Category: peep show: funky interiors

Peep show: Henry and Carolyn’s little shepherd’s hut

A few weekends ago I decided to get out of London and head to the countryside in search of fresh air and something new. Arriving at a little campsite consisting of a small wigwam, shepherd’s hut, compost loo and outdoor bath, nestled in the garden of English B&B owners Henry and Carolyn, I felt I had fulfilled my goal.

Based in Lower Buckton, just outside Ludlow, the little campsite is about as idyllic as they come. Henry and Carolyn have lived in their house for years, which they run as a B&B, but only recently decided to add the campsite as an extra source of income. The shepherd’s hut was found locally and over time they have filled it with various eclectic bits and bobs – pots, pans, retro crockery and vintage trunks. Space is scarce but they have managed to fit a little wood burner to keep you snug at night.

Aside from Carolyn’s fresh bacon sandwiches and homemade apple juice delivered, as quiet as a mouse, to the doorstep in the morning (she is quite the foodie and does cooking weeks as well), and the gentle plodding of their two horses around the camp in the early morning, my favourite element was without a doubt the outdoor bath, heated from underneath with logs, if only one had the patience to wait for them to work.

I didn’t.

Peep show: Trasierra, Andalusia

Last week I was lucky enough to join lovely Charlotte Scott, British interior designer turned indomitable hotel owner , and her fun-loving progeny in their dreamy family home -cum-hotel, Trasierra, perched in the Sierra Norte just over an hour’s drive from Seville.

The house is breathtaking, and the result of years and years of love and hard work from Charlottle and her family, who have slowly but surely transformed it from a crumbling ruin with no running water into a dream world of rustic mayhem and unbridled natural beauty… with swallows nesting in the old chapel and Luna the donkey plodding happily around in the sprawling grounds. So powerful is the charm of the place that an inexplicable number of stray dogs turn up at the gates each year to stake their very own spot.

Nestled in a rambling 350 acre estate, parts of the house date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, while the rest has slowly been built up along the years. Until 150 years ago it was a winegrowing estate, and then, until the mid forties,  a thriving olive estate – evidence of which is still present today in the giant olive pots dotted haphazardly around.

When the Scotts stumbled upon it in the seventies it had been abandoned for forty years and they gradually restored it and installed electricity, phone lines and the rest. Each year, a new room or nook or cranny has been added or excavated and it continues to grow, organically, into the unkempt Andalusian surroundings.

The interior style is a unique fusion of English tradition and unfussy Mediterranean charm. Warm cornflower blues, in their masses, stand out against great whitewashed walls, punctuated with hand woven baskets, huge terracotta bowls brimming with lemons and other eclectic finds from around the world. Travelling often to India, Charlotte has a weakness for colourful textiles and antique trinkets… One that I cannot help sharing.

It’s hard to pick one, and the converted chapel above is a hot contender, but my favourite room has to be the bedroom below, whose hallway is bathed in an electric blue light from a pane of coloured glass in the ceiling. Strewn with old animal hides and every shade of blue imaginable, it is another world entirely.

Trasierra occupies a truly unique space somewhere between cosy family house and luxurious boutique hotel – and anyone who can should go and check it out. It is brimming with bohemian character and charm, and nature is waiting at every turn. Factor in yoga and hill walking with Charlotte’s youngest daughter Amber and dangerously good food by her sister Gioconda, and you may never come back.

Peep show: The Colour Purple

Papal, regal, seductive, exotic, noble, electric, psychedelic, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk…

Whatever it means to you, you have to dig purple.

Peep show: white rooms

Obsessing over the imminent decoration of my little loft, which is currently a rather grubby shade of white, I have spent most of my time recently pondering the merits of off-white versus chiffon white versus misty white versus stone white… and so on.

No one warned me how many shades of white there are and how impossible it seems to be to find The One. So while I wait for my carefully chosen samples to make their way to me, I thought I’d turn elsewhere for some white inspiration:

white rooms

white bedroom

white bedroom

white room

The third room above makes my heart sing. Oh for a pair of elephants to guard the foot of my bed.

Images via Apartment Therapy; Cococozy; Country Living; Channel 4; HGTV; A daily dose of design.

Peep show: Zach Motl’s tiny apartment

zach motle brooklyn apartment

Zach Motl’s magnificent Brooklyn apartment has caught the eye of a fair few publications, including the New York Times and The Neotraditionalist.

Zach has created one of the quirkiest, most stylish homes I have seen in a while out of a mere 178 square feet. This is one tiny room.

He rents the Brooklyn studio and was not technically given permission to make any alterations but, with some guts, guile and an eye to die for, he has turned it into one of the most desirable bachelor pads in New York.

zach motl apartment

Zach says he has always been into collecting things, and one look at these pictures confirms his tendency to gather and cluster whatever takes his fancy, from Marc Jacbos wellies to antique tennis racquets. Compulsive hoarders like myself will take great comfort from this.

zach motle kitchen apartment

It is knowing where to put one’s endless stream of things that is the key to stylish digs, and Zach’s thoughtful and carefully-planned placement of his bits and bobs mean that they add character to the room instead of looking just plain messy. There’s not a storage box in sight.

My favourite part has to be the mini kitchen. (Although Zach confesses he rarely actually cooks anything because the last time he tried to make onion soup the whole place smelled of it for four days).

Images via the New York Times

Peep show: Amanda’s Tudor manor house

Based just outside Oxford, Amanda has lived in this idyllic Tudor house since she was a child, inheriting it from her parents as a young adult. To me, the style is the perfect balance between  shabby chic and old-school English grandeur, and totally unique in its mishmash of influences, with candlelit altars sitting happily alongside antique buddha statues and fluorescent Mexican carvings.

The oak room, pictured above, is typical of Amanda’s style – an eclectic mix of furniture draped in antique textiles, with lots of exposed wood for a rough, natural edge. Amanda has collected textiles and trinkets from her many travels over the years, from faded cushion covers to giant Indian quilts, and the house is dotted all over with little altar-like tables, brimming with candles and fresh flowers.

Peep show: paint the town red

red bedroom elle decor

I have always naturally avoided red both in my wardrobe and my home. But lately it seems to be popping up all over the place and I have come to think that this is no bad thing:

red bathroom and red bedroom

laura ashley red room

Images via Elle Decor, Apartment Therapy, Ideal Home and Laura Ashley.

Sceptics like myself should probably start with just a cushion or two. Some ideas for Spring:

red flower cushion and mug, john lewis

red ice cream bowl and stars cushion

Clockwise from top: flower cushion, £30, John Lewis; Sanderson mug, £6, John Lewis; Stars cushion, £15, Aspace; Ice cream bowl, £6.99, Corvus

Peep show: Anthropologie Kings Road

anthropologie kings rd

I came over all wistful and nostalgic when I saw that age-old Antiquarius on the Kings Road was closing down.

But I got over it as soon as I heard that Anthropologie – who can’t put a foot wrong right now – were revamping the space.

I think it looks amazing, and will be a great source of inspiration for young London homemakers. The highlight for me, which unfortunately lost its lustre in the photos, is a miniature greenhouse filled with white and purple hyacinths. One sniff and you’re in retail heaven.

If you haven’t made it to the new store, here are the best bits.

anthropologie kings rd

anthropologie kings rd

anthropologie kings rd

anthropologie kings rd

Never before have I lusted after a frilly apron.

Peep show: eclectic bedrooms

As I am moving flat soon (fingers crossed), I woke up today in urgent need of inspirational shots, before all my ideas become too muddled and I lose all direction. I thought I would share my top three with you – a winning mixture of modern luxury and ragged charm.

orange pastel bedroom by elle decor

elle decor bedroom

elle decor bedroomImages via pointclickhome

For inspirational bedroom furniture that stands the test of time, look for something interesting yet versatile – the options are endless.

Peep show: Sophie Conran’s countryside Temple

Sophie Conran does it all – she bakes, she writes, she arranges flowers, she designs porcelain, cutlery, and she’s a mum on top of that. And she does it all so well.

She has recently added another string to her bow with Temple Guiting – a countryside retreat in the Cotswolds where you can go and cook shoot clay pigeons, eat yummy food or do whatever takes your fancy. Here is a peek inside the converted barn, which Sophie did up herself. It has a laid back but luxurious vibe, and I particularly like the exposed brick wall.

temple guiting bedroom

temple guiting sitting room