fbpx

Get to know iconic designer Arne Jacobsen in 8 quick facts.

He’s one of Denmark’s most celebrated designers and still influences so much of contemporary design. But who actually is Arne Jacobsen and what is he so famous for? Here are some quick facts to put him on your map!

  1. From a young age, it was clear that Arne had creative talent. He originally wanted to be a painter but his father felt that architecture was a more practical pursuit.

2. Arne travelled all around the world to expand his creative horizons. He made the voyage to New York as a sailor and spent time as a bricklayer in Germany. Italy became somewhere Arne visited frequently to paint accurate, atmospheric watercolours.

3. Jacobsen’s career as an ultra-modern architect was boosted by winning some major awards: one of them was given by the Danish Architect’s Association for his ‘House of the Future’ design. The glass and concrete house was flat-roofed, spiral-shaped, had a conveyor tube for letters, windows that rolled down like those of cars, a helipad, and a boathouse.

4. People have rioted and protested against Jacobsen’s ultra-modern buildings. One incident was for Gammeltorv’s Stelling House, which prompted a newspaper to print that Jacobsen should be ‘banned from architecture for life.’

5. During World War II, Jacobsen was persecuted for his Jewish heritage. With some assistance from the Danish resistance, Jacobsen rowed a boat to Sweden in order to escape the Nazi persecution.

6. Jacobsen’s chair designs are particularly famous. The sleek curved contours of the Egg, Swan and Drop chairs were viewed as ultra modern and unlike much achieved in furniture design previously.

7. In everything he did, Jacobsen embodied the concept of Gesamtkunst, which means seeing everything as a work of art.

8. In Great Britain, he designed St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, which even involved landscaping the garden and designed details such as the silverware, china, chairs, lamps and door handles. He also chose the fish for the pond!

Arne Jacobsen’s design for St Catherine’s College, Oxford including the famous fish pond!
Image credit: ox.ac.uk

Want to browse through all of Arne Jacobsen’s famous designs? Click right here and enjoy!

Title image credit: propertydesign.pl

Interior designer Celine talks tips on home renovations and what’s going to be big in 2019…

Celine is both a seasoned interior designer and the founder of interior design practice Indie&Co. A triumph of authentic yet understated interiors, Celine uses her design expertise to create homes which address the desire to lead a more balanced existence and encourage mindfulness within our spaces. She chatted to us about life as a designer and threw us some great tips for approaching any home renovation project.

Why did you become an interior designer?

I originally wanted to be a product designer but realised that whenever I wanted to design an object, I ended up designing the space around it.

Can you describe a typical project to us?

I mostly work on residential renovations from kitchen extensions to loft extensions to full refurbishment.

How would you describe your own home?

I am currently in the process of doing it up! We completed the loft extension and the renovation of the first floor this month and we are about to start the kitchen extension and ground floor renovation. I am designing my home around our needs and not around what the resale value would be which is freeing and makes it a functional space.

Home is everything to me, and this house is never empty. I have two small children, a dog, I work from home with my assistant when I am not onsite, I hold meetings in my house and my husband also has a home office which he uses at least one day a week. Usually on projects, we ended up with a fairly muted palette but this isn’t the case in my house. We used a lot of green from light to very moody, as well as some muted pinks and mustard yellows. The furniture is a mismatch of build-in joinery, vintage pieces and contemporary designers.

Where do you draw design inspiration from?

I find inspiration in the past, the colours, the layouts, the furniture and uses of it in a modern context. I also find restaurants and hotels a good place to find inspiration. 

What three words sum up life as an interior designer?

Unpredictable, flexible, exciting.

What is the first thing you tend to notice when walking into a new room?

The feel of the room is the first thing which hits me, so without realising I am thinking about: how the room smells, the temperature, is it nice to the touch, how the light makes me feel, what are the materials? I guess following this, the layout would probably be next.

Is there a design trend you would love to see make a comeback?

It is all about context, one item could fit perfectly in a space and feel totally relevant but look outdated in an other. I wouldn’t worry about trends, they always make a come back anyway. 

And one which history should forget?

Again this all depends on the context. I wouldn’t want to rule anything out but I guess that carpets in bathrooms would be one, avocado bathroom suits, the extensive use of plastic in interiors, PVC windows and the extensive use of down lights.

Top tip for somebody starting a new home project?

Hire a professional, it may seem expensive at the start – especially if you’ve never used an interior designer – but the investment is worth it. They will know how to avoid big costly mistakes and will allow you to actually deliver the dream home you originally wanted. They will have plenty of contacts which they can recommend and take a lot of the pressure off. A home renovation is a draining and at times very challenging process, so having someone there can make the whole difference. Also move out if you can afford it, the building stage always takes longer then originally anticipated and lastly put some money aside for the unexpected.

What’s a mistake which people often make when decorating?  

They look at each item individually rather than think about the whole picture.

Whose home would you love to sneak peak into?

I love all the homes on the site The Modern House.

Is there a dream piece you would like to find for your own home?

I am always on the look out for something a bit different. I have my eye on a few art pieces at the moment, and I also would love to find nice floor lights and table lights. 

What do you think will be big in 2019?

Wood kitchens, green kitchen, micro cement and micro concrete, sustainable and ethical products. 

Is there a film for which you would love to design the set?

I am a fan of Jean-Pierre Jeunet so any of his movies; I also love period dramas mostly for their sets and costumes.

And finally, what’s the best way to spend a weekend in London?

A long walk in the park followed by a pub lunch. 

Celine’s top three vintage items? Find them below and click through to view on the website. 

  1. Vintage Czechoslovak Folding Daybed, 1960s

For me this hits all the marks in terms of colour, texture and practicality, it is such a hard piece to find. Most of my clients are after a day/guest bed which looks beautiful.

2. ‘Caught In The Act’, Antique British Oil Painting C. 1800s

This is such a great painting, its both playful and timeless.

3. Swedish Gothic Revival Bookcase

A key piece in a kitchen or living space, this bookcase is elegant and understated.

Read more about Indie&Co here.

Furniture dealer Sophie on swapping a career in fashion for antiques.

Meet Sophie, one half of an East London couple passionate about collecting antique furniture. Founders of Stowaway London, we wanted to hear more about what they do, their own treasured pieces and what they’re loving in London.

How did you end up doing what you do?

Sam has been doing this since he left school at eighteen when he joined his Dad buying and selling antiques. Sam and I started Stowaway London about four years ago now, at the time I wanted to leave the fashion world and the antique lifestyle was very appealing.

What inspired the leap from fashion to furniture?stow

I left fashion and started Stowaway London because I really wanted my own business and to be my own boss. Fashion had lost its fun and creativity for me and furniture – which I have always loved – was new and exciting. Fashion, furniture, design and art all encompass each other and when you have an eye, you have an eye for it all I think. It was great timing as I wanted a new career… Sam came along and said, ‘I sell antiques. Want to make a brand/business?’ and I just jumped.

Favourite piece you’ve ever sourced?

I loved finding a pair of Morris & Co Sussex chairs as they were hidden and tucked away. Also the timing was great as we had just been to his museum in Walthamstow the weekend before, so it all felt very meant to be. Sam’s piece is a 1960’s foosball table that came in just before the World Cup so the games at our house were made even more fun!

Describe your own home in three words.

Eclectic, characterful, cosy.

coffeeYou have friends visiting. Where do you take them?

The Wallace Collection… hands down the best museum in London. Then back to our neck of the woods with a pint in the Crooked Billet and then food at My Neighbours The Dumplings.

Do you have a piece which goes with you wherever you move?

Yeah Sam… and then a Victorian elm stool which belonged to his grandmother which he grew up sitting on.   

What do you love about working with antique furniture?

Sam likes working with things that are old and have character. For me it is the same but with the addition that the quality of the furniture is so much better and it is environmentally friendly.  

Any great tales behind the pieces you collect?

Last year we brought a beautiful desk and when cleaning it Sam found a folder that had slipped behind the drawers. It contained a note which said that the desk belonged to and had been designed by G. C Grindley, who was a well known psychologist. It was exciting to find that and then research the guy. The provenance made a great desk even more special.  

If your home was ablaze, what would you run back to save?

Sam would most certainly have my arms full with the stool, plus many swords and knives (he collects antique weapons) and a few other antique trinket boxes he’s had for a long time. I would grab my jewellery box which has my treasured bits in including my great grandmother’s hat pin.

Dream dinner party guests?

Our grandparents.globe

Go to winter beverage?

Early mornings always require coffee.

Velvet sofa or leather sofa?

Leather sofa.

Which famous person’s home would you love to sneak peek into?

Aino and Alvar Aalto, they are a bit of a designer power couple.

dsc_0880

The Return of Folk to Interior Design

 

For a while now, the central focus of interior inspiration has fallen primarily within the realm of Mid Century and Postmodern design. Whilst we continue to appreciate the merits of this aesthetic, we believe it shouldn’t hinder the discovery of other rich and characterful design genres. The annals of design history are coloured not just by formal design movements but also, as Vinterior seller Kitty Walsh puts it, by the popular culture of the past: the things which ordinary people themselves liked to make and do. This is what we call ‘folk’ and an immensely rich area of design which deserves to be placed back under the limelight.

Vinterior is immensely proud of our collaboration with many of the leading vintage and antique furniture specialists in the UK and beyond. After all, our mission is to seek out the remarkable and to shine the spotlight on people, places and pieces with real character, real soul and real stories. Behind the exceptional pieces on Vinterior stand some equally brilliant and highly knowledgeable collectors, who bring life to the stories behind the furniture you buy.

This week, I’m speaking to folk expert Kitty Walsh. As the founder of London gallery and collection Modern Folk, Kitty is bringing fresh attention to folk design, a genre richly woven with vibrant colours, patterns and the echo of many lives lived. We are inspired by the joyful union of colour and print which adorns so many of the pieces in the Modern Folk collection and the instant character which they lend to a space.

But what actually is folk design?

As Kitty explains, ‘Folk culture simply means the popular culture of the past, the things ordinary people liked to sing, eat, drink, make, and do. Folk art is the material part of this culture – from the clothes people wore, to the homes that they lived in, and the tools that they used to work. Just as favourite recipes and songs were passed down from century to century, so were the methods of making particular types of clothing or objects. As each generation added to the knowledge of their forefathers, rich cultural traditions gradually emerged.’

Kitty travels across vast regions of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia in pursuit of finding folk treasures. Most recently she travelled to Transylvania, unearthing rare finds at Negreni, an ancient Romani market in the Carpathian mountains. I asked Kitty about the origins of her interest in folk and what makes it stand out from other vintage genres.

How did you become passionate about collecting the folk genre?

I’ve always been drawn to folk art – I began collecting Norwegian knitwear and folk slippers as a teenager and I used to make piñatas for extra pocket money. Then when I was studying History of Art at Cambridge I found a book on Hungarian folk art in a charity shop and was really hooked.

Why folk in particular?

With the folk genre you get to see the crafts person’s process – it’s great to see how people all over the world have responded to a particular design problem. Plus, I’m a bit of a maximalist so I love the patterns and colour!

What makes folk stand out from other vintage genres?

The stories attached to the pieces – you get such a strong sense of their history. These are pieces from a much simpler time – people had far fewer items in their home and most of them would have been made by people in their immediate community. This furniture marked important moments, when they got married or had their first child, it’s really a record of their lives.

Do you have any interesting stories behind the pieces currently in your collection?

A great example is our beautiful painted wedding chest, dated June 1891. It would have been used to carry the bride’s – Kata’s – possessions to her new home. But you get the same sense of history with the more minimal pieces, like a so-called bachelor’s table covered with knife marks.

Which is your favourite piece and why?

It has to be the ‘fancy country’ wardrobe – it’s so full of life! It was made in Transylvania in the mid twentieth century and is covered with flowers, fruits and birds. I’d love to know if the painter was thinking of William Morris’ strawberry thief when he painted the cheeky birds.

Kitty’s Modern Folk collection is bursting with folk curiosities, from intricately patterned chairs to simple carved wooden chests and vibrant glass paintings. I love the unique imperfections found in vintage and antique furniture for their ability to spark conversation and how they speak of crafts loved, lives lived and memories lost. What I find particularly special about folk furniture is that each piece is created with such purpose and to provide a sense of place. We can keep these exceptional pieces of furniture alive by bringing them into our homes so that our own unique family stories become woven around them.

View the Modern Folk collection here.

 

Portrait of Kitty taken from Wharf Magazine.

 

 

Furniture With A Story: Japanese Innovation

42614846_250506675666899_8691172417185251328_n

This series puts a spotlight on pieces that are truly special and have a fascinating story behind them.

This week, we’re looking at the inspired designs of Di-Classe…. We were fortunate enough to visit Domei and Anri at Design Junction and see the products up close and personal.

The ‘Foresti’ collection stems from the idea of bringing nature indoors. The intricate leaves bring a natural feel to the forest into the home. Notice how the shadows are given as much focus as the lighting piece itself.

42669929_466684290508928_1771304625232674816_n.jpg

Mini Foresti Pendant Lamp – £325

Orland Pendant Lamp – £157

The final piece of the ‘Foresti’ collection is a masterpiece in our opinion! Created from handcut leaves, this piece has then been coated in a white paint which has been mixed with a Japanese formula. When activated by weak ultraviolet rays from fluorescent light bulbs, a photocatalyst reaction occurs and purifies the air and absorbs bad odours. This technique is used widely in Japan when painting the walls. We think the UK could benefit from this type of thinking.

42662795_845425452248020_3493146147931815936_n.jpg

Paper Foresti Pendant Lamp – £365

Look closely at this lamp. What does it remind you of? We spoke to Domei about his inspirations – the lamp is named Arles as when Domei was travelling, whilst in Arles he saw a woman holding her hat in the French breeze. Can you see it?

42638393_2244456369120473_7787087376244801536_n.jpg

Arles Table Lamp – £120

This final piece is a fun one, yet still has some lovely intentions behind it. The flame can be blown out just like a real candle. Also, the light of this is gives a warm flickering glow and has been proven to help insomnia. If you’re looking for a Christmas stocking filler, we recommend this! london-led-candle.jpg

Cuore Graphico LED Candle – £10

Click here to view Di-Classe’ full collection

VINTERIOR NEWSLETTER5

An Expert’s Guide To Upcycling: Featuring Upcycled Hour

Grand Designs 2018

Pictured: Nicky, Natalie and Rob (a trio of upcyclers) with Chris, founder of Upcycled Hour (third from left)

We had the pleasure of meeting Chris, founder of Upcycled Hour – the UK’s only independent agency supporting and promoting the work of professional upcyclers – to discuss the art of upcycling and dispel myths surrounding the movement . Read on to learn more, as well as Chris’ top tips to integrate upcycled pieces into your home. 

What is your personal experience with upcycling?

I began upcycling items when I bought my first flat way back in the 1970s. I wanted to fill my home with unusual things and the only way I could afford to do so at the time was by buying preloved and changing the look to suit my taste by reinventing and refinishing. Fast forward over forty years and there is a creative reuse coup happening and it now has a name – upcycling. Of course I still love to upcycle items for my home because its a great way to reflect your own personal taste but these days, as eco chic interior style ambassador and Upcycled Hour founder, I am also very fortunate to have access to all kinds of wonderful professionally produced pieces and always very spoilt for choice.

Can you give a brief history of upcycling

In the late 1980s an inventive designer and writer by the name of Jocasta Innes made using a variety of paint techniques on walls, floors and furniture into a huge interiors trend. With her parsimonious approach to interior design, she became a household name and wrote a highly successful series of books including ‘Paint Magic’ and ‘The Thrifty Decorator’. These books included a lot of furniture refurbishment and reinvention but we had to wait a few years until the word ‘upcycling’ made its first appearance. During an interview with Thornton Kay, creator of the Salvo empire, German salvage dealer Reiner Pilz used the term when talking about the European waste systems and although a different kind of upcycling to what we associate the word with today, nevertheless it gave a name to a new type of creativity. Environmental issues brought to light in the late 1990s led more artists to look at ways to incorporate upcycling into their work but it was not until the early 2000s when artist Annie Sloan created a new type of paint which did not require surface preparation (chalk paint), that the modern-day upcycling movement as we know it really took flight. By 2014 many artisans were working professionally as upcyclers and so the Upcycled Hour agency was created, the very first independent association to support and promote the work of professional upcyclers creating for interiors.

blue-tone-console-table-alice-2017-patience-gough-furniture.jpg

Blue Tone Console Table Hand Painted With Annie Sloane Paint – £280

Buying Upcycled Pieces

How do I choose the right upcycled piece for me and my home?

When purchasing an upcycled piece check the quality of finish, functionality and consider whether you want this to be a stand-out, statement piece or whether its something that has to have more flexibility of style. The fusion between interior design heritage and contemporary craftsmanship results in some pretty incredible upcycled products these days so take time to source an item that reflects your interior design personality, that fulfills its purpose beautifully and is something that will always make you smile.

sideboard-666cbcdb-b0e9-46c0-b50d-d06b91eab97d.jpg

Sideboard with Old Masters Prints of Fruits & Flowers – £595

Can you explain the different ways in which something can be upcycled?

Upcycling is taking an unwanted or damaged item and renovating, reinventing or repurposing it to produce something of higher quality and value so its not make-do and mend, its not DIY and its not hacking – the clue is in the first syllable! The only limitations with upcycling, apart from the materials involved, are the imagination and skills of the designer-remaker. There are a huge variety of ways to upcycle an item from simply repainting or reupholstering a vintage piece of furniture to taking discarded ring pulls and creating a chandelier, using the pages from old magazines to make a piece of art or even reinventing old bowling balls into table lights.

8c490b99-daac-4731-a757-08a352a0698f.jpg

Industrial Upcycled Steel pipe coffee table – £445

Why choose an upcycled piece?

There are so many benefits in choosing an upcycled piece: individuality of style, low environmental impact, knowing you’re the only person in the world to own such a piece, UK craftsmanship as well as being at the forefront of supporting a new craft movement that is truly rocking the interior design world.

pair-of-upcycled-vintage-wooden-side-tables-retro-bedside-cabinets-cole-and-sons-woods-and-pears-decoupage.jpg

Upcycled Wooden Side Tables In Woods And Pears Decoupage – £195

What are your favourite upcycled pieces on Vinterior at the moment and why?

This Poul Henningsen pendant light is so incredibly iconic and really does pass the test of great design time. Many mid-century styles look as fresh today as when they were created, they retain that brave new (design) world vibe and as yellow is one of my favourite colours to wake-up an interior, I’m sold!

poul-henningsen-ph-4-4-pendant-lamp-with-shade-yellow-painted-metal-1940s

Poul Henningsen pendant light – £3,487

 The lacquered upcycled credenza is from a completely different style genre, it has an old world look of luxury that appeals to my love of heritage chic styling as well as ubiquitous but always adorable black furniture. With clever reinvention its difficult to know whether this piece of furniture was created in 1780, 1950 or yesterday, the mark of a superior upcycling design that will not only hold its worth but also its owner’s attention.

black-lacquered-1950s-credenza-in-the-manor-of-piero-fornasetti-20

What do you think is the best way to combat the stigma surrounding upcycling? – (if you feel this question is appropriate)

Historically misunderstood, upcycling is a generic term that has encompassed the bad and ugly as well as the good.  Thankfully since Upcycled Hour was created in 2014, things have gradually changed and we are now seeing professional upcycling not only becoming a respected craft but a sought-after choice. More and more interior designers and celebrities are buying upcycled, appreciating the wonderful way in which these items inject individuality and eco chic into the home.

bespoke-vintage-g-plan-upcycled-sideboard-mondrian-retro-mid-century-modern.jpg

Bespoke Upcycled Mondrian-inspired Sideboard – £975

Chris Billinghurst is an ambassador for eco chic interior style and the founder of Upcycled Hour, the UK’s only independent agency supporting and promoting the work of professional upcyclers creating items for interiors.

Click here to browse more upcycled pieces

 

VINTERIOR NEWSLETTER5

An Expert’s Guide To Vintage Lighting: Featuring Agapanthus

At Vinterior, we understand that a lighting piece can really create a statement in your interior and complete a look. We have interviewed Tom and Zoe from Agapanthus, a seller on Vinterior, to give you a behind the scenes peek at the process of vintage lighting restoration and their top tips on how to decide on that perfect statement lighting piece.

image1.jpeg

Where are you based and who works with you?

We are based in Stockport, owners are Tom and Zoe and we have 3 people working full time with us, Bob, Annabel and Peter.

How long have you been working with antique lighting and restoration?

Tom has been restoring lights for 23 years since he was 16. Zoe joined the business 7 years ago and we have grown it together from there.

How did you get into it?

Whilst running an antique shop specialising in pine furniture we were asked by a customer to restore a chandelier which got Tom hooked.

What are the processes involved in a renovation of a chandelier?

A typical chandelier restoration would involve photographing the piece in its original state. The chandelier is then taken completely apart and cleaned using various techniques dependant on the material. The chandelier is then re-wired, earthed, insulated and assembled back together. We have extensive supplies of antique and new parts that will cover us for restraint most antique lighting pieces. The chandelier crystals are washed by hand, dried and polished. Where possible we retain the metal pins that attach the crystals together and then hook these back to the chandelier. Sometimes crystals are damaged or missing so we also replace these. The final stage is attaching the ceiling fittings that are required.

What gives you most pleasure with what you do?

It has to be finding amazing pieces at markets and fairs whilst abroad and then when the piece reaches its home and the customer is delighted!

What is your favourite ever piece of antique lighting?

Tom’s favourite lights were 1903 arts and crafts chandeliers that we restored for the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. For Zoe it is a French brass and crystal chandelier with gorgeous cut-crystal swags – it is stunning yet simple and elegant. It’s currently in our lounge! You have to keep the odd piece – makes the job even better.

pair-of-ornate-chandeliers-with-glass-and-crystal-pears

067ce80b-763b-42e7-9f46-4836563e4acb.jpg

1800s Italian Florentine Candelabra – £2,225

Buying Antique Lighting

If someone was buying their first antique light what are the top 5 pieces of advice you give them?

  1. Go with what you love
  2. Choose something that is the right scale for the room
  3. Consider what you want the light for…mood, functional, style
  4. Be bold – a light can make a big impression and be the first thing you notice in a room.
  5. Buying an antique light is an investment, they are becoming more rare and they will hold their value.

What was the most interesting project or person you have sold a piece to?

Our favourite project was supplying the lighting for a famous fashion model. The property was a beautiful Georgian property that was once the residence of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and J. B. Priestly. The lighting we supplied and sourced was spectacular and seeing the final stages of the whole interior design project was incredible and inspiring.

What trends are you seeing for antique lighting?

French toleware pieces are increasingly popular, particularly the gilt and brass ones. Mid-Century glass pieces are on-trend, particularly the ones from the Bauhaus movement. We love to seek and find the genuine pieces. The classic brass and crystal chandeliers are however timeless!

mid-century-chromed-pendant-with-grey-glass-shades

Mid Century Chromed Pendant With Grey Glass Shades – £680

waterfall-chandelier-with-upper-walking-sticks.jpg

Click here to view Agapanthus’ full collection

 

VINTERIOR NEWSLETTER5

Meet the Designer: Zoe Murphy of Stealth Design

When it comes to the design process, interior designer Zoe Murphy believes that a collaborative relationship with her clients is key in achieving authentic designs. As the proud founder of London-based design studio Stealth Design, Zoe’s creations are all diverse and unique but tied together by ‘low key luxe’ – championing spaces that have that certain je ne sais quoi. As Zoe describes it ‘it’s the idea that everything is comfortable and balanced but it has special elements’.

Here, Zoe tells us how she’s eyeing up our Papa Bear chair and why her top interior design tip is to ‘buy once and buy well’…

Is there a signature Stealth Design look? If so, how would you describe it? 

I have to confess I’m not really a fan of a signature look – I’m just not the sort of person or designer to impose their own look on clients. I’m much more interested in designing a scheme in collaboration with my clients – responding to both the place and the person. When clients become involved in the design, it tends to produce a much more effective and powerful result.  

But there is one thing I try to achieve in all my schemes – and that’s what I call low key luxe. It’s the idea that everything is very comfortable and balanced but it has special or luxe elements – that can be a treasured piece of furniture or perhaps even that the space has been designed exactly for your needs. 

In terms of furniture, what design classics standout for you? 

I love classic furniture – it tends to be classic for a reason.

We have Hans Wenger wishbone chairs around our kitchen table and they are so comfortable – essential given how much time I spend sitting in them!

I have also just bought a Noguchi coffee table after being desperate to buy one for years. I’m pleased to report it’s even more elegant and beautiful than I thought it was – literally perfect. Even though classic furniture can be expensive, it was definitely worth spending the money as I can imagine having both the chairs and table for the rest of my life. 

What would be your top interior design tip? 

Buy once and buy well is my motto.  

Focus on the space first. Spend all your money on designing the shell, then wait and when your finances have recovered, buy the furniture you really want to fill it. Don’t be tempted to buy cheap stuff – it’s generally shoddy made, in questionable circumstances and won’t stand the test of time. 

What does home mean to you? 

Home is an adaptable comfy mash up. It’s literally all things to all people – somewhere to come home and fall asleep on the sofa or somewhere to kick off your shoes and dance around the kitchen. But then the rest of my family have different needs and priorities – it has to be all things to them too.

What are your three most treasured pieces?

That’s easy – today’s list is:  

A Banksy I bought years ago  – I still feel it’s kind of wrong that it’s not on the street but on our wall but it holds so many memories of the glory days of street art when I’d walk down our Shoreditch street and another killer piece had gone up overnight; 

A set of library shelves made by Minty inherited from my great aunt and uncle, which don’t sound inspiring but are amazing and are single most enquired about item in our house; and

A pair of JBL floor speakers which were my husband’s Dad’s in the 1970s – we listen to a lot of vinyl and they sound fantastic so they were worth lugging back from Australia in our hand luggage.  

Just a warning – the list might be different tomorrow!

A perfect Sunday is… 

Getting up late after a brilliant night out with friends and going skateboarding in the park with my son (me badly, him with panache) to get rid of the cobwebs. At the end of a wintery day I’d be lying on the sofa by the fire reading the paper  – or, if I’m honest and more likely these days, catching up with Instagram and the design blogs …  In the summer I’d be doing the same thing lying in the hammock under the fig tree!

If you could choose one piece from Vinterior, what would it be and where would it live? 

Top of my wish list is a Papa Bear chair. It would live in that sweet spot in the front room, positioned between those JBL speakers, with something old school New York-ish (Velvet Underground, the Strokes, Galaxie 500) on the turntable.

hans-j-wegner-ap-19-papa-bear-armchair

 

VINTERIOR NEWSLETTER5

Meet the Designer: Amber Jeavons of AJ Interior Styling

Touring Amber Jeavons’s distinctive home, it’s clear that this is a lady with a keen eye for impactful, dramatic spaces. As a former dancer, Amber is now the stylist and designer behind A J Interior Styling, a design studio and consultancy. She uses her background in performance to bring drama and impact to her spaces, taking the inhabitants on a journey and maximising the space to its fullest potential.

We speak to Amber about her inspirations, what home means to her and what makes a perfect Sunday…

Do you have a signature look? If so, how would you describe it? 

In terms of style, I’m very versatile and as a Boutique business, I really feel that rather than a signature look one should strive to evolve and develop continuously. There is also a distinction between my own style and loves and that of the client and their space. So as far as a signature goes, it would really be present in the choice of each piece selected even down to a lightbulb! Each one will have a eureka moment with me when I see “it”.

My taste for the absolutely beautiful is how I hone in on the things I love. If one had carte blanche, then my aim is not merely to design an interior but to design something that shows off the space designed to the ‘pinnacle of it’s potential’. That’s a term I use personally to describe my ideal surrounding interior design.

The end result should be sensational, interesting and unique. It is created with an air of the dramatic, the holistic and the instinctual regardless of ‘style’ or colour scheme. Layering and texture are key. Being resourceful and creative in nature, this is also very much how I think about design.

In terms of furniture, what design classics standout for you?  

I like a lot of different styles – from the fabulous early Georgian to current designers. A particular favourite is Nigel Coates for extremely beautiful design.

I love to discover emerging designers, like those for example at Clerkenwell Design Week. I love finding and coming across a rich unique talent of products, furnishings and lighting.

For me, it’s not about the price of something or whether it’s the most expensive – it’s the stylishness, uniqueness and brilliance, which for me is the currency of today.

What would be your top interior design tip for our readers? 

Don’t necessarily strive to opt for what is considered fashionable or even the latest trend but find the style that speaks to who you are as a person and who your home is. The architecture of the space has as much a say in a scheme design as the occupant.

I’m very in tune with both – it’s like detective work, teasing out what a client loves and understanding who they are.

I’m a huge fan of Columbo and the influence it had on me as a child, not only on how he saw things and pieced them together, but also the rich interiors and fantastic architecture in LA (where the program was set) which I found fascinating.

What does home mean to you? 

I spend quite a bit of time at home as I work there and consider creatively my work and ventures I have interest in pursuing all just born out of a seedling of an idea I have…

To me home is not only meant to be a haven but a place where the space you surround yourself in, evolves and develops. We do, after all, change over the years and I feel our environments must therefore grow with us. I like the idea that there is some sort of organic nature to how the home develops and grows.  It perhaps inspires us and nurtures us, perhaps even it is a conduit for creativity.

Our homes speak in their own way about who lives there in a way that is curated over a period of time, even if it hasn’t necessarily. The art of design leaves one feeling that a home or space has always looked as it does and yet there is an air of slow transformation, of evolution.

What are your three most treasured pieces? 

I love things that have a story about them or things that savour a moment in history. In a way we’re storytelling as designers.  

Having a background as a dancer, with half a life spent on stage taking people on a journey into performance, so taking people now on a journey with their homes feels quite a natural a progression.  

My dining table is one favourite piece as it was my mother’s and in some ways the hub of home life. Mamma gave it to me where it now sits performing the same function and carries with it layers of history and conversation. I think it looks like the Pi symbol seen from side front view. 

Another treasured piece is a Japanese Samurai given to me by my Uncle as well as a brass sunburst mirror which attracts a fair bit of attention.

A perfect Sunday is… 

Thinking of something creative and the development of something I can use to inspire people.

If you could choose one piece from Vinterior, what would it be and where would it live? 

I would choose an antique Murano glass pendant shade, it would adorn the living room!

 

VINTERIOR NEWSLETTER5