Amazing book, Blexbolex People. May even frame some of these for the kids’ rooms in the new gaff. Witty and pretty.
Amazing book, Blexbolex People. May even frame some of these for the kids’ rooms in the new gaff. Witty and pretty.
How exciting that Abi, of Abi’s House (http://www.1st-option.com/index.cfm/locations/thumbnails/bt/stills/lf/abis) has been in touch with the Colporter Blog.
She has kindly agreed to field questions about her lovely pad.
She has already confirmed that the kitchen is indeed the coveted Plain English and I have been a sleuth and found the Blithfield Wallpaper.
Any more questions?
Please send them to email@example.com and I will collate them.
Sorting out mortgages is dull, dull, dull. BUT planning a bit of decorating is far from it. Here are a few snaps of some colour and wallpaper samples which pleased me this week.
Above we have some Farrow and Ball greigey neutrals from left to right..Pavilion Grey, Slipper Satin, Dovetale and Skimming Stone. These testers are painted on the fabulous canvases Tiger sell - £2 each. They are not too bulky but are big enough to give a good idea of what the colour will look like on the wall. My only gripe is that the texture means my frog tape and it do not get on and the paint bleeds a tad.
Above we have Ocelot (the leopard prints which the husband has since vetoed - for now). Tessella, this is the geometric trellis which I really am struck by. Renaissance from The Brocato Papers, lilacy floral and birds. Papers 5, the floral green and white.
Back to the Leopard, I loved it recently when the Farrow and Ball on Northcote Road SW11 went all Bet Lynch on its shopfront. A few of their less imaginative local customers thought it was closed for refurbishment and the shop was losing trade as a result, so they had to take the funky transfer down. I thought it was a great stunt and shows that F&B have a sense of fun. I did not for one minute think it was closed and stocked up on all of these testers.
We probably will only have wallpaper in the loo and the guest room. But I am considering it in the hall, stairs and landing.
I await lots more wallpaper samples in the post from other companies so this is just the first instalment. Sorry guys this could get really tedious.
Nothing quite as large as that but I do have a really nice piece that needs some imagination. It is a wide black glass sign from London Underground, when you hold it to the light Way Out is picked out in yellow. I have always thought someone clever would have a light wired in behind it and it would look very cool. Or I have propped it on a window ledge to reveal the yellow Way Out. It is quite fragile. You are welcome to come and see it in my lock up garage in Tooting.
I go through phases of being obsessed with certain houses I have seen online or in magazines. I revisit the picture or website and examine it. Repeatedly.
You may recall the Annabel’s House obsession. Finding the website 1st-option.com was the worst thing that could have happened to a stalker like me. Anyway, there is a new house on it. It may even trump Annabel’s. I think there must be some connection between the two as the style is remarkably similar. Maybe Abi is also a house stalker like me.
So here is a link to it in its full glory. And here are some of my favourite kitchen pictures reproduced from 1st option with a bit of a commentary…
I really hanker after some horizontal panelling. I like that it is a twist on the traditional tongue and groove. Taking inspiration from New England clapboard but working so well as a foil for edgier vintage finds. It gives a depth to the kitchen. Much more homely than bare walls, not as fussy as wallpaper.
I have quite a bit of train memorabilia and the Station Sign with industrial lighting and school radiators is a look I really love. Get in touch if you require any help sourcing Industrial lights. I have a stash about to be refurbished.
Could this room be any more up my street?
Painted kitchen, exposed shelving and more vintage loveliness. This is the perfect kitchen diner to me. Everything on hand. Both practical and pretty. Thumbs up.
We will have a pantry in our new house, yay. I will definitely take some inspiration from Abi’s. Love the simple shaker shelving and light stone worktop.
How original not to have the side return window used as a second kitchen entrance. So clever. I have never seen this but it has to catch on. It still allows light to flood into the original rear reception and is stylish and ever so useful. I love the 7 up and Pepsi crates. Colporter had loads of these until Ben snaffled them all up for Ben’s Canteen.
Kitchens are now more than just a place to cook or eat, they are where the kids do their homework, Mum or Dad work on a laptop etc. A space to sit and relax is also now essential. And doesn’t this work a treat.
I could go on and on about this house but I will save the other rooms for another post.
Sorry I have not posted for a long time. Lots going on with “the Move”.
So now I turn to my plans for the new place. I am starting to collect images on my Pinterest boards and I have noticed a recurring item appearing, the Box Pendant. I think these look wonderful in a hall, stairs or landing and are a little bit different to the chandeliers and industrial lighting I have hankered after in recent room redos.
This Denton Pendant below is a great example. Simple, slightly masculine even but very versatile. Check it out at Rowen and Wren, a gorgeous home interiors store. It is not a bad price but still an investment piece at £172.
See how good the box pendant looks in a room… this image is from scwinteriors.
For those of you with a larger budget there is always the longer Graham and Green version. This is £350 so could get expensive if you need more than 1 as I do. Davey Lighting have a plethora of different shapes here, but again will dent the finances rather.
One idea I have to get the look for less is to use the Homefield Lantern from John Lewis, a very smart outdoor wall light. This is £80. Two of these on the wall and 1 pendant could work rather well.
So, we may be moving on to pastures new. We have absolutely loved living in Furzedown but now we are shipping off to commuterland…
If you have read my blog for long you will know I have rather a love affair with Percy Pendle. So after 6 years of doing it up, and two out of three babies born here it will be a sad day to leave.
Here are some pics if you fancy moving to a lovely (I am biased) 5 bed house in Toots… email me firstname.lastname@example.org
And now for the estate agent patter:
-Penwortham Primary Catchment
- New loft Master suite
- Synthetic Grass
-Most importantly - well loved.
So TOTA has opened, finally! Now most people have had a few weeks opportunity to visit themselves I can blog about the design and branding.
So how did we go from this…
Let’s start at the beginning, how did Colporter get this gig? Well it is all thanks to this blog. This time last year I blogged about Tooting and what I love about it. Someone posted that blog to Streetlife where Victoria and Gary (The TOTA owners) read it. Victoria had never read a blog before but got a bit sucked in and read back through my archive of posts. She decided that we had a similar aesthetic and that she would get in touch to talk about the interior of their planned restaurant.
My husband and I went to have a dinner, cooked by Gary of course, where they told us the plan to bring a neighbourhood restaurant to Tooting. We were so excited to get some Tooting goss, let alone to get the job to pin a design down.
Many coffees and Pinterest boards later I came up with a mood board which had to try to marry up two people’s needs and wants for the restaurant. Victoria fancied a smart Farrow and Ball paint job but Gary wanted industrial, urban, warehousey feel.
What about budget? What about living with some parts of the unit from the Spice Lounge days? All considerations. And when would the lease exchange. It came in handy on occasion that I am also a property lawyer as well as an interiors addict!
Working from the outside in.
We knew from day 1 this place had to have major kerb appeal. Tartine is nearby and nice looking, but the rest of the block is a bit bland and we wanted to stand out. We had to “arrive” in style. The vital ingredients were as follows:
Check out my little pen and ink drawing on the mood board. Spookily like how we ended up.
TOTA Main Restaurant
Lighting plays a big part in TOTA. Gary loves factory lighting so I took him off hunting for vintage goodness at my favourite antiques markets.
I got them rewired and now they look like this.
Mixed in with some smaller french disc pendants and some bare bulbs on different coloured flexes and spot lighting. And the “chandelier” we had “Mark the Spark” make us.
We wanted a stripped wooden floor but as Spice Lounge had a perfectly serviceable, albeit cherry wood, engineered wood floor we thought we might be able to make do and paint it grey. As luck would have it the builders noticed that the original floor was underneath, intact up to the bar where it was a patch of concrete. We kept both, the concrete although rough and a bit unfinished looking is industrial and therefore right up our street!
As with the floor, the strip out revealed some cool original features…the red wall, the green steel and the bare brick wall. Playing right into the Industrial Brief!
Tolix Style Chairs are having a moment. Comfortable and complementing the look, I sourced these reproductions from a contact I use for some of my vintage stock.
The Banquette seating pulls the scheme together in a modern vibrant green colour but traditional chesterfield style.
So glad we decided these loos were not liveable withable. I have seen worse but the new ones are much more TOTA.
Continuing the accents of green in the lighting and seating, the tongue and groove in the bathroom is Calke Green from Farrow and Ball with the Limehouse crackle retro metro tile from Tons of Tiles. Yes, we know metro tiles are ubiquitous but we all loved them and they are so reminscent of Tooting Broadway and the Northern line we just had to!
The F and the M signs on the loo doors are from the wonderful vintage website The Vintage Wall and from an early numberplate from a vintage car. The Men’s mirror is from a little boutique I know*. The Ladies’ mirror bought on a Colporter antiquing trip with Victoria.
*that is my euphemism for TK Maxx.
The mood board and our Pinterest Board had an image of a bar that Gary just loved. Our clever Project Manager had it copied in mild blackened steel.
Check out those corners.
A french sign.
Vintage tins for the bill.
An optician’s poster…
Some vintage office trays from Northcote Road Antiques in TOTA green and grey are a different way of displaying the pastries.
And finally…all the little branding details which I will blog about next time. Until then give it a try and see the design for yourself.
Coming soon…the branding materials…
They do say everything comes around again and look what is hot again now, exposed brick.
If you read this blog often you will know that Colporter has been working on the design and branding of a new restaurant in Tooting, TOTA. We have tweeted a few photos of the walls we uncovered in the strip out and have been teased about our obsession with them but they have been a real gem of a find as the client wanted an industrial look and some character. A bit like this, a cafe called The Grounds in Sydney.
It is funny how when you decide on a look all of a sudden you start noticing it everywhere.
Or is it just because it is at the fore front of your mind?
Either way exposed brick does seem to be having another moment right now, be that on Tooting High Street, a New York Loft apartment or a quirky cottage.
This time it is not brick slips or fake brick effects like it was in the 80s but the actual wall, in its raw state. You could say it is a bit more honest but getting a wall back to this raw state is not always easy, and so is not quite as honest as it looks. It can be a little contrived.
I love a bare brick wall best when it is in a kitchen, especially when mixed with industrial elements, or in a commercial space.
I love it even more when there are some old layers of paint on the brick. Check out the wonderful wall annotations above.
I like the above half finished look, it works with the decor. If my Mum came round and saw that she would certainly ask when I was expecting the plasterer. Like all fashions it is not for all tastes.
This one really works for me, the contrast of the modern window treatment with the original brickwork and an oversize Chandelier. Very rough luxe.
To challenge my own preconceptions on brick here it is in a bedroom. This may even be one of the clever Tromp l’oeil wallpapers which are very effective. Rockett St George do a great range if you do not fancy chipping off perfectly good plaster.
Ultimately that is the problem, you do not know until you reveal a ruddy big patch what your bricks are going to be like. We do not all have an urban loft style home so it may be one of those looks where you do not practice what you pin.
I am an absolute sucker for branding. Show me a cool logo, some quirky stationery, I am completely won over. You can imagine how excited I was therefore to take on an extra role for the owners of Tooting’s new restaurant, TOTA of advising on and designing their branding, as well as the interior design.
This week has seen that new logo revealed…
The Tooting Twitterati seem to like it. I will post more on the branding of TOTA in a few weeks when we get closer to the opening date and when the Menus are finalised. Oh how my tummy rumbles.
Anyhoo, the lovely TOTA font is from a Family of fonts called Frontage. I see that another stylish new brand, Loaf are also using it in their fantastic branding. Check out this little parcel that arrived from Loaf here today.
Loaf is the new name for The Sleep Room. I guess they realised that if they wanted to branch out into sofas, as they have done, their name was a bit limited. Their rebrand is super smart. I love grey and yellow (see earlier blog posts and my good friend Erica’s blog modernmummusthave) it is very calming and not overdone in the marketplace.
Their attention to detail in the packaging is second to none.
I had stickers very like this on our wedding favours. TOTA’s restaurant menus have cool “call outs” like this as well. It works with the font and is not obtrusive. The grey ticking is very chic. A lot of thought has gone into this sample package. This is very sensible as all too often samples of fabrics are bunged into a manilla envelope, cut in all different shapes with no care. I like what I see here so far, so I expect their sofas and furniture should have been made with the same degree of care… see what they have done here people? I am buying into the brand. I think they are a quality outfit so I MAY part with some hard earned cash.
But hold on. What is this little sachet?
Great! Some Hot Chocolate for me to spill on the gorgeous new sofa. And that is why I shall not purchasing one just yet. Yes, great branding, superbly designed sofas but I have 3 kids who cannot brush their teeth without spilling down their clothes and so I just cannot yet indulge myself. I have to put up with our brown leather sofa for a few more years.
They are very lovely though and I will file the samples (and the box they came in) away in my “ideas box” for a few more years.