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.

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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.

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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
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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
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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

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.

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Image @empirehomewares
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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).

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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
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Sven Sofa (Article) www.article.com ***Currently on SALE***
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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

Hours Seemed Like Days

I have a theory about vinyl records.

We live in a fast world.  Fast technology, fast cars, fast minds.  On some level I think our draw towards all things nostalgic comes from a voice inside us saying “P L E A S E   S L O W   D O W N !” And yes, you could add vinyl records to that list of things we are just nostalgic about, but I think there’s more to it.  Vinyl makes us slow down.  You have to get up and flip the record to hear the second side of an album, and you may even listen to a whole, entire, complete album. When is the last time you’ve done that?  Honestly?  I pick and choose like a cheetah on speed with Spotify.  An entire album doesn’t stand a chance. Never mind albums, some songs don’t even make it to the end.  I’m encouraging the act of slowing down in your living space this week, with the help of vinyl.

There is another reason I’m talking about vinyl records. Turntables look amazing.  I’ve become somewhat obsessed with how visually stunning they are, and I’ve been on the hunt.

My first stop was High Fidelity in Los Feliz. I had an eye on a turntable here for weeks with an amazing deep green base, but missed the boat.  Some other lucky visually obsessed dreamer quite likely picked it up. If you’re in the area pop your head in here. The turntables come and go but they also have a great selection of vinyl.  Plus, it’s an independent store, which I like to support.

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High Fidelity, Los Feliz, LA

If you have serious cash to spend on turntables, Ahead Stereo on Beverly Blvd is a must visit. The place is full of turntable eye candy. Throw your eyes over some of the brands they’re stocking and you’ll see where I’m coming from.  Before I go any further I’ll acknowledge that there is an entire technical side to all of this which I am not even going to attempt to comment on.  I’m into the music and into the visual, but start naming technical parts and my eyes will almost immediately glaze over.  Disclaimer over.

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Rega RP1 Turntable Titanium (Brand available at Ahead Stereo)
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Pro-Ject Essential II Digital (Brand available at Ahead Stereo)
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Music Hall MMF-2.3SE (Brand available at Ahead Stereo)
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Pro-Ject 2Xperience SB (Brand available at Ahead Stereo)
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Pro-Ject 6Perspex SB (Brand available at Ahead Stereo)

I’m backing Urban Outfitters for coming up with a middle ground price point, but with a good visual.  They have also tapped into another aspect of vinyl that I’m particularly happy about.  The album covers are so much bigger!   Album covers get forgotten with all things digital, but there are serious pieces of art to be found amongst them.  Urban Outfitters are stocking frames specifically for vinyl album cover dimensions.  Clever, very clever.  Pull together your favourites and you’ve a ready-made gallery wall.  I’ve had a thing for the Future Islands’ Singles album cover for a while now, and Lana Del Ray’s Born To Die album cover is another one I love.  I haven’t quite got around to framing any album covers yet but there is a lot of music photography on the walls in my bathroom. Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are hanging out in there. Not bad men to be looking at every morning!

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Audio-Technica Wireless AT-LP60, Urban Outfitters
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Future Islands, Singles
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Lana Del Rey, Born To Die

And of course then there’s speakers and vinyl storage, but there’s a whole other post in that. When it comes down to it, introducing vinyl records to your living space is really another excuse for more accessories.  Brilliant.  I’ll remain a Spotify user and avid fan, but for the slowing down and cool hipster visual vibe, vinyl will be taking centre stage for the foreseeable, particularly on Sunday mornings.

S&O x