Feminine Glamour…..

I have decided that I love pretty , feminine interiors….I admire minimalist interiors and I long to be able to live like some people do..with little or no clutter, but in reality, I am just not that person! I like cozy and layered interiors and the pretty , glamorous ones speak to me the loudest!

image via http://achadosdedecoracao.blogspot.co.uk
image via http://achadosdedecoracao.blogspot.co.uk

What a gorgeous space….a little corner of beauty for a woman to put on her make-up and get ready to face the day.That little ottoman  is the crowning glory, in my humble opinion…..it looks as though this corner  may be part of a larger dressing room, but it just goes to show that any little tiny space can be glammed up relatively easy with a bit of texture and sparkle!

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Swedish Simplicity…..

My love of Swedish interior design is well known (and well documented) and I was filled with delight to find another source here: 

Check out these amazing images from an exceptionally well curated blog…

image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se/
image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se

This kitchen is so stylish…half the size of my own and yet looks a thousand times more efficient.

image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se
image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se

The glamour of these mirrored doors…..and the antique chair….

image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se
image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se
image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se
image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se

Is this an Ikea night stand? Who would guess….

image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se
image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se

It must be the limited colour palette….the grey, white and black are just so sophisticated .

image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se
image via http://blogg.addsimplicity.se

Need I add anything more?

A New Look…

image via tobifairley.com
image via tobifairley.com

(No..this is not my wardrobe….just wishful thinking!!)

I am currently in de-clutter and clean out mode(my home is getting a complete going over with lots of recycling and giving away and hopefully not too much throwing away), and I felt like giving my blog a fresh new look too….there are a lot of changes happening in my life at the moment, particularly in my professional life, but until it all happens, I will wait to share all the details..

I am hoping it will be a good change and one which will give me a new direction work-wise….I don’t know about other people, but change is always a bit unsettling for me and after the fact, I look back and realise it was for the best, but at the time it makes me a little uneasy!!

image via marthastewart.com
image via marthastewart.com

Quartet…..

We saw this movie last night….

Quartet-poster
image via http://2.bp.blogspot.com

I can highly recommend it to anyone who has not yet seen it, particularly in Dubai, because it is a stylish and gentle film and those do not stay on the circuit for long here!

image via http://hedsor.com
image via http://hedsor.com

The exterior”house” scenes (and I assume some of the interior scenes) were filmed at Hedsor House in Buckinghamshire, which is actually a venue for events such as weddings, photo shoots etc.

image via http://hedsor.com
image via http://hedsor.com

The countryside is just wonderful and even the interior of the “retirement home” is beautifully decorated with lovely fabrics and in particular, a wallpaper I am now obsessed with!

image via http://angelandblume.wordpress.com/
image via http://angelandblume.wordpress.com

And this is the wallpaper I just loved….

Wallpaper: Eleonora GUV08004
Wallpaper: Eleonora GUV08004

It is by Zoffany and is exquisite….a lovely pattern in soft and muted tones and as you can see, in the image above from the film, it was applied in panels…classic and so suited to the overall feel of the film! The flowers in each room were also wonderful….I would be very happy to spend my golden years in an environment like that, I can tell you!!

Of course the cast was stellar, with Maggie Smith displaying her incredible talent by conveying a remote, haughty and  dismissive diva, with a certain vulnerability….the humour was witty and sophisticated and the best part…the film was only about an hour and forty minutes, which left us feeling like we wanted more!

image via bbc.co.uk
image via bbc.co.uk

Intelligent Luxury…..

I know that my blog is essentially a design blog, but I like to share ideas and thoughts which I also come across, so I hope you will bear with me…..

I recently read a wonderful blog post here where the author DeeAnne ,describes her take on the phrase “Living a life of intelligent luxury”…..

image by JF

Dubai, as I am sure the rest of world knows by now, is all about LUXURY…..sadly though, after reading the post, I really feel that it is most definitely not Intelligent Luxury, but rather a brash, bold and almost reckless type of Luxury. A recent article in one of our newspapers here really shocked me and has made me think about the environment we live in here. I have recently realised too, that this is not how the rest of the world lives-this frenetic, mad, avaricious rush to make money any way you can, without taking into consideration the costs to other people, the environment and most importantly, the cost to oneself.

Perhaps having lived here for so long, I have become immune to the insanity, but it is becoming more and more evident each day that this is not a healthy way of life for my me and in essence , for my spirit .

image via dubaitravelguides.net

People here wear their wealth like a badge….HUGE , expensive cars, dressed head to toe in designer brands…… they rush around the city doing important things…so important that they feel no need to drive with caution, indicate their intent on the road or give way to any car which may dare to take up part of the same road they are driving on!! I used to laugh this kind of behaviour off in the past, but after reading the post by DeeAnn , I have realised that this behaviour is symptomatic of the underlying problem which is essentially that these people are not selective and are not living authentically.

I also realise, of course , that I can do absolutely nothing to change the behaviour of all these poor  souls, but I can change mine, so I plan to do exactly what the author of the blog suggests: choosing to have a dinner at home with friends, a great bottle of wine and home cooked food over an expensive meal at the latest “trendy spot”. Buying one good handbag instead of three on a sale….not overspending or over consuming because we have the money to do so…choosing to save for a really great vacation rather than traveling three times a year because everyone else is! I love the idea of making choices with consideration and caution ,over this manic consumerism which apparently still grips the world and particularly Dubai, where shopping really is an Olympic sport!

To me , Intelligent Luxury means taking the time and effort to make the very best of what you have….it does not mean spending vast amounts of money, but rather using creativity and ingenuity to live a comfortable life…a life which will not get you into debt and cause you immense amounts of stress and worry.. It means taking a hard look at your life and discarding things (or people) which no longer add value to our life and changing habits which do the same. DeeAnn discusses “The 100 challenge” which is essentially limiting one’s possessions to a total of 100! That really blew me away…what a concept!! Considering this, one would really have to pare down to the basics and by so doing, eliminate the junk and keep only the best and most functional!! I love the idea and it has really give me pause for thought as I do like to hold on to things!!!! Particularly magazines…….It makes me want to consider my life and how I can live it more simply….this would be less rushing, less stressing and worrying…..I have realised with graphic detail ,that the big contracts (big money) come loaded with BIG problems, BIG demands and BIG worries…..is it all worth it in the end?

Does anyone else feel as I do, or am I alone on my quest??As we are now approaching the end of January, with new resolutions  possibly falling by the way side,I am going to be really examining aspects of my life in an effort to be conscious about the way I live my life and run my business…I can only imagine that I will benefit from such a change and that my life will improve on many levels.. both personal and professional.

Another Video….

Here is another amazing film I found…This is part of the bid by Dubai for the World Expo 2020…it gives you a great idea of what Dubai and Abu Dhabi have achieved in the last few years…I think it’s wonderful….and yes, the city really does look like that. It’s scarily clean…after being in the UK for a few weeks and seeing all the aged buildings with moss covered walls , it was quite a shock to come back to the pristine glass and metal of this incredible city we live in !