Last summer, back in the days when life was still ‘normal’ and we thought nothing of getting in the car and going places (remember those days?), we went to visit Holyrood Architectural Salvage in Edinburgh looking for something for the garden. As we were wandering around, I spotted an array of vintage tiles that were arranged by pattern in small batches, and as I was looking at them, admiring their rich hues and retro feel, I was wondering what someone might use them for. As that’s a problem when considering period tiles: finding enough of the design or style you want to work for the project you might have in mind.
One of the things that’s really struck me over these weeks of lockdown has been the need for creativity. Personally, I’ve been taking more photos, creating more stories on Steller, and feeling the need to write more. For me, it’s been a means of keeping my head positive and focussed, and scrolling through Instagram and talking to friends, it’s clear that I’m not alone in this.
And as many of us are now spending more time at home – pretty much all our time in the last six-plus weeks – chances are that we’re also looking around and considering the improvements we could make, and the creative interior projects we might embrace. Textile designer Claire Gaudion responded to this when launching her Collaborative Moodboard Project.
I started collecting beach finds when I was very young, walking on our local beach with my Dad and our Corgi Smut. My family moved to the coast when I was just three, so the sights and sounds and scents of the beach feel as if they are wound into my DNA. I had a collection of shells that grew and grew over the years, some picked up on our walks but others, including an entire collection of sea urchin shells, that my parents must have bought somewhere, although looking back, goodness knows where. I’m not sure what happened to them when I grew up. I’d like to think that they were passed on to someone else, but I guess they were thrown out, a childhood hobby that I’d outgrown.
I couldn’t resist this new wallpaper collection from Mineheart when it popped up as I was scrolling through products for the weekly interior news page I compile for a newspaper. At a glance, this ‘Back To Nature‘ design by Australian illustrator Courtney Brims feels like a classic flowers and fauna design, but then hang on, is that a snake I see…?
I have a confession to make, and I can’t quite believe that I’m writing this but…. I’ve never been a big fan of house plants. Okay, before you throw your hands up in horror, I’m blaming my childhood for this (of course). Growing up, our home was filled with plants. We had macrame hanging baskets with plants. Spider plants everywhere. And mother-in-law’s tongues looking spiky and defiant alongside the fireplace. I grew up surrounded by plants, and rather than making me appreciate and enjoy all this natural greenery, as soon as I had my own place I made sure that it was a plant-free zone. Too busy, too leafy, too spiky, too green. There was no space in my home for plants.
I’ve been an admirer of Dowsing & Reynolds for some time – we’ve used their matt black switches and sockets at home, and their Trikonasana pendant light hangs in my yoga space, glowing with their beautiful squirrel cage filament bulbs. (And could there be a better-named light for a yoga space!) Deciding to use matt black for the hardware also fitted in with a wider aesthetic: when redesigning the kitchen and shower room – a long term plan once the budget allows – I’m planning to use black taps in both, and a black shower. All with a lovely matt finish, of course, as looks aside, that tactile quality makes these everyday pieces a real pleasure to use.