Jan 312014

BRAKIG The Jester of the Day

To be honest, I’m rarely at the front of the Ikea fan club queue on a personal what-I’m-prepared-to-have-in-my-own-home basis, but I’d be the first to say that they do do prints very well and this series is no exception. Tomorrow sees the launch of one of Ikea’s latest print ranges, Brakig, and it’s a corker. Brakig comprises of 30 pieces and is the result of a year long collaboration with Danish creative supergroup, ArtRebels. It sees the introduction of a charming array of murky pastel colours which are being celebrated throughout the media, employed in strong geometric shapes (among them the harlequin), to create of-the-moment style. It’s been applied extensively on textiles, furniture, kitchenware and wallpaper, on both new and old designs (such as the instantly recognisable Frosta stool), bringing them in line with the rest of the range. It’s a limited edition so if you want it, you best go and get it fast. I can’t imagine it’ll hang around for long.

BRÅKIG, available from Ikea from the 1st of February.

Aug 222013

Philips Hue Ones Own Light
I’m pretty excited about this latest light bulb innovation from Philips. And if you’re not, then you’ve obviously not read the small print. This ray of light, or rather to be precise, 16 million different coloured rays of light, is quite possibly the beginnings of a new colourful future. As one of the judges on Dulux’s ‘Let’s Colour Awards’, I first came across this at the rear end of last year, as it was one of the contestants up for the technology award. Much debate and conversation, it instigated but unfortunately, as we didn’t have one to test, its case wasn’t strong enough to win. However, since then, I’ve been rather keen to get my grubby little mitts on one.

‘Hue” looks like an ordinary bulb, no bigger, no smaller and with no fancy-pants fastening, the only difference is that in order to make this bulb do its magic, you’ll need a smart phone or tablet so you can download their app. The app communicates with a small hub, called the ‘hue bridge; which you plug into your internet. Beyond that I have no idea. Not only can you play around with a colour picker option, you can also upload your favourite photos to colour-select from. This really is personal lighting. Good fun and very, very clever. I’m super impressed. Currently, they’re a teensy-weensy bit more expensive than your average LED bulb, but with its capabilities, it’s one to keep your eye on for a future treat.


Philips’ ‘Hue’, available from a range of different retailers, currently only available in screw type fixture.


Aug 132013

Emily Chess June130716 All In The Game

Emily Chess June130687 All In The Game

Chess Test Diagonal 01 All In The Game

Emily Chess June130725 All In The Game

My latest test shoot (a play-time project, if you will) with photographer, Iwan Essery, takes a dramatic and fresh (Prince) take on the classic monochrome of the famous game of chess. Channeling the popular 80s American sit-com, the pieces, spray-painted in bright neon pink and orange, make delightfully heady colour-pops against the black and white checks. The glossy surface of the beautiful ‘Kula’ glass tiles give another dimension with a reflection so clear and strong, they could be mirrored. A happy nod to past trends, revisiting, in a contemporary manner.  I hope you like them.

Kula glass tiles in Liquorice Gloss, 10x10cm, £3.29, Topps Tiles

With many thanks to Topps Tiles and In The White Room for loaning the tiles.

Aug 012013

QueensWalk A Garden in Town

Strolling down the side of the Thames in the centre of London, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the last thing you’d come across are community allotments, but that’s the beautiful thing about London; always expect the unexpected. The garden installation spans the front of the Southbank Centre, a small area of London that has gone from strength to strength over the years, and increasingly sees a delightful imaginative approach to shows and activities for people of all ages. The Queen’s Walk Window Gardens is no different. Built by Wayward Plants, a collective of designers and artists working on urban growing, their group of allotments are made from reclaimed windows which are not only painted in a mixture of shades of two of my current favourite colours (grey and yellow) but instantly create a perfect structure for plants and people alike. There are signs telling you about the plants, floral and vegetable, and there are seats so you can sit amongst them. A genuinely lovely idea which makes me very proud of London. It appears that Wayward Plants’s website is currently down, but do check out their other projects when it’s back up, as they are truly fantastic and all for the people.

Open until the 8th of September 2013, Queen’s Walk, Southbank, London.

Jun 242013

On Departure from Eoin Duffy on Vimeo.

A very nice illustrated video for you today. Beautifully simple shape and colour play, telling a story devoid of words. Blocks of colours, shapes, lines and movement build up the picture to form recognisable items in an otherwise abstract-looking frame. A very clever use of a limited colour palette keeps the look clean, tidy and graphic only serves to impress further. Circles, lines, squares and rectangles, all of the things we learn at a young age, used in a way that creatively, feels beyond my comprehension. There are no fancy tricks or disco spangles to impress the viewer, just simplicity and imagination. My favourite combination. I love the moment with the bird, the sad eyes as he watches the bird fly off, I also really liked the use of lighter shades to suggest water. A rather melancholic tale of airport departure, with a rather surprising end.

Directed by: Eoin Duffy
Produced by – Alan Doherty
Music – Stephen Rennicks
Editing – Rory Gavin
Sound Design – James Daly
Post Production – Reel Good
Country – Ireland

Jun 192013

Dulux 8 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions

Dulux 9 straight cherries  DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions

Dulux 24 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions

Dulux 86 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions

Dulux 78 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Collective Passions

DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Part 2 (Collective Passions): The only way to find out if something’s going to work is by getting on and giving it a go. I had no idea if it was going to work, other than the logical side of my brain saying, ‘it’s water-based paint and water freezes.’ but it doesn’t stop the fear of failure and the abrupt conclusion of what could be a wicked photoshoot. I decided to start small and manageable, and what’s more small and manageable than ice cubes in an ice cube tray? In they went. Success!
Success meant stage 2. A detailed sketching out of shot-list ideas and colour choosing. My success at freezing ice cubes meant that my imagination went wild as to what else I might manage to persuade the paint to do. I figured that if it was happy to be an ice cube, it’d be happy to be a lolly, even a rocket shaped lolly, right? In they went. Getting them out was a little bit more tricky than the ice cubes, but with a little water application management they eventually surrendered their cocoon. But there was one shot that was really worrying me. The shot that the entire project was based on: ice-cream. Ice-cream in its purest form: thick frozen cream of the ice-cream-van wafer-cone variety. It was the one that I wanted to work the most, so of course it was the one that I put off experimenting with until the last. Having learnt to make edible ice-cream (all in the name of research), I just applied the same logic and method to the paint. If I hand-churned it often enough, there was no reason for the broken-up frozen particles not to remain supple and flexible enough for it to resemble the edible treat. After a nerve-wrecking 3 hours, it did. Based on my colour choices, Dulux suggested two of their 2013 colour schemes, Timeless Classics and Collective Passions. I divvied up the drawings between the two schemes, got them all okayed and started planning the props.
The shoot took place over two days and Dulux filmed it as we prepped and prepared the paint and the sets. It was messy work and a little manic at times, but at the end of the two days we had completed our shot list with a unexpected degree of success. All that was left to be done was the retouching and the waiting for the release date to come round. Here we are and now the long journey’s results can be seen throughout the UK’s online and printed media. Hurray!

DuluxLab ‘Collective Passions’ ice-cream shoot, styling: Emily Blunden, photography: Simon Bevan

(at the time of writing it can currently be seen on Livingetc’s blog, Life.Style.etc, July’s edition of Beautiful Kitchens and of course on Dulux’s Facebook)

Jun 182013

Dulux 4 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Timeless Classics

Dulux 38 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Timeless Classics

Dulux 34 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Timeless Classics

Dulux 47 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Timeless Classics

Dulux 46 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Timeless Classics

Dulux 47 DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Timeless Classics

When I started this blog, it was only to be a bit of fun, a way to showcase the bits of stuff that I like that I hadn’t managed to get into my work as a stylist. It’s a progressional pin-board of sorts, a public scrapbook of ideas and things that I like. I never intended it to be a vehicle for showing my latest styling projects as I wanted a degree of separation between the two. However, I shall break my rule as I wanted to bring you part one of my collaborative paint project with Dulux.

DuluxLab Ice Cream Experiment Part 1 (Timeless Classics): A year in the making, this was a rather large undertaking which started as a pipe-dream for a test shoot with fantastic interiors photographer, Simon Bevan. From simple beginnings, the ‘ice-cream’ idea took a path of its own volition and became a far bigger creature (during my picture research I created this pictorial blog post, Bubblicious Delicious, to enable me to explore colour ways). How and when it became ‘making-paint-to-look-like-ice-cream’, I’m not sure, but it did and it entailed many a conversation, much internet researching, cloaked questioning of set-builders about paint, and a lot of thinking and imagining of potential results, problems and ways around them. Approaching Dulux’s PR company, not only ensured a paint source but gave the project a status of reality which was not only exciting but had me running for the hills. It was time to put my money where my mouth is and start experimenting…

DuluxLab ‘Timeless Classics’ ice-cream shoot, styling: Emily Blunden, photography: Simon Bevan

Apr 182013

Chris Bracey Neon Ring Of Fire

Having discovered Chris Bracey’s neon lights (with thanks to Conran Shop) and gone on to use one in a shoot last year, I was rather excited to see a gallery of bright colours emitting glow over the hard concrete streets in the west end of London. I have to say, I do like a bit of neon lighting, especially done with a nod to many aspects of iconic American popular culture which will always retain a element of cool; 1950s, rock’n'roll, bikers, tattoo parlours and street retail advertising. But Bracey doesn’t just regurgitate old lights, he adapts and adds to, recycling old lights to make new pieces, that are more relevant to us today, whilst referencing the land so far from these shores. And no further away than from Walthamstow, where Bracey works in his delightfully named workshop, God’s Own Junkyard. His workshop is now open to the public on specific days, so after you visit Scream to see his exhibition, I advise you to check out his website, then go and indulge yourself with more neon goodness.

1.) Lady Luck (detail), 2.) Hot Burning Love/ Hotel Love, 3.) Love and Hate, 4.) Hands of God (and detail),  5.) Find Love Upstairs (shown in three light variations)

Chris Bracey at Scream Gallery. 12 April until 01 June 2013.
27 – 28 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8DH Tel: +44 (0)20 7268 9857
Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 11am – 4pm

Apr 172013

PleasedToMeet Very Pleased To Meet

I spotted this company’s products in various hotspots around New York and liked their style instantly. Pleased To Meet is the lovechild of two German designers, Daniela Könn and Marcel Hornung, who met and fell in love whilst working in New York. Founded in 2004, they now have a lovely range of simple and charming designs spread over a variety of paper-based goods, contemporary eco ethics with a hint of mid-century style illustrations. Good colour choices too. They do have stockists worldwide but they also do international delivery so no need to panic. Here are my top-picks.

1.) I Love You wrapping paper, €2.60, 2.) New York wrapping paper, €2.60, 3.) Fawns wrapping paper, €2.60, 4.) A Good Catch wrapping paper, €2.60, 5.) Flying Birds notebook, €5, 6.) Lovebirds notebook, €5, 7.) Travel Journal, €19, 8.) Paris notebook, €7, all available from their website.

Apr 112013

Patternity Monochrome Stripes Aint Just For Zebras

This show is a visual feast, both close up and as a collective whole. The power of monocrome stripes will never be denied again. The two pattern-lovers behind the blog, Patternity, Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham, have curated a powerhouse of all that falls under the category of stripe- be it fashion, art, craft, science, architecture, design or environment. The three rooms of the gallery space on Redchurch Street, have been divided into separate entities looking at research, collaborative efforts in design and finally a interactive learning and events space, dedicated to film and the philosophy behind pattern and the stripes of everyday life. No gallery would be complete without a cafe, and this cafe has Guinness, Pomp de Franc cakes and they’re serving (black) tea in Richard Brendon‘s tea cups. There’s even a gift shop, needless to say it’s a specially-curated black and white Darkroom concession gift shop. With lots of events running until the end of the show, from yoga and crafts to discussing pattern with neuroscientists and psychologists, entertainment and learning is guaranteed. Everyday’s a (glamourous) school day.

1.) a screen shot from the wall-sized projection area especially commissioned films, 2.) the flooring of the event area in Room Three ‘It’s Everywhere We Go’, 3.) the dazzling play of perpective and pattern on the gallery wall, graphics by BAF graphics, 4.) The strength that is Room One ‘Seeing Pattern Everywhere’, 5.) black coil pot by artist, Glen Wild, 6.) Plumen bulbs and Richard Brendon’s ‘Warp’ and ‘Reason’ teacups complete a sriking table made by Patternity

pixel Monochrome Stripes Aint Just For Zebras
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