Happy New January!


Happy New January!

 

The beginning of the new year and the time to make your new year resolutions.

January was established as the first month of the year by the Roman calendar and was named after the god Janus (Latin word for door).  Janus has two faces, which allows him to look both backwards into the old year and forwards into the new one at the same time.  He was the 'spirit of the opening'. 

Let's see what there is for us to look forward to as we head into 2017.

A Swedish breakfast to kick start the year.

A Swedish breakfast to kick start the year.

Luxury Ski Chalets

Chalet Ormello, Courcheval. A self-contained universe of luxury and sophistication.

Chalet Ormello, Courcheval. A self-contained universe of luxury and sophistication.

When you cast your gaze across the upper echelons of the luxury ski chalet market today, one thing seems to stand out above all else; the sheer variety of properties available. From traditional, Savoyard chocolate-box barn-conversions to sleek, contemporary new-builds of steel and glass, skiers are absolutely spoilt for choice.

And that extends to the interiors too. Fur, leather, stone, velvet and wood all feature highly, giving a natural feel to a very outdoors-centric environment. These interiors are luxurious, sumptuous, contemporary and designed with home cinemas and spas for the ultimate experience.

Figura kitchen project for beautiful Surrey country home

In this recent project, the living space, extended by a green oak orangery, was large enough to incorporate a generous kitchen, a dining area to seat twelve and a perfectly named ‘snug’. Leading off the living space Figura designed a utility and boot room including a bespoke ‘dog house’ for the owners Labradors. 

Figura bespoke kitchen island

Figura bespoke kitchen island

The central kitchen island is one of our all-time favourite designs. The large sweeping curved lines, with stunning granite surface and oak inlay, creates a real showstopper and an interesting space that is warm, inviting and uplifting.

The design and detailing in this project are key to the aesthetic of the room and the house. This design is all about effective use of space.  Away from the central island and storage wall, the more functional elements of the kitchen including an AGA are housed. 

Although beauty is essential in design, functionality is as important. When we design, we do so to enhance our clients’ lives, aesthetically and practically, and of course to add value to their homes. 

Taurus Wines

We asked Rupert Pritchett from Taurus Wines for his recommendations to go with the menu suggestions this month from The William Bray in Shere. With wines aplenty to match these strong flavours, here’s what he had to say…

"For the goats’ cheese and fig salad I would go for a fresh and bright Sauvignon Blanc such as this Régis Minet Vieilles Vignes Pouilly Fumé 2015 (£14.99). Its aromas of lemon oil, nettles and tangy gooseberry will cut through the richness of the cheese, while the soft figs will be complemented by the long minerality on the finish."

"For the goats’ cheese and fig salad I would go for a fresh and bright Sauvignon Blanc such as this Régis Minet Vieilles Vignes Pouilly Fumé 2015 (£14.99). Its aromas of lemon oil, nettles and tangy gooseberry will cut through the richness of the cheese, while the soft figs will be complemented by the long minerality on the finish."

"Something as unmistakeable as truffle needs a wine with a real sense of umami flavours – that hard-to-pin-down savoury feel. Really well-aged Burgundies have this in spades, but not only are these hard to come by, they’re off the charts price wise! Something that’s singing off our shelves at the moment is this Barolo Giacomo Fenocchio 2012 (£29.99). It’s mid-bodied, almost violet-toned and has a great balance of tannins that will make it a great match for the tasty truffle tagliatelle."

"Something as unmistakeable as truffle needs a wine with a real sense of umami flavours – that hard-to-pin-down savoury feel. Really well-aged Burgundies have this in spades, but not only are these hard to come by, they’re off the charts price wise! Something that’s singing off our shelves at the moment is this Barolo Giacomo Fenocchio 2012 (£29.99). It’s mid-bodied, almost violet-toned and has a great balance of tannins that will make it a great match for the tasty truffle tagliatelle."

Bread Ahead

Bread Ahead situated in the heart of Borough Market sees the baking expertise of Matthew Jones and Justin Gellatly unite to bring quality baking to the masses.

Creating the best possible products from the best British ingredients is a concept close to their hearts, and Matthew and Justin have made it their mission to keep London stocked with fine British baking.

Bread Ahead’s bakery opened its doors in September 2013 supplying fresh produce daily to Borough Market customers and a range of local restaurants and delis.

The Bakery School opened in February 2014 and is designed to show the public just how easy baking good bread can be. They are always coming up with new methods and perfecting old ones in the bakery, and they think that this is knowledge that should be shared and not kept secret.

In essence, they love great bread and hope they can share this passion with you.

Nordic Baking Workshop

The Bread Ahead Bakery School is the ideal place to experience artisan baking first hand. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned baker, their world class Master Bakers are there to offer their experience and guidance in the art of baking.

With our Swedish heritage here at Figura, we love the idea of this Nordic baking workshop.

Bread Ahead: Nordic Baking Workshop

Bread Ahead: Nordic Baking Workshop

Embrace the flavours of citrus, cardamom and caraway during this half day workshop. This rye-focused class will have you producing an incredible Swedish rye bread as well as rye crisp breads, perfect for snacking on or sharing with friends at your next dinner party.

Maison & Objet 

From January 20th-24th in Paris, the Maison & Objet community will once again be hosting a global experience encompassing latest products, the brightest creatives, indispensable workshops and inspirations – a flux of energy and talent for five whole days.

The theme for 2017/18 is 'Silence'.  Like a remedy to the interminable racket of words and images, silence has a calming effect on the hyperactive, garrulous and loud times we live in. Home is a place where calm is restored and a growing desire for serenity can be expressed. 

Pierre Charpin: Designer of the Year, January 2017 

Every year, Maison & Object spotlights the most outstanding names on the contemporary international design and décor scene. This year they have chosen Pierre Charpin

Pierre Charpin stamps his unique style on every piece he designs: formal simplicity, softened by curved lines and often highlighted by distinctive chromatic choices. Clean and sensual, elegant and warm, his creations instantly elicit an emotional response. A dabbler and explorer at heart.

Pierre Charpin: Maison & Objet Designer of the Year, Jan 2017

Pierre Charpin: Maison & Objet Designer of the Year, Jan 2017

Pierre Charpin has collaborated with numerous prestigious brands. For each of them, with the same pursuit of simplicity, he has imagined essential, almost archetypal, shapes. His freehand drawings, materialise this exploratory process: gradually, ideas emerge, shapes come into focus, materials reveal themselves.

At Figura we completely understand how inspirational the process of designing by hand can be.  This traditional method of drafting presents a more organic process, enabling us to think outside the box.  Quiet, contemplative moments are when we have breakthroughs and solve problems.

The William Bray

The William Bray is a recently renovated, contemporary British bar and restaurant in the heart of Shere, one of Surrey’s prettiest villages, situated just off the A25 between Dorking and Guildford.

This child and dog-friendly contemporary pub offers classic British cooking using local produce.

Named after the C18th. Lord of the Manor of Shere, they are committed to offering only great quality, locally-sourced, seasonal food and drink whenever possible and are proud that you could walk to quite a few of their suppliers from their front door.

Current delicious menu choices at The William Bray include:

Starter: Goats cheese and fig salad, frisse leaf and pickled apple

Main: Truffle Tagliatelle, mascarpone thyme, parmesan and cress

Our favourite picks of the unique and handcrafted from the interiors magazines this month...

Winter view of Devils Punchbowl (Photo: Len Deeley Godalming Photographic Society)

Winter view of Devils Punchbowl (Photo: Len Deeley Godalming Photographic Society)

The benefits of taking an outdoor winter walk are enormous, both mentally and physically. Fresh air, sunshine and movement are all beneficial to your overall health.

Walking in colder temperatures will help you to burn more calories because your body will work harder to stay warm. Once you get moving, endorphins will release, giving you a euphoric feeling – something much needed to combat the lack of sunlight we experience due to shortened daylight, and the blood pumping through your body will help to make you feel and look better.

Figura Boot Store

Once you return home from your walk, whilst looking forward to a steaming hot chocolate, all you need is somewhere to kick off your boots, store them away neatly.....and even better somewhere to dry off the dog!  

This bespoke shoe storage unit designed for a client recently for their utility room does the job perfectly.

 
Figura:  Shoe Storage Unit

Figura:  Shoe Storage Unit

 

Meet the Maker: Alison Crowther

One of our favourite artists and craftspeople is Alison Crowther. We are lucky enough to have one of her sculptures on display in the Figura Showroom. 

Alison Crowther at work in her studio

Alison Crowther at work in her studio

Alison designs and makes furniture and objects that are hand made carved from solid pieces of native hardwoods. Her work ranges from bowls using close-grained timber such as cherry and holly, to large outdoor benches in English Oak. Alison works using the integral features in the wood, medullary rays and grain, as a guide to carve a surface of grooves and lines that are extremely tactile. All the timber used is unseasoned or green which means that it will crack and weather with age. The forms are leafy, fungal and fluid, echoing woodland origins or rationalised to make deceptively simple works for more formal settings.

Alison has kindly shared images of some little pieces made in 2016. Some of them are available at Contemporary Applied Arts, London.

Alison is also showing new benches with Flow Gallery at 'Collect', The Saatchi Galleries, Kings Road, London from 2nd to 6th February 2017.

London Art Fair

The 29th edition of London Art Fair takes place from 18-22 January 2017 at the Business Design Centre, Islington London. Annually launching the art world year, the Fair provides a supportive environment for collectors of all levels. Museum quality Modern British art is presented alongside contemporary work from today’s leading artists, covering the period from the early 20th century to the present day. 

London Art Fair 2016

London Art Fair 2016