Monday, 27 February 2012

Sofia Coppola's Hotel

... well, her Dad's hotel, but she has her own room. You can really see a lot of her films in this beautiful space, namely, the soft colours and tranquility. The courtyards and large windows are filled with romance and the place is filled with sophistication.
Amazing. It's in the Coppola family's hometown in Italy and the building is a transformed 19th century palazzo. Imgaine how fabulous summers spent here would be... ahh.

(Photos found in WSJ magazine)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Vintage Shopping in Berkhamstead

Home and Colonial is 'one of the UK's most attractive and innovative antique and interior shops.' And, yes it's certainly a very attractively laid out vintage shop. The mid-century furniture is especially cool. There's a nice cafe on the top floor too, so you can stop for a cup of tea. None of the goods especially caught my eye, apart from a beautiful art deco chair.

This place is worth a visit, but it's far from perfect. There is too much 'vintage style' items for my liking. Pretend art deco lamps for the same price as a real one are not my bag. Like lots of vintage shops, the stuff is grossly over-priced. I recommend going for browsing purposes only, great for a Sunday afternoon!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Stockholm Design and Light Fair

On the last day of our trip to Stockholm we went to the Design Fair, which provided us with wall-to-wall inspiration and was a real treat for the eyes!

The main themes which attracted me were amazing bright prints, natural materials and plants, pops of colour and stylish designs. There was a spirit of interpretation and reinvention.

There was very much an 'inward, outward' vibe going on and I noticed nods towards modern design and global innovations mixed with traditional Swedish aesthetics.

(Photos are once again via lovely Cara, found here)

Monday, 13 February 2012


I've left my heart in Stockholm.

It is one of the most beautiful cities I have been to, if not the most. We were staying in the bohemian area of Sodermalm (aka Soder) which was excellent; an area filled with lots of cool shops, cafes, bars and people.

Stockholm is set over 14 islands, and the vast amount of water in the city created expansive views and at night the houses and buildings by the waters edge reflected and twinkled in icy water. The days were short, but the light of the city reflected in the snow and the bars and cafes emitted an inviting candlelit glow come nightfall.

The people:
It's true. All the Swedish people we saw were beautiful. I fell in love with a different beautiful man with every step. What's more, every Swede I came into contact with so lovely and pleased to talk. Everyone was upbeat and generally happy.

The Style:
Amazing. I want to dress like a Swede (and I'm going to try to.) The street style was beyond cool and seemed to encompass the whole Stockholm attitude.
Colours were muted and cuts were clever. It's all about the layers and Swedish women seem adept at putting together a very modern silhouette. Broadly, I found it more dynamic than British style and more androgynous. Like Stockholm itself, it seems that dressing is all about pairing innovation with tradition. Typically, COS slouchy jumpers and Acne chiffon will be worn with a vintage handbag and iconic red lipstick.
And the boys all had the best style. It was a uniform of rolled jeans, cool boots, a big coat, a thick jumper, a beard and a little woollen hat. Their hair was also neat and their faces beautiful. Like I said, I fell in love constantly.

The Galleries:
We went to the Moderna Museet and The Museum of Architecture which are housed inside an old power plant on a small island. We boarded a ferry which was fun and upon arrival enjoyed taking in the beautiful island with fantastic views and boats moored in the ice. The island was very peaceful and the museums were great.

Fotografiska is a must see. It's a an old customs house on a Quay close to Soder. The exhibitions were brilliant and the photographic exhibition space is the best I've ever visited. It's a destination in itself, with a lovely cafe/bar on the top floor (where I had the most amazing carraway seed bun.) It's open til 9pm every night which meant it was a great way wind down on Friday evening after all our site-seeing.

The Hostel
Skanstulls Hostel, a stone's throw from Soder comes highly recommended. It's cheap and very comfortable and attracts all sorts of young cool types. Spending time in the communal kitchen and dining area was fun. There were also scented candles, free tea, coffee, pasta, muesli and Internet access. What more could a girl want?

I seriously want to live in Stocholm. It's so stylish, creative and generally enjoyable. I found I gelled with this city better than any other, including London.. which I love. Stockholm just has better vibes. I cannot wait to return!

PS: COST - nowhere near as expensive as I was scared into believing. I bought some great clothes, both new and vintage for tiny amounts. I didn't pay more than £5 for a beer, despite visiting some seriously trendy bars. The food was pricey, but good value as the quality was fantastic. Travel was brilliantly easy and very cheap - far, far cheaper than the London Underground and vastly superior.

All photos taken by my lovely friend Cara, who can be found online.. here.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Yayoi Kusama at Tate

I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern for months now, and it certainly didn't disappoint. It's probably one of, if not THE most exciting exhibition I've ever been to.

I recommend that everyone go, especially so that they can take in the amazement of the Infinity Mirror Room. At first it's disorientating, but once you have your bearings and trust the space you start to look into infinity. You feel like you're floating in outer space.

The brilliant polka dot living room scene was described by The Guardian as being 'far from joyful,' I have to disagree. The room is like a fabulous disco, it's how Kusama views the world; it's weird, and brightly coloured, absolutely bizarre; totally vibrant and surreal - just like her life.

(The photos are all via The Guardian, and yes, that figure lurking about the place is me.)

Doris Day Jacket

This is definitely my best vintage find of the year so far.

I am so incredibly pleased with this cocoon jacket, mostly because it reminds me of something Doris Day would wear - or more specifically, something Doris Day would wear in 'Pillow Talk.' Which is why I lovingly refer to it as my 'Doris Day Jacket.'

The next item on my vintage foraging list is definitely a cute 1950s handbag.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Pan Am

Definitely worth staying in for on a Saturday night. Have you been watching?

I love this show! It certainly fills the gap which has been left by Mad Men's current hiatus. I love all of the characters, there isn't a dud among them, and the costumes and make-up are beautiful and make for great inspiration.
Highly recommended viewing.

(All images via Pan American tumblr.)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Stockholm Street Style Inspiration

As part of my Stockholm research I have been pouring over Stockholm street style. Tight black trousers in all form seem to be popular (perfect for me) I think that Acne has much to thank for that. It also seems that huge scarfs and jackets are a must, although the cool ankle boots will almost certainly have to be knee-high in my case.

I realise these locals are probably used to it - but, is it me, or they do not seem at all bitten by the cold? I will be diligently wrapping up.

(All images from Caroline's Mode - Stockholm Street Style.)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Mug Cosy

I have just completed my first knitting project - a mug cosy!
I must accredit all inspiration to Spring Greens after seeing hers, here.

It really was easy to make, although took a long time, I wanted to make every stitch neat! But it's just knit stitch with a couple of buttons either end. I might make a couple more and hand them out like party favours to anyone who wants them.

I want to make an apple cosy next, if anyone has a pattern, or knows how to make one, please do enlighten me!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Scandinavian Home Inspiration

I'm really lapping anything and everything to do with Scandinavia right now. I don't normally feature interiors on this blog - but check out this inspiring house.

I love the bright flashes of colour among the natural materials and white walls; the light in the house is absolutely beautiful. Most of the items in the house are second hand, and it has such a lovely organic feel. I am so excited about soaking up some Scandinavian design.

(All photos are from Oct 2011 Easy Living magazine.)