Light and Shade x


Time is running away.  I have May to make decisions, June to order..we’re away in starts in August.  It’s really not long. I’m sort of there on most things..but I know that what I want to do is a dance with the dark side – the really dark side –  which in view of the popularity of scandi design is like holding hands with the devil..but if I stand back it’s more a collective reaction to inspiration from my past that’s already firmly stood the test of time..


One of my most favourite interiors ever is Henry Higgins house in Wimpole Street from the film My Fair Lady with it’s opulent multi-layered mash of texture and colour..there’s a welcoming warmth far removed from the clinical hotel look we’ve come to view as the norm. The William Morris wallpaper is spectacular as is the sense of history and quality.


(The Cecil Beaton costumes weren’t bad either..I still want this blouse..and my wedding dress was based on Audrey Hepburn’s dress to the ball)


The other interior that holds it’s place to this day is the house in Practical Magic..


All dark and brooding woodwork..


With stunning cabinetry..


A kitchen to die for..


And a heavenly conservatory to boot…


It’s not the colours – it’s the good/bad design thing that’s oppressive about our modern interiors..the time has come just to claim the space. I think a trip to Leighton House where the above picture came from is needed to further that connection with Victorian opulence and underline the fact it’s not about being different – there’s very little that’s truly new – it’s about going with what you feels is right..rather than what’s expected.

Laters, Kate x


    • Maison Bentley Style

      It’s getting’s so bizarre bits now like where to stop..paint a banister black..but then do you have to paint the whole staircase??..still a bit of a mind f*ck! xxx

  1. Anonymous

    With your own personal sense of style, Kate, I have no doubt your results will be stunning! Comfy as well… and yes, I too want Audrey’s blouse! 🙂 Mother Hen

  2. fabrickated

    I have always loved those Spitalfields houses with their wood paneling, dark colours and shut shutters. And if you have ever been to see a barrister in their ancient chambers. And the William Morris house Standen with its luscious colour schemes. Do let us know what you decide.

  3. lifestyletalks

    Love the kitchen and the conservatory as well! Both have a raffish charm!

  4. vintageattitude

    Have a look at Brave Boutique….run by Fiona Ellis who ran a model agency for 25 years. She was featured in a programme on BBC2 on Sunday so you can find it on i player Modern Times…’s very on the dark side!!!….see what you think. Can’t wait to see your results xx

  5. reeanna lynn

    I LOVE the inspiration–especially the My Fair Lady theme with Victorian influence. A wonderful era for home decor I think! So excited to see the results 🙂