Friday, 28 August 2009

Canteen, Baker Street*

One thing to do this bank holiday - eat classic brit food [pies and apple crumble yum!] in an interior design classic - Canteen on 55 Baker St, W1. How beautiful is this restaurant? Really? If I could design my best restaurant this would be it. The design is clean and made from simple, honest materials. You can sit at cosy booths or around bistro tables [ designed by Very Good and Proper, available for residential purchase]. The only real 'sparkle' is added by the bright light stripes of Fredrik Mattson's pendant light, made of lacquered aluminium bands [and available from Brighton's favorite, The Lollipop Shoppe, £671]. So you can recreate the look at home.

Monday, 24 August 2009


Lucky girl that I am, I spent Sat night in Wahaca, Covent Garden eating 'Mexican Street food'. A noisy and colourful experience - just like a street market should be.

Walking in, downstairs into the bustling bar, you get a real sense of excitement. My first thought was - 'where's the tequila!'

I hear it on good source that the interiors were constructed using recycled materials [gold star']. The 'colour' comes from the green and blue glass panels and the acoustics, which make for a lively evening.

The informal benches, wood panelling on the walls and displays of Mexican food produce make the street market experience that little bit more real, but then the warehouse style lighting and dance music bring it squarely into 21st London town.

This is a happy place to eat.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Type heaven*

Eye spy with my design eye some giant metal type that I must put on my kitchen wall! It's from a secret place called Elemental Antiques at Spitalfields market. Shh, don't tell anyone...

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Beach huts*

Today I would like to be by the seaside and not in this pesky design studio.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Prints Charming at Liberty*

You won't have escaped the fact that Liberty prints are everywhere this year - and I mean everywhere - not just Topshop dresses, even Nike trainers!

If you're going 'country style', including Liberty prints in your scheme gives you florals with edge to avoid 'chintz hell'. For inspiration go check out Prints Charming at Liberty's flagship in Regent Street. They even clad the building in the bold bright pink floral Betsy print to get the point across! Inside on the 4th floor you'll find the free exhibition - an archive of Liberty designs including new designs by UK design stars such as Lisa from Squint and Lucy Renshaw. I loved the bicycle clad in micro-florals for racing around town.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Brit style*

Here is a still I am loving at the moment - Brit style. It's a kind of contemporary eclectic - one for the Living Etc readers! Shoreditch House does the look really well and it's easy to acheive at home with lots of warm tactile fabrics lsuch as velvet, shapes and curves like Tom Dixon's wingback chair, and Brit design classics like the Chesterfield sofa and Union Jacks [in the form of wall hangings, rugs and cushions]. And the finishing touch - a pair of bulldog bookends from Graham and Green. To give the look a real edge, go for bare brick on selected walls. You can get a Chesterfield from Rume, the Jubilee wallhanging is Lucinda Chambers and the Union rug is Vivienne Westwood, both from The Rug Company.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Utility lights - Tom Dixon*

How lovely would these simple pressed glass pendant lights look in a kitchen - how lovely indeed. From UK design star Tom Dixon, available in four sizes.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Eames EA217 softpad chair*

Studys and work space designs are famously uninspiring. When planning my home study or design agency, the Eames EA217 softpad chair would be my first choice piece of furniture. It's comfy [with padded seats], moves with ease [on castors] and looks stunning [the yellow leather version would be my colour choice]. Who needs caffeine with this sunshine yellow design classic? The chair is available from The Conrad Shop and Vitra at Geoffrey Drayton.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

E Pellicci inter-war style caff*

Do you want a full on bifta breakfast in a 50's caff in East London? E Pellicci's is a time capsule of a cafe. You imagine this is what it felt like to have a brew and fry up in the inter-war years. The interiors are all Art Deco marquetry-panelling and geometric pattern. Find a spot at the cosy Formica tables like we did, sit next to the cockney locals, order a full plate for what is litterally pennies and feel yourself being transported back 50 years.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Vintage metal signs*

To bring a bit of personality to a kitchen, I love the rusted metal signs available from RE. The Fresh Fish and Seafood designs are summery and give a hint of retro. Or use the signs in a bedroom for a seaside theme. Sizes are Seafood 29cm x 29cm and Fresh Fish 46cm x 18cm, priced at £19 each.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Georgian Cottage - Sussex Downs*

This month's Living Etc has a lovely feature of a cosy Georgian cottage in the Sussex Downs. The interior looks like a totally calm and inspiring place to live. I especially like the tongue and groove used throughout, the Farrow and Ball inspired colours, the textured lightshades and slightly worn furniture.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Pedlars, Notting Hill*

Like I needed another excuse to spend a whole Saturday on Portobello Road market, Pedlars have opened a cute new shop on Talbot Road stocking all manor of trinckets. My favs - their postwar chic inspired lights, Keep Calm and Carry on mugs, Tolix stackable stools and the vintage Routemaster and transport signs.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Committee kebab lamps

is a design team in Deptford. I first saw them a few years ago at the London Design Festival when they unveiled their 'kebab' lamp, which has since won a full cupboard of design accolades, including Elle Deco's lighting product of the year. They make the lamps by skewering refound objects from charity and bric-a-brac shops. Each lamp design is unique and custom made to order. I would love one as each lamp, through it's objects, tells a story.