Monday, September 30, 2013

bluebellgray at Decorex International

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The New "Decorative Modern Collection" From Robert Allen & Dwell

 The Robert Allen Group's collaboration with DwellStudio has expanded yet again, this time with the Decorative Modern collection, an exciting new set of print and woven fabrics. These dynamic designs draw inspiration from the classic and iconic style legacy of New York City, with nods to art deco, disco glamour, and cosmopolitan style. Decorative Modern displays a cultured and contemporary look, infused with a worldly influence that adds a well-traveled appearance to the bold designs. The collection eschews the conventional rules of decorating, with a clever intuition for effortless layering and unexpected combinations that reveal an innate sense of style. 

DwellStudio Founder Christiane Lemieux notes, "We are thrilled with Decorative Modern. The colors, textures and signature prints came together beautifully to create something modern, timeless and at the same time fashion forward. It is this juxtaposition of opposing ideas that makes the collection original and signature to DwellStudio."

The softly saturated color palette of Decorative Modern lends a warm and sophisticated touch to the line. While clean neutrals like Brindle, Dove, and Zinc ground the collection, bold hues such as spicy Persimmon and icy Aquatint highlight the line’s contemporary notes. The designs, too, implement a range of both the simple and the extravagant. As always, DwellStudio’s signature animal patterns are abundant, including an oversized dragon (Ming Dragon) and a tapestry-like litter of forest creatures (Folkland), balanced by bold geometrics (Futura) and reimagined plaids (Unravel). Soft coordinates punctuate the collection further, with easy patterns like a subtle snakeskin (Renegade) and a crosshatched linen (Regency Linen) that encourage the layered look of Decorative Modern.

I see several I would like to use in projects.  What are your favorites?

Here are thumbnails of all the new prints go to to see larger pictures:


Conduit, a maze-inspired chenille, has a soft hand and a velvet look. This classic trellis pattern works well in a variety of setting and is available in four classic colors: Aquatint, Dove, Espresso,Midnight. 


Folkland, a printed fabric, features a bevy of frolicking animals that add whimsy to the collection. Folkland is available in two sophisticated colors: Admiral, Aquatint.


Futura’s interlocking circle motif makes for a bold geometric print in four vibrant color schemes:Dandelion, Dove, Midnight, Persimmon.


Kimono delicate chair-scale pattern displays an Asian influence with strong pops of contrasting colors. This hand-drawn geometric look woven is available in three hues: Dove, Midnight, Persimmon.


Ming Dragon displays a reinvented Asian floral with a fantastical dragon motif. This standout print can hold its own or mix with geometrics for a modern, layered look in four lush colors: Admiral, Aquatint, Midnight, Persimmon.



Vreeland embodies the modern 1970s glamour or former Vogue editor and fashion icon Diana Vreeland. Vreeland is available in four chic printed shades: Aquatint, Brindle, Dandelion, Persimmon.

For more information, please visit 
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Don't Miss In London!!! Columbia Street Flower Market

Our last day of Blogtour London was filled with so much goodness I decided to break it down into a couple of posts.   Veronika gave us the morning off to as we pleased.  She had promised Florence, her daughter she would take her to the local flower market on Columbia Street.  They offered for any interested parties to tag along.  I have never been one to miss out on an adventure, so I got up bright and early in preparation for the day.  Since this was not part of the blogtour itinerary, I decided to dedicate a post strictly to the Columbia Street Market.  I took so many pictures I really had to cull through to only share the best.   I'm so glad I went!  It was a a lesson in local culture.  I loved every minute.  I hope you enjoy seeing the market through my photographs.  

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blogtour Day #4 with Modenus at Tent London & Lee Broom

Day 4 started with free time to do as we pleased.  Some of the group chose to sight see, but Holly Phillips, Jessica Gordon Ryan and I decided to take in the sights of the retail world.

Our first stop was Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly.  This is an incredible store for many reasons.  All three of us gravitated the amazing busts which towered above the displays of teas, foods and gift items.  Each bust was decorated to represent the items in that area.  This one was in the take away(take out) hamper area.  In this area, everything needed to pack a picnic basket could be found.

I bought this awesome little roller bag which turns out is ......

A picnic bag!!  I removed the plates, silverware and wine opener and used it for my roller bag while attending the shows.  It really came in handy for all the paperwork I gathered from showrooms.  It was a total back saver!

Beautiful shelves of exotic teas

I loved this indian style place which housed teas.

There was also a Chinese style display which also housed teas and tea cups.

We also walked down Piccadilly to Liberty of Londons.  On our way, I saw this cute tea shop called "Everything Stops for Tea".  

Interesting window displays were abundant along the way.  

We made it to Liberty's, but only had a few minutes to look around, because we needed to meet the rest of #Blogtour London at Tent London at noon which was at least a thirty minute cab ride away.   I was in Liberty's long enough to know I need to return for a more extensive shopping day in the hopefully near future.

Loved the beautiful exterior of the Liberty of London building!

Funky window display at Liberty of London

The first room when entering the store is the paper room.  There were journals, notepads, wrapping papers and everything to do with paper, all beautifully displayed.

I find it truly amazing that although we only had 10 minutes to shop, we each found something we wanted to buy!  Power shoppers we are I tell you!  Holly and I both wanted one of the new Liberty of London totes but the color and pattern we wanted was sold out until November.  Here's a link to the pattern. The pattern is a French Art Nouveau pattern called Iphis after the greek mythology character. The actual tote is pictured above on the right.  (My pocketbook said "thank you". ) Temptations are so great when traveling, especially when you are in another country and the money looks like monopoly money.

After our shopping exploits we met up with the rest of the Blogtour London Group in the Old Truman Brewery for Tent London. Tent London has a reputation for being the hub of contemporary design for the London Design Week Festival.  Did you know there are over 300 venues involved in London Design Festival week?  That is like High Point Market here on steroids. 

Take a few minutes and watch this video by Emily Peck of Achicha which gives an overview of trends at the show.  It will give you an overall  feel of what Tent London is really about as well as discuss current trends seen at this years show.  Click Here to view!

 I wanted to some photos of some of the highlights for me as well. 

As we walked the aisles of Tent London, we found incredibly beautiful new products like these gorgeous rugs from Front Design.  The display of these rugs was a eye catching as the rugs.  The ceiling of this space was mirrored in a copper like product and those ropes were gathered and looped to create column like effects. 

Mineheart was a favorite showroom.  Loved these ingenious pendants with tiny chandeliers. I'll be doing a more in-depth post about this line later.  Incredibly interesting products!

Printed fabrics with florals, animals and botanicals were in abundance.  This was a particularly interesting company.  We saw them at Design Junction and Tent London.

Upstairs we were greeted by more color.  We all felt that London Design shows were showing more color than what we have grown accustom to seeing here in the US, which gives hope for more color showing up in home decor here as well!

Beautiful boutique wallpaper lines were everywhere.  This was
definitely a favorite.  This line started out as pillows and lampshades and
 has grown to include wallpaper, fabrics, dinnerware and furniture.

Interesting lighting was also in abundance.  I took so many pictures of
lighting, I was beginning to think I was obsessed, but some of the other
#blogtourLDN members mentioned that there was indeed tons of lighting.

The displays were sometimes as interesting as the products.  I liked the rough crates used to display this beautiful china by Flux Stoke on Kent.  Flux is a completely British company with plans to come to the States.  The concept of this line is to choose the pieces and patterns you like to complete a collected look of china rather than matching sets. 

Funny ipad holders by Venus.  Some of our group called these women "blogger butts"

Believe it or not, chevron lives on.  I know people are really tired of
it, but it was at the shows.   Here is it mixed with stars, dots and squares in a neutral
palette which gives a different look from the colorful chevrons we have grown
accustom to seeing in the States.

Beautiful teacups and teapots

Pop up shops with beautiful throws

These adorable flowers were crafted from water bottles which were first sandblasted and then painted.  

Here are a few other water bottle creations.

This bowl was a showstopper made from the bottle bottoms and joined with metal grommets

This picture helps us see how the water bottle is shredded to create the chandelier  (chandelier made with this technique is in photo above on the right) the bottle is shredded, and sandblasted,  then color is added and voila one of the pieces is created for the chandelier!  I asked the artist what inspired her to work with water bottles and she said, while working at Starbucks she noticed a huge amount of water bottles being thrown away so she decided to see what she could create with them. Talk about creating something out of nothing!  She brings a whole new meaning to the word recycle. 

Color drew me to this little vignette.

This line stole my heart.  I can just imagine a little child's room
with this rug and fun animal heads!  The fox was my favorite.

Beautiful original art and hand carved cups

Zoe Murphy Table created by silk screens applied to the recycled furniture.  

Animal Trophies were also prevalent but unlike Maison de Objet, most in London were
faux heads like this snazzy sequined zebra.

This fairly well known London artist, Lizzie Mary Cullen, was advertising her work by creating a chalk mural during the show.  

She creatively used her space at Tent London as a visual resume 

This area of Tent London felt as though you were walking through an art gallery.
We first saw Sharon Marston's amazing  installation with thousands of hand woven metal petals suspended from polymer fiber optic and willow cane. 

Fun lighting

This console and mirror from Jake Phipps was beautiful and elegant

Kishimoto Design
I really wanted to try to sit in this chair but knew I would get reprimanded if I tried.

Sekita Design Studio

Cool texture on this foot stool from Farg & Blanche  
I was calling it the hedgehog stool, not sure what it is actually called.

Duffy London 's designs are ideas based on combining function with art and
 playing with concepts of geometry, gravity and illusion.  
Here's our group enjoying the table with swing chairs.

How fun is this Balloon Coffee Table from Duffy London 

Duffy London Runner Table & Shadow Chairs
See how the chairs give you the illusion of a shadow and the table looks
 as though it has a two runners which are actually the legs?

Tent London is where all the new, hip designers come to be discovered so it is
only natural that there is a young, hip crowd who come to see what's going on. 
 The streets all around Tent London are filled vendors selling jewelry, tee-shirts,
 and art as well as an area with vintage clothing.  Needless to say, it is an area
 of interest to anyone who likes design.  

We made our way down the alley to see what we could find there.  Can you see Holly?  Just look in the crowd for the tall blonde with the orange pocketbook.  I was always behind her snapping photos.  She would walk ahead and then stop, look back and wait for me to catch up.  I felt like I was playing "Where is Waldo" only Waldo was wearing very snazzy designer clothes and carrying an orange Givenchy purse! LOL!  

There were tons of food offerings down this alley.

Of course when we saw this sign, we were mildly intrigued.  I'm a pescatarian,
 but this sign even piqued my interest.  

The sandwiches were piled high with all sorts of meats.  
Once we turned the corner we were in an outdoor food court with food trucks
serving all kinds of foods.  The smell was divine.  

Tent London's "hip vibe" was never more apparent than at this food court which provided a plethora of food options to please to most discerning foodie.  Holly couldn't resist having a  chicken sandwich from Mother Clucker.

Of course anytime I can find falafel, I am going to have it!  It's one of my favs!  The ShawarmaShack didn't disappoint!  It was one of the best falafel sandwiches I have had!  The two guys cooking at ShawarmaShack said that the Queen of Norway had stopped earlier in the day to have a sandwich and her film crew had taped them for the evening news.  They were really excited about the publicity of being on television.  I figure if it's good enough for the Queen of Norway, it's good enough for me!

After our lunch break we made our way back into the street to investigate the outdoor market vendors.

I loved snapping pics of the street graffiti.  

 We made our way into the Backyard Markt[e1]t  where we found fun animals printed on 200 yr old pages from books.  Of course we bought a few.  After we purchased our goods it was time to meet up with the group at the entrance to Tent London.  Holly and I were exhausted to we found a Michael Ducaroy "Toga" chaise to plop down on in the Lignet Roset showroom.  We sat and waited for the others and all of the sudden look who was standing over us.....

Busted!  I thought Veronika was going to chide us for lounging but instead...

She and Flo joined us!  Lignet Roset has recently reintroduced Michael Ducaroy's 30 year old toga design in new fabrics and I must say it is as fab as ever!    Thank you to Lignet Roset show sales person Gillian for your hospitality! 

This is our showroom host at Lignet Roset who happens to also be
an interior designer as well.

Michael Ducaroy's "togo" in a new fabric.  There are tons of fabric options for this piece.  It is super comfy. 

Of course people watching was a fun sport at Tent London as well. 

After Tent London, we took off to visit Lee Broom's showroom

Lee Broom is one of the UK's leading product and interior designers.  He founded his own label only five years ago.  He won the Elle Decoration British Design Award for The Crystal Bulb in October 2012 and Designer of the Year 2011/2012 at the British Design Awards in November 2011.   

He won a fashion design competition at the age of 17 which led him to work for the legendary Vivian Westwood.  Broom's products are now retailed in over 25 countries.   He designed the Christian Louboutin salon in Harrod's.

Christian Louboutin Salon in Harrod's designed by Lee Broom.

Lee shared his boards for the salon with us and talked about how important the process of design is to the project.  

Close up of the tile pattern

View of the working side of the studio

Designer, Lee Broom

"The Snug"

In the lower level of the showroom, is an area called "The Snug" which Lee has created for his staff and clients to enjoy wine tasting, dinners and meetings.  Lee bought an old pub and fitted it inside the walls of this room to create this special place.  The ceiling is covered with his beautiful cut crystal bulbs.  

 Lee and his staff was very hospitable to us.  I want to personally thank Lee for the time he spent showing us the showroom and sharing his work.  His products are beautiful.  It was a real treat to visit the showroom and meet Lee. 

After our amazing visit to Lee Broom this little guy was beckoning us to join him down the alley way for drinks, so of course, we obliged !

Notice no one has written on the wall designated for graffiti!  Go figure!  I guess it's no fun if someone says you can do it, right?

Another fun sign along the way.

Here we found an outdoor seating area where we stopped to tweet, facebook and enjoy a various types of cider.  I chose pomegranate which was delicious.

Courtney and Holly getting their tweet and instagram on!

Susan and Martha relaxing and enjoying the break.  Martha owns Mr. Steam, I can't wait to share with you about her amazing company.  If you want the world's most luxurious steam shower, this is your company!  

If looks could kill, I'd be dead, right? Haha! I caught Leanne Wood owner of Flying Camel Public Relations being serious.  (She is going to kill me for posting this, because she is typically all smiles) but I caught her while taking a few minutes to check work emails during our break.  As you can see here, when it comes to her business, this woman is serious!    If your company needs a great PR firm, Leanne is your lady!  Check out her website here!  Just to prove she isn't always serious I found another picture of Leanne smiling!

Here she is with Marilyn Russell on the first morning of  #blogtourLDN.  Not only is Leanne  fun to be around but she was instrumental in helping Veronika organize the trip.  Holly and I were lucky to have Leanne plan our dinner that night.  We had the night off from blogtour activities so we made plans to eat at a restaurant recommended by Leanne's friend in Soho.  
 Turns out the place we were suppose to go had a huge wait list so they suggested we try another restaurant around the corner.  We took several trips around the corner before realizing the place we were trying to find didn't have a name on the door, over the door or anywhere on the outside of the building.  There was only a number.  Once inside we discovered a local speak easy.  It was a fun night but I don't think I have ever eaten in a darker place.  

Around the corner was Gwyneth Paltrow's recommendation but it was too late to
get in!  Oh well, we had a fun dinner and made our way back to the +citizenM hotels 

Along the way we enjoyed the night lights.

We did make one stop to the Everything Britannia store for souvenirs. 

Big Ben at Night

Another fun, inspiring and education #blogtour London day was coming to a close.
It was bedtime and even though my body and feet were saying "go to bed", my head was spinning with the excitement of everything we had done.  What a fun day!  I can only imagine
what Day 5 will bring.  Tomorrow we go to Decorex which I'm really looking forward to.

Thank you to the wonderful sponsors of Blogtour London!

BlogTour London Sponsors
My trip to #blogtourLDN was sponsored by these companies but opinions posted are my own.  

(All photography in this post is property of Lisa Mende Design, please do not use without permission and credit to Lisa Mende Design)

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