Category: architecture

Smile Plastics!

Hats in the air to Waitrose starting a ‘bring your own containers’ trial to Oxford.  Plastic packaging for a range of products like pasta, cereals, rice, coffee, wine and frozen fruit will be removed and replaced with a refill your own station.  About bloody time one of the big supermarkets did this.  When they roll it out across all stores (fingers crossed) maybe they’ll use Smile Plastics in their design..

Smile Plastics is a material, design and manufacturing house making desirable hand crafted panels from waste material.  Their vision is to change people’s perceptions around waste via innovation – to use art and technology to unlock the hidden potential in recycling and open peoples eyes to the unexpected beauty of scrap.  In doing so they hope to inspire more people about sustainability and recycling.

(All pics Pinterest)

Transformative.

Laters, Kate x

Borders x

Chelsea Flower Show starts this week which means all things leafy and green. It’s made me think about our garden plans again and re-query the sticking points, one of which raised borders, yes or no, pros and cons, what material, where and how high?

There is a practical reason for wanting raised beds – we have a patio that requires power washing every year, but in the process the plants in the beds get waterlogged and generally die which means I’m in the same position each year looking at my sad, dying borders. Besides there’s something delicious about sharp edged, rendered borders, particularly when they’re painted dark.

Except I have a strong, internal design rule that like women, things outside should be able to age so that they look better with every passing year with the accumulated patina adding to their interest.  The obvious answer would be box hedging: great on the eye.  But wouldn’t solve the water logging problem. And we have the dreaded Box Tree Caterpillar, which destroyed the box hedge we used to have.

A brick wall would be fab.  But expensive.  So thoughts are currently leaning towards railway sleepers: Natural, dark and reasonable price bracket with the Brucie bonus of almost instant satisfaction.

(All pics Pinterest)

I need to sleep on it.

Laters, Kate x

Blue Soho x

 

Iridescent turquoise bricks and art-deco-style cornice are not descriptions you expect from an industrial building in the heart of London.  But the fact that the building is going to be the headquarters for Damien Hirst might explain it further…

Until you realise that Stiff and Trevillion, the architects, designed the building not knowing who would occupy it.  Maybe the address being 30 Beak Street in vibrant, creative Soho is the final piece of the puzzle.

At the base, the hand-dipped glazed bricks are a deep blue, transitioning to the lighter blue as the building reaches higher.

( All pics Pinterest)

 

It’s enough of a statement to be shortlisted for the 2019 RIBA London Awards.  And yet another reason to pay a visit to Soho.

 

Just wish this grim London weather would buck up…

Laters, Kate x

575 Wandsworth Road

 

It won’t be this year I get to see this house – visits are limited in numbers and duration and this years slots are already full – but it’s on the bucket list.

 

The house is the work of Khdambi Asalache, a poet and writer of Kenyan descent who also worked for the BBC and the Treasury.  He started making fretwork to cover up the damp coming from the next door launderette, beginning a project that would last another twenty years. He would use abandoned wood, doors and boxes first cut to size then carved using a single knife.

 


(More details from National Trust and pics from Pinterest)

An extraordinary testament to patience, human endeavour, love and creativity.

Laters, Kate x

Red Hot x

 

Has property porn ever been this good? Let me show the ways…First an eyes on stalks glimpse into the warm, inviting, unpretentious Brooklyn home of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard which proves that true integrity is more than skin deep.

 

But there’s more…there’s a video too…in fact, blank out time somewhere warm and cosy..this is PP on tap…be prepared, then click here.

 

(All pics Architectural Digest and Pinterest)

And the final cherry? The house is for sale.

Time to buy a lottery ticket. And dream.

Laters, Kate x

Shadows too x

Seeing the beauty of Kumi Yamashita’s art made me wonder whether there were any practical applications of shadows for every day. I came across these pictures – but have yet to find a seller or manufacturer, though I suspect a blacksmith could be commissioned to make one…and how cool would it be to have a door number lit at night with a solar powered light? one plus the other could equal pure genius..

And then there are the bigger projects…transposable into garden art?

(All pics Pinterest)

As ever, the only limitations are the imagination..

Laters, Kate x

Swing by x

A main focus of the garden planning is creating an area that people want to be pulled to, that’s different from any other part of the house.  I have always been a great admirer of the American porch – cool, shaded, sociable, restful, a place to sit and while away time without over missing the seconds ticking by.  A place you want to go with a good book and a long cold drink to hide away.  So on the list of musts, after pergola comes  swing chair..

(All pics Pinterest)

Bring on summer!

Laters, Kate x

Angle Poise x

The plans for the office pod are rumbling on, but there’s also talk of making use of the builder when they’re here and turning the other far corner of the garden for a pergola-slash-gazebo.  The thinking goes that in small London gardens we veer away from structures in the garden for fear they make a small garden look smaller, but the problem is in leaving a garden horizontal we rarely venture into it, preferring to gaze into from afar.  So the aim is to build a private, roofed area that will still be useable in summer London drizzle to while away precious hours, whilst still keeping a sense of space and lightness of touch.

(All pics pinterest)

So not much to choose from then…

Laters, Kate x