Inspiration

M&Ms

September 10, 2018

I’m not one for colour trends, or any trends, but based on a recent shopping spree with my nine-year-old daughter, mustard and marigold are in colours. At Zara, we saw dresses, puffers and culottes in all shades of the season’s favourite hues. I wouldn’t turn down a Big Bird faux fur jacket or Mansur Gavriel mustard suede mules. And a marigold velvet arm chair is kind of a dream.

Being Maude

September 7, 2018

It was the bathroom tiles that drew me in to stylist, Maude Smith’s South London home. Each tile, hand-painted by Maude, is a  ladybird, butterfly, beetle or bird. The rest of the house, with its fabulous wallpapers, textiles and Persian rugs, is just as delightful. The fire place in the living room was hand-painted by one of Maude’s flatmates, while the wallpaper in the stairway was designed by Maude for her final year project at Edinburgh College of Art. Maude designs clothing from hand blocked fabrics and many of her dresses hang in her bedroom. A picture wall, as dense as the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition, hangs in the dining room and Maude’s kitchen cupboards are covered in corks, shells and broken china. How lovely to pour so much of yourself, and your creative talents into your home. Have a look around. It’s pure whimsy.

bird house

September 6, 2018

Brass taps, a marble sink and a floor that’s ready for a game of chess. The bright coral flamingo brings a humour and whimsy that all guest loos should have. And if only all were as spacious as this one. Guests could have a party in there.

shape shifter

September 5, 2018

I like the simplicity of  Seri Tanaka‘s paintings. Her palette is muted and serene. I can see a collection of them gracing the walls of a minimal home, uncluttered and calm. This one is my favourite –– of course, I see a vase. Take a look at Tanaka’s Tumblr, it’s really quite lovely.

summer

September 4, 2018

My friend, Kerry Clare writes one of my favourite blogs. I’ve been reading it for almost a decade. She’s grateful, and delights in small pleasures like pie, pools and the Sunday papers. Here she writes about her summer. “And it was precious, all of it. Because summer is abundance, a wave of too-muchness, life growing up between the cracks in the sidewalk, and you can’t hold any of it, not even for a moment. Summer is a force and it just goes and goes and goes, and the best thing you can do is just be swept along by it, and be able to say in the end: we are so lucky and that was good.”

I chose this image, because the supermarket really is the best place to cool down.

I was here

September 4, 2018

There is a breathtaking moment at the end of Thomas Riedelsheimer’s latest documentary on land artist, Andy Goldsworthy, where Goldsworthy stands at the cliff’s edge in the midst of a rain storm leaning into the wind. It’s a form of performance art, I suppose. The wind knocks him over several times, before Goldsworthy, for a second or two, is one with the wind. “I think a good work is a moment of understanding and clarity in a very chaotic situation. Like a shafted light it just penetrates, and for a moment it is very clear. And then it all becomes unclear again.” It’s a beautiful, reflective film that challenges the way we think about art, nature and life. In Sleeping Stones, a series of sculptures in Cuenca, Spain, Goldsworthy creates a human “sanctuary” by carving human sized forms into the stone. There are two ways to look at the world; “You can walk on the path, or you can walk through the hedge, ” he says. While wandering a city, Goldsworthy literally pushes through hedges while people around him walk along the pavement. And earlier in the film, we watch him clamber from tree to tree like some kind of sloth. From a distance, it’s hard to tell where the branches end and limbs begin.

kitchen sink drama

August 31, 2018

I like to see a farmhouse sink juxtaposed with streamlined cabinetry and sleek, modern plumbing fixtures. This is a good looking utility room. This sink from Native Trails, a modern take on a traditional design, is kind of perfect for such a setting. I love it in slate. But it looks great in pearl, too.

take me to the fair

August 30, 2018

My brother and I spent summers in Greece, and the Luna Park was always a highlight. We’d pile into our nanny’s Renault, four or five kids and the wonderful Mrs. B, and off we’d go to eat candy floss and pumpkin seeds and ride rickety roller coasters under the stars. I remember the thrill of Snow White’s skirt and the way my tummy somersaulted at every turn. The Ex, unlike other local amusement parks, feels like an old fashioned European Luna park, especially when all the tacky lights comes on. I watched this week as my daughter’s face turned from dread to glee on the roller coaster, her teeth bright pink from her candy apple. It’s an invasion on the senses; the bright lights and screams from above, the smell of sweat, garbage, and saccharine delights. I loved the Luna Park then, and I love it now.

scent of a woman

August 29, 2018

I put a shirt on this morning, freshly dry cleaned, and thought immediately of my grandmother. There must be something in the dry cleaning chemicals that remind me of her. Crisp white shirts were her uniform, and I’m sure she had her wardrobe dry cleaned regularly. The smell of hot dogs remind me of her, she loved hot dogs, and so does First by Van Cleef & Arpels. That was her signature scent, grand and decadent. Dry cleaning chemicals, hot dogs and Van Cleef & Arpels –– what a combination. It speaks volumes.

gallery of life

August 28, 2018

Take a second today to look at these beautiful images of a 90-year-old Czech anežka turning a small village into her personal art gallery by hand painting blue flowers on its white, stone houses. Just the idea of this puts a smile on my face.

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