.Wow, what a roller coaster week of inspiration London Design Festival has been! I must confess that Design Junction is my absolute favourite staple on the Festival calendar, a guaranteed smorgasbord of inspiring design that I’ll be crushing on for months after. Take this main image above, I have been swooning over Bethan Gray designs for a while (see my design crush at the start of the year here) and her new collection on display at Design Junction truly doesn’t disappoint, amazing use of colour and materials, totally beautiful, pink and teal, marquetry, scallop shapes, all massive ticks in my box. Out of all the showcases, this show is the one with pizzazz, an inspiration hub, bits from which I will be taking as my jump point for thinking about new design over the next few months. So today I’m sharing my favourite pieces and trends, I could have included many more but I’m keeping some back for future posts. Let me know which are your favourites too.
Quick post today after a very heady wonderful week of design inspiration. On Wednesday I dropped by 100 Per Cent Design for the first time. I’ve always known it to be a great all rounder show that covers all bases of home design from build through to fittings and as such it’s not massively on my radar being a blogger. But as I was throwing myself in to everything this year I wanted to just drop by and see what all the fuss was about. I’m so glad I did, there was lots to see, so today I’m sharing my ten favourite things (actually I’ve snuck 11 in there but only 9 designers so in my logic this equals out!). Peruse at your leisure:
September, Just when it begins to get a bit bleak and wintery London Design Week pops by to lift spirits and inspire with thousands of product launches, shows, installations and city streets and museums taken over by new design and ideas, it’s a heady week overflowing with inspiration. I’ve tried to pack a lot in this year, following a mantra of going to pretty much everything I’ve been invited to and blagging my way onto many other things, I am exhausted but I have so much to share. First up, I spent Sunday previewing all Decorex had to offer on a press tour led by interior designer extrodinaire René Dekker. So today I’m sharing my favourite picture postcards from the show. I love Decorex, it’s not made for me (or my budget), some of its outrageous, some of it is bling and in all honesty some of it is just utterly beautiful. The things that charmed me most were the more rustic lines, with favourite’s from luxury crafts to up-cycled furniture via new techniques in the use of materials. I was most drawn to wood, pattern, natural crafts and blush pink so there’s a fair bit of that too. Enjoy!
I write this in a jumper and it will probably be freezing cold and decidedly wintery by the time you read this, but we have had something of the long promised Indian summer recently, a couple of 31 degree days in the last few weeks and I’ve so enjoyed walking the sunlit bathed streets of London capturing the pastel houses as I go, alongside a fair few pastel versions of kitsch which sit quite well alongside all this pretty colour. Enjoy!
Sometimes design is just like love at first sight; your heart skips, you have to have it, you spend ages thinking about it, it’s there in your mind at the back until you actually have it. For me Rowenna Mason’s designs are just like that. I see lots of graphic patterns in great colours that give me heart eyes, I usually pin them to my textiles board on Pinterest and add them to my rainy day list (why does that never come around?!). When Rowenna’s pieces popped up on my Twitter feed via Campaign For Wool at the start of the year, my excitement went beyond that. They were beautiful, absolutely stunning. I knew I had to buy something. Choosing was the hard part as they are all so beautiful but I plumped in the end for a Southbank cushion from her Colourful London series. It’s been one of my very favourite purchases this year (maybe ever). I have owned my cushion for over 6 months and I see different things in it all the time. It’s a really exciting piece of design craftmanship and one which I see as a future heirloom to hand down through the generations of our family.
As our upstairs bathroom has just been featured in a national interiors mag (slightly exciting!) I thought that today I would share some small vignettes of our downstairs loo which we did up a few months ago. The design brief was cheap and bold, I didn’t want to spend too much, but conscious that it’s a space most house guests will use I wanted to channel a bit of fun in there (maybe to detract from the slightly knackered fittings we inherited). First thing I did was put a good lick of white paint just about everywhere making good as I went so that I could eliminate the naff and see the space, once everything was neutralised I started to build the look around a fabulous wallpaper I found. I’m kicking myself as I didn’t take any before pics so you will just have to imagine baby blue walls, mismatched tiles and tired furnishings! But, if you have a cupboard sized under-stair toilet and don’t want to spend more than £200 total, look this way:
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you probably know that I LOVE colour. Colour, patterns and surface are three of the things that make me tick. So imagine my excitement when my very favourite paint company invited me down to Dorset to view all three with the new patterns in their wallpaper collection. Yes, just a little bit like someone had chosen me for the prime netball team (insert whatever your high school ambition was here!). I love Farrow and Ball because they have genuinely transformed many of the spaces in my home. Paint for me has the greatest impact of any design decision and it’s something that I plan most meticulously in my home (I have been known to buy enough sample paints to sink a small ship in search of just the absolute right hue), as a result I know the Farrow & Ball colour chart better than some friends birthdays!
Over the bank holiday weekend I took a lovely daytrip to the seaside town of Margate in Kent with two of my favourite people. It’s been three years since we last went and the town continues to evolve and expand beyond the ruins of desertion and downward turns. It’s still the town that Primark left, and indeed the Woolworths still sits with its 2007 shopfront unoccupied, but last time the century old amusement park Dreamland was also closed and forlorn and like much of the town shaped by a decaying glamour which I caught on my picture tour here. As more artists move down to the area, and the town continues a regeneration after the building of the Turner gallery in sympathy with its past, Margate is changing. We visited Dreamland, and although at 35 I may not be quite the target audience (best not relay the tale of three grown women atop a Ferris wheel having a decidedly regretful moment) but I have massive heart eyes for this sherbet dibdab writ large. From its sweetshop-seaside-rock colour palette to its fifties typography, the new Dreamland’s is a colour walk of kitsch and nostalgia and a perfect part of the seaside landscape of a famous kiss-me-quick town. I’m a little in love with it. So, today’s Through the Aperture post is devoted entirely to Margate Dreamland and it’s candy floss dream of kitsch. Enjoy!
I love all seasons, but right about now I usually start dreaming pretty heavily about fall. What an incredible month of sunshine we’ve had, topped by the fair weather final bank holiday of the season as a fitting swan song to summer. And now it’s that time of year again when the school calendar starts to loom and if you’re a bit too enthusiastic like me you may even have a glint in your eye for Christmas. Certainly for many it’s a time we start to think about getting snugly, right? Hot drinks, winter walks, mooching around in doors, lounging, hot baths, comfort and dark evenings entertaining at home. Well then I think it’s probably also the perfect time to talk about sofa choices!
So, I haven’t done a d.i.y post in a while but I’ve been up to quite a few things round the house in recent months so expect a possible flurry of them soon! I find these kinds of post slightly daunting as I’m terrified of patronising people. But actually I got to thinking about why I feel like this and concluded that I google ‘how to…’ all the time so this may be silly. Do you find that you get straight jacketed by an inner voice on things? Anyway, onto the post in hand. So what I wanted was a tablecloth for our summer party last weekend which had to fit a large trestle table for food (we had nearly 60 people). I wanted to find something that didn’t cost the earth or was so bold a look that it drowned out the pretty party pieces I’d decided on. I had a vague dream based on this beautiful renovation by Royal Roulotte and I kept coming back to the idea of monochrome polka dots, they seemed versatile, fun and not too girly. I wanted something a little less straight or standard than this, in my mind black confetti! This may not come as a surprise but I struggled to find monochrome confetti fabric anywhere. After a little hunt around on Google ‘how to paint polka dot fabric’ I realised that it’s enormously simple and most people just use the eraser part of a pencil to impress their circles. I was really pleased with my intentionally asymmetric rustic result so I thought I’d share it with you.