Walking along the road from Parsons Green station yesterday, passing my old school, which I haven’t seen for 18 years, I was struck for the first time not by feelings of panic, dread or rebellion (though I’m sure they’re buried there somewhere) but by how much I had enjoyed being educated in the grounds of such a gracious set of Georgian and Victorian houses. It may be because I was on my way to a Farrow & Ball colour event with high tea to boot, but I spent much of that walk thinking about what I’d loved architecturally about my school, remembering the school library well with its old wooden bookcases, sash windows and views over the green, or the very pretty garden through the main arch before the tennis courts, and I wondered how much this had informed my sense of aesthetic since. I’m not sure that I’ve ever really felt that I had taken much from my formal school experience, it was a pretty mixed one, I made some wonderful lifelong friends but the culture of competition (in every aspect) had been stifling for me, it was a very pretentious state school with selective intake, and not one I would choose for my own child, but today I was struck only by its aesthetics, which are very lovely indeed.
So, architecture aside, it was with great relief that I turned the corner and found myself in a very different but slightly intimidating other grand setting, The Talisman, an absolutely incredible trove of vintage antiques in a converted Art Deco car showroom on the New Kings Rd with a collection of pieces by the likes of a Pierre Cardin & Etergere to name but two. Luckily for me this beautiful setting didn’t come with exams or prefect places, but an afternoon tea and colour talk, though I was a little worried should I spill said tea on some priceless antique or other! Sometimes, at blogging events you really luck out and get to see fantastic places, hear and meet truly inspiring creative people that you can then share on the blog. At the Farrow & Ball colour trend forecasting event, the setting was incredible and Joa Studholme, colour consultant at the company with over 20 years experience and a paint on the chart in her name (Joa’s white), was a truly inspiring expert. She had our coterie of bloggers hanging on to her every word, learning from her wealth of creative experience and most of us contemplating re-painting our homes in light of her advice! (If you’re reading this Dan, I promise not to start painting a single room, well not straight away). I took pages and pages of notes on Joas wisdom, which I will be bringing you in a separate piece on colour choices soon, but today I want to talk about Farrow & Balls selected colours for 2017.Read More
Good morning! Not many words today as I have 30 killer images for us to collectively swoon over! It’s been 3 years since I first blogged about the new trend for pink, and boy did it really take off last year, 2016 was a year of blush tones everywhere, I loved all of it and in particular when clashed against bold colours or on outside walls. There’s a lot of talk of dark jewel tones taking centre stage this year, and of course green as the new grey, will pink disappear from our radars in 2017? Who knows, I’m not tired of it yet so I have a feeling it won’t. Today I wanted to take a moment to celebrate some of my favourite pink inspirations from the last year, the ones I’ve been lusting after the most, some are harder and bolder than the blush we’ve seen so much of, some are even neon, almost dreamlike where Wes Anderson meets David Hockney! From faded-sherbet pink to ever-so-bold pink all of these spaces inspire me with major heart eyes, perhaps the Jewish deli in Berlin (image below) the most of all, I’m almost booking my flight just so that I can take up a seat at that table and never leave! I’d love to incorporate some of this boldness into the Design Soda home this year. What colours are you craving at the moment? Drop me a note in the comments below.
Image: Copper Blush sample and pink objects I love
Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to an event on colour psychology and styling led by colour psychology expert Karen Haller and super-stylist/author/shop owner/Clapton laundry and location house owner, Ashlyn Gibson. The event was put together by Get Living London, as part of their Make Yourself at Home Campaign, they formed with the aim of offering a new kind of rental to Londoners and creating a true community in the East Village in Stratford. One of their unique offerings is that they encourage tenants to be creative in their homes, to design them to feel like their own spaces, painting walls, putting up shelves, mirrors etc. without fear of losing deposits. I rather like this idea and would have been glad of it when I was renting. As a part of this campaign, the event took place in Ashlyn’s new Olive Lives Alfie store in the East Village on the Olympics site, and I relished the excuse of being on the other side of London to follow my nose (getting a little lost!) and seeing how the planners and architects had built a new city within a city that was in some places quite beautiful and very tranquil and, dare I say it, not very British in feel, which I really liked.Read More