Friday, 24 October 2014

space: a sitting area with a hint of orange

Apart from the architecture of this South African lodge (the angular ceiling is made with locally harvested thatch and plantation-farmed pine beams), it was the orange-painted corner in this sitting area, with built-in shelves, that caught my attention. What a great way to add a touch of colour to a space, not to mention warmth. The ceremonial antelope masks on the wall were bought in Black Mamba, a bistro and an arts and crafts shop in Vaalwater in the north-east part of South Africa.

photo credit:
Victoria Sambunaris for House & Garden, August 2007 via Architectural Digest

Thursday, 23 October 2014

outdoor living

Outdoor living is a series on the blog that contains stylish outdoor living areas and sometimes al fresco table settings. It's about celebrating being outdoors all year round!


I doubt it has escaped anyone that fashion designer Oscar de la Renta (b. 1932 in the Dominican Republic) said his final goodbye last Monday. In this week's 'outdoor living' post I would like to honour his memory by featuring parts of the lush garden surrounding his seaside home in Punta Cana. It gives me the chance to post one of my favourite photos of the designer, where he stands smiling with his dogs under a purple petrea in bloom.

The designer helped around the garden and so did his wife Annette. They both loved this place. I find the vegetation fascinating. The plants look so healthy. The fertiliser used is the Sargasso seaweed harvested from the beach at low tide. I'm also fascinated with all the garden paths and courtyards. I had to feature the limestone fountain below that was built by one of his handymen.
photo credit:
William Waldron for Architectural Digest

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

styling: reading nook

This is one of those blog posts, which I use to play with ideas or to think out loud about a space in my own home. This time it's the reading nook, or the sitting area. We have been living in this house for a few months now and our ideas of what to do with each space are slowly coming together. In my experience it's never good to rush into anything. Instead of buying the things you need, I find it better to wait and see how a space/home grows on you. Maybe it's the arrival of Christmas that makes me want to finish styling the reading nook, which is in the living room and has two chaise lounges, a coffee table between them, and a glass fireplace (electric). I'm just finding it difficult to decide on the colour palette.

Currently we have a whitish wool rug on the floor and a few mainly bluish accessories on the table, and to pop things up I just rearrange the books regularly and add fresh flowers. I have always leaned towards cushions in soft yellow tones and currently I have a crush on this suede cushion from French Connection Home that fits with everything. They also have this block printed rug in blue and white that I really like. The only problem is that the rug is too small for the space so I would have to find another one. I just cannot decide whether to go for a patterned rug in light colours (see also the top rug in this post from West Elm) or to choose a rug that has deeper tones.
When I look at the two stylish spaces featured in this post part of me thinks we should keep the neutral rug and use cushions, blankets, and other home accessories to style the space according to the seasons. A neutral rug on the floor gives us endless possibilities and we would never grow tired of the space. However, a patterned rug in ethnic style definitely defines a space and adds depth if its colours are deep. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever reach a decision!
photo credit:
1: Nuevo Estilo via Planete Deco | 2: cushion • French Connection Home | 3: rug • French Connection Home | 4: Roger Davies for Architectural Digest, March 2012

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

drawing with light 41

Oscar de la Renta (1932-2014)

photo credit:
Platon Antoniou

Monday, 20 October 2014

irresistible heathers

When listening to people (perhaps I should say women) speaking about autumn obsessions they are usually referring to clothes and accessories. For me this autumn it's heathers in all colours and shades, especially the deep blue and pink ones. These beauties recently caught my attention at Walkers Nurseries, my favourite garden centre in the area (remember the autumn colours last week?). Before the end of October I have a plan to make our mainly green garden more colourful. I love conifers but I a bed of blue and pink heathers will definitely add more charm.
photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt

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