Interior Design, Trends, Uncategorized

On the Move

I initially started my blog as a little directory of inspiration and ideas and it has served me well, with many followers and friends joining me on the way. Thank you for coming along on this colourful journey….

But as the world of social media explodes and I find myself trying to keep things up to date in too many places…. not helped by the onset of old age …..I have decided to streamline and continue my blog as part of my website…… so this is not goodbye just a change in location!

I would love you to join me …. you can do so via my Website, Facebook or Instagram

Hope to see you soon xx

Art, Creatively Speaking - Friday Interview, Interior Design, Style File, Things I love, UK, UK designers, Uncategorized

Creatively Speaking Revisited – Young & Battaglia

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Image provided by Young & Battaglia – Photographer Max Jamieson

 

A few years ago I interviewed an amazing designer from my hometown in the UK, who has gone from strength to strength. Being a little bit lazy I thought I would reminisce and dream about a few items that I would love to have in my special space once my kids are no Longer at risk of destroying them. This interview was back in 2013 so would be interesting to see how the answers may have changed.

“I recently posted on the amazing faux cow hide rugs created by design duo Young and Battaglia. As I delved in to a little bit more about the duo’s background I found out that they are based about 10 minutes from where I grew up as a child in a small town called St Neots, Cambridgeshire… Unfortunately being in Sydney they are no longer just round the corner, but I was fortunate enough to have Brendan agree to an interview (through the marvels of technology) about their amazing work… So here we are, Friday is here,  time to grab a cup of tea and a slice of home made soda bread (see below) and sit back and enjoy…..

How would you describe your work and style?

I think someone once described us in the past as “shabby chic meets punk who had a love child in the baroque era”…? but we simply try to create thing we really like, and that may change over time. I would describe our approach as playful, and currently we are very interested in the feeling of history in old objects and interiors. Trying to find new ways of capturing the poetry of the things we love using new materials and techniques.

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Mineheart Poem Plate

 

What, where and/or who inspires you?

I know my partner Vanessa gets inspired by the big city, she loves New York, London and Tokyo… but I’m more of a country boy. I love the countryside and I need space around me to think.

What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why?

Now is the most exciting time for us. Since we started working together in 2003 we have done so many fun things and learned so much, but it feels like everything has really come together this last year or so. We founded the mineheart brand to produce our design and collaborate with other designers, and that gives us the freedom to experiment and try things that we couldn’t before.

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Spaghetti Chandelier in White

 

Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us?

We are currently working on the design of some larger pieces of furniture for mineheart, including wardrobes, chairs and sofas. We are very excited about these as they will be the first furniture pieces in the range, so it’s a totally new adventure!

If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed?

Our work is really meant to be used not so much displayed, I would be happy just to know that our work is in peoples homes around the world and that they enjoy living with them as much as we enjoy creating them!

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White Bookshelf Wallpaper

 

What would be your dream commission?

Not exactly a commission but, one day we hope to build our own house, it would be amazing to design every corner of it and make it exactly how we want it. It would integrate eco-friendly technologies, natural materials, super insulation and solar panels etc… and doing the interior is the part I’m looking forward to most of all!

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Young & Battaglia Home Interior (2013)

If someone were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places to visit (this could be a place, restaurant, cafe, etc).

 

We love food, we have two favorite places we regulary love to go. One is in the Green Man pub in Granchester, we have a Whippet crossed with a Border Collie calle Lili, dogs are allowed, so we often take her for a walk in the meadows there before having some lunch, the menu is amazing and it has a really relaxed atmosphere. The other place we can’t keep away from is the Tudor Thai restaurant in Fenstanton, even if it wasn’t owned by my mum I would still eat there all the time. Tom Yum soup, spicy fish cakes, duck red curry… making myself hungry, might have to go there later!

 

If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you.  What would they be? 

 

Our dog Lili, then… in the past I would have said a sketch book, but recently fell in love with the ipad, and maybe my tool box to make things with!

 

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Lili the dog

 

Now as much as I love your work, I love cooking and am always eager to find out a new recipe… what is your favorite dish to cook??….Would I be able to ask for the recipe?

Vanessa does most of the cooking at home, she makes a delicious soda bread.

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Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.
  2. Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir.
  3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky.)
  4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
  5. Form into a round and flatten the dough slightly before placing on a lightly floured baking sheet.
  6. Put lots of seed (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame) on a wooden board and roll the dough on it.
  7. cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped and cool on a wire rack”

I hope you enjoyed
#youngbattaglia #mineheat #designers #inspiration #interiordesign

Colour, Interior Design, Trends

Neo Mint – Colour trend from catwalk to interior

 

(source @designworkstyle.com)

 

When looking for inspiration for the next “It” colour to hit interiors, the trend forecasters look at what appears to be trending on the catwalks of fashion week, to trade shows showcasing technology and innovation.  One of the colours hedged to be big for 2020 is “Neo Mint”.  It takes the relaxed botanical green hues that have been a popular choice over the last few years, and gives it a bit a contemporary wake up call.

“Neo Mint” opens up to a gateway to a number of colours which are likely to be hitting the interior and clothing stores over the next 12 months, from more summery spearmint and aquamarine right through to a darker richer palette of emeralds.

@Thony

When it comes to adding it to an interior look it can be all out or just a simple splash… the choice and budget is yours…….

Here’s some inspiration on how you can effortlessly incorporate this cool colour into every room in the home.

(Images sourced from Pinterest  via @designworkstyle.com, @Thony, @Thony, @you.co.uk, @Thony, @wikeep, @MOM – ARQUITETURA & DESIGN, @kitchen Studio of Naples, @Thony, @huskdesignblog @Trendbook, @kitchen Studio of Naples & @Homestolove)

#colour #colourtrend #neomint #green #interiordesign #renovation #inspiration #colourdesign #colourintegration #interiors

Interior Design, Lighting, Trends, Uncategorized

Trend – Fluted Glass

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Not all buildings are blessed with an abundance of natural light, accordingly many have resorted to knocking down walls to open up the property to allow it to take advantage of light from other areas. This also has the advantage of meeting our desire for large open plan living.
For for those looking for a less dramatic resolution to creating light, updating or creating internal windows or doors with fluted glass is fast becoming a trend which allows you to maintain a little privacy whilst allowing you to make the most of light flow…. and when paired with a black or brass frame is most definitely going to turn a few heads and maintain a timeless yet trendy vibe. Below are a few images for inspiration, from partitions to pantry doors, cupboards to shower screens, the applications are a plenty.

(All images sourced from Pinterest)

Uncategorized

Creatively Speaking – Kerrie Brown

kerrie in store
A few years ago I was fortunate enough to have number of interviews with fantastic creatives in the world of design and interior design. As we gear up for the weekend, I thought it a good time to revisit.  If you are looking to add a shot of colour, history and culture into your home then Sydney based designer Kerrie Brown is a must stop.  So grab your coffee, tea and a chocolate brownie and sit back and relax preferably as you are propped up by a Kerrie Brown cushion….
“How would you describe your work and style? My style has developed from my years as a set decorator and so is quite eclectic, like many film people I have a short attention span and so am constantly designing new ranges. I love things that are bold, colourful and playful so I think my work usually encompasses these elements.
What, where and/or who inspires you? I’m inspired by so many people and things both past and present . At the moment I love the work of Yayoi Kusama and Aida Makoto … brought on by a recent trip to the Mori Art museum in Tokyo … so much colour, fun and wit ! They are both incredibly inspiring.
Yayoi Kusama Whitney.org
Yayoi Kusama – Source Whitney.org
Aida-Makoto-Monument-For-Nothing - gadabout.jp
Aida Makoto “monument for nothing” Source gadabout.jp
I also thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I saw the new Comme des Garcons range in the Isetan department store again in Tokyo. It was all exaggerated kabuki style in mind blowing pattern and colour. I Love , Love , Love … I think I’m turning Japanese !
Which is your favorite personal project and why? My favorite personal project is always the current one [March 2013] … so at the moment it’s the development of my new printed furniture range. Just added to my website and on the cover of Real Living this month [March 2013].
JungleBirdCabinet
You have worked on a number of big name film sets. How did you get into this line of work? I used to design clothes (many lifetimes ago ) and a friend asked me to design the costumes for her film… so I just fell into the film world and quickly figured out working with inanimate objects (furnishings ) was more fun than trying to deal with actors !
Were there any funny moments that you can tell us about? I seemed to be laughing all the time when I was working in film but I’m not sure if it was because it was always funny … it was more like  a sense of constant madness …  there was a lot of “you want what” .. “your kidding right”? It was brilliant training though , nothing phases me now, customer requests are very tame by comparison !
You have been nominated for an Acadamy Award for set decoration on the film Babe.  What was that moment like?I didn’t find out until mid morning the next day when a friend rang me , it hadn’t occurred to me it would be nominated. I was working on some crazy American TV series starring Robert Wagner it certainly made me popular with the American crew for a moment and then It kind of picked up momentum as it sank in ! It was amazing to me , when I got to L.A, how seriously the American’s take the whole thing …  but great fun … going to the awards .
What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why? So many exciting things .. landing any job overseas is always very exciting , being nominated for an academy award was exciting , realizing I have a new career in textile design is exciting……
Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us? Nothing I can talk about just yet … but will definitely let you know when reality hits !
If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed? That’s hard … the Mori Art Museum , (this weeks choice , sticking with the Tokyo theme ) as it would mean I was uber cool , smart , original , amusing and fascinatingly interesting !
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Source Timeout Japan
What would be your dream commission? To be commissioned to design the soft furnishings  décor for a boutique hotel, .. anywhere !
If someone were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places to visit? ARTBAR at the MCA always fun, Wednesday evening at the Art Gallery of NSW…  love night art , The Camalot Lounge in Marrickville always a winner !
Describe your perfect day. Any day that isn’t boring or involves doing accounts !
If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you.  What would they be? My macbook pro , ipad and iphone and my glasses and some kind of solar panel to recharge the batteries … is that more than three ?”
Hopefully I get the chance to revisit these questions…..
Colour, Interior Design, Style File, Sustainability, Trends, Uncategorized, Upcycle

Sustainable Interior Design

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Unless you have been residing on another planet these last few weeks, it would be hard to ignore that we are coming up to an election in Australia on 18 May. As the mud slinging between the Majors, scandals among the Minors, and the temptation to be done with them all and vote for the Pirate Party is becoming very real ( no I am not kidding there maybe less tax on rum together with a policy of free eyepatches and bandanas ahoy!!), out of it all is one major moot point that seems to be pretty prevalent in the campaigns, being climate change and sustainability…..

So how does this tie in with the world of residential interior design? Well we have seen businesses, and major corporations, use buzzwords such as”sustainability” and “corporate responsibility” with a push to make their workspaces and environment for employees and clients a healthy and sustainable place. This means that “sustainability” is pretty much a standard in most modern business designs and plans, and as such a common brief with architects and their associated interior designers.  Inevitably what happens in the corporate world starts to trickle into the residential sphere, albeit in a smaller way. Just like the fashion of the runway trickles in influence to the high street clothing stores.

Accordingly clients, when renovating, building or just “tweeking” a room here or there, are starting to look at aspects of their life and wanting to make changes that assist them in reducing costs, waste and being more considered in choices that are healthy, long lasting and add value to their life.  This goes from the cost efficiency of the buildings, to the level of toxic chemicals in the paint on the walls, right down to the decluttering phenomenon of Marie Kondo – and whether that item “sparks joy”!

So what does sustainability mean exactly? Sustainability is defined as something which maintains a focus on ensuring the needs of the present are met, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

It is important however to note that there are a number of buzzwords that are associated with sustainability, but the mere fact that they have association does not actually guarantee that they are in themselves “sustainable”.  For example, we hear a lot about  “eco-friendly” products.  This label alone do not necessarily mean that the product is sustainable, nor does it mean that it will have no impact on the environment, it just means that it “may” have a little less impact on the environment than the product it is being marketed against. When you read the fine print that “eco” element may only apply to one small part of the product. For example, a paint suggests that it is low in VOCs  (harmful chemicals released into the air) but it may still contain a level it is just in a form or at such a level that the guidelines allow it to be seen as low or VOC free.  Equally a carpet may state that it is “eco – friendly”, but when you drill down it only applies to one part of the fabric used to make the carpet. Just like that sugar free grocery product, it can be smoke and mirrors diverting you from the fact it contains high levels of salt.  As such research and research is the key.

 

Designing a Sustainable interior ( or exterior for that matter) is about looking at the clients needs, what the spaces need to achieve, and put together designs which use products (or utilise the current space or furnishings – don’t forget recycling) – to  allow this to be achieved in a way that ensures minimal or no impact on the occupants health, the environment, and whilst it is unlikely to not hit the hip pocket in someway, is cost effective either upfront or at some point in the future.

This does not necessarily mean we have to upcycle or reuse, but rather be more considered in choices and look at the products available to help the client achieve this. There is no one size fits all as every client is individual and has different needs, whether they have allergies, disabilities, lifestyle requirements, careers (do they work from home or need the capacity to do so).  So many considerations and it is what makes this job so fun and fascinating…  

 

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Uncategorized

Pantone Colour of the Year 2019 – “Living Coral”

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For the last 20 years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has been a major influence on a variety of industries, from fashion to interiors….. industrial design to graphic design. The colours are selected by a number of colour experts who get the amazing job of combing the world for the glimmer of inspiration which can arise from anywhere…..from film, locations, textures, materials, lifestyle choices and the current socio-economic climate to list only but a few.

This years choice was a reaction to the barrage of digital technology and social media, which has started to overtake and entrench itself into our daily life.  In direct contrast we are hungry for  more authentic and tangible relationships as opposed to what hides behind a facebook or instagram feed. as such the “Sociable and spirited, [and] engaging nature of PANTONE  Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.”

So this years inspiration takes us to the bottom of the tropical seas (where there is no free wifi on hand!) and gives us a burst of happiness…… how will you embrace living coral?

 

(all images sourced from Pinterest)