Things That Made Me Smile This Week…

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Bodie and Fou Paper Star Christmas Decorations

  1. If you listen to two of my favourite friends they will tell you that I am a super-Christmas-enthusiast (& possibly slightly less flatteringly so!) of course they are entirely wrong, but as it is November tomorrow I feel I can get away with mentioning these glorious Christmas paper star decorations new in at Bodie & Fou, sublime.le-centre-de-documentation-albert-camus-de-la-bibliotheque-mejanes-abrite-les-archives-de-l-auteur-photos-dr
  2. November marks the centenary of the birth of one of the favourite authors of my youth – Albert Camus who is still one of my favourite human beings ever. In honour I am going to re-read A Happy Death alongside one of my all time favourite books –  Simone De Beauvoir’s loosely autobiographical utterly superb tour de force The Mandarins in which Camus features loosely disguised as the journalist Henri Perron.Rockett St George Foto Friday Wonderwall
  3. This lovely chalkboard wall which was the winning entry in the wonderwall category of Rockett St George’s Foto Friday competition. I really love chalkboard walls and this is a magnificent example of the personality that can be projected onto one.Geraldine Gonzalez Sea Urchin Lights
  4. These wonderful Octopus lights by Geraldine Gonzalez that I happened upon on Pinterest, just too cool for their own good.
  5. Gender historian Amanda Vickery tweeted a brilliant link a few weeks back of historical slang from the 1920’s. Its brilliant, ranging from fairly well known ones like ‘gaspers’ for cigarettes to lesser known gems such as ‘cancelled stamp’ for a wallflower and ‘cheaters’ for glasses.

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Through The aperture:

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London Cafe Tolix Chairs

 

                    London Cafe, Tolix Chairs.
.tota tooting Brass vintage victorian taps 1        Vintage Style Brass Taps, Tota restaurant, Tooting. 
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Succulents Vintage italian Coffee Grinder Zinc PotsKitchen Succulents in the morning.
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My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

Things That Made Me Smile This Week…

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  1. Campbell’s soup have released these wonderful limited edition Andy Warhol pop art soup cans, haven’t found any in the supermarkets yet but I need them in my kitchen:Campbells limited ediotion andy warhol soup
  2. Hurrah, BFI are putting on a 6 month programe of Gothic films from the archives. Having already shown screenings at key London sites, including the British Museum & National Gallery, the programe gathers pace as winter begins to bite.  They will be running a comprehensive program of films including classics from Nosferatu to The Wicker Man, and my personal favourites:The Innocents, Dead of Night, Elephant Man, Three Cases of Murder & Night of The Demon. Hooray BFI, thank you for reminding me of all the spine chillers I love on dark evenings.BFI Gothic
  3. I am coveting new things in at design magpies Anthropologie again this week, I love this gilded crane stand and all of this Taiga stoneware range, swoon.        Gilded Crane Stand #anthropologie Hand-Painted Taiga Serveware #anthropologie
  4. There is almost nothing on television that is more of an old time favourite for me than the wonderful ITV installments of Hercule Poirot. Poirot novels are my guilty cheap read and there’s nothing I love more than seeing them brought to life on screen – and my the design gazing is incredible!                                                                          Alas, these are the very final installments and David Suchet can admirably hang up his coat in the knowledge that over the last 21 years he has acted each and every one of the stories. Showing Wednesdays from 8pm on ITV1.Poirot Suchet  ITV

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**Our Living Room Shortlisted on Apartment Therapy’s Room For Colour 2013!**

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So I have been asleep for the last month and apparently failed to notice the exciting news that our living room (which I entered 6 weeks ago) had been shortlisted by compendium of modern style Apartment Therapy in their international category for rooms with the best use of colour. Am posthumously very excited (and annoyed with myself that I failed to notice or ask anyone to vote for us). I absolutely love this site, which Forbes described as “one of the most influential interior design sites on the Web” with good reason, so to have come 7th out of 25 in this category is a real honour. Go check out the other rooms on here there are some real beauties.

Ruthie’s “Sociable Green” Room Room For Color Contest

Name:
Ruthie
Location:
London UK
Division:
International
Inspiration for my palette:
This green is my perfect green. It’s light, elegant and -unlike many sage tones – it feels like a really sociable color. Our living room is very eclectic and evolving all the time. It is filled with objects that have a history or a story and I find this light and social palette the perfect background. It is not an intrusive color so I am able to put brightly colored pieces in it without assaulting the eyes to distraction. Its equally mellow ambiance is a perfect background for tired and worn vintage pieces.
Colors used in my room
I used a color that lies in the hinterland between blue and green. By day it is green and by night it is nearly blue – Farrow & Balls Teresa’s Green.
Tips for using color successfully
I am like a child in a sweet shop with color and find narrowing my choices down the most painstaking part. I have been known to drive myself to distraction with color choice. If you are a color magpie, like I am, I recommend painting 4 or 5 tester shades in different parts of the room where the light falls differently and living with them for at least a month. The color that makes you feel happy or inspired most instinctively is the color you should then choose.
Palette
Sociable Green

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Through The aperture:

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Fortnum Mason Ceiling Rose London Architecture.
Fortnum & Mason - Ceiling Rose - London Architectural Details.
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Tooting Broadway Station - London Underground Tiles.
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Local Cafe Furzedown.
Local Cafe - Le Comptoir, Furzedown.
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Top 5 Design Books.

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So this weekend we have been plagued by the noro-virus, as a result I am lazy posting today, here are my top 5 Design Books:My Favourite Design Books

Design as Art by Bruno Munari. 

Probably the greatest design book ever written, will make you look at 
the world around you and its objects in a different light. 
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Design as Art - Bruno Munari Penguin Classics.
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What the dust jacket says: Bruno Munari was among the most 
inspirational designers of all time, described by Picasso as 'the new 
Leonardo'. Munari insisted that design be beautiful, functional and 
accessible,and this enlightening and highly entertaining book sets out
his ideas about visual, graphic and industrial design and the role it 
plays in the objects we use everyday. Lamps, road signs, typography,
posters, children's books, advertising, cars and chairs - these are 
just some of the subjects to which he turns his illuminating gaze.

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London Hidden Interiors by Philip Davies & Derek Kendall. 

This is my current favourite coffee table book, an immense 
encyclopedia of the interior gems of London, some known, many you will
never have heard of before. As a pictorial sourcebook it is wildly 
diverse plethora of beautifully shot spaces.
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London Hidden Interiors English Heritage.
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What the dust jacket says: 180 of London's best conserved and least 
known interiors are revealed in 1500 spectacular photographs. 
Philip Davies turns his attention to London's conserved heritage, 
presenting an expert introductory essay followed by the most 
extraordinary collection of contemporary photographs of London's 
historic interiors ever published. London Hidden Interiors has one 
hundred and eighty examples which have been selected from a complete 
range of building types to convey the richness and diversity of 
London's architectural heritage and the secrets that lie within. It 
concentrates generally on the buildings and interiors that are lesser 
known and to which the public are not normally allowed the hidden and
the unusual, the quirky and the eccentric, although there is space 
too for some of the better known. 
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The London Design Guide: 2014-2015 Ed. Max Fraser.

Invaluable guide to the capital, packaged beautifully and complete 
with exceptional front cover.
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LONDON-DESIGN-GUIDE_2014-2015.
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What the dust jacket says: London Design Guide is the only publication
dedicated to the capitals flourishing design scene. Featuring reviews 
of the latest contemporary and vintage hotspots together with the more
established, this guide reveals the city's leading design gems.Be it a
shop, gallery, museum, restaurant or bar, all are gathered by
neighbourhood and supported with maps, verifying London's reputation
as the design capital of the world.
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The Medium is the Massage: an inventory of Effects - Michael Mcluhan &
Quentin Fiore. 

Similar to Walter Benjamin's thoughts on mechanical reproduction, a 
bedfellow of Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle, this is an 
illuminating work on our relation to things and how these impressions 
are influenced from outside of the inner life.
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the_medium_is_the_massage_marshall_mcluhan_quentin_fiore_penguin_motto_books_001.
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What the dust jacket says:In a dazzling fusion of Quentin Fiore's bold
and inventive graphic design and Marshall McLuhan's unique insight 
into technology, advertising and mass-media, The Medium is the Massage
is a unique study of human communication in the twentieth century.
Marshall McLuhan is the man who predicted the all-pervasive rise of 
modern mass media. Blending text, image and photography, his 1960 
classic The Medium is the Massage illustrates how the growth of 
technology utterly reshapes society, personal lives and sensory 
perceptions, so that we are effectively transformed by the means we 
use to communicate. His theories, many of which are illustrated in 
this astonishing 'inventory of effects', force us to question how
modes of communication have shaped society. This concept, and his 
ideas such as rolling, up-to-the-minute news broadcasts and the
media 'Global Village' have proved decades ahead of their time.
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I guess I must include a specific interior design book so I am going 
to choose two of the best. Kevin Mclouds bible to style The Principles
of Home is full of middle class style dilemmas about authenticity but
it is unfailingly right about the issues it tackles and a really
helpful blueprint for thinking about a home space from scratch. 
Abigail Ahern's Decorating With Style is brilliant. I read this 
recently and felt a real affinity with her sense and approach to style
which I guess shows how much she has become a part of 
lexicon of modern interior thought.
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Principles of Home Kevin McCloudDecorating_with_Style Abigail ahern.
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What the dust jackets say: In this inspirational yet also 
practical paperback Kevin explores all areas of domestic living, from 
materialism to sustainability, craftsmanship to comfort. Kevin’s
beautifully written text brings insight and understanding to enjoying 
life in the 21st century, but crucially he offers detailed, helpful 
and incisive advice on design, construction and style.

Decorating with Style gives you the confidence to take risks with
interior design, embrace what you love, and fill your home with 
infectiously fabulous stuff: comforting, inviting and imbued with 
personality. Decorating Abigail Ahern style is about creating spaces 
that make you happy - not just buying the latest 'it' chair. According
to the internationally renowned interior designer, the most successful
homes always have an element of the unexpected. Good taste is 
wonderful, but without a touch of eccentricity - some tension between 
spontaneity and rigour, refinement and rebellion - beautifully 
co-ordinated rooms can leave you cold. Proving that style has nothing 
to do with money and everything to do with confidence, Abigail goes 
back to basics to help you determine your own style, then demonstrates
how to take interiors to the next level by mixing and layering 
different styles and eras; injecting intrigue into a room with some 
maximalist lighting or a decorative rug; playing around with scale, 
colour and texture to create an enchanting, idiosyncratic vibe.

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. This week I stole an idea for a new mixer from the lovely Instagram feed of NoteToSarah – Gin & Pink lemonade – just lush. Soon to become a staple in our household and I love re-using the embossed glass Lorina bottles – so pretty.Hendericks Gin & Pink Lemonade Mixer
  2. The release of new book ‘Inside The Rainbow’ details some amazing children’s book illustrations from Soviet Russia 1920-1935, if The Guardian’s glimpse into it is anything to go by this is a wonderful treasure trove of gems:                        Dmitiri Bulanov, illustration for How They Build, c.1922Boris Ermolenko, cover and illustrations for Special Clothing, 1930 A. Laptev, cover for May by Agnia Barto, 1932 Galina and Olga Chichagova, cover and illustrations for Where Does CrockeryWhere Am I Tatiana Glebova Inside The rainbow
  3. This striking sliding house in Margate, which is the work of Hackney artist Alex Chinneck whose previous work includes melting bricks and broken glass. His brief was to create something with humour, illusion and theatricality. Read the full story in architecture & design magazine Dezeen here.             dezeen_house-with-slipped-down-facade-Margate-Alex-Chinneck_2 dezeen_house-with-slipped-down-facade-Margate-Alex-Chinneck_4dezeen_A-Pound-of-Flesh-for-50p-by-Alex-Chinneck_ss_1 dezeen_Telling-the-Truth-Through-False-Teeth-by-Alex-Chinneck_7
  4. Happened upon a brilliant piece by Alain de Botton in this months Elle Deco magazine entitled ‘On Beauty’  to coincide with the release of his latest book Art as Therapy. It’s a great thought provoking piece on the effects of beauty and ugliness in our environments and the power of design to charm and inspire our sense of well-being.
  5. There is also a free app that accompanies the book which offers paintings as solutions to life’s dilemmas, offering quirky and interesting distractions to the hubbub of daily life. Here are a couple of glimpses of it:                                             Alain de Botton Art as Therapy App Screenshot 2 Alain de Botton Art as Therapy App Screenshot 1 Alain de Botton Art as Therapy App Screenshot

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Chasing the Winter Blues away at Liberty

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With the weather getting dark and icy and with the yearly arrival of minor ailments and hibernational moods, I decided it was time to take myself on one of my twice yearly sojourns to Liberty to get lost in their cathedral of consumption for a couple of hours.

Like many girls of my generation, Liberty is a byword for the beautiful, it is one of those stores that across its four floors still maintains the feel of intimacy in small wood panelled spaces that feel like treasure troves to the particular, whilst collectively encompassing its original conception as a nineteenth century bazaar built on a grand scale, a true example of Zola’s Ladies Paradise.

Liberty London Store Shop Floor Patterned Sofa & Telescope 2013 Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Crates QueueLiberty London Store  Shop Floor Inteer-war feel display 2013

The store is such a sensory overload, everything is chosen and curated to within an inch of its life, but still there is something chaotic and charming about all the beautiful things on displays and it is quite possible to spend many hours looking and holding a million different kinds of objects of desire.

I am continually astonished by how successfully Liberty manage to update their look and products whilst still maintaining their old world innocence and charm. Only in Liberty would you happen upon original 19th century toy theatre’s from a London museum in display cabinets casually beckoning the eye away from the comparatively mundane selection of Christmas cards they stand next to.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Pollocks Toy Museum Vintage Topy TheatreLiberty London Store Christmas 2013 Pollocks Toy Museum Vintage Topy Theatre 3

They stock the store so cleverly, there are exorbitant but unique and beautiful pieces for people with large wallets alongside beautiful fabrics bi-annually updated from their archive for the home sewer and also many charming items at obtainable prices for the casual shopper. I bought some beautiful pieces from very chic and accessible Danish company Bloomingville’s new china collection, including this particularly charming creamer for £7 and a wonderfully kitsch white elephant teapot for £14, alongside the Fish’s Eddy tray I’ve had my eye on for some months for £9.95.

Bloomingville Cup Saucer Creamer 2013 PatternLiberty London Store BIA BRH Collection Elephant Teapot Liberty London Store Fish's Eddy Admit One Tray

It just isn’t possible to visit Liberty in Winter months without spending some considerable time getting lost in their Christmas department. I have a decade long tradition of going with my two best friends and picking out a couple of decorations for each other. Lovely Kathryn is currently away in the far warmer and exotic climbs of Buenos Aires so instead I wandered on my own, here is what I saw in this years Liberty Christmas bonanza:

Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Gisella Graham Painted Holly Glass bauble Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Gisella Graham Retro Peg Fairy Decoration Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Gisella Graham Fabric Sppol Sewing Reel Decoration Liberty London Store Christmas Baubles 2013 Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Liberty London Store Christmas Decorations  2013  Liberty London Store Christmas 2013 Nordic Deer Decoration


Final mention goes to my very favourite purchase of the day, this Zoetrope wrapping paper. I don’t own a zoetrope (working on it) but I am totally in love with this and am going to have to find a space to frame it somewhere.zoetrope

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Through the aperture:

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Cupcakes from Lulu 
        #Latergram - Super pastel hues - Cupcakes from Lulu.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset          Building Reconstruction - Tissue Paper Facade - 
             South Audley Street, Mayfair, London.

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Things That Made Me Smile This Week

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  1. There is almost nothing more pleasurable as a pastime than whiling away the hours perusing through other peoples junk in the good company of an old friend. Last weekend I went browsing at Chiswick Car Boot Sale, a cornucopia of goods from the sublime to the kitsch. Alongside the bag of swag I accumulated for £21 and the things I didn’t buy but wish I had (I’m looking at you beautiful umbrella stand and giant nutcracker on horseback!) we also happened upon this curiosity. It is the insanely wonderful creation of an unknown man during the 1950’s, just glorious, I am especially tickled by the helmet atop the carousel.Vintage Wooden Carousel Fairground Ride Circus 2                                                                                                                          Vintage Wooden Carousel Fairground Ride Circus. Vintage Wooden Carousel Fairground Ride Circus 1
  2. Feeling over enthusiastically smug this week about the plastic poundstore picture frames I bought and painted with old Farrow and Ball tester pots to hold exquisite illustrations unearthed by BHL. They look super lovely in the narrow upstairs hallway next to a pretty convex mirror picked up for under £20 and a display of peacock feathers gained from an unwanted part of an auction lot that family placed a bid on. The bleak hallway is starting to look more inviting at last:Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
  3. This week marked the anniversary birthdate of legendary design maverick and Modernist doyenne Le Corbussier. Quite a few people mentioned it on Twitter, I love, love, love Le Corbusier and never more so than reading the quote Elle Deco tweeted ‘The home should be a treasure chest of living’  Take a bow Mr Corbusier!                    Le Corbusier Modernist  Building Villa Savoye Le Corbusier Modernist  BuildingLe Corbusier Modernist  Building 1
  4. Quite a hackneyed design cliche, the ubiquitous animal as lord or lady, akin to display domes, but I have to admit, though it is a one trick pony, it’s a trick I like. And this, new in at Rockett St George, is a fabulous example. It makes me think of the art on display in the bedroom of Amelie, I may just have to acquisition it for my own, now where to find a talking pig…Ostrich Canvas by Angela Rossi

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