Monthly Archives: August 2012

Scientific Style

Think back to the days of high wooden benches, bunsen burners, test tubes, anatomical charts and petra dishes…. for those looking for a little vintage style… going back to school and experimenting in the science lab may just be the way to add a little vintage charm…. hopefully without the smell of sulphur and the boys at the back of the lab trying to set fire to some poor girls ponytail on the Bunsen Burner.

Here are some ideas for the scrap book.

A is for Anatomy

A simple way to add a little nostalgia is with the anatomy or periodic table charts and variations thereof.


Image source –

If you cannot find the originals then a really cheap trick is to use wrapping paper which you can purchase from museums or online stores for a few dollars, such as this “Anatomy Wrap” below from UK company Willow and Stone for a bargain three pounds!

… or an anatomical tea set by Lisa Turner for The New English….

Anatomica Tea Set Anatomica Breakfast Plate Anatomica Mug

C is for Chemistry

You can get creative with the glass jars and test tubes… making them into vases or drinking vessels (just make sure they are clean of chemicals before you fill them with freshly squeezed orange juice though!).


Images sourced from Frenchie and Flea (above) and Etsy (below)

Or think completely outside the block with this test tube chandelier by Pani Jurek on Etsy….

Test Tube Chandelier by Pani Jurek by faye test tube chandelier with colored water by nita

And if you do need to fill your home with an adorable scent… then you can always invest in Page Thirty Three’s Essential Oil burner…

L is for Lab

And for those who like the full look here are a few Lab inspired interiors for the mood board……

Source – decorology

Using old science benches, stools and shelving to create a functional hard waring creative office space, or just taking the old school shelving to create the science masters office look below….. I love the rolls of brown paper to use as a table protector or renewable scribble pad!

Or indulge in the naturalist, with specimen jars and pictures…..(below…source and Sibella Court “Etc”)

Naturalist Design Ideas

 Enjoy experimenting……which is your favourite?

On with the colourful journey………….


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All Rugged Up – Luke Irwin

Anglo-Irish Luke Irwin has had a varied career, from the world of theatre, PR and antiques when a chance meeting at a lunch party in Dorset in the UK had Luke sat next to a 12 year old boy.  The boy engaged in conversation with Irwin regarding his father who owned three mills in Napal, and was regarded as a Tibetan master weaver. This chance meeting struck Irwin with the Eureka moment that we all dream of…. and well the rest is history.  Luke Irwin is now one of London’s leading contemporary rug designers and has now opened his first showroom on London’s famed Pimlico Road.

Image Screen-shot-2011-04-26-at-18.36.47.png

Pimlico Store – Source

Of course the chance meeting did not automatically just happen, there was a lot of thought and investment behind his belief.  It took a while to get that inspiration…especially given Luke had no actual design experience…. for the first collection.  It was not until a trip to France that he finally came up with the idea for his first collection which was based on the ideas of ariel views and crop circles….. draining the last $15,000 from his bank account Luke set off to visit the Tibetan to commission his first collection of rugs.


Source wjs copyright Tobias Harvey

 Luke Irwin’s collection has expanded to include ikat, geometric, floral, animal and children’s patterns. His client list is as diverse as his bespoke offerings, including rock stars and royalty, East End artists, West Country aristocrats, The Whitehouse and Russian oligarchs.

“Rather than running his showroom like an office, he ushers clients toward his 1960s Willy Rizzo desk, from which he offers coffee and cigarettes. (This might be the only store in London where customers are free to smoke.) The overall effect feels more like catching up with a friend in a drawing room than conducting a business transaction. And rather than piling his rugs up high like more traditional dealers do, his pieces are hung from the wall like works of art. No two rugs are the same; each one is designed to order and handcrafted with colors, weaves and textures chosen by Irwin and the client.” source WSJ Magazine

So here are some of the collections. I love the worn in look of the Ikat range, and the manhattan lady walking her dogs in a quirky kind of way….. which ones are your favourite to lie on?






On with the colourful journey…………
All images sourced from unless otherwise specified

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Bone China – Phoebe Richardson

If your idea of a fine piece of china contains florals and pretty scenes, then this post may not be for you. Phoebe Richardson is a London based Graphic designer who strives to put a little something different on your plate.

Photo: Luca Sage ©

Inspired by 16th century medical engravings and bones from the Natural History Museum in London, Richardson has created the aptly named “Bone China” collection.  The name is not the only little sneak of humour in the collection which, like an anatomy class, allows you to construct and deconstruct the human skeletal structure….. who said Interior design was not educational…!!

The plates, which are called “The Super Model”  are designed by Phoebe and produced by The New English. They are also on display at the home of their original inspiration, the Natural History Museum!

 Now if an espresso is more your thing then how about the skeleton stack coffee cups

Image of Stacking Skeleton Coffee Cups (Numbered)

And for those who would love to continue the skeletal theme… you can go all out with the “Gingerdead Men” cookie cutter and embosser….. perfect for halloween, to dunk into your skeleton cups….

Let me know what you think….. in the mean time on with the colourful journey………

Images sourced – Phoebe Richards Blog – Left Hand Right Eye and Luca Sage ©


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Hanging Up Some Brooklyn Style

I am loving this collaboration between Netherlands-based company NLXL  and Merci of Paris, who have created a new range of wallpaper called “The Brooklyn Tin”. As the name suggests, the paper has been designed to mimic the look of vintage painted tiles found in factories and warehouses in North America at the turn of the century…. and indeed many of the Australian terrace properties of the same period.

 Brooklyn Tin Tiles Wallpaper - 01

The paper comes in a range of looks from the rust through to the pastel paint shades of the era….

Enjoy stepping back in time….. on with the colourful journey………
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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Interior Design, Trends, Wallpaper


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War Against Gravity – Gordon Harrison Hull

Gordon Harrison Hull is no ordinary rug designer,  working with a mix of clients from ad campaigns, brand strategy, copywriting, art direction and even… as his biography states…. relationship advice! The quirkiness behind Hulls work is evident in his statement stating that a…

“Full Guru service is available.  Everything is totally possible” (this put a smile on my face!)

In a recent collaboration with Anthropologie, Hull was commissioned to design and exhibit a series of giant rugs, which he created using 14 different techniques and textures to create the installation “War Against Gravity”. In addition to the rugs, the installation included a rickshaw which was called “The Rick James” which used bits of mirror, rugs and aluminium pin wheels.


The one in a kind rugs themselves are available for sale through Anthropologie online.

Which rug would you create a war against gravity with? On with the colourful journey……..


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Modern Take on Traditional Style – Haidee Drew

Simplicity is the design rational behind London based designer Haidee Drew’s collection. Haidee produces hand made interior accessories which are based on traditional objects using traditional techniques, yet they have a contemporary feel and playful function which enables them to suit any interior style.

Here are a few of her products, my favourite has to be the mirrors… how about you?

Ara Mirrors

The Ara mirror collection is based on vintage dressing table hand mirrors.  Simple and clean, they would work well on the white washed wall of a modern loft apartment, or your grandma’s parlour…. really fun.

Dandy Clocks

The Dandy Clocks are a play on the John Ethan Victorian pocket watch advertisement that Haidee found in the British Library .  They are a clock and a mirror all in one. Perfect for making sure you can keep your eye on the clock while applying your lippy!

The clock is also available in a blue and mauve marble effect which was inspired by the marble book bindings of the British library.  The marbled paper used is handmade making each one unique…

Jojo Duck Hook

Inspired by the flying ducks of the 1930’s, Haidee has given this kitsch icon a functional facelift, you can just have them as they are or use them to store your umbrella’s and bags…. or get the small version to hang your treasured necklaces on display!

On with the colourful journey……..

(all images sourced from


Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Art, Interior Design, Trends, UK, UK designers


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Dutch Sky – Little Owl Design

You may recall a post that I wrote a while back on a Dutch company called Little Owl Design and their “altered Perspectives”  collection which upcycled plates and discarded canvases….

Fisherman under the palm trees

Altered Perspectives – Fisherman Under the Palm Trees

Well the creative forces of Bruce Wayland and Marcello De Simone have come up with a new product to add to their collection.  Inspired like many Dutch masters and creatives before them, the duo have used the Dutch sky as their inspiration to create a new range of wall paper, aptly named “Dutch Sky”, which is due to be launched in September 2012……

Summer Blue

In creating these wallpapers they have bought together a merger of art from the past Dutch masters and current technology.  They have combined prints of antique clouds and etchings, together with their own photography and the addition of whimsical additions of wind socks, cranes and chimney tops.

(left to right “Storm Grey”, “Summer Blue” and “Dusk Violet”)


It is printed in Holland by one of the leading printing companies in the Netherlands, with clients as Piet Hein Eek and Merci.

Storm Grey

It is a very busy pattern, as such I  suspect it would be better utilised in smaller spaces as a feature wall. It certainly acts as a good backdrop to hang some of those plates….  let me know what you think….

On with the colourful journey……..

If you like this story you may like this.(just click on the link below)……..

Portrait in blue

Dishing Up The Canvas – Little Owl Designs


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