Thursday, February 27, 2014

London's Decorative Details

Many of my days in London were spent wandering around my neighborhood admiring the architecture and decorative elements of the homes.  Every item was an opportunity for refinement and expression.  A stark contrast to so many cookie cutter homes in America.  No cement slabs for the walk up to your front door; rather intricate mosaics or playful polka dot fun.

Why bother with a boring, brass doorknocker – when you can have a whale or a fox or the goddess of love herself?

And what about the beautifully detailed windowpanes?  Such lovely designs, with each pane catching the light differently.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Shoreditch Inspiration

In London, my flat was in the Chelsea-South Kensington part of London – full of beautiful shops, fashionable restaurants and perfect white townhouses.  Kensington Gardens and Palace, the V&A museum and the French Cultural Institute were all in a 5-10 block radius from my flat.  And so for several weeks, I did not venture outside of this area much. 

After awhile, though, my neighborhood seemed almost too perfect, and I was restless for something to push the boundary a bit.  I don’t even remember how I found the Shoreditch neighborhood of London.  One of those lost memories of falling in love with a city and discovering it anew each day. 

But I do remember it was different from any other part of London I had visited.  Shoreditch is full of artistic energy – you can feel the creation and imagination and experimentation all around you.  Alexander McQueen actually had his first studio in the area.

Every corner you turn there is amazing street art; daring, little stores; and welcoming yet inventive restaurants.  And then the beautiful, winding back streets – full of stories I’ll never know.  I kept coming back to Shoreditch during my time in London – and I always discovered something new – a new art gallery, a new food stand, an undercover sample sale.  And I always left feeling inspired.