On Tuesday 16th we are announcing dates for a brand new, super doper master class, launching in Australia first. We are again over for the shortest period of time so regrettably its only a few days, but a few days is better than zero days. Spaces are going to be limited just to warn due to the nature of the class but I will leave that all under wraps until the big reveal next Tuesday, very excited indeed.
Talking of Australia my friend Cameron Comer, founder of design company Comer + King has produced this adorable bear for charity (images below). Cam is a master at partnering textiles together and has produced a limited edition of 100 bears with all profits going to the charity TLC for kids. He only launched Barnaby this week and the response has been pretty amazing . Congrats Cam, I think Barnaby is adorable.
Photography Ralph Alphonso
Photography by Ralph Alphonso
I wanted to ask you guys some questions before I fly, if you don’t mind of course? I was thinking of revamping the blog a tad, because as crazy as it will make my days I think I should do more so wanted to see what you thought. Going forward I was thinking possibly 3 posts a day – my yabbery stuff to start the day, then a cool top tip so little sound bites of advice that have really helped me out over the years relating to design of course, and then either a further peak into my life (not sure you will so enjoy that) and maybe some cool sources that I use (from all over the world of course) or a shout out to cool people, businesses that sort of stuff. I just feel there is something missing out there is blog land. Am I the only one? There is to much (in my humble opinion) reguigitating going on, I just don’t see the point.Maybe its because I have no time so what I read I want to be uselful, insightful and helpful but that could just be me. Any feedback greatly appreciated.
Have a lovely day its raining but I think I might go for a run, need to clear the mind before a crazy day (and ruin the hip at the same time no doubt) but hey ho to that!
The flea yesterday was rubbish, it rained and we all smelt! I didn’t check the weather before leaving and went round the market in ugg’s which I’ve discovered pong when they get wet. Add to that mix two wet dogs and a vintage coat I pulled out of the wardrobe which I hadn’t worn in the rain before and to say the journey home was a bit wiffy is putting it mildly! I had to open the windows with rain coming in. Best forgotten about yesterday morning to say the very least.
I spent the rest of the day working on the online course which starts May 1 cannot wait. In the course I will be pushing everyone to dare to be different in some way – because it means you end up with a home that is distinctly and beautifully yours. The course is a bit like a tool kit; pull from it what you want. Not everything I will bang on about you will agree with (can’t imagine why not but hey)! We are tearing up the rules, and we’re not going anywhere need trends or forecasts. I should say it distinctly has my vibe this course, obvious right since I’ve written it – so I’m not covering things that cause me to have an instant migraine or reaching for the pills. To be fair very little does except pastels and then you’ve lost me, I’ve either left the building or fainted – depends on the actual tone of the pastel!
Cool interiors are those that are genuinely different and by the way actually have very little to do with money. You don’t need mega bucks to create a cool interior – PAINT as an example is the single most transformative thing you can do to a space and it’s the cheapest! So I’m packing the course with practical tips (even though I am the worlds least practical person). Examples as follows of being bad at being practical:
Chandeliers are hung to low in several of my rooms so that you either get a black eye or bump your head every time you go under them.
Chairs which I’ve picked up at markets haven’t been fixed yet (who has the time) so the seat isn’t fixed to the base and people fall off them if I forget to let them know that small detail
Plus there are so many lights in each room so it takes like an hour to switch the darn things off each night (I know I know they should all be on a circuit)
Anyways I’m working on the practical aspect can’t be perfect at everything! My point really is that decorating is easy and its addictive, not only does it enhance your interior it boosts your mood. Decorating the AA way (I hope) gives you confidence to bend those rules and embrace what you love as I say in the title – interior design just got fun!
Morning, a very early one at that as we are off to another flea market. No van this time so you never know we might actually find something ! In my classes (online and otherwise) I spend a bit of time yabbering about the virtues of vintage. Not only does vintage help out the budget, it gives a space a different dialogue. The trick is all in the balance I find. To much vintage and rooms can feel a little one dimensional, but mixed in with some modern stuff and suddenly you’re talking. Patience is the thing to remember, last week after our disastrous trip up North where we found nothing it would have been easy to thrown in the towel and give up. Today we also might find nothing but what have we lost? A few hours sleep maybe but that is pretty much it!
The big trick (and this is where people get a little put off) is if you like the shape of something go for it. Forget the colour or how it is upholstered or finished off, if the piece resonates with the heart make a deal. For example there is no market for brown furniture, I am not talking 70′s I’m talking Victorian probably, you know that dark brown shiny not so good looking stuff that you see everywhere at auctions houses and flea markets. It goes for a song. I’ve picked up consoles, desks, mirrors all with this finish and then – ta da sprayed them. As I bang on about endlessly the reason they look so cool once I’m done is because I have gone off radar with my colour choices. No point painting out an ornate desk in brown, black or cream – too dull. Paint it peacock teal and suddenly you are talking. Now here is the trick – with a desk boring stuff is going on it – computer, lamp, diary blah blah blah so hence the ramped up colour. However if you’ve got cool stuff to go on say a console or little table you might want to tie in the colour with your walls. Last week i brought a £20 small table to go in our new bedroom and I want it to go away because what I will put on it will be the star. Its all down to what is going on it basically – you can’t have two many divas hanging out together believe me. One is often all you need!
Right we are off, have to pick up the two M’s from the bed, sound asleep and snoring (they won’t be happy) and over to Kempton we go. We have an hour not much longer there as I have a full on crazy day back at the studio so hope everyone is ready for a light jog around the flea!
Talking of flea markets: green tub chairs £30 each, white dining chair £50, dining table £120. Pretty cool no!
Morning, thank you to everyone who came along to the book signing on Saturday in my store, and to everyone so far who has brought the book. The response to this second tome has been a little overwhelming and taken us all by surprise, in a very good way. I didn’t want this book to play it safe – there are way to many design books that do that, just like there are way to many homes that do that. I wanted this book to be different, mirroring my interiors. I want to be different (not to be gimmicky or on trend) but because I want your heart to skip a beat when you enter my house or my store, or open my book. You won’t feel that if I play it safe, infact you won’t feel anything – and that’s my point I want you to feel EVERYTHING. To have sleepless nights over paint colour, a vase, or wallpaper, I want to quicken your pulse rate so you feel alive, inspired, elevated.
I know its only 7am – a little early for this sort of talk no?
When you come along to one of my classes (either the online one starting in May) or to the master classes in London or abroad, I take you on a journey of discovery. It’s the most fabulous part of my job; the teaching part especially as we break rules and push boundaries. My job is to give you guys the confidence to go for it – whether that happens to be DIY project that you’ve been considering or a paint job, or re configuring a furniture layout. I want you to think differently and not play it safe because I promise you, promise, promise, promise you its life changing! Creating interiors that feel unpredictable, edgy and unexpected makes you feel alive!
Once you start pushing it (the only way to do this by the way is considering things you normally wouldn’t) your confidence grows. Yes mistakes will be made, I have made them and I do make them (bedroom wall still not up and finished so can’t tell you if its a success or not quite yet) but take the plunge. Its mood altering stuff – I guess it’s a bit like suddenly discovering you like oysters or some other food you’ve dismissed for yonks. You’ll be like, why didn’t we become buddies before?
Photography Graham Atkins Hughes
Couple of images from the book – where colour palettes and accessories have been pushed.