Truly awesome creations

Just next door to Smug is Loop, and if I thought Smug was a dangerous enough shop, then Loop takes that and doubles it. Its website tagline of “Gorgeous knitting supplies” does not lie. And their shop window is one that intrigues, delights and draws you in through the peculiarly small double shop doors.

Loop Islington Shop Window
EXQUISITE CREATIONS IN THE SHOP WINDOW, I HAD TO GO IN

EXQUISITE CREATIONS IN THE SHOP WINDOW, I HAD TO GO IN

Having spent the day at the Garden Media event and collecting goodies along the way, I arrived in the shop through the original half size doors none too elegantly. I’m sure I’m not the only one that makes such an arrival!

Once in the shop I was mesmerised. So many lovely colours, so much gorgeous wool. It was hard to know where to start. And once I’d worked that out, I learnt there was an upstairs too, and I really was smitten.

BASKETS OF WOOL
WOOL FOR SOCKS AT LOOP LONDON

Throughout the shop there were the most exquisite and awesome creations, which inspired and wowed as well as slightly scaring me at the same time. The level of work is stunning, and the throws were the perfect way to show off what’s possible.

THROWS IN AUTUMN COLOURS
THROWS WITH FLOWERS AND HEXIES.jpg

Just like their neighbour they are masters of the display, I mean a rainbow of ribbons by the till. It seems almost criminal for anyone to buy anything quite so pretty.

A RAINBOW  OF RIBBONS

But this was the shop I cracked in, I knew that I would leave with some wool. It was just a matter of which, and how much. And if I’d manage to get out of those doors again. You might remember that gorgeous wool I wound a few weeks back, yes it was here that it came from. If you’re wondering what’s happening with that, then I’m currently in a bit of a dilemma, but more on that another day.

In the meantime here’s a reminder of how gorgeous it was.

Beautiful+wool+-+the+colour+is+Aspen+Tree.jpeg

Sigh. So much gorgeousness. Let’s hope I can do justice to my own piece of gorgeousness.

A wow visit to a reopened Painted Hall

It’s been closed for two years for a major conservation project, and reopened last weeked. I was able to book tickets on the opening weekend through week, and it was truly wonderful. At one point I thought we might not make it down into Greenwich at all as MOH was working (again), but just after 3pm on Sunday he escaped his laptop and we headed on what is a daily walk for me.

It was a lovely day and Greenwich Park was full, which was quite strange to see. I’m so used to seeing it with workers hurrying through and the dog walking community meeting for their daily - or least morning - constitution, that it’s easy to forget the weekend leisure users of the space. And on a sunny day, how that multiplies.

We’ve been to the Painted Hall many times before, in fact we visited with family including a cousin’s American husband the day after our wedding whose reaction was “gee, this is old!” Which of course is correct, it is.

It’s part of the Old Royal Naval College and was designed as a ceremonial dining room by Sir Christopher Wren, and some dining room! It took 19 years to complete the vast decorative scheme, painted by Sir James Thornhill and that started in 1707. He was the first British artist to be knighted and painted himself into the picture, which was pointed out in the new audio accompaniment - so look out for him later.

Previously entry was free, and is now £12 which before we went I thought was hefty. Having visited, I think it’s pretty good value, especially as you can use your ticket to gain entry for a year. That won’t work for everyone but they’re not the only organisation to do that, and it doesn’t stop you visiting, does it.

The entrance is new too, and much more focused. You enter through the Undercroft, now renamed the Sackler Gallery and there’s the obligatory shop and a cafe too. The cafe is particularly welcome as it’s yet another space for food and drink on campus, although despite only going this weekend I’d already forgotten that in the everyday busy-ness of the working day. And this week too, I’ve been less good about taking lunch to work and reverted to popping to the garage for a sandwich rather than trying something a little more social.

LOOKING UP

LOOKING UP

Looking up in what used to be the entrance area was spectacular, and only partly prepared you for the wow when you first glimpse the main event. It is truly breathtaking.

IMG_2702.jpg

A photo really can’t do it justice, but it does give you an idea of how spectacular it is.

Before the hall was filled with large wooden tables, which took up most of the space. These have now gone and have been replaced with cushioned benches down the centre of the space, these allow people to view the ceiling lying down, and if you weren’t aware of that, the following photo could be quite amusing!

Admiring the ceiling is tiring work

And it’s a vast improvement of a mirror that was there before.

I’m not usually much of a fan of audio guides, but I took one and it was impressive. You can dip into and out of the information in a way that works for you. It translates the latin inscription around the edge of the ceiling in an engaging way. It’s been many years since I studied Latin - amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant and all that.

the multimedia guide
The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich


Earlier I promised you Sir James Thornhill, well here he is with the tools of his trade behind him on the ledge - that’s just one of the useful facts on the multimedia guide.

Sir James Thornhill

It’s definitely worth a visit, and it’s definitely worth visiting Greenwich for. And if you visit give me a wave!

At the Ideal Home Show

Today I’m sharing my highlights from this year’s Ideal Home Show, along with the trends that I noticed from the show. You’ll have seen in yesterday’s post that for me the good news was that the garden room sets were back, and that the garden section of the show was in the main section of the hall rather than in the smaller hall on the left as you enter.

Of the four garden room sets I was really keen on two. I’ve already mentioned The Upcycled Garden so there’s a fair chance that that’s one of them, and you’d be right. You’ll not be surprised to learn that the other is The Grow Your Own Garden and I’ll be sharing more of those, and the other two garden room sets in the next few weeks.

THE UPCYCLED GARDEN

THE UPCYCLED GARDEN

THE FAMILY FUN GARDEN

THE FAMILY FUN GARDEN

THE CONTEMPORARY GARDEN

THE CONTEMPORARY GARDEN

THE GROW YOUR OWN GARDEN

THE GROW YOUR OWN GARDEN

Colour, everywhere

The thing that really stood out was colour. It was everywhere. And as an advocate of colour you’ll know how much that pleases me. It was bold colour too as the photos below show. Those chairs, you’ll notice that they have the same pattern. I only noticed that as I put this post together, I’m sure though the backgrounds were different colours.

A PATTERNED CHAIR

A PATTERNED CHAIR

A PATTERNED CEILING

A PATTERNED CEILING

A JEWELLED CUSHION

A JEWELLED CUSHION

A PATTERNED SOFA

A PATTERNED SOFA

The ceiling and lamp shade above were in the child’s room in the Evolving House, I think that’s definitely the loudest ceiling I’ve ever seen and not sure it will be conducive to sleep. But it wasn’t all bright colours, the other colour that stood out around the show was pastel pink, it’s still set to be big in interiors this year. It featured in the room sets, with a pink kitchen and in the vintage bathroom room set; in the Evolving Home house and a gorgeous sofa in the interiors section of the show.

A PINK SOFA IN THE INTERIORS SECTION

A PINK SOFA IN THE INTERIORS SECTION

A PINK KITCHEN ROOM SET

A PINK KITCHEN ROOM SET

MIRRORS ON A PINK WALL IN THE EVOLVING HOME

MIRRORS ON A PINK WALL IN THE EVOLVING HOME

FLYING BIRDS IN THE VINTAGE BATHROOM ROOM SET

FLYING BIRDS IN THE VINTAGE BATHROOM ROOM SET

Colour and patterns

And along with the colour came patterns, and plenty of them. While I’m not necessarily a fan of the frayed egg-shaped light the wallpaper behind it was bold and fantastic. In the room sets it was hard to find a room that wasn’t covered in pattern - the bedroom and living room - were full of it and clashing patterns too. And it wasn’t just the walls, the floors were patterned too, though not always at the same time.

THE HALLWAY IN THE EVOLVING HOME

THE HALLWAY IN THE EVOLVING HOME

THE LIVING SPACE ROOM SET

THE LIVING SPACE ROOM SET

THE BEDROOM ROOM SET

THE BEDROOM ROOM SET

THE GARDEN SPACE ROOM SET

THE GARDEN SPACE ROOM SET

‘Wire’ furniture

Last year I said that I’d seen plenty of pom poms, and sure enough pom poms make it big on the interiors scene. This year I noticed that there was plenty of ‘wire’ furniture - I’m not quite sure what else to call it. The lampshade in the boot room below is much more decorative than functional. I think we’ll be seeing much more of these.

IN THE LIVING SPACE ROOM SET

IN THE LIVING SPACE ROOM SET

PUJI SIDE TABLES

PUJI SIDE TABLES

PUJI HIGH TABLE

PUJI HIGH TABLE

BARNHAM & SONS LIGHT FIXTURE

BARNHAM & SONS LIGHT FIXTURE

So that’s a quick round-up of what I noticed, and plenty of photos to give you a glimpse of the show. Are you going this year, or have you been?

PoCoLo