Category: architecture

Going Glam x

 

 

I’ve been watching The Block on Amazon – an interior design competition set in Australia.  The idea is 5 teams of two renovate a high end apartment each before flogging them at auction, any profit they make is their’s to keep, plus there’s additional prize money for the biggest winner.  The programme originally started in the UK where it was a flop, then the Aussies grabbed it, injected some real money, upped the style criteria and produced a winner – I started at the 2015 series and was mightily impressed – considering it was five years old, all the decisions still stood the test of time.  What makes it superior to other interior competitions is the authenticity and attention to detail – the contestants are given some serious wonga and are working on a genuine building site where their rooms have to pass code, overseen by structural engineers, foremen and architects; there are no glue guns allowed here. The addition of strict deadlines makes for a tense work environment between couples, between builders, between teams – it’s a rich soup of happenings and creativity that makes for compulsive viewing.  I’m now on the 2016 series, where based on the building’s age the rooms are calling for art deco and Hollywood glamour, these were some of playing-along-fantasy-sofa-surfing-inspiration-picks…

 

 

Be still my beating heart….

Laters, Kate x

Queen Square x

 

As someone fascinated by life and society, I’m always intrigued by change and what drives it as I genuinely believe that sometimes change is wrong – that there are things that have reached their peak and can’t be improved upon and that sometimes we push growth without thinking of the long term consequences. But that doesn’t mean that all change is wrong – one only needs to look at this new collab between Ben Penreath, the creative, architect and interior designer and William Morris to see how great eyes can bring new life.

 

(All pics Pinterest and Style Library)

My joy explodeth over.

laters, Kate xxx

Design Icon x

 

Have you seen Home on Apple TV? Property porn for the discerning palate, it’s a series that steps out of the shadow of commercial bling to present homes with heart, soul and integrity. I’m only on episode 2.  But I think I’ll stay there a while, smelling the air and savouring the view, because I have a new design icon: Theaster Gates from Chicago.  The man is an onion – multi layered, multi talented, he defies description in the best possible way.

 

 

He says, ‘I am interested in not only found objects but also in discarded knowledge.’  And I think it is this heart that pulls all his work together, whether it is sculpture, pots or interiors.  He takes his subject and embraces it’s original essence, unleashing the spirit within.

 

 

But even rarer, he doesn’t hoard this spirit – most of his work is on behalf of the community making and re-making community centres, cafes, communal art studios – He touches these places with gold and passes them on. His joy is seeing the connections they make and watching the creative seeds he plants grow.

 

 

To see a building taken back to it’s bones and that skeleton, age becoming a work of art in it’s own right is a beautiful thing.

 

 

To be in a building with a printing press at one end, an library in another, a potters studio in between and a record collection nestled somewhere else is to be in heaven.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

 

This man is an inspiration in its purest form.

 

Laters, Kate x

Trends x

 

Has anyone else watched Good Trouble on BBC iplayer? Easy binge watching, like an ever replacing tube of paprika Pringles.  One of the main stories is following the trial of a black man shot by police. Prophetic when you think it was made in 2018.  But not so when you think how many times a shooting of a black man by police has happened. But it’s the interiors that have stolen my heart.  Set in an old movie theatre in the City of Angels – both elements a pleasant spin on the habitual backdrops of New York – the vibe is high ceilings, large spaces, gorgeous flaking period features, with the implication that taste is always more important than high spend, except this would obviously cost for those not in the know, except of course these people know, except they don’t, because it’s all so artful and effortless for them.  There’s one particular room – other than the library, the kitchen and the pool – to die for.  And that’s Malika’s bedroom – on the wall by the bed is black and gold geometric retro wallpaper, inspired by Art Deco, mixed with the swinging sixties and oozing the era of Biba and Barbara Hulanicki – and it’s singing a sweet song of ‘my time is coming again…’

 

 

In fact, Barbara Hulanicki has been designing in her signature style for Graham and Brown wallpaper.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Black and gold, geometric patterns circa Biba. It will be a thing.

Laters, Kate x

Sneak Peek x

 


 

A little croque en bouche to get this season rolling,  a tasty treat that ticks boxes both as a visual feast but also delights as a naughty peek behind the curtain at how the other half live: This is Kendall Jenner’s house in LA, as presented by Architectural Digest – and if you want to know more, I thoroughly recommend going to the website where there’s an accompanying film with Kendall leading a tour.

 

(All pics AD and Pinterest)

 

A serene oasis away from the madness. I rather love it.

Laters, Kate x

Red Hot x

 

(A re-post – this has been one of my favourite interiors ever, so I think it deserves another peek…)

 

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

Waterworks x

 

For the last week, autumn decided to roll into London instead of July: Grey, swollen clouds, heavy rain, a significant drop in temperature and most surprisingly, strong, bough wrenching winds.  They say Thursday will mark the change back to summer again. I hope so.  I would like some more summertime in the garden, particularly now we have a water feature.

 

 

(All pics Pinterest and Outdoorliving)

 

This is ours, hidden in the lavender.  We wanted moving water to cool the air on really hot days. And it helps that the birds are delighted with our choice, particularly Mr Robin.

 

Fingers crossed the sun will be back at the end of this week.

Laters, Kate x

Interior x

 

The interior of the garden studio will be a new building with an old soul.  Nature, natural, re-claimed, loved and lovable will be the theme pulling it together.  Soft edges, patina and unprecious the by-lines.

 

 

The space will not be big, but that does not exclude character.

 

 

The walls will be exposed wood, the floor wood, covered by a jute rug.

 

 

Down the left side of the sitting room, on the adjoining wall to the office, I will finally have the perfect place for the remains of my Cado storage system I originally bought for the sitting room for TV and has remained under a bed ever since – we only needed one section, but I bought…three! It’ll provide much needed storage, a place for a record player and an extra desk space – always useful.

 

 

The pod will divided into two – a small office room with storage on the left side, a larger sitting room on the right.  Both will have stoves as heaters; this has been a moot point – I would love proper, wood burning stoves – but we live in London, and I don’t think it’s fair on neighbours or the environment, so they will be electric, but cunningly disguised to look the business.

 

 

The office room will be a vintage homage, simple desk, anglepoise wall lamp, pictures and storage.

 

 

At the far end will be a door leading to floor to ceiling storage for things like our tent and paddle boards.

 

 

Still to be finalised is the ceiling – I would like to do something to suggest a bit of drama – nothing on the scale of these – but possibly some narrow cross beams, to add shadow and interest, a miniature of these above.

 

 

Further indecisions are whether there will be space for a small mezzanine level – a place for children to hide. Or will it eat too much into the space?

 

 

And whether to go for build in bench sofas with storage – or something else.

 I suspect budget will be the dictator.

 

 

Laters, Kate x

 

Designed x

 

It’s taken longer than I ever anticipated, but I’ve finally finished the design for the pod; there’s such a freedom to be able to design something for yourself, but when, barring council restrictions and budget, the sky is the limit, choices can be overwhelming.  But bit by bit, by concentrating on what is allowed and what would benefit the space available, I think I’ve got there.  The main inspiration is this garden studio above – I love the simple shape, but there’s also beautiful and subtle detailing that suitably elevates and adds vital character.

 

 

I would love to have the more elongated, pagoda style roof, but the width of our garden won’t allow it.  But there will be a hint.  Unlike the inspiration, we will have a green roof and I hope to encourage plants both to grow up and hang down.  The driving consideration behind the design is because we don’t have a panoramic view to frame, why not go with private, enclosed, quiet and chapel like?  A secret, hidden space for gently moving light and contemplation. So the doors will be Georgian panels, the overhang shaded and the design understated.

 

 

The plan is for planting to cover and encroach, from the sides, from above, from below and even inside the overhang, to create a blur between garden and building.

 

 

The overhang will also protect from the sun and act as a privacy screen.  In ours will be fitted the salvaged stained glass panels, to cast colours and patterns and draw people out.

 

 

The whole building will be painted a bronzey brown as a foil to the plants and to visually push it back into it’s environment.

 

 

The overhang will be wide enough to contain a swing chair positioned to catch the last of the evening light. And if space allows, I would love a dramatic porch light.

 

Now for the inside….

Laters, Kate x

Simples x

 

Pigeon holes, dividers, stereotypes all designed for easy short hand and sometimes lazy labels, because look further and who knows what you’ll find; this simply, but strikingly effective wallpaper comes from a heritage brand set up to promote what some would consider old fashioned chintz.

 

 

Mrs Henry Parish is considered to be one of the last of America’s grande dame decorators. Founded in 2000, Sister Parish is a homage brand whose aim is to bring back the prints and papers that Mrs Parish loved.

 

 

(All pics Sister Parish and Pinterest)

 

It’s timeless elegance on a hot day, blue skies, green grass, the distant sounds from a pool, and always a cool, gentle breeze.

 

 

Laters, Kate x