Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Brit Decor: A Modern Gothic Tale


















Images (from top) 1The Glossier Nerd 2The Food Fox 3The Design Files 4/ The Country Philes 
5Stylizimo 6Freshome



The Victorians loved to mimic Gothic architecture, which subsequently ushered into British homes (and beyond), a hugely popular revival of Gothic styling. Since then, this style has endured the test of time and remained popular in a world of constantly changing trends. As a result, the Gothic-look has aged remarkably well, but what makes this such a popular and relevant style choice in the 21st Century? 

Today's Gothic interiors exude a sense of drama and intrigue - inspiring some homeowners to act out a dark and mysterious narrative through an abundance of alluring darker colour tones and plush textiles. This style can also be romantic and over-indulgent but above all, it can withstand the rigours of time. But how do we adapt this narrative into our own homes and make it work...?

Below, I've put together a mood board to recreate the Gothic look with a modern twist. In terms of the colour palette, take a bold leap over to the dark-side, but if black is a step too far, explore rich colour tones such as Little Greene's 'Basalt 221' blue-black paint (no.4 below), or the slightly lighter reddish toned 'Pelt' from Farrow & Ball. With these darker colours, it's great fun to explore and exploit texture by applying contrasting gloss against matt finishes and offsetting shiny silk-like fabrics with softer velvets for both a highly tactile feel and further contrast. 

The deep smokey purple velvet upholstery of Conran's 'Wallace' armchair (no.9 below) makes for an incredible statement furniture piece, and for a more contemporary feel, I've thrown in a lighter turquoise velvet cushion from Amara (no.1) along with a modern take on a classic portrait, with this stunning 'Tom Green' graphic cushion (no.2) from Clippings.

In keeping with the theme of contrast, for our modern Gothic tale I have selected this glossy black 'Flos' table lamp (no.3) with its inner gold lining for that hint of opulence, along with luxury accessories such as Tom Dixon's 'Earth' scent (no.8) and the enchanting limited edition 'ink blot' side plate from Rockett St George (no.5).

Flooring should be dark and dramatic to help set the stage for the Gothic scheme - parquet flooring is back with a vengeance in 2015 so it's no surprise that I love the rich texture of this black oak herringbone flooring (no.6). Our modern gothic palette can afford some playfulness in the flooring department by threading in some brighter tones with this show-stopping 'Hummingbird' rug by Alexander McQueen (no.7) for The Rug Company. With its plush black base adorned with beautiful Hummingbird illustrations, there is a careful concentration of rich and exciting colours, which flow into this otherwise dark scheme,  but without overpowering it. Light the candles and we're ready to go!
  
Do you have a 'thing' for the Gothic trend? I'd love to know your thoughts if you do...








1/ Paddy velvet cushion (Turquoise) £69 Amara  2/ Tom Green cushion £72 Clippings 3/ Flos Miss K T table lamp £180 Amara 4/ Basalt 221 emulsion from £18.75 Little Greene 5/ Ltd edition ink blot side plate (Horse) £20 Rockett St George
6/ New Classics, Louvre black Oak parquet £95.95 per m2  WoodFloors 7/ Hummingbird Alexander McQueen £2,535
 per m2 The Rug Company 8/ Scent Earth Large £150 Tom Dixon 9/ Wallace armchair in Varese Velvet £1,820 The Conran Shop

Friday, 23 January 2015

Brit Decor Bakes: Midas Touch Chocolates







All images / Mike Ahern





This post is dedicated to all those choc-lovers amongst us (I include myself in this category, of course), whether you are a self-confessed chocoholic or simply love to give, these chocolates are so easy to make, look great and taste divine. These little treats could also make a cute Valentine's gift...just saying.

Following some bad news recently, I couldn't resist picking up a chocolate making mould from Lakeland to indulge in some therapeutic making - knowing that there would be some comforting sweet treats at the end of it - and I certainly was not disappointed.

I picked up 2x 200g bars of Belgian dark chocolate and one bar of white, plus a single Crunchie bar from Waitrose, I had also ordered some edible gold leaf sheets from eBay, and was ready to go into meltdown (in the chocolatey sense).  

My reason for choosing two different contrasting colours was to create a marbled effect and as an added twist, I broke the Crunchie bar into small chunks and added these to the melted chocolate before pouring into the mould. Once cooled for a couple of hours, I removed the chocs from the mould and carefully placed the gold leaf to complete the luxe-look. 

Wishing you an indulgent weekend!



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Brit Decor: Colour kick-start 2015
















Images (from top) 1/ Sonia Saelens 2/ Riches for Rags 3/ The Zhush 4/ Brit + Co 5/ Zilver Blau



Although our UK Winters do have some aesthetic merits such as frosty white mornings, dramatic skies and the naked architecture of the leaf stricken trees & hedgerows, the ration on daylight hours can leave our interiors feeling a little lacklustre, right?

After the festive trimmings of Christmas have been carefully packed away and the fireworks have simmered out, our surroundings can feel a little bare and in need of an interiors 'pick-me-up'. The simplest way to achieve this, which will in turn lift mood, is to add colour to help kick-start the year with energy and vitality.

I like to think of it as weaving strands of colour into a predominantly neutral canvas - artwork and photographic prints (especially your own) can add instant colour and personality to a room, as well as provide a great starting point for a scheme's palette. Picking colours out from artwork and deploying these as accents in a scheme is one of THE most effective ways of decorating.

For fun and varied colour palettes, I like to envisage confetti and imagine that I am scattering an array of colours throughout the room. Equally I find that picturing a beautiful floral bouquet is another easy way of visualising and planning how I am going to introduce colourful accessories within a room's palette. Of course, we can also be literal about this and add the real thing - flowers bring an instant pop of colour and smell great too!

Today I have created my own shopping palette of quick fix colour accessories to help awaken interiors from their Winter slumber - I hope you like them...

1/ Skydiver artwork €38 Tomy K 
2/ Alexandra vase £795 Jonathan Adler 
3/ Wild & Wolf trim phone £26.10 Red Candy 
4/ Kitchen Skimmer set £10 Zanders and Sons
5/ Dandelion print £20 Howkapow 
6/ Triangles notebook £3.50 Sian Elin 
7/ Swan brooch £29.95 Howkapow 
8/ 1810 cushion by Paul Vogel £35 Heals 




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