Month: October 2014

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Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this week

Here’s my pick of three things to do this week in London. It may be Halloween, but I have three fab, non-ghoulish events for you. First up, two exhibitions, one focusing on the nude and the other on pets, and secondly a new cinema experience in Shoreditch (hint: pillow). ps. I’ve already carved my pumpkin, but if you fancy checking out some more artistically inspired designs, check out the pumpkins at Granary Square in King’s Cross. You can even take one home with you, or try your hand at some Halloween-inspired recipes from nearby restaurants including Benugo and The Grain Store, to name a few. STOP What: Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude Where: The Courtauld Gallery, London When: Until January 18 This exhibition of Egon Schiele, a central figure of Austrian Expressionism, brings together a group of the artist’s nudes assembled from a variety of international public and private collections (none of his major drawings are held in a UK public collection). They chart his short but prolific career (he died at the age of just 28) plus it’s also the …

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Sukha: a cosy, eco-friendly boutique in Amsterdam

I discovered Sukha – a cosy, eco-friendly boutique on Haarlemmerstraat – during my recent trip to Amsterdam. Sukha means ‘joy of life’ in Sanskrit. Step inside and it is literally like you breathe a sigh of relief; it is so calm and relaxing, with the smell of scented candles and wild flowers dotted throughout the store. It’s a bit hippy, with day beds to lounge on and sprawling text and doodles (not a word of which I understood, but it looked pretty…) on the walls. Here, you will find that nearly all the items they sell have a sustainable background or are Dutch designed or produced. Most of the products are created in small quantities, and some under their own Sukha label. There are wooden beaded chains to hang over a picture or hook, handmade paper garlands, thick wool throws and cashmere jumpers. The displays are beautiful in themselves too: a salvaged stick to hang clothes on, old cotton spools to display jewellery, and artfully arranged display cabinets on the walls.    All images my own

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Modern Nordic lighting by Schneid

If you are anything like me and enjoy constantly changing your home, then you might like these fab, Scandinavian-style lamps with interchangeable metal shades by Lübeck-based design brand Schneid. They are currently being sold on Clippings.com, which picks up some of the best new brands out there. Named Eikon, they consist of a turned ash wooden head and a powder coated lampshade that can be attached with discreetly hidden magnets. As Schneid says, ‘This modular and flexible system can help to rearrange a room again and again according to requirements. Particularly for living in small spaces, this changeable light is a big win since its function is always adaptable.’ I personally love the shaded editions, which would you choose?

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Travel: 24 hours in Amsterdam

This weekend I went on a whistle-stop trip to Amsterdam, mainly for work reasons to see the new Philips Wing of the Rijksmuseum. As many of you may know, I was only in the city a couple of weeks ago for my birthday (for which I wrote a travel guide and included a handy, printable and downloadable map, you can see it here) so it felt a little bit like returning to a home away from home. Once the rain had died away and the sun came out, the city looked beautiful in the changing season, the leaves on the trees tinged with oranges and browns. I had the Saturday completely to myself, so decided to put the map away and spend the day exploring some of the things we missed last time. I went to Rembrandt’s house, Hotel Droog for lunch and a walk around the Jordaan in the afternoon. So here’s another travel guide of sorts, this time with just 24 hours to spare… First up, the new Philips Wing of the Rijksmuseum, a mini-version of the main …

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Swedish designer Nina Kullberg's cushions + discount code

We’ve recently put our guest room up on airbnb so I’ve been looking for ways to make the space a little homelier and not just a spare bed in our cluttered home office. Along came Swedish designer Nina Kullberg, who designs lovely geometric cushions in some of my favourite colours – it seemed to be one of the easiest, and perhaps obvious, ways to jazz up a clean, crisp, white bed. Nina is based in London but gets the cushions handmade in Istanbul, which perhaps explains some of the graphic, almost three-dimensional patterns. She says of her designs: I am inspired by historical ornaments and structures found foremost in London, such as iconic landmarks, building entrances, balconies and tapestry, but I’ve added my personalised twist to the dimensions. I went for London in Hemlock Green, a delicate, pastel turquoise, which is featured throughout the house. Along with a light grey throw and similarly-coloured accessories, it sets a calming scene for my guests (just don’t look at the other side of the room – books packed …

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I wish I lived here: a New York-style loft in Copenhagen

This is the super-sleek home of Morton Bo Jensen, the chief designer at Danish design company Vipp, and his graphic designer girlfriend and their super-cute five year old twins. Located on the island of Brygge, an old industrial harbour area in Copenhagen, they live in a New York-style loft which was once a Viking Pencil factory. Just around the corner is BIG’s (Bjarke Ingels Group) public baths on the Copenhagen canal and a series of manufacturing workshops, including Vipp’s headquarters. ‘The apartment was stripped to the bone; I spent a great deal of time reflecting on how I wanted to live. My conclusion was quite simple; function and efficiency must be the starting point, both in the architecture, the interior and the location. I am close to work, and the city. Being located here, I can minimise transport and optimise my daily life with the family,’ explains Jensen.   Inside, the monochrome space is dotted with furniture that Jensen designed himself, from the blacker than black Vipp kitchen island and old kitchen bin to the …

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Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this week

It would have been an obvious choice to recommend the Frieze Art Fair this weekend, but if you want to escape the crowds and get off the beaten track, I’ve handpicked three events for you. Head east for a pop-up bookshop, pop-up art exhibition and, oh, pop-up film festival (there might be a theme there..). Enjoy! STOP What: Bibliothèque pop-up bookshop Where: Hoxton Arches, London When: 17-19 October London-based design studio Bibliothèque is curating an interactive installation and pop up bookshop with Artwords at Hoxton Arches. There will be a coffee bar from Climpson & Sons, while you can relax in furnishings provided by Vitsoe.  Friday 17 October, 12 – 7pm Saturday 18 October, 10am – 6pm Sunday 19 October, 10am – 3pm LOOK What: Open: An exhibition of UK artists on Etsy.com Where: 5th Base Gallery, London When: 17-19 October Online handmade marketplace Etsy is hosting its first ever art exhibition. A panel of experienced curators – Katherine Mellor, Matt Roberts from a-n and Lena Nix of Space Studios – whittled down over 600 Etsy art sellers to create an exhibition of fifteen UK artists, covering disciplines ranging from …

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Styling the Seasons: October

So October is here and almost halfway through (where has the time gone?) which means I’ve been getting the house all cosy and autumnal. The heating has been turned on (just in the chilly evenings), the lovely wool blanket from The French House is back out and used most nights, and the scented candles have been burning. The white lilies and pink roses from the end of summer have been replaced with fragrant eucalyptus and deep red blooms, and I also have a new addition: a Artek Alvar Aalto stool. I’ve wanted one for ages and finally picked one up at the Vitra campus in Weil Am Rhein the other week; it’s conveniently the perfect height to rest a cup of tea! You might remember I did a Styling the Seasons post back in September. It’s a great little blogging initiative started by Katy from Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte from Lotts and Lots. All you have to do is style any surface in your home, from the dining table or sideboard to mantelpiece or kitchen worktop, to represent the change of month. Then share your …

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Interior Trend: Wire Mesh

I first got a thing for wire mesh baskets when I spotted Chalky Paint’s lovely bathroom renovation back in March. As a slight nod in her direction, I now have a couple of handy vintage wire in-trays (like these) on my desk for odd bits of paper and unread magazines, but having seen Loaf’s range of wire products, I might be a convert. Their industrial-chic products are all sketched up by their in-house designers and then hand-welded by their craftsmen. There’s hall storage, perfect for muddy boots, bathroom cabinets for shampoo bottles and spare towels, as well as smaller storage baskets for the odd bits and bobs you collect around your home.  Get the look: From left to right: 1: Grille wire storage baskets £65, 2: Low Wire £125, 3: Smithers Minor £165 ,4: Waffle storage £95, 5: Geronimo Gunmetal chair £290 per pair, all Loaf

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Par La Roy boutique in Mexico by Savvy Studio

It may be rainy and well on its way to autumn here in London, but seeing this light and airy shop in Monterrey, Mexico on Behance this week made me think back to summer, sunshine and palm trees. Par La Roy is a new boutique with a simple and clear layout, allowing individual products to stand out in a borderline OCD fashion. It’s branding and interior design was overseen by Mexico-based Savvy Studio with Emilio Álvarez. The store is predominantly white, bar the striking black grouting on the tiles and the soft pink rugs and graphics on the walls. It looks ever-so clean and calming. They say: The project’s formal and structured language is based on two contrasting materials: metallic tubing and fabric. The tubes provide a set structure whilst the fabrics create volume, generating a unique and inviting atmosphere       Images