Monday, January 19, 2015

A winter's day

There is something hugely restorative about being in a garden and this morning's walk at Greystone Mansion was exactly what I needed. Winter in Los Angeles is by no means a hardship but even though the landscape isn't covered in frost and snow doesn't mean there aren't seasonal changes. There most definitely are, they're just subtle. So subtle, in fact, you have to look a bit to see them but perhaps that's part of the beauty.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Friday, November 14, 2014

Prince Charles' garden at Highgrove House

Spend an hour touring Highgrove's gardensthey're spectacular. Plus it's Prince Charles' birthday today, so why not?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Early 18th-century pattern books—a wealth of inspiration

When I was did the Christie's Decorative Arts program at the University of Glasgow, the course was divided in to five categories. First we studied the history of interiors, then it broke down into media: ceramics, glass, textiles and silver. As the course went along, we were encouraged to focus our studies and were allowed to drop one of the four media. I dropped textiles... which I've regretted ever since, especially when I stumble upon treasure troves of historic patterns, like these by James Leman at the V&A. Leman was born in Spitalfields, London, in 1688 to a Huguenot family of weavers, and became a successful designer, providing hundreds of patterns for woven silks produced by some of the most fashionable factories. Most of the patterns posted here date between 1706 and 1716, making them some of the earliest silk patterns known to exist. I love the old color combinations, the stylized fruits and flowers, and the exotic bits of architecture. A single page could inspire a dozen new designs. I've always said I'll be a landscape designer in my next life. Perhaps I'll be a textile designer in the one after that. So much beauty, such endless possibilities!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Behind the scenes at designer Kathryn Ireland's new LA studio

Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting designer Kathryn Ireland at a photo shoot for a story I was writing for Interiors California. I **love** being on shoots, and while Kathryn and photographer Robert Benson did their thing, I tiptoed around with my phone and snapped a few pics of Kathryn's new studio/office. Its as charming as you might expect... There are antiques from London dealer Christopher Hodsoll, racks of hand-printed textiles, sitting areas that display Kathryn's designs and, of course, all the working parts of the shop, from the long printing tables to the sewing rooms. Below are a few pictures from the day. Enjoy!

Kathryn and Robert in the studio's kitchen. I covet her Aga.

The entryway leads past the workrooms, sitting rooms and kitchen to the big living room and meeting space.

Everything Kathryn in one cheerful room.

Textiles, wood, tufting... texture, texture, texture.

A tabletop laden with the designer's many decorating books.

Where the magic happens... the printing room!

Sew, sort, sell.

Kathryn's new book, Inspired By, pays homage to the many people who have inspired her over the years.