WELCOME TO MINFORD
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.
I’ve noticed a little trend emerging. Let’s call it a mini trend for the moment. Certain members of the fashion crowd and various members of the interiors world seem to be going mad for shells right now. Not in a themed house by the seaside way, instead they’re dotted about as ornaments on coffee tables or serving as soap dishes. Granted this treads a tight rope between cool and seriously naff. The trick to styling this one is to steer well clear of any further nautical themed accessories. View them as ‘objects’ to style with your other ceramics or collections. I love a brass shell on a coffee table or a place to store a few pieces of jewellery, and of course there’s the endlessly pleasing option of using a real shell as a soap dish.
If you’re feeling brave, add one little wall sconce next to the bed. Then there are those who really want to invest – for that you have Soane Britain’s incredible Venus chairs in velvet or rattan which to me is the absolute dream piece.
This shell thing isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I’ll wager we haven’t seen the last of this idea yet.
Shell style chairs in Sketch, London
Rose Uniacke’s London home is the perfect showroom to demonstrate just why she’s one of the most sought after Interior Designers in the industry today. And why I am such a fan. Of course her sanctuary-like space, minimalistic but never cold, feels nothing like a ‘showroom’. But it’s here that she best displays her near perfect, never puts a foot wrong taste. Her spaces are pared-back, and calm, giving room for the choice pieces of old and new designers to be seen in their full glory.
Rose has spent her career training her eye to spot beautiful antiques and understand the buildings she places them in. And in 2013 she won the Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the Year Award.
Raised in Oxford, Rose took an apprenticeship and trained as a gilder and restorer, before joining her mother Hilary Batstone in the antiques trade. She earned herself a reputation as a brilliant dealer in her own right and in 2009 opened her own London antiques shop. Her shop now also houses her bespoke design work – furniture and lighting that she created when she couldn’t find what she was looking for elsewhere. But it’s her interiors that make her the go-to woman for the Beckhams, Jo Malone and countless others when decorating their homes.
Getting the Rose Uniacke look in your own home means a major decluttering and serious attention to detail. Every room has a statement light. She pairs soft woods with harder textures such as marble and metal. And there’s a hit of colour in a neutral setting, creating uber elegant rooms that frankly make me feel a little bit giddy.
Watch Rose discussing her London home here.