Nearly Not There

Today I want to retreat into nearly not there neutrals. Those shades that are hard to categorise. Layers of tone that just come together so satisfyingly that you want to sit a while. To contemplate.

‘Neutral’ can feel like a dead word. Today, however, I am enjoying the colours that exist in the light and in the shade. the hard to define.

The masters of chalky whites, Farrow and Ball.

The masters of chalky whites, Farrow and Ball

What a space, those windows flood the room with a cool white light, the subtle grey walls slightly mottled. Perfectly Parisian.

Soft grey room with tall windows

This colour I have always referred to as ‘blackcherry yogurt colour’, ever since a child. The muted mauve is a great backdrop for the sprawled-legged light.

Chalky mauve walls

Painted white bricks are always a joy. Combined with the well worn cobbles and various sage painted wood work.

Exterior with white painted bricks and sage green paint work

Oh that chair, perfectly made for two. Soft colours of the sea mix with various textures. Linen, velvet, brick, tile and woven thread.

Softly rustic home with giant armchair

A Colonial sitting room with an amazing inlaid chest. The silvered greys are brought together with a moody Turner-esque painting.

Old India style interior

Well this is pretty perfect isn’t it. I love the clean cut marble unit and the depth the carved wooden adds. An ageing mirror and bud-like light fitting add interest. I am partial to a Bialetti coffee maker too.

Island unit clean cut wit silvered mirror

Peppermint ice whites and crushed velvet, what a delicate space. Decaying grandeur with modern moments.

Slowing decaying interior in ice white hues

Putty pink complements eucalyptus green, a happy combination I think.

Eucalyptus leaves and gloxy cermaics

White metal edged glass doors with ample linen curtains.

White metal doors to bathroom with curtains

Various shades of white harmonise in this boudoir. Apparently this colour is ‘elephants breath’, a strange notion.

Shades of white boudoir

Evidently I am drawn to wood panelled interiors! The rise and fall in the wood just creates so many tones to enjoy. This room incorporates coffee creams and metallic tones that lift the space.

Wood panelled interior with coffee greys and creams

A grand proportioned room with wildly contrasting pieces of furniture, ornaments and art. The soft pink is brought to life with the glossy deeper coloured pieces. That table is magnificent.

Grand space with black and pink

If a room can be a weather front, this one brews a storm. A picture window frames the Tasmanian countryside. Mottled walls soften a cooling space.

Picture window with stormy grey walls

In a similar vein, these walls provide a tonally textured backdrop to some striking furniture.

Modern room in dapple grey

More bohemian but equally beautiful, there is a French feel to this feminine room.

The feminine touch to a French feeling room

Modern art brings the dark to a cooling blue/grey palette. I love the parquet flooring too.

Parquet floor, detailed woodwork and modern art all with a blue tone

Enjoying the dreamy hues of Hydrangeas, pale lilac with a lemon yellow.

Classical yellow and purple sitting room

With just a hint of neon this collection works. That light is a little breathtaking.

Contemporary combination of neon hues

Linen blues, so calming and welcoming. It just so happens this room sports a Warren Platner chair, the design classic I illustrated for our November newsletter.

Warren Platner chair in a cool blue interior

An indoor swing, need I say more? Linen and chocolate combine bathed in glorious sunlight.

Swing hanging indoors

Another apartment with a stunning view. Curved furniture neatly highlighted. Marble, brass and eggshell come together with ease.

Muted interior

Finally we end with dove grey, enhanced by white objects, a giant woven lamp shade and deep, dark wood.

Soft grey room with natural shades and dark wood

Wintery hues for a muted day.

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The Autumn Home

I am feeling decidedly autumnal. The air has turned fresh and crisp. Glorious golden light pieces through the deep dark clouds and then is swallowed up by gusts of wind and spats of rain. When the outside is this unpredictable I go in, time to think about an autumn interior and how to bring the warmth home. Here’s what I need to create that golden inward glow…

First things first, its all about blankets. Throws, rugs, textiles rule in a cosy home. With a grey geometric pattern and orange trim, this one works perfectly.

Grey geometric blanket with orange rim

Light is key, there is something about the flicker of a fire or candle flame that is so comforting. I love these geometric lanterns, a glowing cluster to guide you up the stairs.

little lights in glass and metal lanterns

The perfect view for that autumn cosy would be one like this. The undulating hills and evergreen trees emerge from the mist. Golden orange accents add a little of nature’s warmth to the scene.

Pine trees, undulating hills and misty skies

The sights and smells of the season are brought together here, a gorgeous array of colours from olive to turmeric to hang in the home.

DIY autumn decorations in the home

For colours think ochre and other earthy pigments. This herringbone blanket wraps around a wooden bowl on weathered table.

Yellow ochre blanket

Burningly bright, sculptural branches make a welcome addition to the autumn home.

Bring branches inside for autumn

My ideal vision of autumn comfort certainly involves food. Spiced parsnip soups, rustic bread inch thick with butter and hot chocolates swirled with cinnamon. This caramel, pear and pecan pie would fit the bill nicely.

Seriously tasty looking autumn pie

Grey and burnt orange textiles, neatly folded and piled high.

Folded grey and orange blankets

The mantle is the ideal place to layer your seasonal wares. Tiny pumpkins pile on cloth-backed books with an illustrated hare, an enamelled candle holder and deep green foliage brimming with berries.

Mental with rabbit illustration, candle and red berries

Mix and match the height of your lighting, I love my standard light at home, my shade is covered in delicate vintage florals but this mid-century-style mustard drum is beautiful in its simplicity.

Wooden light stand with a mustard shade

Still feeling cold? Nothing can rival a hot bath as the nights draw in. With matt black walls and a vintage copper bath, this is a room to wile away the hours.

Black wooden panelled walls and a vintage copper bath tub

Time to embrace the most magical of seasons!

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

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.

Defining ‘Hygge’

The latest Scandinavian craze to be picked up by the world of interiors is the concept of ‘Hygge’. Hard to define,“HUE-gah” doesn’t quite fit an exact English word translation, but has been likened to graciousness, contentment, good feelings or perhaps a warm glow.

The Danes’ Hygge is thought to be the inspiration for our word ‘hug’, ah. So to bring some of that comfort to our homes – because lets face it January can be bleak – here are some interiors that nail it.

Think über comfy with blankets upon blankets, a crackling fire and sinkable sofas

Fireplace, blankets, and candles interior

Danish happiness also includes hot chocolate, no really

Hot chocolate in rustic blue cups with macaroons and marshmellows

Dogs like hygge too. Hunker down with soft natural textiles

Grey and neutral room with low bed and fire

Bring nature indoors with wooden touches, these birch candles are just perfect

Candles in tree trunks

Conjure that wood cabin feel, chunky pottery and a view that’s pine-filled. Just breath it in

Two cups on a terrace overlooking a forest

Chunky knits just say ‘ahhhh’ to me

White chunky knitted blanket

Hygge can be translated as ‘well-being’, and for me a hot bath with a calming view and flickering candles is well on the way to aiding mine

Greenery and candles in a bathroom with a view

Soft under foot and really warm, think flooring so good you’ll want to snub the chair and curl up right there and then

Sheepskin rug in super soft grey

Finally, its friends, loved ones and those that count. Just add easy comfort food that brings a smile and a warm glow as you share stories the Danish way

Hygge style food wth friends

This is what hygge means to me, hope you enjoyed our cosy round up! Happy weekend.

Hanging Bedside Lights

A trend which is one I quite love at the moment are hanging bedside lights. As long as there is no risk of me banging my head as I fall out of bed in the morning, they sound great to me!

Suspended lights add a real modern edge to a room. That laid back ‘oh I just threw it all together’ thing that looks so appealing. Here are a few that have captured my attention…

A beautiful bulb simply done.

Suspended light bulb by the bed

I am in love with this stunning shade – geometric and metallic and with a red cord!

Bedside lamp suspended with metal shade

Ideal where space is tight, the single black line of the cord curves the white wall up perfectly.

Suspended light bulb in the bedroom

Granted there is quite a lot going on in this room, but I do like the wire cage lights.

Bedside lamps suspended with wire shade

The beauty with these lights is you can make them yourself, adding your personal flare. This copper piping suspended light does feel like you could have a rummage in the garden shed and hey presto!

Suspended bedside light with pipe

What a great idea – a pulley to alter the height of your bedside light. I think this would look even better if the shade was a paper globe!

Suspended lamp on pully by the bed

And finally this adorable matching pair started life a candle holders. I love the copper frame. All they need now is some smooth circular bulbs to glow inside.

Copper wire pendant lights for the bedroom

What do you think – a trend that is here to stay?

Modern Wicker

The beauty of adding a natural material like wicker into your home is the warmth and integrity it brings. The woven basket is so versatile, adding texture and that human element that can make a house a home. I have gathered together some great contemporary interiors showcasing the best of modern wicker.

With all the charm of Mid-Century design this wicker chair is pretty perfect.

Mid-Century modern wicker chair

I love how these wicker draws are all the more beautiful for the backdrop of dark matt kitchen units.

Black kitchen with wicker draws

Ok, not technically wicker, but I just love this piece of furniture. Colonial style with a laid back modern coolness.

Natural furniture in modern home

The ever useful basket looks great in this bathroom. A neat way to hide all that clutter.

Wicker baskets in the bathroom

The wicker Egg chair is so retro cool. With a view like that you would really need a special piece of furniture, and suspended in this warm embrace would work just fine.

Suspended wicker egg chair

Darker moody walls and casual wicker dining chairs, this interior has Scandinavian charm.

Dark walls and wicker dining chairs

These huge pendent lights look quite at home in this bright and breezy kitchen.

Giant wicker pendant lights

Statement furniture never looked so good! Chilled summer living in this designer home.

Statement wicker chair

Sign me up for a class! it can’t be that hard…