Category: Design fever

Little bit of downtime…

I don’t know about you, but I sure have been working like a mofo for the last couple of weeks – I’m bored of not having a job (and am ever so slightly broke also!) and am trying to ramp up the pace at which I’m getting through my course. Think the grades might fall but at least I’ll be qualified sooner!
Aaaanyway, so I’m finding myself a smidge stressed out today and wishing I were going away here for a few days!  It’s a gorgeous country house designed by Helen Green and I *heart* it.
I have a huge crush on this light (candle) fixture, especially paired with the wooden beams.

Loving the bedside table and the duck egg/chocolate contrasts.


And I reckon I’d actually want to work in this study, instead of deliberately wasting time writing about something very important on my blog…

This pillar candle chandelier is from Restoration Hardware (click for the link), *swoon*:

And this cute tea light version is from (click for the link) and is much more reasonably priced!

Alrighty, back to work I go…

Cayman-inspired jewel toned décor

Crumbs, that was a bit of a mouthful.  Right, so first of all this morning I would like you to please check out this awesome video (shot by yours truly, I know I know I should be a videographer, it’s very professionally done…ha) of my friend Kim throwing herself off a 40 foot cliff into the Caribbean Sea.  Also please note Alistair’s blatant fib: ‘it’s not that high’, my foot.  Click on the FB link to view – I really hope it works, as you’ll be able to see from the video, technology is not exactly a forte of mine…
Nope, it is not some kind of weird suicidal ritual and neither did she just spot a family of turtles hanging out down there, but was in fact a day of Deep Water Soloing out at Pedro’s last Sunday.  For those of you not totally insane and who therefore have no idea what I’m talking about, DWS is rock climbing over the sea with no ropes, so when you cannot cling your scrawny arms (in my case they’re scrawny anyway, not ‘Those Guys’!) to the rock any longer you plop off down into the sea.  It’s pretty fun actually, I love it, but the first jump from the top of the cliffs is a smidgey petrifying. 
Aaaanyway, ‘what does this have to do with interior design?’ I hear you asking, well check out the colour of the sea in the video.  There are just so many different blues, greys and greens in the sea around this little island, depending on where you are, what the currents are doing and whether a hurricane is approaching or not, but Sunday was the first time I’d noticed this particular one.  The really light cerulean blue in the areas with no rocks where there’s only sand underneath the surface just took my breath away (actually that may have been the terrifying plunge into the sea…) and it got me thinking about jewel toned schemes in general, whether they be this shade of blue or a bright emerald, citrine, amethyst, ruby or fuchsia.  So I thought I’d go on the hunt for some examples.
Whether you envelop an entire room in one of these gorgeous shades, or simply use it as an accent colour, it can seriously pack a punch.
How about a cheeky sapphire or blue tourm??

I’m just such a sucker for distressed vintage wooden furnishings upholstered in a bold block colour or print – what a fab place to curl up with a good book! 

Oh hello gorgeous screen, will you move to my house please?

Leopard print + turquoise walls + Moroccan lanterns = one luxurious yet edgy living room:
These emerald green drapes are le bee’s knees.

These citrine hues are so fresh and bright – perfect for springtime.  The zebra print in the first pic is inspired.

This tablescape is stunning, love all the pops of crystal against the raw tree branches and bright bold colour.

And I’m slightly obsessing over this lacquered tangerine ceiling, how fun!!

Or how about a sexy shade of amethyst?

Such a fantastic contrast with the neutral marble here:

Next up are the lovely ruby ladies:

And last but certainly not least, the pink sapphire!

I can’t stop checking back to this one particular scheme – the brightly upholstered curvy French-style armchair is a bit of a cliché, but I do love the eclectic look they’ve achieved here:

Always love me a bit of a pink/orange colour combo, can’t go wrong in my book!

This chaise actually leaves me speechless…

And every single thing about this room is BONKERS!!!  Love it!

Make sure you stay tuned for the rest of the week – I thought I’d share with you the schemes that didn’t quite make the ‘jewel tone’ cut but that would possibly be slightly easier and more restful to live with!

Monday’s Masterpiece – Brazilian charm

Happy Monday peeps, hope you’re ready for a serious fully-saturated colour sesh today – I thought we’d look at the work of the fantaaastic Brazilian designer Sig Bergamin (careful at work, there’s a Brazilian music soundtrack on his website!).
Elle Décor have just featured his beach house in Bahia, Brazil but I first stumbled across him when they covered the crazy colourful décor of his Manhattan apartment last autumn.  Let’s take a look at his NYC pied-à-terre first…
I love the huge mix of florals, ikats, dhurries and velvets, all underscored by the geometric blue and white rug.  Somehow he manages to mix all these together with Indian, Syrian and Chinese furnishings, and makes the space feel collected and chic, rather than a totally manic dog’s dinner.  And the nod to his Brazilian heritage in the pieces of artwork displayed is pretty cool too.

His beach house in Brazil seems to follow the same idea, but on a much larger scale!  He’s kept the ‘canvas’ very neutral with white floors and walls, but has incorporated the most extensive range of styles, colours, patterns, international sources and periods I have ever seen.  White leather Barcelona stools paired with African chairs and a suzani-upholstered sofa?!  Seriously?!  I think the term ‘eclectic’ does not suffice.
Feast your eyes on this masterpiece:

I’m really loving the outdoors spaces – clean nautical stripes but the exotic details add depth.  The striped fabric is one of his.

These bathrooms are pretty friggin’ gorgeous too – the antique mirror, wicker accents and Brazilian hardwood washstand are making me giddy.

And these guest bedrooms are just BANANAS!

African quilts, Balinese sarongs and ikat fabrics adorn this incredible antique opium bed from Bali – now where do you think I can get my hands on one of them…?

Wowsers, I’m feeling a little emotionally drained after all that intensity.  Blimey!
Ok, and here are a few images from his portfolio that are equally show-stopping:

Woah!!!  I actually think this is too much – get rid of all those vases and subsitute some neutral curtains though and you’ve got one fab room:

Monday’s Masterpiece – Exotic elegance

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope your weekends were super duper.  I’ve decided to dedicate today’s big name designer post to the legend that is Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, a Brit interior designer who’s set up shop in LA.  In his career to date his work has been featured on more front pages than you can shake a stick at, and he has designed homes for Elton John, Cher and Tamara Mellon, to name but a few of his celebrity pals.
I first came across his work in Elle Décor, when the home of the actress Ellen Pompeo was featured.  And I LOVE IT!!!!!  Martyn describes his work as ‘eclectic’ in terms of mixing up styles and periods, and quotes Oscar Wilde: ‘all beautiful things belong to the same time’.  I think you’ll agree that he’s managed to pull together various styles to beautiful effect here.
I am very much enjoying the Moroccan accents, deep blue vintage dhurrie and wooden beams combo in the living room and foyer:

Hmm, not sure about this one…the terracotta/stainless steel contrast is very bold, think I like it.  Am loving the oversize photo also.

The Moroccan accents + rustic farmhouse table are pretty effective here:

Gorgeous wall hanging/cushion combo, and I’m seriously enamoured with the red/orange + deep grey colour combo – who’d have thought they could look so fab together.  The brass lamp base/grey lacquer cabinets are the bee’s knees! And the antique Chinese bamboo ladder plays so well off the zinc garden stool in the master bath – perfection!

And the outdoors spaces are pretty swoon-worthy also (slightly obsessed with that brass-topped table + drop dead gorgeous lantern):

Here are a few of my fave images from his portfolio:

Check out these KILLER exotic bedrooms:

Zebra print?  Moroccan inlay table?  Dusty pink upholstery?  Metallic glinty floral screen?  All beautiful items, I agree, but all together in one room?!?!  Who’d have thought they’d look so fabulous together?!  I bow down.

And a few years ago Architectural Digest featured an adobe property designed by him for an ‘art lover and equestrienne’ in a Portuguese quinta style – it pretty much rocks.  The rustic entranceway is BONKERS, the Indian gourd and antique French oil jar are making my knees weak…

…as are the Oriental vibe going on in the living room and the sparkly crushed Mica added to the plaster on the walls of the dining room – friggin’ genius:

Again, loving the Japanese/Chinese influences in the master bedroom – that screen is incredible.

Speaking of horse-y décor, check out the new issue of High Gloss – love love love both the magazine and the scheme on the front cover (designed by Cathy Echols – let’s cover her work next Monday!):

Ahem sorry, getting distracted….where was I?  Oh yep, ok and here are my picks of Martyn’s furnishings and fabrics lines:

Hellllo statement rug:

And some you’re-so-gorgeous-I-want-to-upholster-something-with-you-immediately textiles:

Ok, I’m off to learn about heating and insulation, *yawn* – I have a sneaky suspicion I may start dreaming up some Morocco-styled creations instead…

Caribbean hideaway

I thought it was about time we had another Caribbean sunshine fix on le blog, so may I present to you another of Sir Richard Branson’s INCREDIBLE homes, this one on Necker Island in the US Virgin Islands.  As is the case with The Lodge, the prices actually make your eyes water, but just check out this eye candy.  Perfect Caribbean style?!  I do think so, yes.  Tis divine.  And it’s not exactly helping my hankering after a four poster beauty either…

English rural charm

I seem to have two big sides to my ‘design personality’ right now: 1) crazy bright tribal ethnic eclectic craziness; and 2) English country chic.  Nothing sums up the latter better than the wonderful UK based Cabbages & Roses.  In fact, every single time I log onto their website, it makes me wish desperately that we lived here…

…and that I could bake pies, make jam and sew cushion covers all day long.  I know!  Scary, hey?!  I’m not 40 years old!   I don’t want to make jam!  Total pain in the bum, I’ve seen my Mum do it.  This is the power of their advertising.
Ahem, ok so anyway, let’s see if any of these gorgeous fabrics tickle your fancy:

And they also have a pretty cute clothing range:

Even better, this weekend they are holding a big whopping:

Ahhhh, King’ s Road I do love you so.
And I’ve also got my grubby mitts on photos of the home of the founder of Cabbages & Roses, Christina Strutt, and bloomin’ heck is it pretty (courtesy of Design*Sponge and Rue).  The floaty delicate daybed and outdoors room in general are making me go slightly giddy…


Monday’s Masterpiece – English eccentric

Good morning and welcome to the week!  I had a long overdue catch up with two of my best chicks yesterday, which made me miss good ol’ blighty something rotten.  So I thought this week I’d look at two very different Brit interior design styles, both of which I happen to find pretty smashing.  So for this week’s Design Legend post, let’s take a gander at the work of Abigail Ahern.
Design*Sponge featured a sneak peek of her home a while back, and I have to say the images stopped me dead in my tracks.   She talks about ‘Alice [in Wonderland] on acid’ as her inspiration for her home, which I thought was quite funny…  Anyway, she’s included a bonkers eclectic mix of furnishings, which sit surprisingly well together against the backdrop of deep grey walls and traditional mouldings.  And I luuuurve how she plays with scale by incorporating features like the giant anglepoise lamp.  She also has a really refreshing take on beauty, without being precious about the provenance of items – the main piece of artwork in her living room is an old sign hung back to front on the wall, so that its age and rusty patina is on display.  And the exposed brickwork is le bee’s knees – I do love me a good bit of brickwork!  Anyway, feast your peepers on the pics!

And I’m seriously enamoured with the more serene and calming bedroom/bathroom combo – clawfoot tub + contemporary chandie + working fireplace = happy Elly.

And here are some more images from her portfolio (LOVING the painted floorboards in the first set):

A few of these schemes also feature in her book, ‘A girl’s guide to decorating’ – the name makes it sound super-cringey but it’s actually choccablock full of really fab DIY fixes and other ideas to update your home on a tight budget, accompanied by some seriously gorgeous photography.  It was the first design book I purchased last year, and I have to say I do keep checking back to it for inspiration.
Erm…and lastly here are my picks from her (totally bonkers) home furnishings range – a lot of it is just too crazy for me but there are a few gems!  Her boutique, Atelier Ahern, is in Islington and we can safely say I shall be frequenting it when I’m next home.

A playful take on the ubiquitous zebra stripe rug:

And a few of the crazies!

They’re pretty cool, but I’m just not gutsy enough to ever use these, haha – big respect to anyone who manages to incorporate a greyhound floorlamp into a scheme!
Make sure you stop by for some English rural bliss tomorrow!

Green ≠ Beam me up Scotty

Not necessarily, anyway…
I am all for the ever-growing eco-conscious design trends of our world today, whether it be using upcycled artwork, reclaimed timber or avoiding nasties like VOCs and plastics in general, but I have to say that green architecture has always left me feeling a bit…um…how to put this?…as if I’m in an episode of Star Trek. 

See what I mean?!  Seriously, they all look like these guys are going to walk out the front door and start beaming up, or whatever they do…

I do have a lot of respect for the people designing these spaces but I would really never ever ever ever ever want to live in one.  Until today, when a friend of mine (thank you Covo!) shared with me this incredible space in Hawaii, the Kona Residence designed by Belzberg Architects.  I’m normally more of a traditional gal when it comes to architecture but this seriously rocks my socks, check it out:

They’ve used reclaimed barn wood and train tracks around the exterior of the property as well as lava rock that already existed onsite – a pretty stunning combo:
They’ve also incorporated a solar power supply, rainwater collection system and natural free-flow ventilation.  All in all a big green thumbs up!
And the interiors ain’t bad either – loving the sleek minimalist lines and the seamless indoor/outdoor transition.

The carved sculptural wood is gorgeous here, especially combined with the structured iron bedframe.

One word: bonkers. 

Monday’s Masterpiece – Design masterclass

There’s something I’ve noticed recently about interviews with interior designers: in response to the unoriginal question at the end of ‘who is the designer who’s most influenced your style?’, Bunny Williams seems to feature in a helluva lot of answers.  She’s been hugely influential in the land of interior design since the 60’s and I’ve always, very incorrectly it turns out, assumed that her style is way too traditional for me.   
I’ve been reading up on her a little bit recently, and have noticed she always refers to the fact that the properties she designs are all about the clients, and that it’s not about creating a signature style that she wants to be known for.  Given how totally and utterly bonkers famous she is I was really struck by this show of humility, especially as that is precisely what every other big name designer is trying to do for themselves.
The current edition of Elle Décor features a Manhattan penthouse designed by Bunny.  The clients bought the flat directly above their existing one and have converted it into a guest suite – it’s quite interesting having the focus of the article on the studies/guest bedrooms/interconnecting staircase etc. rather than the usual kitchen/living room/master bedroom deal.  Anyway, I love the whole space but am particularly enamoured with the blue glass/zinc beams combo incorporated into the ceilings throughout, the zinc wall surrounding the fireplace/TV in the living room, the just totally crazy steel/glass staircase and the simply enormous range of furnishings used, from antique Ionic columns dating from the 1800s to the 1960’s lucite-legged coffee table in the living room.  

A back issue of Lonny featured a beach house she designed on Sea Island – it is the perfect mix of relaxed furnishings, a calming colour palette and elegant details, and couldn’t be more of a contrast to the penthouse above.
She mentions in the article that the intensity of sunlight really impacts her use of colour – this is something I’ve been wondering about on and off, how in the Caribbean you seem to be able to get away with hugely saturated bright colours which just seem way too much for a home in, say, London.  She also talks about how she ensures rooms never look too ‘styled’, as if they’ve evolved over time instead of being meticulously detailed, by using a range of materials, textures and colours so that you can add artwork and other accessories over time without ruining the overall scheme.  She also advises that you should use at least one older/vintage/antique piece, whether it be an item of furniture, rug or lighting fixture.
This decorative screen/chaise longue combo is making me giddy:

And the use of two very different bedside tables here is an interesting idea:

Loving the interesting focal point here, and the four poster looks like a beaut!

The classic orange/blue combo here is really ping-y – I guess the neutral walls and sisal flooring allow it to grab your attention and inject energy into the room, without overpowering the scheme.

And lastly, the current edition of Lonny features her office, which is also pretty flipping gorgeous:

She has two product lines to her name: Beeline Home for indoors and Treillage for outdoors – and here are my picks!

Colourways of India – part 1

I have been getting increasingly obsessed with Indian design over the last few months, and have been totally hooked on the incredible An Indian Summer blog.  Things all came to a head last week when I shamelessly ripped off one of the features in the current edition of House Beautiful and created my own mini India-inspired paint collection, ta da! [Didn’t consciously copy the blog name btw, it must have snuck into my head sneaky-like.] 


Farrow & Ball – Brinjal

Benjamin Moore – Peony

Farrow & Ball – Parma grey

Benjamin Moore – Orange sky

Farrow & Ball – Red earth


Unfortunately (for the progress of Section 4) I did not stop there…  I then got totally over-excited and put together a bunch of so-gorgeous-I-can’t-stop-looking-at-them-even-though-I-have-a-ridic-amount-of-work-to-do fabrics/wallcoverings based around four India colour palettes. 
There is just waaaay too much vibrant colour and intense pattern to include everything in one post (I think Ali thought I was a bit hysterical when he got home from work, haha), so I shall save your retinas by gradually drip-feeding them to you over the next few weeks.
Aaanyway, so first up are the fuchsia/magenta puppies:



And here are a few inspiration piccies for you – I know, I know, I’m just too good to you…

Stay tuned for instalment two next week!