The Art of the Brick

Lego and art. Two words you probably don’t associate with each other often. More likely when you hear the word “Lego” you think of those small plastic bricks that are strewn all over your house (well my house anyways) and hurt like hell when you step on one! Having 2 boys guarantees me that in every room of the house I will find either a fully built Lego “model”, a half built one, a broken one or just loose pieces lying in little piles or random containers!  Or a combination of all of the above. And I mean every room, including the bathrooms! I know what you are thinking……get organised woman! But those pieces seem to have a life of their own and turn up everywhere. It’s a lost cause.
But, you never know, one of my sons could be the next Nathan Sawaya. Who you say? He is the NYC artist who turns those little pieces of Lego into absolutely gorgeous pieces of art! And when I say gorgeous, I mean breathtaking. The detail in each of his works of art is just amazing. And you guessed it, all done with Lego! You have to see it in person to appreciate it and luckily for those who live in London, you still can!

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For more information check out http://artofthebrick.co.uk

Inspire yourself and your children!

A few examples……..

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All White!

So I could have sworn that this morning when I left my house to walk the kids to school that I had been transported right out of London and straight to some warm, tropical location! The light breeze was warm and the air even warmer….very unusual for 8:30am in London.  Never mind, I’m sure it won’t last! (fingers crossed it will though….)

Anyways, the warm temperatures and sun got me thinking and feeling tropical.  An image of an all white bedroom with gauzy curtains gently flapping in the breeze.  This bedroom was of course located on a soft sandy beach where you could hear the waves rolling and smell the sea air.  But then I snapped back to reality!  Does an all white bedroom work?  Can it work for us here in London?  For those of us who are not fortunate to own a beautiful beachfront home in the Carribean??

Well….white is actually not a colour but is a reflection of all the colours in the spectrum.  Whereas black is total absorption, white is total reflection.  What comes to mind when you think of white?  Does it conjure up positive images of purity, cleanliness and simplicity?  Or does it bring about negative feelings such as coldness, sterility and unfriendliness?  I myself tend to think of lightness and peacefulness, which makes it a good bet for the bedroom!

But!  But, a white bedroom that is literally ALL WHITE, with NO variations, is too much.  That would give a feeling of coldness with no cosiness or comfort.

One good way to use white in the bedroom without being sterile like a hospital would be to use TEXTURE:  The use of natural textures such as wood, glass and chunky wool would be a nice balance to a white bedroom.  Even a tonal patterned wallpaper can be effective.

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Another good idea if all white scares you a little is to add in different shades of white or soft greys or blues.  This will add depth to your room and give it a welcoming feel.

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If that is a bit too serene for your personality, there is no rule that says you can’t have a white bedroom with a little pop of colour!  This can be especially effective in a child’s bedroom.  Add accessories in bright colours such as throws, cushions and even objects on shelves can add a ping of colour.

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This white bedroom below is just SO refreshing and cute with it’s pops of yellow (and natural textures if you didn’t notice!)!  The white panelled ceiling along with the white walls and blinds give a perception of space and expand this fairly small room.

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Now, back outside to the garden to imagine that I am sipping a pina colada on some nice beach somewhere….before we get dumped on by rain that will surely be coming our way soon!  In the meantime, what do you think about an all white bedroom?

Textile Designer Spotlight: Korla

Well it’s that time of year when I start thinking of what to buy and/or change, interior design wise, at my summer home in Canada. Besides getting all new outdoor furniture and some new bed frames (a bit boring that one), I am going to get some new throw cushions made for my living room. And for this purpose, let me introduce to you, Korla! (http://www.korlahome.com)
This company creates and manufactures super cute, fun and funky, contemporary textiles which can be used for curtains, blinds, lampshades and in my case, cushions.  The website is great and they are happy to send you free samples which actually look even better in person than online.

A little taster……check out their website for yourselves….you won’t be disappointed!

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Gorgeous Hallway!

I just had to share this hallway……I absolutely love the Victorian inspired tiles contrasting with the contemporary glass bannister!  The combination, along with the colourful prints on the wall, makes the entrance bright, airy and fun!

And the YSL bag on the stairs isn’t too shabby either! 😉

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(photo source: http://www.housetohome.co.uk)

Scandinavian Style

Not only am I a big fan of “Nordic Noir” television…….The Killing, Those Who Kill, (sounding all a bit grim so far!) and The Bridge, I am also a big, big fan of Scandinavian style when it comes to interior design.  Actually, while watching another Scandinavian drama,  Borgen, I was just as much checking out the interior design of the set as much as following the plot!…and reading the subtitles.  Who says I can’t multi-task!  Anyways…..

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Scandinavian style is characterised by a minimalistic approach that is not only visually pleasing but also functional.  The Scandinavian colour pallet usually consists of whites, off-whites and grey and modernised with a splash of colour.  The use of natural materials also plays a big role in the Scandi style.  It’s the light floors and walls that help keep the rooms bright during the long, long winters.  Furniture is very simple yet functional and practical.

Some of my favourite websites for Scandinavian inspired style are:

http://www.skandium.com

http://www.scandinaviandesigncenter.com

http://www.husandhem.co.uk

and of course…..

http://www.ikea.com

What is your favourite element of Scandinavian style?

Wallpaper Love : For The Little Ones

My latest wallpaper search has led me to a brand that I have not come across before and I am in LOVE!  A friend asked me for some ideas for their country home in the Cotswolds (nice, I know!) and one of the areas she hadn’t decided on yet was the decor of her girls shared bedroom.  Ah, sharing a bedroom with a sister, something I know all too well!  Fortunately, my parents had quite a minimalist approach to decor so there was no fighting as to what type of wallpaper went up in our room…there was no wallpaper.  Just white, white and more white (not counting the Duran Duran posters that I hung up!)

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I couldn’t resist…sorry, I know, totally unrelated to interior design!  (heeelllooo John Taylor!)

But in this case, I had to find some sort of common interest, some sort of design/theme that they could both live with.  And bingo!  I found it.  They both love riding horses.  I didn’t want to go too overboard with that idea and I thought (of course) a nice wallpaper could do the trick!  And that is when I came across www.hibouhome.com  A British company making quality and gorgeous wallpaper and fabrics for children.  Not tacky, cheap Dora type children’s designs but cool, funky Scandi inspired ones.

Here’s the equestrian one:  What do you think?

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Have a look at their website to see more gorgeous designs….I particularly love, love “Into The Wild” print.  And actually you really couldn’t go wrong with any of them!

Pretty in Pink?

Pretty in pink?  Not just a great 1980’s Brat Pack movie but a big trend for Spring 2014 apparently! Spring 2014 is going to be BIG for pastels……..”Key Trend”, “Must Have”, “Hottest Fashion’!  All phrases that have been bandied around to describe the Pastel Trend that will be upon us very soon.  But the question is: how do we use pastels in our homes without it looking like a decorated Easter Egg or a baby’s nursery?  Well I think the best way is to pair it with a pop of bright colour….even neon!

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So if you enjoy the calming and relaxing effects of a pastel themed room or house, throw in a few bright pieces to avoid a look that is TOO sweet!