Posts Tagged ‘book’

Bookmarks: Decorating with Colour

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

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Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

This is one of our favourite books at the moment – we’re dipping in & out of it all the time!

brightly coloured home office

It’s entitled, Farrow & Ball – Decorating with Colour.

title page from Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

It’s beautifully written by Ros Byam Shaw with stunning photography by Jan Baldwin.

mahogany paintwork

We tour around Europe, visiting some truly gorgeous homes that incorporate Farrow & Ball products into their decorating schemes.

log pile

There’s no doubting that Ros is an expert when it comes to this much-loved British brand, this being her second book in collaboration with them!

mosaic of painted doorways

Her first book concentrated solely on English houses, but in this tome we’re also treated to peeks inside the homes of Farrow & Ball lovers in France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Denmark, Norway & Switzerland.

pair of purple upholstered armchairs

There’s a great variation in the types of property & spaces featured – from country farms to urban villas. They have broadly traditional, rustic country and contemporary styles – but in truth they’re truly eclectic, their owners skilfully mixing items from many styles & eras.

room with white-painted wooden rafters

They’re furnished with antique, vintage, retro and industrial pieces.

red kitchen wall with white area painted unevenly with a roller

In addition to having owners with great taste, they all have one more important thing in common…

exterior paintwork

…the magic touch of Farrow & Ball.

Arcana table and chairs

We love Farrow & Ball ourselves – the tradition, the integrity, the colours, the eccentric names!

Contemporary chapter from the Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

This book is a must for anyone who shares this love – or for anyone who likes beautiful interiors.

Royal Welcome chapter from the Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

We like the fact that each photograph is accompanied by a short descriptive passage that helpfully includes the specific paint shades used in each space.

doorways

The author also shares each owner’s story, the property history, architectural highlights and details about certain pieces of furniture & art works.

wide open shelving

The book is divided up into broad sections which cover the decorating principles relating to Classic, Contemporary and Country.

neutral paint colour charts

Towards the end of the book there’s also practical information about products, finishes and colour groupings that work well together.

Neutral Territory chapter from the Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

The author also takes us inside her own home – and a beautiful home it is too – with a modern, country, rustic style. We love the house and could really relate to the section where she talks about the challenge of a poorly lit space – in her case, an inner hall. She plucked up the courage to paint this space in Farrow & Ball ‘Mahogany’.

walls in hallway painted black

It’s counter intuitive, but as Ros points out, the darker shades create atmospheric & dramatic spaces – and actually make them look bigger. She says that it still gives her a thrill every time she enters. We’ve been toying with the idea of painting our landing area & upstairs lounge space in a dark shade. This section of the book has finally convinced us to go for it!

john name and green art glass on a shelf

We know what we’re going to paint – and when. There’s just one last question to resolve though – Mahogany, Tanner’s Brown, Pelt, Off-Black, Pitch-Black or Downpipe??  We’ll flick through the book once again to look at how the various shades look in real life.

Dark Drama chapter from the Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

This book comes highly recommended. It’s a comprehensive guide – and will be an endless source of inspiration.

[This review is brought to you in collaboration with Farrow & Ball]

Charity Vintage: Beards… A Spotter’s Guide

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

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permalink to Beards: A Spotter's Guide by Cara Frost-Sharratt for sale on eBay for Charity by & in support of The Martlets HospiceImage credit: Ben Swift

I bet you didn’t know that today, 6th of September, is World Beard Day. Yes, there is such a commemoration. And, as Justin is a long-time beard sporter, we’re participating in the celebration by dedicating this week’s Charity Vintage post to the cause.

This copy of Beards: A Spotter’s Guide by Cara Frost-Sharratt that we’re featuring isn’t a vintage book, but it’s second-hand – so that nearly counts, right? It’s being sold by & in support of the Martlets Hospice* which is based in Hove. It’s listed as ‘buy it now’ for a mere £2.99 with free postage.

The book is full of fab, humorous illustrations by Ben Swift. You can see a selection of them on his Behance gallery. The author tells us that:

This book is a handy guide for the amateur beard spotter. You can fit it in your pocket and whip it out at a moment’s notice when a tricky chin appendage wanders past… this book will give toy all the ammunition you need to inform and educate yourself about this curious group of men, united by their love of wearing whiskers.

Justin’s beard closely resembles the one gracing the cover – similar in shape, length & fullness – albeit lighter in colour with a few stripes of silver. I wonder what this one is identified as…

*The Martlets Hospice is an independent charity, caring for adults with a life limiting disease where a cure is no longer possible, in the Brighton and Hove area. Specialist palliative care is provided for patients. Support is given to families and carers during the patients’ illness and into bereavement.

World Dolls Series: Scotland

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

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vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book

This week we’re touring Scotland in our World Dolls Series of books.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustrations by M. Russon

There are twelve little books in the series. We’ve managed to get hold of them all, so we can do quite a comprehensive tour of Europe now.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book featuring dolls Andrew and Sheena

Our doll guides for this trip are Andrew & Sheena – sporting their national costumes which they wear for high days & holidays (they dress down in jeans & T-shirt the rest of the week!)

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a castle

Fabulous illustrations once more – this time the work of M. Russon from the Birmingham School of Design.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of children wearing tartan outfits playing with a snowman

They’re very atmospheric with a distinct 1960s feel.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of houses and boats in Aberdeen

We love the colours in this book – subtle shades of green, ochre & blue with flashes of bright red.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a thistle

Some illustrations are full of tiny detail, but they retain a simple, spare quality too.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a steamboat and highland cattle

We take in towns, harbours and the wonderful Scottish countryside.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a red tractor

We love the depiction of life on the croft.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a flock of sheep with Sheena and a piper

Next week we’re heading off to Wales – hope you’ll join us!

Going Dutch!

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

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vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

We picked up this charming little book recently.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

It dates from 1964 and comes from the World Doll Series by Irene Dark – a collection of 12 books each dedicated to a different country.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

Dolls in traditional costumes proudly take you on a tour of their homeland. Our Dutch guides were Hans & Wilhelmina – and they took us on a trip around Holland – through the bulb fields, past windmills and along canals.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

We were very taken by the illustrations by W.Lewis from the Birmingham School of Design. We’d never come across this artist’s work before.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

They’re beautifully drawn – colourful, whimsical & very charming. We really think they hold their own against work by more famous illustrators such as Bill Charmatz & Miroslav Sasek.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

They’re perfect books for children of course – educational & fun, but we’re sure they’ll have many grown up fans too. We have an ever expanding pile of vintage children’s books which we collect for the gorgeous artwork. With quite a few books in this particular series, there’s an opportunity to collect many more examples of W. Lewis’ work.

page from vintage children's book, 'Holland' from the World Dolls Series

If you’re as taken with the illustrations as we were, then there are a few examples of the books up for sale on eBay, Amazon, Alibris and AbeBooks at the moment. We’re actually giving out this information before we’ve got a full set – the sacrifices we make for our readers!! :-D

Bookmarks: My Vietnamese Kitchen

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

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cover of "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book with dried noodles, pak choi, lime, chilli, ginger and garlic

My Vietnamese Kitchen is the most recent, successful undertaking of Saigon-born Londoner, Uyen Luu.

title page of "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Amongst other things, she’s a prop stylist, photographer, film-maker and supper club host.

fried fish recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

It’s a gorgeous book – full of culinary delights with striking colour and flavour combinations.

breakfast chapter from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

A distinctive feature is the wonderful photography and superb staging of ingredients & prepared dishes.

rice roll recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

It really makes the food live!

omelette soup recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

The first section covers the wide variety of herbs, spices, rice & noodles that are staples – then moves onto chapters featuring breakfast, soups, snacks, noodles, lunch & dinner and sweets.

herb photo from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Recipes are clear & easy to follow – a quick browse and you’ll want to get cooking at the first opportunity.

beef stew recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Uyen’s mother is a great influence – and there are many family dishes, methods and memories. She also draws in the culture & ceremony of food in Vietnam.

sticky fingers chapter from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Compared to say Chinese, Indian or even Thai food, Vietnamese cuisine is not the most widespread or indeed available outside its own borders. Uyen makes the cuisine very accessible – the book really conveys the fresh, healthy & exciting range of fare.

pork belly recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Whilst dishes are distinctly South East Asian, there’s also a French influence in places. Don’t these filled baguettes look irresistible? A perfect illustration.

sandwich photo in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

The book is a real insight into Vietnamese tastes, lifestyle & customs – and we can thoroughly recommend it as cookery course, travel brochure or food styling guide. You’re also sure to get some interiors inspiration too!

skewer recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Also available on Hive, Amazon and our A-store

avocado ice cream from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

[Many thanks to Ryland Peters & Small for this review copy]