a casa corsa

photos of - valentines cards, pain au chocolat and croissants and good coffee, manboy and i, sunshine and sushi in bastia, archways and cobbles, a panorama of ile rousse's beach, favourite fizzy water, the artisan village: pigna, cats, cats, cats, and mountains aplenty. 

photos via manboy's phone.

it's not the size, it's what you do with it that counts.

please forgive the dreadful cliched title and the fact that i've not been posting as regularly, but manboy has been out to visit me in corsica and it's been just lovely! (he's also frightened of becoming a blog widower...)

full of sun, sand, sea and far too many pains au chocolat, we've also been chatting about his apartment and space saving (as well as our chalkboard paint, wire magazine baskets, and chilli-light plans), we were discussing how his kitchen/living/dining room is a little tight on space. 

naturally, i had to go and have a noodle on apartment therapy to see what they had to offer.

i found this:

it's actually a lot like manboy's apartment in terms of decor and colour scheme, except much better organised with regards to space. apart from the inevitable mason jar lust, i'm loving the cup hooks, and the wire baskets suspended from beneath the shelves. could be handy for spices/crockery? what do you think? 

also - a little self-indulgent moment - sit tight for snaps of ile rousse, valentines cards and CUSHIONS!

(image gratefully reproduced from apartment therapy - be sure to check the link, as it links to other sources for items designed to improve kitchen efficiency!)



ever walked into a shop and wished to the high heavens that you lived there?! i have this near-religious experience too often to count. not so much in corsica, admittedly, but still - edinburgh, aberdeen, or web-based, i still wind up falling in love. why shouldn't some of this design love translate to the home then, i wonder?

someone also please buy me all of native(x)'s products, please. please.

well, why not?

currently crushing on philadelphia store lodge215. on the stock, and on the way it's been displayed!! shoes and books? yes please. antler/vintage picture combination is also utterly charming. and that dresser?! phwoar. 

love the lacquered tray on the rusty wire top. the contrast is lovely, and gets points for being easy to clean. if you've got pretty toiletries (like those above), show them off. everything can be a design element.

more of a case of stock-crush than shop design here, but those cushions!!! (has anyone spotted my soft furnishings addiction yet?) the combination of red director's chair and stencil-style prints has me fantasising about what i can do to change up my flat's decor back home. 

an L.A. based store now, punch interieur, is a shop that specialises in "swanky antiques, home decor and furniture, hip vintage clothing and fun bits and gifts". they need to add "awesome displays and unique sense of style" to that list too.

gold shoes omfg. 

as well as having a delicious interior i want to live in, i'm also loving the stock (the two seem to go hand in hand...) pair gold shoes (without drooling) and gold espresso cups and you could have yourself a little bit of sunshine in a bitchin' display form.

sackcloth cushions, pink painted chairs, rustic wood, deer heads, birdcages. whimsy feminine chic - homegrown girl with an edge. so lovely. 

i think one of the reasons behind the charming displays found in stores is that everything has to be successfully shown off. nothing is too cluttered (or shouldn't be) and the eye is given pause. obviously no one wants to look like they're living in a showroom, but there are definitely pointers for displaying your bits and bobs that can be picked up from stores such as those shown above.

silk&burlap is my most recent store crush. divine antiques for the home and the wardrobe. the owners, saule and angelique (such beautiful names too!!) have got an amazing shared sense of style and this reflects not only in the look of their boutique, but also in the treasures on offer. 

(lodge215 images via their website, punch interieur's via apartment therapy, and silk&burlap via design mattters. all very gratefully reproduced)

are you too inspired by stores? what are your favourites? (anthropologie aside, of course...)


yummy yuppieness. not easy to say.

'yuppie' 'apartment' and 'envy' are not words i ever figured i'd type in conjunction, but this home created by shannon and aaron hase, owners of yuppie decor (yuppie, for me, has hugely awful connotations...) is just fantastic. i'm not sure i could live there, but i can definitely appreciate what they've done from a design point of view.

and who wouldn't want that stunning shower curtain?

a funny combination of colours that probably shouldn't work but something just makes it all hash together. kudos! i'm also lusting over the sink/dresser combination that the couple made themselves. want want want!!

everyone needs rusty nautical stars somewhere in their home, of this i have no doubt. manboy has just said that you see a lot of these stars all across the east coast of america.

liking the combination between the 18th century mongolian horse and union jack chair. another example of yuppie taste that shouldn't work but somehow does.

how do these people manage it!? check out the rest of the apartment therapy post for more photos here.


*lusty image overload commencing*

brought to my attention via apartment therapy, to theirs by a mr. conrad of the philadelphia-based streets dept. blog (dealing with style, art, and awesome), who is a contributing author to another philly-grown wonder: phrequency, where you can view ALL the photos from this incredible shoot - i am currently in interior design heaven. 

what a find - especially when this week i'm still burning hot on my "rough industrial theme". you're about to be inundated with beautiful, inspiring photos of a beautiful, inspiring home - housed in an unassuming building, entered by one of the best doors i have ever seen.

i am british through and through but the above (and the rest of this home, i might add) makes my heart pitter-patter with sheer pleasure. the owners, doub hanshaw and james david mahaffey have the most incredible sense of style, and the juxtapositions between modern and vintage, femininity and masculinity, open spaces and cosy atmosphere makes me dizzy. 

a cosy loft?! who'd have thought of that. it's neither sparse nor minimalist - hurrah! 

bathroom LOVE. (more a case of lust when it comes to the oriental screen at the bottom of this post) but WOW. lace tablecloth partition between bath and peeping toms? i can't think of anything more titillating than bathing by candlelight, with soft lace beside a body. just gorgeous - such a delicate way of creating separate spaces within a room. 

gumball machine? why not? i imagine brick walls are a motherflipper to attach paintings and posters to - so keep your art on the ground, you know? it's still going to look fantastic. 

iron bed frame, stone sink, long wooden trestle table. beautiful materials combined in such a harmonious fashion. i am now desperate for a myriad of shiny red balloons attached to my bed. i would be doing this now, but my bed here is really more of a mattress on a stand. *quiet sob*

entryways! exposed brick, leather stetsons, sheepskin bags. could there be a more divine combination?

there are just so many design elements about this place that make it a one-off. the bedroom is so soft and delicate with its gauzy walls and the clothing displayed out along the rail is a decoration in its own right (i have such a vibe going on back home, my mother commented that it was less a clothing rail and more a theatrical dress box...) and who wouldn't want a candlelit rough stone wet room with a projected clock on the wall?

this home really does speak to my heart - but what do you lot think about it? a cosy example of rough industrial - what a treat!! 


lofty heights and chalkboard paint

hey everyone!! tonight i'm going to write a little bit about a style i've never really lived in, but have always enjoyed - rough industrial. i've eaten my own weight in chorizo pizza tonight and something in it must have a good effect, because i'm feeling pretty inspired (although that might be because manboy and i have made exciting plans involving chalkboard paint - more to come on that one later!)

when i first discovered apartment therapy, it was their house tours that reeled me in. the first one to catch my eye was that of a one mr. james wurm, who, as far as i can deduce, feeds hungry bellies and builds shelves with serious style. the man appears to be a real enigma. 

but props to him regardless of mystique - his storefront is one of the finest examples of 'rough industrial' interior design. a lot of the time i see this particular style feature in loft apartments that cost too much to heat and is paired with fashionable minimalism - in other words, sharp lines and too much white.

(yes, even i think there can be such a thing as too much white!!)

what really strikes me about mr. wurm's storefront though, is that industrial here doesn't mean cold, or impersonal. it might be because i'm developing an unhealthy crush on that spice collection or that i have a real thing for fairy lights, but this kitchen, though a myriad of glass and wood and metal, still seems to say "welcome home".

in fact, a lot of the colour in the kitchen comes from the food stored there. the red of the chilli, the yellow bananas, those golden onions that look larger than my head... it's a refreshing break from the cool chrome and sleek glass that could otherwise feel cold and unfriendly. 

one white thing you can never have enough of though, and that's crockery. it should feel utilitarian, right? and perhaps it does, but everything so openly displayed instead soothes the eye away from all those wild hues on the shelves. almost minimalist, the vast collection of very basic white crockery is a design statement in itself - and indeed, a useful decoration too. 

if you haven't seen this house tour yet (and you should have!!) go and have a gander here. it's a little old in terms of the ever-updating content of the internet, but as mr. yves saint laurent said - "fashion fades: style is eternal."

all this industrialism then got me thinking about lovely exposed spaces and brick walls and lofty lofts and too much minimalism, and i began to wonder - how else could mr. wurm's rough industrial be interpreted? his storefront is very light and airy and spacious, but what if rough industrial was right up your street and you just didn't have the property to match?

i discovered a somewhat stylised solution over at livet hemma, the IKEA design blog. it has only been in recent years that i've truly come to appreciate IKEA (before i got my own place the only things i found interesting were the swedish meatballs and wriggly snakes) - and it's easy to forget the fantastic work that goes on behind the scenes. 

indeed, these kitchens all have a very streamlined, minimalist feel, but just unfinished enough to feel industrial. they look sturdy, and solid - not unappealingly so, but enough to endure. and really, that's what you should want out of your cupboards and countertops, no? 

the solution to the 'space' problem, should there be one, lies in clever storage, and in selecting utensils that work with your industrial tastes and can be displayed to pleasing effect. don't buy a load of useless objects just to hide them away in your cupboards (likewise for food packaging - recycle it and put your dry goods away in humble mason jars). select your accessories with care - you're going to want to see what you use, and if it's your money, you should take your time with every purchase. common sense 101!

spot the recurring glass jar theme! there is something about openly displaying your utensils and crockery that quietly beckons. "hey, i'm gonna last, but i'm also kinda pretty too." admittedly, these kitchens styled by hans blomquist are a little on the glam side - but i really can't see anything wrong with that! 

even if lofty lofts are out of your budget, you can certainly still recreate an industrial attic feel with some solid hardware, exposed beams or wooden floors, and a whole ton of cleverly displayed crockery.

now - quick question, blogosphere!! does anyone know where i can pick up some good cheap chalkboard paint? the boy has exciting plans for painting a section of his own kitchen with blackboard paint and fixing wire baskets for fruit/spices/recipe books to one corner, and writing his shopping list on the other. it might not sound like much, but we're stoked about this project (especially as i like cooking with lots of counter space and his flat ain't got much of that!)

all suggestions gratefully received!! 


roses are red

wouldn't be me if i didn't send out some seriously cheesy love to you guys. happy valentine's day, everyone! (stay tuned for photos of the manboy's real valentine's card. he has no idea what's in store, poor thing...)



a little share with you guys this evening over from the guys at apartment therapy. i'm loving the turquoise, bright colours, crochet, gratuitous use of white and vintage/retro/whimsy everything. 

you can stamp a big "LIKE" on this one! check out ms. ingrid's blog - ing-things. i have a serious hankering to crochet blankets now... oh dear! 

hope you're all having happy weekends! see you soon. 
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