Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Design Delight @ Daylesford Organic

After a busy day at Decorex 2012, we headed to Daylesford Organic on the way back to the car. Located in pretty Pimlico Road, I remember watching the building Daylesford is housed in being renovated way back in 2006-2007 because I used to walk past it everyday on my way to work.

I loved seeing the daily changes and developments of the property and it was such a thrill when it opened and I went inside for a look around. It seemed so fresh and smart with its marble surfaces and immaculate displays. I remember the staff being so friendly, and my friend and I enjoying tea and cake in the window seats watching the world go by.

I'm so glad to say I got the same feeling when I walked in on Sunday although this time we headed upstairs to sit down. 

When it's pouring with rain outside and you've been on your feet all day, a good cup of coffee and some earl grey tea loaf will really hit the spot. It was wonderful!

We sat at one of the long benches and started making some initial plans for West Egg in 2013 (I know we're running late; the renovation project has taken over!)

I'd actually forgotten how wonderful the interior design is at Daylesford. I love, love, love the clapperboard panelling upstairs. With those big windows and fabulous product displays, it's an incredibly calm and uplifting space.

The café seating to the right meant there was a quiet chatter and the wonderful aroma of freshly made coffee wafting over while we browsed the homewares.

So beautiful, their packaging design is so simple but very effective. I really like how they have used the crates to display products. While it's not a particularly "new" concept using crates, it does give a really lovely wholesome feel to the space.

I had a look through their website while I was writing this blog post to see if they still posted recipes on there, they do! Check them out here, the shepherd's pie in particular is delicious.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Decorex 2012 Highlights

After all my excitement in this post way back at the beginning of August, it was beginning to feel like Decorex 2012 was never going to arrive. And then suddenly it was upon us. I started the day in pretty poor shape after celebrating an amazing wedding in the Cotswolds the day before. And it was pouring with rain. But everything started to look up when I managed to park just near Starbucks in Pimlico Rd so after a hefty caffeine fix I was actually feeling pretty good. 

The foyer this year was designed by Vivenne Westwood which was incredibly dramatic. The dresses are made from wallpaper which I find just baffling really. I have no idea how they managed to do that. 

Here are my personal highlights of the day done very quickly using some of my Instagram photos.

1. Inspired by Prometheus at Andrew Martin got me on a power trip. 
2. Beautiful designs at The Rug Company had me at hello. 
3. In love with the new Kew fabric designs by IVO Prints and so excited about using some of these designs for West Egg soft furnishing products in 2013. 
4. Alfresco dining at Harlequin had me hankering after a glass of bubbly. 

5. More alfresco fun at Harlequin.
6. Chevron chic is everywhere but no one is doing better than The Rug Company 
7. Rapture & Wright had a brilliant video of the hand-printing process at their Gloucestershire print studio (check out their brilliant blog for great behind the scenes posts) 
8. Spotted this hammock at Daylesford Organic on Pimlico Rd (post Decorex debrief w/ tea & cake) and just wanted to climb right in. 

UPDATE: Although Decorex is a trade fair, it is open to the public tomorrow afternoon into the early evening so do go along if you get the chance. 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Look Inside: The Home of Nigel Barker

I came across the super cool West Village home of famed fashion photographer Nigel Barker and his wife Crissy in a recent issue of Page Six Magazine which is free inside the New York Post. However, since I live in the UK I get my fix online at which works just as well. I think it's really great to be able to access newspapers and magazine supplements from all over the world via the internet because it can give such a fresh perspective on interiors and styling.

Anyway, this feature on Nigel Baker really grabbed my attention. In tthe interview he talks about this treasured portrait of his mother “ my mama. Crissy said whenever she’s in the kitchen she feels like my mom’s staring at her.” The painting used to hang in the bedroom. “But she got put in the hall, which is far more appropriate,” says Crissy. I can kind of see her point.

Love love love this incredible arrangement of photographs. It's a pretty bold statement and such a great exhibition wall.

And this bedroom just looks so fresh and different. The room divider headboard is such an inspired idea and is so quirky and fun. I almost wish there was a zoomed out version of this photograph so you could see all the other art work on the wall as well. In the interview Nigel describes his home as  “colorful, and real. It has a heartbeat. Everything means something.” 

For me, I think that's exactly the point of home interiors, my most treasured home pieces are always the ones with a story behind them, bits and bobs I've picked up overseas or gifts from family or friends.

Reading this piece has also encouraged me to be braver with colour. As I start to think about decorating the barn space for West Egg, I always find myself erring towards the more cautious and muted side of the colour spectrum. I need to be brave! I'll keep you posted on how that goes...

The full interview and more images are available by clicking here if you want to see more.

All images: kindly permitted by Michael Edwards for Page Six Magazine

Monday, 10 September 2012

Astier de Villatte at Liberty

I was in London last week to see the play One Man, Two Guvnors with a friend - it was hands down the funniest thing I've ever seen and such a wonderful break from the house and barn renovations which are pretty unfun at times. I was a hysterical weeping mess (in a good way) by the interval and afterwards I could barely speak my jaw was aching from laughing so much.  

Anyway, before all that madness I was due to meet my friend on Great Malborough Street so I caught an earlier train so I'd have time for a spin around Liberty before supper. (We went to Ping Pong because for me, dim sum = heavenly yum yum).

Wow, it's been at least a year since I last visited and although I had less than an hour I had a wonderful time browsing through the beautiful homewares department.

I remember when my Mum took me to London when I was around 12 or 13 years old and said we were going to a very special London department store. I still remember walking in and being completely blown away by the mock Tudor architecture and design.

As I made my way round the homewares department, I was thrilled to see Astier de Villatte products are now available at Liberty. I'm not sure how long they have been available - I may be a little slow on the uptake? Who knows, it was great to see their beautiful designs in the flesh. 

I first came across Astier de Villatte ceramics about 3 years ago and while the price tag is still a little out of reach, it was lovely to window shop. They are definitely worth saving up for and I've got a few items written down now that I know I'll love and treasure so much. 

I am completely in love with the craft and attention to quality that has gone into the design of the crockery. They are designed by Benoit Astier de Villatte and produced using the old-fashioned handbuilding technique that was used prior to the casting method. I love the delicate and elegant detailing which is really quite subtle and low-key. The ceramic chopping boards are so fabulous, I'd love one as a cheese platter and the star plates are *just* amazing. I definitely need one or five of those in my kitchen / life.

Tivoli, Marienbad, Kobe and Delphi are just a handful of the incredible range of candles available. With wildly different and unusual scents it was such a treat to take off the glass lids and inhale these heady aromas. My favourite was the Cabourg, described as "très chic Normandy seaside. It was under the arbours flower gardens of the Grand Hotel that Marcel Proust wrote In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower. A delectable scent of wisteria, hot spiced creamy jasmine spray chills invade these places". Pretty cool that a candle description can whisk you off to a far flung place in seconds.