It’s pictures like these that blow conventional interior design out of the water, standing proud as the complete antithesis to pulled together design, complimentary colours and agonised decisions.
Maybe because they all have something that many modern rooms lack: Soul.
We saw Cinderella last week..
There’s an undeniable whiff of cheese..but Cate Blanchett’s costumes were honest-to-God-totes-amaze..
vibrant colours…wicked jewellery
All thought up by three time Oscar winning costume designer Sandy Powell..
A south of the River London lass who still lives in Brixton.
Who says fairytales can’t come true?
Laters, Kate x
In astrological terms it’s the first day of spring tomorrow, which didn’t stop winter having it’s final blast over the weekend. Not that I’m complaining: Bad weather is the perfect excuse to hibernate and indulge in some serious sofa surfing meaning I finally got to see, amongst other delights, Albert Maysles film about Iris Apfel, the beloved New York fashion icon and self-styled ‘geriatric starlet’.
Where Iris hits the sweet spot is not her age, her joy of life or her performance art. It’s her deep seated belief that style isn’t about fashion or money or even beauty: Style is about believing and doing.
Until watching the film, I hadn’t realised that Iris had her own shop: Rara Avis, meaning for ‘Rare bird’ where you can purchase her designs and covert a little bit of her.
But it might be more rewarding to follow her sentiments and look at life with a new set of black framed eyes.
Laters, Kate x
With dresses it’s personal, but given timeless elegance with a touch of vintage or eyeball hogging extravaganza the first will win every time. Like Laura Dern in Calvin Klein by Appointment pure cool, sleek understatement.
Looking with new eyes, never is the difference between men and women more visual than on Oscar night, hashtag – when will we see a man in a dress? This is Gal Gaddot in Givenchy with just the right amount of flapper girl swing.
2018 marks another year with little experimentation, hence Haley Bennett in Christian Dior makes my best dressed list. A brave choice and with any luck, the current PC storm will suppress any bush trimming innuendos. Who knows?
Zoey Deutch in Elie Saab Couture sneaked in because it shouldn’t work, but it does.
(All pics Vogue)
Phoebe Waller Bridge, a particular icon of mine, looking demure in Vionnet. Except I lay good money she chose the print to match her beauty spot and trod the carpet giggling inside…Go Phoebe!
Laters, Kate x
Milan fashion week street: It’s all about the statement coat.
(All pics, Jonathan Daniel Pryce, Vogue)
How radical to see them all being worn. Sign of the times hashtag-commonsense.
Laters, Kate x
‘Wow. I don’t really know where to get started on this “Jennifer Lawrence wearing a revealing dress in the cold” controversy. This is not only utterly ridiculous, I am extremely offended. That Versace dress was fabulous, you think I’m going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf? I was outside for 5 minutes. I would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice.
This is sexist, this is ridiculous, this is not feminism. Over- reacting about everything someone says or does, creating controversy over silly innocuous things such as what I choose to wear or not wear, is not moving us forward. It’s creating silly distractions from real issues. Get a grip people. Everything you see me wear is my choice. And if I want to be cold THATS MY CHOICE TOO!’
To Jennifer I say, many of us don’t realise the level of sexism we have internalised. We are conditioned by it, educated in it and live out our lives in it. You wore this dress because of an insidious undercurrent of rules that dictates female Hollywood stars should wear such dresses, full stop, regardless of the expense, the quality, the label, the fashion statement, the weather, or even what the men are wearing. You were expected to dress like this, you knew this and unquestioningly fulfilled that obligation. Where the ongoing problem lies is that you don’t see your behaviour as influenced and that’s where the sadness lies, because every time our daughters see a women, particularly a women proud to hold herself up as a female icon, refuse to acknowledge such an event or puts her well being second, or does something that reinforces the idea that being object of desire/cleaning/childcare is a woman’s primary role, we let them down. In the words of Charles Boudelaire:
The loveliest trick of the devil is to persuade you he doesn’t exist.
Open your eyes. The truth is, there should have been five human beings standing there, not four men and a beautifully packaged piece of tempting meat.
Laters, Kate x
There are still things that science can’t explain, like why one pair of earrings is just so much more than another.
But it’s something that Ernestina and Mark Potts, from Milktooth understand. Their jewellery is a celebration of the have more, buy less philosophy. Built on an eclectic mix of vintage and own designs their philosophy is simple: embrace your own style, buy the things you love, feel amazing. Add in the Zeitgeist of desire and it’s a heady mix.
(All pics Milktooth)
The cherry on the proverbial are the sensible price points (£30-£60) and effortless cool which means this is a name hidden in plain view for those oh so difficult people to buy presents for.
That is, if you’re prepared to give them away….
Laters, Kate x
What a difference a year makes! The renovation of the study and bathroom are finished. It all came together just before Christmas but various things – like dropping the computer and full on festivities has put life on hold for a bit. No bad thing.
This is the best before photo – taken a little late, when the room has already been partially cleared, but it gives a sense of the layout. On the left, slightly blocking the photo is a big, black glass fronted bookcase that held an enormous amount of precious crap. The idea was to open up the room by moving it to the right hand corner by the desk, allowing in more light. This meant that both the shelves had to move and we finally had to sort out the pipes and tiles left by the ghost of a sink: When we first bought the house, this room was our kitchen. It’s next incarnation was nursery and finally study. The sink was from the days of nappy changing and bloody useful it was too. The carpet was the first we ever laid in the house – just a week before Bella was born to celebrate it’s transition to nursery. Unfortunately when I went into labour and disappeared to hospital, Molly the dog had the raging squits all over it and it never quite recovered…in truth it was a joy to rip it up and take the room back to bare floorboards. The fireplace surround, leaning against the wall was going to go where the bookcase was, with a mirror on top to bounce light..important as this room was going DARK!
The other problem in the room was this cupboard – the only original cupboard left from when we bought the house nearly 15 years ago. Originally part of the kitchen (although you can still see the wardrobe rail from it’s days as part of a nursery) We now use it as a present cupboard, to store printer inks, paper and the printer. Except the the space is terrible for storage and printer didn’t fit so the door was permanently open…
First step of the renovation: pulling up carpet and fixing the new fireplace surround, bought for a very pocket pleasing 99p on Ebay.
To solve the problem of the cupboard we cut down the two main doors and filled the internal space with shelves. To update them we had beading fitted on all the doors and drawers. Very simple, very effective.
The inspiration for the room was Victoriana meets Spitalfields, and whats more Victoriana than an ornate ceiling rose?
Over the other side of the room, the shelving was re-imagined.
And now for colour…shit brown with a hint of green! Interestingly it comes out more green in the photos. I will confess it was scary painting it on for the first time, particularly with memories of this paint in mind – and it’s the first time I’ve painted a ceiling dark…terrifying…I really didn’t want to have to paint that white again!
More beading was added to the fireplace and above the pathetic skirting we had to create the optical illusion of more…this whole room is an optical illusion of more..
We also took the beading up to the ceiling, creating a rectangle around the lights and rose.
Then everything – and I mean everything, was painted. Recognise the inlay on the fireplace? Came from the tiles on the wall from the ghost sink…all cunningly recycled.
Floors varnished and furniture moved back in. Even the chair was given a new seat cover made from a bit of kilim. The light was recycled from Bella’s room where she didn’t appreciate it’s vintage charm – she now has the boring Ikea one that was in here. Looping it so it hangs over the desk makes a great visual statement. The rug has made it back – there was thoughts of dying it but it’s just the wrong type of material and it compliments the room well. Maybe when there’s some more dosh in the pot it will change to a battered kilim. The colour has been a revelation – it creates such a calm, centred environment that pulls you in – it’s an oasis of peace in a busy house.
The mirror was our Christmas present, bought on Ebay for a bit of a bargain and I love it. The handles on the cupboards are just cheapy wooden ones painted to match. Now I can sit in my chair and imagine I’m silk merchant from the eighteenth century. The printer now sits happily and the storage in the cupboard works.
On the other side of the room, the shelving is much better positioned and the sofa bed is back in: The blue sits very happily with the shit brown. Not only is it a great place to read a book, it gives the room a double function if we ever have extra guests coming to stay.
And this one has been properly organised.
A great success was the window treatment. Originally we had a striped roman blind that covered a portion of the window. We’ve replaced it with a roller blind (approx £40 made to size) that’s been hidden in this specially made window box. The wooden decoration was originally intended to go over a door as a pediment, but had never been fitted. It now has a new life! Now the window is a true statement and is the first thing you see when you walk into the room.
When the blind is up, it’s invisible, when it is down, it’s a simple, tasteful white.
All in all, it couldn’t have been more successful!
Laters, Kate x
Sometimes it’s the big things that lift a room from the regular: glowing parquet floor, high ceilings, large windows and stunning plasterwork. The oversized mirror ticks the boxes too.
But sometimes it’s the little things like subtle panelling that just catch the eye and jog the memory that can also be tasty.
It’s this train of thought that has influenced plans to elevate the study-renovations-on-a budget: Adding a layer of trim above the skirting boards to suggest height and grandeur, a rectangle of trim on the ceiling to imply cornicing and plasterwork where there is none, simple beading on cupboard doors to give them a sense of age and a box of trim on the wall above my 99p fireplace from Ebay (I jest not) to infer wealth and affluence.
(All pics Pinterest)
Because until you can’t make it. Fake it.
Laters, Kate x