Well guys thanks for all your support and good wishes on our new range – thats me done now for two weeks. If I have the time I will try my best to post from Paris but we are buying as well as exhibiting at the show so days are long and tiring. Softened a little by being in one of the most beautiful cities in the world though.
Yesterday we photographed our new products shot of course by the fabulous Graham Atkins Hughes and the photographs look stunning. I will post sneak peaks but first all the images have to go to my agent in New York. Thank you again for all your kind wishes, will be back to regular posts in two weeks time.
Its fair time – the NY Gift Fair has just finished and Frankfurt and then Paris are just about to start. I love this time of year exhausting yes but the excitement of finding new stuff for the holidays is sooo exciting. I am banned from buying anything for the house by hubby (its getting rather full I must admit – but he is on another planet I think thinking I could go to the shows and not buy anything for home – I mean really) ! Talking of shows we have now received all our lighting prototypes ready for Maison way way late but very fabulous. Very tongue in cheek and very us I love them. They are being photographed tomorrow and rather than putting them straight into boxes I’m going to arrange them all over the house until the very last moment when they have to be boxed up – hmm another domestic about that no doubt!
Anyway fairs are a funny thing often times there are distinct trends that all the showrooms preview. In NY numbers were everywhere printed on cushions, curtains, boxes and stationary see what I mean…
There feels for the first time in ages to be a certain lightness and informality in this season’s products. Not silly for silly’s sack but idiosyncratic and therefore intriguing. Thank god I say, fresh, fun and habitually chic makes me a very happy girl.
Its funny no how trends come and go. One minute we are all into feature walls painted a different colour to the rest of the space and the before you know it they are yesterdays news and everyone scorns them . One trend that seems to go on and on is the retro one particularly 50′s inspired or should I say Mid Century Modern. I too am a fan but I like to mix it up a little as all one style just seems too formulaic for me.
Take this image for example – beyond beautiful but a tad too expected. Of course its personal but interiors that follow a recipe are the easiest to achieve and thus don’t excite the imagination in any way. Everything you see is 50′s – what about a smidge of kitch (before you all freak when its married to craft its idiosyncratic and utterly lovely) or how about rustic, Victorian, Rococo you know the drill. Mix era’s don’t go for one look otherwise I will be spending the next 40 odd years of my life droning on about how boring everything is.
Scary day today I get to see the whole collection for the very first time. Up until now its been teeny tiny swatches of colour so feeling excited and scared at the same time. Maud and I are supposed to working from home but can’t settle and are pacing and pottering around the place. I’ve called Graham about 1000 times already and he’s not even reached Birmingham to report back so I won’t get to see until late afternoon, exactly what state I will be in by then who knows.
Enough ado about my situation – lets talk interiors. Below is an example of how not to decorate.
Here is my problem its way to formulaic, uptight, uptight and uptight again. Its a biege haze of blandness every chair matches every cushion is placed just so. Lamps make perfect sense, rugs co-ordinate and its so dour. Unimpeachably tasteful absolutely but there is something missing. If I were a doctor I would say the ailment to this interior is nothing short of decor deprivation. My prescription – a big dose of groovy design, intriguing shapes, splashes of colour,add exuberence add ornateness and please add a little fun. Good taste is all very well but pointless repeat pointless without a little fun.
Some people have it and some people just don’t its called designing with flair. Grouping, placing, plonking objects together that create a narrative and portray a sense of discovery every time you walk through the door is something that takes a bit of skill. For me it’s pretty easy since literally every day I am pottering around the store and house, layering and styling objects together. There are no hard and fast rules but having said that there are a few pointers to keep you on track.
First up personalise you home with as many pieces of art and accessories as you can, this adds instant personality. When accessorising your shelves and table tops vary the height of the objects for interest and intrigue. Objects all one height look way to boring. Another top tip to stop the space from becoming too bland or too crazy is to repeat a colour a few times that way there is a subtle link between say artwork and textiles. I go in and out with symmetry one fireplace has a perfectly symmetrical arrangement – two vases of flowers flanking either end of the mantle. My other mantle is asymmetrical – a white elephant some Adler vessels etc.
Mirrors are also great for adding dimension to a space just make sure they reflect back something beautiful. All that said follow your heart if it feels right often times it is right.
This image pretty much nails what I am whittling on about. Walls layered with photographs, a chair accessorised with a cushion and heap of little books. It feels intriguing, and beautiful.
I love accessories that don’t conform to the norm such as this horses head. Super cool against the sludgy black background.
A detail of layering walls with art – far more interesting than a plain adorned wall right?
Well I bagged my leather chesterfield from the auction house on Monday eve paid £380 for it ( had decided my bail out price was 3K – yes I go a little crazy at auctions and anyhow Graham was with me and he’s bail out price was £300 and he was bidding). I had to do a lot of pocking and prodding to get him to go past the £300 mark – we had a full scale domestic but hey its home. So now I have to accessorize it and I was thinking of some patterned textiles. Am rather taken with tartan maybe it’s the thought of remote craggy castles, long country walks and roaring log fires. Am imagining herringbone tweed blankets or tone or tone cushions in hues of chocolate, grey or charcoal. Tartan I must proclaim makes interiors wittier and wilder and that dear friends is the whole point!
I love this twist by accessorising such classic chairs with a tartan twist. Clever clever clever
This image makes me want to jump on a train to Scotland – its check galore but because its subtle the walls and the floors work fabulously together.
Forgive the lack of posts last week it was a frantic one – two weeks to go until we debut the collection in Paris and still we have no products (its sending me grey). Everything apart from one light arrives end of this week – I HOPE. If not its just me, Maud and a zillion poodles on the stand.
Anyway lets get down to business Autumn is in the air (is it terrible to say that I am rather glad) the thought of log fires, candle light and snuggly interiors excites me enormously. I love winterising the house. Slubby cushions, rugs, autumnal foliage and oodles of candles makes Autumn all worth while. On the weekend I spied (actually my sister and I both) two vintage chesterfields which we both have our eye on. I love buying vintage furniture it tells a story and its texture (often times beaten up) adds an interesting note to any room. Although I did come across this chesterfield by Canvas in the states that is also rather fabulous :
Its covered in cotton so way cheaper than leather it shouts English country house like no other sofa I know. Sofa’s are one of the hardest things to buy being somewhat large they totally frame the way your space will look so its important to get it right. We haven’t had a sofa on our lower ground floor for what must be 5 years now just because I haven’t quite seen the right one. Hopefully with a bit of arm twisting on hubby’s part (not great timing since the show is proving rather costly I might in a day or two have a vintage beaten up old chesterfield).
Do excuse my ramblings and any spelling mistakes have been awake since 3am listening to the world service as sleep is alluding me at the mo
Graham and I are having a bit of a domestic – working together and living together when one of us is super tidy (moi) and the other the messiest person in the universe is causing all sorts of problems. So I have come up with a solution and it’s a fabulous one if I say so myself. I think Graham should relocate his office to the garden and before all the in-laws start calling me up thinking how terribly mean I am listen to this. Plus (this is a very important point) this idea will in the long term (say 25 years) be far cheaper than my running to the pharmacy every day buying migraine pills because 2 weeks of breakfast bowls, papers, clothes, drills and paint are preventing me in even getting thru the door of his office!!
So the plan is a Hermit Cabin, cosy the year round (so no getting back into the house in the winter honey) its 7m2 which means there is no room for clutter. It’s constructed from the loveliest old barn timber. If we want it can be fitted up with a wood stove as well as a bed, chair, table, closet plus shelves. You can also buy into a textiles package consisting of curtains, throws etc etc. So solution solved – just need to convince Graham its a good idea.
Sweet, sweet, sweet. This could make such a fabulous home office in the garden or anywhere for that matter.
I am in the midst of designing my stand for Maison Objet and my biggest dilemma (apart from the fact that its three weeks away and I still have no products) is what to do with the walls. I want the stand to look like a home thinking country house lodge with a bit of rock chic thrown in.
The bare nothing on the wall look is not my thing – beyond dull if I can be so blunt. Walls need to be embellished whether that’s with art, cladding, sculpture, beautiful wall lights, or wallpaper. Couple of images below have drawn my attention – wallpaper and the bookcase kind that I so adore enlivens even the smallest nook, and cladding . The hodge podge approach in the image is fun but a little too busy for me I feel. At home on a funny little wall under our stairs we have tonge and grooved and then painted out the same colour as the walls so its textural but very much part of the overall scheme.
Wallpaper is a fantastic way of changing the feel of a space – here the feel is gentleman’s club meets Parisian boho – its a beautiful combination if I could wear this paper I would!
Cladding is also great particularly if you have lumpy bumpy walls.
Before I get on to the diva part I want to start this morning off by talking about my super talented brother in law Lee Rourke. Lee’s fabulous debut novel The Canal has just been published both Stateside and here and I urge everyone to buy a copy and read. It’s all about boredom coupled with a chilling story set along the Regents canal. In fact if you could then leave a review on Amazon we would both love you even more. Thank you.
Should you be a little further a field say Palm Beach (and fancy being a diva for the day) could I tempt you along to the Ritz Carlton and their fabulous new Eau Spa. Its one of the largest in America and moi sourced many of the products from glass chandeliers crafted from vintage crystal wine glasses to Alice in Wonderland giant sized chess pieces. It’s a super glamorous retreat coupled with some sensational beauty treatments. You could loose yourself in the garden an open-air sanctuary whereby you can relax on gently swaying swing chairs while trailing your feet in a pool of shallow water. You could pamper yourself with some truly amazing treatments or hang out in the bath lounge.
Of course you can make a thing of it by staying at the Ritz Carlton itself, (the cocktails are the best I have ever sampled, particularly when snuggled outside in one of the comfy sofa’s with the sound of the ocean lapping a few feet away. Shopping is fabulous especially vintage check out House of Lavande they have the most incredible vintage jewellery and clothes as well as lots of other speciality stores. With all this talk of foreign climes I now find myself desperate to get on a plane and jet off.
Chilling out at Eau Spa – nope its not me only wish it was.
This chandelier is so adorable its crafted from vintage crystal wine glasses and shimmers and twinkles in the beautiful Florida light