{DESIGNER APPROVED} IKEA SCORES

{DESIGNER APPROVED} IKEA SCORES

A very common misconception about interior design services is that they cost big bucks and that only multi-bajillionaires can afford to hire designers.  I would like to squish this idea and set the record straight.  In the past I’ve worked with large budgets and small budgets – I love being able to splurge on beautiful custom furnishings and gorgeous luxe finishes, but I also equally love the challenge of creating amazing style and highly personalised spaces on a smaller budget. So today let’s talk IKEA budget design scores.  I’ve used at least one IKEA piece in every single project to date – a lot of their designs still leave a little to be desired, either style- or quality-wise, but they also have many many stylish and durable items, that allow you to re-direct budget towards pieces that would otherwise be unaffordable. So here’s a little round up of my faves, I hope you enjoy.  Ha and if there was ever any doubt in my mind that I’m drawn to natural raw textures and authentic finishes, then this board has blasted it into smithereens – such gorgeous leather, linen, woods, glass, jute, cork, banana leaves, rattan, seagrass, sheepskin and cotton.  There’s not a piece of plastic or synthetic fabric on there, not a sausage {oh, apart from the faux botanicals}. 1) Love me a bit of interesting upholstery, this armchair in black would do nicely. 2) Couple of fun pillows – black/white {used in my Hong Kong Discovery Bay Villa project – link here} and green. 3) Bought this set of chic vases for my recent magazine shoot. 4) LOVE this all-natural rattan pendant shade – can see a row of them...
OUTSTANDING OUSHAKS

OUTSTANDING OUSHAKS

I seem to have a nine year old’s skills in titling blogposts…there’s nothing like a spot of alliteration.  Err random start.  SO today I thought we should talk oushak rugs, ladies and gents. I have had a soft spot in my heart for these for a long long time now – adding the perfect exotic/ethnic vibe underfoot but without the more saturated and vibrant palettes you so often get with Persian rugs, they complement a really wide array of different interiors styles. Named after the city of Uşak in Turkey {please excuse the weird bold ‘s’}, these rugs have traditionally always been amongst the finest produced in the whole country – indeed a study of the rugs found in Istanbul’s largest mosques found that they were almost exclusively these intricate, high end specimens, with their star, medallion and floral motifs. Typical palettes include gold, soft blues and greens, greys, blush pink, ivory, terracotta and cinnamon; lots of gorgeous, soft, naturally-occurring dyes.  And the wool used is of a very high calibre, super silky and light-reflective, which adds even further to the visual appeal of the colours. All of these factors add up to one rather large blow to the bank balance – these puppies do not come cheap but blimey O’Reilly are they beautiful: Fave inspo shots below – this first one on the RHS has been in my brain for a long long time now: Loving them paired with statement chandies in these next two: They’re fantastic for adding visual interest to fairly neutral spaces: Or to offset darker floor and wall finishes: {credits} YUM.  I am all over these like a pigeon on...
EVENTS TRENDING: TABLE GARLANDS

EVENTS TRENDING: TABLE GARLANDS

I’ve been noticing for a while now more and more event design incorporating absolutely stunning foliage table garlands.  Here’s my round up of my fave inspo shots, ranging from rustic elaborate affairs to more contemporary and sleek shindigs (check out the Louis Ghosts!). {credits} And here are a few ingredients that would make a picture perfect soirée! {clockwise from top left: antique gold lanterns, olive branches, eucalyptus, white peonies, wood-effect flatware, gold-rimmed charger, white dinner plate, black orchid salad plate, rustic dining chair, burlap tablecloth, calligraphy place card, amber glass goblet, amber water glass, white napkins, brass candlesticks, teak serving bowl}  Be sure to let me know what you think, and have a happy weekend...
CHIC IN CAPE TOWN

CHIC IN CAPE TOWN

I was looking at some old design mags the other day and came across this cracking Cape Town pad featured in Living Etc a while back.  I remember at the time I took note of it as I’ve done something similar-ish on a smaller scale with the pendant lighting in my home (below left) and it made me regret not adding about 17 more of the blighters to the fixture. I usually go for more light and bright spaces, but the moody masculine palette and diverse texture range really speak to me here.  Plus the botanicals situation.  Plus the reclaimed wood wall cladding.  Plus she looks like a nice lady. {credits} But out of all the gorgeousness it was the grey tufted leather sofa that most caught my fancy.  I did a little ode to the Chesterfield (and Queeny) a few years back now but I’ve never really looked into these more modern versions. So in order to desperately delay for as long as possible the process of figuring out all the costs, both direct and indirect, sunk and opportunity, going into 101 individual home decor pieces (GAH), I have been on a little internet perambulation (hope you’re not reading this Sarah – ha, busted) looking at more of these contemporary tufted beauts. The one in this home is apparently from a store in Cape Town, but Restoration Hardware’s Soho collection (upholstered / leather) is oh so similar. Mmm mmm mmmm, I can see one in Chestnut (caramel, duh) leather in my life. Also check out their Soho daybed – look at it, it’s a monster: {credit} Don’t think it would do well in Asia, it’s about...