Decorex Report Back with a Focus on the Playful – 2/4

October 3rd, 2016
By Carola van Dyke, a proud young Kudu doe wall mount for a touch of creative whimsy

By Carola van Dyke, a proud Kudu

Zany Zebra and Friends

Zany Zebra and Friends

Continuing with our theme of what was amusingly inspiring at the Decorex showcasing recently I’d like to mention a new entrant by the name of Carola van Dyke. Carola takes taxidermy to a new level, and in such a way that you would be happy to have one of her beauteous beasty busts on your walls, because under the African wax cloth collage that she so deftly applies there is no real beast at all, just the perfectly proportioned mould of the animal depicted. So, you can live peacefully knowing that you never have to wonder, everytime you look at your zany zebra or your graceful gazelle, just how it came to find its end on your wall!

More impressive, however, is the way that she artfully works with her library of striking African wax cloths to help exaggerate and bring these creatures to life. Every piece is original. These are true character pieces, made to be loved and admired for years to come. The Carola Van Dyke Studio also produce a range of scatter cushions, depicting animal busts of many forms in a whimsical nature. The perfect solution for a light hearted whimsical addition to your home perhaps?

Fine Cell Work, William and Catherine Cushion

Fine Cell Work, William and Catherine Cushion

My next treasure for mention is the Fine Cell Work Company. This is a company with a big heart and it, too, makes me smile every time I see it, because it’s such a great and uplifting story. Fine Cell Work trains prisoners to do high quality, commercial needlework in their cells, and textiles training in prison workshops to foster hope, discipline and employability. At any one time, they have a workforce of 250 prisoners across 31 prisons and have sold to and worked with many of Britain’s top interior designers. I have heard first hand how this initiative has been life changing for so many men and woman. It really does foster hope, meaning and a sense of worth and value for people who often desperately need purpose and a fresh start.

Fine Cell Work has over 15 years of experience in producing high quality, special commissions. Anyone can commission a handmade, bespoke and ethical piece.  FCW can produce cushion covers, wall-hangings, needlework portraits, a hand stitched personal message or quote, a keep-sake quilt using favourite fabrics or adapt  or personalise an existing FCW product. Why not commission your own and know that you will be making a real difference. E: commissions@finecellwork.co.uk

Fine Cell Work, Romeo and Juliet

Fine Cell Work, Romeo and Juliet Cushion

Fine Cell Work, Louisa M. Alcott

Fine Cell Work, Louisa M. Alcott Cushion

First of Four Decorex Report Back with a Focus on the Playful

September 26th, 2016

A veritable treasure trove every year of what’s new and gorgeous in the world of Interiors. This year was no exception for Decorex. With close on 500 exhibitors I have decided to pick a particular focus for report or I’ll still be at it this time next year. I was struck by how many brands had a playful element to them, and so why not have that as our focus to enjoy? It certainly was an aspect that stood out for me, and I wonder if it is a direct response by the creators to the fact that we are living in a time with much political and social uncertainty? The spaces that we create to live in can and should at least be places of positive upliftment. A great opportunity to focus on the joyful aspects of what we have and treasure.  See if you find the brands that I am going to put forward over the next four weeks a good tonic for the soul.

Curiosa's new Caravaggio collection

Curiosa’s new Caravaggio collection

First up, is a lighting company called Curiousa & Curiousa. Even the name itself is whimsical. Esther Patterson, Curiousa’s designer and founder, has a real passion for traditional British manufacturing and a true love of craftsmanship. All bespoke hand-blown glass fittings are produced in their Derbyshire studio and can be seen in their London Showroom, nestled between London and Clerkenwell. Their collection of eye catching statement pieces never fail to bring a smile to my face. Thank you Curiousa & Curiousa!

A suitably playful bedfellow to this brand, specialising in wall coverings and textiles is Timorous Beasties. Again, there is much in the name. Established by two Glaswegians, Alistair Mcauley and Paul Simmons in 1990, this brand now enjoys international acclaim for it’s iconic, award winning designs.

‘Like Ruskin, ‘Beauty is our main concern.’’ is their epitaph. This is immediately obvious with any one of their designs. Distinctly edgy in nature, an elegant transgression or a display of chic irreverence. Each of their designs embody all or one of these aspects but always with a firm foundation in the history of textile design and manufacture, giving character and depth with a freshness of perspective.  With great respect, a modern day William Morris and John Ruskin partnership. Intricate and beautifully crafted their designs lure you into a fantastical world of rich colour and imagery. I’d say it’s impossible not to pause for at least a good while to admire the breathtaking detailing, fineness of colour and contrast. Go on, feast your eyes, and take a look at their collection. Again, I think you will find it’s hard not to smile.

Timorous Beasties Butterfly Blotch Cushion

Timorous Beasties Butterfly Blotch Cushion

Inspirational Use of Light and Colour

September 19th, 2016

Madre (Mother) by Joaquin Sorolla, Museo Sorolla, Madrid It’s hardly surprising to note that Farrow and Ball are eager, wherever possible, to supply the background wall colours to the walls of this artists exhibitions.

‘Sorolla’s brush was a beam of solar threads that left no opaque matter on the canvas, but only pure radiations. Sorolla painted the unpaintable.’ Ramón Pérez de Ayala.

I cannot think of a higher praise for an artist. Painting is of course a visual art and as light enables us to see, so the two are inextricably intertconnected. The legacy that Sorolla left is an immensely positive one which is possibly why I feel so drawn to his life’s work and find it so profoundly inspiring. Furthermore he was set, at the beginning of his career, on becoming one of the art world Greats. He achieved this with international recognition in his lifetime winning many of the most coveted prizes awarded by the art world over a 10 year period. Admirable indeed.

The importance of light holds the same weight within great interior design, and is not something that should be left to chance. For this reason I believe it better to come to a project embracing the idea of architectural interior design. Consider first natural light and then electrical lighting. Neither light forms are surface fixes. Rather both should be considered at the architectural stage of the project and designed into the build of the home.

But let’s look back to what we can learn from Sorolla. He was a master with colour. This is true because he used it almost purely to describe light. He understood that different colours have varying opacities and light reflecting values. He saw colour as a means of describing light and therefore shape and form. The same is true when we appoint colour to the surfaces of our homes – we modify the light intensity of a room and thereby it’s tone. It is entirely possible, therefore, to change the atmosphere of a room with the colour we choose. That is good to know.

In summary, when considering light in Interior Design:

  1. Be sure to consider your light sources.
  2. Appreciate the significance of colour, it’s tone, saturation and best colour partnerships.

Here at LRI we offer a highly effective Colour Workshopping Service. If you are feeling a little intimidated about where to start with the wonderful world of colour we would simply love to help you.

Make it Personal: How to Tailor an Interior to your Personality

September 12th, 2016
This relief bronze sculpture strikes a chord with me, and that's because I have an affinity for symbolic imagery. Know what you have an affinity for and use that to personalise your spaces.

This relief bronze sculpture strikes a chord with me, and that’s because I have an affinity for symbolic imagery. Know what you have an affinity for and use that to personalise your spaces.

The final solution of any Interior should be tailored to so that it’s personal to you. It should be unique and it should tell a very interesting story.

How to go about this then? Well, there are a number of ways to tackle this objective. Luckily they all have a common denominator, and so if we can understand what that is we have a very good start point, and it is this. I believe that it is the experiences from our past and our interests that carry us into the future that create a rich tapestry of our lives. So if we work with this we have a very clear brief:

  1. reflect the past to capture treasured memories and,
  2. inspire with areas of interest to take forward into the future energetically.You will know what these are for you and your family. Make it visual. Celebrate it and you will see a rich and interesting tapestry of your lives unfold.

This is the part of my job that I love the most, and it’s probably also one of the key reasons why I do what I do. When entrusted with this aspect of the job I get a lot of pleasure out of knowing that an interior is a good reflection of it’s inhabitants personalities, their shared history and their interests – a place that they will be inspired in at the beginning and the end of each day because they have the right visual cues.

The big question: Do you want to live in a house that your designer loves and would choose, or do you want to live in a house that you love which is designed? Some designers are very good at rolling out their house style, but struggle with portraying the individual character of its inhabitants. If making your space your own is what you have in mind, make sure the designer you have chosen gets you. Once you have established this make sure it is a key aspect of the brief. You won’t regret your decision.

The Secret to a Happy Home?

September 5th, 2016
damnfineprints.com

damnfineprints.com

Is there nothing the man did not know?

One of my greatest shortcomings is that I am easily seduced by the many opportunities that present themselves daily, and my diary can, if I am not careful, start to sag. The thing is that there is so much richness to tap into in this world that we live in, and I can be like a little girl in a sweet shop picking and choosing, with gay abandon, the events with the most enriching appeal. All this without giving any consideration to the challenge it will place on my precious 24-hours-a-day ration. Sound familiar?

The sweety shop analogy is a good one too for the world of Interiors – the choice of fabrics, wall and floor coverings is simply staggering. No need to book front row seats at your favourite theatre for a while then. Just take a look at the new Autumn collections bursting onto the scene from some of our suppliers. All world class in terms of what they produce. All have the richest archives from which to draw their inspirations, and sophisticated technologies to deliver the highest quality materials. Just a short list of some of our suppliers to look out for: Colefax and Fowler, Manuel Canovas, Larson, Zoffany, Sanderson, Romo, Black Limited Edition, Kirby, Harlequin, Scion, Brian Yates, De La Cuona, Cole and Son. Their Collections are eye stopping and in this small selection most budgets can be accommodated for.

If you are thinking of an Interior make-over why not call me on +44 (0) 7940572554 to arrange a viewing of the collections that would work best for your tastes and budget. I’d be very happy to help where I can.

The trick is that once you start make sure to keep it simple because reality will challenge you on every turn with your pledge towards this end.

3 Myths Concerning Interior Design

August 29th, 2016
A walk in the park?

A walk in the park?

Myth No. 1: It’s a walk in the Park; all it takes is time and a little bit of thought.
Nearly right; let’s just change that to ‘a lot of thought’ and I’ll be a lot happier that no one’s going to get any nasty surprises. The question is, do you have the time and expertise that you need to do justice to your most important living space, your home? You may decide that the time investment required is just too great and will take you away from achieving the other goals that you have scoped out for the year. Also ask yourself if your expertise lies in this area. My guess is your goals will be closely aligned to your strengths and interest. Now that’s a great recipes for success.

Myth No 2: I’ve just got to figure out my colours and it will all be ok.
Yes, this is a part of it, but if you have this in place what are your rules regarding pattern, texture, light and sound? Getting your colour palette right is key, but it is the interplay of all the elements that will make it truly engaging.

Myth No. 3: When the builders are done it’ll all be done.
‘If only!’ I hear all seasoned home renovation specialists cry. How’s your window dressing coming along? How about your accent lighting, art collections, placement of object d’art, balance of furniture and soft furnishings?… Somehow the building programme always seems to overshadow and pre-occupy. No wonder these elements, that act as the greatest expression of you and your family, are so often left to the end when everyone has projectitis and the energy that you had at the beginning of the project has dissipated to an all time low. This is the stage I want my clients to feel inspired and energised. If it’s hard to engender this on your own, and believe me most people find this to the the case, then there is only one sure way to ensure a happy ride  – engage with a first-rate designer, sit back and enjoy the journey.

If it is something that you would love to do on your own then give it the time and consideration that it deserves. This way you will see it unfold as something very personal to you and your family.  A tip straight up: it’s fine to have some blanks, but only if others are not quite so blank – seek dynamic balance is my advice 🙂

Enjoy the process whatever it is – that’s the key.

How Metal Finishes Have Inspired the World of Interiors

August 22nd, 2016
Bronzed sneakers, 'Sticky' or passing phase trend?

Bronzed sneakers, ‘Sticky’ or passing phase trend?

It’s true that fashions will come and go. Some are over in a flash whilst others are a bit more ‘sticky’. Metals have been inspiring the world of Interiors for some time now, and we see evidence of this with the profusion of metallised wallpapers, fabrics, light fittings, accessories, cladding and ironmonger. Gone are the days when you merely had to choose between polished or brushed effect stainless steel for your architectural ironmongery. The profusion of choice makes the decision making process that little bit more daunting, after all ironmongery is an expensive decision to get wrong. Opt to go with the option that has a good life span, the classic, timeless solution. It will take a bit of time, but it’s worth the struggle and your designer should have a good steer on this. Designers are usually the first to read a trend, but be sure that their reading of ‘sticky trend’ vs ‘heady seduction, over in a flash trend’ is sound before you invest. A really good designer will translate a trend to give it a timeless appeal.

metals for interior design

Samuel Heath have a brilliant range of architectural ironmongery, demonstrating a broad range of exciting finishes.

Specifically, this metals inspired trend has been towards using the warmer materials. Bronze, copper and gold have had a renaissance over the last 3 years. If you are a fashionista you would have seen this shift coming, because the world of high fashion leads these shifts. When the sun set on the clean, shiny world of platinum, white gold and silver; the once favoured, but nearly forgotten Gold queen came back to claim her crown. With her she brought her sisters; rose gold, bronze, copper and all manner of metal finishes for us to marvel, admire and be seduced by.  This has translated gorgeously into the world of Interiors.

Some examples of how metals are inspiring interior trends:

  1. We can see this by the plethora of new wall coverings that have metal finishes as their starting point. Take a look at these Brian Yates metallise wall coverings.
  2. Lightweight and upholstery weight fabrics alike are embossed with silvers, golds and bronzes.
  3.  Light fittings are overtly metalised in their finishes, showing once more that that metals are being celebrated for their properties, of reflection, strength and warmth.
  4. For carpets take a look at a company called Front Rugs to see their Erased Heritage range of rugs by designer Jan Kath  to see how metallics have inspired the world of carpet design.
  5.  Metals are being combined to achieve a richness of palette in jewellery, object d’art, fashion, furniture and kitchenware.

A world of many options awaits you whether it’s your home or your wardrobe you are pondering. The trick is to make sure that your choices work to support the image you  are wishing to create.

The Most Challenging Aspects of Interior Design

August 15th, 2016

bedroom interior designIt’s quite easy to look at a fabulous interior and be lulled into a false sense that getting to this finished point must have been a walk in the park. It looks so right. It’s just meant to be, so how could it possibly be difficult?

Knowing what, to my mind, are the three most challenging aspects of Interior Design could make your Interiors journey that much simpler:

  1. The sheer plethora of products vying for attention. This takes valuable time and consideration to weigh up the pro’s and con’s for each. In the hands of someone who knows the walk you don’t need to take the long road to success.
  2. Once you have signed off on the designs and are ready to hit the green light on ‘project build’ you will need to know that your project is being managed by someone who understands, inside out, the correct sequencing of trades. This is often overlooked because it looks straightforward from the outside, but don’t be fooled, there is a broad and specialist knowledge of the various trades that is needed to ensure that events flow smoothly. Effective project management can save you a lot of time and money. Regarding this aspect, the Interior Designer has a duty of care to advise, you the client, that under Construction, Design and Management (CDM) regulations 2015, all parties working on your domestic (it is different for commercial) project have a duty to plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate the health and safety of the project. One of the aspects that needs to be addressed under this regulation, therefore, is sequencing of trades. This requires specialist knowledge.
  3. The key challenge to any design project, and one of the primary benefit of appointing an Interior Designer, would have to be the creation of the central idea. This isn’t something that is clearly obvious when you look at a completed scheme, but it is that kernel which makes a project hang together so well. It’s the hidden ingredient that makes a house sing as a whole; it flows, it makes it an exciting place to be and it brings it to life. This is challenging indeed but it’s also the aspect of my work that I love the most.  Importantly it needs to be tailored to you the client so that it’s relevant, but that’s another whole topic for another time.

If you have a project and need some advice with how to take it forward, we would be happy to talk. We have a broad supplier base and in-depth products knowledge. We have a sound track record of effective project sequencing and we simply delight in discovering that central idea that is so key to every successful project.

Please call Lindi directly on 07940572554 if you wish to discuss this further.

How to choose your Interior Designer

August 8th, 2016

Want to make sure you appoint the right Interior Designer to your project? Some handy tips straight up:

Lindi-Reynolds-interior-designer

  1. Take a good look at their portfolio – what have they produced and what are they capable of? Are the images easy on the eye? You don’t need to have an affinity for the colour palettes used or the balance of elements. These may have more to do with the affinity of the client behind the images than the designer him/herself. You should have a sense from the image, however, that the client was in good hands. You can see some of the project work that we have undertaken in our portfolio
  2. Does the designer have a professional endorsement or affiliation such as being a member of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID). This is a highly professional and active institute committed to the on-going progress and career enhancement of it’s members. Membership to an institute of this calibre means that the designer is of the highest professional standing and that if you were to choose them to see your project through you would be in capable hands. At Lindi Reynolds Interior Design we are active members of the BIID. This keeps us abreast with industry developments and new product launches. It is an invaluable resource for us.
  3. You should meet the designer. There is much more to any Interiors Project than meets the eye and you will need to be sure that you can travel the distance with the Interior Design company of your choice. Are they flexible? Do they have a good process in place? What is the process? Do you understand the process that they employ and are you happy to work within that? It is absolutely key that you are on the same page as the designer and that you feel that you have an affinity with them. Do they get you? Interior Design is a highly personal process and so you should feel comfortable enough to let them into your world so that they have a chance of reflecting it back in an end solution that you can revel in for years to come.
  4. Chemistry between all suppliers is key – make sure your Interior Designer has a good relationship with all project stake holders.

If you have addressed all of the above and feel comfortable with what you have found you should be good to go. Enjoy the journey.

What Is It That Inspires you?

August 1st, 2016

Karl Blossveldt Urformen der Kunst

 

It’s that time of the year when we are likely to have more opportunity than usual to soak up the good stuff, recharge, reflect, and be inspired.

Do you know what it is that inspires you?

Words on paper? Colours in profusion or muted with little contrast? Wondrous imagery of flora or fauna? Fine art of a specific genre? Gastronomic delights? It may be a bit or all of these things or none. You will have your own list.

This is one of the questions that I look to understand at the beginning of a project with a client. I need to understand what inspires them. More than this it’s important to understand the tone of the inspiration.

I think of the home as a sanctuary. It’s that place that we can relax and feel protected from the battering of the outside world. More than this it is the place that you should feel your most inspired. If you know what moves you to action, what leads you forward in a stream of good energy then why not reflect that in your home in various ways?

There is a trick to this not presenting itself naively and that is where it becomes an art form in itself. It’s knowing how to represent it smartly.

I have a string of inspiring go-tos. Here is one that you may not have come across: Karl Blossveldt (1865 – 1932). He was a German Photographer, sculptor and art teacher who is best known for his photographs of flora.

Karl Blossveldt

I cannot help be inspired every time I look at the images in his first publication Urformen der Kunst (Art Forms in Nature), published in 1928! He forces us to see the world of vegetation anew through his highly original form of representation.

The flower or seed pod is no longer just that – it becomes architectural, monolithic or supremely delicate. He created this magnificent body of work by using a series of self-made homemade cameras which could magnify to 300 times the subject matter. Impressively he had no formal training.

Georgina O'Keef exhibition

Jemson Weed/White Flower No. 1 1832 Crystal Bridges museum.

And today I am taking my two beautiful children to see Georgia O’Keefe at the Tate Modern. Our city, and the world beyond,  is littered with inspirational opportunities.

Georgia O’Keefe, the most well-renowned of  modern American painters,  is most famous for her larger than life botanical paintings of flowers and it’s interesting to note that she was producing these, now world famous, botanical paintings at the same sort of time that Karl Blossveldt published his iconic Urformen der Kunst.

Where did their inspirations, on opposite sides of the globe, to magnify these beautiful specimens come from, I wonder? Does this story support the case for the power of collective consciousness? I’d like to discover more on that – what I know for sure is that what they were doing then has created many inspirational waves for close on eight decades. Inspiring indeed!