Category: retro

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

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

Laundry Life x

 

The weather has changed. A strong wind is blowing in from the north, dropping the temperature by ten degrees plus.  As I look out of my study window there’s still enough blue to patch a Dutchman’s trousers, but the heavy grey clouds look like they could gather and coalesce at any moment.  Now half is dark, fast moving cloud, the rest blue.  The clouds are being chased away.  But there’s more behind.  Would you put your washing out today?

 

 

There’s something inescapably romantic about clothes on a washing line

like the playing cards of a family laid out for all to see.

 

 

Fresh air whipping the wet into submission.

 

 

The downside can be rust marks from wooden pegs, lack of flexibility from solid wooden pegs, and brittle plastic pegs that age and snap.  Hence the joy of these babies by Pincinox: Stainless steel, designed for life, packaged with care and vintage love.

 

(All pics Pinterest and Pincinox)

 

Made in France, but buy now and the shipping to the UK is free.

 

 

Laters, Kate x

Ice, ice baby!

 

We’re heading to the slopes. Can’t wait! Although this will be the year that the children will leave me trailing in their fast floating ice crystals.  But such is the natural way of the world – I will still fight them down the slope with good grace!

 

 

But of course, one considers all the cool outfits it’s possible to buy.

 

 

But the truth is, on the slopes, anything goes.  Because you’re not there as a fashion statement – we’re all effectively wearing portable eiderdowns – but to stay warm and have fun, fun, fun!


 

I’ve been pulling all our ski gear out of the cupboards in preparation: My Jacket and salopettes are a cast off from The Husband and are over thirty years old, we have ski socks and thermals of a similar vintage.  The Husband’s set marks thirty years.  The children are now in my discards at a youthful twenty years.  We’re given the message that technology has moved on and we need to move with the times, that this is progress…. but lets be honest, apart from when we were living in Italy, despite their age, none of these clothes has yet seen a years wear.  And we schlepped all this gear to Finland last year, skiing in minus eighteen, minus twenty…it can’t be that bad: It proves buy well, buy once.

 

 

So whilst the above pictures look great and dandy and represent my dreams. This is more the reality.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

As is this!

Laters, Kate x

Design Hero x

 

A hero: Admired for their courage, their stance against the odds, outstanding achievements and noble qualities; victor, winner, conqueror and lion heart.

We now live in a disposable culture where things are cheaper to replace than mend.  Except there are a few companies who still regard service as part of their service…

 

Meet Dualit, a company started in the 1940s in a factory in Camberwell, London. It’s ethos is no frills, no gimmicks, no compromise and with it’s roots in commercial restaurants and hotels means you can add reliability and integrity to its list of credentials.

And the sleek retro looks with shiny chrome means aesthetics are another easy box to tick.


(All pics Dualit and Pinterest)

 

But it’s the simple, practical fact that all the parts of a Dualit toaster can be replaced that is the real clincher and thrill of this praise party: Buy once, buy well.

 

Sometimes the old ones are the best.

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

Trend 1 x

We spent a few days in the brilliant city of Bristol over Easter, enjoying the street food and vintage shops.  I was truly surprised by what caught my wandering eye – an electric/purple blue Hawaiian shirt for fifteen squids.  It stopped me in my tracks with visions of pairing it with a loose navy suit with sleeves rolled up eighties style and a loose but narrow pair of 3/4 length trousers.  It was vivid and powerful and sadly not shared by my two children who dragged me away.

(All pics Pinterest)

But I think it has legs.

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

Pot Pickers x

When I was little this was the sort of pottery you’d expect to see in charity shops, the sign of a design aesthetic rejected. How times have changed, the tide, turned.  What was generic is now confident, what was old fashioned is nostalgic and what seemed ugly is now defiant and most importantly, appealing.

There’s a company that’s drawing from this feeling and adding their own signature: Kat Huffer and Roger Less, work partners and life partners based in Northeast Los Angeles make up Kat and Roger.  Their aim is to combine classic shapes and graphic surface patterns with earthy natural clay textures.

These are mugs you want fill with hot tea and hold between two hands on a freezing winters day.

(All pics Kat and Roger and Pinterest, their work can be found in the UK at Alpha Shadows)

These are heart singers and obsession inducers.

Laters, Kate x

Minimoderns x

The driving force of Minimoderns is pattern with a story: The founders, Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire view what they produce as applied pattern across a range of products, including some incredible wallpapers.  It adds a pleasant change, a certain flavour. A different slant.

Their design influences range from mid-century British textiles to vintage toys, literature and even childhood memories.

(Love this for a boys room)

It’s the detail..

Wallpaper, trombone and badger are three words I never expected to use in a sentence.

 

If you want retro nostalgia with design integrity and are not afraid of making a statement, look no further.

 

Laters, Kate x