Sunday, 10 July 2011

Bathtubs in the garden

When I think of a bathtub in the garden, it's usually in a "oh, that's a good idea for mint, the roots wouldn't spread" sort of way. But having spent a sizable portion of the morning being chased from my own garden by the rain, it occured to me that sitting in a roll-top tub in a scented garden and getting rained on would actually be rather a pleasant experience. Until I convince Mr Lisbonite that removing the bathroom roof and planting extensively around the tub is a good thing, I suspect that this is a dream that will remain forever on this blog. Still, one can hope!



Pics via La Paix Herb Farm, Good Long While, Coastal living and Bali Villas Rent.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

I'm seeing stripes

Painting the ceiling is often the most boring part of redecoration. Although the use of light colours can obviously open a room, I'm becoming increasingly intrigued by the idea of stripy ceilings. What do you think? They certainly draw the eye upwards and the grey version in particular looks very peaceful but makes the room look completely finished.





Pics via KC Interiors, Simple Creative Inspiration, Project Nursery and Decor Pad.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Custom pet furniture

Regular readers will know that London Lisbonite towers is soon to be blessed with the patter of tiny paws. That's right, our two ragdoll kittens will be born at the end of August and will move in with us in November. We simply can't wait! However, finding minimalist cat furniture that is a) not covered in day-glo orange carpet and b) not made of the kind of plastic that will dominate whatever room it's placed in is turning out to be harder than I thought. I've become an avid reader of the brilliant moderncat blog and have happily found a few design friendly pieces from the Refined Feline. Moderncat also featured Argentinian design firm Cedel recently. I'm quite sure that Mr Lisbonite's usually indulgent smiles would disappear and the eyebrow would be raised if I suggested having beds (complete with bedside tables) made for our cats. This really is extreme interior design!


Monday, 4 July 2011

Soft monochrome from Jorge Cassio

It was the company name that first snagged my interest. "Casa comigo" has two different meanings in Portuguese. The first, literal translation is "house with me". The second, more plausible, is a version of "marry me". Both are cosy and upon visiting Jorge Cassio's luxe website (he's also based in Porto), I fell in love with the warm and soft monochrome look of this apartment that he designed. This isn't sharp modernist minimalism but a cozy and sophisticated city look that I adore. Black and white walls with a soft hue. Now where's that paintbrush?



Sunday, 3 July 2011

Dig for victory!

No design posts today but just a quick hurrah that my garden has yielded it's first crop! Proof positive, if any were needed, that it's possible to grow your own summer produce in a tiny city garden if you use a multitude of pots. Most of the food will be ready about a month from now but Mr. Lisbonite and I couldn't resist sampling the first pieces that were ready. Gardening is good for the wallet, the waistline and the soul! PS: The carrots really are meant to be that small, they're spherical carrots designed for salads.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Black walls - not just for angry teenagers

Wallpaper magazine called the Portuguese architecture and interior design firm Oito Em Ponto the "princes of Porto" and they weren't far wrong. I've been flicking through their back catalogues and came across this 2004 private residence in their portfolio. I love the use of visual tricks (like the bust at the end of a black corridor in front of a mirror) and they way that they perfectly pulled together rooms are blackened, creating an art gallery sort of ambiance that lets the art itself take centre stage. I particularly like the white piece in the hallway where the eye is drawn only to imperfection against a muted backdrop. I'm sure that it's the "house's own" but it's perfectly placed. A perfect city pad for a city gentleman.





Thursday, 30 June 2011

Vertical gardening in a small city garden

The only thing, in my mind, that can compare to a lovely picnic on a hot summer's day, is to be outside gardening. Having long ago decided that one of my life's aims is to grow my own fruit and vegetables, I took the matter in hand this year and tried to create a vertical allotment in my tiny city garden patio. Outdoor space is at a premium in London and I'm lucky to have a garden at all. This year I'm trying to grow: lettuce, beans, spinach, peas, peppers, yellow courgettes, green courgettes, three types of tomato and pumpkins. I'm also growing strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants, gooseberries and blueberries. I wanted to show that it's possible to eat well in the summer from your own garden, however small it might be. I bought a set of outdoor shelving and used it to maximise my space by stacking the pots vertically. Watch this space for progress - so far only the courgettes, beans, strawberries and blueberries are really growing fast but I'm hoping that'll change! Everyone should grow vegetables, it's good for the soul!







Monday, 27 June 2011

Cloth candlesticks

I'm just potty (ahem) about these beautiful new ceramic candlesticks from Portuguese designers Goncalo Campos and Maria Bruno Néo. They have come up with a collection of candle holders in porcelain, made in a very unusual way, called Pano (the Portuguese word for cloth). They've cleverly dipped fabric in ceramic. They use cotton fabric as the temporary structure to hold the porcelain and at the end of the process the fabric is burnt away remaining only the delicate porcelain. By using the fabric rather than a mould, they make totally unique pieces. I want, I want, I want!



Friday, 24 June 2011

Another habitat vanishes..

...but this time it's nothing to do with wildlife. Habitat has just confirmed that the chain has been sold and all stores nationwide except the three London stores will be closing. Habitat has struggled financially for years now: although the concept of fresh and unusual design was completely unique to the British high street upon launch in the 80s, mass copies have undercut them in price (although not quality). I'll be sorry to see it disappear but I have to admit to a feeling of vulture-like excitement that's making me feel disgusted with myself. Voila, my shopping list for the "closing down sale"...
Marcel Li coat rack (£150)
Terracotta chicken brick (£30)
Tivoli tagine (£22)
Two of these "Tiffany" breakfast in bed trays (£22)

Perle light fitting (£30)
Emmanuelle pendant light (£50)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Adventures in glass

Check out this rather unusual cake stand by Portuguese designer Catarina Carreiras, doesn't it look fluid? I also love the "optical wand" catching china dragonflies in a glass bubble. They both look extremely fragile - not the kind of thing you'd want to leave lying around on a table top - but for all that they're extremely original.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Styling in the garden

So it turns out that this styling lark is a lot harder than it looks. Not only do you need the right light and the right background (small city gardens with a vertical allotment being annexed by the snails are less perfect than I originally thought). So here is my first attempt at being a homewares stylist, what do you think? Any hints and tips gratefully received! This is all in aid of a very exciting Portuguese project that I can't wait to tell you about, watch this space!





Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The (chalk) writing on the wall







We've got a problem. It's a large, ugly, boiler-shaped problem. I'm going to box it in and paint the front with blackboard paint so that we've got somewhere to put the shopping list. I'm deliberating whether to try for something a little more impressive like some of these rooms, what do you think?


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