Interiors: London living room vignettes

April 21, 2015
Eclectic living room decor and DIY

Because minimalism is dead. In my house, anyway. And so is my decor, evidently.

• WORKING ON MY VIGNETTE GAME 

Vignettes. Still lifes. Curations. Cluttered clusters of crap. Whatever, give me ‘stuff’ or give me death —  I am not one for minimalism, you couldn’t pry my collection of onyx eggs out of my cold dead hands even if you tried. If you believe that one's collections are an insightful ‘cheat sheet’ into their psyche then my assorted paraphernalia suggests that I have a sort of morbid fascination with the natural world (although not quite on the same level of Jan Svankmajer). Or maybe I just like taxidermy because it’s the idiot-proof, kill-safe alternative to having a pet?

I’ve noticed a theme in my living room’s collections: natural history. Taxidermy, seashells, insects, minerals, and flowers. And then there is the art; vintage Hermès prints and James Gillray caricatures, contemporary illustrations and landscape photography, and paintings by artist friends (none of my own as I fall out of love with all my drawings as soon as the ink dries). 

I call my decorating style ‘calm chaos’ which is a nicer way of saying ‘I have all this stuff but no idea how to display it so I’m just going to style them in groups and pray that the brightness of my living room will somewhat offset the higgledy piggledy-ness of all my junk’. Anyway. Here are some vignettes in my living room and a sneak peek of a couple DIYs I’ve done. I’d do a full living room tour but I’m still decorating (read: getting to grips with the awkward layout/size of the space — what kind of sadist decided that 16’ x 12’ (192 square feet) is adequate?! Time to move to the ‘burbs, methinks…)



• BUGS AND BLOOMS 

I get most of my insects from Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park, the rest are from my grandfather's collection, gifts from Henry, and from my friend's shop The Last Tuesday Society on Mare Street. My blooms change weekly, depending on what's in season at Columbia Road flower market.



• ART 

Painting by my talented friend Nichole Fitch. An old photo frame I found at a car boot sale borders a light switch.


My landscapes: Recursion by artist and creative director Leif Podhajsky, and a photographic print of the Norwegian fjords by Hannah of Wolf and Moon.



//LEFT// Vintage Hermès prints displayed above New Morality by James Gillray, a 1798 satirical foldout in conservative British political periodical The Anti-Jacobin Review. 

//RIGHT// Beneath a shelf of taxidermy is a quadtych (what a gruesome word) of prints by Louis Vuitton. I once mentioned that they were gifted by the French fashion house to their most loyal customers and I got hate mail for it (on a Christmas Day blog post, no less).  There's no pleasing some is there? 

Picture ledge and floating shelf are both from IKEA. A lot of my furnishings are modest and minimal IKEA pieces spruced up with a bit of elbow grease or in my case, some gold spray paint, marble contact paper, and gold leaf...

• MARBLE AND GOLD LEAF DIY 

Eclectic living room decor and DIY

...like my side table (above) and coffee table (below). Isn't it amazing what a few cans of gold spray paint, patterned contact paper, gold leaf, and a steady hand can do? I don't care how elitist you think you are, you must agree that some IKEA furniture is the perfect blank canvas for DIYs that, with the right touch, can look far more expensive and elegant than they are.

Yes, that is a Frozen tissue box. God bless merchandising. Sea shell from Vietnam, rat skull from The Last Tuesday Society.



Eclectic living room decor and DIY




• 'PETS' I CAN'T KILL 



Matilda the duck is the latest addition to my family of feathered and furry friends. She rests pretty with my collection of sea shells from Borneo and Indonesia, agates from Romania, tiger cub skull from The Last Tuesday Society, and my obsession du jour — marble and onyx eggs. I'm searching for the perfect bell jar for Matilda alas, none of my bell jars fit, but that itself is an excuse for more vintage treasure hunting...




Now that I've introduced you to some of the cozier corners of my living room, the question is: what would you like to see next? What tickles your curiosity most; a room tour, a DIY post on the lazy girl's guide to turning IKEA furniture into gilded marble beauties, or the best vintage sources in London to shop for taxidermy (and similar curiousos) on the cheap? x 



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13 comments:

  1. What a beautiful collection!

    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

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  2. This looks stunning! Love having a cheeky nosy into other people's tastes and lives..!


    Lauren xx
    The Lifestyle Diaries

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  3. Never enough gold and marble. Room looks tight.

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  4. Thank you Danielle! I agree, one can never have too much marble and gold. I just ordered another 4 metres of marble contact paper - my desk is next! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

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  5. Thank you Lauren! I'm the same, I LOVE reading about other people's day-to-day! Especially their homes and what's in their bags! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

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  6. "'Pets' I can't kill" bahaha. Love your taste - I'd love a cluster of entomological specimens and modern art to grace my future apartment too! x

    Tamsin / A Certain Adventure

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  7. Lisa! That's so spot on, I feel like your explanation just removed the figurative blinkers from my eyes. It all makes sense now - the rolling around with huskies in the Latvian snow, the Pinterest board dedicated to bodies of water...I'm craving nature! I had no idea about conch shells, guess I'll be getting a few more for myself. I hope you get the parrot skeleton you want. If you don't mind an African grey parrot my local vintage shop is selling one! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

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  8. Tamsin! Bugs from Malaysia are so cheap compared to BugsDirect.com (Yes that is an actual website!). I'm going back to K.L in November, if something is bugging you (HA) let me know and I'll find it for you! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

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  9. I love the way you've grouped the photos together, and your use of gold paint, Yasiminne. I would definitely like to read about the best vintage sources for curios. I really enjoy wandering around Lassco for reclaimed furniture like old bathtubs and chapel chairs.


    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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  10. Oh I love Lassco! It's on my 'one day' list - until then I'm just a happy window-shopper! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

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  11. hellothemushroomApril 30, 2015

    I love taxidermy and your collection is getting better and better :)
    Love your DIYs- you are absolutely right - it doesn't have to be expensive to be nice!

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  12. All ya need is some marble contact paper, spray paint, and some muscle! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

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