Friday, October 28, 2011

Jane Cumberbatch - Pure Style

I saw on Design*Sponge this morning that there was a Sneak Peek into Jane Cumberbatch's London home. The girls' school lunches would have to wait...

There are some beautiful photos of Jane's London home. I love her use of colour... well as the neutral schemes she is so well known for...

...and her ability to let a house breathe and just be what it is.

Jane's book, Pure Style, was one of the first design books I bought when Pete and I bought our first subterranean garden flat in London. I lived and breathed this book. 

I set about renovating our little 1 bedroom flat in Richmond, on a meagre budget, hanging off Jane's every word.

This is the book that took me into design. I loved that Jane could use paint, Ikea and second hand furniture so effectively, and make a home look fabulous without the designer items I couldn't afford. Her book just spoke to me.

We then moved from London to Greenville, South Carolina, with Pete's job, where I renovated our old home in the Augusta Road area. I used this book as my bible and discovered a whole new world through the Benjamin Moore paint chart, thanks to Jane. 

Our dining room in Greenville was based on the above room, complete with a table too small for the room, but made up for by the fabulous-ness of Benjamin Moore Nantucket Gray, a colour Jane used a lot in Pure Style, against terracotta tiles and white walls. This colour is pure genius.

My style has evolved over the years and, whilst my home couldn't look much more different than Jane's now, I still love her absolute belief in simplicity and honesty in what she has in her home.

I also have a special place for someone who taught me, through a book, that design is for everyone who loves it, no matter what the budget.

PS - I plan to be a better blogger next week...this week has been crazy town in fabric land. I hope you all have a very happy weekend. Annie x.

Images 1 - 4 via Design*Sponge; 5 -8 scanned from Pure Style by Jane Cumberbatch, 9 from here; 10 from here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Colour & Cushions

Now, didn't I promise colour and cushions today? That combination brings one thing to mind...Yastik by Rifat Ozbek.

Fashion designer Rifat Ozbek, in collaboration with Erdal Karaman, has designed this beautiful range of cushions under the Yastik label.

'Yastik' means cushion in Turkish and there are two stores in Turkey, where the collection was launched back in 2005. The London store opened early this year, just off the Kensington High Street. How could you ever walk past this window?

It feels like mid summer here in Auckland today. It's the first day of the new school term and, as we live very close to school, I could see the kids out on the field at lunch time in the sun. Perfect. I hope the sun is shining wherever you are too x.

Images 1, 2 & 3 from here; 4, 5 & 6 from here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Zealand 8 - France 7

Honestly. Thank goodness.

As I watched the husband turn into The Incredible Hulk for 80 minutes last night, I am very happy the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup 2011.

It's been 24 years since New Zealand lifted rugby's Webb Ellis Cup in the inaugural event in 1987. There have been many upsets and tears since. Upset rugby players too.

It was a very tense, tight match but look how fired up these boys were when they performed the pre match Haka.

However, so was the French team...

It was so tense, but finally, the full time whistle blew and the ABs knew they had finally done it!

To France. What a wonderful game. You played like only the French can when no one expects them to. Formidable.

I have just been out for a run. It's the Labour Day holiday today and it's a glorious Spring day. I expected to see a lot of sore heads out there but instead saw lots of people in yesterday's clothes still hanging off balconies with celebratory glasses in hand. I vaguely remember being able to do that!

Now to my favourite ad of the Rugby World Cup 2011....this 'award' goes to local beer company Tui, picking up on the filmed indiscretions of the Queen's grandson in law (if there is indeed such a thing) and England rugby player Mike Tindall.

It still makes me laugh...

Okay, that's it for another 4 years. Promise. Back to colour and cushions tomorrow.

If you're in NZ, enjoy the holiday. There's a lot of very happy people out there x.

All images via The Guardian (UK) except Tui from here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Inspired the vibrant mix of prints in this bedroom in the November issue of Homes & Gardens (UK).

There is a lot going on but I love it!

Whilst I'm not a fan of red walls - too much time spent in Farrow & Ball Dining Room Red rooms I think - I do love it here.

I also love the duvet cover with the pom pom fringe - the colours are perfect and I've found it on the Heal's website.

I also found this Missoni bedlinen while I was 'browsing'...

There seemed to be a sale going on okay...

I've bought these for Arabella's new bedroom when we move in December. I know it seems fickle playing around with one's children's bedroom schemes - somewhat precious even - but here's why it means a lot to me...

Our current home is large but with an unusual layout. It is spread out over 3 levels and the girls' bedrooms connect to the back garden on the bottom level. There is a large 'U' shaped room and the two 'bedrooms' are placed in the two tips of the U...following? They do have their own bedroom spaces, just no doors! The base of the U is a playroom/set of The Lion King.

I tried to take photos but it's school holidays and honestly, it looks like a crime scene at Toys R Us.

So whilst the new house is smaller than this one, it has a better layout for us right now. There are 4 bedrooms plus a study and a separate play room. Happy Days.

As much as we know that the girls will need their own doors soon, they love their space and are upset about leaving it behind. So, to assuage my guilt I'm putting together schemes to make their new bedrooms fun, functional and nice to look at.

I know once we get in there they will love having their own, proper bedrooms. They both have very different tastes so this is a chance for them to get what they want. Arabella wants quite a grown up scheme, using the reds and blues she already has. Change is not her favourite thing!

Then there's the second child, Lily. She wants pink and yellow and boy, can that 7 year old shoot a look if the wrong hue is presented to her! I'm kinda proud...

So, for me it's the last day of the school holidays and there's a long weekend coming up. Oh, and a game of rugby. The final that is. All Blacks vs France. Go the mighty ABs!!!

Wherever you are, have a very Happy Weekend x.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Muted Tones

Most of my enquiries for fabrics and wallpapers in the Quadrille range are for the bright colours that Quadrille, China Seas and Alan Campbell are known for. Recently though, I've had a lot of interest in the more muted tones of some of the Quadrille Prints.

This fabulous sofa is by Design House of Southampton NY, and the fabric is Quadrille's Carlo II, which comes in the most beautiful colours.

Others in similar tones are - Quadrille Pina:

Design by Kathleen DiPaolo

...and Quadrille Veneto.

Design House

Soho Beach House, Miami.

As the rain pours down in Auckland, I am finding these colours and designs very soothing. Maybe that explains the recent spate of enquiries!

All images via Quadrille.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Holidays

I am absolutely loving these school holidays and the break from the usual routine. We spent last week down in Wellington and had a lovely time just relaxing.  The pear tree at my mother's house is in full blossom and it's fabulous.

We visited The Begonia House, which is where Pete and I had our wedding reception, a very long time ago...

The girls loved throwing coins into the fountain...

...while I enjoyed the colours, shapes and textures.

We all loved this hanging monstrosity - the Staghorn Fern.

Why the name? Well, look up...

I have always loved water lilies - they are just so serene.

The girls just wanted to find fish.

We always visit the wonderful Te Papa (Our Place) Museum, and how happy was I to discover the Webb Ellis Cup (the Rugby World Cup) on display? Delirious.

So back in Auckland and Pete tells me the girls are invited to meet the All Blacks before he scarpers off to the semi finals. Here's my little All Black supporters with Ali Williams...

Yes, Lily does have her hair band over her All Black beanie! Boys and footwear huh?

Anyone else noticed that the 'and partner' tickets seem to morph into single tickets beyond the pool rounds?

Happy holidays. Annie x.

All images my own.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

If You Can't Beat 'Em...

...join 'em. Rugby World Cup. I give up. I even spent last night - yes, Saturday night - watching it. Both games. Boo to England going home after losing to France.

I have to accept that there is no escaping the Rugby World Cup here in Auckland. We went for a walk yesterday - it was warmer than those clouds suggest! - and this is what our neighbourhood looks like at the moment...

I have been a rugby widow this week, as the husband has been away on a 'roadshow', in the name of 'work' if you please. A rugby roadshow.

Even the cranes are in on the act...

I have been congratulated on our twin flagpoles. Yes, looking very stately...except truth be told, they were erected by the neighbours on either side!

Our school winter terms have been lengthened to ensure that the term 3 school holidays coincide with....the finals' series of the Rugby World Cup. Of course. I feel that we have limped to the end of term and are all very tired.

So, I have decided to take the girls down to Wellington for the first week of the holidays, and fly down this afternoon. I had planned to meet up with family at the Wagamama on the Wellington Waterfront - the girls' fave - but have just been told that it will be chaos because of...the Rugby World Cup. South Africa vs. Australia at 6pm in Wellington. I have a feeling we'll be watching it.

So I'm over and out for a week while I have a break with my girls, catch up with friends and play around with ideas for the new house. I've had these fabrics delivered recently...

...and I've been beyond desperate to use that Quadrille Pina...

...since seeing it here:

I will be checking my emails, but apologise if my responses to fabric enquiries are delayed.

I hope you all have a very happy week. Go the mighty All Blacks...

Image 1 from here; 11 from here; all others my own.