The Versatility of Tiles

Its sizzling hot here is Cornwall today, lovely and very much holiday weather. It does make my toes appreciate a good, cool, slab of tile underfoot. In my kitchen its grey slate but today I am exploring geometric beauty and rich exotic shades. Tiles to me have a far away feel. I loved the ones I came across in India and Morocco. So much detail on something we just walk over.

This is how I think the universe would look if tiled. The deep inky blue is carved up with mesmerising shapes.

Complicated deep blue geometric tiles

Lovely layered tiles just like mermaid scales. Every shade is beautiful in its own right.

Beautiful tiles like mermaid scales

Pale pink patterned kitchen tiles perfectly complement copper pots, pipes and pendants!

Pale ipink pattern tiles with copper pots, pipes and light

Sky blue higgledy-piggledy tiles look so fresh and vibrant alongside the mottled white.

Hand cut sky blue and white geometric tiles

Elegant shoes for an elegant floor. These fanning mosaic tiles are just perfect.

White fan pattern with mosiac floor tiles

These must be Moroccan, jewel rich colours in intricate patterns. Its tiles like this which make maths beautiful.

Geometric intricate tiles in green, yellow blue and purple

A modern take the geometric design. These gold and grey tiles have a 3d effect with tactile surfaces to touch.

Gold and grey cube tiles with texture

The wall tiles in this bathroom catch the light adding depth and interest.

Bathroom wall tiles that catch the light

I love this depth of green, I could just dive in. Stylised blooms fit together in pleasing shades of turquoise and teal.

Teal green tiles in stylised floral forms

A feathery zig-zag in soft white and dove grey. The perfect backdrop to black taps and a marbled sink.

Bathroom tiles in stripy zig-zags with a pendant light and a marble sink

Giant geometric floor tiles impress in terracotta, grey, pink and black.

Terracotta, pink, grey and black huge floor tiles

Little blue square tiles carry a mesmerising sun pattern.

Little square tiles in blue with white sun pattern

This ice-white snowflake pattern looks very luxurious, with shimmering grey diamonds.

Snowflake pattern in white tiles

An easy way to add some glam to the bathroom, these large white tiles shimmer with an intricate gold pattern. Love the fittings too!

Large white tiles with gold geometric pattern on top

Here we have the same interlocking hexagon design but first in forest green, white and black while the second is more subtle using a blush pink, a slight grey and deep blue. I love the effect.

Overlapping geometric patterned tiles in green, black and white

Geometric tiles in overlapping shapes

And to finish off this tiling collection we have mosaic squares framed in black, complete with silver sandals!

Square patterned mosaic floor tiles

And Relax…

The sun is beaming, its Friday and all I can think about is kicking back and relaxing in the garden. At home I have a lovely view with a little wooden deck, I tend to drag the furniture outside when its really nice. Today I thought I would collate some sun loungers, if money was no object, these are few I would happily have dotted around my fictional pool.

What elegant curves, gently bobbing here seems rather perfect to me.

elegant wooden pool funriture

A rocker made for two. The natural linen looks so inviting.

Giant rocking lounger with a metal frame and linen seat

Or perhaps do it yourself, the internet is bursting with recycled pallet ideas, I rather like this one.

DIY garden furniture with pallet wood

From the rustic to the surreal – pink metal palm leaves bring shade to a rather glamourous day bed.

metal leaf canopy acts like a four poster bed in baby pink

Simple lines and neutral furnishings, a classic way to soak up some sun.

Sun bathing in comfort

Submerged chairs in the pool! Love it.

Sun bathing chairs in the pool

This lounger looks poised to pounce! Red leather and steel, perfect against the matt black background.

A red poised chair for the garden

Smart ‘deck chair’ for the beach, easily portable and kind of cool.

beach chair portable and using the sand as a seat

What a happy place, dappled shade with silvered decking, metal framed seats, wooden tables and sinkable grey cushions. Not forgetting a fire pit!

Soft grey outdoor sofas with metal frames and wooden tables built in

Unusual design that I rather like, the head rests meet a point rising for that cushioned support.

Infinity pool with sea view and cool designed sun loungers with back rests that meet at a point

This basket weave day bed borrows its design from the waves. A handy cover in harsh sun, to me it has a welcome Seventies vibe.

1970s feel to this covered sun lounger

I hope you find some time to relax this weekend!

The Details

As you may know I live in England and we have a wonderful thing called the National Trust. They basically look after our beautiful old buildings, preserving them for future generations, our coastline too. What it means is, nosey people like me can immerse themselves in amazing architecture, and imagine, what if… Near where I live in Cornwall we have Lanhydrock House, a gorgeous Victorian home that has a perfectly preserved upstairs-downstairs lifestyle.

You can get overwhelmed  by the amount of embellishment and grandeur, but I like looking at the details. We actually have a company locally, Bromleighs, who specialise in period fixtures and fittings. The door handles, light switches, letterboxes etc. that fit a specific period. They have even supplied the National Trust. I mean imagine a Downton Abbey parlour with white glaringly plastic light switches!! The shock.

In praise of period details, here a few elements that shouldn’t be missed, the unsung heroes that make a space authentic.

The real-life Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle

The Master in Downton Abby

Period details from Downton abby

Rich dark wood of the library in Downton Abby

Dramatic scene from Downton Abby

When you are restoring a period house some people strip everything away but the bones of the place, and then fill the interior in contrast with the ultra modern. Sometimes though I think the soul can be lost. I am zoning in today on the overlooked details that can preserve the integrity of a building.

Here we have a dove grey door with a silvered handle, complementing it perfectly.

Antique style door handles

As you may well know, I am a fan of mix and match. There is quite a lot going on in this bathroom, but I think it works. What I really like is the mirror and light fittings in this dark, brassy metal.

Old brass fittings in a contemporary space

I love these old radiators, especially in sunshine yellow!

Blue walls and yellow radiator

Beautifully finished, this kind of handle would look at home on a ruggedly knotted and aged door.

Brass ribbed door handle

The handles here, in my humble opinion, make this kitchen. Lovely rich dark blue units, marble counter tops and a touch of brass.

Kitchen units in navy blue with brass metal handles

I love this light, so solid, so certain. Bolted onto the wall like it really belongs there!

Wall light in brass and white glass

Back to blue again, it just works so well! And what a lovely leathery colour.

Bathroom door in dark blue with antique style handle and lock in brass

Of course it is important to look up too. Georgian houses especially had beautiful freezes of intricate plaster. This is actually taken from another National Trust property, Llanerchaeron in Ceredigion.

Plaster work detail from a National Trust house

Another great mix. I included this bathroom because of the peg hooks, a lovely detail, and because of the sage green and zesty orange combo!

Roll top bath, peg hooks and black wire storage in a contemporary twist on a modern bathroom

My final thought goes to lighting. You can’t go wrong with a chandelier, no really. Even this rustic space is made complete with an antique-style pendant.

Brown interior with dark wood and an antique style chandelier

Barmy About Barns

What is it about barn conversions that I like? Well I recon you can’t go wrong with acres of wood, glass and light. They can of course turn out very wrong. When you try to squeeze a normal house-like space into a barn it doesn’t work. But for those who are prepared to re-think ‘house’ and indeed, space, they can be magnificent. Here are a few I like.

Wow, what a confident space. I love how it stares you straight in the face! The slit windows and giant door look more like a fort. The curved grey roof is a worthy feature.

Grey brcik and galvanised arched roof barn conversion

I love a beam, provided I am not going to hit my head (unlikely, 5ft 2 and 3/4s), or if they are ‘lets pretend’. These wooden wonders look just perfect against the crisp white walls and exposed brick.

Two chairs facing a wood burning stove

The oak frame here is happily highlighted by the sage green walls.

wooden interior with fresh county colours

Located in rural Switzerland, this home makes good use of contrasting textures and horizontal lines.

Lovely wooden vertical lines on this barn conversion

Another view inside another beautiful home. The infinite tiles and bricks are the perfect backdrop for some hugable topiary.

Beautiful converted barn with green formal landscaping

I like how open this space is, and the combination of wood, brick and black metal. An enviable island too!

Modern kitchen with wooden beams and exposed brick

Sometimes it is nice to retreat into a dark interior, I love the cut-out window of this bedroom up in the eaves.

Dark wooden interior with giant angled window

Moments of joy in architecture – this barn-shaped wooden frame links the two floors with striking grace.

Moments of joy in architecture

A bespoke kitchen that brings a balance of curves into an olde worlde space.

Wooden beams, range and bespoke kitchen

We end on a more rustic note, calming symmetry, and a view that goes on and on!

Rustic barn conversion

Over-Arching

Today I was looking at curves, the ever pleasing arches that appear in architecture. Like the arc of the rainbow, the arch always feels hopeful, pleasing to the eye and like an encouragement to step forward. Our eyes follow the line up and then happily down, back into the room. In stark Modernist concrete or centuries old white render, the arch will never go away – in style and sturdiness. These are a few that I am enjoying today…

TEd’A Architects produced this design in Spain. The stark white arches are really quite impressive. Simple in black, white and grey.

Spanish arched architecture

How much do you want to walk through that door! Its positively calling me.

A doorway you want to walk through

What I like here is the views these arches create. Environment and structure working in harmony.

CAD of arches creating shade

This arch makes the room. Beautiful chunky wood in a New York office, oh how I wish it was mine.

Loft style apartment with huge wooden arched windows

This perfectly formed arch is not a Hobbit house, but the entrance to Masía Freixa (1907-1910), the Modernist residence designed by Catalan architect Lluís Muncunill i Parellada.

Narrow and tall arched door

Minoru Yamasaki’s tall arched building in Minneapolis dwarfs the trees and borrows its form from nature’s elegance.

Tall concrete arched building

Form is celebrated here! The ceiling mirrors the arched doorway creating satisfying light and shade.

Crisp white curved doorway and ceiling

I adore these white washed narrow bricks. This is Valentino’s flagship store in Rome.

White interior with white wash brick arch minimalist store

Lets leave the Minimalism for a moment and settle our eyes in this Baltimore door – it makes quite an entrance! Black glossy wood surrounds pillar-box-red doors and a yellow domed ceiling. Curves every where you look.

Red door, yellow ceiling and black rimmed arch entrance

So much about this room is just lovely, the bare bones of the space are white washed shapes creating depth. Then we have this steep split staircase and a distressed door. The arch is off-set and seems to be there purely for the joy of it. I love design like that.

Distressed door in a white room with two staircases and an arched recess

An architectural drawing for a restaurant that uses arches in different textures and materials. It almost feels like this structure dances over ahead.

Architectural drawing of arch ceiling and windows

Such elegant arches! Black framed windows echo the shape, the rhythm, decreasing in size – its all very relaxing.

Black rimmed arch windows and white arches down a long corridor

This door is from a gorgeous villa in Majorca, embracing the old and adding in the crisp lines of the new (the stair rail is lovely, take a peak).

Majorcan house with arched door

This picture is of the San Cristobal Fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Such simple detail, honest lines. I love the point above the arch completely unnecessary in a fortress but lovely none the less.

Elegant arches in white plaster

I hope you enjoyed this simple offering, happy Friday.

Down to the Wire

I love the impact simple lines can have. Bringing a form down to its bare basic is something I appreciate in art, and in an interior I think it can work too. Wire in lighting design is everywhere at the moment, be that spindly strands of LEDs or striking strong black metal or geometric bronze.  These are a few that have caught my eye.

Cubist in shape, this shade hovers over its three hanging light bulbs. Designed by Anastasia Vishnevskaya, I love the boldness.

Black wire series of squares pendant shade

Perfect for a teenagers bedroom, this cloud has a golden lining .

Cloud wire light

You cannot underestimate the power of a simple black line! This stark and vast reception has elegant black wire pendant lights, rigid and beautiful.

Comerical space with black hanging wire lights

In a similar vein, these pendant lights cut striking shapes in geometric forms. The black casing dangling with glowing bulbs below.

Pendant lights hanging in black outlined shapes

Spider-like this, little light uses thick black lines in cartoon angles.

Black little pendant wire lamp

How is it that inanimate objects can project such personality? These wire table lamps to me look huddle, hunched, perhaps the lighting version of the Liverpudlian vultures in Disney’s cartoon Jungle Book!

2d looking black wire table lamps

This pair have borrow from tradition for their shape. Flared at the edge like a lady’s dress or a flower. Uniform wire spokes cage the light bulbs perfectly.

White and brown wire lamp shades for pendant lights

This string of lights uses presents the wire in the shape of a light bulb, simple but effective.

Light bulbed shaped metal shades on a string of lights

The close together wire here almost becomes a woven mesh. I am mesmerised by the silhouettes created by the bulbous shapes.

Black lamp shades made from wire in pendent shapes

Could it get anymore simple – the clear black lines perfectly suspend the cone shaped shades.

elegant black wire suspended lights

This trio are diamond-like, hanging in strong geometric frames. They look heavy, substantial, maybe even bat-like and gothic.

Three diamond shaped pendant light shades as wire cages

Perfectly minimal, skewed pyramids look hand drawn mid air!

Metal cage frame for pendent lights in angular triangle shapes

Conjuring the feel of bygone times, these skeletal lamps have feminine flair.

Traditional shaped wire haging lamps

For my final wirey inspiration, a substantial piece of lighting design which hangs like a full fisherman’s catch. The netting of lights glows with warmth in an industrial space.

Fisherman's net style light, bulbous wire creation with light discs

Fuel for any much needed ‘light bulb’ moments.

My Cup of Tea

I have my sister home for the holidays, which is so lovely. She is a real tea drinker, but the mug is what really makes it. Her favourite mug appears to have wondered off and that got me thinking. For her the perfect cup needs to be chunky, something her hands can encase, and handmade. I have compiled a few mugs which I think she might love, and hopefully you will too!

What a happy cascade, peachy browns unevenly glazed with inky blues. The watery greens are lovely too. Made by Arrow and Sage, though its a previous collection.

earthy coloured mugs in inky hues

Studio Arhoj have created these delightful cups. Pastel dipped with a white base, calm and serene.  

Blues and oink white bottomed cups

What joy, speckled mugs with a Jackson Pollock feel.

Pottery cups with speckled glaze

Julia Smith makes these in her rural Inverness studio on the banks of the Moray Firth, Scotland. I like the lack of handles and the carved lines.

Cream being poured into a coffee cup, hand made blue ceramics

This is perhaps too bright for my subtle and stylish sister, I, though, love the intense blue and shallow cup. Milk and honey would be the perfect warming drink.

vibrant blue ceramic cups

Three little trees huddle together against a background of mottled, moody glaze.

Earthy coloured mug with painted trees

Perfectly precise, these three cups sit neatly together. The grey-green palette I find very restful.

3 green grey ceramic cups

You can almost smell the sea! These aqua and grey striped mugs are in such pleasing hues.

Aqua and grey gazed mugs

A similar design, hand made in Portland, this stripy mug mixes glazes in a really pleasing palette. Barely blue lies next to bubbly white with a little bit of peach clay still visible.

Smooth and rough glaze on this handmade mug

And finally, something a little darker. Matt black pottery hides a bronze glazed interior, perfect for a luxurious hot chocolate.

Black mug with bronze interior