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.


06. Spring Inspiration – Sofie D’Hoore

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WHEN it’s dark outside and you’re (like me) counting down the days to the winter solstice and the promise of light on the other side, a flash of spring inspiration and a vision of what 2015 will be about can be just what you need… Sofie d'Hoore dress

Sofie D’Hoore’s new collection for Spring / Summer 2015 is described as “elegant and feminine, practical and comfortable.” Sofie, now in her 50s, is interested in clothes that “fit into the realities of everyday life” that are “simple and sophisticated, classic yet wholly contemporary.” Sofie d'Hoore black and white

I love the fact that her clothes suit women of all ages, without adding assumptions about that age. You wouldn’t think an older woman wearing her clothes was trying to look younger, or a young woman trying to look older… We could all wear these clothes. And that’s my definition of “wholly contemporary.” Sofie dHoore 3

UK stockists include: Egg, Fenwick, Epitome, Dover Street Market, and Feathers. www.sofiedhoore.besofiedhoore5

05. Christa Davis Does Style

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WHENEVER you find a slightly older woman doing great clothes for slightly older women, you hang onto them like glue… Christa Davis cashmere

Christa Davis is one of those women. Christa started her label over 20 years ago selling from Portobello Road, and then from her own store on All Saints Road. When she had a family she scaled back for a while, but a few years ago started trading again from her Hackney, north east London, studio.Christa Davis Jazzy

Her clothes are timeless, but yet again of the moment. They’re fun and feminine but don’t make you feel silly. You can play with the kids in them. She recycles cashmere (and also offers a rescue / pimping service for a favourite cashmere jumper gone to seed) that is embellished with sequin trim or patchwork additions; does flattering dresses and blouses with a 1940s feel to them; and dresses the kids too.Christa Davis Annie Star

All designs are incredibly affordable for a high quality / boutique line… (Designs from approx £60). www.christadavis.com