Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Emma Bridgewater - Chiswick

I took a lazy sunny Sunday stroll to Chiswick on Sunday and Emma Bridgewater's shop on Devonshire Road really caught the mood. There is something so British summer about her range of designs. It makes you want to set out stall and have a summer fete. While some of her designs are a little safe to say the least, there are some key pieces that I've got in my summer tote - red Melamine Beaker, £2.50, Long Spoons, £6, Polka Dot four cup teapot, £49.95 and Union Jack mug, £15.95.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Beach hut style

If I have to sit in the office all Monday, at least I can dream of the beach, or better still my fantasy beach room. Living Etc website has a nice article on beach house style and I love this featured kitchen, in pale hues, nautical style lamps and Alvar Aalto chairs. London is sweltering tonight but this room scheme is super cool.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Russell Pinch - Pendal 2-seat sofa

Everywhere I look in London I see Russell Pinch's Pendal 2-seat sofa - at 100% Design last year, and now in the window at Liberty's as part of Elle Decoration's May window collaboation. People were asked to say what their home means to them and this is reflected in the window styling. The window designs are mix of modern and vintage pieces, which Elle Deco always pulls off with aplomb. The Pendal sofa's cute, feminine florals are offset by mismatched cushions and more modern pieces to give it an edge. It's a compact size, so good as secondary seating or in awkward spaces like bay windows. I love it's homely feel. Sofa available from Russell Pinch, [design hero] £1730.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Cha Cha Moon, W2

I met Knowlesy last night for west London noodles. While the noodles were average the interiors at the new Cha Cha Moon were amazing. The designers said they wanted to create a 'rich space with very simple materials'. And that's what we get. As diners you are hugged by 6cm diameter bamboo rods that undulate the length of the restaurant roof, creating a warm environment. Diners sit on separate benches, positioned close together - communal dining but in smaller groups. Milled bamboo tables continue the oriental theme, along with mirrored surfaces that add a welcome touch of glamour. We sat on black metal benches which look great - but were less than comfy after two hours.
At one end was the open plan kitchen and at the other, a sleek well-maned bar serving welcome ginger, carrot, rose water and apple juices. With benches, bamboo ceiling rods and stripey lino flooring all running the length of the room, the interior seems to stretch on forever. The real surprise were the toilets - fabric textured doors and walls, infinity sink and cute neon signs designed by North. An unexpected flash of glamour in what is essentially a fast noodle joint. The food ain't much to shout about but I've been talking about the interiors all day.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Off the Wall vases

Today's Trincket* love goes to these Off the Wall bone china vases by British designer Andrew Tanner. They come in three motifs: orchid, paisley and rajapur and are 28.5cm in size, available from my fav east end design shop Lifestyle Bazaar. Designs are inspired by Cole & Son wallcoverings. Something cool to put our summer flowers in.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Albion at the Boundary

The Albion at the Boundary in Shoreditch used to be an old Victorian lighting factory. Now it's my favorite breakfast place in London. Designed by Terence Conran and his team, you expect it to be a looker and it is. If I owned a caff, this is how I would design it: natural light, open kitchen, bevelled tiles, pendulous factory lights, and modern British retro styling everywhere. My Deco site has a brilliant piece about how to recreate the look with key pieces from the high street, click here to see it. The styling is not wholly original with it's modern retro slant [think Canteen], but it's execution is flawless: Golden Syrup cutlery containers and knitted tea cosies on Brown Betty teapots are nostalgic and at the same time knowingly chic. Elements of the interior made me smile - the stools at the bar are made of tractor seats! And once I'd eaten my eggs I really didn't want to leave. The interior is split into shop [as you enter] and 'caff' with open kitchen at the rear. In the shop, the floor to ceiling shelves are piled high with veg, breads, cupcakes, cordials and golden syrup to take home in your Albion jute bag - exactly the cute, traditional welcome I was looking for.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Dwell Studio

Only time for a quick one today, la la la. I wanted to show Dwell Studio's Chinoiserie pillows, they are so cute they need to be shown off, tweet tweet.

Monday, 22 June 2009


When it comes to interior design, children often get a bad deal. I rarely see inspiring interiors for kids, and schemes are often for the short-term, and not for kids to grow into. Isak have designed some amazing kids products that look super stylish, but I think adults will love them too. The designs have a gentle, retro feel and are characterised by a bold illustration that is a mix of Scandinavean and British. I love their Isak Penguin wallpaper, and the way they style this in a children's room. I have two nephews that would love this design. And their aunty is secretely coverting it too.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Timourous Beasties

Scottish collective Timorous Beasties come up with some crazy, wonderful designs. It's hard to believe that you would want giant insects all over your household fabrics and wallcoverings, but their beautiful animal, bird and insect designs disprove that. Their latest project A Bird in the Hand is Victorian inspired prints shown here on upholstered chairs. The designs are on show in Sheffield.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Kitchen at Design to Inspire

I have just checked out an amazing kitchen design at Design to Inspire. Especially love the distressed cupboards. I'm busy putting together some ideas for our new house next spring and this is top of my inspiration folder.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

East Beach Cafe

Hmmmm, I wish all beach-side cafes were as well designed as East Beach Cafe. The tables, half inside and half-outside looking out to sea are just what you want when eating fish and chips. The exterior is layer upon organic layer, fitting neatly with the nature around it. The already weathered exterior with it's slightly rusty shell brings with it a cool new way of expressing faded seaside glamour. And the interior is small but hugs you in with it's rippling ceiling. Thomas Heatherwick is my hero. All cafes should be like this.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Nostalgic styling - M&S cafe at Westfield, London

My cute interior of the week - is the open air cafe at M&S Westfield. You probably would expect such retro-cuteness from a high street giant such as M&S, especially in Europe's largest shopping centre. But there were 50's and 60's touches eveywhere in plastic citrus-bright chairs and the 60's styled round dining tables with super-sweet floral printed 'tablecloths'. The whole area is coccooned by wood panelling just at the right level so you don't feel like your in a food hall, eek. There is no escaping current nostalgic styling - it's everywhere, and we love it.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Baroque at the V&A

The Baroque show at the V&A has been getting lots of hype so I went to have a nose. As a modernist minimalist at heart it's not my favorite interiors style but the show does offer inspiration for a modern day take on things. It's worth going for the examples of design and objects from le Palais Versailles in Paris alone. Plus if you're a fan of interiors bling, Baroque will be your thing as the interiors layer gold upon gold and chandeliers are supersize.

There is a way to achieve a pared-down Baroque style in a way that fits in with the 21st century. John Reeves Louis range at Heal's keeps the powerful, ornate shapes of traditional Baroque furniture but the black and white colourways in gloss materials give a modern, graphic edge. I am coverting the purple Louis console, low white bed and and black wardrobe.

Another key item to acheive the look without the bling is Mooi's paper chandelier in ice white which has classic Baroque curves and ornateness and looks amazing hung against draped curtains.

I also love Graham and Green's metal bookshelves in black. The conceit is they look like Baroque style picture frames but they function as book shelves, just right for 21st century space-saving. The timing of the show feels wrong for our recession-hit days, but what it does show is that today's designers are coming up with cool interiors and furniture inspired by the bling but fit for our times.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

New Marylebone bar interior - The Swan & Edgar

I like my Sunday lunch with my mate Knowlesy and a fab, original interior thrown in. And the new Marylebone pub The Swan & Edgar is just that. The bar staff are super chatty [amazing for London] and they told us that the quirky interiors were designed by the owners relative as a labour of love.

The downstairs area is tiny - so small it's like being in someone's front room. Maybe that's why the place feels so intimate. The patchwork banquettes made out of scrap pieces of tweed and wool add to the cosy feel. The centrepiece is the bar which is wittily made out of piles of paperbacks glued together [impossible to pull out, I know, I tried!]. The book theme is continued outside with a row of books presented on a shelf above the pub entrance. My favorite piece of the design was the patchwork wallpaper made out of old Financial Times, and this was carried through on Eames Eiffel chairs with FT papier mache. This is one quirky, cute interior.