Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Bon Voyage!

For most people, summer is coming to a close. The kids are about to return to school and here in London, the nights have already started drawing in....which is why it feels a bit strange to be finally going on my summer holiday.

I usually write a trend post on a Wednesday, however it seems I have bitten off more than I can chew tonight. I'm sat here in a chilly flat, surrounded by sandals, toiletries, and an abundance of swimwear, and according to my to do list, I'm way behind schedule.

So instead of the usual tonight, I will distract you with pretty pictures invite you to have a glimpse into a beautiful boutique hotel in Bodrum, Turkey, near to where we will begin our journey tomorrow.

If you would like to follow along the Turkish adventure, I will try to post on the Facebook page as often as I can, depending on the wifi situation.

Loads more here.

See you in 2 and a half weeks!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Design Dilemma: Mixing Furniture Styles

A friend of mine wrote on the Design Gratis Facebook wall earlier this week, asking for design advice.

She is about to move to a new home with a loft feel, and wanted feedback on mixing modern furniture with her existing traditional pieces. She wants to hold onto her leather Ektorp sofa and hopefully pair it with a small sofa bed in a bright colour. She is also interested in brightening up her dining set, and likes the look of mismatched chairs.

A mix of modern and traditional is probably my favourite look for a space. A balance between the sometimes harsh lines of modern design, and the soft edges of traditional detailing can create a harmonious effect that is perhaps lacking in a space that is clearly defined as one style. But the keyword here is balance. Your pieces should compliment, not compete with each other.

via Apartment Therapy

The dining room above is a great example of mixing styles. The modern tulip table and brass shelving unit create an eclectic feel when combined with traditional cane backed chairs and wrought iron chandelier. More examples below.

via The Marion House Book
via Design*Sponge

via Lonny

via Loft Life

Now back to the matter at hand. Pairing traditional and modern sofas is tricky. Using neutral colours would make this task simpler, however my friend prefers a bright modern sofa. I would use throw pillows and soft furnishings to tie the two pieces of furniture together. I would also arrange the seating around a round coffee table to break up the linear layout.

I would freshen up the dining set by sanding and painting the bottom part of the table white and adding white modern chairs.

As my friends new home is open plan, spaces should be able to relate to each other. Note that both the living and dining have similar colour schemes. They don't have to match, but should coordinate and flow well.

If you would like advice for a design dilemma, please contact me via the facebook page.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Trending in Design: #Literary Furniture

How I relish that moment every month, when I walk into my building and I see my fresh new issue of Elle Decoration waiting for me, wrapped in shiny plastic. Having subscribed for almost 3 years now, to say that I have a large catalogue of back issues would be an understatement. I even have a drawer full of old issues at work that I sometimes flip through on my lunch break. (Obsessed? Why yes, just a little.)

Have I brainstormed about ways to store them creatively? Yes. The best I came up with was a magazine rack. Riveting, I know.

Have I ever thought about using them as furniture? Heck no.

via Design*Sponge

I'm in two minds about this development. On one hand, I would like to give the person who started this a solid smack on the back of the legs. But at the same time, isn't this what being creative is all about - form, function and thinking outside the box?

via Design*Sponge

Yet, somehow I can't erase the images in my mind of attempting to retrieve a magazine from the middle of the pile and chaos ensuing.

Oh yeah, books too -

via Apartment Therapy

via Real Simple

 Note the fiddle leaf fig in the background.

via The Design Files

Interesting in a bookstore of course, but how can you be sure you will never need any of those books again?

via Improvised Life

Belted? Ouch.

There is one way I could get on board with this, and now that Ive thought of it, I just may try it.

Yup. I'm a pioneer.

What do you think of this trend? Yay or Nay?

Monday, 20 August 2012

Stubton Hall: Design Inspired

I ventured up to North Lincolnshire this weekend for a wedding that was held at the beautiful Stubton Hall.

The venue was once a school for troubled students, but has since had a complete restoration and overhaul which was documented for TV show Country House Rescue.

The property, which sits on 24 acres (complete with 300ft water feature), now boasts of 15 bedrooms, a music room, and an orangery that seats more than 200, and has subsequently been named "one of the hundred best wedding venues in the world" by Brides Magazine.

At Stubton Hall, the carefully considered interiors seamlessly blend traditional, quirky, and contemporary to create a very eclectic, but chic and tailored look.

The so called "Chocolate Bar" lives up to the name, with slick brown walls and plush armchairs and sofas - the kind of seating that envelopes you completely so that moving is no longer an option.

via Stubton Hall

Our classic, yet bold bedroom featured a bright red wallpaper with a whimsical print of photo frames. The focal point of the room was the canopy bed, covered in folds of cream and red luxurious fabric, which took complete advantage of the cavernous ceiling height.

Yet for me, the showstopper of the entire venue was the grand sweeping staircase which led up to a hallway adorned with empty frames, and the bedrooms.

Painted a rich charcoal hue, the staircase walls were covered in gilt framed oil paintings with picture lights attached, which created a gallery effect. The pièce de résistance: the large ballroom chandelier hanging in the centre.

 To recreate this look:

+ Don't be afraid of colour - the richer the hue, the better. You can always balance it out with a white wainscot or neutral furniture.

+ Clever lighting creates an ambience. In addition to a statement chandelier, also use table and wall lamps, and spotlights.

+ Collect various frames from flea markets and second hand shops to create a gallery wall with a vintage feel.

+ If ever in doubt, you can never go wrong with a chesterfield sofa.

 Afghan Rug - Woven Ground, Chest of Drawers - One Kings Lane, Floor Lamp - Occa Home, Chesterfield Sofa - Massivum, Coffee Table - Made, Table Lamp - Restoration Hardware, Side Table - Bernhardt, Orson Armchair - Made, Bamboo Flooring - UK Flooring Direct

Click here for more on Stubton Hall.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Trending in Design: #Fiddle Leaf Fig

You have seen them everywhere. They bring life to a room like nobody's business, and demand attention like a piece of sculptural art.

I give you, the fiddle leaf fig. Try saying that 3 times fast.

The above bathroom photo, which lives happily in my inspiration file, gives me heart palpitations. Only a fiddle leaf fig is capable of holding it's own in a space with THAT chandy, THAT bathtub and all that amazing marble.

via Elle Decor

Again, take the above room with it's high ceilings and fabulous view - the plant still manages to make a statement.

And as it grows, it creates a beautiful vignette, as in the image below.

via Elle Decor     

via Elle Decor
via Elle Decor

I love how the broad leaves deliver a punch of colour in a neutral setting.

Shall we all just take a moment to devour it's goodness?

via Lonny
via David Mitchell Interior Design  |  Domino Magazine   
via House and Home

To be honest I'm not sure when I started noticing these plants - probably a little over a year ago when I looked into buying one.

I have always believed that a room without a (preferably large) plant is an unfinished room. Unfortunately though, I'm highly skilled in the art of killing plants. Seriously.

I have managed to even kill a cactus. And in the world of plants, the fiddle leaf fig is like one of those "ladies who lunch". Glamourous, but high maintenance and expensive.

via Emily Henderson
via Cozy Bliss  |  Grant K. Gibson

Still, I definitely see one of these babies in my (very) distant future, as I have a feeling this trend, like so many (white floors anyone?) has the potential to become classic. But for now, I will focus on the two unidentifiable plants that I currently own, and hope that they don't become victims of my infamous black thumb.

via Amber Interior Design

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