Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Blue the worlds favourite colour

I am a member of The Colour Group of Great Britain and last week they held a day of seminars all about 'Blue the worlds favourite colour'. The morning sessions covered the history of blue from ancient Egypt to modern Shanghai, our perceptions of blue and the artist Julie Caves explorations in how to depict the blue of the sky. In the afternoon the focus was on denim with a series of talks and discussions about the never ending trend for denim.
It was a fascinating day and made me reflect on my use of blue. I know navy blue is my favourite colour, but when I say that I'm automatically thinking of clothing especially fabrics. I use blue less for interiors as sometimes it can be too cool, but I do like warm blues - I've kept this picture for about 20 years, I think it came from World of Interiors?     

Monday, 28 November 2011


I collect all sorts of beautiful things, especially anything to do with sewing, fabrics and haberdashery - these sissors were a present from my brother and the ribbon I bought on one of my trips to India.
In my box of vintage lace and crochet, I have also been keeping these Chinese toothbrushes that I bought years ago in Hong Kong. The problem with my collections is that they are often hidden as it's not practicle to just have everything out.
So I was really pleased to find these glass domes at Brighton Flee Market - I'm currently exhibiting silk stockings and gold trimmed hat pins, the Chinese toothbrushes and a beautiful shell.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Analogical Colour in Architecture

Ceiling hung accoustic panels
On a recent RIBA Sussex Branch  tour organised by Caroline Stephens, I visited Brighton Aldridge Community Academy designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; a fabulous building, with a great use of colour by architect Alina White. Alina has introduced groups of analogical colour to differentiate sections of the school - yellow to green, blue to mauve, and turquoise to green.
The shades of colour follow through into the WC areas

In each section the colours have been used to create features of the ceiling hung acoustic panels, the lockers, and WC doors. A clever use of colour for orientation and interest, within the overall design of the building.
Blues to Mauve
I asked Alina how she decided upon those particular groups of colour; she explained that the school's headmistress, was adamant that red should not be used in the new building. The headmistress attributed the over use of red in the old school building to behavioural problems with some pupils; this is not surprising given reds over-stimulating qualities.
It's so refreshing to see a school that doesn't patronise its pupils with use of arbitory primary colours - inspiring!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Monday, 3 October 2011

WAN Case Study

City of Coventry Health Centre under construction
One of my on-going projects, City of Coventry Health Centre, is nearing completion. My input as Colour Consultant and Arts Coordinator has been the focus of a World Architecture News Case Study, which is very exciting. You can read the article here -WAN press article

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Modern Marrakesh

Cafe Arabe - Terrace
I was in Marrakesh last week, where there are some fabulous interiors. These pictures are from Cafe Arabe a stunning restauraunt/cafe/bar. The Terrace above has an amazing cooling system with cool vapour pumped through the intricate awning system.
The Tea Room inside is a brilliant mix of old and new moroccan style. The colours through out are very rich and warm reflecting it's Red City location.
The hallway  
Beautiful lanterns light the entrance 

Monday, 1 August 2011

A Friend's Summer House

I've just spent the weekend with friends in Warwickshire. The beautiful weather meant a lazy afternnon in the garden, where they have this wonderful summer house.
Inside the wooden panelling and flooring have been lightened, to give a sun bleached feel. The wicker sofas and cushions are all in levels of cream, bone and oyster shades. Just the place to retire to when the day cools and the sun goes down - devine!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Coventry City Centre Health Facility - Digital Artwork Project

The main palette
One of my current work projects, is as colour consultant and arts coordinator for the new City Centre Health Facility in Coventry. Working with the architect Cressida Toon's vision, I have developed a colour palette based on Coventry's urban landscape, it's ever changing society and industrial heritage. This main palette is a mix of brick, slate, lead and copper in different states of erosion.Further subsidiary palettes have been developed for each floor, each based on a metal: Iron, Bronze, Brass, Copper and Steel. These palettes are for wayfinding, interior design and as inspiration for the artworks.
Third Floor - Copper, by Kelly MacPhee
As part of the arts programme, I set up a competition with Coventry University to design digital artworks for each floor of the centre; these large scale artworks are to be digitally printed onto wallcoverings and positioned to aid orientation around the building. Kelly MacPhee's designs were selected for all floors, her brilliant use of the colour palettes and the metallic themes, produced beautiful images that work from a distance and close up. I can't wait for the artworks to be installed!
First Floor - Bronze, by Kelly MacPhee

Thursday, 9 June 2011

First Base Day Centre Architectural Talk

I attended a wonderful talk given by Chloe Hobden, Associate of Camillindenny Architects last night; Chloe is responsible for designing and delivering this fascinating project. The First Base Day Centre for the homeless is run by Brighton Housing Trust and situated within a Grade ll* listed building, designed by John Crunden in 1766. The project called for the repair and restoration of the Adams style interior and to incorporate the centre's facilities within this historic surround. The centre's training kitchen, offices, consultaion rooms, shower facilities and reception have been contained within 'pods' that sit inside the hall allowing the original building to remain intact.
What makes this project work for me is the sophisticated and controlled use of colour. The paint colours,  Little Greene's Celestial Blue 101 and White Lead 74, are stunning and really reinforce the original building's elegance, allowing the intricate detail to stand out.
The centre will also be used for educational puposes - the social history of homelessness and to promote understanding. I can't imagine a more inspirational and uplifting space for this cause.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Clerkenwell Design Week

It was Clerkenwell Design Week this week and what really interested me is how designer/makers are relooking at tradition, taking the best of it and producing something knew and thought provoking in reponse.

The House Of Hackney have 'reworked traditional homewares for a new generation'; their Dalston Rose range of soft furnishings, wallpaper and home accessories have mixed ombre effects with an antique rose print to recreate a contempory antidote to the years of minimalism we've seen in home interiors. Just devine!

Brighton based Sean Dare of Dare Studio has designed this trully modern winged chair, Sean's clean lines have updated this furnishing classic into a wonderfully contemporary piece. The return of the winged chair seems just right now; the acoustic qualities gained through the design are brilliantly for blocking out mobile phones and other annoying modern day noises. 

Monday, 23 May 2011

Brighton Artists Open Houses

I visited some of the Open Houses at the weekend and bought this beautiful delicate print from Monica Macdonald Ralph; Monica's work can be seen at the garage at 51 Withdean Crescent.
I'm fascinated by print at the moment and also visited the Bip Workshop in Arundel Mews, where I found these lovely prints by Jean Farrer. The Artists Open Houses are open next weekend too.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Metropol Parasol

How amazing is this! The Metropol Parasol in Seville is the world's largest wooden structure. Designed by J. Mayer H. Architects
It took 4 years to complete and was finished in April of this year -www.yatzer.com/Metropol-Parasol

Monday, 2 May 2011

Vintage fabric prints

I bought several metres of this fabric as I loved the colour mix; the salmon base and pale blue petals mixed with the more definite navy and red are a nostalgic mix for me. It reminded me of some real vintage fabric I had bought many years ago....
Again it's the mix of pastel levels and primary colours, the initial impression is naive and childlike, but in reality I think it's more sophisticated than that. To get the levels right is a skill; the choice of colours lifts these prints above the sickly sweet. The strength of the primary colours with the other hues fading out adds to the vintage feel, as if some of the colours have faded through washing and the passing of time.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Sludgy Colours

Illustration by Alexander Wellstheartworksinc.com 
It's unusual for me to be drawn to muddy or sludgy colours but I saw this illustration by Alexander Wells in the FT last weekend; it's a fabulous illustration that worked especially well with the pink newsprint paper. I kept the illustration on my desk and it's influenced my colour choices this week.
On Wednesday, while taking a break from giving a seminar on Colour at The Fashion Retail Academy, I popped into Paperchase as I love stationary...dissaster! I ended up buying these beautiful little boxes of stationery from East Of India all in natural taupe shades. I'll never use them - they're too beautiful!
The People's Prints
I finished the week being fascinated by this great menwear fashion spread, styled and photographed by Damian Foxe in How To Spend It. I love this magazine, it's so far from everyday reality, it's style on another level.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Porcelain by Paola Navone

 I often look at the Cos Stores website, I love their clothes, but also the 'Things' section, where I found these really beautiful porcelain plates.

Designed by Paola Navone, the full collection can be found here Reichenbach . I adore these!

Monday, 21 February 2011

The Red Shoes

To compliment the Capturing Colour exhibition I mentioned last December, Brighton's Duke Of York's Picturehouse yesterday screened the digitally restored film - The Red Shoes. The Red Shoes from 1948 is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made - the magnificent restoration brings all the true glory of the original technicolour back to this classic dark fairy tale. A great way to spend a bleak February Sunday afternoon.

Friday, 28 January 2011

The John's Phone

I love this - a phone that's just a phone. No texts, emails, cameras ...... I saw the John's Phone on the Springwise newsletter. Great design but I'm not so sure about the colour choice.....  

Saturday, 15 January 2011

White Floors

I've been looking into white floors, for a new interiors project that I'm working on, and came across these pictures of Tine Kjeldsen's house.  I first saw these last year in Elle Decoration but I still love them.

Tine has a wonderful website for her interior design business called tinekhome, it is full of beautiful objects and images....
  I'm inspired!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

NOMA - Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine

I was really lucky to receive the NOMA cookbook for Christmas - stunning, beautiful and inspirational....
This book by Rene Redzepi the chef at Copenhagen restaurant, Noma and photographer Ditte Isager, goes beyond food to culture, essence and philosophy. 
The book is published by Phaidon - NOMA, Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine by Rene Redzepi.