Livingetc and Girls Guide get close and personal

Livingetc have put one of the images from my book on their November cover – how exciting!


This edgy classic room bridges cauaual and formal brilliantly. It’s a hard look to achieve  but the key is not to match  instead mix and  mingle a whole host of pieces . This will consequently infuse your space with a lively rhythm and give it a distinctly individual vibe.

Upholstering a somewhat uptight looking sofa in a soft floral fabric is genius and totally unexpected. The room doesn’t take itself to serisoulsy – yet it feels glammed up and relaxed. Feminine but not princess-y  – enchanting!

Decorating Styles

I was perusing Anthropologie’s website this morning and am loving the idea that they have this section called decorating styles. By clicking on a particular style   a whole host of lovely products taunt the eye. Are you rustic, classic, city hip, feminine or au courant?  I have to say I am a bit of everything – although kind of veered towards a cross between classic and city hip.  I think this is what style is all about  – not sticking to one particular look but blending a whole host of styles to create your very own individual space.

Anthropologie are opening in London this Autumn I do believe – cannot wait!


City hip (love the Paul Smith striped chair is softened with a pattern rug and oodles of books – could live here in a nano second.

Conundrum – how to perfectly blend a high def plasma with your decor

It’s a big old conundrum with so many living rooms doubling up as entertainment centres as to where to put the TV.I haven’t had to worry about such things until today (four years ago I threw away my husbands TV – it was in my a defence a huge, ugly migraine inducing object.  He has never quite gotten over it though and is continually harping on to anyone who will listen about how he came home one night and the thing was gone.

Well that’s all about to change with autumn drawing in and Strictly back on our screens (oh and not forgetting Philippe Stark’s new fab programme) it is time I hate to say to buy a flat screen. Please do not let anyone tell you otherwise they do not, repeat do not look good on their own.  They are ugly – there is no getting around the fact that that a room takes on a whole different persona when a huge flat box is plonked in the corner or stuck on a wall.

Do not fear though – when shooting all sorts of fabulous houses for my book A Girls Guide to Decorating – Nikki Tibbles and my very own sister got around this dilemma by adding art to the wall so the TV become less an object on its own and more an installation.  Brilliant!

So that’s today’s plan – hubby puts up TV (and god knows what other gismos to go with it) and I hang art and shelves and picture and poodle lights.

Photography Graham Atkins Hughes

Photography Graham Atkins Hughes

Nikki Tibbles has turned her wall into a gallery in so doing the TV becomes way less noticeable.  With a bit of creative thinking it goes to show how even the most hideous looking object can look fabulous.

Photography Jonathan Player

Photography Jonathan Player

Gem my sister and Russ her boyfriend have also gotten creative by  transforming  their TV wall into something cosy and snug. The TV doesn’t dominate instead it goes away and becomes part of a layer of objects that odd personality.

Martha Stewart, Philippe Stark and a few other things

Today is a home day and technically a day off (although doesn’t seem to always work out as such) but here’s hoping!

The weather is beyond gorgeous and cooking up some autumnal dishes is the plan of the day – mostly from Nigel Slater’s new tome Tender. Gardening and tidying up fallen leaves, hanging jam jars in trees with night lights to light when the evenings start to draw  in is also on the list. I lived in the States for a while and the autumn always makes me think back to that time. Visiting cider mills, trampling on fallen leaves in New England, decorating the house for Halloween.  Love love this time of year.

When we open a store in the States and I have a downtown pad (please God)  then please please can my dining table look as gorgeous as Ms Martha Stewarts – below.Ok that’s me done – peace and love as Philippe Stark says (love Philipe’s new TV show by the way so refreshing to listen to a designer that doesn’t thank god follow the rules) !

marthaSimple, beautiful and elegant – Martha Stewart’s dining room in NY.