Monthly Archives: March 2013

Rest and relaxation….

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Just a quick note to let you know that this will be my last post for a little while. You see, my dear cousin who I grew up with is getting married and I’ll be flying back to my hometown Melbourne, Australia to attend.

It’s going to be a special time as I’ve not been back for almost 5 years and although I’ve managed to keep in touch with a lot of dear friends and family, it’s just not the same as being there in person to give them all a big hug and kiss hello and to catchup on missed moments.

So I hope you all understand that this is going to be a time for some off-line living and I’ll be away for a month – back towards the end of April. Because I know I’ll miss you all, I may pop in from time to time to say a quick hello but this can’t be guaranteed.

On the study front, all is not lost as I’m planning to take the time to practise my sketching and photography. I am hoping that these creative outlets will help towards becoming a better designer and seeing things with a more artistic eye.

Have a lovely month and Easter. xD

Image Source – Domestika


Taxidermy Butterflies

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During the Design tour that I attended as part of the Meet the Blogger convention on the weekend, we made a quick stop to a very special shop called Les Couilles De Chien. When I stepped into the shop, I felt like I had stepped out of a time machine and been transported into old England circa 1800s. It was quite magical and I would highly recommend that anyone with a taste for antiques or with an eclectic style go and visit.

Aside from beautiful antique furniture, they also sold taxidermy which is the taking of the skin of animals and then preparing, stuffing and mounting the skins of the animals for display. This included the beautiful display of butterflies. Now I’m not sure if in this case the butterflies were real, but the displays that were created were beautiful and like a work of art.

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It reminded me of a time when I was at a local antique store in West London a few months back and fell in love with a set of real butterflies that had been individually set in display frames. I was in the store for at least 1/2 an hour agonising as to whether I should buy them because they were so so beautiful. So what was the problem? I hear you ask. It was the fact that they were real. Something in my heart just felt sorry for the poor things being trapped behind that display frame, and I felt that displaying them in my home was somehow going against what should be. I felt that I was being totally irrational but in the end I didn’t take them home with me.

However in the right setting, they can look amazing…

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So my question to you today is, would you display taxidermy in your home? I’d love to know.

Have a lovely Thursday. xD

Image Source – Title & Image 4- Chris Court Photography , Image 2 – Les Couilles Du Chien, Image 3 – Hubsch via TheDesignSheppard


A room with a view…

Mexican-Beach-Retreat

I know, I know… this is the third post that I’ve featured a beach in as many weeks! But seriously, the weather over here in London is just playing a joke on us surely. Blue sky but when you step outside cold cold cold! Sincere apologies to those in warmer climes, I hope that you go out and enjoy the sunshine that you have, you lucky things.

I am in desperate need of some warmer weather so the image of the patio of this mexican beach retreat designed by Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects is going to keep me warm until the weather improves.

Do you wish you were here too? Till tomorrow. xD

Image Source –Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects via Houzz


Interior Styles: Mid Century Modern

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So I’ve just gotten over the exhaustion that was the weekend. On Friday, I only managed to see 3 houses out of 6 at the Living Etc Homes Tour due to the bad weather conditions. I decided that I’d be ok walking and taking public transport but when my shoes and jacket got soaked through, I decided that it was time to abandon ship and go home to a warm cup of hot chocolate!

Then on Saturday, I attended the Meet the Blogger event in London which was an inspiring day jam packed full of learning, fun and chatter. On Sunday was Mother’s day where I spent the morning with the family. Big J, went out and got us all a McDonald’s breakfast which was a special treat. It’s the simple things :). Then I went on a lovely design tour that the ever knowledgable Tina from ColourLiving planned. You can read more about the tour on her blog here.

On the design tour we visited a well known British Design Store called SCP. The store was founded by Sheridan Coakley in 1985 and was originally a manufacturer and retailer of modern furniture. Inspired by the design classics of the modern movement, he decided to start selling classic and hard to find pieces from that period and has since progressed to producing new designs that holds the same aesthetic.

While I was in the store, I started to wonder what it was that defined the modern style. I mean we’ve all seen it around, it’s been gaining popularity for years now but where did it come from? And what was the difference between modern and contemporary style. So I came home and did some research.

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Firstly, the modern style actually refers to the modernist era that took place between 1920 and 1960 and is also known as Mid-Century Modern. Contemporary refers to whatever is current at the time regardless of whether it’s historical or not. So some could argue that the modern style is also contemporary as it’s a popular style now. The modern style is all about the showcasing of quality pieces through high end design and function.

THE KEY ELEMENTS

  • This style is recognised for it’s clean lines and simple furnishings.
  • Walls are often white to create a clean backdrop to the beauty of the furnishings.
  • Furniture is characterised by clean simple lines and designed to show the natural beauty of the materials used.
  • A combination of natural and man-made materials are used however they are used and designed in a way to flatter the materials and shapes in furniture.
  • Lights are classically shaped and pendants and lamps are made out of materials such as linen.
  • Geometric shapes are prominent  in fabrics and wallpaper.
  • Floors are typically clean wood with rugs.

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THE REALITY CHECK

This style is so popular now that it’s hard to find a home featured in a magazine that doesn’t have some type of mid-century furnishing in it. I do love this style so I wouldn’t object to having a couple of Eames chairs at my dinner table. The style is timeless and understandably popular. What do you think of the Mid-Century Modern Style? I’d love to know.

Have a lovely day. See you Wednesday. xD

Image source: SCP


5 things I’ve learnt from…

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It’s Friday! Yay and almost time for the weekend.

Last September, I attended the Design Masterclass of the famous London based Interior Designer Abigail Ahern. The class took place in her home and she used it as a showcase for the lesson’s she taught during the 1 day workshop.

So the first thing I have to say is that her house is like a work of art, every single nook of the house is a feast for the eye’s and if you ever get the chance to attend her class then I would highly recommend it. Abigail is such a talented designer and was wiling and able to answer every question thrown at her. The class was structured but the setup with laid back and informal making an environment that was conducive to learning.

Here are 5 tips that I learnt from the masterclass:

  1. General – create contrast in a room by using lots of different textures and use the ratio of 80% harmony and 20% oddball to create tension in a room.
  2. Hallways – treat them like a living room and accesorise as you would any other. In transitional area’s such as this, you can use bold colours as you don’t stay in them for long and will create maximum impact.
  3. Kitchen -this room can be cold and utilitarian, soften it up with accessories like books and lamps. Use open plan cupboards and shelving and use unexpected lighting. A trick to make a kitchen look more expensive is to use mdf doors and make them longer than the cupboards.
  4. Living Room – create as many nooks within the room as possible. Vary the height of furniture to create interest in the room and always add a spare chair.
  5. Bedroom – put multiple layers on the bed, create symmetry without being matchy matchy by using lights that are different but the same height. Instead of a standard bedside table, try to use something different such as a chair or even a normal table that can double as a desk.

If you’re interested in attending one of her classes you can find out more about it here, if you can’t make it to London, I heard a rumour that she might be setting up an e-course, she also has a store that is based in Islington and you can find out about it here. And finally, Abigail also has a new book out called Decorating with Style which will be released in the UK – later in the month. Do I sound like an informercial yet? The images below are from the blog of photographer Todd Selby from The Selby and are of Abigail Ahern’s home where I attended the masterclass.

It’s going to be a super busy weekend for me, today I will spend the day having a look around houses in South London as part of the Living Etc House Tour. There is nothing more fun than having a good snoop around a well designed home (in my opinion) so it’s going to be a special treat. Then on the weekend I will attend the Meet the Blogger conference in London. I am especially looking forward to meeting up with some old and new blogger friends and going on the design tour that has been organised by Tina from Colourliving. As usual I will report back next week after I’ve recovered from it all.

And finally, I just wanted to wish all those mother’s out there a happy Mother’s day as it will be on Sunday here in the UK. I hope you get spoilt with breakfast in bed and don’t have to then clean up after.

Have a lovely weekend. xD

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Breaking it Down…

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So you know that I have an aversion towards pink in the home. So it was surprising when I came across the image of this grand living room that featured a velvet sofa in powder pink and loved it. I’m not sure whether it’s because it sits against a stunning soft grey painted room or that the sofa itself is quite masculine in style. Either way, I was intrigued and wanted to figure out why the room works so well. So today I’m going to try and break it down.

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  1. The walls and ceiling are painted out in the same soft grey colour creating a subtle backdrop to the furnishings in the room. It also mutes the panelling on the doors and columns making the room feel less grand and more modern.
  2. The vertical lines on the grey lamp replicate the lines in the column next to it and are used to create a divider between the area’s within the room.
  3. The 2 armchairs in the living area mimic the legs of the table in the background creating a sense of unity to the scheme.
  4. The powder pink velvet sofa is the focal point of the room and pops against the soft grey walls and dark floors.
  5. The red/orange accessories are present in all 3 area’s of the scheme tying the whole look together. The red picture in the room behind the doors draws the eye towards the hidden room. Only one main colour palette is present in the room – red.

So what do you think of the room? Would you have a pink sofa like that in your home? You know I’d love to know. Have a lovely Thursday. xD

Image Source – Cote Maison


A room with a view…

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It’s Wednesday and I am always after a little inspiration in the middle of the week to get me through to the weekend. Today we go to this rustic remote retreat in Cabo Polonio, Uruguay. This home is 7km from the nearest road and can only be accessed by walking along the sand dunes or on a 4×4 and has no electricity or running water. Now that’s a true escape. Would you stay there even if there were with no electricity or running water? I would! xD

Image source – Photography by Javier Csecs for Espacio Living via MyScandinavianHome.


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