On Green Dolphin Street

Trends, trends, trends. The start of a new year kicks off internet breaking discussions about trends in EVERYTHING. Most come and go, but some stick around for a while.  I’m keeping track of what’s on the cards for interiors in 2017, and for now there’s one trend I’m particularly on board with. The emergence of green – veering towards emerald, jade and teal. The darker the shade gets, the more I’m on board with it. Deep greens are sexy, smoky and interesting; they are anything but bland. Hello 2017, we’re off to a solid start.

Images: www.pinterest.com

You’re going to see these deep green’s pop up everywhere, similar to how greys and deep blues did in previous years.  If you’re ready to go for it head first, you’re going to be thinking about paint colours. I say this – commit to it. If you’re going there, go with your lipstick and heels on. Do not be halfhearted about it. These colours are dramatic and moody, and the results can be equally so.

Green velvet is going to take centre stage, on sofas, chairs and headboards. For months now green velvet sofas have been popping up in my social media feeds, so they don’t feel new as such.  They do feel aspirational though. I don’t know how I’d fare with keeping a velvet couch clean, but damn it, they look so good.

Bathrooms and kitchens are also going to see this colour trend come their way, in the form of tiles.  In particular lots of green subway tiles are coming to the surface.  I’m also seeing a lot of green kitchen cabinetry at the moment, but I’m not quite on board with that just yet. I need to do a little more hunting for versions of green kitchens that seduce me.  If you come across any gems, please send photos my way!

Image: www.susannavento.fi
Image: www.johnjacobinteriors.com
Image: www.sadolin.dk
Image: www.estliving.com
Image: https://www.marie-stella-maris.com

Obviously the emergence of dark green is not the only trend to hit interiors in 2017.  There are buckets of them.  But you can’t go squeezing every new trend into the mix together, or you end up with a space that looks like it’s got a personality disorder. So, one at a time, and I’ll be keeping you updated on other trends over the next few months.

Happy new year folks, here’s to a year of interesting colour and life choices ahead!

S&O x


A few weeks ago I paid Culver City a long overdue visit to check out a new development in the area, Platform. Platform was hosting a Holiday Bazar, so I was going in search of some festive fuzziness and to explore what I thought looked like a really interesting space. It was worth the trip.

The best way I can describe Platform is this – a creative urban haven, where you can shop, eat or watch the world (and its dogs) go by. Down to the choice of beautiful outdoor furniture by Ilan Dei Venice (designed and manufactured in LA), Runyon Group, the development company behind Platform, have got this retail space right in every way.  You’ll come across brands like Blue Bottle Coffee, Aesop and Linda Farrow as you stroll through Platform and wonder what those offices overhead might look like on the inside …

Image: abramsonteiger.com
Image: platformla.com
Image: abramsonteiger.com
Image: platformla.com

For me, the pièce de résistance came at the end of my exploring at Platform. The Shop: Curve x Tom Dixon is a stunning new concept store that merges luxury fashion labels from Curve (Nevena Borissova’s exquisite boutique), with lighting, furniture and home accessories from UK lifestyle designer, Tom Dixon. Well, Tom Dixon, I’m so glad we’ve been introduced. Walking into the Tom Dixon store was like walking into a gallery with a metallic and glass lighting installation. His pendants are spectacular. Some are set against marble and concrete surfaces for wonderful contrast, while others are set against iridescent corrugated metal sheets which magically bounce light around the space.

Image: platformla.com
Image: platformla.com
Image: platformla.com
Image: platformla.com

Tom Dixon products certainly have a signature metallic and glass look, but some also have a marble and wood element to them.  What is standard about all the products however, is that each one is a considered design, and beautifully produced.  There is a sense of an aspirational dinner party when you walk through Tom Dixon’s new LA showcase, and that of course has me wanting all of his products.  So here’s a look at my top picks from Tom Dixon; perfect for the interiors lover in your life if you’ve left your Christmas shopping a little late.

Elements Gift Set (4 candles) 2. Orbit Trays (Brass) 3. Beat Table Light (Black) 4. Hex Bowl (Copper) 5. Pylon Candelabra 6. Cog Tea Light Holder Cylinder (Brass) 7. Elements Earth Diffuser 8. Etch Tea Light Holder (Black) | All products available at tomdixon.net

Have I sparked your interest in the world of Tom Dixon design? Well if you have some time on your hands over the holiday season head along to Platform, grab a taco at Loqui, a coffee at Blue Bottle and then go and enjoy the pendant lighting spectacle at The Shop: Curve x Tom Dixon.  I promise it’ll be better than any Christmas lights you’ve seen this year.

S&O x

Defining Lines

Open plan living.  Open plan offices.  Shared outdoor open spaces. I like where things are going. And even though I’m the type of person who needs a solitary quiet space sometimes, I love the concept of open plan living, particularly at home. All that light and space creates a certain fluidity.

When it comes to furnishing open plan spaces, some challenges arise. I mean, what do you do with the couch? Do you just plonk it in the middle of the room? If you want to make life a little easier for yourself when styling open plan spaces, start thinking about rugs.  They very quickly help you map out an open plan living space and in particular they help define your living and dining areas. Rugs are also a wonderful way to bring in more texture, colour and pattern to your space, so naturally, I’m a big fan.

This week I’ve pulled together some sample looks that work, and found a selection of great rugs for you to muse over.  My general rule of thumb for rugs in living and dining areas is keep all the furniture on the rug (or front legs of furniture on the rug at a minimum). Stick to this and you won’t go too wrong.

Now, here’s the eye candy…

Living Area

Image: www.mydomaine.com
Image: cargocollective.com
Image: sulu-design.blogspot.com
Image: www.suburban-bees.com

Dining Area

Image: www.stylemepretty.com
Image: design-milk.com
Image: www.styleathome.com
Image: oheightohnine.com.au

Rugs can be an expensive purchase. You can very easily end up spending more on a rug than a couch. That said, there are some affordable options out there. Target, Rugs USA and Overstock all offer some great options.  Rugs are also a great thing to snatch up during sales. Bigger really is better when it comes to rugs, so keep those eyes peeled for bargins!

If you are hesitant about getting your first rug, try a neutral or black and white option.  I’m loving black and white rugs at the moment.

Available @ www.overstock.com
Available @ www.rugsusa.com
Available @ www.rugsusa.com

If you’re ready to ramp it up from a neutral but are still treading a little cautiously, go for a rug with muted colours.  Muted colours will blend easily with most colour schemes.

Available @ www.anthropologie.com
Available @ www.overstock.com
Available @ www.westelm.com

However, if you’re feeling more adventurous, go big and bold with colour and pattern. Lots of homes will have couches and chairs in neutral colours, so a colourful rug will really make the area pop. As you’re scrolling below, please take a moment to check out the FABULOUS emerald skin that I found. I have fallen for it and am frantically trying to figure out where I can put it in my apartment. I really don’t think I’ve the space, but never say never…

Available @ www.rugsusa.com
Available @ www.therugcompany.com
Available @ www.luluandgeorgia.com

Happy rug shopping folks!  Remember, bigger is better and don’t be afraid to have fun with colour and pattern. Granted a rug isn’t a stocking filler, but there’s still time to get one on your Santa list!

S&O x

Shiny & Warm

There is something I admire so much about a signature look.  A design concept executed really well. Irish textile designer, Aoife Mullane, is quickly becoming a shining star in the world of textile design because of her ability to produce just that.  It’s a place some designers take a long time to get to, but Aoife has gotten there very quickly, which is a reflection of her design talent and dedication to her craft.  I recently caught up with Aoife to find out about her design journey.

Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design

What inspires your work Aoife?
I live by the sea and so I gain a lot of inspiration from the local landscape. I like the idea of linking the interiors of a space to the exterior environment. My work is a combination of intricate detail with more organic fluid marks. I often collect patterned pebbles, or speckled bird’s eggs which inspire aspects of my prints.

Your work is visually striking, particularly because of your use of metallics.  How did your aesthetic develop?
Mineralized rocks and geological matter inspired the use of metallics within my designs. Fragments of quartz, aluminum and copper can be seen throughout my fabrics and for me this is what makes my textiles so luxurious.

What steps are involved in your creative process?
My designs are deeply process driven; I consider my fabrics as artworks that are translated into textiles for interiors. My design process begins in my notebook. I make sketches of organic shapes such as pebbles, sea glass, and driftwood. I then begin to create patterns from them, considering the scale and placement. I scan these drawings and begin working with them on Photoshop. Once I have designed a print that I am happy with, my design is converted into a large mesh stencil or “screen”. I then work with this stencil using high-end effects such as foiling to create beautiful, hand rendered fabrics.

Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design
Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design
Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design

What advice would you give to designers thinking about starting their own business?
Work hard, and be passionate about your work. If you’re not passionate you won’t put in the hours that are required. I remain excited by my work by constantly developing new designs – as long as you are inspired, good work will come.

What has been your favorite project to work on to date?
I designed and supplied a number of textiles for a high-end beauty salon called OSLO Beauty in Dublin, Ireland. This was one of my first large commissions so it will forever stand out as a big achievement. I was given creative freedom in the project, which was so refreshing. The owners loved my signature style and trusted me.

Have you any exciting projects in the pipeline you’d like to share with us?!
I am currently collaborating with a luxury Irish-owned hotel which is being fully refurbished and rebranded. The owners want to reflect the strength of craft and design in Ireland.  They’ve approached me to design some luxurious unique prints for the bedrooms. I am very excited to be a part of this project!

Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design
Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design
Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design
Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design

Ireland has a deep tradition of storytelling and craftsmanship. What Aoife does so beautifully is merge the narrative of the Irish landscape with her craft to produce striking contemporary work.  If this is the work we’re seeing at the beginning of Aoife’s career, I’m excited to see what she does next.  Remember the name Aoife Mullane, there is a lot more to come from her.

S&O x

*Aoife can be contacted at a.mullanedesign@gmail.com regarding commissions and international shipping.


Pulling a design together for a room can get put on the long finger because of one question. Where do I bloody start? I’ve been there.  Plenty of times. But here’s the thing, you can start with anything. A piece of furniture, a rug, a layout you want, a lighting scheme you’ve fallen for. Anything. There is no right or wrong way to kick it off.

If you’re still ‘brick wall in front of you’ stuck, try starting with a colour palette. There is inspiration everywhere. Think about what colours you’re drawn to when you shop for clothes, when you buy flowers, even when you’re in the fruit and vegetable section of the supermarket.  Remember that your colour scheme doesn’t have to come from an image of an interior space you’ve seen. There are loads of other sources.  Fashion. Art. Nature. Packaging. Colour is colour.  And it travels in its glorious way though all these mediums.

This week I’ve pulled some sample colour palettes coming from sources like product packaging, tabletop styling, art and everyday living.  Once you start thinking about colour being everywhere, you’ll be surprised what your eyes will start to hone in on.  You’ll also get lots of inspiration from two particular websites I’ve used in this post: design-seeds.com and fortheloveofcolorblog.blogspot.com.  Check them out!

Image: fortheloveofcolorblog.blogspot.com
Image: color.romanuke.com
Image: www.design-seeds.com
Image: fortheloveofcolorblog.blogspot.com
Image: www.design-seeds.com
Image: www.design-seeds.com

There are of course lots of references to Autumn (Fall in these parts) in social media feeds at the moment, but it really doesn’t feel like my usual October here in LA. I now understand what people mean when they say California doesn’t do seasons.   However when I went to pull a sample colour palette together this week, it seemed that Autumn had hopped, skipped and jumped right into my subconscious because I totally went for an autumnal mix. I pulled a fashion and interior image together, and from there landed on a palette of four colours.

Images: modaoperandi.com & formbruket.concret.se

It’s as easy as that. Pinterest is of course your friend here again. Bazillions of images to pull from so you can bring together a colour scheme that works for you. So, the answer to the question “Where do I start?” Wherever you want, but colour palettes might just be your game changer.

S&O x

Hot Kisses, Cold Tiles

Everything is cyclical. We don’t think so at the time but everything is. Those gold hoop earrings I wear as part of my life uniform these days? I’m sure I’ll look back at photographs in a few years and laugh at myself for wearing them. I will then most likely be back wanting to wear them again a few years beyond that, only to find that I’m too old to pull it off at that stage. I’m therefore enjoying my gold hoop earrings for now. I’m just short of wearing them to bed.

My grandmother had the most amazing tiled hallway in her house. I never liked it growing up. What I wouldn’t do now to go back to that house and have a look at those tiles to satisfy my curiosity for tile inspiration. You see? Everything is cyclical. That house has now moved on to new owners. I wonder if they came full circle and saw those tiles as a unique feature or if they decided to rip them up. I hope they kept them, and instead used a substantial amount of white paint to update the hallway.

Tiles are versatile. Use them on walls or floors or counter sides. I see them as art. Another way to bring pattern and colour to a space. But beyond the visual I also love how tiles feel under bare feet. They awaken the senses from the toes up. A tile company called Clé has been popping up on my Instagram feed over the past month, which brought me to their website, which made me fall in love with their products. I’m sharing a few of my favourites from their product range this week.

For the purist who loves a single coloured tile but likes variety in shape, this look from www.mandarinstone.com will be appealing.  You are spoilt for choice with these types of tiles from Clé.  I’m really impressed by their colour selection.  My favourites for the purists amongst you are below.

Image – www.mandarinstone.com
Cement Tile – Solid Celadon
Cement Tile – Solid Mocha
Cement Tile – Solid Federal Blue

If you can’t resist a geometric shape or a clean line then this image from vsco.com will be screaming “YES” as soon as you see it. My top picks for all things geometric are below.

Image – www.vsco.co
Cement Tile – Dream Catcher
Cement Tile – Zenith
Cement Tile – Diamond Twist

The tiles in my grandmother’s hallway were traditional in style, which wouldn’t quite be my thing, and which is why I probably didn’t appreciate them growing up.  That said, I now adore the detail in traditional style tiles and love when they are combined with modern textures like concrete as seen in this image from rockmystyle.co.uk.  I would 100% feature a tile like this in my living space now.  My favourite options for a traditional style tile from Clé are below.

Image – www.rockmystyle.co.uk
Cement Tile – Cross
Cement Tile – Four Leaf Clover
Cement Tile – Paris Bistro

Then there will be those of you who want to make a statement with your tiles like in this image from www.bardelli.it. Something a little abstract, or something with strong colour.  Something beyond our traditional assumption of what a tile looks like. If that’s you, then you are in for a treat with Clé.  They feature a number of amazing artists’ tiles. Even if this isn’t your normal style please take a look. I’m teasing you with only three options below (there are so many more gorgeous finds in this section of the website!).

Image – www.bardelli.it
Timorous Beasties – Rorshach – Splitter Splatter Damask
Deborah Osburn – Malachite
Sarah And Ruby – Cement Tile – Pattern 4

It can be difficult to visualise what tiles will look like on a large surface. Clé have addressed this by providing a Design Your Room feature on their website. It’s a really helpful tool when deciding what to purchase.  It’s also really helpful to view other completed projects using your chosen tile. Pinterest will help you out there.

The wonderful Emily Henderson is also loving Clé tiles at the moment.  For some further inspiration check out her Instagram Stories (@em_henderson) and you can see how she’s using Clé tiles in her current home renovation project.  I’m excited to see what she does!

Finally, give Fergus Brown a listen on Spotify.  Along with Clé tiles, I am loving his song title (stolen as my blog title) this week. Hot Kisses, Cold Tiles.

S&O x

Scandinavian Sunday

Whether you’re referring to interiors or fashion, ask someone what their “style” is and you may see a slight wave of panic sweep across their face. We find it so hard to define what we like aesthetically. I’ve stopped trying to label my style. Mostly because I don’t want to restrict myself. However there is one consistent trait in my aesthetic. I have a full on appreciation for the simplicity of a clean line.

No surprise then that I’m drawn to Scandinavian design. Clean lines and simplicity, done really well. One brand in particular has been catching my eye, the Danish company FERM LIVING. I have always kept an eye on what they’ve been doing online, but I’ve been coming across their products in so many stores since I moved to the US. Huset on Abbot Kinney (LA), Lawson Fenning on Melrose Ave (LA) and Prism in Ballard (Seattle).  These stores must see the same quality of design as I do in FERM LIVING products.

You can totally commit to the Scandinavian aesthetic, creating an airy, minimalist space with lots of natural light, but the beauty of this aesthetic is that you can also blend it so well with other styles.  It naturally compliments so much because of the excellent design of products. This week I’m sharing my top picks from FERM LIVING, which can be easily incorporated into any space.

Textiles. Think graphic prints.

1. Black Mini Stick Cushion 2. Cut Cushion – Off White 3. Spear Cushion 4. Mountain Cushion
Remix Blanket – Grey

Lighting.  Think minimalist with a pastel palette.

Socket Pendant High – Dark Blue
Socket Pendant Low – Rose

Storage.  Think display worthy practicality.

1. Grid Laundry Basket 2. Wire Basket (Large) – Petrol 3. Wire Basket (Large) – Rose 4. Triangle Laundry Basket

Green Living.  Think anything but round.

1. Hexagon Vase – Rose 2. Hexagon Pot Extra Large – Brass 3. Hexagon Pot Large – Dusty Green 4. Plant Box – Ochre

Furniture.  Think basics with a colour twist.

Herman Stool – Light Grey / Ochre
Herman Stool – Dusty Blue

I get an immediate sense of calm from spaces that are true to the Scandinavian aesthetic.  It’s the simplicity that does it. Connect with me on Instagram (@squareandoval) and direct me to your Scandinavian inspired spaces using the #scandinaviansunday hashtag.  I’d love to see your take on this style!

S&O x

Leather Wings

I’m back to my visual daydreaming this week and talking about a classic. The tan leather couch.

Leather is one of those materials that has a no nonsense appeal, a quiet confidence that makes you stop and take notice. I love the richness of the material.  It’s robust, always looks like it has a story, and instantly makes me think about spicy and deep smoky scents. Think Tom Ford fragrance.

A tan leather couch is a stand-alone piece that needs very little to compliment it, and so requires minimal styling. Leather is all about texture however, so I do like to team it with other contrasting materials like sheepskin.  I’ve pulled together some sample looks below.

Image @empirehomewares
Image @pony_rider

You can see how it really is all about the couch doing its thing and not overcomplicating the accessories.  I’ve gone with some blue tones to achieve this look, and have pulled from some of my LA favourites, Lawson Fenning (1 & 4) and Nickey Kehoe (3).

1. Spotted Icelandic Sheepskin (Lawson Fenning) www.lawsonfenning.com 2. Magical Thinking Shibori Streak Pillow (Urban Outfitters) www.urbanoutfitters.com 3. Kinaree Euro Pillow (Nickey Kehoe) http://shop.nickeykehoe.com/collections/decor 4. Black Lines Kilim Pillow (Lawson Fenning) www.lawsonfenning.com
Sven Sofa (Article) www.article.com ***Currently on SALE***
Jute Lattice Rug – Navy / Ivory (Pottery Barn) www.potterybarn.com

A great friend of mine sent me this excerpt a few weeks ago.  It made me laugh and I felt it was particularly apt to share it with you this week.

“ I always say – a prejudice on my part, I’m sure – you can tell a lot about a person’s character from his choice of sofa.  Sofas constitute a realm inviolate unto themselves.  This, however, is something that only those who have grown up sitting on good sofas will appreciate.  It’s like growing up reading good books or listening to good music.  One good sofa breeds another sofa; one bad sofa breeds another bad sofa.  That’s how it goes.

There are people who drive luxury cars but have only second or third-rate sofas in their homes.  I put little trust in such people.  An expensive automobile may be worth its price, but it’s only an expensive automobile.  If you have the money, you can buy it.  Procuring a good sofa, on the other hand, requires style and experience and philosophy.  It takes money, yes, but you also need a vision of the superior sofa.  That sofa among sofas.” – Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

I cannot help but think that a tan leather sofa falls into the category of a sofa among sofas.

S&O x

No Fixed Abode

I’ve been renting for 17 years and it’s something I really like about my life.  Always moving, always something new to come.  New neighbourhoods to explore, new places to fall in love with.

As much as I love the flexibility of renting, it brings with it decorating issues.  I’ve been slow to accumulate things for my living space because firstly I’ve always lived in furnished apartments until recently, and secondly why buy lots of stuff when I don’t know if it will work in the next place I move in to.  There’s also the issue with not being able to do a whole lot with built in bedroom units, kitchen units, bathroom sanitary ware and walls.

This week I’ve been looking for solutions for the eternal renter, and I’ve landed on wallpaper.  Removable wallpaper.  What a bloody brilliant invention.

My bedroom is a typical example of a bland shell.  Perfectly clean, which is enough for me to move in, but character is something it does not have. White walls, white curtains, beige carpet, dark built in units. The lack of colour is driving me crazy.  However it does have the most perfect set up for wallpaper, an alcove with two down-lighters behind the bed, and I intend to make use of it.

My colour palette is a combination of coral, peach, green, blue, turquoise and navy.  My first thoughts were to bring out the blue tones.

1. Of A feather (Beaming Teal) www.swagpaper.com 2. Zee (Teal) www.tempaperdesigns.com 3. Jewel (Sea Green) www.chasingpaper.com 4. Speckle (Aqua) www.chasingpaper.com 5. Herringbone (Vivid) www.etsy.com/shop/Betapet 6. Zigzag (Robins Egg) www.sugarpaper.com

I could have made some of these work, Jewel (3) and Speckle (4) in particular, but these options weren’t making the colour scheme pop enough, so I went back to the drawing board.

1. Spring Garden (Orange) www.muralsyourway.com 2. Kelp Forest Drizzle (Mural) www.muralsyourway.com 3. Technology Vector www.wallsneedlove.com 4. Tribal Vintage (Ethnic) www.muralsyourway.com 5. Wall Decal (Navy) www.etsy.com/shop/Betapet 6. Of A Feather (Hot Coral) www.swagpaper.com

Now I was starting to get somewhere. The more I layered colour, the more interesting it got.  I would have been quite happy to use the black and white Technology Vector wallpaper (3) in the alcove and seek out designs similar to the others in a combination of cushions, bed linen, throws and rugs for the room.

But I still wanted to see if I could find a wallpaper that pulled the colour scheme together a bit more to give the room the injection of colour that it needed. So I did a complete 360, and totally went against my commitment to not going anywhere near florals.

1. & 2. Contemporary Spring Floral Wallpaper www.anewall.com 3. Blue And Pink Dots www.wallsneedlove.com 4. In the Tropics 2 www.wallsneedlove.com

I know, a lot of floral going on here, but these options really helped bring the colour scheme to life.  I’m ordering samples of all these, along with the black and white Technology Vector wallpaper before making a final decision, but the Contemporary Spring Floral wallpaper has now become a strong contender.  It’s a mural, so more a piece of art than wallpaper. And it is STUNNING.  It comes from a website that I’ve completely fallen in love with, www.anewall.com.  Here are a few more of their gorgeous designs.

Blossoms Mural (www.anewall.com)
Watercolour Mural (www.anewall.com)
Dark Floral Wallpaper (www.anewall.com)

Removable wallpaper is not just for renters.  It allows you to have fun with colour and print and gives you the flexibility of being able to change it up frequently. I always maintain choose large pieces of furniture wisely and then play with accessories.  Removable wallpaper has now been added to my list of toys.

S&O x