Today I wanted to focus on structure. From the pleated preppy skirt to the folded cladding of a modern high-rise. How the light falls on a natural ribbed wooden surface and the wavy shell encasing a home. Love it!
A slightly different slant today on my world of interiors. I wanted to appreciate a room through the eyes of the artist. Just as I am a lover of colour in decoration, I also enjoy vibrant art. Composition matters, drawing your eye in, appreciating a detail or being struck in awe at the whole. Here are some interiors caught on the canvas.
Lets lead with red, what a regal space. Golden walls are enriched by geometric panels of light off-setting the fiery accents in the room. ‘A London Interior’ by Herbert Davis Richter.
In a completely different style, Tom Haugomat plays with perspective. The Mid Century furniture emerges from the dark, your eye is drawn, like the lone man, to the window on the world.
Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, the French designer, captures my heart with everyone of his interiors. He celebrates colour through his varying tones. Subtle, dramatic, but definitely enviable!
Here, the room’s scale is beautifully communicated, painted in 1921 with evergreen and inky black.
The vastness of this room is evident, from the rounded ceiling your eye follows the immense chandelier to the intricate embellishment picked out in gold. Ruhlmann’s vision for these rooms is breath-taking.
Even in simplified lines Ruhlmann conjures an impression of that time. Here I love the how the colours play, the silvered blue, vibrant violet (I had the exact same colour carpet as a child!) and the fresh yellow. Do seek out more of his paintings, they are glorious.
In a sort of unfinished frenzy of green we have this fireplace by Kathleen Melian. ‘Remains of Desire’ (2012) caught my eye with its rich greens and little interior touches.
Peacock colours intrigue in this dramatic glimpse of the room beyond. I like this arrangement, entitled ‘Interior with Opera Cloak’, painted in the early 20th century by Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell. The cloak is the subject, but all I want to know is what the rest of that royal blue room contains, yet we are kept in the dark!
Who would have thought I would be happy to gaze upon a utilitarian sink, but painted by Chelsea Bentley James it becomes a thing of beauty. In cool blues the artist divides this dull spaces into a patchwork ready for us to appreciate.
Sometimes a room exists to complement and frame a view. Here Edward Gordon paints ‘Music Room’, an inspiring space with stunning scenery wrapping round the house. With such skill the artist traces the light around the room, revealing the curve of the piano and the equally stunning Girl with a Pearl Earing by Johannes Vermeer in pride of place.
To me this painting conveys one thing perfectly, jazz. My eye dances around the room struggling to settle but enjoying the ride. Painted by Anton Henning.
Dark lines separate the cool colours in this series of rooms. Preston Dickinson painted this humble home in 1922, I like how the painting feels like a series of shapes rather than objects, I am rather partial to those rugs too!
Back to elegance, the wonderfully serene ‘Green Room’ by Marie-Louise Roosevelt Pierrepont. Such a happy space, a perfect reflection of the inviting garden shown through those giant windows.
Caro Niederer reduces her interior to its abstract essence. Citrus coloured blocks are recognisable as furniture and walls. Pink roses in the foreground remind me of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
There are so many more I could show you! Its like a rabbit whole, once I started looking I couldn’t stop! Happy Friday everyone.
It has been about 8 years since I went to India, and a place like that stays with you. It was a wonderful culture shock and a whirlwind of a trip involving driving a tut tut, gazing at the Taj Mahal, almost being kidnapped, meeting amazing people, crazy trains, cows, palm trees, azure waters, coconuts and bananas and of course colour, pattern and sound! Today I fancied diving back into those exciting hues and explore some interiors inspired by India. Take a peek..
Amazingly detailed room in a ice-cream blue. I love how Indian architecture is so decorative, saturated in embellishment and exotic hues.
The beauty of a hot climate is bringing the inside out, with faded pink, intricate lanterns and handmade textiles this garden is a paradise.
With so much to take in it can be nice zooming in, the powder blues here magnify the skill involved in this botanical carving.
This is very similar to a sari I have, a great way to bring some interest to window treatment.
Amazingly green! So fresh and vibrant.
You can never have too many Indian textiles! Pile them up for visual happiness.
A grand Indian home edged in candy striped pink and golden yellow. Love the canopied chairs.
There’s an old world beauty to this deep jade bathroom. Dark furniture sits alongside a myriad of pattern.
A richly coloured room that blends brick red, turquoise, orange and gold. That bed is pretty amazing!
A brilliantly blue sun room that is as elegant as it is bold.
This is an easy way to add some ornate interest into your home, inlaid furniture. Though upcylcing an aged chest of draws with some bright paint, a steady hand and white stencilling might do the trick (see below).
This immensely pink interior I remember spotting in a Vogue years ago, owned by Fashion designer Liza Bruce and her artist husband.
There is an antique shop where I live that has random richly carved Indian doors, I love running my fingers over them!
Tangerine dreams – intricately detailed orange corridor in an Indian palace.
I love this pineapple lamp stand, a little bit of the Indian tropics!
Just look at the amazing detail of this room – its like a festival of colour and illustration.
If that is a little bit much for your happy home, how about adding some regal Indian opulence with a crushed velvet cushion.
And finally the amazing architecture that is the pink palace in Jaipur. Sadly I never got to see this in the flesh, but my trip to India will serve as rich pickings for inspiration for many years to come. So hope I make it back!
The kind of staircase I like is one that is elegant, falling from the ceiling like a ribbon cascading to the ground. Not clunky, asserting its presence – but brilliantly designed so you feel all the more lighter as you alight.
Like the flick of the brush this beautiful staircase makes the room.
A pool of light is revealed as the curvaceous wooden staircase cuts out the floor. I love how it follows through underneath.
This feels very architectural, perhaps not elegant but certainly refined. The white steps stretch to the sides creating a perfect perching patch.
A delightfully minimal hand rail flawlessly twists into the ground.
Old school charm! Wonderfully wide for those gigantic skirts, this staircase transitions from wood to stone effortlessly.
A rhythmic staircase with a linear balustrade. There is something quite nautical about the black tripes. Perhaps it is their uniform nature, beautifully done.
We have an Egyptian feel next with these stone steps. Spacious and gently rising out of the ground, the smooth sides allow the light to bounce.
A nod to Art Deco, these stairs create a pleasing zig-zag just stopping short of the floor.
Striking putty pink stairs reveal a cut-out handrail as they swirl down the wall.
Pleasing shapes are created with this simple black metal handrail.
Strong concrete stairs make their presence known as they twist from the ceiling.
A slight but beautiful enclosed staircase. I like the blonde wood and vertical thin white-washed strips that follow the curve.
Ending with a note of monochrome, a confident staircase that breaks away from the wall has a playful feel.
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
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.
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.
I love these old radiators, especially in sunshine yellow!
Beautifully finished, this kind of handle would look at home on a ruggedly knotted and aged door.
The handles here, in my humble opinion, make this kitchen. Lovely rich dark blue units, marble counter tops and a touch of brass.
I love this light, so solid, so certain. Bolted onto the wall like it really belongs there!
Back to blue again, it just works so well! And what a lovely leathery colour.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The oak frame here is happily highlighted by the sage green walls.
Located in rural Switzerland, this home makes good use of contrasting textures and horizontal lines.
Another view inside another beautiful home. The infinite tiles and bricks are the perfect backdrop for some hugable topiary.
I like how open this space is, and the combination of wood, brick and black metal. An enviable island too!
Sometimes it is nice to retreat into a dark interior, I love the cut-out window of this bedroom up in the eaves.
Moments of joy in architecture – this barn-shaped wooden frame links the two floors with striking grace.
A bespoke kitchen that brings a balance of curves into an olde worlde space.
We end on a more rustic note, calming symmetry, and a view that goes on and on!
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.
How much do you want to walk through that door! Its positively calling me.
What I like here is the views these arches create. Environment and structure working in harmony.
This arch makes the room. Beautiful chunky wood in a New York office, oh how I wish it was mine.
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.
Minoru Yamasaki’s tall arched building in Minneapolis dwarfs the trees and borrows its form from nature’s elegance.
Form is celebrated here! The ceiling mirrors the arched doorway creating satisfying light and shade.
I adore these white washed narrow bricks. This is Valentino’s flagship store in Rome.
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.
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.
An architectural drawing for a restaurant that uses arches in different textures and materials. It almost feels like this structure dances over ahead.
Such elegant arches! Black framed windows echo the shape, the rhythm, decreasing in size – its all very relaxing.
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).
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.
I hope you enjoyed this simple offering, happy Friday.