The Ultimate Luxe Guide To Interiors, Travel & Style

Monday, August 28, 2017

Gucci is imminently launching an inspired, decorative home ware line!

Drum roll please…. in less than 2 weeks Gucci’s first home ware line - Gucci Décor, will be landing in the shops. I don’t understand why there hasn’t been a fanfair for this unveiling, for any fashion and interiors aficionados like myself will be absolutely smitten. I’ve been privy to the new collection and it is utterly joyful, bursting with the contemporary spirit of Alessandro Michel, the label's creative director. 

Alessandro Michele has made his love of interiors abundantly clear during his tenure at Gucci and so this homeware collection is no suprise. I noticed a sneak peak of this collection at his Resort 2017 show held inside the Cloisters at Westminster Abbey in London (the first time any fashion house has been granted access to do so). I found it incredible that the images that flooded the fashion industry’s Instagram feeds from this historic show were the hand-embroidered cushions placed on each seat!
 The collection includes tasseled pillows, plates, upholstered chairs, wallpaper (in silk, vinyl and paper), silk screens and other furnishings all featuring the designer’s now signature design motifs—tigers, snakes and Gucci Garden florals. 

There are also scented candles, metal trays, and small porcelain pieces by Richard Ginori, a Florentine porcelain-maker established in 1735. With more than 30 eclectic pieces, the prices range from $190 (for candles and incense trays) to $30,000 for beautifully printed silk screens. 

Here are my favourite porcelains:

The collection will not have a dedicated space in stores, instead being integrated with clothes and accessories, "the idea is not to prescribe a particular decorative look, but to provide elements that allow for living spaces to be customised," the house said.

I like this playful but also modest approach of styling out your interior with a couple of awesome pieces, which is all you’d need to show off Michele’s current romanticism style that I absolutely love. My shopping list includes these pieces:




Hotel Pulitzer is prize winning

I research hotels in A LOT of detail because it’s a key ingredient in every trip I make; sometimes the end goal. I absolutely love hotels – where else can you be looked after in such visually stimulating and inspiring surroundings? It’s that gorgeous cocooning feeling of ‘going home’ when you’re in your early twenties, but you’re in a hotel of the most incredible architecture and interior design, and it’s this side of the experience where I feel the magic of a hotel.

I want a hotel that demonstrates the envelope of interior design has been really explored and pushed, and hotels are quite unique in the way one can really experience, appreciate and judge the designs. So this is where I am coming from when I tell you about a hotel and I will only report back on the hotels you need to add to your own lists!

My first ‘to stay’ is the Hotel Pulitzer in Amsterdam and it has a fabulous heritage you couldn’t make up. In 1969 Peter Pulitzer, the grandson of the Pulitzer Prize founder, joined 25, 17th and 18th century canal houses into a hotel. These beautiful houses are alive with history and are protected from structural changes not only because of their special heritage but also because they sit on the canals – today the trendiest canal location in Amsterdam.

The hotel was reopened last autumn after enormous necessary renovations and deserves acclaim on the merits of this huge historical undertaking and in honour of the creative director of the hotel, Jacu Strauss who slept in and then fashioned each of the 225 guest rooms over 3 years. The result is a reinvented Dutch masterpiece – blending architecture, furniture, colours and themes from 3-400 years ago with contemporary design and for a contemporary, design-led audience. For me, the quality of the materials, the sourcing of authentic pieces, the attention to detail in the architecture and this eclectic mix of furniture, which have come together effortlessly to create a mood overflowing with character and style set this hotel apart.

No two rooms are the same and all have a really elegant, light and spacious feel, which comes as a nice surprise from the labrinth of corridors. Most bedrooms feature bold colours, inspired by the colours of Amsterdam past and present and all have beautifully weighty mattresses and all the mod cons. I fell for the bar carts with cut crystal glasses and delicious alcohols and decanters. There are four Collector’s Suites inspired by past famous people of Amsterdam, their unique narratives played out with fantastic design details. The Art Collector’s Suite features a collection of paintings and sculptures to rival one of the city’s museums.
The hotel has a bistro restaurant, Janz, which is absolutely one to book (and is often booked up) for its slick menu and brilliant people-watching and a café, Pause, which is super cool with delicious food. What I like is the beautiful colours and materials – Janz with its marble tables and dusty pink walls and Pause has emerald Gubi chairs and industrial materials in an airy garden setting.

Bar is a dimly-lit, sumptuous space to go a sip expertly-crafted cocktails that follow the theme of blending old and new from the comfort of a deep-cushioned chaise.

The Pulitzer is a five star hotel with all the trappings and without any pretence. The look of luxury is inescapable yet it succeeds at creating a quintessential experience of Amsterdam – eclectic, quirky, relaxed, etc. I personally love eclectic styling and the mix of old and new, and this hotel completely nails it in an authentic, effortless and inspired way.

Bringing the Hey day to the here and now

Hollywood Regency, which is the style of Hollywood in its heyday of the 20’s to the 50’s, has a truly sumptuous and unashamedly glamorous appeal. Its an aesthetic rather than a trend that resurges every few years and I absolutely love the key pieces from this super glam era. You only have to show me some of the pieces from the above pictures and I swoon. 

I wouldn’t necessarily design an all out Hollywood Regency themed interior, (unless of course it was for an LA-based bar, which would in fact be awesome) just as any dominant interior style can be overbearing on its own, but loosely decorating in this aesthetic adds decadence, sophistication and old world magic. The kitchen below and that dining room table, I mean.....

The appeal of Hollywood Regency to me is mixing old with new and infusing contemporary schemes with a regency twist. The style works so well with so many other interior styles that it can be an injection in terms of its hallmark colour palette, furniture and fixtures, the prints and so many other components that make up Hollywood Regency.

Some of the key components to look out for include: bold geometric prints and large stripes, dramatic black and white schemes, bold colours like fuschia and yellow, Chinoiserie, lacquer and mirrored furniture, tactile textures, and pronounced gold and silver detailing. All the images here point to what I mean.

If you are colour confident, the strong and contrasting colours and finishes of Hollywood regency create really sophisticated and stunning results. The key is to notice that the palette is always restricted so the look is actually very tailored and glamorous.

I love the prints from this era which illustrate some beautiful geometric prints as well as wider stripes, neo classical prints and leafy patterns. Art Deco & Art Noveau where all the range in this period.

Accessorising is fun way to introduce Hollywood regency so flourish with abandon like the movie stars of the golden age did with a heavy emphasis on cocktail shakers and bar ware and channel gold, perspex and bold patterns to convey a look of opulence and OTT style.

The dressing table is one of the key pieces of furniture from the days when the Hollywood actresses would get ready. These fur seats are really popular at the moment and are such a fun, frivilous piece. You might start to notice the detailing of the period including lucite, gold and brass handles. 


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Picking plums

Click here for the link to the left image and click here for the link to the image on the right :)

I am heralding one of the key colours to dominate the world of interiors in 2018 as PLUM. It’s a shade we all know and love, but is rare to interiors for no good reason. Plum is stunning: strong and warming. It was coming....I watched with glee as blush turned to putty, morphing through jewel red into the earthy tones like terracotta and I can tell you now for sure: it will rocket forward with plum. 

I’ve been rather overdosed this past year with not instantly loveable colours like Greenery and some of the paler pinks were too 80’s for me. But plum I love: it has the warmth of red, the drama of purple, the moodiness of black and the decadence of claret.

I know I push for being colour confident, but I honestly believe that ‘going big’ allows that colour to really show off its innate mood and qualities properly. A token dab of plum is lovely, but go for a wall or a big piece and this rich and inviting shade will come to life.

Click here for the image on the left and here for the image on the right :)

From the above pictures, you get a true sense of plum reigning on its own. Now I'm not backing down from plum but the line between bordeaux and marsala is very thin in the light and I found most images cropped up in all three word searches. So if you are looking for inspiration, just bear it in mind. Plum has a blue-black to it that that marsala and wine colours lack and are more red so plum is actually my preference because it has a heediness and darkness to it. 

With every colour you can work a palette to suit your style and bring in accent colours that perhaps you already have. Plum is a strong shade so if you love interiors exuding mood and drama, matt and textural fabrics, dynamic pieces and playing with light, then go for other intense shades and watch the room come to life. I think it looks outrageously fab in a split complimentary or rectangular scheme combining analogous colours including brown and terracotta with complimentary colours like teal, blue and emerald green.  

Click here for the link to the top left image; here for the top right image; here for the above left and here for above right.

 These above are stunning & dramatic interiors and plum looks beautiful with statement finishes and materials including gold, marble and velvet. However plum has lots of other gentler and lighter palettes that will create a romantic, bohemian and sensual style. Tones like cream, lilac, blush and lighter tones of teal and brown work beautifully with plum. Here is some inspo of plum with white:

Click here for the link to the image on the left; here for the central image and here for the image on the right :)

If you have any thoughts or feedback about plum, let me know :-)

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