Texture makes designs spring to life

Think design is all about what you see? Think again. Touch is just as important when it comes to putting together a scheme. But we wonder how many people make conscious decisions about the texture of the materials they use when designing a home? Texture works on a number of levels, from creating comforting, evoking experiences or dampening noise, to giving a room visual depth. In our latest piece for Houzz UK we explore how texture gives each of these spaces the edge. Imagine these schemes with flat surfaces and you’ll see the important, yet often overlooked, effect of texture in design.

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ArticlesSusie Agathou
Avocado Sweets SBID international design awards winner!

We’re delighted to announce that we are the winner of a prestigious SBID International Design Excellence Award. Our Stoke Newington Apartment saw off competition from 30 countries to be crowned winner in the Intelligent Design category.

We caught up with Vanessa Brady OBE, President of the Society of British and International Design (SBID) at the ceremony who said: "The judges commented that this design in particular, demonstrates intelligence.  You've covered all the compliance issues, all the family issues, location, lifestyle and still made it unique, and that is very, very special.  This design looks like it's been there forever which is a very difficult thing to do.  It's colourful, different, unique, fits the location and its timeless - good design that will last."

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Awards, NewsSusie Agathou
Claud W. Dennis shakes it up in the Sunday Times

We were excited to see our client Claud W. Dennis featured in yesterday's Sunday Times. The coffee shop's distinctive mix of vintage with modern technology was used as an example of how independents are innovating to build loyalty in a market dominated by chains.  According to the Sunday Times, branded chains control 40% of the £6.2 billion industry so independents have to work harder than many start-ups. Congratulations to Claud W. Dennis for their unique approach, preserving a slice of local history in their design while giving customers the technological tools they need for a modern cafe experience.

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Independent coffee shop design: the best of old and new

We're excited to announce the opening of our latest commercial design, independent coffee shop Claud W. Dennis, adjacent to Southgate Underground station in North London.  A true independent, the cafe pays homage to (and takes its name from) the building's previous owner, a distinguished local property man. Credited with building many of Southgate's important parades, Claud W. Dennis was famous in the area in the first half of this century. The design revives many of his shop's original features, found in the building's loft, including a stunning stain glass front window and advertising signs.Bringing the design bang up to date is a rolling display of train times through a custom-made app for the busy commuter's peace of mind.  A bespoke hand-crafted iPad bar, of reclaimed Chemistry lab benches, allows free wi-fi surfing, while phone and laptop chargers make it a perfect hang out for freelancers.Those keen to switch off from the modern world can kick back next to the elegant Victorian fireplace and enjoy the array of hand-picked vintage pieces, sourced from local markets.  Gems include an authentic 1930s calculator and original glass decanter holder in mint condition.Glass table top displays reveal a wealth of reminders of times gone by, from letters and flyers to cigarette packets from Claud W. Dennis' time in the shop. Meanwhile, vintage factory and railway lighting give the design a timeless feel.And when the sun comes out you can kick-back in the cafe's boutique back garden, with authentic vintage seating.

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News, ProjectsSusie Agathou
Lively up yourself

We've recently been struck by the issue of colour, and how it's a daunting prospect for many UK homeowners.  A new survey by Houzz.co.uk revealed white, cream, grey, green and dark blue as the main choices for UK homes.  There's a lot to be said for a calming backdrop, but we shouldn't be afraid to inject a bit of colour and fun into our interiors - and our lives.  Colour is thought to affect mood and emotion, as theorists have been debating for centuries. Recent studies on food even show a correlation between the colour of the plate and how that affects the taste of the food.  So, with colour a powerful force in our lives, we rounded up some examples to inspire confidence in our latest article on Houzz.co.uk.

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ArticlesSusie Agathou
It's an international awards hat-trick!

We are delighted to be shortlisted by a panel of judges in the Society of British and International Design (SBID) awards for the third year running.  The public are now invited to vote for their favourite designs.  Please vote for our Stoke Newington Apartment in the Intelligent Design category to help us win!

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Awards, NewsSusie Agathou
Houzz UK: inspiration at your fingertips

Calling all design lovers.  Houzz UK is a new website that helps de-mystify the interior design process, giving members of the public free access to designers, advice and tons of inspirational images.  Already hugely popular in the US, Houzz UK has been specifically tailored to the UK market.  Launched today, the site is predicted to 'shake up' the UK's interior and garden industries. Not everyone is happy with the disruption to the industry but here at Avocado Sweets we're big fans of democratic design. Poor design affects our everyday life and we're pleased to share advice and knowledge so more people can understand how to get it right.  Moreover, Houzz doesn't take away the need to use an interior designer.  If anything, it highlights how difficult a good design can be to achieve.  It's not just about the products, colours and materials you choose, but how they are all put together in a way that is right for you, your lifestyle and your space.  Not to mention the skills needed to oversee a refurbishment or build project.

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NewsSusie Agathou
To en-suite or not to en-suite? Designs that work.

Leaky taps, pokey spaces, body-clinging shower curtains? No way. Your bathroom should be your sanctuary.  If you can fit one in your bedroom, all the better.  En-suite designs aren't right for every room.  We've seen some shockers in our time.  Tiny bathrooms crammed into small bedrooms, separated by flimsy plasterboard walls.  The result?  Both room and bathroom lose any sense of appeal and probably reduce the property's value overall.  But with careful planning and the right materials you can make the most of an en-suite design without destroying the sense of space.

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Former school house turned eclectic home

Tailor-made in every detail, this converted Victorian school house apartment is brimming with character and laid-back urban style. Conceived and delivered by London-based interior design studio, Avocado Sweets, the interior mixes industrial fittings with vintage pieces and colourful fixtures, for a spectacular summer vibe.

With a fabulous collection of vintage pieces, the creative homeowners wanted a space to enjoy with family and friends in a comfortable, personal setting.

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Poppies Restaurant Design In Line For Casual Dining Award

We're excited to announce our Poppies of Camden design has been shortlisted in the inaugural Casual Dining Interior Design Awards.  The London fish and chip restaurant, opened in March 2013, is up for Best Designed Independent Restaurant.

This isn't the first time Poppies has caught the attention of industry leaders.  The Camden restaurant's vintage design was shortlisted in the SBID international design awards last year, meanwhile, Poppies was crowned the UK's best independent fish and chip restaurant just last month (National Fish and Chip Awards).

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AwardsSusie Agathou
Avocado Sweets 'striking design' praised by leading industry magazine

Leading industry magazine, Hospitality Interiors has hailed our latest restaurant design as having brought 'a haven of vibrancy and comfort to central London.'   In their most recent edition, out today, the magazine's full page feature on Great British Fish and Chips praises the 'eye-catching interior' that they say "undoubtedly embodies what the designer set out to achieve: 'A colourful celebration of British design, icons, quirk and fun, which makes eating out an attraction in itself'".  Based in County Hall between top tourist destinations the London Eye, Dungeon and Aquarium, Hospitality Interiors adds that the design 'offers a sense of fun and vibrancy that appeals to tourists and locals alike'. We say:  Thanks Hospitality Interiors! Glad you like it.

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Poppies crowned UK's best independent

Congratulations to our client Poppies, who have been judged the best independent Fish and Chips in the country at the national Fish and Chip awards 2014.   With a distinctive vintage style, Poppies serve up traditional fare from some of the finest sustainable suppliers.  It's been a good run for Poppies, whose Camden Town interior was recently ranked among the best Entertainment spaces worldwide in the SBID International Design Awards 2013.  We've always said they make the best fish and chips around.  Now it's official.  Well done Poppies.

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AwardsSusie Agathou
Fears For Chip Shop Dots After Hirst Art Raid

Fears are mounting over the safety of a series of Damien Hirst-inspired wall dots following the dramatic theft of two of the artist’s original works.

The Fish and Chicken shop, E1 has a vibrant interior, inspired by Hirst’s Pyronin Y and Oleoylsarcosine works, which were stolen from the Exhibitionist Gallery in Notting hill on Monday morning.

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NewsSusie Agathou
Avocado Sweets in international award shortlist

For the second year running, Avocado Sweets has been shortlisted in the prestigious SBID International Design Awards.  Our vintage design for Poppies of Camden passed a rigorous selection process by industry experts to become a finalist in the Contract Entertainment Space category.  The winner will be decided by public vote and announced at an Awards Ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel in London on Friday, 29 November.

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AwardsSusie Agathou
The power of light

Our vintage design for Poppies of Camden is taking shape with a quartet of lights to transport you to 40s and 50s Britain. All these hard working lights continue their lifespan in Camden Town, giving diners a slice of history to light up that fabulous fish and chips.

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ProjectsSusie Agathou