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19

Mar

DAY-DREAMER DEYN

RICKY CLIFTON is the delightfully mad- hatter-esque genius behind Agyness Deyn’s Brooklyn apartment.  Enjoy this feast for the eyes and imagination.

What is so utterly wonderful about this interior is that it’s a complete expression of individuality. Its indulgent and beautiful because its an embodiment of the clients dreams.  Think across between a Venitian palace, a Dali painting, Alice and wonderland, lashings of Fornasetti items and so much Kitsch its unreal.  And I actually think thats the point. This is not an Interior for the everyman, but nothing truly exceptional was ever created that didn’t cause a stir. This converted industrial mill is a true artistic expression of  the imagination and, it is a wonderland… Forget for a moment what’s chic and tasteful, thats not what’s this interior is about, what its about is escapism. Imagine if you will all the fun Agy must have re-exploring her very own personalized fantasy land every time she returns home. Secretly jealous? Me too.

PARIS IN THE SPRINGTIME

If I had to choose one exhibition to go to when visiting Paris this Spring it would be this:  

                             MATISSE, PARIS AND SERIES 

                                                  POMPIDOU CENTRE PARIS

                                               7TH MARCH- 18TH JUNE 2012

                         

Matisse is most commonly regarded as a Fauvist and one of the three artists (Picasso & Duchamp being the others) who defined the beginnings of 20th century art, most significantly, developments in painting and sculpture. It is possible to divide Matisse’s career as an artist into several periods that changed stylistically, but, always within the realm of the fauvist thought.  His aim remained fixed: to discover “the essential character of things" and to produce an art "of balance, purity, and serenity,” as he put it.  His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, is the basis for this wonderful exhibition. 

Through this imaginative exhibition at the Pompidou centre, one is given the opportunity to learn more about the intricacies behind the work of the French painter, immersing you into the processes and techniques developed by the artist, regarding colour, framing, series and even stylisation. It examines a distinctive aspect of Matisse’s art: his repeated explorations of the same subject through different treatments – for him a way of exploring art itself.

This is a major event, which documents all his major periods, Notably including a very successful series of drawings entitled Themes and Variations.  If you are lucky enough to be in ParisFrom the 7th  March To 18th June its a must see!

And finally, some words of wisdom from this inspiring artistic genius….

STATEMENT TWIST: HEADBOARDS

Gone are the days when synthetic velveteen buttoned headboards were all that the the world had to offer.. and thank goodness for that.  Imagination and creativity now govern the interiors world. One’s home should be a reflection of character and personal dreams. It is your own world- so be creative and make the most of it.  

Here are a few ideas of how to put your own artistic stamp on your bedroom, and at the same time, spruce it up a little….

All white doesn’t have to be boring. Introduce as much texture as possible, source an old wood carving and paint it white to add interest.  You can find things like this at local reclamation grounds for around £200-£600 depending on size, detail and quality.  

Using installation art in the form of a light box as a headboard is my personal favourite.  Any colours can be achieved and can look as punchy or as subtle as desired. A good carpenter and electrician ESSENTIAL.

A reclaimed frame or fireplace surround is a stunning way to introduce architectural features to the bedroom creating a very special feel an instant talking piece. 

Old fence. Simple. Broken. Free. Contemporary bliss. 

This battered silver look adds instant glamour and light to any room.  Importing from India, Morocco or Turkey is the best bet for finding something like this but its expensive so keep an eye out at local auction houses. Alternatively, find something similar in another medium and silver leaf the entire board.

The antiqued mirror above the bed is especially beautiful in a smaller room where as much light as possible is a good idea. This will create the illusion of more space and a higher celling along with being incredibly sexy. 

The most cost effective and creatively indulgent is painting.  Freehand or stencilling anything goes and any pattern is achievable.  

I don’t need to say much about this- Its modern, self explanatory and I just love it.

All thats needed to create this look is some MDF shaped in the desired look, some padding for the inside, a sturdy but attractive fabric and some studs. You can achieve this glamorous look in your spare room for £100 dependant on the fabric cost.  If you want the lamps included remember to create a hole in the relevant place on the headboard for the electrics.

07

Mar

INTERIOR HISTORY

If like me you simply can’t resist getting lost in the history of the home and learning more about Interiors, you will LOVE LOVE LOVE  ’If walls could talk’ on the BBC.  Its definitely worth getting on the old BBC iPlayer for. 

Lucy Worsley, chief curator of the historic royal palaces, takes us through 800 years of domestic history by exploring the British home through four rooms, meeting experts and historians on the way we used to live. Utterly fascinating.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010flp4

06

Mar

INTERIOR NEWS

OH JOY! A beautiful, historically inspired new wallpaper & fabric range for Zoffany.   Melissa White is a decorative artist who hand paints interiors, specialising in Elizabethan wall painting. Whilst studying Art History and French at Birmingham University, she undertook an apprenticeship in Tudor decoration that set White on her career path. Her tutor, David Cutmore, had been extensively researching and reproducing Elizabethan wall paintings since the seventies due to the lack of information about these fascinating designs. As a team, they continue to seek out and reintroduce these intriguing designs for private clients and for museums (i.e. Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford). White dedicates her time at her home/ studio on the Hastings coast to painting gorgeous patterns on both textiles for soft furnishings and fresco secco. For the fresco, White has developed a signature style of cracking and ageing the surface for that timeless authenticity. In 2007  The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) awarded her a grant in order to carry out further research into Elizabethan painted decoration. It is through QEST that Zoffany invited White to design ‘Arden’ an Elizabethan inspired fabric and wallpaper collection called which Is launching this month.

http://www.zoffany.com/pages/products/products_wallpapers-detail/arden-wallpapers-with-melissa-white/1/

INTERIOR DESTINATION: THE IMPERIAL SPA , DELHI

As if there wasn’t reason enough to visit this Colonial masterpiece, it is an oasis of tranquility boasting a historic Art & Antiques collection, exquisite interiors throughout, Award winning Restaurants and a customer service reputation to match….  

Last year they had their grand opening of the new Spa. Entirely marble, dazzling with  intricate gold and semi- precious stone inlay from floor to ceiling in every room, the Spa gives the Taj Mahal a Run for it’s money.  Although only built last year, it’s run by the spa Industry’s finest Spa consultant (who has even formulated their own Oils and Eau Du Toilette) it feels as though you are experience luxury as the Indian Gods must have done. A sight to see in itself. To experience complete with treatments? Beyond bliss.  

I WISH THAT WAS MY BEDROOM

We’ve all done it, stayed at a beautiful hotel or seen the interiors in a movie or on television and have fallen desperately in love with a look. I am going to tell you how to create the feel of the room at look of the room along with a few naughty extras… Sometimes all it takes is a lick of paint, a statement artwork (which more often than not you can get from a market or make yourself if you are feeling particularly creative!) and a few well chosen accessories.

BLAKES (http://www.blakeshotels.com/) is one of London’s hidden gems, sporting one of the sexiest interiors about. I can’t choose between my two favourite incredibly lavish rooms. We have Interior Designer Anouska Hempel to thank for this feast for senses.

THE LIBRARY SUITE

This is the perfect example of what can be achieved when masculine and feminine styles are brought together. It’s smart and sophisticated.  Hempel cleverly combines the masculine colour pallete and colonial elements such as the shutters in the bathroom, framed etchings and a ’ 1920’s gent’s quaters’ feel through the bookcases with the feminine flowing sensuous silk fabrics of the bed and gold detailing and cheeky use of mirroring beside the bed which brings light and the glamour for which Hempel is so renowned for into the picture.  With its Vintage Louis Vuitton style cases and parquet floors this room makes me feel across between a 1920’s explorer about to step out of my room to explore the pyramids and Cleopatra herself. Magic.

GET THIS LOOK:

  • Black Walls- Not hard to do, Dulux Gloss paint will do the trick
  • Gold accenting elements the light hit: picture frames, taps, lamps, edge of      doorways, cornicing and windows- Use liquid gold leaf, any decent art shop will have this.
  • Four poster bed, this one can find most places and because of the amount of fabric used in the posts, the bed itself should be rather simple.
  • Bed Linen: Crisp White Bedlinen from the White Company www.thewhitecompany.com with a Dark muted throw would work well. 
  • Mirrors: Floor to ceiling fitted mirrors either side of the bed and a statement empire style mirror resting on an Empire Style Desk (one off pictured). 

www.manorhousefurniture.com

 

www.liveauctioneers.com

  • Statement Gold and Black Pavilion Stripped silk fabric: A great place to start looking would be http://www.interiorstalk.com/news/jae/jae100.html  Stunning quality and a vast amount of choice. Only a simple silk black trim with no fringing should be used and the same for the tie backs. Other variants of this fabric in muted tones could be utilised for cushion covers also. 

  • Rattan Chair: And so to bed to a fab onehttp://www.andsotobed.co.uk/bedroom-furniture/chairs-and-stools/lille-chair.html  This coupled with some stunning silk pillows from Andrew Martin would get you the look.
  • For lighting: There are some stunning table lamps and wall lights Besselink & Jones www.besselink.com These are the styles that you need for this look.

  • Trunks placed at the end of the bed can be found at any auction house nowadays, but if you wanted a sure bet, India Jane www.indiajane.co.uk has a wide selection of replicas for the taking. Personally i would hold out for the real deal, something like these..

Artwork: Prints of Piranesi’s Etchings would be Ideal, there are lots of them around and all you need to do is pick up a few matching antique gold frames and the look is done. 

Taschen do a great book from which you can do some research…. http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/art/all/44941/facts.piranesi.htm

HOW TO REALLY ENJOY LIFE IN THIS ROOM….

ROOM FRAGRANCE: The Jo Malone ‘Vanilla & Anise’ Scented candle 

PERFUME: Serge Luten’s ‘Ambre Sultan’ Parfum.  

FOR HER: Agent Provocateur’s ‘Lorna’ set.  

FOR HIM: Aqua Di Parma ‘Intense’ Shaving collection 

DRINK: Classic Champagne cocktail. Soak one sugar cube in a champagne flute with angostura bitters. Once the bitters have absorbed, add champagne and cognac. Squeeze in a twist of lemon. Enjoy. 

CARDINAL SUITE

For me this is the ultimate self indulgent naughty weekend away suite. Texture is everywhere making one extremely aware of all senses, never-mind the daring but wonderful use of red which is a proven aphrodisiacal colour of course.  There is beautifully placed soft mellow lamp lighting which does wonders for the heavily worked velvets and brocades used in the design showing off all the texture and beauty they have to offer. It simply just makes you want to touch EVERYTHING.  Even though the walls, an usual polished mahogany (it seems) have a softness to them which is continued into the bathroom suite where we find a double ended painted bath. What I love about this room is it’s utter escapism, you could be anywhere, anytime, in any place. Genuis & Sexy as hell.

GET THE LOOK

  • The walls. In the bedroom area A great way to achieve this look is through a Flocked Velvert wallpaper in a damask pattern. The one i would recommend is this stunning red paper from www.designerwallcoverings.com

Or, if flocking isn’t your thing, This gorgeous antiqued wall paper from ‘Watts’ is just the ticket. With Watts especially, its always worth finding out a bit about the history of the patterns. It adds a bit of romance and substance to your design experience…..

This wallpaper ‘Bentinck’ (in Campari colour) was orginally designed c.1886 This was designed by Bodley for the restoration of St Donat’s Castle, Glamorgan.

  • Fabric for Bed spread and Curtains Is from WATTS. A beautiful company the has exquisite fabrics, trimmings and accessories .

The fabric below ’ couldn’t be more perfect for the job. This should be lined with the darkest blue - not black velvet. This can be found in any fabric shop, no need to be overly fussy.  Trim with gold fringing which can be bought from any good haberdashery, or go to Chelsea Harbour and have some fun looking for your favourite. Personally i would go for this gem of a combo.

  • Trim with gold fringing and a red tasseled tie-back. Both can be bought from any good haberdashery, or go to Chelsea Harbour just off the Kings Road in London and have some fun looking for your favourite. Personally I would go for this gem of a fringe detail from DEDAR, part of the Hermes umbrella www.dedar.com. Stunning quality.

  • Four poster bed is essential: Go to www.fourposterbed.com to find your perfect one.  For the heavily brocaded pelmets which make the look, go to http://www.pelmetsdirect.co.uk/ for the pelmet itself then find your local upholstwww.fourposterbed.com to find your perfect one.  For the heavily brocaded pelmets which make the look, go to http://www.pelmetsdirect.co.uk/ for the pelmet itself then find your local upholstery specialist to finish the look with your chosen fabric… for this you need a large pattern with a very sparse repeat. This would be mine.
  • Headboard and sofa back: This is also from the wonderful ‘Watts’. Its called ‘Crevelli' in Gold Brocade.  This is a stunning c.1874 design Attributed to Thomas Garner, this was originally a silk and gold thread brocatelle, the origins of which are to be found in an early 15th century painting by the Master of St Barthlomew. The romance, Hiistory and quality of the fabric is illustrated by its price. But done be put off, only a few meters is needed to make an impact, and its well worth it.

You can visit Watts online www.watts1874.co.uk.

  • Statement Cushions: India Jane Hs a great brocade style collection at the moment. the ‘Anastasia’ and ‘Lucia’ cushions are pictured below as a start. 

  • Blue and White Urns and Vases: This pair of urns is a great example, I found them on auction at Denhams www.denhams.com for only £40 for the pair. Be brave and visit auction houses. More often the not it pays off financially and you also get something unique.

  • Lamps: Besselink & Jones are simply the best for this type of style. A combination of these two, the ‘Bronze ornate empire column’ table lamp and the ‘Swannie’ adjustable floor lamp  would be perfection.




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  • Sofa. Not all of us have the space for it, but this sofa is perfect. Brocade can be at worked onto the back for more detail.

  •  STATEMENT artwork. What one needs here is a very large gold frame and a beautiful piece of material to put inside. It doesn’t have to be expensive, you would be amazed at how gorgeous large pieces of fabric remnants look in a kick ass frame. This is the fun bit when you get to be creative! Take a closer look at the artwork in the picture of Blakes’ Cardinal suite and you will see exactly the idea.
  • 1 LARGE MIRROR: This wow factor piece is from Rose and Lee. A great little company which is always worth looking at for detailed accessories and mirrors. www.roseandleevintageliving.co.uk 
  • Antique books can be found at any charity shop or boot sale: this is the type of thing you’re after… If you are feeling flush, for the good stuff, Christies always have bundles of things like this on auction.

And here is a sneaky look at the Bathroom: The Lanterns of a similar theme can be sourced from reclamation grounds or go to Charles Edwards. Expensive, but worth it.  

  • The bath can be bought from the Water monopoly. This particular model is the ‘Empire’. They can also custom paint it to your requirements. http://www.watermonopoly.com/empire_on_plinth.html

  • A suitable mirror for the look can be found at Ham www.haminteriors.com. All products are hand-made and British! This is almost a total match.

HOW TO REALLY ENJOY LIFE IN THIS ROOM…

PERFUME: Wear Tom Ford’s Seductive ‘Jasmin Rouge’

ROOM FRAGRANCE: Diptique’s ‘Tuberose’ candle

FOR HER, well and for him too : This divine red satin and black lace lingerie set from MYLA

DRINK: Pour the amaretto liqueur into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Add a splash or two of angostura bitters, and shake well. Strain or pour into a cut glass tumbler, garnish with a maraschino cherry and a slice of orange, and serve.