Category: interiors

Garden Pod Planning..

 

In moments of lull I return to the task of designing the pod for the garden:  This summer is on it’s downward slide, which should be the siren call to have it planned and built all ready for next so I wonder why I haven’t yet done it.  Is it because there’s an acceptance that the journey is the richest bit? In my mind, the excuse I’m offering up is that I’m tussling between two strong statements – modern and boho.  I don’t know if it can be both.  I take each element on it’s own and turn it round, looking at it from every side, weighing up the pros and cons. Do they cancel each other out? I know I want two thirds to be a seated pergola with a covered roof but with walls that would filter the light, to provide respite and privacy.  Is the choice modern simplicity that’s kind on the purse? Or is this a last hurrah that requires something a little more?

 

(All pics Pinterest)

Laters, Kate x

Re-entry x

 

I made a discovery yesterday. In fact I made several. Firstly, I am genuinely getting old – the proof came in an unexpected moment when I found myself looking for and using a different attachment for the hoover.

Afterwards I needed a full fat caffeine filled coffee to recover: I’d taken it upon myself to have an autumn-clean; a cathartic move to put away the summer and embrace the coming cold. Part of this meant pulling everything out from under the bed and doing a proper job, because our bedroom has exposed floorboards and the brass bed sits on a vintage rug, provided as a welcome mat to any hungry moths in the neighbourhood. Discovery no.2: There is a Dust Monster, and this is where he lives, along with his neighbour, the Sock Monster.  (I believe these are the protectors of said moths)

But none of the negatives will stop my meshed love and appreciation of the aesthetic quality of a perfectly placed rug, whether in a bedroom or partnered with a sofa.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

 

There’s something about a rug that pulls a room together, anchors the furniture and solidifies all the opposing elements. I was reminded of this whilst watching the latest interior design competition (Interior Design Masters) on the BBC.  The joy of these programmes is considering what you’d do in their position. And often I find myself shouting ‘rug’, and sometimes other words, at the screen.  But the truth is, seeing where contestants go wrong is easy, particularly with the addition of retrospect.  The hardest thing is always to narrow the choices and come up with original ideas in the first place. And that’s without cameras and a time limit.

 

Laters, Kate x

Midsummer x

 

Midsummer’s day on Friday and the weather finely got the message, though looking out of the window now, the air is thick enough to slice and grey storm clouds are gathering.  Which probably explains the English fascination with tents and gazebos: a place to escape from life and rain, somewhere full of hope and nostalgia that remains a little bit of summer no matter what.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

These are all from the Raj Tent Club – the creme de la creme of canopies, but I’ve always had the urge to create my own…

 

Laters, Kate x

Silver Lining x

 

I remember at Christmas being drawn to coloured fairy lights over the classic, style leading, Scandi simplistic white and that pull to colour is still strong:  In the opening episode of Tales of the City on Netflix, there’s an outdoor party in San Fransisco festooned with every kind of light, shape, size and colour and it was an eclectic, mad, happy joy to see.  When the weather is grey, the politics greyer and the country feels like it’s going to the dogs, we need colour….and the bigger, the brighter, the more ebullient, the better.

(All pics Pinterest)

Simple pleasures.

Laters, Kate x

Smile x

Borastapeter wallpaper take classic designs and interpret them in a contemporary way.

Because there’s great joy in taking an accepted pleasure spot and moving the boundaries just enough to find the riches inbetween.

The joy moves up a notch further when the price point is a sensible one.

(All pics Pinterest)

Then the heat it attracts is both warming and thrilling.

Laters, Kate x

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

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