Earlier this year I styled a shoot in London for IKEA.com which is now live on their site. I already do a lot of shoots for IKEA Live magazine, traveling around and styling the homes of serious IKEA fans, but this was an ideas shoot for their main website. So, pretty exciting! My brief was to create clever ways to bring the outdoors into your home, be it through plants, fabric, or garden futniture. I love this idea below of hanging lengths of fabric from a curtain rod, either to divide a room or as a backdrop on a wall behind a bed. Great if you don’t have a headboard, like me. Now that we’re in the last days of summer, it’s a pretty cheap and easy way to temporarily add a burst of colour and energy to your home before succumbing to the dark depths of winter.
Full disclosure: I’m writing this from Los Angeles, where the summer really never ends. But next week I’ll be back in London, cold and sniveling as our “Great British Summertime” (Lies! All lies!) comes to an end, crying my eyes out and craving something lush and cheerful to brighten my mood. My now neutral bedroom may be due for an uplifting update. For the full story, head to the IKEA site, here.
I’ve spent most of the day scouring airbnb looking for a flat in Paris for a work trip in September. For a group of my work colleagues, it ends up being so much cheaper for us to rent a nice flat rather than individual hotel rooms. We also end up saving on food because we do a big supermarket shop and have what we call our “Anthro girl dinner” (salad, cheese, bread, hummous, and other annoyingly healthy things) instead of going out to a restaurant every night. Over the past year we’ve stayed in three or four incredible apartments in Paris and Nice. The all white one above was tucked away down a cobbled mews and had a sunken living room perfect for after work wine and chit chat.
In my opinion the best ones are the family homes, but of course a very stylish family! They have just enough bits on display to be interesting, but not too much that it becomes a bit gross. I definitely want them to put away their spare toothbrushes thank you very much! You want it to feel like a quirky, interesting hotel. Interesting knick knacks to look at, but really clean sheets and bathrooms. I don’t mind family photos on display because it gives you a glimpse into their lives. We play a game where we try to guess what they do for a living based on what we see on their bookshelves.
One of my favourites was this great big loft where a family lived who seem to travel a lot (judging by their family photo gallery and their cool souvenirs dotted around). My work mates and I staged a ‘family’ portrait of us, each randomly clutching something from the home (there may have been wine involved), printed it, framed it and added it to their family gallery wall. We never did hear if they discovered it. I’m still hoping for a confused/amused email from the homeowner one of these days…
Unfortunately today’s airbnb flat hunt has been a total failure so far. I feel like someone needs to give airbnb hosts advice on how to take pictures for the website. Some of them are just shockingly bad: unmade beds, clothes everywhere, really weird angles or taken at night. Make an effort people! (Said the stylist who claims to like life unstyled).
In case you’re wondering, this is what sometimes goes to Paris with me.
Has anyone else had luck with airbnb? Or is hotels all the way for you?
Btw this is NOT a sponsored post
I didn’t think it would be fair to ask anyone else to show me what’s in their bag if I wasn’t willing to do the same thing. So photographer and friend Sarah Hogan came over a few weeks ago and shot the extensive collection of junk that I cart around with me for my very own Secret Life Of Bags reveal. I’ve tried to scale things back recently, but judging by these pictures, I’m not succeeding.
We also had a little fun with my collection of bags, some of which I’ve had for years (although most of them don’t see the light of day anymore), and hold a lot of memories. They tell their own story about how my taste has evolved – ten years ago I favoured vintage leather and kitschy prints. Today I prefer a more refined but still unique look. In other words, I am now a grown-up. Judging by Sarah’s pictures of me, I find the whole thing freakin’ HI-larious! What I’m actually thinking is “Why the hell did I ship all this crap over from LA when I moved back to London?” Ah, sentimentality is a curse.
I was thrilled when Abigail Ahern agreed to be featured in this, the debut post for my new column Secret Life Of Bags. A few months back she interviewed me for her blog’s Current Obsession column, so when the time came to launch what I affectionately refer to as S.L.O.B. Abigail was the first person to spring to mind. I loved the idea of nosying inside her handbag and seeing what treasures she totes around.
Welcome to a brand new column on Life Unstyled called Secret Life Of Bags or as I affectionately call it, S.L.O.B. With each S.L.O.B. feature, we’ll offer a rare glimpse into the very personal, usually off limits and sometimes messy world of the handbag. In this new era of living our ‘perfect’ lives for the world to see on social media, people seem to be obsessed with showing only their best side. What I’m far more interested in is seeing some of the imperfection, the mess. With each post, one daring person will let me visit their home or studio, tip the contents of their bag out and style the heck out of them. We’ll be making pretty pictures with some of our most mundane bits. Yes we will still be making beautifully styled images, but instead of featuring perfect, staged props, we’ll show you the real life miscellanea we all carry around, and find out the stories behind the stuff.
The British online magazine Heart Home just republished a house tour they did back in 2013, featuring our rented home in North London. We’d only been living in this house for a few months and I really wasn’t ready for a photographer to document things (story of my life?) But me being me, and never wanting to say no, I said yes.