Friday, 28 September 2012


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This week class we are going to be talking about the bare bulb. Yes, that's right, the bare bulb in all its simplicity. I’ve got a lotta love for a bare bulb. Simple, elegant and just quietly going about it’s business of brilliance. There’s a big trend for the simple fitting at the moment so I'm going to share a few with you.

Let's start with my favourite. 

I mean seriously, wrap this up and give it to me in a Tiffany box why don't you - it's so darned beautiful. It's designed by Interior and product designer Lee Broom. It's Genius with a capital G. 

These pics are from his Crystal Bulb Shop, (which is actually his studio which he transformed temporarily, look on his website for more I could just go on about it for ages). AND the very best thing about these bulbs is that they look like the Crystals from the Crystal maze and I always wanted one of those bad boys.

Moving on to the Muuto. Hello Muuto. (See what I did there?) This is the E27, dull name but lovely fitting. Not so fancy pants as ole Billy Crystal above but modern and understated.


Finally the Plumen, self styled as the "Designer Low Energy Lightbulb". It uses 80% less energy than the traditional incandescent lightbulb, vis-a-vis, aka, its better for the environment so your room looks cool and saves the planet at the same time. That's a win/win in my book.

Now a few pretty shots of the bare bulbs in action. 
This first one looks like a sinch to put together.

And I really love this one..

Spidery chandelier anyone?

How about this beauty below from Lindsey Adelman?

Or these from Rowan and Wren? (Ok the one on the right is a slight cheat but I love it).

This here is the Edison bare bulb scissor lamp. Very cool.

And finally some beautiful filament bulbs from Restoration Hardware.

OK, that's it. Run along now.

Monday, 24 September 2012


Downton Abbey has just returned to the air in the UK for it's third season and from where I watched the first episode the room was divided. Half of us were hooked from the first nanosecond, and the other half were annoyed by the ridiculous inaccuracies, even more ridiculous story lines and the insanely long ad breaks and so left to go to the pub. (I was in the first group).

For those of you that haven't heard of it (who are you?), Downton Abbey is a crazily popular TV drama that has now been nominated for - and has won - Baftas, Emmys and Golden Globes and is shown in over 100 countries worldwide. When I first borrowed the DVD from a friend I told my husband it was rumoured to be really good and he took one look at the cover and point blank refused to watch it. Although "never judge a DVD by it's cover" is not a well-known saying - it's the same principal - so I convinced him to give it a go and we watched the whole first season in 2 days.

Of course the main visual feature of the programme is Downton Abbey itself which is filmed at the incredible Highclere Castle in Hampshire, UK (above). I have never visited Highclere but having watched Downton I now want to be one of the bus loads of tourists that go and nose around (although having checked on the website it's currently sold out - that's the Downton effect for you). Just that opening credits scene walking up to the castle in the beautiful grounds gives me shivers. Ooohhhh.

So, inspired by DA, and being in the UK at the moment on holiday in Cornwall I thought I'd go and visit my nearest National Trust country house.* 

*Let's just have a little interlude here. I don't know at what point in my life I turned into one of those people that decides to go and visit a National Trust house in my free time but it seems to have snuck up on me. I know, I was shocked too.

This led me (and my poor mother-in-law who agreed to come with) to Lanhydrock near Bodmin. Now, Highclere this ain't, but it's definitely more than your average 2 up 2 down. Look below. See?

(I can't tell you how hard it is to get these National Trust peeps out the way)

It's actually quite an imposing and uninviting house filled with a warren of rooms (upstairs at least - they're pretty huge downstairs to be fair) but sadly the family who previously lived there died out and the last living owner donated it to the national trust in the 1950's. Now over 200,000 people visit a year. (Seriously who ARE these people that I am now one of)? 
I am fascinated by the whole "upstairs/downstairs" divide in these huge homes and Lanhydrock at one stage apparently had 80 staff living and working in the house to look after the family - you can look around some of the servants rooms up in the attic. 
(Man ALIVE what I could do with 80 staff....)

The other thing I love about these great houses is the sheer amount of rooms they have each dedicated to a single purpose, none of this open plan shizzle we're used to these days. Landhyrock has more than 50 rooms - yup, 50 - I'll just give you a little taster of my faves...
Bakehouse /Pastry room /Meat Larder /Dairy /Lamp Room /Gun Room /Billiard room /Smoking Room /School room /Linen Room / Luggage Room / Day + Night Nurseries / Lumber Room


Did you know that a lumber room is basically just a room where you store old furniture, furniture that's out of season and other crap that you currently have no use for? Nowadays I reckon it would probably contain old Atari computer, an exercise bike, some dumbbells, some VHS videos, one ping pong bat and a fold up bed.

Anyway I digress. I went to the house to have a look at the interiors so a few pics below to take inspiration from.

Oooh hello wallpaper.

The boudoir thank you very much.

 ...and more boudoir...

Not a bad ceiling eh?

..and the whole ceiling in the Great Hall

Luggage room. Dur.

Mega ceiling.

And finally, how awesome are these trees with their heads lopped off?

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Friday, 14 September 2012


I've had this copy of InStyle hanging around the flat for a few weeks and I can't stop looking at the cover. I'm not sure if I have a girl crush on Daisy Lowe, if it's the layout and design or just the colours but whatever is is - it works for me.

So inspired by my big love for the above (that rhymes) here are some rooms to match.* 
*Sort of.


(Love that there is a spiderman comic in this picture - so out of place in the cutesy pink hearty bathroom)

I know ikat is being done to death but I'd still marry those chairs.

That's all folks.

Friday, 7 September 2012


Do you know what a Juju hat  is? (also known as a Tyn or a Bamileke headdress)

If you have ever so much as glimpsed at any design blog on planet internet then you will do. 

If not, here's a quick run down in a few sentences. They come from Cameroon and are traditionally worn by tribal chiefs or other important folk. They originally were made from parrot or exotic bird feathers. In their natural habitat they look like this:

In design bloglandia they look like this:

Oh so pretty.

The problem is that Juju hats are laik, sooo 2010. They suddenly went mainstream and ended up all over the place so now they're as common as... well, like its says here, they're pretty much as common as those effing "Keep Calm signs" that need to just give up and die off already. 

Anyways, I look them up every now and then and the love is still strong. I desperately want one and I don’t care if they’re now out of favour with all the interiors folk. Whatevs. 

They’re expensive - but then again they are a sign of wealth in Cameroon - this is obviously the same here because if I have one up in my house it basically says that I have enough money to spend $300 on a bunch of dyed chicken feathers (which is what they're now made of). 

There's a quick close up. When they're not being used they can fold up neatly into themselves. Cameroonian engineering genius.

However, of all the gajillions of blogs that I’ve looked at about Juju hats - I haven't actually found any that showed the hats in their natural home of Cameroon. So here we are, nice pretty juju hat in styled interior vs the juju hat where it's supposed to be, on someones head 

So here goes.
On the head..

On the wall...

On the head.. and with an elephant mask (isn't that amazing? read up about them here)

aaaaaand...on the wall
on the head... 
On the wall. Ok I think you get the picture now.



Seriously this pic above is amazing.

via and no credit

(Yes I will also take that Suzani quilt thank you very much)

While we're on the subject of pretty things on walls that are round (it's technical over here ) here's another alternative I've just seen and think are really pretty by Lorna SysonDon't they look cool? Want Want Want.

Ok. C'est tout.