Tag Archives: Abigail Ahern

Faux flower fix

Gosh, it’s been a while hasn’t it! Apologies, I’ve been in a whirlwind of crazy work deadlines coupled with preparing for the new arrival of small person. My head is spinning there is so much to do, but I think I am top of it all. We shall see!

Anyway, just a short one today, but I wanted to celebrate the not-so-humble faux flower. Banish all thoughts of naff plastic or fabric floral concoctions of yesteryear, I am referring to the recent renaissance led mostly by the ever-fabulous Abigail Ahern. After stocking them in her own Atelier to now collaborating with Heals, Abigail is putting the faux flower firmly back on the interiors map as something beautiful and sophisticated for the home. And I am a huge fan!

I was the very lucky recipient of six huge deep purple hydrangea stems on Mother’s Day – the best present ever – which now have pride of place in the living room. I adore them! I fear this could be an obsession that spirals out of control. Not a bad obsession to have though. Good faux flowers really are a thing of beauty and can elevate a space beyond belief. I urge you to investigate Abigail Ahern’s single stems as well as the glorious bouquets and plants on offer… Grasses and cacti matched with hedgerow flowers really can pack a punch. And Abigail Ahern also offers a very competitively-priced flower school, which I will certainly be enrolling on as soon as I have some down time.

Abigail Ahern may be leading the pack, but she is not entirely alone. There are other faux flower outlets to snoop around such as Neptune, John Lewis, Cox & Cox, and a personal favourite – and a definite for anyone who likes to dabble in a bit of ‘craft’ – HobbyCraft.

Here are some visuals to help inspire you! Enjoy.

2016-03-06 10.02.24
My Mother’s Day present and current obsession!
Abigail-Ahern-home-24
Pinterest
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Fauxs from Hobby Lobby.
4b43c9f2fcb751e9b03776ad698b9235
Felt flower creations. (pinterest)
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Sumptuous plants from Abigail Ahern. (pinterest)
Abigail Ahern bouquet Banbury
More Abigail Ahern gorgeousness. (pinterest)
cactus-by-abigail-ahern
Cacti galore. (pinterest)
e11f5b4cc80ef1a8c2ba89029349c5fa
(pinterest)
f1439a736c96afb4c81b8359500841d3
Inside Abigail Ahern’s Atelier. (pinterest)
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(pinterest)
flo2
(Pinterest)

 

 

 

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Tricolore…

In the face of the devastating terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on Friday evening, The Maximalist is paying tribute to the people of Paris with a simple, photo-led celebration of the three colours: red, white and blue.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor – a series of giant interconnected womb-like orbs in the Grand Palais, Paris. dezeen.com
Leviathan by Anish Kapoor – a series of giant interconnected womb-like orbs in the Grand Palais, Paris.
dezeen.com
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Abigail Ahern for Debenhams. (pinterest)
Abigail Ahern for Debenhams. (pinterest)
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Henri Matisse ~ Large Red Interior, 1948. (pinterest)
Henri Matisse ~ Large Red Interior, 1948. (pinterest)
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.
Image from pinterest.

A door is a door is a door…

Well I would beg to differ! A door can be so much more than just a door. So can a doorway.

Abigail Ahern suggests removing doors to open up space and allow for greater design fluidity in the home. I do agree with her to a degree, however, I also quite like a door myself. So to all my fellow door fans, here are some of my favourite doors together with fantastic ideas as to how to make a feature of a door and/or doorway, and ways of repurposing the ubiquitous door. I hope you enjoy!

Sliding industrial door. (pinterest)
Sliding industrial door. (pinterest)
Bold and bright doorways. (pinterest)
Bold and bright doorways. (pinterest)
Door as gallery wall. (pinterest)
Door as gallery wall. (pinterest)
Two-tone door. (pinterest)
Two-tone door. (pinterest)
A bold green door. (http://avaxhome.ws/blogs/FAV2009)
A bold green door. (http://avaxhome.ws/blogs/FAV2009)
Gallery door. (pinterest)
Gallery door. (pinterest)
Gallery door 2. (pinterest)
Gallery door 2. (pinterest)
Repurposed door. (pinterest)
Repurposed door. (pinterest)
Havana doors. (pinterest)
Havana doors. (pinterest)
Defining the doorway. (pinterest)
Defining the doorway. (pinterest)
Multicoloured door. (pinterest)
Multicoloured door. (pinterest)
Repurposed doors. (remodelista)
Repurposed doors. (remodelista)
Door as chalkboard. (pinterest)
Door as chalkboard. (pinterest)
Saloon doors. (pinterest)
Saloon doors. (pinterest)
Colour heaven. (pinterest)
Colour heaven. (pinterest)
Door as canvas, Charleston Farmhouse. (pinterest)
Door as canvas, Charleston Farmhouse. (pinterest)
Fairytale door. (pinterest)
Fairytale door. (pinterest)
Curtained door. (pinterest)
Curtained door. (pinterest)

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)

If you like pina colada…

The now ubiquitous pineapple was once a rare beast…

Indigenous to South America, the pineapple was introduced to northern Europe by the Dutch and the first successfully cultivated pineapple is recorded as having been grown in 1658. Catherine the Great was a huge fan and grew pineapples on her estate. Importing pineapples was expensive, so too was growing a tropical fruit in a temperate climate, so it wasn’t long before the pineapple was seen as a symbol of extreme wealth, becoming the subject of great rivalry between wealthy aristocrats.

This plate is from Christopher Jacob Trew’s Plantae Selectae (Nuremberg, 1750–73), which was illustrated by Georg Dionysius Ehret. (tinypineapple.com)
This plate is from Christopher Jacob Trew’s Plantae Selectae (Nuremberg, 1750–73), which was illustrated by Georg Dionysius Ehret. (tinypineapple.com)

Throughout history the pineapple has also been used widely as a design motif, symbolising warmth and hospitality. Incorporated into all manner of home furnishings – from furniture, ornaments, wallpaper, table linen, crockery – the popularity of the pineapple is alive and well. Currently referred to as a micro-trend within the world of interiors, the pineapple is still a curious-looking fruit, but with an undeniable big dollop of charm. I am a huge fan and I couldn’t care less if it’s become a design cliche! Long live the pineapple!

So here are some glorious ways you can incorporate the pineapple into your own home…

Pineapple wall lighting sconce from abigailahern.com.
Pineapple wall lighting sconce from abigailahern.com.
Iguana Superwide by Timorous Beasties. (timorousbeasties.com)
Iguana Superwide by Timorous Beasties. (timorousbeasties.com)
DecoBREEZE Pineapple Figurine Fan. (m.shop.nordstrom.com)
DecoBREEZE Pineapple Figurine Fan. (m.shop.nordstrom.com)
Adelphi Custom and Historic Wallpaper and Paper Hangings. (adelphipaperhangings.com)
Adelphi Custom and Historic Wallpaper and Paper Hangings. (adelphipaperhangings.com)
Some pineapple artwork? (thedesignfiles.net)
Some pineapple artwork? (thedesignfiles.net)
Large Turquoise Sofie Pineapple Container. (templeandwebster.com.au)
Large Turquoise Sofie Pineapple Container. (templeandwebster.com.au)
Pineapple lamp base by House of Hackney.
Pineapple lamp base by House of Hackney.
Papercraft pineapple from peachblossom.co.uk.
Papercraft pineapple from peachblossom.co.uk.
Pineapple Door Knocker. (capecodweathervanecompany.com)
Pineapple Door Knocker. (capecodweathervanecompany.com)
Pineapple lamp on old gold carambola side table. (rockettstgeorge.co.uk)
Pineapple lamp on old gold carambola side table. (rockettstgeorge.co.uk)
Pineapple vases. (bloglovin.com)
Pineapple vases. (bloglovin.com)
Pineapple cushions. (decor8blog.com)
Pineapple cushions. (decor8blog.com)
4516d6996002f008c520138c9c30fe46
Every home should have a resin pineapple! (mybuckett.com)
Åsa Jungnelius – Riff Relay #2 (design-milk.com)
Åsa Jungnelius – Riff Relay #2 (design-milk.com)
Vintage mid century brass pineapples. (tumblr.com)
Vintage mid century brass pineapples. (tumblr.com)
Deb Haugen For DENY Pineapple 1 Tapestry (urbanoutfitters.com)
Deb Haugen For DENY Pineapple 1 Tapestry (urbanoutfitters.com)
Possibly my favourite interpretation! Salt & Pepper Shakers by Godinger on @HauteLook. (hautelook.com)
Possibly my favourite interpretation! Salt & Pepper Shakers by Godinger on @HauteLook. (hautelook.com)
Goodnight Light Pineapple lamp. (vogue.com)
Goodnight Light Pineapple lamp. (vogue.com)
More fruity lighting. Perfect for a child's room. (pauletpaula.com)
More fruity lighting. Perfect for a child’s room. (pauletpaula.com)
Pineapples as accessories. (etsy.com)
Pineapples as accessories. (etsy.com)
Pineapple passion.(anothermag.com)
Pineapple passion.(anothermag.com)

The bold and the beautiful – statement lighting

“Lighting is the unsung hero of design.” Jonathan Adler

Mr Adler couldn’t be more right. Anyone who knows me, knows my complete obsession with lighting. Old, new, big, small, modern, vintage, kitsch, sleek… I don’t mind. I love it all. So now that the days are getting shorter, darker, and markedly colder, I thought it only apt to celebrate lighting in the home. In particular, statement lighting.

Lighting really can transform a home. It can turn an otherwise unwelcoming space into a glowing haven you won’t want to leave. The number of lamps and lights we have at home has become a bit of a running joke. I truly believe you can never have too many! Our main living room alone has eight at the moment and each has a specific purpose.

Below are some examples of gorgeous lighting together with go-to sources where you can find similar products for your own home. I hope you feel inspired to add a little lighting magic to your home now winter is approaching. Have fun!

A 1961 oversize Venini chandelier and vintage Stilnovo hexagonal wall lights dominate the entryway. A Fine Balance - T Magazine (nytimes.com)
A 1961 oversize Venini chandelier and vintage Stilnovo hexagonal wall lights dominate the entryway. A Fine Balance – T Magazine
(nytimes.com)
Stunning wall lights by Dimore Studio. (dimorestudio.eu)
Stunning wall lights by Dimore Studio.
(dimorestudio.eu)
Danish design hanging lamp. Semi by Claus Bonderup and Torsten Thorup 1968. (pinterest)
Danish design hanging lamp. Semi by Claus Bonderup and Torsten Thorup 1968. (pinterest)
Mixing old and new faultlessly. This space is just beautiful. (dimoregallery.com)
Mixing old and new faultlessly. This space is just beautiful. (dimoregallery.com)
Some of my favourites! Rolling greens’ arrangement bar in L.A. / sfgirlbybay.com.
Some of my favourites! Rolling greens’ arrangement bar in L.A. / sfgirlbybay.com.
More yumminess from Dimore:
More yumminess from Dimore: “Milan Design Week 2014. The Dimore duo are the pioneers of an exceptional & a truly unique aesthetic, forging new ground in unchartered territory of unwritten design rules.” (yellowtrace.com.au)
Copper Round Pendant by Tom Dixon. £255.00 www.heals.com
Copper Round Pendant
by Tom Dixon. £255.00 http://www.heals.com
The jewel-like Lily range from Martin Huxford. £495.(martinhuxford.com)
The jewel-like Lily range from Martin Huxford. £495.(martinhuxford.com)
The Decanterlight Chandelier by Lee Broom £1,250 www.heals.com
The Decanterlight Chandelier
by Lee Broom
£1,250 http://www.heals.com
Facet 18 Mini Pendant Stainless Steel by Innermost £557 www.heals.com
Facet 18 Mini Pendant Stainless Steel
by Innermost
£557 http://www.heals.com
Facet 60 Round Chandelier Pendant Brass by Innermost £8,250 www.heals.com
Facet 60 Round Chandelier Pendant Brass
by Innermost
£8,250 http://www.heals.com
Neon Font Wall Light by Seletti £40 www.heals.com
Neon Font Wall Light
by Seletti £40 http://www.heals.com
NEO-BAROQUE CHANDELIER £1,785.00 abigailahern.com
NEO-BAROQUE CHANDELIER
£1,785.00 abigailahern.com
ERIGONE CHANDELIER £1,450.00 abigailahern.com
ERIGONE CHANDELIER
£1,450.00 abigailahern.com
STARBURST CEILING LIGHT £640.00 abigailahern.com
STARBURST CEILING LIGHT
£640.00 abigailahern.com

White… not a mere absence of colour

“White… is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black…” 
Gilbert K. Chesterton

I will be honest, hitherto I have not been a fan of a lack of colour. In fact, the very absence of colour makes me get a tad twitchy. I thrive off colour, lots of it, and pattern in abundance. So, I thought I’d take myself out of my comfort zone and see what all the fuss was about.

Neutrals, whites, natural materials… plain, dull, soulless. Well, that’s what I used to think. I did some digging around and it’s quite incredible what you can create with a very restrained palette and lots of different textures – not just soft furnishings; you can source incredible textured wallpapers and tiles these days to add further dimension to your walls. Far from clinical and devoid of any personality, you can create quite wonderful, uplifting, almost spiritual spaces.

Two designers whose signature style is the very absence of colour are Alex Legendre and Zoe Ellison, owners and founders of the divine i gigi General Store in Hove, East Sussex. Alex and Zoe have embraced unique textures and a natural palette to create a haven of calm. They have also written a beautiful book called A Life Less Ordinary, which I highly recommend for anyone who wants to pour over gorgeous photography and interiors. Definitely one to curl up with.

Below I’ve collected some inspiration for you should you wish to travel down the route of natural palettes. It’s certainly a style that can be successfully applied to any room in the home. Just beware of small people with crayons and sticky hands is all I can say…I can’t say I am a complete convert, but I am certainly not quite the skeptic I once was! Enjoy.

It's all about texture. (srta-pepis.tumblr.com)
A monastic experience? It’s all about texture. (srta-pepis.tumblr.com)
Stripping it all back. (esin-ozcan.tumblr.com)
Stripping it all back. (esin-ozcan.tumblr.com)
8866208c30583ab530115b321092be6b
i gigi general store on Hove, East Sussex. (www.igigigeneralstore.com)
Simplicity in the kitchen. (pinterest)
Simplicity in the kitchen. (pinterest)
A veritable celebration of white. (pinterest)
A veritable celebration of white. (pinterest)
Stunning beaded chandelier from www.bodieandfou.com.
Stunning beaded chandelier from http://www.bodieandfou.com.
Vita Eos Feather pendant light from www.papilloninteriors.co.uk.
Vita Eos Feather pendant light from http://www.papilloninteriors.co.uk.
Grey flocked donkey head from www.abigailahern.com.
Grey flocked donkey head from http://www.abigailahern.com.
An injection of natural materials. (pinterest)
An injection of natural materials. (pinterest)
Chair from www.bodieandfou.com
Chair from http://www.bodieandfou.com.
Neal Grundy photography. www.igigigeneralstore.com
Neal Grundy photography. http://www.igigigeneralstore.com
White and cream rag rug made out of upcycled T shirts by Handiworkingirls (www.etsy.com).
White and cream rag rug made out of upcycled T shirts by Handiworkingirls (www.etsy.com).
Doing the neutral thing, but with a splash of wall art colour. For me a happy compromise! (pinterest)
Doing the neutral thing, but with a splash of wall art colour. For me a happy compromise! (pinterest)