Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Nicki Dobree ski lodge envy*

I have Nicki Dobree ski lodge envy. Ok - I can't ski, don't like skiing, but I could do a luxury ski lodge. Co_sy!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Country cottage*

I went to stay at my friend's country cottage on Saturday. She wants me to help her plan her interior schemes, so inevitably I've been giving cottage style some thought. Seemingly I can't escape it - it's featured everywhere in the interiors press right now. I wonder why that is? Maybe it's because the clocks changed and we're all thinking about cosying up indoors next to the open fire. And country cottages are most definitely snug. [I am 5'9 and discovered their low ceilings and small proportioned rooms were not really designed for tall people].
Modern rustic is one of my favorite styles right now [especially for kitchens] and this would be the obvious design approach. A cooler scheme [pale gray's, white washed floorboards, cute chandeliers, distressed furniture and small florals] is another approach. I saw two great design approaches for cottages in the Dec 09 issue of Living Etc. Sarah's converted Tudor cottage caught my imagination not just because she has chosen to put a highly modern interior in an 15th cottage, but more for her playing with scale [the white Panton chairs and floorsize Anglepoise lamp are super-size, but they work]. Maybe country cottages aren't that predictable after all.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Charlotte Mann murals*

Charlotte Mann's wonderfully intricate murals are hand drawn in marker pen onto white emulsion [yes I said hand drawn!]. My favorite mural by Mann is her work at India Knight's house - check out the trompe d'oeil window and the quirky radiator cover. Also the contrast between the orange Kartell light and blue marker pen is stunning. Her work starts at upwards of £1,000 but worth it - imagine getting your own unique, bespoke mural and the glow you'd get from supporting a talented artist. I hope she wins British Surface Designer of the Year 2009. Vote for her at

Thursday, 22 October 2009

A London Autumn*

How stunning are the colours on this modern stack chest of drawers from Established & Sons? Getting me right in the mood for autumn, yee ha
Available from

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Swan chair 1958 - Arne Jacobsen*

The swan chair is perfect for my next project - an eco house for a garden designer. Its stunning organic curves will bring the outside in

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Grand Hotel, Stockholm*

I was at Tent at the London Design Festival a few weeks back eyeing up lovely stuff and had to restrain myself from running off with some Isle Crawford chairs at the De La Espada stand. It reminded me of the chairs she uses in her recent interiors redesign of the Grand Hotel Sweden. I love how the high backed chairs let in the light beautifully but also make the seated feel so snug. She calls it 'seating for eating'. The light fittings at the Grand are just stunning - they include an artichoke light by Danish designer Poulsen and some delicate ceiling hung low pendants designed by Michael Anastassiades. I need to get me some Stockholm holiday time.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Modern rustic kitchen*

I am supposed to be researching garden eco studio for a project but find myself thinking about kitchens, and styling them. Maybe I will design a kitchen in 'modern rustic style' for our next house. Or maybe not. But it's nice wasting time thinking about it. I could contrast some glossy white surfaces and units with beautifully grained wood. An Aga would look stunning, but is a big fat cliche these days [and an eco nightmare], so maybe a silver range cooker would be better. I could expose some beams and floorboards, paint them white and satin varnish them. And stick a big old table in the middle of the room and invite everyone around. I could accessorise with copper pots, industrial metal signs and a Dualit toaster, and show off beautiful ceramics on open shelving. I could go on, and waste the rest of my day on this...

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Cassina Refolo sofa*

Hello Cassina Refolo sofa, I love you.
Maybe I can use it in my next project. By Charlotte Perriand at Nest

Friday, 2 October 2009

Upcycling Zoe Murphy style*

A gold star for Zoe Murphy, the new kid on the British design scene. It's hard to make beautiful, original furniture, and even harder to do it with a eco-conscious approach.

She says 'most of her work is focused on trying to draw attention to furniture and textile pieces that are otherwise left unloved and disregarded'. Her approach is to take classic pieces, mostly in the mid-century modern style and 'upcycle' them using processes such as patchworking and veneering. So her pieces are contemporary but with a history to tell. I love it.