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  1.  

    As we are looking at the daffodils and other signs announcing the imminent arrival of spring, time has come to pack up and remove all things "winter palace" and finally allow a touch of spring into your home. 

    One of this year`s big inspirations is going back to basics and re-discovering nature. The passionate gardener and lover of quirky collectible items can breathe deep and enjoy bringing the large variety it has to offer back into the house.

    Amongst a selection of outdoor creatures there is a definite trend back to the feathered variety in all forms, shapes, colours and sizes. The "world of interiors" has managed yet again, to offer a different and new take on these inspirational species which seem to resurface on a regular basis. There is a wonderful selection and range from traditional to vintage, quirky and contemporary capturing the current market. This trend though need not be chintzy, and the colours can be quite muted.

    By the way, a "little bird" tells me that there might be one or two decorative objects based on these feathered friends heading towards the Partridge Auction rooms hoping to find a new home during the next auction!

     

     

    QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

     

    Q:  I am renovating my kitchen. I rather like wooden flooring but would you recommend it in the kitchen, Caroline

    A:   Dear Caroline, I too love wooden flooring in the kitchen. It creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere and adds texture. There are lots of finishes available nowadays which are very durable and will be robust enough to survive the daily demands and heavy use. Should you have kitchen cupboards in a natural wood stain though just make sure that you choose a suitable contrast color on the floor.

     

    Q:  I would love to have an oversize wall pin board but also heard of magnetic walls. What are they and where can I get them, Stefanie

    A:  Hi Stefanie, If you are looking to use a large area to pin notes or photos on, magnet paint is a wonderful alternative to pin boards. The secret is in the paint which normally comes as a pre-mixed, lead free water based latex primer. Magnet paint can be top coated with any kind of paint or color. The walls will look no different to any other wall but have the advantage that magnets will stick to them and maintain the clean look of a wall. The paint is available via Magpaint, www.magpaint.com. The company has outlets in many countries including Switzerland. You can find the relevant supplier details on their website.

     

     

    SOMETHING THAT CAUGHT MY EYES THIS WEEK

     

     

    Bird Chandelier

    This Bird Cage Chandelier must surely bring a big smile to anybody lucky enough to have this very jolly and colorful ceiling light cheering up their room. The menagerie of beautifully colored birds are made from real feathers which are all individually crafted, www.grahamandgreen.co.uk

     

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    If you like something with a difference and have been hunting for some truly rare species, look no further! They are in easy, yet limited reach! "Unique" and "individual" are a very worthy description for these exquisitely handcrafted products from Mexico. Each piece is made to order and created in four stages by local artisan craftsmen, so no piece is the same. This is certainly not a "mass market" product so fear not, that you will be seeing these lovely creatures in every other house! Amongst the products on offer are water jugs with Toucan handles, small jugs with beautiful cockatoos or elegant candlesticks with a malachite parrot perched at their centre. From the Lapis or Malachite, the hand beaten copper or the silver plate which cover the jugs, each raw material has been sourced from the local mines in Central Mexico, www.silverbirchproducts.com.

     

    BIR4322_LEX1503-1 2

    For bird lovers looking for the one "useful" statement piece sitting on a console or side table, this is definitely IT! The David Hunt "Birdy Lamp" comes with either a hot pink or taupe silk shade. David Hunt is well known for producing very original and unusual products and offers a broad range from classic to contemporary including a bespoke and international shipping service, darlighting.co.uk.

     

    Birdvases

    You don`t even need a birdcage for this Woodpecker and Sparrow. The "Purist Bird Vases" are gorgeous and brighten up any accent or dinner table. I am very tempted to get a set myself and line all the birds up across a festive lunch table this Easter and beyond. Instead of just one central flower arrangement,  just pop some pretty flowers into each of those vases and it will create a beautiful spring table with a difference,  www.grahamandgreen.co.uk.

    Looking forward to any comments or questions and hope you will join my blog again next week.

     

    Isabell

     

  2. A Lot To Blog About

    Hello and welcome to our weekly feature with Interior Designer Isabell Browell

    The February auction in Founex was a wonderful success. The products for sale were plentyful and varied, and I saw a regular stream of  visitors and buyers making the most of the preview-day on Wednesday to see wether they could spot that special piece for their house.

    As a result, Evelyn and Kathleen received an unusually large amount of absentee bids from those who were not able to attend the auction. Still, on auction night, there was a large crowd of very keen buyers and bidders, and Zoe, the guest auctioneer, did a brilliant job taking and talking everybody through the large selection of furniture and accessories.

    There was some strong "surprise" bidding on numerous Lots such as a wooden magazine rack, Mappin and Webb spoon, and a framed poster from the movie Metropolis, which goes to show that you can never tell what will ignite fervent bidding and a fight to the finish between bidders determined to walk away with that special piece, bringing theatre and excitement to the evening.

    From what I hear the auction night has already become the talk of the dinner party tables, which leads me to believe that Partridge Auctions is establishing its first regular and loyal clients. Topping the previous auction in terms of volume of products, attendees, and sold items, Partridge Auctions seems to be heading from strength to strength.

      

    ANY QUESTIONS

    In addition to sharing my love for  "all things beautiful" in and around the house I will be answering two interior design related questions every week so do get in touch and send your questions to me at  [email protected]

    If you need any specific help with your home and would like to use my services you are very welcome to contact me via my website on  www.browellinteriors.com.

     

    Q:   Our dining room is quite small. How can I make it look bigger? Marina.

    A:  Hi Marina, Ideally you should keep the colors fairly light and neutral.  Stay away from heavy and dark furniture and go for a glass dining table which visually increases the space.  Mirrors are also a great "space enhancer" and can work wonders in a small room.

     

    Q:  How can I style my coffee table and give it a designery look? Anna

    A:  Dear Anna, Decor on a coffee table can add another dimention to a room.  Wether you find something unusual at an auction or shop or have a look around your attic, you can give some of your favourite pieces the attention they deserve. From old family memrobilia such as photo albums, grannies favourite bowl, a pretty box,  or a favourite souvenir from a special holiday, to a collection of coffee table books, a nice large statement candle, a tray or a pretty plant, every piece can add history and a very personal touch to your living area. Without spending a fortune you can even give your room a "mini-makeover" by changing the objects on your coffee table according to the season.

     


    SOMETHING THAT CAUGHT MY EYE THIS WEEK

     

     

    Chalet Chic

    If you are still agonising over wether or not you should have placed your bid on the gorgeous South American camel & white Quanaco Fur Throw on sale at last weeks Partridge Auction, you will be pleased to hear that it is still in your reach and will come up at the next auction. Why not use it as a starting point to create the perfect "chalet chic" ambience. Here are a few products which would certainly add a few nice touches to the look:

     

    Kudu Table Lamp

     

    This David Hunt Kudu modern table lamp is a real "Out of Africa" statement piece. The base and shade have a very trendy black/gold finish creating a contemporary look yet working well with both classic and modern interior, darlighting.co.uk

     

     

    Horn Wall Light

     

    The simplicity of the horn base combined with a more contemporary shade is a rather modern take on a classic lamp which looks good on most walls.  This David Hunt Natural Horn Wall Light is part of the "Jersey" range and available in a left and right horn design, www.darlighting.co.uk

     

    cowhide_interiorshot

     

    Designed by Young & Battaglia this is the "stretch limo" equivalent of the "Cowhide Look" - just in case the standard size of the real "thing" doesn`t quite fit the lenght of your room or hallway. And no, Sientists have not diverted into breeding extra long cows!  The secret is a digital printing process onto a special rubber backed fabric. The quality of the photographic images from a real cowhide is remarkably good. It can be made to measure up to 380cm long, www.mineheart.com.

     

    persiancowhide6 

    With this Persian Cowhide Rug design, Young & Battaglia have brought to life another rare and exotic type of "beast" which is nowhere else to be found! The mix of the geometric design of a Persian carpet with the natural irregularity of an animal skin gives this rug a truly unique appearance,  www.mineheart.com

     

    mouse_matscene2 

    A stylish solution for any desk is this leather mousemat in the shape of a cowhide rug. The leather ages gracefully and will always look good,  www.mineheart.com

     

    Looking forward to your visit to A Lot To Blog About next Wednesday.

     

    Isabell