Milan Design Week - Brera - Part 1

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Milan Design Week as always was an epic chaotic adventure with lots of unplanned stops and last minute change of plans.  It’s, without a doubt, the biggest design festival on the planet and hoards of design lovers descend to partake in the spectacle. Meaning the city is busy busy busy and occasionally you have to put up with some pretty snobby design cognoscenti trying to make you feel inferior. It’s ok though, as every level of design is represented at MDW - from IKEA to Tokujin Yoshioka to Jamie Hayón. Over on Instagram, I have been spamming my account with all the beautiful design I’ve seen and amazing spaces I have experienced. There is far too much to share in one post so I’m going to share over a series. Stay with me, you’ll enjoy it I promise.

On the Milan Design Week trail

Thursday, 30 March 2017

It's that time of year again when Milan Design Week is about to fill up your social media channels. While Scandinavian interiors have been ruling the décor scene at the majority of the Europe design shows could their crown be toppled in Milan? Milan always brings the unexpected and usually a fair bit of bonkers.

Seen as the pinnacle of the design calendar in a city-wide festival Milan Design Week is a force to be reckoned with. With thousands of events, hundreds of parties and more installations than you can count, I am guaranteed to do an awful lot of walking and a helluva lot of talking. I am super excited though to be going and can't wait to get there. I'll be covering the show for other people too so keep an eye on their social channels as well as my Instagram. You'll spot me on Modenus, The Editor at Large and Interior Design Magazine.

It's a loose kind of schedule (of sorts) as I've been too busy to drill down to the nitty gritty this year. Thank God for the Camron PR briefing at BB Italia this week as it gave me a steer to start with. So before I'm even boots on the ground, what's taking my fancy to see in person? 

It goes without saying that I'll be at Salone del Mobile. This year the focus will be Euroluce - the lighting exhibition and I have plenty of work covering that. Plus as you know I'm addicted to lighting (and chairs, and wallpaper...) so I'm very excited about it. I'll also be stopping by the Salone Satelite exhibition which is the springboard for young designers. This is its 20th year and the curating is sure to be en pointe. 
The brand new space of Ventura Centrale is going to be a definite stop for me. Looking forward to seeing the new venue and also some of the exhibitors like Lee Broom and Salviati & Luca Nichetto installation. It's Lee Broom's 10th anniversary and I'm sure will be an absolute must visit in Milan.

I'll be attending the press breakfast at Multiplex by Tom Dixon and looking forward to seeing my friend Emily Johnson of 1882Ltd who is showing there. The building itself is a show stopper so bound to take up much space in my instagram feed. 

I enjoyed last years Caesaestone installation and this years is by legendary designer Jaime Hayon. I'm hoping that the Stone Age installation at Palazzo Serbelloni will be as playful as Hayon's other designs.

Dimore Studio, Nilufar gallery, Superdesign, Moooi, Mini Living, Tokujin Yoshioka, Tortona district, Brera district, and hopefully 5vie district too are all "targets" of mine. How many of them I actually achieve all depends on time (and energy, although coffee will help) and not being tempted into other beautiful spaces along the way.

No trip to Milan though, is complete without a stop in at Milanese Design power broker Rossana Orlandi's Gallery.  Orlandi is a cult figure in Milan for championing young designers and having the most eclectic sprawling gallery space of connecting rooms. The courtyard cafe is always a welcome relief too. 

So please stick around for the journey and follow along on my Instagram account - lets see what I manage to find and what I fall in love with.

My Week in Instagram #3: Colour & Concrete

Friday, 17 March 2017

So the sun, at last, has popped its cheery head out and said hello this week and boy am I thankful. Living by the coast though means that for every day with sunshine there is an equal and opposite day of sea fog.  The temperature difference is playing havoc with my wardrobe. One minute thickish coat and scarf and the next a t-shirt (and lugging heavy cumbersome coat around!)

I managed to slip two little-known facts about me into two Instagram posts this week. It surprising when you share something personal how the response gives you the "phew, not just me then" feeling. It's one of the great community effects of Instagram that I am enjoying so much, the chatting with people you havent yet met and having a "me too" moment.

On Tuesday I spent the day at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre and the Kings Road looking at all the lovely new lines being launch at London Design week. If you were following along on my IGStories you'll have seen lots of fabric, tiles, furniture and some fantastic wallpapers.

I've been busy working on a social media strategy for a brand here in Brighton and so haven't been as dedicated to my beach walks which I am missing terribly. I must carve out the time for this as it really does seem to keep on an even keel. It's an easy trap to fall into but I must find the time and relegate the house chores if necessary to make it happen - hurray!

I hope the sunshine stays.

6 of my Favourite finds from Ambiente Frankfurt

Friday, 10 March 2017

While I can't say that I've been to more trade shows than I've had hot dinners I can say that I'm a fully paid-up trade show veteran. So far this year I've been to four and we haven't even hit March's shows yet. A couple of weeks ago I made my maiden voyage to Ambiente in Frankfurt a B2B consumer goods show with an emphasis on living, giving and dining.  
I had three days scheduled for the show and honestly, I thought that would be plenty. In reality, I didn't see more than half.  I have a game plan I follow for new shows - research the exhibitors before I go so I can see the ones I'm really interested in, target the contemporary interiors section first and then retreat to the press room - if available - and ask the press team what I shouldn't miss. While I followed my own advice the sheer volume of exhibitors and my own curiosity conspired to derail me. 

My Week in Instagram #2: Trade shows

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

I'm calling this #2 but in reality its actually 4 weeks since I started this series, as I got waylaid with being out of the country and then having the lurgey.  The bug still persists but I am at least back shuttling between Brighton and London again. It's tough doing the commute at the moment as the joy of British Rail is that it doesn't work if its wet, windy, too cold or too hot.  Then throw into the mix strikes and its a hot mess really.

But March has arrived. The sun will be shining more and the days will begin to get longer. What am I thinking it'll most likely be wet, wet, wet. Still though, it is March and the year is rapidly slipping through my fingers.  Next month I'll be off to Italy to Milan and Turin and also to Paris so that's all rather exciting. 

Why you need a bar cart and other stories

Saturday, 11 February 2017

So this week is going to be chocka block with design as I am visiting the Stockholm Furniture Fair  and Northern Light Fair in Sweden and then at the weekend I'll be hot footing it to Frankfurt to attend Ambiente. Ambiente is probably one of the biggest trade fairs you've never heard of. In fact it is the largest trade fair in Germany and focuses on design, tableware, gifts and home décor.  In 2016, more than 4,386 exhibitors showcased their latest product offerings and with that in mind I think I'm going to have to don some serious walking shoes for this one. So keep your eyes peeled in instagram for plenty of instant updates. 

Something I've noticed at the trade fairs this year that I initially scratched my head about was the number of bar carts that I have seen exhibited. To me they are "trolleys" but I stand corrected, as I have been called out on this. Tea trolley's, bar carts, butler trays..... it's a thing.  A trend that I have seen in US shelter magazines seems to be hitting Europe - hard. Are we all raging alcoholics who can't keep our liquor behind closed cabinet doors but need it much closer to hand? It might not be a surprise to hear that alcohol sales go up in times of uncertainty. Or is that we all want a little space to show off our sophistication or our styling skills. Is the bar cart in fact the new display cabinet? (Flashback to my Mum’s corner unit displaying her china knick knacks in the 1970’s - whoa)

Whatever the reason the designers and brands are showing them styled impeccably of course at the likes of Paris Maison & Objet and Stockholm furniture fair. So what would you put on your trolley?
Having a bar cart though is a real styling opportunity, if you don't have a 4 year old like me. Just think of all those pretty glasses and barware paraphernalia you'll need. You'll need to have a stack of beautiful coffee table books and probably fresh flowers or some succulents... it's a stylist dream.  Oh and of course Gin... or whatever your preferred tipple is. While I might be poking a little bit of fun at this, they are actually a really practical side table option because you can move them so readily. Perfect for small multifunctional living rooms for example. 

images by: Gubi, A2, Kaymet, byLassen and Mary Middleton for hellopeagreen


Elsewhere this week: Stockholm Furniture Fair 2017

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The beginning of the year and my second overseas trade show already completed. I’ve put together my 14 highlights for Interior Design Magazine from StockholmFurniture Fair and Northern Light Fair. In the next two weeks I'll be bringing you my personal thoughts and favourites – I’ve got another trade show to attend before I’ll have a chance to write a post.

My biggest take away from Stockholm was the colour – so much of it pink – and lots of colour blocking. You might have seen some of this over on my instagram. The trend section by Lotta Agaton was knock out as you can see below (top 2 pics).
images by: Stockholm Furniture Fair and Louis Poulsen

My Week in Instagram #1: Starting now

Friday, 3 February 2017

If the weather is sunny where you are please send me your GPS co-ordinates. After a week of rain, mizzle and dark cloud I'm in need of sunny break. I think it's not helped that England basically grinds to a stop at the merest whisper of bad weather. I'm been delayed and wet through more times than I can count, although as my husband likes to remind me "There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing". Cheers.

As you probably know I was in Paris last week for the Maison & Objet Interiors exhibition. Guess what? Next week I'm off to Stockholm for the Stockholm Furniture fair. I'm only going for the day.... yup you read that right. Which is clearly just not fair as I really like Stockholm and I NEEED to see more than the halls of the show ground. Maybe that means I'll need to plan a second trip. Sound like a winning plan for me. In any case keep you're eyes peeled on IGstories for my behind the scenes walkthrough of the design fair.

I'm starting a new series called "My week in Instagram". It's almost guaranteed now I've announced it, that it'll fall of a cliff in a few short months. Why?  Well because  Instagram constantly inspires me and makes me want to get out and take more pictures, better pictures. It fills me with ideas, lets me live vicariously (I'm trying to curb this a little bit) and exposes me to people, places and things that are new, totally awesome and downright funny sometimes. I have a small following but I get a pretty decent amount of love and I am thankful for the tips and comments I receive. I love taking pictures and I'm starting to enjoy editing, writing a caption and picking hashtags, thanks in no small part to the course I'm taking with Me & Orla here.

It’s not a perfect feed or too cleverly edited, its just little old me flexing my creative muscles and playing around sharing the things and places I like. I hope you like what you see and want to follow along too - find me here

What have you been instagramming this week?

Maison & Objet Paris 2017 Design Highlights

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Paris is always a good idea, even if it's just for a whistle-stop run around an interiors exhibition in the freezing cold weather. I might not have had time to have a leisurely dinner (let alone actually eat lunch sitting down) but I have got plenty to share with you from the January edition of Maison & Objet 2017. From lavish lifestyle sets to covetable home accessories Maison & Objet has it all. Having just closed its door yesterday here are my favourites from walking the halls of the January edition of Maison Objet Paris.

#take12trips: 2017 travel planner

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

If you read this blog regularly you'll know that last year I undertook the #take12trips challenge and for me it was a revelation. Not only did it help keep me motivated to find ways of bringing more travel related experiences into my life but it was also hugely beneficial for my mental health.

#take12trips: A family Christmas in New Zealand

Friday, 13 January 2017

Happy 2017!

I know I’ve been a little bit quiet recently but you’ll (hopefully) be pleased to know that I have so much to share about the last of my #take12trips adventures for 2016.
In mid December I headed off to New Zealand for a wonderful family holiday.  In part it was to celebrate the huge milestone Golden Anniversary of my in-laws and was also the first time in 10 years that my husbands family would be all together in one location. It also included my first long haul flight solo parenting with a pre-schooler, as I left the UK before my husband for a short stop over in Singapore (I might add that I was seriously scared before I went). Thankfully all went well apart from in his excitement he “forgot” to sleep.
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