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 www.heraldblack.co.uk



















All images / Mike Ahern


Monday, 20 February 2017

Brit Decor: Trends/ Wooden Kitchen Wonders











With a shifting emphasis towards the more tactile and sensory elements of interior design really taking hold this year, it's no surprise that wooden kitchens are making a major comeback. 

As many of us seek out a reconnection with nature as an antidote to the touch of somewhat sterile smart screens and the ongoing technological revolution, natural materials will have an added appeal in what I'm dubbing as 'style with significance', or perhaps 'substance'?!

I'm not about to wholeheartedly reject technology or retreat into the shadows in a technophobic huff, but I am a big advocate of incorporating natural materials into interiors, wherever possible, to inject calm, tactility and, well - nature! 

Natural materials are also a great opportunity to truly showcase craftsmanship - think bespoke wooden joinery, a hand-knitted lambswool throw, or a hand-thrown ceramic, to name but a few examples. 

Wood is of course an age old material which also connotes stability and quality, so it is no wonder that growing numbers of homeowners are lusting for the latest wooden kitchen designs.

Here are just a few of my favourite wooden 'looks' and how to wear them...
















































Images (from the top) 1/  Remodelista 2/ Abduzeedo 3/ Afasiaarchzine
4/ Apartment Therapy 5/ Dezeen 6/ Kahrs 7/ Swoon Editions
8/ Sugar & Charm 9/ Scott & Scott 10/ Derek Swalwell




Sunday, 12 February 2017

Brit Decor: Time for coffee & some slow living








Writing blog posts is not only one of my favourite things to do, it's also a must-have therapy which keeps me rooted to, well, me...and my own creativity. With the in-frequent posting of late, it's simple to see why I've been feeling a little anxious and disconnected - distracted by work projects and the bump & grind of daily life. It's so easy to allow ourselves to be pulled in a dozen different directions at once, right?

Sometimes it takes just one little 'thing' to break the cycle of work and in this instance it was a deliberately long coffee break at home (still a building site in progress, by the way). With my Cafetiere to the ready, I decided to sample a limited edition coffee - an exciting collaboration between Taylors of Harrogate and the William Morris Society.

The resulting warm & comforting coffee was a beautifully blended mix of lemon, caramel and chocolate - perfect for that little pick-me-up I was searching for! My little 'pit-stop' was in fact so enticing that I decided to allow myself some extra time out to indulge in a William Morris arts & crafts colouring book.

Here's to more slow living, even if we sometimes have to coerce ourselves into taking that well-earned break...














All Images: Copyright Mike Ahern / Brit Decor

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