Mixing the old with the new is our mantra here at Atelier Abigail Ahern. Pulling vintage flea market finds sprucing them up and then teaming with glamorous new pieces gives rooms instant personality. On a mission to diminish bland room syndrome forever more we advocate and applaud rooms that communicate a story with pieces that tell a narrative. Humorous, witty rooms whereby William Morris and say Philippe Stark hang out is what its all about – granny esq. meets city esq. is what we are talking about. The American designer Michael Bargo does it really well (see below first image)– juxtaposing a serious portrait of Lenin with more contemporary finds. I had the pleasure of shooting Michael’s new NY pad for my soon to be published book and he decorates with the same aplomb mixing the old and whimsical with the new. The remaining two pictures are of my pad – whereby Lucyina Moodie has mixed my odds and ends with some pieces for a photographic shoot – beautifully combining the modern with the traditional.
Its back with a bang– no longer reserved for cheap motels and suburban living rooms. Think instead hand printed trompe-l’œil photographic images – stand alone statement papers designed to impress. New into the store and selling like hot cakes are these beautiful wallpapers just in from NY (see below) as well as our book shelf wallpaper ladened with weighty tomes bold, sassy and uber cool. Use it on a great expanse of wall like my pad (see below) or in small spaces adding instant impact and diminishing drab wall syndrome for ever.
Chandeliers should be super sized I say, that way they feel like an uber chic art installation. Modern, playful and a fab way for giving some va va vroom to your room. The more off beat the better and whether they are cheap as chips or as expensive as hell – that’s not really the point – what matters is that they create a style statement and set the stage for the grandest of soirees or a takeout for deux.
Molly (my dog) and I snuggle, watch tv and on slobby nights eat take out on the sofa whilst the chandelier emits a soft flickering glow.
Julianne Moore’s NY pad oozes style in a causal, grown up but totally gorgeous way – the chandelier is crafted from the simplest of materials but shouts instant style.
The Mail on Sunday asked 4 experts (moi included) on how to create the best table in town, purse friendly, elegant and super sophisticated.
My tricks of the trade include spraying little bunches of flowers (which I house in t-light holders) with hair spray – YES hair spray and then sprinkling with glitter. Very Hollywood esp, super easy to do and the effect is stunning. Candles should be fun not predictable think frogs, elephants, clowns anything that adds an unexpected twist. Napkins tied with sari ribbon add another layer of glamour and of course lighting is key. I have fairly lights all year round strung all over the place and oodles of candles – perfect when the sun goes down for flickering, flattering glamour.
For the full feature see Come Dine with Me