Category: Design fever

Cayman inspiration: zebra with a twist…

So we realised last weekend that we hadn’t been out snorkelling for a while – it’s crazy living here, you just start taking the beach and the ocean for granted, we definitely need to make an effort to appreciate it more.  Anyhoo, so we went snorkelling out the front of our place on Sunday and saw about a million of these little yellow/black striped sergeant major fish.  They get very territorial and tend to swarm you when you get too close – not particularly scary as they are about 10cms long, but at one point I turned around and saw Ali surrounded by literally about 300 of them, it looked pretty amazing, especially set against the bright blue of the ocean.


So anyway, it got me thinking about the killer vibrant combo of yellow and black in interior design, and in particular the bedroom designed by Jamie Drake, that I was going on about the other week:

Zebra print seems to show up in a lot of the yellow/black schemes out there, which of course I hate.  I think I’d cover pretty much anything in this gorgeous zingy print if I could – I’d better find a good source for faux zebra hides or the eco-systems of several African countries may never be the same again once I start interior design-ing for real…  Oh wait, actually, they’re not real zebras right?!  Anyway, I digress, here are some other beaut’s:

(credits: Elle Decor, Pinterest, Ivory & Aubergine, Patricia Gray, House Beautiful, Apartment Therapy, Abigail Ahern, Houzz)

All eyes up – part 2

Morning morning and welcome back to part 2 of my ceiling treatments round up, let’s get straight back to it! 

8. Plaster moulding ceiling – these are another way of injecting a subtle layer to a scheme without detracting from the remainder of it.  They’re usually combined with pretty traditional décor but I think they can also look fab presiding over a more contemporary scheme (see pic. 2). 

9. Metal ceiling treatment – now these really do add oomph to a room.  Whether they’re wavy curves or straight up beams, an injection of industrial chic goes a long way!

Alternatively, opt for a pressed tin ceiling, which were the fashionable way of imitating moulded plaster ceilings in the States way back when, and are enjoying a mini renaissance right now (see here for more info!)

And check out this insane architectural detailing:

10. Honeycomb ceiling treatment – a chic and structural way to add depth to a room, would look fab painted white also. 

11. ‘Crazy’ ceiling treatment – nothing really to be said about these!

12. Ethnic ceiling treatment – and yep, I’m slightly attracted to these two, how did you know…?! 

LOVE the idea of creating sculptural shadows like this:

13. Exposed brick ceiling treatment – my heart always starts a-fluttering when I spy exposed brickwork, and this is no exception.  Love the contrast with the chandie too!

14. Fabric-covered ceiling – annoyingly I seem to only be able to source images of terrible interior design schemes with fabric-upholstered ceilings.  I’m sure I’ve seen plenty of better ones before, these two are just dreadful, but I guess they get the point across.

You could achieve a very similar effect by wallpapering the ceiling, a la Angie Hranowsky, and I suspect this would actually be easier and more economical also:

Or another option is to use draped fabrics to achieve a warm cocooning effect.  This seems to be very popular in nurseries, which I guess makes sense:


Love the drama injected by the scale of these draped panels!

I felt I had to include this next image for 3 reasons:

a. Its grotesque-ness is quite sublime;

b. I wanted to point out that if the colouring and scheme were totally different, these layers of draping could be quite cool; and

c. I love the chandie!

Ergh, it is AWFUL!  (In my humble opinion).

(credits: Elle Decor, Houzz, Patricia Gray, Little Crown Interiors, Athalia Sovie)

So which type of ceiling treatment was your fave?  I think I’m going to try to incorporate one of these puppies into the city loft I’m designing right now – maybe the pressed tin or exposed brick treatments, or maybe a chinoiserie wallpaper covered ceiling in the bedroom, hmm we shall see…

All eyes up – part 1

One interior design idea that’s been piquing my interest recently is the concept of ceiling treatments.  We spend so much time agonising over floorboards vs. sisal, or lacquer paint vs. wallpaper, but how many of us ever really consider the third dimension to any room?  Ceiling treatments are so unexpected that just a very simple design can really add impact, or you could go overboard and totally transform a space by incorporating a very dramatic treatment.

Anyway, here’s part 1 of my round up of different ideas, hope you enjoy!

1. Lacquered ceilings – these are my fave type I think, especially this bold blingy gold example.  By keeping the rest of the room fairly neutral, the ceiling takes centre stage without seeming too OTT. 

2. Painted ceilings – whether it’s a bold block colour or contemporary design such as stripes, these puppies are also rocking my socks.

3. Coffered ceilings – these give a much more traditional vibe to a space.

This all-white jobby really adds ping without drawing too much attention to itself.

4. Beamed ceilings – whether you opt for coloured contemporary beams or the more traditional option, this is an easy way to inject a modern/rustic (respectively) vibe to any space.

I am totally obsessing over these rustic beams + contemporary furnishings – I wonder how I could get my mitts on a barn in need of redesigning…

I guess this one isn’t strictly ‘beams’ but I love the mix of natural wood with industrial metal.

5. Mural / fresco ceilings -I’m not a massive fan of these options to be honest, although I guess I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the ornate ancient fresco in the third piccie…

I do love the use of different style birdcages here:

6. Medallion ceilings – whether you opt for the traditional circular rosette, a more contemporary design, or a totally off-the-wall-random-gold-sunburst-mirror (LOVE IT!), this is a fab way of adding a focal point to any space!

This is just totally freaking genius!

7. Beadboard ceilings – the last treatment for today, beadboard ceilings add an instant cottage-y / coastal vibe to any room, and I particularly love them in the kitchen.

(credits: Elle Decor, Costal Living, Patricia Gray, Veranda, Houzz)

Make sure you stop by tomorrow for part 2, there are some corkers on the way!

Sizzling Showhouse – House of Windsor, part 2

Family room/Den – Windsor Smith (I think…)

I’ve only seen ancient-looking columns in one other property, designed by Bunny Williams – they make a quirky addition to the room, that’s for sure!  Also loving the modern edgy white sofas, and that ottoman/floor cushion combo is FANTASTIC.

I am always such a sucker for built-in bookcases, especially when paired with oversize artwork and other collectibles.

Close up of the artwork – I do think this looks awesome, such a statement piece, but I always find myself thinking ‘well what happens when they fill up all the shelves and they need to use the ones behind the painting?!’  I guess maybe I don’t get it…!

Master suite – Candace Barnes

I love everything about this room, from the four poster to the giant floor mirrors framing the bed – it’s the perfect mix of masculine and feminine, without becoming too confused.

Ditto this faaabulous his and hers dressing room – love the feminine touches of the zebra rug and blingy bathtub, but the dark floors, quirky pendant and neutral wardrobe/sofas/ottoman colours stop it becoming too girly.  Also going slightly giddy over this oversize distressed mirror:



Young lady’s bedroom – Tara Shaw

This is literally the only shot I can get my grubby mitts on of this room, but I can tell it’s a corker!  The Louis XV commode and canopy bed combo never lets me down, and those peonies are the perfect finishing touch.  Can’t wait to see more!

Bathroom – Tara Shaw

Why hello white carrara marble, beeeautiful elaborate mirror and beadboard panelling – think I just fell in love with this bathroom.  Oh, and my brain just exploded seeing that fuchsia ranunculus posie…

Guest Bedroom – Peter Dunham

This room could not be more classic Dunham style, with the African-style fabrics and bold colours.  I’m not 100% sure about that shade of pink – I reckon I would have gone for more of a blush colour, or a deeper sexier shade – but LOVE the rest of the scheme.

Nursery – Theresa Ghevondian

There are no words in my head that can adequately describe this bling-tastic nursery.  It is INCREDIBLE.  I am no way near the stage of wanting kiddiewinkles yet, but I’m pretty sure this design just budged me a significant way towards it…

Stables – Kathryn Ireland

Err, and these stables are fit for a king, let alone a horse!

Check out the Kathryn Ireland fabrics a go-go, love it!

(photo credits: Veranda, Cococozy, The Editor At Large)

So the property is now on the market – I wonder which lucky family will move in…

Sizzling Showhouse ~ House of Windsor, part 1

I don’t know about you folks, but there is nothing I like better than a good old dose of showhouse excitement, and holy moly does the House of Windsor rock my socks.  Seriously, these interior piccies made me clap my hands in actual glee.

It’s a collaboration between Windsor Smith and Veranda Magazine – they’ve built, from the ground up, the most fabulous 8,000 square foot airy, luxurious and modern family home, and brought on board a bunch of Windsor’s designer pals to help shape the interiors.  The designers selected are essentially a roll call of the who’s who of interior design 2011: Windsor Smith, Martin Lawrence Bullard, Kathryn Ireland, Candace Barnes, Peter Dunham and Tara Shaw, among others. 

According to Dara Caponigro, Editor of Veranda, it was designed around the concept of function informing the way people live, about marrying up style with comfort.  Windsor adds that she wanted to build a house that would bring families closer together – you can see how this is achieved through ideas such as scrapping the dining room in favour of an eat-in kitchen where everyone gathers around the big farmhouse-style table, and instead of creating his’n’hers bathrooms and dressing rooms, having shared spaces.

I’m a smidge late in writing about it as the house is now closed to the public but I am literally jiggling around in my seat with the anticipation of seeing the full set of piccies in the October edition of Veranda.

Anyhoo, so let’s get on with the tour!

The floorplan shows the scale and grandeur of the place:

Entry Hallway – Windsor Smith

This foyer is actually kinda similar to her own entrance hallway in some respects, such as the white/grey marble diamond flooring, traditionally informed seating and interesting pendant fixtures.  Love how open and airy it is – the perfect graceful introduction to a large family home.

Kitchen – Windsor Smith

This kitchen is impeccable – I am OBSESSING over that marble farm sink paired with the subtle grey millwork, and those open shelving units are le bee’s knees. 

I’m also struck by how pared back and refined Windsor’s rooms are – it’s so common these days for showhouses to be totally OTT, with designers feeling that they have to make some massive bonkers statement.  It’s really refreshing to see design that is fashionable and on trend (eg. farm sink) but also just gorgeous to look at – if this were my kitchen I think I’d just sit at that farmhouse table all day drinking coffee and staring at my amazing sink!!  Well okay I guess I wouldn’t, that would get boring quickly, but I would certainly hold a LOT of dinner parties to show it off…

And here’s a (pretty crappo I admit) shot of the farmhouse table – the mismatched industrial chic chairs are fun and I love the placing of the pendant lights along the length of it.

Here’s a better one!  Those reclaimed floorboards, *sigh*:

Media room – Martin Lawrence Bullard

Ok, I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that I actually really dislike this room.  I can see that it’s set up to be a cool modern media den, and I’m sure lots of people love it, but those horrible sofas and the jarring wallpaper/kelly green accents are really setting my teeth on edge. 

Martin used his own Majorelle design on the walls:

Lady’s office – Peter Dunham

Weirdly though, I really love the black/grey/kelly green combo in this room.  I think Peter’s got it spot on with the gorgeous animal print enveloping the walls and the vintage-style desk being amped up with a fierce pop of colour. The sisal rug, white beadboard ceiling and raffia chair ground the scheme and stop it becoming too brash and OTT.  Love it!

Also slightly enamoured by the inspiration board above the desk – one day I shall have a leopard print upholstered inspiration board, you mark my words…

Peter used his own raffia chair…

…and his g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s Gattopardo fabric:

Make sure you stop by for more jaw-dropping eye candy tomorrow!

(photo credits: Veranda, Simplified Bee, The Editor At Large)

Chinoiserie chic – part 1

Good morning!  So after the chinoiserie loveliness that featured yesterday, I thought it was about time I devoted a little bit of blog love to all things chinoiserie and chic!  It’s not exactly an up and coming craze, chinoiserie wallcoverings have been featuring in the design magazines since long before the time of Domino, but I suspect it’s going to hang around for a while yet as I believe you’d be hard pushed to find a more feminine and exotic look all bundled into a roll of wallpaper!

Anyway, so today we’ll cover the inspiration pics, and tomorrow the stockists of this gorgeous stuff… 

I’m pretty sure I let out an audible squeak when I saw this first image:

Make sure you stop by tomorrow for my round up of the crazy high price point hand painted stockists, some more reasonably priced mid-range options and some sneaky DIY ideas…

Flowers Friday – contemporary cool

I came across the sleek contemporary minimalist work of the UK-based landscape designer Luciano Giubbilei in House & Garden the other day and was totally and utterly gobsmacked at myself for liking it.  It’s very different to the type of landscape design I usually lean towards, the include-as-many-flowers-and-colours-as-possible-and-preferably-also-an-Indian-tent school…

Anyway, here are my picks of his portfolio, enjoy and have a super duper weekend!

Lovely jubbly lucite – part 1

Morning morning! 

Sorry for the delay posting today, we just got off the prop coming back from the Brac and I am running late this morning!  I thought today I’d post up this fresh clean image – I usually find monotone white schemes pretty dull (and always find myself wondering if the people who live there ever drink red wine…yep, I’m getting old and practical) but this one’s livened up big time by all the various textures of the upholstery, rug, metallic accents and lucite end tables.

It’s this last element of the scheme that I wanted to discuss today.  Let’s talk lucite.  Now when I first stepped into this brave new (interior design) world, every time I saw a piece of lucite furniture, I immediately though ‘ergghhhh, what gross and cheap-looking décor, you’d never catch me using that stuff’ but it has sneakily grown and grown on me and I now can’t get enough of it.  My style seems to be evolving into an eclectic mix of colour, exotic furnishings and vintage pieces, and lucite just happens to provide the perfect pop of contemporary style in any scheme.  I’d never use very much of it, but just an accent table or pair of table lamps would do nicely.  It also seems to be paired with zebra stripe very often, which me likey a lot!

Anyway, so I thought I would do a bit of a round up of lucite-influenced schemes for you folks – let me know what you think!

Firstly, the inspiration pics…

I love the fact that your first impression of this scheme is one of gorgeous traditional furnishings + one helluva fantastic wallpaper panel, but then your eye gets drawn to the teeny tiny lucite side table, and then your head explodes from all the awesomeness.

Interesting combo with the wicker chairs and terracotta pots:

Ditto the carved wooden door and upholstered eye candy here:

What a chic living room, me wantey:

And I’m going ever so slightly gaga over these dining chairs and chandies:

An eeny weeny touch of lucite on the washstand legs goes a long way here!

And this office is the bee’s knees.  Seriously, I can see myself sleeping in here!  And I need to get my hands on that zebra stripe/tufted domed armchair IMMEDIATELY!!

Tick, tick and tick:

Love this cute colour scheme!

And these end-of-bed stools provide the perfect pop of lucite loveliness (especially paired with the light fixture in the second piccy):


There’s maybe a smidge too much lucite in this scheme for me, but it’s still making my heart aflutter…

And lastly, this metallic/lucite/floral combo is just perfection!

So have I convinced you yet?!  Make sure you stop by tomorrow for my picks of the ranges available both sides of the pond!

Colourways of India – part 4

Morning morning!  I thought today I’d post my fourth and final India-inspired fabric collection for your viewing pleasure – please ready yourselves for a serious colour onslaught…
I am loving all these bright and bold persimmons/marigolds, and these home décor pics even more so!

Here’s a link to my Colourways of India – part 3, in case you want more eye candy!

Potty for pastels!

So whilst mercilessly hunting down a bunch of bold and beautiful jewel-hued interior design schemes for you lovely lot last week, I came across a few of their slightly more timid cousins which I thought also deserved some blog love as they are singularly pretty and peaceful and just really ruddy lovely.  Seriously, if anyone needs me today, I’ll mostly be found oogling these vignettes…
I’m seriously digging all this peachy-pink floating around: 

And will someone please tell me where I can get my mittos on this chandy?!

I spy Windsor Smith’s upholstered 360 degrees sofa-of-loveliness:

Bold bold BOLD wall/flooring pattern combo, I’m loving it!

And every single element of this room is the bee’s knees – I literally can’t take my eyes off the fabric on the sofa.

Oh so dreamy…