Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

The Modern House, a real estate company who specialise in the selling of the finest modern homes, celebrated their ten year anniversary in 2015 and so to mark the occasion they released a book with some of the best properties they’ve had throughout their decade of business. The book is a fantastic read whether you love modern architecture or are simply intrigued to get a sneak peek into some of Britain’s most wonderful homes. I’ve picked out some of my favourite homes from the book to share with you.

Doctor Rogers’ House located in London, built by Richard and Su Rogers in 1968

The beauty of this property lies in how the colours of the interior and the colours of the adorning nature integrate so perfectly together. The influence of Californian modernism isn’t lost on the architecture or interior features and yet doesn’t look out of place in its typically English surroundings, there’s a humble attitude to this house that makes you want to run up those paving stones and be invited inside this welcoming exterior.

Doctor Rogers’ House located in London, built by Richard and Su Rogers in 1968

The Modern House features a property on Angel + Blume’s home turf, Cambridge, and one that we know personally. The Laslett House was designed by Trevor Dannatt in 1958 and is owned today by Tim Hayward, the man who resurrected the legendary Fitzbillies.

Laslett House located in Cambridge, built by Trevor Dannatt in 1958

The house is wonderfully minimal and full of natural elements. There’s a beautiful flow of white brick walls, wood flooring and glass panelling that evokes an authentic sense of calm and laid-back sophistication.

Laslett House located in Cambridge, built by Trevor Dannatt in 1958

The next property takes the form of an old converted Pianola factory in north London. Its interiors are reminiscent of ordered chaos with foliage, picture frames and furniture all positioned in the home seemingly unsystematically and yet at the same time with the feeling of thoughtfulness and care. The home is like a blank canvas, the perfect location for an artist to create their masterpieces with just enough personal memorabilia to fight off a spooky clinical atmosphere.

An Art Collector’s Warehouse located in London, built by 6a Architects in 2012

An Art Collector’s Warehouse located in London, built by 6a Architects in 2012

Stratton Park in Hampshire is a fine example of how modern homes can look their best when juxtaposed with older existing architectural features. The house was built over a mansion from 1803, all that remains is the Doric Portico, something that might have been rather a brash display of grandeur if left to its own devices, but with the modern home positioned to its side it becomes more of a whimsical and elaborate garden sculpture.

Stratton Park located in Hampshire, built by Stephen Gardiner and Christopher Knight in 1964

The idea of living in a fort would thrill most children (and some adults) and so proving that you can make a home out of anything, a nineteenth century fort was converted into a home in 2004. The Martello Tower Y in Suffolk is a highly intriguing concept and there’s no doubt that the views from up there phenomenal!


Martello Tower Y located in Suffolk, built by Piercy & Company in 2004

Despite its somewhat bulky external appearance the interior of the home is elegant and sophisticated, and its unique features like the original fort structure make a compelling argument for the building’s beauty.

The Walled Garden located in East Sussex, built by Michael Manser in 2002

This home wonderfully incorporates modern American architectural style into the Sussex countryside.  The beautiful glass and steelwork and the adjacent old red brick wall create the perfect contrast that gives this property it’s extra added character.

The Walled Garden located in East Sussex, built by Michael Manser in 2002

Finally, you might remember this lovely house from a blog a few weeks ago, Fog House in London was commissioned by Janet Street Porter in 2004 and is a beautiful accumulation of colour and style.

Fog House located in London, built by Adjaye Associates in 2004

Fog House located in London, built by Adjaye Associates in 2004

The Modern House is full to the brim of exciting properties, amazing inspiration and invites you to spend a few hours dreaming of modern havens.

The Modern House is available from Artifice.

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The Iconic Interior 1900 to the present does exactly what it says on the tin. This book takes you on a journey through some of the worlds most iconic and mesmerising homes and interiors belonging to the best and brightest artists, designers, fashion personalities, artisans, architects and set designers of the past one hundred years. This book treats you to an awe-inspiring expedition of the most beautiful homes in the world. If you’re contemplating the idea of redecorating your home but are in need of some inspiration and ideas, purchasing this book is a sure-fire way to kick start a design project as it is filled with a stream of innovative and magical interiors for you to be slowly hypnotised by. If permitted I could talk endlessly about the houses in this book, but I have enforced some will power and have chosen my favourite four homes to share with you.

First is the Sowden House in Los Angeles built in 1926, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. This house was commissioned by painter and photographer John Sowden and takes its main inspiration from Mayan and pre-Columbian culture.

The property looks as though it’s been teleported from another world, or a forgotten time and beautifully encapsulates its sources of inspiration, creating a miniature enchanted land. It looks like the secret lair of a bond villain that belongs deep in the heart of a jungle instead of Los Angeles.


Remaining in Los Angeles for the second home on my list of favourites is a house designed for Tony Duquette. The house, called Dawnridge and built in 1949, is a beautiful clutter of clashing patterns and textiles, shapes and styles, all creating a whirlwind of surprising tranquillity.

The phrase ‘ordered chaos’ comes to mind when you’re looking at the interiors of Dawnridge, everything seems both a stylish muddle and systematically ordered in a way that would be hard to replicate.


Artist Piero Fornasetti’s home in Milan is featured in the book, and it’s a creatively perceptive modern take on an Italian palace. Fornasetti’s home is reflective of his style as an artist, and just like a beautiful painting, the apartment is a work of art.

The interior flows seamlessly as though it is in a surreal dream-like state, and as Dominic Bradbury, the author of the book writes “the house reveals the deep inventiveness and rich imagination of one of Italy’s most original creative talents, often dubbed the ‘designer of dreams’.”

And lastly, we take a trip to Istanbul to the home of designer Zeynep Fadillioglu. Her home is enriched with an old-worldly atmosphere and is embellished with ornaments and furniture that exuberates luxury, whilst contrasting with the rustic walls and foundations of the house so as not to portray a feeling of decadence and excessiveness.

If you’re looking to get lost in a mesmerising and romantic story of architecture and interiors then get yourself a copy of The Iconic Interior and spend a few hours indulging your imagination and redesigning your interior wish list.

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I rather fell in love with the wonderful seaside town of Deal when I visited at Christmas time and I am already looking forward to planning a return trip. This was made all the more imminent when I got a copy of Keepers Cottages newsletter welcoming a new property to their books – 35 The Strand. It is just along the road in Walmer, overlooking the sea and sporting some rather gorgeous interior decor. I love the mixture of clean neutral walls with big hits of colour and the relaxed homely feel that has been created. It is lovely to see a holiday home that has had some real love and attention lavished on it. I think it is time for a little holiday by the sea – don’t you?









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I just spotted this delicious cottage in Canterbury on the very fabulous The Modern House which looks to me to be beautifully designed with lots of attention to detail on the interiors front. I haven’t seen it myself (it could be dangerous if I do) but if you have been inside, please let me know if it as lovely as the pictures suggest.

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More images and information at The Modern House.

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I was talking to someone this weekend who is organising a trip to Cuba and discussing it reminded me of what an amazingly beautiful country it is. I haven’t been for a number of years but the colours, the history and the vibrancy of the people left a huge impression on me. I dug out my old photos and the memories came flooding back. I won’t be posting them all, you will be pleased to know, but here are a few of my favourites.

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The town of Trinidad in central Cuba is wonderful and has a number of beautiful Spanish influence houses that I found fascinating and inspiring.

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And it seems that Dachsies are cute the world over, right Boris.

OK, holiday photos away, on with the work!

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I think that the British seaside is a wonderful place to be at this time of year and after spending the Christmas week in Deal in Kent, I have completely fallen for the place. I booked a cottage (I highly recommend Keepers Cottages) which was very fortunately in the Middle Street district which I now know is the place to be. There is Georgian gorgeousness about the buildings and the streets between the sea front and the high street are charming but still have a lovely rawness about them. Interestingly, there are a number of delectable shops and restaurants that seem to have sprung up recently and would be just at home in the trendy bits of East London as on the Kent coast.


A house on the High Street


These are the sort of houses you find between the sea front and the High Street in the Middle Street conservation area.


I think Farrow and Ball arrived in Deal before I did – I bet that is Pelt.


Lovely interiors, art and gift shop Dunlin and Diver on the High Street selling Thornback and Peel (which I thoroughly approve of!) and other fab things


Hoxton Store opened just before Christmas and completely gorgeous


Super stylish shop with something for everyone stylish – and a tiny (stylish) art gallery at the back. Taylor-Jones and Son


Great wine bar and wine merchant – run by a French man, need I say more.


Very inviting pub in Middle Street


The two restaurants I can recommend are 81 Beach Street which is excellent (don’t be fooled by the website which isn’t excellent but you can successfully book through) and Dunkerleys which has great food and a somewhat, erm, Faulty Towers inspired approach to service and the two that top of my list when I go back are Victuals and Co and The Dining Club based on local recommendation and by pressing my face against the window when they were closed.


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I was sorry to leave this delightful town but visiting again soon is on my list of resolutions. Happy New Year to you all.

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I remember many years ago seeing an article about Diane Von Furstenberg’s Manhattan home and studio and thinking how utterly wonderful it looked. Full of colour, originality and inspired yet relaxed creativity, I also saw how the live/work space could really work (albeit in on a magnificent scale) which deeply inspired me. So I felt utter joy last weekend, whilst taking a swift but glorious break in New York to round the corner and see this amazing building and I unashamedly stopped and stared. I haven’t been inside but thankfully Architectural Digest have so when I returned home I looked up the article and drooled. Here are the beautiful pictures (by photographer François Halard) and the full article can be seen on the Archtiectural Digest website.  I have pledged to go back to New York regularly so I might be knocking on your door Diane – sorry in advance.


Living office area

Dining table

living area pinkmaster en-suite



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As a true East Anglia fan, I am ashamed to say that until last week, I had only fleetingly visited the Suffolk coast and I am delighted to report that I not only had a wonderful week in this beautiful county but I also uncovered some new treasures on the interiors front, and visited some old favourites.

My first find was Smoke and Fire in Darsham who make the most beautiful and creative tiles. Their decorative tiles are real works of art and I love the delicate colours of their plain tiles. I would highly recommend a visit to their showroom where the tiles are also made.



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Two of my favourite lighting companies are based in Suffolk and I took the opportunity to visit both. The first is Bella Figura who have a head office and small showroom in Melton (their main showroom is in Chelsea Harbour) where they make their lighting, using glass brought over from Italy. The products are gorgeous and it was amazing to see the workshop and a selection of some of the new chandeliers that will not disappoint.





The other lighting company that I love and we have worked with for a long time is Jim Lawrence who have a fantastic showroom in Hadleigh that displays almost every product they have. They have more recently expanded into other homeware including fabrics, furniture and accessories and although it is generally their lighting that catches my eye, I couldn’t resist their new scented candle (pink pepper and green mandarin) which is delicate and delicious.





Woodbridge is a town that is really worth a visit and I made two brilliant discoveries there – the first was 10 Church Street which is a wonderful interiors shop selling a carefully selected mix of tasteful and stylish furniture, soft furnishings and accessories. Some of their products are on their website so it is worth keeping an eye on what they have in stock www.10churchstreet.co.uk


The second is a delightful business run by three sisters called Sant Studio which sells jewellery, textiles and home accessories. Everything in this delicious shop was tempting but the jewellery really caught my eye and they have just a few items on their website, although you really need to visit to see how lovely the stock is.


Last but not least is the fantastic Thorpeness Emporium – we were based in Thorpeness (which is lovely) so we visited almost everyday for a browse at the antiques and a cup of delicious coffee in the cafe. They also had an exhibition of gorgeous prints by a local artist called Liz Clark and if you are modernist or retro style inclined, these might appeal. I thought they were lovely.




I am now back and hard at work – customers of Angel and Blume will be pleased to hear – but I will be going back to the Suffolk coast as soon as I can, I am a convert!

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Earlier this year London Underground celebrated its 150th anniversary. To mark the occasion, TFL (Transport for London) have collaborated with a number of designers to come up with some iconic underground themed collections.

Fired Earth has recently released their beautiful new limited edition ‘Underground 150 Collection’. On request of TFL, Fired Earth were asked to delve into the London Transport Museum archive’s and recreate a selection of some of the finest tiles used in London Underground stations. Using the original moulds taken from the archives, Fired Earth has done a spectacular job and has revived some truly delightful designs.



The ‘Edwardian’ range, originally designed by Leslie Green in 1903, features the recognisable pomegranate and acanthus leaf designs with base tiles and dados in matching shades.



Perhaps the most iconic range, ‘Signage’, includes a selection of famous underground phrases in their original typeface.



The ‘Landmarks’ range features the designs of Harold Stabler, who was commissioned in 1939 to create large scale architectural ceramics for a number of Underground stations. Fired Earth has reproduced their favourite, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Crystal Palace and the Palace of Westminster.

In their ‘Underground Collection’, Kirkby Design has also collaborated with TFL to recreate these London Underground seat fabrics, which I have never seen looking so good! Taken from the London Transport Museum archives, these old moquette fabrics have been transformed into a fantastic contemporary collection of viscose velvets, which are cool, retro and rather iconic.


Bench: Marylebone Kingfisher. Cushions from left: Marylebone Neon Orange, Piccadilly Havana, Bakerloo Neon Orange, Bakerloo Magnet.


Cushions from left: District Blackberry, Bakerloo Kingfisher, Marylebone lime, Marylebone Eden, Bakerloo Neon Orange, Piccadilly Havana.


Sofa: District Gold. Cushions: Bakerloo Magnet, Bakerloo Jet Black.


Seats from left: Piccadilly Neon Orange, Piccadilly Kingfisher.

These collections have given me a fresh look at the London Underground, and the distinct designs that have transpired from underground transport. Do take a further look as there is plenty more to see, including Fired Earth’s fantastic vintage underground poster range.

This blog first appeared on the Cambridge Evening News website.

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I paid a flying visit to Berlin last weekend and fell in love with this beautiful, impressive and welcoming city. There is so much to do and see that I sincerely hope I will be able to spend more time there in the future but my interior inspiration high point was the achingly cool Pauly Saal bar and restaurant. Based in the gymnasium of what used to be the Jewish School for Girls (Jüdische Mädchenschule) , it sits happily along side art galleries, a museum and other eateries located in the same building. The interior echos the 1930’s and is a happy mixture of visual feast and comfortable nonchalance, with big impressive spaces made welcoming with really great lighting, clever colour combinations and grown up furnishings.  I will be going back, not least for their delicious cocktails.

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Pauly Saal logo

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