Hanging Pictures - Weekend Inspiration

This weekend I'm going to hang some pictures up around my house. Fingers cross I don't end up with more holes in the walls than I do hooks. Wish me luck! Have a great weekend everyone. 

Come over and visit next week and read a little piece I have been working on for a wee while now. It's about how Primitive Living has snuck into our urban lives. 


Mezzanine Bird Cage

This picture is dedicated to my two cats Isaac and India. I'm sure they have had this dream! The Mezzanine Bird Cage is designed by Paris designer Constance Guissett.

Up & Coming - Ana Kraš

 I have fallen in love with the work of young Serbian designer Ana Kraš

  The Hive Lamp is one example of her beautiful yet simplistic designs.

 Kraš’s has already been getting plenty of media attention this year including her Hug Chair featured in Wallpaper* magazine. Ana's furniture —  exhibited at this year’s Salone Satellite in Milan under the umbrella of the Young Serbian Designers platform — is practical and simply crafted in the best way, with a striking level of charm and sophistication: Her ‘Bonbon’ lamps are beautiful handmade pieces – made by knitting yarn over steel wire frames. Her Noodle line can be used for a table or waste bin
 Ana's simple ‘Ksilofon’ clothing rack was initially designed at the request of her friends who wanted an easy an affordable clothing stand. The base of her wooden coat rack is a xylophone of colored panels.
Good taste comes naturally to Kraš, evidenced in the fact that she’s also a gifted photographer
Self Portrait of Ana.  All pictures by Ana Kraš

You can read an in depth and inspiring interview about Ana Kras on Sight Unseen 

Sleeping On The Moon

Photo by Supaudon
 We all know it but I will say it again. Sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most wonderful and inspiring. Sleeping on the moon during a weekend afternoon... How divine. 
When Ollie my fiance asked me on our first date he said "Would I like to walk on the moon with him?" I thought it was a little kooky so I replied "yes". Next thing I knew we were walking into the Imax theater and putting on oversized 3D glasses. The lights went down and we were on the moon.  
Have a lovely weekend and see you on Monday.

Natures Bowl - Made from Flour?

Question: When you add flour, water and spices and then bake it what do you get?
Answer: A bowl!

Eindhoven-based Italian duo FormaFantasma launch an exquisite series of tableware and lamps made from flour coloured with natural pigments derived from dried spices and vegetables, and brooms crafted from grain stalks and tops.

If you want the proper ingredients to make your own at home it is 70% flour, 20% shredded dried agricultural waste (like grain stalks and leaves) and 10% natural limestone. They don't say this but I think you should be adding egg?

“'Autarky' pays homage to the uncomplicated, the simple and the everyday," explain the designers. "The collection suggests an alternative way of producing goods where inherited knowledge is used to find sustainable and uncomplicated solutions." Something I touched on last week in the post about Design Before Fashion.

Fox & Freeze FF1 Lounge Chair

What is rule number one when you've made
your own chair?
This of course!

I have a confession. There is one material I love. Felt. Not only does it have a great look and tactile feel, it’s structural properties are extremely interesting; lightweight, sturdy, malleable -all things designers typically drool over. Belgian design-duo James Van Vossel and Tom de Vrieze, through their creative coop Fox & Freeze, have created an ingenious indoor lounge chair set to rival the Fat Boy you’ve got in your living room. Made from a single square sheet of synthetic felt, the FF1 Chair is entirely self-supporting, with only a flax rope added for aesthetic purposes. Surprisingly sturdy (strong enough to jump on), the twisting of the felt flows together to create the seat & base.

Available here.

Design Before Fashion

The perfection of the Duralex glass design is best experienced when the Picardie is used for drinking. The tapered shape fits the hand much more naturally than a straight-sided glass, and your fingers slip nicely into the hollows of the flutings on the lower part of the side, and even with wet hands the glass feels secure
FACT: We are being overloaded with information! We are facing some terrifying, brutal and intense times ahead including war, economy meltdown, what we are eating, how we look, climate change, science the shift of world leadership and TOO MUCH CHOICE. I don’t know about you but I’m finding it hard to look to the future because it scars me and I find it so hard to make decisions. Should I go for this phone, or this brand of organic chicken, should I drink bottled water? ahhh!

SnOOp is about reminding us about the meaning of our home. Seems meaningless when you read the words above but actually now more than any decade this is the one place where we can be ourselves and escape for just a few hours a day from the craziness going on around outside. It's where we can let go and just be.

Photo by Cate Underwood; photo by Clumsy Bird
 Photo by Yerinmok
The Ordinary Done Extremely Well
This is why Stephen Baileys words he shared with me back in mid 2008 about the Duralex glass holds so much importance to me today when I consider the space I live in. "The ordinary done extremely well." It's not about "beauty" but "evocative power"!!! Wow what words to share. 
 We don't just want stuff anymore. A purchase has to make sense - to us and our bank balance and for the planet. Less is increasingly more. Brands will have to show us how essential their offer is. Products masked with gizmos and gadgets now make us question quality. Why has a designer added gimmicks to their design? What are they hiding? Websites such as Moggit who highlight silly products ring alarm bells to me. As funny as the site is the serious side is there is too many unwanted, badly designed goods on the market. 

Do we need big industrial coffee machines in our home when we can make beautifully brewed coffee 
from straight forward, simple to use coffee makers. Dining room photo by Randy Martin;  
Chemex coffee maker photo by Ta

The other day I walked into a little shop called Utility (very much like London's Labour and Wait). They showcased a range of ordinary, everyday household items, presenting them as timeless marvels of both form and functionality. Mixing the traditional with sustainability, each item is a design classic, gently persuading you of its simple, sleek purpose in an otherwise world of bamboozling gadgetry complexity. With products valuing quality, reliability and a bargain I felt so calm and relaxed. I wasn't bombarded with brand choice 
I was embraced with familiarity. It was perfect. It highlighted to me simplicity matters.
Clean Lines, no direct brand attachment, well made and timeless products are great basics to kit your home with. Here you buy sturdy, unpretentious friends who will always be there for you. Feather Duster, from Labour and Wait, chopping board from, Utility; Doublefacette tableware by Postfossil; Enamel baking tin by Utility; wooden stool; Brown Betty teapot by Utility
Product with a sense of history and the ability to transport you to a place you would like to be is becoming more and more important. It's not so much the vintage find but the nostalgic feel.  Pestle & Mortar from Labour and Wait, Tile Stove by Dick van Hoff for Royal Tichelaar Makkum; Joyce Cabinet by Pinch Design ; Canteen Chair by Very Good & Proper; Tin Toy by Tin Arcade; Wastberg Light by StudioIlse
Future Fashion Trends For Our Home 
Regarding interior trends you are going to hear a lot about simplicity, refraining, soothing, wellbeing, upcycling, sustainable living and emotional design. Fewer and better is the new mantra.

Minimalism's New Definition Is Simplicity
In the 1990s it was all about minimalism. Celebrity architect, John Pawson, was influenced by Japanese design. He often created large empty white spaces only including a standout pine table and chair in a vast room. Accessories were usually large river pebbles and bamboo artfully placed. Minimalism today is called simplicity. Today modern Japanese homes embrace a simple aesthetic mirroring the 90's ideals. However the difference in this decade to come is the importance for us to stamp our identity in our home with creativity, nostalgia, connection to nature and a sense of belonging .
This home by Japanese architect Yoshichika Takagi resembles homes produced in 1990's.  Limited materials, large open spaces and furniture chosen like art that has been well considered.
Natural materials used inside our homes gives urban dwellers a direct relationship to nature. Private home designed by Suppose Design Office and log cabin by Piet Hein Eek. highlights the ideals for linking to primitive living 
 We have thrown away the interior design book because more of us are more confident in our own design choices. We create our homes to meet our family's requirements. 
 The importance in making a creative stamp inside the home is growing. Instead of thinking about the next buyer it's about creating  a visual story about you and your family. Handmade origami paper  birds photo by Ultra; Painted artwork on kitchen wall photo by Nicholas Hance McElroy
photo by Yann Faucher
What I'm sharing with you in this post is consider what you buy and don't fall into fashion fads.  Ask yourself will I be bored with this by next year? Will it endure my family's lifestyle? Do I really need another? Yes stick with what you love. I'm not suggesting to loose your style or identity. If you are a collector keep on collecting, if you live and breathe glamour let your home bling. But never forget with your home it's about creating a place where people feel welcomed and a landscape where you can watch your life age like a loved leather chair. Mementos you have collected should give you opportunities to dream and transport you back to a tropical beach you have bathed on, a jungle you have trekked through and a city you have shopped in. 

You are going to be fed a lot of information in this new decade where you will feel pushed, shoved, poked and pinched.  So when you are confused about how your home should look and feel come back to the Duralex glass and then ask can it be improved?

I Don't Know You But I'm Trying To Help

"I've spent ten of the past twenty months in Alaska, living and working at the non-profit Musk Ox Farm," shares photographer Nicholas Hance McElroy.
"The farm's project sits at a unique junction between gentle, region-appropriate agricultural practices, support for native peoples of the far North and the ongoing process of domesticating a survivor of the last ice age," he continues to explain. 
 "Musk oxen are born, raised and dearly cared for at the farm, both to educate the public about a highly adapted, and once nearly extinct arctic ungulate and for the perennial harvest of their valuable underhair (called qiviut). Qiviut is combed from the animals each spring, spun in yarn and knitted into garments by Alaska native knitters".  
 "There aren't many things that I choose to stand on a soapbox about, but this is one of them. Please take the time to get involved with the project however you're able - volunteer your talents or time, visit the farm, become a friend, fan or donor".
"Even the smallest contributions make an appreciable difference in the farm's wellbeing and help to guarantee the continued survival of one of the places most dear to my heart". 
 All of the wonderful pictures have been taken by Nicholas. If you want to check out more about the Ox Farm visit here and if you want to be wowed by more pictures visit here.

Happy Holiday

I hope your break is as good as Joel's who was sitting on a porch in Seattle in 2008. Mine is wonderful! I'm off to Norfolk to a little seaside village called Wells On The Sea. I love Easter break. Chocolate and lots of days off. BLISS!!! This great picture is by Nicholas Hance McElroy

Don't forget to come back on Wednesday to see my post Design Before Fashion.