Thursday, November 29, 2012

Inspiration Profile - Katie Treggiden

This week's Inspiration Profile is Katie Treggiden, a writer obsessed (her words!) about design. She writes for several publications, including her award winning blog, Confessions of a Design Geek. I particularly enjoy her Interviews with all the cool designers (she even has one with the much admired Ilse Crawford). Enjoy this profile and happy Friday.
Katie Treggiden. Photo: Kirsten Everett.

confessions of a design geek

Name: Katie Treggiden

What do you do: I edit a blog called confessions of a design geek, which I have been doing since April 2010 and I also work as a freelance design writer, which I’ve been doing for almost a year.  

Where do you live: I live in a little village in Surrey, I spent a lot of time in London and my heart is in Cornwall where I grew up. (All in England!)
What are you working on: Lots of things! I write for LivingEtc, WRAP Magazine, London Design Guide, Design Milk, We Heart and Heart Home Magazine – and I’m also working on a few new projects for my blog, so watch this space!

Interviews Volume 1 by Katie Treggiden 


Who/what inspires me: I can be inspired by absolutely anything as long as I am in the right frame of mind. To get in that frame of mind I need sleep, food, exercise, time and the great outdoors!

I work best: I’m not sure it’s a time of day thing for me – I think it’s about getting into the “flow” which has to do with the above and working on something that is both inspiring and challenging.
What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration: Change something – whether that’s getting up and going for a walk, working on a different project, or just sitting somewhere else in my studio or changing the radio station.
The best advice I have been given is: If you’re half excited and half terrified, it’s going to be one of the best things you ever do. My step-dad told me this as I set off travelling around the world on my own aged 19. I don’t think I’m as brave as I was then, but this advice has definitely stood me in good stead in all sorts of situations.
My latest discovery is: The Simple Things Magazine – absolutely love it!
From the Photos of Numbers series.

No. 2 chalked on a egg in Thailand.

Books that I get inspiration from: Any and all of them. I have just got back from a week’s holiday during which I devoured seven books, from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, to a travelogue I picked up from the hotel’s book swap called ‘Lois on the Loose’. I learnt something from all of them.
Magazines that inspire me: Elle Decoration, LivingEtc, WRAP Magazine, Coast, The Simple Things…
Blogs that I enjoy: It’s a terrible thing to admit, but I don’t actually read that many blogs! I don’t think you have time to read blogs when you write one – if I’m on my computer, I’m usually writing rather than reading. I think in some ways that’s a good thing, because it stops me making comparisons. I do a run a networking group for design bloggers though and we have some fantastic bloggers as members – check out it out here.
My favourite room at home is: My studio at the bottom of the garden. It’s a little world away from it all that’s just mine.
My office is: …a bit of a mess at the moment! The London Design Festival sort of exploded in it and then I went on holiday and left it all! There’s also a bureau I’m halfway through renovating in the middle of it on newspaper, surrounded by paint tins and paint brushes. A tidy up is required to turn it back into the calm inspiring space it is supposed to be!
What am I looking forward to: Seeing my Dad tomorrow. My parents live in Cornwall which is such a long way away! We’ve got a fab weekend planned and I can’t wait!
Find out more about Katie and Confessions of a Design Geek on her website, on Facebook as well as Twitter.
The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank -  Katie's favourite building.

All photographs, unless specified, are by Katie Treggiden.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Laurel Hardware

This is Laurel Hardware  - a former hardware store which has been reincarnated into a restaurant and bar earlier this year. Located near Laurel Canyon in West Hollywood, this establishment has retain the old fashioned charm of the former store, while creating a homey spirit and fresh vibe with the new installation. Check out the amazing back courtyard and I love the contrast between the fresh white tiled eating area and the moody bar at the back. Designed by Sam Marshall.
Photographs by Laure Joliet.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hobbit Fever in Wellington

The cast and crew arrive in Wellington in the Air NZ Hobbit plane yesterday.
Inside the main terminal in Wellington airport - Gollum peeks in.
The NZ Post building has a Hobbit theme.
Gandalf guarding the Embassy theatre - where the world premiere is being held.
Wellington is buzzing with Hobbit fever today as it is the world premiere of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit this afternoon at our Embassy theatre. The whole town has jumped on board to celebrate the film that has been created right here in Wellington, mainly in a suburb called Miramar.
I walked by Courtenay Place this morning (where the red carpet is) and there are many hobbit, elves and Gandalfs walking around - I fear they will roast in those woolley costumes today. So to get in the spirit, why don't you find out your hobbit name here? I did and it's Daisy Bulge of Hobbiton. Classy!
Photographs via Wellington NZ

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Oyster Inn {Waiheke}

The Oyster Inn {Waiheke}

Vintage cane furniture in the bar area.

Dining on the verandah.

Eating at the bar counter.

The Pearl, private dining room.

One of the three luxury boutique hotel  rooms. Yes please.

Welcome to Waiheke Island's The Oyster Inn. Recently opened to the public in the beachy village of Oneroa, Waiheke - doesn't it look amazing?
Take a 40 mins ferry ride from downtown Auckland and you can be dining on the ocean view vernadah, or having a cocktail in the bar or just hanging out. The kitchen is open all day long (the menu looks delicious) and the yummy boutique hotel rooms are available to book from the end of this week. Find out more here.
Photographs via The Oyster Inn FB page.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kerryn Dunshea Garden Benches

Bespoke garden bench by Kerryn Dunshea

Thorndon bench

Ponsonby bench

Khandallah bench

In the weekend I was outside my friend's deli in Kelburn and while chatting with them, they mentioned that they are keen to place a bench in front of their store. So I recommended to them to have a look at the classic and traditional Kerryn Dunshea Garden Benches.
Dunshea, a fellow Wellington interior designer, was inspired by the classic English garden furniture she saw while she lived in the UK. The benches are handcrafted in Wellington using traditional construction methods and there is a paint colour palette to choose from. A perfect piece for the garden (or in front of a deli) this summer.
Photographs via Kerryn Dunshea.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Inspiration Profile - Bridie Hall

This week's Inspiration Profile is Kiwi expat Bridie Hall. She grew up in Taupaki, a little town north west of Auckland and went to London in 2000, straight after she graduated with a Bachelor of Design. She is now the Creative Director of the cool London company, Ben Pentreath Ltd and has her own homeware range.  Enjoy this great profile and happy Friday all.

Bridie Hall

Exterior view of Ben Pentreath Ltd.
Name: Bridie Hall

What do you do: I am the Creative Director for Ben Pentreath Ltd, where I have been since it’s opening four years ago and I have my own homeware range called Bridie Hall at Home
Where do you live: London, United Kingdom
What are you working on: At Ben Pentreath Ltd,  The Artists of Spitalfields Life exhibition, which  opened Wednesday 7thNovember. It brings together 18 artists that the blogger known as The Gentle Author who writes the daily blog Spitalfields Life, has featured over the last few years, its been an exciting collaboration.

For Bridie Hall at Home I am working on a new scent with my perfumer for a candle based on an Orangery that would traditionally be found in the great Manors of yore, its going to be called Pavillion. Each scented candle I create is based on a room from a Grand English Manor, so far there is ‘Obelisk’ (the study of a gentleman – notes of cedarwood and vetiver) and ‘Roses’ (the grand reception filled with the roses from the equally grand rose garden outside).
Stock from Bridie Hall at Home.

Obelisk Candle.

Who/what inspires me:The English culture, there is an appropriate way to do everything and the history behind everything is awe inspiring. I think I can say after living here for twelve years I can call myself an Anglophile, I’m a sucker for all of it, even a deep fried mars bar.

I work best: With structure. I’m a creature of routine so treat my days like anyone going to an office would, except if I’ve really sunk my teeth into something I’m making, I could go all night or not get out of my pyjamas all day.
What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration: Forget about it all and do some cooking. Meet a friend for lunch, we never fail to reignite that spark in one another – wine and talking!
The best advice I have been given is: “Put your name to what you do” - I think you take it far more seriously if you do.
My latest discovery is: Faux Bois, I’m teaching myself how to do it….before I apply it to everything.
(note from CM - yes, I had to look this up and it is 'an artistic imitation of wood or wood grains in various media'. Now you know too!)
The Scholars Set. 

Inside the Ben Pentreath store.

Books that I get inspiration from: Anything with sexy pictures normally lures me in, I do love a good picture book, I wouldn’t even say mainly interiors books, anything goes when it comes to finding inspitation. Though looking at the stack on my bedside table  – Treasure Island, Celia Birtwell, Bringing Nature Home, English Country House Interiors, V&A Patterns for Papers, Colour, The Reluctant Gardener, English Decoration.
Magazines that inspire me: Again, I’ll let my bedside table tell me. British Vogue, House & Garden, US Elle Décor, Vanity Fair, The World of Interiors, Kinfolk, Grazia
My favourite room at home is: The Conservatory- after years of scratching our heads and wondering what to do with it, I finally had the brainwave to install a bookshelf down one full side, where before it just had this weird ledge (for a spider plant collection?). I’ve filled it with books and it now adds a weight and more of a purpose to the room. We’ve put a lovely table on one side for working and eating at and  arm chairs on the other for relaxing. We flung the doors wide open during summer and it was almost as if we were outside, just perfecting the heating aspect of it now winter is upon us as we still want to spend all of our time in there. It’s where everybody gravitates to when they visit.
The Conservatory.
My office is: At Ben Pentreath Ltd, an Aladdins cave in the basement of the shop filled to the gunnels, sometimes I wonder if I won’t be crushed by falling enamel ware and dinner candles.

For Bridie Hall at Homeit’s the kitchen table, I keep meaning to find a studio but I love the idea of world domination at the kitchen table, that’s where my grandmother taught me that it happened.
What am I looking forward to: Seeing how Ben Pentreath Ltd and Bridie Hall at Home grow and develop in the years to come. Ben and I have come such a long way in the four years since we opened the shop. We are always looking for new directions to take things. I feel lucky to say I’m looking forward to everything.

You can follow Bridie Hall and Ben Pentreath on Twitter (for Bridie go here, or Ben Pentreath go here.) Or just check out their cool websites Bridie Hall and Ben Pentreath (hover over the names to link through).

Decoupage plates from Bridie Hall at Home.
All photographs are used with permission from Bridie Hall.