After months of hard work, my book is now available to pre order on Amazon! I am extremely proud and can’t wait to see it. I still haven’t actually held a copy in my hands! I hope you will all rush out and buy it – it showcases the homes of some of London’s top creatives from Ally Capellino and Zandra Rhodes to Kate Halfpenny, Marc Newson and Sebastian Conran. There’s plenty to inspire and delight. Out September 2nd…. x
So you’ll have to bear with me at the moment with the lack of posts. Things are a little bit crazy. Luckily I am busy with work and flying off here, there and everywhere to photograph lovely houses, but my main preoccupation at the moment is decorating our new home.
We recently moved from East London to West London. In London terms, this is rather like moving from New York to Los Angeles. Or something. It has been like arriving in a different city altogether. Gone are the creative hipsters on every street corner, brandishing their organic coffees and art-zines, vying to appear in the latest fashion blog as they parade down Broadway Market - they have been replaced by yummy mummies in black four-by-fours all wearing fur trimmed parkas and converse trainers while pushing double buggies towards Queen’s Park. I am struggling to adjust!
We have rented out our London Fields pad and are renting a larger place over here. We have traded in achingly cool street markets, parks and art galleries for more space and a garden with a pear tree. I think it was a good move, but only time will tell. However, our new flat is rather stuck in the 1990s and needs some updating – but how to do this in a rental without seriously upsetting our landlord? He has given me carte blanche so long as I can restore it completely to how it was when we arrived… Hmmmm.
So far, I am planning to paint the walls in soft greys (luckily everywhere is white at the moment), add patterned rugs (I am into geometrics at the moment) and plenty of lovely sparkling chandeliers as well as huge mirrors. I am going to balance these with some modern furniture to keep it fresh as well as a few upcycled and refreshed pieces that I already have knocking around. Being unused to living in a rental property it is frustrating not to be able to do what I want (paint the floorboards, plaster over the exposed brick chimney breast, wallpaper here and there, replace the windows…) but I am going to do my best. It all seems to be taking me a very long time to sort out!
Our first major hurdle is actually getting a sofa to fit through the ridiculously tiny front door. We have tried three so far without success! Our sofa from our last place has gone into storage destined for eBay and yesterday the latest epic fail was a lovely modern chesterfield from made.com (the Flynn, see below).
I was sure it would fit in, but it just wouldn’t budge, so away it has gone. Sigh. I am now thinking of ordering the Margo from Sofa.com as it comes in four pieces so this will surely come through the Alice in Wonderland miniature door?
I have rather fallen in love with it in sky blue soft wool (which I couldn’t find an image of) but which is probably highly impractical with a small boy in the house, but I do love it. It will look lovely against grey walls with some fabulous antiques to really contrast and set it off. Fingers crossed. So, another six weeks with no sofa for us.
I do hope I haven’t bored you to death, but I wanted to keep you lovely readers in the loop! I will be posting some photos soon of the flat and my efforts to make it into a safe, stylish and comfortable family home for us. Stay tuned. Hopefully I will uncover some great new products and be able to share some really cool design tips. Especially if you are living in a rental. Watch this space.
Happy New Year everyone! I’ve been a bit off-radar the last few months, what with finishing my London interiors book for Thames and Hudson (out next October – I hope you’ll all buy a copy!), more styling work and on top of all that I have moved house! It’s been a really busy time, but in a good way and I am really excited about 2013. I think it’s going to be a good year, despite what they say.
I spent a wonderful New Year with friends and family at Manoir de la Foulquetiere, my most favourite place in the world. You really must all go and stay in one of their gites or bed and breakfast rooms. We had long walks in the fresh air in the surrounding countryside and we were really lucky to have beautiful clear skies and crisp winter’s days throughout our stay. Our rooms were decorated with the most beautiful French antiques, each with a stunning modern bathroom and we ate all our meals by candlelight in the panelled dining room next to a roaring log fire with a beatiful chandelier twinkling overhead. The house was filled with the smell of log fires, fresh foliage and Rosemary’s AMAZING cooking. It was heavenly.
This is the room we stayed in:
On the way back to London we stopped off in Paris for two days to visit the antique markets. I was in seventh heaven, as you can imagine. It is one of the best antique markets on earth, with miles of incredible stuff from 16th century Italian candlesticks to mid century modern furniture, all side by side in the winding streets of Paris. I had set myself a budget, but managed to completely break it and came away with the mirror of my dreams, two Louis armchairs, a pair of girondelles and twelve 1950s cocktail and wine glasses. Ooops. Still, it was all a fraction of what it would cost in an antique shop here and we are doing up our new place from scratch… Or at least that’s my excuse! I will try to blog about my adventures doing up our new place as we go along. Anyway, it was really good fun. Here are some photos, to get your creative juices flowing…
So Happy New Year again and here’s to a wonderful year for you all.