12. Paris Maison / Objet Trends 2015

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Design / Interiors

A BRIEF breakdown of a few of my favourite looks from the Paris Maison & Objet 2015 design shows this last week…paris1

Super skinny outlines and Coral: Above from Clockwise top left, Cinna chair and side table; Roche Bobois slanting side tables; Roche Bobois lamps and Roche Bobois outline lighting.


40s and 50s themes: Above, (from clockwise top left) Luca Nichetto for De La Espada; Autoban with De La Espada, Soft Line and Muuto. Paris3

Light & Simple: Mirrors at Bocci; Japanese stools at Kvadrat; Pedrali chairs; In / Out Aluminium by FAST.

11. Acne & Dry & Sensitive Skin

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I WAS diagnosed with PCOS aged 15, when my skin began to be seriously affected by acne. And over the years I’ve had every treatment going, from herbs, acupuncture, topical and oral antibiotics, every spot cream going, to the pill (lots of variations but most successfully Dianette), even controversial Roaccutane.IMG_4465

Some have worked for months, some for years. Currently off medication and now aged 41, I’m suffering from mild acne again. I also have a lot of acne scarring, and weirdly – because of all the treatments – incredibly dehydrated, sensitive skin. Can you have acne and dry, dehydrated plus sensitive skin? Seems you can. It’s just that creams haven’t been able to deal with that triple whammy of need in recent years.

But, a chance trip to the brilliant Lloyds Pharmacy where they have a skin diagnostic tool (thought you were oily? wrong!) to help you choose the right creams, has meant I’ve come away with two absolute skin life-savers.

La Roche-Posay, the French pharmacy brand that is super-gentle on distressed skin does a hydrating night cream (Hydreane) in rich or extra rich (I first used the Riche and in Paris last week managed to find the Extra Riche – all the French chemists sell it) that aims to balance the sensitive & dry issues, and Eurecin’s genius daytime Dermo Purifyer Adjunctive Hydrating Care cream is specially formulated for skin made sensitive and dry from acne treatments. Using both together has meant my skin is moist, hasn’t cracked at all this winter, and doesn’t feel too tight to smile. They don’t prevent acne, but that’s another hill to climb…

*www.eucerin.co.uk; www.lloydspharmacy.com; www.laroche-posay.co.uk

10. Parachilna – best new lighting

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LOVE, love, love Parachilna’s new lighting designs. Discovered them last year thanks to designer Stephen Burks, and now they’ve gone and won the Wallpaper Best New Brand 2015 Wallpaper Magazine award.Aballs1

Well deserved (combo of manufacturing using local craftsmen & beautiful original design)… Designs pictured from Stephen Burks, Jaime Hayon and Jordi Veciana. I’d happily have any (or all) of them…Chinoz_PARACHILNA_Ming_2

ANWAR 30-45 P-2



PARACHILNA_Alistair (familia)



09. Turquoise Kitchen from La Cornue

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OKAY, so the kitchen I’m currently planning is just an IKEA black and white kitchen. Black on the bottom half, white on the top. (We’re also keeping part of the original kitchen as it’s solid timber and well, replacing it is more hassle than it’s worth – and that will also be painted black). Black and white kitchens are undoubtedly the kitchen look of the moment.Château Grand Palais 180 Aquamarine

BUT, how adorable is this kitchen (Grand Palais 180) from La Cornue? They call it aquamarine, I call it turquoise. Completely original enamel finish, beautiful brushed nickel/stainless steel hardware, their kitchens have such a professional veneer but a happy vibe too. From £26,150.

*www.lacornue.com; 0870 7895107 (UK)

08. Ammonite by Farrow & Ball

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I PROMISED myself no grey in this new house. I don’t hate grey. But the old house was all grey, white and yellow, and that suited that house to a ‘T’.Purbeck Stone 2014 Trends

I wanted to move on to something fresher and lighter, more in keeping with the countryside round it, and all the greys at the Paris design shows last January made me yearn for something different. On the whole we have (largely greens – pix to follow). But… Well, it’s all down to Tester Pots. I must have spent hundreds of pounds on testers over the years, and the budget on this new house has been too tight to waste on a variety of trials and error.Ammonite Bathroom 2

And so Ammonite, Farrow & Ball’s new pale and interesting grey, (pictured on the floor, top pic, and top of the wardrobe) made its way into one bathroom and then another. We had a left over tester pot from a previous project and it seemed nice enough, and then they had the paint in the local store (rather than having to order online), and so it happened. We have not one but two Ammonite bathrooms.Ace laundry bag

The good news is that this pretty colour based on Jurassic fossils doesn’t feel too ‘grey’. It’s just a harmonious greyish stone colour that manages to pull together a number of different neutrals we’ve inherited or redone (white bath, pearly tiles, glass ceiling light, white wooden decorative mirror) and complements accessories like the Ace hotel laundry bag we’ve been meaning to put into use for a while now. There’s even enough left for a wall or two in the kitchen…

07. Soft Geometric Print Cushions

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Design / Interiors

SORRY for the lateness of post folks. Lots of Christmas ill-health combined with catch-up and a new term for the kids has meant slow progress here… BUT a restful holiday has meant lots of food for thought on the blog going forwards, including this…

My previous home was the perfect foil for modern retro geometric fabrics and prints. It was a 1960s Span house – a suburban, (budget) friendly architect-designed house that somehow managed to fit three bedrooms and open-plan living space into the teeniest of footprints.

The new house, however, is a cottage with some parts dating back to the 18th century (much more to follow on this!). It’s darker, a bigger footprint but with smaller rooms and windows, traditional beams, lots of character, but whilst the midcentury pieces (Robin Day sofa / Hille dining chairs, Harry Bertoia Diamond chair) we’ve brought with us work fine in limited numbers, what doesn’t work are those cheery, retro fabric prints. They’re just not subtle enough for this more romantic, country space.

But I’m thinking the softer geometric print that’s appearing right now might be a good compromise. Sweet colours, a hint of modernity, but delicate, and a definite grower in trend terms for 2015. I’ve got my eye on all of these (captions at the bottom, starting from top left)…fourcushions

1. Landscape pillow Bunglo by Shay Spaniola; 2. Quintessentially English by Silken Favours at Heals; 3. Lulu by Allegra Hicks for Made.com; 4. Coral Diamond cushion, Feather & Black.