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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

light up your life

I'm researching lighting at the moment and so I thought I'd show you a few things that have caught my eye. I love the chandelier that looks like a firework in mid explosion - isn't it just magical?

This is a quick snap shot of a project that I completed last year. Although I am dying to show you what I've been doing, I can't post any of the professional shots until my new website is up and running and the press releases are out, but this photo should give you an ideaWhat I can tell you is the pendant light is called the Cabochedesigned by Patricia Urquiola.


I've been spending a lot of time exploring creative ways to light some pretty damn awkward spaces. I love the idea of illuminated ceilings (popular in the 60's & 70's), where diffuser panels are hung like a suspended ceiling below florescent lights.  These photos are from a project in Portland Place, W1. One of the teams of builders that I work with from time to time, did this - his detail is so good that it actually makes me feel emotional. Great, isn't it?

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

the beat my heart skipped, indeed

It's only 1pm here in London and I think my day has just been made. Would you look at these images! This is the kind of thing that gets me up in the morning. I can't tell you how much blogging, blogs and bloggers has contributed to my life. Being self employed and running a small interior design business is not nearly as glamorous as it may seem, and if you're not very careful it's easy to become demoralised when occasionally faced by that mean ol' dog: isolation. And so, having access to some fantastically creative people via blogs and Twitter has at times been the only link between here and full time employment.

I am amazed by the sheer generosity of spirit that is out there, particularly in the creative fields and it's a delight to every now and again, find 'my people'.

Latest finds - do have a look, these blogs are outstanding:

The Diversion Project - vintage; glamour; impossibly Cool; warm hearted (and Australian!)
little blue deer - gorgeous colours; slightly bohemian; eclectic-eccentric (US)
wicker and stitch - sophisticated; stylish; craft-cosy (another Sydney, Australian)
the beat that my heart skipped - daily design; designer makers; the place I go to when I need a quiet tea break - (and she's British, too!)

Monday, 26 April 2010

Need a place to stay?

                                      5 bedroomed house in NYC

Remember the 'Ash cloud' drama a few weeks days ago? Well, Joanna Goddard, the delightful writer of the one of the best lifestyle blogs out there; A CUP OF JO, posted a link to this website. - 'travel like a human' (I think they should work on that tagline), is being referred to as the 'eBay of Lodging' and you can see why; the prices are outstanding. This 5 bedroomed house in the Lower East side of Manhattan caught my eye. Just look at the interior! I love the smashed mirrored tiling - the contrast between that an every other surface area is endlessly pleasing. (Not to mention the yellow in the bathroom - bliss.) The next time I go to NYC, you can bet I'll be staying there.

p.s.What a fantastic website; it's informative and super easy to use. Oh, and it's international, too.  

Saturday, 24 April 2010

snaps shots in a day

at the Lelievre showroom at Chelsea Harbour Centre
cycling to Hoxton Square
a view from a windowQuilter Street, Bethnal Green, London, UK
in my living/dining room
I wish I could take photographs whilst cycling without having to stop and start every few minutes. Not only would this keep my popularity with fellow cyclists in the black but I sometimes I see colour combinations that inspire the greatest palettes in my mind only to lose them at the next set of traffic lights. 

These are a random selection of 'orphan images'; photographs that don't yet belong to any particular project or personal research. The last image - a collage if you will, reminds me of a particular Saturday afternoon in early Spring, which I spent cycling around East London with Lola B. We were returning from a brave attempt at a picnic in Victoria Park, and we cycled down Quilter Street (a charming little street located just behind Columbia Rd). On it are tens of Victorian workmen houses; identical except for a kaleidoscope of coloured front doors, giving each house it's very own character - fascinating that a shade of colour can do that, don't you think?

What do you think, aren't they lovely? This is only a tiny collection, but really, I'd love to live in one of those little houses. Do you have a little 'obsession'? Is there a particular thing in life that always seems to catch your eye?

Friday, 23 April 2010

a world of interior: SB Architects

and the all important 'kerb appeal...' 
                                        via a few things from my life
Now, I hope you were sitting down for this blog post - when I first saw these images they nearly knocked my socks off... This extraordinary house was designed by the American firm
SB Architects, who describe the project as "high design with high sustainability" and you can certainly see why. 

I love the exploration of surface areas - cool slabs of concrete beside warm American walnut, alongside traditional stone clad chimneys and steel framed balconies. The two-toned tiled bathroom (eight images down) plays with illusion, creating a wider space. Notice the wallpaper on the ceiling? It's a pretty radical concept that F&B's colour consultant Joa Studholme first introduced to the UK market, earlier this year. How will the wallpaper fitters cope if this look takes off? I can't even begin to imagine how you would fit wallpaper to a ceiling...

These images are a good example of how hard the colour black works. Those clean, black lines pull this building together and you're hardly even aware that they're there. Colour consultants' Maria Killam and  Janice Lindsay, posted an interesting interview where they talk about this - and other colours, in greater detail.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Max Attenborough: Photographer

It's Friday and I have a lot of things to do today for an onsite meeting tomorrow, and so I'm going to be a little lazy here and allow the immensely talented photographer Max Attenborough to do my work for me - aren't these great? I'd love to know who the stylist was on this shoot - if you know, please do tell

I know the last photograph seems a little out of place but I wanted to throw it in if only to show you how lovely different shades of green look when layered up together. (I keep meaning to talk about this - will do a blog post soon!)

Have a lovely weekend, wherever you are.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

5 Elements of Great Design


 great use of low level lighting - always flattering   

interesting arrangement of mirrors: element of surprise


           it shouldn't work and yet, it does, rather brilliantly. 

   blocks of colour in surprising places - reasonably easy to update

                         3. ARCHITECTURAL/CLEAN LINES

I love the somewhat industrial feel to these rooms 



and anyone who knows me will know why I love this one...

I've noticed over the last couple of days that a number of bloggers such as BODIE and FOU, have been posting images of Luytens. Luytens is a quintessentially British restaurant that has recently had the Terence Conran treatment. The fabulous results were photographed by Paul Reaside and are a good example of why great designers should only work with great photographers.  

Using a pick & mix of projects from his website, I've split them into sections representing key elements that make up great design:

  • Lighting
  • Colour
  • Architectural/Clean lines
  • Symmetry
  • Detail
Creating an element of surprise is another key element and it needn't be on a grand scale - something as simple as painting (or wallpapering) the inside of your cupboards in bold colours can be quite effective. In the same way that revealing a truth or flipping an idea on it's head is the making of a good joke, mixing tried and tested ideas with a dash of the ridiculous/whimsical/cool will create a space that really can lift the spirit.

What would you add to these?

Edit: Interior designer, Vanessa (Decor Happy) has added scale as a key element - examples of which can be seen in each of the images above.
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