Category Archives: Eccentric

Green & Black…and Pink

So it’s a somewhat delayed post Christmas and New Year ditty from me… Huge apologies, but the family Christmas was a bit of a washout due to the nasty sickness bug going around and the New Year has been a flurry of getting the latest addition to the family, ie the baby boy bubba, ready and settled in nursery. And so it’s done. Another year started and lots of projects in the pipeline, events to attend, plans to consolidate, and hopefully horizons to broaden (my own of course).

I always get twitchy at this time of year. As though I can’t wait to shed some wintry, heavy mantle and skip off to challenges new. And I do have some new challenges afoot… Last Monday I returned to work after 10 months of maternity leave. This may be third time down the line, but it still filled me with a mixture of abject terror and ridiculous elation… what, I can go to London on my own, by train (well hopefully), read a magazine, determine what I do when (well within reason, I still have a line manager), have unbroken adult conversations, wear clothes that aren’t covered in snot and baby food, eat my food sitting down and at a leisurely pace?! Yes, and what a treat it was. I got to peruse several of the magazines I have been piling up over the last half a year and I have been left full of bouncy inspiration. Not least from the fantastic colour combos that are being championed at the moment. My favourite of which is the green, black and pink combination. So for my first post of 2017 here are some visuals to whet the old appetite. I hope you like them. (All images are courtesy of pinterest)

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For the love of NEON!

“One might not think of light as a matter of fact, but I do. And it is, as I said, as plain and open and direct an art as you will ever find.” Dan Flavin – American minimalist artist famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures.

I’ve always had a thing for lighting, in particular neon… In my first year at art college I went on a trip to Blackpool to see the lights in November. I was totally blown away by the gaudiness, the colours, the assault on the senses. I was in neon heaven! Neon has come in and out of fashion, and to a certain degree has become a bit of a design cliche of late. I haven’t let this deter me though. I still have a massive soft spot for all things neon.

It’s been used as a medium of expression over the years by many artists – Tracey Emin, Jason Rhoades, and Dylan Neuwirth to name but a few. It smacks of Soho and many an insalubrious area; circus tents and theme parks; Las Vegas and excess… and I love the fact that neon has a seedy edge to it. But it is also a thing of upmost beauty and the art of neon is incredible. My neon hero is Chris Bracey of God’s Own Junkyard, who sadly passed away in November 2014. I had the pleasure of various email communications with Chris prior to his death. If you have never heard of him I urge you to investigate his vast collection of work. “His work can be seen in films as diverse as Batman, Blade Runner and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Rainbow Fancy Dress and Sonata Jazz Café signs in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut are both his: they now form part of the 700-strong collection in the Walthamstow workshop-cum-neon-museum.” The Guardian online, November 2014.

And if you are like me and dyeing to make something in neon yourself, then have a look at The Neon Workshop company based in Yorkshire. Set up by artist Richard William Wheater with the aim of teaching and exploring neon, it offers a number of different workshops. If you would like something closer to London, then why not try the fabulous Indytute – brainchild of the highly talented Calypso Rose – which offers neon-making courses delivered by The Neon Workshop.

With all this rain and grey sky, it’s a perfect time to be thinking about bringing a little light and colour into your home.

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Neon by artist Chris Bracey. (mbds.com)
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Saatchi Art Artist: Darren West; Neon 2014 Sculpture “Neon Stag”
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(pinterest)
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Lips S3 – Steel Kiss Oil on board with neon light outine, 60x80cm http://www.sarapope.co.uk/
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(pinterest)

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(pinterest)
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KATE SPADE NY shop display (pinterest)
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Moschino Cheap & Chic LFW Debut – ‘Make up Your Life!’

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Todd Sanders uses time-tested methods and no computers to hand-build his custom neon art. (pinterest)
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Airan Kang – “109 Lighting Books” Photo by Gerard Dalmon on Flickr.com
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Design Milk Jung Lee, I Want To Be Your Love, 2012
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Jason Rhoades at Institute of Contemporary Art (pinterest)
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By Tracey Emin (Bloglovin’)
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(Pinterest)
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(pinterest)
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Gods Own Junkyard | Neon ‘On Air’ Angel sculpture (godsownjunkyard.co.uk)
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Forever in My Heart, by Chris Bracey. Beautifully kitsch neon art.

Pretty in Pink

Apologies for the radio silence. I’ve been super busy the last few weeks getting things ready and setting up a new space in a retail outlet. All very exciting.

The 1986 film Pretty In Pink became a formative part of my teenage years. Yet, the colour pink in the home has never really done it for me. Well, not until recently that is. I confess to being a complete convert!

Pink in the home can be used in so many different ways. You can introduce subtle pastel pink hues or go full-on saturated in-your-face-pink, or somewhere in the middle. Whole walls can be painted or just well-chosen accent pieces… There is huge scope for experimentation. Combinations that work well are pink and copper, pink and black, pink and concrete, and if you’ve really got guts, pink and red. You can introduce colour through artwork, paint just a door, throw in a vibrant rug or some cushions. If you feel cautious start with soft furnishings as they are straightforward to change. Pink can be sensual or cosy, dramatic or subtle.

So if you are like me – basically turning my nose up at the thought of pink in the home until recently – feast your eyes on these visuals and hopefully you too will see the potential of pink!

 

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Pink trompe l’oeil. (tinekhome.blogspot.dk)
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Deep, saturated cerise used successfully in a kitchen couple with concrete. The combination stops the pink being too frou frou! (bloglovin.com)
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Take inspiration from this truly stunning restaurant interior. The Pink Gallery at Sketch in London // pink dining room with retro chairs and chevron floors. (thecarelessblogger.wordpress.com)
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The Pink Studio, 1911 by Matisse. (TOPofART.com)
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If you can pull it off, go big and bold and transform the facade of your home with pink! (reifhaus.tumblr.com)
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Why not look to existing belongings to determine the colour of your walls. Here seashells have been the point of reference. (chintz-of-darkness.blogspot.com)
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Pale pink, but done with aplomb. Who doesn’t love an embossed wall. (1stdibs Introspective on Frank de Biasi / 1stdibs.com)
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Pink wallpaper punctuated with vintage frames. (boho-weddings.com)
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Creating a bold statement hallway using salmon pink, and black and white. A combination that definitely works. An eclectic collection of artwork, a vibrant rug, and monochrome stair runner all help pull this strong look off. (domino.com)
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Introduce pink through fabric and soft furnishings. This Art Deco fabric (1920–1930) would look incredible as curtains. Think sophisticated pink… (pinterest)
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In the pink. (flickr.com)
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A pink accent chair. (lisasaysgah.com)
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Not for the faint-hearted! Pink living room in the home of designer Solange Azagury Partridge – Photography by Neil Gavin (wmagazine.tumblr.com)
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If you’re going to go pink, go pink… I love the combination of pink and yellow kitchen units. (ilovepolkadot.blogspot.no)
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I just love this image. (theleoisallinthemind.tumblr.com)
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Pink and copper. And a tolix chair. What’s not to love! (ideasmag.co.za)
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Be bold and brave… combine pink and red for a truly dramatic look. (pinterest)
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Or create a mediterranean roof-dining experience and give the exterior of your home a lush pinky colour wash. (pinterest)
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Pink doesn’t have to overpower. Here it is used effectively with a combination of seemingly clashing patterns to great effect. (pinterest)
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Another kitchen. The pink works as a powerful backdrop to a very personal collection of belongings. (pinterest)
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And to finish, a gorgeous pastel pink geometric artwork. (pinterest)

Boutique bolt-holes

I don’t know about you, but it’s at this time of year that I like to whisk the other half off, sans children, for a night or two of “boutique-hotel” stay yumminess.

I’ve found fantastic deals on Groupon; truly stunning accommodation on a par with any boutique hotel on airbnb; riffled through the virtual pages of Mr & Mrs Smith for a super-cool destination; or trusted the word of friends and family… And I can’t say we’ve experienced a dud yet. In recent years we’ve visited Prague, The George in Rye, The Tunbridge Wells Hotel, Hastings Old Town, Barcelona, London, Paris, and Castell Deudraeth in Portmeirion in Wales, to name but a few.

And it’s not just about grownup time away from the kids. I get so much inspiration from the places we’ve stayed in that I come away bursting with ideas of how to add a touch of luxe living to my own home. So why not treat yourself to a night away from home and steal some fantastic home styling ideas while you’re at it! Here are some visuals to inspire you. It’s all about creating an indulgent and intimate space, full of layers of lighting, sumptuous bedding, and the odd roll-top bath for good measure.

Next stop a riad in Morocco! Well El Fenn to be precise. It’s on my Christmas list…

A page from one of my scrapbooks.
A page from one of my scrapbooks.
Create an intimate environment with clever lighting. (Photo: Natalia Price-Cabrera / Location: The Tunbridge Wells Hotel)
Create an intimate environment with clever lighting. (Photo: Natalia Price-Cabrera / Location: The Tunbridge Wells Hotel)
Dark walls and aubergine velvet upholstery, together with a gallery wall work beautifully to create an intimate corner. The Palladian Hotel in Seattle. (lonny.com)
Dark walls and aubergine velvet upholstery, together with a gallery wall work beautifully to create an intimate corner. The Palladian Hotel in Seattle. (lonny.com)
The gorgeous Artist Residence Hotel in London. http://artistresidencelondon.co.uk/
The gorgeous Artist Residence Hotel in London. http://artistresidencelondon.co.uk/
Artwork in Prague.
Artwork in Prague. 
A bathroom to hide in... for hours!
A bathroom to hide in… for hours! El Fenn. 
Statement lighting in Barcelona. (photo: Natalia Price-Cabrera)
Statement lighting in Barcelona. (photo: Natalia Price-Cabrera)
Aim high. The foyer at St Martin's Lane Hotel, designed by Philippe Starck. http://www.starck.com/
Aim high. The foyer at St Martin’s Lane Hotel, designed by Philippe Starck. http://www.starck.com/
Barcelona.
Barcelona.
The tiny Alma Boutique Hotel in Tel Aviv features boho-chic rooms inspired by the 1920s. (travelandleisure.com)
The tiny Alma Boutique Hotel in Tel Aviv features boho-chic rooms inspired by the 1920s.
(travelandleisure.com)
Lighting ideas to steal. Cluster pendants at The Tunbridge Wells Hotel.
Lighting ideas to steal. Cluster pendants at The Tunbridge Wells Hotel.
Why go for understated?! This is an amazing riot of pattern and colour, but the restricted palette means it works beautifully. Toronto-based The Design Agency designed the Generator Hostel in Barcelona, Spain. (contemporist.com)
Why go for understated?! This is an amazing riot of pattern and colour, but the restricted palette means it works beautifully. Toronto-based The Design Agency designed the Generator Hostel in Barcelona, Spain.
(contemporist.com)
Bold statement lighting in Prague.
Bold statement lighting in Prague.
A bedroom fit for a Queen. Coqui Coqui Mérida Hotel in Mexico. (bloglovin.com)
A bedroom fit for a Queen. Coqui Coqui Mérida Hotel in Mexico. (bloglovin.com)
Add a little hotel glamour to your home with bespoke lighting by Mols & Tati-Lois. http://www.molsandtatilois.com/
Add a little hotel glamour to your home with bespoke lighting by Mols & Tati-Lois. http://www.molsandtatilois.com/
Designer Ilse Crawford and her team realise a passion for ‘homeliness’ in the creation of Stockholm boutique hotel Ett Hem. Vogue Living November/December 2012. Photograph by Magnus Marding. (voguelivingmagazine.tumblr.com)
Designer Ilse Crawford and her team realise a passion for ‘homeliness’ in the creation of Stockholm boutique hotel Ett Hem. Vogue Living November/December 2012. Photograph by Magnus Marding. (voguelivingmagazine.tumblr.com)
More El Fenn, Morocco. (sfgirlbybay.com)
More El Fenn, Morocco. (sfgirlbybay.com)

Good old British eccentricity…

What do you get if you throw eccentricity, britishness, a predilection for all things Baroque, and a hefty dose of wit into a bag and give it a thoroughly good shake up? Why, you get seriously exciting design ideas…

Yep, today I am flying the flag for British design and all its wonderful quirkiness. My current favourites are Mineheart, Abigail Ahern, House of Hackney, Dupenny, Witch and Watchman, Deborah Bowness and Squint Limited. They all share a love of bold statement design that can really bring an element of theatre to a home.

I would also like to point you in the direction of Mister Finch – the super-talented textile artist whose exquisite oversized insects should adorn every interior in my humble opinion; Alex MacArthur Interiors – a veritable cabinet of curiosities; and Melody Rose – bone china “marrying the unexpected with the traditional; images that shock and please in equal measure; the juxtaposition of quaint and quirky.”

So as winter approaches and we get ready to hunker down for a cold spell, why not inject a bit of good old-fashioned drama into your home interior. Surround yourself with unusual objects and create a cocoon of design statements. Think open fires, rugs, lots of texture, dark walls, creative lighting, kooky accessories, witty artworks, and a large dollop of weird and wonderful eccentricity. If nothing else, it will make you smile as you sip your mulled wine and listen to the wind and rain beating down outside. Home should after all be a sanctuary…

A page from one of my scrapbooks.
A page from one of my scrapbooks.
Striking wall art from Mineheart. (www.mineheart.com)
Striking wall art from Mineheart. (www.mineheart.com)
More striking wall art from Mineheart. (www.mineheart.com)
More striking wall art from Mineheart. (www.mineheart.com)
A cabinet of curiosities from Alex Macarthur Interiors. (www.alexmacarthur.co.uk)
A cabinet of curiosities from Alex MacArthur Interiors. (www.alexmacarthur.co.uk)
Lush, dark, wallpaper design from Witch and Watchman. http://witchandwatchman.com
Lush, dark, wallpaper design from Witch and Watchman. http://witchandwatchman.com
Transform your home into a treasure chest. (pinterest)
Transform your home into a treasure chest. (pinterest)
Annabelle rug from Mineheart. (www.mineheart.com)
Annabelle rug from Mineheart. (www.mineheart.com)
Dark walls, an open fire, and some taxidermy. What's not to love! (thisivyhouse.tumblr.com)
Dark walls, an open fire, and some antlers. What’s not to love! (thisivyhouse.tumblr.com)
Cosy up a corner to snuggle up in.(homedesignlover.com)
Cosy up a corner to snuggle up in.(homedesignlover.com)
Burlesque wallpaper from Dupenny. (www.dupenny.com/wallpaper/burlesque)
Add a bit of cheeky humour to a room. Burlesque wallpaper from Dupenny. (www.dupenny.com/wallpaper/burlesque)
Lady Peacock cushions. (www.mineheart.com)
Lady Peacock cushions. (www.mineheart.com)
Oversized moths by textile artist Mr Finch. (www.mister-finch.com)
Oversized moths by textile artist Mister Finch. (www.mister-finch.com)
Velvet-flocked cherubs from Squint Limited. (www.squintlimited.com)
Velvet-flocked cherubs from Squint Limited. (www.squintlimited.com)
Nostalgia and whimsy combine in this charming wallpaper from Elli Popp. (http://ellipopp.co.uk)
Nostalgia and whimsy combine in this charming wallpaper from Elli Popp. (http://ellipopp.co.uk)
'Rinse' artwork from Abigail Ahern. (http://abigailahern.com)
‘Rinse’ artwork from Abigail Ahern. (http://abigailahern.com)
Abigail Ahern lighting for Debenhams. (www.debenhams.com)
Abigail Ahern lighting for Debenhams. (www.debenhams.com)
Wallpapers by the uber-talented Deborah Bowness. (www.deborahbowness.com)
Wallpapers by the uber-talented Deborah Bowness. (www.deborahbowness.com)
"The Melody Rose brand is known for high quality, contemporary bone china tableware with an elegant twist." (www.melodyrose.co.uk)
“The Melody Rose brand is known for high quality, contemporary bone china tableware with an elegant twist.” (www.melodyrose.co.uk)
Majestic textile swan from Mister Finch. (www.mister-finch.com)
Majestic textile swan from Mister Finch. (www.mister-finch.com)
Print heaven from House of Hackney, the Artemis collection. (www.houseofhackney.com)
Print heaven from House of Hackney, the Artemis collection. (www.houseofhackney.com)
Butterfly domes from Alex MacArthur Interiors. (www.alexmacarthur.co.uk)
Butterfly domes from Alex MacArthur Interiors. (www.alexmacarthur.co.uk)
More scrummy wallpapers from Deborah Bowness. (www.deborahbowness.com)
More scrummy wallpapers from Deborah Bowness. (www.deborahbowness.com)
Taxidermy taken to the extreme. (by Decorista Daydreams from bloglovin.com)
Taxidermy taken to the extreme. (by Decorista Daydreams from bloglovin.com)