have said it better myself!
I am working on a lovely little project in South Africa at the moment (sadly via internet rather than in person!) – a gorgeous cottage which belongs to a dear friend of mine. We discussed several different options for the rooms – the sitting room, dining area & hallway – and after discussing it with her husband my client said that she’s like to go for a muted blue & white scheme to which we could add colour using cushions, vases and other such accessories.
I love blue & white schemes so much – they are timelessly chic and suit any budget and any home. I can’t imagine a room which wouldn’t look good in blue & white! (check out an old blog post which shows just how amazing blue & white can be…).
So I have been scouring the offerings of South Africa’s home ware shops and put together some ideas – I thought you might like to see (even though almost everything
is sourced in SA). If you spot anything you like, well, you’ll just have to get the flights to SA booked. Tempting, I know!
Just a quick word about this: if you are designing a shower, please please PLEASE think about where all the lotions and potions and shower gels are going to go. So many showers are designed to look all sleek and minimal – which is great – that is, until you actually use the damn thing and there’s nowhere to put anything except in the shower tray/on the floor. Call me a fusspot, but the very best interior design is all about ease and comfort – things you need should always be to hand.
The very best solution is, I think, to have a niche in the wall (if you can) where you can stash everything (and on a slightly more personal note : bonus pints for putting one slightly lower down too so you have somewhere to put your foot when you – ahem – shave your legs).
If you can’t design your shower with a niche going into the wall, think about sacrificing 5-10cm to have a ledge coming in from the wall. It might mean having a slightly smaller shower but it will ultimately be a better one.
Ok, enough about showers.
Have a fab weekend!
As I updated my portfolio page on the website yesterday I realised it’s been quite some time since I last posted a blog…. shame on me! I haven’t even given you the low down on my fabulous trips to London last month – which were fun filled days visiting London’s beautiful & best fabric & furniture showrooms as well as quite a few rather swish extra curricular activities. On which – you really must do yourself a huge favour & pop in to Ham Yard Hotel (see my last post) whenever you’re in that part of London. The interior design is fabulous & the atmosphere is buzzing! I treated myself to afternoon tea there & was really rather impressed. A slice of heaven in which to eat your slice of cake (or scone). I dare say it would be a great place for dinner, cocktails or whatever the occasion demanded – so do go & see for yourselves and let me know what you think.
As well as spoiling myself at Ham Yard Hotel – I popped into Redloh House trade showroom to see the charming Nicole Pritchard-Smith and have a look at their beautiful range of fabrics. It is such a beautiful showroom – almost more like a room of a house, as the name would suggest, than a fabric showroom. Pale green-grey shelves line the room onto which stacks of beautiful fabrics are beautifully folded; a large refectory table in the centre of the room allows you to pull fabrics of the shelves & spread them out so you can mix and match your choices with ease. Flowers, pretty crystal lamps topped with pleated ikat shades and stunning mirrors complete the look. Not a bad place to work!
Nicole, as well as showroom manager, is also the designer behind the beautiful Astrid & Rudolf wallpaper range stocked at Redloh House. Her charming nostalgic prints are inspired by fragments of vintage wallpaper remnants she rescued from her grandparents home in Sweden. It’s a small but beautiful range and perfect for bedrooms or hallways or powder rooms when you’re looking for something genteel, feminine and understated.
Astrid & Rudolf wallpapers, available from Redloh House:
Hotels often claim they want their clients to feel like they’re staying at home away from home. I don’t know about you, but I think the majority of hotels fail to live up to this standard they set for themselves and often it’s because the decor is rather generic. The bedrooms, lobbies and public areas fail to have any personality in a bid to appeal to one and all. Big mistake!
The owners of Firmdale hotels, architect Tim Kemp & his wife interior designer Kit Kemp know that the key to a great hotel is to create a wow factor whilst ensuring rooms maintain a welcoming and comfortable environment. Their beautiful hotels in London (Charlotte St hotel & Covent Garden Hotel being amongst my favourite spots in London) & New York (Crosby Street Hotel – yet to be visited!) are testament to their refreshingly smart approach to hospitality. The latest addition to their portfolio is the Ham Yard Hotel which opened this month. I’m heading to London next week and popping in to have a look (and maybe a little refreshment or two!) is definitely on the agenda.
Kit Kemp is one of my favourite interior designers – I love her quirky fun approach to decor. I greatly admire how she can bring rather jovial and irreverent elements together and create a look which is welcoming, comfortable, smart & chic all at once. If you’re near to Ham Yard why not drop in & see for yourself? I will take some snaps when I go & report back – but for now, here’s a
taster of what’s in store:
The sumptuous library with fantastic floral sofas, eclectic lighting, ikat lampshades, modern art & vintage furniture….
The drawing room, with amazing wall colour (so cosy!), vibrant upholstery and fabulous fireplace & more statement ceiling light fixtures (vintage Bagues ship chandeliers, anyone?)….
And here are a selection of the bedrooms & suites – no generic grey/taupe beige combos here!