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Posts tagged ‘salon hang’

Revisiting and reshooting my living room

I have blogged about my living room before (here and here) and am now posting some new photos, taken with my newly acquired skills courtesy of a Council of Adult Education photography course.

I really love my living room. It’s the largest and lightest room of our small and narrow house. Up one end is Jasper’s play ‘room’ and up the other it’s part library, part relaxation and entertaining space. It also acts as a passage to the rest of the house.  I love the way it all merges into one with the sofa becoming a cubby house one day and a fire station the next. But, it took years to get to work.

The room was designed around my husband’s love of music. His speakers had to be positioned to maximise the sound quality. Then we had my brother-in-law construct in-built cupboards and shelves to house a valve amplifier as well as our ever-expanding library. All the other elements were added gradually. A number of things I didn’t get right the first time and had to rethink.

Friends questioned the wisdom of buying a white sofa when Jasper was 2 years old. A year later and I am pleased to say that it hasn’t been a drama. We have a spare set of covers which can be thrown into the washing machine and drip dry (no ironing required). These are changed only once every 2 months.

I am about to make some minor changes so stay tuned.

Photos and styling by me (Kate Challis) and Emilie Smith.


Decorating with antlers and skulls

Decorating with antlers and animal skulls may conjure up grand stuffy Victorian parlours. However, their sculptural forms and simplicity also captivated modern painters, most famously Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986). During the forty years she lived in New Mexico, O’Keeffe accumulated a vast collection of skulls and bones which she used as subject matter, including her iconic Cow’s Skull Red White and Blue (1931, MET, NY). While this may seem macabre to some, O’Keeffe’s paintings are both beautiful and serve as a stark reminder of our mortality.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Horse’s Skull with White Rose, 1931

In sparse modern interiors they can offer texture, form, warmth and, strangely, life.

Abigail Ahern via Heart Home

via still inspiration

Photo Stacey Brandford via desire to inspire

via walking around where the sidewalk begins

Photo Jake Curtis via desire to inspire

Interior design Kelly Behun via desire to inspire

via the style files

Scott Newkirk‘s Home in Brooklyn via remodelista

via keeping up the joneses

Living etc via Cool of Beauty

via decor de provence

via la maison d’ anna g

via via la maison d’ anna g

Bones at Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ranch, New Mexico

I am far more comfortable with this trend than another one that’s emerging: taxidermy. I can’t forget its traditional purpose: to proudly display the hunting prowess of the patriarch. I shall never forget visiting the High Range Club in Munnar, India. In a salon decked with a variety of growling creatures hung a sign under the most majestic of them, a tiger: “This is the last known of this species and was killed by the President of the Club”.

Deers shed antlers naturally, and found skulls and bones don’t have the same problematic provenance as do the trophies in the High Range Club. Having said that, in Canada it is illegal to remove antlers from National Parks and doing so incurs a $25,000 fine. Perhaps the more sensible, legal and sympathetic way is creating faux antlers out of wire and branches as seen above.

What do you make of this re-emerging trend?

Happy 1st Birthday Urban Kaleidoscope

I can hardly believe that it’s only a year ago since urban kaleidoscope got started; in many ways it feels so much longer. Possibly because creating beautiful and practical spaces is something I’ve been interested in and done all my life (some of my friends put it down astrology: I’m a Cancer).

To celebrate, I have put together my absolute favourite rooms featured on urban kaleidoscope in its first year.

My favourite kitchen

Original Post Moody and Marvellous 10 October 2011

My favourite living room

Original Post After seven years, I am dreaming of a fabulous living room 27 May 2011

My favourite dining room

Original Post Antique dining tables in contemporary interiors 29 August 2011

My favourite light

Original Post Moody and Marvellous 10 October 2011

My favourite bedroom

Original post Cosy winter bedrooms that invite sleep 12 June 2011

My favourite entrance 

Original Post Hallway contrasts 6 December 2011

My favourite workspace

Original Post This is the perfect workspace 16 November 2011

My favourite library

Original post Roman and Williams E4th St Loft, NY 5 December 2011

My favourite bathroom

Original Post How one detail in a room can make all the difference 13 October 2011

My favourite building

Original Post Imagine waking up in this garden shed 14 November 2011

My favourite kid’s room

I am bias, it is my son’s bedroom. He’s now 2 years and 8 months and still loves his cot/bed

Original Post Jasper’s Room 25 July 2011

My favourite hallway

Original Post A Parisian Apartment of Edwina de Charette 26 December 2011

My favourite reading nook 

Original Post Ode to Yellow 13 June 2011

My favourite outdoor space

Original Post Escape to Palmela, Portugal 25 November 2011

My favourite Escape

Original Post Escape to Domaine de Murtoli, Corsica 4 November 2011

The most poignant insight

Original Post Gloriousness and Wretchedness 18 June 2011

In urban kaleidoscope’s 2nd year, I’d love to hear more from my readers. Don’t be shy, please let me know what you think, what you love and of what you’d like to see more.

Thanks for being part of this journey.

Kate xo

A Room of One’s Own

Being a mother of a toddler and living in a small shop conversion in the inner city I really miss having a space I call my own.

I love my house, but when I am working I often feel displaced. I blog on the sofa, at the kitchen or dining room tables, in bed or at one of our local cafes. Recently, I have been finding myself daydreaming about beautiful spaces for myself to blog, think, do yoga and read. As there isn’t a square inch spare, even for the smallest nook, in my house I have decided to give my room fantasies full expression with a new series on urban kaleidoscope, a kind of dream gallery of rooms I’d love to call my own.

26 media via my paradissi

Smooth luxurious velvet

There is not much velvet to be found in fashion magazines, on the streets or clothing shops this year. Maybe that’s because it is all being used on furniture.

Brad Ford via southern exposure

via vt interiors

Elle Decor

living etc

living etc

via W magazine

via belle vivir

Didmarton House via design tripper

Miles Redd vía desire to inspire

Country Living via gild and grace

Lutetia 2011 Sofa B&B Italia via French by Design