This image of a bedroom designed by Todhunter Earle has been sitting on the pinboard above my desk for a couple of months now. I love the combined textures of the fabric, ceramic, timber and cane, the colour palette, the collection and the scale and composition of the room. It’s just yummy and it illustrates how serene bold colour can be if you’ve got the recipe right.
I am in love with gold right now and any which way is good; shiny, matt, textured, ormolu, entering the realms of ochre, bordering on chartreuse… I’m just drawn to it like a magpie. In interior design it’s a warm and welcoming colour, it complements art beautifully and is further emphasized by natural timber. The bedroom below wouldn’t have as much impact if the chair on the right wasn’t there to balance the lampshade on the left. There are very few colours operating here but between the fabric, the throw and the wooden furniture there is a gradation of gold that keeps things interesting. I love that the two lamps are different – it’s boring on the eye to be too symmetrical. The room below is Ben Penreath’s shop in London, painted in Farrow and Ball’s ‘India Yellow’. This colour is complicated and mature and sets off the plaster work beautifully. The combination of grey and gold in this sitting room is contemporary. The cushions tie the floor and the art work together. It’s an easy look for anyone to replicate (given the abundance of grey sofas in this world). No need to comment on the House Cafe in Istanbul designed by Autoban. I just want those gold mirrored tiles with every ounce of my being. This kitchen. Not really gold, just lovely rich variable timbers mixed together to create something beautiful and warm – and golden. And finally this piggy. Just because.
Images via Pinterest, Farrow and Ball and http://lonnymag.com
I get very excited about projects that bring different creative disciplines together and I’m even more drawn when these projects serve a community or environment for the greater good. So I was taken by New Windows on Willesden Green. This is a collaborative undertaking by The Mayor of London, Brent Council, Design for London by The Architecture Foundation, Meanwhile Space and Blue Consulting. Phew. The end goal is to revive and improve Willesden High Road by bringing positive change to the area. In phase one of the project local shop owners were paired with emerging designers and architects to produce an advent calendar of window displays with a new window opening each day over the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Robin Howe has designed the windows and even the stools for Food for Thought cafe.
“The Architecture Foundation paired me with a cafe called Food for Thought to see what could be done with a small budget,” says Howie.”I worked to create a more engaging window display and more flexible seating plan for the cafe. Taking inspiration from their name I designed the bespoke Thinker Stools and a window display that acts as a community engagement board featuring revolving questions each month that customers can ponder over and share their responses to as part of the display.”The nice surprise for me was how receptive and open Mauro and Lu from Food for Thought were to everything,” he says. “When I first presented to them it seemed to remind them of all the things they wanted to do with the cafe when starting out, which was really lovely to see.” (quote care of Creative Review blog)
In phase 2 the project will focus on ‘reactivating’ vacant premises along the High Road. NWoWG have invited start up buisnesses, projects and individuals to submit their expressions of interest. I’ll certainly be watching to see how things progress. Such a great initiative. We all know that as individuals we thrive in a welcome and upbeat community where people are proud of their environment. And as far as businesses are concerned, if everyone gets on board Willesden Green may become a destination.
Today I’ve been looking at kitchens. I’ve been looking for this one in particular to the point of distraction. You know when you’ve seen something somewhere and you think ‘I’ll find that again’? Well the big news is that the world wide web is a huge place and that’s pretty darn optimistic. Turns out that the page was saved on my ipad. How did I not look at all of my electronic devices for the past entire day?
So, I’ve fallen head over heals in a big way for this kitchen by tec Architecture and Marcel Wanders in Casa Son Vida in Mallorca. This is my dream environment where traditional forms have been given the ultimate twist – over scaled Gustavian style cabinets masquerading as free standing pieces of furniture with sculptural undulating mouldings and ornate brassware spray lacquered for over the top drama. To balance the bold, the central island (equipped with all of the bits that actually make this a kitchen) is a white ‘block’ and this pureness plays down its existence to let the two heroes do the talking. Total eye candy.
Photos by Gaelle Le Boulicault and care of www.archdaily.com
There is something incredibly theatrical yet very peaceful about this ‘home’ in northern Croatia designed by DVA Arhitekta. The main buildings located at the summit of the site to maximize on the views are the owners house, the guest house and the summer house. These square and very angular buildings are softened by their medieval building material, the use of white plaster and pale mortar and the green lawn and landscaping, all working in harmony to accentuate the softness of the ‘boxes’. I am taken by the visual continuity of the walls meeting the stone ground and drifting off into other parts of the landscape or meeting the next building to unify the compound. It’s almost as if these shapes have risen out of a river of stone. The white plaster frames around the windows are almost cartoon-ish; not aligned, seemingly random. But perhaps this is just encouragement not to take things too seriously – rather like my interpretation of the architecture…
It took me a little while to get this website up and running as despite 9 years of working on some of the most incredible and often glamorous projects I could hope to be a part of, I don’t have photographs to showcase. Well I do, but not for replication on a website. Our Clients were intensely private individuals, easily google-able and high profile in their own sectors of success. Interior designers are in a position of privilege to access someone’s private world, unpack and distribute their possessions and almost dictate to them how they’ll inhabit their environments. I’ve even made a few beds in my time. So, it’s no surprise that discretion is paramount and my loyalty to my past clients and to Victoria is very important to me.
I’m a little bit in love with these fire screens by John Stefanidis for Chesney’s. If you’re not familiar with either of these names then feast your eyes upon their gorgeous websites www.johnstefanidis.com and www.chesneys.co.uk. Total eye candy. I am lucky enough to have worked with Chesney’s on a number of projects in the past. I’ll write more about Stefanidis another day as I think he is so very stylish. Anyway, the Victorian’s used firescreens to conceal the fire box when they weren’t using it. It also reduced the draft that inevitably came down those old chimneys, increasing thermal comfort. A very practical and beautiful device that I can see in period properties here in New Zealand. A contemporary take on it would be fun though too wouldn’t it?
I’ve just started to twitter. I’m still in two minds about this one but someone (a complete stranger, not even a family member) has started to follow me… I’m not sure that I can be relied upon to come up with anything informative, poignant or witty to say on a regular basis, as I’m rather busy so I hope that he/she is not terribly disappointed. I’m feeling a bit of pressure now… Anyway I’m kerryndid as in ‘what kerryn did’ if you fancy following me.