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Truly time-poor? Key trends are written in BOLD!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

MY HOUSE: Launching a one-woman 'country' comeback?

Picture copyright Kate Jacobs

All change please! A bit of a new look seems to have emerged in the Interiors Nut household recently. It's not a departure from the recent prevalence of raw, authentic materials - it's something that builds on that. It's an aesthetic that's been bubbling under with me for a year or two, and I've been slowly accumulating things that were a little bit different to what had gone before. Less elegant, more humble. Now, it has burst into life (on my sideboard!) and I am completely inspired. 

It came as a bit of a shock when I realised it was a 'country' look. For so long now anything of this style has been... not even unmentionable - just completely and utterly off the radar - hardly thought of since Mums were doing it back in the Eighties. But for me it's suddenly very comforting and - when there's lots of green and greenery involved - fresh and summery. There is a mix going on: firstly there are genuine, older country-style pieces, like the hen-shaped egg holder, the bone-handled knives and the stoneware jar, as well as lots of Seventies pieces with a country / crafts vibe

I still like yellow but, a few weeks ago it was as though a switch went off in my head and I know longer felt all inspired when I saw fizzing bright yellows. Now give me green. Cooling, relaxing, leafy, grassy greens, lots of shades together, as in the roadside verges that look as great as any herbaceous border at this time of year. I like to see these greens with amber colours; wood or pottery mostly, earthy beiges and a dash of white to make the whole thing look crisp. Although I still like glass, stone and metal things, I think pottery and wood fit best with this 'Good Life' aesthetic. Suddenly, after an era of liking smooth, graceful ceramics, they can't be too rustic for me, with chunky earthenware pots floating my boat - pieces dripping with thick glazes of amber and bottle green. Pattern-wise I'm completely smitten with botanicals (like the botanical prints hanging on the wall here), as well as the circular, medallion or stylised flower type motifs that crop up several times in my picture. I'm finding myself much more drawn to the unsung aspects of nature; from garden weeds (which scrub up quite well in late May), right down to lichen and moss. I'll be exploring all of these ideas in more details in coming posts. But for now I'm just enjoying being out in the country, in my London kitchen.

Picture copyright Kate Jacobs

I couldn't resist adding a picture from The Good Life,
one of my favourite programmes of all time.

Monday, 16 May 2011

INSPIRING SPACE: Brancusi's Paris Studio

Apropos of nothing, other than it keeps popping into my head at the moment, I thought I'd do a post on this amazing place. It's the studio of Romanian-born sculptor Constantin Brancusi. Once located near Montparnasse, it was later shipped wholesale to a specially constructed new home at the foot of the Pompidou Centre. When I first visited in around 2003, (as part of a Tate press trip, prior to their 2004 Brancusi show), I was wowed by the simple beauty of the space and it left me with a passion for 'the New Simplicity' that has been a major influence on me ever since. The spartan austerity of the white space and the wooden tools and sleeping deck is an incredible contrast the richness of materials of the marble and brass sculptures. 

Monday, 9 May 2011


Picture by Thomas Straub, courtesy of Lidewij Edelkoort / Trend tablet

Lidewij Edelkoort has been one of my ultimate Very Inspiring People since I first heard one of her talks back in 2001. Alongside many fascinating philanthropic and curatorial projects (like Post Fossil), she gives amazing trend lectures. These provide fashion and interiors retailers and designers with key information about what will be big news over the coming seasons. She covers everything from colour and texture to mood and state of mind, via words, pictures and music. I'm always encouraged by the fact that she and I have so many inspirations in common. At the last talk I attended she spoke of many of my recent obsessions including raw wood, rust, stone, crystals, basket weaving, neutrals and yellow. In fact one of the pictures below reminds me of a scrapbook moodboard I once did on pigeon colours - I'll try and add a snap. Because the information she imparts is so valuable, a ticket to one of her talks typically costs hundreds of pounds, but if you want to see for yourself how Li translates her inspirations into specific and detailed trend prediction, then now's your chance. On May 25th at the RIBA in London you can get her take on winter 2011/12 via a re-tun of her one hour audio visual presentation 'Taking Flight - the world of birds' for £36. Visit kmauk for more information and to book a place.

Picture courtesy of Lidewij Edelkoort

Picture by Alain Jouffray, courtesy of Lidewij Edelkoort / Trend tablet

Picture by Thomas Straub, styling Nelson Supelveda, courtesy of Lidewij Edelkoort / Trend tablet

Picture by Thomas Straub, styling Nelson Supelveda, courtesy of  Lidewij Edelkoort / Trend tablet

beauty in birds!
A pigeon-inspired scrapbook moodboard, 2005
Picture copyright Kate Jacobs