Monday 13 November 2017

Brit Decor: Mastering Murals / Master Bedroom Makeover!

It's been a very long and trying journey since we moved into our dilapidated and unloved 1960s home almost one year ago, and like many renovators we've definitely had some steep learning curves to navigate along the way, including a major plumbing nightmare, which ate a considerable chunk out of our budget - twice! 

Thankfully there are now more positive moments where I can concentrate on rolling up my creative sleeves and focus on making those all important stylistic statements. 

Although our master bedroom was one of the first rooms in the house to be painted (we wanted at least one room to resemble something in tune with our own tastes), it's only recently that I've been thinking about adding a feature wall - akin to the icing on a cake...

For some time I'd been toying with the idea of including a mural wall in our home, but I kept 'parking' the idea until I narrowed my choice of location down to our master bedroom. It was then that I stumbled across the Designer Wallpaper category over at Murals Wallpaper where I totally fell in love with the Grey Painted Tree Tops design - I knew that this dreamy illustration would perfectly suit a bedroom setting and compliment our Scandi-grey scheme, with more energetic pops of cobalt blue.

A little nervous at first, clearly wanting to avoid a DIY disaster, I followed the easy-peasy instruction guide and cut-out each numbered panel (see below). After gently sponging the panels and leaving to soak for 10 minutes, I was ready to hang these onto the pre-pasted wall. 

The folk at Murals Wallpaper cleverly include an overlap on each panel, which allowed me to trim down with a sharp knife after each piece had been hung. Another point to mention is the thickness and, in-turn, quality of the paper, which enabled the mural to go up with zero hassle. 

To say I'm thrilled with the final result is a major understatement!

All Images / Mike Ahern

This a sponsored post.

Sunday 3 September 2017

Brit Decor: All stitched up/ The Finishing Room

It would appear that Upholsterer, Jon Sanderson, literally has his life all 'stitched up' after a recent move to a brand new studio space at the iconic Red House Cone in Stourbridge.

If I briefly take us back to 2013 when I first interviewed Jon about his work under the former working name of The Cantin' Patch, it was clear back then that his passion and drive would take Jon a long way...and it has!

In the four years that I've known him, it's been all systems go, culminating with an exciting opportunity for Jon to move his upholstery business to the Red House Cone. In recognition of the history of his new working home, Jon couldn't resist renaming the business to The Finishing Room, which was formerly used as a finishing room for the hand blown glass, also made on the same site.

Housed within his studio, Jon has also taken the long awaited step of opening a small shop, which sells some of his own creations as well as homeware pieces from other local creatives. Naturally I couldn't help myself and eagerly snapped up two of his totally gorgeous cushions! (see the final pic, below).

You can find out more about The Finishing Room by clicking here.

Sunday 13 August 2017

Brit Decor: New Boy on The Block

Oddly enough, only a few days before excitedly receiving a copy of one of the UK's hottest new magazines, I found myself engrossed in a radio debate which asked if 'print is dead'. Thankfully the conclusion was that the good old fashioned hard copy is still holding it's own with strong sales stats to prove it. 

The hot new print delivery in question is charmingly named Dear Boy - a graphic rich creative journal which playfully explores colour in menswear and yes you guessed it, the first edition is dressed in trending pink!

With worldwide contributions and some eye candy to boot, this tri-yearly journal is sure to become a coffee table collectible. You can find out more by visiting the folks at Dear Boy by clicking here.

All Images / Mike Ahern

Sunday 14 May 2017

Brit Decor: Golden Hour / Styling metallic accents for a 'luxe look'

Did I mention that I love styling (or more aptly, re-styling) my home every five minutes, literally? Fortunately for my bank balance I'm not talking about major redecoration projects, but merely playing around with accessories (new and old) and creating new compositions in my favourite spots around the house.

This rather therapeutic exercise often occurs on weekends, when I tend to have more time. Styling and playing around with decorative objects is my creative outlet and a way of de-stressing from the frantic week behind me.

This weekend's re-vamp was prompted by my latest find - the Nevis polished brass tissue box cover from The London Homeware Company, who also happen to stock an incredible range of designs (click here). Lately I have been lapping up the current trend for shiny metallics like a magpie on heat, and I simply couldn't resist the high-sheen reflective surfaces of this luxe-look tissue box! 

Like many materials, I find that grouping several 'finds' together delivers a powerful statement and creates a more interesting composition. Here I've added other shiny metallics, including my vintage C-3PO, for some retro fun, and my latest coffee tabletop book, The Maker (a cherished Birthday gift from one of my besties, Cath). 

Suddenly our living room has taken a luxurious turn and I love it!

All images / Mike Ahern

Monday 8 May 2017

Brit Decor: A date with Trinité Haussmann / Paris

What to do when you hit a milestone birthday...and more importantly, where do you go and with who? Fortunately these were all questions that I could easily answer. I hadn't been to Paris for over a decade so another visit was long overdue, and my beau Simon had never been, which only added to the excitement of the trip.

When planning a break, for me it's all about design. I tend to seek out hotels with decor that I know will inspire me and as I'm currently channelling lashings of minimal-luxe decor, hotel Trinité Haussmann seemed to fit the bill perfectly. 

Just a short stroll from the Opera Garnier and famous department store Galeries Lafayette, this newly refurbished hotel was designed by Laurent Maugoust, with simple yet indulgently chic interiors. 

Marble chevron floor tiles, meet corresponding pale ash flooring with pale chalky grey wall paint, which contrasts beautifully with the charcoal grey panelled corridors - this put me in mind of luxuriously dark labyrinths leading to suites of uncomplicated calm, or something like that.

The crowning glory of our stunning suite was the oval gold-tinted mirror which sits proudly above the crisp white leather bed, and I'm still swooning over this right now as I sit at my desk back at home. And despite the damp weather outside, this was my ray of sunshine for the entire weekend!

All Images / Mike Ahern

Sunday 9 April 2017

Brit Decor: Cobalt Cool

In my mind there's something about a vivid blue that just air punches 'cool', particularly during the warmer months when we often associate blue & white colour combos with all things coastal & nautical. Perhaps this duo evokes images of fluffy white clouds dancing against heavenly blue skies...or maybe it's simply because this pairing of hues really works?

Colour philosophy to one side, back at the new home project I had been toying with the idea of injecting some high-energy blue accents into our new master bedroom, and when I stumbled across this colour rich HAY Baby Dot quilt from one of my favourite go-to interiors sources, Connox, my decorative vision immediately fell into place in one of those creative high-fives moments.

The overall scheme of this room is a mid-grey nod to Scandi styling (mid-to darker tones of grey can have a warming effect) with simple white detailing for a freshening feel. I chose crisp white cotton bedding to accentuate the contrast between the blue accents and greys, and opted for plenty of pillows for a luxurious feel. I also love the versatility of the Baby Dot quilt with it's double sided / two-tone palette of navy versus cobalt blue - here I've folded the quilt over for added depth of colour.

To complete the cobalt cool 'look' I added a collection of cobalt and navy accented accessories, such as prints, ceramics and a striking copper-meets-cobalt light shade. The final infusion of rich pops of colour standing proudly against embracing neutrals, makes it very difficult to leave this room on a morning! 

For more furniture and accessories inspiration from some of the most on-trend designers & brands out there right now, please take a moment to check out my friends over at Connox (click here). I'd love to know what you think of their store...

All Images / Mike Ahern

Sunday 19 March 2017

Brit Decor: Love Letters/ ByALEX

Don't you just love it when one of your favourite designers is in full creative swing? 

I first became aware of the ByALEX brand back in 2016 (a little late to the party on this one) and have been coveting the product range ever since. Founded by Brit designer, Alex Swain, his 'cool as a cucumber' range combines some of my favourite design elements (typography and furniture) with a distinctly clean and minimalistic aesthetic.

Things have just become even more interesting for Alex with the launch of ByALEX's 'SPOT' graphic greetings card range, inspired by Dutch Graphic designers such as Wim Crouwell. The super-cool twist to this eye-popping range is the perforated dot grid layout, which allows you & me to punch out our very own design

My own attempt at perforated perfection is intended to spread the message of 'love' just in time for the week ahead...

You can check out the full ByALEX range by clicking here.

All images / Mike Ahern

Tuesday 28 February 2017

Brit Decor: Curating Calm with Herald Black

With the house project continuing at a snail's pace, and without heating this week, rather than waiting for calm to come to me - I've been seeking out ways of creating my own oasis, or 'bubble' as I like to call it.

I recently treated myself to a second artwork from Hackney based printmaker & artist Stephen Dow, aka HeraldBLACK, entitled Midnight Garden II, along with three corresponding stationery cards from the same range and in a delicious palette of charcoals and teals for some #paletteperfection. 

Regular readers of the blog may already be familiar with my first piece from Stephen, Arches III, which has regularly featured on my instagram account.

This latest purchase wasn't just an indulgence, it was also a good excuse for some art therapy. I always find the process of selecting artwork for my walls at home such a therapeutic one, as I carefully layout each piece side-by-side and in various combinations to make sure everything 'flows'. Then there's the process of choosing a frame - the wrong decision can instantly detract from the very artwork that you are trying to showcase, so I allow myself plenty of time to make the right choice.

Finally there's the positioning and hanging of the art, which is the really fun part as you get to see the impact that the piece(s) have on the rest of the room. In this case, the spectrum of sophisticated greys and teal, added a restful element to my living room - the perfect antidote to a stressful week.

You can find out more about Stephen and his work via his website

All images / Mike Ahern

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