My Colour Consultation with Farrow and Ball

If you, like me, have ever felt totally overwhelmed by paint charts, spent far too much money and too much time testing various (and usually pretty identical) colours on your walls, ordered the wrong amounts, or just simply got the choices so completely wrong and had to end up repainting entirely… Then, breathe easy folks… Farrow and Ball have got you!

Having experienced the aforementioned paint frustrations more times than I wish to remember, I was determined that my boyfriend, whilst coming to the end of a long and tiring house renovation, was not to have this last and final hurdle be a stressful one.  Although we both had some ideas for what colours we thought might work on each floor and room (mine perhaps being the less subtle of preferences, unshockingly…) I suggested we get a Farrow and Ball in-home colour consultation to give us both some guidance and some peace of mind on this frequently daunting mission!

Walls:  Farrow and Ball Green Smoke , with  Strong White  skirting boards and doors. 
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Within one hour of Scott our colour consultant arriving at the house, during which time he speedily analysed both the structural detailing and lighting plan of the house, and listened patiently to our haphazard thoughts, he had brilliantly helped us devise an entire paint scheme to fit both the house and our lifestyle using some of the 132 beautifully rich Farrow and Ball shades.  

We decided on Farrow and Ball's Green Smoke for the hallway (above), using Strong White for the skirting boards and doors.  In a room that is used more as a walk way than a living space, you can afford to be a little bit more dramatic and daring with your choices.

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To compliment the Green Smoke, we chose Farrow and Ball's French Grey, which we moved into halfway up the stairwell at a natural divide, and then throughout the sitting room. This is a particularly calming colour, and it has a really chic feel to it.

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We decided on painting some of the kitchen cabinetry in Farrow and Ball's Smoke Green, which once more created a real synergy and flow between each floor.  

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Whether you're veering towards the subtle or the statement, the Farrow and Ball consultants understand the particular way each paint responds to light throughout the day, and which colours and textures combine to achieve the perfect, unique scheme for your home. 

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Scott's advice was decidedly helpful when deciding on the master bathroom colours, as the light changes so dramatically in there throughout the day. We chose Inchyra Blue for the cabinets, which is inspired by dramatic skies (much like the usual view from the bathroom window!) which when contrasted with Farrow and Ball's Cornforth White, a magically versatile grey'ish tone, and the bathroom's dark wooden floors and herringbone white marble, creates a wonderfully intimate space. 

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Following up from our consultation with Scott, we received a colour fan deck with our choices and the all-important quantities of paint required to complete each room. During a time when our minds were already pickled with light switch and cabinetry handle decisions (the last few months of last year were beyond rock'n'roll, can you tell?!), having this expert and invaluable help from Farrow and Ball, and being able to confidently make our paint order, took a huge weight of our shoulders, and is worth the investment many times over! 

Now, if only Farrow and Ball did carpet consulations…

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In collaboration with Farrow and Ball

Photography: Ella Sadika

Hair:  Taylor Taylor London

Nails:  Sophie Gass

Thomas Sabo's Generation Charm Club

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From the Babylonians to Queen Victoria, the collecting and wearing of charms to commemorate milestones and honour cherished memories has been one of the most enduring of jewelry styles. When I was at school (alongside the Babylonians, it now feels!) all the coolest of cats in my class had charm bracelets dripping with trinkets; the Eiffel Tower, precious sparkly dogs reminding them of their own… Fast forward just a feeeeew years this chaaarming trend is back with a bang.

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Today, Thomas Sabo launches their Generation Charm Club, releasing an abundance of chic, beautifully detailed charms which can easily clip on to our existing Thomas Sabo necklaces and bracelets. I was amazed at the variety available and was excited to pick pieces and that were unique only to me.   

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What I really love about these charms is how easily you can switch up the combinations of what you wear, depending on how you feel.  Whether you want to wear just one, or many charms together, or in this maximalist magpie's case, layer up a few chains of differing lengths with several charms together, for a bohemian, 70's feel.  

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I was particularly drawn to the more celestial Thomas Sabo charms, immediately gravitating towards the moons, stars and zodiac charms (although, should I really be advertising that I'm a Scorpio?!)  The Vintage Moon and Star pendant, combined with the Star Mother of Pearl pendant reminded me of stargazing on my rooftop back at home in Watamu, Kenya. 

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Although I only prefer to wear mostly yellow gold, the current trend is to mix your metals, and I can really see myself embracing this idea through incorporating some silver and rose gold charms.

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I obviously had to have a charm of my initial (love me a 'K' anything!) and with a trip to Joshua Tree coming up next month, I feel I might commemorate this with a gold cactus charm... Watch this space! 

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In collaboration with Thomas Sabo
Photography: Ella Sadika
Hair: Taylor Taylor London  
Nails: Sophie Gass

FitFlop x Habitat for Humanity

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I moved to my flat in Notting Hill three years ago, after a short but tumultuous period of bouncing around from house to flat, and at one point, hotel room to friend’s sofas. Although still an ongoing process, slowly making this little one-bedroom flat, with its creaky black floor boards and New York loft style exposed brick and sky lights, my own, has been a total joy. Saving up for things has taken time, and in some cases, some extreme willpower (fixing windows over buying new shoes, for instance, takes the strength of an ox…!) and the arrival of my long-lusted after jade velvet sofa of dreeeeeams this month, just in time for my impending hibernation, has been a triumph.

My bathroom is covered in Matthew Williamson for Osborne and Little butterfly wallpaper, my wardrobe, in House of Hackney colobus monkeys, and Jo Malone candles and photographs of my beloved niece Safari Willow and nephew Zac cover most of the surfaces. Monkey book ends, giant coral prints, a Rosanna Lonsdale zebra lamp, and my framed Guy Malin leopard balloon photograph all remind me of where I’m from in Africa.  Stepping into my flat after a crazy day whizzing around London, throwing off my boots, popping on my slippers and attacking some Jaffa Cakes, makes me feel calm, cosy, and safe…

Basically, I feel at home. 

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I know, the word LUCKY springs to mind. Especially when one in five people across the world are living in slums or substandard housing, propelling them into a grinding cycle of poverty. When someone lacks a home, their health, well-being, educational prospects and ability to earn a living all become affected. 

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With this in mind, FitFlop are supporting Habitat for Humanity this year, a global non-profit organisation which helps build homes for families in need around the world, offering them strength, stability and self-reliance through much-needed shelter. 20% from each purchase of a pair of FitFlop House Slippers, in all their cloud-like double shearling and fluffy pom pom glory, is made to Habitat for Humanity

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Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has worked tirelessly to provide access to decent housing for families in over 70 countries. From building homes and providing villages with clean drinking water, to natural disaster relief and micro-finance, this organisation have amazingly helped over 10 million people worldwide.

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The FitFlop House Slippers are available in two different colour ways, and I was immediately drawn to the charcoal grey pair with midnight blue pom poms. Not only have I practically not taken them off, but several of my friends have already gone and bought themselves a pair after seeing mine. With Christmas fast approaching, these make the perfect ‘Buy to Give’ present… Even if that present miiiight be to yourself… Hey, no one’s judging here! 

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Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, this pair of beyond comfortable, limited edition LOVE Slippers also see 20% from each sale go to support Habitat for Humanity’s life-changing work. What’s not to LOOOOOOVE, huh?!

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 “At FitFlop, people put their hearts and souls into making the world’s best ergonomic footwear, because they believe that if you want to live an inspired life, you’ve got to start with a great foundation.  And while a great pair of shoes will improve your life, a safe decent home is the ultimate foundation.” 

Marcia Kilgore, Founder of FitFlop.

 

“We’re really excited to be partnering with FitFlop on this venture. Both of our organisations are passionate about making a sustainable difference and FitFlop’s vision for solid foundations aligns perfectly with ours.”

Naomi Rothwell, Habitat for Humanity GB Corporate Partnerships Manager

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In collaboration with FitFlop

Photography: Francis Davison

Hair and Makeup: Secret Spa

#FITFLOPxHABITATFORHUMANITY 

Kiki McDonough's Jemima Collection

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If there is one thing I share in common with London-based jeweller Kiki McDonough, aside from us both clearly being magpies, its our love of COLOUR. Kiki’s kaleidoscopic use of gemstones, coupled with her amazing eye for detail, result in the most stunning statement pieces you’ll triumphantly treasure for maaaaany years to come.  

With a father and grandfather both involved in the antique jewellery industry, jewellery design might have seemed an obvious route for Kiki McDonough to have taken. However, at this time, there were very few people designing everyday investment pieces, ones which could be worn everyday, and for any occasion.  Designing show-stopping yet wearable designs soon became Kiki’s aim, and this more modern view of jewellery, alongside her love of unique, bold colour combinations, soon placed Kiki at the forefront of British jewellery design, a pedestal where she has comfortably perched for over thirty years.  

The idea of wearing your most precious jewels, your ‘Sunday Best’ sparklers, on a random Tuesday, with jeans and a ‘just ‘cos’ attitude, appeals to me hugely.  Not to be too fatalistic, but given we never know what is just around the corner, why save the enjoyment of wearing our most beloved possessions for such rare occasions? I used to save certain dresses and shoes for special events, and now I basically do the washing up in ball gowns! Likewise, Kiki McDonough’s spectacular jewels are without doubt meant to be cherished, but they are also meant to be worn – and on all occasions!

The theme of this contemporary opulence has extended into Kiki McDonough’s latest Jemima Collection, designed in collaboration with their ambassador, Jemima Jones. Inspired by their mutual love of Rome, taking inspiration from the city’s beautiful architecture, culture, style and history, this collection is characterised by the the Ancient Roman’s everyday use of striking patterns and colourful gemstones.

Being able to adorn myself one afternoon in Kiki McDonough's striking Jemima Collection was beyond a pleasure! The designs comprise four chunky rings, six chain bracelets, six pairs of earrings, and nine pendants, all in beautifully contrasting and unique gemstone variations, including Lemon Quartz, Green Amethyst, Lavender Amethyst, Blue Topaz and White Topaz. There is definitely a style to suit everyone, but being the maximalist I am, I couldn’t just stop at just one… My initial response was to stack various combinations of these beauties all together, which I wore for a sunny afternoon wander about my Notting Hill neighbourhood, to Albert’s Club (below) later that evening, and for some very bleary eyed meetings the next day…!  The results were all equally as breath taking.

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Yes, these Kiki McDonough pieces do push the usual self-imposed spending boundaries of my ‘treat ‘yo’self’ guidelines (the Jemima Collection is upwards of £1900.00) but when you consider the amount of wear (and compliments) each piece will garner over the years, I feel decidedly more confident of recommending these investments.  So yeah, go on, treat yo’self (and me, please...?! Merci, mon cheri!)

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The Jemima Collection is available to buy online, and from Kiki McDonough’s flagship Chelsea shop.

In Collaboration with Kiki McDonough

Notting Hill Photographs:  Ella Sadika

South Kensington Photographs: Eva Salvi 

Hair:  Taylor Taylor London

Nails:  Sophie Gass

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(Click on the images for direct links)

Graham and Green Design Consultation

I have long been a BIG fan of Graham and Green, and after I moved into my new flat there was very little question in my mind over who to contact for some interior inspo.  Since 1974 the company has been well known for specialising in characterful, yet contemporary, furniture and home accessories. Quirky and frequently ethnic, there are always dozens of items available at any one time that Graham and Green have available which I would very happily home all fitting in with my own eclectic style and wanderlust.

After having a Graham and Green interior stylist visit my flat and take some measurements, we soon decided the flat’s style was ‘industrial chic with a twist of romance’ (I love that!)  The stylist then went to work on creating the perfect mood board for me, recommending particular Graham and Green items that would work with for the flat.  Visiting the Graham and Green showroom, a veritable Aladdin’s cave, to view my mood boards and many of the items suggested in the flesh, was a delight.  Not only were there macaroons and Moroccan mint tea, I loved seeing so many of the brand’s gorgeous items en masse and displayed in concept rooms, guided by the ultra charming and helpful team. 

Below:  I decided to choose some stunning, and impactful, orange coral art for my blank canvas of a sitting room and a long black mirror (frequently seen on my Instagram in my outfit selfies!)  for my hallway, matching my black wooden floors.  All these items work so well in my flat and have really set the bench mark for the rest of my interiors… which is the problem; shopping at Graham and Green is addictive!

Below are some of my current Graham and Green favourites…

Above: L-R (Clockwise):  Beaded Antique MirrorsCopper Angled Floor LampBees Wine GlassThree Flamingos MatchboxAntoinette Armchair and Footstool in HerringboneBahama CushionCactus VaseCoral Framed PrintsSet of 7 Decorative Ceiling Roses.

For a Graham and Green interior's consultation or advice contact showroom@grahamandgreen.co.uk

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All She Wants for Christmas 2013

We all know that most men fear, dread and loathe shopping so rather than ‘accidentally’ flambéing him instead of the Christmas Pudding as thanks for that last minute, delightfully flammable red underwear he left for you under the tree (“but it’s festive!”) may I suggest you help the poor fella out this year by kindly leaving this page open on his desktop…!  

Above (Clockwise) L-R: Kate: The Kate Moss Book  RRP. £50.00, Jonathan Adler’s Mr and Mrs Muse Mug at Amara  RRP. £24.30, Topshop Rasberry Bow Heels – RRP. £55.00, Anya Hindmarch Girlie Stuff Wash Bag  RRP. £95.00, Princess Tam Tam’s Folie Bra  RRP. £58.00

Above (Clockwise) L-R:  Dannijo Joanie Stud Earrings at Matches – RRP. £125.00, Topshop Collar Jacquard Dress – RRP. £75.00, Monica Vinader’s Gold Vermeil Stacking Rings - RRP. £50.00 - £100.00Anthropologie Lady Bugs Dinner Plate – RRP. £24.00, Anthropologie Multitude Hairbands – RRP. £14.00 

Above (Clockwise) L-R:  Smythson 'Shoe Queen' Leather Notebook at Matches - RRP. £38.00, Topshop Velvet Sequin Pencil Skirt – RRP. £42.00, ‘Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!’ at Amazon – RRP. £37.50 £23.25, Limited Edition Diptyque Candles at Space.NK RRP. £25.00 -£45.00. Graham and Green Ceramic Animal Boxes  RRP. £15.00 - £18.00 

Above (Clockwise) L-R: DVF Diane Von Furstenberg Lips-Print Iphone Cover - RRP. £30.00£21.00, Wilbur & Gussie’s Penny Clutch - £295.00, Soru’s Double Green Opal Ring in Gold RRP. £120.00, Beulah’s Shibani Shawl – RRP. £120.00 (10% from each Shabani shawl purchase goes to the UN’s Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking), Biscuiteers Nativity Biscuit Set  RRP. £35.00, Just Ballerinas’ Leopard Print Slippers  RRP. £139.00

Thank you to actresses Anna KendrickSienna MillerTara Summers and Ella Smith,  presenter Louise Roe and fashionistas Savannah MillerTanya Semikoz and Natasha Rufus Isaacs, for sharing with The London Chatter their 2013 Christmas wishes. xxxx