Thursday, April 28, 2011

History in the Making

Wish I could be present to see London all dressed up for the splendid occasion...
Let alone lay eyes on THE dress and all those jewels.

"God and my Right"
(Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom)

Queen Vic would be proud.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Peep Show: the Sequel (and Prequel)

(A quick synopsis of our bedroom renovation)

1865: Wallpaper merchant builds house.

1940-2000: Rooming house. Whorehouse. Flophouse. Meat-rack (nice!).

2005: Hapless, clueless South African couple purchase said property.

Week Two: Second floor tenant calls up landlady (AKA me). “So sorry to worry you, but the ceiling just fell in.”

Week Two and one day: Thankfully, no injuries or permanent concussion. Dodged ‘the-ceiling-just-fell-in’ bullet. Patch. Skim-coat. Repeat.

Day 68: Take occupancy of 2nd floor. Boiler takes final bow. Carbon monoxide escapes from every orifice. 4-yr old and I spend 9 hours in emergency room. House appears to be furious and is clearly trying to murder us (attempt #1).

Day 69: Bedroom steam-damaged walls remain pockmarked and decaying for 5 years. Inhale at own peril.

Month 10: Convince myself the room is Shabby Chic.

5 years later: Shabby Chic becomes intolerable (picture Grey Gardens).

2011: Sudden realization that original vision of creating an embellished Parisian-apartment look-a-like will obliterate budget.

2011 and then some: Slight change of scope. When prepping one wall, we discover original wallpaper in sepia tones – far from pristine but gorgeous. Room demands small semblance of decay for old time’s sake (see Palimpsest).

2011 and then some more: Inhale paint fumes all night. So worth it…

Detail of science project growing up the wall
Details and collection of French steel-cut shoe buckles
Looks nicer in this photograph than in reality
The previous, rather boring 'apartment cream' color on the walls
Detail of the mantel
Detail of 'what lay beneath'
David (painter) and I after the initial 'recapturing' of wallpaper (also, if you look at the light bulb in the reflection of the mirror, you can see the ceiling damage)

Warm grey for remainder of walls

Benjamin Moore Soot for bed backdrop

Photographs by Philippa Berrington-Blew and Craig Strydom
Photo of desk by Virginia Jarvis - Apartment Therapy

Through the Looking Glass (Number I)

The first in the Through the Looking Glass series of photographs. No words necessary...

Via here

Sunday, April 24, 2011

King Coquonosum and Queen Oppussoquionuske (Petersburg, Va)

Barely pronounceable (the long and forgotten names of the sibling king and queen of the Appomattoc tribe), but not nearly as convoluted as the various fates that would befall them and the area that is Petersburg, Va today.

Recently (en route to Wilmington NC, for a friend's fortieth) I spotted an Historic Petersburg sign on the side of the road. Twisting my neck almost right off its socket — as I am want to do for any sign bearing the word historic — I decided unilaterally that we would stage a drive-through on our way back to Baltimore. So, after a weekend of too much Prosecco, tornados (real ones) and the raging Cape Fear River (what a fantastic name!), we took a small detour off the I-95. Petersburg, founded and settled by English colonists in 1748, is a fascinating chronicle of history. Significantly, it held one of the oldest free black settlements at Pocahontas Island. Also (as part of a simple walkabout), evidence of trench warfare from the American Civil War is still visible. And in the 1830's, it served as an east-west/north-south hub for the emerging US railroad infrastructure. But it is the not-to-be-missed mix of restoration, dilapidation and ghostly gaping holes, that made a lasting impression. 

Note to self: call next cat Oppussoquionuske...

Petersburg is 23 miles south of Richmond Va.
Photographs by Philippa Berrington-Blew and Craig Strydom

Friday, April 22, 2011

"The Island of Misfit Toys"

Being an 'other-peoples-houses' voyeur at heart, I love the Apartment Therapy house tours. This is more legit than driving past homes at night hoping to catch a glimpse of the interior. Certifiable, I know! And once (mortifyingly) I was caught. I could be labelled a Peeping House Tom. Back to AT, I rather fancy the home of Michael Andrews and Paul Svendsen in Silver Lake, CA. Especially a corner of the dining room and bedroom with its monochromatic palette... to quote the writer and photographer Gregory Han "a curious assortment of decorative collectibles, all remarkably intriguing... a preserved amphibian, a full-size roller-skate doorstop or a make-shift milk bottle terrarium". Sounds like my kinda place.

Salvaged Vintage Mailboxes
Fornasetti plates from Barney's, NYC
Fun, quirky accessories
All photographs by Gregory Han - Apartment Therapy
Michael Andrews owns a shop in LA called Inheritance
Explore here 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hot off the Linen Press

Hand printed on 100% locally made cotton using water-based inks, these limited edition dishcloths from Number 19 are staggeringly beautiful. More about the ridiculously gifted Mia Widlake here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peep Show

The only stripping that's going on in our bedroom right now...
(Full details of renovation to follow).

Photograph by Craig Strydom

Monday, April 18, 2011

Two Scoops on Broome

It is always exciting when I spot an e-mail from Anthropologie in my inbox - the latest highlighting a recent shoot at Caffe Roma Pastry on Broome Street in Manhattan. Love the color correction and the clothes are particularly pretty and Springy. Read about the shoot and behind-the-scenes here...

All images from Anthropologie

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dichotomy of Styles

This practically requires a drum-roll... Here are some images from the exquisitely photographed catalogue for Glas Italia. Oh, where is that Palazzo?

All images from here
Via: Haute Design
Read more about Glas Italia here