Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Brit Decor: Palette/ Split Conscience Combo

Images / 1/ Mike Ahern 2/ Desire to Inspire 3/ Elding Oscarson 4/ Aura Home

Whilst creating a post for Brit Decor, it's not often that I laugh out loud but I have to admit that this palette really did make me do just that! I should explain - in thinking about the relationship between white and red, I managed to conjure up images of the old fashioned cartoon-stlyle characters; a red devil resting on one shoulder and an innocent white angel on the other, both wrestling over a person's conscience. Cartoons aside, the relationship between these two colours has often been of a symbolic nature with white symbolising purity and peace, whilst red is recognised for it's sinfully seductive warmth.

However, cartoon related anecdotes and stereotypes aside, red & white really do make for a striking colour palette in fashion and interiors. Think of the iconic barber shop or a classic Parisian cafe and you can see why this combo really works and is so deeply embedded in the colour matched world around us. 

One of the things I love the most about interior trends is their ability to adapt, evolve and reinvent. The red & white palette is a great example of this - whites can be replaced with chalky greys which accentuate the heat of the red and in turn this teases out the warmth of the greys without compromising on the contrast.  

The easiest way of achieving this look is to apply the white as a base colour, then introduce reds through accessorising and accenting. I have selected some of my favourite picks below - happy hunting my friends.

1/ Sonoro GoNewYork portable wireless speaker £119 Amara 2/ Brockley Cross cushion £65 Clippings 3/ Pantone stapler (Tomato 1660) £8 Bloomsbury 4/ Tarvine wallpaper £148 House of Hackney 5/ Lane twin tone lampshade £65 Lane 6/ Jean Paul Gaultier reversible laque cushion £110 Amara

Friday, 25 July 2014

Brit Decor: Makes/ Cupboard Love Jars

All images/ Mike Ahern

Isn't it a great feeling when you turn a page in a book or magazine and there, right in front of you, jumps out a huge dose of inspiration? This pretty much summed up my own experience recently whilst I was perusing a 'Summer Homestyle' pull-out from Mollie Makes magazine, which featured a series of painted jam jars created by Hollie Becker from Decor8 and Leslie Shewring

I can still vividly picture the chalky collection of candy store-like colours married to the glossy-effect of the outer glass. Of course the real beauty is you can choose any size or colour whilst mixing and matching your way to accessory heaven. This is also a very eco-friendly way of recycling those unwanted food jars, hence the 'cupboard love' title of today's post; take an unwanted object, give it some love and create your very own unique interior accessory.

Naturally I had to include a touch of grey in my own trio of jars, which also happens to be my favourite one. I love the chalkiness of the grey - perfect for showing off some of those richer coloured flowers. This neutral-chic colour also looks great as a standalone object for those minimalist areas in the home - perhaps try mixing up a chalky white jar for the perfect partnering! 

Here I have used my jars to display some favourite florals from my cottage garden but I can also envisage at least one of these being used as a chic desk tidy!

How do you indulge in your own cupboard love project? With truly minimal effort! Choose a jar, simply wash it out thoroughly and add a drop of your chosen paint colour. Roll the paint around gently in the jar until the inner glass is completely coated then tip out any excess paint and leave to dry (this can take several days). 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Brit Decor: Into the Quiet Zone

Images (from the top) 1/ Sean Fennessy / The Design Files  2/ Houzz 3/ Casatreschic

After a ferociously noisy start to the previous weekend with angry electrical storms booming around the UK, I seemed inclined to gravitate towards some peace and solitude in the days that followed. In reality, many of us need some quiet time at various intervals, whether this is to escape from a stressful day at work or simply chill.

I tend to get my fix of calm in the solace of our cottage garden during the Summer months but I also see the importance of creating a 'quiet zone' of calm and tranquility in the home, somewhere for me to escape and relax, an uncomplicated design with plenty of pale neutral - my very own Switzerland!

I love the idea of a fuss-free kitchen like the one above, I imagine it would feel like working on a blank canvas with plenty of room for a clear head - perfect for dreaming up new recipes for Brit Decor Bakes! I'm a huge advocate of using open shelving in kitchens, its a great way of displaying your favourite crockery and glassware.

Simple monochromatic detailing can also be an effective tool for adding definitive detailing but for your quiet zone, keep it to a minimum adding flash points of contrast. Simple black & white stripes or a graphic black font on a print can bring just the right amount of interest to a scheme, without over-complicating, like this stunning bedroom in image two (above).

The third image shows us how a quiet zone can also become a centrepiece; an oasis of calm against a bustling Manhattan backdrop, in this instance. Try forming a cluster of neutral-coloured objects, light pendants, vases, etc in one area for interest and focus but go easy on numbers and don't over do it!

Check out some of my top 'get the look' picks below - it's a close call but I think my absolute favourite has to be the watercolour dreamy blue '1815' mug from Royal Doulton. Which is yours?

Shopping list: 1/ Long Olive wood chopping board £29.95 Handpicked Collection 2/ 'Do Small Things' poster £50 The White Company 3/ 1815 Blue mug £6 Royal Doulton 4/ Three Six Five single date calendar $20 ebay 5/ Kitson stool (set of 2) £89 Made 6/ 'Rest' cushion £83 Skandium


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