Tricks of the trade

Two posts from me today one now and one very exciting one in a bit which I cannot divulge I hate to say until a little later this afternoon.

So down to business I am often asked my tricks of the trade how to turn a room from ordinary to extraordinary. It really is quite simple you don’t need  heaps of money, you do need heaps of confidence. Also you will need to convert across to the dark side which I know sounds a little scary but once you’ve crossed over there is really no going back and I promise its far more exciting this side. Paint walls dark and magic starts to happen your furnishings, accessories ,art, books and so on will suddenly have the most fantastic background in which to stand out from and sing. You will also need to play around with scale to give your space that magical Alice in Wonderland feeling – so plonk large items in rooms that seem to small and vice versa. The key here is to not get carried away you just need one super sized mirror on a wall or one extra large lamp or piece of art. We don’t want crazy we just want magical. Add the odd high voltage hue to your sludgy inky palette, a smidge of pattern, some accessories and suddenly you’ve got on your hands a room thats ready to grace any interiors magazine. Easy hey!

This bedroom belongs to the fabulous designer Iise Crawford. Its a beautiful bedroom from the soft taupe colour on the walls to the super sized lamp in the corner. The bedspread adds the pattern, the throw a high voltage jolt of colour and the bookcases filled to the brim with tomes adds personality.

Catch you later.

Table talk

I’m knee deep (actually waste deep) in all things dining room at the moment and having waded through a zillion images notice a common trait. Many of them are not that cosy, you can almost tell they are not lived in everyday. Often times it seems that people select tables way to  big for the  space (why is that)?  so you can barely get anything else in there to add layers and intrigue. I don’t get (never have) going for the hugest table that seats 18 and then stands empty half the year round. I would much rather squish people round a smaller table and have a more interesting room.

Anyways a couple caught my notice one from NY designer John Loecke. The Americans love putting sofa’s around tables and I must say I becoming more into the idea. Loecke’s dining room is super cosy and a little of beat. Putting a sectional around a dining table takes a bit of confidence but totally works in this space (which is oddly shaped, genius ideas) as do the rather formal upholstered dining chairs. Whilst the design isn’t totally my bag I can totally imagine hanging out here and feeling relaxed.

The next space I love,  when you break it down not alot is going on but having a book case filled to the brim with books as one’s backdrop creates a fabulous dynamic and makes the room a place you would want to linger in whether you are having supper or not.

I think that is the thing with dining rooms if they can double up as something else, a reading room, an office ,a relaxation nook then often times they get to be way more interesting – the more time you spend in a space the more time you want to cosy it up. Just having a space that the Jones’s get to eat in once a month I am afraid to say often tends to look and feel a tad dull. You have to rattle  around a bit, work a bit, relax a bit, hang out a bit in order to get it perfect – otherwise it tends to have that kind of uptight look – believe me have just spent the last few days looking at zillions of them.

Flash sale with massive discounts

Have been in the store since 6am this morning installing some fabulous new products (more on that another day). In order to make room we are discounting BIG TIME a number of pieces that are display or have been out on press loans and are slightly damaged. Here goes (by the way the store isn’t open today so if anyone wants to bag anything before we open tomorrow please email:

Blowup chesterfield chairs in midnight grey – fabulous inside or out there are only two remaining and they were £375 each and are now discounted to an amazing £100.

The bargin of the century this woollen animal inspired rug was £1350 now can you believe £135. Its damaged as went out on a press loan and tea was spilt on it so needs dry cleaning.

Next up this amazing mouth blown murano glass pendant from Italy was £950 now £190. In perfect condition we just need to make room for a newer younger model

Finally one black poodle lamp and one light pelican lamp (both seconds – were £195 now £90).

And if you happen to be in Islington in the next few days- you will find on the back table big round fabulous red vessels reduced to an amazing £30, a super cute little wooden chair reduced to £20 and a few other bits and bobs.

Abandoned homes of Detroit

I don’t normally post on the weekend but I received via a friend in Australia a rather amazing (but incredibly sad) link to abondoned homes in Detroit that I just had to share.

I used to live in Detroit , at first relocating from London over a zillion years ago, I hated it. Run down, derelict, dangerous and scary. BUT then I landed this incredible job with two amazing guys –  architects Doug McIntosh and Micheal Poris who, when I get tired and grumpy and fed up with running my own business (and think I just want to open a little cafe and bake all day) I think of the those two guys and their passion , the immense hard work and incredibly long hours they worked and their determination to turn around a city into what it once was. Lived in, loved, busselling full of energy and life. These guys made me love Detroit – the architecture, the history the farmers market down town, Cranbrook I could go on and on.

Obviously the  economy has taken its toll and Detroit as shown here it is struggling. If I had all the money in the world I would take one of these buildings turn it into a flag ship store, with cafe and bistro and move our factory there too. I don’t regrettably but if I did as crazy as everyone would tell me I am thats what I would do.


Enough from me Fraudie and I are off to the Tow Path for breakfast with papers.