Kind Designs

Kind Designs
Fabulous fingerplates

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Kind Designs!
A year ago today Kind Designs went live! A big thank you to all our customers over the past year, and here's to welcoming more in the year ahead.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

The grand unveiling!

The time I've been promising you is here - I can finally unveil our new Kind Designs products! They're up on our website, and all packed (well, mostly!) for our vintage fair on Saturday, so they're now ready to show to the world!
We have added to our range:
Natural slate fingerplates:

A bright blue boat fingerplate - perfect for a little boy's room:

A pretty pink flower fingerplate - turn a little girl's room into her boudoir;

A natural stone doorstop with stainless steel ring - it's heavy!:

Another natural stone doorstop with stainless steel ring - this time a tower:

A vibrant WC doorplate sign - let your guests know how to find the smallest room in the house!:

And an oblong wooden doorstop with stainless steel ring - made from rich and durable Iroko wood:

All of our products are inspired and created by ourselves to the highest quality and standard - we wouldn't produce anything that we wouldn't be happy with in our own home!

We hope you love them as much as we do!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A busy Jubilee weekend!

Chaotic but fun - getting all our stock ready for the Crikey Queenie It's Vintage fair on Saturday! Don't know why we've left it all to the last minute - or so it seems!
Please come to the Thistle Hotel in Exeter on Saturday from 10.30am to see us - we are unveiling our new range of Kind Designs fingerplates, doorstops and vintage hook boards. It's very exciting and we hope all our customers like them as much as we do. Slight delay on launching them on our website (our web guy is busy busy busy too), but hopefully it'll be soon.
A canoe trip on Friday evening gave us a chance to relax and enjoy our beautiful Devonian scenery (although cold, windy and choppy on the journey home!):

Really looking forward to the vintage fair on Saturday - and looking forward to meeting our fellow 'creatives'! Hope to see you there.

Kitchen update: fair stock has taken up most of our time, but floor sealed for the final time (phew) and skirting boards on! Jubilee party here we come!

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Olympic Torch Relay was flaming brilliant!

Well. yesterday our small Devonian town had it's 5 minutes of fame when it played host to the Olympic torch. Actually it was more like 6 hours of fame, fun, and frolics!
We left our house half-an-hour before the flame was due, thinking we would be 4 of only a handful of people on the small road junction where we planned to watch it.
We could not have been more wrong! We came out of our road and heard the buzz of thousands of voices! I have never seen so many people congregated either side of the roads, in a snake-like pattern along the entire route. Do all these people really live in such a small corner of south Devon?!
We actually had a bird's eye view on a balcony overlooking the estuary - half our family went down to the roadside to get the 'on foot' atmosphere, and half stayed up on the balcony, getting a special mention from the commentary (that may have had something to do with our homemade Olympic bunting, flags and posters!) and a direct wave and grin from the torch bearer!
A memorable event full of atmosphere - thoroughly enjoyed it! Here are some highlights:

For those of us who don't live near an Olympic venue or, for various reasons, can't get to see any Olympic events, I think it was inspired to do the torch relay, to take the Olympic 'buzz' country-wide. It has certainly created an interest on my part, which otherwise may not have been there!
On to business news - Kind Designs is having a stall at the Crikey It's Vintage fair on Saturday 2 June - another patriotic weekend! It's going to be an amazing event, held at the Thistle Hotel, Exeter.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Music festival hits the right note!

Last weekend we headed over to Dartmouth Music Festival and it turned into one of those lovely weekends where everything went right - gorgeous weather, brilliant atmosphere and happy family!
Here are a few highlights:

Have spoken to the web designer today and Kind Design's new products will be up and running on the site by the end of next week - it's very exciting! I took the final pictures yesterday, so it's all systems go.
Our town is looking very pristine and bedecked, awaiting the arrival of the Olympic torch on Sunday. I have never seen so many road sweepers out in force, people frantically hedge trimming and hanging bunting - it all looks amazing! Luckily it doesn't come right past our house, as our old Victorian railings wouldn't be up for scrutiny yet!
We will be flag-waving with the best of them, and turning it into a little party. I do however have one question - what happens if it rains? How does the flame stay alight? I know when I've tried to keep candles going in a shower (of the rain variety, not in the bathroom!), it is a no-go. I guess the Olympic flame will be a bit more technical though, and ready for any eventuality!
Kitchen update: tiles are grouted, and floor will be sealed for the final time this weekend.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Apparently we're still in drought! Who are they kidding?! My run today was carried out through thick fog, drizzle and gale-force winds! Birds were literally taking off from the path and being whipped away in the opposite direction they intended by the blustery conditions! My usual 'markers' - ie once I get to the white house, I'll be halfway there, once I get to that amazing sea view, I'm on the home straight - were shrouded in mist, and it was hard to tell where I was!
The Olympic torch is passing through our town next week, which is very exciting - quite a momentous event. Apparently it's travelling on the bus too, which could be quite amusing - I thought they were non-smoking journeys with strictly no naked flames! But we will be flag-waving and cheering with the best of them!
Also exciting is picking up a vital piece of 'kit' for our new products tomorrow - then I can finally unveil them to you. I hope it's worth the wait! We think it will be, and it opens Kind Designs up to a whole new marketplace.
This was created yesterday (still in our old ancient tiny kitchen sadly) to lift the spirits on yet another mizzly day - it perked up 'cup of tea' time!

Kitchen update: Tiles are all up and looking fab - just awaiting their silver-grey grout.

Monday, 30 April 2012

A Devon holiday!

Well, I started this blog with all good intentions to update it regularly, but it turns out life is far too manic to actually carry out that threat! However I do intend to contribute as often as I can, so don't give up on me!
We had a lovely Easter holidays in sunny (sometimes) Devon - an Easter Sunday/birthday lunch at our house, followed by an energetic game of cricket, where the combined age of participants totalled 325 years! And none of us out for a duck!
We utilised our National Trust membership by visiting lots of properties and participating in their Easter Egg hunts, which brings out the competitive side of our children! We also met some very dear friends who we don't get to see often enough and tried to catch up a year's events in 5 hours! Turns out it's not possible! Counting down to the next reunion already!
Take a look below at various shots of our 'downtime':

Now down to business. In my last post, I promised you news of my latest Kind Designs products - well, they've all been sent to the web designer today, so I'm hoping it'll all be live in the next week or two. There are a couple of photographs outstanding, which I'm hoping to get creative with at the end of this week - fingers crossed for some brighter weather to do the job of the studio lights for me! Then I will showcase them on this very blog!
Kitchen update: tiling is nearly finished, units are all in - we are nearing completion!

Monday, 26 March 2012

New products on the way!

Spring has most definately sprung in our corner of Devon - daffodils crowd the banks, and the beautifully delicate primroses are providing gorgeous carpets of colour.

We have been making the most of the weather, and planted our potatoes. We got quite a good crop last year - they are only in two large tubs in the garden, but we did get enough to enjoy them with butter, sea salt and black pepper - simple and tasty!
Kind Designs has booked a stall at the Crikey it's Vintage fair in Exeter on Saturday 2 June! We are very excited about featuring there - the event has a huge following and fantastic reputation, so we're thrilled! We are also in the final stages of producing new products for the event - 2 completely new lines, and one linked to the fingerplates! I will give them a grand unveiling on this very blog when they're ready for their premiere! They're just undergoing the final buffing and preening to make sure they're perfect in every way!
The Kind Designs family took another gorgeous coastal walk the other day - halfway round we stopped on the beach, delved into our bag and enjoyed a coffee and homemade chocolate cake - it's those times that you think life doesn't get much better! The view was amazing - take a look:

We also had a lovely traditional afternoon tea at a local garden centre on Mother's Day with three generations of our family:

Kitchen update: Granite worktops are in place (courtesy of 5 brawny men!), and it's looking fine. Tiling should start this week. Hubby has made a cute wine rack to fill a gap in the island - looking forward to filling that up!
I've started to think our existing and ancient kitchen knows its days are numbered - slowly but surely it is falling to pieces, realising that a newer (and, I have to admit it, sleeker!) model is going to take over the helm very soon. Another hinge has broken on a cupboard door - in fact, most of the doors are very precarious to open, and they are hanging on by a small bit of brittle plastic. Will it hang on for the final few weeks?

Monday, 27 February 2012

Is that prawn winking at me?

Apparently many of us took to the great outdoors yesterday, making the most of the sunniest Sunday so far in 2012. We joined you all - taking a long walk, complete with young boy on speedy scooter (I apologise again to those fellow walkers who felt a rush of air as he zoomed past and feared for their safety - he is actually quite good at stopping just in time!).

Our journey ended with lunch at one of our favourite places - The Winking Prawn at North Sands, near Salcombe. A wooden building just behind the beach that serves the most delicious food in relaxed and comfortable surroundings - it doesn't get a lot better than that. We sat outside and watched families playing on the beach, whilst our children played in the Prawn's own sandpit. Plus I challenge any of you to pay a visit and not be tempted with the dressing up box! The green silky hat is my particular favourite!
Also a big thank you to Lucy at the Winking Prawn who kindly agreed to fit my finger plates to their doors. I have to say the funky fuchsia matches their decor perfectly - the colour of the finger plates coincides with the staff aprons fabulously! And obviously the winking prawn himself is a rather fetching shade of pink!

So I recommend paying a visit to sample the delicious food and drink - and cast your eyes towards the double doors as you go in. Let me know what you think!
The welcoming Winking Prawn, perfectly situated just behind the beach:

Kitchen update:  The island is in place, and we're taking the granite worktop to be cut to size tomorrow. Aga is still not in use yet - still managing with an oven that would look more in place in the Science Museum, but it's only a matter of time!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Devon design in the big smoke

That's another school holiday done and dusted. And we did manage to achieve at least some of the 'to do' things on the list in my last blog.
Actually, looking at the list again, we did most of it - fun days out (Eden Project and Crazy About Clay), fun days in, walks on the beach, a bit of baking (a big tick for the chocolate cake!) and a film afternoon.

Talking of chocolate, the Eden Project was again a roaring success - chocolate-themed activities (you can't go wrong) were on the menu, so we made chocolate bars, chocolate lollies, and completed a chocolate trail. Fed up with chocolate yet? Not on your nelly!

Our view on a cold but sunny walk:

We then took part in a pottery workshop at Crazy About Clay. Mary is patient and helpful with the children, and everyone got to try throwing on the pottery wheel, as well as letting their imagination run wild with the clay with no restrictions. All sorts of shapes and forms were created, although the request for a tractor and trailer tested my creativity to the max! I came away having learned about slip, texture and, strangely enough, beauty (the clay really does make your hands soft!) - an hour or two of fun with something to show at the end of it. Thoroughly recommended.
The good news is that Kind Designs fingerplates are now on display in the large showroom of a door furniture retail outlet in London. A little bit of Devon design in the big smoke!

More fingerplate news in the next post, including an update on our next fair adventure.

Kitchen update: one word - aaarrrrggghhhhh!!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Well it's half-term already! It feels like yesterday when we were starting the school run again after Christmas, and now we've got a week off. And it's not only the boys who are pleased with that! Having a routine is all well and good, and you know where you are (normally with precision timing), but sometimes it's just nice to relax and not be careering from one appointment to the next, and to be able to run your life by your wishes and not the clock.
So next week I'm hoping it will all slow down a bit - fun days out, fun days in, walks on the beach, a bit of baking (you can't go wrong with a chocolate cake for holidays!) and the odd film afternoon with popcorn and hot chocolate. The alarm clock will be switched off and hopefully the two little ones may be fooled into sleeping beyond 6am!
It's also Valentine's Day next week - some people love it, some hate it, but whatever your view, I have the perfect present! A vibrant red starburst fingerplate will show your beloved how much you care! And, unlike a box of chocolates (calorie laden!) or bunch of flowers (hayfever?), it will last forever. A daily reminder of how much you care! Red is the obvious colour of love, but if you fancy being a bit different, the funky fuchsia will be another bold declaration of how you feel.
Talking of beautiful colours and romance, take a look at this picture I took a couple of weeks ago - a stunning early evening sky.

The good news is that a new display board of Kind Designs push plates has been accepted into a local designer interiors shop, specialising in gorgeous kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. Another way to get noticed in this tough market, and hopefully to show customers that they're the finishing touch to their room that they've been looking for.
Thinking of visiting the Tavistock Vintage Fair tomorrow - have any of you been before? 
Kitchen update: there isn't really one at the moment - just essential plumbing work/alterations before the units are fitted. Yes, we admit, we've slowed down a little! But it's all the fiddly details that need doing before it looks dramatically different. And too much watching things like 'Location (x3)!' and Gorgeous George in 'Restoration Man' - too busy nosing at other people's houses to tackle our own!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Where has the time gone? It's now a day away from February and I promised myself I'd post on this blog more regularly. A New Year's resolution already broken!
Anyway, here I am so let's update on what's been going on recently. The first amazing piece of news is that Kind Designs fingerplates are now stocked on another door furniture website, with another one hopefully signed up soon. How brilliant! People are loving them like we are! Retailers and customers alike are realising that they are totally unique and bespoke, and getting them out into the wider marketplace is inspiring!

The other weekend we had a freezing cold walk by the sea - one of those red nose, 'can't feel my hands or feet' brushes with Mother Nature! We then warmed up with a visit to the beachside cafe -  tea for the adults and ice-cream for the children - naturally!

Kitchen update: after a nightmare with our new slate floor and sealing issues, the units are now coming in and we're fitting them very slowly every evening! To be frank, nothing is actually fitted as yet - they are simply spread out all over the room, but I'm sure the jigsaw will fit together eventually.
I found a glorious wooden dresser-style cupboard at auction last year which we've had stripped. Due to its age and fragile joints (I know how it feels!), it is now in many pieces in the workshop requiring rebuilding. But I'm sure my vast collections of vintage china will look good in it - eventually!
We plumped for a Fired Earth National Trust colour in the end - Crom Fog - which works really well as it's such a light room. And the subtle silver hue reminds me of my wedding dress! Not that I'll ever wear that in the kitchen! But if I did, I would blend in fabulously!
I've heard that snow is heading our way this weekend. How soon can I start panic-buying chocolate?!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Firstly, I'd like to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. My blogs have taken a back seat to all the festive fun, but now all the candles have burnt down, cards have been made into next year's tags (recycling to the max!) and the tree dragged out through the house, shedding needles in every conceivable corner, normality can hopefully return!
The last two weeks have all been about family and friends. There have been reports in the media recently about how those without children find Christmas a tough time, and, being lucky enough to have two gorgeous boisterous boys, I can only imagine that it's not quite the same celebrating without the little ones. Before children, as a couple, Christmas became more about socialising in the local pub, often taking us away from family after one day together. Now we still socialise, but at home surrounded by family and friends, spending time cooking up big pots of food and hopefully generating warm and fuzzy memories for the boys!
We didn't even turn on the television that much - having a choice between watching seasonal re-runs or listening to the boys playing with the farm set with imaginations running wild, hearing that the tractor didn't fit into the barn, the wind had blown the roof off and the farmer was 'naughty' - no contest!
We went to view the magnificent garland at Cotehele, the National Trust property on the banks of the River Tamar. It takes weeks to make and contains 30,000 flowers! Incredible!

 We also visited the Eden Project, for some ice skating and caroling! The whole site was beautifully decorated, and it really came into its own when it got dark - there were twinkling lights everywhere. Even the tractor train was adorned with baubles, much to the boys' delight!

Our house was filled with chat and laughter on New Year's Eve, with up to 9 adults and 5 children sharing food and drinks. I must admit that we did ask the men to work for their supper, and their muscle power was tested when our new Aga was carried in at the start of the evening! We then all paid homage to the new machine, staring at the long-awaited black enamel doors - albeit slightly grubby ones from spending months and months over in the farm workshop awaiting its new home! But I'm sure a good clean will render it fit to grace even the smartest kitchen! Now we've just got to build the rest of the kitchen around it!
 And, apart from my youngest son who gave in to the exhaustion at 11.52pm, we all managed to stay up until after midnight - quite an achievement considering all of us have children under 8!
The new year also brought high excitement for Kind Designs, receiving a good order on day 2 of 2012!! You probably heard our cheers of delight!
And, finally, today husband and I celebrate 10 years of married bliss! Ten years ago today we were standing on a cliff edge in Cornwall, in beautiful mild weather, sipping mulled wine and dancing to the tunes of the fabulous Silkie. Happy days!