Helmas Blog

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We love Tea! 4032 3024 Julia Ochsenreither

We love Tea!

We have a large, unique Tea collection as well as an assortment of hand crafted tea kettles and tea cups lined with gold leaf. We all love Tea at the store, and you may enjoy a nice cup of Tea every now and then as well. Maybe while reading a good book, sitting in a comfortable chair or a cup of Tea combined with a delicious treat. But how much do we know about the origin of Tea? Read on to find out some facts you may not have known!

Tea started out as a purely medicinal beverage which was prepared by boiling fresh leaves in water. Then around the 3rd century CE, it moved on to becoming a drink that was consumed on a daily basis. This is when the tea cultivation and processing began. It was as early as the 13th century when cultivation became established when seeds were brought to Japan. The Chinese brought tea cultivation to Taiwan in 1810 and the Dutch also had their hands on processing and cultivation in 1833.

Teas have a classification system that is based on the region of origin. Larger regions such as China, Ceylon, Japan, Indonesia and Africa as well as smaller regions like Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgris. Additionally, they are classified by the size of the leaf after processing.

Little Greene Paint and Paper Company 2448 1633 Julia Ochsenreither

Little Greene Paint and Paper Company

As an interiors store, we cover all aspects necessary when it comes to your interior projects and needs. An important part of any interiors project is paint, and we have trusted and supplied Little Greene Paints for small projects as well as big renovations.

With all of the possibilities and such a large variety of paints to choose from, it can be overwhelming but along with Little Greene’s organizational system as well as our expert staff, we will make it a pleasant experience searching for the perfect color. The way that the paint is organized is through collections, color or finish. Wallpapers are also available.

Little Greene Paint & Paper is a British, independent paint manufacturer. The paint production is environmentally and socially responsible and renders a high-quality product. What makes this paint stand out among others is their depth of color and high pigment levels.

Products we love: Handmade Limoges Porcelain 2252 1481 Julia Ochsenreither

Products we love: Handmade Limoges Porcelain

We are excited to announce the arrival of new handmade Limoges Porcelain.

The unique scents of the candles are produced by a master perfumer in the south of France and the wax is plant oil based. The porcelain housing can be reused once the candle has burnt out. The designs are simple, elegant and timeless and are heavily influenced by French heritage. Each piece has a unique story behind the design. Take the Tuilerries for example (First image below), which clearly hints at Paris` intricate wrought iron balconies that the city is known for. Tumblers are another popular item. They can serve as a: Teacup, coffee cup, plant holder, or pencil holder.

Spotlight: William Morris textiles 512 384 Julia Ochsenreither

Spotlight: William Morris textiles

A new shipment of William Morris textiles has arrived at our store. There is a rich history tied to the textiles and wallcoverings by William Morris, which makes them even more special and unique. William Morris was one of the most celebrated designers in the 19th century and was a key figure in the Arts & Crafts movement.

From an early age, Morris had a great appreciation for craftsmanship, which was uncommon at the time due to the new principle of industrial progress that was starting to spread during the Victorian Era. The concept of handmade production didn’t suit the focus on industrial progress.

It was when he met Edward Burne-Jones, who became one of the most famous painters during that era that his love for art developed further. The two lifelong friends had gone on an Architectural tour of Northern France and had decided to dedicate their life’s work to art. When it came to designing his own home, Morris was unhappy with the commercial market and spent two years decorating and furnishing his home with his artistic circle. In 1861 Morris and some of his friends started their own interiors company, “Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.” and the rest is history! We love to have William Morris textiles at Helma Interior.

Behind the Scenes: Neptune Furniture Production 4032 3024 Julia Ochsenreither

Behind the Scenes: Neptune Furniture Production

Our team visited Neptune’s headquarters in Swindon, England and we were all thoroughly impressed. We had the opportunity to visit the Neptune furniture production, office, storage, and showroom spaces. The headquarter is beautifully designed and creates an atmosphere that you don’t want to leave, it truly feels like home.

On the first day, one of the things we learned about was the types of wood that are used as well as joinery techniques for the Neptune furniture production. Afterwards we took a tour of the big showroom space, where we were able to identify what elements made each kitchen collection unique, and what production methods were used.

After the wood has been delivered, most of which comes from North America, the magic begins in the large carpenters workshop next to the headquarters. The furniture pieces are tested, customized and perfected here. There are experts in every field, which makes the overall atmosphere of the space very inspiring.

High Quality Textiles in Interior Design 4032 3024 Julia Ochsenreither

High Quality Textiles in Interior Design

We have a great appreciation for high quality textiles and their role in creating the tone of a space. Textiles are fabric materials that are made by interlacing threads of natural fibers such as silk and cotton or synthetic fibers such as rayon and nylon. The processes for making textiles include knitting and weaving.

Textiles bring elements of a space together and create a finished appearance. This can be done through the use of: throw pillows, area rugs, blankets, upholstery, window treatments, and wall art. Interior designers have to not only be up to date with the latest trends in the textile industry, but also be knowledgeable about the safety and durability of the products. For example, you would use different fabrics for a hotel than you would for a hospital or senior living facility, not only in terms of textures and patterns but also in terms of durability. In Hotels you will find a wider variety of textures and patterns than you would in a hospital. High quality textiles help to create the mood for the intended purpose of the space and the clients needs.

Another way to add visual interest is to use textiles that come in a variety of textures. Texture in this case refers to the way a fabric feels and looks. You can mix and match different textures throughout the room or layer them together to create a sense of contrast. This is where a color palette also comes into play. When you have come up with a concept and a color palette for the room as a whole, you can take one or two of the colors and use them in various textiles. We recommend using secondary colors and accent shades.

When it comes to fabrics, choices need to be made in all three areas: textures, colors and patterns. There are endless possibilities!

The Suffolk Kitchen by Neptune 3971 2978 Julia Ochsenreither

The Suffolk Kitchen by Neptune

One of many areas of focus at Helma Interior is Kitchens. We have recently renovated the store as mentioned in previous posts, and as a major element we now have the Kitchen area with all of the furniture components from Neptune ltd. We value spaces that you can live in and want to spend time in, so the concept of slow living is something we strongly believe in. Neptune´s design philosophy encompasses similar principles, which is also evident in their kitchen designs, e.g. with the Suffolk collection. They build their kitchens around the principle that they should not only look good, but also cater to daily life and making it as easy as possible.

Their kitchen cabinetry is comprised solely of solid timber, which allows it to withstand anything without shrinking or warping. The material is renewable, natural, and versatile.  The counter surfaces are also made from high quality material including natural stone, man made composites, or pure oak.

Take a look for yourself at the details and craftsmanship of the beautiful kitchen that is displayed in our store, from Neptune´s Suffolk collection:

Products we love: Carrière Frères 2411 3131 Julia Ochsenreither

Products we love: Carrière Frères

We had a representative for Carrière Frères come to our store not too long ago to show us some new scents and products for the upcoming summer season. We loved the fresh scents and stand behind the principles of the company which include sustainability, tradition and natural ingredients.

Carrière Frères works with the Robertet Group, which is a world leader in sourcing raw materials. This allows for the creation of unique combinations. The raw materials are ethically bought from sustainability programs or organic agricultural practices. The process for each botanical essence is always ethical and sustainable. Past the scent itself, the containers are also created with sustainability in mind. They are composed of recycled glass, packed in FSC cardboard, untreated rattan sticks for the diffusers, cork tops, and natural alcohol (for example, from beets!). The materials are consciously chosen to have the smallest impact as possible. They even give proceeds of the sales to the bee farmers!

The scents are inspired by exotic or indigenous oils, and all of them are mono-scents. They have fascinated botanists and explorers since the 18th century. These scents include but are not limited to: Rose, Ginger, Tea, Tomato, Mint, Lavender, Sandalwood and Rosemary.

Furniture Spotlight: The Larder by Neptune 3024 4032 Julia Ochsenreither

Furniture Spotlight: The Larder by Neptune

The Larder created by Neptune ltd. is a must have in every kitchen and is sure to be on anyone’s Wish-list! Apart from being an aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture, it is also extremely functional. Form and function, it doesn’t get any better than that! Here are some highlights and reasons why we love it!

For starters, the Larder even has storage space on the inside of both doors. Four small, narrow rows of shelving. This could be a perfect spot for spices, or smaller breakfast items like jam or teas.

Shelves are a given, but what is especially great when it comes to these shelves is that they are on zigzag brackets, which allows them to have dozens of teeth (one every 45 mm to be exact). This allows for maximum flexibility.

Depth is another great attribute.  There is enough room to add in free standing ledges, so that you can see everything at first glance. Below the shelving, there are drawers for additional storage for those items you don’t want to necessarily see right away.

Small details make the Larder what it is, like magnets that are integrated into the door design without being too obvious and allowing the doors to shut snugly. Another small design detail includes oak dowels, which take the weight off of the Larder door so that when it shuts, there is no noise whatsoever. It is the compilation of these aspects that make the Larder so special.

Enjoy some impressions of the Larder by Neptune:

Spotlight: Weaves & Blends 1024 684 Julia Ochsenreither

Spotlight: Weaves & Blends

Sapna and Meghna were driven to establish their own company „WEAVES & BLENDS“ in 2003, with their motives being the design process itself, but also to get the exotic Nepalese textiles and their quality recognized in the western world. The company started out with 10 weavers and 4 hand looms. With hard work, support from family and friends the company grew quickly within the year and soon gained a reputation for their fine cashmere, cashmere blends and yak wool accessories.

Women make up most of the staff, and around 100 women work from home to create small details and finishes such as tassels, pompoms, crochet buttons and much more. We value training and put emphasis on teaching the women weaving, spinning, hand-knitting and other skills related to the craft of the industry. The majority of the products are produced using the hand weaving method, which produces a unique piece of art. One always different from the next.

Additionally to having a one of a kind piece, with each purchase of a Weaves & Blends product, you can also help fund a program which is very well known in Nepal. This program revolves around an epidemic happening in Nepal, which is Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate. This is one of the most common birth defects in Nepal. The children affected are located in the villages and we help to get them to surgery camps nearby which are directed by the Kathmandu Model Hospital, under the supervision of Dr.Shanker Rai who has performed a large amount of surgeries within Nepal and overseas. Many children are treated every year, and we strive to reach even more with your help and support!