Sunday, 30 March 2014

Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.


As it slowly warms up, and the thought of leaving work in daylight becomes an actual possibility (rather than a far-fetched dream), my interior design musings have undoubtedly taken on a spring-like flavour.

The concept of florals for spring is certainly predictable, and possibly even yawn inducing, however the floral wall coverings I've been day dreaming about lately are bold and impactful. I'm talking large scale, unapologetic, not so dainty wall coverings. These are not your nan's wall covering. These would leave even Miranda Priestly inspired.


elliecashmandarkfloral2TWIU
via Ellie Cashman
floral bathroom
via Amber Interiors


The wallpapers above (both by Ellie Cashman) are artistic masterpieces. The rich dark colours are bang on whatever the season.


via Poppytalk and Murals Your Way
via Oly Studio
via Surface View


These wall mural and sticker examples are lighter and brighter, but still pack a visual punch.

Here's what I what I would do (Dried Roses wall mural by Photowall):





Sunday, 9 March 2014

Taking Shape


With the bedroom finito, I though a living room update was overdue. 


Though far from finished, this space is finally taking shape and feeling more like home. The space in front of the sofa has been filled with a ming-like coffee table, and the bare bulbs hanging overhead are now hidden behind giant white drum shades.

As the days get longer, the need for curtains is becoming more and more apparent, and the 10 ft windows certainly make it a tricky task. Also on the to-do list are 2 bolster pillows (in the sofa upholstery fabric), and 2 square pillows in the perfect shade of pale pink.

Here is what it looks like now:


Spot the kitty (and the plant she is in the middle of taking down, one leaf at a time).



The basket on the table holds all of our laptop wires, earphones, plugs - all the valuables the kitty has attempted to chew through.


 We're getting there.


Sourcing: Opium Coffee Table - Maison Du Monde, Alseda Footstools - Ikea, Hovet Leaning Mirror - Ikea, Nymo Drum Shade - Ikea, Woven Basket - Rachel & Malika's Brixton Village.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Drama, The Good Kind.


Rumour has it that during the filming of Flashdance, when Jennifer Beals chopped the neck off of her now famous jumper, it was for practical reasons rather than to start a fashion revolution. After shrinking it in the dryer by accident, she realised it could no longer fit over her head, and took matters into her own hands. Inspired by Beals, young women around the world picked up their scissors, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Our bedroom was my personal shrunken jumper.

Our north facing flat actually does get a good amount of light in the living area, thanks to the floor to ceiling windows. Our mezzanine bedroom, on the other hand, always read as a dingy beige colour, despite the bright white paint and decent sized skylight above.

Contrary to the usual fear of dark colours, I was actually was really missing our charcoal fireplace wall. So in the spirit of Jennifer, I decided to work with the dinginess, rather than trying to make the room something it wasn't.

In the end I went with Farrow & Ball Studio Green, and the result is rich and dramatic.

Here are the initial plans and the before:


And here is what it looks like now:

The only remaining task for this room is to close off the open wardrobe (with thick floor to ceiling curtains), but I'm having a mental debate about the best way to do this with a curved ceiling line.
That side of the room looks like this:


Still, I'm crossing this one off the list and calling it done...ish.
 

Sourcing: Wall Colour - Studio Green F&B, Valentin Bed - Sofa.com, Chevron Grain Bedside Table - West Elm, Steinhauer Mexlite Swing Arm Lights - Wayfair, Astor Noir Bedding - Designer's Guild, Pillow Fabric - Waverley Olana Bayleaf fabric.com,  Pillow Inserts - Homescapes on Amazon

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Layered


When I popped into Woven Ground to see the rug in this post in person, it wasn't on display in the showroom. I was shown something similar, but unfortunately I was not convinced.

The pile was just a little too deep - the rug too new, too fluffy. So after realising that what I was really seeking was a faded and worn rug, I began trawling Ebay.


Cue hour after hour of looking at antique Persians. It seemed impossible to find the size I needed, at the right price, with the right colours. Hours turned into days. Days turned into weeks. The rugs all started to resemble each other, and I started dreaming about geometric patterns. Then, I had a light bulb moment. LAYERING.


via Lonny
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XORTUZv3N3M/UtwG5zl_QEI/AAAAAAAAd2s/WdWyB64wJco/s1600/rugs+dining+room+simplified+bee.jpg
via Milk & Honey Home

The decision to layer 2 rugs opened me up to a host of new options, and the next day I ordered the one: a semi-antique Persian.



The rug is mostly made up of faded reds and pink, with touches of blue and green, and an intricate geometric motif in the centre.

And I'm not the only one loving the new addition.



It works well in the space, but is a slightly too narrow for the room. It is also centred to the room, (not the sofa), so feels slightly unbalanced (to me). So in due course, it will be layered on top of this.

In addition to the new addition, I also finally ordered this Ming style coffee table, which I'm hoping turns up this week.

I initially planned for a glass waterfall coffee table, so as not to take up too much visual space, however I felt it was a little to modern for the eclectic look I'm going for. I think the dark wood table not only adds much needed warmth, but also tones down the contrast of the rug and sofa.



 Watch this space.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Burmese Chic


Inspiring design doesn't have to be over the top - sometimes the most pared down spaces pack the biggest punches. La Maison Birmane boutique hotel in Myanmar is testament to this fact.

Tucked away on a small hidden street in Nyaung Shwe, Inle Lake, the hotel was a 2 hour flight (from Yangon), and a further hour of driving on tiny mountain roads, complete with terror inducing drops down the side. We arrived slightly fatigued - but upon walking through the front gate and into the open air reception, my tension melted away.

Warm shadows, cast by low hanging, fishing basket light fixtures, danced on the dark wood facade. These fixtures, (no doubt selected as a nod to the fisherman who have helped to make the lake such a popular destination) created a comforting glow, which perfectly complimented the jazzy, soft, background music. Two mojitos later, and I was sold.

We were shown to our bungalow via a pathway which parted a lush, yet well manicured garden, and as I expected, the rooms were simple, but stylish.



I suspect I will never tire of the combination of white walls, wood floors (and in this case, ceilings) and white textiles. It's simple, clean - it's effective. With it's wall to wall windows, open shower, and huge mosquito net which aided in softening the space, the bungalow was just what one pictures when daydreaming of a tropical getaway.

via La Maison Birmane
via La Maison Birmane
via La Maison Birmane

It wasn't long before I began thinking of ways to replicate this relaxed look, and thought I would share here. Below, all items can be found at Ikea, making this look both inexpensive and accessible.

The only thing missing is the ice cold mojito.

1. Storsele Rattan Armchair   2. Solig Mosquito Net   3. Leran Pendant Lamps   4. Nyvoll Bed   5. Ribba Frames   6. Areca Palm

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Bedroom, Revisited


A holiday, a chest infection, a surprise proposal, and a new kitten - suffice it to say, the last four weeks have been quite eventful. So it feels like it was eons ago that I revealed plans for the new bedroom.





West Elm eventually opened after a couple delays, Christmas and New Years came and went, and now we finally have a new bedside tables!




Perhaps I should back up a little. At the moment, the bedroom still looks like this -




The only source of natural light in the bedroom is through the north facing windows downstairs, and a small the skylight. The effect of this unfortunately, is white walls that look dingy and bland. This is why I knew I had to go dark up here. Embrace the dingyness, if you will.

The only problem is, much like a ping pong ball, I kept going back and forth between F&B Hague Blue, and F&B Studio Green. So after riffling through my art supply stash, I created a large sample by painting an old canvas with my sample pot of Hague Blue. The pillow is just a sample as well - I will be making bigger ones in the same fabric (Olana Bayleaf by Waverley).




I'm probably about 70% sold on Hague Blue, but just to be sure, I have ordered a sample pot of Studio Green.

There is still so much to do - find the perfect lighting, order more fabric, and hire someone to paint, but it does feel like were slowly getting there!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Happy Holidays


So it's been a while.

In the last few weeks, I have spent a fortnight in South East Asia, spent several hours in A&E with a chest infection, and spent not so much time working on the flat.

In other words, not much has changed around here aesthetically.

The chandeliers are STILL on the floor, but not for long as we are preparing for a new addition, in the form of a kitten. Kitten + delicate chandeliers balancing on the floor = disaster.

The only significant change in the flat has been the addition of bookshelves, which enabled us to finally unpack the last of the boxes (which were filled with books).

So this wall:



Now looks like this:



The photo in the frame is just something I tore out of Elle Decoration as a place holder, as I got sick of looking at the Ikea Ribba label. It works...for now.

The dining table and chairs are working out perfectly. It's so nice to be able to sit down to eat properly! We are still waiting for the black wool seat pads, but for the time being we are using bright red ones which are just a little too bright for me.


My main priorities are now finding shades for the pendant lights (in place of the chandeliers), making a final decision on a rug, and of course, buying a coffee table.

I probably will not have any more updates until the new year, but by then I expect to be fully recovered and back on track.

Until then, happy holidays to you all!


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