I was recently asked to host two Christmas workshops in collaboration with my old employer Anthropologie. The first took place at the newest outpost for the members-only Soho House group, Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, which was really gorgeous, if a little muddy. The second was at Selfridges on Oxford Street in Central London. For both workshops I styled a decadent Christmas table, talking the guests through my ideas for a handmade but luxurious table setting; I offered creative ideas for gift wrapping; and I taught the guests how to make a star ornament similar to something you’d see in Anthropologie’s Christmas windows. These ladies (and one man) loved it!
I first met painter Kim West almost ten years ago when our then three year old sons were at the same nursery school in Los Angeles. Even though I’m now back in London, the miracle that is social media has meant that we’ve kept in touch and up to date on each other’s careers in recent years. It’s been thrilling to see the incredible things she’s been up to, including painting huge murals on walls around Los Angeles, many of which are now featured in commericals, photo shoots, and serve as backdrops for many a posing instagrammer. I was dying to catch up with her in person when I visited LA recently and I also thought she’d be a perfect candidate for a Secret Life Of Bags snoop. So on a roasting hot day in a gritty but rapidly gentrifying part of Los Angeles, Kim welcomed me into her plant-filled studio where we drank icy cold beers, reminicised about the past, and of course emptied out her handbag.
When you change your mind about everything relating to interiors as much as I do, homemade art is the way to go. Rough paper from the art supply shop, black paint, brush. Frame it. Done.
Excuse the grainy photos . You know photography’s not my strong suit. My living room is forevor in a state of midday gloom due to lack of sunlight and the old iphone camera does not like that set up.
I’ve been researching about five different projects over the past couple of weeks and desperately seeking inspiration for all of them. During one of the many, MANY Pinterest sessions I’ve had in my search, I came across the work of artist/set designer/product designer Sarah Illenberger. You know how sometimes you have weird ideas, like ‘Hey I wonder if I could carve a beetroot to look like a ruby?” Or “Wouldn’t it be cool if plants had polka dots?” Well Sarah actually follows through.
It seems like a distant dream now, but a month ago I spent a lovely, roasting hot couple of weeks in LA, partly for work and partly for family obligations. Having moved back to my hometown of London four years ago after living in the States since I was 17 (a lonnnnng time!), it was lovely to go back and catch up with friends and family and check out all the great new shops and restaurants that have popped up in my old ‘hood Highland Park. I also did a book signing for Bohemian Modern at Hennessey & Ingalls in Santa Monica, followed by an hour on the beach before I hopped on the plane.
One of the highlights of my trip was visiting the super cool Hollywood studio of designer and blogger Joy Cho whose Oh Joy! brand is dominating right now in everything from baby booties and party goods to band aids/plasters and a best selling craft book.