heart from Giddy Kipper

Q2.When and why did you start your business ?

A.We launched Giddy Kipper at The Country Living Fair in 2004 and introduced our Wedding range in 2006 after numerous enquiries for us to make items for weddings from enthusiastic brides! Since then it has grown into a range of gifts for Brides & Grooms, favours & venue decorations covering a wide range of themes and colour schemes

Original Beach Huts Kiddy Kipper

kiddy kipper

Q3. What inspires you ?

A. Everything! Ideas come from all sorts of places..I devour magazines and love to gather ideas from tv shows to snippets of conversation! A comment, colour or photo can trigger a wealth of product ideas..I have my sketchbook handy at all times to make sure I can scribble down ideas when they come to me. We’re also regularly asked to make special pieces for weddings and try to oblige if at all possible to make the day truly special and personalised for the bride & groom.

Dots and Spots Kiddy Kipper

Giddy Kipper

Q4. What has been your favourite product and why ?

A. I don’t think I actually have one! I really do love everything that we make and I love painting the designs. My favourite part though is adding the names and dates to the personalised items and thinking that our products are part of someone’s special day. I once painted 150 wooden tags as place names for a wedding in Brazil, 20 sailboats with Greek names for table decorations at a wedding in South Africa and 60 personalised hearts to give to guests at a wedding in Barbados!

Giddy Kipper Beach Hut Pegs

beach hut garland Giddy Kipper

Giddy Kipper Star

Q5. Whats your greatest achievement ?

A. We’re very proud of all our achievements – from building our business up from our humble beginnings in the garden shed to now residing in an old malthouse with 2 members of staff (with another joining us this Christmas), having products featured in the vast majority of national magazines & newspapers including Coast, Country Living, Period Living, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes & Antiques, Wedding, Wedding Ideas, Perfect Wedding, You & Your Wedding, Daily Mail, Daily Express…..(to name but a few!) and this year we were immensely proud to have been nominated for a Wedding Ideas award for Best Special Touches – we made it to the final 5 and only lost out to the huge wedding company Confetti! We have also just been nominated for a further 2 awards in the Make Awards for Creative Business of the Year and Best Customer Service – a big achievement to be picked from 1800 small businesses!

Giddy kipper

Giddy Kipper

Giddy Kipper

Q 6. Whats the future for your Business?

A.We have just welcomed our 2nd baby boy into the world so I am currently on maternity leave but I am bursting with ideas! We have recently discussed expanding the business, taking on more staff and adding a lots of new products, so we are very excited about our plans! We’re also working on a new website which we cannot wait to launch

Heidi Bowman Kiddy Kipper

Thank you so much Heidi for taking time out to speak to DreamwallStyle, we love Giddy Kipper and wish you all the best for the future, your story is inspirational.

To find out more about Kiddy Kipper please go to the following links below


Giddy Kipper

Be inspired by Helen Rhodes ‘HWR Designs’


While on a recent camping holiday in Bakewell Derbyshire, I discovered the fabulous bespoke textile creations by HWR Designs. When I returned back to Lincolnshire I was intrigued to find out more about HWR Designs.



Helen Rhodes from Derbyshire in the heart of England, kindly talked to DreamwallStyle about how she set up HWR Designs told us all about her passions, inspirations and what visions she has for the future, so be inspired here is Helens story.

Helen Rhodes HWR Designs



Helen has always loved handmade crafts, one of her earliest memories is a family holidays in the Lake district and dragging her family into every craft shop there was.  At christmas Helen always had a boxed craft kit of some sort and she told us it was the best thing ever!! and books.., oh the books… on every available craft subject under the sun.

Black and White Ducks made by Helen Rhodes HWR Designs

Having absorbed every discipline and amassed a stash of every piece of equipment known to man Helen decided to try her hand at teaching and in 2007  she went to Burton College and ended up being enrolled for a Creative Arts Foundation Degree due to start the very next week.  The course focused on a business outcome in a Creative Arts discipline so equipped Helen with certain business tools and skills as well as developing her creative talents.  Needless to say Helen found it to be thoroughly enjoyable and felt quite guilty that she was being allowed to ‘play’ full time at what she loved doing.

Gingham Lavender Sparrows made by Helen Rhodes HWR Designs

Helen graduated in 2009 with Top marks and the confidence to try her hand in the business of creating.  Helen’s original idea was to open a craft cafe concept offering workshops, exhibition space etc but unfortunately this has had to be put on hold for the time being.  In the meantime she has entered the E- Commerce world and converted a little Stable building in her garden into the design Studio.

Bless this Pearch by Helen Rhodes HWR Designs

Helen’s  inspiration comes from two aspects of her personal life a love of the country, wildlife and gardening and from her Husbands collection of vintage cars and bikes and more recently her son’s Morris Minor Traveller.

4-finches Helen Rhodes HWR Designs

Helen’s favourite product is usually whatever she is currently working on, as she gets very easily distracted by new ideas and has to rotate from birds to cushions to bags to aprons to art in ever widening circles.  This stops her from going stale and also means she can stock a whole shop by herself!

Book Stack Kindle Cover Helen Rhodes HWR Designs

Helen loves to shop on the handmade online outlets such as Etsy and Folksy, Helen admits to an addiction to Twitter she enjoys the community of the like minded creatives who love to buy between each other.  Helen likes to buy at local shops too and supports local artists and producers whenever possible.

Steve McQueen Messenger Bag - Helen Rhodes HWR Design

Helen’s long term vision for HWR Designs is to to continue to make products she is proud of and to keep them innovative and interesting.  Helen would like to develop the Art side more she has found it very exciting and is fascinated by print and transfer techniques.  Helen hopes to make the dream of her little Craft Cafe a reality one day so just watch this space….

shabby chic Heart Wreath Helen Rhodes HWR Designs

HWR Designs

To see view the official HWR Designs Website please go here

To follow HWR Designs on Twitter Click here 

Contact HWR Designs

Union Jack Flock by Helen Rhodes HWR Designs


The Beach Hut Office in Rural South Lincolnshire

Nikki Austin - Austin John Interiors





Nikki Austin of Lincolnshire and owner of ‘Austin John Interiors’ invited DreamwallStyle to her ‘Beach Hut’. But this is no ordinary Beach hut this is a spectacular ‘Beach Hut’ theme office in the heart of rural south Lincolnshire.

Welcome to Nikki Austins 'Beach Hut' office

Nikki who works from home, owns a lovely 30ft long x 15ft wide log cabin, 10 x 15ft is her office space, where Nikki likes to draw and be creative.

Nikki Austin 'Beach Hut' themed office

After two years of having the Cabin in the natural pine mellow  Nikki decided that the cabin needed a new lighter theme, it was always dark inside and Nikki  always had to keep the lights on.

Nikki Austin 'Beach Hut' themed office

Nikki just used a water based primer to give the walls a washed look, and feel of a ‘Beach Hut’. Originally Nikki intended to use ‘Posh Paints’ naming no names 😉 to show off her colour co-ordination ability and promote the paints, but her clients and visitors really loved the look Nikki had created with just a water based primer that she decided not to add  anymore paint to the walls.

Nikki Austin 'Beach Hut' themed office

Nikki points out that space is tight as her business grows but all her ‘guests’ smile about the ‘Beach Hut’ theme, so its a good talking point.

Nikki Austin 'Beach Hut' themed office

Nikki splashed out on a lovely lantern and a tripod light. The Ceilings in the cabin are nickel and industrial, Nikki added quirky touches like the antique fishing new and wooden fish!

Nikki Austin 'Beach Hut' themed office

There’s even a ‘Funky loo’ ” A pee in the woods’ wall mural

A pee in the woods Nikki's funky loo

All the furniture in the ‘Beach Hut’ is white, Nikki is just loving the fresh summery feel even on the dullest rainy days. Nikki was inspired by all the new fabric collections coming out with a coastal theme, with that soft ‘hippy’ surfer feel.

Nikki's Beach Hut office

Nikki says she may need to swap her freelander for a VW van! and loves all the linens and distressed look on everything! Now just bring on the sunshine!

Nikki's Beach Hut office

Nikki Austin owner of Austin John Interiors also writes articles for 'Anne Louise' a Lincolnshire womens' glossy magazine


To find out more about ‘Austin John’ Interiors please Click Here –    


‘Austin John’ Interiors on Facebook Click Here

To follow on ‘Austin John’ Interiors on Twitter Click Here –!/home_designer