Sunday, 20 June 2010

as easy as abc

Homes are places we can really stamp our mark on and what easier way than personalising a room than through wall letters. They seem to be all the rage at the moment.

You can really let your imagination run wild with style and colours and I love that they are a great way of introducing a bit of humour into a space. Not only that but it can be a really inexpensive way of decorating a space. I found some cheap metal letters in Urban Outfitters recently(£5 each) and used them to personalise an ensuite (it also served as a way stop the occupants from arguing about whose robe is whose!) is another great place to find them.

Or if your feeling adventurous paint your own onto a wall. Just choose your typeface and letter using something like Microsoft word, print it out as large as possible onto thick paper or photo paper, cut out the printed area with a Stanley blade, use masking tape to stick the template to a wall then paint in with a water based paint. Easy as abc!

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Friday, 11 June 2010

Living Colour

Just think of a Indian wedding, cirque Du Soleil, Avatar, your favourite Disney Film and you can't help be uplifted by the colours. Wouldn't it be fabulous to see an increase in the use of colours in our everyday life, from architecture, interior design, products, fashion and marketing.
Most cultures play it safe; in the colour of clothes we wear, colour of the cars we drive, and colours we paint our walls.

But we are hard wired to react to colour. Children love bright colours, fast food chains grab our attention with Bright colours. Colours affect our lives even if we don't notice it, colours express and representing , status, religion and emotion.

One of the few upsides of this recessionary climate is we are starting to see designers enticed into using more colours, Disney have even opened a world of Colour in California.
I know I will be encouraging my clients to embrace colour and ban beige!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

fashion statement

Its been the maddest few days. It always happens take a big project on then everything else in every direction of your life kicks off at the same time. But I am now back home starting to plough my way through a backlog of jobs, thank god.
I was in London yesterday but decided to stay overnight so I could fit in a trip to the V&A museum. Didn't quite make it there though! Walking to get the subway from Oxford Street I had to pass Top Shop (it is the shop of all shops) I went in and didn't come out for hours. Completely inspirational. the colours and styles. Colours; with any luck the colours I've been seeing in Top shop (and the other high street shops) will filter its way into the interiors world next season. From what I saw I predict loads of orange and hopefully loads of dusky rose, (my favorite). The styles; what a throw back to the 60's I spotted on the rails cape wing, bat wing (dresses that is), angel sleeves, oodles of chiffon, and knife pleats. I had a feeling at the beginning of the year that a 60's vibe was going to kick-in. It certainly looks like that way in fashion, will just have to wait for it to be brought into the home design departments. Although Orly Kiely has already brought out this beautiful 60's inspired Lusk Sofa (red sofa) and Ercol is being sought out in decorative antique shops.
Any way back to Top Shop, I had to buy a few items to keep that inspirational design feeling going when I got home(well probably more than a few!). But I think I have hit on the ultimate excuse, when I am next asked by the other half why I need so many clothes I can answer in all honesty "its all in the name of research for my work".

Friday, 4 June 2010

interior tract

I must admit I do like quite quirky and irreverent pieces in the home. There is nothing worse than taking it all too seriously. One of the stranger items I have been on the scout for have been some antique anatomical prints and my patience recently paid off. Its probably not to every ones taste but there is something I like about the tone and colours.
When I get bored of it I can sell-it on through ebay as apparently they are sought after.

I must have been ahead of the game on trends, I was quite amused to find a whole piece devoted to Anatomy inspired design in an edition of Australian Vogue Living . I think though I am happy with just my print and may give the anatomical models a miss. Otherwise my family will really think I had lost the plot!

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ibiza space

Finally back at the apartment after another marathon walkathon around Manhattan. I am sure we had planned to holiday in Ibiza this year. It would have probably have been more relaxing! My other half thinks that I wanted to go for the clubbing but I have heard that there is a calmer spiritual side to the island which sounds appealing to me (my clubbing days are long over). I had looked at renting a villa, there are some amazing architect designed homes with equally amazing interiors. There is definitely a picture I am building up in my mind of the ultimate Balearic pad. It is glossy, sleek, and minimalist. Super cool and a very rock-chic. Developing an all-white scheme is the ultimate way to create a glamorous interior (and a high maintenance one!). Although to make it work it has to be layered with lots of textured surfaces.
Not for the faint hearted or for those with loads of kids and animals!

stateside view

So far so good, arrived in New York complete with luggage (at the same time for a change). A very colourful start to our stay with our apartment looking out on the Gay Pride March. It was an absolutely frenetic hive of activity and a riot of colour and noise. Wow was it hot, how the marchers managed to keep going without melting I do not know.
We were thinking of catching a train to the Hampton's for a few days of quiet and calm to offset the madness of NYC at the end of our trip. I love the area but suffer an acute case of house envy, those beach front mansions are so beautiful. There is something very calming and restful about a typical Hampton's look. I would love to design develop a Hampton's look scheme. We came very close but the client went for a more contemporary cottage look in the end. Maybe I can persuade the other half to invest in a Hamptons Retreat of our own instead!
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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

spirit of adventure

I take my hat off to the client who commissioned this project in Manhattan I read about recently. How do you pitch to a client that you are proposing to cut a whole in the entire second floor of his apartment then replace it with a false facade that at a press of a button rolls away like a garage door without them either collapsing with shock or thinking your insane?
However the end result is pure genius (The high tech winch mechanism was designed by the Mclaren Engineering group which designs sets for Circque du Soleil) Architecturally innovative and quirky to boot, this home is amazing. Although the fake frontage looks like a traditional brownstone, its made from quarried stone veneered onto aluminium.
The interiors are spot on, a subtle mix of victoriana and minimal aesthetics. The living room mixes up a Edward van Vliet fringed lamp, a velvet covered Knoll sofa and updates of furniture associated with Victorian Parlours

It's clients like these that get the magical results. A lesson to us all, have the vision and the faith to go ahead with plans that are a extraordinary rather than ordinary?
Long live the spirit of adventure!