I collect words. I write them down, just as people might tear a page from a magazine, to inspire me at a later time or to use in my interiors as artistic embellishment – scribbled on a chalkboard, painted on a wall, mounted in a frame. I use them in my styling and seek them out in different typefaces, fonts and collections of brilliant words.
I love incorporating text into my scenes, whether for the intricacies of the font or an attraction to the sentiment, or both. A little skerrick of hand-written ephemera is such a piece of history – a here & now remnant of the past. I can’t go past overlaying a story onto something I pick up with a very personalised font.
The variations in handwriting also intrigues me. I love overlaying a hand-written message or signpost into a venue, as it just adds a certain character that can sometimes fall by the wayside with our reliance on digital documents.
And words don’t have to be a 2D addition to a space. Just look at the possibilities that bring this battle cry or festive salutation into the 3D realm!
The ampersand – one of my favourite symbols. I love how it feels so at home adorning a rough-hewn cushion. It just goes to show that if you draw your favourite details into your interiors, you’ll feel so welcome every time you come home.
trav . el . er – noun
a person or thing that travels
a person who travels or has travelled in distant places or foreign lands
ma . gi . cian – noun
an entertainer who is skilled in producing illusion by sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc
a person who is skilled in magic; sorcerer
Travellers & Magicians is a bold and whimsical 10-colour-palette, found in my book Gypsy. Travellers & Magicians speaks volume of my musings and imaginings when planning a photo shoot or decorating a space. One day I’m transported back to a famous and revolutionary dance company in Paris, the next I’m flying through the skies on the wings of a native bird or drawing on my own real life, globetrotting adventures. Eventually my world of make-believe becomes a reality and a new colour palette and styling theme emerges.
Bring some fun into your interior; paint a splash of desert from the floor to ceiling, or make it a dado if your feeling shy in your entranceway, paired with the perfect side board & mirror. OR, dare to be bold? Paint those re-claimed pieces of furniture from the markets you’ve had hidden in storage for the last year, with Ikat, Aral Sea & Attar Of Rose, to brighten up any living room. Have some fun & make magic happen with this magical palette.
noun [plural] /ˈsɪz.əz/
a device used for cutting materials such as paper, cloth, and hair, consisting of two sharp blades that are joined in the middle, and two handles with holes to put your fingers through.
Scissors are often overlooked in their practical and humble nature, yet there’s no reason why such a utilitarian object cannot be beautiful and still serve its purpose at the same time.
They emerged in their early ‘spring’ form in Ancient Egypt, forged of raw materials like iron and bronze and later developed in Ancient Rome and Asia into the pivoted scissors we know today. Large varieties like shears allowed craftsmen and metal workers to display their fine skills with decorative and illustrated blades and handles.
Pinking shears, cord-covered Japanese scissors, herb scissors, wallpaper scissors… I have acquired them all! They all remind me of a place, a trade or specialised task. They speak of the craftsman, be they tailor, wallpaper maker, florist or barber.
L is for…
Well, who can go past this lofty title? A legerdemainist was one who chose a life of sleight of hand to some, and magic to others…depending on your level of imagination. The magic tricks & lucky dips lover in me draws me to this trade. I also have visions of a ramshackle caravan with rattling pots & pans that this arcane trader may have travelled from place to place in. It’s also easy to imagine the bag of tricks and shiny decoys this traveller would have handy at all times – nothing like a freshly minted silver coin to catch one’s eye & distract from the magic at play. Perhaps there’s a little legerdemain in styling…
For me, a home is like a museum without the signs saying ‘Please Don’t Touch’. Think of all the stuff you own that has emotional or historical significance or comes with a memory or tale of where, when and who. It’s just a matter of finding ways to incorporate these things into your surroundings as three-dimensional reminders of your life for you and others to experience.
Consider this list of some of my personal treasures, then start to think of the items you own that could tell a similar story:
I love to pick up a perfectly tossed grey stone with a white stripe and be transported to Portofino some time in 1995 drinking a Santa Margherita pinot grigio.
A religious dharma made of shells that was bought on a trip, made on a whim, to Naples after I ran into an ex-boyfriend in Paris.
A nestled stack of six white ceramic scientific bowls, slightly crusty, with no known purpose, but bought (not even haggled for!) at one of my all-time favourite flea markets, Le Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves, Paris. Every adventure to this market would begin with a jamon baguette from the van on the corner.
A crown of dried giant kelp collected for me by a past love and carefully transported from Big Sur, California to new York.
Beeswax still intact in a much-used wooden pane bought from an amused beekeeper who lived in a caravan on the snowy, hilly surrounds of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. it was early spring, the first blossoms were out and children were selling tiny early tulips, so delicate and fragile.
My grandmother’s treasures: shells we do not see on our shores anymore, jet beads, tiny seed pearls in an old department store box, handmade sandwich signs about one and a half inches high saying ‘watercress’ and devilled egg’, silver napkin rings.
Assemble your mementos with love and care, and use them in your decorative palette. You’ll only enrich your home’s sense of history, and enjoy returning home even more.
Put similar materials together- a metal postcard holder sits with a metal mesh lampshade. It’s a place for cards, postcards, invites & other ephemera collected on your travels. Adorned with coasters, wrapping, matchbooks, napkins, maps etc as mementos. This becomes a living mood board within your own space which changes & inspires travel and new adventures. This still-life brings together a montage of myths and inspiration derived from expeditions in Naples, Salerno, Positano & Sorrento. And shows ways to create an organised environment which can still be beautifully arranged.
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