Thursday, May 31

Daily Art: RA Magazine Cover by Grayson Perry

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Today's Daily Art is the cover of the new Royal Academy magazine by Grayson Perry. It is an attempt to comment on the tastes of the British public, especially those who visit the annual Summer Exhibition. The cover is bright and lively but it leaves me unmoved. The colours are more Las Vegas than British middle class, although I have to admit, it's a relief to see the British being associated with colours other than the Red, Blue and White of the Union Jack. The usual middle class favourites - Waitrose, Radio 4, Mulberry and Le Creuset find their way onto the poster which makes it look even more gimmicky and too much like an advertisement . 

Despite the cover I’m still going to visit the exhibition next week. Expect a deluge about the all the Art I cannot wait to see.

Hope you all have a lovely long weekend! 

Monday, May 28

Celebrity Home: May Daouk's Beirut home

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This is the closest someone can get to my dream home, and I am positively consumed with envy as I type. Historic building - check, hand crafted details - check, mix of east and west - check, antiques - check! This home has everything I have always dreamt of. 

It is the home of Interior designer May Daouk. She returned to Beirut after a decade in New York, bought this stunning historic mansion and proceeded to fill it with her collection of antiques, a collection which she has acquired over a lifetime and is a testimony to her good taste.

What I think is unique about her style is that although her house is chock full of antiques and beautiful objects, she has managed to create a very relaxed and warm vibe. It is not a museum, it is a home, and you get a sense of that by the eccentric and highly individual way the objects have been arranged by her. 

This thought is echoed by May who says, “I use antique fabrics, but if they get damaged I just replace them,” she says. “The black sofa in the dining room? It’s used mainly by the dog, who likes to be able to see what she might get for dinner.” A house should be as comfortable as it is beautiful—that’s the message from this stylish designer. “Because I don’t want to live in a showcase, I want to live in a home.”

A trio of stone arches creates an enclave at one end of the living room; the antique chimney piece is Italian
Arrayed in the living room are an antique toile peinte, custom-made lacquer bookcases, and a pair of vintage chairs

The dining room features an English Arts and Crafts table and chairs from Ann-Morris Antiques; the calligraphic panel above the door is Syrian, and the carpet is 19th-century Persian.

Displayed on the far side of the room is a set of architectural prints of the ancient city of Baalbek. The sideboard, table, and chairs are all from Ann-Morris Antiques.

Luna the English bulldog in a passageway connecting the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. The lanterns are from Damascus.

The antique lantern and the brass stool in the master bedroom are Lebanese. The ebonized slipper chairs are Italian, and the club chair, by O. Henry House, is clad in a Robert Kime ticking stripe; the bedside tables are from John Rosselli Antiques.
The master bath includes inlaid-wood pelmets and embroidered-lace curtains custom made by local artisans. The mirror is a Flemish antique, and the ’50s Nagasaki chairs are by Mathieu Matégot.

Two of Daouk’s sons share a bedroom with a 1940s French desk, a chair from Design Within Reach, bedcovers by Chelsea Textiles, and a striped kilim

Sunday, May 27

Summer Decorating Ideas

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"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, 
And summer's lease hath all too short a date". 

Anyone who has spent the Summer in England will go away thinking this is the most beautiful country on the planet. Summer turns England into a gorgeous cornucopia of colours - forests turn lush green, meadows bloom with wild flowers, fruit trees burst into flower to entice bees, wisteria blooms over doors and the brilliant blue skies form the perfect backdrop to all this prettiness. Yes pretty, for I am sure the word pretty was invented to describe England in Summer.       

You can see I am smitten, and to add to that, this weekend has been endlessly sunny and warm. The kind of lazy summer days when you want to make a big pitcher of lemonade, call some friends over for a bar-be-que and while away the day in the garden under the shade of a big tree. Here are some gorgeous design ideas for just such days. So that you can spruce up your home in time for those summer gatherings.

Wish you all a lovely happy Summer! 


Saturday, May 26

Daily Art: Charlie Chaplin Pop Art

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The work of Kazakhi artist Gennady Guirik caught my eye because of  combination of elements of pop art, collage and patchwork of bright colours. He studied Interior Architecture at the Muchina University for Decorative and Applied Art. and lives and works in St.Petersburg.

According to him, "The white canvas is so secretive! A face, objects from a still life, flowers and birds, architecture and music – there are motifs enough; you simply need patience. I believe a painter needs to be mobile - like life itself, which breathes and moves....It’s never too late to learn".

View more of his work here.

Friday, May 25

London Olympics 2012, Medal Display at the British Museum

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Excitement is building up to a frenzied pitch, as the Olympic Games approach. Tickets are like paper Gold right now and the lucky few who managed to get some are holding on for dear life. I was really disappointed on not getting any tickets, even though I bid for more than fifteen events. So if you like me, lost out on attending the games, at least go and see the medals on display at the British Museum.   

This fascinating display tells the story of the production of the medals for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, from the mining of the metal by Rio Tinto to the creation of the designs by David Watkins and Lin Cheung and production by the Royal Mint. 

There is also a bit of history provided by 19th and 20th century objects highlighting the longstanding links between Britain and the Olympic. This  includes a range of objects from the 19th-century Shropshire games alongside medals from the 1908 and 1948 Olympic Games held in London and the 1960 and 1984 Paralympic Games.

I really liked the gold medal designed by David Watkins as the core emblem is an architectural expression, a metaphor for the modern City with the River Thames in the background as a symbol for London. The radiating grid suggests both a pulling together and a sense of outreach – powerful energy that represents the athletes' efforts

Thursday, May 24

Liberty at Westfield Mall: A Sneak peak!

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Liberty is opening it's second store next Thursday 31st May, at Westfield Mall in London, everyone knows that. But how many people can say they've seen the store before it has opened? Well you can count yourself as one of the lucky few, for I have the exclusive behind the scenes photographs. A sneak peak for all of you a week before the store opens! Go ahead, have a look now, I know you are as excited as I am.   

For those not in the know, Liberty is 'thedestination store in London. It opened in 1875 and since then has been synonymous with luxury, quality and beautifully designed product.

And now there will be two! To celebrate they are even giving away £250  to a lucky winner to spend in store (scroll down for more). All the more reason to head over to Westfield Mall next week and enjoy the special ambience that only Liberty can provide. Maybe you'll find me there as well, flitting around the store, happy as a lark.

The outside of the store adorned in Liberty Print for the opening

Just a few of the brands you'll be able to find

The new illustrated Liberty timeline

The Liberty team hard at work

Union Jacks are up to celebrate all that is 'Brilliantly British'

The store taking shape

The photobooth is nearly ready! 
Once complete you'll be able to celebrate your visit with a printed Liberty photo and you may even appear on the big screen in store.
Liberty Print

Liberty Print galore!

You'll find lots of fabulous Liberty Print products, including their famous scarves

Join the 'I Love Liberty summer campaign' and take part in the competition for a chance to win £250 to spend in store, Here.

Wednesday, May 23

David Trubridge lights

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"I work within the limits of what I have & know, 

simplicity & low impact, 

natural materials & process, 

leaving a delicate footprint." 

David Trubridge 

A beautiful and simple design philosophy which defines, English designer David Trubridge’s work. Based in New Zealand, he creates these beautiful, sculptural, energy efficient and sustainable light fixtures. His inspiration comes from nature - the flora, fauna, and sea life of Australia & New Zealand. The lights are made of Bamboo plywood and come neatly flat-packed in cardboard boxes. The user can quickly and easily assemble them at home. 

All credits for this post go to the Accessorator. The images are from her post about David Trubridge and his lights as featured at ‘Wanted Design 2012’ during International Contemporary Furniture Fair.
        LED lit 'Baskets of Knowledge' based on a New Zealand Moari myth.

New series of mini plywood kitset lights by David Trubridge. Shown with painted interiors are KouraKinaHinaki,Floral and Coral.

Aluminium Coral lights

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