Monday, 26 October 2015

Medlar Restaurant, Kings Road, London

It's not often that you visit a restaurant and are so swept up in how amazing it was that you cannot stop thinking about how perfect it all was. The formula for my idea of a perfect restaurant is quite simple - well-designed, welcoming interior with a buzzy atmosphere, fresh and flavourful food served by friendly, efficient staff who are there but not there - if you see what I mean. When all those components come together, the result is quite spectacular but not in a booming fireworks way, more like an understated perfection kind of way.




So when you find a restaurant that ticks all your boxes, you want to tell the world - hence this blog post. I went to Medlar with a group of interior design bloggers during London Design Festival to celebrate the launch of Fromental's new showroom in Chelsea Design Harbour (separate post coming soon). For me, it was perfection.



As soon as we walked through the door, we were greeted by a member of the waiting staff who ushered us quietly up to the private dining room to join the rest of the party. The restaurant is beautifully designed with an excellent layout including my personal favourite restaurant feature of all time: booths.



At Medlar, the booths seat up to six which I've always thought is a pretty perfect number of people to go out to dinner with. I've always loved the cosiness that you get in a booth - it also helps block out everyone else's conversation. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to sit in a restaurant with zero atmosphere, but I'm pushing 35, and a large part of my teenage years were spent pacing around listening to ridiculously loud grunge music so my ears really aren't quite what they should be.



I am also a big fan of the designer's use of that stunning green which is accented throughout the restaurant and anchors the entire scheme so effectively - the result is really quite marvellous. It's a perfect shade of green - classic and contemporary at the same time. I love it.



I really love the antique effect distressed mirror, it reflects the light really gently and makes the restaurant feel spacious and roomy. Lighting is such a tricky thing to get right in restaurants, but Medlar absolutely nail it with beautiful lamps giving a soft warm glow with spotlights above for a bit more precision.



Medlar is owned by Joe Mercer Nairne and David O'Connor. It is their first restaurant venture and their aim was quite simply to provide fantastic food and service in a relaxed environment. Tick, tick and tick.

After attending Eton and Oxford University, where he read Archaeology and Anthropology, Joe embarked upon his culinary career. He first attended Leith's School of Food and Wine in 2001, only deciding afterwards to make cooking his profession. I love that he changed professions to do something he was really passionate about - it really does change your life when you get up in the morning and look forward to going to work.



Joe's experience prior to Medlar included roles at Carluccio’s, The Savoy Grill and Chez Bruce, along with a spell in Sydney working at Neil Perry’s Rockpool. Meanwhile, David started his career working as a waiter at his parents' restaurant on The Wirral before moving to Alexander House in West Sussex.



He moved to London in 1998 to work at The Orrery restaurant and worked under Patrick Fischnaller and Chris Galvin before moving to Nigel Platts-Martin’s The Square in 1999, he stayed with the group for 12 years managing front of house at 3 of the restaurants; Chez Bruce, The Square and The Ledbury.



Doesn't the food look delicious? Zomg, it was so so so good. Everything was so carefully prepared and bursting with flavour. I am allergic to milk which always makes going out for dinner a tiny bit hazardous so I did call ahead and let them know I was one of those annoying types. The waiting staff could not have been more gracious, not to mention creative. It was a wonderful night - thank you so much to the London Fromental team and Modenus for hosting the evening.

Medlar Restaurant, 438 Kings Road, Chelsea SW10 0LJ
Tel: 020 7349 1900

All images: Medlar Restaurant

Sunday, 6 September 2015

5 Amazing Room Designs by Carrier & Company

I have been a huge fan of the interior design practice Carrier & Company for many years. Based in NYC and founded by husband and wife team Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller; for me, their work is perfection.

The way they seamlessly blend antique and vintage pieces with contemporary design is nothing short of spectacular. I love that they work with the client's existing collections, artwork, hand-me-downs, heirlooms and incorporate it all into the interior design which creates truly personal, timeless and comfortable homes.

Their first book Positively Chic Interiors is out for pre-order now so I thought now was as good a time as any to share my favourite room designs.


What's not to love?! I love the sisal rug, the rustic metal frame table, the simple linen upholstery, the furniture, the panelling, but most of all I love the bright and bold artwork above the mantle which just elevates this room into something a lot more interesting. I've seen a lot of sitting rooms over the last few years but I adore this one.


We have a barn behind our house which at some point will be developed and added onto the house. This would be the perfect barn conversion bedroom. I love horses so the artwork here really appeals and the fabric on the bedspread and pillows mixed with the rug and curtains reminds me of a Kit Kemp-esque look. To me this room looks so comfortable and inviting. It goes without saying that the wood panelling is spot on.


I love the kitchen designs by Carrier & Company. This one in the Dove Meadow project is simple, but beautifully designed. I can literally imagine walking into this kitchen barefoot in the morning and putting the kettle on to make coffee. I'm not sure what wood the back door is made of but I think it works perfectly, and together with the classic american hardwood floor, brings a softness and warmth to the space.


The only Carrier & Company project I've ever stepped foot in - the Printing House in the West Village in NYC. I could have stayed there all day spending ages in each room studying all the finer details that make the project so individual, timeless and interesting. I think interiors should be at least a little bit interesting. I love to collect bits and pieces on travels to different places. Last weekend I was in Scotland and stopped by a little antiques shop in Aboyne where I bought a really stunning 19th century Chinese bowl. I'm not sure where to put it yet, but I absolutely love it and although it's not got anything to do with Scotland I will always think of a lovely weekend in Aberdeenshire when I see it.


I always think bathrooms are difficult to design but Jesse and Mara make it look completely effortless. I've always had a thing for freestanding bath tubs by companies like Victoria + Albert  so these two bathrooms in this stunning home in Southampton, New York are really my cup of tea. 

I hope you liked this round of up of my favourite rooms, suffice to say there are dozens more that are absolutely stunning - take a look here

Image credits: Carrier & Company 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

A Change of Plan

I'm really excited to finally let you all know some news that I have been keeping quiet now for some time. As many of you know, I started West Egg in 2010 because I wanted to do something that I was more interested in, which was the world of interiors.

It has been an amazing ride and I'm so grateful to everyone who supported West Egg in so many different ways. My passion for interior design, furniture design, antiques, restoration, business, social media, and of course blogging, is stronger than ever and I am very thankful for the amazing opportunities I have had over the last 4 years.

At the end of 2014 I started consulting for Humphrey Munson - a British company that designs and manufactures really beautiful handmade kitchens.


The company is expanding and recently opened a second showroom in St. Albans as well as the main workshop and showroom in Felsted. This is a really exciting time for Humphrey Munson and I have loved working with them on different marketing and business development projects which has been a really rewarding experience for me. 

Earlier this year, they offered me a full time role which I simply could not refuse. So, for the last 6 months I have been working full time for Humphrey Munson as the head of marketing and business development and I could not be more excited! I feel very proud to be working for a company with which I share so many values, not to mention an amazing team of super talented cabinetmakers who take such enormous pride in their work. I am really over the moon to be moving on with this new role and I can't wait to see what the rest of 2015 holds and beyond.  

What this means...

Taking on this new role meant that West Egg was put on the back burner somewhat. I have ummed and ahhed for months now about it, come very close to selling it and then last week backed out of a potential sale completely because I am not ready to let the west egg blog go to someone else. When I started the blog back in 2010, I didn't know anything about blogging or social media, or how to grow a business. But it is the west egg blog that has brought me all the amazing experiences and opportunities that I have had in the last 5 years. 

The West Egg Blog 

So, I will continue writing the west egg blog - for me, it's a place where I can record my finds, ideas and design tips. I love blogging and I love the community that comes with it. It's had a little revamp overnight thanks to 17th Avenue - I hope you like it! 

The West Egg Store 

This is the sad bit. Because I can't sell the business without the blog, the west egg online store will soon close its online doors. The upside is that there is going to be a very good sale coming soon! 

Workshops 

I will be teaching the last weekend workshop "Paint Like A Pro" this coming October 10-11th, 2015. There is one place left, if you'd like to come please book here

Many many thanks to you all for your amazing support over the last few years. 

Louisa 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Wild Rabbit, Kingham, Oxfordshire

I'm going to take you on a little tour of an absolute gem of a English pub - The Wild Rabbit. This is now at the top of my list of places I want to visit this year - want to see why?




Set in the beautiful unspoiled Cotswolds village of Kingham, the Wild Rabbit serves locally sourced, seasonal food in a super cool and super relaxed setting.



I absolutely love the laidback luxe feel of the dining room and bar area. The furniture is all perfectly worn, perfectly muted and perfectly comfortable. A great spot for a pre-lunch bloody mary and quick peruse of the Sunday papers.





The private dining room is just my cup of tea with exposed brick (tick), exposed wooden beams (tick), cladding (tick), mis-matched chairs (tick) and lots and light so the space is bright, welcoming and oh - did you see the lanterns hanging from the roof? They are perfection. I could live in that room.



Of course all the rooms look absolutely delightful - welcoming, cosy, light and airy, with beautifully appointed soft furnishing. I could live in this room too.

If you use instagram do follow @thewildrabbitkingham to keep up with the latest behind the scenes photos of life at the Wild Rabbit. Can't wait to try it out soon.

Visit The Wild Rabbit at Church Street, Kingham, Oxfordshire OX7 6YA, the number for reservations is 01608 658389.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Petit & Olson, Bainbridge Island, W.A.

Greetings from Bainbridge Island! Since I arrived late last Thursday evening, the days have flown by. I taught the first of two weekend workshops on Saturday and Sunday at Komedal Road Studio which went really well and it was really amazing to see the pieces that people brought in and totally transformed over the two days. It was really busy so I didn't get a chance to take many photographs, but I will be able to post a few soon. I thought in the meantime I would take you on a little visit to a lovely store called Petit & Olson.

I popped in yesterday afternoon around 4pm and the light streaming through the windows was just wonderful. Kathryn Petit who owns the store has the most incredible eye and has curated a collection of beautiful homewares, furniture and clothing. They have recently relocated the store two doors down to 150 Winslow Way E, which is a much bigger space. I haven't edited any of these photos and they were all taken on my iphone 5 as the DSLR wasn't working - but even so, I think you get a real sense of the store...

This is the view when you enter the store. The brick walls are all original throughout. If you read this blog regularly, you'll know that I love an exposed brick wall. 

Beautiful shafts of light streaming through at this time in the afternoon. (LOVE that platter, bit too big for my suitcase though).

I'm not sure who theblankets folded on the ladder are designed by but they are really lovely and soft. Look at that exposed brick wall and creamy distressed wooden flooring. Totally my cup of tea.

I love the way Kathryn has designed the store layout - every corner has a display of different treasures. Visual merchandising is such an art form, and you can tell Kathryn has really considered each area of the store so carefully.

Now I really love the cow skull and antlers - I think they give the space a really cool, laid-back country feel - but I know that they aren't for everyone. I actually saw a cool vegan option which are basically botanical wall trophies - it sounded a bit mad at first, but it makes complete sense when you see them. Take a look here.

Hands up if you love stripes... isn't this armchair perfect for Spring? 

The clothing lines that are carried at Petit & Olson are really carefully selected, I love the linen shirts and dresses - so perfect for spring and later, summer. 

This has to be the best belt display I've ever seen. 

And one last look at that beautiful wall and shutters.... and that vintage sign is just perfect. I hope you enjoyed the tour around Petit & Olson - details below if you would like to visit.

150 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Telephone: 206.201.3262
Email: sales@petitandolson.com

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

3 Things to Love about Aesop

One of the things workshop students frequently comment on is the hand soap we have in the bathroom. That's because it's kind of special.



It's called Reverence Aromatique by Aesop and it is an exfoliating hand wash which is perfect for our furniture painting workshops as it means people can really get their hands all scrubbed - plus it smells amazing. If you haven't come across Aesop, they are an Australian company that make products for the skin, hair and body. They have a reputation for quietly achieving excellence with each new product they create and manufacture.

The Reverence Aromatique hand soap has the following aroma: woody, earthy, citrus. Once you've used it on your hands they feel cleansed, polished, exfoliated and softened. Perfect after a long afternoon in the workshop.



They also have an incredible range of skincare and haircare products, not to mention my favourite new product - Animal care - a gentle fur cleanser for pampered pets.



It's super mild, smells incredible and you can rest assured that Aesop put the same time and attention into the R&D of this animal product as they do for their human products. So little Alfie pug is going to be even more pampered than usual.

Lastly, if you haven't been onto the Aesop site - hop over now and take a look at the Fabulist. In a world of sensationalist and never-ending breaking news, the Fabulist offers a more robust, thoughtful and ultimately rewarding online experience. I loved this post about vaping - seemingly completely random - until you remember you read somewhere that Aesop are advocates of living a balanced life that includes "a healthy diet, sensible exercise, a moderate intake of red wine, and a regular dose of stimulating literature". So definitely worth a look I'd say.

Images credit: Aesop

Monday, 26 January 2015

Coming Up! Paint Like A Pro Workshop at Komedal Road Studio, Bainbridge Island - March 7-8, 2015

I'm so excited to be heading back to the US to teach the Paint Like A Pro weekend course at Komedal Road Studio on Bainbridge Island, W.A on March 7-8, 2014. It's going to be amazing.



This workshop is ideal if you have an interest in furniture painting, restoration and upholstery. Maybe you're thinking of starting a business selling restored furniture or painted furniture, or maybe you just want to gather some new skills to use on projects in your home, whatever the reason, this workshop will give you the confidence, inspiration and motivation to take on really interesting and rewarding projects.







Absolutely no experience is required. Ideally, you will bring with you two pieces of wooden furniture (it doesn't matter if they are varnished or unvarnished) and an upholstery project such as a piano stool, small footstool with legs, or a dining chair with a drop in seat. If you don't have furniture that you think is going to be suitable, don't worry, just send us an email and we will source some pieces for you.

The best bit about this workshop is that you will be working on actual pieces of furniture and you'll have all the materials and equipment you need to transform tired pieces of furniture. Even with the same selection of paints and finishes, students always put their own unique stamp on their work and this is one of the most inspiring parts of the workshop.

Course Outline: 
 
  • Choosing furniture; how to source pieces and what to look out for at auctions and antiques fairs. 
  • Preparation tips for all types of furniture including heavily varnished pieces. 
  • Basic repair work, how to remove stains such as water marks, guidance on the tools and materials required. 
  • Furniture painting using chalk paints, we show you three techniques. 
  • Waxing unpainted furniture and finishing techniques for unpainted furniture. 
  • Different decorative techniques for painted furniture.. 
  • Finishing techniques including waxing, varnishing and sealing. 
  • Basic upholstery - how to upholster simple projects such as a drop in seat dining chair, stool or footstool. 
The workshop includes the following:

* All materials for the weekend, including paints and waxes etc.

* A full set of notes for each stage of the course with a breakdown of instructions for each process.

* Breakfast, lunch, snacks, all refreshments.

* Skype follow up call (up to 1 hour) with Louisa Blackmore anytime after the workshop.

The cost of this workshop is $470, however, this is a special Early-bird rate that will get you $100 off the normal rate, please click here for information and how to book. All payments are taken via PayPal, however, you do not need a PayPal account to pay for the workshop, there is an option to pay by credit card. You will receive a confirmation from PayPal and we will also email you directly from info@westegg.co.uk.

UPDATE: SOLD OUT


We have organised an additional weekend for the same workshop "Paint Like A Pro" now scheduled for March 14-15, 2015 - -please click here to reserve your place.

Friday, 23 January 2015

A cosy corner in West Egg Cottage

This last week it's been pretty chilly here but we're very lucky to have a lovely log burner fitted in the inglenook. It was fitted last year and I must admit I was really taken aback by how different the house feels when it's lit. The heat is more subtle than heat from the radiators, it's less drying and seems to warm through the walls keeping the house warmer for longer. The old part of the cottage is a two up two down affair with the inglenook in the middle so when the log burner is going it's absolutely wonderful and feels like the little old cottage has really come to life.



I was just about to light it this afternoon but instead I grabbed my camera because I wanted to get some photos of my new Murphy McCall cushion that arrived this week. I had spotted it originally on the homepage of the website but it had sold out - no problem, they made me one bespoke!

A few weeks before Christmas we have also moved the sofas around due a red wine fiasco on the natural jute carpet. Although it pains me greatly to admit it, moving the sofas around actually opened the room up a little, and we now have more space and moved the Marlow chair to beside the inglenook. Hey presto, a cosy corner by the fire was created.

The cushion is made from napa lambs leather which I've never heard of before but it's so soft. The back is linen and has a wide exposed zip down the middle which is really cool. I love the mottled / dappled effect on the leather - it's a real one off.



I'm absolutely thrilled with it and it looks perfect on the Marlow chair from Swoon Editions. I was actually lucky enough to win a £200 gift voucher for Swoon Editions after winning their blogger styling competition last year with this blog post. Each blogger had to style the chair in their home and then photograph it and share it online. I was absolutely amazed to win especially because the other bloggers had such lovely styled shots.

Thank you so much to Swoon Editions for asking to take part and then sending me the vouchers. That was amazing! Of course, I didn't waste any time in spending them and as soon as I spotted the Marlow chair I knew it would be perfect for our sitting room. I'm a big fan of Victorian furniture and I love that this is based on a library barrel-back chair from that era. It's made from solid oak and has a grey oak finish and the seat is covered with a textured oatmeal linen fabric.

Unfortunately I think these are all sold out now, but you can still get the Milly chair - take a look here to see the full range.







I hope you like this little corner of the cottage. If you have any suggestions for how to style the inglenook mantle - it's very limited height-wise - it's very tricky to get right! Maybe an elaborate and extensive mug collection inspired by my good friend Geraldine who writes the Little Big Bell blog.

And one last thing, in this last photograph you might be able to spot my Dash + Albert rug I lugged back from Los Angeles a few years ago. I just spotted the other day that Amara are now selling Dash + Albert rugs - in all the sizes! Previously there was only a company in Germany that would ship to the UK which was really expensive so I'm really happy that Amara are now stocking them. A great and exciting moment - especially for the red wine fiasco area of the living room.

Have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The wonderful world of Mari Orr

I discovered the wonderful world of Mari Orr through the instagram rabbit warren and I'm so happy I did. Mari is a super talented artist whose current work includes watercolours, oil paintings, weavings and calligraphy. As well as being super talented, Mari is also super generous and regularly gives away free downloads of her work as well as donating a portion of her profits from the Kind Notes to the National Alliance to End Homelessness or The Fund for Global Human Rights.



This print is actually a free download from the website, so you can print it off and use at home. It's the perfect motto for the year ahead, don't you think? I can apply this motto to pretty much every aspect of my life right now!

Take a look at Mari's blog too - it's so inspiring and I particularly loved this recent post about tiny kind notes. Such a great idea - I'd be thrilled to find one of these cards as I went about my daily life. 


Do visit Mari's website to see more of her amazing work. 

Image credits: Mari Orr

Monday, 19 January 2015

Roly by AABE - A Perfect Glass Box Extension in Belgium

Over the weekend I spotted the most wonderful glass box extension on Pinterest. It was actually one of the "picked for you" pins which is the new-ish smart feed feature on Pinterest - I think it started some time mid-2014. At first I was really skeptical about this new smart feed because I felt it was going to go the same way as facebook, but actually, I really like it. I've seen a lot of pins I wouldn't have otherwise and this extension project is one of them.

So anyway I thought I'd share these stunning images today since it is so chilly here. Lots of the UK has snow, particularly Scotland and I know it's a pain for things like travel, but it does make everything so extraordinarily beautiful. Currently we only have some frost in Bedfordshire, and the lane was very icy this morning. But no snow, yet. I'm sitting upstairs in the barn writing this which is lovely and cosy (downstairs is really not). I have a White Company winter candle burning and the Amelie soundtrack playing which I haven't listened to in ages. So it's really lovely here, but no snow. So, I sort of wish I could shut my eyes and open them to find myself here...



This is the Roly project by Atelier d'Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners, or AABE, who are based in Belgium but undertake architectural projects all over the world. The brick building is actually an outbuilding that has been extended and made into a perfect home for a bed and breakfast. The sitting room is made solely of glass and opens out in the surrounding garden. I really love the way the original building has been left alone and the glass box delicately ajoins it. The snow really gives these images a magical feeling and are all by Jean-Luc Laloux who specialises in architectural photography. Take a look at his other work here to be truly inspired.













So this is my snow fix today sorted. Hopefully we'll have some of the real white stuff to enjoy soon.

Images credit: Roly by AABE | Image Credit: Jean-Luc Laloux