Friday, 20 January 2017

Formex Trade Show SS2017 Trends and Thoughts

I'm sitting here at Formex, as I do twice every year. formex is Scandinavias largest gifts and interiors trade fair and I've been doing it for years....

I've had a chance to mooch about and look around before it opens in the mornings and I have to say that I'm not super impressed...firstly, there is the very weird 'trend zone' in the lobby... There are tumbleweeds blowing through there...ok, not actual tumbleweeds, but it is a bit ghost towny. Actual tumbleweeds would fit in quite nicely though as the trend zone is just a bunch of mirrored boxes containing pine cones and tree branches and leaves and stuff. No actual trend prediction or guidance there then... Apart from that nature is really 'in' right now. Can you detect my sarcasm? Well there's lots of it. I am not impressed. Nature is always in, nature is the most awesome thing, but I'm just not sure what it is doing in a trend zone.




I'm seeing a huge trend for Greekkey and strong deco inspired graphic patterns, and really masses of gold foil embossed on velvet. I'm seeing really a lot of velvet...

These gorgeous cushions by Livva 
                              
As far as colour go, well I have seen hardly any of Pantones 'Vile Bile' sorry, of course I mean 'Greenery' the only thing I saw was some glassware on Jonathan Adlers stand
                       
But I have seen a huge amount of green, natural greens, but not as bright and nasty as Greenery. Lots of sage, moss and forest greens which I just love and frequently teamed up with purples.



This gorgeous crockery is by STHÃ…L

My feeling is that purple and green are going to be really big colours this year, so much so that I'll be doing a whole blog next Friday about that very topic....
And in case you are wondering, here are a couple of pics from my stand...





And how could I not include the cushions that I did featuring my daughters Scarlett's drawings?


Friday, 13 January 2017

What's New for 2017

Well, you might've thought I'd dropped off the face of the earth recently as it has been a quite place in my blog world... I almost did drop off the face of the earth, well, lost up a mountain anyway. I spent my Christmas holiday tucked away up in the snowy north of Sweden, no wifi, no work, just peace and quiet and breath taking nature..
.

This is the cute cottage we were staying in...


On the morning that we left we saw the most incredible thing in the sky, It was like a huge oil slick in the sky, but less gross and more unicorny. So beautiful, the picture doesn't do it justice...

I only just got back to work and it is the madness that is 'getting ready for Formex'. I do this trade show twice a year, but it doesn't matter how organised I am or how much I prepare, there is alway last minute bonkerness!
Next Friday I will actually be at Formex, so I'll try to post up some pics from the show and the following week I want to talk about the trends for 2017.
But before I do that I will leave you with a few of my brand new designs to give you a flavour of what is to come...
Ibiza Nights cushion

Victorian Gothic Long

Green Snake

This is a new design that is available in cushions, fabrics, wash bags, purses, shoppers, carpets...
Luna Gold / Luna Way



Friday, 16 December 2016

Pantones Colour of the Year 2017 Greenery...

It's official! Pantone has announced the official colour of the year 2017 and it is called Greenery...


First impressions? ... Hospital waiting room... where they are trying to create a space that is both calming and clean yet upbeat somehow. It is not a colour that I warm to. Don't get me wrong, I love nature, peas, apples, fresh grass, spring shoots, all that jazz, but I like the colour when it's actually in nature, not trying to mimic it. As a green paint, it looks a bit artificial.
But it's all about nature apparently, so in the selectively edited words of Pantone....'Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew....flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors ... take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.'

Well that's nice, nicer than the colour is anyway. 

So can it work? I've done some digging around and found a few instances where I think the colour looks fab, so check out my Greenery gems...
It works beautifully here teamed up with the rough bricks and muted greys.

So what about something a bit more glam?
Here it is just a feature, not a whole wall or anything too invasive, just a nice colourful detail. Love it.

I also think it works well in darker rooms where you totally avoid the hospital waiting room vibe and go for something a bit more bohemian...

But if you are mad about the colour and want to paint a whole wall, then make sure your furniture and accessories have got some soul because this colour is a tricky beast...

The funny thing about this type of colour green is that the 'industry' tries to get us to love it about every 8 years or so...it never really happens... The shops fill up with oddly coloured items that receive a lukewarm reception, only to go on sale later in the year and then quietly withdraw into the stockrooms in shame...sitting there for 8 years until the industry has decided it is time to try it out again... No, I don't really think that happens, but I do know that weird greens come around every once in a  while and we all go...Um...No thanks...

I'd love to hear what you think about the colour! Love it or loathe it...


Friday, 9 December 2016

Blast from the Past. My Shop in Gamlastan Stockholm

I moved to Sweden 10 years ago and shortly after moving,  I opened a shop in Gamla Stan in Stockholm. Gamla Stan (for those that don't know) is one of the most viby kooky old fashioned and beautiful parts of Stockholm. Very touristy of course, but worth a visit none the less. Anyway, I found a premises and opened up my shop called Van Asch...

I called it 'an opulent alternative to the pale Scandinavian style'...
And  indeed it was. I may have used the phrasing like ...'dark and decadent' 'Burlesque and Bohemian' ... I've always been keen on alliteration 

It was aimed at women and the men who need to buy them things,. It was full of luxurious things, lotions and potions, candles, velvet, feathers, crystal, champagne flutes....


And of course there was the clothing. Sourced from lots of designers that I loved at the time...


And augmented with my own clothing designs and crazy hats... Her is the lovely Sabina modelling a few of my creations...



But it was too beautiful and weird to last so I closed up and started designing cushions and other stuff. I loved having a shop but it was also a rope around my neck. I had to be there all the time and I couldn't spend my time making things, which is what I really wanted to be doing.
I met lots of my friends there and I had such fun with it. It was my dream to have that store and I made it happen. Then it was my dream to design stuff to sell in stores all over the world so I moved on to doing that. No regrets... and all that remains are just  happy memories and these few pictures...

Here is a grumpy picture of me, pregnant, standing outside the shop in one of my hats.



As I get older I seem to be reflecting back more and more even getting a bit sentimental, dare I say it. It's weird for me as I have always had my eyes firmly on the horizon, moving ever forward. Now that I am more mindful of the moment, I have started to slow down and become more reflective and I rather enjoy reminiscing. Did you know that scientists have shown that old folks who are more nostalgic than there peers are also usually more happy... obvious really, but there you go. It's ok to stare out the window and think about what you were doing when you were 25... If you can remember that is! Thats' my challenge!! Anyway, I digress, I promise I won't blog about the past more than is strictly necessary.
Have a wonderful dreamy weekend...

Friday, 2 December 2016

Alternative Christmas Ideas

For many years I was very 'grr humbug' about Christmas. When I was a kid growing up in New Zealand we had these huge family christmases with a massive tree and piles of presents, fabulous gingerbread houses and all sorts of traditions that never changed, but then I moved to England away from the extended family and everything changed. I guess I resented the absence of continuity and I missed all the old traditions so I decided I hated Christmas and that pretty much went on for the next 20 years. And all the crazy last minute shopping, the plastic fakeness, the revolting consumerism... well, it all just reinforced my general mistrust and distaste for the Yuletide season. But that all changed when I had kids and our family started our own traditions. Now I am all about the hideous Christmas jumpers and wearing santa hats..I can't get enough!
Christmas is now on my terms, well, my families terms. We don't do last minute crazy shopping, the gifts are carefully chosen and few. Every year we hang the same silly ornaments on the tree, lots of them made by my kids and are charmingly rubbish.

Christmas is what you want it to be, you can customise it for your own pleasure and so I thought I would do a blog about alternative Christmas. Decorating in a seasonal way but with a twist...
So my first find are these amazing Christmas tree ornaments by Elizabeth Rosen Art.. They don't come cheap but they are just so gorgeous!


With the black and white trend in Scandi homes still going strong, here are a few lovely black and white inspirations...

Now what do we think of the upside down Christmas tree fad that was sweeping the world a few years ago??? I mean, I like alternative, don't get me wrong...but somehow I just feel 'no'.


I did like this idea though, putting fairy lights around hula hoops...

Well, my final words on the subject are 'don't be afraid to reinvent your Christmas & make it your own'.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Black Friday Madness

I've always had a bit of a problem with 'Black Friday'. We've all seen the awful videos of crazy people fighting over flat screen TV's etc. Not classy, not civilised... we are not impressed are we? But, take it over to the cyber world and things get much more pleasant. You can sit in the comfort of your own home, sipping tea, with no fear of being elbowed in the face (unless you have small boisterous children ;-) or getting trampled on... you can get the things you want well in time for Christmas and suddenly, whole loads cheaper. Well, that sounds just grand.
Of course we are doing a Black Friday promotion over at www.VanAsch.se and you can get 33% off until Sunday night with code BLACK33. Excellent right?

And speaking of BLACK...here are a few of my current fave black interiors shots I found over on Pinterest...





If you want to see more fabulous dark and decadent eye candy then go check out my Blackest Black Pinterest board

Next Friday's blog will all be about alternative Christmas decorating and super fun crafty ideas...
Have fun shopping this weekend!



Friday, 18 November 2016

Hibernating

I went for a 6 kilometre jog about 2 weeks ago. It was the longest I had ever run without stopping and was feeling ever so proud of myself... however, the body was not impressed with these exertions and decided to get sick the following day. I've had a cold that has been moving from my head to my nose to my throat, by turns, ever since. I was just getting better so I went for a run yesterday and now today I'm back feeling rubbish again... ARGH!!!

As a result, I haven't done much...having said that I did have the genius idea to design some cushions using my daughters art work, for her Christmas present. She is super hard to buy for, as she doesn't play with toys and has art materials up to the ceiling already...so I thought this would be a fun thing...
Here is the back and front design for the square cushion...

I haven't been completely idle at work either, I've designed a lovely new fabric which will 'launch' in January at Formex..it's got golden space rockets on it...did you see the pun there? Quite pleased with that one :-)

Anyway, the other thing is that I've scheduled in my next Van Asch Christmas sample sale on Thursday December 1st at studio Van Asch. So, if you live in the Stockholm area and would like an invitation, then please email me rachel@vanasch.se and I'll give you all the details...

I'm off home now to get reacquainted with the sofa and the big woolley blankets there... I may be there for some time...