Pick of the Pads: Less is More

'Less is More' article title page in the May 2016 edition of Country Living magazine

Sometimes you look at the exterior of a house and just know you’re going to like the interior. It doesn’t work out 100% of the time, but this is one of those occasions that it does. Perhaps you could say that it even exceeds expectations, we love it so much.

Cover of the May 2016 edition of Country Living magazine

The house belongs to Jo Weeks who owns interiors shop, Sixty Seven – and is featured in the May 2016 edition of Country Living magazine. I’m sure wouldn’t want to take all the credit as the house was bought and refurbished by Alex Legendre and Zoe Ellison who also own a homewares shop, I gigi. Jo had the wonderful luxury of moving in after all the hassle and dirty work was over – bliss!

Double bedroom decorated in natural colours from the 'Less is More' article in the May 2016 edition of Country Living magazine

The house is situated in the North Laine area of Brighton – a place we know well. We’ve spent many an hour wandering round the North Laine (or North Laines as most people call them now) – browsing the shops, eating lunch and drinking in the many watering holes. In fact, Justin used to own a house there too twenty years ago. We wonder which street this one’s on.

Sitting room with cream coloured wood burning stove from the 'Less is More' article in the May 2016 edition of Country Living magazine

We know one thing for sure – we absolutely love what they’ve done with the place – as they say. A lesson in creating a modern home whilst retaining character and atmosphere in bucket-loads.

Eclectic sitting room cum study from the 'Less is More' article in the May 2016 edition of Country Living magazine

The colour palette is restful, but never dull. There are many layers of natural tone – and a pared back simplicity which allows spaces to breathe. In fact, there’s real discipline shown so as not to clutter or overcrowd. As the feature title says, “Where less is more”.

Bathroom with roll top bath from the 'Less is More' article in the May 2016 edition of Country Living magazine

Many generations have called it home – and there’s a real sense of history and intimacy. Jo is now making it her own much loved family home.

Views of a bedroom fireplace and hallway balustrade from the 'Less is More' article in the May 2016 edition of Country Living magazine

Usually, when you read a house tour something irks you a bit – the odd piece of furniture placement, a certain colour, a decorative object. We’ve had a good look – no, there’s nothing.

Three views of sitting areas from the 'Less is More' article in the May 2016 edition of Country Living magazine

Rooms appear light and airy. They’re filled with some lovely vintage furniture such as the kitchen seating, the writing desk and the very comfy looking leather club chair. Where a contemporary piece is needed, such as the cream wood burning stove, it’s the perfect choice. Decoration is simple with fresh flowers and the occasional painting (which, surprise, surprise – we love too!). We wonder who the artist is? It’s very much like the landscapes of an artist we know called Geoffrey Key. We had to sell our Geoff Key oil painting to pay for a major operation on our dog’s leg – are you listening Fudge? :-).

Three views of sitting areas from the 'Less is More' article in the May 2016 edition of Country Living magazine

We know from experience that big gardens just don’t exist in the North Laine, but most houses have a small courtyard space. With a bit of creativity, these can be lovely little havens too. Here, the whitewashed space with with overhanging vine and tempting looking chairs offer the perfect spot for an evening G&T or glass of wine. When can we move in?!

Pick of the Pads: Northern Exposure

'Pick of the Pads' blog post banner

'Northern Exposure' article in Elle Decoration magazine

Pick of the Pads is back with this stunning, light-filled home.

Elle Decoration magazine cover

It’s featured in the October 2015 edition of Elle Decoration.

Dining room in monochromatic home

The apartment belongs to Swedish fashion photographer, Maria Wretblad and her film photographer husband, Aril – the Northern Exposure title is a reference to its Stockholm location.

Dark painted walls in a monochromatic home

We love the pared back simplicity.

Dark painted walls with pile of books in a corner in a monochromatic home

Subtle, layered shades of white, black, grey and dusty pale pastels provide the backdrop.

Sitting room in a monochromatic home

Carefully selected classic design pieces are dotted throughout the apartment – some beautiful seating and lighting, in particular.

Work desk in a monochromatic home

Wood, textiles and lots of books provide warmth and homeliness; plants, seed-heads and feathers draw nature in.

Glass balloon light on a pile of books on the floor of a monochromatic home

It’s got a lot of impact but, at the same time, is calm and well-balanced – classic Scandi cool!

Pick of the Pads: So Last Century!

'Pick of the Pads' blog post banner

Mid century modern decorated sitting room

This fabulous house appeared in a recent edition of Stella Magazine

'So Last Century' article in Stella Magazine from 29 March 2015

It’s the Marseille home of Virginie & Jean-Baptiste Moutte, co-owners of vintage furniture store, Relax Factory.

Cover of Stella Magazine from 29 March 2015

As you’d expect from mid century modern dealers, their home is brimming with beautiful pieces from the era.

Armchair in a mid century modern decorated sitting room

We love their use of bright, primary colours which does indeed put you in a cheery, holiday kind of mood.

Kitchen in a mid century modern decorated sitting room

 It’s done supremely well – well judged and not at all gaudy.

Yellow bedroom in a mid century modern decorated sitting room

There are eye-catching feature walls, textiles & artwork – or, as in the case of the dining space below, bold chair covers to lift the more muted, natural tones of the room.

Dining table in a mid century modern decorated sitting room

With all the wonderful furniture, lighting and vintage accessories on view, the house could work as a staged shop display, but it manages to look very lived in and homely too – a little gem!

Sign of the Times

'Sign of the Times' blog post banner

pile of original Sunday Times magazines from 1966

We bought a batch of vintage 1960s Sunday Times magazines the other day. The word ‘sixties’ just trips off the tongue like it was yesterday, but it’s half a century ago now! These magazines are like time capsules from the era.

Original Sunday Times magazine cover from 1966 featuring white stockinged legs and shoes

Some have wonderful covers such as this one with skirt length predictions.

photograph of G.F. Trumper Hairdressing shop from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

There are some really interesting articles…

photograph of people at the seaside in summer from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

…and great photography from the likes of Eve Arnold, Robert Freson, Lord Snowdon, Ernest Cole, Peter Laurie, Donald McCullin, Duffy, David Montgomery, Ray Green, Constantine Manos, Horst Baumann & Maxwell Boyd to name just a few.

photograph of under 23 fashion contest finalists from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

There are features on fashion and food…

photograph accompanying a feature on soul food from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

…and, as is often the case in magazines from this period, some eye-catching ads that would be good enough to frame in themselves.

Pakistan International Airlines ad from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

Throw in some wonderful illustrations, drawings & cartoons – and you have a really great read, wonderful source material and archive.

illustration accompanying a feature on spices from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

We’ve just listed them all individually on eBay – quite a mammoth session! There are a few photographs and a brief description for each edition. Here’s the link if your interested in taking a closer look.

Vintage Vogue

'Vintage Vogue' blog post banner

Vintage Vogue magazine cover from February 1962

We bought a pile of vintage Ideal Home magazines recently. We were delighted with them in their own right, but in amongst them was a lovely copy of Vogue which was a real bonus.

Model wearing green Capri pants in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

It dates from February 1962 – and priced at 2’6!

Patent in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

These vintage Vogues are very collectable and it’s easy to see why.

Line drawings of hairstyles in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

The fashion is obviously the real draw – gorgeous clothes, shoes, jewellery, hair & make up from the era.

Kanyana fabric ad in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

Looks which still look very current over 40 years later!

Model with red top and lips and dusky eye make up in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

Model wearing a blue dress and hat in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

There are other great features – the fabulous new mini in its early years of production…

Mini car ad in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

…and introducing pasta – now arriving on UK shores!

Pasta article in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

There are some genius illustrations too – the header for Vogue Travel is good enough to frame.

Travel in Vogue guide in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

These vintage magazines really are a great read – snap them up if you see them… and take a second look in that dusty pile of National Geographics in the corner of the charity shop – there might be a vintage Vogue lurking halfway down!

Pick of the Pads: Country Contemporary

'Pick of the Pads' blog post banner

'Country Contemporary' article in the October 2014 issue of Country Living Magazine

We’ve chosen the wonderful Italian home of Marco & Francesca Constanzi for this month’s Pick of the Pads.

cover of the October 2014 issue of Country Living Magazine

It’s featured in the October 2014 edition of Country Living magazine.

stone patio

It’s a renovated lamia, a traditional stone-built building originally constructed to provide shelter for livestock. The couple have a wonderful tale to tell when it comes to finding the property. They were driving through the beautiful countryside of the Puglia region looking for the perfect retreat when they crashed (literally) into a local farmer – well, he crashed into them more accurately. They got chatting (as you do when you crash into someone) and he offered to show them properties that were for sale in the local area – all those hidden gems. Whilst they were looking, they came across the run down lamia – how about that for fate, destiny, divine intervention?

white-washed mezzanine floor

It was the perfect opportunity – a beautiful structure set in a truly idyllic location amongst the olive groves.

white-washed bedroom with star-shaped light fixture abouve the bed

We think you’ll agree that they’ve done a stunning restoration – Marco being an architect helps!! They reduced the thickness of the walls which were originally a metre wide – this provided enough space for one large central room with mezzanine, a bathroom and a kitchen. Obviously, with the climate of southern Italy to enjoy, there’s also the option of lots of al fresco living too.

stone patio

It’s stunning in its pared back simplicity, the beauty & integrity of the building shines through – the muted, natural colours are gorgeous – and the restraint shown by Marco & Francesco is amazing; the spaces being simply decorated with country furniture, vintage rustic finds & foraged keepsakes…

mosaic image with candle-lit rooms

…a few cushions & textiles here and there to soften the hard edges – a simple log fire, candles or fairy lights to warm it up.

rustic wooden kitchen countertop

The renovation has been sensitive to the original building, yet enhanced it – creating something magical. We just love it!! And of course, we’ll be heading off to the Lake District sometime soon to see if we can crash into a local farmer!

Subscribe to Country Living Magazine