Tenby 2015

We had the pleasure of visiting Tenby last week and as usual I took my camera with me. My passion for the Great British seaside is very strong and we were not disappointed with the beauty we found in Tenby.

This was our first visit to Wales and we especially wanted to explore the Pembrokeshire coastline and Tenby was the perfect base to do this from. The town was full of seaside charm and the coastline was something else. A morning run along the beach following the coastal path was the perfect way to start each day. There are miles and miles of flat beaches with flat sand ready to walk or run along.

Below are just a few pictures that I took while we were in Tenby for the week. There was a great mix of colour and texture plus amazing views wherever you looked. We were also able to find a house that was featured on Grand Designs in 2011 and which had stuck in our memories due to it’s stunning location. If you are after a relaxing break away from it all then perhaps you will consider Tenby.

 

Greens

This post about greens was inspired my recent reworking of the home office. While purchasing some small bits and pieces, I started to notice how many great products there are in a huge range of different greens.

As usual, as soon as I start noticing something like that, I start pinning pictures and products onto my Pinterest boards. I am drawn to the huge varieties of greens and especially love the darker shades of green with a grey influence. There are some amazing food pictures which help in providing a colour pallet to start with.

Most high street and online shops carry a nice selection of green products at the moment and one to especially look out for is Really Well Made. Below are a selection of images and products that tick all the boxes for me when its comes to picking greens to work with.

12 Work Lights.

Here are 12 work lights that I really love. I enjoy selecting lights and applying the correct light to the different functions within a room. These 12 work lights look amazing but also tick the box as far as providing a good functional task light.

A good desk light should provide flexible directional light and also give ambient light to backlight any screen that may be in use. I guess it’s fairly predictable that one of my choices would be the classic Anglepoise light with a design dating back to the 1930’s. When I look at my other choices its also clear that this iconic design has influenced many of my other selections too. There also seems to be a move towards mixing materials more and I am really drawn to wood as a material for lights. Lighting can also be a great opportunity to add an item with age and character which helps bring more personality to a room.

It feels to me that many stores now stock strong ranges of very affordable lights so I have tried to look outside the usual shops where possible for this selection to hopefully highlight something new for you.

 

5 questions to 4 designers.

So the idea is simple, ask 5 questions to 4 designers and see what happens. This idea is something that I have had for a while but also a bit of a new departure for me and my style blog. Usually I work with images more than words on PostLiving but I have been fascinated for a long time about how design and style varies so much between different people. How can style, taste and inspiration differ  so much?

So, at the beginning of this year I decided to ask 3 designers who I admire to answers the same basic questions about design. I also decided to answers the same questions myself and then see what answers came in and publish them on the blog.

I decided to ask Andrew Dunning of APD Interiors, Oliver Heath and Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar. All 3 of these amazing designers have totally different approaches to their craft and were also kind enough to say yes to my idea without hesitation.

 

So here we go, 5 questions to 4 designers, well 3 designers and little old me! …..

 

1. Where does your design inspiration come from?

OH.

My design inspiration is most often inspired by nature and natural systems. As a society and due to our urban lifestyles we are drifting away from our connection to nature and the many benefits that come from incorporating it – both physiologically and psychologically. A connection with nature is intrinsic to our health and wellbeing and there are many ways that we can bring its influence into our lives to improve the spaces we inhabit.

WT.

Travel. Immersing myself in a new culture and set of rituals and localised routines helps me to see things from a fresh perspective. A colour combination I hadn’t considered before; a texture or material used in an unexpected way; admiring the way different cultures actually live in their homes – these are all things that inspire me from travel.

AD.

Inspiration for me comes from living a very full diverse life. Every day in London I’m inspired by the changing urban landscape, new building excite me, the street vibe makes me happy. I also find inspiration during weekends by the coast, the crashing of the sea, the colours of the sand. Everyone should really open their eyes more – inspiration is everywhere!

PL.

My design inspiration comes from so many different places but probably the most common is the coast where we live. I have a true passion for the traditional English seaside and everything that goes with it. The coastline looks amazing whether on the coldest day in winter or the hottest day in the summer.

 

2. How would you describe your own style?

OH.

My style is Biophilic design – using humans innate attraction to nature and natural systems as design principles to creating happier and healthier spaces to live and work in. It’s all about maximising natural light, creating views onto nature, using natural materials textures, patterns and colours, but also creating safe spaces to retreat back into.

WT.

Eclectic, comfortable and gently colourful with an air of Scandinavian whimsy.

AD.

My style for designing interiors is very contemporary in look but as we work for residential clients it also has to be functional and liveable. Many of the interiors I create will be used for many years so we keep trendy touches to a minimum to ensure longevity. I also draw lots of inspiration in my style from Scandinavian interiors, their cool calm look is totally the look I love.

PL.

A complete mix of style. I like mixing honest simple materials with strong colours whilst bringing old and new together in the same space. I have never been a fan of just one style of design.

 

3. What’s your biggest pet hate related to design?

OH.

My biggest pet hate is the use of stereotyped historical pastiche – an extrinsic design approach focused solely on impressing others. Good design should be about improving the environments that we live in and the wider environment beyond those boundaries.

WT.

Snobbery, both ways. I find it equally annoying when someone looks down on affordable design, such as IKEA, as I do when others dismiss people who invest in high end design as a ‘waste’ of money. Personally, I like to mix high and low in my own home; how much people choose to spend on furnishing their homes is personal and not something worthy of judgement.

AD.

Using any poorly designed product just upset me. William Morris said ‘have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ – I’m inclined to revise that to just beautiful full stop. If I had to name one product I dislike it is any ‘recliner’ chair with integrated handles – absolute design hell in my books.

PL.

Elitism. Design should be open to everybody and truly accessible to anybody interested. Good design should be able to influence and improve the lives of the greatest number of people possible.

 

4. Which is your favourite material to work with?

OH.

My favourite material is timber, it’s the grain, its visual warmth, it’s acoustic qualities and the way it brings a human sense of scale to a space. I love to experiment with it on my TV shows and have had fun sanding, staining and even scorching it with a blow torch to create different effects.

WT.

Linen. I love the tactile, soft, floaty and relaxed feel it brings to a space. Of course, it allows me to play with colour and pattern, too!

AD.

I love working with natural products in our projects. We recently used the most beautiful grey limestone for a kitchen project. You can sense the history and age of the stone when you start to look at the veining. Although natural products do often come with a maintenance overhead they beat manufactured materials every time for me.

PL.

I love working with Formica. It is available in so many colours and finishes.

 


5. If you could recommend 1 shop to visit, which would it be and why?

OH.

My favourite shops aren’t design shops per se, but more utilitarian stores that offer fixtures, fittings, and tools. Hardware shops and in particular yacht chandlers are always a source of enormous excitement for me……. But then I did used to be a windsurfing instructor so perhaps that’s not so surprising.

WT.

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Fine Little Day. Her scandinavian aesthetic is so beautiful – I always try to have some of her pieces in each new apartment I move into.

AD.

Given my love of Scandinavian interiors I would have to say Folklore on Upper Street in Islington. The products are careful selected by the owners who understand the Scandi style so well. From lighting to homeware via furniture I’d have every product in my own home if I could.

PL.

I struggle to get passed IKEA for this answer. The range of style is huge and the price point means that everybody can usually find something they like. For me, a good interiors shop has a great selection of products at prices which don’t exclude anybody. If I was allowed another choice, then Untothislast on Brick Lane, London, would be it!

Pinterest Picks

The pick of Pinterest. I spend a great deal of my time both in work and at home working with images from Pinterest and I continue to be impressed at what a great resource it is. If I need any ideas or inspiration then it is nearly always my first port of call. My Pinterest boards are a personal collection of inspiration that I refer to more and more. I am a bit shocked when I realise that I am nearly 2000 pins already and rising fast.
Over the last 6 months my Pinterest boards have seen the views rapidly increase and its a great feeling to think others like my collections of image, materials and colours. If I connect with a new supplier or start following a new source of inspiration then I always try to follow them on Pinterest. It is also a fantastic tool to share new ideas with clients and exchange ideas about new projects.
I thought it would be a useful exercise to share some of my favourite pins from the last few months… It really is a window into what I like right now and where my thought process is at.
I hope you find some pins that you like and feel like sharing, just have I done. So here are my more recent Pinterest picks.
All my boards are here.

I have done my very best to name the source for each of the images that I have pinned.

The World of Rugs.

The World of Rugs is HUGE! Flooring coverings come in so many different forms and rugs are a very versatile option. There are a huge variety of options when considering material, texture, size, patterns and budget. Rugs give you the opportunity to introduce colour and pattern into a space but it is also very important to remember the functional purpose of the rug too. There are the more obvious benefits of comfort and warmth but they also provide good sound deadening properties and help to zone or define spaces.

Rugs give you the opportunity to make a bold statement within a space that can be taken away with you when you move on. It is also worth remembering that rugs don’t only have to sit on the floor. It can be very effective to hang rugs on the wall in the same way as more traditional artwork. There is also no reason why they could also not go on the ceiling!

Below are a selection of inspirational ways to use rugs plus my pick of rugs on the market from retailers such as Graham and GreenJohn LewisRockett St George and West Elm. For more ideas please check my Pinterest board and I hope you enjoy exploring the World of Rugs!

Doors…As simple as that!

Doors….I was trying to think about what text to put with this post but could not think of much to say! All I can say is that here are a selection of stunning doors, whether they be old or new, interior or exterior or upcycled that grab my attention because I love them. They are an obvious design statement for the front of your home or room so choose carefully but also think of other uses for the old ones you no longer want. Some old doors are simply dripping with character and personality but new doors can also provide personality in a totally different way.

Which is your favourite …. ?

More lovely doors can be seen here

Brighton

We had a lovely day in Brighton and I took my camera with me. Although my pictures are not anything special I picked out 12 that summed up our day out and caught my eye. There is so much inspiration everywhere you look in Brighton and these are the pictures that survived the cut!

We found a place to eat, called The New Club which served tasty food, looked amazing and had sea views…. Kind of perfect really. There was also some time to stroll the Lanes and discover shops that we knew nothing about and revisit some old favourites. I found myself snapping small details of materials, products or textures that perhaps one day I will use on future projects.

The day finished by popping round to Oliver Heath’s house for a tour of his eco home and then a chat and nice coffee afterwards. He was engaging, interesting and generous with his time….Thanks Oliver!

Needless to say, I would suggest that Brighton is worth a visit sometime soon

Yellow

Yellow is a colour that is really grabbing my attention. Maybe it is because we are approaching autumn and the colour is a perfect fit for this time of the year, I am not sure. We are about to install a yellow painted floor into the home office but there are so many other ways to use it. Whether its on the floor ,wall, ceiling or with furniture, you can bring as much of the colour as you want in. I think that one of the great benefits of using such a strong colour is that you can also use it in a neutral room as a pop of colour or really go for it as a scheme. So many retailers provide the opportunity to find accessories to bring yellow into a room at the moment, just take a look at Marks and SpencersBHS HomeHomebaseJohn Lewis, and Ikea to start with.

I have put together some products and images that I find inspirational plus there are many more images on my Pinterest board.  It would have been very easy to keep adding lots more images to this post but I did my best to limited myself and I will let you know how the yellow office floor turns out!

Picture Walls.

Here are some of my ideas of how to hang your favourite pictures and photographs on the wall and create stunning picture walls. There are endless ways to display your artwork but here are a few images that caught my eye. There are a couple of things that I hope to use in the near future. Firstly, picture rails seem to make great sense to me so how come we don’t see a modern version of them? They give you great flexibility and mean changing your artwork is easy and your walls stay unmarked. Secondly, old style polaroids still look great and its possible to get your digital prints made up to look like polariods so why not do it!

So I don’t want all our family pictures stuck on the hard drive, its time to get them printed up and hung on the wall and make some great picture walls.

 

More ideas can be seen on my Pinterest board