As demand for compassionate and sustainable homeware grows – in line with soaring interest in vegan living – the PETA Vegan Homeware Awards celebrate the best designs and innovations for a cruelty-free home.
Rockett St George has won Best Vegan Sofa for its vintage faux-cowhide design, Debenhams is recognised for its innovative microfibre technology in the Best Down-Free Bedding category, the Best Silk-Free Sheets award goes to Habitat for its luxe Egyptian cotton Sateen range, and Ikea has taken the Best Faux-Sheepskin Rug award for its soft and warm Tejn rug. Other winners include Šimon Kern, who received the Innovation Award for his Beleaf Chair – made from recycled leaves and bio-resin – and vegan interior designer Emily Turnbull, who took home the Influencer Award.
“Home is where the heart is – and compassionate consumers are driving the demand for beautiful vegan homeware,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “Forward-thinking designers are experimenting with sustainable and cutting-edge vegan materials and offering a great variety of cruelty-free choices to suit every home and budget.”
PETA exposés have revealed that many animals killed for leather endure castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning without painkillers before finally being skinned and dismembered while they’re still conscious. Terrified geese are painfully live-plucked for their feathers in China, and workers punch and kick gentle sheep and even break their necks while violently shearing them for their wool. In addition to being kinder to animals, vegan fabrics – natural or synthetic – have an environmental footprint that is minor compared to the devastation caused by factory farming and the chemicals that must be used to prevent animal-derived materials from decomposing in people’s homes.
For more information on each category and to see all the winners, please visit PETA.org.uk.
Celia Sawyer, mother of two and founder of the exclusive Knightsbridge interior design company ‘Celia Sawyer Luxury Interiors’, has a client list that reads like the back pages of Tatler.
She shares her tips with us on how to create a chic and impressive outdoor space for Summer entertaining…
“First and foremost, selecting the right furniture is essential. What type of look are you trying to create? Modern, boho, white-washed beach haven, country, trendy, eco, the list goes on…
I personally like using dark or grey rattan juxtaposed against contemporary, crisp, white cushions to create impact. Seating is incredibly important as your outdoor space is to enjoy so you want your friends, family and guests to indulge and be comfortable. I LOVE glamorous day beds (think St Tropez beach party) and if you have the room I recommend you invest. Sky Line are masters of such furniture; beautiful yet natural shapes and gorgeous colours, you can’t go wrong with a day bed.
Outdoor fireplaces are having their moment. You can revamp your garden or terrace into a cool hub by making the fireplace your central feature. I know people who have used old bricks to build the fireplace meaning its recycled and put sand on the floor to create a truly unique space. If building a fireplace is too much invest in a fire pit. Nothing beats sitting round the warmth of a fire after dinner.
Alfresco dining is something we all love to do. Those long summer evenings that glow and seem to go on forever. Purchase a dining table and chairs, again in rattan or metal, over anything plastic and cheap looking – you may as well get this right first time. I have opted for a simple black rattan set with glass table top but dress the area up with an interesting centerpiece and cushions to add some interest and depth. Give it a go.
Inspiring outdoor kitchens are extremely du jour, especially in the Caribbean and United States. Clay or brick kitchens that blend into the surrounding natural environment can be simply stunning. The advantage of creating an outdoor kitchen means the hosting (and mess that goes with it) is kept out of your main residence; something I know my clients find attractive! In this space add a large mirror as it reflects the light and is more inviting. There are some fantastic outdoor mirrors around with thick, rustic frames. Alternatively, over-sized French clocks are extremely popular and add a little character, creating the feeling of being outside with the comfort of being indoors.
As you begin to revamp your outdoor space you will seriously think about colours. Earthy colours and décor is a must; ochres and greens, taupe’s and greys, to keep things natural, then add stainless steel appliances for that raw, industrial touch and inject colour through one item alone. Within your seating area add a great coffee table; something natural looking, maybe a bit of driftwood or an oak table to add some charm; a nod to Mother Nature herself. Invest in some lanterns that are suitable for outdoors as these can act as the perfect accessories. I put flameless candles inside mine which are ideal as they are battery operated so not only are they safe but they don’t go out should there be a breeze. Being outside in the candlelight is really special.
On the subject of lighting, I love using illuminous pots to really dress up outdoor spaces. There’s a great company called 8 seasons-design who are a fine example of these; their Shining Pot Collection includes numerous different shapes and sizes which glow and look fantastic on terraces or by a pool. The pots look smart with greenery and the shining globe, cube and even drinks-cooler are super stylish too.
Lastly, outdoor bars are the ultimate cool. I have one at my home and it gets so much use throughout summer. They’re actually fairly simple to build, source wood to keep costs down and as long as you have a flat surface, fridge and some bar stools you are ready to entertain. One of the best additions to my garden.”
These are her quick fix tips for creating a beautiful home…
KEEP IT SIMPLE. MAKE IT INTERESTING Don’t over clutter the space. Mix traditional and modern; for example a modern piece of art looks great in a more classical setting. Don’t be afraid of bold colour and my personal love which is bold texture! I adore the power of neutral but you have got to have some contrast in there. Be brave!
2 . SIZE MATTERS I always go for scale because I love the ‘wow factor’. Start by getting rid of the clutter: Less is More. Say goodbye to lots of little cluttered bits of furniture and hello to a couple of scale choice pieces!
3 ACCESSORIES So important to bring life to your room. Follow the Less is More rule but again give scale to accessories. I love using groups of objects of different sizes as it creates interest. The one accessory I couldn’t live without: WHITE FLOWERS . They bring life to a space. If in doubt add white orchids! It never fails: I use them everywhere.
4 WALLS AND CEILINGS Don’t forget walls and ceilings. Art is a must for creating the interest and glamour you need. Back to scale I like to see large single pieces but I also love the use of sets or collages, there are lots on my website as examples of this . I always use a mix of framed and unframed, prints and oils – you can mix it all up and be daring. For your walls and ceilings if its paint there are some great colours out there, but I love to see contrast in my schemes even if it’s a neutral palette. It just looks smarter and more chic. Ceilings don’t have to be white.
5 TEXTURE CONTRAST I can never have enough; I use texture everywhere. I love wallpaper because it adds warmth and interest and is still a great backdrop – especially now there are so many fabulous papers and you can create jaw dropping feature walls. I just did a fabulous reception room the main walls were done in a white textured paper and the chimney breast was papered in dark chocolate brown crocodile textured paper – the contrast looked sensational. Speaking of contrast, I often line my drapes in a contrasting fabric it looks so interesting and smart . Fabulous scatter cushions transform a sofa armchair or a bed. (But not too many!) Don’t forget the floor too: if you have hard floors you have got to have amazing rugs. I mix super silk rugs with cheaper textured ones to make it visual.Whether it’s a chandelier or a super big shade, don’t skimp on it. Use a combination of floor lamps table lamps and focal point ceiling and wall lights. I follow my rule of scale here too but I hate small lights… Lights are a crucial part of your interior design. And Don’t forget candles – I love them (especially the big ones!)
6. STORAGE. RETHINK IT I just turned a boring pair of dining room alcoves into fabulous dark wood wine storage units. I like to transform space to make it both decorative and useful. We always need more storage in life! Or try making a shelf into a feature: a big criss-cross book shelf in a room can transform the room and became the centrepiece.
7. MANTLES SHELVING I love using these and extend them where possible. These are great areas for display and interest and create visual balance.
8 MIRRORS MIRRORS The simplest of all design solutions. I use them everywhere in every way: reflecting light, showing colours and small spaces in an interesting way. They are one of the least expensive ways of making magic and I couldn’t live without them.
9 FIRE. FIREPLACE Add a fire where you can! There are so many ways today to use them. Many fireplace companies are now making portable ones and you can use them as space dividers. I think they give a focal point to a room and a lovely glow on a winter’s day.
10 .FABULOUS LIGHTING Whether it’s a chandelier or a super big shade, don’t skimp on it. Use a combination of floor lamps table lamps and focal point ceiling and wall lights. I follow my rule of scale here too but I hate small lights… Lights are a crucial part of your interior design. And Don’t forget candles – I love them (especially the big ones!)