6.10 am and I”m late. How one can be late at such an early hour is a terrible fact but its true no less. Slept through the alarm having not slept most of the night and now I am late to collect my sister from the station (its our weekly bluebird walk through and stock up) and late to the coffee house. Must have coffee before picking up Gem sorry Gem (going to blam lateness on the traffic not coffee otherwise sound like I have an addiction which I do)!
Now I am getting a little obsessed, with tiles that is particularly those of the deep chocolate highly glazed kind . I love their intensity and how they create a zing to any room. Tiling a whole wall around a fireplace is not something I had necessary thought of – but I must say I’m loving it – especially when the fireplace is contemporary (as seen below). Am desperately trying to figure out where to use such tiles at home – having only just installed two plaster fireplaces on the ground floor I cannot replace those just yet. Ho hum will find another spot I am sure!
Beautiful, beautiful and beautiful again.
Also very sweet – below is a shot of the overall space – so you can see how beautifully these tiles blend with the rest of the furniture.
I was thinking we are a bit like mixologists when I say we I mean anyone who likes combining oddball pieces in winningly enchanting combinations. This approach to interior design is thank god becoming more and more popular. Adding the odd tatty, gritty old find next to something luxurious is what its all about. Lets call it shabbalism (loving that word) it can be a whole new hip interiors phrase.To make it work though we need to decorate with panache and personality , we need to mix things in enchanting combinations – as without mixing our homes can look naked and un loved. Serene, sensual with a dash of drama is always in the back of my mind when designing. Layering interesting art on walls with quirky accessories you love will give you this look – expensive or cheap it doesn’t matter what does it that you find the items you have beautiful and that they mean something its as simple as that.
Two images below convey his brilliantly – now I must dash tomorrow I being filmed for a short little segment in an tv programme and I am spending the whole day and possibly the whole night if the look isn’t instantly successful in the hairdressers!
Noticed this trend in NY when I was there last fall and it’s creeping over here. Everywhere I looked I saw drinks trolleys from vintage retro ones to super doper Ralph Lauren Home ones. Some had grand silver trays with groupings of beautiful sparklingly glasses, others had a smattering of vintage and second hand glasses (which these days you can pick up for a song in any old junk shop).Personally I’m loving the idea – anything that transforms one’s home into a sophisticated soiree is fine by me. Fashion is a funny old thing one minute something’s in the next its banished to the hills and considered naff. Well I am all for the return of the trolley as I think it can look super sweet snuck into a corner with a little light on it. Rita Konig interior designer, writer, stylist and all round good egg has the loveliest drinks trolley on the planet. We shot her apartment in NY for my book and I immediately wanted to come home and do something similar and I love that it’s in her hallway! There’s something incredibly comforting about harking back to another era and it’s not such a kitschy joke especially if its given bit of a modern vibe as these images show below.
Grey goose any one? (yes I know it’s a smidge to early for that sort of thing)
Ok the view helps but its super sweet no?
Snuck between windows its a great little detail.
Photography Graham Atkins Hughes
The sweetest of them all – Rita Konig’s home bar that we shot for my book. Get some super sexy wallpaper, an adorable little table and group bottles, a cool lamp and the odd hat. Love it
Apologises for the lack of post yesterday– it was one of the craziest days of the year so far and my head is still reeling hence the unpardonably early hour of being awake at 6.30 on a Saturday morning. Infact I have been awake most of the night and the coffee house doesn’t open for another 90 minutes – yikes!Oh well I shall write blog posts in the meantime .
Someone asked me recently what’s the big deal about mixing styles say vintage with modern. Why not all just go all modern or alternatively all traditional and the answer my friends is a simple one. Its individual, its multi layered and its utterly unique. Mixing eras is unexpected, whimsical, and chic and everyone should be doing it. The key and its an important one is to let one style dominate otherwise both will be fighting for the same attention.
The image below is intriguing at first glance it’s a little grandma ish but then it’s peppered with super glam pieces like the pendant and the sofa. Add a huge tigers head to your walls and you’ve got a totally unique vibe going on.Happy weekend everyone. I love Saturdays – a stroll across the park at the bottom of our road to the farmers market and then a rummage around the vintage shops is my idea of heaven. Then its back home to some yummy dish of ingredients I have hopefully just brought, a fire the newspapers and a spot of jazz.
Cannot start the day today without saying the hugest thank you to Livingetc. In their January issue not only have they featured images of my sister’s pad but mine also plus they have written the most flattering review of our store – (see below) – thank you it makes all the hard work so very worth while:
“Fans of this Islington institution can’t get enough of its quirky but cool statement pieces and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to lighting. The huge flocked Anglepoise, Drunken floor lmap and Neo Baroque chandelier are an exercise in elegant eccentricity and are guaranteed to be the focal point of any room. The latest addition is the Poodle lamp the first in a range designed by Abigail herself- its witty, whimsical and ever so slightly barking’!
Thank you thank you.
For todays class I hope you don’t mind but I will be taking it from home in my pyjamas – its ok we won’t be disturbed about 4 months ago I dropped the house phone behind the fridge which is so heavy I can’t move it out and there is quietly rings with no one answering – oh well! I wanted to talk about mirrors since I am a huge fan of them specifically the convex kind. Small rooms, narrow corridors or hallways can feel larger if you incorporate a mirror. Which wall you may ask well if you select the longest wall it will help balance the space by counteracting the elongated feeling with the reflection light – simple hey.
Some mirrors below – the first is one of the mirrors we sell in store – this was shot at home and unfortuantely is not me – I wish it were:
Photography Graham Atkins Hughes
For Christmas I want a dressing room – Father Christmas if you are listening please please please can I have a room like either of the two below. How beautiful are they, personal, eclectic and beyond beautiful. Rather than poking around in my wardrobes slinging everything on to the floor (as happens most mornings) wouldn’t it be to fab to create a room that is actually a dressing room. I would share it with Maud – she has a little smattering of jazzy leads, collars and maybe the odd winter coat for those below zero days but the pair of us would be in heaven.
All of this got me to thinking – what on earth is the point of spare rooms where you rarely venture and friends occasionally sleep over – sorry friends no more sleep overs spare bedroom is now being turned into a closet . Plus there are a couple of super cool hotels nearby (The Hoxton oh and Shoreditch House I think is adding rooms and who wouldn’t want to stay in Shoreditch House) so it works out on all counts I’m thinking!
The key to making a dressing room look more like a room you want to hang out in is to fill it with things like paintings, books, flowers and comfy chairs. The only problem being I would never leave – and now I just need the wardrobe to go with the room. Believe it or not I have no clothes – or nothing at least I like!
Gorgeous – I want I want I want this dressing room.
Today I am feeling a little sorry for myself – so tired am I after the shoot and the frantic weekend that putting one foot in front of the other requires far to much energy. Having said that is was worth every minute – Damien Russel took the most fabulous pictures and was beyond patient with Maud who eat he’s shoelaces, climbed up he’s leg and tried to be he’s number one assistan!
Am off to meeting shortly after a huge dose of caffine to see a client and discuss how we can cosy up her pad. For me its easy layer layer layer – and make it as unstructured and informal as possible. Below are two shots from a loft in NY – and yes its a loft so anything looks fabulous against that lovely brick but if you study the images look at just how informal and seeminly slung together they are – but they work. Sometimes it takes me ages at home to get the right vibe – so if it doesn’t work immediately don’t panic just walk away and try other configurations – best bit of advice just surround yourself with things you love.
Rather than jumping on the bed – I fancy snoozing for a good few hours and then waking up and spending the afternoon pottering around the West Village – and it may look a bit of a jumble but I kind of like it.
Simple, simple, simple and homely and cosy. I think I would want a bit more of a glam vibe going on (but thats purely to do with my new rock and roll mood.
Ok am out the door – to the coffee house for the biggest double extra shot latte ever