Thursday, 30 September 2010

wide open

It has been a relentless few weeks, I think my brain has reached overload level. I have so many to do lists, emails, phone calls, problems to solve life has just become a blur. It has got so bad that I am not functioning properly, not helped by a constant headache! I travelled to London yesterday especially to see a design lecture being given by my favourite designer Ilse Crawford, I completely zoned out, got the times in a muddle, I arrived late and only caught the last 10 mins. Gutted. It was a hideous journey too, packed on the train to London then packed like sardines on the underground. I did manage to get to Decorex though (a design show for interior designers) which meant the trip wasn't a complete waste of time. I walked past an exhibitors stand which had statistics written across its walls, one stuck in my mind- That the UK builds the smallest houses in the whole of Europe. It looks like as a nation we like to make sure we are all squashed up whether travelling or in our living spaces!

In contrast here are 2 of my favourite big spaces. The first designed by the south african based Saoto archicts. The second is a property in Panama both awesome spaces.

love where you live

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

ship shape!

Its great being adventurous with design but I am not sure I would have been brave enough to think about developing this kitchen design though. For sea-lovers looking to bring a nautical theme into the kitchen the new marecucina kitchen concept from could be just what they are looking for, with its nautical shapes, colours and materials. It even has its own mast. Not sure I would be brave enough to go with such a design. But what the hell if a client wanted a ship-shaped kitchen why not!

love where you live

Sunday, 19 September 2010

space the final frontier.......

Yikes its getting colder outside. Which means having to look for all my winter clothes which are packed in Suitcases somewhere in the attic. Its a reminder that as much as I love my home, the storage space is hopeless. Those Georgians knew how to design beautifully proportioned rooms but had hardly any need for wardrobe space (their clothes collections would have consisted of a handful of outfits). Its really difficult to incorporate storage space without spoiling the proportions of the rooms (particulary in the bedrooms) hence I am always short of space (although my other half would claim its me that has too much stuff).

I have invested in Footstools that have storage in them, beds with storage in the divans and any other means possible to create storage, including lots of hooks on the backs of doors and interesting shelving. These black powder coated cameo's I spotted by adrien rovero are a too good to cover up! If you have any inspiring storage solutions let me know!

love where you live

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

summer time and the living is easy.....

Sort of failing dismally at catching up with some work today. We are having a break away but its also a bit of a working holiday. Its still really warm over here though and my concentration levels are decimated. Either that or it could possibly be the sangria!

Not complaining though , I am not looking forward to temperatures that are going to be at least 10 degrees c. lower when we get home. So I going to making the most of the warmth. Instead of getting on with my marketing plan I have been dreaming about what amazing outdoor rooms I could create if we had better weather in the UK . Found these yummies outdoor spaces which look really inviting. We had our front garden landscaped this year, had a massive patio built as part of it but haven't quite got around to putting any furniture on it yet. Theres space to go for the whole hog, dining set, outdoor sofa, lounge bed, or we would if we had the weather which would justify the investment! I am still loving Philip Stark designed Toy Chairs, so will save up my pennies for them next summer. Well that is it, no more dreaming and back to work!!!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

illuminating lighting mistakes!

I love good design, simplicity, understated looks, nothing brash or cheap. There are a few things that I really make me cringe though and offend my design ethic. Artex ceilings, upvc windows and energy saving light bulbs used to be my least favourite additions to any room. But now I have a new most hated to add to my list. What is this trend for sticking halogen lights everywhere, they are appearing on bathroom floors, kitchen plinths and seem to serve no purpose what so ever. I am not against feature lighting though, a good designer will incorporate lighting as a subtle design feature and not a design after thought. Great lighting should have a top note (ultimate aim to provide great functional light), middle note (to create drama and a wow factor, like an amazing pendant light or oversized floor light) and a bottom note (just subtle beautiful high light lighting). I spotted in the local property mag a kitchen with the halogen lights in the kitchen kick-plinth, worst of all they are blue, why?. It reminds me of boy racers who add these neon strip lighting to the underside of the car (why again!). On the opposite end of the spectrum what about this stair lighting for the ultimate in understated glamour and simplicity. Its a great example of bottom note lighting.

There I feel better for my little rant! What are your design hates?

love where you live

Thursday, 2 September 2010

style before substance

Yes, I have finally managed to sit down. I feel as if I have been on my feet for 3 days solid.
Its all in a good cause. One of those things, met a person who introduced me to another person who specialises in interior photography www.iain .The upshot is that he is doing a shoot at my house speculatively (tomorrow) and will send of the pics and a story to see if he can get a commission from a magazine.

Easy I thought only got to get 6 rooms ready. No, not easy styling rooms for a shoot is hard work. I ended up deconstructing all the rooms, moving all my junk and day to day knick knacks (which nobody but me would understand why I have them in the first place). Then days finding the right shade and shape of vase to fill a gap, the ideal picture for another gap, cushions to be rearranged into the perfect formation, furniture moved around to get a better angle in a shot. Fresh bread, herbs and fruit for the kitchen the list of things to do was endless. I think I would really enjoy doing it for a living but in your own home its a nightmare. Trying to keep the house clean and tidy until tomorrow, I am just about ready to pack everyone off down to the travel lodge so I don't have to do another wipe down of the floors.
I am sure it will all be worth it though and I will get some good publicity from the shots if they get used and I will have some great shots for my website and publicity material.

Designing a room for a shoot and designing a room to be lived in are completely opposing design wills. Its all about identifying a style, following it through and finding the right props. Its is not about day to day living! I only hope I can find everything I have hidden when thy have gone.
Have a look at some of the shots I love for the simplest but most stylish of styling. If you have any pics of fabulous styling would love to see them email them to me at .uk
love where you live

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Bath is a small place and it feels even smaller this week. Results at my sons schools were made incredibly sad. A terrible car accident the day after the results resulted in the loss of a hugely talented life. Charlotte was an amazing artist and had already exhibited at Chapel art gallery.
I know its been a week of reflection for the parents and the pupils at the school. How does anybody begin to make sense of such a terrible loss.
We, me included, spend our lives propelled at a million miles an hour, bombarded my emails, texts, phone calls. But today has been reflective day, appreciating what I have, a promise to myself to spend more time with my son and daughter. A promise to forget not to take anything for granted
To Charlotte, forever beautiful, forever loved, forever missed.