Thursday, 2 December 2010

Deck the Halls

I love Christmas decorating. It's such a lovely feeling to welcome friends and family guests into your cosy Christmas home... warm candlelight and twinkling tree lights, hot mulled wine, and beautiful decorations.

A Christmas wreath is always the first thing my guests see, and is one of my favourite early purchases. This year I'm decorating with warm berry reds and antique silver tones, as I love the clean Scandinavian look, so a berry wreath and garlands are on my list. Having just had a quick peak at the Martha Stewart 'holiday' pages, I do love these alternative looks...

And, how beautiful is this sugared fruit wreath...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Interview corner: Little Paris

Last month I had the pleasure of styling Little Paris in Crouch End. An idyllic Parisian boutique filled with vintage trinkets and market treasures.

Photography by Corin Ashleigh Brown

Hélène Allen opened the shop in December 2009 with the vision to collect and showcase antiques and beautiful French pieces from her homeland. Her dream of opening her own shop started early and while working for the manager of the Homewares department in Galeries Lafayette in Paris, she began to see a way to make her dream a reality. Little Paris is now well established on Park Road, Crouch End, with a stream of regular customers who come to see the new pieces Hélène sources from the flea markets and antique fairs in and around Paris.

I would say that a big driving force was the fact that I wanted to bring elements of everything I love from France to England, which is now my home. With Little Paris I have enjoyed creating a space, which is inviting, unique to London and homely. I think it embodies the spirit of the France I know and love. I can say that I am now living my dream, a dream I’ve planned for a long time.

I would definitely describe my style as quirky and eclectic. Much of my inspiration comes from my childhood memories of great places filled with atmosphere and a feeling of a lot of joy. Many of these memories have been in places where the objects and furniture play host to the atmosphere, live and breathe; and have a soul of their own which I find comforting.

Well all my pieces are sourced from markets around France, particular those in and around Paris. Over the years I have built relationships with dealers that I know and trust. It’s always a thrill to find something wonderful to bring back to my store in London. I would really encourage people to go to their local flea markets. You’ll be amazed at what you can find. It’s a lot of fun bargaining, hunting for objects and finding unique pieces for your home.

No I would say markets themselves are all similar but the products available in France can be quite different. Have a look at the website,, which can give an insight to the French Flea Markets. Just remember that no matter where you are the best way to find those treasures is to wake up really early, enjoy a 3am extra strong espresso and start on the excursion.

Yes we often have to restore furniture. Some of this work I do myself but mostly I use a team in France who I advise for restorations.

For the moment, with my lovely van I can deliver around Crouch End for free and deliveries elsewhere around London are made for a small fee.

I like the fact that not everything has to be used in the way that it was originally intended. It’s fun to think about how you can use something in a new and different way. For example, the cash desk in my store is a former 1920’s tribunal desk where jurors used to pass sentences. Or my 1940’s tri postal letter sorter is now being used as a desk for my Mac.

Another great idea is to combine the old and new, one style with another. There are many possibilities, for instance you could use lots of pieces from my store to create ‘industrial chic’ by combining Tolix chairs with an original wooden farm table and a kilim rug for example.

The Bertoia chair.

I absolutely love Battersea Power station but when in comes to interiors one of my favourite places to go is the Loungelover in Shoreditch, I just love their style.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Homemade Christmas

Inspired by creative photographer and stylist Leslie at A Creative Mint I decided to embark on a detail shoot with a Christmas red and white colour palette. Exploring texture and depth of field, I'm quite pleased with these pretty Christmas shots.

All photography by Corin Ashleigh Brown, and styling by me!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Hermes in Wonderland

I hope I've kept you in much anticipation for what was the certainly the best Decorex show I have ever been to!!

Andrew Martin stole the show again for me with the most creatively daring stand, complete with a 20ft tall, trojan elephant. Nelly (the elephant) towered over their stand making quite a dark and dramatic space, the perfect backdrop for their collections of vintage and theatrical pieces.

I managed to sneakily (against protocol) take a few photos...

Hermes and Harlequin Tabletop collaborated to create a true Alice in Wonderland experience - awkwardly asymmetrical and muddled in a dimly lit canvas burrow! It was a fantastically dreamlike space filled with treasures displayed on delicate twig and moss covered creations. Lit in golden uplighters, I felt compelled to hover and absorb as much quirky creativity as possible before stepping back onto the perfecly perpendicular walkways of the standardised exhibition hall. A dull realisation in comparison.

I'm big on texture at the moment - fur, cut leather, embellishments, hammered surfaces, worn looking layers - here are a few pieces that stood out to me as individual artworks that could work in almost any interior style...

More to come but my camera battery's dying...

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Decorex countdown

With Decorex only moments away, this year I have managed to organise myself (and my diary) around the seminars I'd like to see. Martyn Lawrence-Bullard is on my list, as the multiple award-winning Los Angeles based interior designer who is renowned for his wealth of styles, and international clients. Eclectic and trend led yet always sophisticated and elegant, Martyn has a true eye for detail and quality that has elevated him to celebrity status in the interior design world. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say about current design trends, and see his new coffee table book he'll be signing after the seminar!

Nina Campbell and Andrew Martin are next on my list as top priorities - they both always make such an effort with their exhibition space. I'm particularly excited about the fantastical Sloane Square lobby Nina has created in her interpretation of Alice in Wonderland...**

**pictures to follow!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

au naturel

Scanning the internet for inspiration to report on sometimes gets me nowhere. Often, working in the interior/event design industry I'm thrust into various trends which seem to orbit around me trying to envelop me. Despite variety, trends, styles of design, which is essential and key to my occupation and something I passionately follow - I could quite simply live for eternity in a home completely decked out in Zara Home. It looks so comfortable, simple, attainable yet desirable and composed in a sort of eclectic fashion. Although it's an utterly commercial style, it make you feel individual and stylish - their designers must be geniuses!

I'd love to hear what your favourite high street interiors shop is? Do you share my love of the muddled, washed out palette of cream, white, mushroom and grey?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Origami dream

I came across creative genius Lo Bjurulf courtesy of Lobster and Swan, a blog I follow, this week. Bjurulf, a Swedish interiors stylist, takes a colour palette and really works it. I particularly like the Ikea shoots she's done through creative agency Agent Bauer.

I love this stunning palette of creams, whites, and biscuit tones - totally captivating and delicately dreamlike. It reminds me of the nude concept space in Selfridges this month, showcasing various homeware and dinnerware ranges on raw timber trestle tables and wooden palettes.

I have these textured off white vases..!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

This made me smile...

I hope you find this video as adorable as I did!

Max, Margaux, & The Marvelows from Shark Pig on Vimeo.

Visit oncewed for more details on the gorgeous couple and the talented creators, Sharkpig.

Happy Weekend friends x

Friday, 30 July 2010

Summer Living

Recently I spent an entire Saturday with friend and lifestyle photographer, Corin Brown, shooting some of Grace & Tailor's eclectic market finds. With my departure looming I wanted to make use of these stunning props and capture their beauty in a fresh yet casual style. There are a series of summer living stories we re-created in the refreshingly 'rough-around-the-edges' Morden Hall Park. It would be great to hear what you think of when you look at them...??

I wanted to evoke a sense of English summer afternoon activities. Although spot the lack of Pimms, instead I went for the inspired choice of vintage branded cider found down the booze aisle in Sainsburys. It's deliciously dry and thirst quenching, with a beautiful bottle to boot!

STYLING / Lucy Bloomfield

Monday, 19 July 2010

Hampton Court Flower Show

With my move from Grace & Tailor to By Appointment Only Design, where I will be providing a bespoke wedding consultancy service to brides and engaged couples, knowing about seasonal flora, shapes, colours and scents will be imperative for me. Last week I managed to get out of the busy studio for a lovely afternoon at Hampton Court Flower Show, with my green-fingered mum!

It started out as a rather stressful journey, battling against the flow of busy flower goers trying to exit the show at 3pm with carts of plants and garden treats. Once inside, the first and most important stop had to be the ice-cream van: 2 Soleros please! One Solero down and I was now ready to be wowed, inspired and impressed by the biggest and best blooms our nation has to offer.

Vintage design and styling was everywhere... from the quirky re-use of furniture used to create versatile and sustainable stands to vintage jelly moulds filled with citronella scented candle wax. Not to mention the vintage tent which was filled with small decorated areas designed by different nurseries and boutiques. These were incredible, individual works of art with many of them based around traditional childhood narratives including Alice in Wonderland, and historical figures. Hopefully you can see from these pictures how mesmerising these were... I love the moss teapot and cactus garden chair!

If you didn't make it this year, it's definitely one to put in your diary for next year... I think I'll go on Sunday next time, which is the final day of the show, to take full advantage of the final knockdown prices!
I hope you've enjoyed the pictures and they've provided you with some inspiration.

Happy Monday to all! :) x

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Vintage Inspired Wedding

Sorry friends for the lack of posts for the month of June. Recently my time has been taken up with the all encompassing details involved in changing jobs, in addition to continued dedication to existing clients and events. As you can imagine as soon as I arrive home, I'm back in front of my Mac battling never ending email correspondence.

Anyway, enough of that... I hope you enjoy looking at these pictures taken at a stunning vintage inspired wedding I styled recently. I promise to post again soon!

How stunning is the bride..!!!! x