Archive for September, 2014|Monthly archive page

Home Coming

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2014 at 11:12 am

September again and there is that same old feeling of  ‘back to school’  although it’s really ‘back to work’  after the summer break.

This week I went to recce the home of the couple behind The Artful Project a gallery run on-line and from a converted ice-cream van. The aim is to encourage people to have art in their homes, so The Artful Project source art, posters and photographs at affordable prices. The house is colourful and fun so I’ll be back with a photographer in a couple of weeks.

There was also had a fun evening at the opening of the Mini Moderns exhibition at the South Bank Center Shop, glasses of Prosecco and singing on the pavement outside the shop

South Bank Shop full of Mini Modern

South Bank Shop full of Mini Modern


and more on Kitchenalia

Showcasing the power of styling, this sneak preview of a new book from interiors expert Vinny Lee, Kitchenalia, takes a classic kitchen from Martin Moore and shows how a kitchen can be transformed into something completely different, just through accessories and a change of wallpaper. The book is released on 25 September and features inspiring styling advice and ideas for furnishing the kitchen with old and new buys, whether starting from scratch or transforming an existing space.


The classic English Kitchen the designers worked with is referred to as the White Kitchen, although it is hand painted in a subtle off-white finish, giving a warmer feel than pure white.

Barbara Moore comments, “the design combines fitted and freestanding elements, both of which can be scaled up or down. It is adaptable and works in any period building, from rural cottage to period town house. For this opening scheme, showcasing the neutral canvas the designers were given to work with, the kitchen has been styled to look simple and understated.

“I especially like the look you get from mixing lots of different pieces of white china together; some is classic French style with scalloped edges while other pieces are contemporary with a textured, raised surface. But because they are all white they can be mixed and matched.”


Here the kitchen was given a makeover by kitchen shop, Summerill & Bishop, owners June and Bernadette. They chose bright glassware and linens to bring bursts of colour. Texture was brought in from platters and pots, many of which are vintage finds. Bernadette Bishop says, “I can’t envisage a house without some vintage pieces, they give a place authenticity,”

Vinny Lee comments: “The history and character that comes with vintage pieces is off set by the new, such as the coloured Clair Glassware that they have specially made by a French artisan and has the glassblower’s signature on the bottom of each piece. They chose this glassware as part of their scheme to introduce ‘spot’ colour to the plain kitchen. Texture is an important part of the scheme. These beaten tin-plated copper cooking pots are from Syria.”


Styled by founders of House of Hackney, husband and wife team Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle, the kitchen is transformed by the bold Palmeral print used on the walls, china and linens including oven mitts. The striking and confident use of a single colour gives a contemporary update without detracting from the classic appeal of the kitchen. Keeping the same pattern throughout the accessories brings unity and cohesion to the scheme.

Vinny Lee offers this insight into the success of this makeover: “The Palmeral wallpaper comes with the more ‘boudoir’ backgrounds of midnight blue or black, but for the kitchen Frieda selected the print on a bright-white background. She also heightened the impact of the print by adding the same pattern on china and linens, but then kept the balance by diluting them with classic plain white china and transparent glassware, so that the whole scheme is balanced. The plant motif and bright green of the print give the kitchen a fresh and zesty appearance, making it the sort of room that is inviting and invigorating on even the darkest and dreary mornings. Because of the scale of the pattern it might become claustrophobic if used to such an extent in a smaller kitchen, so instead you could choose to use it on a feature wall and allow the printed linens and china to carry the theme through. And in a kitchen where the units are faced with wood or laminate wood-effect doors the ‘forest’ aspect of the leafy design may become exaggerated and overpowering, so it might be worth looking to other wallpaper prints that would work with a brown, wood element.”


Mini Moderns duo Mark Hampshire and Keith Stephenson used their range of wallpapers, paints and accessories, alongside some vintage finds to create a cheerful mix of colour and pattern for a bright, retro look.

Mark Hampshire reveals: “We used our Darjeeling wallpaper because it has a tiled look, making it instantly appropriate to the kitchen. We offset the freshness of this tessellated design with our rich 1970s-style Paisley Crescent wallpaper, used in the china cupboard and area above the stove. Then we added areas of plain blue Lido paint from our Environmentally Responsible Paints range. The pattern of the vintage Midwinter Cherry Tree china in the plate rack and cupboard combines the turquoise colour with olive and orange, so we brought together some new and old pieces that tied in with those colours, then added the “Granny Takes a Trip” framed print for a bit of retro graphic humour.”

Kitchenalia by Vinny Lee is £30, published by Jacqui Small.