WELCOME TO MINFORD
I'm not saying Mother's Day, I'm just saying these are things I like right now
We’ve just made it through V-day and we’ve already got another cheesy holiday to get behind. Mother’s Day is coming. But for once, this one I am quite fond of. I’ve used it as an excuse to collect pretty things and contemplate purchasing them, or forwarding them to a certain someone. Any excuse.
2. Diptyque Baies Candle An oldie but a goodie. My favourite scented candle.
3. Agnes Martin by Frances Morris & Tiffany Bell I had this on my shoot in NY and it was heavenly. Definitely buying this. I love and inspiring art book.
4. Bridie Hall Alphabet Brush Pot I just need to have one of these *forwards to husband*
5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette I’ve heard seriously amazing things about this. I mean like seriously amazing.
6. Emma Lacey Everyday Mug I’m very particular about my mugs and this has definitely got the thumbs up from me.
7. Topshop Stripe Puff Sleeve Shirt Tops of my summer wish list.
8. Coco Chocolate Bar I mean! For the packaging alone!
9. White Company Spa Restore Hand & Body Balm I had a good sniff of this geranium infused beauty last time I was in the store and it was gorgeous.
10. Mango Metallic Handle Tote Bag Definitely not a nappy bag but that’s the point. For those just a phone and a bank card moments.
The Minford New York Guide
If you have refreshed this page over the past 12 days and noticed I’ve been rather absent of late, there’s good reason. I’ve been in NYC pulling together a project that I am ridiculously excited to share… but can’t yet.
So until I can spill all, I have some other fun wisdom to impart. And by wisdom I mean where to find the best brunch in the city. ESSENTIAL information. In between mad 8am-8pm days, I have embarked on a food tour of New York. With a few homeware shops thrown in because this is an interiors and lifestyle journal after all. So, here’s my Minford guide to The Big Apple.
Eating & Drinking
What: Opened a week before I arrived by a team of creative women, this was easily my favourite spot. The interiors were beautifully done with pale green table tops, pale wooden chairs and touches of brass. In the loo you’re greeted by a neon mural of the Virgin Mary. The food is somewhere between fine dining and health conscious, which sounds pretentious but tastes amazing.
Where: 19 Kenmare Street
Try: The crisped quinoa and turmeric poached egg.
What: Where the hipsters of New York gather in numbers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s the millennials mecca. But don’t be deterred. Chunky playful furniture and ceramics from Cassie Griffin make the space cozy and unintimidating. Another great healthy food spot — something I wasn’t expecting from the land of burgers.
Where: 49 Canal Street
Try: The fennel-ginger lemonade – INSANE
Jack’s Wife Freda
What: A family run American-Mediterranean food which essentially translates as amazing green shakshuka and New York cheesecake dessert. Go early on weekends or pick a weekday since this is a popular choice and there can be a long wait. Though I love how American’s let you put your name on a list and potter off.
Where: 50 Carmine Street though there are two locations
Try: Anything from the plates and breakfast menu
What: In good old Williamsburg but with a neighbourhood vibe and cocktails that I’d like on tap please. The setting is beautiful, with industrial filament lights and worn floors. Visited twice during my stay.
Where: 18 Bedford Avenue, BK
Try: The truffle fries. Say. No. More.
What: A Tea Atelier slightly in the middle of nowhere but SO worth making a pilgrimage too. It has an interior to die for think pink velvet sofas and plaster walls and is arranged like an old apothecary with rows of beautiful tea canisters.
Where: 104 West Street, BK
Buy: The Ashram Afternoon – No 30. Oh and I brought three of these divine petal teacups. The seriously good news is they do international shipping.
What: Um hi read the post below this to know all! John’s the decoupage king.
Where: 6 East Second Street between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery
Buy: One of the famous glass trays or paperweights. I was there for well over half an hour trying to choose which one to take home with me.
What: For those who want a seriously in the know tip off this is it. An antique shop of dreams with no internet presence.
Where: 21 Bond St
Buy: Whatever makes your heart skip a beat. For me it was a beautiful vintage photograph.
ABC Carpet and Home
What: Six floors of pure interiors joy. There’s nothing like it in the UK. It’s like Liberty, Conran, and Merci all rolled into one but better.
Where: 888 Broadway
Buy: Hard to narrow down but they have some great ceramics by some of the best artists.
CW Pencils Enterprise
What: A stationery obsessives paradise. Stocks over 250 pencil varieties from all over the world.
Where: 100a Forsyth Street
Buy: Pale pink vintage pencils. International shipping!
The Primary Essentials
What: Minimalist homewares. You’ll find you need a new dinner set all of a sudden. This place is pricey but pretty.
Where: 372 Atlantic Avenue
Buy: Clam Lab Ceramics
What: One of those carefully curated all sorts stores. There are homewares and stationery amongst other pretty odds and ends.
Where: 245 Broome Street
Buy: Metal tool boxes and notepads
John Derian lives in a house in the East Village, New York that used to be an artists studio and a sewing factory. I’ve long viewed his home as the perfect source of inspiration. Not only for it’s old world charm that I just love but specifically for his beautiful distressed, unfinished walls.
“That’s nicotine”, he quipped to the New York Times who came to explore his home last summer. “The woman who lived here for decades was a chain smoker, so there’s this amazing patina, because it’s dust and dirt and nicotine everywhere. It’s all kind of a mistake.”
That’s perhaps why John’s style is so great. Nothing feels forced in his interior. There are so many elements but he’s skilled in making them work together. He’s helped too by the space – the high ceilings, large scale and light.
John is the maker of decoupage plates and homewares, that much like his house have an antiqued, old-y world-y feel. He began in 1989 collaging found images onto glass plates that resulted in a first order for £40k. With the help of friends he managed to complete it and since (having refined the process) has built a reputation as a master of his trade.
If you want to emulate a bit of John Derian styling in your own home go for neutral walls or if you’re in the fortunate position of stripping back old wallpaper, leave it as you find it for the perfect distressed look! Get foraging at your local antiques market for all sorts of vintage & antique collectables and don’t be afraid to have an unfinished upholstered chair in the mix. Finally, as I’ve banged on about before – see the power of a black lampshade.
He’s also lucky enough to have another home in Cape Cod and below are my favourite images from both.
P.S – I won’t sing Alicia Keys for you but I am typing this from New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, so for the next 10 days they’ll be a pause in the posts but a whole lot of instagram (The Minford & miniFORD ‘shops’ are open as usual). First stop John Derian’s store!
Liberty Print for Less
I was on the hunt for some throws last week for a shoot I was styling when I wandered into the Zara Home Kids section and stumbled across these beauties. I wasn’t even styling a kid’s bedroom but these called to me from across the shop for very obvious reasons. Hello Liberty print at affordable prices. It’s been a while since Zara Home have done Liberty print in such fabulous colour ways. Not too good to be true – I’ve stroked them with my own hand!
#FASHCHAT I've found the best jeans...
I’ve been searching for a pale, thick denim, ’90s supermodel style jean that’s actually flattering, for a while. Is that too much to ask? Seemingly so, as it’s taken me forever but I have just found them. The holy grail of jeans, I give you & Other Stories raw edged pair. They sold out in a matter of days but they’re back, hurrah. I might have to stockpile these they’re so well cut. And in some happy coincidence the red shoe quest is over too. I bought a vintage pair from Ebay and & Other Stories have made just the right shade with a sensible heel. The chances are I’ll neeeed both.