if you’re in the uk, you’ll know the weather has really turned in the past week and that brisk autumnal chill is making me covet a nice cosy sunday wrapped up warm in bed, feeding my tendency towards winter hibernation. i’ve plans to catch up on the new season of scandal then re-watch all my favourite films, while indulging in a few too many pots of alpro’s new yummy gingerbread dessert!
i spotted a few of these beautifuly sun-drenched snaps of an berlin apartment over on stylist sarah’s instagram feed a few week ago, and had been waiting with baited breath for her to post the full set of shots over on her blog, cocolapine.
as a long time fan of her blog (and having met her at a vipp styling event earlier this year), i knew sarah’s keen eye for clean, contemporary designs with quirky accents would mean these images could not disappoint – and boy, was i right!
pulling together simple minimalist designs with contrasting curves and tactile texture, sarah has combined pieces from bolia, normann copenhagen, &tradition and muuto to create a space right out of my dreams. i really love the contrast between the vintage dining chairs and muuto visu chair, juxtaposed with the single frama bulb hanging above the table.
that vintage erika typewriter on the desk is also spot on, don’t you agree?
waaay back in august i was whisked away for a wonderful weekend in ghent by the lovely folk at alpro, to experience the final night of their month-long residency at a fab little pop-up restaurant in the city.
along with fellow ambassadors coralie and carole, we begun our alpro adventures getting a little more closely acquainted with the city that houses their headquarters, taking to the water to view the city in the most traditional way; by boat. located in the flemish region of belgium, ghent grew up on the confluence of the rivers scheldt and leie and was one of the largest and richest cities in northern europe during the middle ages. as the graslei is one of the most scenic places in ghent’s old city centre our tour of the waterways started there, in the most comedic of fashions.
from the brilliant blue skies overhead as we stepped aboard our vessel, to a sudden torrential downpour that ended almost as soon as it begun, to another out-of-the-literally clear blue skies deluge which had us clinging to shelter under a little footbridge, we certainly had an amusing and eventful introduction to the city!
i really must stop browsing gothenberg estate agent stadshem’s website. all it ever does is fill me with grandiose ideas of what i’d like my future flat to be, when in reality such wonderful visions could never be realised whilst i remain living in london. take this stunning little light & airy one-bed. complete with a little corner perfect for setting up a workspace and a subway-tiled corner kitchen that would inspire the chef in me to come out to play more it is an absolute dream, but finding a little space like this to call home in my city is wildly out of my budget unfortunately.
still, there is plenty of interiors inspiration to be taken from it regardless. that lovely work area is reaffirming my love of string shelving, while the shaggy sheepskin rugs and striped monochrome blanket on the bed are helping to ease me into the winter months with their cosiness. i’m also loving the addition of a few choice mid-century modern touches, such as that imposing sideboard in the lounge cluttered with a stylish disarray of curated props, and the duo of walnut lounge chairs that help break up the white colour to prevent it being too wishy-washy.
what do you think, would you like to live in a flat like this?
yesterday i was invited along by lovely blogger/stylist tiffany of curate & display to a blogger brunch and styling session at my favourite islington haunt, smug. being greeted with a cup of steaming black coffee and told that i have free rein to run amok and style up a storm in such a treasure trove of quirky delights is my kind of sunday morning activity (when i’m not nursing a hangover from the night before – then i’m all about the pancakes in bed). so, like a kid in a candy store, i set about pulling together the most citrus-hued products i could find to style up my very own #smugshelfie (see what they did there? hehe)
if you’ve ever visited lizzie evan’s lifestyle emporium on camden passage you’ll know how difficult a task it is to pull together just two shelves of goodies to style, but in the 30 minutes of allotted style time i was able to create the little vignette above, which i’m pretty darn happy with. what do you guys think; is it worth the self-awarded certificate of awesome i’ve included?
on my smug shelf: rifle paper co. journals, ruled letter opener by izola, lemons to lemonade print, vintage steel scissors, ballpoint pens, green moss candle by izola, scholten & baijings ceramics, long john vase by lenneke wispelwey, card wallet by charlotte filshie, le cahier notebook & certificate of awesome notecard.
created by ronan and erwan bouroullec, the new ruutu vase for iittala might be simple in shape but each one is a simplified masterpiece, taking seven craftsmen 24 hours to produce in the glass factory – wow!
meaning diamond or square in finnish, ruuto is a collection of 10 vases in differing sizes and colourways which when displayed as a collection, allow both the strength and delicate nature of glass to come to life. “it is fascinating to struggle with a living material,” says glass blower tapani viljamaa. “glass is a material that does not forget if you do not treat it well. it has a memory.”
“we were seeking to express the purity of glass-blowing in this simple diamond shape,” explain the bouroullec brothers. “glass is a material that likes round shapes. when hot it flows like honey and does not like to be pulled into a very precise geometric shape. by developing the strict shape we are reaching the limits of the material, and using the highest level of the iittala glass-blowing expertise.”
once the preserve of the country set, i keep spotting their iconic waxed jackets on the city streets worn by the kind of ubiquitously cool girls whose style savvy i long to emulate and find myself pinning style musings that feature the brand’s waxed offerings with alarming regularity. it seems crazy that i should find myself yearning for a barbour and yet… somehow i do.
perhaps i should blame moving to fulham (or edging into my thirties) but as the season turns and leaves begin to fall, i’m itching to pull on my wellies, don a wax jacket and head out for a long leisurely walk along the thames with my friend alex’s adorable puppy, kicking up leaves and breathing in the fresh autumnal air. a stop for lunch at a riverside pub is also an absolute must!
as a city dweller living in rented accommodation space is not something i have an abundance of in my home, so i’m also excited to see new collections emerge which strive to make living easier through space-busting clever designs that tackle everyday storage and logistical nightmares in the home.
the new ambrose collection from heal’s, which previewed during last week’s design festival, is full of intelligently designed furniture and essential products for all areas of the home, especially where space is at a premium. ambrose aim to distance themselves from disposable culture and challenge the notion that quality product and design comes at a premium price and have enlisted the help of some designers and brands i’ve long admired, including hartô, skagerak and colonel, to meet this challenge.
the collection is fittingly named after amrose heal, a design pioneer whose work married the philosophical aims and practical intentions of the arts & crafts movement to create simple, well-designed and lasting pieces of furniture and strove to make them available to a broader audience, typified by his work for the hampstead and letchworth garden city projects in the early 20th century.
my favourite piece from the new collection is probably the re-imagined flat-pack shelving unit designed by matthew elton; an a-frame collection which slots together with no fixings and comes apart just as easily – perfect for people regularly on the move! modular and adaptable, the shelving system can also become a room divider in a studio flat, or incorporate a hanging rail or laptop desk so you can really make the piece work for you, whatever you space.
one of my must-see’s during ldf each year is 100% norway. the exhibition at tent london seeks to bring the best of norwegian furniture and product design to london each year and 2014’s selection most certainly does not disappoint!
trying to pinpoint my six favourite designs from the presentation was no easy feat, especially as this year’s appointment of the bergen academy of art & design as show curators has expanded the exhibition parameters to include students work at bachelor’s and master’s level, alongside experienced designers already well known on the international scene.
andreas engesvik co-founded design company norway says in 2002 and launched a solo studio in 2009, garnering a wealth of design accolades and awards as well as producing pieces for some of my favourite nordic brands including iittala, muuto and asplund, so it stands to reason that his bunad blankets inspired by norway’s traditional dress immediately jumped out at me. dating from the 18th century, bunad is one of the most visible aspects of norway’s cultural heritage, and engesvik’s blankets transfer the colours and composition into textile form, taking the essence of norwegian folk costume into interiors. perfect for a coastal nordic cabin, don’t you agree?