Join me here in explorations of the places and people who inspire my passion for interiors. I’m always on the hunt for outstanding design, ancient, modern, natural and crafted.





January 1st, 2014


My Top 5 “Interior Design Titles” for 2014 – reading list for a rainy New Year’s day

Was your annual New Year’s Day walk scuppered by mud and rain? If ever there was weather to inspire us to pay more attention to the world indoors, it’s this. I’ve put together a design reading list for a rainy day. Now is the season to curl up on the sofa and start planning your spring renovations.

First on my list for you is…

1)A Living Space” by Kit Kemp – Santa kindly delivered me a copy and it has not disappointed. I first came across Kit Kemp several years ago at a “Homes and Gardens” lecture and can’t resist popping into the hotels (whenever in London with a spare moment) that she has designed for the Firmdale Group co-owned with her husband. Kit was also responsible for the design of the entrance to Decorex this year.

If you are looking to experiment with colour, scale and pattern, but are maybe nervous of making an expensive mistake, this is a must read.  Her signature style also mixes contemporary elements with antiques and junk-shop finds, luxurious fabrics with printed wallpapers and hand finished detailing with collections of simple objects that create impact. “She avoids taking design too seriously”. The images below will give you a flavour of what to expect.

"A Living Space" by Kit Kemp

“A Living Space” by Kit Kemp

One of the drawing rooms in the Soho Hotel by Kit Kemp

One of the drawing rooms in The Soho Hotel by Kit Kemp

2) “Inspired Interiors” by Suzanne Kasler

It is probably fair to say that Suzanne Kasler is less well known in the UK, but I refer to her work over and over again for inspiration with “trimmings”, “dressmakers details” and the way she works with paint – I have only seen her use wallpaper once!

"Inspired Interiors" by Suzanne Kasler

“Inspired Interiors” by Suzanne Kasler

Use of trimmings and dress-makers details by Suzanne Kasler

Use of trimmings and dress-makers details by Suzanne Kasler

3) “Design & The Deocrative Arts” – Georgian Britain – one of the V&A Publications

For anyone looking to renovate a period property (preferably Georgian!) this is a great read as are many of the others in the series… and for any KLC students out there, about to embark on their History of Style thesis, it’s invaluable.

Design and the Decorative Arts -  Georgian Britain, part of the V&A series

Design & The Decorative Arts – Georgian Britain, part of the V&A series

4) “The Iconic Interior” by Dominic Bradbury

This is a mine of both inspiration and information- it features 100 of the world’s “most influential spaces” frequently by artists, designers, architects and fashion personalities etc… Every conceivable style is represented and for me it’s a great reference if you are looking to stay true to a certain style or genre. It also proves that established taste and genuine creativity can stand the test of time. Here are a couple of my favourites; the Coco Chanel appartment in Paris and the Fornasetti Residence.

The Iconic Interior by Dominic Bradbury

The “Iconic Interior” by Dominic Bradbury

Coco Chanel Apartment / Paris, C. 1920

Coco Chanel Apartment / Paris, C. 1920

Fornasetti Residence as shown in the "Iconic Interior" by Dominic

Fornasetti Residence as shown in the “Iconic Interior” by Dominic Bradbury

5) Finally, last but not least, I shall be adding the 25 year celebratory edition of “Elle Decoration” to my library. I’m sure I’ll still be reading this in 25 year’s time and loved the feature on some of the editorial team’s favourite stories from the archives.

"Elle Decoratio"Elle Decoration" 25 years collectors edition

“Elle Decoration” 25 years collectors edition

 

"Elle Decoration" 25 years collectors edition - a selection of features from the archives - this one depicting the trend for Chinoiserie in June 1997

“Elle Decoration” 25 years collector’s edition – a selection of features from the archives – this one depicting the trend for Chinoiserie in June 1997

Site: Rosen