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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DIY project: gorgeous lighting al fresco

I have obviously DIY projects on the brain! It's 2am in France and I'm still up, blogging about some jars...err hello!!
Well, I couldn't help sharing this lovely idea....I'm looking at these gorgeous jars and I'm thinking casual al fresco parties with my friends, romantic diners with Steve on our terrace or even weddings like Ben and Chelle did it for their wedding.

Alternatively, you can also use the beautiful Cap-Ferret tea-lights and hurricane lamps currently at 20% OFF in the Summer Sale.
(C) Photos Ben & Chelle Kutil/Chelle paperie

BODIE and FOU Summer Sale

Fantasy Flower Bookshelf

Oak Background, Birch Stems & Cherry Bulbs

Monday, June 29, 2009

Can this room be as gorgeous with tiles?

I totally love the relax vibes of this room, the light, the space and the white metal lockers. I've seen a couple in the brocante nearby and I may check them out again to see if they would work inthe kids bedroom but I can't help wondering if this room would look as fabulous and relax with tiles or carpets for instance.

I'm asking this because I see a lot of gorgeous, inspiring rooms but they all have wooden floors and frankly even if your floorboards are old and distressed, with wooden floors, your decoration job is half done.
So I'm really interested in finding out what you've managed to achieve with your house when the Decoration Fairy God mothers were not on your side.
How creative were you to overcome something that you felt was a major eye-sore without breaking the bank?
(c) Polly Wreford

Blue, blue. blue and more blue

Frankly doing DIY with a laptop nearby may not be the most efficient way to get things done but it is certainly the most fun and inspiring...
I keep taking breaks from my painting jobs to get ideas and inspirations from the net since all my decoration mags in London. I was planning to paint the small window in the toilet in pale grey but I've just seen this on Danielle's blog and now I'm totally in love with the blue from this Italian house...

Does it scream holidays or what?? It's just perfect for the look I want to achieve in our holidays house...
Once the walls I've just painted are dry, I'm planning to glue pages from a book on one wall only to achieve this kind of look....

So painting the window in blue should finish the job nicely...
(c) Photos: 1) Living Etc, 2) Bedroom of Shanna Murray, Designer


Alternative library stacks books and publications on their sides. Bruno Rainaldi design in lightweight laser-cut steel with bright new orange powdercoat adds literati edge to a room. 14" footprint is a find for tight spaces. Italy. Also in aluminum.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

DIY projects - Gorgeous ideas

At the beginning of the year, I mentioned these two gorgeous DIY projects from Dutch magazine 101 Wooniden. The bathroom cabinet was a very simplified version of the Inside Out bathroom cabinet which won the Elle Decoration British Design Award Winner in 2007 and I loved the simplicity of these lights.

Today, I came across this gorgeous, contemporary piece of art that you can make too.

With a bit of help from Babelfish free translation service, I translated the Dutch instructions so to do this, you will need:
* To buy a large piece of MDF from your local DIY store (not too thin so it doesn't bend, I reckon 2.5 cm thick as a minimum should do the trick but go thicker if you can afford it).
* Paint the board with magnetic blackboard paint.
* Buy stencils from your local art supplies shop or online or magnetic letters and then make your own meaningful sentence like 'Today is the perfect day for a perfect day' which I read somewhere but can't remember where (sorry!)
My experience is that you can get alphabet stencils with the CargoD font at a relatively small cost but it's a bit too bulky for my taste.
If like me, you prefer a more contemporary & creative font like Arial ou
courier, it's going to cost the earth especially if you want the letters to be big like on this board. So I suggest you type each letter you need on your computer to the size you want, print them and spend some time cutting them out to make your own stencil.
I'm also loving this coffee table made out of an industrial pallet and fitted with wheels, especially since we have a few of those in the B&F warehouse.

Thanks to Apartment Therapy for tagging us.

Art to download

I have no idea what it says since it's written in Dutch but I thought it was a nice little piece of artwork you can download and frame or to pin to your mood board.

Available to download here from 101 Woonideen magazine.

Gorgeous interiors shot by James Merrell

James Merrell, is a photographer who is credited for many of the gorgeous photos found in Tricia Guild's books. He also regularly contributes to magazines such as Elle Decor, Vogue Living, Domino, Elle Deco. I love his interior shots but looking at his website, I was seduced by his portraits too and how personal, unique and beautiful each of them were, but don't take my word for it, just go and check his site for more eye-candy.
Here are my favourite interior/lifestyle shots...pure, simple lines.... a bit of vintage, wood....a touch of white, blue, grey and black....

(c) Photos: James Merrell

Rich and Poor by Jim Goldberg

Rich and Poor is a book that compiles shocking and gripping portrait of contemporary America . Jim Goldberg took photographs of rich and poor people and asked them to handwritte comments about themselves on the prints. The result is a fascinating, touching inside look at the American dream at both ends of the social scale.

Goldberg's pictures reveal his subjects' innermost fears and aspirations, their perceptions and illusions about themselves, with a frankness that makes the portraits as engrossing as they are disburting.

Via Oliver Weber (C) Photos:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sea, Sun and DIY.....

This week I'm staying in our house no 2 in France.....and today temperature outside reached 26 degres, I'm heaven....My head is buzzing with decoration ideas and the urge to do some creative things in the family home but a quick look at our house no 1 and I realized that really I ought to give this cutie some TLC before the rental season kicks in.

Last time I did anything in this house, was 4 years ago when heavily pregnant I was painting the kitchen and my waters broke while I was on top of the ladder. Needless to say that someone else had to finish painting the house but once Mila came out, she and I spent the first two months of her life in this house, napping under the tree, having breakfast & lunch in the garden and feeling extremely lucky to be together under the most gorgeous weather while Steve was joinig us every Thursday evening.

Then we bought house no 2 (the one that has been shot by interior & lifestyle magazines) and well...I have to say that I found it hard to get inspired, let alone do anything while living in London, running a business and spending the little spare time we had in house no 2, but this week I'm on a mission.

While I havent made it to the beach yet, I hope these beautiful pictures will enlighten your day while I bore you with my DIY ventures.
So today has been a very productive day....first we said goodbye to the lovely family who was renting out our house, then mum and I went to check out the local brocante and came back with heaps of treasures (vintage toys, wooden stools painted in blue, white bone china mugs, vintage sheets, storage files for mum's atelier and even a very 'Carry Bradshaw' necklace with the word Love, to follow tomorrow) and then I finally started doing some work!

I stripped the wallpaper off the walls from the toilet - which incidentally is one of the hardest room to make interesting - and after my dad has done a bit of plastering tomorrow I'll paint it. I've also started cleaning the deck with a high-pressure water thing and aim to finish this tomorrow so I can then paint the concrete bench by the master bedroom (see pic) and then oil the deck again.

Gorgeous beach photos via Sfgirlbybay and Bliss

I like to rock prints

I love these 'I like to rock' prints from Jaimers on Etsy

Loving this

via inspiration bubble

Friday, June 26, 2009

House of fashion stylist Johanne Riss

Fashion stylist Johanne Riss was born in the north of France then went to Belgium where she sets up her label and came back to Paris to live in this old workshop in Le Marais, one of Paris' most interesting, fashionable and creative areas. I had read somewhere that she was mainly designing wedding dresses so I went to check her site (not that I need one anytime soon) ... the timeless section was 'soon to be available', so was the wedding and bags sections. When it comes to site navigation, I'm not the most patient person and I was about to give up but I tried my luck one more time and then nearly fell of my chair....euh hello!! Where do these drop-dead gorgeous black dresses come from??!!

In contrast with her sublime black dresses, Riss's house is very white but as beautiful. Given that she uses this beautiful space as a showroom and studio during the day, her apartment has been styled with the same flawless perfection and sense of luxury.

I love how these floor-to-ceiling white drapes frame the entrance of the bedroom and give the room a much lighter, fairy-like look than the doors Riss got rid of. The wall lights are the 'Lucellino' by Ingo Maurer which you can get from here and the gorgeous lighting column called Mobile 01 is made of ceramic and is by Isabelle Farahnick (Fat Galerie).

I have to say when it comes to lighting, whoever was responsible did a fantastic job. The light in each room is great and I'm in love with the glossy black lavabo which goes perfectly well with the all-white bathroom and the Noguchi lamp (check Galerie Sentou).

The kitchen was fitted with stainless steel units used by the pros but you can now get a similar look with the stainless-steel range from Ikea. During the day, the lounge becomes Riss' office and like VIPs looking up a mini catwalk, an ecclectic cluster of chairs are gathered together around the long wooden table. You can see the "One" chair by Konstantin Grcic, the "DSW Eiffel" by Charles et Ray Eames, the "Série 7" by Arne Jacobsen at the end of the table, then on the right the "Heaven" chair by Jean-Marie Massaud and another DSW.
Like the Brides to be she dresses, Riss uses white, cream, ivory to dress her home and combines lightness and it, love it, love it!


The unit is flipped around and both sides are usable as a bookshelf. The title is reversable and named after Ron Arad's metal bookworm shelf. While his is sinuous this is a simple architectonic block.
Peter Marigold (part of the Palindrome collection)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Almost time for sale sale and more sale

Tin Collector series

Do you remember my little post about vintage toy at the beginning of the month? For those who've just joined in, I was just saying that vintage toys have a unique charm to them and from a decoration point-of-view, they just look fab on a shelf.
A couple of years ago, I started a little collection of vintage toys in Mila's bedroom (on a shelf she can't really reach)...well vintage cars actually. I don't know why I'm so attracted to cars but it just happened... some are proper vintage ones picked up in second-hand shops other are just beautiful replicas so imagine how excited I was when I came across the Sunbeam car, the Lilliput robot and this other cutie in blue!!
Err...hello....look how gorgeous there are! I'm super excited....Elodie and I were trying to find some really cool and unusual gifts for men for this Christmas and I think they are just perfect...

The Lilliput robot (below) is acknowledged by collectors to be the World's First Toy Robot. It appeared in Japan in the 40s and was originally manufactured by K.T. Japan. This little yellow cutie is thought to be the first mass-produced robot toy and marked the start of a long line of tin robots.

And the Sunbeam car is a replica of the car that holds the world's speed record...200 miles per hour. Well obviously this is a few years back and I'm still trying to work out the exact year but if you know this, feel free to let me know.
They will all be available in September but of course you can pre-order them now if you wish.
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