Four products worth staying inside for
Oriented strand board
The West Country has always led the alternative vanguard, and Exeter’s Hub-Box is right up there with both its food and its mood. Eschewing traditional flock wallpaper, carpets or chandeliers, this uber-trendy stripped back, exposed, industrial aesthetic is set off by Norbord’s Sterling OSB and a shipping container kitchen. And as well as offering ‘craft beers’, its menu – which disconcertingly feels a need to assure us that the food is made by humans – strangely lists a Big Dog, Hot Chick and Boston Butt... actually, mine’s an M&S readymeal, slippers and a DVD.
Ecophon’s Master Matrix floating ceiling system is a far cry from the asbestos ceiling tile which proliferated in 1980s student bedsits, along with strip lighting, nylon sofas and ridged glazing in the front door. This ceiling system is quite a different kettle of fish, adding smooth clean lines to large open plan areas. As can be seen, its relaxed style puts staff at ease, encouraging easy banter and informal bonding. With such good acoustics, we’ll hopefully be able to hear exactly what the equally smooth Mr Pickering is saying about bottom lines to Marjorie from accounts.
Door furniture and closers
At the opposite end of the style spectrum to the riotously textured Hub-Box is the National Theatre on London’s South Bank, where only the smoothest finish will do. Like the actors on the stage, these sleek doors offer a top notch performance, fitted as they are with concealed door closers and escutcheons from Laidlaw’s Orbis Commercial range. What a wonderful word escutcheons is. It could feature in the old favourite Call my Bluff: Are they a type of embellished Victorian leg irons, door plates, or the shell frills that line the edge of a lobster’s body to protect its soft undercarriage?
Given the parlous state of Britain’s bee population, Italian tilemaker Trend’s hexagon tiles for honeycombs not only show how the human population values the humble honey bee, but they come in gorgeous semi-transparent glazes for optimum robustness. How happy those bees would be in their designer hives! Unfortunately the tiles aren’t small enough, but we humans can get busy with the lovely 35mm by 30mm Hexagonal Collection to adorn our own homes, as they are mounted on the firm’s Trend Plus installation system for easy application inside or out.