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.

pebblechair
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.

paintbrushes
Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design
fabricproduction
Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design
copperprintfabric
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!

coppercushion
Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design
fossilpillows
Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design
pinkandgreencushion
Image: amullanedesign.com / @a.mullane_design
threebluecushions
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.

Sleepyhead

Bedtime. Lights out. Sleep.

Whether you’re someone who loves your face against a cold pillow, or someone who sets an electric blanket to that perfect temperature, your bed, and its surrounds, is your sleeping haven. But do you ever look around and think you really want to freshen things up in the bedroom (ahem!), but you don’t fancy spending the weekend painting the walls or parting with your bedroom furniture?

Well this week I’m looking at some very simple bedding ideas that will help you achieve that change without going anywhere near a paintbrush. It’s the equivalent of getting a new winter coat or a haircut. A mini makeover of sorts, with instant gratification.

First up is texture.  If you think your bed looks drab, or lacking a bit of pizzazz, think about adding some texture with a throw or decorative cushion.  This bohemian bedroom uses a combination of mohair and sheepskin. Foxford Wollen Mills is an Irish company with a wonderful collection of mohair throws in vibrant colours (they ship internationally), and Serena & Lilly also have beautiful options.  You’ll find sheepskin throws everywhere from IKEA to West Elm.

sleepyhead_texture02
Image: www.domino.com

I also had to show you this gorgeous green velvet throw I came across. It’s from a Swedish company called Linum and is magnificent.  Nothing says winter cosy quite like a rich green velvet throw.

sleepyhead_texture03
Image: www.linumdesign.com

Next it’s back to the colour topic from last week, but this time I’m suggesting you consider a monochrome theme. Pare back on the number of colours you use in your bedding and instead use lots of tones, shades and tints of a single colour. If you choose to go with this idea you’re going to need your fitted sheet and pillowcases in your base colour. Zara Home and Parachute offer lots of options to help you get started with your colour choice.

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Image: www.buzzfeed.com
sleepyhead_monochrome02
Image: @insideoutmag

If finding the right textured accessories or pulling together bedding that fits a monochrome colour scheme still sounds like too much work, here is the easiest option. Get bold with the print on your duvet cover and pillowcases. This jungle print from H&M and medallion print from Urban Outfitters (on sale!) were two favourites I found.  You might also like this gem from West Elm if you prefer an abstract print.

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Image: www.hm.com
sleepyhead_pattern02
Image: www.urbanoutfitters.com

And that’s it.  Three very simple ideas to give your bed a new look for AW16. Ironically, I’m now off to my sleep haven. It’s Sunday night. It’s bedtime. It’s lights out. Sweet dreams.

S&O x

Colours

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!

01colourpalette
Image: fortheloveofcolorblog.blogspot.com
02colourpalette
Image: color.romanuke.com
03colourpalette
Image: www.design-seeds.com
06colourpalette2
Image: fortheloveofcolorblog.blogspot.com
04colourpalette
Image: www.design-seeds.com
05colourpalette
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.

sarahcolourpalette
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
cle_cementtilesolidceladon
Cement Tile – Solid Celadon
cle_solidmochahexagon
Cement Tile – Solid Mocha
cle_cementtilesolidfederalblue
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.

room_modern
Image – www.vsco.co
cle_dreamcatcher
Cement Tile – Dream Catcher
cle_zenithwhitefederalblue
Cement Tile – Zenith
cle_diamondtwistmortarplasterwhite
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.

room_traditional02
Image – www.rockmystyle.co.uk
cle_crossfederalbluewhite
Cement Tile – Cross
cle_fourleafclover
Cement Tile – Four Leaf Clover
cle_parisbistro
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!).

room_colour
Image – www.bardelli.it
cle_timorousbeastiesrorschachsplittersplatter
Timorous Beasties – Rorshach – Splitter Splatter Damask
cle_deborahosburnmalachite
Deborah Osburn – Malachite
cle_artisttilesarahandruby
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