Something (Pink) for the Weekend

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9fb3a31f476acf810f6b9c12ea605128I’m a little bit obsessed with this shoot. I love Sophia Coppola. I love the mood. I love this dress (the cover shoot was styled by Little Spree’s Sarah Clark. Why, yes, I do have a style crush on her…). I think it’s because I am feeling in the mood for pink. [Read more...]

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Loaf-ing about

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I wanted to post a lovely big read today. However, for reasons I shall not go into (partly because there is a danger that I will launch into a internet-provider-related rant), I am instead talking about chairs.

Kitchen chairs, to be precise. For I need new chairs, ours having been bought from Ikea about 100 years ago, and I have fallen for these beauties from Loaf - a wonderful website jam-packety-packed with covetable pieces at reasonable prices.
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It’s a face off. In the grey corner (aka, first, above), the School chair (£250 per pair); in the white, Cafe Au Alit, (£230 per pair).

Any thoughts? We have reached stalemate here… Or shall we go kerazy and do a two of each? Where is Flatzilla when you need her? Do also check out the website – so much to loaf, sorry, love.

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Kitchen Aid

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‘Twas the Easter weekend and all through the house, things on the decorating front were stirring. I sat in my sunny kitchen – for yes, the sun it shone, intermittently – and considered what, precisely, I (sorry – WE) wanted to do with the space.

I didn’t really ‘get’ kitchens until I had a child. Which, looking back, is very odd, as I spent many lovely times with my mum in our kitchen. We used to have Friday Italian evenings: cooking pasta, singing along to opera (or whichever was our musical of choice that week. Not terribly Italian, I admit, but we did a damn fine version of ‘America’ from West Side Story. It was the perfect way to spend a Friday night – until I hit 17 and had to pretend what I really wanted to do was hang out with my friends in parks (because we all looked about thirteen and couldn’t get into any of the local pubs), getting colder by the minute, talking to spotty youths even though we didn’t really want to kiss them, and drinking Lambrusco Blush. High old times. Thank God I grew up and graduated to decent wine and returned to hanging out with mum, in her kitchen; chatting as dad cooks (re-sult for mum there), child sleeps and all is right with the world.

My point being that it took being a mother myself to realise (along with about 357 other things – including that I inadvertently managed to nab myself the Best Mum In the World Ever. FACT. I only hope that little C and I are such friends when she is gangly and grown) that the kitchen really is that tooth-rottingly icky cliche, the heart of the home. We eat, play, work, chat, idle in ours. Have friends for lazy lunches, tea and cakes, and casual suppers. C has her little table and toy cupboard in one corner so even when she is abed we are reminded of her adorable, insistent presence. In the summer we throw open the french doors onto our tiny garden and let the sun creep in (and the welcome cooler evening air). It is where I make food for the people I love the most.

So, by this logic, it should be decorated with as much love – and style – as I can muster. Here’s a selection from my inspiration board….

Above: kitchen belonging to Paul Massey, as featured in Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights (an unfairly – to my mind – derided cookery show.) I think everyone who saw the show was envious of Paul’s kitchen. Here’s a couple more so interiors envy can really take hold…

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And now, from white to black…

Jenna Lyons runs my current label obsession, J.Crew. She is so uber-cool that I would probably blush and babble like a schoolgirl if we ever met. She owns a Brooklyn brownstone (of course she does) and this is the kitchen (as shot for dear, departed Domino magazine. Do, for the love of all that is stylish about interiors, check out Lonny, the online magazine founded by the Domino team).

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The only person I know who is as obsessed with grey kitchens as I am is Anti, she of the Flatzilla blog.I spotted the below on her Pinterest board.

I have a burgeoning Thing about bar stools in the kitchen – and you already know about my island craving. (My friend Daniela has a dream house in the countryside – so, naturally, her kitchen has an island. When you visit, she hands you coffee (or wine, depending upon the hour of the day) and you prop yourself on the island whilst she potters around being the most effortless, warmest and yet entirely perfect hostess. I think this is where my obsession began.) Re stools: I reckon The Old Cinema would be a good place to source something similar. Or check out the Tolix stools from Graham & Green.

 

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Now, here’s a lesson in fitting a teeny island into a relatively small space. Ikea have some cost-effective options for affordable mini-islands. Open shelving is less high maintenance than you might think. I love the reams of pale crockery on show here, and the unexpected light fitting.

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And, just to prove that size really doesn’t matter – check out this incredibly clever teeny kitchen arrangement. (We had the print in our first kitchen – I think it referred to my nascent cooking skills.)

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As a devotee of whiter-shade-of-pale kitchens, I am impressed by the bold colour choice. But it really works. As does this flash of postbox red.

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But if you DO hanker after paler than the driven, I give you this (rather more formal than the rest of my picks) kitchen designed by Caitlin Wilson. (This one is definitely for the life I don’t have…)

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I am such a fan of kitchens which are cosy as well as functional. This Swedish kitchen (belonging to fashion stylist Jennifer Jansch, featured in the March issue of Lonny) is delightful. Perhaps it’s a bit too country Swedish casual for an urban setting, but there are definitely ideas to steal. A sofa (or armchair) if you have room; mismatched chairs (I have my eye on these from Habitat) unified by a coat of paint; plates mounted on the wall (check out ebay or rummage in your local charity shop – this really is one of those things you could pick up for pennies. Or just buy one really fab plate from a set you love – perhaps something like this - and hang it on the wall.)
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Finally, a kitchen which makes the most of the star of the show: the butler’s sink (if only they came with a butler…), Rosie Brown of Papa Stour. The oilcloth on the table is courtesty of Cath Kidston. I know this because it’s on my kitchen table as I type (the least chintzy option I could find – but so very necessary when toddlers are at the table. Perfect dinner guests they do not make.).

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Images: Living etc, Melanie Acevedo for Domino, Flatzilla on Pinterest, Lonny, The Kitchn, Design Sponge, Caitlin Wilson, Jenny Brandt for Lonny, Design Sponge

 

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