Adding a dash of unconventionality here and a dash of eccentricity there is the magic that binds one’s space together. In the image above gloss (the staple of every girl’s handbag), reflects beautifully off this coffee table and adds a touch of instant glamour. Glamorous touches are the trend of the moment and create a truely electrifying effect. Although buying lacquered furniture can be expensive you can (dare I say this again) do it yourself by spraying something your already have in a fabulous hue. Taking something a tad bland and then giving it a bit of a tongue in cheek makeover creates a startling effect. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again adding glamour doesnt have to cost big bucks – its all about reinventing, embellishing and reworking!
Today I find myself working at home – strangely enough not in the small little box room I use as an office because it needs good old revamp and I have this very annoying habit (I’m sure) whereby I cannot and will not work in a space that isn’t beautiful. So here I am on the ground floor (which is rather beautiful I have to say) thinking about what my perfect office would be like – its got to be integral to the rest of the house and not feel too officey! Below is a great home office – it feels glamourous, stylish is full of tons of stuff but at the same time oozes personality. Its inspired me to rethink my whole home office dilema.
Turning an unusual building into an interesting space takes a bit of creative thinking but once you get the knack its highly addictive and the world as they say is your oyster.
It’s all about having a confident eye and to build up confidence you kind of need to throw the rulebook out the window. Our mantra is to break all the rules and make new ones.
Take for example a room in which everything matches – the sofa matches the chairs, the cushions match the paint – bored already? – Yes me to.
Put your room in the fast lane – the image below illustrates this brilliantly. It oozes personality as well as seducing, thrilling and surprising us. A knocked about floor with an industrial vibe gets enlivened with a beautiful rug – books, magazines, pictures – those personal mementos that make up life are artfully displaced. Textures and patterns abound and the whole space pushes the visual envelope. More importantly it feels relaxed like you could just throw your shoes in the corner and pull up a chair, turn on some jazz, open some wine – I am so there already!
I was in the store on the weekend and a number of people mentioned how the store was enjoyably eccentric and unusual, which got me to thinking about British style in general and why is it that we love quirky things. My house and indeed my store is filled with oddities that I simply adore – penguins cast from concrete with light bulbs on their head, poodles hand thrown and simply glazed with a granny esq. shade. I love this ‘off radar look” – that playfully combines the classic with the quirky. Which moves
me easily onto the God of British eccentricity and King of all things individual Paul Smith. I adore his collections and aesthetic its neither pretentious nor conservative – its quirky, sometimes a little kitsch a tad flamboyant (but not in a showy off way)
Long live eccentricity I say!
Forget fad diets, pills or other forms of weight loss treatments by changing your design and thus your thinking pattern you can increase energy levels and raise your metabolism – yay! You can do this by making your space a fun place to hang out in. Add a bit of glitz by introducing some Barbie esq. pink, (sure to raise energy levels) or paint wardrobe doors the deepest darkest blue sure to make the heart skip a beat.Add a huge dose of fun by embracing zoomorphism – think moose heads, gargoyles, penguins, & copper pigs. It’s all about whimsically mixing desirable objects in a super stylish way.
When it comes to painting our pads more often than not we are fearful about moving away from a neutral palette. Don’t be I say – for fabulous results familiarise yourself with the colour wheel (its available from most art shops and on the internet) and decide on your scheme whether its tonal, harmonious or complementary. You can be as dramatic and daring or unified and well balanced as you like. Just take the plunge and let the excitement begin. Below are a few palettes we have recently recomended to clients – and everytime I start putting these together I want to repaint my whole house!
If so check out our design service http://www.AtelierAbigailAhern.com. This months Livingetc has published an image of my living room in the 50 most fabulous rooms. Its a look thats easy to achieve through sharp punches of colour and quirky finds – see below
The art is actually the back of an old sign thats rusted up – everyone thinks its by some fancy pants artist but no just a flea market find. Heads and busts I am crazy about they are scattered around my pad, most wear sun glasses I have to say as crazy as that makes me sound! Design is all about loving your style and being confident. Happy decorating
If you fancy giving your kitchen a bit or make-over consider replacing old kitchen doors with MDF ones which you can then spray. A top tip is to elongate them making them slightly longer than you would normally go for. This makes them look and feel far more bespoke than they otherwise are.
Onto one of my favourite pass time spraying – spray them glossy or matt but either way the finish you get will be luxurious, glamourous and very sexy!
I spent a fabulous few hours recently at BBC television centre being interviewed by radio stations around the country about my new book A Girls Guide To Decorating. It was so much fun and not only that I was delighted and flattered that so many of the presenters loved my use of dark colours, my quirky ideas embracing eclectism but even more exciting how they got into the fact that DIY can be fun! Its sooo much more fun to learn how to put stuff up and transform – oh and it burns oodles of calories! Need anymore convincing? I didn’t think so
Here’s a few of the interviews and a big thank you below to everyone who interviewed me and who has brought the book – I have been overwhelmed by the response.