Did you say Mrs. Carter? No – MR Carter.

 The second room is my favourite – the contrast of patterns, textures, between the central tulle pompom chandelier feature, to the full 1800’s captain’s get up and 60’s sequins lounge, tests the boundaries of design – the absolute stand out the dark and stormy ceiling.

This guy has credentials that make me shudder star stuck. Not only is this eccentric eclectic hotelier, designer and owner of Gracia’s sexiest hotel, but just add host of the infamous and bare all ‘Bedtime story nights’ which has featured in Harper’s Bazaar, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue and Guardian  – no biggy! And I’m sitting across the table from this guy – hello! What?! Right, enough boasting.

As I spoke with him sitting in the basement kitchen surrounded by wall mounted medieval candleholders, sipping our skim lattes – he twirled his silver locks and was so expressive through his face, and hands. I was memorized and honored to be the presence of such royalty.  But more than that, I could see his mind re-living his projects with fondness and almost felt invited into the inner working of his mind.

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Only if a picture could actually SAY a thousand words. 

Today started with the traditional long black (sorry Americano) accompanying my oats, yogurt and fruit- sustenance clearly prepping my brain for some serious exposure and learning. Trotting out of the my West Kensington flat armed with my Canon EOS100 in my reclaimed ‘thriller’ cut off jacket and ripped jeans I was ready to hit Victoria and Albert museum a world art collection of all mediums spanning over two thousand years for a day of learning.

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My first point of call – furniture. The furniture room (for all you furniture enthusiasts – a must see whilst you’re in London, details here) at the V&A is lined with historical pieces in chronological order. Demanding attention, like it was renowned in its prime of the mid 16th Century was the Master Chair.  Certainly not my taste with dragonheads extended on the armrest, yet, I fervently wished this chair had a voice to tell me stories of its time. FYI I love a story, to me this is the most fascinating aspect of style. Most of my personal pieces are op shop buys or refurbed from lawn sales because they’re cheaper and a challenge (I still have a few unfinished projects at mum and dad’s, sorry guys) but more so; hold history, a story, another home and go down as the best secret keepers of all.

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I was stopped next by William Vile’s 1762, Commode originally designed for storage of clothing and linen, grew into a status symbol and would have been pieced together with a mirror above. The gold detailing and bright fuchsia combo reminded me of my primary school days and a doona cover I used to have.

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All this history was hurting my poor brain so it was skim latte and muffin time in the midday sun of the museum courtyard – delicious.

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On a sugar and caffeine high, and slightly lost (because this place is massive!) I decided to stumble into the Asian history. Life; so colourful, loud and busy these paintings invited you in as a bystander involved in the processing parade and played a subconscious soundtrack of chimes and bustle.

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As I explored and exposed my eyes, I was struck by the similarities in the use of dragons, shapes and colours from upstairs (I think it was upstairs, hard to tell where I actually was before – FYI never get me to navigate you anywhere).  The; Master Chair’s use of dragons and the shape of the backrest mimicking the that of turbans and jewellery worn by emperors, Commode – bold fuchsia and gold detailing similar to the vibrancy of the traditional dress and artwork from this part of the world.

So was there any link between the two? I gave a little fist pump after I read further into the British colonization of Asia. So here’s something to impress your friends at your next dinner party; from 1550 – 1900 invaders came from all over the globe to conquer the lucrative Asian spice trade, specifically what is now known as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan – this exposure to new elements, working tools and materials saw impressionism of Asia burst into the homes of British elitist towards the later stages of the 1600-1700’s – hence the dragons and gold (well that’s my interpretation anyway). Tada! Look at that we’ve all learnt something today and I’ve certainly got a few places added to my next overseas holiday.

Happy hump day!

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Red Buses and Old Bridges

Hello from London! Goodness gracious I love this city!

I have received a lot of feedback on my blog to date, thank you! Trust family to be your greatest critic. I was speaking to my sister, Beth, last week and she gave me the hard truth that I need to show myself, my personality through my blog! So, dearest Bet this post is for you!

Living in Spain does come with sacrifices – espresso martinis! Any one who knows me, knows that this is my poison. I have so many great memories of sipping espresso martini’s at garden parties, girls nights, in my apartment I lived in Darwin with my sister and few other friends – you know that small or taste of familiarity and memories! YUM!
Each bar in Barcelona, when I asked about espresso martini’s I receive the strangest look! It’s completely foreign! I am crazy lucky having friends in London to show the hot spots! So, what better place to sip the greatest cocktail in the world than the 49th Floor of the Heron Tower – awesome much? Yep – AWESOME!

I have done much more than sip cocktails in high rises, here’s a few snaps of what I’ve been up to and where I’ve been. Click on the photos for more details.

JS photoPhoto: JoySusanna | Sushisamba | London

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IMG_3454Photo: JoySusanna | Sushisamba | London

IMG_3457Photo: JoySusanna | London Bridge | London

IMG_3492Photo: Virginia McGovern | Shoreditch | London

IMG_3495Photo: Virginia McGovern | Shoreditch | London

IMG_3496Photo: Virginia McGovern | Shoreditch | London

IMG_3504Photo: JoySusanna | Albion | London

IMG_3524Photo: Virginia McGovern | Albion | London

IMG_3525Photo: Virginia McGovern | Albion | London

IMG_3546Photo: Virginia McGovern | Shoreditch | London

IMG_3556Photo: Virginia McGovern | Story Deli | London

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Photo: Virginia McGovern | Story Deli | London

Pit Stop

Thank you to the fabulous recommendation over coffee with Lauren Bardini, design scout of http://www.clippings.com. I found myself on the first bus to Pitfield St in London’s culturally booming east at decor store and cafe, Pitfield London. The concept store and adjoining cafe know how to draw and interested eye- my favourite aspect colour coded decor (you can see my OCD coming through- shh!).  Pitfield London sell a range of new and reworked decor from – Christian Dior scarves converted cushion covers, to printed wrapping paper!

Pitfield now have a ton of features on my wish list! http://joysusanna.com/jsloves

Take a look why

Enjoy

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Pitfield Label

Photo: Pitfield London | 31-35 Pitfield St, London N1 6HB

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Photo: Pitfield London | 31-35 Pitfield St, London N1 6HB

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Photo: JoySusanna | 31-35 Pitfield St, London N1 6HB

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Photo: JoySusanna | 31-35 Pitfield St, London N1 6HB

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Photo: JoySusanna | 31-35 Pitfield St, London N1 6HB

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Photo: JoySusanna | 31-35 Pitfield St, London N1 6HB

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Photo: JoySusanna | 31-35 Pitfield St, London N1 6HB

Experience Extremes

It’s only when you truly immerse yourself in the activities you love can you begin to specialise.

This week I experienced two extremes of interior design. Firstly being shown through 48 Belgrave Mews a multimillion dollar property designed by long term property developer and interior enthusiast Alan Waxman, then on to eclectic themed ‘labor of love’ Mexican restaurant El Paso in Shoreditch owned by Dijhan and family. Dijhan attends local markets and researches the pieces scattered around the Hoxton restaurant and also recognises the importance of keeping the space fresh, for that reason, all decor is available to take home – at a price! This is a must attend if you’re around the Hoxton area – and if not, worth the trip there!

Being able to take lessons from both of these experiences, although so different, developed my own understanding of my style and finding my own niche. Yay for that! 🙂

JoySusanna

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Treasure Hunt

Hello hello hello. Just a quick post to share a few of my favourite finds from Shoreditch this week.

Store details:
Atomic Antiques – http://www.atomica.me.uk
Two Columbia Road – http://www.twocolumbiaroad.com

Enjoy

JoySusanna

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Atomic Antiques, 125 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Atomic Antiques, 125 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Atomic Antiques, 125 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Atomic Antiques, 125 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Two Columbia Road, 2 Columbia Road, London E2 7NN

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Two Columbia Road, 2 Columbia Road, London E2 7NN

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Two Columbia Road, 2 Columbia Road, London E2 7NN IMG_0334

Photo: JoySusanna  | Two Columbia Road, 2 Columbia Road, London E2 7NN

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Two Columbia Road, 2 Columbia Road, London E2 7NN

Street Talk

What can I say; London I think I’ve fallen for you – coffees at Bill’s (http://bills-website.com), mulled wine and great paella at Hola Paella, Camden and buying the finest vintage from Portobello Road Market (oops -worth it!) Here’s a few snaps!

Enjoy

JoySusanna

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Bill’s Restaurant, High St Kensington

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Bill’s Restaurant, High St Kensington

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Bill’s Restaurant, High St Kensington

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Bill’s Restaurant, High St Kensington

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Flower Market, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Old & New, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Old & New, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Old & New, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Old & New, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Old & New, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Camden Bridge, Lock 17, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Lock 17 Market, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Lock 17 Market, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Lock 17 Market, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Hola Paella, Lock 17 Market, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Lock 17 Market, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Lock 17 Market, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna  | Lock 17 Market, Camden

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Photo: JoySusanna | Portobello Mews, Portobello Road, Notting Hill

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Photo: JoySusanna | Charlie’s Cafe, Portobello Road, Notting Hill

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Photo: JoySusanna |  Portobello Road, Notting Hill

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Photo: JoySusanna |  Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

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Photo: JoySusanna |  Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

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Photo: JoySusanna |  Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

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Photo: JoySusanna |  Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

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Photo: JoySusanna |  Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

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Photo: JoySusanna |  Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

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Photo: JoySusanna |  Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

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Photo: JoySusanna |  Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

London at Last

Hello London!

It’s been a crazy few days hitting the streets of London to seek, discover and learn since touching down late Monday night. Tuesday was ‘get lost’ day – I think I must have caught over ten tubes, I wandered the streets about Buckingham Palace, shared shisha with the owners of Baku Bistro (http://bakubistro.co.uk) on Mayfair and strolled Oxford Street at sunset (it was not even 4pm). Yet, the highlight thus far was meeting with interior designer Gurvinder Khurana at the Booking Office at the historic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in King’s Cross last night.

Designing for 18 years Gurvinder and her husband Nigel Tresise juggle business EAT:ID (http://eat-id.com) whilst raising their two boys just outside of London, her humility the standout from our conversation. The mostly commercial designer, works to see clients lives improve through creating functional beautiful spaces, she shared of a nurse working for 15 years without private retreat from the craziness of the ward – when the nurse saw the space she was moved to tears.It was an honour to meet with such an experienced and talented designer.

Gurvinder shared her insights of shopping about London – of which are listed on my discovery list for the next few days – watch this space for those.

Enjoy

JoySusanna

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Trench: Camilla&Marc | Photo: Beth Woods

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Trench: Camilla&Marc | Photo: Beth Woods

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Paddington Station Clock | Photo: JoySusanna

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3 London Mews, Paddington  | Photo: JoySusanna

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3 London Mews, Paddington  | Photo: JoySusanna

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 Paddington Canals | Photo: JoySusanna

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King’s Cross | Photo: JoySusanna

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King’s Cross | Photo: JoySusanna

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St Pancras,Renaissance Hotel, King’s Cross | Photo: JoySusanna

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St Pancras,Renaissance Hotel, King’s Cross | Photo: JoySusanna

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The Booking Office, St Pancras,Renaissance Hotel, King’s Cross | Photo: JoySusanna

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The Booking Office, St Pancras,Renaissance Hotel, King’s Cross | Photo: JoySusanna

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The Booking Office, St Pancras,Renaissance Hotel, King’s Cross | Photo: JoySusanna

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The Booking Office, St Pancras,Renaissance Hotel, King’s Cross | Photo: JoySusanna