Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Beautiful Things: Indian Dowry Box from

For toy, blanket or anything storage, this wooden trunk from is hand painted in India with a traditional pattern. Lovely.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Pinspired: Living with Black

Been thinking about black for this post. So now I have Back in Black by AC/DC in my head. Love that album. Anyway.

So this week I was inspired by this picture pinned from the brilliant blog Door Sixteen. Written by a very cool lady, Anna, whose style I've always had a little bit of a crush on. Industrial and beautiful, Anna has the ability to incorporate black into her home(s), without a hint of gothic splendour or eighties bachelor-pad throwback. I highly recommend you take a visit.

So, inspired by the picture above, how does one live with black? I've always shied away from it in my home, preferring colour and pattern (duh) on a white background. But lately I've been drawn to interiors and homewares that are black: as neutral as white, but with more depth - maybe more interesting.

Making a statement and highlighting features, think of black as an outline or a blank canvas - way better than magnolia to display your beautiful belongings or pictures. Use velvet, satins and shine sparingly (unless the Vlad look is your bag) if anything, stick to matt. Think luxe industrial, or grown-up rustic.With just a smidge of rock and roll. via pinterest
Story North
When black is too much, go super dark grey: Downpipe by Farrow & Ball. Image Jams Designs
Vosgesparis Amsterdam home via decor8 via What Would Gwyneth Do

And here's a bunch of suggestions for painting your world a little bit black:

1. Industrial Archive Drawers from Rose and Grey
2. Ribba Picture Ledge from Ikea
3. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite
4. Jielde Black Lamp from Nixey and Godfrey
5. Pia Wallen Cross Blanket from Story North
6. Mr & Mrs Smith paint in Bloomsbury Townhouse
7. Elca Cushion Linen on Black by Tori Murphy
8. Hand Printed Natural Rug from Rockett St George

Monday, 7 October 2013


For all of you that have become as addicted to Pinterest as I have (Mamas with baby feeding in one hand and smartphone in the other I'm looking at you), I've just made a little tweak to the blog. Where you would previously have seen a 'pin it' button beneath each post, you can now hover over the image you wish to pin, and the pin it button will appear. I've found it's a more reliable method of getting what you want.

Give it a go with this picture of some gorgeous industrial style pendant lights from the company Trainspotters, displayed at Design Junction at the London Design Festival 2013 - more of which later...

You can follow my boards here. If you want.

Monday, 30 September 2013

A-Z of Pattern: E is for Electric!

Some letters are difficult, so I'm stretching the remit for E - we're going for Electricity and anything related: lights, circuit boards, robots, lightning. Fun patterns that would work well for kids of many ages, some of these are pretty liveable in general. Don't you just love the print above? It's the new Robots design by British illustrator Will Haywood, exclusively for Kukka it comes as a tray or a tea towel. My lovely Mum bought me the tea towel when we visited Design Junction last weekend (more on that another day). Check out the way the lady robot oils the crane that winds the man that sparks the lady! Fresh and clever + robots, I love.

clockwise from top left: Reggie Robot wallpaper by Harlequin, Robots tray by Will Haywood for Kukka, Robot Factory fabric by Caleb Gray for Robert Kaufman, Retro Robot wallpaper by Albany, Circuit Board cushion by Printing PrettyTransmit wall mural by Mr Perswall

And here are some bespoke fabric patterns from Spoonflower:

clockwise from top left: Electrical symbols by JabirooCircuits in blue by lowa84, Breakfast appliances by babysisterrae, Rainbow Raindrops by cherii 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Go Shopping: Papa Stour

My friends know that I love sharing my interior and homeware discoveries - hell, that's why I write a blog -  and often come to me to ask for suggestions of where to buy things. For example my sister, texting me one Sunday morning a while ago, "Quick on BBC2, where are the coloured jars from on the shelf behind the presenters?" it may be sad, and it might mean I spend too much time window shopping, but I have to say I love knowing the answer to these questions - or at least having suggestions of alternatives if I can't identify something. Anyway, while these foolish things make me feel smugly satisfied, I hope that actually people are pleased when I can tell them about a new thing or a new place. Bad luck if you're not pleased, because I'm still telling you.

So today, I'm sharing one of my favourite online shops, Papa Stour. I've returned to this site since it's early days and am so glad that it seems to have gone from strength to strength.

Founded by designer and stylist Rosie Brown, Papa Stour celebrates contemporary design and crafts coming out of Scotland, and my, are there some beautiful things to celebrate. Here's a selection of my favourites, but make sure you hop over there and check it out.

Ceramic Jar with Wooden Lid by Karen - Ceramicist

Felted Stripe Small Blanket - Baby Blue by Nicola - Knitwear
British Wildlife Cards by Emily - Illustrator
Tote Bag by Laura - Textile Printer
Fig Leaf Russian Dolls by Allistair - Designer
Harris Tweed Cushion Large Oblong by Rosie - Designer
Wee Sleekit Cowrin Tim'rous Beastie Poster by Allistair - Designer

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Flat Weave Rugs - Loving colour and avoiding crud

I am working on a new project which involves a home with open spaces where areas need delineating, but it must also suit a growing family. I have been drawn to flatweave rugs of all sorts, because they are graphic and vibrant, and frankly, they cling on to less dirt.

Tufted and textured rugs are all very well, but, speaking as someone who lives with a VERY textured rug in our living room, I can honestly say that the thousands of felted discs which I still love, hide some serious crud which takes more than mechanical removal, and my goodness, between breadsticks, rice-cakes, 7 variations of breakfast cereal (EVERY morning) and who knows what, can small people create crud.

So Dhurries (of Indian origin), Kilims (Persian) and plain English flat weave rugs are on my new wishlist, and here are a few that I've been lusting over. One of the best things about these rugs is also that generally they come in at a lower pricepoint than their hand-tufted brothers.

Plastic (yes PLASTIC!) rugs from Brita Sweden. Love.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Pretty in the City: Shoreditch + Guardian Coffee

Last week we took a walk to our old stomping ground, which has changed somewhat in 3 years, but Shoreditch is clinging to its former glory, despite feeling more and more like the West End. There are many nails in the coffin (Topman, Pret a Manger, a block of flats called the Avant Garde Tower, I could go on) but there is still just about enough roughness and dirt to feel honest, so it isn't dead and buried quite yet. As always, there was some wicked art on the buildings to be seen:

A little walk on round the Boxpark popup mall (eugh, hate that word) brought us to the Guardian Coffee Shop, set up as a "data driven" spot to sup your morning caffeine, tables have an ipad attached to catch up on your daily news, and of course wifi means there are a bunch of people on their laptops for the day - though it's not the most comfortable of choices. Serving fairly decent coffee from Nude Espresso (though somewhat cold, and expensive). I was obviously more interested in the deco.

All fittings were made by Unto This Last, furniture makers around the corner in Shoreditch, we own a table and a sideboard from them, and love their stuff, and where they are coming from, so I was pleased to see their bent ply curvy stools and minimal, mid-century-esque tables and benches. The industrial lighting was pretty cool, and I'm willing to bet was supplied from Historic Lighting (if not, you can certainly get similar vintage inspired light fittings and a great range of coloured cable from them).

I also loved the bespoke toile-effect wallpaper, particularly the teal-blue shade of the design, though I haven't been able to find out who designed it.  Find more contemporary (and arguably infinitely cooler) toile urban scenes from Timorous Beasties.