We have been overwhelmed, blown away and exhilarated at the amazing response to my masterclasses. Due to the incredible demand (there are tons of people now on the waiting list) I’ve added two more dates. These I hate to say are the final two dates (otherwise I will possibly look 500 years old by Christmas Day) so without further ado :
Friday 2nd December
Saturday 10th December
are now up for grabs.
I want to keep things intimate and small that way we can all relax and yabber, plus its held in my pad and its not the largest space on earth and rather than clearing down and putting a hundred chairs everywhere I was kind of imaging we all just hang out in amongst all my stuff (not being the most practical of designers that may not work but I think it will)! Mentioned it before but should mention again you will have to like dogs, we now have two, Maud (very grown up, super smart and a little to cool for school if I say so myself, and Mungo our new addition, 7 months old, lively and a rescue with a few seperational issues). He will follow everyone everywhere even to the loo- just to warn.
Welcome to my world am supposed to close the door on him so he gets used to not always following just can’t stand to just yet seeing that he’s been through quite a lot in his short little life already
To book you will need to call or email the store asap as places go super fast – Tel: +44 207 354 8181, firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck xx
You can go to design school, you can read a zillion decorating books you can even come along to the master classes (yes please) I’m holding at home but the thing about decorating is a lot of the time it’s all about intuition. I’m here and design schools are here (some of them at least) to encourage and inspire you to think a little out of the box to create magical tantalising spaces that make your heart beat just that little bit faster. If you follow the rules everything will be perfectly proportioned, all hues (generally taupe I find) will harmonize, accessories will be grouped in little clusters of three and cushions will be positioned on a sofa on their point as I saw Robyn Holt do on The Renovators. Bad Robyn bad, I shouted so loudly at the TV when you did that that both Mungo and Maud leapt up (sorry guys). Cushions should be punched in the middle to relax them and then angled slightly – simple, simple, simple – up on a point and its way too uptight.
Who wants a home that looks like a show home –shiny, new, super trendy with about three things in it . Follow your heart if you are attracted to a rustic vibe, an eclectic vibe, an industrial vibe, all three, or any other vibe for that matter go for it. There is only one rule when it comes to decorating and it’s an Abi one – decorate with things that make you happy. Follow your gut and not trends, nothing I buy for the store is on trend it’s purely what I love. Everything in the store (as many of you will soon see) I have at home everything from the plates to the drinking vessels to the tons of fake flowers (even in the garden dare I say) to the textiles, lighting, mantelpieces and accessories etc etc.Do that and you will instantly get a space that shouts laid back, happy lair.
There is no one better to demonstrate my point than the fabulous Mr Jonathan Adler – whilst not all my cup of tea his interiors totally endorse what he loves, fun, upbeat and pretty fabulous as illustrated below:
Playful, fun and very Jonathan Adler – its a little too co-ordinated for me and a tad uptight but who cares it oozes personality.
Patterns abound, intermix and hang out together – they don’t match but they make perfect sense.
I forgot this morning to introduce you all to Mungo, thanks for all the help with the name selection by the way. Super affectionate, super smelly (we’ve had baths and he is getting a little more fragrant) plus on the weekend we are off to the groomers so that should help. Maud who smells like a peanut just so you know keeps sniffing him and then holding her nose in the air. He also suffers from separation issues following either Graham or me everywhere the last people that had him worked and left him home all day and he howled pissing off the neighbours I believe. One slightly annoying fact is here I am in my lovely studio, scented candle gently fragrancing the air, fire crackling in the hearth , lights softly glowing, THREE different rugs skimming the floor, dog bed (a posh one by my feet with a chew in) and up stairs he lays on floorboards in Graham’s miserable office. No lights on, no music, paperwork all over the floor, socks, old cups of coffee and god knows what else. Boys together I guess – couldn’t imagine what else the attraction could be!
Due to the amazing response I have added a few more dates to the masterclasses to be held in my very own pad during November and December. Its all about decorating for the holidays in a super stylish laid back kind of way so its full to the brim with ideas which you can actually implement year round. Book early as most of the spaces got snapped up within hours you will need to either email the store email@example.com, or call +44 207 354 8181. Its £120 for the day, including lunch and you will have to like dogs as we now have two Mungo and Maud. Hope to see some of you soon xx
Sunday 20th November
Friday 25th November
Tuesday 13th December
Late late late late this morning, not used to a house with two dogs one of which is full of life jumping off of sofas, tables and who knows what else. Maud is not impressed and has mixed reactions about our new edition, hoping beyond hope it will sort itself out.They play together beautifully but she has started attacking other dogs when we are walking with them both on leads – a little troubling to say the least. Anyways Mungo is super sweet and beyond affectionate and loves cuddles, Maud loves the odd cuddle but not with Mungo in on the act as to.
Down to business thank you to everyone who has booked in for my masterclasses, amazing reaction thank you again will be adding a few more dates as they seem to have very nearly sold out which is so exciting. I now have a list as long as my arm of all the revamps that have to be done to the house before you guys arrive. Graham is turning grey at the thought because the list is getting longer and longer it started off one page long and now its three – goes a bit like this, paint banistairs,re paint hall, get more lighting for the garden, create a chandelier from t-lights to hang over the outside table, repaint the kitchen, re paint outside (next door but one are renovating so there is so much dust). Plant more stuff, sort out the tiles in the bathroom, get Mungo and Maud to the hairdressers (get myself to the hairdressers), buy more plates, cups etc etc. Bored yet?
I am trying to get Graham to panel the hall I think it could look really lovely – so a bit like this (see below) its relatively easy to undertake (she says) and adds oodles of style to transitional areas such as hallways especially if you paint it all out the same colour.
Not that Maud, Mungo or I would ever have hair looking so glossy and smooth as this fabulous dog – we all have messy, curly unruly hair – but as they say you can’t have everything. Happy Monday – will post later new dates added to the masterclasses
It’s an exciting day today, although there are lots of complaints from hubby and Fraudie about getting up at 3am! We are off now to Lancashire, a four hour treak out of London to go and introduce Maud to her new brother, a little 7month rescue newly named Mungo. If all goes well we will be back in London by lunchtime. Thanks for all your help by the way with the name, Mungo won out so Mungo it is.
More exciting news after much juggling of schedules I am delighted to announce my mini one-day master classes for the holidays. To be held in my very own pad on how to up the style ratings. I will be embracing the Christmas spirit but more importantly the classes will be full of fabulous ideas that you can implement all year round.
Places are limited since its held at home (I’m thinking about 10 people each class) which will give us plenty of time to get to know each other, it will be cosy not squished, unless Maud jumps on laps which I will talk to her about! Talking of dogs you will have to like them, Maud you guys all know and is pretty good (apart from the minute you enter when she thinks it’s games time (my father got her into this habit will shall blame him) they chase each other around like mad things so she assume everybody is banging on the door to do the same thing and chase her around We are working on this slight issue, plus there will now be Mungo of course, cannot vouch for him quite yet but am sure by the time the classes are up and running he will good as gold (please God)!
Here’s what we will be discussing, dates on the image: Times: 10 until 4.30, Price £120. You will need to either email the store (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 020 7354 8181 to reserve a place
||Coffee – good coffee I promise!
||Slide presentation – unexpected twists, turning traditional on its proverbial ear
||Super speedy ideas to add instant flair to you lair
||Interesting ways to scent your home
||Adding the wow factor
||Creating the perfect table
||Creating the right mood
||Mulled wine around the fire and yabbering
Hope to see some of you guys soon x
If you fancy bagging any of the items below you will need to either call or email the store (email@example.com or +44 207 354 8181) some of them (art specifically) are coming off the store floor so are one off’s. Happy shopping:
Meet Gerald and Hortense – by Bernard Py. Py has taken an 18th century piece and given it a modern jolt. I adore these paintings but a whole new selection are coming into the store and we need the space.
50% off were 537.50 now £268.75
Next up a one off painting by Russ Lewis its a supersized piece and measures 98cm h x 87cm with – thats the dimensions all in, including a rather lovely thick wooden frame that surrounds it.
Was £850 and is now £250!!
Next peonies in this beautiful hue, perfect for this time of year. From now until midnight tomorrow its two for one!
£8.50 each – but the deal is 2 for 1
Lastly some beautiful glossy vases perfect for housing peonies by the way and a lovely gift for the holidays. In vibrant red that add a beautiful jolt of colour to any interior:
50 off and available in two sizes: Medium 20cmx20cm were £35 and are now £17.50 and the Large 28cmx28cm were £62.50 and are now £32.75
Flash sale ends tomorrow at midnight
Need to ask you guys for help. We are getting a baby brother for Maud (she doesn’t know yet) and we can’t decide on the name. Two choices Mutley or Mungo Graham hates both and came up with some silly accountant type names (don’t get me started) so I’ve whittled it down to these two names.
Little Mungo or Mutley is a 7 month old mini schnauzer, he is a rescue given up because of separation issues apparently he barks continually when left. Not much chance of that happening with Maud, G and I are working from home so hopefully very soon he will be able to enjoy happy days. We leave super early tomorrow morning to go and introduce the two of them and if they both get on back he comes with us.
At the moment on twitter and fb preferred name is Mutley. What do you guys think?
Flash sale today – will post at 3pm this afternoon our fab sale items and the sale runs until midnight tomorrow. Some of our art which we are reducing (in a big way) is one off’s so you will need to get in there quick. Also you can’t buy these deals via the web its a call or email to the store I hate to say but will post all those details on the blog at 3 this afternoon. Also my mini series of master classes are going ahead I am delighted to say, we are just juggling around my schedule as we speak and as soon as we get a few of my appointments re scheduled I will post all the dates and details. Classes are small and intimate since they are held in my house (and its not huge) so book early.
Down to business let’s talk if you don’t mind about finishing touches the equivalent to the 5-minute face lift. Finishing touches sometimes get a little neglected as I think often times we tend to stop decorating too soon. Yet its the details that actually turn a room into something jaw droppingly amazing – a hand full of cushions on a sofa for instance, a collection of art on the wall, personal stuff that gives a room its personality. I know that sometimes people are afraid of their homes looking too cluttered and too crazy and so pull back or the dust issue crops up – can’t even recall how many people have said to me in the past your house must be a nightmare to dust! Who cares would I rather live in some minimal abode with nothing on shelves or walls? Nope a little bit of dusting won’t kill me, yes I do have a cleaner but often times by the time its the weekend things need a sweep or dust and I like it. Pottering around with radio 4 in the background, more like creeping I should say with the duster concealed under my jumper until its time to whip it out (its Maud’s favourite object and one that she is on a mission to pull apart and if she gets a glimpse all hell breaks out – which is why her school day is the same day that the lovely Inga comes to clean). Anyways I digress these 5 minute quick fixes add interesting layers to rooms – just remember to mix up the textures (rough, smooth, shiny, slubby), as well as the scale, big pieces next to teeny tiny pieces and suddenly you will have on your hands a home that you never want to leave.
Below a very good example of some excellent finishes touches, this home belongs to Marie Olsson Nylander:
Can you imagine how different this space would look if it was devoid of stuff – the cushions tantalise us with their different textures and patterns. The art adds a whole other dimension I don’t quite know what to check out first the large painting or the collection of little ones of the wall nearby. Marie’s played with scale plonking a super sized light over a low slung sofa (perfect) and really mixed up the materials. A rough hewn coffee table on a super sleek floor, an old worn leather club chair brought alive by some contrasting cushions.
And it doesn’t stop there – another angle of the same rooms shows modern finds partnering vintage finds (check out Marie’s desk) along with a sweet collection of mirrors and more art. It takes us on a journey none of these finds have been brought from one single place hence the intrigue and its a place that looks and feels as if they owners travel even if they don’t its got that global eclectic vibe going on which when you break it down and think about it is actually pretty easy to achieve right?
One more picture to show you and then that’s me done – and its my favourite space in this whole house – the office:
Love the desk, the lamp, the chairs – why should an office look like an office especially if it happens to be at home. Beautiful.
Back at 3 with the flash sale until then have a good day as they say Stateside
Good morning – I must tell you if you didn’t know already that Maud has her own weekly column on my facebaook page. She’s called it Maud’s musings and today she will be discussing how to source the perfect chair. She’s compiled a little guide (think this column may be going to her head). Anyways it will be on fb in about an hour as she is still under the duvet snoring lightly being only 6.45 am!
I wondered if you might indulge me slightly this morning and could stand me banging on (not again I here you cry) about the merits of going dark. I recently came across some photography by Prue Ruscoe of some lovely dark interiors and wondered if I might be able to convince anyone to cross over to the dark side. It sounds weird I know but painting walls a dark colour not only adds oodles of style it actually dissolves the walls and therefore makes rooms appear more spacious. Add a jolt of colour, think teal, burnt orange, yellow, red, pink on and on I could go and magic starts to happen. If its too scary a thought consider one wall its only paint after all pretty easy to paint back if you really hated the effect (which you won’t I promise). With the holidays looming up quickly its the perfect time to ramp up the style ratings in your pad, just remember to layer the lighting and add shots of colour. Oh and dark colours need at least 2 if not 3 coats to look totally fabulous. Changing your paint colour is the most transformative thing you can do to a space- the best bit it can easily be undertaken in a day. Got to love paint what else turns walls from drab to fab in a matter of hours?
Beautiful, even though its broken up with alot of white the floors and ceilings look stunning and create a beautiful backdrop in which to offset everything else.
Love love love the idea of a children’s room in black – just beautiful