Latest Posts

Meet Interior Designer Elena Romanova

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Today I am very pleased to introduce you to interior designer Elena Romanova. We have been friends for years and I am very happy that she agreed to have a chat with us and tell us what her job as an interior designer involves, what the benefits of working with an interior designer are as well as share her recent design projects and some style tips.

Can you please tell me about your practice.

I run a residential interior design practice based in SW London / Surrey. My projects range from a one-room makeover to a complete house refurbishment.

thumbnail_Website Esher 6

What’s your background and how did you get into interior design?

I used to have a corporate career but have always been interested in houses and was always renovating something. While my friends would be enjoying themselves on holidays I’d be at some builder’s yard looking for tiles, wood, and whatever else I needed for my project.

I have also always been known as a bit of a house stalker always trying to peek into people’s sitting room windows to see how they lived and what their house looked like.

During a career break I finally decided to do something about it. I got my Professional Interior Design qualifications and set up on my own.

Hallway+1

What design services do you offer to your clients?

I try to cater to different needs and different budgets.

If you are not looking to start a complete renovation project but would really like to make the most of what you have then my Makeover consultation might be just what you need. Changing a wall colour, putting some bold wallpaper in the downstairs loo, re-arranging the furniture layout, fitting in a smart blind – all those small changes might take your home from ordinary to amazing and will help you fall in love with it again.

You might be moving to your dream home except that the interior of it has not been touched for decades and looks anything like what you had imagined your forever home to be. I could help you with room-by-room decorating schemes, furniture layout, window treatments ideas. I could introduce you to the right tradespeople and help you source everything we have chosen for your home. Having someone around to give you a second (and professional) opinion on every decision throughout your project is simply invaluable.

How do you work on a project with your client? What people should expect when hiring an interior designer?

Think of an interior designer in the same way you think of a decorator, or an electrician, or a plumber. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity!

Hire someone you can get on with. Home renovation takes time and you will probably end up spending a lot of it together so getting on is important. Over the years, I have realised that enjoying my relationship with a client is quite high on my list of priorities.

An interior designer will save you money. If you make ONE bad purchase decision – that would have already paid for a designer. And if you are on a budget, you have no money to waste on mistakes.

A good designer will listen to you but at the same time will challenge you along the way and encourage you to consider options you wouldn’t have thought of yourself! It’s why you are hiring a designer in the first place! I get the best results with clients who trust you and let you take the lead.

And why would you recommend hiring an interior designer? What are the advantages compared to doing it yourself?

Unfortunately, most people would have realised how nice it would have been to use an interior designer when the project is over and mistakes have been made. And sadly, most of those mistakes are not easily rectified.

A good designer will either have done or seen it before. They spend time going through numerous options, researching before they present you with a shortlist of options. They know what works and what doesn’t. They know where to look and to buy. They take you out of your comfort zone to achieve the look you would have never achieved on your own.

They will save you both money and time. And most importantly, you will have a home you will truly enjoy.

Can you tell me about one particularly interesting project you’ve been working on recently?

There have been quite a few interesting ones recently. And all very different.

There is a Victorian townhouse in Clapham Common that I am finishing at the moment. The client has been inspired by a near-by show home but I was really pleased they listened and went for something much more individual and exciting. We have used some Cole & Son wallpapers, nice mix of blues and greys throughout the house, emerald green sofas in the formal sitting room, lots of oversize mirrors, a real mix of materials and some statement lighting. I think the result is a smart but individual-looking home that fits the family needs.

thumbnail_Green sofas 1

First glance at the work in progress

thumbnail_Hallway

Work in progress

Then there was a lovely young family relocating back to UK from the States. They had this cottage in Surrey that they had bought as an investment ages ago and never lived in it. It was very tired and dated looking and definitely not fit for a family with a toddler.. So the brief was to do a complete refurb but on a tight budget. I actually love the challenge of doing a place up with very limited budget. You really need to think hard where to save and where to spend and what is going to make the most impact. After a couple of months of hard work and creative thinking the job was completed and the owners moved in. They said it looked and felt like a different house and the things in the design they were so sure of at the start turned out to be the things they loved most! After a couple of months they realised they did need more space and put the house on the market. They had 6 offers within the first 2 weeks!

Breakfast+bar+close-up

One other project I have to mention is doing up a hallway and a lounge in a Surrey home for a young couple. They had this vision of some very on-trend and cool design but when I suggested painting all the woodwork in charcoal grey they got cold feet and said: “No, this is not us.” Luckily, I did manage to convince them to go with it and they had so many compliments from anyone coming to the house. Even their decorator said it was one of the most dramatic and successful transformations he has ever seen. Be brave and follow your instincts. Sometimes you really need to push the boundaries to get some dramatic results.

What are the common mistakes people make when decorating their place?

I think people tend to go for the same old safe (and often boring) options. They do not use colour or pattern not necessarily because they don’t like it but because they don’t know where to start and how to make it work.

There is a common thread of overly co-ordinated and matchy-matchy interiors that look like they have just been put together after one visit to one showroom.

People don’t always know where to spend and where to save.

Good interiors are not about throwing a lot of money at them – they are about knowing how to pull that look together.

How would you describe your personal style?

My style has been evolving for quite a while and it has been fascinating watching myself change and grow as a designer.

I see my job as making sure that whatever my clients’ style preferences are I can adapt to them. It is not about imposing your own style on them but rather helping them to achieve the best results in whatever style they see their house. There is no right or wrong style – just the style executed badly.

Having said that, it would not be true if I said I didn’t have my personal preferences. I admire well curated sleek serene interiors with a selection of exquisite pieces of furniture and lighting but I am at my happiest among colour and pattern. Over the years, I have realised that I am more of a maximalist. I like interiors that have a soul, that look like they have been put together and evolved over time. I like an element of something bold and unexpected.

I find it sad that people aspire to “show home” interiors. Most of them are bland, impersonal and meant to please everyone and no one.

Where do you draw your design inspiration from? Who are your favourite interior designers?

If I had to choose a hotel to stay, it would have to be one of Kit Kemp’s.

180712_f_hyh_dr_0548_lowres

Ham Yard Hotel, London

The interior designers that excite me are Turner Pocock, Suzy Hoodless, Studio Duggan. They all have a lot of personality and flair in their design while looking very current.

 

Library1

Design by Suzy Hoodless

AJ_800_242+copy+2

Design by Studio Duggan

000b0a8b622b8ffc2a125cf6f91b040e

Design by Turner Pocock

What are your design no-nos?

I have a few rules I absolutely stand by.

Never paint a dark small room white. Don’t fight the lack of light, work with it. Use pattern or a dark cocooning colour (with clever lighting) and you will have a cosy atmospheric rather than bland and boring room. Talking of dark colours, I have used them a lot recently. There is something irresistible about a well put-together dark room.

Plan your lighting, It is as important as colour and hard and expensive to change at a later stage. Think about layering your lighting in the same way as you would layer texture. Have various types of lighting at different levels. And go for a bigger chandelier than you think you need and a more expensive one than you think you can afford.

Know where to save and where to spend. Invest in quality joinery and good flooring and you can get away with spending less money on some other things.

A little bit of wallpaper goes a long way. I love interesting wallpapers. Cole & Son has been my personal favourite for a long time. Their wallpapers are like art. Totally unique and amazing.

Do not have a feature wall unless there is a good reason for it. Often people resort to feature walls just because they are afraid of using colour or pattern throughout. A feature wall needs to be intentional.

What current trends are your favourites at the moment?

Dark rooms I have already mentioned above. You do not have all house dark – it might not be for everyone. But contrast works well and a dark room will help you appreciate light in the other rooms even more.

Mixing and matching trend. It brings excitement to interiors, keeps them from looking sterile and bland.

OTT patterns in fabrics and wallpapers. I think well chosen wallpapers and textiles elevate interiors.

Quality velvets – it is hard to beat a sofa in some gorgeous deep-coloured velvet.

Mix of materials – you see a lot of quite contrasting textures and materials brought together in one space. I think this juxtaposition creates interest.

North+London+Famiy+Home+4LR

Elena, thank you so much for your time, it’s been a pleasure! 

Dear readers, if I’ve missed something out and you have any questions for Elena, please add them to the Comments section below.

thumbnail_profile pic

www.elenainteriors.co.uk

Trend Report: Autumnal Reds In Interiors

As I sit at my table writing this post I am looking out of the window onto my sunlit garden but you can tell that autumn is well and truly here now. At the back of the garden I can see my neighbours’ tree covered in beautiful bright red and orangey leaves. When my interior magazines arrived at the beginning of the month I noticed that these autumnal colours are reflected in interiors this season. Just look at the covers of Elle Decoration.

43312079_468698690205911_7128601913292342768_n

Elle Decoration November 2018

The trend seems to be an extension and evolution of fashion for pink, but while I enthusiastically embraced dusty pinks and still completely in love with them, my attitude to red particularly in interiors has been difficult.

I always preferred to stay away from them as they brought to mind images of old dilapidated hotels and pubs. But their contemporary interpretation offers some striking examples. If used extensively it is bound to make an impact but it is for the brave. Just look look at this bold usage of colour in the interior below!

41502990_812909609048421_8060238521652215808_n

by Romain Ricard

The trend is embraced by a variety of major brands.

Farrow & Ball that have recently launched a set of 9 new colours have added similarly rich Preference red to its palette. Their colour consultant Joa Studholme comments in her interview with Elle Decoration that the colour with its Baroque quality is reminiscent of ancient drapes used in Venetian palaces. Thinking about this it is exactly the associations deep reds evoke in me. However instead of drapes it is now being used in contemporary looking design and decor updating it for modern day.

4664ab7563cf20617c50bf1e4b503e5d

Farrow and Ball Preference Red

But the autumnal colour palette is not only about deep burgundy reds. It is also about rusty orange and dark pinks, like another new Farrow & Ball colour Sulking Room Pink, inspired by traditional ladies’ boudoirs, not as dramatic but so beautiful, soft, warm and easy to use.

90011d04846ee44150e290f2c7d70cec

Farrow and Ball Sulking Room Pink

And as for the autumn rust I can’t resist including this simple yet striking image with an interior by Natalie Dubrovska, where rust colour is expertly used as an accent in an neutral environment.

nataliedubrovskabehance

Design: Natalie Dubrovska, Dubrovska Studio

Many brands have adopted the trend and feature interiors and products in these colours. Ferm Living has a particularly extensive selection in this colour scheme.

c3776c72685ebe304763f8145a542c16

Ferm Living

 

If you want to update your home with on of these colours of the season, there are multiple choices on the market at the moment. Here is my selection from some of my favourite brands:

 

 

 

Salon Purse – Flower Rust, Ferm Living £59 / “Lia” bedspread, House Doctor from £154 / “Loafer” armchair by Space Copenhagen, from £1,595, &Tradition / Plant Box, Ferm Living £159 / String Pocket Shelf, Made In Design £115 / Abstract Cushion Wine, Tom Dixon £100 / Stoneware cup, H&M 4.99 / Beetle Lounge Chair, Gubi, from €1,299.00

Featured image: The Home by Ferm Living

 

 

 

The Highlights of London Design Fair 2018

Last Sunday was the final day of London Design Festival. The major events across London included Decorex International, Design Junction, Focus at Chelsea Harbour, London Design Fair as well as multiple design events and installations hosted by museums, galleries and shops. With so much going on and so little time it’s very hard to choose. My choice was limited by the fact that I only had one free day available – 23rd September, the last chance before the festival came to an end. This year I opted to visit Shoreditch district and went to check out London Design Fair.

With 36 countries participating in the fair, there was loads to see but I quickly realised that most of my favourite products fell into a couple of categories. I really like discovering artisan made individual and natural products, and there were quite a few ceramics manufacturers whose work attracted my attention. Have a look at these.

image16

Camilla Webb Carter produces her work in a workshop in London. I particularly liked her decorative hexagonal tiles that can be arranged into a wall composition.

 

image14

Dor & Tan studio in St. Ives – minimal, natural and with Eastern influences.

 

image15

Ceramics by Louise Madzia made in Amersham and Stoke-on-Trent – love the chunkiness of shape and illustrations.

 

image5

I love these delicate bowls, found on a stand representing a group of Spanish ceramicists. These were made by Fani Sanchez Barreiro Ceramica.

IMG_7975+copy

Talking about natural and handmade, Maria Sigma is an award winning London based textile brand specialising in “zero waste” ethical hand-woven textiles. Their home textiles – floor cushions, rugs, throws have great texture and pattern – traditional with a contemporary feel.

I have also noticed quite a few really interesting and useful products for kids.

Korean lifestyle brand Kom til mig was showcasing whimsical soft toys, textiles and stationary. They are yet to find a stockist in Britain but I am sure they will have no problem.

image11

Recycled plastic was a big theme of the fair and Ecobirdy brand from Belgium came up with an imaginative idea to make children’s furniture out of old plastic toys. On their website you can learn more about the journey plastic makes to the finished product and they even created a children’s story book about it!

image12

family-01

I love metal locker style storage for kids room, but apart from a couple of brands there isn’t a lot of choice out there. Mustard is the company that makes two options, a short one that can be used as a bedside table and a slim and tall one that can be mixed and matched to create a wardrobe with hangers and shelves. The lockers come in six beautiful contemporary colours that would even look good combined together like shown below.

image13

A stand by Japanese Haru Stuck-on Design introduced me to the marvels of washi tape and showed me multiple ways of how it could be used as wall art for kids room or as a crafts tool to unleash kids creativity onto their space without lasting damage. Tape comes in a variety of patterns and colours so creative possibilities are endless. You can see collages on the wall that were made by kids – creative and mess free as far as I can tell.

image4

image3

Another brand that I was drawn to was Darkroom who exhibited their concrete planters in signature pattern.

image17

And finally, the most impressive stand of the fair for me has got be Danish design stand!

Really liked the brands represented there as well, Dottir  for ceramics, M&R – love their simple round wooden mirror, Noorstad for wooden furniture.

image9

image8

image7

As I was in the area I also popped to Redchurch st. where Superfront joined forces with Original BTC to open a pop up show room. I am a big fan of Superfront and have a Besta sideboard with their fronts, as well as some handles on my wardrobes, I also plan to add another piece of furniture for my living room at some point, so it was very interesting to see some of their furniture combinations and available colours close up. They also, as you can see, do bathroom vanity units with golden basins – and I do need a new bathroom!

image20

image21

And finally, after a busy day in Shoreditch, my secret place to relax, away from the busy cafes – something I discovered when we stayed in the area for the night – is Citizen M hotel, just around the corner. They have a large beautifully decorated lounge on the first floor where you can have a drink and some simple food or a cake away from the crowds and if you need to work on your computer, they have plenty of space for it too. And this is what I found at the entrance – part of the design festival!

FullSizeRender

Designers Guild Warehouse Sale!

Passing information about this warehouse sale to anyone who might be interested. What a shame I won’t be able to go! I hope you will pick up some good bargains!

Enjoy up to 75% OFF Fabric, Wallpaper, Bed & Bath and Home Accessories

Friday 21st September 10.00 – 18.00
Saturday 22nd September 09.00 – 16.00
Sunday 23rd September 10.00 – 14.00

FREE PARKING – Postcode for car park – NW10 7PS

Designers Guild, Unit 10, Matrix Park,
900 Coronation Road, London NW10 7PH
02078937400

39296786_215125599360473_7041655558180438016_n

Trend Report: Fringe Light

Fringe lights are one of the biggest trends this season, but I first fell in love with them a few years ago when I discovered the original 1960-s fringe chandeliers by Hans-Agne Jakobsson.

Hans-Agne Jakobsson designs can be found for example on 1stdibs.com where they go for about £4,000 and more.

Another one I have later discovered that just took my breath away, is this one by Dimore Studio. This one is truly amazing, but judging by the picture at the top of the post, not only my budget would never stretch to it, my house would not be big enough either.

491268adaaf4b3455e0eacb483e1693e

A few years ago before fringe became big again I also came across Curiousa & Curiousa. They specialise in handmade glass blown lamp shades in multiple colours – beautiful designs. And they have a model with a very long fringe – a statement light.

tassel_2

These are gorgeous lights, but how about something more affordable?

Not to worry, at the moment there are plenty of choice that can suit different budgets. I have researched the market and here is my extensive selection of what’s currently available. I hope you will be able to find the one for you.

Items clockwise:

Anthropologie Fela Tasseled Chandelier £228.00 | Anthropologie Fringed Chandelier £398.00 | Anthropologie Fela Tasseled Chandelier £228.00

 

Items clockwise:

Rockett St George All Over Velvet Table Lamp With Fringe £120.00 |Lampe de table Table lamp – / Fringed fabric – Bloomingville £99 | Oliver Bonas Nappa Fringed Table Lamp £115 | Nunido Pascha Pendant Lamp £115.00 |Rockett St. George Three-Tier Fringe Chandelier £165.00 |Wink Pendant – / Fringes – L 60 cm – Houtique £495.00

 

Anna Hayman Designs DecoFabulous Gold & Black Bibana Lamp Shade £295

 

Items clockwise:

House of Hackney MEY MEH ‘Tilia’ Blush Lampshade with Flamingo Lampstand £375.00 | Urban Outfitters Large Blue Bird Fringe Pendant Light Shade 85.00€ | Rothschild & Bickers Vintage Light £485.00 RRP

4 Unmissable Shops to Visit in Hastings

I can’t believe summer is over and kids are back to school. Apparently this is the hottest summer on record and somehow we managed to take the last week of August off to have our family holiday together – probably the only week when we didn’t have beach weather. But the first days of September weren’t that bad actually and in the attempt to prolong summer we went to the nearest to us seaside town – Hastings.

20180902_164242-01

We’ve been visiting Hastings quite a lot in the past few years. Before I’ve been there I was sceptical but it pleasantly surprised me. It does have an underbelly like most seaside towns, but the town is definitely on the up and has a great vibe. I heard people likening it to Brighton at the start of its popularity. I don’t go to Brighton much these days because I actually find it less interesting, overtaken by high street shops and too crowded. Hastings is my new place to go – it’s got a nice mixture of unique individual shops, interesting restaurants, Jerwood gallery, a good mixture of family activities and the beach – all ingredients needed for a perfect day out.

20180902_164116-01

As we usually go there with the family I get a very limited amount of time to browse the shops.  But by now I have already worked out what shops are of most interest to me so I rush straight there. Here are my favourite places.

The Clockwork Crow, 68 George Street

20180902_144639-01

The shop offers an eclectic mix of antiques, textiles, homewares, pots, plants, rugs, lighting and furniture.

20180902_145246-01

At the back there is also a tiny intimate cafe that specialises in several varieties of filter coffee and serves giant portions of cake.

Butler’s Emporium, 70 George Street

20180902_152315-01

The shop occupies an old and beautifully preserved building furnished with vintage haberdashery display cabinets. It stocks an ever changing mixture of clothes, homewares and skincare.

Reste, 3 George Street

Just opposite from Butler’s Emporium is this tiny shop that specialises in artisanal and handcrafted homewares – ceramics, planters, prints and more.

20180902_145659-01

There is a bike shop right next to it. I am not a cyclist at all but looking at these, I think I might just about force myself to take up cycling!

20180902_155511-01

A G Hendy & Co, 36 High Street

20180902_165629-01

I love this shop so much I decided I am going to do a separate post on it. It is truly unique and every time I am in Hastings I make sure I pop by. Visit their website to explore everything they’ve got to offer, they are more than just a shop.

20180902_165830-01

This time I couldn’t resist buying some vintage plates and an incredibly beautiful ostrich duster. Always wanted one of those but theirs was of a particularly good quality.

20180902_171118-01

Not far from it you can find antique and brick-a-brack places to browse. This is still a place where you can buy something for a pound and find an abundance of up-cycling projects.

20180902_164708-01

20180902_165250-01

I got away with a few purchases that you can see on a photo below.

20180905_131405-01

Face pot with cactus – Clockwork Crow

Door tassels – Clockwork Crow

Parkminster Products candle – Butler’s emporium

Vintage saucers – A G Hendy & Co

If you have time for more exploring to do, a short stroll away along the sea front is St. Leonards with its own selection of individual homeware and antique shops.

Have a great day out!

Anya xx

20180902_164258-01

Theo’s Room Makeover

Nearly three years ago we bought our three bedroom semi-detached 1930s house in a complete state of disrepair. And so the exciting project of turning an old ruin into a family home and my design dream (two things that quite often clash) began. However, because for me completing the look of each space is quite a long process I still feel that most of the rooms in my house, although going in the right direction, as not quite ready to be shown on this blog. I will start with the newest addition to the house and will save the rest for later.

We have recently completed a loft conversion project in our house. As we were quickly running out of space and lacked room to accommodate both children, grandmother and a study the only option was to build upwards, and after a few months of living on the building sight finally I was able to get on with the exciting part – decoration. Our son Theo was to move into one of the two newly created rooms.

FullSizeRender

The room is a relatively good size as kids rooms go but not huge – around 11 sq. meters. The greatest challenge in a kids room is to position furniture ergonomically and cram in as much storage as possible because a child needs to fit their whole life into one room.

My vision for his room was custom made built in furniture that would include  a long desk in front of the window spanning the length of the whole wall, a book case and a wardrobe. I really liked the look of birch ply wood. It also looks great when laminated which can be done in a variety of colours. Unfortunately when I received the quote I realised we need plan B. So we went to Ikea!

After playing around with different layouts we managed to come up with the solution which allowed us to fit as much storage as possible across one of the walls, including a chest of drawers, two wardrobes and a bookcase, which gave him more storage space than initially hoped. We used Stuva range, which originally came with plastic door knobs with coloured stickers. I replaced them with leather handles which created a much more sophisticated look. Luckily they are also available in Ikea.

FullSizeRender4

As we weren’t able to create a custom made desk we had to look at ready made options. We turned to Ikea once again and I really like the desk we found there in dark blue called Alex. It has an in built cable tidy which is very handy and two drawers – the more storage the better!

FullSizeRender6

Another storage opportunity was to place an Ikea (yet again!) metal sideboard next to his bed replacing his small bedside table he had in his old room. As well as storage it also provides useful work top space for books and other bits and pieces.

The map wallpaper you see on the wall was originally chosen for his old bedroom but it proved such a popular and useful feature that we had to get exactly the same one for his new bedroom. I looked at different options available on the market and went for exactly the same one again. It is a very good size and covers most of the wall. The level of detail is quite good for a child and it also has current political layout, not a vintage one. Since we got it we’ve been practicing learning about new countries, cities, islands and rivers and so it turned out to be quite a useful and fun learning tool too. We bought it on Ebay and it was actually one of the cheaper options.

 

FullSizeRender2

On the walls we went for Pavilion grey, F&B, paint. In his previous room we used Modernist Grey by Fired Earth which I found a bit flat, so in this new space I was looking for a more complex tone but still keeping it quite light. A friend confidently recommended Pavilion Grey as the colour to use and trusting her opinion I just went for it. And I have to say I am very pleased with it. It is always scary painting over white undercoat as at first colour usually looks a few tones darker than it really is, but now I look at it and it definitely shouldn’t be any lighter.

FullSizeRender5

 

The wolf print you see on the wall above the bed is from FY. I don’t normally buy a piece of art to fit a space, rather fall in love with it and then work out where it could go in my home. But here in a boy’s room I felt quite restricted by a boyish theme, colour scheme as I didn’t want it to clash with wallpaper, I didn’t want it to be too childish so it would last a long time and after choosing a few options we eventually settled on this picture of a wolf together with my son. I made sure that he participated and felt involved and loved the look of his room.

I have to admit though that I don’t give a full freedom of choice! For example, I don’t open a colour swatch book and ask him to choose a wall colour because he will probably go for bright green. I am not saying this is right, but this way hopefully we all end up with the result we enjoy. What is your opinion on this? 

FullSizeRender3

The plan is to add some personal touch to  the room by printing out and framing a couple of photos, including this one. Theo created this composition from bits and pieces he found around him on our trip to the seaside. I really liked the result and took a picture. I hope it will look nice on the wall and will be something he made himself.

39494056_198061750944252_9074667826546999296_n

The lamp that I am planning to use as his desk lamp is this one from Hay. It should work quite well with the style of his room.

noc-wall_910x910_brandmastermodel

The loft looks so different compared to the older lower floors of the house. It has a bright airy modern and Scandi feel to it and I quite like the contrast. The main thing is Theo seems to be very happy with the result, we managed to fit everything he needs into his space without making it look crammed and hopefully the style of the room (I deliberately avoided stuff that is too childish) has some longevity and can easily be adapted without too many alterations as he grows older.

FullSizeRender1

Other details seen in the room:

Bedside lamp – vintage Anglepoise purchased on Ebay

Stripy cushion cover and linen pillow case – H&M Home

Desk and desk chair and pin board – Ikea

Orange rocking chair – Eames from Aram store, bought quite a few years ago. A great sales deal bought half price. Didn’t even have children then, but looks great in our son’s room bringing this very bright splash of colour.

Metal Arrow light – made.com

What other things a boy might need in his room that we might have missed? 

Anya xx

Best Reusable Coffee Cup That Also Looks Good

I have finally come across a reusable coffee cup that is as eco friendly as it’s beautiful!

The disposable mugs we get with our take away coffee are non-recyclable, something I didn’t realise until recently. For a while now I have been meaning to be more organised about remembering to take one of the reusable mugs we keep at home but it rarely happens. A couple of days ago I had an e-mail from Waitrose in my inbox informing that they are starting to faze out their disposable coffee cups we get with free coffee. We will still be able to get free coffee, but will need to have our own cup with us. I totally agree with this new policy as I am sure it will bring much more positive results than just relying on voluntary choice.

35999547_1768333939921037_4577870074458669056_n

Unfortunately the majority of reusable cups I have come across just don’t look good. But on the same day I heard the news from Waitrose, I read about the Australian “Huskeecup”, one of the most eco friendly and sustainable coffee cups made out of byproduct of coffee production industry – a discarded coffee husk. But not only that, they also managed to come up with a sophisticated and elegant design.

38202138_1220521388089314_322887867422474240_n(1)

The Huskeecup that has only recently come to the market has already won a Good Design Award. Among its unique features are thermal properties that will keep your coffee hotter for longer. Its slim and grip-able form is not just a design feature – they protect your hands from heat. Huskeecup is durable and designed to last for years, and best of all – it’s dishwasher safe. It’s also BPA free which is a must for me and it’s stackable.

 

38782359_686734888340256_2482705488970514432_n

 

The cup ticks all the boxes and I was just about to order it when I realised that it is not available for international customers just yet. You can register your interest on their website though and they will get in touch when international delivery becomes available. Let’s hope we won’t have to wait long!

32406995_1732394663521903_1260447844813242368_n

Incredible Retail Spaces: Aesop Shops

The iconic Australian brand is world famous for its natural skincare products and instantly recognisable beautiful dark brown bottles with minimalist labels that grace pretty much every design conscious bathroom.

Their retail spaces are anything but plain though and do not share any common brand identity. With just over 100 stores across the world each branch is a uniquely designed space. Many of their stores are a result of collaboration with renowned and often local architects and interior designers.

Their Saint-Sulpice and Milan stores, were created in collaboration with Italian architects Dimore Studio. Both stores are in keeping with the culture of the neighbourhoods and are a mixture of classic and contemporary styles, something that Dimore studio can do so well.

03_AESOP-PARIS-1400x860

Aesop Saint-Sulpice Paris

 

DIMORESTUDIO_AESOP-CORSO-MAGENTA_PHPaolaPansini-1-1400x934

Aesop Milan

Miami Wynwood and Chicago West Loop stores were created in partnership with Mexico based architect Frida Escobedo, who has designed this year’s Serpentine Pavilion.

Store-Detail-US-Wynwood-Hero-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop Wynwood Miami

 

AESOP-US-STORE-WEST-LOOP-Hero-Bleed-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop West Loop Chicago

 

Aesop-Serpentine-Pavillion-Hero-Inset-Carousel-1-Desktop-2880x1620px

The Serpentine Pavilion 2018 in London’s Kensington Gardens, designed by architect Frida Escobedo

The branches are always designed with the consideration for the heritage and history of the location. On Aesop website you can read a few interesting facts about inspiration behind some of their most interesting projects.

For example in its largest store in Downtown Los Angeles the walls are lined with reclaimed cardboard tubing from fabric rolls discarded by the nearby fashion district.

Store-Detail-US-Downtown-LA-Hero-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop Downtown LA

Aesop Petite Bourgogne, created in collaboration with Quebecois architect Alain Carle,  is inspired by the bygone jazz clubs that used to populate the neighbourhood.

Aesop-Petite-Bourgogne-Hero-Inset-1-Desktop-2560x1440px

Aesop Petite Bourgogne

Aesop Bondi Beach captures the distinctive spirit of an iconic location; its weathered textures, abundant light and simple, practical materials recalling that most quintessential of Australian imaginaries – the beach house. Designed by Cibi, the sun-drenched space was inspired by the wholesome sense of relaxation that characterises childhood seaside holidays.

Store-Detail-AU-Bondi-Beach-Hero-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop Bondi Beach Australia

Nodding to the area’s Cuban and Spanish influence, Aesop Oxford Exchange in Tampa features a handcrafted Terracotta trough sink by Florida-based ceramic artist John Byrd.

Store-Detail-US-Oxford-Exchange-Hero-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop Oxford Exchange Tampa.

I remember how I went to see their Covent Garden branch for the first time and I was so amazed by the interior – a combination of smooth creamy plaster and grass green moroccan tiles. By the way, I later found out that these tiles were supplied by Marrakech Design – the website you must check out if you are considering tiles for your interior, as their tiles are all amazing and you can get a lot of inspiration from there.

Store-Detail-UK-Covent-Garden-Hero-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop Covent Garden

In an interview with Wallpaper magazine Aesop’s creative director, Marsha Meredith explains their unconventional approach: “Our desire to create uncluttered, harmonious environments is driven from architectural sensibilities, and a notion that rejects the sameness of globalisation and retail norms. This work speaks for us, and perhaps could be considered a form of advertising. Our clients respect us for rejecting more commercial avenues.”

I would think at some point Aesop will publish an interior design book of their spaces. In the meantime I have made this compilation of their most interesting interiors.

Their Instagram feed is also a great source of inspiration.

Which one is your favourite?

UK1711-AESOP-DUKE-OF-YORK-Hero-Bleed-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop Duke of York Square

 

924669_977069175649908_949563092_n(1)

Aesop Emporium Australia

 

13557129_119184995180027_1907645004_n

Aesop Lille

 

Store-Detail-DE-Mitte-Hero-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop Berlin-Mitte

 

Aesop-Bauernmarket-Hero-Bleed-1-Desktop-2880x1620px

Aesop Bauernmarkt Vienna

 

Store-Detail-CH-Lausanne-Hero-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop Lausanne

 

Store-Detail-SG-ION-Hero-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop Ion Singapore

 

Large-PNG-Store-Detail-KR-Samcheong-Hero-1-Desktop-2880x1620

Aesop Samcheong Seoul

 

Going Shopping: 6 Cutest Flower Pots With Faces

I have been a fan of pots with faces for quite a while. There is no better way to effortlessly add individuality, quirkiness, character and a bit of fun to your home. Over the years I have seen some really interesting examples and today I have decided to present to you my favourites. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Flower Me Happy Pot

These bursting with character pots are creations of Meyer-Lavigne (Kristine Meyer and Sabine Lavigne) – a Danish design duo based in Copenhagen. They are known for their love of storytelling, humour and uniqueness.

Every pot has a name and a unique character! For example, the pot on the top left is Vera. Vera is always positive and likes a good giggle.

I can’t wait to find a place on my window sill for one of these ladies and I think I set my heart on Alba who is thoughtful and kind.

Alba Flower Me Happy Pot

In the UK they can also be purchased through Unique & Unity online shop.

Atelier Stella

Established in 2012, Atelier Stella is an ever changing collection of unique ceramics designed and made by Stella Baggott in Brighton, England.

All pots are all hand built, sculpted from slabs and pinch pots to create unique pieces. She is influenced by Cornish, Italian and Swedish potters from the 50’s and 60’s, mixing the rustic use of patterns with the frivolity of character.

I have been a big fan of Stella’s little creatures and hope to be a proud owner of one soon.

Anthropology – Kinska Face Pots

42680942_000_b10

This collection is an artist collaboration between Anthropology and a London based Argentinian self-taught ceramic artist. Everything she makes has a face which she thinks might be due to her pareidolic illusions.

I am about to start redecorating my daughter’s room and I think a group of these dolls would add an element of fun to a little girl’s room. They are also quite well priced!

Group Partner 

slide-4-image_1440x640

new-arrivals-4_1440x640

Group Partner has become a little bit of an internet star for its cheeky and magnificently charming aesthetic. Based in Brooklyn and run by Isaac Nichols, the studio makes ceramic pots with butts and boobs and bikinis and speedos decorated with cute patterns. The pots have a curiously joyful character and, when finished with a handsome plant, will make a happy addition to a room. Each pot is made by hand.

In the UK you can buy them in Liberty where I spotted them on my recent trip to the store.

Alex Sickling Artist Pot

il_570xN.1385100321_jnac

il_570xN.1385100363_rqca

Alex Sickling is an illustrator and ceramicist based in Newcastle, UK.

She explores the process of image making through ceramic objects, creating both functional and decorative pieces.

You can buy pots from this little collection of four celebrated artists as well as many of her other works through her Etsy shop.

Vanessa Bean 

Vanessa is an Australian based graphic designer by profession and a maker of things by nature. The name Vanessa Bean is a combination of her given name (Vanessa) and childhood nickname (Bean). Vanessa loves the discipline of design and the freedom of craft and both sides influence her approach to a project.

Her work can be purchased through her Etsy shop and shipped worldwide. But be warned! Her pretty flower pots are incredibly popular and gets sold out within minutes. But if you are determined to secure one of her creations she gives detailed instructions for successful purchasing on her website.

So, here are the cutest faces I have discovered during my quest. Which one is your favourite?

Anya xx