It was my birthday yesterday – Yippeee me! Meet my presents – Alfie and Bear, the two best dogs ever who now bookend the front door in regal fashion, the finishing touch to the newly painted exterior which finally can get it’s unveiling.
We also have new window boxes, made to size from a great company on Etsy so they sit properly within the window frame. The black of the boxes contrasts the graphite of the paintwork.
The boxes have been planted with ivy to soften and tumble over edges, heucheras for their colour and cyclamen as they were the only white plant readily available at this time of year. At some point trailing white geraniums will be added. It will be a pleasure to see the living wave of colour and white expanding and flowing out over the window sill. I’m even thinking about adding them to the first floor.
The painted graphite on the outside of the house has been dramatic. It has given the whole house a presence, made it feel bigger, added a modern gloss without compromising its history.
There’s this pair of boots and they have this little bit of magic about them which is hard to define, but I think it’s the seductive combination of the white heavily ridged sole and the moccasin line of stitching round the toe; that mash between something hard and something soft giving birth to the perfect boot.
The boots are vaguely reminiscent of the moccasin, a design classic that’s slipped down the must have radar, but I suspect is going to grow again, call it a zeitgeist in the air: All they need is a little move away from the flat crepe sole to hit the modern magpie sweet spot.
You can buy these babies from this company, though be warned – they are offered in vegan leather and ship from China, but the quality is better than you might expect – I have a pair, mainly because I haven’t found any others like them, and I’ve been looking.
The great thing about the triumphant march of technology is that it reminds you of the simple pleasures you once took for granted like writing, pens and ink.
Because now a great script stands out instantly.
Even more so if the ink is coloured. I went through years at secondary school writing in either green or purple ink but now that doesn’t only seem a life time ago, it is a lifetime ago. But a fountain pen with green ink is top of my Christmas list this year. A new trend? Probably.
My ink of choice would be Akkerman, a Dutch company who’ve been making inks for over a hundred years. Their unique bottle originating from the 1930’s is poetry in motion – tilt the closed ink bottle and the neck fills itself up with ink. Placed the bottle on a flat surface again and the marble falls back in the neck to trap the ink creating a perfect reservoir – even when the pot is almost empty.
My jeans are dying. Worn through on places where holes equal a problem. I know what I’ll replace them with: You can’t improve on perfection and for me, vintage mens 501 Levis will always hit the sweet spot. But that doesn’t mean I can’t indulge in some brain boosting denim porn, particularly as size and styling can make all the difference between blend in to simply sublime…
Is it a surprise that things are going green? That the tentacles of change are even reaching inside? Plants, once the scurge of the minimalist-matchy-matchy with too much resonance to hippies and patchouli are becoming the statement pieces of choice: Not only are they living pieces of art but they help the living too, cleaning the air and quite frankly, bringing joy.
With the advance of plants comes the prospect of their pots and there are some quirky gems out there…All three pics above come from Westelm ..these Llamas are shouting out for a large, multi shouldered cactus..
These three delights come from Anthropologie. Their size put them in the perfect Christmas present range. Am I too early??…but when they’re gone, they’re gone.
Or there’s the independent handmade option – definitely worth unearthing – these beauties come from Atelier Stella ceramics based in Brighton.
There seem to be a great many fabulous rings out in the world at the moment touched by influences from the seventies, eighties as well as pure imagination. Both these pictures come from Hybridhandmade, a shop on Etsy where style doesn’t have to break the bank.
This one, by Laura Berrutti, another talented designer on Etsy, made of silver and jade can be yours for under £100. Bargain.
Her designs span that wonderful grey area between hard and soft, straight and curved, graphic and art.
Or maybe with Halloween around the corner this bitten offering from Magdan Designs floats your boat.
As winter creeps closer it seems that colour is saturating the eyeballs like a renaissance of the eighties. It’s disappearance happened so gradually, a fading out, a dying down that it’s resurgence feels all the more powerful, poignant even. Not that the cyclical power of trend should come as a surprise – the picture of the wallpaper above was designed by Josef Frank, who emigrated to Sweden in 1933, gaining citizenship in 1939 and became the most prestigious designer in the Stockholm design company Svenskt Tenn. New is never really new..
Whilst his furniture is classic of its time: clean lines, functionality.
It’s his fabrics and textiles that seem so forward thinking, modern and exciting.
Part of the surprise of life is what captures the eye and why; I suspect there was an unconscious element of appeal for writing this post – I’ve just finished Circe by Madeline Miller, a book grounded in the love of the Greek myths and gilded in gold. Circe has her own loom, made by the legendary Daedalus from sweet smelling cedar, a combination to delight the senses even in the imagination. Majeda Clarke is also a weaver of magic, she says ‘There is something abut the act of making cloth by hand that connects me to a long line of weavers through history who have sat in from of a loom. It is an ancient tradition that is vanishing in a world of mass production and manufactured perfection.’ Her textiles are a celebration of colour, craft and creation.