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Design, Interiors, My Home

Flight Of Fancy.

 

I moved into this flat just shy of eighteen months ago now. The first place I was ever going to live on my own. Still a rental, but on my own for the first time none the less. I knew as soon as I walked into the empty living and saw the fireplace that I wanted it. I was prepared to look past the sea of vomit-inducing magnolia and picture what it could be.

 

 

There may be some people who love the colour magnolia and of course, you’re more than allowed to! We’re all very different and should be allowed to be so. It’s just that I am not that person. I am so far from that person that it makes me twitch slightly at the thought of it. There are varying shades of offence. Sorry, magnolia. This flat happened to be in the peachiest, yellowest, most awful tone imaginable. This could potentially be due to having been last painted in 1995, it was unclear. I begged my new landlord to let me paint it and to my delight, she said yes! Of course I now realise she was mostly just happy that I decided to redecorate the entire flat for her, costing her absolutely nothing. Even so, it felt like a win for me.

 

 

The living and bedroom were the first to get the white treatment, swiftly followed by the dining room and spare bedroom. The double height hallway however… well, that was a daunting prospect to say the least. If I’m perfectly honest with you, I mostly just tried to pretend it didn’t exist. It wasn’t a thing. You opened the front door and walked into the white living room, that was it. In reality, you opened the door, walked up a flight of dingy magnolia stairs with a drab brown carpet, saw a muddy lampshade hanging askew and a yellowing radiator. For too long I let that be the sight for visitors. It was an embarrassment. An eyesore so at odds with my own taste. I swiftly ushered any visitors into the living room and made them sit down on the much more Instagram appropriate sofa, hoping they hadn’t noticed the past minute had even occurred.

 

 

Well people, I am here to you tell it has all been changed. My staircase and hallway are no longer the source of extreme guilt and involuntary twitching. This isn’t a makeover post or a ‘how to’ on how to design a hallway, I’m going to make that quite clear. There’s been no great feat of interior design brilliance here. The greige carpet sadly remains and no insane transformations have been made.  What it is now, is lighter, brighter, fresher and ultimately much more me. It did however come with an awful lot of work. To paint a double height stair case and hallway on your own, with skirting boards, dado rails, door mouldings and four doors, was certainly no small undertaking. My arms ached, my back groaned and I used absolutely litres of paint. That horrid shade of magnolia I mentioned? Three coats it took to cover it. Three whole coats.

 

It turns out making a gallery wall go up a flight of stairs and onto a landing is in fact even more terrifying than making one on a simple rectangular wall. Perhaps it’s just me who’s incredibly daunted by the prospect of committing to so many nails in a freshly painted wall, or maybe there’s some logic in the terror I feel when faced with a blank wall and a filled frame. The exact level of my OCD has been questioned repeatedly I assure you, the cutting out of every single frame shape in brown paper to stick temporarily to the wall to decide on the positioning of corresponding frame, potentially took it up a notch in many people’s eyes. But it helped immensely and I recommend it if you too feel the fear. It is very much still a work in progress, however it is getting there. I haven’t yet resolved the far right hand side of the wall. Does it just stopped to abruptly after the eyes? I can’t decide. Many cut out frames have been taped here. Many cut out frames have been untaped from here.

 

There will also (in the very near future, when IKEA delivers it) be a large white peg rail, just inside the front door. I’ll be artfully hanging a Swedish raincoat and a dandy umbrella here at some point. No doubt you’ll see that exact image on Instagram in the coming months and roll your eyes. I give you full permission to do so.

 

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Design, My Home, Shop

Pastel hues & lazy days.

There was an incredibly pleasing correlation between a belated birthday present and the Cereal magazine perched on my coffee table. It warranted an image I felt. Taking this image, along with a rather half-hearted attempt at some exercise, punctuated a rather lazy Sunday. For too long my coffee table has been straining under the weight of a pile of unread magazines. I should probably point out that in my flat this isn’t really an unusual occurrence. Whether it’s the dining table, a dining chair, or even the floor itself, piles of magazines are never far away.  I set aside today – the day before I return to work after a full week off – as the day to tackle the most recent pile.

Copious amounts of peppermint tea and a slice of banana loaf later, the pile is no more. Now the magazines find themselves filed away in their appropriate places. My mind? Well, that’s a wealth of all things Kinfolk. Exactly as I like it to be.

A Sunday well and truly well spent if you ask me. I’m aware you didn’t, but you’re on my blog, so it’s essentially the same thing I feel.

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Design, Saw, Travel

Richard Serra at the Gagosian.

I am a little funny when it comes to art. Or perhaps that should be when it comes to ‘art’. In the larger sense. If you’ve read my previous post about my own inability to select artworks and imagery for my walls you will know, I struggle with my own tastes. What do I like? What do I appreciate? Mostly it’s all just a mystery to me.

The name Richard Serra has been appearing quite a lot recently. His work seems to have served as the inspiration for everything from fashion editorials to full blown runway collections and I will admit, it wasn’t a name I was all that familiar with. Whilst in London last week I took a detour from my heavily planned day to visit the Gagosian Gallery to see a series of three installations by him. And I am very glad I did.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to have some profound moment where I explain an artistic revolution I’ve found myself in the midst of. It was however, an experience I recommend fully. The piece above (NJ-2 if we’re going to be precise) is rather colossal. Colossal and beautiful. I feel ultimately images won’t really explain its effect and command of the huge space. The metal undulates and twists, bends and folds, with you winding your way through it all. Almost as if it was a piece of ribbon stood on its edge, twisting around.

If you find yourself in London – perhaps whilst waiting for a train from nearby King’s Cross – head to the Gagosian on Britannia Street. The exhibit’s run has just been extended until March 10th, it’s absolutely free and photography isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged. My kind of place.

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Design, Interiors, My Home

Blank Space.

For the most part I am aware of what I like and what I want, in an interiors sense at least. However I constantly struggle with deciding on what to hang on my walls. It seems such an important decision, even though I am fully aware that prints can be changed and frames can be switched in next to no time should I have a case of midnight regret.

When I think about how much time will ultimately be spent with it in my eye line, it makes it all the more important to get it right. The space behind my sofa in the living room has always troubled me. What exactly was I going to do with it? It is the largest blank space in my entire flat if you discount the extensive double-height walls of the staircase. (I do chose to discount this presently painfully magnolia space, as until it is reworked into a beautiful sea of white, it absolutely does not exist.)

In a spirited moment of potential creativity I purchased a large canvas to fill the space. Quite what I planned on doing to said canvas was as unclear then as it is now to be perfectly honest. It has stood propped against the place that may perhaps be its home one day for several months now. Blank. Very big and very blank.

As I now find myself the owner of the canvas I feel I really do need to see it through produce something for the space myself, although the fear of producing something altogether a little amateur is very present. Nothing is quite so upsetting as being made to admire someone’s bad artwork.

I think the ultimate problem – and the reason the canvas has found itself so unadorned for quite such a long time – is that I’m not actually too sure what art it is I do like? Let alone what kind of ‘art’ I’m capable of producing myself. So this week’s task is to try and pin down exactly what I want through the medium of a moodboard. Oh yes, I plan to moodboard.

Watch this (blank) space.

 

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