Inspiration, Interior Style

Purple

Seeing the rich deep colours of the blackcurrant leads me to looking at rich purple colours in interiors. When used as a paint colour on walls it has a very dramatic effect like for example this bathroom painted in ‘brinjal’ by Farrow & Ball

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or in this more eclectic bathroom – the drama is still there, enhanced by the tiling details

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Stunning isn’t it? I love the way the light plays on the colour.

 

There are quieter ways to introduce a rich purple into your interior

Take this large bookcase in the dining room of Marianna Kennedy in Spitalfields (featured in Ben Pentreath’s Book). The large bookcase is painted in a deep aubergine colour, the depth of which is heightened by the marigold yellow of the inside of the cabinet.

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Similarly the beautiful subtle colour of this kitchen door in this farmhouse in County Cork (photograph by Simon Brown) is highlighted by the primrose yellow of the dresser.

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Of course as usual the gentler way of entertaining the colour in your home is in the details.

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these sing out against their pale grey background

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Simple flowers from the garden can dictate your accent colours at home from day to day

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English designer Ben Pentreath has made his dahlias the stars on his mantlepiece, complemented by those deep purple candles. 

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simples

 

 

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Delicious, Floral & Gardens, Inspiration

Blackcurrant Coulis

I have a couple of blackcurrrant bushes. I decided this year, to make a useful coulis with this Summer’s bounty.

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I filled a bowl with berries, cleared them of stalks and leaves, heated them gently in a saucepan with a little water. I then sieved the mixture into a bowl pressing the pulp to get every bit of flavour. While it was still hot I mixed in a dessertspoon of golden syrup and a dessertspoon of caster sugar – its up to you how much really, suit to taste. Et voila! a gorgeous sauce to drizzle on your desserts, pancakes or simply over your ice cream on these hot summer days.

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Inspiration, Interior Style

Harbour Blues

All those hues drawn from the harbour and the changing colours of the sea can be reflected in your interior…..

 

painting tongue & groove panelling a pale turquoise

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a deeper blue on painted floorboards

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a John Derian bedroom – photo by Martyn Thompson

 

 

painted teal walls – making a strong statement

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image from Acoustic Garden

 

Highlighting period woodwork in softer smokey blues ….

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Arne Maynard’s house – image from the Interior Archive

 

or in a more subtle way painting one piece of furniture…

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teal tiles – very apt in a bathroom

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image via OWI

 

or the watery blues can be displayed with coloured glass like these antique soda siphons and bottles

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paint your stairs this cool blue

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a suggestion of seaside living with this textured blue bedspread

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this blue throw from Avoca has all the colours of the harbour and can be ‘thrown’ on a bed or a chair or hung as a wall hanging…

 

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if you have acid soil and therefore blue hydrangeas, it is a simple way of introducing blues in natural way

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as always you can use artworks as a way to introduce decorative colour to your room, like this etching by Niall Naessens 

 

 

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available through my Home Curation Service

 

 

 

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Art, Lifestyle

Coliemore Harbour

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I love that this tiny little harbour located in County Dublin. It has remained untouched by the bustling world around it. It is a favourite place of mine to stop and look out over Dublin Bay and Dalkey Island – preferably with an ice cream! The sea in the harbour is always translucent  but the hues change – sometimes turquoise sometimes teal, sometimes a deep indigo…. such inspirational colours….

 

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A little window shutter

In all this heat, it is nice to keep the upstairs South-facing rooms as cool as possible. So while I was away at the weekend, I came home to find this had been made for me, as a surprise, out of scrap fire wood. I adore it – especially the little shelf for displaying found objects, fits in with my ethos of things being functional and decorative. The most magical thing about it is was to go upstairs at dusk last night and look in to the darkened room…. all you could see was the diamond shape. Perfick.

DIY, Interior Style

A little window shutter

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Inspiration, Interior Style

In the Pink

All that rhubarb put me in mind to look at pink working in interiors. I am not one for Barbie / bubble gum pink. But I do like tones of pink – like fuchsia pink, blush pink , or a plummy pink – the kind you see in stalks of rhubarb for example..

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A dramatic shot of rhubarb pink in the rug…

 

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tones of rhubarb pink in the cushions…

 

I look to nature all the time for inspiration especially for colour.

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natural pale pink….

 

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the same pale pink repeated in a room….

 

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Paeonies in blush pink hues….

 

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reflected in paint colours….

 

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echoed in finishing touches to a room….

 

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and in decorative details…..

 

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and in this ‘Nerines and Chrysanthemums’ an etching & aquatint with gold leaf by Jean Bardon – from the selection of artworks available through my Creative Service.

 

It is as easy as that to introduce a hint of pink…

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Delicious, Floral & Gardens

Rhubarb Syrup

July, for me, is a month of parties, birthdays (mine), picnics and sitting enjoying the garden sipping refreshments of one sort or another. So last night, in an effort to deal with the abundance of rhubarb and also tapping into one of my favourite flavours, I made Rhubarb Syrup.

So while sitting here in the sun, sipping this beauty I will pass on inspiration…

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I simply melted 1.25Ib of sugar into 1.5 pints of boiling water, brought it down to a medium heat. I  grated a good chunk of fresh root ginger into the syrup and added a large bunch of rhubarb (scrubbed and sliced in to 2inch slices) and gently cooked the rhubarb until soft, I then left the mixture to completely cool down and for the flavours to infuse. When cooled, I sieved the liquid into a jug and poured into a sterilised bottle and some into a freezer bag as it freeezes well. You could also make ice cubes from it. The syrup in the bottle should keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. oh and I have kept the rhubarb bits as a fresh jam to have in the fridge.

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What to do with it?

Well you can simply mix it with sparkling water or lemonade over ice for a good picnic drink…..

Drizzle it over ice cream or fruit salad…..

Add prosecco or champagne for a Rhubarb Bellini…

Mix with vodka and freshly squeezed lime juice for a Rhubarb Martini…

Mix with gin and lemon juice and tonic for a refreshing aperitif….

I am on the hunt now for some more vintage cocktail glasses & a shaker.

Drinks on the Terrace anyone?

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