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Month: November 2015

Picture Perfect – Part Two

Hanging artwork is a work of art in itself.

I believe that a picture should make an impression. Whether hung singly, or in a group, it is important that the subject matter enhances its surroundings and doesn’t disappear into them.

I find this quite challenging but still get excited by the prospect of finding a painting, or print, that will work in a particular space or, alternatively, finding a space into which I can hang an existing  piece of art.

Scale, balance, proportion and colouring should all be borne in mind when considering what will work where.

Paramount bedroom

One of my favourite  examples of how these attributes can be applied is Phillipe Stark’s adaptation of Vermeer’s “The Lacemaker” in his rework of the Paramount Hotel in New York in the early nineties. Here the headboard appears to be an oversized version of the original.

Whilst, in New York I bought a large Rothko print from MOMA which has since followed me from house to house. Originally, it was bought to hang on the end wall of a lounge/dining room as a focal point.

EPSON DSC picture

When I moved home the Rothko came too but I found it much more difficult to find a place for it. Recollecting my visit to The Paramount Hotel I decided to hang the print in the spare bedroom just behind the headboard. The colours coordinated perfectly although the scale was perhaps a little on the large side. Regardless, I was extremely pleased with the break with convention.

Rothko print

Case study rendering

Where I’m living now I actually used this print as a case study as once again it didn’t easily adapt to its new surroundings. In the first instance I produced a colour rendering to demonstrate that although placed behind a wooden staircase  sufficient print would be visible for it to work.


Now in situ I am perfectly happy that I’ve found a new home for this much travelled masterpiece. Today, two of my other favourite collectables, Tin Tin characters, Captain Haddock and Snowy, have joined the Rothko as an addition to the games room.

Rorhko, Snowy & Haddock

Perhaps not as sophisticated as Stark’s use of The Lacemaker in The Paramount but a good exercise in the less conventional.

To see the latest reincarnation of The Paramount Hotel New York visit http://www.nycparamount.com/

Celebrating French Style

In May I was very lucky to spend a week at Bastide de l’Arc at Chateau Grand Boise in France to celebrate a friend’s birthday.


This traditional luxury holiday rental in the heart of Provence was completely renovated by French interior designer Natalie Vingot Mei who has successfully captured the charm and tranquility of this stunning ten bedroom house.


Her use of vivid colours combined with country house style furniture and an array of hand-picked accessories makes this feel like a home rather than a rental.

DSC02420 (1)

Her attention to detail is remarkable and she has created a venue that is instantly welcoming and perfectly suited to hosting the most glorious parties.


I stayed with a group of sixteen adults but it can sleep up to twenty. On arrival we enjoyed sparkling champagne on the terrace whilst watching the sun set over the vineyards.


Thereafter we made full use of the facilities taking it in turns to buy and cook local produce which was enjoyed either in the formal dining room or al fresco by the poolside.


On the last evening a chef and his staff were hired to prepare and serve the most delicious meal to celebrate my friend’s special occasion.

Hats off to the owners of this fabulous property as they have created a real gem in the heart of the French countryside.


To view more stunning interior photographs of Bastide de L’Arc visit  http://provence.emotional-escapes.com/properties/view/aix-marseilles-aix-en-provence/villa-141-luxury-bastide and for an insight into Natalie’s design philosophy go to http://www.decoration-et-provence.com/chantiers-de-decoration.html

Closure of Tunsgate Square

Since the closure of the Tunsgate Square  in Guildford many of the shops and businesses that were resident in the precinct are emerging in other parts of the town.


Not everyone has abandoned ship though as despite the deserted doorway CH Fabrics continues to operate as before. It has even had the foresight to turn a cosy corner into a cafe offering hot beverages to loyal customers.


Ikon and Harvey Jones Kitchens are a stone’s throw away from their original location. Adjacent to one another they have each taken space in premises in Tunsgate itself remaining central to the town.


Other businesses have moved further afield with Babylon taking two units in the White Lion Walk; one specialising in clothing and accessories whilst the other concentrates on interior furnishings and gifts.IMG_5543

Most recently I spotted the re-emergence of Sofa Workshop on the corner of Ward Street and North Street in the old Lombok premises. Due to open on November 14th this very nearly completes the relocation of the Tunsgate Square businesses.


Sadly, Heal’s has not reappeared as yet and the last I heard was still on the lookout for a new location. This will be a real miss this Christmas as I will no longer be able to spend many a happy lunch hour picking up gifts and decorations whilst keeping up to date with interior design trends.


I gather Tunsgate Square is due to reopen after a major refurbishment during the course of next year so I will keep an ever eagle eye on developments to see who takes up residence in the new 70,000 sq ft space.



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