Pleated Architecture

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!

Fashion and design ribbed and pleated

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Ribbed and pleated design in architecture, fashion and design

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Monochrome ribbed and pleated desifn - fashion and architecture

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Pleated and ribbed design in fashion and architecture

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The Painted Interior

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.

Richly painted room,

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.

Tom Haugomat illustrated interior

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!

Peachy pink Art Deco interior of Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann

Here, the room’s scale is beautifully communicated, painted in 1921 with evergreen and inky black.

French designer and illustrator Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann

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.

Pink Art Deco interior by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann

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.

Art Deco illustration of Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann interior

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.

Painting of a rich green interior by Kathleen Melian, "Remains of Desire" 2012

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!

Peacock coloured interor painted by Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell

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.

Chelsea Bentley James paintings of room details

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.

Music Room by artist Edward Gordon

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.

Anton Henning interior painting

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!

Preston Dickinson (American, 1891-1930), Interior Scene, 1922. Oil on canvasboard, 20 x 16 in

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.

The Green Room by Marie-Louise Roosevelt Pierrepont

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.

Caro Niederer

 

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.

Amazing India

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.

Amazingly detailed blue interior, India

The beauty of a hot climate is bringing the inside out, with faded pink, intricate lanterns and handmade textiles this garden is a paradise.

Indian garden in aged pink

With so much to take in it can be nice zooming in, the powder blues here magnify the skill involved in this botanical carving.

Blue carvings in an Indian pattern close up

This is very similar to a sari I have, a great way to bring some interest to window treatment.

Pink Indian textile used as a window covering

Amazingly green! So fresh and vibrant.

Emerlad green detailed Indian building

You can never have too many Indian textiles! Pile them up for visual happiness.

Orange and yellow Indian textlies

A grand Indian home edged in candy striped pink and golden yellow. Love the canopied chairs.

Covered outdoor space in India with covered seating edged in pink

There’s an old world beauty to this deep jade bathroom. Dark furniture sits alongside a myriad of pattern.

Green and blue Indian bathroom

A richly coloured room that blends brick red, turquoise, orange and gold. That bed is pretty amazing!

Orange, turquoise and brick red luxurious Indian bedroom

A brilliantly blue sun room that is as elegant as it is bold.

Indian blue interior with white doecration

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).

Mother of pearl inlaid blue draws

Blue draws with white Indian pattern stencil

This immensely pink interior I remember spotting in a Vogue years ago, owned by Fashion designer Liza Bruce and her artist husband.

Pink patterned Indian interior of fashion designer Liza Bruce

There is an antique shop where I live that has random richly carved Indian doors, I love running my fingers over them!

Richly curved wooden Indian door

Tangerine dreams – intricately detailed orange corridor in an Indian palace.

Immensely detailed orange interior of an Indian paalce

I love this pineapple lamp stand, a little bit of the Indian tropics!

White shade and brass palm lamp stand

Just look at the amazing detail of this room – its like a festival of colour and illustration.

Amazingly decorative Indian interior

If that is a little bit much for your happy home, how about adding some regal Indian opulence with a crushed velvet cushion.

Golden yellow 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!

Pink palace in Jaipur with birds in flight

Dream Staircases

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.

statement staircase in flowing black lines

A pool of light is revealed as the curvaceous wooden staircase cuts out the floor. I love how it follows through underneath.

wooden curvy staircase

This feels very architectural, perhaps not elegant but certainly refined. The white steps stretch to the sides creating a perfect perching patch.

black and white stairs in slabs

A delightfully minimal hand rail flawlessly twists into the ground.

Black metal hand rail elegantly bent

Old school charm! Wonderfully wide for those gigantic skirts, this staircase transitions from wood to stone effortlessly. 

French feeling staircase in wood, metal and stone

A rhythmic staircase with a linear balustrade. There is something quite nautical about the black tripes. Perhaps it is their uniform nature, beautifully done.   

 Modern interior with beautifully elegant staircase

Black white and gold stair case with contemporary room divide in glass and black metal

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. 

white walls and stairs rise to an open space

A nod to Art Deco, these stairs create a pleasing zig-zag just stopping short of the floor.

wood and black metal with glass stairs

Striking putty pink stairs reveal a cut-out handrail as they swirl down the wall. 

smooth stairs in a pinky natural hue

Pleasing shapes are created with this simple black metal handrail. 

Pleasing shapes are made in this black metal handrail with steps cut from stone

Strong concrete stairs make their presence known as they twist from the ceiling. 

concrete grand staircase in public space

A slight but beautiful enclosed staircase. I like the blonde wood and vertical thin white-washed strips that follow the curve. 

wood and white stairs flanked by vertical wooden strips

Ending with a note of monochrome, a confident staircase that breaks away from the wall has a playful feel.   

black and white room with gloss black stairs that come from the wall

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.