Sunday, 1 March 2009

The AA

A little birdy told me that the website for Atelier Abigail Ahern, interior stylist-turned designer, shopkeeper, soon-to-be author and all-round interiors guru, has just been relaunched - so naturally it'd be rude not to take a peek. Abigail's bijou store resides in Islington's Upper Street and, thanks to the dramatically dark colour scheme that fully wraps around its petite proportions, provides a welcome contrast to the bright white showrooms of norm. Showcasing furniture, art, textiles and accessories all curated with a gallery-level eye, this deeply, darkly whimsical space is oh-so-stylishly full of the macabre and the unexpected. Take a look for yourself to get the full picture, or for my Craft Hacker-inspired favourite bits, read on (sadly I can't grab any images off the site so you'll have to link over for these too, but anyhoo...:)

Figurine Collection: These little beauties, cast out of concrete, manage to combine dainty and dangerous in one fell swoop. Love the way a simple colour change gives these usually gilt-laden kitsch ladies a completely different vibe. How about conjuring up your own version by giving a charity-shop figurine a new lease of life courtesy of a can of black spraypaint?

Bus Scroll Wingback Chair: You may have seen vintage wonderland Pedlar's re-use of old bus signs turned into light boxes, art prints and even deckchairs (see below) - now witness the same technique applied to the classic wingback. The sort of hack that requires degree-level upholstery skills so not for the faint-hearted, but inspirational nonetheless.

(picture from

Rejste Side Table: Celebrating our British love of doily/tabletop action, this table cleverly nods to doily heritage in a 21st-Century, laser-cut metal type way. For more doily action, check out my earlier post on Ghost Furniture. I've recently become obsessed with the idea of setting some old doileys into a recessed tabletop with resin. Has anybody seen/tried this? Project being mentally added to the 'to-hack' list now...

Cruelty Free Rugs: Combining witty with pretty, these ingenious rugs by Mancunian designer Jon Male involve craft hacking traditional ruggage into a cowhide outline - subversive and cheeky. Do take a peek at Jon's own website for other inspired hacking, such as these 'A Soupcon of Light' lamps:

(pictures both taken from

Bernard Pye Paintings: If Warhol had cast his eye back a further 200 years, we might now be able to go to Snappy Snaps and have our face recreated in print like this rather than the much-imitated Marilyn Monroe style pop art we all know and love. Yet another fab example of a familiar style we all know and love being reworked to look truly fresh and 'now'. Why not raid the history books yourself and go crazy in photoshop - or keep it old-skool and go to town with a photocopier and some florescent markers?

I for one am rather excited at the prospect of a whole entire book on such matters, and eagerly await the launch of A Girl's Guide to Decorating, out in May.

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