Tidy Home, Tidy Mind

There has been much talk about mindfulness and mental health over recent months and I believe there is be a correlation between your environment and the function and emotional state of your mind.

Your house is considered your haven yet, let’s face it, we all go through stages where items become littered across the home.

Am I right or am I right?

How does this often make you feel?

Yes, I thought so – tired, demotivated, fed up, swamped, out of control?

The benefits of de-cluttering your home can be outstanding:

1) More space

Just through the process of de-cluttering, you will find that you have freed up significantly more space. There may even be areas of your home that you forgot existed. Use your space wisely. New homes in the UK (in particular) are now the smallest in Europe and, whether you live in a new build or an older property, the chances are that the extra space could come in handy. My previous blog on B&K storage options for those of you with limited space, may be useful.

2) The ‘feel-good’ factor

The process of ridding your home of clutter can be incredibly therapeutic, as you’re tackling something you’ve probably put off for quite a while. Improving your physical environment will elevate your mood tenfold, allowing you to regain a sense of control whilst minimising stress.

3) Your loss can be your friend’s gain

The cynics amongst you may think that this is simply moving clutter from your house to someone else’s. Well … either way, giving that unwanted slow cooker to your friend at least gives it a chance of being used, and best of all you look generous and thoughtful. Perhaps, you have some furniture that a friend could up-cycle or re-use. Perhaps it could even mean space for a brand new B&K Ecto table?

4) You can help a worthy cause

Charitable donations are always welcome, and in the process, is allowing you to give something back to your wider community. If you do not think yourself, a friend or a relative is going to use any of your unwanted items, there is definitely a charity shop that will value them.

If you want to take a stand against a cluttered home and achieve success with it, you need to talk tough. Be resolute from the start – tell yourself ‘this is it,’ and you’re taking no prisoners.

Make sure you tackle the process bit by bit. Trying to do too much will put you off and you make a good start but will never finish. The ‘big de-clutter’ is daunting enough as it is. Go for it room by room, bit by bit, working as thoroughly as you can! It will be worth it in the end!

Lastly, don’t get caught in the ‘What if!’. You haven’t used the chair auntie Maude gave you in years. In fact, you don’t even like the thing, but perhaps one sunny summer’s afternoon someday, you’ll take it to an upholsterer or have a go at revamping it yourself. No. Remember, ‘someday never comes’. If you haven’t used something for a very long time, accept that in most cases there’s a reason for that.

Once your decluttering is done, you will feel great – you may even re-evaluate what you need in the home. Perhaps some more storage options, or some new furniture.

Here at Black & Key, we are dedicated to helping you find what you need for your home, crafting it just the way you like it! So, perhaps some time next week, once we have finished basking in the hot weather, we can all jump on the de-cluttering band wagon and look for that next piece of furniture that will fill a newly empty space!


Work from home

Working from home is becoming an increasingly popular trend for those who are self employed or for those with an employer.

Having your own home office or space is your opportunity to display and fashion your environment to suit the way in which you work best, heavily influencing your productivity.

If you’re going to be at your most productive, you’ll need to create the right environment. The kitchen table might seem like an easy option but as well as the risk of having to scrape last night’s dinner from the bottom of your laptop, there is often a plethora of potential distractions. The washing; the dirty bowls, the postman walking past the window.

If space within your home allows, try to devote a room that becomes ‘your office’. A designated work room invariably provides you with the most suitable environment to do your best work in. It also means that, at the end of the working day, you can shut the door and ‘leave’ work in every respect.

At Black and Key, we can design and build a working environment to suit your needs and space. Take a look at our bespoke partner’s desk in Macassar veneer with marquetry detail and Midnight leather top. The perfect addition to ensure you make the most of your space with both a practical and stunning piece. If storage is an issue, we can help with that too, with a plethora of options and designs to help de-clutter any working space so that you can do the best job possible whether at home or in the office!

Storage Hunters

Unless we have the luxury of building our own home or being a dab-hand at DIY, it is often hard to work around the awkward spaces that we inherit. We are often quickly left in a messy and cluttered space which can cause unnecessary stress. Therefore, here at Black and Key, we are keen to aid in your stress relief by providing beautiful and practical pieces for your home that will optimise both space and storage.

  1. Heston Secretaire

The doors, sides and frame of the Heston secretaire are shown in figured walnut laid in diamonds and the internal shelves in figured walnut. The bi-fold doors fold back completely against the sides. An internal flap is supported by a pull out shelf is lined in seal grey leather.

This is great storage as a drinks cabinet or office work station, filling the compartments with stationary, files and folders. This will hugely decrease the cluttered appearance that an office space can conjure.

2. Link Modular Bookcase – Triple

The modular Link cabinet, produced in the UK by our highly skilled craftsmen, consists of one or multiple display and storage sections. The base storage section comprises doors or drawers while the upper section is for display. With a solid back and open sides it appears light and elegant.

Shelves in the top can be in glass or other finishes, depending on span. Individual cabinets can be produced in 50 mm increments from 800 – 1350 mm wide and bespoke heights, and linked together as required. Cable management and double backs with access panels (for instance to affix a TV screen) are also offered. The depth can be adjusted if more storage is required.

The perfect focal point that is both stunning yet practical.

3. Yardley Sideboard

Pictured is a bespoke piece based on our standard Yardley sideboard with radial Macassar doors, Noir feet and Nack handles. This Yardley conceals a large TV screen with a remotely controlled lift mechanism allowing focus to be on the key features within your room, de-cluttering the often garish focal point of the television.

4. Marilyn Ottoman

The Marilyn ottoman offers capacious storage and is lined with Cedar of Lebanon. This timber exudes a delicate fragrance and discourages moths. The ottoman is shown above with a Noir ebonised finish to base and shadow gap.

We can upholster in a leather from our collection, assist with the selection of a suitable fabric or upholster with customer’s own fabric. This is the perfect piece in a bedroom, hallway or living room, to store throws, blankets, towels, linen or even toys and games!

5. Heston Cabinet II

The Heston II was developed from our original piece, giving the option of additional storage space which can be fully customised to suit any requirement.

 The bi-fold doors fold back completely against the sides. An internal flap is supported by a pull-out shelf and the horizontal surfaces of the cabinet are lined in leather. All horizontal surfaces have been finished with Parapan ® as this resilient material can be wiped clean very easily. The second cabinet contains a wine cooler. The ventilation grille complements other similar features in the room, and the Loop handles designed by Black & Key to complement this unusual detail. This is perfect for living room/kitchen storage for drinks, bottles and glasses!

Which storage idea is your favourite?

There are lots of ways to add storage space to a room. If you need some help to increase storage space in your home, we are always happy to discuss this with you.

Modern v Contemporary

When people talk to us about modern and contemporary design, we are often lead to believe they are the same thing.

The key differentiation between the two is that a modern design refers specifically to the architectural style that was popular between the 1900’s and 1950’s. Yet a contemporary design will refer to a style that is trending in the present time period. You can also distinguish between the two when looking at the architectural lines of both styles. Modern homes will adopt straight, and well-defined angular lines, whereby a contemporary style will often display bold and sweeping curves.

The Creation of Modern Design

Modern designs will reflect the modernist interior design movement of the 20th century. The world had experienced significant change in this century, with the industrial revolution and world wars. The aim of the modernist movement was to develop a brand new cultural norm that was out with the old and in with the new. Trends before this time saw elaborate styles with heavy textures, dark wood tones and carvings. This was to be replaced with minimalism and open spaces.  

Example of modern straight lines with our extendable Vulcan dining table

Contemporary Design

Contemporary design is defined by a style that belongs to the present, reflecting upon the trends that are popular right now. This therefore means that contemporary designs are fluid and ever-changing. The very notion of contemporary design was first evolved during the 1970’s and has stuck ever since. Yet what was considered contemporary in the 1970’s is now positively vintage.

A Contemporary Home Style

A contemporary living space of today will be a calming, light and open space with neutral colour palettes preferred. Curved lines are a key feature with minimalistic furnishings and features, allowing the room to speak for itself. Floors should be carpet-less, using bare vinyl, wood or tile and new age materials are essential, so lots of glass and metals.

Curved lines of a contemporary style with our bespoke banquette

Makes good use of Lighting

Good use of lighting is crucial in creating a contemporary home and directs your focus to key features. Lighting should be utilised to bring attention to statement pieces, reflecting off bright walls to create an open and airy environment. Natural light is also a must with plenty of large, frameless windows, helping to bring nature inside.

What is Modern Style Interior?

Modern design takes inspiration from the international style of architecture that was developed during the 1920s and which continued to evolve during the 1970’s.

Makes use of Straight Lines

A modern styled interior is comprised of clean, straight lines in comparison to a contemporary design which makes use of bold, sweeping and curved lines. Crisp, sharp and bare, modern homes utilise space just like contemporary designs, they have open layouts and natural light.

Which style would you or have you adopted?

We would love to hear from you!

Back to black

Black is back and it said to be one of the top trends in home decor this year. From black furniture, black fixtures to walls, it creates a compelling and forceful statement within your space.

Rogers side table

Take a look at how sultry and elegant this side table is, the perfect addition to any space in the home.
The boldness of  black merged with avant-garde design aesthetics is bringing clean lines and sophistication back into the office.

We’re seeing a rise in black coloured pieces within the home, especially to date in 2019, whether its from the stools you’re sitting at, counter tops your dining on, or cabinets you’re storing in, it makes for a sleek and modern ambience in your home.

The Rogers table is shown in Noir with polished nickel detailing and optional leg capping and with a low-level shelf.

The table can be produced without the low-level shelf. It is available in most of our veneers and liquid metal finishes, and with the optional detailing in polished/satin nickel or antique/polished brass.

This item is on my wish list. It should be on yours too!

Have a wonderful bank holiday weekend.

Beauty & Bespoke = Black & Key

New furniture can often transform an often tired or dull space in your home. The beauty of bespoke is that it is completely unique to you and you alone. The ‘one of a kind’ nature can be incredibly special and will leave both you and your friends/guests in awe. You will feel a sense of pride towards a piece where you have had design input which can be perfectly integrated with your existing/new interiors.  

There are so many flatpack choices on the market in 2019. This is nothing new but with the age of IKEA appealing to those with a limited budget, flat pack is becoming prominent for an easy yet contemporary style within the home. However, the option of choosing bespoke is becoming just as accessible, both in convenience and budget. After all, what is exhilarating and exciting about a unit or coffee table that thousands of others have integrated into their home?

Here at Black & Key, we are keen to offer a range to suit those with a light or heavy purse. With the help of our new designer Alfie, we are keen to produce beautiful bespoke furniture to the masses, offering a tailored look and feel but without the hefty price tag. Imagine choosing your own custom design (along with our expert advice of course) that will complement your additional interior desires and wishes.

Still not convinced? Let us look at how Black & Key can really make a difference to your space:

1)     Bespoke furniture can fit seamlessly into the smallest, most awkward of spaces that you’ve struggled to utilise previously. Extra storage for these spaces is incredibly useful, as well as creating a room that is both functional and stylish.

2)  Whilst thinking of storage ideas, bespoke options are endless!  You will have full control over the layout of shelving, drawers and racks to suit your individual requirements and taste.

3)    Materials & Finishes – Finding it impossible to get furniture to match? Bespoke furniture can bring your whole room together with matching or complimentary colours, varnishes and materials. Keep your interior design scheme flawless and sophisticated with perfectly co-ordinated pieces.

4)    Price – Additional and reputable branded furniture producers can create beautiful furniture but with a huge profit margin to go with it. Mass made and often widely distributed, you will question how such prices can be justified. With handcrafted bespoke products from B&K, you are certain to be provided with the very best in British craftsmanship. The price needn’t be excessive, but what you receive at the end will truly blow you away!

5)    Service & Aftercare – Have you incurred a problem with your wardrobe? Sofa? Chair? Have you been left on hold for minutes on end? A hefty phone bill? Talking to someone from a call centre thousands of miles away. At Black & Key, our service and aftercare is top notch, with our friendly team based at our main office in Worcestershire. We are on hand to provide guidance on any query without fuss!

With all these benefits, give us a call on 020 7351 7989 or drop us an email at  mail@blackandkey.co.uk  and see how bespoke furniture could improve your home.


I’m greatly disappointed that we are not basking in the same beautiful sunshine as we had a couple of weeks ago, however, take this time to indulge in a little ‘you’ time, feeding your mind with this beautiful piece from our glorious range; 

We adore these cabinets, completely and utterly divine in their construction and form with a majestic title to match their superiority and stature in any room. 

The Heston II (so they are named) was developed from our original piece, giving the option of additional storage space which can be fully customised to suit any requirements for you and your home.

The bi-fold doors fold back completely against the sides, the perfect design technique for those who wish to flaunt the exquisite interior whilst keeping the frontage tidy and attractive. An internal flap is supported by a pull-out shelf and the horizontal surfaces of the cabinet are lined in leather. All horizontal surfaces have been finished with Parapan ® as this resilient material can be wiped clean very easily – the perfect space for serving a glass of wine or two!

The second cabinet contains a wine cooler. The ventilation grille complements other similar features along with the Loop handles that have been designed by Black & Key to complement this unusual detail.

We create this particular piece in other dimensions, finishes and interior configurations, to suit a drinks, display, secretaire, wine cooler or TV cabinet.
Let us know your limitations and we can ensure a product that fits.

Works of art needn’t be created by a painter – you have found one right here!

The Art Deco Revival of 2019

Interior design trends, like any trend, will develop organically, and will follow patterns. Art Deco, also known as style moderne, was a movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s. Its name was derived from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, where the style was first exhibited.

The distinguishing features of the style are simple, clean shapes, often with a “streamlined” look. Though Art Deco objects were rarely mass-produced, the characteristic features of the style reflected admiration for the modernity of the machine and for the inherent design qualities of machine-made objects.

History of Art Deco

When referring to the Art Deco style, we often envisage a space full of lavish interiors, the bold use of wood finishes and metals, with rigid shapes and rich colour. This is a style that epitomises luxury, yet in an unexpected and unique way.

The Art Deco movement originated in Western Europe during the 1920s and progressed to the USA during the 1930’s. The style saw the pairing of newly developed materials with much-desired and luxurious resources such as ivory, mahogany, and shagreen alongside chrome and plate-glass.

The Art Deco style conjured a notion that interiors moved beyond the traditional idea that furniture and décor were used purely for functional and practical purposes. The style transformed the ideas surrounding the interior of a home and mimicked the architecture of the time. The core style themes were smooth and streamlined surfaces, vertical lines, and geometric patterns.

Art Deco in 2019

If you are an avid follower of interior trends, you will certainly be aware that most trends will tend to repeat and are re-introduced to their respective era with a modern twist.

The re-emergence of the Art Deco style was last seen in the 80s, which incorporated a lot of black marble and brass.

Both of these elements have made a revival and are seen as an incorporation to the original and classic 1920’s look. So what elements can we expect to see being added in 2019?

In furniture, we’re seeing many items with sculptural lines that are both curved and geometric. In rugs, wallpaper, and upholstery, geometric patterns along with botanical references in artwork and fabric are abundant.

See for Yourself

Overall the Art Deco style is about high contrast and dramatic spaces. If you’re ready to try the trend, take a look at what we could do for you.

Yardley Sideboard

The sideboard is shown with radial marquetry Macassar doors, Noir ebonised details, feet and Nack door pulls. The sideboard can also be veneered in a quartered marquetry Macassar or radial or quartered figured walnut.

Further options are veneers and finishes from our collection, inlays in polished/antique or polished brass, insets from a selection of antique mirror or liquid metal finishes.

Arc Bedside Table

The classic Arc bedside table can be customised as a drum-shape, shown here in our glamorous Macassar with starburst top. 

This piece is available in all our veneers and can be made with optional contrasting drawer fronts in another veneer, a liquid metal or leather. 

Petite Lombard mirror

The Petit and Grand Lombard mirrors have been exquisitely designed to display our wonderful straw marquetry, a craft perfected during the Art Deco period. The Piano black frame contrasts with the subtle tones of the straw, shown in Anthracite and Earth hues.

If you just look the pieces included in this week’s blog, explore more of our gorgeous range here!

So it begins…

Here at Black and Key, we are continuously inspired to produce the finest bespoke furniture for you to display in your own home.

Spring 2019 sees changes at Black & Key- Karin Verzariu is stepping down as Director and with this we have moved the showroom and admin offices to a new location on the same site as our workshop in Worcestershire.

This move will strengthen the already strong tie between sales and manufacture. There is no change to business operations and all contact numbers and email addresses remain the same. Some new faces – Lloyd and Nina will be on hand to help you with any enquiries, sample requests and to process your orders. Alistair as the manufacturing lead will assist with any bespoke requirements or technical queries.

We welcome old and new customers to visit the showroom and tour of the workshops to discuss our product range or any bespoke furniture requirements. Please phone us to make an appointment.

This change coincides with some new exciting products being developed to add to our successful range of hand made furniture. We look forward to you joining us for a new chapter of Black & Key.  Look out for further updates on our social media sites.

The new company details are as follows: Cornmill Road, Evesham, Worcestershire. WR11 2LL

T +44 (0)20 7351 7989



We will of course keep you updated as to our official premises re-launch and all other exciting updates. We look forward to you joining us for a new chapter of Black & Key.

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