The rule is - there are no rules !
This was the essential 'can't live without' summary at the end of a two hour lecture on Pattern and Colour I attended at Focus during the Design Festival. The panel was made up of three inspiring women who's work in interiors has paved the way for colour and pattern, (sometimes even mismatched !) and helped the rest of us 'be more brave' when it comes to using colour and pattern in our own homes.
The Panel included Anna Murray of Patternity a Pattern Consultancy and Trend Forecasting Agency, Interior Designer, Rita Konig, and Fabric Designer Clarissa Hulse, known for her inspiration from botanical plants and colour.
Although I found the lecture very inspiring, I was expecting to learn a few tricks of the trade or 'if you do this - don't do that' type pointers. However, it seems that when it comes to pattern and colour - there are no rules! I guess that's ok as long as you have taste and the common sense to know when to stop.
Slightly too busy and bright for me but here are some examples of pattern and colour in homes including one of Clarrisa Hulse's living room and Rita Konig's home in London.
Last month I worked on a lovely stationery shoot for the current Autumn issue of Heart Home online magazine. We had so many lovely products delivered it was hard to choose for the shoot and even harder to send them back to their rightful homes at the end of the day. I have officially added the David Westerfield Primary Clock to my Christmas list, oh and also the Jonathan Adler whale eraser, oh and the Mor Sea Candle from SCP…… Mr SODA I hope you are reading this !
So the SODA house is under going building work again which means its back to the drawing board with the interiors. I am starting from the top down with the new loft rooms. Our gorgeous (and naughty) boys are going into one room so I have been working overtime on Pinterest, looking at lots of amazing kids rooms to inspire me.
Trying to decide on a direction is hard work. Am trying to be inventive with a small budget, incorpating fun ideas but also want to keep it minimal and cool…. It's not an easy task…
I do know it will involve a dark grey wall, plywood and some splashes of neon - is this sounding familiar ?? Very SODA !!!
While I crack on with my mood board - here are some inspiring pics from Pinterest that are shaping my ideas.
Watch this space for more SODA house updates, next week bathroom tiles - oh yeah.
Did you know the fox is the new owl !!
Add a foxy accent to any room with the wide range of fox inspired interiors available in the A/W 12 collections. NOT just for kids !
My five fave foxy finds below and one fox too far !!
Foxes mug by Anorak £10
Fox Notepaper Set by Lollipop Designs £8.75
Fox cushion by Howkapow £28.50
Fox Plate by Donna Wilson £22
A little fox called owen cushion by Heart Zeena £20
Friend and talented designer Lisa Levis is smiling today and so she should. Her new brand and venture Betty and Walter has launched in Boots nationwide.
It's been a long and difficult year after resigning from her namesake company but she has kept on trucking, marrying her gorgeous man on route and today is her day, which sees her trademark vintage inspired designs on a whole range of skin care and accessories available online and in store exclusively at Boots.
Inspired by her Aunty Betty and Uncle Walter who lovingly supported Lisa's desire to be a designer. The range includes fabulous scents such as Mint Tea Soap and Elderflower, Champagne and Fresh Lemonade Handcream all lovingly put together with sweet memories of Aunty Betty in her floral apron.
With affordable prices and lots of gorgeous smellys to choose from, get ticking off those Christmas presents now !
There is still more to come from Ms Levis as she is busy working on her new fashion lifestyle brand Ada Rose due to launch next Spring.
Find out what Lisa did next in fab interview with Ellie Tenant on her blog
If you feel the need to get out of London to chill out, surround yourself with cool understated design, and enjoy great locally sourced food, look no further than the stylish Olde Bell in Marlow. Designed by the uber talented Ilse Crawford along side owners Tej and Sarina Dhillon, it's effortlessly cool, as most things are that Ilse turns her hand to.
After famously introducing contemporary design to us Brits by launching Elle Decoration in 1989, Ilse Crawford's career has included so many design highlights its hard to know where to start. Including product design which she continues to develop from her own design studio Studio Ilse. She has also been involved in many interior design projects most famously her partnership with Nick Jones and the Soho House Group which was kicked off by the impossibly fabulous Babington House in 1998.
Ilse likes to create an atmosphere through design, with space and function at the heart, chinz is out, relaxed elegant design is in. While I find it hard to beat the glamour of Babington House, if you don't want to make the 3 hour drive into Somerset, The Olde Bell is not as far and just as cool ! The Olde Bell is part of a family of modern coaching inns and I have just found out they are working on a new location opening early next year in Hampton Court which I'm sure will be just as stylish and successful!
Ready to book a style getaway ? Pick up this months issue of Elle Decoration and enjoy a free dinner for two people when booking a two night stay at The Olde Bell.
The bedrooms are simple and spacious, with stylish touches such as BestLite wall lights, Roberts radios and Herringbone Blankets.
The restaurant is, while still relaxed more sophisticated, with intimate booths covered with bang on trend Welsh blankets which flow with the grey tones of the room.
Outside or inside (certainly required in this weather) these stylish play tents are not only pleasing on the eye but make for hours of fun for your littles one's imaginary play. Fill with cushions and books for a cozy reading corner or kit out with a toy play kitchen for 'house' play. My boys use theirs for fancy dress storage - go in Buzz - come out a Knight !!!
1. Tent by Kidsonroof €179
2. Make your own tent by 101WohnIdeen (Dutch interiors Magazine)
3. House Throw Play Den Set by Donna Wilson £225
4. Hippie Tipi Blue by Nordic Elements £135
5. La Tente by Caroline Gomez €95
Lucky us - we escaped the rain and spent a glorious week of sunshine in Northern Italy, up in the mountains above Lake Garda.
When not lazing about poolside in our family run Italian hotel with views over the lake to die for we were exploring lakeside towns and eating our way through daily amounts of pasta, pizza and gelato - Not bad eh !
It's Sale time again and with most shops reducing their wares from 20 - 60% it's time to be a savvy shopper. Last week saw the interiors big guns joining the ranks including SCP, Habitat and John Lewis.
Bagging that sought after must have item is so liberating but beware of the sale impulse buy. See my top sale picks for Lighting / Furniture and Accessories to help you make a great sale buy you won't regret.