Blog, book review, Book Reviews

Pretty Pastel Style

Decorating interiors with pastel shades by Selina Lake

published by RPS £19.99

I have read and reviewed quite a few Selina Lake’s books, and I admit I love them. They all have one thing in common they are fantastically styled and beautifully shot.

I picked this book up in a thrift shop, and like her other books, this one is lovely to look at. It has been written by Joanna Simmons, a well-known interior journalist, and photographed by Catherine Gratwicke.

At the time the book was written, 2013, pastels were enjoying a comeback. We are not talking sugary pinks of little girls bedrooms but something much more subtle.

         According to the book’s blurb, In Pretty Pastel Style, Selina Lake shows you how to use this truly versatile colour palette to create beautiful spaces that are feminine without being girlie, colour-rich without being garish.

The book first walks you through the Elements of the look including, modern pastels and vintage pastels. It also shows creativity in craft projects.

Details are also shown with pretty images of cleverly juxtaposed flowers, interior accessories and textiles. Interiors are explored to including individual items of furniture and whole rooms. So having read the book, I come away not exactly raving about it. I think it has more style than substance. However, because of its beauty, it is a book that will sit on my coffee table in all its prettiness, and that I guess is what coffee table books are about!

Blog, book review, Book Reviews

Want a fun sewing book with a difference? CHLOE TELLS YOU HOW TO SEW

I have been reviewing practical books for over 25 years and used to review for the magazine Inspirations back in the day. I think it is a pity that books are now sold in the same way as other items, such as clothes and groceries, with a short shelf life. With the Great British Sewing Bee being very much on our minds I think this book deserves a second look, it is fun, practical and original.

Textile artist Chloe Owens http://chloeowens.com/is inspired by all things vintage, and much of her work is made from 1960’s fabrics. She is also a lover of annuals, that she read as a child. Their brightly coloured illustrations, and instructions mixed in with activities, puzzles and games has been a major influence in the design of this book.

Make a headdress – great for a summer festival

Instead of a run of the mill craft book, Chloe has ingeniously made an annual complete with games: follow the thread, strings and needles, lotto.

Cat basket with a difference

 Included are translations of rhyming slang, for example: Bangers- “bangers and mash” (sausages and mashed potato)=cash. As with the best of annuals it has many illustrators, so that each project is almost like a mini book in its own right. Each project starts with a witty heading or a pun, so a reclaimed chair is called ‘The best seat in the house’.

‘She’s a pin board wizard’ pin board is taken from the song of the same name from The Who’s ‘Tommy’ album. Many of the projects are written as if a friend or animal has made them and so they take the comic book form in both layout and story line. The result of all this is a very busy looking, book of fun.

How to re-upholster a sewing box to make a cat bed

I like the way Chloe writes, her instructions are clear and she encourages you to have a go! This is a hip book, full of diverse projects, and lovely photographs by the late Claire Richardson. Projects range from felt biscuits to soft toy animals, a very cute baby dress and some furniture projects and home accessories. Amongst my favourite projects is “A must have for the modern man”, the deluxe felt beard, now with optional moustache. I am not sure if I will be sporting it just yet but when the chilly autumn winds blow you never know.

Make your own winter warmer -a beard

by Chloe Owens  http://chloeowens.com/Published by Cico Books http://www.rylandpeters.com/ourshop/craft at £14.99

Blog, book review, Book Reviews

IN THE MOOD FOR COLOUR

PERFECT PALETTES FOR CREATIVE INTERIORS BY HANS BLOMQUIST

In the Mood for Colour is the latest book by  Hans Blomquist, one of the masters of interior styling  and art direction. In this book he recounts his story of colour, The book is full of  fabulous images not unlike those of Sibella Court in content, but much more colourful.

The book opens with A World Full of Colour, a mosaic of images from around the world. It is then divided into the following chapters, Dark, Pale, Natural, Soft and Bold.

Each chapter gives the reader a feast of colourful  images  that illustrate ways to bring colour into interiors.

The mantra running through out both the text and the images is that the most successful use of colour in interiors is they are all ‘designed by nature’. This is a personal account of Han’s relationship with colour, and his response to the different colours is engaging and particularly so when he discusses how his mood responds to different colours.

I once attended a talk on colour by the late Jean Muir. She described how she always chose the colours for her collections by looking at nature. So it is not just interior designers that look to nature for their colour palette, but fashion designers too. This was somewhat of a surprise for me as she always wore navy, however I digress.

Han’s delightful schemes show ways of using colour with imaginative names like Pistachio, Duck Egg and Faded Denim. He hints that this layering of tones and hues engages all the senses.

 In the Mood for Colour , is full of still life and dream like  compositions. It is an invaluable tool for anyone wanting to find ways to use colour to create confident colourful interiors. It is also just a beautiful book to own.

IN THE MOOD FOR COLOUR Perfect palettes for creative interiors

Hans Blomquist

Published by Ryland Peters & Small £19.99