Jun 5

Luxury fabrics and Ralph Lauren store interiors


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Recently I bought a bolt of Ralph Lauren silk damask fabric in a creamy oyster colour for a client’s bedroom. I found it on ebay and it was an absolute steal, which meant I could buy a lot of it – enough for curtains as well as some of the upholstery. There are a few silk damasks across the Ralph Lauren fabric collections, but this particular one is from a collection called The Heiress:

One of the things that the Ralph Lauren fabric collections do so well is mix different compositions and textures. A more formal (and expensive!) fabric like a pure silk doesn’t need to look overly fussy or feminine when it’s paired with wools, linens  and cottons. In terms of pattern, checks and tweeds look great with chintzes and other florals and make them a bit more casual.

I like the hint of silk here in the cushion on the armchair, but the white walls, wicker baskets and plain rug keep it fairly informal.

This is a more formal room (above), with a silk damask used for the chair upholstery. I think this is a beautiful apartment (love all the lamp-light), but I’m not a fan of those floral needlepoint rugs, and can’t help but think how much nicer a big sisal would look for my taste.

 

As a sidenote, while I’m thinking of silk damasks, there’s a great summary of the French interiors in the movie Bel Ami on Cote De Texas here.

 

But on the topic of Ralph Lauren, I know I’m not the only one who takes inspiration from the interiors of the boutiques. The menswear stores usually feature a lot of dark wall colours and leather chairs (I love!), and the Madison Avenue store in the famous Rhinelander Mansion is particularly known for its masculine- themed interiors:

via djhuppatz blog

These are from the David Jones store in Sydney:

These are some of dressing rooms at different stores:

The womenswear store in New York has a lighter palette but the same warm traditional feel. I love all the detailed white joinery!

All gorgeous!

Naomi xx

 

 

May 9

It’s all about stripes and blue and white


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I’m still thinking about that apartment I missed out on, and how I would have decorated it. (I’m aware this is a pretty fruitless activity but this is just what I do – I have fun planning layouts and room schemes – and whether it will ever be put into practice is completely immaterial!) Lots of blue and white and really pale floors – I’m thinking bleached timber and sisal, but I also love the subtle leopard-print carpet above. My storage shed is full of pairs of French chairs – another hobby – and a pair painted chalky white and recovered in stripes on either side of an antique commode would have been great for the little entryway!

Tangerine or shades of citrus yellow work so well as an accent to blue and white. But the thing that makes this room work is the layering; throws, trays, books, ornaments, cushions – it’s all about the accessories!

I love this moody hallway (above) because it shows how key lighting is when you don’t have any natural light. Picture and wall lights are usually so much nicer in classic spaces than downlights, and the lighting in the two rooms at the end of the hallway really draws you in. Plus I’m just such a fan of club-like dark timber panelling and walls covered in pictures.

These pics (above and below) are from a Ralph Lauren showroom – lots of lovely blue and white, some dark walls and lots of texture in wicker baskets and furniture.

 

When I think of that apartment I think along the lines of this style (above and below). Pale flooring and white paintwork as a foil for blue and white fabrics and ceramics.

I think these rooms come from Australian magazine ‘Country Homes’. This is a warmer, more ‘country house’ take on the colour scheme; Creams and neutrals dominate instead of pure white. I just adore dark blue/grey walls covered in artwork, and the balcony off the bedroom overlooking trees.

 

Naomi xx

 

Apr 30

Today in fabrics


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Am I the only one who feels that the days are already noticeably shorter? Weekdays for me lately are slightly manic, as I try to get everything done before school pickup time, after which it seems there is no daylight left between the homework/dinner routine. In between phone calls and emails this morning I started putting together a scheme in sage greens and creams for a new client’s sitting room. I think I might need to throw a bit of stripe in there somewhere.. You can see the chaos of fabric cuttings that is my desk at the moment! I dream of a bigger office with a giant wall of organised storage!

I’ve also swapped most of the blue and white cushions in our house for some more ‘winter’ colours. I have to say I’m not that motivated at the moment in terms of decorating my own house – mainly because I’m ready to move on to the next project, and I want to try completely different things like wallpaper, new curtain fabrics, newly recovered furniture etc. I really am ready to sell everything and start from scratch in the next house. But the very least I can do is have season-appropriate cushions, right? The Ralph Lauren paisley in the front is actually one I won’t get sick of – I’m thinking of covering walls in that pattern somewhere in the fabled Country House – maybe a library?

 

Have a great day,

 

Naomi x

 

Apr 26

Latest ebay find and Mother Nature


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It’s been another beautiful and mainly rainy day here in Melbourne. This morning I had to go and pick up my latest ebay buy in the hills outside of town, which took me right by my sister’s country property:

I’ve shown bits of my sister and brother-in-law’s property before; they are renovating a former country retirement home, and the much older weatherboard cottage that’s on the same property. They were blessed to inherit a lot of wonderful established trees, but have also replaced a large field with a newly-planted orchard of various fruit trees.

This is one of their veggie gardens, with various types of lemon trees heavy with fruit behind. Lucky I have my own lemon tree or I would have snaffled a lot of those lemons! Is there anything better than a really tart lemon pie?

The driveway enters on one side of the property, circles around and exits on the other side, giving you a full tour through oaks, pines, elms, birches and agapanthas.

Can you tell I’m just a weeny bit jealous? I just love visiting. Then it was off to collect the chairs:

I’ve been looking around at wing back chairs for a little while now, but haven’t been in a rush to purchase them (as they are, of course, for the future country property!). I’m also pretty fussy about the shape and style. I didn’t want any that were too tall, too wide, or with wings that were either too large or too wimpy. I sound a bit hard to please don’t I!? And most importantly, they couldn’t have queen anne-style legs – straight, open legs with a central cross-bar were essential. So when I saw these ones on ebay I snapped them  up.

And look at the beautiful scenery I got to enjoy on the way to collect them:

So I had pictured these chairs as being recovered in a dark charcoal grey wool or felt, with the backs in a co-ordinating tweed. The existing fabric isn’t actually all that bad-  it’s quite an interesting kilim-patterned velvet in reds, blues and greys. I could easily make it work as is if I needed to hold off on the reupholstery, but I’m envisioning either the dark grey or maybe a scheme of reds or raspberry in velvet and chintzes (I still do love chintz in the right setting).

But on the topic of tweeds, have you seen the new Greenwich Linen collection from Ralph Lauren? I’m such a big fan of these classic designs and warm neutrals:

Very English country house! Can you imagine them paired with some timber beams and old battered leather suitcases? Lovely.

Naomi xx

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