My first travel story in a long, long while - and my favourite type too - combining a beautiful location with an insider guide to the best shopping, sights, museums and food (all shot by me for Grazia magazine). Here's hoping that it's the first of many.
I was lucky enough to be invited into the Yorkshire Pennines home of Insta-guru Sara Tasker, the photographer and writer behind the blog Me & Orla. Featured in YOU Magazine, Sara's signature romantic and understated style has attracted the masses - people can't get enough of her chocolate-box views and idyllic lifestyle. It's enticing. With an Instagram following of 180,000 and counting, it proves that natural beauty and thoughtful design is a winning combination. As are her floaty white dress goals.
One of the best things about writing my latest book with teNeues Grandiflora wasn't all the amazing petal-powered interior inspiration, nor the stunning photography - it was the opportunity to speak to so many and varied creatives in the floral world. I'm not only talking florists such as Florence Kennedy from Petalon but illustrators (Luke Edward Hall), painters (Carolyn Quartermaine), interior designers (Abigail Ahern) and gardeners too (Dan Pearson). See below for a sneak peek of the contents or you can pick up your own copy here.
My sixth book with teNeues, Modern Living Homes away from home, takes a trip to some of the most fabulous homes all over the world. Contemporary, rustic, luxurious or just plain beautiful, whatever your holiday villa fantasies, this book breaks down the design factors so you can get in on the action too. There are far too many interiors to include here, but here are a selection of just a few. Gorgeous photographs throughout by renowned snappers Tony Amos, Andrea Ferrari and Gently & Hyers to name just a few. Lovely clean layouts by teNeues too!
One year on and I'm still buzzing off my article for the New York Times T magazine on the fabulous David Mellor. From his beautiful cutlery to '50s streetlights, it is a story on the design legacy that David Mellor has brought to all of our lives. I've included the cover just because Natalie Portman is pretty awesome too.
Such an exciting, vibrant woman to interview - and with an exotic wardrobe and make up fetish to rival Anna Piaggi (I'll take one of Bethan's Valextra Toothpaste bags please). To read my DesignFizz Q&A with Bethan Laura Wood, arguably one of the hottest, most interesting young designers in London right now, click here.
Loved writing this pet-friendly story for the Evening Standard Homes & Property on The London Animals Hospital in Camberwell. The vision of supervet owner David Cuffe, the practise features thoughtful, innovative design courtesy of Alma-Nac Architects. Round the clock care, separate consultation rooms for cats and dogs, privacy and separate access for when there is bad news - as well as tech gear more advanced than a hospital. If I was a cat, I would definitely choose to get my shots done there.
Living the rural dream can mean many things. My new book New Country (teNeues publishing) takes a tour round some of the most beautiful homes in the countryside, from grand chateaus to modern barn conversions; pared-back farmhouses to coastal retreats. Here is just an example of some of the modern rustic interiors within.
Flying in the face of simple Scandinavian and bare-room minimalism, my new book A Beautiful Mess: Celebrating the New Eclecticism (teNeues publishing) is a compendium of ornate, free-spirited and fabulous interiors where maximalism is the order of the day. Bye bye minimal. Say hello to homes that are full of life.
Here is a sneak preview of the London-based interior designer Sussy Cazalet's creative hub, followed by the striking French chateau of antique dealer Steiner Berg-Olsen.
My Times article on the home of British sculptor Daniel Chadwick and his wife, the wallpaper designer, Juliet. Once home to Dick Whittington, it now features Damian Hirst spot paintings alongside kinetic artworks by Daniel and his sculptor father Lynn Chadwick, from whom he inherited the place.
Things were very busy in the run up to Stockholm Design Week. I had the pleasure of working with Grand Relations PR on their Review volume #1. Old Scandi, new Scandi, Kasthall, Northern Lighting, Design House Stockholm... I'm feeling very well acquainted. To read Grand Relations Review in full, click here.
British landscape and garden designer Dan Pearson is known for his relaxed gardens, ancient forests and a bridge blooming on the River Thames in London. A fan of the naturalist approach, here is my interview with the green guru for Corriere della Sera's Living magazine.
My article in Corriere della Sera's LIVING magazine on the fashion stylist Sukeena Rao, who runs a luxury personal shopping business in London. When she revamped her Notting Hill home, making it look good wasn't enough - it had to feel good, too. Bringing in the help of interior designer Charles Mellersh, the pair worked together to create a a fashion-friendly, feel-good family space.
‘My approach to fashion styling is about choosing clothes that the client can throw on and feel amazing,’ says Sukeena Rao. ‘This is also the same for my home. I wanted a home that felt relaxing as soon as you walked through the door.’ As big decorating ideas go, that may not sound terribly exciting, but the end result – three-storeys of luxurious, yet comfortable living space personalized with meticulously sourced furniture and artworks – is a masterclass in stylish, practical living.
It took Sukeena two years, some structural rearrangements (Sukeena installed the Scandinavian-inspired Douglas Fir floor and moved the staircase from the middle of the building to maximize the space) and a cool, calming palette to get the backdrop of this leafy West London home right. Inspired by the British designer Ilse Crawford and the chic interiors of the Celine store and Matches Fashion, the scheme is full of energy, yet a calm and relaxing place to be. ‘There’s not one room that I’m not comfortable in,’ says Sukeena. ‘The overall effect is casual yet luxurious. It’s a place where I can shut the door and instantly relax.’
On the build side of things, Sukeena kept the original features of the property and aesthetically, the things that were important to her. ‘I knew I wanted big tall doors and Dinesen floors, along with a really nice playroom for my son next to the kitchen so we can all be together,’ says Sukeena. ‘There were lots of little cupboard rooms when we moved in, so we completely knocked all of this out.’
But it was sourcing the furniture that was the fun part for Sukeena. Thanks to her job, she has had the privilege of going into some amazing houses and by her own admission is always visually surfing for things. ‘I’m the first the person to ask: ‘where’s that chair from?’ She explains: ‘Before the days of Pinterest, I’ve always kept scrapbooks with tear sheets from magazines and will go to the end of the earth to track down a perfect candlestick or chair. But with this project, I felt I didn’t have the spatial awareness and was worried about making expensive mistakes.’ Bringing in the help of interior designer Charles Mellersh, the couple worked together to layer on furniture, art and textiles, investing in good, long-term pieces that could be moved around and were a little bit surprising, too.
To complement her beautifully renovated home, the rooms are now studded with works by the likes of super designers Michael Anastassiades and Muller Van Severen. ‘Charles validated all the things I had done,’ says Sukeena. ‘He totally understood my taste and made me feel comfortable in my choices. He gave me a massive education in what I liked and helped me to narrow things down. Like me, he is also happy to look at 1000 chairs to find just the right one.’