Sunday, 9 November 2014

Chairish Style Challenge

Wedding Planning. Holidays. Random injuries. A new job.

Life happens.

All it took was an invitation from Chairish and a quick look at their large collection of vintage furniture to lure me out of my unintentional blogging retirement. I never even played hard to get.

An online shop for both buyers and sellers alike, Chairish is choka with amazing vintage furniture and accessories. A mecca for those with an interest in interior design, it is hard to not fall down the Chairish rabbit hole of distinctive pieces upon visiting the site - so I jumped at the chance to take part in their style board challenge.

One of my favourite pieces was a deco-esque slipper chair, which I used as the starting point for the bedroom design below. Wall art, bedside tables, and floor lamp are all also gems from the site.

As a huge fan of an eclectic space, I really wanted this bedroom to strike a balance between bold unpredictability and cohesion. To achieve this, I selected furniture from different eras, but used colour to tie the look together.

The dramatic wallpaper creates an impressive backdrop, and softens the lines of both the contemporary canopy bed, and tufted bench. The rattan bedside tables add much needed warmth, and the over sized photograph creates a focal point behind the bed. Lastly, the slipper chair injects a bit of fun, and prevents the room from feeling too serious.

1)De Gournay Wallpaper. 2)Chairish Photography Art. 3)Heathfield Table Lamp. 4)Room & Board Canopy Bed. 5)The Rug Co. Rug. 6)Chairish Rattan Bedside Table. 7)West Elm Tufted Bench. 8)Amara Velvet Cushion. 9)Chairish Slipper Chair. 10)Chairish Floor Lamp.

Be sure to have a nose through the Chairish site for one of a kind finds!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.

As it slowly warms up, and the thought of leaving work in daylight becomes an actual possibility (rather than a far-fetched dream), my interior design musings have undoubtedly taken on a spring-like flavour.

The concept of florals for spring is certainly predictable, and possibly even yawn inducing, however the floral wall coverings I've been day dreaming about lately are bold and impactful. I'm talking large scale, unapologetic, not so dainty wall coverings. These are not your nan's wall covering. These would leave even Miranda Priestly inspired.

via Ellie Cashman
floral bathroom
via Amber Interiors

The wallpapers above (both by Ellie Cashman) are artistic masterpieces. The rich dark colours are bang on whatever the season.

via Poppytalk and Murals Your Way
via Oly Studio
via Surface View

These wall mural and sticker examples are lighter and brighter, but still pack a visual punch.

Here's what I what I would do (Dried Roses wall mural by Photowall):

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Taking Shape

With the bedroom finito, I though a living room update was overdue. 

Though far from finished, this space is finally taking shape and feeling more like home. The space in front of the sofa has been filled with a ming-like coffee table, and the bare bulbs hanging overhead are now hidden behind giant white drum shades.

As the days get longer, the need for curtains is becoming more and more apparent, and the 10 ft windows certainly make it a tricky task. Also on the to-do list are 2 bolster pillows (in the sofa upholstery fabric), and 2 square pillows in the perfect shade of pale pink.

Here is what it looks like now:

Spot the kitty (and the plant she is in the middle of taking down, one leaf at a time).

The basket on the table holds all of our laptop wires, earphones, plugs - all the valuables the kitty has attempted to chew through.

 We're getting there.

Sourcing: Opium Coffee Table - Maison Du Monde, Alseda Footstools - Ikea, Hovet Leaning Mirror - Ikea, Nymo Drum Shade - Ikea, Woven Basket - Rachel & Malika's Brixton Village.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Drama, The Good Kind.

Rumour has it that during the filming of Flashdance, when Jennifer Beals chopped the neck off of her now famous jumper, it was for practical reasons rather than to start a fashion revolution. After shrinking it in the dryer by accident, she realised it could no longer fit over her head, and took matters into her own hands. Inspired by Beals, young women around the world picked up their scissors, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Our bedroom was my personal shrunken jumper.

Our north facing flat actually does get a good amount of light in the living area, thanks to the floor to ceiling windows. Our mezzanine bedroom, on the other hand, always read as a dingy beige colour, despite the bright white paint and decent sized skylight above.

Contrary to the usual fear of dark colours, I was actually was really missing our charcoal fireplace wall. So in the spirit of Jennifer, I decided to work with the dinginess, rather than trying to make the room something it wasn't.

In the end I went with Farrow & Ball Studio Green, and the result is rich and dramatic.

Here are the initial plans and the before:

And here is what it looks like now:

The only remaining task for this room is to close off the open wardrobe (with thick floor to ceiling curtains), but I'm having a mental debate about the best way to do this with a curved ceiling line.
That side of the room looks like this:

Still, I'm crossing this one off the list and calling it done...ish.

Sourcing: Wall Colour - Studio Green F&B, Valentin Bed -, Chevron Grain Bedside Table - West Elm, Steinhauer Mexlite Swing Arm Lights - Wayfair, Astor Noir Bedding - Designer's Guild, Pillow Fabric - Waverley Olana Bayleaf,  Pillow Inserts - Homescapes on Amazon

Sunday, 26 January 2014


When I popped into Woven Ground to see the rug in this post in person, it wasn't on display in the showroom. I was shown something similar, but unfortunately I was not convinced.

The pile was just a little too deep - the rug too new, too fluffy. So after realising that what I was really seeking was a faded and worn rug, I began trawling Ebay.

Cue hour after hour of looking at antique Persians. It seemed impossible to find the size I needed, at the right price, with the right colours. Hours turned into days. Days turned into weeks. The rugs all started to resemble each other, and I started dreaming about geometric patterns. Then, I had a light bulb moment. LAYERING.

via Lonny
via Milk & Honey Home

The decision to layer 2 rugs opened me up to a host of new options, and the next day I ordered the one: a semi-antique Persian.

The rug is mostly made up of faded reds and pink, with touches of blue and green, and an intricate geometric motif in the centre.

And I'm not the only one loving the new addition.

It works well in the space, but is a slightly too narrow for the room. It is also centred to the room, (not the sofa), so feels slightly unbalanced (to me). So in due course, it will be layered on top of this.

In addition to the new addition, I also finally ordered this Ming style coffee table, which I'm hoping turns up this week.

I initially planned for a glass waterfall coffee table, so as not to take up too much visual space, however I felt it was a little to modern for the eclectic look I'm going for. I think the dark wood table not only adds much needed warmth, but also tones down the contrast of the rug and sofa.

 Watch this space.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Burmese Chic

Inspiring design doesn't have to be over the top - sometimes the most pared down spaces pack the biggest punches. La Maison Birmane boutique hotel in Myanmar is testament to this fact.

Tucked away on a small hidden street in Nyaung Shwe, Inle Lake, the hotel was a 2 hour flight (from Yangon), and a further hour of driving on tiny mountain roads, complete with terror inducing drops down the side. We arrived slightly fatigued - but upon walking through the front gate and into the open air reception, my tension melted away.

Warm shadows, cast by low hanging, fishing basket light fixtures, danced on the dark wood facade. These fixtures, (no doubt selected as a nod to the fisherman who have helped to make the lake such a popular destination) created a comforting glow, which perfectly complimented the jazzy, soft, background music. Two mojitos later, and I was sold.

We were shown to our bungalow via a pathway which parted a lush, yet well manicured garden, and as I expected, the rooms were simple, but stylish.

I suspect I will never tire of the combination of white walls, wood floors (and in this case, ceilings) and white textiles. It's simple, clean - it's effective. With it's wall to wall windows, open shower, and huge mosquito net which aided in softening the space, the bungalow was just what one pictures when daydreaming of a tropical getaway.

via La Maison Birmane
via La Maison Birmane
via La Maison Birmane

It wasn't long before I began thinking of ways to replicate this relaxed look, and thought I would share here. Below, all items can be found at Ikea, making this look both inexpensive and accessible.

The only thing missing is the ice cold mojito.

1. Storsele Rattan Armchair   2. Solig Mosquito Net   3. Leran Pendant Lamps   4. Nyvoll Bed   5. Ribba Frames   6. Areca Palm

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Bedroom, Revisited

A holiday, a chest infection, a surprise proposal, and a new kitten - suffice it to say, the last four weeks have been quite eventful. So it feels like it was eons ago that I revealed plans for the new bedroom.

West Elm eventually opened after a couple delays, Christmas and New Years came and went, and now we finally have a new bedside tables!

Perhaps I should back up a little. At the moment, the bedroom still looks like this -

The only source of natural light in the bedroom is through the north facing windows downstairs, and a small the skylight. The effect of this unfortunately, is white walls that look dingy and bland. This is why I knew I had to go dark up here. Embrace the dingyness, if you will.

The only problem is, much like a ping pong ball, I kept going back and forth between F&B Hague Blue, and F&B Studio Green. So after riffling through my art supply stash, I created a large sample by painting an old canvas with my sample pot of Hague Blue. The pillow is just a sample as well - I will be making bigger ones in the same fabric (Olana Bayleaf by Waverley).

I'm probably about 70% sold on Hague Blue, but just to be sure, I have ordered a sample pot of Studio Green.

There is still so much to do - find the perfect lighting, order more fabric, and hire someone to paint, but it does feel like were slowly getting there!

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