Monthly Archives: May 2013

High summer colour trends: pink and other brights

With May underway, the garden is finally filled with colour and  I’m discovering what has been planted here by previous, green-fingered owners; right now, the space is filled with pink-toned flowers: some are blowsy, dramatic and exotic – not the colours typically associated with a cottage garden – as huge rhododendron bushes are produce dramatic, fuschia-coloured spears; whilst the apple trees are covered with blossom in more delicate tones:
apple blossom rhododendrons 1 camellia

And, online and in the shops, nature’s brights are in vogue once again to brighten up our homes in time for summer sunshine. I’ve been inspired by this heavenly Designers Guild living room: Savine, the tie dye linen shown here as curtains, is my current favourite fabric:  it comes in several shades including blues, orange and green as well as this stunning fuschia pink:

designers guild savine pink

[image, Designers Guild

Another company well known for its clever use of bright tones is Denmark’s Rice: their High Summer 2013 range has just launched and with it these covetable pieces of tableware:

rice summer tableware

Rice collage of tableware


[All images, Rice

There are jugs; coloured glassware; ceramic and melamine plates; bowls in intricate patterns and bold plains, and all the wonderful patterns and colourways just invite you to mix and match, so creating your own unique collection of summery pieces for dining and picnic tables.

Rice is stocked online and in shops throughout the UK, click here to find the store nearest to you.

PaperBoy: paper and patterns for children’s rooms

I’ve been keeping my eye out for wallpaper, fabric and bedlinen patterns that will get the all important parent/child double seal of approval, and one such independent designer/maker is PaperBoy.

Created by Victoria Cramsie, the mother of boys herself, PaperBoy has been all about great patterns suitable for children’s rooms since its launch. As you’d guess from the name, there are plenty of designs for boys to choose from but also many that would appeal to girls and look great in games / play rooms.

My current favourite is this ever-so-slightly edgy Stripes design, with its graffiti-style spray paint effect:


It’s a Puzzle, below, also has a graphic look:


For the pictorial papers, such as The Final Frontier, below, the artwork is detailed: there’s lots to look at, yet the clever colour choices help the papers avoid that headache-inducing busy-ness of so many kids’ interior products:


These dashing Spitfires are given a modern splash in warm scarlet:


 [All images, PaperBoy

The designs come as wallpapers, and now as fabrics by the metre too, with each one available in a choice of colourways. Click here on PaperBoy for more information.

Are you a Have, or a Have Yacht? Luxury boats for hire….

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to summer holidays, and helpfully, Architectural Digest‘s latest mail-out suggested some yachts its readers might consider renting for a week. I love AD, it’s like an American marriage between The World of Interiors and Hello! filled with aspirational and/or jaw-dropping interior design and a few celebs thrown in for good measure. With that in mind, and just in case any of you still have your holidays to plan, here’s a peek at some of the yachts up for charter this summer (!)….


Dragonfly, (above, charter through Sail Away Yacht Charter Consultants), you’ll be interested to know, is the fastest long range super yacht in the world; you’ll find a jacuzzi, white leather seating and even a helipad on board… Or, try Maltese Falcon, below; with its outdoor dining space:

roddy Grimes-Graeme

[picture, Roddy Grimes-Graeme, charter Maltese Falcon through Moody Yachts France] .

Anoushka Hempel’s yacht, Beluga, below is now available for hire for holidays in the Adriatic Sea around Croatia through Dalmation Destinations:

But for that really special occasion, push the boat out (sorry) and charter Christina O from Valef Yachts: the wedding venue for Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy, the yacht includes a mosaic-covered swimming pool which converts to a dance floor: perfect for that first dance….

I’m not too sure about the dining room in Jonny Depp’s yacht:

But it looks pretty nice from the water – I’m sure I’d get used to the decor if he asked me to come visit…. (hire Vajoliroja, above and below, through Burgess Yachts)

[All pictures courtesy of Architectural Digest

You can read more about these yachts on the Architectural Digest site here. Happy sailing…!

Vintage football memorabilia? In Tunbridge Wells? And a whirlwind shopping trip…

A flying visit into The Pantiles, in Tunbridge Wells, specifically to get a present for a football-mad friend. With its nationwide reputation for all that’s genteel in life, Tunbridge Wells may seem an unlikely place to shop for football related gifts, but I was there for half an hour this morning and came away successful….

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Amongst the elegant Georgian colonnades are shops selling a very English mix of quality kitchens and cookware; beautiful dresses for children and brides; cameras and curtain poles and lots of covetable vintage. First up was Barnett Fry in the Corn Exchange (no website, call them on 01892 525929): this tiny shop is filled with collectable books, toys, children’s books and masses of football memorabilia:  

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Whilst the Pantiles Bookshop sells bargain priced secondhand paperbacks, plus toys and good quality secondhand hardbacks in store:

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But I’d come here for a different reason, so I had to turn away from the beautiful plants and decorative garden accessories at Gardener & Cook:

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And also from this delicate, patterned, colourful antique Chinese porcelain at Yiju

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At the The Spa Galleries (01892 542647) I loved this contemporary butterfly print, and these original black and white original etchings from the 1950s – 1960s:

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But this whirlwind shopping trip had another purpose: to shop for a PASSIONATE Everton supporter’s birthday: so this is what I came home with…. I hope he’s pleased!

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You can discover more about The Pantiles here – regular weekend markets take place along its length, with even more stalls selling vintage buys; there are also food festivals, where stalls sell local produce grown and/or created in Kent and Sussex (I’m heading back soon….)