Chair, Love and Peace

Here's a quiet, restful corner created in pretty shades with an elegant, striped chair, perfect to curl up in with a good book.  From the Marks & Spencer spring collection.

Have a great weekend.  Thanks for reading : )

500 Faces of Fornasetti

Italian artist Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) drew more than 500 variations of a beautiful girl's face when he saw her portrait in a 19th century magazine.  This Tema e Variazioni wallpaper, from Cole & Son's Fornasetti collection, immortalises the face of Lina Cavalieri which Fornasetti has become renowned for worldwide. 

"What inspired me to create more than 500 variations on the face of a woman? I don't know. I began to make them and I never stopped." - Piero Fornasetti

Beautiful Bluebells

I visited the Ashridge Estate on the Buckinghamshire/Hertfordshire border this month and was totally taken aback at the amazing bluebells.  You may just about catch them this week if you are quick, but if not, I hope you enjoy my photos below.

A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

Extract from The Bluebell, by Anne Bronte.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend : )

And the winner is...

Finally, from Grand Designs Excel this month came stylish, stackable chairs....

 that can be flattened and stored away like this.

A sleek kitchen oozing with natural beauty and understated charm.  The wood has a beautiful texture.

 Even a fridge interior has been colour coordinated and given a good dose of display.

A grass-covered car flaunts the popularity of Easigrass.

A practical kitchen corner in shades of taupe...

But my favourite memory of this year's exhibition is nothing to do with interior design....



The most delicious cheese I've ever tasted from the Snowdonia Cheese Company

This is Amber Mist, a mature cheddar laced with whisky.  It won the 2008 World Cheese Awards Bronze Medal.
And this is Black bomber - a mature cheese with a distinctive, lingering taste.

Their stall had titbits galore to taste and I'm happy to say I now have my own stash in my fridge and freezer.

Grand Ideas

A colourful walk-in multi-coloured wardrobe.....

a lavender bedroom with a country house feel....

 a rustic table styled with the garden in mind, clever uses of colour and a mish mash wall of images....

 are some of the things that caught my eye at Grand Designs Excel 2011.

Grand Cafe

The Grand Cafe at Grand Designs Excel.... decorated with torn wallpaper in a ditsy print mix-and-match style, gigantic, smooth white light drums, white furniture throughout and elegant, white flowers, created a welcome expanse of clarity and freshness amongst the mass of exhibitors.

Grand Designs Excel

The Grand Designs exhibition at London's Excel centre gave me a few lasting impressions.  I liked this central display piece just inside the entrance, created with white sinks, chairs and other household objects.

Victorian Villa's Secret

A street of Victorian villas in Melbourne, Australia, holds a contemporary surprise.  A grand Victorian building in need of substantial repairs has become the epitome of contemporary, indoor-outdoor living.  Designed by Matt Gibson Architecture the front elements of the building have been retained, but as you walk through you enter a different era.

 A glass prism opens to the elements and links old and new.

Photography by SMG

Glass Grapes

I love this beautiful, 100% recycled mouth blown glass light available from Biome Lifestyle.  Each glass bulb is hand-made by traditional crafstpeople in the souks of Damascus and Aleppo.  Its organic, smooth shape adds visual drama and texture. Available in clear glass, amber or turquoise glass.

Table Talk

Stylish tables from this season's Marks & Spencer home furniture range include this Jasper coffee table......

The top is made with toughened glass which has a special finish to make it easier to clean.

The Jasper also comes as a dining table.

It's all Hemp!

Seventy per cent natural fibres and with the only by-product during the curing procedure being water, the Hemp Chair is eco friendly, lightweight, strong and stylish. 

Photo: Michel Bonvin

Designed by Werner Aisslinger and showcased at the Poetry Happens exhibition in Milan, the chair is made from renewable raw materials of hemp and kenaf which are compressed with a water-based binder.  Economical to produce in bulk, it's a chair with a future.