Oh how I love Gossip Girl... let me count the ways...
the style and design
Blair and Chuck - they is my favourites!
Ok, back on track - I love taking notice of the interior design of TV shows and movies. They put so much detail into everything and really make it match the personality of the characters (which is what I am always preaching on here - so naturally, I LOVE IT!)
The set designer describes her style as a "rejection of the conventions of the Upper East Side while still respecting many of it's traditions and values".
Lets ooh and ahh at the Ven der Woodsen home together, among others...
I do tend to gravitate towards things that are a little different. In the way of lights, I admit - downlights look very stylish, neat and clean, but I am not always those things. Sometime, I just want a bit of oomf!
Came across these light fittings in a lighting store - I am sure there are many others that would tickle my fancy, but these ones stood out. They were quite large and made of a natural looking bamboo/stick-like material. They made me think that these are the modern chandeliers! Real statement pieces, but simple and raw looking - no glamour like the old sparkly chandeliers! I quite like them!
This little display is strung up above Church Street in Parramatta. I haven't thought that much of it, until I have been becoming more heavily involved in design, homes and this blog.
I am not sure what it is meant to represent, but I have taken notice of how beautiful it is - simple cones of mesh, strung up high above the street. Perhaps something this simple would make an outdoor entertaining area or garden something special?
Walking through Westfield Bondi Junction, I cam across a hairdresser with a fabulous screen. Instead of your standard glass, they have layers upon layers of recycled timber. It is quite smooth to touch and although acting as a screen, allows you to see through.
This made me think - what a great and potentially inexpensive addition to your home. It was quite thin, so it wouldn't take up too much space. You could screen off one area of a room from another - it would work great in an industrial style apartment. Recycled timber means that you could get it fairly inexpensive and I think with the right know-how anyone could put it together safely. What do you think?
I found this fab little article on Gwyneth Paltrow's goop.com . It is a great source of inspiration! An Interior Designer, Annette Joseph was called in to decorate an industrial-style apartment for G.P. in 10 days, so she acted quick and made things simple and functional. Theres no use putting the before pics up because they are a big pile of nothing, so check them out if you want on the site, but I say lets concentrate on the positives because the final product is delish!
I am loving the polished concrete floors accentuated by plush, thick rugs in the living areas!
Didn't think I was a big fan of the clear plastic chairs (as seen in the dining area), but I am coming around. I think I prefer them better when they are interspersed with other furniture. I love the way they fit with almost anything and they let the light through so the area feels less cluttered, but you still have maximum space. And...they can be wiped down!
Ooh check out those high lights, hanging from the frames - very nice (lets hope they can be lowered when it comes to changing the bulb!)
Ooh a cook's kitchen! I am really coming around to the aluminium island idea. I think its great as it lets light through, is easily cleaned and you can get one on wheels so you can move it around and change the space you have available. I also love being able to see food in the kitchen. It feels so homely. You could put potatoes and onions and the like in the baskets under the kitchen island. I think the more you see good food, the more you are encouraged to eat it!
You know what I realised to? I can see the bins - and they don't look out of place! The aluminium all fits in! Thats the thing with a lot of kitchens, they don't have a bin - or its hidden in a cupboard - so it gets all smelly and its not big enough - and it just doesn't make any sense!
Found those hanging lights in a flea market? B****!
The tiles in the bathroom are different, but they don't look out of place. I like how the bathroom is so open.
It feels like museum lighting, doesn't it? It would be interesting having lighting that does not only light the room, but is pointed towards specific areas of the room, walls and ceilings.
I actually saw a show on ABC recently, where a family was renovating a house. Because they had open beams and an exposed ceiling that followed the shape of the roof, they found that the normal level lighting was not working- they had dark sections above that ruined the feel of the room. They used directional lighting that shone upwards and suddenly the room felt bigger and warmer.
This room is interesting too because it is centred, instead of being aimed towards a TV in the corner, or at the side. I think you would need a lot of room in your house for this, because this feels like a bit of a waste of space. I would rather just curl up on a lounge in front of the fireplace..
Talk about pop-art! Well it is a more recognisable symbol than the crucifix!
If we are going to learn anything from this, let it be that pop-art can be anything and is not restricted to colours that feel like they are poking your eye out from across the room...or from the other side of the house!
I love how angular this room is. There are so many straight lines leading into one another. The room feels so masculine, yet functional and comfortable. It is really beautiful to look at. The use of light and shadow really adds to the feel of the room.
I am a big fan of black and white, as well as the tones of neutrals, but I love it when colour pops like the artwork in the doorway. It just looks like it belongs.
My husband loves his books. He has been studying, so doesn't get a lot of time to read, but when he does, he likes to buy his book, look after it like its a museum piece and then keep it forever.
As much as I try to box them from the overflowing shelves and guarantee their safety, he is adamant he wants them out on show. His dream is to have large bookcases and you know what, that sounds like a nice idea.
Books certainly infuse a big bit of you into a place and they add a warmth, in my opinion. A house feels lived it, it feels loved with books. But they would be a b**** to dust! (out comes the realist!)
The white really opens up the hallway. Natural light is a must in a hallway if you can get it.
Ok I keep coming back to this same bathroom idea (although tile free is a first)...the shower screen-less bathroom! Seriously, if you can get out of cleaning glass - then do it!
This photo below is seriously as pretty as a picture. Its arty to the max - and it makes me wonder - if you are getting out of cleaning glass, then why in hell would you be putting a mirror so close to the shower? Splashes, soap scum, steam...I'm being a realist here!
This bathroom is like looking at a painting. You know, I am not usually the realist. I would probably end up being the one to place that mirror near the shower, just because it looked so pretty, having my husband telling me its a stupid idea!
OMG I cannot believe how in love I am with that shower. It is so gorgeous! I don't know how realistic it is - design and cleaning wise, but I haven't seen something like that before, and I love that! You know what I am thinking though - no need to grout the tiles, clean that scum out that discolours the grout... that would be a dream. Talking about tiles, it also looks like there is wooden slat flooring in the bottom of the shower. That would feel so gorgeous under your feet!
They are really going for the japanese-feel in all of this. The bath below reminds me of a japanese bath house. I love the wood in bathrooms, although you would probably have to treat the stuff regularly, huh? Its a really lovely contrast against the grey, smooth, industrial feel of the walls. It brings a certain amount of earthy-ness to the room.
Here are some pics from the holiday Mr Piggy and I had in Japan. We went to a much larger tradition bath house, but of course I couldn't get an pics of that! Lots of naked women would not have been too happy! We stayed at a traditional Japanese hotel in Tokyo, which is called a Ryokan. They had two tiny little communal bathhouses to use (one for men and one for women). I couldn't help taking a few pictures (because I was the only person in there) and its so different to what we're used to back home.
You sit on these tiny little kid-sized stools and wash yourself first.
The room is very humid and steamy - a mix between a spa and a sauna (much bigger bath houses would be a little bit cooler). The water is so hot, you can only stay in for a short while.
To do: Visit a traditional Japanese bath house! Communal bathing is so empowering! I was the only Western person in the whole room, walking my nude self around. Who would have thought it could be so amazing.
Infusing yourself into your home is a beautiful thing. I tend to draw inspiration from travels and quirkiness. You don't need photos to make you remember great times. What trips have you been on that have inspired you to make a change in your design?
I have started on a whole new plane of thought in this blog now - dissing other people's design! Am I an expert? No. Do I have any qualifications outside an interest in design? No. But why should that stop me? Why should I have to shut my mouth and just appreciate everything without having a playful poke?!
I read an interview in Vogue recently where a very well dressed fashionista commented that her partner thought very highly of her because she never dissed other people's fashion. She believes that fashion is a form of self expression, so she does not feel right judging other people's wares. After a giant scoff, I sat back and started to feel guilty - am I a bad person because I 'bag-out' others' fashion/design? I don't do it to their face and I would never lie to someone telling them I loved something, when I actually didn't; but does that make me a bad person??
I tried to stop, I tried to go cold turkey, but inside me I just had to let those comments out that were bubbling up. I am not a bad person - I swear! I'm not evil! I like to discuss things, I like to see where people are coming from. I like to throw comments back and forth and see where that gets me.
Its easier of course to have trouble understanding the design of people you don't know - for the people I do know, I just LOVE seeing their personalities come out in things that they do, design, create, wear. It can't happen all the time (I certainly don't have an endless bank account or wardrobe), but I just LOVE IT when you see people making a real effort - and its 'so them'!!
Ok I have talked it out now. I feel better. From now on i'm not going to 'diss'. I am going to deconstruct design that is foreign to me - give opinions and determine if 'its me' or not - look at each of the elements. Everyone has different tastes and can make their own decisions, but I hope this blog brings some things to your attention that you may not think of, or that may open your eyes to other areas.
...and then they go and confuse me!!! My mind is screaming 'fire hazard' for the picture below, but my heart is saying awww.... whats wrong with me? I admit, candles are pretty, but I can imagine their wax pooling over that gorgeous lounge!
Love the ceiling! It looks like the room in built in an old church or underground. That would be fabulous!
I haven't put too much thought into lounges, but I am loving the look of this one. It seems to open up the room more than your average lounge. Maybe it is best suited to a fairly small room? I think I like it because it is different. It reminds me of the lounges queens in Egypt would recline on - the ones that had no backs. Its kinda like that, but modern and in a comfy way.
I want that room! I love the recessed book shelves in the walls. We have all this empty space inside the wall cavities - why not use a bit of it?! Its not like its an external wall anyway - so its not like you are trying to keep the heat in or keep the cold out, or whatever!
Aren't these pics interesting? They are so unusual and modern.
Definately no ho-hum here!
I love the use of colour, print and texture. I feel like I want to touch everything! The colours are neutral but so soft and warm. I feel like getting comfy right there on that couch!
I love feeling inspired by these things. It gives me the courage to want to step out of the usual home furnishings because - you know what - this works! Yes, I'm sure it could get a bit pricey if you let it, but having inspiration like this is a great thing to carry around or have in the back of your head when you shop, or browse or peruse second hand stuff and find little gems that make your home un-ho-hum!!!!
My husband and I are toying with the idea of building our first home together. To buy or not to buy? To build or not to build? That is the question. He is Mr. Numbers, I am Ms. Creative. We are at square one. Research is key. This is our forum. From ignorance, to enlightenment!