Stylish designer: April Hamilton

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Stylish Interior - April Hamilton
The Stylish Interior - April Hamilton
The Stylish Interior - April Hamilton
The Stylish Interior - April Hamilton
The Stylish Interior - April Hamilton
The Stylish Interior - April Hamilton
The Stylish Interior - April Hamilton
The Stylish Interior - April Hamilton
The Stylish Interior - April Hamilton
Based in Surrey and London, April Hamilton team has been designing beautiful interiors in England since Rosie Ridgway founded the firm in 1995. Just like Karen Howes (see last week's post), they focus on being friendly, approachable and very good listeners to ensure prospects and clients the most enjoyable experience.

They work with luxury global brands but also design bespoke furniture to meet their client's requirements, for either residential or retail projects.

I love the way they combine different textures, through fabric, metals, wood finishes, etc. Lighting plays also a great part in their design. No wonder they got elected "Best of Houzz 2015" ! Make sure to visit their portfolio to get inspired for the new week !

Now, on a more personal note, we celebrated our daughter's birthday this week-end. I can hardly believe she's already three ! She was such a sweet baby, and is now turning into this cheeky, funny, loving little girl, and she makes us so proud everyday ! Happy birthday Violette !

Have a great Monday !

Ben Wood photography

Friday, April 24, 2015

I love the sea. I just do. I've spent all my holidays as a kid by the sea. I've been sailing since I was 3 moths old. Not that I really enjoy laying on a beach for hours - which has always seemed quite boring to me, but I do feel like home every time I look at the sea.

So I am sucker for any sea/beach/boat related art, and when I stumbled across Ben Wood's photos through Trowbridge Gallery website, I fell in love. And I bet you will too !
Ben Wood Photography
Ben Wood Photography
Ben Wood Photography
Ben Wood Photography
Ben Wood Photography
Ben Wood Photography
I especially like his work on the boat fronts. The contrast between the amazing skies and the weathered wood on each boat is just beautiful. Ben Wood lives on the Isle of Wight and his work is exposed in London and Paris. Now, I just need to save a bit of money to afford one of these, or write Santa a very nice letter, with extended links to his website ...

Have a great week-end !

Stylish designer: Taylor Howes

Monday, April 20, 2015

Taylor Howes is a London/Chelsea based Interior Design firm was founded in 1991 by Karen Howes, and is now one of the most successful team in the UK. Karen and her associate Gail Taylor legitimately won the prestigious Andrew Martin International Interior Designer Award in 2006.

Take a look at this article on HealsBlog where Karen explained her philosophy, which consist in getting to know their client perfectly while putting any ego on the side in order to create the most relevant and dedicated designs. They "run the practice as family" which makes them a very approachable despite their high-end portfolio.

I totally agree with this way of thinking. Good designers shouldn't be intimidating, should they ? After all, you are asking them to create your home, it doesn't get more intimate than that. So it is crucial that you feel comfortable with your designer.

Their portfolio is a beautiful mix of luxurious yet completely "liveable" designs, mostly in and around London, and each project is a feast for any design addict's eyes.

10 lovely Easter tables

Friday, April 03, 2015

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We're off to Cornwall this week-end, and although I can't wait to spend 3 days with husband and kids by the sea, I won't get to set up any Easter table nor cook our traditional Easter lunch on Sunday. But if I had, we would have had Nigella's fabulous Rosé, Anchovies and Olives slow roasted lamb with potatoes and veggies. This has been by far our favourite lamb recipe for a few years now !

I wish you a great Easter week-end and a happy egg hunt !

Virtual design: a Breton countryside nursery

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Like I said previously, I can't wait to be able to afford fine art, and especially art that would mean something to me and my family. When I stumble onto this oil painting on the Invaluable painting page, my heart cried a little over my beloved Breton home country. It might sound a bit chauvinistic, but Brittany remains the most gorgeous, authentic place I know. Being expatriate here in the UK makes me feel even prouder of my roots, and I want my children to be proud of them too.
This painting reflects perfectly the Brittany I come from. Not only the seaside part that I also love and where my parents live now, but the countryside, where my family lived for generations. My grand-parents were farmers near Pleyben, and they lived in a rather non-touristic place. It is a rough life there. Some villages are "dying", there's not much to do. It hasn't changed much since that canvas was painted in the 40s'/50s'. But it is beautiful no matter what.

I wondered how I could translate that into a design and I thought it might be a great focal point in a baby boy's nursery.

I would apply a textured, natural looking wallpaper on the walls, and would use this rug to anchor the colour scheme of the room. The curtains will be in linen, and I would suggest using this striped fabric in the same hues to create blackout roman or rolling blinds, both from Zoffany. The simple white cot and the comfy, mens club looking armchair are from Ikea (always include a comfortable chair in a nursery, you'll appreciate it during those long nights, and for cuddling !). The side table is from Occa Home. The whimsical bird mobile is by Flensted Mobiles. The dresser is from Maisons du Monde. The wall lights are from Occa Home and the table lamps on the dresser are from Oka Direct.

It always amazes me how much a piece of art can influence an entire room, and create a mood that is unique and so intimate. I would definitely consider using a real painting in a nursery, so my advice to future parents would be the following. Don't register for expensive baby gear that will not be used in 2 years time (think second-hand stroller and car seat !), instead, offer your relatives to help you investing in a life-lasting gift for your baby: his/her first piece of art !
 
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