One thing we take pride in at Sturman & Co. is how Bess tailors each design specifically to each client’s individual taste and needs, using but not relying heavily on current trends. We’re not about show homes, but forever homes which make a positive difference in real life.
The anchor points from which Bess start her design process with a client can be unusual. Can we find something different that none of their friends have? Or something they saw in a hotel in Australia? Yes we can! We’re never sure what unique sourcing request is coming next and we get a lot of variety, but one thing is certain – no one has asked for anything brown in a very long time.
Not a sofa, a carpet, or even a plant pot. Brown has been relegated for a few years now, mostly in favour of grey, navy and black. We suppose it’s a fashion thing, but we’ve started to feel a bit sorry for brown, so we set ourselves a challenge to find some brown stuff that still feels modern.
So the challenge we made was to find cool brown lampshades (not metallics, which are much more popular at the moment) and we found a few. It’s not exhaustive and we would welcome any other suggestions… Go on, have a look. We’re collecting them all on a pinterest board here:
And the exercise has showed us that brown is still there, quietly retaining more than a little space in our modern interior schemes. Solid brown swathes of fabric, less so, but it’s always there as a classic in wood flooring and furniture.
And the lampshades? Brown is a versatile colour, which adds warmth and character to a scheme. A balanced scheme needs light, dark and neutral shades and brown can take up any of these spots. Style-wise, to keep it contemporary, just stick to simple shapes and natural textures. Rattan works well with mid-century furniture (see below), whilst a Graypants cardboard option would be perfect in a sculpted minimalist setting.
School’s out and so is the sun. It’s the time of year we’re desperate to be outside, so the inside of the house can wait.
But summer feels so good, wouldn’t it be perfect to bring a little of that summery feeling inside for the whole year round? Here are a few summery ideas from Sturman & Co…
This chap looks like he’s struggling with some 2pm heat, but check out the wallpaper from Timorous Beasties.
Timorous Beasties is a design studio for the braver decorator, whose current collection is as bold and beautiful as ever. Much of it is inspired by insects, birds and paint splodges at the moment. The essence of summer. We also love their ceramics collection and their British Bird cushions.
Bubble has also picked out Kartell’s Bloom pendant in metallic by Ferruccio Laviani, which reminds us of sunflowers. The white and metallic versions are a safer neutral option, but the green would really bring summer into the home, set against a white-based palette or, for a stronger look, navy.
Or how about this Eames surf board coffee table? Go the whole hog and put it in an ice-cream palette mid-century scheme. A Kitty McCall cushion from @haykinshop would tie the scheme together in a similar way to the print in the pic below.
Photo by Flaviu Pop: Ilkley Cinema’s Lounge – A perfect spot for a glass of wine this Wednesday, designed by Bess Sturman in 2015
Is it Wednesday already?
Torn between posting about #whinewednesday or #winewednesday, we’ve opted for both. Yesterday a new enquiry came in of a type we see pretty often. It’s not quite a whine, but a definite cry for help, caused by planning (or not planning) a major building project at home.
The level of urgency varies from forward-planning types who haven’t yet had plans drawn up, to the other extreme where the builders have already left, but the problem is the same – how do we go from plans to the perfect finished room? Please help to make these freshly-plastered walls feel like our home.
At the other end of the spectrum this week, Bess had a quick note from a couple who were sitting down with their Sturman & Co. Lookbook and a glass of wine to pick out the finishing touches to the design scheme we left them with on Monday, so it’s ready to hand over to their builder when he starts next month, together with electrical plans and paint finishes. Their furniture orders will be placed so the installation will be completed by late September. It’s a Sturman & Co. Design, but they will be in control of the project itself, shopping from a list we have agreed together. It’s enjoyable and everything is in hand, including that glass of wine.
So, if you’re remodelling your house, or planning to, would you choose Whine or Wine this Wednesday? Please get in touch if you think we can help.
Everybody needs good neighbours and this week’s #throwbackthursday is prompted by a new instruction we received earlier this week for the design of an amazing new kitchen extension that is currently in the middle of its build. Our brief comes from the next door neighbours of a client we worked with earlier this year and it is the second time Sturman & Co. have worked on designs for next door neighbours. So there’s the link! Talk about a challenge to make sure two rooms are totally individual and reflect the personality of their owners.
The sun is out today even in Ilkley and all of this has got us thinking about Aussie Soap Neighbours, the staple of our youth. A little bit of googling shows that Karl Kennedy is still around (who knew?) and has been renting out his on-set home on @airbnb
And what about our favourite high school sweethearts, Scott and Charlene? In our fantasy world, they’d be out of the suburbs nowadays, living in Melbourne with their grown up kids in something like this…
Following on from our #SaturdaySwag post and last week’s shout out for @Haykinshop, we’re still going local and putting a shout out for lovely ladies who select fab items that we can buy in Ilkley.
This week’s #WCW is @atticwomenswear. Bess and Bubble have both been shopping their sale this last week and who better to stock up your lovely new dressing room than Ilkley’s own style maven @sarahlyles.
At the moment we’re loving just about everything from Hoss Intropria and Maison Scotch. Looking ahead to autumn, we’ve noticed a real fashion/interiors crossover, with emerald green making a strong appearance on today’s Rosamunde fall collection board by@atticwomenswear as well as through the current tropical botanicals trend in interiors shown above.
So whilst we wouldn’t advocate dressing the same as your decor(!), it looks like just a dash of something new and absinthe green may be what is needed to bring a fresh look to both our homes and wardrobes this year.
This week has flown by and we’ve been mostly working on three local and luxurious Master Bedroom Suites (doesn’t that phrase need an update?!) – bedrooms with en suite and every woman’s dream – a dedicated dressing area. Where better to stash that #saturdayswag?
Having three different personal styles to work with on the same type of space is a lot of fun. Check out the walk-in wardrobes of Mariah Carey, Carrie Bradshaw and Nicky Hilton below. I’ve also opened up a few #dressingroominspo pictures I’ve been looking at with clients at https://uk.pinterest.com/sturmanco/walk-in-wardrobe-inspiration/ to help them to define a style for their own home.
You don’t need a lot of space for a beautifully designed walk-wardrobe, but you should treat it like any other room and curate your colours and textures carefully. And don’t forget to express some of your personality… The styles our clients are leaning towards include a mid-century take on minimalism for that tidy, mindful client and a playful and feminine sanctuary with a chandelier another’s husband isn’t mad about! French-inspired glamour is on the cards for our shoe-collecting third.
Two of our three projects are scheduled for completion before the year is out, so watch this space for pictures as our Sturman & Co. dressing room designs come to life!