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!
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.
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
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
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.
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) !
Simple, beautiful and elegant – Martha Stewart’s dining room in NY.
Firstly huge apologises for not posting for the last few days – crazy 48 hours putting the finishing touches to our newly opened Bluebird concession as well as redecorating our store from top to bottom (crazy idea on my part)!
With London Design week in full swing I got to thinking about British Style. Defining British style is not easy – with such kings and queens as Paul Smith & Vivienne Westwood championing individuality it’s pretty hard to pinpoint. It seems to me more than ever our design aesthetic is held together with boundless curiosity.Its edgy, its urban, its glamorous, its feminine its a melting pot if individuality and its fabulous. To achieve this look you have to be a bit of a sticky beak - Australia speak for nosy parker. Gather around you things that you love from different periods and styles and you will find yourself creating little nooks instinctively rather than rationally – your heart should guide your choices nothing else. I often find my much loved objects are not expensive designer garb or the latest gadget – they are an old pot picked up from a junk shop with a patina that taunts my eye – or a collection of tear sheets on a wall I have simply torn from a magazine. Oh and remember to edit – so just enough clutter bugging to keep things interesting but not so much its screams Versace crazy. Sorry Versace!
Jo Berryman’s pad below pretty much defines Brit Style – its edgy, its feminine, its glamorous and whats more it tells a narrative.
Ahh pattern –it’s a toughie for me at least.Don’t have enough of it at home and veer away from it which is weird because pattern really is the 5-minute face-lift of the decorating world. It instantly perks up a room and steals the limelight like nothing else. Well that’s all about to change. My dear friend Lisa Whatmough of Squint made me one of her fabulous mirrors to cheer me up when Molly my fox terrier died and it’s completely transformed my downstairs space. In so doing I have decided to come out of my plain Jayne shell (I mean one can only have so many chairs and sofas upholstered in velvet, or mohair or slubby wool) and I’m now fully into embracing pattern big time.
The pros like Lisa fuse with aplomb – see her fabulous pieces by clicking on her website Squint Limited. The key thing like everything else in the interior world is to have confidence and follow your heart. You can start small by pumping up the interest in a room by bringing it to life with a cool collection of cushions with a whole fusion of different patterns. Or you can go straight in at the deep end and opt for a sofas, chairs, tables, rugs and mirrors the list is endless. With a pinch of creativity you can turn your pad into an Aladdin’s cave of gorgeousness.
Convinced? Yep I thought so!
PS – typing this in my very new tartan pjs –see I’m hooked
Diane Bergeron’s pad in Australia cuts a dash of panache with this sweet little upholstered chair and below her living space fuses pattern with plain beautifully.
I need a back splash in my kitchen. For years I just painted behind the back of the sink but it looks shoddy and splashed in no time and its been on my to do list for yonks. Next week I am taking a few days off work to revamp my pad and do all those little bits and pieces around the place that have been on my mind for ages – first on the list is a back splash. So for a while I have been searching for some fab tiles and by god I think I have found them.
Delicate yet strong tiles can completely transform back splashes, bathrooms and little nooks from something bland to something sublime. As you probably no I am a strong beliver that to turn your pad from crash to flash you don’t have to have a bottomless wallet. A slap of some great paint a fabulous back splash with some beautiful rich lustrous tiles adds oodles of glamour. The tiles below have a beautiful pearlescent finish which the light bounces off – they feel antique yet also modern. Perfect so perfect for my kitchen - a visual tantalising feast for the eyes.
The New York Times called me last week to hunt out and review a whole host of umbrella stands in the US – just in time for the London Design Festival which opens this week see the feature by clicking here Dripping with Style.
I love the design festival the whole city takes on a creative vibe with satellite shows, big main events and artists opening their studios. If you are going be sure to visit Tent London in East London. Its edgy, quirky and far better than anything else in my mind.
Today I am deviating from interiors to write a para or so on gardens since they are an integral part of the whole lifestyle deal. I have replaced the brick wall (over two floors of our Victorian terrace) and put in a wall of glass so the garden is an integral part of my vista – an outside living room if you like.
Somewhat neglected due to a business that demands long hours and no weekends I am now on a mission (yes I know it’s the wrong time of year) to transform this little outside space. The water featury pond is going (that was so on trend 10 years ago – can’t bear the thing now) and in its place I fancy growing winter vegetables – cabbages, broccoli, garlic, sprouts the whole shebang. On a cold winters eve with the fire roaring inside I will pop out – in my pjs and uggs and pull from my little plot the yummiest veggies ever (that’s the plan) and then cook them up on the stove. Swapping my pond for cabbages and brussels has as much to do with wanting to know exactly what I am eating – a desire if you like for a simpler life that sounds eco & boho but in truth I hope will bring me much pleasure
My dream dream garden is Nigel Slater’s (his whole back yard has been given over to growing vegetables sand fruit). I love Nigel – I love his way of cooking, I own every single one of his recipe books (his new book is about the hit the stands) and listen to this his recipes are beyond mouth watering – chard gratin with grain mustard, a rich dish of sprouts and cheese for a very cold night (why or why isn’t it cold now I want to make that dish).
Anyway Nigel’s garden below and then mine (please note it hasn’t had its face lift yet) – apart of course from my moose light which I looooove.
My garden below before the addition of the outside fireplace and moose!
Latest addition – outdoor fireplace and moose which double duties as a light
Not normally a fan of white spaces I am I have to say totally at ease with Li Edelkoort’s Paris pad. It generates a serene, seductive, calm atmosphere – down to the fabulous blend of old and new. Filled with charming things it goes to show that you don’t have to be a clutter bug to add personality.
I love that this minimal space doesn’t feel exclusionary as so many white places do – and today more than any day I feel like I could slump on that sofa of hers with a peppermint tea and a good book.
Back to real life – Maud peed on the bed at 6am – decided as I was up to go for an early morning swim at the gym as aching and sore after a frantic weekend opening our new concession at Bluebird. The car wouldn’t start, jumped on the bus to find that the pool was closed due to some chlorine disfunction. I am going to dream ( in amongst working on my stack of paperwork today) that I am sitting in Li’s house relaxing!
By the way – we are now officially open at Bluebird – hurray!