Blog, book review, Book Reviews

Bowerbird

Creating beautiful interiors with the things you collect

By Sibella Court

This book was published a couple of years ago and it is one of those I love to go back to time and again as a visual source book.

In BOWERBIRD, Sibella reveals her approach to collecting and collections. She shows how to procure the elements of a collection, how to organize and store them, and how to display them in creative and ever-changing ways. With the help of BOWERBIRD, you will view your belongings in a whole new way.

What is a bowerbird?

‘A bowerbird is an Australian native bird that builds a reed-y ground nest and goes to extraordinary lengths to decorate it with ‘stolen’ goods and found objects such as shells, bones, pegs and shiny milk caps. I have been referred to as a bowerbird, and like to think of myself as a finder, keeper & curator of collections & beautiful things.’ Sibella Court

Bowerbird is an exquisite inspirational book of beautifully styled selected and collated collections. As the author says

‘Think of each chapter as its own Cabinet of Curiosities. Although my ‘collections’ are loosely tied and not dictated by discipline as a museum cabinet may be, I like to consider all objects as significant and of equal importance regardless of rarity, value or acquirement. They are based on memory, relationship, experience, ‘the find’, the hunt and location.’

Sibella shows you how easy it is to create an emotive interior, to be surrounded by the things you love & treasure, and make any environment a reflection of you. By looking at the collections in the book she is hoping it will inspire you to start your own collections.

Collecting & fossicking

‘As a bowerbird, I do get fixated on things and enjoy the focus it brings to shopping expeditions and forages through markets. I have never tired of this, and have a love of early morning jambon baguettes & cafe au lait whilst scouring & scrambling the trestle tables and back of vans at Porte de Vanves or other such markets, finding treasures & pre-loved goods: textiles, porcelain, lampshades, ephemera, tableware, stylist-wares, cutlery, small furniture pieces and other flotsam & jetsam’.

Objects can be found in many places from beaches and forests to shops, markets, dealers, auctions, sidewalks the internet and friends.Be prepared to be on the lookout. Different things can motivate you with collecting; it may be the space you are in, it may be a certain period of history or new ideas, or a visit to a museum, historic house or gallery.

The book opens with a chapter called Toolbag & Tacklebox

These items are the basic tools & tackle you’ll need to help you organize & display your collections. They are collections within themselves.

They are utilitarian, beautiful in their simplicity and can add to your display – and include the hand-forged exposed nail your art hangs from, vessels en masse to house your natural history finds, lead pencils sharpened with knives to write on your labels and walls, glass domes to create your mini 3D worlds, the perfect string to holdup flags, kites, lights & anything else that needs to hang, as well as all different types & colours of tape.

The other chapters in the book are divided into the following categories, beach combing, objects trouve, zoologie/entomology, tinctures, apothecary &alchemy, smiths & tinkers draper & mills, ephemera, honest & humble, oddities & curiosities, magic, tricks & lucky dips and finally where she sources her collections and the books she looks to for inspiration.

The images are beautifully shot by Sibella’s brother Chris Court.

Published in the UK by Hardie Grant

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