I Spy, Artist Ben Lowe

August 27th, 2013 | Posted by deardesigner in I Spy - (2 Comments)

Ben Lowe is a British artist who says that if he wasn’t an artist he wouldn’t be alive. That’s art speak for passion. And it shines through in his work which is all based on personal experiences.

Loaf - Seven Dollar Party Dress £395 by Ben Lowe

One of my favourites is ‘Seven Dollar Party Dress’  above, which was painted after Ben’s friend declared she must find one when they first hit the streets of Manhattan in 2012. The name stuck and this is her dress.

Loaf - Waiting Game print by Ben Lowe

Another was the result of finding a crumpled old photo of a frozen lake while clearing out his Gramps’ attic, and yet another after taking a soppy trip down memory lane to his favourite Cornish beach.  What Ben’s work has in common is that it looks cool and is a joy to live with.

Loaf - Exit Strategy canvas print £395 by Ben Lowe

They all come printed on canvas and with a nice, thick, painted wooden frame.

Loaf - Ben Lowe canvas print Roses £345 by Ben Lowe

Stocked exclusively at Loaf.

Urban Road Comes to the UK

August 14th, 2013 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

Urban Road is the creation of Australian based artist Suzy Atkin who is an entirely self-taught artist.  She founded her company in 2010 with the dream of selling her original canvas art prints world-wide at an affordable price. Each piece is created with a combination of hand painted techniques and digital design and printed on 100% cotton canvas.   Each is then stretched over 38mm timber stretcher bars and gallery wrapped, which means the image is stretched around the edges of the frame to create a seamless, museum-quality finish.

I think of art as an ever-changing journey and one that I love being on. I take my inspiration from my urban surroundings and transform these into pieces that I hope will uplift any home or office space,” says Suzie.

I love how fresh they look.  The colours are absolutely irresistible and I wouldn’t mind a few of these hanging in my own home!

Urban Road Autumn

Urban Road AvaCream

UrbanRoad_Aqua Nova

Urban Road Leopard

Ready to hang prints are from £70 – £200 and Suzy ships worldwide.

If you would like to add a little bit of exotic to the home and you are partial to the colours and patterns of Africa head over to Houzz.

My ‘ideasbook’ this month is totally inspired by the traditional crafts of the great continent from the South Africa to Nigeria.  Many of the products are made from waste products and many of them are fairtrade, made by the women of townships.  Here’s a glimpse of a few of them…

Houzz - June 13

Head over to Houzz for full details of the sources.

Art: It’s Personal

May 30th, 2013 | Posted by deardesigner in Shopping - (2 Comments)

Art is such a personal thing don’t you think?

Art in interior design falls distinctly into different camps in my mind.  There are those that choose art to coordinate with the carefully chosen colour scheme.  Who might even go as far as to choose a frame to fit the space between the sofa and the ceiling and then choose a painting to fit in the frame.  There’s nothing wrong with this.  I’ve even done it myself to some degree.

 Michael Foulkrod

Artist:Michael Foulkrod

And then there’s the camp that choose the art first.  They arrange the room to allow the paintings to breathe.  They ban any other colours in the room so as to not distract from the main focal point and might even go as far to move when the collection starts to outgrow the home.

Darius Martin

Artist:Darius Martin

For most of us however it’s a little bit of both.  We all have an assortment of heirlooms, sentimental keepsakes, family photographs, and gifts from friends and if we’re very lucky one or two pieces that we just could not go home without.

Carmen Giraldez

Artist:Carmen Giraldez

And if anyone ever asks my advice about which art they should buy to finish off an unfinished room I do not hesitate to say.  Just buy what you love.

“Treat a work of art like a prince. Let it speak to you first”.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Franco Fusari

Artist:Franco Fusari

It’s never been easier to buy art online from a diverse range of mediums and in any price range.  It has the added attraction of allowing you to discover your very own new talent and to support emerging artists whilst giving your home something distinctly unique and personal.

Simon Kenny

Artist:Simon Kenny

“A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires”.

Hedy Lamarr

All art paintings from Saatchi Online.

The Ibride Yuan Vase

April 16th, 2013 | Posted by deardesigner in Shopping - (5 Comments)

I have fallen head over heels for this Ibride Yuan vase.

ibride - yuan vase

Not just a vase you understand.  It’s actually tableware that stacks into a vase shape.

ibride - yuan

Consisting of 4 plates, 4 bowls and 1 lid it is made of high quality, dishwashable melamine and the inside has the most exquisite decoration.

ibride - yuan dinner plates 2

In addition there are another four plates to add to the collection.

ibride - yuan dinner plates 1

It simply is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time.


Available from An Angel At My Table.

New from The Padstow Mussel Company are these stunningly beautiful Gyotaku prints from Susie Ray.

Crab Gyotaku Print

Gyotaku is a 18th/19th century technique used by Japanese Fishermen to visually record new species of fish they would catch.  The original method was to use edible ink and rice paper, but Susie, looking to create a more precise finish has used paints and cotton cloth.

Cornish Shells And Coral Gyotaku Print

The fish depicted are all locally caught Cornish fish from Padstow to Newlyn.

Cornish Squid Gyotaku Print

How lovely would they look in a beach house with soft white panelled walls, lots of neutral linens and oodles of wood and basketware?

Cornish Prawn Gyotaku Print


Did everyone have a nice Christmas?

I had a lovely time with the family.  Ate too much and just generally relaxed a lot.  I’m already looking around though, for the next decorative fix.  You know the feeling?  When the Christmas decorations come down and the house looks a little forlorn and bare?

Wouldn’t these lacquered tin flower wall decorations from Plumo do just the trick?

Plumo laquered tin flowers 1 Plumo laquered tin flowers 2 Plumo laquered tin flowers 3 Plumo laquered tin flowers 4

And they are currently on sale so they won’t be hanging around for long!

Loving the purple one.

Cross Stitch in Time

December 20th, 2012 | Posted by deardesigner in I Spy - (0 Comments)

I’ll let you into a little secret.  Once upon a time I used to have a bit of an addiction.

It was nothing harmful you understand.  Or life threatening or even marriage breaking.  Hypnotic, all-consuming and habit-forming, yes.  But ultimately it was very therapeutic and satisfying, and the results of this addiction are still hanging on my walls.

Yes, I was a cross-stitch addict.

So I was very interested to see these kits by What Delilah Did at Roost Living.

Roost Living Cross Stitch Kits.

I’d urge anyone to try this because it really is the most satisfying way to spend a winter evening in front of the fire and the results look so fantastic.  I love the  way they are hung inside their hoops.  So simple.  You could realistically finish one of these in an evening.  Honestly.

Roost Living Bee Cushion square

The cushions might take a bit longer but they look stunning and any of these kits would make really thoughtful gifts.

Roost Living Cross Stitch Kits Key Close Up

One of these days I might show you my own masterpieces!

I Spy – Pens and Needles

December 17th, 2012 | Posted by deardesigner in Events - (2 Comments)

Pens and Needles is an exhibition running from now until January 14th in the Print House Gallery, 18 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL.

It has been curated by Jemma Ooi and Nathan Philpott, the duo behind CUSTHOM and is a collection of tactile posters that explore the use of digital embroidery as a unique and expressive form of drawing.

 Giedre Domzaite at Pens and Needles

Giedre Domzaite

The designs on show hold coherence in colour, as they are limited to bright red, azure blue, sapphire and bright white.  Colour and paper size were the sole restraints, so the possibilities of digital embroidery process come under the spotlight.

David Longshaw at Pens and Needles

David Longshaw

The posters are also for sale on the Pens and Needles website and Christmas delivery is still possible if you order before the 18th December.

Fred Butler at Pens and Needles

Fred Butler

Works will be framed and unframed and sold through the Gallery, with 10% of the proceeds donated to ART AGAINST KNIVES.

Andre Beato at Pens and Needles

Andre Beato

Personally, I think this is one for the diary between Christmas and New Year!

Stars by Barbara Chandler for Habitat

November 30th, 2012 | Posted by deardesigner in Events - (0 Comments)

I felt very privileged to be invited to an installation of festive photography by Barbara Chandler last week at the Kings Road branch of Habitat.

Barbara (for anyone who isn’t familiar with her work) is the author of Love London, which was published last year and contains 180 photographs of the capital, and her photographic work has featured in a series of London exhibitions.  She has also worked extensively as a journalist, writing mainly about interiors and design for many national newspapers and magazines including the London Evening Standard (for over 20 years), and more recently Homes and Gardens.

Last weeks exhibition also marked the launch of her ‘stars’ collection for Habitat which features her photographs digitally printed on cushions, aprons, tea towels and tote bags.  The tea towels are shown here.

I haven’t known Barbara for very long but in that short time she has shown tremendous support for us humble bloggers and I’m proud to be able to call her a friend.  She also (and I don’t think she’ll mind me saying this) looked stunning in one of her own ‘stars’ aprons and black high heels.  Such amazing legs!

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