WELCOME TO MINFORD
Present Drawer Perfection
Yesterday, I did a very spoiling thing. I went to the V&A for no particular reason other than I had a spare hour and I fancied having a mooch around. When I say spare, I mean not so much spare but that I was putting off all the other stuff that I was supposed to be doing. The V&A also has a rather wonderful shop which was, let’s be honest, the reason for my visit.
My top purchase was this wonderous ‘book’ of English Chintz fabric wrapping papers. There are 12 sheets folded into quarters. I got it home and I’m not entirely sure I can bare to part with any of them. It’s an essential for any present drawer in my humble opinion.
P.S I was having a little scroll through the M&S website yesterday and found this Marie Chantal Hat and Glove set on sale for £10. We’re talking cashmere for a tenner! Sizes range from 3-6 months to 3-6 years. Bulk buy I say and hand out to friends at will.
Studio Oliver Gustav
Oliver Gustav is one of those curious people who defies a title. Part designer, part consultant and part collector, equals one brilliant creative that I can’t get enough of.
The interiors the Dane designs play on light and shadow, drama and serenity. Even when his rooms are full of furniture, they’re always calm.
It’s an intoxicating concoction that has made me a long term fan. Imagine my total exasperation (swearing) when I turned up at the shop on a trip to Copenhagen on the day it was closed. Grrr.
In his studio are antiques, work by contemporary designers and pieces he created himself. He groups items and furniture together, creating an interesting tension. And it’s the perfect space to understand and appreciate his aesthetic.
“I would never buy a crazy picture of, I don’t know, Mario Testino with a lot of flowers. That is the opposite of the feeling I like an object to evoke in me, it would rather be pieces that I can reflect on somehow.” Oliver told The Loft.
“It is very important for me that when I step into an environment that it is very calm. There can be plenty of pieces in the space without it disturbing the eye.”
As you’d expect, Oliver’s style isn’t cheap – he picks out $227,000 alabaster beds by fashion designer Rick Owens or a silver plated brass cabinet by Vincenzo de Cotiis for a cool $90,000.
It’s not everyday that one can shell out on those but if you like his vibe there is an online shop where you can buy smaller objects and his wonderful Mad et Len candles. Follow him on insta and prepare to be seriously inspired.
You might have read the title of this post and thought ‘oh please no more marble, that’s so 2015’. But hold off on that eye roll for just a moment because I’ve got a case to make for more of this most fabulous material. We’ve done the platters, the marble chopping boards and salt and pepper pinch pots. We’ve seen a lot of the stuff in the kitchen. What I am interested in is marble around the home as an objet d’art in a room.
I am looking for shapes that can sit alone on a side table or huddled amongst a group of other disperate objects. You’ll notice that I’ve added a napkin holder and utensils pot to my picks – I don’t plan to use them as intended. Place that napkin ring upturned on a mantle piece and it becomes far more interesting.
But this isn’t just about making my home look pretty, they’re also a stylists best friend. Over the next few months I am planning on scouring Ebay and Etsy, flea markets and jumble sales to gather my own collection for shoots. Below are some of the images that a guiding my decisions and generally inspiring my house come art gallery vibes.
- White Marble House
- Rectangular Marble Plate
- Marble Utensil Pot
- AC11 Stop Bookend
- Marble Napkin Ring
- Marble Domino Set
Barbara Hepworth Cone and Sphere
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