Tag Archives: home

Who is the fairest of them all?

Today I want to talk about mirrors. I adore them. We currently have one whole wall of the upstairs bathroom covered in salvaged 1940s and 1950s mirrors. And why not?! Mirrors not only serve an obvious function, they are a wonderful device in the home for bringing more light into a room. They quite literally reflect and bounce light around an otherwise dimly-lit room. Or they can flood an already well-lit room with even more light. And mirrors can double the size of a room just by clever positioning. So, don’t think of the mirror as just a surface into which to see your reflection. They really are a thing of magic. Try and experiment and use them in the home in unconventional settings.

A mirror above a fire place is I imagine fairly ubiquitous in most homes, but why not place it off centre? Or arrange a collection of mismatched mirrors over the fire place instead. A mirror resting on the floor and leaning against a wall is a great way of bringing the eye down to floor level and then leading it up a wall. It’ll add height to a room.

And mirrors don’t have to be shiny and new to be effective. Tarnished, beaten-up mirrors are beautiful and add character to a space. And they will still bounce light around a room even if you cannot properly see into them. If you are feeling adventurous, why not try aging a mirror yourself. Follow this tutorial for fantastic results.

Consider scale too. An over-sized mirror in an unexpected setting can look incredible, so too can a diminutive mirror! If I have managed to whet your appetite for all things marvellously mirrored, then shop around as there are some fantastic finds to be had. Rockett St George has a beautiful current selection; for some truly spectacular mirrors check out Alex MacArthur Interiors; The Old Cinema often has some real treats available; and NotOnTheHighStreet offers a vast array of affordable mirrors, with some incredible starburst styles to pick from.

b0277428158174ef266b330c593d4935
A series of large round fisheye mirrors arranged over a seating area work to reflect light around the room as well as providing an interestingly distorted view of the space. (pinterest)
69bbbb9de508b23e14184638820035bf
A mirror doesn’t have to be centred or wall-mounted. (pinterest)
619180_orig
Playing with the illusion of space. A mirror can double or even triple the size of a room. (pinterest)
66d230f3601cb656734c07c19990d809
Mirror tiles arranged to create the effect of a faux window work beautifully here. (pinterest)
3969975734ffa5aefe6a351b3d28eea9
“Antique mirror made from Moroccan Zellige tiles – They are beautifully translucent, super irregular but rather breathtaking.” (abigailahern.wordpress.com)
18d4c4b3b12eb4356cdfb821c13644bb
Esher Églomisé Glass. Handmade & installed by Stuart Fox Ltd. (stuartfox.co.uk)
3634f4fd238a3780f71b5f528e2a8c96
Mismatched mirror gallery. Mirrors don’t have to be uniform. (snitchsnotch.blogspot.com)
304bb182e357a36fcb0964d5d659cea1
Doshi Levien’s jewel-like mirrors for Danish brand for Hay. (dezeen.com)
7d6be40fc13248ace34591b75042ff16
A collection of hand mirrors mounted on the wall. Works beautifully. (howtodecorate.com)
cbe9d1cfaf1cb09c1b02237ffa1a5f5e
A mirror can give the illusion of an endless space. (pinterest)
ca5b0aa426886956bc106d79ff53afc1
There are no rights and wrongs. Go with your gut. (pinterest)
05aa7e63a668947b23b0c1efab630c47
Simple little details can elevate a space. (pinterest)
cc0b44a1192c461fb1dd74265bb91d22
Why not be as over the top as possible! Dodie Rosenkrans in her crazy coral encrusted palace. (loveisspeed.blogspot.com)
7da869e8436314610974bd34d0582563
Mottled, tarnished, aged mirrors look fabulous. (pinterest)

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!

 

075a2952cd82e694a18672dfc2c541df
Pink trompe l’oeil. (tinekhome.blogspot.dk)
4eda79ada0b7148aa4091aa5c25a9102
Deep, saturated cerise used successfully in a kitchen couple with concrete. The combination stops the pink being too frou frou! (bloglovin.com)
b1c9cc84ae91aff799dd570821da74dd
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)
6473c4b4e53bed2b88cf945fe51d7154
The Pink Studio, 1911 by Matisse. (TOPofART.com)
70c9656908b8cf6a1658b5c5b4ed41ac
If you can pull it off, go big and bold and transform the facade of your home with pink! (reifhaus.tumblr.com)
61b89e98d36be5c057eb168cec59e7ba
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)
fb5138f1759d833e9434e09dc30e7152
Pale pink, but done with aplomb. Who doesn’t love an embossed wall. (1stdibs Introspective on Frank de Biasi / 1stdibs.com)
cd3e53e4117b76878f38bdc632184a72
Pink wallpaper punctuated with vintage frames. (boho-weddings.com)
8124cac381bcaef09590a3d47afa25e5
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)
90fac1782628f6ca77319e701f6bbf86
Introduce pink through fabric and soft furnishings. This Art Deco fabric (1920–1930) would look incredible as curtains. Think sophisticated pink… (pinterest)
87a8c49c302a4305dd18c3ca3961ceb7
In the pink. (flickr.com)
c7e367d74495acabbcb57b5f21e0a448
A pink accent chair. (lisasaysgah.com)
b03abc1a0cdf1810f4fce8297a9b075a
Not for the faint-hearted! Pink living room in the home of designer Solange Azagury Partridge – Photography by Neil Gavin (wmagazine.tumblr.com)
ff87e8999e3bd60312f1dc3afca52de3
If you’re going to go pink, go pink… I love the combination of pink and yellow kitchen units. (ilovepolkadot.blogspot.no)
1d99704c7851180200ff16773f51f895
I just love this image. (theleoisallinthemind.tumblr.com)
f986890b001931e1b88673e443ac960b
Pink and copper. And a tolix chair. What’s not to love! (ideasmag.co.za)
f6b127779473d22704acc5e619db34f5
Be bold and brave… combine pink and red for a truly dramatic look. (pinterest)
f83db9668e74fc21b8a1d0eec85aaff2
Or create a mediterranean roof-dining experience and give the exterior of your home a lush pinky colour wash. (pinterest)
90cdca83d20adf9b91ae0821b1e20b87
Pink doesn’t have to overpower. Here it is used effectively with a combination of seemingly clashing patterns to great effect. (pinterest)
6ca733d6f12b70e0e5560b94a7e1d090
Another kitchen. The pink works as a powerful backdrop to a very personal collection of belongings. (pinterest)
a330d571857dd8ef86ab0e3b91fe7155
And to finish, a gorgeous pastel pink geometric artwork. (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)

Forever Frida

I recall clearly when my love affair with Frida began…

I was in my early teens when my parents took me to an exhibition to see the work of Mexican artist Diego Rivera. In a small section of the show there was a subsidiary exhibition of the work of artist Frida Kahlo, Diego’s wife. I was blown away by the power of her paintings, their tactile nature and the feast of colour and pattern presented in them. Full of references to indigenous Mexican culture, I was drawn to their primitive style and bold use of symbolism.

Since then I’ve been hooked and have looked to Frida’s work for inspiration in much of what I do – and I seem to not be the only one. Frida lives on as a modern-day cultural icon and references to her style and art can be seen in fashion trends, interior furnishings, photography, and popular culture on a regular basis. Personally, given half the chance I would surround myself in all things Frida-oriented! I recently treated myself to a gorgeous Queenie and Ted wrap with stunning embroidery and applique that to me is very Frida Kahlo. It has become my go-to autumn accessory!

And I am loving the fact that Florence Welch has a bathroom dedicated to Frida in her home.

So in celebration of Frida and her enduring influence on all things visual here are some images to inspire you… I hope you enjoy!

All hail Queen Frida. (pinterest)
All hail Queen Frida. (pinterest)
Influence on fashion. (pinterest)
Influence on fashion. (pinterest)
Interiors a la Frida. (pinterest)
Interiors a la Frida. (pinterest)
Colours and flowers. (pinterest)
Colours and flowers. (pinterest)
Folk, boho, and Frida come together in this stunning interior. (pinterest)
Folk, boho, and Frida come together in this stunning interior. (pinterest)
Queenie and Ted Frida wrap. www.queenieandted.co.uk
Queenie and Ted Frida wrap. http://www.queenieandted.co.uk
Colours. (pinterest)
Colours and symbolism. (pinterest)
Frida gracing the cover of Vogue. (pinterest)
Frida gracing the cover of Vogue. (pinterest)
Jean Paul Gaultier and Frida. (pinterest)
Jean Paul Gaultier and Frida. (pinterest)
(pinterest)
It’s all about that centre parting! (pinterest)
More influence on fashion. (pinterest)
More influence on fashion. (pinterest)
Frida and deer. (pinterest)
Frida and deer. (pinterest)
Folk and Frida. (honestlywtf.com)
Folk and Frida. (honestlywtf.com)
'Self-portrait with Monkeys', detail. www.thecityreview.com
‘Self-portrait with Monkeys’, detail. http://www.thecityreview.com
Interior. (pinterest)
Interior. (pinterest)
Poster (Tano Design/pinterest).
Poster (Tano Design/pinterest).
Bold colours and patterns. (pinterest)
Bold colours and patterns. (pinterest)
Frida-influenced moodboard. (www.molsandtatilois.com)
Frida-influenced moodboard. (www.molsandtatilois.com)
Folk and Frida. (honestlywtf.com)
Folk and Frida. (honestlywtf.com)
Crockery by Wild and Violet. http://wildandviolet.bigcartel.com/
Crockery by Wild and Violet. http://wildandviolet.bigcartel.com/
Vibrant upholstery. (pinterest)
Vibrant upholstery. (pinterest)
Homage to Frida.
Homage to Frida. Artist Yasumasa Morimura. (artnet)
(pinterest)
(pinterest)
Gracing Vogue once more. (pinterest)
Gracing Vogue once more. (pinterest)
Frida. (pinterest)
Frida. (pinterest)
Fashion and Frida. (pinterest)
Fashion and Frida. (pinterest)
More fashion and Frida. (pinterest)
More fashion and Frida. (pinterest)
Frida/Daft Punk. (kottke.org)
Frida/Daft Punk. (kottke.org)
Frida print from rockett st george. http://www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk/
Frida print from rockett st george. http://www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk/
Frida socks (hotsox.com)
Frida socks (hotsox.com)

Playing with pattern in the home

Pattern is the way to my heart!

Who doesn’t love pattern? I certainly do. My philosophy is that there can never be too much. Pattern clashing rules.

Perhaps not for the faint hearted, but you really can layer pattern on pattern to your heart’s content. I can’t imagine a world without pattern. And a home without pattern… doesn’t bear thinking about! It can seem overwhelming dealing with pattern, but with a few basics up your sleeves and some belief in your ability to select and combine prints, you’ll be amazed at what can be achieved.

It’s not just about being brave with pattern; be adventurous with texture too. You can introduce pattern and texture into your home in many different ways. An obvious way is through accessories such as cushions, curtains, rugs, and throws. Wallpaper is a fantastic way of adding both pattern and texture. I am a huge fan of wallpaper (so much so I wrote and curated The Wallpaper Colouring Book!). These days you can find stunning wallpapers in all price ranges. Wallpaper Direct is a great starting point. It should come with a warning though… I can spend hours exploring on there and whole days can be lost.

Artwork is another way of bringing pattern into the home. This is a clever way of getting your pattern fix without committing to anything too permanent. I often frame wallpaper samples or pages from magazines to create mini worlds of pattern on the walls of my home. Experiment. If you don’t like it you can always change it at hardly any cost.

Stencilling is another way of adding pattern. On floors, walls and furniture, stencilling has come a long way of late and there are some truly beautiful sources of inspiration out there. Just stick ‘stencilling’ into the search bar on pinterest and you will be spoilt for choice!

Look at painting for inspiration. I am a complete Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard addict. More is more as I say!

And no one does it better than Tracy Porter, Poetic Wanderlust when it comes to pattern, particularly on crockery! Tracy is a designer after my own heart. I would happily decorate my home with her entire range! She carries pattern through every possible surface imaginable with true aplomb. Definitely worth a look if you are not already familiar with her work.

So go on, explore a little and channel your inner ‘brave’ self.

Pierre Bonnard (google images)
Pierre Bonnard (google images)
(www.poeticwanderlust.com)
(www.poeticwanderlust.com)
Edouard Vuillard (google images)
Edouard Vuillard (google images)
I heart Tracy Porter.
I heart Tracy Porter.
A fantastic source of inspiration... the work of artist Jill Ricci. (jillricci.com)
A fantastic source of inspiration… the work of artist Jill Ricci. (jillricci.com)
Pattern, colour and texture working beautifully together. (squint limited)
Pattern, colour and texture working beautifully together. (squint limited)
Floral heaven (Found on arcademi.com).
Floral heaven (Found on arcademi.com).
Just yum. (www.poeticwanderlust.com)
Just yum. (www.poeticwanderlust.com)
Serious pattern clashing, but it works. (www.olyaivanova.com)
Serious pattern clashing, but it works. (www.olyaivanova.com)
Edouard Vuillard (google images)
Edouard Vuillard (google images)
Tracy Porter rocks!(http://www.poeticwanderlust.com/inspiration.html)
Tracy Porter rocks!(http://www.poeticwanderlust.com/inspiration.html)
It’s not just about being brave with pattern; be adventurous with texture too. Here we can see orange suede, shot silk, damask and hand-woven material I brought back from Cambodia all working beautifully together. The colour palette is fairly constrained, but the juxtaposition of textures is what brings the excitement. (photo by Chris Gatcum)
It’s not just about being brave with pattern; be adventurous with texture too. Here we can see orange suede, shot silk, damask and hand-woven material I brought back from Cambodia all working beautifully together. The colour palette is fairly constrained, but the juxtaposition of textures is what brings the excitement. (photo by Chris Gatcum)
Pierre Bonnard (google images)
Pierre Bonnard (google images)
I recovered this old wing-back chair I found online in some gorgeous 1950s barkcloth and some donkey-brown velvet. I’ve teamed this with a couple of contemporary print cushions and a cushion I made myself with Lucienne Day-style prints. This colour scheme is predominantly grey, black, and yellow, but I’ve lifted it with the lampshade, which has orange, green and blues in the pattern, and with the orange accent ceramic pieces.
I recovered this old wing-back chair I found online in some gorgeous 1950s barkcloth and some donkey-brown velvet. I’ve teamed this with a couple of contemporary print cushions and a cushion I made myself with Lucienne Day-style prints. This colour scheme is predominantly grey, black, and yellow, but I’ve lifted it with the lampshade, which has orange, green and blues in the pattern, and with the orange accent ceramic pieces. (photo by Chris Gatcum)
Floor stencilling (blog.freepeople.com).
Floor stencilling (blog.freepeople.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)