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Tuesday, 28 April 2009

{Habitat's SS09 Collection}

Greys, greens and oranges dominate the somewhat subdued Spring/Summer 09 collection from high street retailer, Habitat. Although bang on trend with their colour choices, which includes the sumptuous Mandarin Orange, I was left wanting more from the collection. Highlights include the new Kilo table and the sophisticated and understated Ella sofa, but the rest of the collection fails to excite my imagination as they so often have in the past. New additions to the brand's lighting are sparse, not extending much further than seasonal colour updates to it's staple table/floor lamp, Spindle. Meanwhile, I find myself trying hard to like the Polygon throw, but I've yet to be convinced. I just hope they knock my socks off with a fantastic Autumn/Winter collection, because I'd like to see the store back where they belong - the top of my favourite high street destinations list.

Kilo Long Low Table
Ella Sofa
Spindle Table Lamp
Polygon Throw
All images -

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

{All things bright, bold and beautiful}

When I worked in East London I walked past Squint daily and often dropped in over lunch to pour over their quirky designs. They've been featured in a host of interiors-related media, most recently gracing the cover of the Sunday Times Magazine. Offering anything from indulgent, brightly coloured Chesterfields, lovingly emblazoned chests of drawers and magical chandeliers, Squint has colourful additions for a variety of spaces. My personal favourite are these gorgeous chandeliers (shown below) - they would make a great talking point in any home. If Squint's prices are out of your price range (they sure are mine, but hey, a boy can dream, right?!), then scour your loft, parent's garage and your local charity shops for leftover fabrics. Then mix and match to create a piece of furniture bespoke to your home. And why stop at covering furniture, when you can give your walls the same patchwork treatment? Just look at Danish designer Nina's living room wallpaper - it's fantastic and so uplifting. If you like what you see, then check out her blog here.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

{The thrift movement}

Over recent months I've been noticing the growing trend for thrift fashion; turning those bargain buys into treasured parts of your home. House Proud: Hip Craft for the Modern Homemaker, by Danielle Proud has just been released in softback and is bang on trend when it comes to the so called 'thrift movement'. Bursting with ideas on how to upholster a run down armchairs, through to covering a traditional standard lamp in a vibrant and seasonal fabric. I'm hoping to try out the latter on my next break from work (and check out Danielle's version, below, on the cover of her book, it's brilliant!). The book is available online and in store now and I would recommend it to anyone who is feeling the hit of the C.C. but still wants to invest in their home.

Amazon/Amelia Troubridge

Not only is this a great way to save money, it is also an exciting way to add to your home. I love that feeling of heading out to the auction, not knowing what you will return with. Then you get the chance to personalise what you've found and turn it into a piece of furniture or an accessory that is unique to you and, even better, unique to your home.

If you're a mega craft fan, then check out Make and do with Perri here. It's a fab blog about all things craft - let me know if you guys make anything for your home.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

{New York themed birthday wishes}

Bright.Bazaar's good friend Tom celebrates his birthday today - Happy Birthday Tom! As he's all the way over in New York on secondment, B.B felt it was only right to have a big apple flavoured post in honour of the big day. So, as a birthday present, B.B thought it would be nice to do a virtual makeover of his temporary apartment.

The apartment needed to become a home from home; a sanctuary from the bustling city below. This called for an injection of colour and personality, achieved through a calming colour range coupled with warm accessories. Stunning, 21st floor views of the city were the inspiration for the scheme, encouraging a palette of greys and golds to reflect the skyscrapers outside. In keeping with the understated theme, small flashes of colour are used to break up the neutrals. A hint of drama is added through vintage photographic lighting and deep purples. Collections of black and white photographs are propped up against the walls to create a relaxed finish to the occasional furniture. ...So, in the words of Alan Sugar, is Bright.Bazaar hired or fired?!


Tom Beresford


vogue living australia (top)

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

{Vibrant Victorian}

Author India Knight's home has to be my one of my all time favourite home interiors. She transformed her early Victorian home into one that signifies her personality and the results are truly brilliant! I love how the decor gently oozes personality; from the mint green front door to the quirky wallpapers. Muralist Charlotte Mann created the bespoke mural in the hallway, which sets the playful tone for the rest of the house. What follows is a vibrant mix of deep pinks married with twinkling lights and elaborate chandeliers, which are mixed in with finds from across the world - all of which ties perfectly into the period features of the building. It is so refreshing to see a home that expresses the owner and how they live their life - after all, a home is for living in, isn't it?

Images: living Photography, Paul Massey. Styling, Mary Weaver

Monday, 6 April 2009

{The Richard Rogers Partnership - architectural geniuses}

When it comes to architecture that is so simple, yet so stunning, the Richard Rogers Partnership certainly knows how to do it. The partnership is responsible for some of my favourite buildings, including the Madrid Barajas Airport (winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize) with it's sweeping wave-like roof made of prefabricated steel. Supported by structural 'trees', painted in gradually changing colours to signify the airport's zones, the roof is clad in bamboo strips. This is not dissimilar to the roof of the Welsh Assembly building, also designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership.

Having their name to other great buildings, including Heathrow Terminal 5, is an achievement in itself. However, one of my favourites is the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Having visited the building I remember feeling a real sense of becoming part of it as soon as I entered. The partnership describe the building as a "giant climbing frame" - a description that will ring true to anyone who has travelled up the quirky external escalator that graces the front of the building! Let's take a look at some of these great buildings...

Centre Pompidou
Heathrow Terminal 5
National Welsh Assembly
Madrid Barajas Airport

{Jorn Utzon - a tale of inspiration}

With three work colleagues currently holidaying down under, I was inspired to read up on some of Australia's fantastic and inspiring architecture. I was browsing Borders on the weekend when I stumbled upon Vogue Living Australia - a brilliantly written and photographed magazine, with features on the best of Australian architecture and interior spaces. Whilst reading I felt shocked that I had not considered the country's architectural influence more, so I set off to find out more...

It would be impossible to write about Australia's buildings without a nod to the late Jorn Utzon, the man behind the world-famous Sydney Opera House. I was fascinated to learn that there are 1,056,006 tiles on the roof, which Utzon wished to be glossy but not glaring. It took him three years to find the desired effect - one which was finally produced by a Swedish company, who replicated the look of a Japanese ceramic bowl that Utzon liked. It's fascinating to understand how such a recognisable building came to life - something as simple as a ceramic bowl decided the look of the iconic sail-like roof that stands today. Even more interesting was to learn from a friend that a man named Richard Weston, who lectures at Cardiff University, had a lasting influence over Utzon's works. Utzon said in an interview with The Guardian in 1970 that he had "the best job in the world", as it gave him "the possibility with a number of people to concentrate fantastically upon an extraordinarily great structure for a purpose which was not for profit, but for stimulus of the mind." And well, stimulate the mind he did - let's take a look at the Opera House in all it's glory...

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