Category: London

London talent

With an impressive roster of prestigious projects under his belt already, Aristos Migliaressis-Phocas of A.M.P. interiors, is definitely one to watch. Born and raised in Athens, and coming from a background in Finance, Aristos is now based in London and creates elegant, sophisticated bespoke interiors for clients worldwide.

Aristos derives his inspiration from his travels, the places he visits and the people he meets.  His busy schedule has found him in Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Sydney, Berlin, Geneva, Paris, Milan and Athens in just the last 6 months. Good thing he is inspired by travel!

The photos I am very happy to share with you today are of a recently completed 4 bedroom private residence at One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge. Enjoy!

a working holiday

Well, I’m back. Have been for a week, but have been to busy this week to even think about my poor neglected blog. Our short, but very sweet, trip was amazing. I’ve had a few readers ask for tips and recommendations…so without boring you all senseless, I’ll try to keep it succinct.

We had only 4 days, one of which was the wedding we attended (at the Montague on the Gardens Hotel – super cute, very small rooms, but served a great afternoon tea!).  

Hyde Park on a lovely sunny day

Some of our favorite eats were:

Daylesford Organics, Notting Hill – We had breakfast here, our first meal in London. A great way to start the trip. Everything about this place is inspiring, and a concept that is sadly lacking in Hong Kong. We bought a lot of preserves here to bring back with us.

Granger & Co. Notting Hill – possibly a silly choice as Australians to patronise the establishment of another aussie whilst in London, but it was highly recommended by a few people. We met an old friend for lunch and enjoyed the food immensely.  Our friends whose wedding we attended ate there a week later and sat next to Stella McCartney and her husband. Great food, great interior, both with a very relaxed Australian vibe.

Somewhere we didn’t make it was Ottolenghi, in the same neighbourhood as these two. Also was highly recommended, and the deli style food I saw in the window when we walked past between breakfast and lunch looked amazing. I actually asked my husband at 10am if it was too early for another coffee and some cake. Needless to say it will be high on my list for next time, as will the sister establishment, Nopi in Soho.

Fortnum & Mason – the new Diamond Jubilee Tea Rooms designed by none other than David Collins are stunning. The afternoon tea set, which regrettably I did not have with the champagne that was available. Nor did I have the appetite to make the most of the endless refills of the delicious scones (best ever, which I can only say now that my Grandmother has passed away) or the cake trolley. Slightly wasted on us as we were so full from the previous 2 amazing meals we’d had that day, but amazing none the less.  I recommend you go with an empty stomach though.

Borough Markets – we wandered around for hours, on what was only our second trip here.  I would quite like the time to spend an entire day here and have 3 or more meals.  So much to taste and tempt you. We bought many varieties of saucisson, cheese and potted meats to take with us to eat on our travels, some of which actually lasted til we got home.

St.John – We had dinner here with the bride and groom to be, and I was  not disappointed. I love the space and the ambiance.  I thought the food quality, the serving sizes and quality of service was amazingly good value in a city with a reputation for being expensive.  It outclassed anything I’ve had in Hong Kong (although I have to say, most of our meals in London did). I was slightly underwhelmed by the main I ordered, but all in all I loved it and would definitely go back again.

Massimo – in the recently refurbished Corinthia Hotel, also designed by David Collins. We enjoyed  a very well priced set menu with the good friends we were staying with.  I enjoyed my meal, and the interior was captivating.  So many beautiful details, that Mr Collins is known for, that we could have sat for much longer and still picked up on something new. 

The Serpentine Pavillion by Ai Wei Wei and Herzog & De Meuron 

Other highlights: 

Tate Modern – Getting to see the Munch exhibit at the Tate was definitely a highlight, as I have admired his work greatly for many years.  I own a book of his work so was familiar with much of it (and was not disappointed at all that none of the versions of the famous “Scream” paintings were included), but was still pleasantly surprised by just how vivid his use of colour was. So inspiring.

Potterton Books– Definitely one of the best design bookshops anywhere handsdown, with outposts in New York and LA. I bought a couple of books, and could have spent a fortune on more had my credit card and weight limit as an economy passenger not restricted me…

The Orangery at Kensington Palace


We were fortunate enough to here to celebrate our 11 year anniversary whilst in Paris.  Bofinger was recommended by a few people to us, and was fortunately a short walk from our charming hotel in Le Marais. We were taken to a table upstairs, which the waitress described as ‘très jolie’, and it was. However, the photos of the downstairs dining room with the lovely Art Nouveau detailed ceiling was what sucked me in, and I kinda wished we’d been able to sit there.  Despite this, the food was lovely, very rich in a traditional French sense, but very enjoyable.

L’ oulette – this was probably the best meal of the trip, if not at least in Paris.  A charming little bistro, also a short walk from our hotel, which has a great menu of French classics.  I had Duck confit (amazing), and my husband had Cassoulet (also equally amazing). 

Our last night we dined at Chez Julien (from the stable of the Costes brothers, of Hotel Costes fame), also recommended by a friend.  The food was more of a modern French style, which I enjoyed, and the interior is also quite charming.  Luckily also walking distance from our hotel, which took us along the Seine.

Parisians enjoying a sunny Sunday in the Place des Vosges

Other highlights:

I finally made it to the Decorative Arts Museum, a place I had been dreaming about ever since I discovered its existance, shortly after my last trip to Paris six years ago.  The collection is small, but amazing.  Pieces by Royère, Arbus, Prouvé – just to name a few. The bookshop attached is also a jaw dropper if you are into rare and out of print books on French design.

A rainy Paris day, as seen from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs

And of course, Maison & Objet.  My first trip, and somehow I manage to cover most of it in a day.  A pretty mean feat, anyone who has been will tell you.  Not sure where to even start, which was pretty much my feeling when I arrived there.  The vast range and quality of product on show is overwhelming. I don’t know that I will list off my faves in this post, but if I ever get around to perusing my fair catalogue I might do it in another one, another time.  Needless to say, if you’re in the industry its a must see.  Now that I’ve checked that off, I am now aiming for Milan next year.

A good day to be inside, the Louvre in Paris

Brittany / Normandy:

We stayed at Maison Violette, a lovely 300yr old cottage in a tiny but very cute town named Bazouges la Perouse. The town itself is definitely one of the prettiest in the area, and is only a 45 min drive from Rennes, the capital city of Brittany.  We took a train down from Paris (about 2 hrs), and then hired a car and drove for the rest of the time.

Maison Violette, in Bazouges la Perouse.
Making Bazouges our base, we did a lot of driving over the next few days…and without going into excessive detail, these were the highlights of that part of the trip…
The stunning Mont St Michel, only a 30 min drive from where we were staying
 Stunning seaside walled town of St. Malo, about 40 mins from Bazouges
Coastal town, Cancale, home to the best Oysters ever!, very close to St. Malo, we did both in a day
the Château de Combourg, about 20 mins drive away
and last, but not least, the crumbling ruins in Fougères, the largest medieval castle in Europe
(only 30 mins away from Bazouges)

all photos taken by moi!

London calling…

I’m beyond excited that we are off to London next week…its been two years since the last trip, and this one also happens to be for a wedding.  I have a long list of new bars and restaurants to check out that have opened since I was last there, along with some others that I missed last time…but if you have any recommendations please feel free to let me know!  
Speaking of which, this might just be on my hit list…Galvin @ Windows in the Hilton Park Lane in Mayfair, which was just refurbed by the talented team at Central Design Studio.  The Michelin starred restaurant has incredible views of London’s most iconic landmarks, and the interior was inspired by the 1930’s and the golden age of cinematography.  Sounds divine!

Meet you at the bar? I’ll have a G+T please…


I’ve been having a bit of a rough week.  This gorgeous mix of stuff in the home of stylist Jenny-Lyn Hart Boden may be the only thing keeping me going right now.


*spoiler alert*

I know, I know, the new Elle Decor has only just hit the stands, but I couldn’t help myself. The London home of Peter Mikic and his partner has made me slightly weak at the knees…so I couldn’t help but share. The man has some seriously good taste in art and furniture. Might have something to do with the fact that he’s Australian, and studied at the same university as myself. Ahem. Some serious eye candy heading your way…

Stuart Scott @ Liberty

Stuart Scott has been a busy man…not only does he have a lovely new collection that’s just been launched, his range is now also available at Liberty in London! I love each and every one of the new designs, they’re timeless and so versatile. And, considering each piece is hand made in England, signed by hand, and numbered, I’d say they’re also an investment! 

Fleure Sofa

Sartor Chair Felix Carver Chair

Zic-Zac Occasional Table

Verteere Occasional Table


I have to say, I think I’m liking this whole electronic magazine thing. Getting a notification in my inbox telling me my magazine has “arrived” is a nice feeling on a Friday…knowing I don’t need to run all over town to pick up a copy. And, frankly, I think the images are even better.

The cover story took my breath away – a Paolo Moschino designed townhouse in London. Although, I’ve never been a fan of using brush fringe on sofa seat cushions like that, but I’ll forgive him just this once…

Photographed by Simon Upton for Elle Decor October 2011.

Stuart Scott & Associates

Its been almost a year since I was in London celebrating with our friends at their wedding. That means its also almost a year since I was at Decorex….(where on earth has the year gone??) I wish I was able to go again this year, but since I can’t I am certainly enjoying from afar the images of the new range of furniture by Stuart Scott & Associates. Stuart, formerly of Somerville Scott & Co., is launching his first collection at Decorex this year. Each piece is a definite classic, and I only wish I was able to see them in real life as I’m sure they’re even cuter than their photographs. So, to those of you attending Decorex, or any of the other wonderful design events in London this year, enjoy… however for those of you, like myself, who won’t be there – these are for you!

Toku Table

Vagas Lounger Chair

Tux Sofa

Sir Roger Chair
Isabella Slipper Chair
Henri Club Chair
Alae Wing Chair
Tenno Table
Parqueterie Table

Edo Table

All images care of Stuart Scott

The V&A Reading Rooms

One of my favorite experiences of my recent London trip was visiting the V&A Museum and browsing the amazing V&A Bookshop. I wish I’d gone a little later in the year because in November the V&A Reading Rooms opened just around the corner. The range of hundreds of books on offer combine the V&A’s own published works as well as an authoritative selection of tomes on subjects like fashion, design, architecture, photography, graphics and art. Out of print, vintage and early editions will also be for sale. Even more impressive than the selection is that 100% of the profits from the shop goes directly to the museum – practically guilt free shopping!

Great books are not the only thing on offer at the V&A Reading Rooms – there is a small bar providing wine and a menu of snacks developed by Sydney-born Duncan Ackery (of Tate’s fame), so you can browse books while sipping a glass of vino!

And to top it all off, David Collins has advised on the interiors! The V&A Reading Rooms are situated in a small and intimate space, with all its original architectural features intact. Check out the pics below – its such a nice looking space.


The V&A Reading Rooms are located at 8 Exhibition Road London, open 12 Midday to 10pm. I wish I could head over there now!

All photos care of the V&A London.

based upon…

The group of artists and designers based in London known as based upon were established by the Abell twin brothers in 2004. Their studio specialises in unique finishes that are so beautiful and yet so discreet you’ve probably seen them without even realising. Take the David Collins designed Artesian Bar in London’s Langham Hotel – those seriously delicious tabletops (below) and the beautiful bar front are both by based upon.

The based upon studio has developed a unique liquid metal and resin finish that has been hand-applied to a variety of surfaces, large scale artworks and installations, and bespoke and limited edition furniture, and are often commissioned by leading designers for some of the worlds finest homes, boats and commercial spaces.

I have been coveting their furniture for some time now….check out their “Plum Blossom” cabinet….isn’t it amazing?

Creating bespoke items for a project obviously comes at a cost, so the folks at based upon have launched the Plane collection – a range of customisable tables that allows clients interested in creating their own unique piece to do so without the time and cost usually involved in commissioning a completely new form. The tables use an adaptable leg design allowing several different shapes, and with a range of surfaces to chose from, voilà! – you have yourself a semi-bespoke piece of furniture!

Working models at 1:10 scale showing tables from the new Plane Collection

One possibility from the selection of shapes and finishes available.


A stamp of authenticity.

One of the beautiful surface finishes available for the Plane Collection.

I would seriously love to work with these guys on a project at some time soon, and will be putting one of these tables on my Xmas wish list. In the meantime, I’ll just have to be content with lusting after the images on their website.

All photos courtesy of based upon.

100% Design & Decorex

There’s nothing quite like coming back from a holiday to a pile of work the size of Kilimanjaro…its about as fun as a slap in the face. There should be laws to enforce a slow ease back into a 5 day work week after a holiday! I had intended on doing this post sooner, but better late than never I guess…

London was, and is fantastic. Our 7 days away were refreshing and inspiring in many ways. For me particularly it was being in an international city with a great creative vibe and attending several world class events. My first ever visit to 100% Design and Decorex were certainly not disappointing. I’m sure I don’t need to give a blow by blow account of the two days I spent with my jaw dragging along the ground, but I will give you my highlights and favorites.

100% Design to me was a typical European fair – all about quality, not quantity. I was completely inspired by all the new up-coming designers and the vast range of products on show. The one stand that has stuck in my mind might’ve been the smallest, but I’m totally in love with the surfaces created by Giles Miller. Each and every one of his surfaces on show was totally creative and unique – but I can’t get past his cardboard butterflies (below).

Decorex was also completely inspiring. I’m totally digging the collections and new products that were shown by Fromental, Sommerville Scott, Collection Pierre, CTO Lighting, and especially the new coloured vellum tables by Julian Chichester (below).

After a morning of wandering around in what seemed like a haze – which I can only liken to a drug overdose – I spent too little time browsing at Potterton Books and then had the pleasure of hearing John Minshaw speak about his work. After an inspiring and thoroughly entertaining introduction to his career we were treated to images of his never before published home in the English countryside. Pure bliss. It’s going to take a lot to top a day like that!

Jaime Hayon per sé

One of the most exciting events for me during my recent trip to London was being able to attend the launch party of the new range of furniture from by Jaime Hayon.

I can safely say that each of the pieces in this collection is set to be a future design classic. The ‘Arper’ lounge chair (seen below in the showroom window) is the signature piece of the collection and its easy to see why. The Arper was inspired by the form of the traditional wing-back club chair and interpreted in a way that has Hayon’s signature all over it.

My favorite piece might be the tambor table (second last image) – the super sexy shape and the combination of carrara marble and lacquered metal is so simple yet so chic. Its hard to choose though, each and every one of the designs are charming, and show a delightful selection of materials not normally seen in such a contemporary range – velvet and leather upholstery and lacquered metals in a range of subtle metallic colours teamed with classic marbles. Oh, and the colours, did I mention the colours? Divine.


If you’re in London and you missed the launch, the collection will be in show in the pop-up showroom on Brompton Road until October 5th, so go check it out!

John Minshaw

Are you tired of the London themed posts yet? Sorry, I have a few more planned before my trip (and lets face it, probably a few after too)…so bear with me folks!

London-based designer John Minshaw‘s work made appearance on my radar a little while ago – and I’m so glad it did. Minshaw’s work is timeless – both modern and classic at the same time. Each room is a study in expertly composed pieces and perfectly balanced colour. Of his work, Minshaw says “My style is to buy good antiques and design bespoke cabinetry, then put them into pared-down interiors”. In my opinion, the results are just stunning.


One of the highlights of my upcoming trip to London (other than the wedding I’m attending, of course) will be going to Decorex. John Minshaw is speaking on Tuesday 28th – the day I’m planning to go. I’m looking forward to hearing him talk about “Space and Detailing” – and possibly picking up a copy of his book.

For more beautiful images of the project feature in the last image, check out the latest issue of the German Architectural Digest.

LA style in London

I fell head over heels in love with with this London home by L.A. Designers Carole Katleman and Daniel Cuevas when I first saw it published in Belle magazine this time last year. Needless to say I was happily surprised to see it published again in Interiors, this time with photos of spaces not previously published. The bones of the house are grand and beautiful, but to me its the colour palette, the mix of furniture and the artwork that make this place truly breathtaking. Enjoy!

The stunning Drawing Room (maybe too much white for me, but I love the crispness of it) features custom furniture by the designers, the painting above the fireplace is by Ugo Rondinone, to the right is a piece by Christopher Wool.

A view of the Dining Room leading into theDrawing Room. The painting on the right hand side is also by Ugo Rondinone, the table is French Deco paired with neoclassical chairs.

The chaise at one end of the Drawing Room is by the designers, the painting is by Richard Prince.

A view of the opposite end of the Drawing Room. I love how fresh and crisp this room feels. The carpets are by Patterson, Flynn & Martin and the painting is by Bernard Frize.

Looking into the Library from the Entry. The chesterfield sofa is by Linley, the photographs above are by Marcelo Krasilcic. The chairs flanking the doorway are by Gio Ponti.

Looking into the Office from the Library (I am particularly in love with this room). The regency chair on the left is from JF Chen and the stool is 60’s French. The painting over the fireplace in the office is by Maurizio Cattelan.


The Master Bedroom’s Office has a Jacques Adnet desk and chair.


A view of the Master Bedroom looking towards the lady of the house’s Dressing room. Seating on either side of the cabinet is custom by the designers.

And last, but definitely not least, this stunning room…which I can’t find any specific information on. The walls appear to be leather-lined, which is paired beautifully with a gloss paint finish and metal fireplace. The colours are breathtaking and compliment the art perfectly.

Photographed by Richard Powers for Interiors magazine Aug/Sept 2010, and Belle Australia Aug/Sept 2009.

Revisiting old favorites…

My impending trip to London has me revisiting some old favorites from my files…this one is a family home decorated by Paolo Moschino.

Pale neutral walls teamed with dark wood floors, great art and a mix of furniture is always a winner in my eyes. The dining room is a great mix of old and new, and the touches of pink are subtle but chic. To be honest though, any room with a Francis Bacon hanging is going to be good as far as I’m concerned. I love the colour palette in the living room, as well as the 4 Vipers series by Philip Taaffe. I fell in love with his work after seeing a piece from the same series hanging in another incredibly chic London home by Jacques Grange. That’s not all these two home owners have in common…they’re also both friends of Valentino – as if they’d be anything other than chic!

Images photographed by Simon Upton from the April 2009 edition of Elle Decor.