Acting Home Designer’s Week In Pictures

Olivia shows us a snap shot of her inspirational week in pictures… read more

Living and working in London I appreciate how lucky I am to have so much on my doorstep. Life as a working mum is busy and there is always lots going on! With a creative job and a fun loving daughter, every week is full of inspiring experiences.

It was recently London Design Week and we (the decorating team) were keen to get out and about and see as much as possible, including Tent, Decorex, Focus, Design Junction and 100% Design. My personal favourite was Tent in East London, which always makes you feel like being creative in the studio. Trends included triangle geometrics, spiro-giro, gothic Victoriana, layering of designs & materials, dipped colour effects & slatted/stacked materials like wood & perspex. The Ercol stand with its geometrics & retro/modern colour palette was star of the show for me.

Above left: Ercol – prints by Tamsyn Gambell. Above right: Mini Moderns

There were lots trends to pick up on but we were especially drawn to the re-occurring grey/ off pale blue hues. Our Duck egg blue is relevant here and I think our new SS13 Seaspray blue will be a hit with our customers. Ikat effects and blurring continue to reign (check out Laura Ashley Jasper Stripe weave & wallpaper). Texture is still big too (see Laura Ashley Tongue & Groove wallpaper).

Next day I bicycled to and from work. My route is very picturesque and it is a lovely way to start the day.

Back in the studio we are busy designing AW13, finalising SS13 and starting to plan SS14. Lots to do!

Working on Josette re-colourations 

One quiet evening I stole the chance to see the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the Tate Britain, which I particularly enjoyed, because it featured the painters I loved in the Cult of Beauty exhibition (V&A in 2011). My favourite painter was Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  Lady Lilith is a beautiful painting and I love the dramatic colour combination: white dress, orange hair, red accents and dark green leaves.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Lady Lilith 1866-1868. Delaware Art Museum, Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Astarte Syriaca 1877. Copyright Manchester City Galleries


This brings me onto another romantic but much more cheery event I went to last week, the Bermondsey Street Festival with my daughter Beau.  The sun shone as we sat on hay bales watching the May pole dancers, it felt like it was marking the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn.

Continuing in the spirit of autumn, Beau and I headed to Southwark Park Gardening club at the weekend, harvesting lavender and making kites. The pumpkins we planted earlier in the spring were looking good. They remind me a bit of the colours in the Rosetti painting.

We then spotted some fine looking pumpkins at our local Borough Market, hopefully ours will soon look like these!

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