Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Sofa's everywhere!

I’ve been looking at lots of sofas recently as my sofas are pants.  I bought two new leather sofas from Furniture Village about five years ago and the leather is peeling and they look atrocious.  I’ve got to cover them with various throws and blankets to look half decent…not the look I was going for…that was more the warn in, slouchy, comfortable, aged and vintage look but instead got peeley horrid look.  WARNING beware what leather grade you are getting when purchasing new chairs or sofa or it will look like this!

I didn’t know that such a thing could happen to leather…just thought leather was leather…but noooooo!  So looking at new sofas so I can think about how much I might need to save to replace my two peeley ones!

Now I’m loving sofa.com and made.com as they really have some stunning little sofas at very good prices and Made.com has a sale on at the moment which increases the valueability, that is to the likes of redundant self!  Also loving the small collection by French Collection that DFS are collaborating with, especially the Coast sofa collection, yummy.

So I suppose I had better start saving in 2013!!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas….I did.  I was truly spoilt by my wonderful husband and daughter along with my family.  My dogs had a splendid time as well with plenty of toys to pull apart instantly until they are now just wee scraps of material…stuffing and squeak all gone! 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Christmas is nearly here!

Looking at so many wonderful blogs and pictures of impending Christmassy stuff right now.  It makes me very excited with all the possibilities for decorating the Christmas table and tree.  Take a look at this site and the wonderful way the table has been created…I do love it http://t.co/dPTZGuKS so atmospheric and evocative.  What do you think?

My own Christmas table will look slightly different….partly due to the fact I can’t afford Willaim Yeowood tableware…yes yes yes but I know its oh so gorgeous…..the other is it’s just me and my man this year as daughter is spending it with her young man’s family.  Tricky when ones little one leaves the nest!  So a slightly scaled down affair this year but doesn’t have to mean less glamorous.

Here’s some of my browsing’s for a table setting
Lovely but not sparkly enough
{MuralMax Interiors}
Ummmm too fruity
The right balance of fruitiness and quite gorgeous but not this year
Too sparkly…I know I wanted sparkly but it’s a finite balance isn’t it
Simple and beautiful but too formal I think………but on this kinda theme I think by Jove I might have found it

{Bond Ville}
Now this I love…lovely table setting with a little sparkle and perhaps I could try to re-create this with the baubles hanging above the table in a more muted silver….not too expensive, chic and simple to do.  I think I have my table setting sorted this Christmas now.  My sister will be so proud of me as she thinks about all this stuff in about October if not September, as she gets so excited about what she is going to do and her theme…me I just wing it usually but not this year as now have a different outlook on all things beautiful.  My eye is more decerning….im in training for that stuff you know!!

Friday, 16 November 2012

How Lovely People Are

I have had some shite times in my life (big one recently) but generally I have been lucky to find a man who loves and accepts me for who I am, a beautiful daughter who is just a perfect miracle, a supportive and loving family and some wonderful friends.  But these are things I work at…things I try and nurture….the surprises are those people whom I don’t know but show acts of kindness that are unexpected and kinda restore my faith in the human race.  Not on a huge scale just little kindnesses that take a little effort on their behalf but seem to be done so freely.

Three examples:

I am a bit of a luddite, perhaps you can tell but the pants look of my blog but trying to make it better just gets it all twisted up and I revert back to the basic!  There was a lovely person who worked in my team and she left to go have a baby, I didn’t know her very well but a little.  Unfortunately there were complications but her little Smidge (baby that is) is doing fine and all ok…phew!  She recently met me for coffee and spent at least 2 hours of her precious time to walk me through Twitter…not an easy task but she did and I thank her profusely.  She didn’t have to do this but it was the milk of human kindness…bless her.

The second is a blog I stumbled across recently called English Buildings  http://englishbuildings.blogspot.co.uk/ and there is this chap who writes very eloquently and knowledgeably on…you guessed it…English Buildings.  Well it’s a fascinating blog and there was a house he looked at that I found interesting so I left a comment asking for the architect’s name.  He responded, obviously having done some work to find out.  Then I cheekily asked if he could recommend another house from the 19th century and he gave me lots of suggestions and also another chap got involved and offered more suggestions too.  How kind and generous that was, I am very grateful.

The third, I have a new opportunity to work (Saturday girl…not quite girl at my age but you get the drift!) at an Interior Design House called Ashton House Design http://ashtonhousedesign.co.uk/ I went in last weekend for initial day and was blown away by how sweet and welcoming they were.  My previous job was a bit cut throat really with lots of rivalries so this was unexpected and truly lovely.  The Principle Designer was fab and let me follow her around all day and couldn’t have been more attentive….the assistant designer was equally as lovely and both offered lots of information to a girl who knows diddly squat…they were very patient!!  Again kindness not expected.

So, just wanted to put in writing how lovely some people are and recognise their acts of kindness…..blimey all a bit soppy I know but it has to be done every now and again with genuine heartfelt gratitude not platitude!!! 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Dartmoor is Beautiful

I’m a lucky girl to live in this part of the country.  Dartmoor is one of the most beautiful places on earth I think, especially in the Autumn when there is so much to see as the emerald green of lush spring and summer dies back to reveal its structural splendour….what do you think? 
However, there is always a little lushness and colour for those willing to seek it out!

Friday, 9 November 2012


Brrrrr it’s getting colder now autumn’s really settling in.  Snuggled up by the Rayburn during the day in the kitchen studying and then by the wood fire in the evening watching rubbish as lazy bugger….lovely as this is what the autumn/winter was designed for I guess.  Talking of what winter was designed for, check out the beautiful fires at this site www.focus-creation.com  Oh My Lord (that sounded a bit 50 Im sorry) I particularly love this one where the doors are made of rusted steel and signed by the artist Dominique Imbert who is the creator of Focus Fireplaces.  It’s not just the most spectacular piece of art but gives warmth too…I am in love!
Whilst I was day dreaming about a house where I could have this stunning fireplace (!!) I got to thinking about living spaces in front of the fire. So I was musing about warmth, the sort that you can wrap yourself in, I went off again dreaming about gorgeous throws for my sofa and bed.  I tell you, undertaking an interior design diploma makes me look at my home and want to change stuff….obviously keep some key pieces that we love and are attached to but yearn for cohesion,  simplicity, rooms to have better rhythm and perhaps better symmetry in a way I never knew I would!!!!  So there I was looking for blankets and came across The Atlantic Blanket Company www.atlanticblankets.com and blimey they are gorgeous in mouth-watering colours and textures..…what do you think?
Beautiful mohair and wool throw…the colours are just exquisite I think.
This is my favourite one…gunmetal grey mohair
Now all I need is The Conran Shop’s version of Zanotta’s ‘William’ three-seater sofa and life would be a little more comfortable……ha ha ha who am I kidding its £11,265 but a girl can dream.
Talking of beautiful things there is a blog I follow called Positively Beauty by Christina Colli and its fab www.positivelybeauty.com please go take a look if you are not already plugged in as its pretty cool and she has just had a styled photo shoot for Christmas published in November’s Cotswold Life Magazine.  How exciting and well deserved, really good to support her.
I’m off to continue my dreaming…….

Monday, 29 October 2012

Inspirational Design

I finished my first module and submitted it for marking…..I surprised myself and got 100%.  Woohoo, I’m so happy to actually get something right as was worried my tutor would just send it back laughing with sympathy in his eyes and shaking his head at my dismal attempt to understand the rudiments of space, line, light, texture, balance, emphasis and scale etc. but no, I do understand these concepts a little.  Putting them into practice is a little trickier than understanding in principle.  That part is to come I hope further down the line when I have more of a foundation to stand on.

However, right now I love learning about Interior Design and there is more to it than meets the eye.  More than I originally thought and it takes me ages to finish a module because I don’t understand or know anything at the start but gradually it sinks in and I get the gist. This next module is all to do with the History of Style, Decoration and Architecture.   

I didn’t think about early cave dwellers with their carvings and drawings on cave walls as interior design or Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel come to mention it but this is the question I pose for myself now.  Is it?  I think so.  You know when I started thinking about what I wanted to do to make a transition from my old job to something new, Interior Design was the first thing that really got me excited.  I was a little concerned people might think of it as frippery silly decorating and chucking a few cushions around but it so is not that at all. 

There are some seriously good interior designers out there who have or who are shaping the world we sit in for the good.  It’s not just aesthetics, it’s how we feel, it’s how we live, it’s what we show others and what we don’t show about ourselves, it’s a culmination of historical influences that I expect a lot of people take for granted or don’t see (I didn’t) that guide our taste, it’s aspirational and inspirational and I love it. 

I was squizzing through the internet looking at various influential architects and designers and came across Frank Gehry…blimey has this man got vision.  Considered one of the best architects of our time and designed such places as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and The Dancing House in Prague to name but a few.
When I first looked at his designs I really didn’t like them but now I see the beauty.  They are spectacular actually and can only marvel at such talent in one man….check out his stuff http://www.gehrytechnologies.com/architecture/recent-work the thing is he not only concerns himself with the outside but also the inside and essentially obeys the principles and elements of design but with spectacular effect.    I think the same thing (almost) when I look at the inside of a Kit Kemp Hotel (Firmdale Hotels), beautiful spaces and cleverly, imaginatively and boldly designed.  I can hear people shrieking at me now….that I can’t compare THE most influential architect of our times to a hotel owner who designs her own interiors but I am in a way…it’s all design one way or another just different mediums and different materials.  Same as our cave dwelling ancestors who told a story they wanted to convey with the medium of the visual.
Staying with architecture for a moment I wonder what anyone thinks of this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize winner…..The Sainsbury Laboratory designed by Stanton & Williams (go check it out http://ribastirlingprize.architecture.com/)