Nom Nom Ombre

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you would have noticed that Ombre is without a doubt the buzz trend of this year. It has captured our hairstyles, high street, bakeries and, of most interest to me, our interiors.

Ombre is the french term for ‘shaded’ or ‘graduated in tone’ and is the perfect blend of using light and dark as reflected in nature.

I first observed the trend in our office when DG launched their Saraille fabrics in their last Spring Summer collection. It was without a doubt the design that received the most ‘oooh’s’ and ‘ahhh’s’ from everyone and it is with no surprise as it is an incredibly striking effect of which we should all embrace (while it lasts!).

Your homework this week is to go out and bring some Ombre to your lives…(not to be mistaken with hombres). Here is some inspiration….

Graduated Pink Ombre Pendant Lampshade over neutral white table setting

Graduated Pale Pink Ombre desk painted by Natty by Design

Graduated Pink Ombre Icing on cake

Graduated Pixel Hues Painiting in Living room

Graduated Aqua Saraille(Images : Saraille Fabric by Designers Guild, Ombre Pendant Lampshade by Martha Stewart, Ombre Desk Natty by Design, Ombre Cake by Apt2B Baking CO, Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design – Christiane Lemieux.)


Inspired by India

Hello again! Its been far too long. I’ve just returned from my first ever behind the scenes photo shoot in Sintra with the team. It was hard work but the results were stunning…I shall post the shots as soon as they are ready for public viewing.

After a day of rest, the new week began with preparations for the new Inspired by India exhibition at Sotheby’s A Selling Exhibition of Contemporary Design – Curated by Janice Blackburn and styled by Trisha Guild (with my colleague and I assisting).

Neon and black Jewellry cabinet

“The show features textiles, ceramics, jewellery, furniture and photography by established designers, such as Alice Cicolini, Rahul Kumar and Sabyasachi Mukherjee and up-and-coming artists such as Els Woldhek and Pia Wustenberg, all of whom have been inspired by the culture, colours and crafts of India.

Commenting on “Inspired by India” Janice Blackburn said: “Crafts we associate with India – weaving, embroidery, metal work and enamelling – are sadly disappearing. The way to preserve these wonderful techniques is to move them forward with well-designed products, which combine traditional skills in a contemporary way without sacrificing their historical context. All the designers I have selected share a passion for India and have produced work which is a successful marriage between the best of fine, original design without compromising the rich tradition of India’s hand-making processes. I am delighted to introduce their work and offer it to collectors through Inspired by India.” – Sotheby’s

Mini Red Ceramic Pots but Rahul Kumar styled on wooden crates

It was felt that the scheme of the show should be very organic and rough- luxe so we procured old pallets and crates from the Sotheby’s warehouse, which btw, was amazing in itself! One of our crates had even contained a Francis Bacon work of art- excited much!

On site we set about stacking the pallets and crates for the exhibitors to display their work on. We hung Designers Guilds banners of fabric, weaved in India, to add colour, give form and balance the room. One of my favourite touches was stenciling on the exhibitors name with a typewriter font onto the wood which had been spray painted in either a neon orange or pink beforehand to add a little funk factor!

Colourful Design Exhibition Featuring Furniture & Art

The results looked fabulous, if I do say so myself. It was so lovely to collaborate with the artists also who all turned up throughout the day to help display their work, not to mention being given the opportunity to help style an exhibiton in one of Londons most prestigious galleries. I really hope the show goes well for the whole team.

Inspired by India is running from 8-15 May 2012 (closed 12th of May) opening times on the website.

(Images by Design88)

A Certain Style Indeed

Ever since I was young I was always excited at the prospect of strolling the King’s Road, not only for its great selection of shops, but mainly because as you approach the Fulham end of town, the shops begin to relate increasingly to interiors. My favourite always being Designers Guild, perched on the corner of Old Church Street and the King’s Road. Going there has always been an ‘event’; the shop window displays have always reminded me of a sweet shop full of bright colours and shiny things! It is no wonder I would always plan to finish the walk here after much anticipation. Therefore, I could not pass up the opportunity of attending a lecture there at their flagship store with the founder and creative director, Tricia Guild, who began this empire back in 1970 whilst searching for textiles to decorate with. By re-colouring a collection of Indian hand-block printed textiles, the first collection was established.

The event was called ‘ A Certain Style’ which is also the name of her new book on which the lecture was based.  Tricia Guild talked us through a selection of her latest projects that feature in the book, ranging from English country homes, decadent Parisian apartments and modern coastal retreats. Images of the book served as the backdrop where the audience was taken on a journey with Guild as she spoke about how she manages to connect each room of the home. This, she said, is mainly achieved by selecting a pattern or colour palette that would repeatedly feature in each room even if just as an accent.

So what is the secret behind her extremely recognisable work? Well, COLOUR was definitely a buzzword as were PATTERN and TEXTURE. Guild has a no-rules approach to her work and encouraged the audience to build up patterns, textures and colours, and to not fear them. The only rule is not to have one! She also highlighted that even muted interiors are colourful and that the features in a home are already adding colour, be it a wooden floor or kitchen cupboards. Guild hinted at starting her designs with black and white and developing the scheme from there. This was also noticeable in many of the images she showed us; let us not forget that black and white are colours too!

In a recent interview with Fashion We Like she said the following: “The most common mistake is that they use too much colour and too many colours and not enough neutral. If you want to use bold colour you have to be very considered and always use lots of white and neutral to allow the other colours to sing. Otherwise you will end up with a technicolour mishmash that is neither stylish nor restful!”

Her main influence? The great outdoors and predominately gardens. Not surprisingly either because if you know the collections there are floral influences everywhere, namely on their new digital panels.

This is by far the best design book I have bought in a long time and I am proud to have its front cover sit boldly on my coffee table. Even if you’re not into design you won’t be disappointed by James Merrell’s state of the art photography. It was a pleasure to meet Tricia and get my copy signed, and I hope to bank on her advice (and fearlessness!) as I grow into the designer I want to become.

“Decorating is such a personal thing. If you have a big personality – you are more than likely to be more confident with your choice of colours and patterns. If you are quieter, the chances are you will prefer a quieter scheme. There is no right or wrong but you must be true to yourself. Often I think people make the wrong choices because they are scared of what their friends might think – that to me is totally absurd and a recipe for disaster.” – Tricia Guild

A Certain Style is spot on. Designers Guild’s collections are instantly recognisable and it is therefore the ideal name for this book to celebrate Guild’s four decades at the forefront of design…and long may it continue.

xo Vanessa