Posts Categorised: Design/Interiors

The Shopkeeper’s Home by Caroline Rowland – Book Review

Book shopkeeper's home

There are so many good books out there, it’s impossible to know sometimes where to start. I was sent  ‘ The Shopkeeper’s Home ‘ by Caroline Rowland ( who by coincidence, I was introduced to last week at the Awards ) to review and was kind of intrigued by the title. For a start the word ‘ Shopkeeper ‘ sounds lovely and vintage and ‘ Home ‘ immediately got me interested. Because I’m a bit nosey like that. Especially when it’s about some of the ” World’s Best Independent Retailers and their Stylish Homes “.

ShopKeepers Home book copy

The good news is …. actually, there is only good news. This book is fabulous. It’s also pretty meaty in terms of volume ( I sat for ages and read it with one of my new Wedgewood cup and saucers from my Amara Winner’s Goody Bag ) … and couldn’t put it down until it was finished.

For the introduction – there is lots of advice and information on styling a home or shop, flooring, lighting, textiles and colour stories ( favourite section .. check out the yellow home belonging to shop owner Danni Hong ). It’s really easy to follow and the imagery draws you in immediately – lots of colour and eclectic spaces to wet your appetite.

Cafe Shops

What I love especially about this book is the layout. The main focus being the shopkeepers work and then their home spaces – it flows really well and makes you want to turn the page to see more .. and more.

Craft Shops shopkeeper's home

It really makes you think about the creator behind each of these shops and it’s interesting how there is often a crossover from each persons shop to their home style. Although sometimes the homes are a slightly more serene version. Which is inevitable, I guess. The main thing they all appear to have in common is a love of aesthetics, whether they sell homeware, coffee and cakes, sewing notions or clothes. Every shop featured is full of passion and individual personality. Having had a store myself once  – I know how much goes in to the thought process and wanting it to feel homely for your customers. So many aspects to consider.

Throughout the Shopkeeper’s Home, there are pockets of inspiration and suggestions on how to decorate, display and source items with loads of images.

I won’t tell you anymore as it might spoil it for you, if you want to buy it !

I honestly can’t recommend the Shopkeeper’s Home enough. It’s stunning, really well curated, the quality of paper is lovely and it’s a hardback. Not bad at all for £25.

Are you a book lover too ? What do you love to read ? Leave me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ….would love to hear your thoughts :)

Lucy x

I was sent this book to review. All opinions my own.

Eeeeek. I won the Amara Colour Inspiration Award

21946986914_accafcc9ea_bEeeeek. I won the Amara Colour Inspiration Award. I want to start this post by saying a massive thank you to all who took the time to nominate and vote for me.

A few nights ago, I attended the awards ceremony at Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, London with Andy, and quite frankly, was looking forward to clapping the winners of each category, including my own. If you know of the other bloggers in the Colour Inspiration section, you will know why I was resigned and more than happy to do so. They’re all so talented.

So after catching up with old friends and new, we all sat down in Ham Yard’s private theatre ready to hear who would be the Highly Commended and the Winners for 2015. We decided to sit towards the back so that we could watch it all happen.TV Presenter and Interior Designer Sophie Robinson was our presenter for the ceremony and she was so at ease and good at her job ( which is definitely not as easy as she made it look ), that I think it relaxed us all a bit. Sam Hood who is Creative Director and Chief Buyer of Amara was on stage too and as the first two winners were announced and the sponsors of those categories walked up and shared a moment with them.

Then came ‘ Amara Colour Inspiration Interior Blog Award ‘ … I reclined a bit at this point because I had already made up my mind who had probably won. But then I hard my name called out and went a bit  ‘ out of body ‘. What made it even more special, was that Sophie had said that it was her favourite category. So, up I went all jelly legged ( I kind of resembled Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques ) because I was suddenly very nervous and to trying to walk quickly in heels up on to the stage to meet Sam Hood and then Charlotte Cosby, Head of Creative at Farrow & Ball who were the sponsors for this particular award, for a photo…. then back to my seat, where I sat stunned but totally elated.

You may notice in this photo that Charlotte was in a much more colourful outfit than me on the night. A lovely red dress. Had I known that I was going to win and even though I love my Vivienne Westwood black dress – I would’ve worn something a little brighter, I think.

After enjoying all of the other categories, we all then headed back to the bar area to celebrate and chat more.

I mean, wow ? It has taken a few days to sink in and to think that the judges with such experience in their fields, chose me.  It blows my mind. I have to say at this point – the other 4 shortlisted blogs were Candy Pop, Emily Quinton, Little Big Bell and Jessica Zoob who are all so fantastic and very clever at what they do – it must’ve been a hard choice.

The next morning when I woke up, I had that moment of clarity you get when you realise you haven’t just dreamt something – it actually happened. When Mae and Betsey came in to see how the evening had gone – I pulled the award from under the duvet and they did a very happy dance. We all did, actually.

Amara Award

My first ever product review request for Lucy Loves Ya was from Amara. I remember feeling very excited about it … and now 4 years down the line, this has happened. I have a lot to thank them for. They are not only the leading online luxury homeware and gifts boutique, but they are also really nice people – so I feel grateful to be involved with them.

Right now, I’m on cloud nine and think I’d like to bottle this feeling. :) Looking forward to writing lots more blog post and carrying on with filling the blog with colour.

Wishing you a great day.

Lucy x

Photographs 1 – 7 taken and copyright of John Nassari Photograhy. Photo 7 taken by me – Lucy Gleeson Interiors.

You can find me on Pinterest if you’d like more colour and interior inspiration.

Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival at Snape Maltings

Pumpkins

Every year we try and make sure we go to the weekend of the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival based at Snape Maltings.

Apart from it just being a fun day out for us all, it’s stacked full of really good local produce from East Suffolk. There is live music throughout the day which adds to the already buzzy atmosphere.

Flowers

This year it was the 10th Anniversary of the Aldeburgh Food and Drink and there were ever 90 different producers along with demonstrations, masterclasses and an area for kids to get hands on with some cooking.

One of the first stalls I spotted was full of beautiful seasonal flowers. Needless to say, some came home with me and ended up on my Instagram.

Bread Snape

It’s surely criminal to pass freshly made baguettes without buying at least one ? Why doesn’t my homemade bread look like this ever ? :)

Buns

So many tasty pies and buns … not enough time to eat them all … but we took some home with us too.

Tomatoes

These tomatoes  – perfectly ripe and sweet. It’s making my mouth water, just thinking about them again. Local and homegrown veggies definitely taste different don’t they ?

Macarons

The chocolate and salted caramel macarons were our favourite. I would really love to learn how to make them. Do you know of any good recipes ?

Snape Maltings

As well as the concert hall, famous for being converted from an old malt house by Benjamin Britten in 1967, there are also many shops, all transformed but still with exposed, old red brick. One of my favourites is the interiors department, because it is full of colourful inspiration for the home.

Snape Maltings InteriorsSnape

I really recommend a visit to the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival if you’re ever in the area. It is beautiful and the views of the river Alde and beyond are stunning. On this particular day the sky was blue so I will leave you with a picture of the bright bunting that completed the festival.

SkyDo you have any food festivals that you don’t like to miss ? Please do recommend some. Leave me a  comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog :)

Have a good day.

Lucy x

An Afternoon Swooning Over A/W Peter Pilotto

Peter Pilotto 2015

Really enjoyed a recent afternoon swooning over this A/W Peter Pilotto designs.

It has been on my bucket list for quite some time and definitely in my daydreams while I studied fashion design, to attend a catwalk with a front row seat – to be able to study every inch of the cuts, pleats and darts of garments as they swish past down the runway.

As luck would have it, Carpetright were collaborating with London Fashion Weekend at London’s Saatchi Gallery by supplying some of their carpets last week for the Catwalk Lounge and also the VIP Luxe Lounge.

Blue Coat Peter Pilotto

I adore his style – the elaborate, playful patterns and contrasting colours that draw the eye in. The latest collection for Peter Pilotto A/W 2015 (London Fashion Weekend runways focus on current season) is inspired by board games and the patterns were playful and contrasting as you can see. I spent a bit of time trying to work out which games they were inspired by and pretty sure Snakes & Ladders and Chess were part of the theme. Can you spot any others ?

Pilotto 2015

It was a test on my nerves, trying to catch the models on camera as they move pretty quickly and so was very happy when I checked my camera afterwards and realised I got them pretty much in focus. I was a bit ‘ fingers and thumbs ‘ at the start because I was so excited to see the clothes.

Catwalk Peter Pilotto

One question that I was asked during a vox pop interview with Carpetright was ” What is your favourite trend for the upcoming season ? ” – my answer was that, being a vintage loving girl –  Victorian shapes and high necks which you can see ,seems to represent a strong part of Peter Pilotto’s creations . There is also a definite nod towards retro with both the palettes and the A line shorter dresses. Divine !

Naturally, fashion inspires our interiors and vice versa, so it will be very interesting to see what makes it on to the high street in the home stores. I hope lots of colour and shapes inspired by this wonderful collection.

Peter Pilotto Runway Peter Pilotto Image

I had such a good day and met some new blogger friends. We got on really well and it was a treat to sit and chat at Beaufort House on the Kings Road beforehand ( only I could drop a glass in such a posh venue … oops ! ) and have a hot chocolate and ‘ post catwalk ‘ catch up afterwards.

Oh, did I forget to mention that a Markus Lupfer WOW jumper fell in to my hands during the LFW shopping part of the day ? Well, one purchase was perfectly acceptable, right ? You will spot it on my Instagram any day now …

Joules Scarf

Many thanks to Carpetright for the invite and such a wonderful goody bag. The colourful Joules scarf will come in handy this Autumn, it’s so soft  – and amongst the other gifts were some delicious sweets.

Who is your favourite designer or brand for fashion and interiors ? Do you have a style that you are enjoying at the moment ? Leave me a comment or tweet @lucylovesyablog – I would love to hear from you …

Lucy x

All photos are © Lucy Gleeson Interiors.

Interview with Kim Parker and Clarke & Clarke

KimParker

I’m very lucky, to have recently do na interview with award winning lifestyle designer, Kim Parker, who is collaborating with Clarke & Clarke on a stunning, colourful range of wallpapers and fabrics which will be launching at Decorex – and couldn’t wait any longer to show you a preview of their beautiful floral designs …

ART BOOK 1-800x800

What is your background? How did you become an artist ?

I grew up in a home surrounded by great music, art, ballet, and a love for Nature. My family are all serious classical musicians. By the time I was two years old my parents were already saving my drawings of clowns and flowers and putting them together in a book. It was evident early on that color was a driving force for me.  I used to dig my crayons deeply into the paper to get the maximum richness of color out of them. Having come from a musical family I started studying the flute by the time I was eight years old. I pursued my life as a classical concert flutist -graduating with a degree in Flute Performance from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. I had many rich experiences as a classical musician, playing publicly in masterclasses with Jean Pierre Rampal by the time I was thirteen, and spending memorable summers playing in an orchestra at Tanglewood where I had the great privilege of working closely with Leonard Bernstein, who happened to be my musical hero. My life seemed destined for a career in music. But in between concerts and practicing, I was usually painting quietly. I would just sit for hours at my desk reeling out designs in exuberant colors. It came so naturally to me. I had absolutely no idea throughout my childhood and even after college, that I could make a living as a textile designer. I didn’t even know there was an actual “field” for this! It was not part of the dialogue in our home.

It was not until my late twenties that I started to pursue a career in textile design. It was hard to cross this emotional bridge and leave my early career as an accomplished musician behind, but taking auditions for orchestral positions and living out of a suitcase somehow didn’t resonate for me altogether. I was literally starting over in a whole new creative path. My story was chronicled in my first art and design book, “Kim Parker Home: A Life in Design.” (Abrams) Entering into the design industry with just a small book of hand painted textile prints each no larger than the palm of my hand, in retrospect, took courage. I worked in the fashion industry painting in numerous design studios for a period, then moved on to start my own print design company, “Kim Parker Designs” where I sold my hand painted prints on silk and paper to hundreds of fashion companies such as: DKNY, Jill Stuart, Gap, Anna Sui, to Anthropologie. After seeing the success my designs were having when appearing in other people’s collections, my husband Felipe ( and business partner ) felt we should move in the direction of creating a brand.

I think “becoming an artist” is a lifelong process, something that hopefully continues to evolve and grow. I know that my earlier career as a classical musician really provided me with a very strong and unique foundation for my life in design. I was not coming from an “academic” art background. I didn’t graduate with a degree from FIT or Parsons. My life in design was something that was developing organically. Every step of the way there were challenges and I held tightly I guess to my own style and voice, which was very unschooled. I think I preferred a career in design to one in music because I simply had more creative freedom of expression. With all the beautiful music living inside of me though, I was able to express these harmonies and rhythms by freely composing gardens. I was exploring my own idiom; incorporating a rich sonic vocabulary with pigment in a tapestry of flowers and leaves. This freedom and passion never gets old to me. It’s a form of story telling.

ART BOOK 9-800x800

How did your collaboration come about with Clarke & Clarke ?

My agent showed me a Clarke & Clarke ad in one of the industry design magazines with some beautiful fabrics and wallpapers. We both agreed that it felt like a good potential licensing partner to pursue. When we met Emma and Lee Clarke for the first time here in New York in our showroom, we spent seven hours carefully going through a massive archive of my hand painted silk, linen and paper designs together. Those seven hours felt like two hours. The mutual enthusiasm and decisions as to which designs would become our first collection was a magical exchange. It’s really important to work with a company that supports and understands your vision artistically. It was Creative Director Emma Clarke’s idea to create the “Artbook” instead of the usual mix and match types of fabric and wallpaper books you so often find in decorator showrooms. She really understood what had gone into each and every “child” I had painted, seeing their souls so to speak. Lee and Emma appreciated their exuberant colors and energies. After careful selection and deliberation, we all agreed on the vision for the “Artbook” collection.

ART BOOK 13-800x800

Who and what inspired your designs for the collaboration ? 

Each design in this collection was actually created at different times in my life. I will say though that the cover child, “Rosina” was painted while listening to the music of Argentine composer Astor Piazzola. I love his music and feel the flowers are dancing tango. “Martine” was originally painted on French linen many years ago. It was one of my favorite designs that I felt would one day have her platform. Other designs such as “Ariadne’s Dream” were wilder explorations on paper with gouache, created at a time when I was literally living in my box of paints. It’s pure fantasy. I love them all, to be honest. I feel like a mother who has all of these kids who have grown up to be true to themselves, and for that, I am proud. None conform to an industry standard, and all, I can assure you, were painted from the heart.

floral print fabric colours

I love the names you have chosen for the collections. Are they names after people you know?

Naming my work is actually one of the great pleasures and liberties I have as a designer. Some of the names have very personal connections, while others just explore the sensual nature of language. I decided to give them mostly girl names because obviously flowers are usually associated with the feminine. ( but I love when men wear flowers! ) I am a fan of Greek mythology, so there are a few names that incorporate mythological characters. “Penelope’s Muse“– one of my favorite designs in the collection was named after Penelope, Odysseus’ wife. She was the Queen of Ithaca who was waiting for twenty years for husband to return from the Trojan War . I chose her name because she is a symbol of “patience” and “fidelity.”

“Ariadne’s Dream” was named after another mythological character, Ariadne, whom I have been intrigued by as well. She was brilliant and an innovator. She knew how to assist Theseus in safely returning from his dangerous mission by using a thread to guide him back from the labyrinth. When I painted this design I think I was in my own kind of labyrinth.

“Martine” and “Rosina” hold a very special and personal place in my heart. “Tatiana” my little gypsy dancer, came from my love for Russian and Ukranian embroideries, my Eastern European heritage I guess. Designs like Giselle and Isabelle’s Garden were named simply because I love those names, and “Caitlin” was always a favorite Irish name. She is my bitonal toile child who likes showing off her versatility by being offered in a number of color combinations.

Blue Room fabric colours

Have you been involved with Decorex before? 

I have not been involved with Decorex before. I have heard about its impact on the design world and what a truly, highly unique platform it is for introducing new and innovative collections.

floral fabric

Do you have favourite colours that you like to work with ?

I tend to work a lot with warm and exuberant colors such as pinks, saturated oranges, and apple greens. I love all colors of course. I have lately been drawn to plum and pink. Colours have different “frequencies.” As a musician, I see the correlation between certain tonalities and their corresponding colors. Certain colours I guess just leap out at you with energy, while others play a more subdued role. I personally love colours that celebrate life! I am a huge fan of orange, and most shades of pink. Pink is the colour of love. Who wouldn’t want that in their home?! Our living room is mainly orange and pink.

The Kim Parker Artbook for Clarke & Clarke featuring Isabella's Garden design

Can you tell us about your design process from drawings to the finished product ? 

I love this question. There is no drawing process for me. I have never ever sat down and pre-planned a single design. I just dip my brushes and go. The creative process for me is a very free and organic one, which keeps the whole approach fresh. I really don’t like designs that are fixed looking and too thought-out. They kind of lack energy to me. I hope my designs reflect a more human approach since they’re all painted by hand, and none have been mapped out in advance. Designing is a very personal space where no one can follow. My heart is my compass. The influences are innumerable. It could be a piece of music that transports you to another place, or simply a bird out the window singing its heart out.

Just the other day this lovely Mexican flower vendor in our neighborhood stopped me on the street and asked me where I got my embroidered blouse. It was from Mexico, and we started talking about his city, and the women I reminded him of apparently. Before I knew it I was showing him floral textile designs I had painted on my iPhone and he told me I reminded him of Frida Kahlo. Moments later he kindly handed me a beautiful orange Gerber Daisy from his stand, and said, “This is for you.” I took it home and put it in water. Hours later I painted one of my finest watercolors. This is just an example of where inspiration can be drawn from and where the creative process originates. My designs find their way onto the various product surfaces after they have been created. Not every design can become a rug, or paper a room. I have seen how certain designs of mine lend themselves to certain surfaces better than others.  But it’s wonderful to be surprised too; to see one of your kids sized up and dancing on the wall or floor, one you thought for sure would not translate, or to pull one from an archive and bring new life to it on a bedspread or dinner plate. From start to finish the process remains organic, thankfully.

colourful headboard red orange floral

Enjoy Decorex ! 

Thank you ! We are very excited about our new designer collaboration with Clarke & Clarke. They are an amazing team with so much integrity and hope to continue growing the program. We are thrilled to be working with such an extraordinary company.

Thanks very much to Kim. Really inspiring !

I hope you have enjoyed the interview ? What do you think of the designs ? 

Leave me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ..

Lucy x

All images are copyright of Clarke & Clarke and Kim Parker 2015.