What a Rhombus!

Geometric, monochrome patterns are bold and striking.  Adding some geometric patterns to an interior design can give a room real punch, and can work beautifully teamed with colour too.

I love this heavenly soft jacquard, reversible knit throw by Ferm Living, made with 100% cotton, available from Cloudberry Living.

The visual statement this rhombus porcelain mosaic floor makes is quite something!  Mosaic sheets lodge together to form a stepped cube effect which has been used for centuries in period homes, but looks just as gorgeous in a contemporary scheme.  

Especially effective if you need a wow factor for a small space...

Detail of Fired Earth Rhombus Tiles

The Forest Breathes...

Dear Tree,
Let me tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
You purify the air we breathe, provide shelter, sustenance, wood, food and warmth.  There are many reasons why we should all love trees, not least for their amazing beauty and dignity.


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

Poem by David Wagoner

Photography: Christopher Tait
These magnificent beech trees were planted over 200 years ago to impress visitors to Gracehill House,  Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, at that time home of the Stuart family.  Known as the Dark Hedges, it is one of the country's most photographed natural phenomena and made even more famous recently when featured in the Game of Thrones television series.

World-renowned photographer Jim Zuckerman comments:

"One of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever seen is this country lane in Northern Ireland. It's called Dark Hedges, and I include it in my photo tour to Ireland. All of the people in my groups get amazing pictures here. The serpentine trees form a tunnel that is spectacular at any time of the day, but I find it particularly intriguing and mysterious just before dark".

In Awe of Tree and Leaf

Art and nature are the passion of Spanish artist, Lorenzo Manuel Duran.

Look at these amazing leaf sculptures he has created...

Lorenzo has developed his own leaf cutting techniques through trial and error.

Lorenzo says he is "a man who is increasingly aware of his inside, his shadow, and who attempts to communicate with all of that using his personal tools in a creative field."  

Lorenzo created this with his wife, Dayli. "It comes from our continuous introspection, where our hidden side hides some answers, which are sometimes hard to assimilate."

My shadow stands before me, and sleeps when I am sleeping, but I seek to observe her, understand her and accept her every time sleep comes. (NB: Please excuse the Spanish to English translation - any corrections accepted in the comments box below!)

One Small Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Home

Buddha Blessings to Help Transform Your Home
Antique Sitting Buddha c1950 China, H123, Orchid Furniture

A Cheerful New Year To You 

The last book I read in 2015 was The Life Changing Magic of Tidying, by Marie Kondo (which I'll review later this month) and it certainly did start me thinking about the stuff in my home which I just don't need!  As for clients' homes - after nearly 20 years in the interior design business I've seen it all - though naturally would never spill the beans and always maintain confidentiality.

The stark fact is that, in the western world, we ALL have way too many possessions.  January is used by many as a landmark for a fresh start, clean slate or awakening of their emotional or physical world.  Clearing clutter, starting healthy eating plans, joining a gym, or getting rid of emotional baggage, for example. I urge you to resolve to clear just one area of your home - be it a desk, chest of drawers, a wardrobe, cupboard, or just one drawer.  Remove everything, clean out the space, and only put back in those items you REALLY need.  This could fill you with sparkle to tackle the rest of your home - and, I promise, you will feel so much better when each little bit is done.

Many Buddhists -  Singaporeans, Mongolians, Malaysians, Indians, Chinese, Thais, Vietnamese, Japanese and some other nationalities - celebrate the New Year, or "Spring Festival", with traditional preparations which see families cleaning and painting their homes, feasting on traditional food and carrying out ancient ceremonies.

The middle of January marks the celebration of Mahayana Buddhist New Year (although many celebrate the New Year on December 31, such as Japanese Zen Buddhists.

Go on - do the one small thing to improve your home and let me know how you got on!