Living with Layers

Morning, 4am new York time and I am shortly to leave for Philly so it’s a super quick post from me this morning.

The Ace Hotel is fabulous and they are making me feel a little super starfish putting me on the top floor, chocolates in the room with a lovely note, might just live here for a while. Cant wait to meet those of you who are joining me here on Saturday. Something that the Ace does so well is to decorate with aplomb. The minute you walk through the door you don.t quite no where to look, furniture is away from walls and all over the place, lighting is multi layered, there are seating nooks everywhere. It’s a visual journey that totally stimulates the senses, if we could all do the same with our homes I reckon we would never ever want to leave.

So a little image to inspire and encourage us to never ever stop decorating too soon. The more layers you create the more intriguing your pad will become. All of you coming to the class on Saturday be warned, I bang on about layers a lot!
Happy Monday

20120730-041250.jpg

Every room needs a fabulous assistant

Every person needs a fabulous assistant never mind every room, where am I going with this you may ask well listen up. There are some items that help a room out big time (hence the fabulous assistant analogy) that rescue a room from being just plain old ordinary to turning it into something a little extraordinary. Spare chairs are one such item, recently talked about (remember to go odd and go different) and log baskets are the other helper outer. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have real fires because they easily double duty as storage; think papers, magazines, throws, towels , Mungy and Maud’s toys you name it.

No matter if  your interior is traditional or modern, maximalist or minimalist a log basket breaks up the formality of a space with its warm welcoming persona. I’ve got them all over, by the fireplace outside, inside by the sofa, in the bathroom. If you’ve got anything leggy like a console bet you anything that a couple of log baskets underneath would totally soften the look. Not just that imagine how fabulous the juxtaposition – something sleek and shiny or antique and fancy with a good honest basket by it, visual friction at its most interesting. Also great for hallways (THE most neglected space in a house), or landings or anywhere that needs helping it – told you it was like a fabulous assistant.

An image below to illustrate said point, oh and if you can’t find cool ones do not fear in the Fall we will be stocking some amazing ones! That’s it from me, next week will be slightly more sporadic as the odd day starts at 5am but I will do my best to get some posts out. It feels so strange when London is in fever pitch with the Olympics to be leaving the city,  never mind if you’ve gotta work you’ve gotta work. No getting around that.

An image below taken by Pia Ulin illustrating my log basket point.

Have a lovely weekend, I’ve got a fairly crazy day but then something fabulous,  a facial at Shoreditch House at the very end which is a heavenly thought. Can’t be going to NYC without glowing which according to the facial info I should be doing!

Speak next week. xx

Lighten Up

The thing I love about this neighborhood is all the cool places cropping up all over the place. You can’t go a month without some cool new hangout opening it’s doors. Yesterday on a sweltering afternoons walk back from the park with the two M’s we ran into a place called Lardo, Less than 5 mins from home its the most perfect place to hang out after a 13 hour day at the desk, sip a cocktail and eat a pizza. Summer in the city pretty, pretty darn cool.

Talking of cities on Sunday morning I fly out to NYC so limited blog posts next week as I have a fairly busy one work wise. Will attempt to write the odd post, usually jet lagged and awake and jogging round the streets at 3am, so it should work out. Do you know that NY has the fattest rats; last summer they completely freaked me out zooming and darting across the pavement as I pounded by. Anyways apart from the plane journey (which I dread) very excited to be going and launching the DESIGN SCHOOL Stateside. We have a whole bunch of press; a camera crew and I cannot wait to meet all those attending. BTW almost forgot to say on the day  I’m taking lunch at The Breslin (most likely at the chiefs table, just in the middle of co-ordinting that part) so  if any of you guys fancy joining me do let us know, the guys will be emailing you all the info today (re prices, menus etc  to co-ordinate) oh and to celebrate the launch of the school in NYC at the very end of  our day some sparkling vino for us all to drink. Exciting!

Not so exciting is the fact I am about to leave Mung’s,   we are rarely separated and because of his problems (he was a rescue and has separation issues) he literally follows me everywhere. Can’t leave the room without him following, to the loo, to answer the door, to just literally cross from one side of the studio to the other , up he gets and follows me. Being still a baby (just over one year) and the hugest Mummy’s boy on earth, not quite sure how he, or I for that matter will cope (now who’s the baby hey)! Enough about my worries and dilemmas ,could keep you here all day with them.

Down to biz, one of the easiest peasiet decorating tools around and one of the most transformative things you can do to a place is get the lighting right. Accessorize with more lights than you think you need, floor, table, pendant, wall not to mention a ton of candlelight to ramp up the style ratings! Don’t eliminate shadows (they add intrigue)_ and don’t use low energy bulbs. if you’re worried about the whole eco, green, pc thing – do a trade off  with something else like not eating meat, or biking instead of driving, or sharing the bath water WHATEVER you need to do!  Little pools of soft glow are what we after, vary the heights, vary the style, play around with scale and you will have on your hands one pretty handsome interior as seen below. Various lamps at various heights are essential, no matter what the paint colour, be that dark, cocooning and beautiful or pale and boring (whoops sorry) I  mean pale and simple, lighting is key.

Photography Rick Schltz

Gotta run being photographed this morn and there is a ton of clearing up to do to get this house in order. Wasn’t that the name of a TV programme and didn’t I co-present it? Whatta you know!

Crossing over

My newly designed tableware arrived yesterday looks super cool – colors are divine, inky black, chocolate, teal with and a bit of plummy ness thrown in for good measure.  I might be getting a little over excited but there seems a real movement with people embracing the dark side. I’m not just talking paint I’m talking bedding, wallpaper, lighting AND tableware of course.

It’s hard to make pale things look magical they just don’t have that depth and intrigue. Eat supper on an inky blue plate and I swear to God that it will taste better than if you eat it on a white one!  Sit in a room that is cocooning and enveloping, and painted out in a sludgy, murky, bottom of the pond type colour (I’m really selling this aren’t I) and I promise you, you will feel happier.  No matter what the day throws at you, or how tough a day may be, put that key in the door and although it won’t make the problems go away it will envelope you (it will snuggle and wrap you up,  a bit like the hugest cashmere blanket). Trust me on this!

You don’t need oodles of money, or a trip to Selfridges (OK that helps) or a villa in the south of France to raise the spirits.  You just need to take a few risks with your colour palette, its so easy peasy. If you don’t believe me check out, www.designgratislondon.blogspot.co.uk. The lady  in question lives in a rental and had dabbled with the idea of converting across to the dark side and painting her fireplace dark and finally went for it. From beige to grey,  inspiring no?

I must I must I must get a dare to go dark section put up on the website to inspire everyone to take the plunge. Thank you, desgingratis for sharing.

Another image to inspire just in case you need any more nudging and coercing.

It really is a lot more fun over this side I promise; once you take the plunge there is no going back. Never ever!