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The trestle is back: Age-old tables add a charming touch to the home 

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Trestle tables have long been revered for their practical qualities. With legs that fold up and, traditionally, tops that can be removed and stored away, they have proved useful in conference hotels, wedding venues and such like.

But increasingly they are holding their own in homes as permanent and versatile pieces of furniture.

An alternative to conventional dining room tables, they offer value for money, too. And when it comes to comfort, they punch above their weight by not having fixed legs, which can be restrictive for those seated closest to the corners.

A modern take: The Farringdon reclaimed wood table set, £1,079. Trestle tables are narrower than traditional dining room tables

A modern take: The Farringdon reclaimed wood table set, £1,079. Trestle tables are narrower than traditional dining room tables

They are also narrower than traditional dining room tables, meaning you don’t have to stretch so far to reach the salt and pepper, and making conversation that much easier and more intimate.

‘Trestle tables are timeless, solid and suit almost any interior style,’ say Jenna Choate-James and Mariana Ugarte, the design duo behind Interior Fox. ‘They add rustic charm to a country home, while working equally as well to add character in a modern or industrial-style house.’

In 2021, with more people than ever working from home, it could just be that trestle tables are being discovered as ideal options for home offices.

In the Middle Ages, they comprised little more than loose boards over trestle legs, but by the 16th century they had become more sturdy. 

Now, they consist of two or three supports linked by a longitudinal cross-member over which a tabletop is placed.

Sharing lunch around a trestle table. The designs are are al reach the salt and pepper

Sharing lunch around a trestle table. When it comes to comfort, they punch above their weight by not having fixed legs, which can be restrictive for those seated closest to the corners

‘The architect Pugin – who worked on the Palace of Westminster – was responsible for a big revival of trestle tables by giving them extra supporting struts,’ says John Cornall, of John Cornall Antiques, near Warwick. 

‘And in America, they are often known as ‘harvest tables’ because they would have been taken into the fields at harvest time.’ 

Mr Cornall is a trestle table enthusiast, selling a range costing from £850.

There are scenes in The Godfather movies showing whole villages having dinner outside, seated on long trestle tables. Conviviality is their hallmark.

‘The large and long surface areas of trestle tables mean not only are they perfect for big gatherings, they are also practical enough for working from home and home schooling,’ says Deirdre McGettrick, founder and CEO of ufurnish.com.

Their lightweight design lends a sense of openness to a room, which is ideal for smaller spaces, and a fold-up one can easily be moved or stored.

‘Some of the more contemporary options provide storage space via flat shelving or drawers,’ says Nadia McCowan Hill, Wayfair’s style advisor. 

‘And trestle legs in cheerful hues add a splash of colour to a workspace.’

Paul Deckland, buying director at The Cotswold Company, adds: ‘They are brilliant for busy family homes due to their effortless, sturdy and timeless design and longer length.’

The Cotswold Company has a range of trestle tables, including its Ellwood Charcoal design with painted legs and washed oak tops (priced from £499). 

And Tikamoon is selling a trestle-legged table, which seats 12, made from recycled teak (£999). Its height can be adjusted and you can also remove the top.

‘Many people will remember trestle tables from their village halls,’ says Sharon Buchsbaum from Antiques Affair, based in Sheffield. ‘You could fold them up, but they were heavy. They’ve come a long way since then.’

More importantly, they’ve come a long way since their medieval heyday.

Bringing a combination of Tudor decadence, Puginist refinement and American harvests into the home is no bad thing.

What your home really needs is… a palm print 

Wayfair has an elegant set of three prints in black frames featuring palm trees and a pineapple (£73.99, wayfair.co.uk)

Wayfair has an elegant set of three prints in black frames featuring palm trees and a pineapple (£73.99, wayfair.co.uk)

Palm trees are a symbol of exoticism and escape to distant shores, which is why they were one of the favourite wallpaper motifs in wealthy 18th-century homes.

These associations are even stronger today, when we all want a little escape from the monotony of being stuck indoors. A palm print in the home is a reminder that lazy days on a beach will come again.

You could choose the hot-house glamour of the Palmeral wallpaper from House of Hackney (starting at £125 per roll, houseof hackney.com). 

But if other members of your household are unsure about such a profusion of vegetation, try three prints hung in a gallery wall arrangement.

Wayfair has an elegant set of three prints in black frames featuring palm trees and a pineapple (£73.99, wayfair.co.uk). While the designs at Iamfy are more Los Angeles than English manor house (unframed, from £13, iamfy.co).

At Dunelm (dunelm.com) a framed palm print costs just £8, a tiny price to keep your holiday dream alive.

Anne Ashworth

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Godwin submits plans for Dorset mixed-use development (GB)

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Godwin Developments has submitted a planning application for Woodbury Park, a brand-new commercial development located at a prominent 4.85-acre site in Bere Regis, Dorset. Proposals include four purpose-built drive thru and drive to roadside retail units, with renowned restaurant brands PopeyesStarbucks and McDonald’s already lined up to take space, which has been designed to their specifications.

 

The scheme will also feature a 12,000ft² block of up to eight units, with associated parking and turning facilities. The units will be two storeys high, with the flexibility to combine into larger floorplates, if required by potential tenants. The block will be built speculatively and will target BREEAM Very Good, including features such as air source heat pumps, low energy lighting and highly efficient building fabric, to name a few.

 

Situated off the Townsend Roundabout at the northern entry point of Bere Regis, the site benefits from a high passing traffic flow of over 27,000 daily vehicles. It occupies a key location at the intersection of the A31 and A35 alongside the main arterial route connecting Poole and Bournemouth to Dorchester.

 

The Woodbury Park scheme will further Godwin’s commitment to local regeneration and job creation by enabling up to 250 new employment opportunities. Roles are anticipated to be primarily in retail, distribution and logistics, as well as services, manufacturing, technology and the creative industries. Local people will also benefit from the inclusion of several EV charging points, the first in the area.

 

Claudine Tracey, Development Manager at Godwin Developments, said: “The site’s high traffic flow, lack of similar offering close by, and proximity to existing Shell garage and trade park make Woodbury Park a sought-after location for a range of occupiers – including coffee and quick service restaurant brands. We are also delighted to be delivering the UK’s first Popeyes drive thru as the company expands its footprint in this country. In addition, our development will deliver a variety of local employment opportunities for Bere Regis through the provision of flexible industrial and logistics space suitable for new and existing businesses. The scheme at Bere Regis showcases Godwin’s unique capability to successfully combine industrial and roadside retail to maximise a site’s potential through complementary uses.”

 

Stuart Pratt, Director at Godwin Developments, commented: “The recent boom in takeaway food consumption and hyper-local convenience shopping is bringing ever more exciting brands to the roadside retail sector. At the same time, demand for industrial and logistics space is continuing to grow with units of varied sizes – including trade parks – experiencing a substantial lack of supply. For these reasons interest from investors into both sectors has been very strong in the past year; and we expect the trend to continue throughout 2022 on the back of strong consumer fundamentals.”

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Barings and HBD secure planning for London logistics scheme (GB)

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Barings and HBD have secured detailed planning for a strategic logistics scheme in Rainham, London, transforming a 20-acre brownfield site. The new development, Momentum London, is being delivered by Barings and HBD in a joint venture partnership. It will create 381,814ft² of new logistics and industrial space across four units ranging from 41,000 -171,000ft².

 

The scheme will target Net Zero Carbon, BREEAM “Excellent” and an EPC “A+” rating. This is being achieved by dynamic design, careful consideration of materials, zero use of fossil fuels, maximizing photovoltaic solar panels, battery storage and intelligent building systems. The units will be 100% EV ready, including passive fleet charging to the yards.

 

The logistics park will be set in landscaped environment with picnic and public areas, as well as direct access onto the Thames Cycle Path, so that it brings further social benefits to the area. Positioned on the River Thames, with potential for jetty access, Momentum will offer an easy stepping stone into Central London and out via the A13, just minutes away.

 

Darren Hutchinson, Head of UK Real Estate Transactions and Managing Director at Barings, said: Momentum London will be a strategically located logistics scheme with strong environmental and social credentials, beneficial both to future occupiers and the communities around it. Logistics is one of Barings’ preferred investment sectors and Momentum London exemplifies the kind of developments we’re seeking, with a keen interest in exploring joint ventures like this one with HBD.”

 

Simon Quine, Senior Development Surveyor at HBD, said: “Industrial and logistics space remains in very limited supply across London, particularly larger distribution units. Momentum will plug that gap within the M25 and provide modern, sustainable logistics and distribution space to serve London and the wider South East market. Landscaping and wellness have been thoroughly considered, with careful design considerations and enhancements to the Thames Foot and Cycle path, which we hope will help occupiers to attract and retain staff.”

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Mirrored furniture trend can create the illusion of space in your home

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Mirrored furniture provokes strong emotions. Some see it as the epitome of bad taste, flashy and bling. Others know that mirrors have magic powers.

A mirrored table or cabinet makes a room or a hallway appear more swish and spacious. It’s a trick that bars and restaurants employ to ensure their establishments appear roomier and more inviting — and they can add lustre to your home, too.

Choosing a piece of mirrored furniture also sends out a sign that you are aware of one of the year’s trends — the return of Art Deco, the influential style that emerged in the 1920s. 

Reflections: A mirrored bedside table. The power of the mirror to create an impression has been recognised for centuries

Reflections: A mirrored bedside table. The power of the mirror to create an impression has been recognised for centuries

It blended forms that celebrated modern machinery with decorative elements drawn from Greco-Roman culture and nature. 

The mirror was a favourite material, used on the surfaces of furniture and walls to supply a shimmering silver and gold effect.

Probably the most famous piece of Art Deco architecture is New York’s Chrysler Building. Completed in 1930, its sunburst-patterned stainless steel spire remains one of the key elements of the Manhattan skyline.

Art Deco console tables, drinks trolleys and other items from the era of the building’s construction sell for thousands on auction sites such as 1stdibs underlining the growing appeal of this aesthetic. 

Jamie Watkins, the co-founder of fabric and wallpaper company Divine Savages, explains Art Deco’s allure for a new audience.

‘Art Deco, with its bold geometrical patterns was such an iconic period for design: it’s synonymous with glamour and luxury.’

The resurgent popularity of Art Deco is also based on its practicality: a mirrored piece works with almost any interior, adding interest and depth.

The power of the mirror to create a wow impression has been recognised for centuries. 

Examples of this technique include the round mirror on the wall behind the bride and groom in Jan van Eyck’s 1434 Arnolfini Portrait in the National Gallery. It sends out the message that the couple are discerning — and wealthy.

Cheers: B&M's £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves

Cheers: B&M’s £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves

The hall of mirrors in the palace of Versailles was designed to be a place of beauty, but also to display the financial resources of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Mirrors were a luxury item until an inexpensive manufacturing process was invented in the 1830s.

In 2022, it is possible to pick up mirrored pieces for under £100. B&M has a £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves that would lend an air of Thirties elegance to any gathering. The £94.99 Ellison serving cart (a U.S. term for drinks trolley) from Wayfair has a similar vibe.

If you believe that the right mirrored trolley would save you money on trips to bars, the larger £144.95 gold oval mirrored trolley from Melody Maison could be the thing.

A mirrored cocktail cabinet will dazzle guests. The £1,200 Primrose & Plum champagne and gold cabinet has a Jazz-Age feel.

The £299 Venetian sideboard from Furniture Market, meanwhile, is a more modestly priced way to conjure up the party spirit of the Roaring Twenties.

The show flats of apartment blocks are often equipped with mirrored cocktail cabinets containing bottles of spirits and crystal glasses. This makes buyers dream of dinner parties, with a prelude of aperitifs, but also serves to make the apartment appear even roomier.

A console table in the hall also creates an illusion of space which can be amplified by the addition of a lamp. HomesDirect365 has a range in the style of almost every era including Art Deco, Regency, the 1960s and the 1970s. Prices start at £233.

The bedroom is often the most cramped room in either a house or flat which is why this can be the best place to experiment with mirrored furniture. 

The desire to preserve family harmony is another reason. The other members of your household may prefer the kitchen and living room to be slick and understated, seeing anything mirrored as excessive.

In the bedroom, however, you can indulge your decor fantasies. Habitat has the one-drawer Hepburn bedside table for £76.

Next offers the antique effect Fleur bedside table which costs £225 for the one-drawer version and £275 for the two-drawer version. 

The Fleur is also available as a six-drawer chest for £599 or a £1,150 double wardrobe if you seek to waft around your bedroom channelling your inner 1930s Hollywood screen siren. 

Dunelm’s Venetian mirrored dressing table also offers a chance to live out your dream of silver screen stardom (£449).

If mirrored furniture has brought out your party animal, kindling a passion for Art Deco in every guise, Divine Savages offers Deco Martini wallpaper whose design is based on the geometric forms, with a hidden Martini glass within the print (£150 per roll).

Some of your guests may not be too busy checking out their reflections on the doors of the mirrored cabinet to notice this subtle and witty detail in the wallpaper.

Savings of the week! water jugs… Up to 52% off 

The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is half-price at £22

The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is half-price at £22

Sitting outside on a sunny afternoon is already delightful. But it is even more enjoyable if you are sipping on a cool drink or an iced coffee from a generously sized jug, or maybe even a Pimm’s. The arrival of the July sales means bargains abound.

If you prioritise practicality, Ocado’s textured lustre plastic picnic jug has 33 per cent off at £8.

The price of the pleasingly geometric plastic smoky-grey Prism jug from Wayfair is 16 per cent off at £10.10. 

If you would like to feel as if you are in the south of France, John Lewis has the plain glass Arles wicker-wrapped jug. It is reduced from £25 to £12, down 52 per cent.

Wanting something more elegant that you can also use for flowers? The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is also half-price at £22.

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