Big news – S. and I are buying a flat.
I’ve always been more a fantasist of a dream home than a fairytale wedding. I was even obsessive as a child about rearranging the furniture in my bedroom and plastered the walls floor to ceiling with a faux wallpaper made up of magazine tears. Summer-y #FBF moment for effect..
So, buying a place is pretty exciting and it’s letting me release all my latent passion for interior design. The trouble is, where to start? Yesterday I went to Heal’s AW14 press show, which was as good a place as any.
As I walked around the gloriously sunny 5th floor of Heal’s TCR store, a lot of the lights captured my attention. These lamps are pleasingly minimal.
This lamp has been up-cycled from chicken wire. Below it sat a fantastic wooden patterned table – a chic dining room pairing.
The designers at Heal’s have spent some time looking back through the archives and were heavily inspired by their wrought iron bedsteads from 1905 (v. Bedknobs and Broomsticks!) Their modern version, below, the Abacus is available as a standard or four-poster. The oak abacus detailing and thin satin black powder-coated steel make modern bedfellows (excuse the pun..). The addition of the hanging three bulb lamp really added to the look and made me want to jump in.
Outside on the terrace, Heal’s Discovers was celebrating its 10th anniversary with five talented designers. Below, Ester Comunello’s coffee table and light which clamps onto this or any piece of furniture. This was sadly the best pic I got of these bright new designers, as the sun was so blinding I couldn’t see my iPhone screen!
My absolute favourite, though, was the Rickard Stool by up-and-coming designers Philip Luscombe and Josh South. The stool cum kitchen step makes use of contrasting natural and fumed oak and has an ergonomic curve on the top, suitable for bums! At £295, it might well make it onto my wedding list.
I’ve been living in my new place since July but I still feel like I’m settling in. It’s gotten to the point now where I am desperate to make it homely. I despise any trace of the student aesthetic (as I did even when I was a student) and have decided it’s worth investing in beautiful things to feel at home. In my last place I bought a bureau, now I’m looking to frame some posters and pay attention to smaller details such as bedding, lighting and rugs.
Inspiration comes from the Selby (duh). Particularly designer Abigail Ahern‘s gorgeous London home. I love the way she layers rugs and rich plummy colours against a gothic backdrop of matte black.
I’ve also decided that I definitely need to display more of my pictures and postcards (if anyone knows of a great, cheap framer in London let me know!) and would love clusters of artwork a la Jennifer Earle & Mike Gabel‘s loo (also on the Selby).
Moving into an unfurnished (rented) flat the best way to go about making it a home is with an eye for design and deep pockets. I like to think I have the former but I’m not quite there yet with the latter. Rather than hotfoot it down to Ikea to completely fill our period property with ugly flatpack furniture we have had to be crafty about how we furnish this place. Sure, we are waiting on a delivery of ikea drawers and a rug but we didn’t want to go completely soulless.
Instead, we’ve scoured Freecycle which I’m now a huge fan of. When the items are free there’s no harm paying the Addison Lee transit service £20 to get it home. We were also lucky enough to have been given some Billy bookcases by my parents and even Sasha which look great all lined up in our kitchen/living room – coincidentally they were the same wood.
But the thing I’m most pleased about is the fact that up the road at the bottom of Crouch Hill is Riley’s Emporium, a second hand furniture shop. Not everything in there is great – there’s certainly some pieces which have clearly already their day, but it’s great knowing that every time I walk past I might see that extra piece of furniture I’ve been keeping an eye out for. And that’s exactly what happened a week or two ago.
I decided I wanted something for my bedroom where I could stash all my cosmetics, do my make-up in the mornings and also set up my laptop and work. I didn’t want a dressing table as that would feel incongruous when working but I didn’t want a writing desk as I would feel the same way about applying make-up there. So I decided on a bureau. The folding lid which creates a desk is a perfect solution to days working from home and it also meant I could flap it up and stow away all my products.
Well imagine my delight when mother and I walked past Riley’s and she spotted this gorgeous specimen in the window! We bartered with who I can only assume to be Riley from £59 to £45 including delivery (although it’s only round the corner it really needed two burly professionals to lift it). And voila. It fits perfectly in the nook, holds all my make up, jewellery and stationery and is, quite simply, a beaut.
Next up – I’m looking for two armchairs for my bay window!
Posted: October 5th, 2011
, writing desk
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After a short stint discovering the joy of the Selfridges candle department a new obsession was born. (If you rarely venture to the lower ground floor, trust me, it’s worth a browse.)
I’ve always loved the whole pillar candle look and let’s be honest, birthday cake just isn’t the same without birthday candles, but that’s as far as my dalliance went. But now, after Selfridges, and fanned by the flames of wintry circumstance, my obsession is at an all-time high.
Posted: December 31st, 2010
, IW Natural Candles
, Sixteen Candles
, Sweet Roasted Chesnut
, The White Company
, True Grace
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