The Olympic Opening Ceremony…..What a show!

I managed to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games the day after, as it was just too late for me to sit up until 4am to watch the whole show! I must say that the first time I watched it, I was ambivalent about whether I liked it or not….the second time , however, I really managed to see a lot more of what was going on and I liked it a lot more..and my goodness there was a LOT going on!!

image via http://www.tvovermind.com

The music part the show was the worst part for me…messy, loud and very very confusing! The good parts though, made up for the bad bits…I loved the history lesson….not too crazy about the kids and nurses flying around the stadium though….the gold forged rings were spectacular, as was the Olympic cauldron made up of all the individual pipes and lit by the young athletes..very symbolic I thought!

image via http://www.tvovermind.com

I also loved Mr Bean, the BBC film featuring Her Majesty the Queen and James Bond, and the flying bicycles near the end….

image via http://talkingmakeup.com

The athletes parade was summed up very well by a blogger who said : “The thing about the Parade of Nations was, it was nothing if not a reminder that Olympians are basically the most attractive people in existence.” I agree whole heartedly!!

image via ecouterre.com

I did write a fluffy post about about athletes’ uniforms here and apart from South Africa, who I thought looked really great on the day, my opinion remains pretty much the same….I did realise, however, that when I saw the Dutch team, their colours were in fact navy, white and orange…duh! Dutch flag? Much more orange than in the image I posted, it has to be said. I still think the US looked great …very smart and so confident…..

Team GB was a tiny bit disappointing in that I liked the white and gold but I thought the gold collars looked a bit tacky and cheap…or was it just me?

All in all, I managed to sit through almost the whole parade of nations…I felt very bad for the poor drummers…their hands must have hurt like crazy after that marathon of drumming!

image viahttp://www.tvovermind.com

I thought David Beckham’s arrival was quite fun…very 007 and he looked amazingly pulled together.

image via http://www.tvovermind.com
image via http://www.tvovermind.com

All in all it was jolly good entertainment and I think the British should feel very proud of themselves…it was an incredible  feat to pull off in the midst of a massive recession.

 

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Kitchen Adoration…..

I saved these images a while ago to feature on a post and I seem to have mislaid the source….if anyone has any idea where they come from, I would be happy to credit the original source…I usually do not like to do this but I felt I had to share this amazing kitchen design.

all images via http://greigedesign.blogspot.com

The colour scheme is the first thing I love…charcoal grey, white with the touch of camel in the chairs. Note the handle on the back of the chair…a lovely detail.

What more is there to say about the pantry at the rear of the image…storage and a wine fridge…

The overhead lighting is interesting-it almost has a cafe style feel…in fact the whole design has a feeling of a very chic restaurant.

The cooking and prep area of the kitchen…lots of work tops and again, more storage

This area seems to house the fridge, cooker and oven…a wonderful cork board for recipes and notes.I also like how the drawer pulls out at the bottom to store bottles.

The butler’s pantry with the silverware and china ware.

Ingenious bread bin and storage for crackers and crispbreads…I love the handle detail on the bins…clearly these are easily  removed for cleaning.

Spice storage…..amazing! I think the finishes on the actual drawers are also of a really superior quality….I also like what appears to be a matte paint finish.

Knife storage and baking items.

 This is an incredible cooker….the wall behind the cooker is interesting too…I can’t figure out if it is paint or granite or something else.

All in all, this is a dream kitchen …beautiful design and even better execution…if only it was a reality for me!!

An Extraordinary Discovery…..

image via http://luxirare.com/

I discovered this blog a few months ago……lost the link….and found it again last night! Although not a design blog, it is one of the most exquisitely photographed and styled blogs I think I have ever seen….Actually the author refers to it as a “weekly webzine”

In her words: “Luxirare is a weekly webzine dedicated to clothing and cuisine. At Luxirare, the typical notion of a seasonal fashion show or seasonal “menu” does not exist. Styles and recipes are presented as individual pieces that do not follow a strict theme but rather a flow of ideas. “

image via http://luxirare.com/

Her photography is sublime and she turns everyday, ordinary items and simple food into works of art. I am in awe of her stylish presentation and dedication to purity of form and shape. She sets the bar extremely high and I want to be like her when I grow up!

image via http://luxirare.com/

As a creative person, I really do appreciate beauty in packaging, shapes of glass or ceramics, the light catching the metal on a piece of kitchen equipment…..this “blog” really celebrates the beauty in the items and objects most people consider mundane.

image via http://luxirare.com/

I could spend hours pouring over her detailed images which are so stylishly photographed….to add to all of this talent, she is also a bit if a culinary genius…..she comes up with really unusual and fascinating recipes which are often deconstructed (I am not sure if that is the correct terminology!) to create the most incredible vignettes.(Oh and did I add that she also designs bags, shoes , clothing and jewelry …this girl is seriously gifted!!!)

Just take a look at this incredible crab souffle…..

image via http://luxirare.com/
image via http://luxirare.com/
image via http://luxirare.com/
image via http://luxirare.com/
image via http://luxirare.com/

Just looking at these images inspires me to get my camera and try and see things differently!Everything she shows the reader is perfectly put together , yet has a certain edge to it….check it out and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

2012 Olympic Games…..

In the spirit of the Olympics which are about to start in a few days, I thought I would post a few images of various athletes’ uniforms being rolled out for the Games…I must say I am not overly impressed by some of them…..

image via http://www.thevine.com.au

South Africa will be showing up in jeans and sneakers….mmmm…I’m not sure about the look…certainly fun…

image via http://www.thevine.com.au
image via http://www.thevine.com.au

The British team look amazingly snazzy I think….LOVE the colours! Designed by Stella McCartney-apparently she has received a lot of criticism about them…why I am not sure…I think they’re wonderful!

Switzerland look OK….also not great….perhaps a bit boring?

image via http://olympicfanatic.com

Now, the Dutch team look very interesting…I love the navy and the burnt sienna colour combination! The preppy look is sporty and smart.

image via http://olympicfanatic.com

Is it me or is the Italian team a bit of a yawn? This look was designed by Mr Armani….I know he is the master of the monochromatic look, but surely he could have been a bit more adventurous for the Games?

image via http://olympicfanatic.com

Let me not even start on Australia….they look like a bunch of umpires …..also a bit old fashioned.

image via http://olympicfanatic.com

New Zealand also did a retro look but this time it works! Very smart…

image via http://www.thevine.com.au

This is South Korea….also preppy and neat..I love the white trousers and the argyle socks for the men are a great touch!

image via http://www.thevine.com.au

My favourite is the Amrican Team…designed by Ralph Lauren of course, the man who literally wrote the book on preppy sport attire! LOVE LOVE LOVE !!! I want to rush off an grab a tennis racket or play some polo! Again, the white trousers and shorts are amazingly chic…

image via http://www.thevine.com.au

So this weekend it all starts….I guess the whole world will be grinding to a halt!!

The opening ceremony will start at about 12 at night for us here in the Middle East so I am not sure if I will be able to watch it live, but with the wonders of technology, I will catch up with it all the next day! Enjoy the festivities if you are able to watch the show live….rumour is that it’s going to be even better than Beijing!

Grey and Gold…

image via http://www.aperfectgray.com

My love of grey is well known, but to team it up with gold is an interesting choice…..the obvious would be to coordinate it with silver, but as these images show, gold works really beautifully, particularly on furniture!

image via http://www.aperfectgray.com

This silver grey velvet is lush and glamorous and teamed with the antique gold finish on that table behind it is just perfect!

Beautiful Aged Walls…..

image via http://segretofinishes.com/

I found this gorgeous image via this blog-apart from the exquisite  furniture and overall colour scheme, I love the aged and weathered walls. These were apparently done by the very talented Leslie Sinclair, a decorative artist  and owner of the company Segreto Finishes, who has recently released a book titled:

Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors.

This artist is an amazing inspiration-her kitchens and rooms are sublime but she also does smaller pieces such as chairs and cabinets. Yet another book to add to my wish list!

Moroccan Influences…..

image via Cote de Texas
While browsing the fabulous blog Cote de Texas, I saw these wonderful images of stenciled columns in one of Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s client’s houses-these images are from his new book…a definite must on my to buy list, that is for sure!!

image via Cote de Texas
image via Cote de Texas
This look fits in with Middle Eastern architecture exceptionally well and one of my first projects I did in the UAE involved emulating hand painted Moroccan tiles, because my client was unable to get the exact colour she wanted in real ceramic tiles…so we laser cut stencils and hand stenciled and painted each column….it took me months…but the result was incredible!

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, I never got to see the  finished result as my work was completed before the upholstery and curtains were installed. The same client also had her bedroom painted by another decorative artist to look like an Egyptian themed room….it was magnificent , with 24 karat gold leaf applied to the walls and ceilings and Egyptian hieroglyphs on every surface . Neither of us saw that room completed either but I did manage to take a few images of my work just prior to leaving the site….

work in progress

the finished column

 We added gold leaf to the very ornate cornice and around the top of the column.

Can you believe that this work was all done on a room which was a family room and breakfast area off the kitchen-the kitchen was fitted by a German company who flew their technicians out from Germany to personally take care of the installation…it was a spectacular kitchen, I have to say! My client was a wonderful Emirati lady whom I recently bumped into while doing some grocery shopping!

These images of my work  below, are niches which I painted and gold leafed in the One and Only Royal Mirage Arabian Court Hotel…..the intricacy and precision of the designs are extremely difficult to maintain but somehow my assistant at the time, and I were able to accomplish what I believe was an accurate depiction of classic Moroccan style tiles.

Gold leaf and acrylic paint Moroccan tile design

Looking at what Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s decorative painter did for him has made me think that I actually like the aged look of his designs better!!