Happy Chinese New Year

Or…Gong Xi Fa Cai if you want to get all Mandarin-y on me.

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It’s the year of the horse in 2014 and you should see the incredible lanterns in China Town here in Singers, these pics don’t really do them justice:

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I thought in honour of this weekend’s celebrations I would have a look at my fave Chinese/Asian-inspired interiors.  I’m still loving all the medicine cabinets I can get my greedy peepers on, as well as the foo-foos and Chinese wedding cabinets.

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And see here and here for sourcing…

We’re off to Myanmar for the long weekend, full travel report to follow!

Have a happy weekend folks.

Monday’s Masterpiece – a Windsor recap

So I first discovered the gorgeous interiors created by Windsor Smith back in 2011, but I thought today I would take a little look at what she has been up to since then.  Well I probably don’t need to tell you that she’s been a busy lady.

A couple of these images are repeats but my gawd they’re the bee’s knees.

Starting with an actual decent photo of the insaaaaane farmhouse sink that I’ve been thinking about on and off since posting it back in July last year…  I should have known this was her doing!

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Yum. Yum. Yum.  I would so love to pair one of these with matt brass fittings and dark cabinetry, swoony swoony swoon swoon.

A classic example of her skill at mixing old and new…

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…and a typical bohemian look, LOVE!

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This unusual window treatment is pretty beautiful, kinda like an updated version of the festoon blind:

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Double zebra on parquet…what’s not to love?!

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And I think this is still my fave of the bunch – it’s all about the elegant indigo curtains, zebra upholstery and Moroccan side table:

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Still love this vignette on the LHS after all these years!

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This eclectic living space + Serge Mouille light are from the House of Windsor show house back in 2011:

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And lastly I’m love love loving these Chippendale chairs, especially paired with the upholstery – hmm, I smell a Design Classic post coming your way:

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Design classic (37) – the Wassily chair

So the caramel leather Wassily chair that I posted up last week made me want to take a closer look at this little Modernist gem.

Designed by (this ‘ere bloke below) Marcel Breuer in 1926, and made from tubular steel and leather, it is an iconic piece from the Bauhaus School and is still massively in demand today (Knoll flog the authentic puppies, but as ever there are also many repro versions available).

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I haven’t been able to find too many examples that fill me with glee, but here are the few I’ve rounded up – the caramel is my fave.  Obvs.

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Loving it here juxtaposed against the traditional mouldings:

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And it provides the perfect contemporary kick to this eclectic living room:

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More yummy caramel!

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So what do you think of this slinky number?  Is it your cup of tea…?

Have a happy weekend!

Home redesign – bedroom – the plan

Morning loves!  So today I’ve put together the final plan and furniture boards for the master bedroom redesign.  As it’s just a rental I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to but am pretty pleased with the result.  As is my ‘client’, ha.  I’ll go through each aspect in turn, or just skip to the bottom for the good stuff.

Flooring – we already had ok floorboards [laminate but pretty good quality], so I just kept these and added a rug.  It took me a looong time to decide on this, I have real Rug Indecision Issues clearly, but eventually settled on using a vintage Moroccan wedding blanket.  It gets zero foot traffic so I don’t need to worry about the rug being too delicate, it just sits there lookin’ pretty.

I’ve been swooning over handiras for a long time now, see here for more of these goodies!

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Walls – I got the painters in to give the room a new lease of life with some crisp white paint, which completely transformed the space.  I wanted to keep it all quite calm and minimalist so I’ve just added a few simple pieces of art and a carved wood mirror.  Will share piccies in a little while…

Window treatment – this was potentially a problem area as the bedroom gets a lot of bright sunshine every morning at 7 o’clock on the dot.  Singapore sits pretty much slap bang on the Equator so the sun rises and sets at the same time year round, but we’re  both early risers so I decided to go for a white linen full height curtain with a thin cotton lining – when the sun comes up it shines right through the linen and shows off all the gorgeous natural slubs and nubs and creates this amazing diffused light.  A very nice way to wake up!

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See more puddled beauties here!

Furniture – we didn’t have to squeeze in a wardrobe or chest of drawers, as we luckily have a slick walk-in wardrobe.  So I was really only looking at the basics:

1. Bed

So I desperately wanted to do a DIY canopy-bed-style-thang, with fabric hanging from battens attached to the ceiling but {sob sob} it’s a false ceiling housing the recessed downlighters, which might feasibly take the weight of some very very thin and floaty fabric, but I didn’t really want to risk the whole thing crashing on our heads in the middle of the night.

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One day, one day…

So in the end I bought a simple but good quality headboard-less kingsize bed, and added a gorgeous carved wooden screen from Indonesia.  See here for a few different options for this kind of look, from shutters to artwork!  Kinda like these…

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2. Bedside tables

I have a huge and long-standing grudge against bedside tables.  I’m not sure exactly where this came from, I’ve never been particularly offended by one, but the matchy-matchy aspect really irritates me.  So I was open to pretty much all ideas.

Alistair has expressed very few demands in terms of what he wants in the place {I’ve married a wise man, ha}, but a ‘cool Asian froggy rain drum’ was one of them.  Very happy to oblige as I’m rather partial to these bronze beauts myself:

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They make a dramatic plop noise [technical term] when rain (or um…house keys?) drop onto the surface – it’s all fun and games until it nearly induces a heart-attack every time Ali’s mobile phone alarm goes off directly on top of it.  No need for the snooze function in our house, oh no.

Ermm and I decided to go for a gorgeous little mother of pearl inlay table for my side, creating a his ‘n’ hers bedside table situation – there’s no reason why you can’t have mismatched sides really, as long as they play together nicely and are approx. the same height.

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3. Armchair and side table

There was a little corner just begging for an armchair vignette.  I intended this technically as a little reading spot but in reality it is really just somewhere for me to throw my crap at the end of the day.  Pretty though!

Lighting – there was very little to do for lighting really, as the recessed downlighters were already in place.  I just incorporated a simple and chic table lamp and Bob was your proverbial Uncle.

Accessories – again, I haven’t added many as I wanted to keep the whole space very calm and simple, but a Balinese capiz shell sculpture (to be transformed into a light one day…maybe), a couple of cute photo frames and some beautiful washed linen cushions do the business.

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Soooo that’s all the deets and here it is in ‘fun format’:

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Let me know what you think!

Monday’s Masterpiece – it’s all in the details

I realised recently that my Monday’s Masterpieces have fallen by the wayside lately, and that is simply not cricket if you ask me.  Let’s get the ball rolling for 2014!

I was bowled over the other day by this bonkers-good office/living space designed by Steven Gambrel that’s been doing the rounds on t’interwebs:

Chicago Residence designed by Steven Gambrel.

Loooove the bold use of colour and that artwork is incredible.

I thought I’d take a little peek at the rest of his portfolio this morning.  Equally at home with vibrant colour – every shade of the rainbow in fact – and monochrome neutrals, these spaces are richly layered and full of exquisite details.  I’ve kinda favoured the more neutral puppies, so if you’re more colour-inclined then make sure you stop by his portfolio and have a look for yourself.

Think I’ll let the images speak for themselves today… do leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

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Home redesign – bedroom – the inspo

I’ve posted {a tad err haphazardly} about the redesign of our place before, but I’m thinking I’ll go through the process in a slightly less crazy-lady manner, from inspo and ‘before’ pics all the way through to the ‘afters’.  Let’s start off today with the master bedroom.

So we (my client is very understanding, he agrees with everything I say…ha) wanted to keep the space very airy and relaxing and calm – lots of whites and neutrals but amped up with tons of gorgeous natural textures: washed linens, carved and organic woods, mother of pearl, woven cottons, bamboo, leather yada yada yada…

Before I got started it had loads of potential – high ceiling, lovely-ish floorboards, oodles of light – but was unfortunately painted a particularly offensive grey/brown shade of sludge:

Before

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I immediately got the painters in and turned it bright white.  The shade would be too stark and cold in a more northern country (eg. Blighty), but here it really cools down the light and opens the room up, and generally does the bizness.

Anyhoo I’m getting ahead of myself already.  Here are the inspo piccies I was drawn to from the beginning – beautiful natural finishes galore!

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What do you think…?  Do you likey or do you prefer a little more colour?

Camel / caramel leather goodness

I remembered over Crimbo how much I love caramel leather.  I have an old old oooold leather jacket that I’ve pretty much worn to death but can’t quite face chucking out, which  kept me toasty in London’s chilly temps.

So I thought I would take a little looky at some interiors inspo, showcasing this caramel/camel shade.

I’m still hankering after a Swan chair (below right) – will get my mitts on one of the beauts one of these days…hmm.  See here for more.

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This colour leather looks absolutely DIVINE with darker shades like indigo or charcoal, yum:

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Gorgeous on the Hardoy Butterfly chair – see here for more goodies:

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A couple of these are more cognac-y than camel-y, but ya knows they’re still gorgeous:

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LOVE it on a cheeky Egg chair too:

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Yummmmm.

Happy New Year

Oh crumbs lovelies, I’ve been dreadful at this blogging malarkey lately!  We’ve been rushing around the country trying to squeeze in seeing everyone and I’ve been polishing off the last few bits of my course in every spare minute.  But I am oh so happy to announce that it is now done and dusted, and that I’ll be a qualified interior designer (bar any unexpected catastrophes…) in the next month or so.

I just re-read my New Year wrap up from last year and had a chuckle to myself at the characteristically over-enthusiastic and over-positive attitude.  So I have completed only one of the three massively overambitious targets I set myself, but have done about 80% of the remaining two so am still on track.

As ever a bazillion thank yous for joining me in this little corner of t’interwebs in 2013, and I hope you stay tuned for more blogging in the new year about designing our space in Singapore and setting up the Biz (as well as the usual ramblings) and much much less bitchin’ about how much work my course has been, haha.

We’re hosting a dinner party tonight for some buddies so I need to go get my skates on – there’s food to cook and decor to magic out of thin air.

Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve loves, from my home to yours.xx

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Loving London

It’s so good to be home!  Chuffing chilly, I have seemingly turned into a total wimp sometime in the last four years, but good!  We’ve both been working full time so haven’t got to explore as much as normal but we’ve been loving catching up with buddies and the familias.

We headed to Borough Market last night for dins with some friends – possibly my favourite spot in the city – and I thought I’d re-post some pics I took a long long time ago now.  Love this place, you must go visit next time you’re in town!

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And a few gratuitous festive shots…

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We’re heading into the countryside for the weekend but are hitting up more fave city spots next week, can’t wait!

How’s everybody doing?  All ready for Crimbo??  Have a happy weekend.

Ludicrously luscious lighting

It’s crunch time folks, I’m in the final four days of my course.  It’s going swimmingly (apart from a disastrously neon ‘duck egg blue’ paint colour, oooh la la) but I have a hella lot to get done by Saturday morning when we fly home to England for Crimbles.

So I’ve finished all the lighting docs now and wanted to introduce you to the luscious lady that is the Ochre Seed Cloud installation, if you are yet to make her acquaintance.

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I have spent a disproportionate amount of my days oogling the cast bronze buds and glass drops goodness.

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I want to eat them they are so good.

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They do cost a pretty penny but oh my are they beautiful.

Ok and here’s a few more…[err, AMAZING set against exposed brick, mental note]

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I’m sorry for the lack of festivity on the old bloggy – since we moved to the tropics four years ago I’ve found it crazy hard to feel even remotely festive until my feet are firmly back in the motherland.  So expect some overexcited and mince pie-fuelled posts next week.

How are we all doing?  I’ve been missing you!