Have just looked at my new post and noticed the font has gone a bit weird which under normal circumstances I would look into but there is a courier bashing on the door, Maud my puppy is tearing up the bin and the phone keeps ringing non stop. The drunken light (we house a series of drunken pieces of furniture in the store) has obviously had one to many over night and fallen completly off the table knocking over everything in its wake! I want to go home and start the day again.
Below Julianna Moore’s NY pad which marries hand crafted with vintage with modern – just beatiful.
With the holiday season fast approaching why is that we (I should say I) look over our homes with a most critical eye. We are hosting Christmas this year and suddenly everything looks shabby and half finished. The whole house needs a fresh coat of paint, the ground floor needs to be transformed into a library, the hallway into a cosy little gallery. The bedroom needs to be relocated to another floor and the office to another room – my oh my I am exhausted just thinking about it. Mentioning such plans to my husband over the weekend was not met with the kind of response I was hoping for. Hey ho as they say – will keep working on it. First up on the revamp plan is the study more out of necessity than anything else since we have come to the conclusion that we simply cannot work together in the same room. Graham is a clutter bug with heaps of mess all ovcr the place (breakfast bowls, papers, and god knows what else). I on the other hand cannot function in such clutter I need my scented candle, a fire flickering in the hearth and some jazz on in the background. So on putting together a mood board for myself I came across this image which I thought would make a very sweet home office. Its cosy not clinical and I like its rustic charm. Whether I can convince hubby this is exactly what we need is a whole different matter!
Before I start yabbering on about design I must mention that my publishers have just told me that my book is being translated into German, French & Spanish so am incredibly excited about that – thank you Germany, France & Spain – that has brightened up my thursday morning no end.
So onto the business in hand – creating a stylish retreat takes a bit of work and a big dose of creativity but the good news is it doesn’t have to cost a load of money. By hunting around thrift shops and flea markets you can piece together some fabulous unique finds that make you want to hang out at home and never leave.
Suddenly I find myself really into signage and letters – I love how they transform walls adding instant personality. Old letters and signage are quite easy to hunt out on ebay and at flea markets. My sister used some old bus roll signage on her bedroom wall which I adore and I have also just come across a design by Nate Burkus which surprisingly I am rather liking. Mr Burkus’s style is a little too uptight and structured for me but I find myself drawn to the image below. The painting totally transforms this room and I totally love the black and white link between the floor and the artwork. Now if I could just paint the walls a colour and unstyle those cushions would totally move in!
My sisters bedroom and her bus roll signage which she has used as wallpaper – clever, clever, clever (lets not tell her that)!
Love this time of year – deliveries are coming in literally every day transforming the store for the holiday season. One of the biggest surprises for my sister and I were the success of our rabbit money boxes – we played it safe and ordered merely a hundred of them first time round and within a few weeks they completely sold out. More are being delivered as we speak but have just found out from the supplier that they are not making them anymore so we have the last 68 left in the world and 20 people are already on the waiting list – which means I only get to have 20 or so in our store and 20 in our concession at Bluebird yikes!
Here they are cool hey!
This is a super early post for me (I should be at the gym right now pounding the treadmill) but tuesday mornings are Bluebird mornings whereby my sister and I leave at the crack of dawn to go and replace and replenish our concession at the Shop At Bluebird.
“My home is my heart and soul. It visually and physically expresses exactly who I am. I hate leaving the place”. So says Anita Calero – photographer and former stylist. Anna lives in Manhattan loft which she has cozied up transforming it into an interesting eclectic space and I totally empathise and love her quote.
Its funny because in an interview recently I had expressed to the journalist how often at times through, my working day images of my home will flash thru my mind and I long to be transported there. I thought it was me being overly sad and obsessed but now I read in British Elle Dec how Anita at times spends whole periods of time in her pad without going out!
I love love love how our homes can give us so much joy. For me it’s all about surrounding myself with things I love so that’s a whole hodge podge of rugged and imperfect bits and bobs that are both humble and luxurious. And of course a puppy called Maud and a husband who (it has to be said drives me crazy at times with his optimism) but has believed in me throughout and worked harder than anyone I know (without I hate to admit complaint) – very much unlike me – to make this business work.
Below Anita’s pad – she has surrounded herself with things she loves and its beautiful
I came across the apartment of Marcelo Lucini not so long ago – it has a real sense of old glamour about it which I am rather loving.
I am thinking of revamping our hall and have been somewhat inspired by Lucini’s glamorous yet non-uptight approach. Halls are a hard one to get right – being such a transient space they often get overlooked, and yet they set the tone for the rest of one’s scheme. My boring hall houses an oversized mirror and a few hand hooks and that is it. Appalling I thought to myself at the weekend, what an earth have I been doing with my time! I want it to be a space to linger – a space I can hang art salon style (higgledy piggledy in other words), a place I can display books and mags and other bits and bobs. So this weekend’s plan is to revamp the whole space (sorry honey I know its our weekend off but how could we possibly enjoy it when the hall is migraine inducing)!
One of the room’s in Mr Lucini’s apartment which has inspired me to revamp my hallway to similar effect.
Apologises for the lack of posts this week it has been beyond crazy. New products arriving every day have swamped the store and it’s been a bit of a battle to keep up with it all. Having said that we have some incredible beautiful pieces in store – my favs include a beautiful little collection of mouth blown glass bud vases that look really vintagy and are perfect presents being priced at between £12 and £20 depending on the size, oversized gold leaf ladles from a collective in Berlin and some beyond beautiful textiles. I will take pictures and post for you guys if I ever get my act together!
Onto today I was just reading the NY Times on line and was surprised to here that Shabby Chic had filed for bankruptcy due to an expansion programme that was not sustainable which saddened me as I know only to well how scary it is. We had been asked about a year and a bit ago to open a retail store in the basement of the Plaza Hotel in NY – at the time the Plaza’s retail outlet was being touted as a European hip collective of cool stores and we were beyond close to signing. As more and more European stores pulled out of the deal we decided (after many tears on my part) to do the same. As awful as it felt, as I am so desperate to have a concession or store in the US it felt like a good thing to do – and in hindsight it was (a month later my husband was made redundant). Fast forward a year and Graham is fully ensconced in the business – it has been our best ever year and one day I know my dream of opening Stateside will come true. In the meantime Rachel Ashwell, owner of Shabby Chic has brought back her business and is opening three stores one in London and two in the States. So here’s to Rachel – wishing her the very best of success and below one of her iconic sofas. Rachel made shabby, wrinkled lived in sofas chic – and I take my hat off to anything that’s a bit wrinkled, lived in and scruffy!
First up this tuesday morning a big thank you to Casa Sugar for such a lovely review of my book http://www.casasugar.com/5497389 – beyond appreciated.
With a chill in the air I have started to think about cosying up my pad. I might sound like an odd bod but I happen to love winter – dark evenings to me mean roaring fires, candlelight, stews on the stove and a big dose of jazz. I want to snuggle in my armchair with an extra soft throw (I think Maud my puppy thinks that what she is and she has taken to curling around my neck whether i’m in my armchair or in my bed)! I am super fussy with textiles (when we first moved into our house it took me a year to save for a throw that adorns my bed – 10 years later its still there and still much loved). Cheap throws and cushions look cheap I think so its worth saving up for.
We stock a beautiful array of textiles from a collective in Italy – the cushions are hand woven from the finest merino wool, hand dyed and some are intershot with silk. Yes they are expensive but in my mind its better to have something that you love and will cherish for a very long time than something that you buy year on year and then chuck. Below are some of the texiles that we have in store and of course I have sneaked a few home!
Roaring fires, a big helping of apple crumble and a good book – coupled with textiles for after dinner lounging – perfect!