Diversity in design

There was a question and answer session after my seminar in Melbourne and what I found so interesting is how everybody seems to be embracing the eclectic vibe – I had thought it was more of a European thing but wrong I was. Its hard to achieve teaming seemingly disparate objects together so they make perfect sense and yet once you start its super addictive. Its also a look that doesn’t require one to have oodles of money – teaming flea markets finds with some modern or mass market find is pretty much the name of the game.  Take art for instance, nothing transforms the personality of walls like art – bringing a space alive, adding texture, colour and a huge dose of personality. If your budget isn’t huge rather than hanging art as a stand alone piece consider clustering en masse. This does two things it distracts from the fact you are hanging merely prints, etsy or eBay purchases but more importantly it adds a visual friction a tension if you like and I’m all for adding tension – just ask Graham!

Minnie Mortimer’s pad in Malibu was featured in Vogue recently and whilst I am sure her art wasn’t cheap as chips and  purchased from flea markets – she’s pretty much nailed what I am talking about as far as mixing it up goes.

None of it matches  BUT YET when you look at is a whole installation it makes sense. Its an impromtu arrangement, there isn’t a grid system of any system come to that its just simply  hung. My point being it makes the space super relaxed you don’t feel as if you are in a museum or some hoity toity pad where you don’t even want to sit down. It feels personal and totally unique to the space. As I mentioned the other day what is so exciting in interiors right now is literally anything goes – break rules, change rules, mix and match.  Do that and you end up with a space that you can’t stand to leave every morning – I know that’s pretty much how I feel.

Maud on the other hand after her rather fabulous holiday with my parents would rather be in the countryside hunting squirrels than hanging out on a vintage Moroccan rag rug as she is doing now – staring me down to take her out on yet another walk! She’s totally vetoed the canal (which before she went on hols was our most favourite walk to the Tow Path for breakfast). Now she’s taken to sitting down as soon as we reach the canal and refuses to move – which results in me carrying her all the way there and all the way back. Mon Dieu

Photography Claiborne Swanson Frank

A Syndeysiders home

I spent a bit of time in the offices of Real Living whilst in Sydney a  magazine I should say with a fabulous take on interiors. Very much similar to my own take on interiors it demystifies, breaks down and showcases a whole heap of homes that feel relaxed, lived in, accessible and inspiring. Its 4 am this side of the world (jet lagged and unable to spend a second longer in bed) I was thinking what Real Living has done and what my book does is to showcase and endorse interiors with personality. Ideas, projects often times affordable and stylish are the name of the game. I’ve said it before and shall say it again style has absolutely nothing to do with money. The more money you have the easier it may become obviously but also the less creative you are. Anyways I am digressing slightly from my point which is to show you one Sydneysiders home showcased in Real Living who has embraced the dark side (yay hay to that) and given her home a big dose of personality in the process. Stylist Julz Beresford has a pretty eclectic home, Ikea purchases hang out with flea market finds along with pieces that have been in her family a while.

One question I got asked all the time in Australia is can you use dark colours in the southern hemisphere. I think Julz pretty much proves that you can I love, I really love that contrast you get when outside is bright, sunny and super hot yet the minute you step through the door the environment changes its  darker, calmer, softer and sludgier. There is an immediate visual tension between outside and inside – that my friends is called magic. Julz has brought Ikea bookcases, filled them with a heap of tomes and created this very sweet office.

Super sweet detail, the background palette almost the colour of an angry sky adds a softness to the space. Paint anything grey and you will find just how relaxed and beautiful a space will be – add a splash of pink and bolt of turquoise and suddenly you’ve just sprinkled your space with a big handful of pixie dust!

When you go dark you  must, repeat must add colour. You don’t need to go overboard but you do need a big dose to lighten the mood and add a high dose voltage of contrast.

Catching up

Just a quickie from me to say just back in London after an amazing trip to Australia. Utterly blown away by the response of my seminar thank you to everyone who attended and to all those who emailed in such lovely comments. Am considering actually holding a number of workshops down under so often was I asked. Tons of ideas bubbling away in my head and shall update once I’ve figured out exactly what I shall be doing. Plus I soooo want to open a store in either Melbourne or Sydney, fabulous cities,  but thats for the back burner. Right now am awaiting Fraudie’s arrival haven’t seen her for a week and a half and my parents are on the way up for lunch with her. She’s been having so much fun rambling through woods, hills and countryside am thinking she may not want to come back to urban city living – even though we  get to sit in sweet little cafes drinking flat whites – kind of thinking she probably wants from now on to be in the woods sniffing and nosing around!


Forgive the lack of post – its full on crazy ness now with only a few days to go before we leave for Australia. Although I won’t be blogging for the next week and a half I will be updating Facebook and twitter.  Again sorry about  lack of posting today up since 5 and still haven’t started on what I’m supposed to be doing.