Move over, Uber: I've found a better ride to Dreamland thanks to my new bedfellow and she doesn't even turn up the Magic FM to drown out my primeval grunts and gargles.
You see, I
sufferenjoy this sleeping disorder I call 'car-colepsy' which takes me from 0 to zZz in under 90 seconds - and before you ask, only as a passenger, never as the driver. You can leave your house now. For years, my lack of license to party with REM (of the dreaming variety, not the band) outside of the backseats of taxis was pegged to the factor that despite being born a whole 2 weeks late I'm still not ready to leave the womb for its white noise and gentle rocking delights. Short of installing Magic Fingers (I can't decide which side of the 'creepy or decadent?' line it shuffles over) I've tried everything - the sophomoric droning of Brian Cox, glasses of warm milk, anti-allergy bedding covers, heck, even redecorating my bedroom.
When Leesa got in touch with me with the promise of #BetterSleep I was at best curious, at worst, skeptical. What could their mattresses, as widely-lauded as they are in the US, do for me that my previous bed slabs have failed to achieve? Will I, despite their best of intentions, be condemned to a life of getting my shuteye in moving cars and hotel rooms? My fears were unfounded: after a week of testing The Leesa Mattress + an uninterrupted run of 7-8 hour sleeps, the blame for my once-chronic insomnia was shifted as quickly as it (my previous mattress) was shuffled into a removal van.
IN COLLABORATION WITH LEESA
THE SIMPLE LIFE AMIDST THE RAINFOREST TREETOPS OF JANDA BAIK, PAHANG
Idaman (Malay, Indonesian) - n. ideal, craving, desire.
How wonderfully fitting, as Idaman House was my family's choice for a weekend of fresh forest air.
The Malay kampong (village) of Janda Baik - literally 'the good widow' - is, according to local folklore, named after a kindly widow of local folklore who tended to a wounded mercenary passing through the town. My party of ten enjoyed similar hospitality - a 5-bedroom villa in the mountains tended to by a staff of three who took care of our every need, leaving us free to relax and enjoy our verdant surroundings.
December 25, 2015
Happy Christmas! This year I embraced the festive spirit by gifting myself with a bedroom makeover.
I'll be damned if I let social media drive the printed photo to extinction - luckily, I have a 'conservation partner' in Zazzle!
If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen my attempt to DIY air-con with a fan and a bowl of frozen carrots to beat Wednesday's heatwave (the carrots went soggy in ten minutes and were made into soup). A better-executed idea was to make a reading nook in the coolest room in my home - the master bedroom.
This, dear reader, is my personal pinnacle of human achievement: a workspace I don't have to hurriedly throw a sheet over whenever I have company for shame of the mess that dares not speak its name(s). Mostly chips and dents in the desk, a rainbow-hued avalanche of Sharpies, and camera lenses haphazardly rolling about -- is that a lens cap in my mug of tea? Yes.
|I've got my eye on you, Tropicana Residences...more on that in a bit.|
March 07, 2015
I've got my eye on you, Tropicana Residences...more on that in a bit. Please accept my apologies for my radio silence. I've ha...
...aaaaaand I've finally finished updating my bedroom for winter!
There's nothing quite as invigorating like a fresh lick of paint to bring some colour to your life or in my case remove the awful colour from my walls. The 'Malayan tapir' (half black, half white) wall in my bedroom that ocularly offended my eyeballs for the past four years has finally been whitewashed into a thing of pure, glacial beauty. Behold the frosty cleanliness Crown Breatheasy 'Brilliant White' has bestowed upon these walls in all its icy, matte splendour. You know me, I'm no minimalist---if my walls don't resemble an orgy in a crayon box than those colours aren't for me---but I think that in this instance I'm alright with all-white.
November 28, 2014
...aaaaaand I've finally finished updating my bedroom for winter! There's nothing quite as invigorating like a fresh lick ...
'Grand chandelier' glo canvas, Nelly London / Moët blanket, gifted / faux fur throw, TK Maxx / Mulig rail, IKEA / unfinished paint job, me.
When I stepped off the plane from Kuala Lumpur an arctic blast greeted me and blasted away any delusions I had of an eternal summer after being in Malaysia for nearly a month. Winter is here in London and it is real, so real the doctor says I'm the ill-est ('cos I'm suffering from realness). I've taken great steps to weatherproof my nest, and by that I mean redecorate my bedroom to be so clean, calming, and warm so that I'd never need leave it except for work. If only I could so easily insulate my artist's studio! Those huge windows, so welcome in summer, are now perplexing my tranquility. C'est whatever. One space at a time. For now I've been repainting my bedroom walls and rearranging the furniture to accommodate my growing collection of winter clothes (those damn furs take up so much space).
A sudden and striking realisation hit me---there are no curtains in my life. None whatsoever. It's not that there aren't any windows where I live, quite the contrary; my Shoreditch apartment has floor-to-ceiling windows strategically facing both South and East for maximum light, my Battersea Power Station apartment-to be has a sheltered balcony with glass walls that spans the length of the place, and my new artist studio has huge windows, an increasing rarity. But curtains and blinds? Hmmmm. My BPS flat isn't due for completion till 2016, so I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm enjoying the natural light I get in my artist studio so curtains for that space isn't exactly high on my priority list. My Shoreditch flat? I did have in the living room these sheer drapes on a flimsy IKEA curtain wire that kept getting ripped down by drunken guests back in my party animal days, and ever since I've made do with these fabric rolling blinds (is that the term for it?) fitted into the window frames to prevent clumsy curtain-related incidents. So as far as the eyes to the home (windows) go, I've got peepers galore, but when it comes to the eyelashes to the eyes of the home (curtains) I'm as bare as a nervous obsessive-compulsive who plucks their eyelashes when stressed.
A couple of weeks ago Hillarys invited me to preview their new collection of Roman blinds and curtains, a collaboration with House Beautiful magazine. Over the past months the Hillarys product design team worked closely with one of the biggest and best home magazines in the UK - House Beautiful - to create an edited collection of Roman blinds and curtains. The ‘Global Textures’ range is the result of this collaboration with House Beautiful; a capsule collection of 21 fabulous fabrics across three chic colour palettes. Myself, Henry, and other bloggers were invited to see, touch, and hear all about the new collection ahead of its UK launch in the penthouse of Chelsea Harbour Hotel. Experts, including head of product design Sarah Quilliam and House Beautiful editor Julia Goodwin, were on hand with insider tips on the inspiration behind the collection and how to use the new fabric designs in the home as well as the trends to look out for over the coming seasons ---a feat as the creative process takes 8 months, meaning that they have to forecast the trends for the coming year.
The Hillarys & House Beautiful range of Roman blind and curtain fabrics are inspired by architecture from around the world, with damask and jacquard, and textures that bring to mind Roman arches, Portuguese tiles, and traditional textile techniques. The fabrics have a 'three-way', sitting in three colour palettes that the design team have taken great care to ensure they complement each other beautifully to make it easy to layer contrasting blinds with curtains for a eclectic yet cohesive feel. In an interview, Julia Goodwin describes the collection: "Global Textures is a clever and individual edited collection of fabrics that blend together to make it easy to create a unique and distinctive look in your room. It’s stylish but also very trend led. The different finishes - embroidery, jacquard and print - add a global accent to the designs."
Hillarys understands the appeal of the brand to individuals and busy families who want their homes to combine inspiration with practical elements, and so for their client's convenience will visit them at home at a time that suits them. Hillarys are very welcome to show up, unannounced, to my homes and surprise me with a total makeover. I'm especially partial to the grey range, hint hint.
I fell in love with these two mood boards; my favourite colour is grey (next to mint green and dusky rose or as I like to call it 'blush') and I love jacquards, damasks, and chevrons. Even though I don't especially like bright pink nor purple (purple used to be my favourite colour until I learnt that it was my unlucky colour, so I've since conditioned myself to dislike it) I found myself quite drawn to it, I think they especially compliment the yellows in House Beautiful & Hillarys' carefully curated colour palette.
I am especially enamoured with the 'faded ombre' look of these two fabrics. Hillarys & House Beautiful fabrics are designed to be fade-resistant as possible, undergoing intense testing involving being blasted constantly with light to imitate the effects of sun exposure. Even so, the fabrics are lined, giving it fade-resistance akin to the leather seats of a BMW if I'm not mistaken.
Henry doing his signature 'yawning cat' and pretending to be a cat just emerging from a nap behind the curtains.
Until then I hadn't even thought of curtains, so busy have I been with decorating three different properties (my Shoreditch flat, my studio, Henry's flat), planning a fourth (my Battersea one), and possibly buying a fifth in South London (my mother offered me a Bermondsey apartment to make my travelling to the studio easier). Even now Henry's living room has a gorgeous heavy duty rail that we spent a good two hours to install, but no curtains. And don't even get me started on my own apartment! Inevitably Henry will be needing coverings for the windows, as will we both should we ever get a place together, and I can safely say that Hillarys & House Beautiful's grey palette and ombre damask curtains are on our shopping list. Discover the range here. x