A little bit of what you fancy

I brought a new recipe book on the weekend called The Kitchen Revolution. The idea to cook one big meal on the weekend, use left overs for another dish or two and then for the rest of the week quick fresh seasonal dishes that take no time whatsoever. So this week its partridge with mushrooms, mash and greens, celaric and mushroom bake, Thai fishcakes, veg tagine, bubble and squeak AND I’m boring you.

How is any of this linked to interiors you ask, well the same way that cooking can change the way we eat interiors can change the way we live.

If you walk into a home that makes your heart beat a little bit faster, or gives you that squishy feeling of contentment you get once you’ve downed a couple of whisky’s then I think that’s pretty life changing as it totally changes the way you feel not just about the space but about yourself. My space for instance energises me, relaxes me, comforts me and whats more I want to spend time in each and every room all day. I might be working in my studio but then I go and grab a coffee downstairs and that looks so cool  I want to work there for a bit, but wait the den looks snuggly and squishy so if I  work from the sofa i can peek into the garden which is beautiful BUT THEN what about upstairs – do you see where I am going?

Nuts? Yes OK maybe I am a little nuts but in all seriousness the only limit to having a totally amazing interior is your imagination. Its not about having the latest this or that for me at least it isn’t have you seen my car? Its about having a home that grounds me, inspires me that envelopes me with security so no matter how tough the day its cheers me up when I walk through the door.

A few tips, start by prioritizing comfort that way you or your guests will never want to leave. Big squishy armchairs, beautiful rugs skimming floors, oodles of cushions stuff that you fancy. It might not be on trend who cares,  it might not be in the latest glossy so what, buy what you love. Comfort is key with sofas and chairs, goodness knows I’ve plumped for style over comfort before only to spend vast amounts of time on the floor. Buy better if you can especially when it comes to sofas because they will last. I’ve had my George Smith for over 10 years and its just as comfortable as ever. I’ve also nabbed some fabulous chesterfields at auction houses, some 70′s chairs at flea markets and the odd find from eBay. From experience I would say when it comes to buying furniture sit in it no matter how cool it looks on anyone’s website. Comfort is key and only buy what you love.

As our latest box art says hot in from the US ‘

“All you need is Love”.

Leather sofa’s last a lifetime and get better with age.

Maud and I having a snuggle on my George Smith sofa – so comfy you could sleep all night on it.

 

 

 

Photography Gaelle Le Boulicaut

The magpie approach

Yesterday I spent the majority of the day in store something I haven’t done for a while and boy I’ve missed it. Seeing people’s reactions to the flowers, the new products, the paint color even, makes everything so worthwhile. I’m certainly doing it more often,  4 am starts are all very well but I had totally forgotten the buzz you get seeing and hearing people’s reactions. Which reminds me I must try and shove some dates in the diary for our retail master classes as I honestly think there is the hugest gap out there from NY to London, Paris to Dubai for cool amazing interiors stores. There just doesn’t seem to be enough!

I’m pretty flabbergasted to be honest how generic everything is looking.  Interiors stores around the globe with the exception of a few obviously are all looking like each other. What’s that’s about? Tantalize, surprise, intrigue and stimulate are the key ingredients for having a super successful store. That’s not so difficult right? Same principles apply to one’s home. You don’t need bags of money (it helps of course) but its not so necessary. You just need to check out the pages of US Elle Décor or AD to see how having money is not the answer to owning a cool interior. The key to having a cool interior is to take a magpie approach, mix a whole heap of finds together so that nothing matches. The hard part is that its all got to make perfect sense, the eclectic look being one of the hardest to pull off but if you restrict your color palette (sounds odd coming from me I know) then I promise you it will work. If on the other hand everything has a high voltage hue you will be running for the pills and it won’t feel very relaxing. Color is amazing I am the hugest fan but I restrict it to the odd couple of chairs, a rug, flowers, a lamp everything else is relatively neutral.

Todd Selby a little while back took some fabulous pics of Charlotte Rust’s pad in Auckland, I was particularly drawn with her outside area, its not huge or fancy but it feels lived in and loved. Her look is bohemian and edgy at the same time and its been cobbled together with an assortment of things which haven’t cost the earth.  Flea market finds mingle with other quirky objects. Her home is totally unique – and her outside space particularly intrigues me. I have a plan, it’s an early one so no doubt it will take years to come into practice, to turn my flat roof into a wild roof garden for bees and martini’s for when the sun goes down. Only problem being I need to knock out a window to put in a door, (is that a planning issue not sure as don’t want to get them involved) balcony off the roof so Maud and Mung’s don’t take a flying leap, fill it with plants, grasses and bee houses, source all the furniture, including a drinks trolley and heave the whole lot up two flights of stairs.

Yadda yadda yadda.

An odd assortment of finds on a roof and I love it.

 

Sneak Peaks

Its a morning of sneak peaks here today, which is very exciting. First up Mungo and Maud (they’ve actually just gone off to school) so there is a bit of peace in the house. Thank goodness! They  were crazy this weekend not sure if they had spring fever or whether it was the pong of the organic compost that got them going, digging, racing around, eating the hose, jumping on the cashmere mohair sofa covered in mud, nuts, nuts nuts.

Secondly a few flower  pics a  rather sweet little image I took of a stem of one of our new flowers and a corner of our flower store.  You will all be pleased to here that this weekend we did a ton of photography and photographed ALL the new blooms which we will put  online in the next few days.  We have never sold as many flowers ever as this weekend. Not sure what was going on but the guys kept calling saying we need more flowers!! Amazing thank you to all who brought we now have our flowers in the British Embassy in the Vatican and a winery in California. AMAZING.

This is just a corner of the green and white section, blossom, hydrangeas, gelda, peonies all looking jaw droppingly  beautiful.

I pinched a little stem of the purple hydrangea and popped it in our downstairs loo along with some blossom. Last night I pottered in there for hours admiring the new blooms, a little crazy but nothing makes me happier than pottering and arranging flowers even if its in the smallest loo on earth.

Also our new box art arrived hot in from the States (as seen below) so the store if I can say so looks beautiful right now. In the next few weeks we have tons of moose heads arriving, wooden vessels huge huge things crafted from old tree bark, furniture and giant cactus arriving. Love this life! xx

Box art from as little as £12.50 looks fabulous on our in store art wall.

 

Yabbering

Spring has arrived in London, sunny, warm and beautiful. I adore this time of year, pottering around the garden looking at plants budding – asking a few that haven’t started yet to hurry on up, heavenly! I have two apologises to make firstly for the lack of posting yesterday it was a 4am wake up, and secondly for anyone who came into the store yesterday and saw me looking a mess, un brushed hair, pyjamas under coat. I was kind of imagining we would leave before it opened but a truckload of new flowers arrived and we got lost in the beauty of them all so that we were forever re-arranging. Also a big apology to the lovely lady who brought a whole host of things and who I tried to persuade not to buy! It’s a problem I am dealing with (promise) I have to come to terms with the fact that I don’t own a museum (shame) but a store and we sell things. Its a good thing I no longer work in the store in the early days when I was manning it I literally couldn’t stand to part with anything. I would be like ‘are you sure’, or ‘do you want to think about it for a month or two’!! Nuts I know and yes it drives everyone crazy (beyond crazy if I am honest) its just, how to explain, so much thought and work goes into finding every single one of those products and then they’ve been styled in the most (repeat the most) perfect position and they look so beautiful that I can’t stand to part with them which is why I am banned from the store during customer hours! I will seek help I promise.

Tomorrow morning I’m in super early to get out our new super-sized silver pig moneyboxes, pineapple candelabra’s, and box art.  I’ve had to promise I will be out by 9am so no cross over with anyone.

Lets talk accessories, or finishing touches, the 5-minute face-lifts basically of the decorating world. You may have a beautiful pad but its not until you start adding stuff that rooms really transform themselves into something magical. I’m talking art, candles, flowers, books, and ornaments. The more layers you create the more mesmerising a space you will have on your hands. Check out Nikki Tibbles bedroom below – full to the brim with stuff but not overloaded in my mind. The minute you walk through the door you don’t quite know where to look your senses are stimulated and intrigued and that my friends is the sign of a perfect interior.

Happy weekend.