Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vintage, Eclectic and Colourful!

I am loving this set of pics I came across today on the US Country Living website.... It is the home of the owner of Antiques shop Hunt & Gather - Kristi Stratton. (if you live near Minneapolis check it out!)
Her home is filled with vintage finds, and is seriously colourful. I don't think I'd ever feel down if I lived here! Everything makes me smile, from the goose lamp to the yellow chest of drawers to the cute vintage toys!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pet Style

Just a quick one to tell you to check out a recent guest blog post I have written about stylish pet accessories, something which actually seems relatively hard to find! But you can read about my top picks here. My reason for writing such a post is that this very weekend a little kitten is moving in with us! And in fact I should've added this lovely cat bed to my list as this is the one I have ordered for our little furball! (from Pets at Home) It looks cosy in there! :)
I will post some pics of him when he arrives, I hope he will be as cute as these little lovelies!






and I can't wait to send his pic into Desire to Inspire's Pets on Furniture series! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Corners of my home

just a few little spots in our home that I currently love. As the interior evolves and changes over time, it is nice to keep a record of how things once were...

some prints awaiting frames...

bedside books....

a recent car boot sale bargain - £2!

Books... The Comforts of Home

The Comforts of Home is the latest book from journalist & author Caroline Clifton-Mogg, and the cover text really does sum up what this book encapsulates - 'Thrifty and chic decorating ideas for making the most of what you have'
It reminds us that, it is how your display your possessions, your use of scents, and how welcoming your home is to guests is what makes a home special.

photo by Debi Treloar

photo by Polly Wreford

It has some lovely tips for making your home more comfortable and inviting to visitors, such as a stack of books for browsing, a comfortable chair and even a half finished jigsaw....

photo by Chris Tubbs

Caroline also gives lots of practical advice on things such as cleaning with natural products, how to make your cutlery sparkle and and a list of staples to create the perfect pantry.

With beautiful images and Caroline's lovely style of writing, in which she often draws on her own personal experiences, this book has to be one of my favourites of late, it is one that will definitely be referred back to regularly.

photo by Chris Tubbs

photo by Polly Wreford

The Comforts of Home is published by Ryland Peters & Small

A Birthday Gift!

This month, the Patchwork Harmony Online Boutique is One Year Old! Its been great fun, especially with all the fantastic support from my lovely customers and blog readers!
photo via flickr
Over the year Patchwork Harmony products have popped up in lots of publications, and is to be featured in a book being published this May! (more about that later!) A section for KIDS has been added to the website, and our blog has had a lovely redesign! I hope the next year will be as fun and will bring lots of new & exciting challenges!
As a little thank you for your support and kind words, here is a little discount offer to treat yourself to something lovely.....

Love, Caroline

The Hot Pink Chair!

You might remember a recent post where I showed a chair I picked up a car boot sale for £3, and some inspiration for what I was going to do with it? My initial instinct was to paint it hot pink, so I decided to stick with that instinct.. and here are the results! This was how it looked when I bought it....
It was quite a job as the paintwork was really flaky and as it was originally black I had to sand it like crazy, plus it took a LOT of coats to cover the dark colour underneath!!

As you can see I got a little snap happy! So I made a montage of the chair pics!!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Source, Style, Shoot with.... Emily Chalmers

This month I had a chat Emily Chalmers, an interior stylist & owner of Caravan, a fantastic shop in Shoreditch, London. I have loved Emily's books, shop and styling for ages now, so it was great to hear her thoughts on her job, her style and her own home.....

How did you get into interior styling?

If styling means re-arranging other people's furniture, then I've always been a stylist of sorts! As a child I would organize my friend's bedrooms and even got invited back to one particular home on a regular basis house to 'do' the kitchen....
My interest in interiors carried on into my twenties when I shared a house with a photographer-friend who watched me decorate my bedroom and told me I should be a 'stylist' - I asked her to explain what that was.... and I have never looked back....
After doing stints assisting other stylists on photo-shoots for catalogues, magazines and pr jobs, I landed a job on a magazine. Three years there taught me a lot about shoot production, art direction, and writing. I then went on to work freelance and that is when I also started working with a publishing company on interior style books.
I now also have a shop, Caravan, in the East end of London, and I combine books, styling, and the store - it's a full life, but I love it!
signed copies of Emilys books are available from Caravan
Read my previous review post on Cheap Chic here.

What do you love most about your job?
I love editing things - being able to choose products and to put them together. Unexpected combinations bring surprises, and this is what I love the most.
My shop Caravan gives me a chance to experiment with products and to have fun!
I also enjoy meeting people - having a store has allowed me to have customers, and they can be very inspiring too. (see pic of Caravan below)

How would describe your personal interior style?
I find it terribly difficult to describe my style - it seems to depend upon my mood, the weather, my surroundings, the time of year....
A magazine editor once described it as 'vintage, floral, bohemian' - that's a pretty good description!
My home is a mixture of styles - I am always happy to mix old and new, given and found.
I live in an old industrial building in London - decoration-wise I like a 'quick fix' and my decor is very 'rough and ready' - i.e. lengths of fabric hang un-hemmed as room dividers, floral remnants have been used to make scatter cushions, vintage postcards decorate the walls, and the space is lit with a range of brightly coloured vintage Anglepoise and standard lamps. (see pics of Emily's home below)
Where do you shop for your own home?
I shop anywhere and everywhere - in fact it's good that I do work a lot, otherwise I would probably be shopping a lot!
I always visit markets and bring something back from my travels, whether it be a particularly good shoehorn, a brightly coloured mixing bowl, or some large beads to decorate a light pull.

Is there any particular trends you think will be popular in 2010?
It's great that trends now veer towards mixing and matching - 'minimal' always used to scare me as it can seem a very strict style. In my world style should have practicality, comfort, quality, and humour in equal measures - a tall order, but it is this integrity that will last.
I think we shall see more experimentation with colour this year, juxtaposed with texture - such as big bold graphic prints on roughly textured linens, and brightly lacquered paint-work on distressed surfaces.
I also think we'll see more kitsch, in a well chosen ironic way - the success of our Bambi and toadstool lamps at Caravan is a good example of this.
Lisa Whatmough's designs for Squint are a great example of combining colour and pattern (see interiors pics below)
Abigail Ahern at Atelier Abigail Ahern likes to introduce the unexpected into a room-scheme (see giant resin animal head decoration below)....
Do you have any tips for my readers for styling their own home?
Ooooh - where do I start?!
Firstly, remember that it is your own home, and you must do what you would like to do, not what you think you should do.
I believe everyone has their own style, but may not have practiced enough with it to recognize it.
If you're not sure what you like, why not narrow things down and start with a list of what you don't like.
I've never been one for saying 'don't paint small rooms in dark colours' - what is wrong with a room becoming more cosy and dark? But do use a light colour if you don't like dark walls.
One decorating trick I always use is to 'layer' a space - working across the room put things at different heights creating a 3 dimensional 'set' - hang from ceilings (for instance try not just one pendant, but placing shades at differing heights), use the wall space (for, obviously, pictures, but how-about adding a vintage letter, an old manuscript, a lovely big bead necklace hanging from a decorative hook, a little mirror, and so on), then put tall lamps on short tables and play with scale.
Lastly, sit back and enjoy - decorating should be fun and inspiring - let your experiments lead you to something unexpected!

Thanks so much Emily!
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