Month: August 2015

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Styling the Seasons: August

Hello and happy Friday! Welcome to my Styling the Seasons for August, once again, just in time! August for me has been busy, busy, busy, both creatively and professionally. It’s been all about work this month, but in a good way – in an exciting, buzzing, can’t-wait-to-get-going kinda feeling. Everything’s been going full speed ahead, with multiple projects piling up one on top of the other, new collaborations and long to-do lists. That’s partly why my Styling the Seasons this month shows quite a calm, quiet moment – a wish to sit down for just a moment, take stock and gather all the inspiration around me. Here’s what’s been going on: this August, I finished a long project to transform my guest room and home office, so I now have a lovely space to work, which I feel always makes a difference to productivity if you have a nice, clean desk. It somehow clears your thoughts as well. There’s also been a nomination for a blog award, a styling challenge and the making of a …

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The 200 Club with Bespoke Offers x Bompas and Parr

I haven’t written about things to do in London for what seems like ages, I used to create ‘Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this week’ posts each Friday, but as with many of these things, it seemed to fall by the wayside. But… stop, look and listen to this for the moment, because it is one not to be missed… Are you a foodie, who like me, likes nothing more than good food and good company? A little bit adventurous and willing to try something new? Then forget your boring Saturday night takeaway, cosy dinners for two and the ordinary restaurants in London that everyone has been to (and that everyone has instagrammed). If you’re looking for something a little bit different, then you might be interested in The 200 Club – an experiential, one-off event dreamt up by gastronomic geniuses Bompas & Parr and Barclays Bespoke Offers, a website that curates hundreds of money-saving offers. Bompas & Parr, set up by Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, are known for their fantastical architectural …

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My guest room / home office makeover BEFORE + AFTER

Finally, the results of my guest room/home office makeover are here! The project, as with many of these things, has taken a lot longer than expected – what with various coats of paint, one failed attempt at putting up a blind, summer holidays and airbnb guests, etc, etc… But that’s all part of the fun and I’m so excited to now reveal to you the before and after. So, just a bit of background on the room itself: this is the spare room in my two-bedroomed 1930s London flat, in between Bloomsbury and Kings Cross, that I share with my boyfriend. It’s south-facing, light and airy, with a large sash window. On paper and in the flesh, it really is a lovely room, well proportioned with a generous ceiling height – essentially a blank box on which you could do absolutely anything. But, when we first moved in, due to lack of inspiration for anything else, we painted the entire room white and filled it with a mix-match of Ikea furniture and inherited old items. …

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Louise Gray contemporary quilts

Louise Gray is the brainchild of former sales director Alexandra Gray Bennett and graphic designer Jocelin Johnson. The Minneapolis-based brand creates beautiful, mainly monochrome, contemporary quilts, handcrafted by local artisans in the USA. There’s something a little Scandinavian about them, and they look equally beautiful draped over a bed or hung on a wall with one of their walnut or hickory wood hangers (above). With a long family history in quilting and a discerning eye, Alexandra aspired to reinterpret this time-honoured traditional art for a contemporary audience. She collaborated with Jocelin, who has a background in both art direction and creative direction, to develop a mindful brand that offers the socially-conscious customer a thoughtful product for the contemporary home. ‘Our quilts are meant to be around for generations to come,’ they say. I love their ethos: ‘We strive to make pieces that withstand the passing of time in both design and ethos. As industry in America continues to evolve and many skilled labourers are being displaced, Louise Gray aspires to offset this trend by manufacturing domestically. Unique, versatile and honest, we see our pieces …

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I wish I lived here: an eclectic old shop in Malmo

How charming is this converted old shop in Malmo? I wish I lived here, with its tall ceilings, mismatched mid-century and modern furniture (spot Aalto 60 Stool imitations), and cool white kitchen. I’m also a sucker for piles of magazines and gallery walls, a constant in my own home – and I guess you may be able to tell why I like the ‘C’ poster here?! I also like the idea of painting a wall half in one colour, here in a lovely light sky blue. It gives just a hint of colour for colourphobes like myself, while also giving a feeling of intimacy and cosiness in an airy, bright, tall-ceilinged space. Likewise, with the thin strip of dark grey tiles in the kitchen and dining space…    Images: Bolaget

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Hack your IKEA kitchen with these designs from Reform

Have you heard of Reform? It’s a Denmark-based brand that allows you to hack and customise off-the-shelf IKEA units into beautiful, functional and architecturally-inspired designs. Scandi-design fans can buy their basic cabinets from IKEA, then pick their favourite Reform fronts and worktops. Designs come in everything from carpenter-milled oak and fiber-concrete to clean painted surfaces and streamlined linoleum, so there’s something for every budget or style. I’ve had an IKEA kitchen in my own London flat for about eight years now and although it has lasted remarkably well, tastes change and evolve over time. This could be a quick and easy update without starting again completely from scratch. Reform has just collaborated with three renowned Danish architects – BIG, Henning Larsen Architects and Norm Architects – on three unique and modern kitchens, seen here. BIG’s ‘hyper-modern’ design features an elegant handle made of seat belt fabric, HLA’s is a sharp and classic piece of carpentry, while Norm Architects has come up with a sleek, handle-free creation. ‘The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in our home. But Interestingly, it is often …

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Ikea’s SINNERLIG collection by Ilse Crawford

Have you seen Ilse Crawford’s new SINNERLIG collection for Ikea? I popped over to the Tottenham store last week and boy is the collection a beauty – you’re in for a treat! Comprised of more than 30 pieces for the home, the collection includes tactile cork dining tables and stools, hand-blown glass bottles, woven baskets and stoneware vases. The pieces, in typical Ilse Crawford fashion, aim to engage with the senses and connect us to our homes. As such, all the objects are designed to have more than one function; the furniture is flexible and can easily swap and change, for example from desk or work bench by day to dining table by night. And they don’t just look good, the collection feels good too. Says Crawford: ‘They are helpful, background pieces, not showstoppers. We worked with cork, ceramic, glass, seagrass and bamboo; tactile materials that appeal to use because they feel as good as they look.’ On a Friday afternoon trip to IKEA, I couldn’t resist this bulbous, dark grey stoneware jug and a dark cork placemat/plant pot stand, which I’ve styled here with some new …

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Colour-block kitchens by Dries Otten

Dries Otten is a furniture designer, interior architect and scenographer based in Belgium (not to be confused with fashion designer Dries van Noten…). His latest designs include these two graphically-inspired, colour-block kitchens – the first is a retro design for a family kitchen in a new airframe home in Rotterdam, featuring Polish pine, vibrant mint, dusky pink and neon orange paint, plywood and laminate. The second kitchen is a renovation of an old schoolhouse along the Auwegemvaart in Mechelen, Belgium. Birch plywood cupboards wrap around the corner of the white space, combining kitchen, desk space and bookcase into one smooth block, uninterrupted except for a blue box and vivid green laminate sink. I love his bold use of colour and collaging of different materials, transforming the dull and everyday into something that looks almost like a modernist painting. Images: Dries Otten

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Your Home Needs This #03: Saarinen Tulip Table

Happy Friday! Here’s the third instalment in my ‘Your Home Needs This’ series, where I profile a must-have design object that is on my wishlist or in my own home. Previously it’s been the Vitra Toolbox and Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 but this week it’s the turn of Finnish architect Eero Saarinen’s modernist Tulip Table, produced for furniture manufacturer Knoll. Saarinen’s Tulip Table (although I think sadly mine might be a copy…) was the first grown-up purchase I made for my flat – it was a steal at around £75 from eBay (above). It’s slightly chipped and rough around the edges but I still think it’s absolutely beautiful. The dream would be a marble-topped version…! I love it’s single, sinuous leg and that retro, mid-century look; it looks perfect with mismatched dark wooden chairs or curvy Thonet’s, slotted into a cosy corner of a room. In fact, it’s quite versatile, it looks right at home in a sleek, contemporary home but doesn’t look out of place in a vintage setting – there’s also mini versions for coffee tables and bedside night stands. The making of the Saarinen’s …