Thursday, 17 April 2014

wish list: spring bags

Junya Watanabe Leater-Trimmed Flower-Print Canvas Backpack from MR PORTER.
WANT Les Essentials de la Vie Orly Leather and Canvas Tote Bag from MR PORTER.
Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack in Warm Yellow from I Love My Kanken.

Image: Three Sunflowers in a Vase by Vincent Van Gogh.

in the press... grazia 14/04/2014

hockney dreams

A new addition to the walls at home - this fabulous Hockney poster from a 1988 exhibition at the Met. (The exhibition closed almost exactly a year before I was born!) Resting above our 40s Italian bar cabinet, we chose a bright yellow frame to compliment both the poster itself and our freshly painted dark green walls. I love the overall effect, especially with the added palm tree candlesticks, pink candles and pineapple ice bucket. It's a pretty tropical corner. We've got a few extra things for the sitting room on their way - a new mustard velvet sofa, marbled paper lamp shades and an Arts and Crafts side table. Photographs to follow shortly!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

cushions by luke edward hall

I'm very excited about my first collection of cushions which I am launching this spring (I've spoken about this new venture previously here and here). Visit my newly created Facebook page by clicking on the image below for details and updates. (You can also follow me on Instagram - @lukeedwardhall and Twitter - /lukeedwardhall.) Handmade in England from linen with a contrasting silk trim, each cushion has been embroidered with an illustration inspired by nature and the classical world.

All cushions from my first collection are available to order from my online shop. New designs and colourways coming soon - watch this space!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

art on a thursday

The Snail by Henri Matisse.

After 1948 Matisse was prevented from painting by ill health but, although confined to bed, he produced a number of works known as gouaches découpées. These were made by cutting or tearing shapes from paper which had been painted with gouache.

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs opens at Tate Modern later this month. I can't wait!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

art, gardens and houses in sussex

We sped out of London early last Saturday morning; we were headed for Sussex and we'd arrived in Lewes by midday. After picking our friends up from the train station, we made our way over to the Ram Inn for lunch (we stayed here back in November, when we were in town for the infamous Lewes Bonfire). We'd come to Sussex first and foremost to visit Charleston, the country home of the Bloomsbury group. I've been banging on about Charleston for the past six months so it was delightful to finally be able to see it for myself, and on such a delicious spring day too... Photographs were banned inside the house but I managed to sneak just one of my favourite room - the light, bright studio shared by Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell.

Perhaps the best ever reason to close your folly garden?

I couldn't resist.

D. and I stayed at Pelham Hall on Saturday night - an absolutely charming bed & breakfast owned by ex-Londoners Chris and Matthew. The boys opened the doors to the Tudor house last October after a year and a half of hard work and renovations. I'd highly recommend the place; we stayed in the garden room (Phoenix). Importantly, they'll whip you up an excellent breakfast too.

Pelham Hall is the oldest house on the High Street in the village of Burwash, perched on a ridge overlooking the rolling hills of the Sussex weald, nestled between the North and South Downs.

On Sunday we visited Bateman's, Rudyard Kipling's 17th-century Jacobean house - all sandstone, mullioned windows and oak beams. The rooms, described by Kipling as 'untouched and unfaked', remain much as he left them, with oriental rugs and artefacts reflecting his association with the East. The wooded landscape in which the house sits is utterly perfect, so much so we really didn't want to leave.

After lunch we took off to Sissinghurst Castle - another place I'd been wanting to visit for some time. Sissinghurst's garden was created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West, poet and gardening writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. This is the panoramic view one is rewarded with after climbing to the top of the Elizabethan tower.

The gardens seemed to be on the verge of bursting into full bloom.

'Historic, poetic, iconic; a refuge dedicated to beauty.'

Incredible colour. A great weekend. Totally inspiring.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

stay gold

I am very, very excited about the new First Aid Kit record, Stay Gold, due for release on 10th June. Listen to an outtake from the album, My Silver Lining, below. It's a real step up, production-wise, for the Swedish duo's sound. Those beautiful strings give My Silver Lining a rich, cinematic feeling. It makes me dream of wide open roads and glowing sunsets.

Monday, 31 March 2014

petworth house

A couple of Saturdays ago we drove down to Hampshire to see my parents. We stopped off in Winchester for lunch and a quick wander around the meadows, markets and cathedral (we just managed to catch a choir rehearsing).

On the Sunday we woke early and headed off to Petworth in West Sussex, after dropping by the completely charming Horse Guards Inn in Tillington for lunch - potted crab, polenta and a ginger pudding. A good, lengthy lunch invariably has to come before any house visits, garden strolls or shopping in our household, and quite rightly so. We'd come to visit Petworth House, a 17th-century mansion which stands in a landscaped park designed by Capability Brown.

The building houses an important collection of paintings and sculptures, including nineteen oil paintings by J. M. W. Turner (some owned by the family, some by Tate Britain), who was a regular visitor to Petworth, and paintings by Van Dyck.

Spring sunshine was streaming in through countless windows; it was a glorious day.

The Deer in Petworth Park by J. M. W. Turner.

orange delight

This was taken at work last week, after I'd been painting a sample board using Afghan Tan from Papers and Paints. It's a possible colour choice for the kitchen walls in a country house that we've been working on. A delightful shade, wouldn't you agree?

For the last twenty five years, Patrick Baty has tried to build on the reputation and skills of his father, Robert, who founded Papers and Paints in 1960. The shop, a whirlwind of colour located just off the Fulham Road, is an absolute joy to spend time in. Whilst retaining the original concept of the shop, Patrick has developed the process of colour matching, and has computerised the archive of specially matched colours that he inherited from his father. The majority of Patrick’s time however is now spent as a historic paint consultant, sampling paint layers on buildings, bridges and architectural details. A life spent in fantastic colour.

You know what? I'm rather feeling orange at the moment. What about this pair of orange Wedgwood Pottery plates from 1stdibs?

Or, perhaps more realistically, this Beams Plus Cable-Knit Linen and Cotton-Blend Sweater from MR PORTER? Distilled happiness in clothing form.

These Clementine Dinner Candles from Pentreath & Hall might just do the trick.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

weekend reading

a good outfit for spring, from carven

I came across this spring/summer 2014 suit in the Carven shop on Pelham Street last week and became well and truly smitten. It's just the right side of boxy and the mint green colour is a dream; it screams spring. Not so keen on the sandals but I rather like the nude leather briefcase and socks too.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

art on a thursday

Abstract Painting by Vanessa Bell.

Vanessa Bell (1879–1961) was an English painter and interior designer, a member of the Bloomsbury Group and the sister of Virginia Woolf. Vanessa and Duncan Grant moved to the Sussex countryside shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, settling at Charleston Farmhouse. I'm going to be visiting the farmhouse next weekend after months of waiting for it to reopen for the season; I absolutely cannot wait.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

observer's books

I've wanted a collection of Observer's Books for some time. I can't remember when I first came across them, but I love their beautifully simple, colourful cloth covers with their perfectly subtle typography. The small, pocket-sized books were published between 1937 and 2003 and there are over 800 variations. These ones, the first in my collection, were published in the 60s and were picked up recently from one of my favourite bookshops, Slightly Foxed on Gloucester Road.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

a new shade of green

We've just had the walls in our sitting room at home painted a deep forest green - a vivid, deep shade somewhere between moss and emerald. We're having a new grey wooden floor installed next week too. The room is still a bit of a work in progress (piles of books all over the place, ladders propped against walls), but it's good to see our ideas coming together. We've been on the hunt for new artwork too - I bought these New Yorker covers from the 1980s illustrated by Pierre Le-Tan as Christmas presents for D. - we got them back from the framers last week. They're destined for the hallway I think, which we painted a bright pea green last year. We're big fans of green in all its various shades in this household. (Except perhaps lime...)