Tuesday, 14 July 2009

From Orange Pine to Simply Divine

Forgive the cheesy post title (I just couldn't resist...) but just to draw your attention to my latest article over at Queens of Vintage, where I teach you how to turn this...

...into this!

Unless you're a fan of glossy WAG-toned furniture I hope you'll agree that the update is somewhat easier on the eye. This decoupage-fest took about three hours to make in total, plus about three hours painting further PVA coats to make the whole thing durable, done intermittently over several episodes of Hollyoaks. The great thing about decoupage is you don't necessarily need a lot of fabric, and can easily cover a piece using leftover bits of silk scarf, shirt sleeves and old pillowcases as well as more conventional 'off the roll' stuff.

Shout out to Max Attenborough for his beautiful photography on the 'after' shots (and not for my fuzzy 'before') - pics taken from a recent test shoot which I'll be sure to post here uber soon for your viewing pleasure. In the meantime, for the full how-to, please take a look here!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Lordship Park Location House

And into July we spring! I've been uber busy of late working on an all-consuming shoot but thought I'd squeeze in a quick post before round two kicks off tomorrow. As most of my shoots tend to happen in location houses rather than studios, it gives me the perfect opportunity to snoop at some seriously drool-worthy properties (before then coming home to the reality of my rented share house with soiled carpets and chipped 80's white formica worktop, prompting a whining sesh with the boyf on when exactly we'll be buying that million-pound London townhouse...)

I was lucky enough to be at one of my favourite houses over the last few days, over at Lordship Park in North London. Whilst the house is undeniably gigantic and amazing, its clever owners have employed a few craft-hack-friendly design tricks to keep the space unique, that could be applied to more modest abodes. I shall share:

How much would you have lurved this swing seat when you were little?! OK, I'm fooling no one - if this was in my house even now you'd have to prize me off the thing. I'd be curled up on there with my interiors books grinning like a loon for 23 hours a day. Though if you avert your eye skywards, you'll notice the extremely pretty ornate banister - or, to be technical - an old bedhead-cunningly-turned-banister, customised to fit the space by lopping a bit off one side and using it to fill the other. Quite simply genius.

These doors are the sort of thing you glimpse at the back of a dusty old antiques warehouse and marvel at what a grand space they'd fill. Whilst there's no denying these are some pretty big beasts, however, they've been cleverly utilised to replace some standard sized doors in a standard sized frame (note how the doors are considerably higher than the doorway is). By mounting them outside the doorway, as opposed to inside the doorframe as standard, the fact they are outsized simply does not matter.

Alright, so that last one is pretty 'out there'. But hands up who's got boring, flatwood, featureless doors? Well then this one's for you. By covering both the door and surrounding walls with this glorious thick embossed wallpaper and topping it off with a pretty handle, these doors manage to become both invisible and a grand feature all at the same time. There's an almost magical quality to them, like you've discovered the gateway into Narnia or some other such silliness. 

Finally on this whistlestop tour, is this retro-tastic wall covered in beaten copper panels, as featured in a bedroom so fabulously cool even a 70's James Bond would feel somewhat inferior to its awe-inspiring aesthetic. I believe this panelling is a leftover set-up from a previous shoot, though if you're handy with a hammer and happen to have some spare panelling lurking about, it's actually a pretty simple set-up, jigsaw style. Another take on this look could be to cover a wall with a mixture of different sized canvases, either painting them or covering them with mismatched wallpaper, allowing enough breathing space for chinks of wall to peek through.