Monday, 30 January 2012

Monday Inspiration – give a little love

A little love goes a long way and this beautiful leather Elephant by Deru has been loved. I came across this peaceful and noble creature via Sam Kaufman’s gallery, unfortunately it had already been sold by the time I spotted it.  He’s from the 1960’s by a German company called Deru and made from a single piece of leather that has been folded, molded, crimped and stitched. He has a gorgeous patina to him with scratches and staining but all it does is add more character and make it more realistic. Such an amazing shape too.
A truly loveable object. This lovely fellow made me think of my love for vintage.... yes when do I not dream of vintage. 

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Weekend Wish list

So the weekend is fast approaching and I’m skipping out to the country for some R&R with my best beloved and some friends. It’s going to be good food, great walks and some fabulous company…. Can’t wait.
The icing on the cake would be the below.  •*¨*•.¸a new stripy jumper (a wardrobe staple for me), a large umbrella with a proper handle (as you never know with English weather), a scented candle and a very comfy chair for our room and the all important robust bucket bag for all my essentials¸¸.•*¨*•
Product source
1) Jean Shop LEATHER TOTE BAG from Mr Porter
2) PP19 teddy bear chair by PP Møbler from Skandium
3) Cire Trudon Candle from Papillion
4) APC striped fine knit from Net a Porter
5) Swaine Adeney Brigg Oak handle umbrella from Mr Porter


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Today over at Heart Home – pale and interesting

Well, spring fashion is hitting the shops and it’s only a matter of time before the new home accessories and interior lines do as well. Today over a heart home I’ve showcased how the latest pastel shades are likely to make an appearance.
It was only yesterday I was talking about romantic interiors and if that’s your style there will be products on the horizon for you. BUT this is a style and trend you can have a go at yourself – a little bit of diy. If spring is drenched in the palest of shades its time to head to haberdashery department (or a fav of mine VV Rouleaux) and get your hands on ribbon and fringing, it’s so easy to add to existing cushions.


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

What’s your style? {Romantic interiors}

I love looking at interiors. It cannot be helped, for me it’s a compulsion. I truly spend a disproportionate amount of time looking at photographs of interiors and when I stumble across a really beautiful product, vignette or room I file it away or pin it. Back in the early days these were literally torn from magazines and scrap booked – how quaint! Over the years I’ve got better at tagging them with a nomenclature or theme (but unfortunately not consistently with the same name….. arghhh)

So what draws me to a particular room? Sometimes it’s the colour, the composition or its conceptual and other times it’s just that it “grabs” me. It’s funny though to look back at early items tagged and sometimes find that they no longer stimulate my senses. Is this because I’ve fine-tuned my aesthetic or just that I’ve seen similar a thousand times now? However it’s a useful reference library and something I have been delving into recently in preparation for a workshop I am co-hosting this week with stylist Abigail Bowen of brightoncmb.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Timeout Tuesday - sandy beaches & smugglers

If you’ve never been to the medieval town of Rye in East Sussex you might want to consider a day trip. Perched on a hill overlooking the Romney Marshes this ancient town has been an important Tax free trading port, a naval base, a fishing port and a market town.  Whilst from the late 12th century it was part of the Cinque Ports Confederation by the time the 18th and 19th centuries rolled around smuggling gangs were notorious in Rye.  It might be harder to imagine today as the town now sits approximately two miles from the open sea.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Monday Inspiration {an ice dragon}

Today Monday January 23rd is the Lunar New Year so Gong Xi Fa Cai to you all. It heralds the year of the dragon and people born in the dragon year are meant to be a hotheaded bunch, but they are to be respected and honoured. Well wouldn’t you be if you breathed fire ;)

But the amazing Monday inspiration is a 137ft ice dragon at the centrepiece of the Longqing Gorge Ice Lantern Festival as the Chinese get ready to welcome in their New Year. Wow what lighting too…..

Friday, 20 January 2012

Home 2012 at Earls Court – my top 5 favourites

On Monday afternoon I spent a merry couple of hours seeing lots of new products and meeting new people at the newly launched Home show at Earl’s Court. Scouring the stands for great new products I spotted many lovely items. Here are my top 5 who caught my eye with their delicious designs.

StrikAholic’s Danish designer Dorte Niedziella has designed a lovely collection of Childrens’s organic bedding. Fun design’s that include graphics that represent the paper dolls that I had as a child.
Årytrays had a wonderful design by British textile designer Asta Barrington called Folk Stripes which had an intricate embroidery style detail.  Reminded me of a brightly coloured spirograph!
Mibo’s playful graphics are addictive. The new kids range of bags and T-shirts they have created for French company coq en pate will be available from June. I think the fox is my favourite. I can just imagine a small cluster of kids with these great backpacks on – too cute. Plus have to support a fellow Brighton & Hove resident!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Stockholm – a pilgrimage to Svenskt Tenn

Before Christmas (I think everyone knows) I went off to Stockholm for 5 days. It was my first trip and solidified my love for Scandinavian design and also for Stockholm, a fantastic city to spend time in.

High on my to do list was to visit Svenskt Tenn the most amazing interior design shop located on Strandvägen - with a Royal Warrant no less. Ever since I first came across this brand I have been dying to visit its HQ in Stockholm; there is an outpost in Liberty’s in London. It was founded in 1924 by Estrid Ericson (a pewter artist and teacher) who hired the fantastic Josef Frank who was an Austrian architect fleeing the Nazi regime. He is famous for the majority of the boldly patterned fabric in Svenskt Tenn’s collection and many of the furniture designs.
I have a love affair with Josef Frank’s fabric and have several patterns happily resting on my own sofa as cushions.  I can also admit to being the recipient of some lovely items from the store for Christmas too (thank you DH!).


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Timeout Tuesday - Are you a bag fiend?

I can appreciate a well designed bag as well as the next (wo)man but I have a small stable of well traveled and much loved bags. I’m not obsessed with collecting, nor am I one of those who cannot pass up the opportunity to put my name on a list for a new design. I do however like to fling a fantastic leather concoction over my shoulder and admire, possibly in a mirror BUT for me comfort and practicality rule the day – yes I know BORING. 

Saying all of that though, I really do appreciate fine craftsmanship and glorious design. Bernard Arnault (chairman and chief executive of LVMH) has revived Parisian trunk-maker Moynat into a modern luxury goods house. Founded in 1849, Moynat is five years older than Louis Vuitton and was best known for its lightweight, waterproof trunks for automobiles. 

Monday, 16 January 2012

Monday Inspiration – a great chair and a gorgeous view

I think there is no simpler pleasure that sitting in a comfy chair reading a book, watching a view or sitting down for a good chat. I think by now everyone knows I’m a sucker for mid-century so when I saw this picture I thought why isn’t that mine - view and Papa Bear chair please. This lovely home in Bridgehampton New York is by Stelle Architects. This is where I want to be right now (but only if its sunny like in the picture) – hopefully finishing off Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for this months book club I’m woefully behind still about a third to go.

Then after I’ve finished my read and taken a long stroll on the beach I think I might have to take a slow dip in this glorious tub!

Image source 1, 2

Friday, 13 January 2012

2012: A year of spectacle and design

Some of these are firmly on my radar for 2012. Do you have any plans to attend?

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture at the London Royal Academy
21 January – 9 April 2012 
The Hockney exhibition feature’s a large number of new paintings, many of which are of an ambitious scale and were created specifically for the Royal Academy’s galleries.

Maison et Objet Paris
20-24 January
Maison et Objet will open its doors once again to trade visitors in January this time with the theme of Crazy(!) In their words a pinch of folly and caustic humor and the right to a breath of mental fresh air, to have fun. The Campana brothers are the show’s designers of the year.

Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair Stockholm Design Week
6-12 February
As usual we can look forward to a host of Scandinavian brands launching new products as well as a packed schedule of events and across town as well as guest of honour French designer Inga Sempé

Christian Louboutin Design Museum, London
28 March - 1 July
The French shoe designer, famous for his red soles has an exhibition at London's Design Museum. Looking forward to seeing iconic fashion design in the museum after 2011 big  architecture focused exhibition. 

Milan Furniture Fair
17-22 April
It will be an interesting year for design in Milan. Given the increasing uncertainty for Europe's economy it will be interesting to see what the mood will be and what sort of design pieces will come out of it.

Bauhaus: Art as Life Barbican Centre, London
3 May - 12 August
Billed as the largest Bauhaus exhibition in the UK for over 40 years. The highlight though is likely to be the Bauhaus Summer School - an intensive two-week school held at the Barbican and led by leading practitioners from many different creative backgrounds.

Chelsea Flower Show Royal Hospital, London
22-26 May
The annual spectacle of Chelsea’s show gardens in the Royal Hospital grounds is always a visual feast. Will there be informality or tight planting in 2012 and will the wild meadow trend still be with us. We wait and see.

Thomas Heatherwick - Designing the Extraordinary V&A, London
31 May - 30 September
The exhibition covering Heatherwick's work couldn't come at a better time as he’s in hot demand following his pavilion in Shanghai that caused day-long queues  This exhibition will show the enormous variety of projects that Heatherwick Studio have worked on over the last two decades expect gawking at the prototypes.

London Olympics 2012
27 July - 12 August
Whether you're interested in sports or not the London Olympics will be an excellent opportunity to see the result of London's quickest and largest regeneration project since the Second World War. The Olympic park includes Zaha Hadid’s acquatic centre and Hopkins Architects who designed the critically acclaimed Velodrome.

London Design Festival
15-23 September
Once again showcasing the UK’s finest talent and proving that London is the hub of the creative industries.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

At the weekend I was talking with a friend about Christmas gifts that we had received. My darling husband bought me the below Dala Horse and tall Brass candlestick whilst we were in Stockholm – thoughtful accessories that he knew I’d love (and coveted).
This poor unsuspecting friend had been given a set of eggcups from an Aunt that are terribly ugly. I did asked what she’s done to deserve it and whether said Aunt had ever visited her home – she’s very stylish.  Thankfully my family and friends know better than to buy me knick-knacks or ornaments as they will rarely go on display in my home.
How many of you are guilty of displaying the occasional horrid gift out of fear of hurting someone's feelings?

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Using fresh foliage {New Covent Garden Market]

Before Christmas I got up at the crack of sparrows and headed off to New Covent Garden Market when it was still very much the night before.  If you’ve never been its worth the trip and getting up well before dawn. The place was buzzing as florists were in full Christmas swing. My agenda was to make my house smell nice, to buy some pine wreaths and get some floristry supplies. Two hours later after a cuppa and a bacon buttie I was laden down and ready to head home.
I wouldn’t call myself a florist in fact I do not have any particular skill in that department but it is so easy to have a go – and with good results.  In the run up to Christmas I had visitors coming so wanted my house to smell nice and wintry.  This is so easily achieved with fresh pine (branches, wreaths, trees) and also with eucalyptus (a personal fave). I bought armfuls of eucalyptus to have in practically every room.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Monday Inspiration – Lady in Red

My Monday inspiration is this fantastic photograph of the legendary Iris Apfel in the current MAC cosmetics advertising campaign. This gorgeous picture is just stop-you-in-your-tracks arresting.
Its powerful and moody with a hint of I’ll eat you for breakfast (and spit you out). The background reminds me of Studio Green by Farrow and Ball and Iris’ glorious red lipstick and nails just punch out of the shot as well as her icy glare and hair. Very powerful indeed…

This palette would work wonderfully in the home and below are some examples I’ve found on pinterest. Interestingly I've found it hard to track down contemporary interiors with dark forest green/tealy-green walls. Might be time for a revival.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Saturday Sparkle


image source:here

Friday, 6 January 2012

Friday Fun - Music for the weekend

I’ve been putting together a great playlist this morning for a long car trip that I’ll be making over the weekend. It’s full of great cheesy 70’s and 80’s disco, I hope my hubby likes it! I was inspired by two songs Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean (which I shook my booty to last night at Zumba) and December '63 (Oh What A Night) by the Four Seasons which was No.1 when I was born.

So to get the party started this weekend a little Friday bop around the office….. 

One question though are they Tangerine Tango pants on Earth Wind and Fire?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Colour trends – how are they predicted?

Today over at Heart Home I’ve been discussing where colour trends come from.  With the announcement at the end of last year of Pantones Colour of the Year Tangerine Tango I thought I’d shed a little light on how colour trends come about. It may not surprise you that a lot of hours and expense goes into forecasting and that there is a large sophisticated industry to feed it.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

My new fav {instagram}

Just before Christmas I was converted – yes I switched from a blackberry to become an iphone devotee. As you can tell I wasn’t an early adopter mainly because I was concerned about the keyboard (& I’m still getting to grips with it).  However some of the apps available and the quality of the camera has me completely swooning.
I am in LOVE with instagram and am spending plenty of time snapping away – don’t worry I won’t bore you to death with my slide show.
So imagine my glee when I discovered that you can also apply instagram actions to photoshop. I came across this on simple street blog where you can follow the fabulous steps in their design tutorials.  I’ve already played with some of my photo’s and its easy peasy.


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Does New Year = New You? {New Year Resolutions}

Do you fall into the trap of setting yourself unachievable new years resolutions? New Year resolutions are always tricky, even with the best intentions some are still as fleeting as a snowflake.  I’m fascinated by the things people say they are going to/not going to do in a New Year. Most seem to end up discarded by the wayside before the month of January is out. I learnt long ago that any new regime needs to be realistic (and also that I don’t get on well with denying myself things I enjoy!).
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