We are traveling again… traveling round the woderful world of books (and blogs) and this time I want to show you probably the most relaxed interior design book I have ever seen. Welcome to Emily Henson’s life or… Life Unstyled.
Messy? Cluttered? No! Simply UNSTYLED, yet real and lived in. I’d also add comfortable, cozy, colourful and eye catching, interesting and inviting to explore. I must admit I love busy homes – homes with heaps of books and lovely things, bright homes where walls are covered in photographs and paintings and sofas in warm textiles. Oh, and I know I’m not the only one!
Emily Henson is an interior stylist who is able to create perfectly styled images for her clients in order to sell their products, but she also knows that “these pictures don’t represent real life”. Her work is to create fantasy – flawless interiors that are “intended to inspire but also set impossibly high standards of perfection” so it’s really refreshing to know that for her this is only work.
Emily’s blog – Life Unstyled, just like her newest book, was created with the aim to “rebel against those spotless, clutterfree interiors and talk instead about real homes, the kind so many of us live in”. Her mission is “to show homes that are not only inspiring and stylish, but also lived in and constantly evolving”. Sounds good, don’t you think?
Imperfection can be beautiful too. Let me repeat this once again – imperfection can be beautiful too.
I think many of us get jealous looking at glossy interior magazines and remembering that our homes look nothing like the ones pictured there. Well, I do, so it was really easy to fall in love with Emily’s optimistic opinion that we simply HAVE to love our “own home, with all its lumps, bumps and unfinished jobs, just a tiny bit more”.
If you wonder how to do this, here are just a few ideas: first we need to train ourselves to see the opportunities rather than the problems (I’d say we should apply this statement in every sphere of our lives), second remember that a few minor changes can work wonders; for e.g. don’t have everything out on display at once (avoid clutter by grouping your favourite things by by theme, colour or material) also use colours (paint and achieve a huge impact in very little time).
I am sure you will get many more ideas looking at beautiful REAL interiors that have been photographed by Debi Treloar.
So… if you think your home’s a mess, if you love colours and vast collections of beautiful things, if you’re scared of sterile and minimalist interiors this book’s for you. Simply soak up Emily’s advice, learn to embrace imperfection and create a home you love.
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Life Unstyled by Emily Henson, published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography by Debi Treloar © Ryland Peters & Small
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It’s been very windy and it rained a lot in the last week, which meant that I couldn’t work in the garden (and there’s still a lot to be done… to be honest I’m beginning to panic – the first frosts must be round the corner and my tulip bulbs are still in their pretty bags…). Cold weather and darker evenings gave me an opportunity to be lazy. I’m ashamed to admit, but I’ve been wasting a lot of my time on the Internet…
It was something like chain browsing – one image on Pinterest would lead to another and then another… and then one more. I’ve added a lot of new ideas to my collections and to try lists, that might stay in the form of just lists forever, and I also found THIS:
What do you think to this painting? I’m in absolute awe!
Ethel Sands (1873 -1962) is my new favourite artist. Simple subjects – one could say ordinary interiors, are turned into really warm paintings. Colours applied on canvas in some magic way capture mood, texture and light. It looks as if just a few quick and careless brush strokes are turned into real masterpieces.
Of course I’m jealous, of course I’d love to be able to paint like that… but I also realize that this would involve lots of hours spent painting and none chain browsing (have I coined a new term?).
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Ethel Sands was an American-born artist and hostess who lived in England from her early childhood (in 1916 she was made a citizen of England). She studied art in Paris for several years under Eugène Carrière, and it was there that she met Anna Hope Hudson (Nan), her life partner. Her works were influenced by the artist Edouard Vuillard and Walter Sickert, and were generally of still lifes and interior scenes, many of which are of Château d’Auppegard that she shared with Hudson in France. Her works are in the collections of museums, the National Portrait Gallery, London and public collections. (More can be found here, on Wikipedia.)
It’s funny how everything in life goes in circles…
When I started writing this blog five years ago one of the first posts I published was called Art for a Sunny Day. It was about a few gardens and parks that have become home for interesting contemporary sculptures. This post got one like. Today, it feels like it’s a new beginning – after such a long absence it’s really hard to get back into the swing of it all… But I’m doing this anyway and the subject I chose is environmental art. Have you heard of it?
A while ago I told you about my BIG project, that is supposed to be turned into a SUPER garden over the next hmm… hundred years? The thing is that I’d love to have some sculptures there (it’s probably too early to think about sculptures at this stage, I should be better investing in more plants, but I’m a stubborn dreamer), so I started looking into all possible options. It would definitely be too expensive to hire proper artists or gifted craftsmen, so I need something different. What’s that so called different? Maybe just a fresh idea or, in other words, something handmade using inexpensive materials that would still look spectacular…
If money wasn’t a problem I’d go for David Annand’s deer or Toby Winterbourn’s cow parsley.
And here’s the so called different…
But lets get back to environmental art. What is it? Wikipedia provides this definition – environmental art is a range of artistic practices encompassing both historical approaches to nature in art and more recent ecological and politically motivated types of works.
“It can be argued that environmental art began with the Paleolithic cave paintings of our ancestors. (…) More modern examples of environmental art stem from landscape painting and representation (…), yet such art as a “movement” started growing only in the late 1960s or the 1970s. In its early phases it was most associated with sculpture—especially Site-specific art, Land art and Arte povera—having arisen out of mounting criticism of traditional sculptural forms and practices which were increasingly seen as outmoded and potentially out of harmony with the natural environment.”
Environmental artists rather than depiciting the landscape engage in it. They escape the confines of galleries leaving the cities and going out into Nature. Their pieces are either too large or too unwieldy to be collected; they can be represented only by photographs, which of course means the artwork can’t be acquired. (You can read about it more here.)
Well… I was thinking that I could provide some space for proper environmental artists or… come up with something myself. Have a look at a few of my favourite pieces – it shouldn’t be that expensive to make something like that. What do you think?
It seems I’ve nearly convinced myself that anything is possible and that my garden sculptures aren’t as impossible as one might think, yet I still need that fresh idea…
I’m so excited! I can once again introduce you to a wonderful new book. This time I’m saying – lets travel around the World RETRO style.
The first half of summer is behind our backs, yet I can’t say I had a rest. Why? I’ve taken on a MASSIVE project, which consumes probably about 80% of my time (the rest is for sleeping and all other insignificant chores). This project is called MY very own Garden (I say this with a very proud intonation, so please go back and read this sentence once again, this time do it pro-per-ly). I can assure you it’s very exciting, but also very tireing…
I know what MY Garden has to look like – you must have seen these pretty English cottage gardens with plenty of green hideaways and huge French hydrangeas next to a field of lavander, and perfectly neat German vegetable rows with crops molded to fit all EU regulations, right? So something along these lines. But there’s a slight hmm… I wouldn’t call it a problem, maybe just a little disadvantage – I’m starting everything from an absolute zero! Basically a meadow has to magically be transformed into an award winning estate.
I’ll leave all of you (and epecially my new followers, who decided to join me even though I wasn’t posting anything new – thank you!) with a piece of advice:
“Live the Life of Your Dreams.
When you start living the life of your dreams, there will always be obstacles, doubters, mistakes and setbacks along the way. But with hard work, perseverance and self-belief there is no limit to what you can achieve.”
― Roy T. Bennett
Unbelievable, but… I’ve been away for a month. This away of mine is not a real away, if you know what I mean. I didn’t go anywhere, I just had too much on my hands and, sadly, on my mind. Blogging is (or should I say was?) one of my healthy habits, that I don’t avoid, but I’ve been running out of steam lately, so something had to give… (just like reading before bed, trying out new recipes, taking photographs, painting and experimenting in my so called studio).
Anyway… it’s been a month, a bad patch, that hopefully has come to an end.
How has your May been so far?
Our garden seems to have recovered well after the fierce winter spells (looking at it I’ll also have to once again pull myself together... inspiration has to be drawn from Nature at all times – it never gives up). I’m still not sure about a few roses, but everything else is thriving – even the lawn seems to be doing better than ever.
I can already see that this is going to be a summer of cherries and apples.
Buckets of mouthwatering fruit… and probably stomach ache, that follows if you forget how to stop. This happens every summer, we never learn. (By the way, I still have to think of a good way to scare the birds away before the cherries go ripe, if you have any ideas, please let me know.)
I might have been caught up in a big obligations’ and responsibilities’ web, but who isn’t? Sometimes it gets worse, but it doesn’t stay this way forever and sooner or later you notice that something you’ve been working on has turned into… hmm… something? (I’m such a philosopher… Philosopher with a very small vocabulary.)
Just look at my seedlings, that are ready to be moved into the big garden world out there. It’s hard to believe that once these were tiny tiny seeds!
At the moment everything’s about colour, growth and quick changes. I’m trying to stay focused and work like a bee (I’ve finally started my very own garden, which is just a plowed meadow more or less; it will probably take me at least 10 years to turn it into a garden I imagine). Quite often it’s hard to find a gap for a short walk and an impromptu photoshoot, so I’m really glad I’m finally getting back to blogging.
No more regrets. I promise to show you and tell you EVERYTHING I find extremely beautiful, exciting or clever. Hopefully you’re ready to hear me out after that month of silence.