There are very few homes that blow me away, but one that never leaves my head space belongs to Nikki Tibbles florist extradinaire. We had photographed Nikki’s house for my book A Girls Guide to Decorating a few years back and I recently noticed it in Australia’s Inside Out Magazine. It’s evolved a bit as houses should and is full of new enticing pieces, some eye-popping colour coupled with some fabulous textures.
For once I need say nothing more apart from enjoy its a total inspiration.
Textures abound, colours pop out and as for the patterns – covering a very modern sofa in a traditional floral is genius in my mind.
A fabulous grouping of objects nothing matches, nothing relates and yet it all makes perfect sense.
It’s the layers that are so tantalising the heaps of textiles on the chair, the objects and artwork, and the best part although there is so much going on it doesn’t for one second feel over the top.
High voltage colour adds the wow factor as well as Nikki’s affinity for mixing different styles.
This area is a total inspiration from the patterned wallpaper to the rug – from the adventurous use of colour and texture to the host of multi- cultural furnishings. A visual feast and it just goes to show that by masterfully mixing and layering collections of favourite objects and possessions you can create a truely enchanting idiosyncratic home.
On the weekend I brought Mary Randolph Carter’s book – A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life. Couldn’t have said it better myself, I took an hour off of working to spend some time flicking through the beautifully shot images of other peoples pads filled to the brim with stuff. Possessions, pets, children, books, art, records and so on – some lived in brownstones others in reconverted factories on the outskirts of Paris. All lived with clutter – some messy, some artfully placed but what shines through is how living with stuff transforms an interior from being overtly rigid into something more lived in and loved.
I spent quite a few years working over seas on some very formal interiors where everything matched, was overly organised and so so stiff. Clients had big budgets and thus wanted big designer pieces to match ($100,000 on one bedroom I recall was my first project – and no that’s not a typo)! So I think as an antithesis to those years my style has morphed into an eclectic mish mash of styles. Yes I have some expensive pieces one chandelier is nearly the price of Mercedes Benz (whist I drive about in a car that has lost its wing mirrors is about 20 years old and the windows don’t open) no logic I know!!. But that’s not the point.
The point is my house isn’t perfect some of the furniture is flea market think peeling leather armchairs coupled with the odd bit of tatty velvet but its where I feel most comfortable and I guess that is all that really matters.
This weekend I suddenly felt that Spring was just round the corner. I was feeding the birds with Maud a daily ritual, (she eats the food as it spills from the feeder I think she thinks she is a bird) it felt mild, and I noticed little shoots springing up.
I adore Spring and love changing the house round a bit for the new season ahead. I don’t take up rugs or hide away woolly cushions my changes are all do with the floral kind. Flowers and foliage (faux or otherwise are a fabulous way off adding a further decorative note to a space). Flowers lend such a pleasant ambiance to a home and are a fabulous way of celebrating the seasons. As you all probably know I am a huge lover of faux (didn’t used to be but that was before I discovered them in Holland) and now they have changed my space totally. Of course I still by fresh, posy’s for the dining room table, a little cluster of what ever is in season for the hallway console table but that’s as far as it goes. I don’t like tropical, never have and never will instead I prefer big blousy blooms think hydranger, wisteria, fat headed peonies, gelda and roses in the most delicious of colours.
I am teasing you a bit here as I don’t have images to post yet (I will shortly) but my sister and I have just gotten back from the most exciting flower buying trip ever. I am so excited with what we have brought and we have brought lorry loads by the way- blossoms huge huge blossoms as well as dainty little sprigs in the palest milk, pink and palest palest green. Big branches of wisteria so over laden that the branches can barely stand up straight. Hydranger big fat and blousy, wisteria, oodles of roses and so much more. Once in they will all be on our website which is going through a major revamp and everything will be available on line. We haven’t been able to keep up with the demand on line but that is all about to change – images will be updated quickly and new blooms up loaded once they are in. Shall leave you in peace with an image that encapsualtes Spring- whether you buy fresh or faux just buy they add colour, texture and the wow factor more than any other accessory.
This is an image from Kim Ficaro’s portfolio which I adore. Dare I tell you that during the summer months I have been known to put big clusters of faux flowers in vases on the tables scattered throughout my garden to add a bit of extra zing.
I am sticking to my most recent campaign (adding personality to walls) if you don’t mind for one more day only, as very recently we received through the post the most beautifully shot images of my sister’s pad which pretty much encapsulates everyting I was banging on about yesterday.Many of us seem to come to a stand still when it comes to wall décor, we paint the walls, redo the kitchen, buy a ton of soft furnishings and for some reason or other ignore our walls. And yet putting stuff onto walls is what adds the personality the wow factor all of which is illustrated below.
One supersized picture on an inky grey wall is pretty much all you need.
Gem and Russ’s hallway is like walking into the most beautiful gallery – you want to linger, take in the artwork and just hang out. The wallpaper as mentioned yesterday simply hangs from two bulldog clips.
Shelves are just as fabulous as art – these ones from Ikea have been boxed out in MDF and the painted the same hue as the walls so they seem super gallery esq.
The odd fab letter and a picture is pretty much all you need to add some zest to your walls.
Clocks and bikes are also a pretty fab way of adding personality you don’t just have to stick to art. Thats me done campaign over – happy weekend everyone.
Blank walls are migraine inducing, dull and should be deemed illegal in my humble opinion. Walls hung with art, wallpaper, tapestries, shelves, mirrors etc are way more interesting, add personality and drama and turn a home from ordinary to extraordinary. You don’t have to spend vast amounts – my sister has hung a roll of wallpaper from bulldog clips in her hallway to transform a small little wall that was doing nothing into an arty fabulous nook. I brought a huge surrealist canvas at auction recently for under £100 that has utterly changed my own hallway.
Shelves are another great way of adding zest – I am an utter convert having relocated my office downstairs to the ground floor I now have a wall to ceiling bookcase (made simply from MDF) which I have painted the same colour as my walls and heaped tons of magazines, books and other bits and bobs. The wall has transformed itself, its come alive its inviting and enchanting, it draws the eye and adds the wow factor.
Personally I am coveting the library below , I just need the ball gown, the ladder and way hey a happy girl I shall be.
Today is a day of thank you’s to three online magazines, Lonny, Rue and Adore in Australia. First up Adore www.Adoremagazine.com they have a British slant to their online issue this month and have featured an interview with me regarding my sister’s pad and have also featured our shop as seen below, thank you very much.
The next thank you is to the designer Angel Dormer whose beautiful Manhattan pad appears in Lonny magazine http://www.lonnymag.com. Angel listed my blog as one of the blogs that aspire – for which I am incredibly grateful.
Angel’s beautiful eclectic pad, full of fabulous finds from the lovely selection of cushions on the sofa to the art on the walls.
More images of Angel’s pad – I am coveting her selection of art it tantalises the eye and makes you want to spend time looking at every single thing in detail.
Finally Rue magazine, www.ruemag.com feature an interview with Kim and Jo from the fabulous blog desiretoinspire.net who both mention me as one of the designers they would most like to design their homes.
Again thank you guys, it makes all the hard work so very worth while.
Fab title but how easy is it to create. It’s a style that has no rules – almost anything goes and yet it must have a feel of cohesion otherwise you run the risk of creating a chaotic mess. I know quite a lot of people from conversations I have whenever in the store find it quite hard to pull off, worried that a menu of mix and match decorative details will look disorganised. Apart from following your heart bear in mind these few pointers – try to pick a focal point for each room or area and then build around that. Also consider your space, although the eclectic look shouts well travelled and full to the brim with stuff you don’t want to overload it – flirt with going over the top and then pull back from the edge just at the last moment – something that I think about often. Also it takes time to create since you are sourcing pieces that are vintage, one offs and unique you can’t do this in a weekend – unfortunately. It’s a fabulous style and the options are limitless, there are no rules, it’s totally unorthodox and I am a big fan.
A very good example of an eclectic space, nothing really matches the space feels as if it has been filled to the brim with finds from all over the globe as it embraces different cultures and styles.
Photography Amanda Elmore