a little cupcake for the weekend?
Sunday, 22 November 2009
I spent the weekend styling and staging hundreds of cupcakes for a photo shoot for the new business 'Mary Lou's Cupcakes'. Owner, Georgie Barclay - previously a client of mine (Middleton Rd Project), has made the giant leap from a corporate world to a cottage industry. Or, more eloquently put: from banking to baking. She's one of three women I know who have set up their own businesses this year alone - interesting times.
Staging a shoot for a website or a magazine layout is not unlike designing a room: you're creating an environment that people will (hopefully) want to revisit time and time again - directing friends and family to visit, too, if you've really nailed it. The day was long and after the 9th hour it has to be said, those beautifully decorated cupcakes looked as tired of us as we were of looking at them. Fortunately, the photographer was great: fully prepared for all kinds of lighting influenced by the precocious British weather, and most importantly, quick to get the shot. (Email me for his contact details.)
(I'll post a link to her new website once it's live.)
bringing the outside in
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Whether you're living wedged within the innards of the most cosmopolitan of cities, or out in the starkest of outdoor wilderness, yearning for something different, there are ways to bring the best of both, seemingly polar worlds, into one space creating an environment that is both comforting and invigorating and everything in between.
(The contrasting nature of the deep charcoal sofa and textured cushions and accessories reminds me of walks along the Devon coastline. Happy Days)
bringing the darkness in
Monday, 16 November 2009
I'm fortunate in that I work with highly creative and intelligent clients, and these images bring to mind one of the projects I'm currently working on. In the client's study, we went dark - much to the horror of his light-loving wife. The entire room is now a charcoal grey with darker cornices and skirting boards and the result is a warm, atmospheric space that has, as it turns out, inspired his wife so, that she now wants one just like it - in a different colour. Watch this space.
The notion that small, dark spaces need a bright colour to wake them up is a dated one. Embrace the darkness of a space, don’t fight its inherent qualities.
new york city does pretty: interiors shops
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
I went to NYC in April this year to see what the city had to offer in terms of interiors shops and I found two really good shops in Manhattan: John Derian and Michelle Varian. Both stores are beautifully laid out and so well coordinated that I felt the products on display were flirting shamelessly with me...
Chatting with owner and designer Michele Varian, I was interested to learn that she designs and makes her range of cushions on-site; I recognised a the particular detailing having previously bought six orange silk cushions from Heals, here in London. It seems, one does not have to travel too far these days to get the New York look...
(click on image to enlarge)
Living in a truly open plan apartment can be a compromising experience. It is easy, however, to divide the space, creating partitions without needing to build in stud walls. One practical and affordable solution is to install tall frame bookshelves, creating informal partitions that allow a certain amount of privacy without losing the light.
Another way of distinguishing areas is by lighting the particular space according to it's function. Bright over head lighting for kitchen areas, low level and table lighting for bedrooms and living areas.
My new best blog
The designer behind these images
every room needs a little bit of black
Monday, 2 November 2009
Twitter has opened a whole new world, introducing me to wonderfully creative blogs and almost too much free business advice (some of which has already been useful). During my daily trawl through the flutter of tweets, I found this interior design website. They illustrate so eloquently what I often say to clients about using the colour black in their homes.
what it must feel like to live inside a Vermeer painting...
Friday, 30 October 2009
Oh, the colour palettes in these images are beautiful, they remind me the paintings of Vermeer. I wonder if he was in fact the inspiration behind this work.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Eclectic style, once characterised by not being a particular style, but rather borrowing from a variety of styles and combining them, has migrated piece by piece from every historical era into the home inspired by interior design magazines, boutique hotels, gastropubs etc. With this infusion, eclecticism is now largely a recognised style in it's own right. Although having previously been associated with the well traveled and the very wealthy, can just anyone eclect successfully?
Well, yes. Tom Dixon (once Creative Director for Habitat - 'design for the masses') said that if you were to use the very best designs from each decade that they would always work well in the same room. It's not an easy look to get right, but there are certain rules to follow:
Pick your focal point
As the images above illustrate; it's important to pick a focal point. When mixing items - from your Grandmother's Formica kitchen table to the Parker Knoll chair you found in a skip last week along with Ikea 'pass-ables', you are in effect creating layers. By doing so, you're likely to be putting together obviously disparate elements and there is a danger of creating an unsettling environment - chaos is the thing to avoid.
- Keep it simple.
- Start with one or two key pieces that you love - you're going to spend a considerable amount of time looking at them.
- Take time to develop the look gradually.
a little something to whet the appetite
Friday, 23 October 2009
After what has been an embarressingly long break from writing, I was visiting one of my favourite blogs, yesterday (Desire to Inspire), and as is often the case, I felt a burst of inspiration when seeing these images. I'm not kidding, these rooms represent something that I care deeply about: creating environments that people want to live well in. A beautifully designed space with thoughtful lighting, clean lines and an unassuming colour palette, will always get my heart racing.