Style Icon – Muskoka Living Interiors

 

7th October 2014

Picture the most beautiful lake you can imagine – peaceful with wooded shores and dotted with small islands. Now picture the most perfect lakehouse you can imagine with wooden panelling, great lighting, a classic, neutral palette and pretty windows providing views out to the lake. Chances are it’s been designed by Muskoka Living Interiors.

Reflecting the beauty of the place known as Muskoka – an area of pristine lakelands north of Toronto – the interior design and furnishings company provides the lucky owners of beautiful homes with classic and elegant interiors with subtle nautical touches.

I just had to illustrate this image when I saw it – I mean is this not the most perfect space to park a car that you’ve ever seen? The use of wood and the detailing like the brass light and the perfectly pitched lettering of the name come together to create something truly spectacular and memorable.

Classic Lakehouse design by Muskoka LIving Interiors based in Canada - a very stylish place to park your Porsche (Illustration by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living in pen and ink with watercolour)

And if you can imagine a more exquisite spot to relax on a summer’s evening than this gracious, comfortable living space looking out over the water, then I’d love to hear from you.

Classic Lakehouse design with wooden panelling by Muskoka LIving Interiors in Canada (Illustration by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living in pen and ink with watercolour)

To see more, visit the Muskoka Living Interiors website or join their army of ardent Instagram fans here.

Just looking at these images makes it feel like summer will last forever doesn’t it?…

Style Icon – Perfumer Jo Malone and her new brand Jo Loves

 

25th September 2014

There’s something utterly poetic about the fact that Jo Malone’s first ‘Jo Loves’ shop is just doors away from the site of a florist where she worked when she was sixteen years old. She reminisces, “I remember the subtle scent of tuberose and lilies, freesia and roses alongside crushed green stems on the floor and the smell of twine and brown paper.”

After building her hugely successful eponymous brand, Jo took a break, but thankfully for her legions of adoring fans worldwide, is back with a fresh new brand and a host of delicious new scents. How about ‘Orange Tulle’? Or ‘A Shot of Thai Lime over Mango’?

The ‘Jo Loves’ brand bears all the hallmarks that we’ve come to expect of this style icon – clean, modern lines with a freshness and elegance that is unmistakeable. This line-up of perfume bottles (which I just had to illustrate) pretty much says it all.

A selection of pretty Jo Loves perfume bottles illustrated in pen and ink with watercolour by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living

It didn’t surprise me when Jo was quoted in a design magazine recently describing her home as feeling like “a tiny beach house in the middle of London….all white, wide white-washed floorboards, huge white linen sofas and white bare walls with hints of red”. Her description conjures up a space that is the perfect combination of elegant, stylish and relaxing.

I’ll bet her home smells utterly divine too.

Your perfect home – Downton Abbey or a beach house?

 

11th September 2014

With ‘Downton Abbey’ returning to our screens shortly, I was musing on the beautiful building that provides the unmistakeable backdrop to the drama so I did a quick pen and ink sketch of it.

Magnificent Highclere Castle more popularly known as 'Downton Abbey' illustrated in pen and ink with watercolour by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living

It is of course in reality Highclere Castle which is home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. And what a home!

But what would your ideal home be? A shingle covered beach house, a sleek roof top penthouse with floor to ceiling windows, or a converted barn with exposed beamed ceilings?

While it’s fun to dream, it’s also important to make where we currently call home into the best place it can be. It’s our sanctuary from an often busy world; somewhere to bring up children; and a place to invite friends and family to share time with us. It’s an important space.

I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to live somewhere as grand and imposing as Highclere Castle but I do love reimagining homes for my clients. If you’d like some help to imagine how your home could look, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

Scandinavian inspired painted white plate rack

 

8th September 2014

You will often see plate racks in Scandinavian and Provencal homes and I have always loved them as decorative features. So when it came to filling this wall space above a dining table in an Edinburgh apartment, I searched high and low to source the perfect one.

 

Painted white plate rack designed by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living. Shown here with red and white transferware and an antique grey and white Swedish platter.

My search proved fruitless so in the end I decided to design a plate rack specifically for the space.

My eternally patient joiner Derek Carnochan (who had previously installed the New England style kitchen on the other side of the room) interpreted my drawing perfectly and the finished plate rack that he made ended up looking like it had always been there.

If you would like further inspiration, I’ve started to gather images of plate racks on a dedicated Pinterest board and if you’d like help to design a plate rack or other bespoke shelving for your own space, I’d love to hear from you.

Icons of Style – Plum & Ashby

 

2nd September 2014

There are certain brands that you recognise at first glance as head and shoulders above the rest. Plum & Ashby is definitely one of those.

In a world where so many brands copy or emulate others, Plum & Ashby stands apart in a refreshingly quirky and super pretty way.

Set up by Vicky White and ‘Bertie’ (more of whom, later), the company offers a range of products for your home and life – think beach bags and picnic blankets, deckchairs, cushions, soaps and candles. All the products have the same honest yet beautifully designed feel – a sense of nostalgia packaged for a busy digital age.

Bertie is a rather adorable wire-haired terrier who features on many of the products themselves as well as in lots of gorgeous ads and brand images. I loved one of these images so much that I was moved to illustrate it as you can see here.

Plum & Ashby brand image featuring Bertie the wire-haired terrier illustrated in pen and ink with watercolour by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living

If you love good design and interesting homewares that conjure up the timeless style of a bygone age, you’ll love what you find on Plum & Ashby’s website.