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It’s not often that you come across a home that you could just move into without changing a thing. This loft apartment in Portland, Australia just happens to be one of them for me.  The interior was designed by Jessica Helgerson and it has maintained its original warehouse heritage but with an abundance of exotic eclectic elements, Moroccan rugs, heavy linens and a smattering of mid-century pieces.

An Australian Loft via Est Magazine 1

 Well let’s break it down shall we? Painting a ceiling black is a very brave move but here it works because of the height and because it is, after all a space with an industrial past. It helps to make a large open plan space cosy. The Moroccan rug warms up that polished concrete (again, so right in a loft space) floor and the wrap around seating and the bookshelves turn this seating area into a very social space. Don’t you just want to get up and wander over to those shelves and have a browse?

An Australian Loft via Est Magazine 2

Where to put the TV is a problem for us all and I like how it is positioned just above this floating sideboard as if it were just another piece in the collection of books, candles and souvenirs. The sideboard too is interesting. Something more modern here would have looked out-of-place but this design using wood and metal blends well with all of the other elements in the room. And have I mentioned that huge chunk of wooden coffee table? So beautiful.

An Australian Loft via Est Magazine 3

 The kitchen again marries that industrial edge with raw materials and glamorous sophistication. The white tiles are my all time favourites and see that chandelier? I’ve just hung one very similar in my sitting room at home. And the chairs? They are vintage Eames DKW leather chairs and I want them!

An Australian Loft via Est Magazine 4

And last but not least for me, the bedroom. Restrained and tasteful. A felt rug instead of a headboard adds drama, pattern and colour whilst the bedside table is simplicity itself.

When can I move in?

More images via Est Magazine

Photographs by Lincoln Barbour

A Muted Colour Palette

March 31st, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

I was asked to choose an image at the weekend that portrayed my ideal room. How hard can that be with thousands of favourites on my pinterest boards? Or so I thought. In fact it took far too long to choose. Yes, I have thousands pinned, but to choose just one that summed up everything that I would wish for was harder than I thought.

In the end I opted for this one from the portfolio of stylist Kim Timmerman.

A Muted Palette from the portfolio of Kim Timmerman

It might not be my favourite tomorrow, but for now I would be quite happy to snuggle up on that sofa with a good book, sip coffee, nibble biscuits and just enjoy the abundant light.

What makes if so appealing?

I think it has a lot to do with the light. The muted colour palette where nothing shouts too loud. The texture of the rug. And the built-in shelves where I could spend hours arranging and re-arranging to my hearts content.

A Muted Palette from the portfolio of Kim Timmerman 3

The rest of the house isn’t too bad either. The same colour palette carries on into the kitchen and so does the northern light. It just has to be in Scandinavia.

A Muted Palette from the portfolio of Kim Timmerman 2

I love a good collection and this would be a great place to work.

And this moodboard just about sums up why the colours work.

A Muted Palette from the portfolio of Kim Timmerman 4

Concrete, metal, glass, porcelain and wood. Greys, white, silver and brown.

Yes for now I love these colours, surfaces and textures.

Tomorrow will be another day.

I think it must be true that all artist’s have beautiful homes.

This one belongs to Marcella Kaspar and her architect husband Mark Cooper who gambled on buying a dilapidated house in the seaside suburb of Coogee, Australia. The old house was demolished and they built a new home around a central courtyard and pool.  But it was the charcoal walls that first drew me in and the way they are the perfect backdrop for Marcella’s work.  And then it was the crystal and glass. And then it was the colours.

An Artists House in Australia via Living Design 2

The cushions on the linen sofa were stitched by the artist from Japanese fabrics and the colours perfectly compliment the peony painting, the crystal droplets and the glass on the coffee table, but none of it looks contrived. It just happens to be a collection of loved objects. Or so it seems.

An Artists House in Australia via Living Design 3

The kitchen also, if you take each of the individual elements, shouldn’t work. The pale wood of the kitchen table, bench and pendant lights should be at odds with the crystal chandelier, the glossy ceiling and the ornate dining table. Yet they all seem to work together.

The dark walls and the absence of any bright colours just seem to pull it all together.

An Artists House in Australia via Living Design 1

I think the old lesson of buying what you love, and it will somehow work, couldn’t be more true.

Images via Living Design 

Of course I can’t move into a new house without creating new schemes! I’ve been toying with moodboards for the sitting room as it’s the room most in need of a re-think. I have some existing items that I do want to keep and I have plans for the tv wall that will have to wait for now as it will involve bespoke shelving. So, my shopping list at the moment is for a window treatment, new sofa, new rug, new coffee table and a pendant light. Oh, and I will have an existing armchair recovered in a gorgeous warm yellow. Not too extravagant I think.

Sitting Room Moodboard 1 - Dear Designers BlogSitting Room Moodboard 2 - Dear Designers BlogWest Elm coffee table - Dear Designers Blog

What do you think?

Not too sure about the wallpaper.

Sources: Next sofa. B & Q pendant light. Kelly Hoppen wallpaper via Graham & Brown. Etsy yellow cushion. Framed black and white photographs from Made.com. Karndean aged oak flooring. Plantation shutters from Stylish Shutters. Tray table from Wayfair. BHS chevron lampshade. Souk wool rug from Westelm. Cushion stack and black and white cushion from Niki Jones. Silver pedestal table from Chandeliers and Mirrors. Black Kartell lamp from John Lewis. Coffee table from West Elm.

There’s something about the lull between Christmas and New Year that encourages relaxation. I must admit that I have been taking advantage of the extended holiday to escape to my own cosy corner as often as possible before January is upon us. It’s going to be a busy one with magazine deadlines, photo shoots, a trade show and moving house, so you can imagine I need all the rest I can get!

So what makes a cosy corner especially cosy?

Cosy Corners via trendenser.se

A comfy armchair for one. It can also be a corner of the sofa, a hammock, a chaise, anything that encourages lounging. A footstool will make it even more relaxing.

Cosy Corners via livethemma.ikea.se

A plump cushion. Or as many as you like. You want the effect of being cocooned.

Cosy Corners via megbiram

A blanket for cuddling up in when it gets especially chilly. It will also ward off any draughts.

Cosy Corners via sortofpink.blogspot.fi

A handy table for balancing the cup of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, wine. Whatever takes your fancy.

Cosy Corners via stilinspiration.blogspot.co.uk

A well positioned lamp for reading and to make the cosy corner even more cosy.

Napping is obligatory.

Images: Trendenserlivethemma.ikeamegbiramsortofpinkmyparadissi

Not exactly your typical Danish style home. This one is a villa on two floors, designed in 1960 by architect Knud Andersen and has all the characteristics of a Scandinavian home with materials such as slate, marble and teak, along with the large uncurtained windows but it is also filled with the owners collections from around the world.

Danish style via altfordamerne.dk - Photograph credit Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer [2]

The house is decorated with hand-made unique discoveries found at bazaars and markets; silver ornaments, tassels from national costumes, bangles and old embroidered textiles. Even the Christmas tree is adorned with Chinese silver ornaments and other ethnic finds and it sits on two Suzani rugs laid on top of each other.

Danish style via altfordamerne.dk - Photograph credit Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer [3]

On the suzani covered Christmas table old Afghan Bangles are used as candlesticks.

Danish style via altfordamerne.dk - Photograph credit Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer [4]

And the Christmas presents get the same treatment too. One package is adorned with a tassel from Turkmenistan and decorates the teak staircase leading to the first floor with all the other gifts.

Danish style via altfordamerne.dk - Photograph credit Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer [1]
 

But it is not overdone. In typically Danish style it is very understated and low-key and I particularly love the tray filled with water hyacinths in lassi glasses.

They must smell divine.

Photographs credit - Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer/ Sisters Agency for altfordamerne.dk

The Vittsjo Shelves from Ikea

December 16th, 2013 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

I’ve been looking at the Vittsjo shelves in Ikea for a while now. Bookshelves can sometimes make smaller rooms look oppressive but the combination of metal and glass is quite appealing. The new house (like most new builds) has room dimensions that are going to be challenging decoration wise. A lot of my existing furniture is simply not going to fit, and while it’s a good excuse to shop it’s quite heartbreaking to part with some of it. What I do buy new is going to have to last a long time and that’s another good thing about the Ikea shelves – they look more expensive than they are!

Ikea - Vittsjo

Apart from the baskets on the bottom shelves I can imagine this kind of styling for the living room. My design books on their sides and my collection of travel mementoes, and things I just want to be able to see every single day.

And they look good hacked too!

Ikea - Vittsjo via Crystalin Marie

Sprayed white they exude a whole different vibe.

Ikea - Vittsjo via Style Spell Book

And sprayed gold takes them upmarket by miles. Not sure about covering the glass with wood though.

Ikea - Vittsjo via Emily Henderson via Decor Pad

But actually I think I would keep them black.

Sources: 1 livethemma-ikea 2 Crystalin Marie 3 Style Spellbook 4 Emily Henderson via DecorPad

Take Me Away: Orchard Keepers

November 13th, 2013 | Posted by deardesigner in Travel - (5 Comments)

As winter starts to settle in here in the UK I’m wondering why I didn’t get round to booking that winter break.  Well, ok, so I’ve had other things on my mind like keeping up the momentum on a quarterly magazine and app (Heart Home of course), establishing myself as a full-time freelancer (it’s going ok…fingers crossed) and moving house (still at the contracts stage but moving forwards slowly).  So really holidays have been way down the agenda.  Which is a shame because we all need holidays.

And I couldn’t think of a nicer location than Orchards Keepers which is a beautiful four bedroom home and separate Workers Cottage situated an hour outside of Melbourne.  It was originally three separate cottages dating back to the 1890′s & 1950′s and has been lovingly restored to now provide accommodation for ten people surrounded by neighboring vineyards and orchards.

Orchard Keepers, Australia 1

Orchard Keepers, Australia 2

Orchard Keepers, Australia 3

Orchard Keepers, Australia 4

Orchard Keepers, Australia 5

Orchard Keepers, Australia 6

Orchard Keepers, Australia 7

I love the restful colours, the use of simple materials and the complete absence of clutter.  And yet is still looks welcoming and warm and absolutely the perfect place to recharge the batteries.

And it’s available to rent!

Orchard Keepers

Ahhh, velvet.  That most tactile of fabrics.  So soft and sensuously smooth.

So intense and saturated with colour.

The very mention of it conjures up scenes of seduction and glamorous lounging.

Studio Pepe

Ikea

graham and green

sofa

houzz

Sofas become more welcoming, headboards more beckoning and curtains whisper to us of secrets, as they slither and slide and pool on the floor.

On second thoughts I think I’m currently favouring yellow.

What about you?

Image sources: Luisa Bertoldo, Ikea, Graham & Green, Sofa.com, Houzz

I think I might like to move into this house for the duration of winter.

It’s situated in Montana and weather-withstanding barns, typical to the local environment, inspired the chalet’s construction.  A typical ski chalet it ain’t.  At first glance you are overawed by the huge beams, weathered timber ceilings and brick walls.  But look again and you notice the sleek modern furniture, the sophisticated light fittings and the silk and velvet textures.

It’s the perfect marriage of rough and smooth.

The Rough with the Smooth via Home Adore 1

The Rough with the Smooth via Home Adore 2

The Rough with the Smooth via Home Adore 3

The Rough with the Smooth via Home Adore 6

The Rough with the Smooth via Home Adore 4

The Rough with the Smooth via Home Adore 5

The Rough with the Smooth via Home Adore 7

Would anyone like to be my houseguest?

via Home Adore.

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