Abigail Ahern http://www.abigailahern.org Blog Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:43:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The low down on layering up rugs successfully http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/27/low-layering-rugs-successfully/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=low-layering-rugs-successfully http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/27/low-layering-rugs-successfully/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:43:46 +0000 http://www.abigailahern.org/?p=8014 All the tricks you’ll ever need to know when it comes to layering up rugs!

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We can be a bit funny about layering rugs don’t you think?  Happy to layer clothes or our beds with additional throws and pillows but when it comes to the floor we back off. Wonder why? There are so many reasons to do it; I can think of oh at least 5!

 

Use rugs as a highlight

Layering a smaller rug over a bigger rug adds an immediate highlight a definition if you like to any area. Sometimes enormous floating rugs can sap the energy in a space, layering a smaller rug on top brings the emphasis back into the room. Same applies if you have wall-to-wall carpeting especially if it’s in a solid hue. Float a smaller patterned rug on top and magic happens.

 

Add an extra spot of warmth

A small sheepskin in the corner or at the end of the bed adds a cosy additional layer. Suddenly you’re space comes alive, feels more sumptuous, textured and cool all by plonking a sheepskin on top of a rug. Clever no?

 

Add contrasting textures

The trick when you are layering rugs is to not match your weaves. So you would want something a bit more wooly and slubby and lux over jute say.  Conversely put a Berber over a flat weave so you get this really interesting intermingling of textures and weaves, slubby and flat.

 

Smaller rugs help out the budget

Finding a huge rug that fits the whole floor is not only costly but time consuming. I find rugs one of the hardest things to buy especially large ones so a trick I use quite often it to butt up quite a few small ones together which cuts the budget in half whilst giving me the rug coverage I need!

 

Breaking up a solid

When you select rugs try and steer clear from two many solidly hued ones.

You don’t really want to layer or butt up a solid against another solid block of colour. Opt instead for a good shot of pattern however subtle that may be. I’ve got the subtlest pattern going on in all my rugs but it makes the floors look so much cooler. Promise!

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Spectacular decorating ideas for concrete blocks! http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/26/spectacular-decorating-ideas-concrete-blocks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=spectacular-decorating-ideas-concrete-blocks http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/26/spectacular-decorating-ideas-concrete-blocks/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:59:04 +0000 http://www.abigailahern.org/?p=8007 Some super inspirational ideas for turning concrete blocks into the most fabulous furniture and accessories.

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I’m a little Ace obsessed at the moment. I’m staying in both their hotels in NYC and LA this week and very recently had lunch at their recently opened one in Shoreditch.

On walking through the lobby I happened upon a really cool coffee table crafted from cinder/concrete blocks.  Super cool thought I, came home goggled them and found a whole host of genius ideas on how people have turned them into some fantastic things from coffee tables to outdoor planters to benches. Low cost, they rock an industrial modern vibe and I’m becoming quite a fan! See the mood board for inspiration! Don’t know about you guys but I’m thinking of implementing some of these ideas at home!

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The Best of the Week Ending August 22nd http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/23/best-week-ending-august-22nd/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-week-ending-august-22nd http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/23/best-week-ending-august-22nd/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 08:54:15 +0000 http://www.abigailahern.org/?p=8001 A round up of the best of AA, highlighting the most popular posts of the week!

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Every Saturday I highlight the best of the blog from the last week. A recap of the most popular posts, so in no particular order here goes:

The low down on how to mix and sometimes match dining chairs! - Should dining chairs match or every one of them be different? Here is your ultimate guide!

How to start thinking like a designer - Tricks for revamping your home that all us designers know but rarely want to share!

Why this works. Dissecting a living room - Drilling down into the details, from mixing up finishes to giving a nod to tradition. Components that will give you the best living room on the planet!

6 ways to make your bathrooms more drool worthy! - From fireplaces to chandeliers above the tub, here are 6 cool ways to transform your bathroom

Meet Skinny laMinx - Meet Heather Moore of Skinny laMinx on this weeks Open Call

9 ways to make a small room appear bigger without actually knocking down walls! - Clever colour choices, strategic furniture placement and interesting lighting are just of the few ways to make a small space feel H U G E!

Happy Weekend

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6 ways to make your bathrooms more drool worthy! http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/22/6-ways-make-bathrooms-drool-worthy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6-ways-make-bathrooms-drool-worthy http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/22/6-ways-make-bathrooms-drool-worthy/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 05:14:06 +0000 http://www.abigailahern.org/?p=7989 From fireplaces to chandeliers above the tub, here are 6 cool ways to transform your bathroom

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Before I begin on bathrooms just to let you know there is no blog on Monday (its a bank holiday in the UK) and also I’m in the States. Posts will resume on Tuesday but you’ll have to forgive me if I am a little slow in answering things. We have the craziest shooting schedule ever! Different coasts, 2 pads a day and all in 5 days. Which is why I hate to say there is no business column this afternoon. It’s been such a full on week that I just haven’t had to the time to pen. Sorry about that.

Lets get down to biz and talk bathrooms.

Bathrooms I find can be a lot like kitchens we focus on the practical stuff like tubs, sinks, and showers. Then we totally forget the things that really turn it around like chandeliers, super sized faucets, bold statements that take bathrooms to the next level! I, as I moan on about continually don’t have the best bathroom. I want to rip it all up and start again. Tile choices I made 12 years ago in my Scandi country God knows what phase bug the hell out of me. Plus its not quite as simple as purely replacing the tiles because once I start on the room I want to turn the window into a door, have a jungle inspired roof terrace, and who knows what else.

Do-able just not so simple so it constantly gets neglected. But I can dream right! I find that the best bathrooms have the following transformative decorating tricks that take them to the next level, all on my radar for whenever I change mine up!

Statement Lighting

I know we have to be careful with lighting and water but that doesn’t mean we have to play it safe. I’ve hung a super sized wire chandelier over my bath, something that I actually love. Suddenly the room feels grander, cooler and way more sophisticated

Think differently about walls

I think bathrooms are a great space to experiment with walls. Consider a cool colour, cladding them with wood or tiles or even wallpaper. That way you’ll give them loads of personality and you’ll hardly need to do anything else.  Go out of your comfort zone I say magic happens if you do that.

Bath taps as sink taps

I am obsessed with gold taps, warmer than silver or chrome if I were to start over I would totally go down this route. Another little trick I do all the time is use bath taps over my sink because they are chunkier, bigger and so much cooler!

Fireplaces

Our house is Victorian so there are working fireplaces in every room and rather than remove them we’ve kept it. Extremely sexy and luxe I only wish I could say I used the fireplace more regularly in the bathroom.

I will once I can turn it into a space I actually want to linger in rather than a zone that I run in and out of at top speed to prevent the migraine starting.

A good floor

To create a spa like feel don’t neglect the floor feet have the most pressure points in the body so standing on a smooth under heated floor is super therapeutic.

Go off radar with tiles

Tiles are a game changer if you’ve got big bucks to spend take inspiration from the bathroom in the slide show designed by Kelly Wearstler. Green marble walls coupled with a porthole shaped mirror. Beautiful. If you can’t stretch to marble there are heaps of amazing tiles out there which will look super effective

Furniture

Add some chairs, stools dressers even. Unique pieces of furniture can add personality to any bathroom space.

Oh and I’ll be over on Instagram a lot next week if you fancy seeing what I’m up too. Have a lovely weekend

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Why this works. Dissecting a living room http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/21/works-dissecting-living-room/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=works-dissecting-living-room http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/21/works-dissecting-living-room/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 04:56:34 +0000 http://www.abigailahern.org/?p=7984 Drilling down into the details, from mixing up finishes to giving a nod to tradition. Components that will give you the best living room on the planet!

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I love breaking rooms down and figuring out what makes them work. First glance they might feel unachievable and unobtainable, but with a bit of poking around, looking under the covers and digging deep you’ll find a formula before too long. Lets take this space for instance of Jenna Lyons old pad shot for Vogue. I know its been featured a zillion times before but there is a reason for that its super cool. I’ve written a little formula for why this room works so darn well!

Give a nod to traditional

All interiors in my book work well with some sort of traditional bones.  Jenna and I both have oodles of that in an our choice of older style house but if you haven’t fear not as you can add some traditional, classic shapes – check out Jenna’s sofa. If everything is from the same period it feels a little bit one dimensional so mix it up I say. It doesn’t have to be through the big pieces either, you could opt for ornate style mirrors, artwork, side tables – pieces that tell a narrative and look like they have a history.

Add some zing

What takes this space to the next level is the upholstery.  That bright, zingy yellow found on a traditional looking sofa is pure genius! It updates it, gives the space a contemporary and fun vibe and tells you someone supremely creative lives here.

Ethnic rugs

I am a big fan of ethnic rugs they have such a relaxed cosy vibe and I am forever mixing them into my interiors. The pile is important the thicker and fluffier the more relaxed (super important for living rooms). Despite  having the reputation of not being easy to maintain they are, I’ve got them skimming floors in the bedroom and the studio and they are pretty resilient. Oh and mine are all cream and double OH I have two dogs who like to roll in mud (well one does), and still they work!

Mix the finishes

Check out the contemporary artwork, the traditional chandelier the heap of wood in the alcove.  It’s that mix of raw wood finishes with polished surfaces that is so clever. Throw in to that mix a fluffy rug, woolly cushions and a whole lot of pattern and you’ve pretty much nailed it I reckon.

In a nutshell a rustic, traditional, ethnic, modern combo works brilliantly. Pretty timeless I reckon and not something you would want to change-up a hurry!

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The low down on how to mix and sometimes match dining chairs! http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/20/low-mix-sometimes-match-dining-chairs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=low-mix-sometimes-match-dining-chairs http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/20/low-mix-sometimes-match-dining-chairs/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 04:55:36 +0000 http://www.abigailahern.org/?p=7974 Should dining chairs match or every one of them be different? Here is your ultimate guide!

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The eclectic trend in interiors right now is set to continue for who knows how long.  Something I am super excited about because for me rooms where nothing matches but yet somehow all make sense is a look I happen to find the most magical. The hardest look in the world to pull off because there aren’t any rules as such but by far the coolest.There are tricks us designers use to make eclectic mismatched rooms feel super harmonious and today I am specifically focusing on dining chairs. No matter the size of your dining table how do you deal with the chairs?  Having a load of mismatched chairs can look like a hot mess and too many of the same vibe can make the room feel really dull.

Here are some tips for bringing them altogether:

Mix in twos

A la Noah’s arc!  I do this all the time it will make the scheme feel more cohesive. Not every chair has to be a couple obviously you can totally have the odd loaner but it will automatically make your space feel far more cohesive and harmonious.

Same style different design

One trick many designers use is to go for the same style of dining chair but change-up the colour or pattern to add visual interest. Totally works

Different styles one colour

Conversely you can mix a whole bunch of different chairs together if you tie in that colour palette. Nail it down to one or two max and you’ll love the vibe

Same material different styles

OMG can you believe all theses different combos. Another trick we use is to reign in the material and mix up the styles, the possibilities are indeed endless!

Keep the heights similar

As much as I’m for a lively rhythm around a room I think when it comes to chairs around the dining table the heights need to be pretty similar as otherwise it can look a little disjointed. Do this and it will make your scheme beautiful.

Add an odd one

You can totally go for all the same chairs if you then plonk in an odd one. When I say odd I mean really odd it can’t relate in colour or style to the rest of them as the whole thing won’t work – see the slide show for inspiration.

Happy Wednesday, 3 more sleeps and snuggles with the two M’s until I’m off which is not such a happy thought but it won’t be for long. If it were up to me I would never go anywhere without them, very un grown up no!

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Online & instore final days of sale with these fabulous discounts. http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/19/online-instore-final-days-sale-fabulous-discounts/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=online-instore-final-days-sale-fabulous-discounts http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/19/online-instore-final-days-sale-fabulous-discounts/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:16:03 +0000 http://www.abigailahern.org/?p=7968 Amazing discounts on all our big hitters for the last few days of sale!

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With autumn literally around the corner we are all rather eager to move in our amazing new collection for A/W. Think sheepskins, think lots of gold from brutalist style lamps, to tables to candlesticks plus the most amazing weathered stone console! I think it might cause a divorce if I nab one from the warehouse as I’ve taken a load of late! New flowers are due in hopefully before I leave for the US on the weekend so Gem and I can get out on Friday. We’ve got new sofas, arm chairs & dining chairs, cushions OMG its all change. Which brings me nicely to my next point as we are nearly the end of our sale we having some fabulous discounts on our most popular big hitters. Faux flowers (40% off them all, 25% off all our animal lamps and 20% off mirrors but its only on existing stock just to warn).
Happy shopping

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Meet Skinny laMinx http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/19/meet-skinny-laminx/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=meet-skinny-laminx http://www.abigailahern.org/2014/08/19/meet-skinny-laminx/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:34:47 +0000 http://www.abigailahern.org/?p=7961 Meet Heather Moore of Skinny laMinx on this weeks Open Call

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I’m a little  behind with my Open Call posts of late, in fact if truth be known I am a little behind on everything. I thought August was supposed to be the quiet month, time to lounge around the pool, catch up on novels and not work like a crazy person. Hey ho to that!

I am super  excited to share with you Heather Moore’s story, as it’s an inspirational one at that. Heather started out blogging about her experiments with screen-printing in her studio which then lead her to opening an online store. Which then lead her to opening a bricks-and-mortar store in Cape Town employing 7 full-time staff members, two online shops and a thriving wholesale business around the world. As Heather says, “It’s been quite a journey!

Last month she launched a new fabric collection that she’s been working on  and I whizzed over some questions so we could get more of an insight into her biz.

Thanks so much for emailing in Heather and I wish you much continued success!

What lead you to start your own business?

Skinny laMinx pretty much started by accident in 2006, when I took a break from illustration work and started blogging about my screenprinting experiments. I was making so many cushions and teatowels, I opened an online shop to try to make space in my studio, and before I knew it, my little hobby was taking up all my time. I had not intended to start a business, as I’m quite a risk-averse type, but so many fantastic opportunities were coming my way, and it would have been ungrateful to have turned them down.

The business really got cracking when Pearl Thompson, joined Skinny laMinx as my business partner in 2010, with her organised way of thinking and decisive decision making.Now, 7  years later, Skinny laMinx has two online shops and a brick-and-mortar store in Cape Town, as well as a large wholesale clientele across the globe, and we provide employment for 9 people. It wasn’t planned this way, but we’re so happy it worked out like this.

What has been most difficult?

The first two years after opening our brick-and-mortar shop in Cape Town were on a very steep learning curve, with an extra wiggle thrown in when Pearl moved to Paris and had to manage our brand new staff contingent via Skype! But all worked out well, the shop is thriving, staff has grown, and, best of all, Pearl is back in Cape Town.

How do you get your work seen by customers or retailers, is it through tradeshows, mail shots etc?

We have a very active and popular social media presence, and our business has grown a great deal via these channels. Despite never having done a trade show, we stock stores worldwide, from Hong Kong to Helsinki, all thanks to our online presence. Our catalogues are available to view online, and we make sure that we keep up  personal contact with our distributors and stockists.

We opened our shop on Bree Street right at the turning point of this street becoming the go-to shopping area for style and food-conscious grownups in Cape Town, and this has been great for business.

I style and photograph all of our product and lookbook pics, and these get us a lot of print magazine editorial coverage, which has been great for generating traffic for our brick-and mortar store.. Good, strong photographs and a well written press release helps a lot in this regard.

Tips/advice to people starting out

Get enthusiastic about social media, and make sure that your website is a living, thriving entity.

Be friendly and generous with your colleagues and competitors

Learn to take and edit your own photographs, as these are invaluable for spreading the word about your work.

What has been most successful about the business?

One of our core values is that we should enjoy our days at work, and while of course we all have our ups and downs, I think I can say quite confidently that everyone on our team usually spends an engaging, enjoyable day with us at Skinny laMinx.

Find Skinny laMinx online:

Website – http://skinnylaminx.com

Blog – http://skinnylaminx.com/blog

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