Category: interiors

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

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

Wiser x

 

It’s going to be some time before my fingers can instinctively do this, but I’m having my first ever crochet lesson today and my eyes can’t wait.

 

They’ve been checking out all the incredible designs a simple hook and a piece of yarn and a little bit of yearn can make.

 

I’m very lucky – I’m learning from a highly skilled older lady in my neighbourhood courtesy of The Wiser Collective, a group set up by local mums Claire Redway and Sarah Laffey which aims to link up the generations in my area and

  1. offer practical support for families living apart from their relatives
  2. build connections and provide purpose for potentially isolated older people
  3. offer a sense of neighbourly community and companionship for both groups.

It works on the idea that there is so much we can learn from a group that all too often find themselves isolated, and there are things that as busy families we can offer – large meals with laughter can be something we take for granted.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

I can’t wait

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

Project x

We spent last week in the far north of Finland, 120 miles within the arctic circle: A fab and magical holiday – proper photos to follow – but it blew my mind to be miles away from anywhere, in a winter wonderland deep with thick, pure white snow,  and  somebody  still  had  the  guts,  gall,  initiative  to guerrilla  yarn  bomb…that’s not a tree with a strange disease in the picture.

I’m loving the way this Street Art is developing, mutating different yarn crafts, particularly the use of embroidery.

But not only is it a new take on embroidery, it’s the re-imagining of the holding structure: Anything with a grid is fair game.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

It’s a new way of looking at our black and white world…and seeing potential.

Laters, Kate x

Winding up x

It’s half term next week which means we’re leaving the darkness of winter and transitioning properly into spring.  We’re going away – everything is booked except where we are actually going – we’ve never left it this last minute before.  It feels decadent.  If we weren’t disappearing I’d be tempted to make one of these lights – such a simple, clever idea.  You take the metal skeleton of one or as many lampshades as you like and wrap them with embroidery yarn…genius..

 

If you prefer to buy your lampshade ready made (and they don’t come cheap) check out Wera Jane and, for inspiration, Ana Kras.

 

I didn’t know you could get embroidery thread in neon pink…

Laters, Kate x

Shadows

All these art works were created by Kumi Yamashita using a combination of solids and a single light source.

She says ‘ I sculpt using light and shadow. I construct single or multiple objects and place them in relation to a single light source. The complete artwork is therefore composed of both the material (the solid objects) and the immaterial (the light or shadow).

(All pics Kumi Yamashita or Pinterest)

Pure magic.

Laters, Kate x

Design Hero 1

Those true, authentic, all singing, all dancing design heroes – the things that not only work well, look good, but also punch high above their weight in terms of financial outlay and usability.  And for us, this £12 Nisse Ikea chair has to be up there at the top…we bought 6 of them for the garden four years ago, more as a stop-gap than anything else, but they’ve proved their weight in gold: They spend their lives outside, except when we have dinner parties or Christmas or birthday, then they get wiped down and in they come, still looking as good as the day we bought them. They’re light, flexible, sturdy and generally a brucie bargain – it helps that their light is shining more brightly at the moment as our ‘proper’ dining room chairs have gone to be re-woven, re-caned, re-woke…

(This is a pic of one of the less trashed seats…one was so bad it could be used as a commode.  That’s baaaaaad.)

But you’d never know these were the ugly sister.

(All pics Ikea)

 

Tres chic and tres cheap.

Laters, Kate x