You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2011.

One of Livingetc’s go-to stylists, Sophie Brown, shares the things that make her smile and say ‘I must use that in a shoot some day…’

And, more specifically, animal figurines. I’ve just unpacked the last boxes in my new house and have been surprised by how many animal ornaments need to be found homes. They’re every where, from taxidermy birds, to owl moneyboxes to a Victorian knitted animal picture. I think this obsession comes from how fun, light hearted and friendly animals can make a room feel. I find that a hat stand made in the shape of deer – I also have this – is much more smile provoking and exciting than any other non-animal shaped one. They add an element of kitsch and a quirk to a shoot or house, yet don’t need to be overwhelming or too much of a statement.

Orange. I am going through a strong bright-orange phase at the moment. It crept into my life via a MAC lipstick and now is appearing everywhere in my thoughts. More specifically, a Seventies orange, I’ve boon buying original Seventies books and interiors catalogues from eBay. Giving great food for thought of why I think things are stylish or well put together and what is exactly that appeals to me in the images.

Paris. I have just returned from a short stint in the city and have come back with a notebook stuffed with ideas and inspiration. Its elegance and lifestyle is awe inspiring. From the delicious shades of the macaroons to the faded grandeur of the Rodin Museum, even the new Ralph Lauren store, sells you a French lifestyle that allows you dream of high ceilings and daily high teas. I think if you are feeling visually starved a day in Paris is what is needed.


These stuffed helium balloons are a bit of a joy aren’t they? All designers should make happy things, like Clémentine Henrion.

YiYing Wang is the designer, author and mastermind behind the curious creatures and friendly little monsters from the land of Noodoll. It is actually impossible not to fall in love with them and her. Fact.

How does your working day begin? I like to get up early, take a few deep breaths, watch the news, eat breakfast while checking emails, then head off to the studio.

And what’s your studio like? Books, Paper and toys everywhere… It’s a lovely space with a high ceiling – bright and airy, but it can be really cold in the winter. Last winter we had to put up a big marquee inside the studio which looked ridiculous! But we felt like we were camping everyday, it was fun and cosy. I also have a supersize custom-made table with smiling face on it, the colour and shape just cheers me up.

When you were creating the World of Noodoll as part of your masters at Saint Martins, where did your inspiration come from? I grew up in Taiwan where we eat noodles and rice on the daily basis. For my MA show, I wanted to create a cartoon town where eastern and western culture mix and I needed a medium to link everything together. Somehow the flexibility of noodles came into my mind because it’s like a drawing line, you can form any shape… Or maybe I was just hungry and craving for noodles!

When did you feel like the characters were truly coming to life? The moment I design them they are alive, I would imagine what they say and how they behave, and start having conversations with them. (I’m not mad!)

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These images and brilliant pieces of furniture are just a glimpse of the 800 or so items on display in The Musée National de la Marine in Paris, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch of The France, French Lines’ flagship ocean liner. The only way to travel in the early Sixties…

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Monday night’s guestlist-only event at The Saatchi gallery was a massive hit – around 700 of our gorgeous readers headed to Chelsea to see the Newspeak: British Art Now exhibition, sip some champagne and listen to a talk by Saatchi curator Patricia Ellis.

We’re already discussing future happenings with the gallery, so keep an eye on the magazine’s Londonetc news pages, sign up to Livingetc’s email newsletter or follow the magazine on Twitter (as well as this blog’s Twitter) to secure your invitation.

We love these things sold at Bath emporium Found. Sweet things, pretty things, fabulous things…

1. Epice Text Print scarf; 2. EM Blade ring (see also the Thorn ring); 3. Caged Crystal pendant; 4. Annie’s Apple Cake tea towel; 5. Epice Optical scarf. 6. Wing Jiji necklace.

New Natural Home by Dominic Bradbury with photographs by Richard Powers is an inspiration bible celebrating the very best in planet-friendly architecture, and is just the thing for those building from scratch or anyone looking to up the eco-credentials of their home. Or, if you’re doing neither it’s just a really beautiful book to delve in to.

Fresh from Ikea’s blog, Livet Hemma, are these two Rast chest of drawers, one transformed by the grey scale, one in decoupage…

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Thanks to The Designer Pad for sharing this tres fabulous home.

If you love Anthropologie‘s eclectic style, then its new decorator shop in the King’s Road store will be exciting news. It’s sort of like a creative workshop, with everything you need to build your finished room – floor to ceiling and all the bits in between – plus swatch books, design books, magazines and regular classes with experts. As well as lots of gorgeous Anthropologie goodies, you’ll find designs by Cole & Son, Catherine Martin, Tracy Kendall, Stephanie Webb and the emerging design collective, Custhom.

Pop along to the launch day on 27 March, when the ever-charming Emily Chalmers, author of Modern Vintage Style and owner of London shop Caravan will be offering design consultations, and Custhom will be screen printing postcards that you can take home with you.

As the team behind Livingetc, the UK’s leading magazine for modern interiors, we’re always out and about, scouting for inspiration. And when we see something that makes our design minds flutter with joy, we’ll share it with you here. To purchase the digital version of the magazine, click here.

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