BOOK/CLUB: BEGIN WITH BLUE.

Colour is becoming more readily sought after in the home, even though there is an inherent fear of using it! In fact, I've noticed that my clients have become more open to using colour in big ways like on walls, a rug and furniture.  

As you may have heard me say on numerous occasions, colour is such a great way to add personality to your home. Decorating with colour can have such a timeless appeal... I know this may shock you - but if you choose a colour (or few) that you love, why would you want to change it? 

So where to begin? 

Interior Designer Anna Spiro who is also the author of our current Book/Club read Absolutely Beautiful Things is renowned for using colour and pattern and a lot of it in her interiors! In fact, it is her signature style. Luckily for us, she shares with readers, her go-to approach to deal with colour in her client's home.

In her chapter on Colour, Anna shares with readers that the colour blue "forms a fantastic foundation upon which to layer other colours. It looks great with pink, orange, red, taupe, yellow and green". In fact she believes that blue and white is a "classic colour combination" that almost everyone loves. Anna has created many rooms around this colour palette and when she revisits them, she still holds as much love as the day she installed them into her client's home. 

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So if you don't know where to start, perhaps begin with blue. Below I have collated a collection of spaces where the combination of blue and white have been used on their own or as the foundation for introducing other colours into the interior. 

What do you think about Anna's classic combination of blue & white? 

SbyD x

Gallery images via: one / two / three / four / five six / seven.

BOOK/CLUB: ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL THINGS.

When I started the Book/Club last year on the blog, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to spend more time reading and researching into interiors, both local and international, and places to see and visit. It was another excuse to learn more and to do something for myself. Reading is for me, one of life's pleasures. 

I however found that reviewing and discussing a new book each month was quite hectic and a little challenging for me, given all my other commitments. So for this year, while reading is still on the agenda, I've decided to keep my book reviews to a bimonthly discussion - where I review and discuss a new book every two months. This way, I feel I can maintain the enjoyment factor of reading in my schedule. I hope that's alright with you. 

So for this month and the next, I want to share with you the lovely, personal and insightful book written by a favourite local designer, Anna Spiro. Her book is called Absolutely Beautiful ThingsAnna is from Queensland and owns her own interiors retail store in Hamel, New Farm called Black & Spiro. She is passionate about colour and decorating her interiors to the max! In a current trend where minimalism and restrained colour palettes are dominating our interiors scene (especially when you think of popular pastel shades and nordic-inspired spaces), Anna goes against the grain and explores her true love - colour and maximalism! And her book is all about this. 

Interior Designer, Anna Spiro and her new book, Absolutely Beautiful Things. Images via Temple & Webster.

Interior Designer, Anna Spiro and her new book, Absolutely Beautiful Things. Images via Temple & Webster.

Anna is driven by her own sense of style and has the courage and commitment to follow her intuition. I love this. "In my family and the houses I design, I always endeavour to create happy, interesting, layered and uplifting spaces. That means mixing everything: colour and pattern, old and new, square and round, quirky and conservative. It's by no means a perfect, textbook decorating style... but it's the imperfections and the surprises that make a space interesting, appropriate and so special and unique for the people living there" - Anna Spiro. 

"The most important thing is to know what you love and know what you don't love. Once you have that sorted, you can do anything" - Anna Spiro.

The beauty of decorating to your own tastes is that the look becomes yours and will most likely stand the test of time in your home. We in fact build our homes to make OURSELVES feel happy, inspired and safe, rather than to impress those that visit. After all, we are the ones who spend the majority of our times in our home. 

Anna's interior style has real warmth and comfort factor to it. Her use of colour and pattern injects so much energy into her spaces.  Anna's real affinity with blues particularly engages me as my favourite colour is blue too. And combined with white, it is simply classic and timeless. 

Anna's book is a real collection of beautiful homes, as the title suggests. Not only will you find yourself completely absorbed by the abundance of colour, pattern and layers in her homes, Anna also shares with us, the process by which she follows to design her interiors. This includes her guiding principles, her inspirations and her go-to resources. This is overall, a fabulous book to get you back into and inspired about your home and how you can tackle your new interior challenge. 

Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro was published by Penguin Lantern and available to purchase on-line, here

SbyD x

PS. If you have read Absolutely Beautiful Things, then please share with us your thoughts below. I'd love to hear whether Anna's style appeals to you too!

All images sourced via Black & Spiro website (unless stated otherwise). 

BOOK/CLUB: MODERN RUSTIC BY COUNTRY LIVING MAGAZINE.

Modern rustic... It sounds like a contradiction doesn't it? Oh, but it is! That's the essence of why this interiors style works so well and LOVED by so many. When you consider rustic, images of old, worn, weathered and roughly made come to mind. Pretty much the exact opposite of what you envisage when you think of modern: new, streamlined, sleek and innovative. Yes, the Chinese concept of Yin-Yang works exceptionally well in interiors too.

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Image one.

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Modern rustic also brings to mind the concept of countryside living. Where traditions, craftsmanship and artisans are treasured for their knowledge of age-old skills and historical significance.  Unsurprisingly, places like the UK, France, Italy and the Scandinavian region do this style SO WELL and continue to remain our go-to sources of inspiration.

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Image three.

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So its only fitting that Britain's Country Living magazine published a stand-alone edition (well actually two) totally devoted to modern rustic interiors.  For those of us who love this earthy, pared-back, imperfect but contemporary style, then this magazine is for you... 

You can purchase Modern Rustic Volume #2 by Britain's Country Living from your well stocked newsagent or online through Zinio here

SbyD x

Images via: one | two | three | four

BOOK/CLUB: EASY LUXURY BY DARREN PALMER.

You all may very well know Darren Palmer as one of the judges from the tv series, The Block, and now Darren's added author to his repertoire of skills with the release of his first interiors book, Easy Luxury - our choice for this month's Book/Club read! In a nutshell, Easy Luxury is the ultimate book for those of you embarking on a renovation or new build. Darren has laid out the law on how to change and improve the landscape of your home, down to the measurements, layout details and elements you'll need to do this in style. Yes, this could be the quintessential how-to interiors handbook. 

What I love most about Easy Luxury is how Darren breaks down and simplifies the design process. It's full of practical tips, visual references and personal examples that make it so useful and easy to follow. If you're looking for assistance as you embark on your own renovation, then this book could be the answer. Literally. 

The meaning of home. "For me a home should be somewhere that lifts your spirits, gives you a sense of prosperity and wellbeing and generally provides you with a beautiful sanctuary from which to live your personal life – kids, pets, spouses and friends included". Read the full interview with Temple & Webster here

The meaning of luxury. "It has nothing to do with spending a lot of money. Luxury to me is about having something that fits me perfectly — something that suits me better than anything else would because it’s been created in response to my particular needs and desires".  Read the full interview with Interiors Addict here

Darren's personal style. "I’d describe my style as comfortable, natural, friendly but refined and considered. I put a lot of effort into making effortless looking interiors – homes for people rather than showrooms or design museums.” Read the full interview with The Carousel here

Have you got any plans this summer to renovate your home? Perhaps this could be just the book for you. If you haven't already got a copy, you can purchase one here via the link below!

Easy Luxury

by Darren Palmer

Oh, and if you've already read Easy Luxury, let me know in our comments section below! 

SbyD x

BOOK/CLUB: INTERIOR DESIGNER KIT KEMP.

'People are jaded by travel - they've seen everything. It's about an element of surprise. To draw you from room to room.'

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If you're ever in need of discovering the most stylish and elegant home interiors from afar, then Elle Decoration UK is for you. This publication is one of the best floating around. It showcases a fabulous spread of homes globally, fusing different cultures, designs and aesthetics effortlessly into the one edition. The magazine also interviews and connects with the most renowned and loved creatives in the design world. And the current issue (November 2014) is nothing short of this. In this month's edition, Elle Decoration interview Kit Kemp, renowned British Interior Designer, about the opening of her latest boutique hotel in hipster Soho, London.

Kit Kemp and her husband, Tim, co-own Firmdale Hotels.  Their latest venture, Ham Yard Hotel, is located in Soho, London. Kit is responsible for creating my all time favourite stay, the Crosby Street Hotel which is located in SoHo, New York City.  You may have previously heard me talk about the hotel, here

Inspired by her latest designs in fabric and carpets, Kit draws on her love for pattern, textiles and colour to create the Ham Yard Hotel. The unexpected combinations surprise you - in a good way - leaving you feeling like you are anywhere but at a hotel. Each room is personalised and unique (no two rooms are ever the same!). There's even an option for a private apartment with roof garden (if your budget allows it)... The allure of travel maintains its opulent charm with Kit Kemp and the meaning of luxury continues explores a new direction. 

Ham Yard Hotel | Courtyard Suite.

Ham Yard Hotel | Courtyard Suite.

Ham Yard Hotel | Deluxe Room.

Ham Yard Hotel | Deluxe Room.

Ham Yard Hotel | Deluxe Room.

Ham Yard Hotel | Deluxe Room.

Ham Yard Hotel | Terrace Suite.

Ham Yard Hotel | Terrace Suite.

Have you ever stayed at a Firmdale Hotel? 

SbyD x

All images kindly sourced via Firmdale Hotels.

BOOK/CLUB: DOMINO MAGAZINE.

Domino is one of my favourite interior magazines from the US.  Given I've spent most of this year in LA, it would be a little negligent of me if I did not share with you one from there. Domino's motto is all about "bringing your style home". I love that you can browse through the magazine and if you see anything you like, you are armed with the information to buy it! A great way to make interior design accessible to the individual.

In the current Fall issue of Domino, I have fallen in love with artist Jenna Snyder-Phillips from New York City.  Jenna is a painter who works from her studio in TriBeCa.  She uses strong, bold brushstrokes to create beautiful striking pieces of art that lends itself nicely to painting figures and wildlife. I want to share with you a video about Jenna's iconic Chief prints and her story which inspired this series. 

Jenna Snyder-Phillips gives us a peek inside her downtown New York City art studio.

Recently, I've had many client queries about Art, and in particular finding the right piece for the home. This can be tricky as Art is very personal. To have longevity and meaning in your home, I believe you need to feel a connection to the piece of artwork. One way to do this, is to learn about the artist and what inspired them to create the piece. 

Jenna's story captured my heart. At a difficult time in her life, she embraced her "independence" and drew inspiration from this experience to create the Chief series (available in both original and prints). As Jenna explains, at the centre of Chief is "a powerful woman... You can be your own boss... You can do what you want with your own life and be creative". This painting now represents this emotive power to me. 

The above images are of Jenna's apartment in New York City. Her work is presented centre stage in her home, a reflection of her self-confidence and belief in her own abilities, which I find inspirational. Funnily enough, her art blends in seamlessly with her interior style. 

How do you shop for Art in the home? What inspires you?

Jenna's Chief series prints are available on-line through Domino Magazine here. Alternatively, if your budget allows it, you can purchase an original painting from Jenna's website here.

SbyD x

All images kindly sourced via Domino Magazine.

BOOK/CLUB: MAGAZINES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE: PART 1

This month for a little change I thought we could explore a few magazines from around the world for the BOOK/CLUB. With a change of season globally, there's sure to be some great material floating around. So let's start off this week in our own backyard with one of my favourites, Inside Out Magazine.

exterior country cottage
Look at those rustic doors?

Look at those rustic doors?

This beautiful country cottage located in Daylesford, Victoria is featured in this month's edition and is owned by interior designer and stylist, Kali Cavanagh. Nestled in the picturesque Victorian countryside, Kali and her family retreat to this quaint abode as a weekend getaway. 

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Unlike many contemporary home features in this magazine, this vintage-inspired cottage is FULL of character and so undoubtedly caught my eye! It effortlessly mixes old with new, industrial with vintage pieces and employs a great range of materials too, like timber, marble, linen and metal. I also love the contrast in colour between the living and dining rooms!

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This kitchen wins my heart. Look at that powder blue vintage oven in amongst the all white, country style kitchen? Simplicity is the key in this room's design. The all-white palette, modest kitchen table and exposed, undecorated lightbulbs stay true to this style. 

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rusticbathroom

And look at the details in the bathroom? The barn style doors compliment the rustic vintage cabinetry but beautifully contrast against the all white modern interior. 

This home feels so warm and welcoming to me. The vintage mix creates a sense of history in an otherwise renovated cottage, while theimperfections in furniture and accessories adds to the charm.

Do you feel the same way? What did you like?

SbyD x

All images kindly sourced from Inside Out Magazine.

BOOK OF THE MONTH: CREATIVITY AT WORK.

Having lived out of a suitcase for most of this year, finding an inspirational place to work is always high on the agenda for me. So naturally, I was attracted to the title of this book, Creativity at Work. Funnily enough, I discovered it was written and photographed by Heather Clawson, an interior designer from New York, whose blog I read daily (routinely) Habitually Chic.

So let me introduce you to our book this month, Habitually Chic: Creativity at Work. I firstly want to point out that it is not just a book full of images of people's work spaces. Its more than this. When you read through, you will discover Heather has cleverly curated and dialogued wisdom from creatives about their own career journeys.  You are left to ponder about your own creative lifestyle, your personal and work-related ambitions and how you build your own walls of motivation around you.

This is Heather Clawson and her home and office in the Upper East Side, New York City.

This is Heather Clawson and her home and office in the Upper East Side, New York City.

I want to share some of my own personal discoveries from this book this month with you. Having taken the leap of faith from the law into the design world, I find myself always intrigued by other people's career journeys. Did you always know what you wanted to do from a young age? How did you get your break? What did you do to change your career and goals in life. This book shares wonderful insights from leading creatives to keep you focused & inspired to find and follow your own passion.

"I knew my career path had inspired many over the years so I wanted to hear more about how all these different creative people got their start, what kept them going, and what inspired them." - Heather Clawson.

Habitually Chic: Creativity at Work.

You can pick up your copy of Creativity at Work, here.

SbyD x

All images sources from Guest of Guest blog interview with Heather here.

BOOK/CLUB: HOW TO NAVIGATE NEW YORK CITY FOR YOUR HOME.

If you've never been to NYC before, then get yourself ready...

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What's this got to do with shopping in NYC for the home, you ask? Well not much really, except to say you are in for a BLAST! Seriously is there any better city out there? You will be inspired in every direction that you look. The people will motivate you, the stores will inspire you, the city will envelope you... 

The best way to shop for your home in this beautiful city, is with this guide. Sibella Court's book titled, The Stylist's Guide to New York City. I however, like to call it my "bible". 

Sibella Court and her book, The Stylist's Guide to New York City.

Sibella Court and her book, The Stylist's Guide to New York City.

To get you started, you are given a map of Manhattan and an index of all the great stores, cafes, markets and other places you need to visit in this city. 

Map of NYC.

Map of NYC.

The A5 size book (perfect companion for handbag/backpack travels) has been carefully curated and inspired by Sibella's design flavour. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the numerous options available, Sibella sets out her "absolute faves" at the beginning of the book, sharing with us her favourite places to visit in NYC.

nyc stylists guide

The places recommended are categorised into themes for the home. So depending on what you are searching for, you are able to access your options in a systematic manner. The categories are organised as follows:

(1) Scents & Flower Merchants.

(2) Oddities & Curiosities.

(3) Jewellery & Hardware.

(4) Haberdashery & Handmade.

(5) Drapers & Upholstery.

(6) Art & Objets.

(7) Paper & Art Supplies.

(8) Kitchen & Table Paraphernalia.

(9) Furniture & Interiors.

While I was not searching for anything in particular (but everything available), these categories were helpful on my shopping days, as I felt organised and in the market with a purpose. In addition, Sibella sets out routes to travel by foot each day (and maybe a cab or two in between!) to seek out your desired places to visit from each category.

This was EXTREMELY helpful as I loved to simply explore the city by foot and be amongst the people.  Where possible, I veered off the beaten track to whatever grabbed my attention and found something new that resonated with me. Given Sibella has lived in the city for approximately 15 years, she knows her way methodically through the streets. 

new york city stylists guide 2

Using this guide, I felt like I was discovering a lot more about the "local" design scene in New York City.  There are so many hidden gems and this book is a great way for you to find them. This city is huge! So some direction and guidance is a plus. 

If you're in New York City any time soon, here are my recommended places to visit from Sibella's guide to New York City:

Ochre, for furniture and lighting (read my earlier post here). 

The High Line, for a stroll through a creative outdoor park with city views.

The Crosby Hotel, for the most entertaining, colourful interior for dining (I had breakfast and drinks at the bar). 

ABC Carpet & Home, ALL your questions for the home are answered here. Seriously. 

Anthropologie, for fashion and homewares that will make you smile with joy. 

Chelsea Market, for crafty home needs and an endless supply of mouthwatering foods. 

the high line

Now that's a hard list to curtail.  Sibella's guide is a cumulation of her 15 years of living and working in the city as an interior stylist. A hard feat to condense to one week. But, I am not dismayed... an opportunity to create another reason to visit the city again (and again). 

nyc stylists guide 3

Have you been to New York City? Have you followed Sibella's recommendations in the past? Please share your thoughts with us, below.

Di x

Images one and two. All other images sourced from Sibella Court's Pinterest Board here

BOOK/CLUB: Ochre, NYC.

Do I dare say it? This may just be my favourite furniture & lighting store...ever. This week I am in NYC and so far I have spent my time in Lower Manhattan meandering in and out of the many beautiful, boutique furniture stores on offer here. OCHRE on Broome Street, SoHo is without a doubt, simply stunning. OCHRE designs all its furniture, lighting and some accessories as well as sources smaller exquisite homewares to compliment them. Their pieces are individual, contemporary and have a strong focus on using luxurious materials. 

ochre front entrance

I entered the store through these rustic, weathered front doors and glittering Seed Cloud chandelier display. Insanely beautiful. 

OCHRE's front entrance, SoHo (via my iPhone 4S). 

OCHRE's front entrance, SoHo (via my iPhone 4S). 

I was instantly mesmerised by the store's colour palette of moody, subdued hues of indigo, powdery and sea green blues, dusty pinks and mauve. There was no white to be seen. Here are some of my favourite pieces. 

Damselfly Chandelier.

Damselfly Chandelier.

Crosby Mirror via Urban Kaleidoscope.

Crosby Mirror via Urban Kaleidoscope.

Luxurious upholstered furniture including the Eternal Dreamer Modular Sofa. 

Luxurious upholstered furniture including the Eternal Dreamer Modular Sofa. 

Cloud Shade.

Cloud Shade.

OCHRE can also be found in this month's chosen book, The Stylist's Guide to New York City.  A personal favourite of the author, this store comes highly recommended by Sibella as it makes decorating your place easy without the need for an interior designer by offering "well-priced new upholstered pieces mixed in with vintage finds from America and Europe". The showroom is inspiring and displays its furniture, lighting and accessories in room concepts, so you can easily visualise how each piece could work in a space.

eternal dream
arctic pear chandelier

I wish there is enough room in this post to show you EVERYTHING on offer at the store.  It is simply breathtaking. I wanted to touch, hold and sit on every piece. If you are in New York City, then you can visit OCHRE's beautiful store at 462 Broome Street, SoHo, NYC and experience it for yourself, as well as their second store in London

To view OCHRE's entire range, check out their website here. If you have fallen in love with their designs just like me, please get in touch and we can help you find what you are looking for. 

SbyD x

All images via OCHRE'S Pinterest page, unless otherwise noted above.

BOOK OF THE MONTH: The Stylist's Guide to New York City.

Inspired by my travel this month to NYC, I have chosen the following book by my all-time favourite stylist, Sibella CourtThe Stylist's Guide to NYC. Travel takes on a new purpose when you indulge in the wonders of design from another part of the world, as this book demonstrates...

the stylists guide to nyc
Sibella Court and one of her styled interiors. Image via Temple & Webster blog.

Sibella Court and one of her styled interiors. Image via Temple & Webster blog.

For design aficionados, this is a shopping list to the best design spots in the Big Apple! Inside you will find not only your traditional design stores, but other bits & bobs like where to shop for flowers, authentic hardware and the best coffee in town! To make things easy, Sibella has shared her favourite locations and throughout the book, has created design routes to maximise your time and shopping experience while you weave and meander your way through the big city. You can eat your heart out with this one...

stylists guide to NYC inside
the stylists guide to nyc book

So for this month, instead of discussing with you, what makes this book so special, I hope to show you... as I make my way through NYC, according to Sibella Court

Purchase your copy here and be prepared for your next adventure to New York City. 

The Stylist's Guide to NYC

Di x

BOOK/CLUB: Natural Beachside Weekender.

When many of us embark on a renovation or new build, we commonly design our homes to reflect what "someone else" would like, to ensure a sale in the future. While this seems logical if you are renovating or building an investment property, but what happens if its YOUR home? 

This was not the case for Kate & Mal Heppell and their gorgeous little boy Zig, who own a beautiful weekender in Point Lonsdale, Victoria. Their focus was to build a home to their style and taste - and for them - an Australian take on a Swedish-style home

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The palette of this beautiful home is dominated by the combined use of timber and concrete. A natural, neutral base that cohesively connects the home with its beachside location. Kate & Mal wanted the house to feel organic and to fit in with the local flora. 

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Image three.

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Rather than opting for an all white interior to achieve a "blank canvas", the couple designed a neutral palette using timber and concrete. From there, Kate and Mal showcased their love for colour and the outdoors.

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Image five.

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Image six.

To juxtapose the industrial and raw feel of this interior, Kate injected colour and pattern through the use of her popular bedding range, Kip&Co, which she jointly owns with two other friends. The use of timber and concrete balances the bold, bright hues applied throughout the home.  On the outside, Mal explored the idea of using the garden to bring the house to life! Concrete cubes were built to house their veggie patch ensemble and a sprawling garden containing succulents, native shrubs and ferns dominate their outdoor setting. 

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Image seven.

With a long term view in mind to simply enjoy this home, Kate and Mal have created a space that reflects their own personality, and consequently, have created their ideal home. 

You can read their full story in this month's Book Club read: Spaces, Volume Two by Frankie Magazine.

Di x

PS You can check out Kate's playful bedding range, Kip&Co here and explore Mal's landscape designs here.

Photography by Hilary Walker (images one, three - six) and Armelle Habib (images two & seven) for Real Living Magazine.

BOOK OF THE MONTH: Spaces, Volume Two.

Welcome! We had so much fun last month with our first book review. What did you think? Please let us know.

For this month, we are going to review & discuss something a little different and closer to home - Spaces Volume Two by Frankie Press. It's sort of a book but really a HUGE magazine showcasing Australian homes where "creative people live, work and play". 

Spaces 1

This book gives us a welcome insight into the living and work spaces of creatives all around Australia, some who live in major cities and other who enjoy the more rural lifestyle. We get to learn about what makes them tick, how their homes motivate & inspire them and how their current lifestyle influences the spaces they live.

Frankie Press describe the homes featured in their second edition as "the kind of places that take time and energy to put together, with some of the most precious things in them passed down through families, collected on travels or picked up from the side of the road". And this is why I think its such a good read.

I love that the spaces have not been styled for a magazine shoot. They are honest and raw and show what's important to the people who live in them. As you will see, it is not always what's new or trendy in design, but what is treasured and loved by their owners.

spaces 2

Frankie Press have put together this beautiful video about a co-working space in Brunswick, Victoria called Little Gold Studios who feature in this edition.

After watching this video and reading the article, I want to visit Little Gold Studios! Do you feel the same?  So I'm excited to get started real soon! You can buy this beautiful book at all good newsagents or online here.

Di x

All images and video courtesy of Frankie Press.

BOOK/CLUB: Advice from Alex.

For this week's Book/Club post, Alex Legendre, co-author of our chosen book this month, A Life Less Ordinary, has answered a few questions about her homewares business with Zoe and how she finds the perfect pieces for her home. So generous with her time, Alex has responded and here's what she had to say! 

igigi_inspiration1

1 / Both you and Zoe have pursued a passion in life and created it into a life-long career. What advice do you have for readers who long to do something they love but haven’t quite yet found a way to get there. 

Sometimes the things we love to do just aren't realistic as a job but that is what spare time is for! As long as you can do your passion for some of your time you will be fulfilled and maybe eventually it will become a full time reality.

Keep giving your dream positive energy and keep passionate about it, believe it will happen.

2 / Many of us love the idea of shopping and searching for a piece of history for our home. But its not an easy feat! What tips can you share on finding a vintage piece, full of history and personal value. 

Finding a vintage piece is a bit easier in the UK as we have so many fairs and shops. I would say go to all of your local boot fairs & markets and always scout for goodies. I have a loft full of things that I will use one day. When you're an addict like me, you never come home empty handed.

And as far as history or personal value go, once you become the owner of a vintage item, you become the custodian. It is now personal to you and the romance is the history you imagine the item has had - thats what we fall in love with.

Zoe and I do all the buying for the shop and we usually talk each other into extravagant indulgences to take home too !!

igigi stilllife

3 / We are huge believers in creating a space that is a reflection of its owners. There is a synergy between your style of interior decorating and home personality.  How have you tried to do this with your own store and home?

I love to create and change both spaces, they constantly evolve. Thats the beauty and I never get bored of it. I can walk into the shop in the morning and say to Hana (my assistant) "Let's rip this place apart!" and when we leave in the evening, its a totally different shop. It is so rewarding and it keeps it fresh for us and the customers.

Home is the same. It keeps changing - if its flowers, plants, cushions and rugs, they can be seasonal and colourful. Things constantly get added or taken away (thats another great reason for the big attic).

A big THANK YOU to Alex for sharing her wisdom and insights into her life and home. Alex has also advised me that her beautiful home will be featured in the July/August issue of Vogue Living. So keep a look out for this!

If you haven't already purchased our chosen book for the month, you can now do it, here.

A Life Less Ordinary.

SbyD x

Images sourced via: Igigi General Store's Pinterest Page here

BOOK/CLUB: Recycled Interiors.

I know you are not suppose to judge a book by its cover, but with "A Life Less Ordinary", I couldn't help it. I was instantly drawn to its muted, earthy, colour palette and vintage pieces. While it may not represent my home interior, I still absolutely love it.  For this week, I want to explore Igigi's signature style and how you can achieve a similar look in your home. 

Image one.

Image one.

"We love to reclaim old things and put them in a modern space. Such places offer a story and a history, and bring a sense of individuality to a room that would otherwise appear bland and without character". 

Throughout the book, the authors, Zoe & Alex, share with us, items they've found that make them "tick":

+ leather-bound books cracking at the spine;

+ vintage linen fabric tied with string;

+ the uneven glass of vintage jars; and 

+ simple shapes that create unusual shadows, like a wooden horse's head or antler horns hung up on the wall.

Doesn't this sound amazing? Imagine having a home full of all these treasures and stories to share?

Image two.

Image two.

Zoe & Alex have sourced a variety of items from around the globe. Some of these are preloved heirlooms (passed down from family), others found in markets along their travels or discovered by suppliers. Zoe & Alex advise that "the simplest things, often recycled or found, can make the most effective decoration". 

If you have fallen in love with this style and want to achieve a similar look in your home, here's how you can do it:

1. Restrain the colour palette. Adopt a colour palette of muted, earthy, neutral tones and avoid bright, bold colours. Zoe and Alex advise that by doing this, you can "display the most unlikely objects together". We completely agree. By restraining your colour palette, you can combine a mixture of furniture styles together without committing to a theme.

Igigi General Store. Image three.

Igigi General Store. Image three.

2. Use recycled pieces of furniture and objects to give your space a lived-in feel. A house full of new items in this signature palette, will lack a story. While Igigi and the authors' homes may be modern, the pieces they use to decorate, including hardware, lighting and window treatments, are not. Adopt family heirlooms and shop at vintage flea markets to find pieces that give personality and history to your space.

3. Create small displays of all your objects and trinkets. Vignettes are essential in this interior style, which revels in the notion of collections on display. It is not a minimal look, as its purpose is to share and convey stories through the pieces on show. Those who love this style generally have a passion for collecting things, so this intuitively works hand in hand! 

Vignette Displays. Image four.

Vignette Displays. Image four.

4. Texture is paramount. With a restrained colour palette, texture is vital in providing visual interest in your space. A huge mix of materials and finishes including wool, cotton, linen, glass, stone, wood and fur will unite harmoniously when you restrain the colour palette!

5. Time to collect. This is not an interior style you can successfully achieve in one weekend. So be patient. Zoe & Alex have collected all their beautiful belongings over time from family & friends, travels and shopping trips.  In some ways, the journey is more important that the finished product as it's the stories you collect along the way that successfully create this look.

Di x

Images sourced via: one / two / three / four.

Welcome to SbyD Book Club.

Hi there!

If you are anything like me, you no doubt LOVE to read home interior books and magazines! So I thought this could be a great place to share with you all the lovely, inspiring things I read each month. So we are starting a book club. Right here, so welcome!

I think this space will also be a great opportunity for you to share what YOU are currently reading - whether its a magazine article, something on-line or a book. If reading has not been high on your agenda, then perhaps our Book Club may get you pumped to open one and start! If you are thinking about decorating your home, reading is such a great way to get your creative juices flowing. I am continuously amazed by the exciting ideas out there! So I hope you too will find inspiration here for your next project!

Vogue Living May/June 2014.

I will shortly release our first book for review for June. So stay tuned! In the meantime, got anything to share? Reading any great magazines?  Here's my top three favourite interior magazines at the moment:

1. Vogue Living

2. Real Living

3. Inside Out

What are yours?

SbyD x