Our wallpaper in a new nursery

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We’ve just recieved these images from a recent customer of our wallpaper in a newly decorated nursery within their home.

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Always nice to see where the wallpaper ends up and the different types of rooms that the versatile design and colours go into.

Bethvictoria.com

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Etsy Favourites: Furniture

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We’ve chosen some of our current favourite pieces of furniture available on Etsy. A mix of reclaimed and handmade industrial pieces and some classic Ercol furniture – just the designs we currently love.

Reclaimed wood dining table and bench

From 7MAGOK

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These tables and benches are made with wood that has been salvaged from construction sites. Giving each piece a unique trace of its history on their surfaces creating a distinctive and industrial look. The makers offer these tables and benches in various finishes putting the extra individual touch to the pieces. The hairpin legs are a stylish current trend that compliment the wooden tops finishing off the items perfectly.

Box dark wood coffee table

From BlueIslandHome

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Some more of those beautiful hairpin legs with this coffee table! This sturdy looking coffee table with the extra storage from the ‘box’ shelf is the perfect piece for any living room. Here’s what the company says: “A vintage retro wooden Box Coffee Table in a dark wood finish with mid-century style metal hairpin legs in a choice of black or white powder coating or a bare steel ‘look’ (clear coated to protect from rust).”

Scottish Elm and Steel Distressed Bench

From escafell

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The impressive grain from the Scottish Elm, paired with the slick clear coated sturdy legs, makes for a useful and trendy bench. Benches are often forgotten when you’re thinking about furniture for a home, but they work so well in any room; the perfect seating in a dining, hallway or living room. So, check this out!

Wire shoe rack bench

From InekoHome

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This bench shows exactly how a bench would work in a hallway, as said with the Elm bench above, with the added bones of sections for your shoes. We love the mix of the industrial scaffold pole legs and cage shelves with the soft light food top. From the description it sounds as if the makers are willing to make this bench into something to perfectly fit any house and customers need.

Ercol 203/3 Windsor sofa/daybed

From WorkShopVintageStore

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This sofa had to be involved in this post, it is not handmade in the same sense as the other items so far in this post, but, it has the character and charm that comes with being a piece by Ercol. If you don’t know about Ercol and their process of making then you must check out some of their archive videos of the making of their furniture. This is just the perfect little Ercol piece.

Ercol Rocking Chair

From Swedishdalahorse

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Another simple Ercol piece. Not much to say about this stylish little rocking chair. I just want it. This seller also has a two seater windsor sofa which is just as beautiful.

Minimal industrial console table

From RefillDecor

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Console tables combine function and style in an area of the house that tends to be the dumping zone. This slender, minimalist industrial table is the perfect statement piece for any size entranceway from small to large.

Resin river coffee table

From FrancesBradleyDesign

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This English Elm table top features a resin river running through it adding the perfect splash of colour. The table is supported by a walnut frame and legs contrasting the light wood top and colour river. This statement from the description makes the tables stand out even more: “All our Elm is sourced within 30 miles of my workshop and can be traced to the individual tree, sustainably harvested as a by product of local tree surgeons and rescued rather than be used for firewood. Each piece has been handpicked for interesting features and is planed, sanded and hand rubbed with a protective varnish.”

Simple Metal Wired Shelves

From AllThingsChloeJane

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Stepping away from the wooden joys that we’ve seen so far we come to these wire shelves. They are simple, industrial and useful. They would look great in any room of the house as a versatile piece of furniture. Bonus: they’re not too expensive.

Hand Made Leather Butterfly Chair

From RealLeathers

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The final piece of furniture we’ve chosen is this foldable metal and leather chair. This is a rustic design that is effortlessly brought into any room with the use of pillows and throws. The perfect solution to the need of extra seating without losing style within a room.

Hope you like these pieces as much as we do!

Bethvictoria.com

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Michelangelo & Sebastiano at The National Gallery

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Last week we visited the National Gallery to see The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano. We’ve written a short review of selected works from the exhibition and what we learnt about Mike and Seb’s friendship and careers.

The artists

Mike and Seb first met in Rome around 1511. Mike was 36 years old, Seb some 10 years Mike’s junior. Their professional reputations at this stage in their careers paralleled the differing years of their experience.

Mike, already known and respected, embraced punctilious preparation, method, and accuracy through observation and study (not unlike Leonardo); creating monumental works in the way of the Florentine and Roman schools that mark out his stylistic development.  Mike was clearly a driven individual who wanted to be number one in his field – not second or third. During his career as a painter, Mike was in fierce competition with Raphael. Raphael was eight years younger, clearly talented and innovative within the renaissance movement.  Historical accounts give a sense of difference between Mike and Raphael – that Mike was obstinate, moody, quarrelsome and unforgiving, where Raphael was humble, sincere and very likeable – which opened doors for him with ease when Mike had to force his way through. The threat to Mike from the young upstart Raphael seems to have been very real.

In his art, Seb was a freer spirit than Mike, intent upon creating atmosphere and emotion over the strictures of precision, in accordance with his training and development in the altogether more liberal Venice school – accentuating the use of colour and improvisation.  This was not dissimilar to Raphael’s sytle and when Mike became aware of Seb and his talent, Mike realised that rather than allow another unwanted competitor on to the Roman art scene, a collaboration might be in his better interest.  Something about keeping your enemies close, perhaps.

The Exhibition starts with pieces by each of Mike and Seb to illustrate their differing styles.

Individual work

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Left: The virgin and Child with Saint John and Angels (‘The Manchester Madonna’), 1497 – Michelangelo

This panel painting in the opening exhibition room shows Mike’s mastery of the sculptural form.   The vividness of detail and colour in the infant Jesus and his cousin St John the Baptist contrasts with the heavy and precise outlines to the left where the panel remains unfinished. These later outlines are likely transferred to the panel from preparatory drawings, hence their deliberateness at this stage in their introduction to the scene. There appears to be no doubt as to what the painting is intended to portray, and how it is to be produced.

Right: The judgement of Solomon – Sebastiano Del Piombo, 1505

Here, Seb does what he does best.  Many figures, all animated in a way that makes them seem alive and in motion, supporting the story that the scene tells.  Again the piece is not complete – the baby that Solomon is issuing judgement over does not appear.  When looking between this and the previous work of Mike, Compare the skin tone and detail on the nude courtier (who is without the sword that he will need to cut the baby in two) with the skin on the infants in Mike’s work.  Also note how Seb’s work is developing as his thoughts and designs develop.  Not much planning in evidence here.  There are sections around the porticos at the side that look like a montage of several different images such is the prominence of prior architectural layouts he has explored over the one currently adopted.

It is quite possible that Seb became infatuated with Mike.  They quickly struck a friendship and artistic partnership which involved doing sketches for each other and actually both painting on the same canvas.  There is a letter in the exhibition (one of several that illuminate the relationship between the two) in which Seb assumes Mike’s hatred of Raphael.  Whether this is founded on genuine artistic difference, or again evidence of the indoctrination that Seb went through under Mike’s control is not clear.

Whilst Mike may have wanted to get close to Seb to control the risk of more competition, he was professional enough to see the opportunity for creating collaborative art of a new type that could continue to develop the renaissance.

Collaborative work

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Left: Lamentation over the Dead Christ (Pietà) – Sebastiano Del Piombo, after partial designs by Michelangelo, 1512-16

In this collaborative piece the possibilities of their combined talents are explored.   The grieving Mary is painted by Seb in a flowing style with intense colours to her clothes.  The moonlit background is full of atmosphere and suggestion.  Here anatomic form, however, is something of a contradiction. A muscular neck, broad shoulders and chest are almost certainly the influence of Mike.  The body of Jesus is painted in a starkly contrasting style by Mike – precise body form and arrangement and highly detailed skin tone.  You can almost see how the body of Jesus could be taken out to be a sculpture, whilst the balance of the painting could only ever be a painting.   It is likely that this piece proved to be on the evolutionary path to Mike’s Pieto.

Experiments in oil on plaster for the Sistine Chapel frescos may have been the subject of Mike and Seb’s early collaboration.  Ironical, as this is the very topic that was to be their undoing as friends.

Right: Study of a male upper torso with hands clasped and six studies of hands – Michelangelo

These studies, of which there are many in the exhibition, show the intensity of Mike’s pursuance of accuracy and truth in his art.  He is not leaving anything to chance when it comes to the final production.  How much his studies allowed him to vary his intentions is unsure.  Did he always start with a master plan for each piece, or were his studies and preliminary designs permitted to cause a change in the plan?

Mike spent many years back in Florence working for the Midici house whilst Seb stayed in Rome.  By the time of Mike’s return, Raphael had died a young man removing the threat to Mike’s ascendency to the top of his profession.

Late pieces

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Left: The Visitation, 1518-1519 – Sebastiano Del Piombo

Towards the middle of Seb’s career, during the collaboration period, his style of  painting seemed to take on characteristics of the defined and delicate work that Mike is known for. Here within The Visitation, one of his later works, he has gone beyond the figurative visualisation of Mike towards a subtly grand, abstracted and soulful style. He does, however, still maintain the expressive sky in the background of the work, something that for me allowed an instant recognition that the piece was the work of Seb.

Right: Section of the The last judgement, 1536-1541 – Michelangelo

With the sculptured and detailed bodies within The Last Judgement compared to The Visitation you can further see the differential stylings of the two artists. With Seb searching for less commissions and slowing down his painting career Mike was at the top of his game and with this he produced one of the most significant and renowned fresco paintings in the world. He had been fighting his whole career for the art work that would cause a stir and get his name  firmly secured within the art history bible with the Sistine chapel commission he had finally proven his worth. Although some people did believe that Raphael had painted the chapel, most definitely to Mike’s annoyance.

Mike and Seb’s friendship was put under strain when Seb ordered that the yet to be painted parts of the Sistine Chapel ceiling be prepared with an oil-paint base coat before Mike returned to Rome to complete the task.  Mike did not like working in oils and so ordered those areas painted in oil to be stripped and repaired in order that he could complete the work in his establish fresco style with water and egg-based paints on daily plaster applications.

Whilst Mike was away in Florence, working intensely and relentlessly as usual, Seb had taken up favour with the Pope’s court, where he became a salaried advisor.  Whether this role was so demanding that Seb reduced his painting output, or he became lazy with a fat guaranteed salary is not known.  When Mike returned to Rome he quickly formed the later opinion, which coupled with the Chapel ceiling incident was the undoing of their friendship.

Seb died some 18 years before Mike.  Seb had not produced much of note, and very little that was completed in the final 15 or so years of his life.  Mike went from strength to strength in painting, sculpture, architecture, poetry and letters up to his death in 1564 at the age of 83.  After Seb’s passing and before his own, Mike did not acknowledge any good to have come from his collaboration with Seb.  Indeed, Mike publicly scathed Seb, his work and of what he had become in his later life. Whether this attitude reveals evidence that Mike had only ever used Seb to further Mike’s own career is open for debate.

This exhibition, on at the National Gallery until June 25th, 2017 seeks to explore the coming together of Mike and Seb, their collaborative output, and the breakdown of their friendship.  Overall, the curators have achieved their aim, although Mike’s work out ways Seb’s.  We found one or two of the rooms to have odd exhibit numbering with no clear start point if following the very well put together exhibition guide in strict numeric order.  Also, the lighting was a little off on some pieces creating glare or reflection that was difficult to overcome by vantage point selection.

Thank you for reading!

Bethvictoria.com

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Fabric – Scion

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 The fabric brand we’ve decided to look at this week is Scion. Here is their design ethos: “creating cutting-edge, accessibly priced and forward looking printed fabrics.” Their designs are usually bright, bold and fun. Some of them are a little more traditional, some are a little childish and the rest are just the perfect statement for a room.

There are a lot of fabrics within this design house and they all come under different collections. For this blog we’ve chosen one fabric design and colour way from each of the collections. For the purpose of this post we haven’t looked at the ten collections of plain fabrics.

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The first fabric is this Lintu print from the Noukku collection. This colour way is called Gecko/Pacific/Glazier… They like to have very descriptive names for their colours! From a distance this pattern seems to be just a criss-cross of colour and shapes – it is only when you look closer that you see they are actually little birds, this is a subtly fun and charming design.

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The next collection is Lohko. This fabric is called Sula in a Flamingo/Honey/Linen colour. At first I thought this pattern was a load of oddly filled wine glasses but it’s probably more likely to be tulips or some kind of abstract flower.

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Now over to the fabrics aimed at children… I love them all. The collection is called Guess Who? Fabrics.  The one we’ve chosen here is called In a While Crocodile! Although the Mr Fox Appliqué (a version of Mr Fox) is probably one of the best known designs from Scion.

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This is Lunaria, in Cream Sunflower and Gull, from the Melinki One collection. One of the more traditional looking designs but still with the graphic print feel that Scion designs tend to have. It’s a great pattern and the grey and yellow colour way is a very popular combination at the moment.

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This fabric beautifully brings in burnt orange with the very versatile blue and cream colours. This fabric is Fuse, in Tangerine/Kingfisher, found in the Rhythm Weaves collection. This fabric would be the perfect way to get needed colour into a room. It also gives a good selection of colours to extend into accessories.

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This berry coloured pattern is called Shibori from the Spirit Fabrics collection. This design is quite simple and comes in some nice bright colours making it an easy fabric to get into a bright and modern room.

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Finally, we’ve looked at this busy print called Blomma. This colour way is called Toffee/Blush/Putty and it is from the Levande collection. Still in keeping with the Scion block style the colours within this fabric seem to be less in your face and within a more traditional in tone.

Bethvictoria.com

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A few Little Greene Company colours & accessories

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We’ve chosen some Little Greene Company paint colours and matched them with fabrics, furniture and a few accessories. Hope you enjoy!

Hicks’ Blue and Gauze Mid

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Little Greene Paint, Hicks’ Blue (208)  & Gauze Mid (164) – Villa Nova Fabric, Norrland Indigo – Crumble Snuggler by Loaf at John Lewis, Brushed Cotton Flint – Ebbe Gehl for John Lewis Mira Sideboard – John Lewis Cavendish Cushion, Sulphur – John Lewis Boucle Cushion, Steel – Buster + Punch Hooked 3.0 Mix Cluster Ceiling Light, Copper/Stone

Ashes of Roses and China Clay 

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Little Greene Paint, Ashes of Roses (6) & China Clay (1) – Harlequin Fabric, MORAMO LINENS 132309 – Made, Frame Armchair, Blush Cotton Velvet – west elm Terrace Console Table – John Lewis Lockhart Floor Lamp, Dark Copper – John Lewis Hotel Morocco Rug, Cream – John Lewis Croft Collection Weave Cushion, Natural

Yellow Pink & French Grey 

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Little Greene Paint, Yellow-Pink (46) & French Grey Pale (161) – Fabric, Zoffany ILIAD 322619 – House by John Lewis Bow Upholstered Headboard Bed Frame – Fonteyn Bedside table, oak, Made.com – John Lewis Penelope Task Lamp, Quince – Design Project by John Lewis No.111 Rug, Blue – John Lewis Croft Collection Poppyheads Bedding – George Nelson Bubble Crisscross Saucer Ceiling Light, Medium – Roar + Rabbit for west elm Geo Inlay 6 Drawer Chest

Matthew Williamson Wallpaper & Pearl Colour Pale

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Wallpaper, Matthew Williamson at Osbourne & Little, Tropicana W6801/01 – Little Greene Paint, Pearl Colour Pale (167) – Fabric, Villa Nova, Vardo Petrol – west elm Mid-Century Extending Dining Table – Vitra Eames DAR 43cm Armchair, Cream/Chrome – Design Project by John Lewis No.004 Sideboard, Oak – Kartell FLY Ceiling Light, White – west elm Ombre Crackle dining collection – John Lewis Flamingo, Cactus and Melon Tumbler With Gold Rim – John Lewis Scandi Nova Table Runner, Mineral – John Lewis Pineapple Placemats, Set of 2, Green/Cream

Knightsbridge & Shallows

WILLIAMLittle Greene Paint, Knightsbridge (215) & Shallows (223)  – Fabric, William Morris & CO, Pure Ceiling Embroidery Paper White – John Lewis Hemingway Bookcase With Drawer – John Lewis Annabelle Armchair, Harlequin Vitto Sediment Fabric, Price Band G, Dark Legs – John Lewis Hemingway Round Lamp Table  – David Hunt Hare Table Lamp, Bronze

Thank you for reading!

Bethvictoria.com

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Spring colours

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Pantone have released their spring 2017 colours and they’re a pretty bright and beautiful range. So we’ve collected some images of the colours in action to show you what you can do with them within your home.

Primrose Yellow

Pale dogwood

Hazelnut

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Greenery

Flame

Pink Yarrow

Niagara

Kale

Lapis Blue

Hope you have enjoyed this spring colour inspiration!

Bethvictoria.com

All images found on Pinterest

 

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Minimal motivational design inspiration

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These minimalist posters by Ryan McArthur are beautifully simplistic ways of getting inspirational messages from the masters of life and design into the world. The simple ‘less is more’ designs cleverly convey each message in the illustrations. Here are a selection of the posters that relate specifically to the design world. Enjoy!

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Bethvictoria.com

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A Urban Outfitters Home Wish List

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We love pretty much everything that the Urban Outfitters home section has to offer. But we’ve narrowed it down to five that we really like. UO is pretty pricey but sometimes the sale gives you a good chance of getting some of their products into your home!

First is this Eyelash Fringe Duvet Cover. 

This soft cotton cozy bed cover is half price at the moment and looks extremely comfortable. (Note it comes slightly cheaper in grey too)

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A Nelson Geometric Console Table.

This metal and wooden side table has various uses and because of its simple sleek design works in any room of the house.

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Letter Light Box

Perfect in any room of the home or as a present. Write any message you want on the box and let it glow.

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Succulent Tea Lights

Cute little tea lights to add colour and light to any room.

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A Peg Board

A fun way to keep notes and lists to hand. This would work great in a kitchen or work space environment.

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Happy Shopping!

Bethvictoria.com

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London Exhibitions to see

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Here are four current exhibitions in London that we think are worth a visit

Donna Huanca – Scar Cymbals

At Zabludowicz Collection between 29th September to 18 December

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Daily performances by painted models work to create installations within this chapel space.

“Huanca’s work draws attention to the body and in particular the skin, which is simultaneously the surface on which our personhood is inscribed and the surface through which we experience the world around us. Huanca examines conventions of behaviour in our interaction with bodies in space and the invisible histories that are accumulated through those gestures. By exposing the naked body and concealing it under layers of paint, cosmetics and latex, Huanca’s performers confront our instinctive reactions to flesh, which becomes both a familiar, decorative object and an abstract, inaccessible subject.”  – Source

Abstract Expressionism

At the RA between 24th Sept t0 2nd Jan

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Franz Kline, Vawdavitch, 1955

American art from 1950s New York featuring art by De Kooning, Rothko and Pollock. Large scale, intense and expressive this style of painting gave the method a new leash of confidence.

“It was a watershed moment in the evolution of 20th-century art, yet, remarkably, there has been no major survey of the movement since 1959.” Taken from RA website

Antony Gormley – Fit

At White Cube Gallery, Bermondsey between 30th Sept to 6th Nov

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“Gormley has configured the gallery space into 15 chambers to create a series of dramatic physiological encounters in the form of a labyrinth. Visitors are faced with a choice of passage through differently sized, uniquely lit spaces where each room challenges or qualifies the experience of the last.” – Source

Not long left on this one go see it soon!

Beyond Caravaggio

At the National Gallery between 12th Oct and 15th Jan.

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Exploring the influence of Caravaggio on painters and artists that followed him.

“After the unveiling of Caravaggio’s first public commission in 1600, artists from across Europe flocked to Rome to see his work. Seduced by the pictorial and narrative power of his paintings, many went on to imitate their naturalism and dramatic lighting effects. Paintings by Caravaggio and his followers were highly sought after in the decades following his untimely death at the age of just 39. By the mid-17th century, however, the Caravaggesque style had fallen out of favour and it would take almost three hundred years for Caravaggio’s reputation to be restored and for his artistic accomplishments to be fully recognised.” – Source

Bethvictoria.com

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Making a Camera Obscura

The Camera Obscura is an optical device that was essential in the development of the camera and photography.

© 2013 Abe Morell. All rights reserved.
© 2013 Abe Morell. All rights reserved.

When done right creating a room into a camera obscura is an incredible thing.

Abe Morell is one of the top camera obscura makers. He travels around and makes hotel rooms into these beautiful naturally projected works.

Camera Obscura Image of the Eiffel Tower in the Hotel Frantour, 1999. Abelardo Morell
Camera Obscura Image of the Eiffel Tower in the Hotel Frantour, 1999. Abelardo Morell

In his early work he recorded the camera obscura with the use of long exposure black and white film photography. He then started to use the new technologies of digital photography.

Camera Obscura: View of the Manhattan Bridge-April 30th / Afternoon, 2010
Camera Obscura: View of the Manhattan Bridge-April 30th / Afternoon, 2010

He also then started to use lenses and prisms to flip the image and to make it as sharp as possible.

With the work that I am doing on my MA I decided to give it a go. The results weren’t the best. But neither is the view out the window… Its just the rail track and the cranes from all the building sites in Elephant and Castle.

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I need to practice and refine this work so that it creates the colourful and interesting images that Abelardo Morell has achieved.

How to:

It seems pretty simple to make. You black out all the window and other light sources. Then cut a hole in the black out. Play with varying sized holes until you get the image projecting at a good size and sharpness. Add a prism or a lens to sharpen and make the projection as clear as possible.

The key with this is that you need to wait 15-20 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the light before you can actually see the outcome.

But, of course it isn’t that easy. It takes a lot of playing around and a completely blacked out room to get the right effect.

Good luck!

Bethvictoria.com

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