Posts from September 2018

Big

September 17, 2018

Small gestures of kindness make the world go around. But every now and then, we’ll feel compelled to do something big and audacious for someone. Just imagine these flowers landing on a doorstep. They’re too much of too much. But when the moment calls for a ridiculously, over-the-top, extravagant, knock-you-sideways gesture, don’t hold back.

shades of earth

September 14, 2018

It’s the palette in this decor that I really love –– the brass, the rust, the sand and nude. The brass light in the kitchen is a piece of sculpture, and I love the metallic pink paint brushed on to the underside of the archway. The light millwork, and custom joinery is so beautiful, especially against the choice of black counters and backsplash. It’s a dramatic space, Designed by Decus with lots of inspiration to be drawn from it.

B&B

September 13, 2018

This little bed and breakfast in the Hudson Valley looks delightful. Ralph Waldo Emerson, David Thoreau, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway have all been guests at the Troutbeck. The 250-year-old house just recently went through a re-design, and the look is cozy, chic and littered with nods to its literary past. Have a look at the rooms, so warm and inviting. A thanksgiving sojourn, perhaps?

Table Manners

September 13, 2018

It’s not easy to get the height right, but I’ve always liked the idea of a sofa at the dining room table. This combination of a traditional sofa, rustic table and industrial Bertoia chairs is really lovely.  I like the option of sinking into the sofa or sitting upright while I nosh on my dinner. I think I’d mostly choose the sofa, unless tacos were on the menu that is.

minimal appeal

September 12, 2018

While this isn’t a home I could live in, I can’t deny the appeal of a spartan, quiet aesthetic. We’re in Seinäjoki, Finland and the house is set among acres of Pine trees. I like the white clapboard walls, a modern riff on the rustic, and the large windows filled entirely with trees. The furnishings, sleek and understated, fit effortlessly into the space. Have a walk around; you minimalists may never leave.

Even if the shoe doesn’t fit

September 12, 2018

My Mum had a gorgeous pair of strappy sandals, made of leather ribbons of metallic pink, emerald and electric blue. The heel was gold, and maybe an inch or two in height. I remember tottering about in her heels and a cotton nightie, and feeling utterly glamorous and grown-up. Even for my grown-up feet the shoes were too big, but I kept them anyway.  These Stine Goya strappies remind me of my Mama’s shoes.

Fine expression

September 11, 2018

It was this great photo that prompted me to look up the work of abstract expressionist artist, Perle Fine. Joyously colourful and wonderfully textured, her paintings are hard to miss. And yet I have. In all my years of art history study, Fine never featured in any text book, lecture or seminar. Nor did Helen Frankenthaler. How can one teach abstract expressionism and not delve into the work of these two greats? I find it shocking that there are so many holes in my education. An entire gender. The only female artist I ever recall learning about was Berthe Morisot. Oh, and Camille Claudel, but more in the context of muse to Rodin. I read online that Samuel Kootz, a hugely influential 50s and 60s New York gallery owner, never allowed women artists to show at his gallery. To this, Fine responded, “I know I was as good as anybody else in there.”

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.

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