columbia road, a bacon sarnie & some seriously cool art {nelly duff}…

after more than six years of living in london & much coercement on my part, i finally managed to drag my better half off to the columbia road markets last weekend…

as you can imagine, the notion of getting a man {who, by the way, is seriously averse to spending money on things that die in a handful of days} to go flower shopping on a bitterly cold sunday morning was a feat in itself…

but the fact that it took us the best part of an hour, three tube lines & a 10 minute walk to get there pretty much ensures this kind of outing will be a one-off in our relationship {it amazes me still that i could be halfway to paris in the time it takes to cross from one side of london to the other}…

when we finally arrived at the markets it was already way too late to enjoy any serious flower ogling {by lunchtime this tiny enclave is positively awash with bodies}, so we quickly resolved to dive down a side street in search of grub & contented ourselves with some piping hot samosas chased down with a breakfast bap slathered in hp sauce {the food of champions}

now ordinarily there’s not much that can beat a freshly-cooked bacon sarnie on a bitterly cold day, but by far the highlight of my day, & the purpose of this post, was my encounter with a tiny art gallery called nelly duff {cockney rhyming slang for ‘life’}…

nelly duffy

{pure evil, chris bourkeangelique houtkamp}

established in 2005, nelly duff was reputedly one of the first physical spaces to exhibit street art internationally…

today you will find the shop front, walls & the perimeter of the floor plastered with an assortment of works from artists at the forefront of the street, tattoo and graphic art world, including a certain cheeky chappy bearing the moniker ‘banksy’…

nelly duffy

{chris bourkehinpatrick thomasmark pawson}

iconic pieces aside, i was surprised to learn that several of the artworks available were actually very reasonably priced {less than £60, whereas banksy retailed for upwards of £2000}…

so it wasn’t long until i had mentally curated an entire artwall of affordable pieces for my home…

nelly duffy

{sam chiverskozyndankozyndandan hillier}

& some obvious themes began to emerge: victoriana references, feathers & nostalgic imagery featured heavily…

nelly duffy

{serge seidlitz, alex binniechris bourke}

as did birds, bears & tatts…

in fact anything with body art or animals incorporated was pretty much a sure bet…

so, whilst my boyfriend might be spared future outings in search of temporary beauty, he may not escape so lightly when it comes to acquiring some more permanent pieces for the home…

images via: nelly duff

happy art {castle and things}…

castleandthings

sometimes the art i’m drawn to surprises even me, which is really a bit odd in itself if you think about it…

because far beyond the clothes we wear or the car we drive, the art we surround ourselves with in the privacy of our own home reflects who we really are {or a part of us at least}…

castle and things

it’s not filtered by need, appropriateness or societal expectations, but instead it’s all about our personal desire…

our art choices speak of our history, aspirations, dreams, loves, memories & mood triggers & tell the story of where we’ve travelled, what we’ve learnt & who we’ve known…

castle and things

these days i’m predominantly drawn to simplicity: muted or earthy palettes with classic themes like flora & fauna, landscapes, portraiture, typography, architecture & the occasional element of whimsy…

so the fact that the bright, spirited, abstract, quirky & downright playful elements of these pieces from castle and things {an australian on-line shop} appeal to me so strongly both surprises & delights me…

but mostly it gives me hope that the heart of a happy-go-lucky girl still beats strongly within…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

i first stumbled across castle and things when sourcing some bedlinen {lovely velvet pillowcases in the softest of grey which are now a staple in my bedroom all-year round}…

& it’s kind of fitting because bedlinen is exactly where it all started for the company’s founder, rachel castle…

castle and things

what began as a small range of bedlinen made for friends and family quickly developed into a commercial venture back in 2008…

built on a foundation of a love of beautiful & often handcrafted or handprinted pieces for the home, castle and things has quickly developed a bit of a cult-like following…

castleandthings

& whilst i love my bedding, it’s the artwork which keeps me coming back to visit the online gallery time & time again…

this ever-evolving collection of screen prints, handstitched one-off embroideries and paintings instantly elevates my mood with colours that invigorate me & song lyrics that resonate…

& i love it all the more knowing that all of the handmade elements are sewn by either rachel &/or her “very patient and loving” mother, jillian…

image via: castle and things

more mr wong {sibella court}…

i just had to share some more deliciousness from the world of stylist sibella court today…

remember a while back i posted on a new sydney-based restaurant called mr wong… well, here’s some more eye candy…

a hardware wall…

timber floors inlaid with morroccan tiles…

a panelled bar {& check out the tiled backsplash}…

an internal staircase enveloping a windowed wine cellar…

bistro chairs &, sigh, that green! that exquisite shade of green which positively brings this corner to life…

i shall promptly file this under ‘decor i wish i’d designed’…

to bare witness to even more beauty i encourage you to go straight to the source

back later with some exciting news!

images via: the society inc

style loving {sass & bide}…

not many people know this, but before i studied interior design {& journalism before that} i wanted to be a fashion designer…

even today fashion is one of my first points of reference when looking for design inspiration…

given my bohemian leanings, it will come as no surprise then to learn that one of my all-time favourite brands is the australian duo sass & bide

it is, put simply, the jam & its co-creators, sarah-jane clarke {sass} and heidi middleton {bide}, are like the modern-day high priestesses of tribal chic…

having eschewed the traditional paths into the industry, this fearless duo collaboratively launched onto the design scene in 1999…

back then their look was all about denim, in particular a line of jeans called ‘east village’, & their status was restricted to that of being an ‘underground phenomena’ in their homeland, australia…

but it wasn’t long until both their range & following grew to create the internationally acclaimed brand it is today…

no doubt their look has been ascribed many labels over the years, but for me it equates to ‘brazen bohemia’…

heavy with references to nature & ethnic influences alike, their ever-evolving & often highly-embellished collections all have one thing in common: a heady mix of exotic, edgy, feminine, young, spirited & altogether sexy overtones…

in the label’s own words, sass & bide is dedicated to “the strong, the obscure & the beautiful”…

{p.s.: one for your radar, sass & bide’s new york flagship store will be opening in 2013}

images via: outsapop, style snooper dan, cexjaykalifornia dreamer 94sass and bideforever inked with love

underfoot {paola navone}…

i’ve searched long & hard to find an image to match the one playing on loop in my head…

& at last the search is over…

this dining room {in fact, the entire property} quite literally takes my breath away & it doesn’t surprise me for one moment to learn that it’s the work of one of my absolute favourite designers, paola navone…

i could write a thesis on what i love about ms navone’s work {her lightness of touch, use of materials, blend of modern & hand crafted}, but i’ll save that for another day as right now i can focus on one thing only: this floor…

in one fell design swoop ms navone has tackled & conquered one of my all-time biggest design irks: floor transitions {it’s right up there with bedside tables & carpet}…

with so many beautiful flooring options available today it positively pains me to see how altogether limited we are in our approach to transitioning from one to another…

not for me the visually-jarring, metallic eyesore that is aluminium trim which threatens to carve up the flow of a space in one gleaming flourish…

instead, i will gladly take a leaf out of ms navone’s design book because this, my friends, epitomises how it should be done: one pond-like surface unapologetically bleeding into the roughly-hewn lines of the next with not so much as a threshold in site…

images via: vosges paris

martyn thompson {interiors}…

photographer martyn thompson‘s world of interiors is an intriquing one filled with shadows & suggestions, imperfections & nuances…

& via the pages of his book, interiors, we are invited behind the lens to experience these textural landscapes through his eyes…

filled with the personal & work spaces of artists, designers & entrepreneurs alike, interiors is a visual journal documenting not only martyn’s quirky style, but that of his subjects too…

in many instances it is the homes of friends or the work of colleagues that grace the pages therein & it is perhaps martyn’s familiarity with each that makes his body of work feel so effortless…

also evident is martyn’s ability to capture the perfectly imperfect…

although often styled, it is a credit to his creative skill that his photos do not bare the tell-tale signs of a stylist’s heavy hand…

indeed, martyn’s work exhibits an element of candour as if he is simultaneously visiting & documenting a space for the very first time…

a leather saddle sitting atop a hallway banister, a teddy bear left abandoned on a bedroom floor or a curtain billowing in an open doorway, it is this “sense of inhabitation”, as ilse crawford describes it, that forms part of martyn thompson’s covetable style…

when it comes to capturing his own home, martyn adopts an equally biographical approach…

an army of colourful platform shoes sit patiently waiting for their owner’s feet to occupy them, whilst a collection of art & objects from around the world tell of this occupant’s nomadic lifestyle…

interiors is clearly not intended as a literary tome… the little commentary that features is generally by way of martyn’s brief back stories & introductions to the spaces & their inhabitants…

but, despite such brevity, martyn still affords his audience some insight into achieving his signature look: always leave a door ajar to suggest an impending entrance to or recent exit from the space, place objects haphazardly to give the appearance of having been set down or discarded, or, my favourite, when in doubt “add a glass of water. and then sometimes take it away again”…

having repeatedly poured over the pages of this book it is easy to see why martyn has been credited with changing the way interiors have been photographed over the past two decades…

interiors is a refreshing take on an all-too-familiar subject…

the fantasmagorical world of mister finch…

mister finch is a man after my own heart…

not only does he begin each day with copious cups of tea, but he also loves listening to the sound of rain, rummaging for vintage finds & working alone, often into the wee hours of the night…

if this was a profile on a dating website my interest might be already somewhat peaked…

but there’s more…

namely, the fabulous fairytale creatures that mister finch brings to life from the depths of his one-man, yorkshire-based studio…

armed with a sense of whimsy & inspired by mother nature, mister finch lives in a parallel universe all of his own making…

a world wherein velvet-winged moths coexist happily alongside oversized snails… where foxes resplendent in their evening attire hang with hares adorned with botanical balaclavas…

if ever there was a clandestine encounter between alice in wonderland & dr doolittle i suspect mister finch might be the resultant love child…

when he’s not busy designing & sewing his hand-made creations, this self-taught textile artist is happy foraging for fabrics: be it velvet curtains from an old hotel, a threadbare wedding dress, vintage aprons, faded tapestries or discarded oil paintings, all are fair game…

& it’s this wonderful array of rescued materials & repurposed trinkets which gives each of his creations their individuality, authenticity & charm…

enchanted? be sure to put mister finch’s etsy shop on your radar, but don’t be too disappointed if you have to wait for stocks to be replenished…

it would appear mister finch has more than a few admirers…

images via: mister finch

the story teller {tim walker}…

here’s one for the diary if you happen to be in london this autumn/winter…

the fantastical world of mr tim walker, fashion photographer extraordinaire, is being brought to life in an exhibition at somerset house

tim walker: story teller is a celebration of his work over the past five years & combines highlights of his other-worldly photography interspersed with installations, props & models…

it promises to be a rare opportunity to see the curtain drawn back on the inner workings of a most-inventive mind…

the exhibition opens today & runs until 27 january…

i am most-assuredly going & shall report back!

image via: fashion.telegraph

style loving {pia jane bijkerk}…

do you recall the instant in which your passion to pursue a chosen career was irreversibly ignited?

when something you had previously considered to be but a passing interest unveiled itself as a future life path?

for me, of course, the career is interior design & that moment, though unbeknownst to me at the time, was realised whilst perusing the work of stylist, author, photographer & fellow blogger pia jane bijkerk

more specifically, it was a feature on pia’s parisian apartment in the pages of australia’s home beautiful magazine that helped crystallise my career transition…

there & then i made the mental ‘note to self’ that this was what i wanted to do: to create spaces, like these, that were stylish & yet unpretentious, captivating & enlivened with elements of whimsy, but at the same time very liveable: most importantly, i wanted to create spaces that were biographical in nature & pertained to those that dwelled within…

i hadn’t heard of pia prior to that article &, i’m ashamed to say, i carelessly lost track of her name after the fact, but those images stayed with me…

it wasn’t until some years later when pia’s book, my heart wanders, made its way onto my reading list that i made the connection between the work & the lady herself…

now, of course, pia’s creative pursuits are widely recognised & indeed acclaimed…

what resonated with me way back then, & still today, is pia’s seemingly effortless style: of course, as is the very nature of styling, her interiors are considered, but i find them nonetheless uncontrived, verging at times on haphazard {in a good way}…

there is a purity, a simplicity & an organic nature to what she does & her approach celebrates imperfection as much as it does beauty…

pia’s design ethos is simple: use what you have, mix in vintage & antique finds alongside locally-crafted & handmade wares &, perhaps most importantly, intersperse elements of nature at all times {i would add to that list the need to seek out beauty in all its forms, exercise resourcefulness & invest a fair dolloping of elbow grease}

ultimately, i think what makes pia’s style so covetable is its attainability: she doesn’t rely on big budgets & designer wares to craft her look…

indeed, in many instances it is her own home which serves as the canvas to her craft & she’s not above foraging the hard rubbish to see what hidden beauty might lie within…

images via: pia jane bijkerk

{many thanks to pia for granting permission for these photos to be used herein}

style loving {bonnie and neil}…

so, i was going to post this write-up this morning at some ungodly hour {3.43am to be exact} when i had yet to go to bed… & then i was going to write something witty like “don’t adjust your clocks” {because normally i post at night & i thought the early morning post might throw some of you out}… but then i thought i’d have to go into the nitty gritty about my inability to sleep at night & how my mother-in-law asked, in all innocence, if i’d considered hypnotherapy to cure myself of my upside down sleep habits…

so i didn’t post early & i won’t go into the nitty gritty…

instead, i’ll bring you some style i’ve been loving for a while now…

australian design studio bonnie and neil‘s foray into printed wooden tiles is but the latest in their growing line of beautifully-crafted homewares…

this fresh take on wall coverings features the bold colours & punchy graphics which form part of this creative duo’s signature style…

& it’s a style for which they are becoming increasingly-well known, both at home & abroad…

harbouring a shared love of design, bonnie ashley and neil downie opened their melbourne-based studio in 2010…

& their range of handmade and hand-printed products has expanded to incorporate cushions, table linens, flower displays, shadow boxes & wooden storage cubes…

a common thread in many of their designs is an appreciation of nature in its various forms…

& it’s this aspect of their design which particularly draws me in, evoking memories of a childhood spent living amongst the gum trees…

bonnie’s background in floristry & textile design is evidenced throughout their collections in the flora, fauna & geometric designs that adorn their printed pieces…

whilst neil’s passion for simple & functional design clearly drives the form of their decorative furnishings…

i dare say i think this is one of those wonderful fusions of talents wherein the whole is most definitely greater than the sum of its parts…

image via: bonnie and neil

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