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Posts Tagged ‘white walls’

Also see my ‘Interiors advice’ page!

I don’t know about you, but the first thing I like to do when I arrive in a hotel is to take a photo of the room, sad, I know, and as the bed is usually the focal point of the room, I inevitably end up with lots of photos of beds. My family enjoys seeing this reportage of  ‘places I have slept’ but I’m not sure that it would be of much interest to anyone else. Anyone, that is, except someone who is interested in interiors. I focus a lot on architecture in this blog for the main reason that I am just as passionate about architecture as I am about interiors, but also because it is so much easier to photograph architecture – every day if I wanted to! So, here’s a bit of interior action for you. It’s the cream of the crop of beds where I spent the night literally California dreaming.

Hotel Angeleno BedroomThis was at the Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles (apologies for my posing!). The bed was huge, like sleeping on a cloud with the white fluffy mattress and duvet, and the headboard was smooth suede. The walls were covered in buttermilk wallpaper and there was a lot of leather.

Hennesey HouseHennessey House’s ‘Paisley Room’, Napa. We had the smallest room in the place but it was very comfortable for one night. A very well run and well-presented Queen Anne style guest house and the decor was extremely in-keeping with the style of the house.

Water's EdgeAh, the Water’s Edge, Tiburon – a dream of a bed, which was a problem as I didn’t want to get out of it. I had to though, to jump on the ferry to San Francisco! This room was large and very luxurious with a huge bath as well as this huge bed! I loved the patterned blanket at the end of the bed and, again, the wealth of leather.

Huntington BeachThis was the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, the last hotel of our trip. The decor was light and bright with warm wood and colour accents, as well as unusual touches such as these stone shell lamp stands. The plain white fluffy duvet was present here too, as was the deliciously comfortable mattress.

All of these places inspired me to create a more comfortable atmosphere in my own bedroom, which is all white – walls and duvet – with pale grey low shelves on either side of the bed beneath which live our extensive magazine collections (mine fashion, architecture and interiors, his motor racing and fast cars!) and above which are different sized framed pictures. Above the bed hangs a string of fairy lights in individual white paper lanterns and a giant ball paper lantern hangs low from the ceiling. I’ll pop a photo of it on here one day.

I do admit that I find it difficult to emerge from my bed each day, and even more so now that it is in the dark! If only humans could hibernate…ah well, I can dream, can’t I?

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Also see my ‘Interiors advice’ page!

Alek, of ‘From the Right Bank to the Left coast’ threw down the gauntlet big style to interior designers the world over to find one picture that most closely represents our interior style. I’ve spent many an evening poring through my back catalogue of Elle Decoration, Dwell, Living Etc., Metropolitan Homes, Diseño Interior, Ideat and Casa Viva magazines, as well as files stuffed full of interiors ripped out of newspapers and supplements over the years and my many books. I came up with a shortlist of favourites but none were quite right – apart from two, that is. Yes, I know that is cheating, but both represent slightly different sides of me. One is my ‘reined in’ side, which aspires towards understated perfection and sleek glamour, the other is my more ‘everyday’ side, which loves laid back-ness and comfort. Not as much of a contradiction as you might expect!

So, the first room I have chosen is from a relatively recent Elle Decoration from February 2008. There are elements that I greatly admire about this room that reflect my own style, but there is also room for my own touches of improvement.

Style Picture 1What do I love about it? Well, firstly I love the pendant light shade, its architectural shape and the sense of whimsy it adds to the room – who doesn’t love a bit of whimsy? I love the light airiness of the space, the colour – monochrome brown, black and white, the use of wood which adds warmth, the texture of the surfaces, the structure of the kitchen and furniture layout, the clever use of structural space, allowing for the double-height ceiling and mezzanine level. I love the chairs and simple dining table and tableware with the teak salad bowl. The repetition of rectangular shapes in the kitchen space which is continued to the stairs and the wall of the mezzanine, as well as the way each step has two layers is a great touch. I also love the abstract picture next to the oven, oh, and the way the oven is mounted on the wall. The wonderful black and white portrait and anglepoise lamp, as well as the (just seen) red flower fairy lights tumbling out of a ceramic vase on the mezzanine add personality to the space.

What would I change? Not much! I perhaps would have installed more texturally-interesting tiles as the ceiling-high splash back in the kitchen space. An architectural shaped plant, perhaps a Swiss cheese plant, would look great on the mezzanine level to the right of the chair. A ‘barely there’ runner on the dining table patterned largely in monochrome but with a splash of dark green. In the winter, I’d throw some small sheepskin rugs over the dining chairs and line the stairs with tea-lights and the table with candles in a mid-20th century Danish stainless steel candle holder.

Perhaps it’s my love of collecting Danish tableware (stainless steel and teak) that provides the same attraction for me to this space. I love the room’s sleekness, with its nods to classic Scandanavian as well as retro style and its wonderful architectural pieces, full of movement. It is modern but also personal with carefully chosen objects that are genuinely beautiful and well-designed. It is not surprising that the owner, Maria Löw, and architect, Gun Ahlström are both Swedish. I couldn’t get further from being Swedish myself, but this room reflects my own personal taste and aspirations as closely as it is possible to get. Until the next picture, that is…

Picture two, ripped from the Saturday Times magazine, probably a good five years ago (don’t have the date, unfortunately!), is one that I discarded for being, on the face of it, too boring, but I kept coming back to it. It’s actually a perfectly laid out multi-functional space that works wonderfully and includes interesting structural elements which are happily married to the modern sensibility of the furniture.

Style Picture 2I love the space, the huge amount of natural light that just saturates the space, and the positioning of the furniture to naturally define the different areas. The exposed brickwork of the walls and fireplace and, of course, the fact that it is all painted white, is also extremely appealing to me. The wood floor off-sets this, as does the pale blue painted kitchen wall. I love the Louis Poulsen pendant lamp hung low over the super long dining table and the colour scheme of the items in the room in general which provide warmth against the white backdrop. I love the shelves in the window, and the way that the storage scheme cleverly makes use of every nook and cranny. I love the casually slung table cloth and the wonderful architectural shapes of the flowers on the table. I love the kitchen cupboards and black unit top. I love the owner’s desk area and the black painted radiator.

I would only change the (visible) sofa as I can’t imagine that the low back would make it very comfortable, despite its good looks, and, to me, comfort really matters. I’d also exchange the three cushions for two with different patterns. The dining chairs are almost there but I’d prefer the Eames DSR chairs (with Eiffel Tower base!) in this space.

Apart from these things, this room pretty much says ‘me’!  It also has a loose Scandanavian element to it, and the use of natural materials and texture, as well as the white and dark wood, is similar to that of picture 1. My Danish party-ware would sit perfectly in this space and it is also open to the addition of more vibrant colour – more so perhaps than the more minimalist scheme of picture 1. I can see my cockerel collection being quite at home on the higher shelf to the right of the desk!

So, that’s me anyway. I love poring over and collecting these images because I have a passion for seeing how other people live – some would call it ‘noseyness’! I’m always looking for ways of improving spaces and taking inspiration from little parts of things that just sing to me. Remember that I’m talking about my own personal taste in both of these pictures, too. I would never try to influence a client against their will and would make sure that their space reflects their own unique taste. There’s also nothing wrong with mixing in a bit of aspirational magic in with your personality too, though (I’m thinking of picture 1!), as what would life be if we couldn’t dream?

Other pictures that were considered but did not make the final cut:

Style Picture 3Style Picture 5

From Easy Living and the Saturday Times Magazine respectively, I love the beautifully displayed sombrero collection, the low shelving, the exposed brick work of the first picture (and the presence of a cockerel collection!) and the wonderful dining chairs, black painted floor and rosy under unit light of the second picture.

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