Tag Archives: Design

The Small Hands of Destruction

I have lost my temper more times than I care to remember this weekend and it’s all thanks to the little people in my life.

When my eldest was born I fully accepted the fact that it would be totally impractical to have nice-things in our home as at some stage of her development the nice-things would be ruined, broken or at the very least snotted on. For seven and a half years I have gone without designer cushions on my DFS easily cleaned sofa, I’ve longed for a rug that doesn’t have a jigsaw of stains all over it and sometimes I can’t contain my bitter disappointment at losing my favourite floor standing lamp thanks to an over excited game of pull the dog by his tail. I know, I had a favourite floor lamp…..maybe I need help?


This weekend my youngest monster, who has now firmly taken over the reins as master of destruction, has poured beakers of juice on the sofa, mashed her lunch into the dining table, pee’d on my duvet and laughed hysterically as she drew a multitude of murals on the walls around our home. She watched me wash the sofa cushions after the last soaking episode, I scrubbed the hall walls clean of pencil marks just last week and I’ve given up on the dining table!  Don’t get me wrong, I know most families go through this stage and it’s not like I didn’t expect it, I’m just growing weary of child-friendly furnishings and spending my mornings ensuring all the crayons are safely locked away.

design heaven

My dream house would be predominantly white, purely because I can’t have anything white for at least another 5 years. We’ve not had a coffee table since 2006 after eldest daughter decided to head-butt the corner of our solid oak rectangular table resulting in a small but lasting scar on her forehead. Whenever I see a coffee table I’d like to purchase I look at her Harry Potter style scar and put my Visa card back into my purse. Maybe I could buy a round coffee table?

It’s not like I’m counting down the days (1826) until my kids are responsible enough to not jump from one sofa to the other or use the curtain tie-backs as snakes/pony reins/skipping ropes but I am really looking forward to decorating just one room for me. I’d love to line an entire wall with bookcases, buy fragile decorative items and fill the room with rectangular tables, white cushions and diamond chandelier floor lamps….. maybe one day.



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One Store, One Life

If you were only allowed to shop in one store for the rest of your life how difficult would it be to choose? Selecting a store that not only fits your current style and taste but one that also grow’s with you and adapts to changes in your lifestyle would for me, be top of the list right above paltry decisions such as what to name my child and ‘Do you take this man…..? I’ve pondered this question since around 6am and its taken me until now (18.41) to make a final decision. My choice would be Zara because I’m a stickler for tailoring and I love that year on year they produce quality on-trend,  seasonal fashion as well as the classics with a twist. Lets face it, according to today’s budget from a sheepish looking George Osbourne, I’m going to have to work til I die, so I may as well look good doing it, right?

I’m lucky enough I am working for Pixie Dust Merchandising next week and as I’ve been off work for 12 months I desperately need to head into the city tomorrow to buy new luggage and a capsule wardrobe for my foray back into the world of business, naturally my first port of call will be Zara. This transition has come at a bit of an awkward time, apparently it’s Spring yet the temperature here hasn’t reached bare leg status, neither can I seem to let go of my pashmina’s so I suspect I’m going to find it difficult to match my attire to the change of season. But fear not, I have just received a style email from the über chic bods at Zara who tell me that new season twill Capri pants and crochet hem shell tops are now available in store. A perfect combination teamed with a tailored blazer, pashmina and heels (emergency ballet flats in my bag ) Hallelujah!

Now all I need to do is find some stylish luggage from the high street. Hmmm not such as easy task. My options are fairly limited due to time frame and location, so House of Fraser and Debenhams are looking like my best bet. To my delight there is a stunning little silver beauty on offer from Samsonite, however the price tag is one I can ill afford until my work is complete, I will settle for the less glamorous Tripp at Debenhams version until my riches are received.

I shall report back on my shopping trip and see if my purchases match that of my virtual fancy. With a bit of luck no one will get hurt, tally Ho!

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The Early Shift

Its 7:26am and I’ve been sat at my desk for a little over an hour greedily pouring over my favourite websites to get my fashion/celebrity/ news hit before my little sleeping beauty wakes and demands instant feeding. I’m off work on maternity leave and whilst there is no doubt in my mind that my beautiful 6 month old baby is the most important thing in the world to me, I’m not ashamed to admit that Condenast comes a very close second!

If I try really hard I think I can still remember a time when such online activity was saved for lunch breaks at work, or early evenings with The One Show blurring away in the back ground. But sadly the time that was once free to ponder new season heel styles, the one-earring trend and latest H&M collaboration, seems to have vanished in a haze of Johnsons Baby shampoo!

I have an elder daughter who like most ‘first-born’ children, really taught me the ropes on this multitasking lark. I managed to continue to collect my beloved British Vogue, although if I’m completely honest with you, I still haven’t read all of them cover to cover, which I know, is sacrilege. It made me wonder where my priorities lie, and why it was so important to me to make sure I kept abreast of the latest developments on the world of fashion? I came to the conclusion that its something to do with wanting to stay firmly in my mid-twenties despite having two children, a husband and a mortgage. Somehow I’ve tapped into the notion that if I’m rocking a tribal print shell top and laser cut denim shorts I will be forever young, it doesn’t matter that I’m only going out to do the school run, surely? One of said daughters is named after the infamous genius that is Elie Saab, because when she was born I had the latest Hello! Ready to Wear Fashion Special on my bedside cabinet, and let me tell you, this particular Saab collection was knock out! Definitely a worthy reason to choose a fashion based name for my little one.

Now that I’m read this over again, I wonder if my dedication to fashion is a bit redundant, and that I make such efforts in vain? But wait…I’m only 30 this year, in my prime, the decade where its okay to still buy from the kids section at H&M (if you can get away with it) and the only people who’ll have an opinion are the school mums. Yeah well, I’m too cool for school. I think?

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The New Who’s Who

I have been an avid collector of British Vogue for 12 years now, never missed a single copy. My most prised possession in life is my 1982 November edition which is my birth related copy; it is framed and sits on my bedside table with the pride and devotion it deserves. I also have a Vogue bookcase in my living room, which a-la Karl Largerfeld, stores my entire catalogue beautifully, and is not to be touched by family, friends or visitors!

Whilst I adore my paper copy collection, I have warmed more recently to online branches of the Vogue Empire and in particular to daily updated articles such as Street Chic and SPY. This type of article pounces on random, fashionable members of the public with a stop, snap and interview reporting style.

A lot of publications are granting more and more column space to both star-studded and local events aiding this new fascination with Who’s Wearing What? From Hello! covering various weddings and red carpet events to the free Metro paper snapping Jo Public on her morning commute to work, we’re all so interested in what everyone is wearing.

What fascinates me are the smaller local articles featuring shoppers, workers and tourists alike who are totally unfamiliar with being stopped in the street and asked to pose for a picture. I love the attitude towards individualism and standing out from the crowd at least that seems to be the idea. Where so many young Kate Moss wannabe’s appear to be going wrong is with the interview. When your photo clearly shows you wearing an outfit straight from the Topshop store window, don’t answer like this;

Q. Who influences your style?

A. No one really, I like to stand out from the crowd and wear unusual items from vintage shops.

I know Topshop has been trading for a long time, but it’s not classed as Vintage just yet. And as for styling your own look, then at least mix it up with different accessories than what the merchandiser selected to put in the store window! You have to laugh at the naivety.

I don’t know if it’s a regional thing, but most of the young women who appear in my local paper all give the same answers and are all wearing the same AW10 trends. On the other hand, I do think it’s quite amusing to give Jo Public a soap box to tell the world how much of an individual she is compared to tomorrow’s individual in the same outfit.

If you are one of the lucky fashionista’s who gets snapped in the street, try to say something original, or at least something that doesn’t completely contradict your chosen outfit.  I’m just nipping out to get the paper…..

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Vivienne Westwood Hits out at Clones

Dame Vivienne Westwood, how could you hit out at us, your faithful, fashionable subjects? The only thing in my entire life I have ever saved up for was a pair of your buckled pirate boots, and yet you brand me with such harsh names.

‘People have never looked so ugly as they do today regarding their dress.’

I think ‘ugly’ is a bit harsh, yet the argument of the fashion-conscious general public looking like a one-style army, has definitely got legs. I have spent some time this morning reading articles about the so-called throw-away culture we have spiralled into , and even subjected myself to the Loose Women and their opinions on the matter and I’ve got to say that although I was shocked my the initial headline, I think Dame Westwood has half a point.

Dame Westwood is quoted as saying: ‘I don’t notice anybody unless they look great, and every now and again they do, and they are usually 70.’

Now I spend a large portion of my time on trains as I commute 150 miles twice a week and it’s got to be said, the platforms of Britain are bursting with exciting exhibitions of colour, pattern and styling. In particular Preston station always has an array of students boasting bold outfits which are a strong mix of current trends and old school classics. The older passengers I observe seem equally comfortable in their all weather parkers and walking shoes (my train stops in the Lake District, lot of hill walkers) I’m yet to come across a 70 year old worth a sneaky camera phone pic, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled. I’m guessing Dame Vivienne doesn’t spend much time on the West Coast Mainline??

There is no denying that with the emergence of more affordable clothing it’s never been easier to buy and discard an entire outfit only to go out and buy something new the following day. You can’t help but notice people on the high street sporting the same look, even the same ensemble in some younger cases, but surely that’s what fashion is all about, enjoying being part of something ever changing until you find what works for you? I believe in safety in numbers, and can identify with youngsters who follow a trend and take a serious interest in fashion in order to remain part of a crowd, I did it myself until I was old enough and more importantly confident enough to stand out.

I think the comment was unsympathetic to the society we live in, if EVERYTHING wasn’t so strained these days no doubt we’d all be swanning around in Westwood creations……oh dear do I sound like a 70 year old?

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