Fraudie and I are off for a stroll along the canal followed by breakfast at Tow Path – big treat as we should be at our desks working (or in Fraudie’s case playing in the park with all her other doggie friends) but I figured we needed some quality time together. I so miss her when traveling so we’re going to spend some hanging out time. I saw an image the other day that I thought the most fabulous idea. I’ve touched upon something similar in my book but these guys have searched out and sourced the most beautiful old scraps off carpet, rugs and then used them as a stair runner. Firstly it injects instant funkiness with its mix and match approach. Not only that it feels highly individual but luxurious at the same time. I’ve been wanting to cover up my stairs for ages now – as I feel they need more of a decorative edge – a big dose of texture, colour and pattern. So without further ado here is the image I am talking about – pretty easy to do as I am always seeing odd carpet pieces at flea markets.
So so late this morning far to many episodes last night of The Killing made all three of us oversleep and wham bam its 9am and I’ve only just started the day. Fine tuning my seminar for next week in Melbourne all about how to create emotive interiors. I’ve said it before and pretty sure I shall say it again but colour is the most transformative thing you do can do to a space if you want to add some emotional content to your pad. It changes faceless rooms into spectacular rooms. It can be bold, blingy and fabulous or soft, neutral and lets face it not so fabulous! It can turn the simplest abode into an edgy, sophisticated den in which to hunker down. I’m a lover of sludgy, inky hues as my background palette and then ramped up with some high voltage hues. I guess because I have this thing about wanting a space that sort of whiffs of old gentleman’s club – an old world, private dining room type feel but un stuffy fied (yes I know there is no such word). I love nothing better than adding some flirty colours into the mix (think barbie esq pink, scarlet a big dose of teal) to lighten the mood. There is simply no quicker or cheaper way of transforming a space than through paint and through colour. Talking of which I must produce a paint range – its just struck me as a terribly good idea and would so make my ambition of converting the whole world over to the dark side just a little bit easier. Perhaps?
Below is Adam Straus’s pad in LA decorated in a beautiful sludgy palette as showcased in Lonny this month. The most exciting thing is its in LA land of the neutral palette – just because you live in sunny climes doesn’t mean everything has to be white as Adam has so expertly shown. Adore it.
You may well have to excuse the sporadic postings this week – Melbourne bound at the end of the week and it’s turning into a frantic one. Talking of which whilst I’m travelling there will be no blog I hate to say but will be updating facebook regularly as well as twitter. I’m often asked as a designer how to soften kitchens – by that I mean how to warmth add depth, intrigue, pizzazz and so on to counterbalance the rather practical , harsh feel so many kitchen shave . Its actually pretty easy – I’m fancying removing some of my cupboards (don’t ask me what I am going to do with all the stuff) and tiling the large wall area above. Tiles are a fab backdrop and add another layer of intrigue – opt for plain ones then you may as well just paint – no what I am going on about is Moroccan inspired ones. A number of years ago Eileen Elliot made the most I mean the most amazing tiles I have ever seen – concrete rug tiles. Almost like a painting beautiful tribal rugs were transposed onto the concrete almost like a painting. Haven’t been able to locate Eileen but as sadly as it sounds think about these tiles all the time.
Shelves v verses cupboards are all very well except you’ve got to be tidy and the vessels on the shelves fabulous otherwise – yuk. I guess the key to softening the space is to eliminate or hide as many appliances as possible, particularly if your kitchen is like mine – open plan. Plonk table lights on centre islands and counters , add big blousy blooms and wham bam you are almost there. I’m quite obsessed with oversized sparkly chandeliers to soften all the hard edges of the units. I want vintage though as nothing I’ve seen to date quite cuts the mustard. Apart from one in I spied in Paris which I think came in at 25K – there is no way on earth I could sneak that one in, but it remains like those tiles in my head continually taunting me. And here they are below from years ago in an old Elle Dec magazine – love love love.
The Americans are pretty into putting sofas around kitchen tables and I like the idea– it totally softens the look you might just have to add a few inches to the overall height of the sofa in question but its interesting way of combining dining with kitchen and makes the whole look feel less leggy. Add some super cool ceramics in sludgy hues to your work surfaces, heaps of little stacks of recipe books – the odd scented candle and then all you need is some bread baking in the oven and either NPR or Radio 4 on the wireless. Heaven.
Cute little breakfast nook designed by Nate Burkus, talking of which I’m starving – coffee, dates, bananas and raspberries for me. I’m officially off the detox (one week early, one stone lighter which is fab news) and now can eat all the fruit i so desire and have coffee – yay. Its the small things that make you happy as they say
I’m a bit obsessed with colour which I guess you all probably know right. Its the easiest decorating tool around as it changes the personality of a space – by seducing, thrilling, relaxing and so forth. Used correctly it turns a faceless room into something spectacular. I find that many people are scared of colour thinking perhaps it will date too quickly. I say its what you do with it and what you put with it that adds longevity. You may not want to be a bold as I and paint walls in sludgy inky smoky hues and thats fine (actually it isn’t fine but shall save that campaign for another day)! By adding say a couple of pillows, a rug, a painting, a lamp some flowers – like our very latest delivery here will totally and utterly brighten up your pad. Accessories are such a fab way of introducing some intoxicating hues and forget all the rules about colours clashing – look to mother nature as your inspiration – if she can partner green green grass with say a smattering of blue delphiniums then so can we. Or these dark beautiful blue hydrangeas below with some puffy snow ball like gelda then all the better I say.