Lights With Legs

In my lounge I have a traditional-form black one with a floral shade I picked up from a charity shop that I adore – full of vintage charm. Recently however my eye has been caught by the multitudes of modern standard lamps available. From lamps that stand tall to those that causally lean or even peer over your shoulder.

Oh so elegant and beautiful. Being a graphic designer I really appreciate simple line and shape, here is one I adore. This is Superloon by Jasper Morrison for Flos.

Love the simple lines in this tripod floor lamp with spotlight

A different take on the standard lamp, this twisted wood and beam of light has a subtlety that would be welcome in a contemporary or traditional home.

Tall floor lamp made from twisted wood and light

Oh my I love this lamp! I think it would just cheer up any room. A touch of the tropical with golden palm leaves and bulbs instead of coconuts. I give you the Palmyra lamp.

Gold coloured floor lamp with palm leaves

Such simplicity, a single beam of light supported by black linear legs. Design by Chicako Ibaraki.

A floor lamp with a glowing strip and black supports making a tripod shape

With a Japanese feel these elegant standard lamps look timeless, though they were created in the 1950s.

A modern delicate take on the standard lamp

Making a feature of the basic elements of electric light. A giant bulb sits like a bright idea on a black frame as a vibrant yellow cable rises to the occasion.

Large bulb with yellow cable and black frame

This is a jolly thing, the Knit-Wit floor lamp known as Sunrise could work well on a table top, but I think in a corner of a room on the floor would create a calming mood. As the name suggests it is made by knitting without any waste yarn at all.

Knit-Wit floor lamp sunrise

If you are after minimal then this might be the light for you. Simply two rectangles, one clutching the other. The light is subtle, clean and draws your eye like a porthole to another world.

Two rectangles together floor light with a subtle minimal design

What I think of as the Pixar lamp, this giant Anglepoise in pillar box red is sure to bring the fun.

Filled with personality this is the Pixar lamp in large

Natural wood and a muted shade provide a warming lamp at a perfect height. The tripod shape looks delicate but sturdy.

Muted shad and natural wood for this tripod lamp

A peer-over-your-shoulder lamp in classic black. I do like these, though I wonder if you would feel like you were being watched!

Black floor lamp with shade in modern interior

If lights can be cute this pair certainly are! If they had cheeks I would pinch them.

A pair of floor lamps with with legs and personality

Love this, take something that can detract from lighting design, the cable, and make it an asset! This giant pencil light comes complete with scribbled line.

A scribbling line floor lamp complete with glowing pencil!

I am thinking lighting design is such an exciting field! You are only limited by your imagination. Find a really good electrician and anything can become a light it seems. Hope you are inspired too.

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My Current Kitchen Mood

September is here and even though we have that gorgeous golden light in our earlier evenings, I instantly feel the lure of the darker side of interiors as well as the cosy. Those deeper colours, richer textures and metallic touches feel just right this time of year. Kitchen-wise these are the styles that are wooing me lately and some clever suggestions for how to use this important space.

What a happy combination. A well-worn wooden unit is backed by deep dark cupboards with a hint of gold.

Classy kitchen with rustic cabinet and black units

With a more ice vibe, this concrete island is beautiful. It makes me want to run my fingers over the surface. (Also that’s my coffee maker of choice).

Concrete kitchen worktop

These units remind me of my school science classroom! A definite nod to mid century style with a palette of mustard yellow, terracotta and navy blue.

terracotta, navy and mustard kitchen units

Here is a bit of clever kitchen design – much better use of space!

Clever kitchen sotrage solutions - the cutlery draw

A kitchen that is defiantly the hub of the home. I like how colour is introduced by accessories, art, rugs and books.

Modern black and colourful kitchen with large hob island unit

Concrete coupled with warming brass make a confident kitchen. Love the rail to hang the diddy copper sauce pots from!

concrete worktops and backsplash with subtle lighting and brass details

To add some seasonal warmth this kitchen corner has layered textures with quirky homewares to brighten up dark units. Never underestimate the impact natural wood can have in a space.

Wooden kitchen shelves and worktops over black units

Oh those counter tops! Forest green units, monochrome marble and lovely light wood make this a calming and creative spot. Here I would prepare rustic bread with red pepper pesto topped humous, or perhaps just swirl a fruity red wine in an enormous glass.

Wood, green, marble kitchen

Another kitchen cleverness, the hanging saucepan solution. Brilliant. Unfortunately currently I tend to stack mine haphazardly, shut the cupboard door and hope chaos doesn’t descend!

Hanging storage for suacepans

This is a strong combination, black and green. The blackboard wall is set off beautifully by the fresh verdant herbs. Nice suspended storage too.

Blackboard wall, green herbs and concrete worktops

My final offering for today is this Interesting wooden kitchen island giving a touch rustic to a cool contemporary kitchen.

Interesting wooden kitchen island giving a touch rustic to a cool contemporary kitchen

 

Courageously Handling Crumbling Architecture

Handling rightly the disintegrating remnants of history can be tricky. Pastiche is rarely as impactive as juxtaposing the old and the new. Once grand ruins provide an intriguing opportunity to insert, bolt or cover with striking steel, cool concrete or elegant glass. Here are few structures that, thanks to brave architects, are turning heads once again.

Filling in the gaps of history. Blencowe Hall in Cumbria, England, uses glass and wood to ‘fill in’ the cracks in this beautiful building.

Old ruins with modern glass at Blencowe Hall

Dovecote studio was literally lifted in to this ruin. I love the rusted exterior complementing the remnants of red bricks.

Studio built inside a brick ruin

This Spanish building incorporated ancient arches with angular stone. Keeping the tone consistent makes this marriage of old and new a restful one to behold.

Old meets new in this stone building with beautiful arches

Oh this is nice. Such a dramatic location, very brooding. The strong boxy structure inside this shell of a lead smelt mill fits perfectly.

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I didn’t spot this on my previous visits to Prague, but isn’t it wonderful? So elegant and harmonious. Corso I now houses office buildings, but as you can see this structure once had very industrial roots.

Glass structure inside elegant old building

Old industrail building in Prague, now a beautifully elegant glass structure inside

Astley Castle in Warwickshire, England, is a bold renovation full of confidence but handled with understanding.

inside Astley Castle in Warwickshire

Astley Castle in Warwickshire

Smart use of environment here. The life-worn brick walls are simply filled with panelled glass and steel allowing this office to feel a connection with its urban surrounds.

Glass extension between crumbling brick walls

Glass and steel office fits between characterful brick walls

Glass and steel office slotted into aged brick walls

A Scottish cottage gets more than a renovation, it pretty much doubles in size! Quite an idyllic island retreat that seamlessly blends in to its rocky landscape.

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This steel and glass structure doesn’t detract from the gorgeous original design. The German castle has been made into a striking museum.

Modern architecture inside old crumbling building

With these once grand old buildings, beauty really can come from within. Whether a seamless narrative captured in colour and material, or more like a ‘an alien has landed’ approach I think this form of old meets new helps secure the importance of these spaces for the future. I wonder where the next few hundreds years will take them!

Little Nooks and Interesting Alcoves

If you have an old house than peculiar spaces are often a conundrum as well as a blessing. Modern homes can be too square and too straightforward for their own good, adding a nook or an alcove can bring just a little bit of wonder.

Understandably a lot of our sunken spaces come from chimney breasts and are filled with books and a TV, but there is so much more you can do! The best ideas seem to be for children, little spaces suit little people.

Starting with the unusual, these white walls are lent pleasing tones with this curved alcove. The seating hugs the wall and softens the room with a generous sprinkling of cushions.

Alcove sofa follows the curved wall

These dark wood shelves and cupboards float across the chimney breast elongating the room.

Wall mounted TV and storage making the most of chimney breast alcoves

A clever use of an unusual space, perfect for sleepovers!

Alcove sleeping space by a window with twins bed

Neatly tucked away, a feature is made of this cooking area. Elegantly framed in marble with striking black units.

Classy kitchen in an alcove

Some of the best sunken spaces are reading nooks. You can picture curling up here with a good book and keeping an eye on the world below.

Alcove window seat

A modern take on the shelving and cupboard alcove. The matt grey shelves positively beam with the strip lights tucked above.

Grey built in cupboard and shelving in a modern style

A clever use of alcove space here, the curtains hint at the grand reveal behind – a wall full of shoes!

Alcove shoe storage

An adventurous bed in the eves for a child is a real space saver. I like the curtain too, making this sleeping space feel like a secret hideaway.

Children's bed in the eves

For a kitchen, shelves are a no-brainer. I love the quirky use of miss-matched wallpaper here.

Wallpaper backed kitchen shelves

Making full use of a slither of space, these built in cupboards look prim and proper in a chalky blue-grey with tidy brass knobs.

Built in dark blue skinny wardrobe

Warm sandy tones work perfectly with this diddy inset shelf. The lovely wood is nice and chunky and would look at home in a naturally lit bathroom.

Wooden alcove shelf for the bathroom

I think I just have a thing about beds with curtains! I do like this hideaway bed, tucked away in a deep alcove. The luxurious drapes help this bedroom solution look inviting.

Hideaway bed in an alcove with curtains

I love this little student space complete with pegs. Really only created out of two shelves and a bit of imagination.

Little girl at a study desk cleverly fitted into an alcove

Smart storage fitted around a radiator. Keeping the different elements low adds to the layering of textures. Also a handy space to keep the chopped wood!

Storage fit around the radiator

My final piece of inspiration for this compilation is another child’s sleeping space. Perfectly sized for imaginative sweet dreams, bedtime reading and window gazing.

Alcove children's bed

A small space really is just an opportunity.

Sideboard Musings

We have a reasonable sized hall at home which is currently rather too full with ‘stuff’. Boxes are stacked where I would love a sleek sideboard to go. I remember my grandparents mid century one filled with brogues, stilettos and tins of polish in their 1940s London semi. As a child I felt it looked rather dated, but I would love it now. The irony! I do like sleek lines and honest wood. When it comes to furniture I value honest materials beautifully crafted. The hall is quite dark so I wouldn’t want something too heavy in aesthetics.  Stylish, sleek and practical would be a dream.

And what to fill it with! Well probably books, they are coming out of my ears! Storage for our records might be nice and we also have stacks of movies that need a home. Whilst I’ve been scouting the net for inspiration, these are a few that have caught my eye.

Starting with the classic white and wood, I like the simple strokability.

clean minimal lines with this modern sideboard

Foldaway doors are a lovely touch with this modern option.

Elegant sideboard with foldaway doors

Something a little more flamboyant, I just so love yellow!

Bright yellow sideboard

This slated sideboard is pretty perfect, a warm toned wood with black metal legs.

Linear wooden sideboard

Bold and brooding, these mottled grey and gold cupboards have an undeniable presence.

Mottled grey and gold sideboard

Elegant and smooth, almost placed apon a pedestal with those distinct legs.

Elegant sideboard with smooth corners

Such a simple idea but beautifully executed, this little fella has personality.

Slated wooden sideboard

Every inch of this piece of furniture speaks quality. From the marble top to the brass legs and corrugated deep, dark wood.

Rounded sideboard with marble top

There is something of the Orient about the rattan and glossy black pairing here.

Black and whicker sideboard

And finally, I like the beautifully organised space in this useful and lovely grey sideboard.

verticle and cupboard storage in this grey sideboard

 

Tantalising Tableware

Even the most humble meal can look stunning presented on good ceramics. Whether you plump for delicate florals, abstract colours, or perhaps tactile textures there is plenty of choice!

So often when I pin my favourites on Pinterest I found they are from Anthropologie, they really know how to blend the beautiful styles of the world together. This blush plate fringed with gold would look lovely with a creamy white fish dish and wilted greens!

Rose gold table ware from Anthropology

Stepping away from the modern white dining ware, I think it might be time to consider those 1970s hues of avocado green. This hand-made pottery from Dutch maker Ceraminic has a floral lace detail which I am rather fond of.

Green diner plates with lace pattern

Dare to go black? With some white dipped gold cutlery these would look so cool! Imagine a fiery paella pilled high, or perhaps some oozing Eton mess.

Black ceramic plates

Beautifully styled, this tonal mix and match approach looks wonderfully classy. Ideal for a brunch on the terrace.

Greens, greys and blues dinnerware

Undulating edges in a forget-me-not blue, these would make a happy addition to a wooden heart of the home table. Designed by Dawn Klinger of Tagliaferro Ceramics.

For-get-me-not blue plates

An easy way to make an impact is to pick a colour and stick to it. Gather old and new and layer haphazardly for an eclectic mix. Blue and white pottery is abundant so a good one to pick. You’ll find yourself perusing the charity shops every time you pop into town!

Patterned blue dinner ceramics

A colour combination I just love is pink and green. It reminds me of my travels in Morrocco and I think it just brings so much warmth – and drama! These are from Suite One Studio.

Pink, green and gold dinnerware

For a calmer kitchen where the food does the talking, perhaps consider grey tones. Introducing some crisp white linens and elements of natural wicker would make this a very handsome table spread indeed. The meal I envisage? Hmm, artisan bread, goat’s cheese and ripe peaches with lashings of balsamic vinegar.

mix and match in grey shades dinner plates and cups

Described as ‘modern rustic’ there is something quite enchanting about these deep, dark patterned plates. A slice of key lime pie would sit quite comfortably here I think. Handmade ceramics from Sheila Corbitt of Andover Pottery.

Blackened patterned ceramics

A few ideas of what I’d love on my kitchen table. I am firm believer in what William Morris said, “have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”, I recon these fit both of those ideals.

My Kind of Architectural Box

If pinned down I would say my favourite architecture type would be Georgian. Houses from this period just have so much scope, and the ‘bones’ are so good. However when it comes to modern design I find myself enjoying most the minimal box.

The simple relationship between glass and wood are what make me happy, framing vistas effortlessly. Giant behemoths of buildings elegantly protruding from the landscape. I have chosen these few architectural boxes, not just for their beauty but for the calm they bring. Who would have thought something so big, bold and striking can leave me feeling relaxed – just by looking at them! See what you think…

Here we are literally enjoying a view framed by a building. Simple clean lines enhance  rather than distract.

Architectural box with a stunning view

I love the mottled cement coating on this luxurious home.

Almost camouflaged white concrete house

Nestled in amongst the trees this stilted home feels to me like a child between the legs of its parents!

Modern home in the woods on stilts

This is a visitor centre, and I have to say I’d move in today! I just adore how the warm wood frames the concrete and glass box. Balance of elements, in my opinion, is perfectly achieved.

Perfectly framed wood, glass and concrete box

Lastly we have an almost invisible house. The slender design adds to the already stunning landscape.

architectual masterpiece - a glass box that dissapears into its context