Monday, 22 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Well, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind, as I imagine they have been for you as well. It's been a wonderful and action-packed year for me, both with the blog, my interior business, Bibby + Brady, and our online shop. Everything is growing and so exciting, especially with the imminent opening of our Bibby + Brady showroom. This will be happening early next year, so watch this space. I'm now ready to put my feet up and hang out with my beautiful family. This is pretty much what we will be doing...

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Enjoy the holidays and I will be back feeling refreshed in early January. Thanks for all your support, I love having you here xxx

Friday, 19 December 2014

Creating a Picture Wall

I recently received a request from a lovely reader for a blog post about how to hang a picture wall. I love to get suggestions for posts, and to know what you're interested in, so I was only too happy to oblige.

Are you the type who craves order and symmetry? Then perhaps you'd like the simplicity of this 3 x 3 repetition...

Or perhaps you like the neatness you get by keeping a common bottom line...

Personally, I prefer a more eclectic looking picture wall, but that still requires a bit of work, so here are my tips for creating this look...

Select a mix of photographs, prints, and illustrations (kid's art is perfect) in varying sizes - small, medium, and large. Smaller pieces are great for filling in spaces and keeping your eye moving, but it's a good idea to have one large piece that acts as an anchor. Keeping your frames similar helps to make the display look collated rather than chaotic, but don't be afraid to vary it slightly - I love white, light wood, and gold frames together.

Before you begin it's a good idea to lie your artwork on the floor and move them around until you're happy with the layout. Play with your different shapes and sizes to get an interesting mix. Start by hanging your larger piece slightly off-centre and then arrange the smaller ones around it. To get the eclectic look break all the lines by not having any of the frames line up.

Once you're happy with your arrangement, trace the outline of each frame onto brown paper (rolls available from Warehouse Stationery) and cut out. Measure the distance from the top of the frame to where the bottom of the hook will be and mark that measurement on your paper cutout. Tape the cut out shapes onto the wall in the layout you've designed (you can take a photo of it on the floor first to refer back to). Use masking tape to attach the paper shapes so as not to damage the wall.  As a rule, always hang frames at eye level and allow at least 150-200mm of space below the bottom frame when hanging above a piece of furniture. The gaps between frames don't have to match exactly, but keep it similar - at least 50mm between frames on all sides.

When all the cut out pieces are taped to the wall, hammer the picture hook into the wall (and paper) so that the base of the hook sits on the mark you made earlier. You can then remove the masking tape, pull away the paper, and hang the picture. Repeat until all your art is hung. Use a spirit level to make sure your pieces are straight and pop a couple of small piece of Blu-Tack on the bottom corners to keep them from moving.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

So there you have it, I hope that helps when you come to create your own picture wall. To make it really special take some time to collect artworks and photos that you adore and have meaning. Put aside a few hours for the arranging and hanging, and if all else fails, hire a professional picture hanger :)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Last Minute Pressie Ideas

Dael & I have been busy creating and gathering lots of beautiful new products for our Bibby + Brady online store. How cute is our new "Excited" print by Katherine Norman?! We love it's fun, positive vibe. You can purchase the print framed or unframed (please allow 1-2 weeks for framing). If you purchase an unframed print you should definitely consider our cool poster clips as a fun way to hang it.

If you're really stuck for gift ideas, we're now offering gift vouchers to spend in our online store. We will send you a printed gift voucher to your specified amount, or if you'd prefer we can email you or your recipient an e-voucher. When the recipient of the gift voucher knows what they want to buy, simply email me and I will help process the order.

In order to get your orders delivered before Christmas you'll have to place them before 10am Monday 22nd (this only applies to non-rural New Zealand addresses). Quick, time is running out!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Large-scale Female Portraits | Three Ways

There's no denying my interior style is feminine, to say the least! I love pattern, and colour, gold, and velvet, and I love female portraits - I've just counted and I have half a dozen around my house. Another thing I love is really large-scale artwork, it's so great for creating impact and drama in a room. So here are three beautiful examples of feminine rooms with large-scale female portraits...

1 | 2 | 3

Monday, 15 December 2014

Finding The Perfect Toilet Roll Holder

I want to apologise for my slightly sporadic blog posts over the last week. You all know what a crazy, busy time December is! Dael and I are working long hours getting interior projects finished and our new office/showroom ready for opening early next year. But if you're renovating your bathroom in the near future, I'm sure you'll love today's post. Remember back here when I showed you my newly renovated toilet...

Well for the last four months we've been balancing the roll of toilet paper on the top of the loo behind. That's because I'd rather go without than put the wrong holder up. I wanted something simple, understated, but classy. Sure it's a functional item, but I also wanted it to look amazing, after all it's the little details that can make all the difference. I finally found this gorgeous brass toilet paper holder from Ferm Living.

Although it seemed to be sold out in every single online shop I tried, I was determined to track one down, and eventually bought mine from in Germany. I had to wait several weeks until they were back in stock and then have it shipped to my UK YouShop address (you can read all about how that marvellous service works here and here, I use it all the time!). The wait was totally worth it, I love how simple and elegant it is, and how the brass and wood work with my colour scheme.

When Dael renovated her toilet recently she chose to buy a standard holder (available from most hardware and plumbing shops) and turn it into something special by having it powder coated a fun colour.

I love the idea of powder coating, but I had my heart set on a touch of brass, so spent a lot of time looking into different options. This gorgeous loo roll holder (below) is part of the Simplify project by Group Work Studio in Australia. This was one of my favourites, but unfortunately they hadn't gone into production on their pieces at the time.

I also love onefortythree's tissue roll holder, but the white and brass was sold out, and although I love the aqua, I knew the colour wasn't quite right for my loo (also available in black and mint green).

Another clever idea is this toilet roll holder inspired by sailing equipment. It's part of the Diabolo collection, designed by Yang:Ripol Design Studio for Vandiss.

Last, but not least, the Roll With It (great name!) toilet paper holder by Assembly Design is very cool too - once again, simple by classy. It comes in a range of finishes including walnut and brass which would be my pick.

So those are my picks for toilet roll holders. I love mine, but to be honest I'd be happy with any of these choices. I know they're all from international shops, but if they don't ship to NZ, just set yourself up an account with NZ Post's YouShop, and you can have an address in the US, the UK, and China. I use this service a lot - it's fantastic and it opens up so many more possibilities with your online shopping.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Charlotte Love

I love styling! I love coming up with ideas, sourcing props and seeing an image come alive. There's such an art to it, and I'm definitely learning all the time, but I think if you have a keen eye and a good sense of balance and layout, you will learn quickly. Someone who I admire greatly is London based interior stylist and set designer, Charlotte Love. She has such a fun and quirky style, she's very clever! Check out some of her amazing work...

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Bibby + Brady Hairpin Tables

Dael and I have been working on the development of our hairpin console tables, and we are now taking pre-orders for delivery in February 2015. We searched high and low for a simple but elegant console table for our client's homes but couldn't find quite what we were looking for, so decided to create our own.

We love the simplicity of the table that will house your favourite bits and pieces and allow them to shine. The legs are powder coated steel available in a beautiful, bright yellow, and a stunning emerald green. If you decided that pink legs would suit your space, or blue, or maybe white... we will happily discuss your colour choices and customise your legs for a very small extra fee.

The top is high-grade plywood - simple and unfussy, and the lines on the edge are a subtle detail we love.

Here are a few examples where our hairpin table would look smashing!..

images via our "hallways & entrances" Pinterest board

If you're interested in pre-ordering, pop over to our shop, or drop me an email. If you desperately wanted your table before Christmas we may be able to help, but we'll definitely be ready to roll in the new year. At this stage we've started with our console table, but we've actually created two in desk size for our new office. Will be sure to show you photos of those in the new year too.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Hilltop Living

You know a home build is going to be special when the owners are an architect and a designer. McShane and Cleo Murnane put a lot of thought, years in fact, into their new home in the hills of LA's Silverlake. After buying the land, and while waiting to get their requisite construction loan, they debated their options and decided to take advantage of the magnificent views by building at the top of the site.

It definitely paid off as you can see from the view over their living room balcony.

The couple favour a pared-back aesthetic using simple but bold colours and materials.

I love the Caeserstone counter and brass fittings in the kitchen. Although they've kept it quite minimalist, the attention to detail is lovely.

Skylights let the light stream into the bathroom and down the stairs to the kid's bedrooms.

Both Emerson and Lake have subtle half tone walls, the bottom halves feature a durable, high-performance surface, perfect for withstanding knocks and bangs.

In Lake's room his open closet is made from piping and a simple plank of wood, and a rock climbing wall gives him a secret entrance into the living room above. Now that would most definitely go down well in my house!

photography (other than the one below) by Mimi Giboin

photography by Gary Friedman for the LA Times

Quite a stunning home, don't you think?! For more photos and to read all the details of this home, pop over to Remodelista.
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