Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas and season's greetings to all.

I'll be taking a blog holiday for a few days.

Thanks for reading : )

IMAGES & LINKS: © Heal's, richardsbm

Classy Swede

The lounge at the new Nobis Hotel, Stockholm.  Designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune it is a contemporary interior inside a traditional building.  I love the chairs in the foreground.

See yesterday's blog for the bedroom interior.

Dignified Design

Interiors which are "not loud, flamboyant or self-righteous, but toned-down and discreet, with many qualities that your body, mind and soul will discover up close, with time." This is the philosophy of the designers of the freshly-opened Nobis Hotel, in Stockholm. Neutral, mellow tones, wholesome, natural materials, and a combination of wools, wood, stone, leather and glass combined into pure luxury and meticulous attention to quality.

"The lighting is elaborate and a most important part of the rooms' atmosphere. The bathrooms are endowed with an added sense of luxury, plated with white Carrara marble from floor to ceiling," say the designers.  The traditional building with 19th century details has been renovated with a "razor sharp modern edge to the interiors, with a variety of different contemporary furniture, contrasting the traditional settings."

The hotel opened at the beginning of this month and it is a perfect example of Swedish subtlety and class from Stockholm designers and architects Claesson Koivisto Rune.

IMAGES & LINKS: Nobis Hotel

A Wood with No Trees

Eco-conscious store Anthropologie have embraced a woodland theme in their Christmas displays.  However, there are only real, living trees or hand-made ones in their shop windows.  The innovative retailer is trying to inspire its eco-ethos by creating trees from recycled materials.  Trees are made from items like paper plates or coffee stirrers and decorated with hand-made ornaments using items like fabric scraps to create miniature birds.

IMAGES & LINKS: Anthropologie

A Huge Cappuccino

This open plan area is a testament to huge.  A huge granite-topped kitchen island acts as a divider as well as unifier in the space.  The cappuccino-coloured finish combined with the large areas of white makes the decor look fresh, comfortable and inviting, especially so with the grand mocha sofa.

Bespoke Cappuccino Parapan and walnut kitchen Mowlem & Co 

Have a super weekend - thanks for reading : )

Christmas Tree Art


Here's a wonderful idea for an alternative Christmas tree, if you don't fancy an artificial one and want to be kind to the environment.  Made with three or four fallen tree branches, a box of IKEA star lights, and a white yarn of wool and propped up with fishing line, stones or bricks. I think it's stunning. 

IMAGES & LINKS: Alisha Peterson-Irwin, Apartment Therapy

Stylist's Christmas Tips

If you're looking for some contemporary Christmas decorating tips step inside this home for some inspiring ideas.   

Click to view video

Tweety Perfect

With all the chaos of Christmas shopping and seasonal parties here's a little respite.  The beauty of winter can be on your desktop with free monthly calendars from The Woodland Trust.  Isn't this robin just perfect?

Visit their website to delight in nature's beauty, find a wood near you, see when blackberries are ripening in the hedgerows and so much more.

O Christmas Tree

Photography: David Levene for The Guardian

It's that time of year when Christmas trees are bought up and down the land, carried lovingly into homes and businesses and decorated with tinsel, lights, baubles and bells.  I couldn't bear the thought of my real Christmas tree dead, lying on the pavement for recycling lost and forlorn on January 6, so this year I've bought a real one with roots.  Hopefully, once Christmas is over it will be planted outside. 

Artist Giorgio Sadotti has made a statement by unveiling a plain, undecorated Norwegian spruce Christmas tree as the Tate's tree installation this year.  The beautiful towering tree is standing in all its glory, as nature intended.  Many people have expressed shock and surprise at this apparent lack of display, fearing that it is merely another artistic attempt at being provocative to gain attention or a sign of economic hardship.  But Sadotti says:

“I’m showing what I believe to be a naturally beautiful object.  When you see a tree in the forest you don’t think, 'that tree’s naked, it needs a bit of tinsel.’ " 

I agree with Sadotti.  I loved my little natural tree just as much before I decorated it as I did after.  Nature is beautiful and I maybe should have been brave enough to leave it bare.

Happy weekend, and thanks for reading.

Christmas is Coming....

Christmas is coming and here's a subtle display to inspire you to start decorating.  It doesn't have to be gaudy.  Sometimes it's hard to know what to do with collected pine cones but they look seasonal as well as naturally beautiful displayed in a bowl with some silver baubles.

IMAGES & LINKS:  Australian Home Beautiful

Serene Swim

I'm back from a weekend away where I enjoyed far reaching views of thousands of trees, the smell of forest pine, birds tweeting, drifts of snow, spas, swimming and peace and quiet with no cars!

A vast 104 square metre serene swimming pool room with ancillary areas including a jacuzzi, double shower, changing area and plant room is located in the basement of this Kensington house.  The silver and white theme has been carefully selected for the owners, a large family, whose wish was for a funky, white home. 

IMAGES & LINKS: Shh, Contemporist

Different Angles of White

Here's a different view of the expansive living room in the six-bed house in Kensington I blogged about last week.  You enter through the centrally located double doors.  The angles within the room have been artfully arranged and the round rug creates balance and acts as an anchor by being placed at the centre of the entrance.  Notice the art has been kept in line with the white theme of the house.

IMAGES & LINKS: Shh, Contemporist

Cinema Paradiso

A 62 inch plasma screen graces a black suede wall, complete with removable panels for technicians to have access to the rear of the TV.  Lighting is variable around the room to help create drama when needed in this 36 square metre cinema room and a comtemporary glow emanates from the white organically-shaped Dolmen floor lights from GVUK.   Elsewhere in the room there are stone suede walls with matching fabric on the cushion covers, string curtains from Missoni, a Fat Fat table from B&B Italia and a large Boa sofa from Edra and Loveseats from Arkitipo.  A potent and lavish place to chill out and indulge in the big screen.

Have a super weekend and thanks for reading : )

IMAGES & LINKS: Shh, Contemporist

London Interior Design - Dining

I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the dining room in this Kensington home.  The colour used here is a welcome break from the expanses of white throughout the property.

Minimalist style combines with a cross-combed polished plaster fireplace wall, opaque and transparent soft silk and voile panels and spheres of lighting decorated with thousands of Swarovski crystals in a ‘Milky Way’ constellation.

IMAGES & LINKS: Shh, Contemporist

Kensington Glamour

Do you love living with white?  In this home in Kensington, London the interior designer was given a brief to create something cream, off-white and funky.  Starting here with the 66 square metre reception room, you can see the layers of white give a crisp, clear outline of the room, creating a cool, white space.  The various textures, silk, voile, faux fur, glass, crystal etc, are vital in such a design so as to keep it from looking too stark or boring.  Do you think this is white overload? 

More from this six-floor, six bedroom/bathroom luxury pad tomorrow.

IMAGES & LINKS: Shh, Contemporist

Inspired by NYC's Tribeca

I'm not sure if Robert de Niro would be impressed but this contemporary, black table lamp is inspired by New York's Tribeca area and is ideal if you want to add a boutique hotel look to any room.
Black Tribeca Table Lamp by It's About Romi at WhereDidYouBuyThat.com

An Exploration of Light

This D-17 art installation at the Rice University Art Gallery in Houston, Texas is an exploration of light which evolved after artist Sarah Oppenheimer conducted a design workshop and intensive study into how light penetrates a glass facade with architecture students where they analysed the light conditions in the space and the reflections of the gallery's walls.

An expansive aluminium plane dramatically rises up from the gallery floor and soars upwards and outwards directing your eye into the trees outside and beyond.  D-17 visually changes during the course of the day, being almost invisible in full sun with the mirrored surfaces reflecting the green of nature on the campus.  The daylight turns the building's glass exterior into a mirror.   An isolated channel of direct sunlight shines through an opening at the top of the installation.
D-17 between 16 September - 5 December 2010
Watch the video here
Photography: © Nash Baker

Star-Shaped House

A star-shaped house blends with the Kuwait coastline and is designed in such a way so as to make the most of the sea view.  Designed by AGi Architects the house is approached from the desert and incorporates a main house, two bungalows, a boat house and an infinity pool in the garden.

View from the roof towards the sea....

From this view it resembles a white box with angles jutting out...

The three-way staircase at the centre of the building...
Photography ©Nelson Garrido

Dining Curves

The curved lines and stretchered, splayed legs of this dining table give it a distinct and interesting design.  I love the way it has been teamed up with the rounded bench and contemporary classic chairs to give it a timeless appeal.  Made from a mixture of solid oak and veneer, the grain of the wood adds texture and warmth.

Part of the Rigby range at John Lewis.

Couldn't Resist

Here's one more UK cushion design by Helkatdesign.  I just couldn't resist those eyes!

And here's the cushion on its own.

More Made in Britain

With the announcement of the engagement of Prince William this week, we must prepare ourselves for a surge in patriotic designs and the faces of William and Kate emblazoned on interiors accessories, from bedspreads to teapots. A strong British/London interior design theme is going on through Jan Constantine's cushion selection which the company advertise as "hand embroidered heirlooms of the future".  Will they be making a Will & Kate cushion soon, I wonder.

Congratulations to the stunning couple and wishing you all a loving weekend.  Thanks for reading : )

Made in Britain

These quietly exquisite cushions are hand printed in Wiltshire.  Helkatdesign offer a vast array to choose from in a riot of texture and muted colours with stunningly simple yet eye-catching designs.

The textures and deliberate imperfections of these British-made cushions are brought out with the company's love for hessian and linen.   

A Modern Entrance

This contemporary house greets you with its modernity.  A family home set on a rural site in the mountainous Rio Grande do Sul region of Brazil, in the city of Bento Gonçalves surrounded by araucarias trees - the native species of the region.

The rectangular house is made with reinforced concrete and brick and is elevated .90 cms from the ground.  At night it almost seems like it is floating on air. 

IMAGES & LINKS: Contemporist, Studio Paralelo
Photography by Eduardo Aigner

Magnet in Style

If you need a magnet, this set of mutii-coloured magnets in all the letters of the English alphabet (26), with beautiful ornate lettering, will do a stylish job on a noticeboard, fridge, or other magnetic surface.  Available in their own box from Hunky Dory Home.

Very British Interiors

Here's a very British look.  This Madame Coco sofa from the Sofa Workshop in London is a gorgeous shape and works well in a contemporary and traditional interior design scheme. 

Great fabric detail.....

And here it is covered in a striped fabric.  The store will cover in any fabric you choose and have thousands to choose from.  

Do you like this colour?

Have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for reading : )

Sound Interior Design

Unconventional shapes and eye-catching designs come in the form of sound modules by Architettura Sonora. Suspended, they look like distorted light fittings, or something futuristic.  Sound is often overlooked in interior design, but here interior designers have a way to are able to re-design the acoustic perception of space and the sound experience within a room.  Architettura Sonora create a wide variety of sound modules for masking noise, playing music and other creative sound solutions.

IMAGES & LINKS: Architettura Sonora

Contemporary British Interior Design

With winter coming and the nights getting colder and darker, a British living room like this offers a welcome escape from the elements. The interior design is kept simple allowing the various patterned elements to stand out .  A beautiful ornate mirror above the mantelpiece gives stately glamour and the patterned rug and soft furnishings offer comfort as well as style.

IMAGES & LINKS: Living etc

London Light and Interior Design

London is not famed for its quality of light.  Being an interior designer in London means that you have to take into account different factors, and the lighting aspect is crucial before beginning to design any scheme.  Victorian and Edwardian properties, for instance, often do have beautiful, elegant tall windows, but, if they are facing north, then the light flooding into a room will not be intense enough.  Interior design decisions should have facts such as these at their core.  Click here for more on this subject: Learn About Aspect and Light .

IMAGES & LINKS:  Bright Space Design

And So To Bed...

The minimal master bedroom with its ensuite from the Italian apartment revealed in yesterday's blog....

and (below) the children's room where the unavoidable collection of toys and other childhood objects are on show.  However, the room is cleverly designed with ample storage and an expansive 'desk' area for study or play.

Have a wonderful relaxing weekend - thanks for reading!

IMAGES & LINKS: MZC Architects, Contemporist