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

Misty Blue

Abstract art, photography, prints, originals, album covers, objects, ceramics, textiles.  I’ll have it all, please and thank you!  But there is so much choice, isn’t there? And yes, that is a wonderful thing. But it’s also why I find myself with a first world conundrum all the time.  The conundrum being that I have only so much space where I live (which is also a good thing, small space = less cleaning), and only so many walls where I can plaster my ideas. So this is my new living space extension, where I’m indulging all my visual daydreaming.

This week I’m curating by colour.  Misty Blue.  Here are my top four picks.

And yes, Etta James on Spotify, on repeat, all this week.

Artspace Warehouse LA, Crossover – Amber Goldhammer

I love original art. I love that it has its own story. But original art can be expensive, especially if you like your art to be of substantial size (I do).  You can imagine how chuffed I was to discover Artspace Warehouse in LA, which showcases art that is original AND affordable. This piece by Amber Goldhammer totally and utterly had my attention once I saw it.  I’m calling that my visual intuition, which conveniently lets me justify all my choices! This piece is a winner.

Amber Goldhammer Crossover
Amber Goldhammer – Crossover

Enrou, Horizon Pillow – Pacific Blue (Also available in Atlantic Grey)

There are some very smart people doing some very clever things in the tech start-up space in LA. Enrou are part of that world. Ann Wang and Jessica Willison bring beautiful handcrafted products from developing communities around the world right to your doorstep.  You are getting a gorgeous product when you shop with Enrou, and know that it comes with a socially responsible tag.  Check them out.  Quickly! (And while you’re there you might also want to have a look at this fabulous leather basket.) My second pick is this Horizon Pillow in Pacific Blue from Enrou. I gave it a home this week.

Enrou – Horizon Pillow (Pacific Blue)

Crate & Barrel, Marin Blue Serving Bowl

Salads, or any sharing dishes look so much more appetizing when they’re delivered to the table in gorgeous serving dishes. Crate & Barrel is a great go-to for all things dining and entertaining.  This simple Marin Blue serving bowl has gorgeous subtle colour and shape, just enough to show off your extraordinary gourmet talents. Or, if you don’t have extraordinary gourmet talents, then it disguises that fact nicely.  Deviating slightly from my misty blues, I’m complimenting this with a fabulous marble platter, also from Crate & Barrel. Because. It. Works.

Crate & Barrel – Marin Blue Serving Bowl
Crate & Barrel – French Kitchen Marble Platter

Artspace Warehouse LA, Silver & Blue Contemplation – Hilary Bond

My final pick is another piece from Artspace Warehouse in LA.  Hilary Bond’s work is very cool. She’s made me think about Pop Art in a completely different light, and like me, she has a thing for Kate Moss.  Enough said.  Check her out!  There were lots of pieces in Hilary’s collection that I absolutely loved, and most of them were already sold. Keep an eye on this lady, it’s obviously not just me that has a serious art-crush on her work!

Hilary Bond – Silver & Blue Contemplation

Have you suggestions for where to find more abstract art, textiles and ceramics?  Well I would love to hear from you. I’m LA based, Irish born and raised, and internet addicted.  So you can direct me to locations in LA and absolutely ANYWHERE on the internet for daily indulgence, and locations in Ireland for home visit indulgence. Just pop your suggestions in the comment section and I’m there!

S&O x