Friday, 27 March 2015

Fi's Living Room | Bibby + Brady

All week I've been trying to bring you these photos featuring the living room of a lovely Bibby + Brady client. It's taken 'til Friday afternoon for me to find a quiet hour to do that. So here goes... Nearing the end of her twenties, Fi decided it was time to venture into the real estate market and she fell in love with this beautiful old character cottage. A smart young professional with a great sense of style and fabulous taste, Fi still felt like she needed some help pulling all her ideas together. It can be scary starting out, not knowing where to begin! Being a loyal Cush & Nooks follower she knew our styles were compatible, and Dael & I were only too happy to help.

The house is small but oozing with personality and has amazing original features, like the fireplace and ceiling (look out for the dining room post next week). A lot of necessary, but invisible work needed to be done first, including rewiring and insulation. Then we recommended freshening with a lovely soft white on the walls.

We wanted to give Fi's home a young, hip feel with an eclectic mix of pieces. A new sofa, coffee table and Armadillo rug were the first to be purchased. Her clever mum sewed her curtains out of gorgeous jade coloured velvet.

Fi had lots of favourite prints and pieces of art. Many of these were hung on the wall above the TV, so as not to make it the main focus of the room.

A new fire was fitted and shelves were added to the left of the fireplace. As a solicitor, Fi has plenty of books, but these have been broken up with ornaments and knick knacks.

We have had so much fun working with Fi, and hope there will be more rooms to come. I will be featuring her dining room next week on the blog. Many people have crazy-busy work lives these days, and simply don't have the time to source furniture and homeware, or to organise trades people. If this is you and you need some interior help, please get in touch with us, we would love to help you with as much or as little as you need.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Little & Fox Design & Upholstery

In our job as interior designers we get to meet loads of talented people, and at Bibby + Brady we're lucky enough to have built a network of amazing suppliers. One of our favourites is Asha Payton who runs her design and upholstery business, Little & Fox, from her beautiful Te Awanga home. Asha is an inspiration to us, as she successfully runs her business while also taking care of her gorgeous brood of four children - Otis is five years old, Teddy is four years old, and the twins Fox & Pepe (Maori for 'little') are two years old.

Asha has always been artistic and comes from a creative family, but she got to a point in her life when she felt her like her creativity was being stifled. A chance opportunity came about when she wanted to recover an old armchair but found the quotes all too expensive. Somebody recommended a local upholsterer, Beau, whose workshop was next to his home. While the children were being looked after by her husband Joe, or their au-pair, Asha spent as much time as possible at Beau's place where he helped her to recover the chair herself. Now two years later Beau has taught her everything he knows and Asha works alongside him in his workshop doing her own client's projects.

A major influence on Asha was her grandmother, Maddie. She was so trendy, almost before her time, and inspired Asha with her love of colour and beautiful fabric. Her memory lives on in some of her pieces dotted around Asha's home, which is a beautiful and eclectic mix of old and new.

Joe is also very creative and has had a hand in many areas of the couple's home. He made their dining table out of recycled wood, and came up with most of the ideas for their recently renovated bathroom. The vanity is made out of old stadium seats from the Hastings Show Grounds, and the old copper pipes have been reused in the vanity and shower.

Asha's studio is at the front of the house, and this is where clients bring their furniture and ask advice on fabric and colour. With no TV in the house, Asha often spends her evenings on TradeMe, and she loves to op-shop. She searches for pre-loved furniture and homewares and then breathes new life into them with the help of fabric and paint. A range of lacquered lamp bases have proved very popular.

What started out as a hobby, and a way to keep her sanity when the kids were tiny, has blossomed into a booming little business. If you'd like to see more of Asha's work, or contact her about your own upholstery or design projects, pop over to her Little & Fox Facebook page. You can also find her contact details here. I have my own Little & Fox lamp base, as well as a piano stool that Asha recovered in one of my kantha quilts, and cushions made from the leftovers, so I can recommend her with great confidence :)

Friday, 20 March 2015

Passionate About Pattern

A friend of mine forwarded me the link to this home thinking I'd like it, and she was right, I LOVE it (thanks Emma). Irene Neuwirth designs jewellery which is worn by Hollywood's royalty, and her luxe Bohemian style has been translated into her Venice Beach home.

A fellow lover of colour and pattern Irene finds it hard to go plain. I can relate to this being instantly drawn to pattern myself. She makes it work in her home by keeping the background simple - white walls and floors allow the furniture and artwork to bring the character.

The gorgeous home is filled with art and photographs, all of it personal and meaningful. Irene has mastered the picture wall by placing a piece in the centre and building out from there, adding new art as she collects it.

She has a built-in ability to mix patterns - keeping the colour palette consistent is key. "It's all about having a mixture that makes sense and stays balanced", she comments.

Rearranging her shelves on a regular basis is a labour of love. I do this too, and highly recommend this to keep your home looking and feeling fresh.

The bedhead alcove with it's built-in shelving is a clever idea. The colour palette is quieter in the bedroom to create a calm experience. As you can imagine, Irene's jewelley collection is exquisite.

A clothes rack in the corner holds the clothes that don't fit in the wardrobe. You can see her fashion sense definitely mirrors her interior style. Would you have thought to mix leopard print with the bright Moroccan rag rug? It looks fantastic, and note how they're balanced by the simplicity of the desk and lamp. If you love this eclectic home as much as I do, click here to read more about it.

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