Hot into the store are these super sweet cushions (images below) which my sister and I recently discovered. It’s a slightly new direction for us since our textile collection has generally up until now been all about softly woven merino wool. Whilst we still adore the merinos with spring upon us we fancied a lighter touch. These latest editions are whimsical, nostalgic, fairly tale ish and French. Gem and I lust after opening a store in Paris we seem to continually be inspired by French interiors – inky sludgy spaces with a bohemian vibe are our idea of heaven. As is the concept store Merci which isn’t inky or sludgy – just pretty much perfection.
Anyhow I digress – it takes very little to lighten one’s space for spring – pack away some of the heavier textiles and rugs and introduce some lighter fabrics. I’m throwing a few of these cushions onto my bed to lighten the mood– Maud (no doubt) who horizontally takes up all the bed and lies over all my pillows will bag them as hers. She’s not the best at sharing.
I brought Sibella Court’s new book on the weekend (Etc) and spent a lovely few hours flicking through and flagging images. Sibella is a stylist one of the best there is in fact. Having lived in NY for 10 years she recently relocated back home to Australia, opened a store called Society Inc and released a book.What Sibella is fabulous at doing is collecting and then curating her finds into beautiful vignettes in both her store and her home. She creates three-dimensional nooks that are distinctive and beautiful. Even if you don’t particularly adhere to Sibella’s style it’s a fab book to get inspired by. It will make you look at any blank wall and think yikes – dull, dull, dull!
I prefer a slightly more funked up glamorous vibe to my interiors but the fabulous thing is the common thread that runs through the book, the idea that your home shouldn’t be a showroom. It should be relaxed and liveable, it should stimulate the senses and tantalise the mind. A haven that you long to come home to at the end of each day and when you nail it believe me you will never want to leave.
Sibella’s pad when she lived in NY. Every little nook has a narrative to share and although the space is loft like it actually feels snug and cosy.
I have lusted after panelled rooms for what seems like years as nothing shouts gentleman’s club and boutique hotel more than panelling. With its illusion of grandeur panels are a fabulous solution for boring walls that lack any sort of architectural detail and its super easy to do yourself. Plus you don’t necessarily have to do the whole room – a wall behind a bed or a hallway feature wall are a good way to start. They key to making this look work is to combine contemporary pieces with this timeless classic look – the whole mix and match thing. Oh and when you paint your panels they must be dark for maximum impact. Then you get this whole dialogue going on which makes my heart beat a little faster as I type – imagine the simplicity of panelled walls (very conservative and traditional) given a dramatic gesture and jolt with a fabulous sludgy hue. Heaven on earth and now I don’t want to work today I want to get panelling!
All images styled by Emma Thomas – who is a genius
Beautiful, beautiful and beautiful
Elegant, effortless and chic everything a home should be.
I’ve have become rather obsessed with Francois Halard’s pad in France especially the kitchen. One of the many reasons I think is because he has so successfully personalised every room from the kitchen to the bathroom. So many kitchens that I see are dull as dish water, bland, clinical and not a place to linger. So here’s the thing from now on I think we should all (me included) accessorise with aplomb. Add art, sculpture, and wallpaper, some super cool chairs and before long I reckon we will have kitchens that are practical but also tantalising.
Below is example of how one designer changed a rather small gallery esq. kitchen in New York into a kitchen that just screams glamorous. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea I realise but if you take the plunge and wallpaper a wall it really will push your space into the fast lane.And this dear friends is what design is all about coming out of your comfort zone and doing something you wouldn’t normally do – like going dark for instance.
This gallery kitchen has been transformed into an eclectic, quirky space purely with this rather fabulous wall of wallpaper.
Sorry its all a bit late today – had breakfast in the garden and then lost track of time so excited was I to see everything in bud and springing into life.
Onto my favourite topic ART and starting a collection. Its not just the preserve for billionaires you know anyone but anyone can start collecting, and once you get the bug belive me it becomes a bit of an obsession. My own personal collection is small but growing – broader as opposed to bigger. I’ve picked up paintings from from flea markets and junk shops, have a couple of high enders from galleries in LA, the odd small sketch plus a couple of rusty old signs. Am thinking about getting into photography after posting about Francois Halard’s pad yesterday its totally inspired me to change direction a bit.
The golden rule with this collecting lark it to buy what you love. I have never nor would ever buy something purely for investment purposes. Visit galleries, student shows, surf the web (ebay and etsy are good) as well as checking out auction houses you will start to get a feel for what appeals. If you happen to be in London in June some big name artists each year flog their wares from their car boots at the Art Car Boot Fair cannot wait. Happy hunting.
You need so little else when a fabulous canvas or two adorns the wall, particularly love how they are propped on the floor for an impromptu casual feel.
Photographs, paintings, sculpture all those personal details turn a home from ordinaire to extradinaire. Blank walls are sooooo borring.
Am hoping when Maud gets a bit bigger she will paint like this. We just have to over come the fact that she would rather eat the paint brush than paint with it!
Here’s an amazing apartment for you owned by the super talented Francois Halard. Mr or I should say Monsieur Halard’s pad is effortlessly chic he pushes his space into the fast lane of design by decorating distinctly. Paring a dashing green sofa with dark floors is heavenly. Also I am particularly taken with the photography on the walls, most rooms even the kitchen are peppered with some incredible images and so transitioning from space to space becomes an experience to savour.
I love the idea of creating separate nooks or zones in rooms even if you have small rooms. It just shouts snug, cosy, boutique hotel and is way more interesting than shoving furniture against walls.
Layer, layer and layer again. How beautiful is this image pictures resting on a mirror for a super relaxed feel. Am totally inspired now to create the very same thing for my hallway. Have been on the search for an old console for what feels like years and now I realise I should just go modern, make something out of cheap as chips wood and let the accessories do the talking.
The more I look at this space the more my mind starts working overtime. All I need is two plaster columns an oval piece of wood sprayed a glossy black hue and hey presto a dining room to literally die for! As Rachel Zoe would say – its bananas.
Who knows what I have been doing with my own kitchen I now realise I need art, art and more art
In my book A Girls Guide to Decorating (which is on its second reprint and has been translated into four different languages – hugest thank you to everyone who has brought) I’ve written about fattening up standard brought shelves with mdf to make them super gallery esq. Another solution and its way more rustic but also quite lovely is to source reclaimed wood and simply use that as your shelves. The two images below show just how fabulous they can look.
I’m a big fan of reclaimation yards and get as much fun pottering around them as I do going to Top Shop! I’ve made benches and little tables all out of old pieces of fabulous wood.
How cool are these shelves?
Will be posting more images in due course but wanted to share with you a few photographs we had taken of our store by the fabulous photographer Graham Atkins Hughes.
The black chairs are new in (I’ve ordered two for the garden – sorry honey)! and as you will see its been designed very much like a home. Have layered the floor with rugs and rasta’s and the walls with mirrors and art. I have to say everything you see in this image I actually have at home apart from the blue rhino on the back wall and he is a one off so I couldn’t very well pinch. So yes its true I don’t buy anything I wouldn’t want in my own pad.
Photography Graham Atkins Hughes
Our poodle light the first in our own range of lighting with more to come very shortly.
Photography Graham Atkins Hughes
Happy weekend everyone. Ours is a simple one a potter to the farmers market, spot of gardening, cooking with jazz oh and training lessons for Maud.
Apologises for the lack of post yesterday – it turned into a bit of a crazy one with an early start and then a whole store change around as more flowers came through the door. Now we have the deepest most heavenly pink peonies and big blousy blue hydrangeas. Also Maud is causing a few problems with school as she came home with a school report on Monday from the teacher to say she had gotten into four fights with other dogs! I think it’s down to low blood sugar she (like me) gets cranky if she doesn’t eat lunch and I don’t think they feed her at lunch. Anyway enough of my problems lets talk about hanging stuff.Being a bit of a clutter bug I like stuff on my walls and although sometimes a great big old canvas looks fab I am getting more and more into layering walls with a whole host of images. Displaying art is the most striking way of making a personal statement I think and I am rather favouring clustering in an organic boho type of way as opposed to a grid system. Having said that grid systems look very balanced so if you are after a structured look its best to opt for that – just remember to keep frames identical in terms of size and style.
This cluster of art animates the wall. Grouping together subject matter adds unity and reducing the space between each image adds to the overall impact.
This wall resonates boho chic. With paintings varying in style and scale the overall composition although appearing unconsidered does in fact make perfect sense as it has the impact of a large single work without the formality.
Apologises if it’s a tad early to make such a bold statement but I totally don’t understand why this look is still around. I have just spent some time researching and there is a whole plethora of boring spaces out there. Conservative, predictable and boring and I just don’t get why.
Homes should be glamorous, swanky, eclectic with a whole hodge podge of furniture styles going on – some historical grand gestures mixed in with modern ones. Louis armchairs upholstered in patent leather for example, Victorian cabinets sprayed tomato red and then further embellished. It’s a look that is theatrical, tantalising a little bit cartoon but never kitsch. Its drool worthy, its irresistible and more often than not chic. Super easy to achieve just surround yourself with stuff you love and then layer it. Pile up mantles, tables, shelves and so on and your pad will take on a glorious bohemian fancy-free attitude.
Walls are often times over looked and left bare. Layer them like crazy I say, paintings, letters and a fabulous animal’s head will build up layers and create an interesting dialogue.
This look may not be everyone’s cup of tea but its interesting. Striped walls make a statement and are further enhanced with a cluster of personal treasures on the mantle.