Claire lives in San Francisco by way of a SoCal childhood and 6 years in London. With a background in photography and interior design, her current creative obsessions include sewing, calligraphy, and anything neon.
London is a city with so many vibrant neighborhoods that there is one for every type of personality. I moved to London four years ago with no clue as to where I would end up. But with a little exploring, I found my fit, and you can too! Here is an American ex-pat’s perspective on London neighborhoods. Neighborhoods Notting Hill, Kensington, & Chelsea Types of Rentals: Lots of houses that have been broken up into flats and large family homes.
For the last month my washer/dryer combo hasn’t had the dryer functionality, and I’ve had to come up with some creative solutions for drying my clothes. I thought about only wearing quick-dry athletic wear, but that’s proved to be unfashionable. So, in the end, an over-the-door drying rack is the best solution for me and my apartment.Here are five options for drying without electricity: Antonius Drying Rack for over the door from IKEA; $7.
Living in a small space there are no hidden places to store dirty laundry, thus the laundry hamper is an essential design element in the bedroom or bathroom. Here is a round up of the most stylish laundry hampers on the market whether you are on a shoestring or unlimited budget.High End:1. Rolling Wire Storage and Liner, Pottery Barn $1592. Torrey Divided Hamper and Liner, Pottery Barn $1793. A Tempo laundry basket, Alessi $1794. Handwoven Baskets from Senegal, Brook Farm General Store $1455.
Bad lighting can date a house. Fortunately, lighting is something that can be updated with a quick weekend project, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it. Lighting can also be the item that comes at the end of a remodel when money is tight and you need some less expensive, stylish options. Here are 10 companies providing bright and functional lighting at reasonable prices. 1.
Name: Phillip Stoup and Claire Bock Location: Clerkenwell; London, UK Size: 650 square feet Lived in: Six months; Rented My husband and I moved to a new flat this past October after our landlord sold our previous flat. I was in love with our old flat and it has taken a while to settle into the new one. Photographing the flat for this house tour proved to be a great exercise for making the house feel like our own.
This bathroom had lots of color in all the wrong places prior to its renovation. Old cabinetry and cheap teal tile made this bathroom makeover a must. Check out the fresh and modern facelift that this bathroom desperately needed after the jump… When selecting materials for a bathroom, the most important material to start with is the stone or tile, along with the cabinetry.
This 80’s kitchen was in need of updated appliances, cabinetry, and an overall space adjustment. By taking extra space from adjacent rooms, the kitchen was opened up into a light and bright gourmet chef’s workplace. Check out the difference after the jump…Although it may not look like it from the before photo, this kitchen was very dark and narrow.
Last week I wrote the guide to sofa shopping, and this week I am looking at the fabrics that upholster your sofa. If you are going high-end with a custom sofa and need the perfect fabric, are re-upholstering a vintage piece, or just want some insight into what all of those funny characters on the sofa tag mean when you are perusing IKEA next weekend, this is the guide for you.
A table runner is one of my favorite ways to dress up plain tablecloths or bare tables. This is probably the easiest sewing project that you could take on, and the same steps can be used to make napkins, too. For those who hoard designer fabric remnants found in the bargain bin like myself, the table runner project is a great way to put those pieces of fabric to good use. For this project, I created two table runners out of just one yard of Designers Guild Kashgar fabric.
This kitchen was originally built in 1989, and after 20 plus years of daily use, it was falling apart. While it may not look too bad on the surface, behind the before photograph were broken cabinets, a cooktop that barely worked, and granite countertop edges that were falling off. The kitchen had a contemporary feel for 1989, but for 2013 the owner was hoping for a softer, more family friendly feel.
A warning before you read further: this post will make your skin itch. A good friend of mine aptly pointed out that bed bugs are like the adult version of head lice. I never had head lice as a child, and I never imagined that I would have bedbugs as an adult, until it happened to me. I had heard about the great bedbug epidemic in New York back in 2010, but my personal nightmare with bedbugs began last fall.
Taking inspiration from the IKEA summer catalog and Designers Guild, I decided to dip dye paper lanterns to replace the grubby, aging ones currently hanging from my balcony. The 4th of July holiday gave me a good deadline to finally get this DIY project off the back burner. This is one of the cheapest and easiest DIY projects that I have done.
Wood utensils date back to ancient Egypt and are still one of the most common tools found in the kitchen today. Wood is a great material to cook with for a variety of reasons, and with the right care wood utensils and cutting boards can last decades. After many years of new materials such as silicone dominating the kitchen tool market, wood is making a comeback thanks to its timeless functionality.
The bedroom is a great place to make an impact…with oversize art. Fewer windows and, often, a tendency to leave the walls blank is an opportunity to add a focal point with one big, grand piece of art. Top Row 1. A colorful, abstract painting brings focus to the center of this vibrant bedroom. Real Living magazine featuring Andrew O’Brien artwork (available here) 2. A monochromatic room is punctuated with an ironic canvas. Tamara Magel Home on Houzz 3.
Indigo might be the dark blue of the moment. However, it is nothing new to home interiors; it’s a stylistic reincarnation of navy blue. Indigo and navy are both a dark blue bordering on black, but one color name is associated with an eclectic style, while the other expresses a traditional style. We love it, whichever name it goes by. Indigo is a natural dye extracted from plants and has been around the world for centuries.
Vintage maps have been popular for quite a few years now, and as that trend starts to wane a bit, the new twist is the vintage educational chart. While traditionally hung from wooden dowel rods, some are more suited for framing or simply tacked up onto a wall. From flora and fauna to human anatomy, there is a subject matter to suit any style. As more reproductions become available, the demand for authentic vintage charts with their crumpled characteristics grows.
Name: Corinne Schnieders Location: Balboa Island, California Size: 600 square feet Years lived in: 9 months, renting Corinne has never been one to follow the crowd, so when it came time to decorate her apartment on Balboa Island in sunny Southern California, she made this back guest house all her own. Forget the bohemian beach style populating everyone’s Pinterest boards these days; this mechanical engineer followed her heart by gathering finds that reflect her love of comfort and fun.
Name: David and Jeremy Location: San Rafael, California Size: 954 square feet Years lived in: 1 1/2 years; Owned David and Jeremy purchased their condo just over a year ago, and they have been busy making the home their own with a colorful sense of style—and lots of DIY projects. The home reflects David and Jeremy’s equally vibrant personalities, and the stories behind their place are hysterical.
Name: Steve and Heather Sacks, kids Cameron and Jasmine, and dogs Rockit and Haley Location: Potrero Hill; San Francisco, California Size: 2,400 square feet Years lived in: 5 1/2 years; Owned Walking into Steve and Heather’s home makes you feel like you have escaped to a relaxing, tropical retreat in the middle of a city best known for its cold and foggy summers.
Name: Isabelle Palmer, the Balcony Gardener Location: Hampstead; London, United Kingdom Size: 3 bedrooms Years lived in: 14 years; Owned Isabelle Palmer has made a career out of small space gardening, and it’s not hard to see how her home has inspired her business. Isabelle’s flat is a top-floor treasure inside of an old converted church in London’s leafy Hampstead neighborhood. Living in one place for the past 14 years, Isabelle has constantly reinvented the space.
Name: Tamasyn Gambell Location: Bow; London, United Kingdom Size: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath Years lived in: 3 years; owned Who else lives here: Tamasyn’s boyfriend Jamie and their baby Stepping into the home of Tamasyn Gambell, the first thing you notice are the patterns and collections, but go deeper into the home and you will see that her use of pattern and color is united by nature themes which lend a tranquil feel to the home.
Name: Carl Blucher & Ben Location: Hackney; London, UK Size: 900 square feet Lived in: 1 year; Owned Carl has built his career curating gorgeous collections for retail stores throughout London, and his home is filled with the best furniture, art, and objects he has found. Located in a classic Victorian mansion, Carl’s flat is the exact opposite of what you expect to find in an old Victorian building.
Name: Sarah Bernard, husband James, and stepson Edward (on weekends) Location: Notting Hill, London Size: 1,100 square feet Years lived in: 2 years; rented Sarah’s home has a modern, graphic style and a laid-back vibe that makes guests feel immediately at home in their colorful surroundings. Nothing is staged or forced.
Name: Paul and Katie Alexander and their daughter, Mabel Location: De Beauvoir — Shoreditch, London Size: 850 square feet Years lived in: 3 years; Owned Katie and Paul searched for a flat in London that was close to both their work in the city and the nightlife of Shoreditch, and they ended up finding the perfect compromise: a lovely flat in the leafy De Beauvoir neighborhood a stone’s throw from the exciting city life.
Name: Ben and Viv Yapp and their one year old son, Covey Location: Sydenham; London, United Kingdom Size: 890 square feet Years lived in: 2 years; owned Set in an old dairy mews in South London is the eclectic and creative home of the Yapp family. You may remember the cool colored House Call of Viv Yapp from the summer— the wall colors were so striking in the photos that I had to go and see them in person.
I recently bought a new sofa and it felt like I was buying a car. It’s such a big decision; both in terms of cost and how long you’ll likely live with it. New sofa styles for 2014 are harkening back to classic themes – a Scandinavian take on mid-century, natural wood legs, colorful upholstery, tufted details and retro silhouettes.
Name: Jamie Gray and Robb Smigielski Location: Islington; London, United Kingdom Size: 2 bedrooms, 988 square feet Years lived in: 1 1/2 years; rented Who else lives here: 2 house cats Jamie and Robb moved to London a year and a half ago, and found the perfect converted schoolhouse with white walls and high ceilings for adding in their own blend of creativity.
The news in London this Fall has been all about the launch of J.Crew, but for those who prefer to shop for their home rather than their closet, another exciting shop has come across the pond! West Elm just launched a brand new store on Tottenham Court Road, the main drag for super sized furniture stores. The highly anticipated hip branch of the Williams-Sonoma group opened last Thursday.
Watson, my French bulldog, approves of the new front balcony furniture and window boxes filled with herbs. I have a notorious black thumb, so the plants were my biggest hesitation, as I hate the idea of making the investment in something that I have been known to kill in a matter of weeks. So I consulted my friends who love to garden and they recommended the heartiest of herbs, which include thyme and rosemary (also a few of my favorites when cooking).
Wood panelling doesn’t always do great favors for a space and this room is an example of that. With heavy furniture this room was a dark and oppressive space, but with some brighter furnishings and white paint the room is completely transformed.The wood panelling really brought down the mood of this room, but I do love the look of panelling on ceilings, so we kept that and painted it out white.
This master bedroom needed a modern update and some TLC in order to transform it from drab 1980’s tract style into a sleek and sophisticated sanctuary.When you live in a home for awhile, it is easy to get used to certain architectural elements that may not be helping a space out. This space had a large soffit surrounding the room that seemed to enclose it in a negative way.